7 votes

Anybody getting their gardens ready?

I've been tilling my gardens most of the day.

Getting ready to plant several kinds of beans/peas, tomatoes, peppers, some herbs, sunflowers, radishes, cucumbers, watermelons, muscadines...


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

It's not all "farming". You

It's not all "farming". You can have muscadine grapes growing, blueberry bushes, fig trees, assorted vines in the woods or on the edge of the wood, other fruit trees, etc..

Besides, there were rural areas that the Stalin goons didn't mess with. The Stalinists focused on a few geographic areas for their experiments in starvation...

While this is true maybe in

While this is true maybe in that time..the benefit of being Americans ...is our right to bear arms.

Women can defend themselves with a gun...this helps for a politer society even in bad times..

As bad as the Neocons and

As bad as the Neocons are and their power-lust is, I'm not sure they are ready to go THAT far anytime soon. But enforced poverty and FEMA camps and martial law? Easily.

Gardens For RON Paul!

This should be a summer theme! Gardens for Ron Paul and Freedom! Post your signs and freedom flags all over!

Computer Tutorials For All At:

Free Computer Tutorials For All At:

Whats a muscadine?

Whats a muscadine?

I was wondering about that

I was wondering about that myself. Maybe some new genetically-created organism, like the glow-in-the-dark jellyfish potato under discussion in another thread?


.. are a large grape native to the South (also called scuppernongs). They are about 3 times the size of a grape, have a more earthy flavor and about 40 times more reservatol (the stuff in red wine that protects your heart) than red grapes.

Easy to grow too if you are in the South. Just two posts and 20 feet of wire...


Not to mention

that they are also now considered a super food by many natural/holistic doctors.

Recent studies have shown that they may actually have more antioxidants than blueberries. Now THAT is saying something!

They make wine with it on Clinch Valley Mountain in TN. But I was born in Batesville and my mother grew up eating them. :)

And to boot..

.. in the South they grow with very little care. They are somewhat drought resistant and can grow in poorer soils. Where I'm at you can find them growing out in the woods sometimes.

And they make excellent jelly...


What grape thrives in black

What grape thrives in black clay? Do you know?

Support the Constitution of the United States

Support the Constitution of the United States

What zone?

What zone?

Excellent jelly!

Grew up eating it but haven't had any in years.

Just recently found muscadine on our property and may give the 'ol jelly-making another try. It's been a while and my skill are somewhat rusty.

Muscadine jelly...

.. at the produce markets here is like $4 for a small jar. =|

You found some vines growing unattended on your property? How long do you think they were there? Were they overgrown with other plants?

I excavated a HUGE fig tree from a bamboo forest on my property a few years ago. With some watering, feeding and pruning I get a five gallon bucket full of figs from it now...


They sound tasty! Are they

They sound tasty! Are they anything like a Concord grape? I miss those.

Not nearly as

dark colored.

There are some "white" varieties and there are some "red" or "purple" varieties.

They taste like a typical grape jelly when made that way. Fresh...well...although I live here...I must say, I've never had a fresh one.

I used to LOVE eating

I used to LOVE eating Concord grapes in the fall when I lived in Michigan, although they were not always easy to find. My parents, though, would not eat them, and always called them "smarki" (Polish for "snots"), which if you have ever felt the flesh inside the skins, would be pretty understandable.

Fresh ones..

.. range from sweet to not-so-sweet, earthy to savory to grape like. There's really a wide variety. Many of them get the size of a ping-pong ball. The skin is a bit thicker and sour but contains most of the reservatrol.

I eat them almost exclusively fresh...

Varmint tips

I'm also interested in ways to keep squirrels away...I have tons of squirrels around the neighborhood, and the rabbits love my backyard...probably because I never treat the yard with any chemicals, and I don't have pets (yet). I'm going to build some kind of chicken wire frame to fit over my raised beds, so I can lift it straight off to work on the beds, and then put it back over. Any other ideas tips or tricks are welcome. I don't want to put this work in and lose out to these critters.

The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!

The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!

Put the wire underneath as well

Big advantage to raised beds is to put the wire underneath as well (I don't know how long it lasts). This prevents gophers and moles from finding their way up from below.

Squirrels, well a terrier would be my preference, though they aren't tall enough to protect trees.

If you have enough food growing, I've found that actually the squirrels will keep each other away. Usually your yard belongs to a pair of them, and they'll guard it from the others for you. (Major battles rage with much chatter and tail-twitching.)

You just have to make sure they have plenty to eat (maybe feed them) so they don't eat all the stuff you want for yourself. They also know when fruit is ripe, and that's when you have to beat them to it if you don't have enough to share.


What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

That'a a good tip!

Mine are sitting on top of a concrete slab that used to house a tin garden shed. Others I did had the recycled platic 1x6s underneath as a base to do the same thing, but the chicken wire underneath makes a lot more sense for drainage and root expansion. Thanks!

