Tag Archives: Planning

CHEAPSKATE Hints-Cheap nd Free Supplies And Skills for Garden

The original inspiration for this blog was the garden I was building in a $-rented-$ space in a city garden. I was building my soil, creating beds and starting some compost for future use. All of these items were done for free, but some work was needed to be successful. [and of course I was using tools purchased at retail price- but some of them could have been acquired at thrift stores/ yard sales.]

This post will put forth a list of free items for use in the garden.   Your garden  and my garden are places for peace ,fun, sweat and food. All of that can be attained with a big checkbook but there is something rewarding about reusing, and repurposing items for beneficial use in the garden .

The first is a free ( inexpensive) technique not an item but it still keeps things cheap. It is called lasagna or sheet gardening. Lasagna gardening starts your garden with NEW SOIL MADE BY layering yard and food waste. No need to break nor till the soil(buy/rent root tiller???)  just take a little time ,plan ahead and build new soft soil.  Make your new soil where you want your garden to be.  This is free if all of the material built into the layers is also free(see below). If this is done in the fall the soil will be ready to,plant in the spring and if started in spring some good topsoil or compost can be added to the lop layer as seeds or seedlings are planted.  Lasagna Garden HOW TO:  latest of cardboard or newsprint(15-20 sheets) on the bottom ,on top of the old grass.  The alternate layers of grass clippings, leaves, compost, manure. Shredded wood chips can also be built into the layers.

GRASS CLIPPINGS-

If you have a yard , you have a gardeners gold mine with all of the grass clippings you will generate spring to fall. These can be used in the lasagna garden, added to compost pile/container and used in the growing garden as a weed barrier that eventually breaks down and keeps the soil developing. If you don’t have a yard of green you can collect bags of cut grass around the community . Do this by driving around or do a search online for bagged grass ( see FREECYCLE for,your community).

LEAVES –

These can also added directly to the  garden as weed barrier but in many areas th leaves fall as the garden is finishing for the season. They can be added as fall-winter cover , shredded and added to compost pile or bagged and set aside to,creat leaf mold for next springs garden.

If you do not have trees and leaves you may be able to find them from friends, or others in the community and in many communities leaves are collected and piled in a central location for local citizens to use.

WOOD CHIPS/shredded wood mulch-

The wood can be used as weed barrier or as layers in the lasagna garden. they can also be added to the compost pile sparingly. Much like leaves and grass clippings when added to garden as weed barrier they will eventually break down in to the soil.

Most folks will need to get wood chips and shredded wood mulch as few have the wood/trees AND equipment to chop them. Many communities that collect leaves and make them available also collect downed trees and branches AND  Christmas trees and shred in a central location available to the community.

COFFEE GROUNDS-

Coffee grounds make a great addition to the compost pile, garden soil and directly for acid loving plants in the garden and yard. When building a lasagna/sheet garden-coffee grounds area a addition . Worked into the soil grounds loosen the soil and break down leaving it nourished.

They may also be spread under acid loving plants like azaleas and even broadcast out on the lawn.

If you drink coffee you will generate some supply but real volume can be found at most local coffee shops and many locations of large chain coffee shops. Some places bag them for you and others ask you to bring buckets.

COMPOSTED KITCHEN SCRAPS-

If we eat any fruit or vegetables we will generate peels and scraps that can be composted for use in the garden. The scraps eggshells plus fruit and veggie only, no other animal based scraps ( meat , fat or bones).

They can be collected in an airtight table top container or the freezer until taken outside to the composting area or tool. The compost is usable after 3-9 months , depending on the method used.

 

Summary list of Cheapskate supplies:

1.Lasagna gardening

2. Grass clippings

3. Leaves

4. Shredded wood/chips

5. Coffee grounds

6. Composted kitchen scraps

 

 

@martyroddy

 

PLANTING and PLANNING What goes Where??

Now that we have so many diseases and pests in the garden we have to have a planned rotation to prevent damage to the crops and the garden that is the result of a carryover from the previous season.

