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Gardening 2022: Lettuce Begin


Mrs Whiggins
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It's raining today so I'll post pictures another time but how is everyone getting on in the run up to spring?

Our cool season crops are still ongoing. I grew broccoli, cauliflower, swiss chard, mustard, spinach, lettuce, parsley and I'm probably leaving out something. We've been eating the lettuce for weeks now, as well as the other greens, and have harvested one broccoli but the cauliflower has been slow. The lettuce is leaf lettuce and a couple of romaine.

The seeds I've got going indoors are more lettuce (leaf, romaine, and bibb), more swiss chard, spinach (two varieties) along with tomatoes (several bush and a couple of slicers) and several varieties of petunia and scabiosa for the front beds.

Meant to plant carrots this week, but got too busy with other work.

 

 

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My grandfather was a founding member of the Ft Worth Garden Club. His backyard looked like fucking southern living.

I have none of his green thumb genes and most plant groups consider me a mass murderer. Anyway Ive done this the past couple of years. I’m a simple man: a few tomatoes, some peppers, some herbs.

The kiddie swimming pool garden. You can google it. Get a cheap hard plastic kids pool. You can drill a few holes about six inches from the bottom if you live where you might get heavy rain. Buy some poly grocery bags at Walmart for 95cents each. Some potting mix. Plant food. Mulch. Buy your plants. Fill a bag with the soil. Add good. Put in your plants. Surround with mulch. Put them in the pool. Throw in a couple mosquito dunks. Put about four inches water in the pool. Water wicks up thru the bag. Roots dive deep. Plants grow like crazy. This year I’ll do two, one for tomatoes with cages. One for hot and sweet peppers and herbs. Basil, oregano, thyme mint, lavender, cilantro, parsley. Some others if I see it. Add water as required. No other maintenance required.

It’s the simplest cheapest most successful planting I’ve ever done.
ffd9f6d18565a0861fea7c20b44fb135.jpg

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I filled a 5 gallon bucket with worm castings from my worm bin and I could fill two more.  Probably will.  It's the softest richest compost I've ever seen.  Can't wait to use it this year.

2nd-year garden and will plant in a few weeks after our trip.  Can't wait.

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12 hours ago, Texzilla58 said:

My grandfather was a founding member of the Ft Worth Garden Club. His backyard looked like fucking southern living.

I have none of his green thumb genes and most plant groups consider me a mass murderer. Anyway Ive done this the past couple of years. I’m a simple man: a few tomatoes, some peppers, some herbs.

The kiddie swimming pool garden. You can google it. Get a cheap hard plastic kids pool. You can drill a few holes about six inches from the bottom if you live where you might get heavy rain. Buy some poly grocery bags at Walmart for 95cents each. Some potting mix. Plant food. Mulch. Buy your plants. Fill a bag with the soil. Add good. Put in your plants. Surround with mulch. Put them in the pool. Throw in a couple mosquito dunks. Put about four inches water in the pool. Water wicks up thru the bag. Roots dive deep. Plants grow like crazy. This year I’ll do two, one for tomatoes with cages. One for hot and sweet peppers and herbs. Basil, oregano, thyme mint, lavender, cilantro, parsley. Some others if I see it. Add water as required. No other maintenance required.

It’s the simplest cheapest most successful planting I’ve ever done.
 

That is pretty neat. I hate it when fire ants get into the beds, even when I am diligent they find a way so having that moat around the crops is fantastic.

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That is pretty neat. I hate it when fire ants get into the beds, even when I am diligent they find a way so having that moat around the crops is fantastic.

I had moved from heavy labor unsuccessful beds to containers years ago but you’re either fighting rot in plastic or cooked to death in clay. These bags are perfect wicks and maintain excellent level of moisture. The pool can be anything; online you see a wide variety of decorative water tight containers for the bags.

I do nothing but water once a week, occasionally trim or clear, and harvest. Some folks put a bed of gravel once the bags are placed to not have standing water but I don’t want it weighing 200 pounds, so I just keep a mosquito dunk in there.
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These poly bags--you mean the reusable ones designed for groceries, correct?

