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Tue Apr 28, 2020, 04:10 AM

My COVID-19 garden

With the current and expected interruptions in the food supply chain and the arrival of the stimulus money, my wife has agreed to allow me to accelerate my plans for the garden.

My plan is to convert much of the back yard which lies east of the home into a garden and fruit orchard.

An issue with the back yard is that the property is on a slope and the back yard can remain wet for sometime before it's dry enough to plant. So I decided to build some raised beds and make raised rows but the way I was doing that, it would have taken me several years to complete the vegetable garden and I'm already 61.

The vegetable garden will be a fenced in 48' x 48' lot (2304 square ') and it will contain a total of 1215 square feet of planting area in raised beds and raised rows. I already have the raised beds made a couple of years ago and yesterday I ordered 12 cubic yards of screened topsoil at a cost of $26 a cubic yard delivered to make half of the raised rows. Later this year after the east half of the garden area has dried out, I'll order another 12 cubic yards to complete the rest of the raised rows.

Last week I bought 8 8' steel fence posts to be used as center pieces for teepees made with 8' saplings and they'll be used for sugar snap peas and pole beans. Living where I do, I have easy access to as many 8' saplings as I'll ever need.

To the east of the vegetable garden will be a 34' long raspberry bed. A friend of my wife's will give us the raspberry plants when the raised bed is ready. To the south of the garden will be an orchard for semi-dwarf apple, peach and pear trees but that's a project for another time as I have to put in a 10W'x40L'x12H" raised bed for that. To the north of the house that gets plenty of sunshine and the lawn is dry, I have space for 2 cherry trees.

A family member has 2 round bales in his field which he says I can have and which I'll use for mulch in the garden to limit weed growth.

This year I'll be planting radishes, carrots, beets, dwarf sugar snap peas, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, sugar snap peas and pole beans. I have enough radish, carrot and beet seeds on hand to try for a spring and fall crop.

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply My COVID-19 garden (Original post)
Kaleva Apr 28 OP
Doodley Apr 28 #1
dhol82 Apr 28 #2
samnsara Apr 28 #3
onethatcares Apr 28 #4
N_E_1 for Tennis Apr 28 #5
Bayard Apr 28 #6
Kaleva Wednesday #7
NutmegYankee Saturday #8
Kaleva Sunday #9

Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Apr 28, 2020, 05:08 AM

1. Sounds wonderful! I would love to do that.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Apr 28, 2020, 07:07 AM

2. That's one heck of a project!

Kudos!

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Apr 28, 2020, 07:13 AM

3. my ground is so rocky I cant plant anything.. Once I saw an entire yard filled with Lowes buckets...

..the entire garden was made of buckets! Filled with wonderful veggies and flowers. It was really pretty..I may try that.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Apr 28, 2020, 07:32 AM

4. then

the squirrels and opposums find it and eat it down to the ground overnight.

Hate to be a downer but you got a heck of a row to hoe if you're going to plant all that.

I converted a section of my side yard to vegetables starting last year. So far the powdery mildew has taken my cukes, squash, okra and sweet peppers.

I have 4 cherry tomato plants and two heirloom tomato plants that are bearing fruit. Still green at this moment. I harvested about 60 carrots, only around 30 of them were of any length. Lost my beet crop to a smack of hot weather two weeks ago. Out of 8 eggplant plants, I have two remaining but the fruits are small about 3 inches long. definitely not enough to feed two of us let alone a family.
Hmmmmm, something ate my strawberries(that was quick) My bush beans got rust and never recovered.

I'm not growing fruit trees of any type.

We're in a moderate drought and I don't have a well so I save rain water. I have a 400 gallon storage of it. It goes away fast.I hate to pay the sewerage charge to the city for water that percs in to the ground. I'm trying to work out a gravity fed drip irrigation system. Haven't come up with one that doesn't clog up yet.

I am currently getting ready to prep the beds for fall planting. Pulling and getting rid of plant waste(not composting possible problems) and solarizing hoping to kill the pathogens that I believe came from two truck loads of wood chips I used to cover the grass in that section of yard.

