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SurvivalGround >> My Square Foot Garden


6/25/12 10:55 PM
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Handsomejaws
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 So this is my first year using the SFG method after seeing my grandma continuously kick my ass year after year in her raised beds with zero effort while I sweat my ass off in my traditional row garden weeding, watering and fighting off pests. The wood for the boxes are cedar reclaimed from the local casino's valet porte chere. I used the mels mix method, 1/3 peat , 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 food waste compost. 45  heirloom tomato plants, over 100 pepper plants, 6 varities of Basil. I make hot sauce if you're wondering why so many peppers.

x

6/26/12 9:32 AM
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ashleigh11
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wow.

....and beautiful.

are you growing your own bamboo? that stuff looks fresh.

btw, what zone are you?
6/27/12 12:06 AM
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Handsomejaws
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Yeah, it's called river cane here and I cut it right down the road from me. I live in Western North Carolina and our last frost date is May 15 but I always plant the first week of May. I started everything from seed also. I use maxicrop seaweed once a week which I owe to my success.
6/27/12 11:12 PM
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NonIntervention
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 jealous
7/1/12 10:02 PM
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Handsomejaws
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Actual working time in the garden, maybe 2-3 hours a week. That mainly consists of suckering and supporting the tomatoes, mixing up my worm tea and spraying the worm tea, neem and fish emulsion. It's a SFG so I don't have any weeds at all to pull.

This is the best way to grow for max crop potential with little effort, I'm telling you its really amazing the way the leaves create a canopy and develop its own microclimate underneath it.
7/2/12 3:55 AM
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ashleigh11
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what do you use in your worm tea? i've been reading up on compost teas and am just curious what you use.
7/2/12 3:09 PM
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Handsomejaws
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5 gallon bucket, 4 gallons of spring water or rain water, 1 pound of worm castings stuffed inside panty hose I steal from the wife,lol, 2 Tbl unsulphered molasses, 2 tsp maxicrop seaweed stir well. I use a small 60gph aerator and let it bubble for 48 hours. I have a 4 gallon back pack sprayer that I use to spray the entire garden, I add a couple teaspoons of original dawn dishwashing liquid to the mix when its in the sprayer to help it adhere to the leaves.

I just ordered some Mycos from xtreme gardening and will add that with my next batch.

I have a batch brewing right now that will be ready tomorrow.
7/3/12 10:39 PM
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Handsomejaws
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Great question Supercalo, the cost of the ingredients for the worm and seaweed tea is about 75 cents and I do this weekly(I see amazing results from this), and when I add the fish emulsion every two weeks the cost is an extra 62 cents . When I spray neem oil every 2-3 weeks the cost is $1.72 just for the neem.


The worm castings are from my worm composter, I have about 5k worms and I feed them food scraps, the only real cost of this tea is adding the sugar source to feed the microbes which is molasses. If something was to happen, SHTF scenario this would be the core of everyone's garden who produced great crops.



When I planned this out being cost effective was my main concern, even though this is a hobby and I enjoy doing it, if it's costing me a shit load money to grow organic veggies I might as well buy them from the farmers market and just ride my motorcycle on the blueridge in my down time,lol.
7/4/12 3:48 PM
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ashleigh11
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do you mist the foliage or do you just dump the compost tea over the plants like a root drench? i have a batch brewing right now and was just wondering how much to apply to each plant.

sorry for all the questions about the minutiae of application. all of the articles i've read just give recipes for the different types of teas. none of them really talk about application. i guess i could just ask my "medicinal herb" growing friends.

thanks for all the info.

peace.
7/4/12 10:05 PM
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Handsomejaws
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Ashleigh I just use one of those garden pump sprayers, you can get a one gallon pump sprayer at lowes or walmart for like $15, spray the entire plant focus on getting under the leaves and the stems of the plants well. From what I've read the leaves absorb more of the nutrients then the root drench itself and it also creates a "biofilm" on the leaves that keeps disease and pests away. That's funny because every time I research a worm or compost tea I always end up and some cannibus forum,lol.

SuperCalo I bought one of those worm farms off amazon for like $100 but you don't need that man, You can build one out of a couple plastic storage bins for under $20 and get better results. check this website for lots of info http://www.redwormcomposting.com

I've been creating separate bins off my main bin and have had good luck, I made one out of a black plastic mortar pan I got at lowes, I keep it under my shed with cardboard covering the top, even in 100% heat they are doing great.

