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My garden 2011

Page history last edited by Dave Raftery 11 years, 7 months ago

Soil warmer using light bulbs

Tyler Harris

19 Dec 11
Michigan hoop house farmers
Costa Rica mts blog

11 Dec 11

2 Dec 11
lessons learned from greenhouse

  • use 2 longitudinal pipes
  • brace door end better - maybe sink a 4 foot 4x4 post into ground near door for support, 2 feet in ground and 2 above ground
  • order longer plastic
  • use 8 ' wood strapping along sides at bottom and wrap plastic cover around strapping at least one time
  • secure pvc pipe to door end on top of door using plastic tubing
  • experiment with white pvc pipe joined with a T on far end of greenhouse; put a vertical piece of pipe into bottom of T

22 Sept 11
Spin farm in Montreal
Tyler's blog

22 Aug
Elliot Coleman lecture
alfalfa meal for fertilizer in green houses
Tilther in Johnny's Selected Seeds catalog - uses cordless drill for rotor tiller
Propane pre-emergent weeding - use a propane torch to kill weeds before food crop emerges
Claytonia plant

12 Aug
Need to plant winter garden. Decide what plants to sow.
carrots, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, radish,
heirloom acres,
agribond row cover
it is not complicated, but it is precise
bensen institute - partially buried greenhouse, free for download, info on sun angles;

30 June
I finished the final of my 3 raised beds tonight and planted it with corn, beans, summer squash and tomatoes.

5 June

  • Amazon sells Mache seeds (corn salad)
  • Make a WOAS on gardening to link info on various plants and how to plant them
  • Grow some beets for winter use and some corn; plant corn 3 plants to a hill
    • Hills: for small plantings, sow corn in hills. Hills are groups of 4 to 5 seeds sown in a circle, with 2 inches between seeds. Space the hills 2 to 3 feet apart and when seedlings emerge, thin each hill to 2 to 3 plants. For adequate pollination, 12 to 24 plants are required.
  • Experiment with drying tomatoes and storing in glass jars
  • Build root cellar at bottom of back stairs for potatoes and carrots

31 May
Built another 30" wide bed. Planted tomatoes and summer squash.
Planted 2 winter squash in large bed.

22 May
Planted 2 blueberry plants; one looked all brown, may be dead.
Filled new bed with loam and 1 bag of peat moss.
Planted potatoes in new bed. Need to look up days to maturity.
Transplanted 2 tomato plants and one broccoli from cold frame into new bed.

Plant blueberries in the spring. Blueberries grow best is full sun. They need acidic soils with a pH of 4.0 to 4.5. They like clay and other poor or rocky soils. You may need to increase the acidity in your soil to grow healthy bushes. Space blueberry bushes about five to six feet apart. We recommend rows eight to ten feet apart. They will tolerate a little crowding. Mix in healthy amounts of compost and other organic matter. Keep a thick layer of mulch around your blueberry bushes to eliminate weeds, and help keep the soil moist. Water well after planting and in the first few weeks as necessary to promote good root growth.
Now the waiting begins. A new bush will produce fruit in the third year! After that, your bush will thrive for many years to come with just a little care and maintenance.
Add fertilizer once in the spring and again in late summer. The latter application will help to promote buds for next year

30K sq ft or 1 half to 3 quarter acre is enough land to grow on to make a middle class income.
City farmer website
Urban gardening
Johnnys interactive tools

