Learning it all...again

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Learning it all...again

Post by jenmckin on Mon 05 May 2008, 8:42 am

This is my first year to have a garden. Let's just say that I have a black thumb (we are talking...I'm infamous for killing many a cactus okay?) I NEED warranties on my plants that I buy so that when they die (notice I didn't say "if") I can get them exchanged.

Well...with all that is going on in the world I decided to start a garden this year. For Ms. Blackthumb here that is a major undertaking. But I am happy to report that it is going very well!! Very Happy I have strawberries that are blooming and fruiting. My blackberry bush (that my lawn guy half cut down two weeks after I planted it) is blooming. My corn is about 4 inches high, my tomatoes are about a foot tall, my peppers are 6" high, my yellow onions are coming up, my squashes are squashing, my zucchini is coming up! I'm thrilled! I didn't kill anything shy of a few seedlings that I put outside too soon in a sprouting tray. I have spent many an hour on the internet learning about companion gardening (I am an organic snob Razz).

I am feeling so confident about my new found skills that I have purchased 25 chicks to be delivered in one week. We are keeping 13 for laying and butchering the rest. I am learning how to mix organic chicken feed of my own making (using whole grains and peas/beans) in the correct potein ratios for chicks, layers, and broilers.

I have learned so much about being self sufficient in the last few months, I feel like I'm on info overload.

I titled my post the way I did because my husband and I were talking and I pointed out that 70 years ago, everyone knew how to grow a garden and kill a chicken regardless of their profession. We have lost that ability. My family has been in this area for 150 years or more and I have no clue how to grow a garden or what grows well next to what although my parents do have a working knowledge using Sevendust and Triple 13. It has taken me many weeks of research and reading to get comfortable with my endeavor as a backyard farmer.

Now we just have to see how comfortable my neighbors are with having chickens! affraid

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Re: Learning it all...again

Post by greendragon on Mon 05 May 2008, 9:14 am

Hang in there. I used to plant a big garden 3every year and then didn't for several years. Just like riding bike right? Not!

It takes some time but you'll learn what works. Just keep reading and asking questions and trying different things. It also helps if you know someone in your area who is good at it that you can get some tips from.
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A tremendous book to help

Post by ROVPILOT on Mon 05 May 2008, 3:22 pm

I have been growing a garden for the last three years. When I was a young(er) man I grew veggies on about four acres. That became a JOB. What I have learned through a book by Edward C Smith is that on a 40x50 foot plot of land I now fill my freezer, can veggies, and give to neighbors, and even the old folks home in my town. As an example I planted three rows 50' long and produced over 400 ears of corn. The book is called the Vegetable Gardener's Bible. Well worth the costs.

It all revolves around Wide Rows, Organic Methods, Raised Beds and Deep soil. This has become fun again. No I do not weed the garden and it may not look beautiful to the average farmer but the production is what counts. I have not bought a vegetable in the store in three years.

Good luck with your plants and happy eating.

Jim

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Re: Learning it all...again

Post by dc9 on Tue 06 May 2008, 1:18 am

I just recently built a chicken coup and have 3 hens and a rooster. They have been prolific and I currently have 28 eggs in the brooder and just harvest the eggs for food now. I split a plastic 55 gallon drum and made a trough that goes under where they roost to catch the droppings. I will soon buil a small tower with a 55 gallon drum at the top to serve as a water tank. From this will lead hoses for drip irrigation for a garden grown in suspended 5 gallon buckets. I will fill the trough with water when it is needed and mix the chicken manure thouroughly with a paddle, then pump it up to the water tank for the drip irrigation.

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Re: Learning it all...again

Post by mama_in_PA on Thu 08 May 2008, 12:51 pm

dc9 wrote:I just recently built a chicken coup and have 3 hens and a rooster. They have been prolific and I currently have 28 eggs in the brooder and just harvest the eggs for food now. I split a plastic 55 gallon drum and made a trough that goes under where they roost to catch the droppings. I will soon buil a small tower with a 55 gallon drum at the top to serve as a water tank. From this will lead hoses for drip irrigation for a garden grown in suspended 5 gallon buckets. I will fill the trough with water when it is needed and mix the chicken manure thouroughly with a paddle, then pump it up to the water tank for the drip irrigation.

I'm curious about growing a garden suspended in 5-gallon buckets. I haven't heard of this before. What benefits does it yield? I would imagine it would be costly and a lot of work. How many of these do you have? Also, I think I may be misunderstanding, are you mixing the chicken manure with the irrigation water? If so, how do you keep it from clogging the hoses?

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Re: Learning it all...again

Post by dc9 on Thu 08 May 2008, 7:16 pm

This is a whole new experiment for me. As far as yeild and things like that, I have no idea, but then it is an experiment. Yes, the chicken manure will me mixed with the irrigation water and it won't clog the pipes, but the small holes for the water drip will probably have to be cleaned regularly. I'll let y'all know how it turns out.

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Re: Learning it all...again

Post by lovehart on Thu 18 Jun 2009, 8:55 pm

other things i've learned from successful gardeners is to use decomposed logs to mix with the soil...well it works for my garden...
i haven't tried before to use pipes to distribute fertilizers for my garden,,it's new to me but good to consider too.what i do is to mixed the chicken manures directly to the hole where i have to place my plant...it saves my time i suppose...

greens make beatiful

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