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 pupdaddy12003
Joined: 8/9/2007
Msg: 51
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Garden Time...even here up northPage 7 of 7    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Just two words for you Moonie...Raised Beds. You don't need to build them any higher than 8 inches...and you can probably get free compost from your city's leaf collection department. Build them in the fall with something like used concrete block, some manufactured wood product (like they use on decks these days) or Cedar 2x8's...you don't want preservatives from treated lumber leaching into the soil. If you're willing to replace them frequently...any hardwood will do. Get a little masonry sand from a concrete supply house, (sometimes they will deliver it in a big plastic fiber bag)...and mix your clay soil, sand..and compost in the raised bed. You'll absolutely love the result. Make one a year until you have four of them..and rotate crops in them each year. Don't make them huge..you want them narrow enough to reach across and weed to the middle without straining.
 texasbaby
Joined: 7/21/2005
Msg: 52
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Garden Time...even here up north
Posted: 2/17/2009 11:22:18 AM
Pup, my daughter uses just four small raised beds each year for her garden and I am always amazed by how much such a small space produces.
She works out of town a lot and her S/O will water, but he doesn't pick anything....
So,, I do! I always come home with lots of goodies from my raids.. hehehe

tb
 Moonchild51
Joined: 3/11/2007
Msg: 53
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Garden Time...even here up north
Posted: 2/17/2009 1:55:32 PM
Hey Pup? What a wonderful idea! I never would have thought of that. I was considering doing that for my flowers but instead had my Son do a lot of diggin with me last year! There is a spot here that would be perfect for at least two raised beds. I miss my lettuce, peppers and cukes! Again, many thanks for puttin that bee in my bonnet!
 mrgarden
Joined: 3/22/2007
Msg: 54
Garden Time...even here up north
Posted: 2/18/2009 6:59:54 PM
What is a "bee in my bonnet." Sounds like a soon to happen be sting to me.

Pupdaddy...I agree with you completely. I've been using raised beds for 10 years now. In addition to the commonly discussed advantages of good space utilization, maximizing yields, and simplifying soil improvement efforts, veggis planted in a raised bed arrangement are typically planted much closer together than by the open-garden traditional row approach....essentially all the area of the raised bed is used for growing. What I have noticed is that once veggis are established, there is very little soil exposed to either weed infiltration or to excessive soil moisture loss. I need to water my raised beds less often than my open garden. The ONLY precaution is that intensive gardening in a raised bed quickly strips nutrients from the soil. I try to make sure I fertilize heavily at the end of each season, and add compost-type materials to the soil at least 1x yearly( my favorite is leaf compost that I get free from my town.

A final advantage of using a raised bed is that it can easily be covered to extend the growing season either in the fall, or in the VERY early spring. A few 2x2 stakes, arched 2 inch strips of plywood, clear plastic sheeting, and a few rocks to weigh down the plastic are all that is needed to allow me to grow lettuces from the beginning of March to the middle of December...without use of any heat source other than the sun. Lady Moonchild, with even a harsher winter than mine, you should contemplate this approach. Winter here is too long for me to wait...so I devise ways to start early, and continue growing late in the season. With my new greenhouse, I will likely go crazy this year.
 pupdaddy12003
Joined: 8/9/2007
Msg: 55
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Garden Time...even here up north
Posted: 2/19/2009 10:27:33 AM
..I have an idea for you..instead of all the wood for hoops over your raised beds, see if you can get some 3/4 inch plastic conduit..and a heat gun. You can poke them in the soil..or fasten larger pieces of scrap metal pipe to the inside of your raised bed..and then take the heat gun and warm them and bend them right over the top. I just had this flash of inspiration after reading your post....I think I'm going to have to give it a try myself.
 mrgarden
Joined: 3/22/2007
Msg: 56
Garden Time...even here up north
Posted: 2/19/2009 3:44:03 PM
I've also thought of PVC pipe..however, I was worried about the pipe deforming when it got hot under the plastic. Good idea PD!
 junipermoon
Joined: 3/1/2006
Msg: 57
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gardening
Posted: 3/30/2009 5:33:52 PM

I think I am addicted to fresh basil.


'addicted' doesn't begin to describe it. i'd move to italy just to have fresh basil year round.

i heard a legend about a man who smelled basil so frequently that a scorpion grew in his brain. well worth it, i'm sure! another story says that you need to sit naked on the ground before planting basil.
 texasbaby
Joined: 7/21/2005
Msg: 58
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gardening
Posted: 3/30/2009 8:12:09 PM
Well, I grow all my herbs on my back porch in big pots. Do you suppose I could just sit naked on a deck chair beside the basil pot?

tb
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