We have a mix of border beds which are mainly traditional landscaping with crops tucked in here and there, but for plants like tomatoes and zucchini that tend to get crazy, we have two small box beds in the back with some large pots nearby for the odds and ends.

My biggest issue would be making sure the pool was level as our yard slopes toward the back fence and property drainage.

But I may decide to give it a try, especially if I end up with as many tomato plants as I think I will. I had a very good germination rate this year. A group of us swap plants around, which works out well, but there are always a few left over.

 

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On 2/12/2022 at 9:20 PM, Texzilla58 said:


ffd9f6d18565a0861fea7c20b44fb135.jpg

That's a pretty kick ass setup and looks fool proof. I'm into aquariums and ponds and would be tempted to put guppies or japanese rice fish in there. Thanks for sharing; I'll have to try this sometime.

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Not to be that guy and I am certainly no expert but there is a good chance of that setup introducing high levels of BPA into your food.   The pool is probably PVC also which isn't ideal.  Those grocery bags have been shown to have high levels of lead too.

 

\debbiedowner

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3 hours ago, Ten Bears said:

Not to be that guy and I am certainly no expert but there is a good chance of that setup introducing high levels of BPA into your food.   The pool is probably PVC also which isn't ideal.  Those grocery bags have been shown to have high levels of lead too.

 

\debbiedowner

I think the hard plastic kid pools like that are usually made of of low density polyethylene which do not contain BPA, similar to to what's used for water/soda bottles. There are other chemicals used to manufacture it but it seems like its considered generally safe. Inflatable pools are made of PVC which is what you would want to avoid because of the high BPA levels. It could also be made of high density polyethylene which is considered safer than low density. The plastic type could be different from one pool to the next though.

You could use grow bags in the place of the poly bags with similar results and still not be very expensive.

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On 2/14/2022 at 2:03 PM, angelfacedmongoloid said:

I think the hard plastic kid pools like that are usually made of of low density polyethylene which do not contain BPA, similar to to what's used for water/soda bottles. There are other chemicals used to manufacture it but it seems like its considered generally safe. Inflatable pools are made of PVC which is what you would want to avoid because of the high BPA levels. It could also be made of high density polyethylene which is considered safer than low density. The plastic type could be different from one pool to the next though.

You could use grow bags in the place of the poly bags with similar results and still not be very expensive.

 

Looks like you are right.  The pools seem to mostly be LDPE or HDPE and should be safe for this setup.  I definitely want to try it this summer as my last 3 tomato crops have not been worth the trouble.  I will definitely be using grow bags though as I have read some pretty concerning things about all kinds of nasty shit in the reusable grocery bags - mainly lead.  

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These poly bags--you mean the reusable ones designed for groceries, correct?
We have a mix of border beds which are mainly traditional landscaping with crops tucked in here and there, but for plants like tomatoes and zucchini that tend to get crazy, we have two small box beds in the back with some large pots nearby for the odds and ends.
My biggest issue would be making sure the pool was level as our yard slopes toward the back fence and property drainage.
But I may decide to give it a try, especially if I end up with as many tomato plants as I think I will. I had a very good germination rate this year. A group of us swap plants around, which works out well, but there are always a few left over.
 

They are the grocery bags hanging by the checkout for 95 cents. I saw the grow bags after I already built this, and had no idea about any concerns of lead or anything else so I’ll look into that. I use it mainly for herbs more than anything; I need to find different varieties of maters as I didn’t care for the ones I grew.

Anything that will hold water will work. I like it because it’s simple and I spent more time shopping for plants that putting it all together. Once I had my mise en place my wife and I had it done in about 90 minutes.

Another suggestion with tomatoes use a planting mix optimized for them along with food. I ran out of tomato mix and the two in it thrived and the two in regular Miracle Grow grew fast but barely put out fruit.
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/14/2022 at 9:47 PM, NorthLoop said:

Finally bought a house with a good backyard that I can build a garden in. Been slowly buying supplies and should start in a couple weeks or so. It will either be fucking awesome or a spectacular failure. 

