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brymble
February 26th, 2009, 11:53 PM
This year I've decided to grow our beans, peas, salad greens, tomatoes, and peppers. Our family's vegetarian, so the bean crops especially will be important. I imagine this will be a learning experience, and I'll get better at it over time. I've had educational gardens for the kids before, but this will be the first year I will seriously gardening as part of our food budget.

We have a fair amount of space we can dig and plant in, and setting up a fence to keep out deer and Thumpy and Lumpy (my landlords actually named the gophers!) How much space is necessary for a family of three or four, to provide maybe four varieties of beans, maybe some corn, and peas?

As for the fence itself, I'll probably be building it out of ice-storm downed trees for posts and salvaged or scavenged chicken wire or something similar. Considering I'll be "shopping" on Craigslist and Freecycle, what materials (other than chicken wire) might make a good fence? How high does it need to be to keep out deer? How deep down does it have to go to keep out the gophers?

I have a packet of early dwarf bush peas. I've been told to plant peas before St. Patrick's day. When should I plant them? Should I sow again in a couple of weeks, for continuous yield?

I live in the Northeast, the Hudson Valley to be precise. The soil in our yard is amazingly rich. The springs are rainy here, but short, and the beginning and end of the growing season is cold. I'm planning on growing limas, and soy. Tips for planting and growing those are welcome! I'd like to grow a couple other types of bean, for variety. Considering the climate and soil, what kinds should I consider growing?

The tomatoes and peppers will be grown in containers I can bring in at night to protect them from being eaten. I'm planning on starting the lettuce in a home-made "greenhouse" made from heavy-duty clear plastic (the kind Paul covers our windows with.) I'm hoping to experiment with a homemade box-style solar drier for sundried tomatoes and hot peppers, that I can convert into a cold frame of sorts for the winter for year-round lettuces.

HetHert
February 27th, 2009, 10:59 AM
You just need to remember your spacing rules when you lay out your box. Also if you want things like cucumbers/vining plants you can grow those vertically to optimize your garden space.

I recommend Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew as a great reference for how to layout a garden for optimum return vs space. I recommend checking out his book from the library if you can and here's his website
http://www.squarefootgardening.com/

Also I ran across this reference for layouts from Colorado State...might be right up your ally...
http://cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/713.pdf

With these suggestions I'm assuming your going for raised beds, however if not you can still use the layout suggestions to your benefit.

MammaStar
February 27th, 2009, 12:15 PM
Hey Brymble, we're sorta neighbors. I live down by Bear Mountain. Anyhoo...I definitely suggest checking out the Farmer's Almanac site for some help. http://www.almanac.com/
I do know that our area is Zone 6 so you can looking up planting information for our area and go from there.
I'm going to start a garden this year as well, except that I'm doing a container. I just don't feel like battling with the deer all season long, so I'm putting the containers up on our deck.

banondraig
February 28th, 2009, 12:30 AM
I second the recommendation of Square Foot Gardening.

To keep out deer, the fence should be about 10 feet high. Deer are amazing jumpers.

Rudas Starblaze
February 28th, 2009, 06:20 AM
I second the recommendation of Square Foot Gardening.

To keep out deer, the fence should be about 10 feet high. Deer are amazing jumpers.

or just shoot em and eat them too since they taste good and add to well balanced low fat diet as mother nature intended. :thumbsup:

Deerwoman
February 28th, 2009, 01:45 PM
I live in the Northeast, the Hudson Valley to be precise. The soil in our yard is amazingly rich. The springs are rainy here, but short, and the beginning and end of the growing season is cold. I'm planning on growing limas, and soy. Tips for planting and growing those are welcome! I'd like to grow a couple other types of bean, for variety. Considering the climate and soil, what kinds should I consider growing?
I would suggest navy beans (pea bean, haricot, common bean) as they are very multipurpose and nutritional. This is the type of bean made into baked beans - which is easily canned into jars and are tasty for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can play with recipes and make bbq baked beans, maple baked beans... I use them in burritos, chili, or as a vegetable side in a meal. Kidney beans would also be a good choice - they need lots of compost and nutrients.


The tomatoes and peppers will be grown in containers I can bring in at night to protect them from being eaten. I'm planning on starting the lettuce in a home-made "greenhouse" made from heavy-duty clear plastic (the kind Paul covers our windows with.) I'm hoping to experiment with a homemade box-style solar drier for sundried tomatoes and hot peppers, that I can convert into a cold frame of sorts for the winter for year-round lettuces
Good choice, tomatoes and peppers are also very good container plants. You could also plant them in hanging containers if you have a sunny side of your house to hang them from. Then you don't need to bring them inside at night. Tomatoes can be planted upside down in hanging pots - or even just plastic bags filled with dirt.

I would also heartily recommend potatoes - they're easy to grow in a sunny spot that doesn't get too waterlogged, and they can also be grown in large pots and then dumped out in the fall for harvesting. When stored in sacks in a cool dry place they can last all winter. There are so many varieties now too - a nice Yukon Gold or even the old heirloom purple potatoes would be fun. I admit sometimes I get organic potatoes and sweet potatoes from the supermarket and just cut them up and plant them - as long as they have eyes they'll grow.