I bought my worms from " Uncle Jim's Worm Farm 1,000 Count Red Wiggler Live Composting Worms"
7/6/12 12:07 AM
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ashleigh11
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picked up a 2 gallon sprayer from big lots today-$6. tea will be ready tomorrow morning.

friend of my wife's is looking to divide one of her vermiculture boxes so i'll have a few thousand red worms this weekend.

the garden's not doing that bad, actually, i just have to water daily because of the temps (high 90s) and no rain for 6 weeks.

btw-michigan, zone 5.
7/6/12 9:48 AM
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Handsomejaws
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That's awesome good luck to you! It's in the 90's here also, but lots of rain.
7/12/12 12:26 AM
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sourcheese
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awesome
7/13/12 12:27 PM
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Handsomejaws
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Rain everyday for the past 2 weeks, starting to get some fungus issues with the tomatoes, nothing a little copper wont stop.  Had to break out the ladder to extend the tomato trellis. 
7/18/12 9:27 AM
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ashleigh11
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handsomejaws-

thanks for the post and answering questions. this week will be the third week of feeding. i'll start brewing a batch tomorrow morning to apply saturday morning.

i like that i'm not putting a bunch of chemicals on the garden. i'm getting great results so far. i'm not sure if i would be getting the same results with chemical fertilizers as i haven't used them in the past. up until now, i just applied manure in the fall, tilled it in the spring, then mulched heavily to keep down the weeds and conserve water and got decent results.

the garden is out of control now. my sweet peppers had not fruited and set fruit last week. i usually trim my squash and pumpkin vines to encourage side growth. i had to trellis my squash and pumpkins because the side vines are taking over the garden. both of my hubbard vines have 9 squash each (flowered and pollinated) and are still growing. in 2 weeks i have pumpkins the size of grapefruit. the tomatoes have finally set fruit also and i'm about a week from starting to harvest. i've harvested a 4 of quarts of refrigerator pickles and i'll start filling my earthenware crocks with the main harvest here in a few weeks.

the biggest difference i've seen is fewer problems with pests and diseases. i usually have to spray my brassicas with nicotine tea, and dawn during flowering to keep the cabbage moths at bay. i don't know if the fish emulsion is noxious to them, or if it's the good bacteria they don't like, but my outer brassica leaves don't look like swiss cheese this year and i'm seeing fewer moths. (could be the heat). i'm looking forward to filling a crock with sauerkraut at the end of the summer.

the only thing that has been a wash has been the cauliflower. i think they were too stressed by the heat early in may (we had a string of 90 degree days). i only keep them in the garden right now to keep the weeds down.

again, thanks for the post.
7/22/12 3:01 PM
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Handsomejaws
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I'm glad everything is working out for you Ashleigh! Less disease is from the biofilm of fungi and bacteria the tea creates on the leaves, to much competition for the bad guys to breed and your plants are probably so healthy the moths are having a hard time biting through the leaves. The heat is a huge factor in fruit production, most wont set pollen above 90 degrees. Everyone I've talked to is having issues with late blight, Bonide makes a cooper soap that is organic and does a great job controlling it. Next year I'm spacing my tomatoes further apart for better ventilation. I planted beets and more carrots, harvested over 10 lbs of carrots last week.
7/22/12 3:02 PM
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Handsomejaws
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7/31/12 11:20 PM
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Handsomejaws
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7/31/12 11:22 PM
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Handsomejaws
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7/31/12 11:23 PM
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Handsomejaws
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8/1/12 12:38 AM
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Handsomejaws
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Thanks SuperCalo! Are you going to try raised beds next year? I've got something up my sleeve for next year myself, Koi pond aquaponics?? perhaps, lol
8/14/12 11:32 PM
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OneScoup
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My mouth literally watered looking at those pics.
9/13/12 6:19 PM
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Bean Bag
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 How do you keep the bugs away and fungus from taking over?
9/18/12 4:55 PM
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morotetsuke
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Edited: 09/18/12 4:55 PM
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^neem, copper?
9/21/12 9:50 PM
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Handsomejaws
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For fungus I start with this rotation

Worm tea 2x a week
neem oil 2x per month

If the fungus is really bad I use this rotation

copper,sulfur and rotate them every 7 days

copper kills the fungus and the sulfur creates a environment to acidic for the fungus to grow. This is sprayed directly on the plants and I use 2 tbl per gallon of water for both products. This only slows the fungus down though, it doesn't stop it completely. I will do more research and will start spraying copper,sulfur early July before the blight comes.

For bugs
handpicking the larger bugs
dawn soap and water mixture
diatomaceous earth
dipel dust
Lady bugs
praying mantis
frogs
spiders

The trick is just inspecting everyday and controlling the problem before it gets big. Find out whats eating your plants google it and learn about its lifecycle and effective treatments, lots of soft bodied stuff dies with soapy water.

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