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Hard work done, time for planting


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Slave77
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 71
Location: Mayo

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:48 pm    Post subject: Hard work done, time for planting Reply with quote

Yay, finally the bulk of the hard work is done, now just hardening off and planting and watering Laughing
Oh, and pest watch, no doubt I will have a few more of those Rolling Eyes



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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 4178
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done you, looking good slave looking good. I have just looked back at the photos you put up in your first post and it is plain to see the amount of work that has gone on there. As for pests you obviously haven't come across the Claremorris cryptheria yet, watch out for that one for he is a nasty bug.
What are the frames for over the beds, netting?
You lay out your garden how you want and according to your needs and how many mouths to feed but my one observation is, and don't take this the wrong way, that the ratio of your paths to planting areas is quite high hence losing growing areas. If the paths were only the width of a wheelbarrow plus a few inches more they would be enough. If the four * two beds were two long ones instead (and only wide enough to reach in from the path on both sides) and less of a pathway around the tunnel you could have doubled your growing area. But no doubt you have your own reasoning behind it.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I endorse every word Tagwex says. The best word to describe the site is 'pristine' and something to be proud of as a work of horticultural art BUT I refer to a previous thread where I questioned the seemingly slavish - no pun intended - fashion for raised beds. As M'Lord Wexford says, notwithstanding the cost of materials etc., there is a huge amount of wasted space in the design and, no matter how good the soil might be underneath the pathways, it'll never grow any crops. The part I use as a path between crops this year will be dug up in the autumn and used for sowing crops in next year but these damned RB's deny that option. Over time, maybe as nutrients are added, the soil level within the RB's will rise. Bits and pieces will spill over into the gravel. Weeds will colonise the paths and the owner will then have the job of returning them to their original condition - for what? Even if something like Ground Control has been laid underneath the gravel to suppress weed growth, repeated 'traffic' will soon cut it to pieces as the gravel bites in.

From the photographs it looks as though the property was built on previously level farmland, i.e. in marked contrast to the maze of rocky outcrops we have to deal with in this area, and the shadows suggest the plot runs east-west. For access to the shed and for getting round the plot, I'd have put a row of paving slabs round the outside, dug the rest from end to end (the soil looks good) and used every square inch of it for north/south rows of crops.

As Tagwex says, we must all please ourselves as to how we manage our cherished patches but I'd urge a word or two of caution to others who get the impression that RB's are obligatory when planning their own ventures into gardening?

_________________
A novice gardener on newly cultivated, stoney ground.
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Gautama
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 156
Location: Cork

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good. Nice and orderly. Good idea to lay something down, looks like gravel, between the beds themselves. It'll be years before weeds get any inroads, either in the beds or between them. If you've ever seen a commercial growing setup the only soil you'll see is in the growing area. Paths and areas of egress will not be conducive to weed growth.
One thing that strikes me is that the beds are only half filled. To maximise the benefits of a raised bed, they should be filled to the brim with soil or whatever growing media you are using.
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Slave77
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 71
Location: Mayo

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: To each, their own Reply with quote

@tagwex, thanks, your words of praise are very encouraging! The frames over the beds are for either fleece/netting/polythene, whatever the need be when required. For now they will be netting I am thinking.
@blowin, I am sure your "endorsement" was meant with the very best of intentions.

Our land is in a slight dip with rises on both the east and west sides. The soil is an extremely heavy clay which on the majority of days is unworkable as it is so wet.
This plot was covered in couch grass, nettles, thistles and dandelions, there is no physical way I could have cleared the entire plot on my own. Therefore for me to have a longer growing season with more optimal growing conditions I chose raised beds which will enable me to warm the soil up quicker going forward and so being able to improve drainage. Conventional plots in the ground did not appeal to me for a number of reasons even if they may have provided more growing space.

My partner does not have a great interest in gardening, so I rely on my own very petite self for digging/maintaining. The design that I have created suits my capabilities and the amount of time I get to do the work. I have a small baby who enjoys placing in the gravel between the beds with her bucket, I find the raised beds also give her a boundary and I can think of nothing worse than having repeatedly to be reminding her not to crawl/walk onto plots level with the ground.

I had initially intended to go with longer beds but decided against that for now. The layout is such that those existing beds can easily be joined in North to south rows in the future should I so have the inclination.

And mainly, and way more important to me is that I see this area as my "outdoor room". To me it is an extension of our home, my space, my sanctuary, my thinking room, my unwinding area. I am not a "pristine" person by nature and am sure in the thick of the growing season, it will be far from the neat and tidy space it is now, but it's my space, I created it, toiled to get it to what it is and I am proud of what I have achieved. It suits my needs and fits in with the priorities in my life. Far from being "a work of horticultural art" it enables me to do what I love, getting my hand s in the soil, sowing seed, the thrill of watching those seeds grow and it teaches my kids so much and they get enjoyment from it too. So when you see the odd marigold and the like thrown in here and there, it's just me, doing my thing and learning, every day
Laughing
Thanks for the constructive criticism guys, raised beds ain't everyone's thing, but they absolutely have their benefits and I for one won't be dissing them Wink
Last year I grew in 3 4x4 raised beds that were closer to the house as I had a sick baby, this year I have expanded further, who knows what I will aim for next year![/quote]
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Slave77
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 71
Location: Mayo

