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Old 03-01-2012, 11:17 PM
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My wife and I are working on our first larger garden in 3 years. We previously lived in Belgium where we had a significant garden with lots of goodies. Living in Washington state, the region is very similar to what we had experienced in Belgium. Therefore, we're planting very similar foods to what we had in Europe. Fortunately we had a greenhouse in Belgium so we were able to shelter our peppers and tomatoes longer then we'll be able to do here.

We've been planing this for 2 months now and decided on 12 varieties this year. They'll be distributed through 3 raised beds - 2 4'x8' beds and 1 6'x12' bed. We'll also place some pepper plants in square boxes I built last year for zucchini and squash plants. We plan on canning most of our produce and will certainly share with close neighbors and family. Did someone say winning the hearts and minds?

I developed an excel spreadsheet to detail the growth our the plants and how much product they bare. The topics on the spreadsheet include - type, seeding date, in-ground date, days to seedling (listed and actual), planting date, planting depth with plant and row spacing, time to maturity (listed v. actual), number of days to first fruit, date plant has finished fruiting, and amount of fruit harvested.

We're using a top-soil, mushroom compost, garden mix soil mixture. We're going to put most plants in ground between April 15th and May 2nd, with the latest plant (Okra) going in ground early late May or early June. We may plant some earlier (none before the 15th of April other than listed) due to the fact that we have 3 trays under UV lamps to encourage growth.

Here's the list of plants with expected in ground dates. Listed by expected maturity time, earliest first.

Spinach (Space Hybrid) - March 15th
Summer Squash (Goldentender) - April 15th
Summer Squash (Fordhook Zucchini) - April 15th
Garden Beans (Fantastic Filet) - April 15th
Okra (Clemson Spineless #80) - May 19th
Cucumbers (Pickle Type) - April 15th
Peas (Cascadia Sugar Snap) - April 15th
Carrots (Touchon-Heirloom) - April 15th
Broccoli (Waltham 29) - March 15th
Hot Peppers (Jalapeno M) - May 2nd
Sweet Peppers (Chinese Giant - Heirloom) - May 2nd
Sweet Peppers (Crimson Select) - May 2nd

All of the seeds, except carrots, are being/going to be started in a small peat moss/garden soil ball until seedling's begin to sprout and expand. During the process we'll rotate them outside on nicer days to make them a bit more hardy. We're hoping the frost stays away after the 15th of April (the traditional date for Belgian gardeners). We expect most plants to take quickly and do well. Next year we'll rotate the seeds and add a few others. Next year potatoes, onions, and radishes will be added. There may be others we'll do, but we haven't identified them yet.

We've also started a herb garden, with most seedlings already doing fantastic. We've had them in pots for about 10 days now and it look like we're going to have plenty of home grown herbs this year.

We're excited and are hoping for a fall harvest as well. We're re-developing our canned food storage and plan to add an abundance of delicious veggies and fruits this year (we pick pounds of fresh wild berries).

We will try to add pictures routinely.

Here's to a grand harvest.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:21 AM
zbx zbx is offline
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good luck.

since we've had a mild winter so far here in central Calif i've been thinking about buying some wall o' waters off ebay to really get a head start on the season.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:10 AM
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One of the good things about living in So Cal is our generally great weather so I was able to start my tomato plants in late February and they're already blooming. But you're fortunate in having all that space; I'm limited to container growing. Best of luck and keep us posted with photos; we love to see bountiful gardens.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:27 AM
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So very organized Best of luck in your new climate
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:00 PM
daytime dave daytime dave is offline
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Good luck, it looks like a very good plan. I just planted seeds indoors.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:28 PM
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Good luck, it looks like a very good plan. I just planted seeds indoors.
The first of my indoor seeds have sprouted. All ten of my broccoli seedlings have sprouted and should be ready to go in ground within 10 days or so. A few of the peppers have started to show, but the spinach is taking it's time and hasn't shown up yet. It looks like I'll be able to do two harvests of broccoli and spinach.

This past week I completed the raised garden boxes and have 172 square feet of space. I also finished the compost bin and installed the 2nd rain barrel. Nearly all of the materials were either recycled, or donated from friendly neighbors. The only things I purchased were an additional box of galvanized nails and two sets of hinges for the compost bin.

This weekend the soil goes in the raised beds and I'm adding some compost to the bin and adding some poultry manure. The compost is fresh from a farm down the road, as is the poultry manure. I'll add the fruit and veggies parts as well as grass clippings and some good ole quick compost bacteria.

