Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

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DrkAngel   100 GW

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » Dec 31 2019 7:51am

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...
Packaged Videos out of Facebook:

High Tunnel Construction

High Tunnel 2019 - Growth

Youtubed!

June-July 2019
Small crew supplied some weekend hours to turn ideas into reality
Native soil is a horrid clay and ground is level enough to create a swamp after any rain. A local company donated truckloads of gravel and many hours of labor installing drainage and to raise, grade and level a base for the High Tunnel. They also set the support "pilings" for the framework.



August -November 2019
Tomatoes, grown from pruned suckers, nearly exploded with growth!
Large, strong stems with gigantic leaves
Sadly, planted in August, only a percentage of the Tomato crop ripened before plants were killed by sub-zero cold.
We were forewarned and harvested hundreds of pounds of partially ripe and green Tomatoes and had some success of ripening by closing up in paper bag with Apples to force rapid ripening.



Plans are for planting frost resistant crops in March and "Summer crops" in April. Intention is for harvesting a full month earlier than outside crops, then replanting for an additional harvest into late Fall.
.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

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DrkAngel   100 GW

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » Jan 09 2020 8:26am

2020 - Plans
High Tunnel will get automated ventilation, and irrigation - Includes:
VENTILATION - Thermostatically controlled exhaust fans at peaks, will use 3 x 4 arrays of 120mm 12V fans, 1 set at 85ºF the other at 90ºF.
Typical cooling will be natural convection through screen door >> partial opening of 1 side >> opening of both sides to additional >> forced exhaust at hot peaks.
Fans powered by solar panels and only engaging during Sun, as needed.
IRRIGATION - 250 gallon rainwater reservoir through 12V 50psi pump on a digital timer divided into 2 supply lines "T ing" with "J s" of soaker hose into 11 beds. Soaker hoses may be covered, or buried(?), on each raised bed, which could regulate usable water for differing plantings, less or more evaporation.

All outside beds:
Additional topsoil and plenty of compost available to deepen and enrich all beds!
Should be able to complete planned rainwater irrigation systems. Major beds will receive soaker hoses but block holes might require additional, manual supplemental water. Being subjected to natural rain, irrigation will need manual operation through monitoring of soil condition.

Additional outside area?
Compost area produced a bonus of Pumpkins and other Vegetable plants, (from composted veggie seed)! But suffered from animal destruction.
We received a large donation of 6' fence and should take minimal effort to "fence off" a protected area for Pumpkin, Squash, climbing Beans maybe even Corn? Small "boxes" of rich composted soil (I acquired a nice pile of 2 x 12 x 4' lumber) will support large areas of vineing Squash-Pumpkins etc.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

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Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

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DrkAngel   100 GW

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » Jan 11 2020 8:09am

Dollar Tree has 25¢ packets of seeds ... stocked up.
Still waiting on some seeds from China, nice selection of Nasturtiums coming, (edible and reputed to repel Cucumber Beetles!)
Did purchase a supply of basics from US

Pantry is supplying some nice stuff:
Shriveled Beets - will plant in HT but not water for another month
Small Sweet Potatoes - hang half deep in water to start sprouts, will take cuttings of excess sprouts and root in water
Small Colored Sweet Peppers - Cut open shriveled ones to dry and ripen seeds
Sprouting Onions - can always find some dirt for them!

I do plan on some starting from seeds in February but saving the "Seed Starting Party" for mid-March. We post a party notice and get some dozen+ volunteers to help plant our seed trays, with a passel of kids to "help" sifting and filling the dirt. Most can take a collection for home growth too.

Will likely cover a bed, or 2, as 2nd level cold frames inside the High Tunnel. Start in inside Grow Tower in February and move to High Tunnel to make room for March seed starts. (can supply some emergency warmth to a couple covered beds). Starting Onions, Beets, Celery, Parsley, cuttings of Oregano and Rosemary etc., way early and my own sheltered Basil ... of course.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

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DrkAngel   100 GW

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » Jan 14 2020 5:38am

.
...
Just noticed ... for the 1st time, this thread has just exceeded 100 views per post!
Guess people need something to think about, besides Winter?
Not growing Season yet, but planning and preparing.