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gautama, thank you, sorry I was in the middle of my previous post and did not see your reply. 2 of the beds have potatoes in and I dug extra deep in these and left the level lower to allow for earthing up. The others are waiting for the addition of some FYM and extra conditioner which I can get in bigger quantities at the weekend. And of course the cost of adding in the extras to the soil.
Farmer dropped of FYM but it was too fresh so have it covered for use in autumn.
It will always be a work in progress I guess
Very Happy
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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 4178
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Genuinely cannot tell if you are mad at us or not. You have obviously deliberated over this project for some time and thought it through to suit your own needs and wants and you have done a marvellous job and I am pleased to see that you can change the beds into two long rows if need be. All gardens evolve as our objectives change. Your thought process has formed the garden as you want it and as you have eloquently explained, it makes perfect sense. Remember you know the land, the environs and the local climate, all we see are a few photos and make observations from those. Your garden is in good hands, keep going the way you are and keep those children interested. Personally I am not against raised beds at all, they serve a function in certain situations. I have 6 of them here.
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Slave77
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 71
Location: Mayo

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah tagwex, I am not mad at you, I take on all points, after all there are always others who have done things before and tried and tested, failed and learned and you can't beat knowledge shared! I did not at all feel like YOU were standing on your soapbox shouting your opinion at me Very Happy

I only wish I was of the physique and had the time to be able to redig new plots for each new season or that I had the vast expanse that required a plough (well we do have a spare half acre, but don't think him indoors would see my vision!)

Everyone has different circumstances and I would hope that maybe someone reading my reasons for my layout and plans given my circumstances might be encouraged to try
Smile

The very idea of plots in the ground can be quite daunting to someone who wants to try, the digging, keeping weeds out, mowing paths etc etc can be off putting to some, even one small raised bed may just kick start the confidence, and you have to agree that you couldn't have a better pastime than growing be it for beauty or food Wink
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 898
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Slave! I understand where the guys are coming from on the gravel. I watch my neighbour in his "low maintenance" garden picking up all the leaves that blow in by hand... BUT I don't see a problem with your paths. When I made my beds I carefully wheeled a barrow between them and ensured maximum growing space. What I failed to account for was my courgettes, rocket, summer savory, in short every kind of foliage disregarding the wooden limits and getting bashed about. I now wish that I'd made mine a bit wider.
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Slave77
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 71
Location: Mayo

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks tippben, I find the width just about right, and it's a bit harder push the barrow on the gravel so narrower paths would be harder and yes I can see what you mean about the spread of the foliage! It will be interesting to see how well this layout serves my needs... If hindsight were foresight we would never make mistakes to learn from and we would all be perfect... What a boring thought Wink
Won't have to worry about too much debris on the gravel, we are too exposed yet but it will be something do do in the off season to keep me busy Laughing
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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 4178
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@tippben: fair point about the wider than the wheelbarrow paths regarding foliage, not a problem I have though as I have one long raised bed in six sections and any amount of room around it. My point on the gravel was that the ones running north - south are not really necessary and a waste of potential growing space, but as slave explained her rationale it made sense to her to do it that way and as she says it can be adapted later on if need be.

@slave77: phew she is not mad at me, the mayo mafia wont be leaving a horses head on my pillow then! Bring on the half acre, tell him indoors who the real boss is in that house. Plough up a few drills in that half acre quick and get the spuds in, it will save you a small fortune over the year. We harvested approx. 2 tonne last October and have enough for about another month in storage still so there will be even more planted this year. I had no idea how much we would eat over the year so basically I need to double the amount sown last year and stop giving away freebies! A great pastime yes, but I do it for the food and as a hobby not the beauty, one that I have wanted to do for years but only got around to it last year in a big way, previously was only very small attempts. Found the Claremorris cryptheria bug yet?

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 898
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought slave. Could you lay planks in the middle of your paths? They'd be fine for a barrow wheel, and could be removed if necessary.
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Slave77
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 71
Location: Mayo

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@tippben, great idea, never thought of that. Will note it for future, used all planks so far for my lovely raised beds Laughing

@tagwex, stop, don't get me started I have visions of a couple of substantially sized tunnels and nursery beds and a whole host of other ideas for the half acre, I love growing anything from seed, the more challenging the better, they just grow for me Very Happy
I have a lot of auld plaumausing to do to get my way..... Some day Wink
Now about this bug, something tells me this could be a bit of a wind up...... Tell me more


Question
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Petite Self - I think there's a presumption, certainly on my part, that most of the contributors are of the 'all-butch-and-manly' brigade with a total focus on food production from the ground they have available. With those blinkers now removed, fair play to you for tailoring your garden to make it do what you want it to. i.e. with therapeutic and ethereal aspects as well as the hard nosed food side.

Harping back to previous threads, and assuming you do eventually feel like expanding, an investment in a roll or two of thickish black polythene spread on a patch of weeds for a few months will kill them off. A suitable person with a rotovator can then turn the, then, weed-free ground into a good growing site. Any spare vegetable matter like lawn mowings, placed on the ground before laying the polythene, will help to break up the clay when you cultivate it.

Like Tagwex, I hope you haven't got my name on a board for throwing darts at?

_________________
A novice gardener on newly cultivated, stoney ground.
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Slave77
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 71
Location: Mayo

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blowin wrote:
Hi, Petite Self - I think there's a presumption, certainly on my part, that most of the contributors are of the 'all-butch-and-manly' brigade


Yes you are quite right, that comes across very strongly in a high majority of the posts in my opinion. However, there are quite a lot of experienced, knowledgeable and sharing people on this site and I like that botanical names and correct terminology etc are used and there is always someone with an answer/suggestion/solution/encouragement. I spend time reading through all the forums and have learnt lots from others accounts of their experiences. The information shared here is invaluable.
Thanks for taking off the blinkers, I admire you guys that have large drills and plots and grow larger quantities, but everyone has to start somewhere and the confidence builds as you gain more knowledge and hands on experience.

As for the darts, we had to confiscate them a few months back as the young fella had craters in the plaster around the board, so you are safe for now Laughing
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