Good luck on the seedlings.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:32 PM
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I completed my new compost bin today. It was made completely from recycled and donated material. I used pallets, recycled fence boards, donated 2x4s, donated chicken wire, and 6 cubic feet of compost to get me started. I also bought a box of galvanized nails (6d 2") and used several screws I already had on hand.

The bin sits 45" high and can hold 44 cubic feet of compost. I built a hinged door into the bottom of it (I used a set of recycled hinges) for access to the best of the compost.

I used for equal size pallets with the edge trimmed off to better expose the 2x3s inside the pallet. I added additional boarding (using fence boards) to the inside of the pallets before I put them together. I tied them together with other pieces of fence boards.

I made a split hinged top, for ease of use, as a solid door would have been too heavy for my wife or daughter to hold up while adding kitchen compost. I added chain as a door hinge to keep it from opening too far and putting all the stress weight of the door on the hinges. I used fence boards and 2x4s. The hinges were the costliest part of the project and cost me $11.54.

I wrapped the bin with chicken wire and added a hasp and hinge to the access door to keep it closed.

I'm hoping to add pictures this weekend.

Next weekend dirt is delivered and the broccoli and spinach will be planted.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:08 PM
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Confirmed that 5 yards of garden mix (1/3 topsoil and 2/3 mushroom compost) is going to be delivered on the 16th. I currently have 2 wheelbarrows and 4 laborers, including myself, to move the 5 yards to the raised beds. Washington weather is calling for rain, wind, and temps at 42 - 45, fun, fun, fun.

After the soil is moved and the beds prepped, we'll start planting the broccoli and spinach. The broccoli is doing amazingly well and is likely to yield some significant fruit. The spinach has started slower than I expected, but is still growing at a steady pace.We'll begin new seedlings for the majority of plants we haven't started yet, one or two will be started near May 1.

We're once again attempting to go completely organic and use only items found in nature to protect and fertilize the veggies. I am protecting the major root systems of some plants with weed-blocker or old window screen. Cutting a hole in a 10"x10" piece and planting the seedling in the hole allowing it to grow up and out and preventing a heavy population of root destroying insects (in theory).

A few weeks ago I picked up a copy of "Planting West of the Cascades." I've only briefly scanned it, but from what I've seen there's some fantastic growing tips and tricks and a solid planting and harvesting time-line. I need to dig into it further and identify specifics for the plants we're growing and further isolate the best practices for organic pesticide and fertilizers.

Anyone in the PNW with organic pesticide remedies, please post them here, I'm interested to see what works particularly well here. In Belgium we used marigolds and cedar wood shavings. Sadly, disease got some of the tomatoes and melons.

More later, including pictures, I hope.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:08 PM
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Extremely organized

Best of luck
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclopathic View Post
My wife and I are working on our first larger garden in 3 years. We previously lived in Belgium where we had a significant garden with lots of goodies. Living in Washington state, the region is very similar to what we had experienced in Belgium. Therefore, we're planting very similar foods to what we had in Europe. Fortunately we had a greenhouse in Belgium so we were able to shelter our peppers and tomatoes longer then we'll be able to do here.

We've been planing this for 2 months now and decided on 12 varieties this year. They'll be distributed through 3 raised beds - 2 4'x8' beds and 1 6'x12' bed. We'll also place some pepper plants in square boxes I built last year for zucchini and squash plants. We plan on canning most of our produce and will certainly share with close neighbors and family. Did someone say winning the hearts and minds?

I developed an excel spreadsheet to detail the growth our the plants and how much product they bare. The topics on the spreadsheet include - type, seeding date, in-ground date, days to seedling (listed and actual), planting date, planting depth with plant and row spacing, time to maturity (listed v. actual), number of days to first fruit, date plant has finished fruiting, and amount of fruit harvested.

We're using a top-soil, mushroom compost, garden mix soil mixture. We're going to put most plants in ground between April 15th and May 2nd, with the latest plant (Okra) going in ground early late May or early June. We may plant some earlier (none before the 15th of April other than listed) due to the fact that we have 3 trays under UV lamps to encourage growth.

Here's the list of plants with expected in ground dates. Listed by expected maturity time, earliest first.