So far so good. Need to level it out a little before I get the bedding and dirt in there. Figured I'd wait until after today's rain and storms to do that. I was worried I might not have enough depth (it's just 1 ft high), but my BIL has a similar box with the same depth and his flourishes every year. Also gonna put about 1 ft of netting around the top to keep rabbits out and any stray cats who think they have a new litter box. 

 

 

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Bought a 12x24 greenhouse this last week to put by my shop. Once I get my well on electricity, should be good to go. It will not be here till mid-June, but I should be able to grow year round. 

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1 hour ago, baboso said:

If you're growing veggies in there, you may want to line the inside with plastic.  I have heard theories that the CCA can leach into the soil and your veggies.

From what I've read, CCA hasn't been used in pressure treated wood since 2003. 

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NorthLoop, if you get good soil in there and add compost occasionally, you'll be amazed at how much you can grow in that one bed.  I had one like that at my last house, and I always had stuff thriving in it.

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10 hours ago, CHIEF said:

Bought a 12x24 greenhouse this last week to put by my shop. Once I get my well on electricity, should be good to go. It will not be here till mid-June, but I should be able to grow year round. 

Can you send a link and pics when it arrives?  Are you assembling yourself or having it put together by someone else?

I'm scoping them out now for my new property.  That's almost the exact same size I'm considering.  Running power and water out to the chicken coop that will be adjacent to the garden and greenhouse in a few weeks.  Trying to plan ahead for adding those later this year.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Spaulding Smails said:

Can you send a link and pics when it arrives?  Are you assembling yourself or having it put together by someone else?

I'm scoping them out now for my new property.  That's almost the exact same size I'm considering.  Running power and water out to the chicken coop that will be adjacent to the garden and greenhouse in a few weeks.  Trying to plan ahead for adding those later this year.

Sure. I bought it from www.AmericanGreenhouseCompany.com. I am assembling it myself, with CHIEF Jr.'s help. It was only $8677.00 with no assembly. It can be assembled in about a day, but assembly runs about $3k. It has a lifetime frame warranty, and a 15 year panel warranty. The sheets are supposed to flex enough to be 250x as resilient as glass. The day I bought it, the owner/installer was assembling one in my neighborhood. They are about 8-10 weeks out, but only if you pay for all of it up front. They do have financing available as well. Not sure where you live, but if you are close to me, I get a 10% referral fee, which I would be glad to split. I'm in the DFW area. If you go wider than 12', the price goes up considerably, since everything has to be double braced. It's much better to go longer than wider.

CHIEF

 

 

Edited by CHIEF
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On 3/21/2022 at 3:03 PM, BabaYaga said:

Not much of a green thumb, but I love peppers of every kind.  Do rabbits bother/eat them like they do other veggies?

In my experience they love sweeter peppers like bell and and banana peppers. Jalapeños, et al not so much 

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On 2/14/2022 at 10:23 AM, Ten Bears said:

Not to be that guy and I am certainly no expert but there is a good chance of that setup introducing high levels of BPA into your food.   The pool is probably PVC also which isn't ideal.  Those grocery bags have been shown to have high levels of lead too.

 

\debbiedowner

there is iron in your words of death for all men to see

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On 3/21/2022 at 12:47 PM, baboso said:

If you're growing veggies in there, you may want to line the inside with plastic.  I have heard theories that the CCA can leach into the soil and your veggies.

 

On 3/21/2022 at 2:29 PM, Post Oak said:

Yep.  You're good to go.

Ok now you fools got me paranoid. This is the tag from the wood. Did I buy poison wood? :D 

 

 

wood1.jpg

wood2.jpg

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At my old house, I had dug up some PVC sprinkler lines to add my raised bed.  So I cut the pipes, drilled small holes into them every 6" - 12", alternating sides, and connected them with 10 cent fittings from Lowes.  At my new house, I built a similar system.  The hard part was getting the connection from the hose to the PVC.  They make adapters, you just have to find the right ones.  This was a lot cheaper than the kits you can get.  The kits aren't expensive, but I'm cheap. 