. 2020 Action List - Plan of Attack!!

January
Received Horse Manure - Adding, along with composted leaves and veggie matter, to top of beds - 3 days near 50!
Reattached rainwater collection to get some warm water and replenish tank - has not frozen!
Starting perishable and heavy frost resistant vegetables seeds inside High Tunnel - old Beets and sprouting Onions, Radish seeds
Starting frost resistant , Celery, Lettuce, Onions etc in heated, lighted Grow Tower

February
Starting Peppers, Tomatoes, Eggplants etc, in Grow Tower for April transplant to High Tunnel
Planting frost resistant seeds in High Tunnel - Radishes, Beets, Lettuce, Celery, Carrots etc.

March
Starting Tomatoes, Pepper etc plants for garden transplant in May - planting party!
Move February started plants to protected beds in High Tunnel
Planting more frost resistant seeds in High Tunnel
Turn compost and manure into bed's soil

April
Planting frost resistant crops - Onions, Radishes, Beets, Celery, Lettuce, Peas etc. from started and seeds
Transplanting Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants, Sweet Potatoes etc to High Tunnel
Will use Sweet Potatoes and Nasturtiums as ground cover

May
Weather Channel has a reasonably reliable 15day forecast and will plan planting after danger of last frost
Transplanting Peppers, Tomatoes, Eggplant etc to garden
Starting Squash, Cucumber, Beans etc.
May protect Squash, Cucumbers, Pumpkins, Melons etc with protective nets till strong and healthy, then rely on Nasturtiums and Neem Oil as pest deterrent.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

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DrkAngel   100 GW

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Location: Upstate-Western-Southern Tier NY. USA

Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » Jan 16 2020 12:03am

Had some great mid-January weather, mid-50s, so put a sign on the shop door, "Closed due to weather" and did some gardening.

Yesterday
Prepped all 11 High Tunnel beds, 2" of composted leaves on each bed, then turned in with a heavy fork. Dug in 10-12" and turned over. Then topped up with 2" of fairly composted horse manure, then heavily watered, will be turned in come Spring.
Expecting extended cold and single digit nights so drained the 250 gallon water tank.

Today
Got working on the Pantry section of outside garden. Pulled up all the stunted Onions and set inside for separation and replanting. Cleaned out all 16 beds, except the Fall planted Garlic. Covered with 2" of composted leaves and turned in with heavy fork. Found lots of worms and varied soil quality, some areas had fairly clumped clay soil and would benefit from additional compost come Spring.
Manually "Cultivatored" all clumps level then added 2" of horse manure on all but 2 beds. To be rototilled before Spring planting. Some beds are now too full, should settle some, but may need to shift some soil to other beds if any more compost added.

Still needed
Need to prep fence beds, Dig up, separate, and replant Rhubarb. and, of course, then will get started on prepping all the beds in the Family section (about 30 beds + 100' of fence bed).

Later
Will need to rebuild the irrigation for High Tunnel and garden. Planting party planned for mid-March, but will be starting some stuff early.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

User avatar
DrkAngel   100 GW

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Posts: 5316
Joined: Dec 15 2010 11:14am
Location: Upstate-Western-Southern Tier NY. USA

Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » Feb 04 2020 6:49am

Already talk of a high tunnel expansion-extension. Can't get enough of a good thing?
Will detach western endwall, add 36' high tunnel, then reattach endwall ... simple.

Near 50 again today, so hooked up the water collection to collect rain ... getting some thirsty herbs and Onions. Monster Radish from last year still getting bigger!
Expecting warm rain today.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

User avatar
DrkAngel   100 GW

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Location: Upstate-Western-Southern Tier NY. USA

Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » Mar 31 2020 5:24am

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2020 garden plans. - 2

1st off, renaming "Community Garden" to "Pantry Garden" and "Family Gardens",as a way of not encouraging visitors to be helping themselves to produce meant for others.

