Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 17-08-2011

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Raised beds soon to be ready for the malimar spinach.

The garden expansion is beginning to happen.  The construction of the raised bed frames has begun and with luck and a little cool weather, we should have it ready for the fall planting.  I have completed 10 of the beds and tomorrow morning, Terry will join me in constructing the final 18.  After we take the frames to the garden and set and level them , they will be filled with composted soil and manure.  I hope Davis will be available to assist Terry and I in this aspect of the expansion.  We also need to get a couple truck loads of horse manure to turn into the mix.  I have purchased a roll of wire to construct the support (similar to that which we built to support the blackberries) for the beans and peas we will grow this fall and spring.  I plan to install drip hoses in each bed and mulch them for weed control.  We are placing them wide enough apart so that we can mow the centipede grass between the beds.  I will plant at the base of the peas and beans my daylily seedlings from 2010 where they can grow out for the next two years at which time I will select the better blooms and transplant the culls to the vegetable row (remember, we eat the blossoms).  I mentioned in a previous post that we will grow the Malimar Spinach along the garden fence in the four new beds we are locating there.  That leaves space for other plantings so start checking out those seed catalogs.

After the expansion is complete we will need to turn our attention to the blackberries as we need to build a support to hold the bird netting away from the plants.  I have it designed in my head – now we need to build it.  Nest year, if we plan to plant the tomatoes where we planted the melons this year, we may want to consider rapping a raised bed border around it for weed control.  That will take 15- 1 x 6 x 10 boards.  I have learned that we need to raise the beds above the crab grass so we can control it with a mower and a string cutter or herbicide.

Terry inspecting my handiwork..



Today, I collected 16 eggs.  They were added to the new bucket in the refrigerator.  Yesterday, Glenda washed the eggs from the previous four days and added them to the 9 dozen she had washed last week that were already in the frig.  Can you guess that there is not much room in the frig for anything but eggs.  Glenda is threatening to clean her garbage disposal with them.  We love eggs in just about all the different ways that they can be cooked but I would like a little variety in my diet so let me just say: “we have eggs to share with our co-op members.  Just come get them”.

Egg washing!



I have been enjoying the cooler weather these past couple days (88 degrees instead of 100) and it has allowed me to mow a portion of the greater garden.  Davis shamed me into doing it as he came up and got the mower last week and mowed around the beds he and Kathy wanted to work.  They did not feel that they should risk life and limb to fight off the snakes and other vermin.  At any rate, the grounds are looking a little tamer so if anyone would like to visit the garden in the early or late (cool) hours and do a little weeding, please “come right on down”.

Today was clean up the chicken run.  A really fun job – just ask Kathy.  I try to do it ever couple months and things are looking good to the chickens tonight.  I plan to pore a concrete foundation under the water tray to avoid any standing water as well as build a dusting box with a lid to keep rain out of the wood ash and diatomatious earth (DE) mixture that will keep the hens free of parasites.  This should be completed in a week or so.

I’m saving a lot of seeds from our crops so we will be able to replant many of them next year.  Today, I cut the last watermelon.  It had been in the house for a week and it is very sweet.  Terry picked the last of the peppers but more should make.  I am waiting for the okra to bloom as I like eating it raw in the garden.  We still have sweet potato and peanuts to harvest and we have a couple giant cantaloupes (prize winning giants so said the seed package) inside the fences garden.  Once all this is finished, we need to clean everything out and get ready for the fall planting.  Maybe in three weeks.

A quick mention as to new subscribers, we now have an Australian subscriber and Wade Martin, President of Martin and Lindsay landscapes from right here in Beaufort, SC.  Wade is very knowledgeable and will be making many good comments in the future.  Which reminds me to ask that you send our garden blog link to your friends so they can subscribe and contribute to our efforts.

OK!  That’s it for today.  Building beds in the morning.


Comments (5)

The eggs were delicious! It’s nice to have fresh eggs from a neighbor!

I saw that you’re considering using composted horse manure in your raised beds – be careful because a lot of the herbicides that are used in hay and horse pastures to control weeds (such as GrazonNext) actually feed through the horse and remain in the manure even if it’s composted. The manure can surely wreck a garden – we learned the hard way!

Thanks for the info I had thought about possible problems with pharmaceutical additives but never thought about herbicides. I can always ask the horse owner of any medications I should know about but tracking any herbicides used in hay production is almost impossible. Do you know how long the herbicides (GrazonNext) remain active? I would think that if the manure is aged a couple years that it may not be a problem. What do you think. Gordon

Sorry for the late response. I would check with the manufacturer – the information that I have is that the herbicide doesn’t compost but I would think after a couple of years it would leach out of the manure. We’re in central Texas and will not have a fall garden since we’re still in an awful drought – we have a 6 acre and 12 acre lake that we irrigate and water livestock out of and both are close to empty! Happy gardening!!!!!!

Thanks for the response Gordon – I am very excited with what you are doing!! While we are VERY busy with chickens, ducks, horses, cows etc it is sooooo interesting to me that you are supporting the challenging task of raising our own…. Cheers and happy gardening!!!!!!


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