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Why I am unable to have a Garden
#385763 Jan 10th, 2015 at 01:19 PM
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I moved to a new location 5 years ago.

The first year I built a raised bed (about 17'x 21')on my slanted yard and hauled dirt to fill it. The soil was not perfect that I used but it was not clay, or sand and did not contain rocks. I started all my plants from seeds in the house. My thoughts were that by the next growing season I would be able to build the soil to be what I wanted it to be. I started a compost pile and also hauled some manure from a farmers field at the end of the growing season. Keep in mind I previously had (at my old place) a wonderful garden that was 100'x 50' great soil and anything would grow and produce more then I could use, can, freeze, or dry. My harvest for year one was enough to have fresh veggies during the season, but none to give away or put up for future use. Okay it is a smaller garden area so I will adjust my growing for year two. After the growing season was over I worked really hard working straw, manure, and compost deep into my soil. Tomorrow I will tell about year number 2.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385764 Jan 10th, 2015 at 01:35 PM
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sounds very interesting Comfrey.
I am looking forward to the continuing story.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385776 Jan 11th, 2015 at 10:39 AM
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I am looking forward to the next installment too.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385777 Jan 11th, 2015 at 11:25 AM
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Year 2 of my new garden, started off well. As usual I started my plants from seed they looked better then normal. The soil looked great and there were earthworms though out the garden soil. I also utilized the small space better and was able to plant more crops then year 1. I was very hopeful about my new garden space. The place I choose to make this garden was the only spot on my 2 acres that received any sun and that was almost 8 hours of full sun. Everything was going along just fine until….drought conditions moved in. The only water I had to water my garden with was city water filled with chemicals. I didn"t think much about it at first. But since there was no rain, the city water just kept the plants alive and not growing. Another factor was that there was dirt/gravel road that ran in front of the garden. With drought there was A LOT of chat dust, which is almost the same as putting fertilizer on the plants them selves. My poor plants just stood there not growing, and not producing fruit. Finally a little rain came and all looked liked like it was going to be all right. I got a very small amount from my garden in year 2. Okay this requires more thought and problem solving for year 3. To be continued tomorrow for year 3.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385778 Jan 11th, 2015 at 11:49 AM
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Thank you, Can't wait until tomorrow.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
Tina #385779 Jan 11th, 2015 at 12:52 PM
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yes I cannot wait either.

I am curious about the water though--I always water my gardens with "city water".....

BUT if you prefer rain water--put out huge barrels (like a metal trash burning barrel) and collect rain water for your garden--thing is it is a "nursery" for pests such s mosquitoes.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385784 Jan 11th, 2015 at 09:16 PM
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This is an interesting post..waiting on year 3.


~~Tam~~Those who think country life is simple....have never lived on a farm.
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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385795 Jan 12th, 2015 at 08:13 AM
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About the water...My city water is very bad with boil orders at least once a month. There are more chemicals then just Chlorine being added. Under normal conditions the amount of chlorine that most cities add is minimal would not be a major issue. Chlorine by its self can kill the microbes in the soil. Microbes in the soil are what provide the nutrients to the plant roots among other things. The microbes can be renewed within a couple of days after heavy chlorine water has been applied and then stopped. So in my opinion this could impede plant growth and production. A $25 water filter used for camp trailers and motor homes will attach to you outdoor facet and hose for watering. In my case this could make a difference by using the filter.

Year number 3-
Between year 2 and 3 I had my second back surgery with another still to come in the future. So I was unable to start most of my plants from seed. I bought plants from a nursery. I was able to get heirloom type plants. My garden was a little smaller then I wanted but needed to cut down workload on my back. Better to have a small garden then none at all. I planted tomatoes, peppers hot and sweet, cucumbers, squash and onions. All is going well and it is not a drought year. There is still the issue of the chat dust but not as bad. Everything is growing great and looks good. Then one morning I to stroll to the garden. First I notice part of the garden is shaded by a huge oak tree that is 10" away from my garden space. My thought is to have the tree cut down there are so many of these huge mature trees on the 2 acres I live on..I can sacrifice this tree. I talk to a neighbor who is a logger about cutting the tree down or even trimming branches back. He said he couldn"t trim the branches they are to high up and it would make the tree unstable since it had lost a lot of limbs due to an ice storm previously. Okay fine just cut the tree down. His reply was I can cut it down but it will fall right across the middle of your garden. Well now that I think about it he was right..the north side of the tree there is a power line, east side is the gravel road and that would block traffic, west side is a storage building. Okay I will just deal with the tree and plant only cold crops in that area of the garden. The next thing I noticed that day was that all the leaves on the hot pepper plants along with the peppers were gone. A deer had been in my garden. Then I noticed my cucumbers which I have them growing a fence on the edge of the garden, all of the leaves are gone…DEER again. I am very discouraged at this point. A fence is out of the question unless I could put up a 10" fence. The deer continued to visit my garden all summer. But I am not giving up! Year 4 coming up tomorrow.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385796 Jan 12th, 2015 at 09:46 AM
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Now you are describing my problems.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
Tina #385797 Jan 12th, 2015 at 10:13 AM
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I wonder if you both could make cages to fit over the plants to keep the deer out ?


