Progressive pics of my first little garden

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by hisenthlay, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Well, it's just about high season here, and I'm starting to enjoy more and more fruits of my first real garden, such as it is. I thought you guys might be interested to see the conversion from city yard to intensely productive vegetable garden. It was a lot of work (!!), but next year should be way easier.

    This first pic is of the boxes we built for the raised beds, in February. That was all lawn before.
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    Here's the same thing, around mid-June. I like the bamboo bean teepees.
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    The same thing again, around late July.
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    Here are the boxes we built for the patio, and the little garden area in front of the compost bin. That big box is made out of salvaged 100 year old barnwood, mostly oak, and was murder to try to saw and screw together. We filled it with alternate layers of rotted manure and fallen leaves, and then put a thin layer of soil on the top before planting.
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    Again, mid-June, now with the addition of a strawberry planter against the garage, and potato boxes with stackable sides.
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    A different angle, early July--everything grew a lot.
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    Mid July.
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    Late July--the beans were just starting to come in--and now they're taking over!
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    My main problem is lack of space, especially sunny space, so I did the best I could with intensive planting methods, vertical planting, bush varieties of sprawling plants, etc. It's worked pretty well so far, but I may have pushed it a little too much, and there are definitely some signs of overcrowding--the cucumbers were the least happy with the intensive planting, even though I followed the Square Foot Gardening spacing suggestions.

    Anyway, that's my big project for the year. Hope you enjoyed!
     
  2. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Great pictures! I really liked watching the changes over time. My cucumbers suffered from crowding this year, too. I'll have to give them more space next year.
    You do a great job with the space you have, and I'll bet you inspire your neighbors.
     

  3. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Thanks! It's been a real learning experience. At first we were afraid that the neighbors were going to hate us, because the whole thing was going to be scraggly and ugly, but we've gotten soooo many compliments on it, from friends and complete strangers! People stop and stare, and the older folks especially like to stop and see what we're doing--maybe because they're the only ones around who actually know what a pea plant looks like, or carrots, or squash. I had a big flower garden planned to put around it, to sort of hide the other plants, but I ran out of steam on that project, and we didn't really need it anyway. So, the flowers will be next year. I've already put in a few hydrangea bushes, a couple blueberry bushes, a hazelnut tree, two black currant bushes, hostas, roses, and some arbor vitae on the left side of the path, opposite the raised beds, and up against the house on that side. That phot progression will have to be for next year. Hopefully our asparagus bed will also come in more next year, too. It is up against the garage next to the tall bush, but you can't really see it in the pics, and it's pretty pitiful.

    I think what I learned in such a small space is that it pays to have plants that keep producing little things all season. Broccoli and cauliflower are great, but they take forever to grow, and then we ultimately harvest like 5 of them. Beans, tomatoes, carrots, cukes, squash, etc. all produce a lot more food for the space, it seems like. So that's the plan for next year.
     
  4. bob clark

    bob clark A man's man

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    great garden, thanks for posting
     
  5. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    Very nice! and inspirational.
     
  6. dustyrose

    dustyrose Well-Known Member

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    i am impressed, you have done a lot with a small space. i have very little space but you have given me some great ideas for next year. thanks! :)
     
  7. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    My goodness, that is fantastic!

    Where did you get the soil to fill the raised beds?

    Have you harvested the potatoes yet? If so, how did they do in that stackable type setting? I grew mine in a bed this year and I'm thinking of stacking them next year.
     
  8. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Thanks so much! The kind words really mean something coming from you guys! :angel:

    For the raised beds--first, we cut up all the sod, and moved it to the side. Then we tilled the soil below it. Then, we put the sod back where it was, except upside down, so the grass would die and enrich the soil, and the soil part was facing up. Then, we covered that with alternate layers of autumn leaves and horse/goat/sheep/rabbit/chicken manure, generously donated by friends who had way too much of it laying around. :p We covered the beds with black plastic over the winter, to try to keep it somewhat warmer and decomposing a little. In the spring, we put a 1 or 2 inch layer of commercial garden soil and/or our own well rotted compost over the whole thing, just to give the seeds and seedlings a good start.

    The potatoes did pretty well, but I didn't follow through like I was supposed to with them. D'oh! You know, as they grow, you're supposed to layer them with straw to make them grow more potatoes all along their length. Well, I did that a few times, but I didn't keep up with it. I layered up to about halfway up the second level. We harvested them last week, and probably only got 10 lbs of potatoes. I planted "All Red" potatoes and "All Blue" potatoes, and they were small, too--especially the blue ones. They sure are pretty, though. I'm going to try again now with some Yukon Golds, or something like that--whatever I can find, and see how well it works if I actually follow the directions. :rolleyes: I hope there's time! I'll check back in with progress after the fall potato harvest, if there is one.
     
  9. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Wow, sounds like you have beds to die for. No wonder everything looks so fantastic. Tilling before putting the bed forms in place was a stroke of genius - like double digging. Likewise deciding to flip the sod. I've done that in the past and been pleased with the results. I just couldn't bear to throw away the topsoil (pitiful as it was) and nitrogen.

    I have poo envy.

    I piled some straw "extra deep" on part of my potatoes but didn't have a frame so I could only pile it a bit before it spilled out into my paths and made a mess. The other potatoes I have already dug up, but the extra-deep ones are a later variety and so aren't ready yet. I'm interested in seeing if they do produce all along their vine. I have peeked and not found anything, but I haven't been too agressive with my peeking so maybe there's something in there. Fingers crossed.
     
  10. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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    Super nice raised beds!! Please keep us posted on your progress. I'm planning on making beds like yours next year only it will be 2 beds 50 feet long each and 2 feet wide. I have a smaller bed now and love it. :cowboy:
     
  11. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    How absolutely LOVELY!!! Wow, your garden is definitely something of which you can be very proud!

    GOOD FOR YOU!!

    That's homesteading at its best: Taking what you have, utilizing it to the best of your abilities, and learning along the way.

    Very impressive!

    :clap: :goodjob:

    Pony!
     
  12. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's beautiful! Congratulations!
     
  13. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    Your garden is absolutely gorgeous!!! So... sooo... sooo.... yep, going to say it... GREEEENNN!!!
     
  14. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    Awesome! I'm VERY impressed!
     
  15. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am stunned. So beautiful! And smart. How much do you think your food bill has been reduced?
     
  16. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

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    Very impressive!!! That was really good thinking to take pictures to record your progress.

    You've done a fantastic job! :goodjob: Thank you for sharing with us.

    /VM
     
  17. vulcan

    vulcan Well-Known Member

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    welcome to the club, I have the same problem that you do, lack of space.
    and I do the same thing that you do. Here in Pennsylvania, my garden is very small but we eat mainly squash, tomatoes and parsley, fresh from the garden,
    I found out about public land close to my home and next year, (well actually now) I start working on it. Also I know a guy well he goes to abandoned houses and use their available land, realtors and even owner like that because he keep the lot clean and eat new produce. I dont know if these choises are available for you but you should explore, years ago when my senior citizen neighoor was alive he alowed me to plant his garden in the back yard, he enjoyed my tomatoes all season.
    Thank you for sharing your pictures, I hope in the future people start doing the same pulling theirs lillies out and planting tomatoes. Thanks vulcan
     
  18. Aaron

    Aaron Active Member

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    Looks great...a very inspirational example of someone maximizing their space!
     
  19. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Your garden is one of the best that I've seen this year. GREAT use of space and really GREAT looking plants ..... WONDERFUL
     
  20. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Everything is so neat and tidy, I don't know why you thought neighbors would object. Your yard looks like Paradise.