30 March 11

  • planted in cold frame on 28 March 11
  • thinking of putting 3ea 16 ft long by 30 inch wide beds close to house, where high tunnel is going in fall 2011, instead of adding beds in middle of yard
  • draw out plan for garden and fruit in backyard
  • plan what to grow in each bed
    • bed 1 (existing) - tomatoes, corn
    • bed 2 (new 1)
    • bed 3 (new 2) - potatoes, carrots
  • figure spot for blueberry bushes (maybe in back corner near Larry's yard)
  • make 2 more raised beds with rough sawn lumber - 3' x ~25' ; now I am thinking 30" x 20'
    • 1x8x16 are $8; need 3 for each bed
  • grow potatoes and asparagus
    • figure out permanent bed for asparagus
  • grow elderberries on back of lawn; start inside
  • buy loam to reseed lawn; use extra in garden.
    • calculate area and amount
  • build 12' x 16' high tunnel in Sept next to house by family room
    • 3ea 3' wide beds inside (get more loam and framing lumber [$8 for 16 footer] for these)
    • order clear plastic ($150)
    • 20' long 1/2" or 3/4" pvc on rebar stakes
    • put hoops inside bottom frame
    • paint wood white on ends
    • relocate compost and woodpile
    • tunnel plans - doesn't work
    • tunnel plans - works; opens in a new tab
    • tunnel plans - works but no images; opens in same tab. Look up <a ref html
  • Growdome video series
  • Growing sprouts and microgreens video

microgreen growing

Attaching plastic to greehnouse with wiggle wire
Inside 16 by 12 greenhouse
Building high tunnel video

28 Dec 10

  • get more flats for seed starting
  • get heat mats
  • start many seeds indoors early
  • look into grow lights for seed starting in cellar
  • put up low tunnel maybe March; try to increase growing season by 2 months on each end (spring and fall)
  • rototill 2 additional beds - 2 x 25 SPIN dimensions
  • use Mittler fertilizer
  • get heirloom seeds
  • keep better records of what I plant, how much and when, and the results
  • try trellis for vine crops next year
  • investigate Walpole community garden
  • create HOA community garden (ask Paul for info)
    • water - run hose from neighbor and pay them
    • deer fence
    • temp high tunnel

Starting seeds in flats indoors
For most vegetables, once the true leaves appear, it’s also time to move the seedlings into individual pots. This applies to seedlings like tomato, eggplant, pepper, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower that will grow new roots along their stems when transplanted deeply. This is not true for “sensitive” plants like melons, cucumbers, and squash that are prone to transplant shock, and tend to die if transplanted, particularly when small. For these, I use three-inch diameter pots for germinating, and follow the same process, except I don’t transplant them into larger pots. They get transplanted directly into the garden after “hardening-off

For seedlings that will root along their stems, I always plant them up to their first leaves to get the biggest root system and strongest stems possible.

most plants can be set in the garden deeper than they were in the pot because they’ll root along the stem. For cucumbers, squash, and melons; however, they’re planted at the same level as they were growing in their pot.

Garden planing template
Garden planting schedule
Growing Microgreens
Dawn Redwoods
Food storage

Plant all beds to spring-harvested crops such as lettuce, radish, scallion and spinach
Then replant all the beds to summer-harvested crops such as beets and carrots
Then replant all the beds to lettuce, radish and spinach
The aim with SPIN-Farming is to keep expenses at 10% to 20% of total sales. So if you target $50,000 in sales then you should target $5,000 to $10,000 in expenses. The high end would account for some hired labor.

Locally-sourced, all organic amendments can be used that would not be feasible on larger scale farms. Many of these amendments are available at local animal feed stores in 50 pound bags, and they are not laborious to apply.

Various Bed garden widths

  • Mittleider: 18" x 30' beds = 45 sq ft or (4' wide beds)
  • SPIN: 2' x 25' beds = 50 sq ft (2' wide so you can straddle bed while working)
  • Noble Foundation: 40" wide beds
  • SFG: 4' wide beds
  • Coleman: 30 inch wide x 20' long beds
  • My garden: 5' x 25' beds = 125 sq ft (2.8 x size of Mittleider) - I may try 4' x 25' on next bed so it is easier to reach middle of bed, or two each 2' x 25' beds like SPIN recommends
  • If using plastic or floating crop covers, check width material comes in and see if it is compatible with width of bed

we may have high food prices in 2010 according to an article (no - another article says we have record wheat surplus)