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385798 Jan 12th, 2015 at 11:11 AM
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It not just the deer. It is the rabbit and ground squirrels. But I have a feeling it is more for Comfrey.



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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
Tina #385799 Jan 12th, 2015 at 11:49 AM
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yes, I thought that as well. BUT if the cages were made with small enough wire, most critters would not be able to "get at" the vegetation, right ???


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
JunieGirl #385800 Jan 12th, 2015 at 12:41 PM
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Cages with smaller mesh would keep critters out. But in my area they would have to staked down to hold them in place then how would you harvest smaller things like hot peppers? I use cages for my tomato plants and they are not botherd by animal critters of any size.

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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385801 Jan 12th, 2015 at 01:55 PM
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With me it is burrowing critters. I would need buried fencing at least two feet deep.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385805 Jan 12th, 2015 at 10:17 PM
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I have never had problem with deer (knock on wood)but over the years it has been hit or miss with lots of other animals...it is an ongoing battle.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
Tina #385807 Jan 12th, 2015 at 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Tina
With me it is burrowing critters. I would need buried fencing at least two feet deep.


oh my I am sorry, Tina. I had trouble with Moles back at the farm...I finally 1) stopped planting what they wanted to eat & 2) planted castor beans around my garden...that seemed to help the best of anything.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
Tina #385811 Jan 13th, 2015 at 07:34 AM
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You could plant a castor bean the plant is pretty but are poisonous. They will keep moles and probably other burrowing critters away.



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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385817 Jan 13th, 2015 at 02:57 PM
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Year 4…The year of the BUGS madd

I planted potatoes where the shady space would be later in the season. I like to plant my potato pieces just buried very shallow and when they sprout up I just keep adding straw around the sprout/plants until I have about a foot of straw. This is a very good way if you have hard soil or rocky soil and are unable till up a space. I have in the past just laid them on the ground and sprinkled a little aged manure on and then straw. Harvest time you just need to pull the straw back and pick up your taters off the ground. Next I took my tomato plants and cages, made a U shape area in my garden as a barrier around 3 sides of the garden, the 4th side I had a fence that I grow my cucumbers up on. There should be no deer in the garden. Well it seemed like a good idea at the time, there was not a deer problem…But with the limited amount of sun that hits my garden the tomato plants which the ones I grow are 5-6 foot tall provided too much shade for the smaller plants inside the barrier. All the sudden there were bugs and more bugs and bugs. tapfoot Squash bugs quickly too over squash, tater bugs, cucumber bugs, green horn worms were on my pepper plants not just tomatoes….Then the finally straw Blister bugs everywhere. I hate blister bugs and I really know of nothing that will get rid of them other then had picking them, and they seem to multiple over night.

Then to add insult to injury when I went to dig my potatoes…not only had moles burrowed under then and destroyed a lot of potatoes, there were mouse tunnels in the straw and they too had helped their selves. I ended up out of 3 rows 17" long about 5 pounds of potatoes. I"ve grown potatoes for years and yes I lose a few to moles but never like this. Okay I am ready to give up at this point on this garden space.

At the end of summer/early fall I was searching the yard for a new location for a garden and the amount of sun each area received. I finally found a new location behind my house,it was a fenced area that once had been a large dog pen years ago. idea But this was not part of my property it was my blush neighbors property. Well I am friends with him (he"s the logger). I thought about it and decided IF I can convince him to cut a couple of his trees down the spot would be perfect. So I talked to him, he agreed the cut the trees, but I would have to remove the fence and fence posts. He cut the trees down, hauled the logs off and bulldozed the area to make it level. Finally a level space that I can re-fence and closer to the house, no chat dust and much better forest type soil. But after a few days I realized that there was still one more tree that needed to be removed, the space received full sun only on a 5" wide by 10" long area. I can"t ask him to cut another one of his trees down. My post tomarrow for year 5 will be short, but I am still hopeful of finding the perfect garden space.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385819 Jan 13th, 2015 at 10:24 PM
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At that point I would have given up and started container gardening lol


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
Sunflowers #385820 Jan 13th, 2015 at 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunflowers
At that point I would have given up and started container gardening lol


Yea me too...plus I do suppose the neighbor would not be happy if he went to all of that work & then you did not utilize the new space... why

I think containers, or a raised bed with castor beans around the whole area---inside a fenced in area of course.