Spinach (Space Hybrid) - March 15th
Summer Squash (Goldentender) - April 15th
Summer Squash (Fordhook Zucchini) - April 15th
Garden Beans (Fantastic Filet) - April 15th
Okra (Clemson Spineless #80) - May 19th
Cucumbers (Pickle Type) - April 15th
Peas (Cascadia Sugar Snap) - April 15th
Carrots (Touchon-Heirloom) - April 15th
Broccoli (Waltham 29) - March 15th
Hot Peppers (Jalapeno M) - May 2nd
Sweet Peppers (Chinese Giant - Heirloom) - May 2nd
Sweet Peppers (Crimson Select) - May 2nd

All of the seeds, except carrots, are being/going to be started in a small peat moss/garden soil ball until seedling's begin to sprout and expand. During the process we'll rotate them outside on nicer days to make them a bit more hardy. We're hoping the frost stays away after the 15th of April (the traditional date for Belgian gardeners). We expect most plants to take quickly and do well. Next year we'll rotate the seeds and add a few others. Next year potatoes, onions, and radishes will be added. There may be others we'll do, but we haven't identified them yet.

We've also started a herb garden, with most seedlings already doing fantastic. We've had them in pots for about 10 days now and it look like we're going to have plenty of home grown herbs this year.

We're excited and are hoping for a fall harvest as well. We're re-developing our canned food storage and plan to add an abundance of delicious veggies and fruits this year (we pick pounds of fresh wild berries).

We will try to add pictures routinely.

Here's to a grand harvest.
Very well and pictures, please
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:20 PM
rollingamerica rollingamerica is offline
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Good luck with your garden and please keep us all posted. I love to hear and see hwat others are doing!
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:08 PM
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It's certainly been awhile since I've updated and after spending 6 hours in the garden/yard/garage I figured I'd settle down with a cold brew and give an updated.

Here's what I have in ground and the results so far.

Spinach - This was the 1st veggie to go in ground and initially it didn't do so well. After buying fresh quality garden soil from my local nursery we planted and and fertilized the spinach plants. All of the plants died, likely because they weren't hardened enough prior to planting. We re-seeded and now they are doing well. We currently have 6 full spinach plants that are going to yield very soon. We did experience one plant that was chewed on by some insects, but we have yet to identify which insect. We are currently treating with natural pesticides. We've tried two, a garlic and oil based and a oil and dish soap based spray. Results to follow.

Broccoli - We planted 7 seedlings and have officially lost one. The other 6 are doing very well and the last of the plants was thinned today. We also had one plant, towards the middle of the row, with some insect damage. We've used screen to protect the roots of the broccoli and the spinach, so we should be okay against root insects. I've treated all plants with a natural slug and snail killer I bought at the garden center. It came highly recommended, I'll provide results later.

Onions - This was a late add to our garden after bulbs were given to us. We planted some bulbs close together to produce green onions and we also planed some 4 to 6 inches apart to produce white table onions. They appeared rather quickly and should be a good candidate for a fall harvest as well. So far about 40% have appeared. We fertilized in ground prior to planting.

Carrots - We planted 3 rows of carrots and all have started to sprout. When we planted we sprinkled a top layer of fertilizer. After they seedling get stronger we will begin thinning to one about every 3 inches.

Zucchini and Squash - We planted three solid seedlings and all are doing well. Last year we had one zucchini plant and it yielded 56 fruit. We have the means to can lots of veggies this year as we've prepared solidly over the last few months to be ready for a full harvest. Besides, one of my favorite snacks is my wife's world famous zucchini bread (cake).

Peas - The peas are by far the best plants we currently have. All of them grew quickly and are already 12 inches tall and vining up onto our trellis made from rabbit fencing. All of them look well and have not been attacked by insects yet. They have been protected with slug bait and will soon receive a healthy spray of one of our three homemade pesticides.

Beans - The beans are also doing very well and will soon be connected to the trellis with garden stakes. No signs of insect issues with some very leafy full plants.

Plants yet to go into the ground include Peppers, cucumbers, and okra. The peppers are growing well, but slowly. I've had them, as well as , all of the other plants, under lamps in the garage. The peppers weren't growing fast enough for the planting date I had expected so I purchased a heating mat and have begun heating them above and below to encourage growth.

The cucumbers, like the zucchini, squash, peppers, peas, and beans were/are all being grown in peat pots. After several days in peat soil balls they needed to be moved, because of rapidly growing roots, into the peat pots. After being moved to the peat pots they grew rapidly and are doing great.

Other notes - My wife planted three dozen marigolds, a natural insect repellent, throughout the garden. We had lots of success against insect in the past using marigolds with disease being our biggest issue (bad soil.)

We added a plastic owl, for the first time, and it has kept pests and birds away from our garden, so far.

I'm seriously wanting to add photos, and hope to do so very soon, but with time being limited it's been difficult. I've taken photos with my phone, but they didn't turn out well, I need to use my wife's camera.

Thanks for the positive feedback.

Please ask your questions or provide some advice, I'd love to help out or be helped.

Thanks
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:17 AM
Bode Power Bode Power is offline
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good plan and wait for post more plan picture to see.
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