Radishes, Onions, Potatoes, Green Onions,Rhubarb, Chives all growing nicely and our seed starting party produced a nice crop of Tomato, Pepper, Eggplant, Marigold, Nastertium Onions etc. seedlings,

Pantry Beds primed with compost and Horse manure, to be rototilled ln come Spring. Will be moving Tomato support structures to alternate beds as a crop rotation function. Peppers,Squash etc moved also, Garlic planted in new rejuvenated bed also.

Pantry Beds have been planted with Rhubarb, Onions, Green Onions, Garlic and more Garlic and ready for Radishes, Peas and Beets. Waiting on May for the Summer crops.

Weather has provided some wonderful days for "playing" in the garden! A real joy to get out of the house ... safely.

Will be posting pictures again after resolving minor camera issue.
Last edited by DrkAngel on Mar 31 2020 8:12am, edited 1 time in total.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

User avatar
DrkAngel   100 GW

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Joined: Dec 15 2010 11:14am
Location: Upstate-Western-Southern Tier NY. USA

Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » Mar 31 2020 5:55am

Seed starting party was a success!

Most everything sprouted. Tomatoes at 2 inches after only 2 weeks, but most impressed that nearly all Peppers have germinated. I attribute quick growth to the addition of the Halogen bulb as additional warmth. Last year, Peppers took a full month plus to break the surface.

I must also, grudgingly, pay homage to the Mircle-gro potting soil. It has remained loose, yet holds the seedlings well. Last years bagged "topsoil" hardened into some hard, clumpy mass that seedlings found difficult to fight through.

Nice flats of Marigolds and Nasturtiums, but most impressive are the Basil I separated from a Walmart fresh herb potting. Pulled apart and repotted into 6 healthy "fonts of aromatic rejuvenation". Also planted 3 mini-window sill planters, each with 3 Basil types, typical, broad leaf and Italian (smells like Licorice).
Last edited by DrkAngel on Apr 14 2020 7:59pm, edited 1 time in total.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

User avatar
DrkAngel   100 GW

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Posts: 5316
Joined: Dec 15 2010 11:14am
Location: Upstate-Western-Southern Tier NY. USA

Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » Apr 03 2020 7:29pm

March
Dug up 5 Rhubarb plants from nasty clay soil, split the roots into near 20 fresh plant and set best 16 into deep freshly enriched topsoil. Finally, a dedicated Rhubarb bed, all plant doing well, leafing out nicely! Will likely mulch to deter competition from weeds.
Planted Radishes, Onions, Lettuce, more Garlic and prepping fence beds for Beets and possibly Peas ... all frost resistant!
April
Just moved both Tomato structures to freshly rejuvenated beds.
Harvesting 1st batches of Radishes next week. Onions planted into High Tunnel (January) starting flower stalks already, pruning to promote bulbing. 2nd planting of yellow Onion sets doing nicely, for harvest as green Onions.
Hoping to transplant Peppers and Tomatoes etc into High Tunnel in about 2 weeks. At minimum, will start some Summer Squash, before any pests arrive.
May
Will be planting Summer crops, Squash, Cucumbers, Eggplants etc and transplanting Tomatoes, Peppers etc.
Nasturtiums growing fast and should make great ground cover, insect repellent and salads.
Looking to keep Squash and Cukes covered and screened till fairly mature to give a fighting chance against pests and disease.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by tomjasz » Apr 06 2020 8:05pm

Totally enjoyed this thread. A retired guy, retired horticulture director, surreptitious following every post. Great work. You’re an asset to your community.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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DrkAngel   100 GW

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » Apr 23 2020 9:40pm

Got tons of free time, spend most of it playing in the garden (set up exercise equipment in the High Tunnel).

