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Building our new raised bed garden & other garden adventures

PigsDad

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Please let me know how the carrots go. We have a lot of clay in our soil so on my first attempt they were stunted/disfigured. I have yet to do a raised bed but might have to in order to get carrots.
We have heavy clay soil as well, and I have found that buying a few bags of playground sand and working / tilling it into the soil has helped loosen up the soil and carrots and other root vegetables grow much better.. I also have tilled in some organic matter (peat moss, lawn clippings) over the years, and it gradually makes for better soil for a garden.

Kurt
 

clifffaith

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What type of tree is that on the left?

It is the smaller of two orange trees. When we moved into this house (from 1/2 mile away) we brought our gardener with us. The first thing he did was "prune" that tree. Cliff does not appreciate help with pruning unless he is standing there pointing out which branches he wants gone. Anyway that tree is unhappy and only puts out a hundred oranges or so a year. The tree you can't see goes gangbusters, so much so that we never have to buy orange juice. Only issue is that in early spring you have to study the oranges before you pick them to be sure you are picking last years crop (which tend to be higher). I'm picky and the oranges aren't sweet enough for me until June. Cliff cracked three ribs falling off a ladder he leaned against the big tree and on to the concrete. I saw him lean the ladder, I'd told him not to do it a dozen times, so I turned my back on him. Heard him hit the ground, but didn't turn around until he answered me when I spoke to him. He no longer leans ladders, and now that we are retired from climbing up into people's windows the 12' ladder just lives out next to the tree. 30 years on ladders on customers' homes, and he is stupid on a ladder in his own yard. SMH
 

rickandcindy23

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We gave six inches of snow here today, so I guess those tomato and cucumbers will have to wait a bit longer to go outside.
 

Monykalyn

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He no longer leans ladders, and now that we are retired from climbing up into people's windows the 12' ladder just lives out next to the tree. 30 years on ladders on customers' homes, and he is stupid on a ladder in his own yard. SMH
I am guessing he is okay and that is good, but is it wrong that your story made me laugh a little? Good story telling skills!
 

AnnaS

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It is the smaller of two orange trees. When we moved into this house (from 1/2 mile away) we brought our gardener with us. The first thing he did was "prune" that tree. Cliff does not appreciate help with pruning unless he is standing there pointing out which branches he wants gone. Anyway that tree is unhappy and only puts out a hundred oranges or so a year. The tree you can't see goes gangbusters, so much so that we never have to buy orange juice. Only issue is that in early spring you have to study the oranges before you pick them to be sure you are picking last years crop (which tend to be higher). I'm picky and the oranges aren't sweet enough for me until June. Cliff cracked three ribs falling off a ladder he leaned against the big tree and on to the concrete. I saw him lean the ladder, I'd told him not to do it a dozen times, so I turned my back on him. Heard him hit the ground, but didn't turn around until he answered me when I spoke to him. He no longer leans ladders, and now that we are retired from climbing up into people's windows the 12' ladder just lives out next to the tree. 30 years on ladders on customers' homes, and he is stupid on a ladder in his own yard. SMH

Yikes on the fall off the ladder :( - men can be stubborn - so we can we though ;)

We only have fig trees. Wish we had some other fruit trees. When my dad was alive, he had pears, peaches, plums and fig trees. Enjoy them!!!
 

geekette

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We have heavy clay soil as well, and I have found that buying a few bags of playground sand and working / tilling it into the soil has helped loosen up the soil and carrots and other root vegetables grow much better.. I also have tilled in some organic matter (peat moss, lawn clippings) over the years, and it gradually makes for better soil for a garden.

Kurt
Yeah, I dig and amend every year, have blown thru a few tillers. Unless I can raise by 16", I don't see carrots happening. I seem to be able to support most anything else I've tried to grow. I make my own compost (many tall trees and long grass contribute to that), have done the sand, the new topsoil annually, mounding... I can deal with it, carrots aren't my favorite and so far can buy them cheap!

I am, however, well past annoyed that we are still in frost danger. That is not normal for us, but, not unheard of. Seems like payback for the easy winter we had. At least I got to enjoy a day past 70 before it all plunged again.
 