I ran the pipes the length of the bed, and spaced them about 10" apart.  The good thing with PVC is that it cuts easily, and you can adjust the lengths and spacings for whatever plants you have.  I drilled 1/16" holes, 'cause that was the smallest drill bit I had.  They work fine, but occasionally plug up; I just rinse out the lines every now and then. 

I have a timer for each bed, and I run it for about 15 minutes each bed, every day, or every other day depending on weather and plants. 

 

 

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Yeah, don't do what I did, I jammed a shitload into one box, lol.  It's gonna be crowded in another month or so.  My other beds were already spoken for.

I got a 6-pack of sweet 100 tomatoes, 2 husky cherry tomatoes, 2 TAM mild jalapenos, 2 sweet peppers, 2 tomatillos.  My onion bed was full, so a few extra onions got planted here.  There is some volunteer parsley leftover from last year.  And for good measure I sprinkled some basil seeds in the gaps, because basil is a good companion plant to tomatoes.  🤪

There's also a weird-looking weed that I'm letting grow just to see what it turns into.  I might name it Audrey.

 

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1 hour ago, miguelito said:

At my old house, I had dug up some PVC sprinkler lines to add my raised bed.  So I cut the pipes, drilled small holes into them every 6" - 12", alternating sides, and connected them with 10 cent fittings from Lowes.  At my new house, I built a similar system.  The hard part was getting the connection from the hose to the PVC.  They make adapters, you just have to find the right ones.  This was a lot cheaper than the kits you can get.  The kits aren't expensive, but I'm cheap. 

I ran the pipes the length of the bed, and spaced them about 10" apart.  The good thing with PVC is that it cuts easily, and you can adjust the lengths and spacings for whatever plants you have.  I drilled 1/16" holes, 'cause that was the smallest drill bit I had.  They work fine, but occasionally plug up; I just rinse out the lines every now and then. 

I have a timer for each bed, and I run it for about 15 minutes each bed, every day, or every other day depending on weather and plants. 

 

 

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Hey, that's awesome.  Can you post a couple of close-ups of the connectors and how you did it?  It looks straightforward but anything helps a dummy like me.

 

So far we've planted 2 green zebra tomatoes (my favorite), 1 juliet, 1 matt's wild cherry tomato, 1 don't remember (lost the label) and some bells.  Replanted a chiltepin since my other ones froze and need to add some serrano and other peppers.  Can't wait for a good harvest this year.

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I couldn't find a close-up, but you can kind of see the sequence here.  I had to bring a section of pipe with me to the store to make sure everything fit.  I also learned the difference between PVC and CPVC.  I bought a few 'wrong' fittings at first.

Basically I needed a hose adapter first.  This had an end for the hose to screw into, and the other end was threaded for PVC.  So then I needed an adapter for threaded PVC to non-threaded PVC.  Then of course that size PVC was different than the size I was using, so I needed a 3/4" to 1/2" coupler (I think those were the sizes).  Then a bunch of tees, elbows, and endcaps.  Nothing is threaded after the hose connector.  I don't glue any of the connections; if you just twist them tight, they won't leak.  But so what if they do?  I like being able to disconnect them and move them around. 

Just go see what they have at the hardware store, and think like MacGyver. 

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This little guy was watching over my strawberry bed a few weeks ago.  He's sitting on a 2x, so he's maybe 3/4" long.  I have them all around, and I try not to think about stepping on them.  The weird part is, apart from the garden, the landscape is pretty dry: cedars, oaks, and grasses. 

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3 hours ago, NorthLoop said:

I may rig something like that up as soon as I get tired of watering with the hose. So like a week from now. 

What all plants did you have there? I see about 6 tomatoes, 3 or 4 peppers, some onions. 

Rain Bird makes a DIY friendly system available at Home Depot.  Super easy to use and install.  I had an in-line battery powered timer valve on mine, so it was pretty fool proof.  I had a mix of sprayers and drip.  I had a big garden (~1200 SF) at my last house, so I had three "zones" that I would control manually with shut-off valves.  Because I was coming off a 3/4" water line, I didn't have enough pressure for all three simultaneously, but if you went pure drip, I think you'd get a ton more capacity.