Gardening to do - 2010

  • put sash on cold frame done
  • talk to owners at Walpole feed store about local farmers markets - there is a market in Walpole
  • buy lots of seeds, get seed catalogs
  • start seedlings earlier
  • make my own potting mix, add vercimulite in progress
  • grow more varieties
  • sow seeds for progressive picking
  • use organic fertilizer and Mettledier minerals, document when and how much applied
  • make more detailed plan for garden, both what to plant, where to plant it and when to plant it (maybe write as Squeak program - each sq ft is an object or container with other objects, plants in it. Instance variables hold data such as when planted and fertilized. Make GUI to use)
  • follow up on results for each planting
  • use spreadsheet for garden plan - I just found one in Mar 2011
  • make good use of my existing cold frame in spring grow tomatoes in cold frame bed 2010 - too many mice close to house
  • fabric row covers
  • look at hoops for bed greenhouse done in 2010
  • grow crops vertically
  • decide what to grow, how much and when to plant it
  • look into something to sit on for my back and knees
  • figure out last frost date for Boston (Worcester is 27 April)and work backwards to determine when to start seeds indoors. Adjust frost date if using hoop house over bed.
  • eventually buy some loam and use for garden bed(s) and add to lawn in back of house. - must do in 2011
  • make spacing template for planting
  • look into drip irrigation hoses in garden $20 for 50 foot length at Ocean State - tried it; didn't work well on 5' wide bed with only 2 loops of hose
  • investigate roof edge heaters for use in garden to prevent freezing temps
  • be on outlook for local farmers markets
  • get weed hoe - stirrup type Ace Hardware has for $15

learn about more crops

  • hardneck garlic
  • broad beans
  • fennel
  • Easter egg radishes

What to plant

  • carrots - lots
  • spinach
  • lettuce - many varieties
  • tomatoes
  • winter squash
  • radishes
  • Yukon gold seed potato? - in bag or box
  • cellery
  • beans
  • peas

find out when to plant various seeds, how long they take to grow to harvest; plan schedule of planting accordingly.

Start seeds indoors, use bottoms of milk jugs, soda bottles, etc. for planters. Once seeds emerge, move them outside into cold frame. Put water filled bottles in cold frame to hold heat at night.

Vegetable groups: brassicas (cabbage, kale, broccoli), leafy greens (spinach, chard, lettuce), legumes (peas, beans, limas), nightshades (peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants) , root vegetables, vine crops (cucumbers, melons, squash)

Low tunnel
Build hoop bed cover - done
Use plastic tubing (for running electrical wires in). Figure out what size to use; what bends easily and will still hold up to wind. Figure out how high to make hoops ~ 3 feet?
Use white PVC pipe to hold hoops. Attach PVC pipe to wooden side of bed
Get clear plastic to cover. Use wood slats on side to hold plastic down (wrap wood in plastic)
Remove plastic and hoops in warm weather.

Hoops - 1/2 inch sch 40 PVC pipe, 2.5 ft high, hoop every 3 feet (or black poly pipe) [HD has the Sch 40 PVC electrical conduit for $1/10 foot length]
Base holder - 1 inch PVC pipe, attach with 2 inch wood screws try 2.5 inch screws
6 mil clear plastic for cover [HD has 4 mil plastic 10x25 for $15]

Use rope to tie down plastic cover; run rope on each side of hoop.

Look up potato nutrients
Switching to potatoes as a staple crop would be a better choice due to the high nutritional profile. One could live off those easily, unlike soybeans..

16 Jan 2010
For my family, the best and cheapest way to eat is FROM SCRATCH… yes, the least processed food cost the least amount of money per serving. For example, we haven’t purchased 1 loaf of bread since the first of January, probably even since some time in December. I have a bread machine and can make loaf bread, rolls, etc just by making the dough in the machine. And, all of the ingredients are organic flour, water, yeast, 2 tablespoons of organic sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt and a little bit of organic milk. The biggest thing about cooking from scratch is that it does take some time to plan for. It’s just one of those things that we have to make time for - planning is so very important if you want your household to function smoothly.