Not expensive


Try looking into the Square Foot Gardening movement. I just built three 4' x 4' boxes today, out of untreated pine. All you need is untreated lumber to build the sides, and landscape paper to put underneath. No soil needed. I still have to get my lath strips to make the grids, and the electrical conduit, elbows, and nylon netting to make a trellis for each box...I bought the rebar already to pound into the ground to fit the conduit over for stability. To fill all three of my four by four boxes, all you need is 8 cubic feet of vermiculite, 8 cubic feet of peat moss (a 3.9 cubic foot bale expands to make that), and 8 cubic feet of as many different kinds of compost mixed together as possible. You mix all of that together on a tarp, and fill your raised beds. Bingo. Done for your "soil". No tilling necessary. I made my own compost barrels out of old 32 gallon trash cans...just got the drill out and made a bunch of aeration holes for them. I keep all of the yard scraps and non meat and dairy food scraps and dump them in weekly. I also managed to get my hands on a number of food grade 55 gallon drums. I have some for drinking water storage in my basement, and some that I will build a rainwater collection system with for my gardens.

The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!

The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!

What is the depth of these

What is the depth of these boxes?

Just looking at your list of materials I hear cash registers "cha-chinging" in the background...


You only need...

...six inch deep beds. If you want to grow root vegetables, then you will want to have deeper beds. If not, there is no reason to have anything deeper than six inches. I bought six 2 x 8 x 8 lengths of pine. And if you can reclaim some untreated lumber, go for it. Untreated lumber is half the cost of treated pine. Let me grab my receipt here...I paid a grand total of $32.16 at Lowes. Peat moss will be about $13, compost will be about $30, and the vermiculite COULD be $60 to $80. I'm still pricing it. Also, once you have paid the price for the initial growing mix, you only need to add compost to it every year. You won't need to empty your beds to refill or anything. You can easily make compost yourself. I still have a few more things to buy and assemble (the electrical conduit..I need six 5' lengths of 1/2" diameter, three 4' lengths of 1/2" diameter, and six elbow connectors, then three nylon nets), so I don't know. :) Could end up costing some up front...maybe about $250 when all is said and done.

What I do know is that I don't need to buy a tiller, or fuel for it. I don't need a sprinkler system, I can just use a ladle to put a cup of water at the base of each plant once or twice a day. I don't need fertilizer, and I won't need to spend time weeding. I also invested $40 in heirloom seeds (hehehe, the price IS rising now, isn't it?), and a book to learn how to harvest and keep my own seeds to use again next season.

The whole point of raised bed gardening, especially the square foot method, is efficiency in a smaller space. You maximize your space without wasting all of the energy and resources that you would with traditional single row farming. You don't have to till the land, you don't waste water watering large areas of land (thereby watering weeds), you don't have many weeds (if any at all), and you can pull out and replant once you've harvested that particular square's vegetable. They've even grown melons, squash, and cucumbers vertically on the trellis. I'm trying butternut squash and amish melons vertically this year.

The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!

The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!


.. tomato roots are 3' x 3' x 2' (18 cubic ft.!) And that's just for one plant.



I'm going to prune all the side growth/creepers off of mine and grow one vine per square foot up the trellis end. :)

The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!

The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!

Tomato roots...

... are 3ft x 3ft x 2ft (18 cubic ft) and most all tomato plants except the small cherry tomato ones do not like having their roots restricted...

where do you drill the holes

where do you drill the holes for the composting system made from the garbage cans?

Did you have to dig a little to put the pine sides down?

What is landscaping paper?

We use a ComposTwin

And it generally works fine, so long as the crank pins hold up...

CompoTumbler works well also.

Both of those drain off a dark liquid called compost tea which by itself is a potent fertilizer (at least my apple tree thinks so!). Both types use a crank to turn everything over (think of a clothes dryer with a manual crank and you get the idea) and they tend to break stuff down faster.

bin-style composters can work but take longer. They are great for worm composting, though!

I don't use the tumblers,

I don't use the tumblers, just a simple pile system, but you're right about the bins for worms. If someone is getting a bin for a worm composter, I recommend getting one with a spigot at the bottom. With the spigot you can drain out the fluid that builds up (like the compost tea) and use it as fertilizer, though it should be diluted a little for garden plants since its strong.

"Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered." -- Cicero

I drilled...

...lines of 3/8" holes up and down the sides, probably not closer than two or three inches apart. Just eyeball it and drill about 3/4 of the way up your can. I put about 6 or 8 holes in the bottom, and four holes in the lids. I was turning them every so often, but I've decided to let the one full can cook. I'm adding batches to the other can now. Basically you want to add about 60 / 40 ratio of dry "brown" material (shredded newspapers, non-glossy paper, dried leaves, dried yard waste, non-treated wood chips, sawdust, cardboard, etc) to wet "green" materials (coffee grounds, tea bags, fruit and veggie peelings, any non-meat, non-dairy kitchen scraps). I had two spare trash cans and I felt that doing it myself was better than paying upwards of $80 for something online that is a lot like a trash can with holes drilled in it. You could always build a pile as well, I might do this too if I end up with too much stuff for my cans. Get four 3 or 4 foot tall metal fenceposts, mark off a 3' by 3' area, pound your posts in, wrap the enclosure with chicken wire, and just chuck your compost in there. This is just a bare outline....for more good info, check out this site:


There are good links on the left column for composting, farming, etc.

You want to choose an area that won't stay soggy after rains, and as level an area as possible. You don't have to sink the edges of the raised bed in. A good level area that is well drained will work, just put a layer or two of landscaping fabric down underneath it before you fill your beds in.

Landscaping fabric or paper...same as weed barrier. Just a roll of stuff you unroll and cut and place underneath your raised beds to keep the weeds from growing up into your veggies. Here is an example of what it is:


The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!

The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!