But, weather is getting nice, time to be cruising the Trail again.
Found a cute video about "my" trail.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

User avatar
DrkAngel   100 GW

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Posts: 5316
Joined: Dec 15 2010 11:14am
Location: Upstate-Western-Southern Tier NY. USA

Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » May 06 2020 1:49pm

~250 feet of 4 foot wide Family Beds rototilled and ready for raking and planting.
Plus 100 feet + along the fences.
Planting delayed till near May 15, due to cold snap, frost and snow!

Pantry Beds tilled and raked. Rhubarb, Onions, Radishes, Lettuce, Garlic etc, all growing nicely.

High Tunnel producing 2nd crop of Radishes and Lettuce really nearing picking size.
Been harvesting some very tasty Parsley and strong Italian Oregano.
Monster "mutant" White Radish near 20" x 3"+ wide, grew right through the Winter, finally flowering (kept growing to harvest seeds).
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

User avatar
DrkAngel   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 5316
Joined: Dec 15 2010 11:14am
Location: Upstate-Western-Southern Tier NY. USA

Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » May 15 2020 5:19am

Advertised yesterday as the perfect day for Spring planting. Had a good dozen show up, helping plant the Pantry beds and their family beds.
Mid 60's and sunny, followed by 2 days of warm rain , then 2 full weeks of 60's and 70's. Should give generous boost to Onions, Garlic, Radishes, Lettuce ... everything!

Pantry section got Beans (60' of fence), Tomatoes (80 plants), planted Cherry Tomatoes on ends of rows and along path
Pepper seedlings seem a bit stunted so, moved from Grow Tower to Greenhouse to safely enhance growth.

Greenhouse received about 60 Tomato plants and some dozen variety of Hot Peppers.

Thinned Greenhouse Lettuce and transplanted to Pantry Garden block holes, weather is ideal for transplanting! Also started a full bed of Beets that need transplanting. Year old Beet seeds, so soaked a couple packs then threw into Greenhouse bed and obtained hundreds of 3" Beet plants, ready for separation and transplant.

Upside down hanging Tomato baskets had material deterioration and will likely replace with pails or buckets. Provided a bounty of Cherry Tomatoes, last year, but full size Tomatoes did poorly, so, trying a variety of various "Cherries".

Still need to assemble 4' x 4' 2"x12" Squash-Pumpkin beds, will cut pieces for 3 and get someone to treat with Thompson Water Seal before assembling. Will try to protect with Nasturtiums and plastic covered frames with ventilation screen. Cucumber Beetle and Squash Bug problems!
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

User avatar
DrkAngel   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 5316
Joined: Dec 15 2010 11:14am
Location: Upstate-Western-Southern Tier NY. USA

Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by DrkAngel » May 18 2020 3:37am

Moist weather has been perfect for transplanting. Moved hundreds of Beets from bed in high tunnel to outside beds, dozens of Lettuce seedlings and hundreds of Sweet Onion seedlings. Onions sets will flower and go to seed, while Onions from seeds put all their energy into large bulbs!

Started Planting Zucchini and Summer Squash, from seed, they prefer deep soil and strong light to get properly started. Planted Nasturtiums among them to help deter Cucumber Beetles and Squash Bugs.

Got some plastic pails to use as hanging plant holders for upside down Cherry Tomatoes. Will cut hole in bottom and will use sponge with slit to hold plant and cover hole. Got red and black, might line pail with something to lessen heat absorption, or cover outside? Of course, will grow Basil out of tops! Got 1 taller, thinner, square yellow kitty litter pail that might work better, will find out ...

Food Pantry day today, so will need to divide my time between planting and restocking food supplies.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - December 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

CONSIDERABLE SHOUTING   100 W

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening - Cement Blocks > Greenhouse!

Post by CONSIDERABLE SHOUTING » May 23 2020 1:42pm

This is an awesome thread DrkAngel; that "Compost Tea" really interests me.

Odd question- I'm about to close on a house that has a MASSIVE backyard that the prior owner had built into a huge garden. Would you be willing to offer some pointers to me? I've planted and dicked around in gardens for the past few years, but nothing serious like this.

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