Everyone had good suggestions on the fence - must be 10 feet. I used to have a garden that had a seven foot fence, and my young bulls would jump right over it and munch on the corn. If a slightly chubby cow can do it, then it would be nothing to a deer. Other pest deterants include decoys of predator birds to keep away rodents and little birds - a hawk or owl would do. Also, I've seen people hang old CDs from string on trees and climbing plants - when they shine in the sun it scares away birds and other creatures. You can also get a man to pee around the boundary of the garden - it will keep away larger animals - it works, but only if a man does it, but once it rains the man would have to do it all over again... most men are up for peeing on things however.

Have fun!

materra
March 3rd, 2009, 04:33 PM
Um, in towns that have deer you can have the guy pee in a cup and pour it on posts set up about the garden. You don't need to use alot. No sense in getting arrested in your own back yard if you can help it. :hahugh:

Compost. Compost for the green and growing, sand for potatoes. Potatoes like it well drained. Which is why they do good in containers as you can control the amount of water they get.

The compost helps your greener type vegies. Both for weed control and for moisture help. It loosens up the dirt so those little roots grow deep and healthy. Raised gardens are often easier to work, and the square foot gardens are excellent.

I mostly gardened in Wisconsin and Minnesota. (Big family garden in Wisconsin. Smaller one in Minnesota.) One year the green and wax beans got out of hand and I ran out of room for freezing them. So we made leather britches. An old technique where you split the green bean in half and then thread them together in small groups and dry them. They kinda look like leather britches. Don't cut them in half if you like the cute factor, but they dry just as well split completely. Once completely dry, store in jars or bags depending on your choice.

Don't store apples and potatoes together. They make each other rot and sprout.

Oh, and you can never have too many tomatoes, canned and dried they rock.

Good luck to all the gardeners. *Wistfully stares at cactus, rocks and sand.*

SphinYote
March 3rd, 2009, 04:50 PM
Um, in towns that have deer you can have the guy pee in a cup and pour it on posts set up about the garden. You don't need to use alot. No sense in getting arrested in your own back yard if you can help it. :hahugh:


Also, used kitty litter around the perimeter (or dog poop). If it smells like predator poo, the deer tend to avoid it.

brymble
March 3rd, 2009, 09:55 PM
Thanks for the great ideas. The cat litter and having a guy pee around the fence will probably work the best. I have to be careful what I use to keep the deer away, as my neighbor's horse's paddock is right next to my garden space, and I don't want to scare him.

banondraig
March 4th, 2009, 12:29 PM
Be careful with used kitty littler as it can poison the soil. Don't put it in the exact same place several times in a row, change it up a little bit. It's also best to make sure it won't run off into your garden in the rain. Excess nitrogen is nobody's friend.

Glowy
March 4th, 2009, 12:34 PM
Cat hair and dog hair work well too and won't poison the soil. It should work with smaller pests. I am not sure about the deer.

I have heard that some empty cans on a trip wire will rattle and scare the deer. I am sure you could just hang them and some chimes or bells on the fence.

materra
March 4th, 2009, 03:32 PM
Yes, never use dog poo or use cat litter inside the garden. Ecoli risk. As for the pee "about" the garden, I meant around the garden. Sorry brain flu.

Okay, another good way to deter deer is human hair from hair cuts. In fact some northern gardeners ask for hair from the local salons. I do know you need to renew the "scent' after a hard rain, I always tried to remove any clumps and a few neighbors put it in old nylons etc. But I know that birds use hair from animals in their nests so I didn't get to obsessed about finding every blown about bits.

Anyway, that's all I know about repelling deer. My other recommendation is don't plant lunch for them in the form of hostas near a garden. Deer love the Hostas for lunch, dinner, breakfast, light snacks and birthday parties. Only place I could keep them was right by the house near the security light that snaps on with movements.

Good luck and happy planting.

brymble
March 5th, 2009, 09:58 PM
The cans would be a good idea, and I'd considered hanging pie tins, but I don't want to scare Chester, my neighbor's horse.

I have butt-length dreadlocks. No haircuts here, but maybe I could get some from the barbershop.

It seems like all the neighbors have lower fences. I wonder what they're doing that's working?

Deerwoman
March 6th, 2009, 02:21 PM
Good luck to all the gardeners. *Wistfully stares at cactus, rocks and sand.
You can garden too! Try out permaculture, it works wonders in deserts.

Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture (http://www.amazon.com/Gaias-Garden-Guide-Home-Scale-Permaculture/dp/1890132527/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236363603&sr=8-1) by Toby Hemenway

materra
March 6th, 2009, 02:49 PM
Thank you Deerwoman. I will check into it. :thumbsup:

Ravens_Tears
March 17th, 2010, 03:40 AM
Sprinkling bone meal outside the perimeter of your garden will keep away deer. It smells like "death" and it won't harm you or your plants. In my experience, cat urine and feces kill anything green they come in contact with, it's not something I would have near my garden.

WitchJezebel
March 17th, 2010, 09:29 AM
Sprinkling bone meal outside the perimeter of your garden will keep away deer. It smells like "death" and it won't harm you or your plants. In my experience, cat urine and feces kill anything green they come in contact with, it's not something I would have near my garden.

Does the bone meal work for squirrels as well? I use bone meal mixed into my soil/compost and I have to say I don't have nearly as much squirrel trouble as some of my friends. They don't steal as much produce from me as they do in my best friend's garden.

Ravens_Tears
March 17th, 2010, 01:46 PM
It most likely is part of why the squirrels leave your garden alone. Most animals don't like the smell of bone meal. :)

WitchJezebel
March 17th, 2010, 01:54 PM
Well then I'm sold and I'll keep using it. Thanx