21 Jan
Some crops, such as carrots, lettuce, radish and fresh herbs, are light feeders while others, such as spinach, garlic, onions and beets are heavier feeders, and adjust your amending appropriately.

SPIN is a production system, not a belief system. It is not predicated on any one set of life principals or philosophy, or any one method of soil prep or maintenance. It can be combined with biointensive, biodynamic, permaculture, vermaculture, acquaculture, double dig, no till. We recommend the use of a rototiller because it increases efficiency which results in high income. But if a rototiller does not fit in with the way you think the world should work and you are willing to accept the consequences to your bottom line, you can choose not to use it.

SPIN-Farming is an exercise in figuring out how much money you want to make, determining the amount of your operation that needs to be put in the most intensive form of production to generate that income, and the labor needed to support that. This is not figured out in one season. It takes years of trial and error to find the optimum balance.

Fall garden
Start in July or August
Broccoli, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beans, peas

I plant, if not every day, at least on a daily basis while the season is appropriate. Seed flats get started on a weekly basis and, as growing season may permit, the garden always has things ready to sell and ready to eat.

Successive plantings of the same crop, such as beans, result in enhanced complexity--and I’m speaking here of the complexity that results from having crops in different stages of maturity. It’s well known in agricultural circles that insect or disease problems can be avoided by planting early or late. The easy way around this is to plant regularly and continuously through the window of time the crop can be successfully planted--and I think it’s a good idea to bracket that a bit with an extra early or extra late planting. Here, university extension recommends planting beans in April through July which, at two plantings a month, would allow for eight plantings and, by going a bit into March and August, could be extended to ten.

Google group for SPIN Farming

18" between beds will work
cedar fencing for raised beds
glacial rock dust gaia green (remineralize.org)

I would advise you to read all the SPIN pamphlets and follow each step.
Some places are calling their set up NSA (neighborhood supported
-Get your soil tested, local extension office does a basic one for free,
-amend the soil,
-order seeds early, there are more people than ever gardening, there could
be shortages later in the season
-check and see when you want to sell first and then count backwards to your
plant date.(remember it takes longer to grow crops in spring than the "days
to maturity" that is listed on the seed packet)
-till and plant at the appropriate time
-another great resource is the archives of this list, you can search for all
sorts of things!

If it says ‘organic’, ask what it means. Be suspicious. Countries define this variously. Some are stricter than others. Question your retailer, too, about what ‘non-organic’ means. Remember: the real enemies are food miles, synthetic pesticides and weedkillers… not fertilizers. These just provide an abundance of what plants need anyway. Provided a vegetable’s locally grown, recently harvested, dirty and unpackaged, all the fertilizer in the world couldn’t make it worse than something that was sprayed with something noxious.

SPIN Concepts

  • first concept is that it is better to intensively use a small acreage than it is to grow crops less intensely on a larger acreage. In fact, too much land is actually a drawback.
  • SPIN is also premised on growing high value crops. Fresh herbs, spinach, radish and bags of salad mix account for much of the revenues in the SPIN program, especially early in the growing season. One SPIN plan calls for the sale of 200 bunches of radishes, at $1.50/bunch.
  • A key component of the SPIN program is a walk-in cooler. Instead of staying up late or getting up obscenely early, as many market gardeners do to pick, clean and bunch their produce, Satzwich picks and prepares produce several days in advance and stores them in a walk-in cooler he has built.

Stall fees $400
Sales bags $300

Share a walk-behind tiller, and improve methods of reduced tilling, including transplanting, cover crops, hoe-and-rake, etc. Human power is the core energy. People doing small intensive systems need to be very careful about not spreading out too much. Take it slowly, and add elements carefully, being cautious about slipping into a hobby homestead, rather than market farm model. And you're most likely already feeding and housing yourself, so again, stacking functions with human power.

  • frontporchfarm.net
  • http:/backyardbountyfarming.blogspot.com

Hoop greenhouse benders

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