DaveNV

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30 years on ladders on customers' homes, and he is stupid on a ladder in his own yard. SMH

What is that statistic about driving? Something like "90% of accidents happen within two miles of home" or something. I'm not surprised Cliff was careless with a ladder at home. Just glad to know he wasn't more seriously hurt. Hope he's healed up now.

I have nothing but cement at ground-level on both sides of my steeply-pitched second-story garage roof. (Driveway on one side, patio on the other.) I'll stand on the extension ladder only as high as it takes to clean the gutters, (which are at the lowest edge of the roof), but I won't climb higher, or onto the actual roof. Cement is way too hard, and my arthritic bones are way too brittle for me to risk that. Much easier (and cheaper) to hire someone to do that sort of thing. :)

Dave
 

clifffaith

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Yikes on the fall off the ladder :( - men can be stubborn - so we can we though ;)

We only have fig trees. Wish we had some other fruit trees. When my dad was alive, he had pears, peaches, plums and fig trees. Enjoy them!!!

In addition to the two orange trees, we have apple and tangerine on the side of the yard with the raised beds, and then lemon and fig behind the orange trees. Cliff is going to miss walking his "estate" when we move to Carlsbad -- I don't think walks along the ocean are going to be a good substitute for puttering in the yard.
 

AnnaS

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In addition to the two orange trees, we have apple and tangerine on the side of the yard with the raised beds, and then lemon and fig behind the orange trees. Cliff is going to miss walking his "estate" when we move to Carlsbad -- I don't think walks along the ocean are going to be a good substitute for puttering in the yard.

Tough one for many. Both are great in their own way. I would love the ocean, hubby his garden :giggle: I bet you both feel the same way.
 

DeniseM

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Last night we had our first salad made with lettuce from our garden. The lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, carrots and yellow squash are doing well, but the tomatoes, peppers, and basil just aren't growing. It came up, grew to an inch or so tall, and just stopped.
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DeniseM

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I have hired a pest control service for my garden:

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geist1223

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Patti for the first time ever had a more or less successful vegetable garden. She used old potato growing bags folded over in half. She grew potatoes, Japanese egg plant, cucumber, yellow small tomatoes, strawberries, and large red tomatoes. We have talked about getting live stock water troughs or raised live stock feeding stands and line the South side of the house where it is simply bark chips now.
 

DeniseM

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Here's how my garden looks today. The left side, which was originally planted with spinach and lettuce, was pulled out after a BAD Cabbage Looper (inch worm) infestation and now there are new plants started there. I now have a separate bed with a net and shade over it for lettuce and other sensitive greens.

From left to right: new starts of cucumbers and yellow squash, cherry tomato, Tiny Tim tomato, cucumber (climbing up the lattice), cherry tomato, basil, fingerling carrots, sweet pepper:
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I ordered this 4'x4'x20" bed from Home Depo for lettuce and other greens, and shipping was free. It is netted with Tulle to keep out the cabbage months (they lay Cabbage Looper eggs all summer) and I made a shade out of some fabric I had on hand, because our afternoons are often over 100 degrees:

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After our little urban garden started producing, I was astounded by the number of pests that attacked it. I wanted to keep it organic, and so I did some research and started using BT for worms/caterpillars and Neem Oil for bugs. Both of them worked well.
 
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DeniseM

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DeniseM

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I have 5 potted plumeria along one side of my house that I started from cuttings that I purchased in Hawaii. We don't have them planted in the ground, because it sometimes gets to cold here in the winter. By growing them in pots, we can put them in an enclosed part of our patio for the winter where we set up an improvised green house. This is my favorite plumeria because I think the color is gorgeous and it's from Kauai Beach Villas. I would never take a cutting myself, but one day when we were staying at the resort, a couple of bratty boys broke a branch off a tree and just left it on the ground. Ah Ha! This was my chance. I cleaned up the branch, brought it back home in my suitcase, and rooted the broken branch and now it about 6-7 feet tall. These are it's first blooms of the summer:

plumeria pink and yellow.jpg
:
 
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SmithOp

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Plumeria is so easy to start from cuttings. We were at the small swap meet in Kona one day, I was looking at some for sale. A local woman next to me said, just break a piece off, its all over the place you don’t need to buy it.

