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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 1:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pm
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Location: Alaska
Finally got a good day for planting. Notice the shadows, the sun was out most of the time. Planted, potatoes, broccoli, cabage, coliflower, 4 kinds of lettuce, carrots, peas, beans, beets, sunflowers, kale & zuccini. Will plant more tomorrow.
Pictures are cabage planting with mounds.
Hoe up a mound, push the middle apart to form a big crater to add the compost, hand pat the sides to pack the soil firm enough to hold the mound together.
Add about 1-1/2 gallons of compost, put the plant in.
pull the mound up about 2" above the center soil to form a crater that holds at least 1/2+ gallon of water for easy watering. (More for big plants like large cabage & zuccini & smaller for plants like lettuce). Will try to get a picture of the whole garden when finished tomorrow.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 1:19 am 
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Looking good!

Foxy.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 7:51 am 
Is that "Kronos The Composter" looming in the background? :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 8:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:43 am
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Location: Zone 5B Pennsylvania
It’s hard to make a suggestion to someone that has the gardening success that you have but here goes. Why not try a permanent raised bed filled with only your compost. If you could match your normal harvest, it would save you a lot of work tilling every year. You just add more compost to the top. I’m saying this without any experience with permanent raised beds, this is my first year, wish me luck.

John

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 5:31 pm
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Location: Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Wow, I wish I had that kind of space. Can't wait to see more pics!


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pm
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Location: Alaska
Thanks all.

Yeh, John;
I've been contemplating that for years. It would make the watering easier as I could put underground PVC from the water supply instead of string a tangle mess of hose with "T"s everwhere & having to move it each year. That will probably be the next project. using concret blocks (painted black) to make beds wide enough to roto till.
I guess the answer is: time & money right now. (It' on the list) Being retired means working harder & NOT getting paid. Maybe I'll start in stages. I'm still learning how to retire & found I'm just to busy all the time.
How'd you manage it?

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:43 am
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Location: Zone 5B Pennsylvania
I don’t manage it very well, a problem I have had all my life is having too many irons in the fire. The one thing that drives me absolutely crazy is people that say, since you are retired what do you do with all your time. :roll: The only thing I can think of at the time is they must have had an awfully boring life. Try a search on “no till gardening/farming” and see what you think. :wink:

John

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 Post subject: The rest of the garden pics
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 2:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pm
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Location: Alaska
Time to let it grow. may need to weed & water. If it stay dry less weeding, if it rains less watering but more weeding.
Another wonderful sunny day, about 65 deg. I had about 30 Purple Martin fighting over the bird houses today. They eat lots of mosquitoes.

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Of course my bestest helper, learning to plant & put compost on the plants. Loves to eat raw peas out of the pods & raw broccoli off the plant. "Grandpa & kid" 's garden!
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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 10:19 am 
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Location: PNW
I'll second John's suggestion of a no till garden. There's a lot of soil life that gets disrupted when you till, plus you bring up weed seed. Let the worms do the work for you! It's the life in the soil that is the key to plant health, kind of like the probiotics in our system.

You could put a mulch over the beds for the winter or grow a cover crop (if any would survive your winter) to keep weeds down and to protect the soil surface.

A lot of men retire and don't know what to do, so you 2 are doing a good job. Keep it up!

If you go the no till route, then you'd have more time to enjoy that beautiful mountain view and your granddaughter. :D


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 Post subject: wow
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:29 pm
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Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
It looks like a sandbox!

I've seen no-till used mainly for water conservation, tilled soil dries out a lot since it doesn't have a layer of mulch from the previous crop on it. Apparently in your climate mulch isn't really needed and might even be counterproductive because it keeps the soil cooler - in fact if you've plenty of water tilling might warm up the soil and get you to an earlier start. Judging from your previous photos you're doing something right. ;)

Your garden reminds me of a huge version of an ant lion colony too.

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 5:12 am 
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Location: Alaska
Yea, I try to till in the evening after the first warm sunny day to help heat the soil.
But a raised bed would heat faster than the soil now, right?
I searched the web on no till gardening, Didn't find a site to explain the whole process. Then computer issues for a few days. :evil: , one site nailed my computer & now I'm nervous about going back into the sites but I will be allot more careful.
Is there any good books anyone would recommend on the subject. Maybe I'll try amazon.
I think the idea, from what I found out may be for me. Just need some more info. I'll check out the posts here & see if I get the idea. I'm Bouncing it around in my head now that the computer is back to 75% working.

