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BTE, hugelkulture, hydroponics and other unconventional gardening

Discussion in 'Gardening On Your Homestead' started by Lazy Gardener, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Sep 19, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    @Hinotori I like your use of the blackberry brambles in the bottom of your raised beds. You are essentially creating a mini Hugelkulture bed. Wise you are: wait till the stuff is most sincerely dead before using it!

    I'm scanning the yard to see what I can use to fill those raised beds. I have lots of woody shrubby stuff. Unfortunately, using that will inoculate the beds with horrid invasive weeds! What I have been doing is tossing all of the stuff that has potential to be invasive into the chicken run. They do a number on the seeds, and tear the rest down to more manageable chunks, while adding their own brand of fertilizer to the mix. After they've worked stuff over for a few weeks, including the invasive grasses that spread by rhizome, I'll have no fear of scooping that stuff back into the wheelbarrow and trundling it back to the garden. There will be a lot of debris: chunks of bark and small bits of wood, left over when we split the wood next month. I can also harvest several yards of finished compost from the run. But that stuff is so rich, I don't dare to use a lot of it. Seasonal clean up will yield a good mountain of material also. I'll leave one bed empty for next season's potato crop The spuds will get planted on existing soil. As the season progresses, I'll fill the bed with mulch materials.

    I feel greatly blessed: Our truck, which is on it's last legs came back from the mechanic. So... I'll be able to use it for yet an other season to gather leaves for coop, run and garden.
     
    Hinotori likes this.
  2. Sep 19, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    On my little 4 acre parcel, I can't begin to compete with these big boys! However, there are nuggets of land management practices in this video that are appropriate to ANY size homestead.
     
  3. Sep 22, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Back to the drawing board AGAIN for my raised beds. Last week, at Lowes, I spied a whole pallet full of white plastic fencing material. I thought the whole pallet was priced at $120 on clearance. Today, the pallet was still there, and we looked closer at the tags on it. It seems that the different components of the fence materials were priced separately, and the whole pallet of fencing was marked down to a total of $350. I asked a salesman if I could buy just the horizontal fence rails. He came back from his manager, stating that they really needed to move the whole pallet at once, not willing to break it up, but they could give it to me for $100. There is enough material on this pallet to make all my raised beds, as well as some mighty fine projects for around the yard. So... we'll be picking it up before the end of next week.

    While the Shou Sugi Ban project with the Hemlock and Oak was an intriguing project, I couldn't pass up the ease of picking up this material and having instant raised beds. All I will have to add is some vertical cedar 2 x 4's for corner posts and stabilizing the beds.
     
    Hinotori likes this.
  4. Sep 22, 2019
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Congrats on such a good score!
     
  5. Sep 29, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Today was a good day to work outside. So, I decided to turn the soil and amend it in the green house. I completed one bed: the bed is about 30" x 8'. Soil has improved drastically since I filled that bed, how ever many years ago! I trenched out a section, laid down a nice amount of compost from the chicken run (thanks, girls!) then covered with the soil removed from the next trench. While this compost is well finished, completely broken down, I will have more peace of mind having it buried, rather than laying it on top of the bed where our greens and radish will be growing.

    I pulled some strawberry plants from the wood chip path around the strawberry/asparagus bed. They were well rooted, and have been destined for yet an other green house experiment. They are currently heeled into the prepped bed. They will be moved to the end of the second bed where they can receive special attention re: fertilizer and mulch, as well as protective covering. I'm thinking... hoping... that they will put on some nice growth in the warmth provided there until soil freeze in Dec. Then, when the soil thaws at end of Feb, they should break dormancy, and put on some nice growth, perhaps giving us an early crop by mid April? The trick will be to keep them from setting blooms that can be killed by overnight freezes.

    Last spring's potato experiment in the greenhouse was an epic failure. There were some ok sized spuds, about 2 - 3 oz. But most of them were the size of marbles. I think it got too hot too soon, and the soil was too dry for them to size up properly.

    The potato experiment in the BTE orchard was slightly more successful. I planted those at the base of the mulch, then walked away and left them. They got NO fertilizer, nor did they get any water. Yield was slightly more than what was planted! IF I had watered, and fertilized, I think the yield would have been fair, though not as good as the spuds produced in the garden. I was impressed with this year's crop of spuds from garden, especially the Magic Molly's.
     
  6. Oct 4, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Finished tucking seedlings into the high tunnel beds today. My pockets are full of radish, claytonia and mache seeds to broadcast between the seedlings. I had an old bale of peat moss that was water soaked and starting to break down. Perfect mulch to cover the soil in those beds to help suppress weeds. Even more perfect b/c my soil test revealed that the pH is a tad too high.

    I continue to evict hornets from the crannies around the top of the door frames. They think it would be a perfect place to spend the winter. I think not.
     
    Beekissed likes this.
  7. Oct 5, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Hubby was sitting in the livingroom all by himself, snickering. I asked him what he was doing:

    "I'm reading: 'Bad jokes by Jeff.' "

    "As I suspected, someone has been adding soil to my garden... The plot thickens."
     
  8. Oct 11, 2019 at 3:24 PM
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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  9. Oct 14, 2019 at 2:46 PM
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Yesterday, I knocked together the first raised bed using the plastic privacy fence material. I built the smallest one (4' x 10'). That construct showed me how I need to tweak the build a bit to enable me to knock out the remaining 3 in assembly line fashion. Those 3 will go together in about the same time it took to build and set the first one. I need to pick up some more cedar 2 x 4's to build the corners. Hoping to get some yellow pine stickers to do the bracing on the long sides. Will either scorch and stain the stickers, or just stain them. There will be enough fencing material left for about 12 more RB. I may put together a couple short fencing panels for the N side of the garden to further modify the micro climate of the garden. That will result in climate extension on both ends of the season, before even considering the use of row covers! And, it will provide a nice backer for low tunnels!
     
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  10. Oct 14, 2019 at 5:14 PM
    wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Almost Self-Reliant

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    Congrats on getting the first one done. It always feels good to get the first one done.
    Wish I could train DH to make one first, work out the details, then make the rest. He ends up working out the kinks while making all at once. Which end up taking forever!
     

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