The beds are 16' x 16', 8' x 8', 2' x 4', 4' x 6', round plastic barrel halves, and a 6' x 6'. I used commercial topsoil, miraclegro soil, horse manure, vegetable scraps and straw as my planting base. It was a lot of work, a lot.

would I do it again???

Hell yes.

Now excuse me while I treat my aching back to turning the compost piles.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Apr 28, 2020, 08:46 AM

5. Been working on mine too...

Northern Michigan here. Expanding the medicinal herb garden. Veggie seeds are started in the grow tent red peppers, varying colored peppers, poblanos, Marconi peppers, yellow pear tomato. Delicata squash, zucchini, cucumbers will go directly into the ground.

5 elderberry trees are coming from our Conservation Club along with 5 more raspberry bushes that will complement what we have now.

I appreciate the age thing, my wife and I are 67 and the number would make no difference but Iím 2 months behind on a hip replacement (covid postponement) and my betrothed just had carotid surgery...but even with that we are slightly ahead of schedule.

Weather is getting better quickly...infrastructure has to be completed in a couple weeks.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Apr 28, 2020, 09:50 AM

6. Woohoo!

Sounds like a great project. I'd be interested in seeing how it progresses.

In the past few years, I've gone from planting about a quarter acre garden, down to several 3' x 4' wood sided beds of tomatoes, peppers, raspberries, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and asparagus. Two apple trees, two peach trees. Closer to the house, and MUCH easier to take care of. Just had to put gates and tops on to keep out cats and ducks.

Everything looking good so far, with plenty of leafing and blooms, even after we had some night temps back down in the 30's.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2020, 12:11 PM

7. Update 5/20/20

My wife who told me earlier that I can do anything i want with the garden has mandated that some changes be made to the layout.

The 4X30 raised bed, running north and south, will form the eastern boundary of the garden. To the south of that raised bed is another raised bed 4x7 running east and south which forms a backwards L. To the south of that is a 4x28 raised row running east and west. the eastern end of the raised row is in line with the eastern sides of the raised beds. The western side of the garden is formed by a 4x40 raised row running north and south. Between that raised row and the raised beds are other raised rows running east and west.

The garden will be smaller then i had planned and will contain a total of 984 square feet of planting area inside of a 48x38 area. The backyard to the east and south-east of the garden will be dedicated to a raspberry bed and fruit trees.

While I ordered 12 cubic yards of topsoil, I got 10 and the cost was $260. I added topsoil to the 4x30 raised bed. I am in the process of tilling and removing rock from the raised rows and once I'm satisfied I've done enough of that, I'll add the rest of the topsoil to them.

In the 4X30 raised bed, I have so far planted Dwarf sugar snap peas, beets, carrots and White Icicle radishes. I'm heading to town in a couple of days and I hope to pick up a package of daikon radishes which I'll plant in the raised bed when I get back. To aid in planting the radishes, beets and dwarf sugar snap peas, I made a planting guide out of cardboard measuring 1'X2'. One one side, I marked out and put holes to plant 9 seeds per square foot. I flipped it over and marked out and made holes to plant 16 seeds per square foot. The former i used to plant the dwarf sugar snap peas and beets the the latter I used to plan the radishes. This made spacing and planting easy. I didn't use it for the carrots as those seeds are too small to handle individually.

My plan is sequence plant White Icicle radishes every week until it gets too hot and then plant again in the fall when it begins to cool, I hope to be able to plant a fall crop of beets and carrots.

I had bought a packet of vining sugar snap peas and as I wanted to plant them early, I put up 4 tee pees in a 3' wide row that is east and parallel of the 4x30 raised bed and which I had worked up last year. I won't be using that row next year as it won't be part of the garden.

I'll have enough of the raised rows ready in time to plant the pole beans, the pepper plants I have started in the house and the tomato plants I'll be getting from my father-in-law.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Sat May 23, 2020, 07:52 PM

8. I have an entire corner of my yard dedicated to raised beds

A small slope and classic New England Uplands soil filled with stones left me with this as the best choice. The garden was sited to get the most sunlight, which is now roughly 8.5 hours.







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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #8)

Sun May 24, 2020, 09:03 PM

9. Impressive!

Looks like you did a great job of adapting to conditions you faced!

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