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 12:16 pm 
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Location: PNW
First, I'm no expert by far. There are many ways of doing no till. The main point is that you're feeding the soil, which aids in the plants nutrient uptake and overall health. There are beneficial fungi, microbes, bacteria, etc. that keep life going. You can spread your compost on top and use mulches or partly finished compost over the winter to protect the surface layer and to encourage worm activity since they're the ones that do the tilling in a no till garden, at least that' my understanding. These are earthworms, not the red wigglers. When you till, you disrupt the colonies in the soil.

Look to nature to learn. It's amazing how forests get along without our help. :D The forest floor is never bare.

I probably didn't help you much, did I? :roll: Just keep in mind that your feeding the soil. Maybe if I can get a full nights sleep, I can give you more, but I imagine someone else will chime in with a better explanation.

Computers can be a pain, can't they? We have one down that we'll probably replace once life slows down.

Enjoy!


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 1:27 am 
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Location: Alaska
Found a good place to stand(on top of the water barrels) to take an overview pic. Will try to take one every so often & post from the same place to show the progress.
Add 20 more broccoli & some lettuce.
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 9:06 am 
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Location: OX, UK
Ah, I see you've got flamingos nesting :lol:

It's an interesting idea, not something i've seen before, apart from maybe with potatoes(earthing up rather than mound planting).

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:16 pm 
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Location: Alaska
Lettuce doing OK. lots of seeds sprouted, spinich, beets but hard to see in the pic. Onions growing. Potatoes just poking thru. (Oh, there's a cut worm, Ill be back :shock: :) )
I'll move the shovel on next picture LOL, my mistake

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:47 pm 
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Location: Alaska
6-16-08
Finally getting some sun & warm weather


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:42 am 
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Location: PNW
Lookin' good! How long do you have daylight now?

I'm so far behind this year. I'm just getting tomato plants in this week, later than I should, so I may not get a very big harvest. We're still on the cool side, but at least it hasn't rained for a while now. We're supposed to warm up more next week.

Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Daylight
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pm
Posts: 404
Location: Alaska
L2
Sounds like you need a big greenhouse :)

Sunrise 4:21 AM
Sunset 11:42 PM
19+ hours of sun but it really don't get dark,
you can still see a 1AM just fine , kinda twilight looking.
http://www.adn.com/
Link for Anchorage newspaper with weather top/middle of page.

Bad side; now we start loosing daylight every day thru Dec 20th :( . Starts out a few second per day & increases a few seconds each day as summer & fall move forward.
Sept, Oct we are loosing over 3 minutes/day (i think)

:) Dec 20th, we start gaining daylight again :) :)
It's just brutally cold & dark then.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:28 am 
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Location: PNW
Ya, this spring I could've used a big greenhouse! Now summer seems to be settling in.

I was told there is tomato blight around here already and I wonder if it's because people put their plants out too early with the long cold and wet spell we had. We typically get blights in the fall when it has cooled down. Maybe it's a good thing I got mine in late after all.

The long daylight must feel pretty good after the dark winter. I couldn't take the winters there.

How are your greenhouse tomatoes coming along now? You must have some about ripe now.

Enjoy!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:27 pm 
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Location: Alaska
Has been the coolest summer for many years. Plants are Growing but slowly

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pm
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Location: Alaska
Eating lots of salads, 3 kinds of lettuce & green onions, radishes, broccoli & cucs. Broccoli not as good as normal this year. has been cooler till lately. Finally getting in the 70s.
Zucs , bottom left just starting to grow. Head lettuce OK.
Getting some cabbage heads. Beans very slow.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:53 am 
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Location: PNW
Looks good and sounds good! I've had a heck of a time getting lettuce going. I think birds are eating the seed, so I think I'll grow some starts to put in.

If I had bare ground like you do, it would be full of weed sprouts. Do you do a lot of weeding or do you just not have many to deal with? That was another reason I gave up tilling...brought up too many weed seeds along with what blows in and what the birds bring.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:51 pm
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Location: Alaska
Finally getting zuc blooms, 2nd cut of broc, turnips, potatoes blooming
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