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I've tried regular soaker hoses, too, the ones that kind of sweat along the whole length.  Just hook the main hose to a soaker hose, and wind it all through the bed.  This gives good flexibilty, but mine kept getting holes in them, either from thirsty squirrels or just deterioration.  I probably should have buried them rather than just set it on the surface.

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Man every day this week I've wanted to go to Lowes to get the last bags of soil and other shit to finish this garden... every day something has come up. Wife is like "Why can't you go Saturday?" I'm like ... "do you have any idea what the garden section of Lowes is gonna look like this Saturday?"... 

Cue today... I'm ready.. don't care what the lines are like... One thing before getting to work. I have a pickup soccer game in the morning.... *POP*... my calf muscle tears.

 

I'm done for the weekend right? .... NO FUCK THAT. Ice it. Heat pad. Ice. Ibuprofen.... fuck this I'm going to finish my goddamn garden today..... I get halfway into Lowes and can barely walk. I have to use the cart as a crutch to get back to my car. 

 

Listen up God. I've been wanting to build my own garden in my own backyard for a long fucking time. I will hire children laborers to do it if I'm on crutches. 

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That sucks, man.  You can do it!

 

My wife got me one of these little rolling stools for the garden.  It's nice when I'm doing stuff along the edges of the beds, but honestly I don't use it that much, especially when I need to reach further into the bed.  But there are times when I'm glad to have it.

 

Amazon.com: Pure Garden 82-VY021 Cart Rolling Stool with Wheels Seat, and  Tool Tray for Weeding, Planting, or Lawn Care – Gardening Accessories and  Supplies, 17.5x19, Green/Black : Everything Else

https://www.amazon.com/Pure-Garden-Rolling-Scooter-Gardening/dp/B00NR1X42K?th=1

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Leg is doing good enough to work on this mofo now. Ridiculous how much dirt is needed to fill it up. 


I've got a What Would You Do question. I have this nice green netting to keep out the critters, mainly rabbits and the 1 or 2 stray cats who like to shit in my side yard. I'm debating on leaving it laid down in the bed like this, and just cut holes in it for the plants. I know that will keep the cats out, but not so sure about the rabbits. The other option is to make a 1 foot "fence" around the top of the box. I think the latter option is uglier, but I'm not sure if the first option will keep the rabbits out. Thoughts? 

 

 

netting.jpg

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I would go with the fence idea.  Leaving the netting on the ground might be more of a hassle for you and for the plants, while not completely deterring the critters.  You could also use the netting as a tent over the plants, but the tomatoes will make it pretty tall. 

My mother in law buries rose bush stems - with thorns - to keep the cats from digging in her plants.  No mercy.

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Alright good to go. The fencing needs a little re-adjusting but that's not urgent. I'll probably build a perch for my owl friend to put smack dab in the middle of the cherry tomatoes. He did a good job last time of keeping the mockingbirds away. 

I've got 4 cherry tomatoes (3 are from seed that I grew from my windowsill - 2 of those 3 might not make it), 1 regular tomato, 2 japs, 1 "jumbo" jap, 2 green bells, 1 red "sweet/spicy" bell (whatever that means), 1 strawberry, 1 cucumber, 1 cilantro. 

I plan on getting some onions in there where I have room, just haven't found any starters to plant. Might just have to spread some seed. 

 

 

garden6.jpg

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YARN | Wow, that's a lot of potatoes. | Seinfeld (1989) - S09E07 The Slicer  | Video clips by quotes | 42415e43 | 紗

 

I put my potatoes in the ground just before a decent freeze a while back.  I know I lost some of them, but last week about 10 sprouts popped up, so I guess some of them survived. 

 

Northloop, that turned out pretty good.  As the plants get taller, you won't even notice the fencing. 

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On 3/25/2022 at 11:12 AM, miguelito said:

This little guy was watching over my strawberry bed a few weeks ago.  He's sitting on a 2x, so he's maybe 3/4" long.  I have them all around, and I try not to think about stepping on them.  The weird part is, apart from the garden, the landscape is pretty dry: cedars, oaks, and grasses. 

20220305_154637_resized.jpg

Watch out for the Copper sneks.  They love them some frogs

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