Some diseases and some “visitors” may remain in the garden over the winter and be prepared when spring returns BUT if the new plants are different and from different species and families the bugs and “bugs” may not be able to bother us.

I keep a schematic from yer to year to facilitate movement planning but this post will address what plants to have close to one another ( to maximize space and create  symbiotic environment  in the garden) because the work well together. .

Many plants thrive when close to each other and other combinations should not be created.

My favorite combos include:

1. I love cabbage (and broccoli,cauliflower,brussels sprouts,kale) so ONIONS, BEETS ,CUCUMBER, and some herbs fill the partner role.

2. I also love squash so partners include:  NASTURTIUM,ONIONS,OREGANO. If planting on hills or mounds- melons are a great teammate.

3.  and of course for Tomatoes: I am partial to ONIONS/GARLIC, BASIL AND OREGANO . Especially when harvested they can be used for many dishes.  Other useful partners include borage, peppers, parsley and bee balm.

These plants are good companions because they share soil nutrients, repel invaders from one another, and in many cases they fill all available surface preventing weeds.

I rarely plant something by itself( other than roses- which are quite selfish in the soil).. I like the idea of biointensive planting and harvesting as much as possible from each available foot in the garden.  Many of these plants also host useful/helpful insects.

What do you like to grow?  Why?

What partners does your favorite have?

Recently found a chart with a nice summary- not much explanation but a good listing.

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/companion-vegetable-garden.htm

https://twitter.com/martyroddy

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WINTER GARDEN FUN – Harvest,Prep and Planning

https://twitter.com/martyroddy

Now that Christmas has come and gone the new year is a week or 2 old, we can relax and look forward to spring and the GARDEN.

Then the mail comes and in the place of Christmas cards and sale flyers….seed catalogs. My favorite is Johnny Selected Seeds…so much great stuff. http://www.johnnyseeds.com/

OK so what activities can we do in the garden when te freezing weather, ice and snow are around?

First question: Do we have anything growing over the winter?

Greens, roots, anything “stored” in the soil”

Did I properly clear/clean the garden in the fall?

Second question: What am I planting this year? Anything new? Where did I plant everything last season? [important for crop rotation] When can I plant? Start seedlings?

Third Question? : What work is necessary to prepare the garden for the season? Long term planning= helpful this yer but payoff will be realized over several years.

The following posts and articles address some of these ideas:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/preparing-your-vegetable-garden-for-winter.aspx#axzz3P1HRlkJu

http://www.farmaid.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=qlI5IhNVJsE&b=6281749&ct=12490387

Info from another good seed catalog…http://www.territorialseed.com/category/fall_Winter_seed

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/starting-seeds-indoors-zm0z12djzsor.aspx#axzz3P1HRlkJu

Enjoy and happy gardening !!

https://twitter.com/martyroddy

spring ahead, FALL BACK- the garden in Fall and Winter

The end of summer usually means an end of the garden but does that mean the work is over?

This post is just a free-for-all collection of semi-random fall gardening articles I found and enjoyed this week

what to grow when the sun goes away?

A.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LvaHzdb7CLE

B. http://gardeningjones.com/blog/2014/07/19/how-to-plan-a-fall-garden/

some more thoughts….

What to do in the garden?  or not…

1. http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2013/10/13/5-gardening-mistakes-to-avoid-this-fall/

2. http://www.finegardening.com/getting-your-roses-ready-winter

3.  http://sustainablog.org/2013/01/protecting-garden-space-winter/

4. http://homereadyhome.com/cold-frame-in-fall-garden/

ASPARAGUS – The great skinny spears. Still buying mine.

One week until the Charlottesville farmers Market kicks off an 8+ month
run downtown . See https://www.facebook.com/CharlottesvilleCityMarket .
One of the things I look forward to in the first few weeks of the market
is spring asparagus ( beets too) . My current garden doesn’t work for
growing my own asparagus (though I may do this with some friends in their
garden.    

Image

Young asparagus spears – READY !

Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that pops up every spring , but
unlike much of the rest of the KITCHEN GARDEN it takes a few years to
enjoy the benefits of these delicious spears.