I’ve got several in pots and some planted around the house here.


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DeniseM

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It's close to 100º here in Northern, Ca, so my garden is still in full swing. I have had the most beautiful cucumber plants with lots of blooms, BUT only 2 cucumbers! I finally figured out that I don't have enough bees pollinating them, and started pollinating them by hand with a small paint brush - works great! I can't believe how fast they are ripening in the heat - literally growing multiple inches overnight! I measured 4 of them today, because I want to see how much they actually grow overnight. This is a salad variety with tender edible skin, that you are supposed to pick young. I'm picking this one tomorrow - they are trained onto lattice, so they hang down like grapes:

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DaveNV

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I finally figured out that I don't have enough bees pollinating them, and started pollinating them by hand with a small paint brush - works great!

It works best if you make buzzing bee sounds while you’re using the paintbrush. :D

Dave
 

DaveNV

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I have 5 potted plumeria along one side of my house that I started from cuttings that I purchased in Hawaii. We don't have them planted in the ground, because it sometimes gets to cold here in the winter. By growing them in pots, we can put them in an enclosed part of our patio for the winter where we set up an improvised green house. This is my favorite plumeria because I think the color is gorgeous and it's from Kauai Beach Villas. I would never take a cutting myself, but one day when we were staying at the resort, a couple of bratty boys broke a branch off a tree and just left it on the ground. Ah Ha! This was my chance. I cleaned up the branch, brought it back home in my suitcase, and rooted the broken branch and now it about 6-7 feet tall. These are it's first blooms of the summer:

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That's a gorgeous plant! I may be asking you for tips. We're planning to spend two weeks in Hawaii next Spring. I may have to bring back a plumeria or two.

Dave
 

AnnaS

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All done here for the season with our garden. Will miss our vegetables. Froze some cucuzza

Figs have started,
 

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DeniseM

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That's a gorgeous plant! I may be asking you for tips. We're planning to spend two weeks in Hawaii next Spring. I may have to bring back a plumeria or two.

Dave - Plumeria will do great in Nevada - but you will need to bring them inside in the winter. Or when they get too big, put them in a sheltered area of your interior patio or garage and wrap well in freeze cloth. In the fall they lose their leaves and go dormant when it starts getting cool and that's normal - they don't like it below 40º. It is easy to start them from a cutting, and you can even buy the cuttings online. Start with a bigger pot than you think you need, and then repot as needed, because they grow into small trees. If they get too big, you can cut them back when they are dormant and start new ones with the cuttings. They like cactus blend potting soil. I have mine on a drip system in the hot part of the year, but in the winter when they are dormant, I only water once a month because overwatering during dormancy will cause root rot. In the spring, I start fertilizing with SuperBloom to encourage blooming.
 
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Monykalyn

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Any one else have cold frames? Hubs has the materials, we cleared out the beds and he took stuff out to the bed where we are going to try a cold frame...and there it sits. I'd like to keep my hardier herbs, and some winter squash, kale, spinach growing for as long as possible.
Still have oodles of tomatoes coming even with cooler nights.
 

DeniseM

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This spring I was so pleased, because I got my little garden planted much earlier - in mid-February, instead of April. We planted the seeds, set up the the sprinkler system and thought we were all set. Then we went to our home in Nevada for a get-away, thinking that our seeds were sprouting under the warm California sun, and we'd be blessed with new sprouts when we got home. Now, I've always worried about feral cats pooping in our garden, but there are other feral animals as well. When we going home from Nevada we discovered that feral DUCKS had taken over our back yard and completely destroyed our little garden! The ducks were also thoroughly enjoying our swimming pool! You learn something new every day. :doh:

The ducks have been evicted and the garden replanted, but due to an abundance of duck poop, we decided to take most of the soil out of the raised bed and add a fresh layer that wasn't contaminated.

*Feral ducks are not new to us, but this behavior is new to us.
 
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