When I moved into my first home, that we bought from my Husbands Great-Aunt, she had a fence all around her garden area. it was very nice indeed.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385824 Jan 14th, 2015 at 01:36 AM
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I would have difficulty to try to use anything like the size of a castor bean. They would over shadow the plants like crazy. I have pretty much decided to the potted thing.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
Tina #385825 Jan 14th, 2015 at 03:13 AM
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and I like to use pots.

I think they are great for lettuces, herbs & tomatoes. Probably great for other veggies too, I have just not tried a lot of other things yet.
Although, I am even thinking of planting 1 or 2 potatoes in pots, just to see if the layering method really works.
Plus I love garden potatoes..


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385828 Jan 14th, 2015 at 12:03 PM
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Year 5 (last year 2014)

Containers are the answer for year 5. Near my front porch there is a small area that does get fun sun for 8 hours. I only grew 4 tomato plants and I put them in 5 gallon buckets with drainage holes in the bottom. I bought organic garden soil in bags and store bought plants, which were hybrids (all I could get at the time). These 4 buckets produced more tomatoes then 8 or 10 plants did that were planted in the garden area previously. This season I am unsure whether I am going to grow anything, I would like to give the garden area another shot. I just don't know if it is worth the effort and had already decided there would be no garden at all...Until. Well until seed catalogs started coming and I would study all the pages and then put the catalog in a pile of others. Physically I want to just forget about it...go to the farmers market and just buy from the vendors there. Mentally touched it really makes me crazy, I want to dig in the dirt, feel my hands in the dirt, overcome all the challenges, reap the rewards at the end. It"s driving me absolutely crazy. Physically health and location seems to be too much to overcome. How do I deal with the mental part….I WANT a garden????


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385830 Jan 14th, 2015 at 01:28 PM
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well, if it were me, I would make myself 2 containers of tomatoes, one of potaotes, (use the layer method), one of lettuces, and perhaps one of radishes & carrots.
you could even plant green onions in one & when they are gone, then plant a tomato plant. Then put a basil plant in fornt of the tomato plant...it will add good flavor to the tomatoes,and it is nice to have fresh basil.

I use the big flower pots to plant in. There is a qt. size to them but I forgot where I wrote that down at... They are 17 to 20 inches across, & 14 or so inches high......I do have 1 half barrel that I plant in. My husband drilled a hole in the bottom for me, so it would drain, and I plant my cherry tomatoes in that.....For that matter lettuces would fit in any size pot...as would radishes & other small veggies.

As for digging in the dirt....make a few flower gardens. That is what I do...and then over time replace the annuals with perennials, as this cuts down on the cost. Pretty and you get to dig in the dirt...flowers need love too....


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385834 Jan 14th, 2015 at 09:14 PM
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As far as the neighbor's garden spot...I'd plant sun loving veggies in the area that gets the sun the most and plant up the other part in shade and partial shade flowers and perennials.

Then I'd use pots and pails for tomatoes and lettuce and such. thumbup

I have that NEED to feel the dirt on my hands and the sun on my face as well. It is a spiritual thing.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385852 Jan 15th, 2015 at 01:39 PM
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Containers or buckets scattered all over my 2 acres would not be practical...I have deer in my yard all the time. At least 3 deer at a time. And dragging a hose or carry water would be an ordeal for me. But I am considering the area the neighbor cleared out for me that has sun. I have enough fence wire to enclose that space to keep the deer out...There are woods on 3 sides of my property and gravel road on the 4th side. So I am living in the deers habitat, So It is only natural for them to come into my yard. I still have 1-1/2 to 2 months to decide whether I need to start some seeds. Speaking of shade flowers....There are quite a few already made flower beds which recieve mostly shade and I would like to put something into those spaces, I had hostas in one of the beds for a couple of years until they got froze out one year. I also have a huge stand of Carolina Jasmine that is in a protected area, it shouldn't even grow in my area, but it was here when I moved here. There is sedum, iris of all colors, daffodils, tulips I planted and a few tiger lillies. All these seem to do fine growing in the shade to partial shade. So share names of things that grow in shade to partial shade. That might just be the answer I need, I can still dig in the dirt and have nice plants/flowers and grow a few veggies in buckets. clap I knew that I could get some good ideas from all you wonderful gardeners!!!!! Now I am excited. party


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
comfrey #385936 Jan 19th, 2015 at 10:02 PM
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I have had hosta, lily of the valley, jacobs ladder and astilbes in my shade garden. The astilbes seem to be the toughest of all. There are also clematis vines that grow great in partial shade.


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Re: Why I am unable to have a Garden
Sunflowers #385960 Jan 21st, 2015 at 07:29 PM
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Thànk you for some suggestions!


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