Root crowns are planted in spring or fall and prepared to grow BUT can
not be harvested until the 3rd ( maybe some 2nd ) year. So we must learn
some patience and remember that THIS SPACE IS TAKEN.

So we care for “nothing” while harvesting beans and cukes and tomatoes
throughout the garden. BUT on the plus side- Well planted and cared for
plants can be productive for up to 20 years.

Aparagus is planted as “crowns” (year old plants) in a clean garden bed
in trenches 6″-12″ deep and separated 18″-24″ . The soil should be well
drained as the plants don’t like to have WET-FEET. Dig the trench and
work in 3-6″ of compost, manure and/or soil mix. Spread the soil in a
ridge in the trench. Place the “crowns” on this ridge spreading the roots
over mounded soil.        Cover with enough well composted soil and mulch 4-6″
and water well.

Image

Asparagus crowns ready to be set.

YEAR 1

Do not harvest the spears in the first year, allow them to grow and cut
down dead foliage in the fall. At cutting top dress with compost.

During this year letting the asparagus go to seed will give the crown a
chance to establish and get strong. This will set it ( and you) for long
time supply of spears.

YEAR 2
During the second year, keep the bed thickly mulched, side-dress with
compost/manure in spring and early fall, and cut down dead foliage in
late fall. You may be able to harvest and enjoy a meal of two of spears.

                                                                                      

Image

Asparagus plants- fueling and replenishing the crowns.

YEAR 3
YUMMMMMMMM!
The asparagus can be harvested for a relativley short period (2-3 weeks)as soon as the spears start to show. You will want to keep a close eye on the bed, Clean it after winter so mulch and debris are not too deep. After harvest allow the “ferns” to grow- these plants feed the crowns/roots for future spear production.

https://twitter.com/martyroddy

Found a few blogs with similar info. ENJOY !!

http://tendingmygarden.com/growing-asparagus/

 

http://www.gardeningblog.net/how-to-grow/asparagus/

Link

Plan and Plant Your Garden for Non-Stop Veggies- Like a Tasty Buffet

Plan and Plant Your Garden for Non-Stop Veggies- Like a Tasty Buffet

I have been gardening for a number of years and have been reading about it, watching TV / now online videos about it. It is a lot of fun and interesting AND OF COURSE DELICIOUS- but I am learning to make the most of all my efforts and fill the fridge and {now learning to make fermented veggies- KIMCHi/ kraut etc}

I recently read an article about SUCCESSION PLANTING  and was intrigued- I  realized i read about it before but never “caught” it before. Now I am making a plan to try it this year and season.  

Onions, greens, cabbage family plants will be my first trial partners.

* I like this article about Doubling the harvest. I am also adding some of the books mentioned( that I don;t have now)

http://www.gardeners.com/Succession-Planting/5016,default,pg.html 

** I have been experimenting with Square Foot gardening and some of the ideas in Mel Bartholomew books and website, but not the succession planting ideas( I reread a few pages just a few minutes ago.

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/growing-vegetables-by-succession-planting-and-squa.html

^***And one more i found that has a lot of great info- i will download and use for my plans and hopefully for my kitchen ( even share/barter with friends)

http://www.growingformarket.com/articles/Try-Succession-Planting

 

 

Flooding June 7 2013 B

Thoughts ideas- borrowed from the web/brain of others

I am dying to jump into the garden- tomorrows morning run will include a 30 minute visit to the garden plot and some work…..(CROSS-TRAINING anyone? )

 

Helping friends with a garden and have a few stumps to play with so the following may be good idea. 

http://audaxdesign.co.uk/2014/02/22/picpost-stumped/

Also concerned with heavy rain/flooding that we dealt with last year. I have added a 2nd layer of wooden pallets to raised the beds even more- here are some more ideas.

http://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/using-permaculture-design-prepare-floods

 

Always glad to find pallet ideas for garden and home- 

http://audaxdesign.co.uk/2014/02/10/pallets-into-gardeners-delight/

Image

Some pallets for double decker raised bed(burlap bags for weed control)