Advice from any garden-savy people here

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Forum' started by wontonflip, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Ok, so there's this patch of spot under our bay window at the side of our house that's just dirt/clay. Nothing grows on there. We've decided to let our green-thumbed daughter have it as her "bit 'o earth" (to quote Secret Garden hehehe).

    Tell me if this is the right idea:

    1. Dig up maybe 1 or 2' down (or is that overkill?) -- the soil is clay I think, so it's gotta go.
    2. Buy some good soil and fill it (any particular brand/type of soil I should get?)
    3. Build the border (probably keeping it simple -- maybe just some concrete edgers
    4. Start planting (at this stage, the weather is still fluctuating from warm to cold...should she wait? Should she plant seeds or already-grown-plants?
    5. We aren't doing a weed barrier. We had one where our shrubs are, and it stunted the their growth.

    We haven't decided yet if we'll just give her a small semicircle, or let it run along the side of the house.

    In general, are eggshells great for any plants, or just some plants like tomatoes? We go through a lot of eggs. Would love to maybe use it as fertilizer. eventually, we will have our own composter in the backyard once we fix it up. We already have the composter dome.
     
    wontonflip, Apr 5, 2012
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  2. wontonflip

    SarahSmile :)

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    Oh, I LOVE to garden girl...
    Each plant will get a big hole and great soil all around it and underneath it so I wouldn't worry about taking off the top layer. That's just me though. Lots of great planting soils, depends on what you're planting. They have great mixes for vegetables or for shrubs, I usually buy a couple bags of $2 dirt then mix in a $5 bag that has supplements and use that for 1 or 2 shrubs. I'd wait another month to plant, around here we wait til Memorial day to put anything in the ground, you're further south so maybe the beginning of may?
    By weed barrier do you fabric/mesh? I use mulch with awesome success. You can mix this stuff called "sweet peat" in with the mulch and you wouldn't believe the results.
    Eggshells, you're on your own. I know coffee grounds are great for azaleas and that's the extent of my putting garbage in the garden knowledge. :)
     
    SarahSmile, Apr 5, 2012
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  3. wontonflip

    ZyberGoby Because I'm clever VIP Member

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    what I've done with clay beds is dig 2.5-3ft do about half a foot with rubble then do an enriched soil on top of that and you should be good to go. I've had no problems with carrots, radishes, onions, peas, squash, cucumbers, herbs, tomatoes and strawberry. I've done the same with my Roses, Tulips, Lilly's and Butterfly bushes.

    so yeah I think your "bit 'o earth" will be just fine ;)
     
    ZyberGoby, Apr 5, 2012
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  4. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Thanks guys :D Coffee grounds! Great! I have that, too. Trying to be "green" instead of just tossing it hehehe. I'll check out the sweet peat.

    Good idea, too, about the rubble, zyber We're not doing veggies in the garden yet, but we will do herbs (hubby and I LOVE cilantro and basiil; we usually grow out own in a large pot on our deck).

    I kill plants ;) My daughter is great with plants. In fact, my daughter took her science project and kept running with it (she did a science project where she planted pole beans, and put 3 in a greenhouse that was split into 3 compartments -- covered with blue, red, and green cellophane each.) Her beans just kept growing after her project, so we took them out of the greenhouse and they're just growing on the bay window (above the planned flower garden).

    I'm thinking about putting one rose bush right in the middle, then she can plant her other plants on either side. Can't wait! I'll post pics :D
     
    wontonflip, Apr 5, 2012
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  5. wontonflip

    SarahSmile :)

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    That is so cute she has such a green thumb .I'm excited to see pics as it progresses. A garden is such a fun idea for kids, teaches so much...
     
    SarahSmile, Apr 5, 2012
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  6. wontonflip

    ZyberGoby Because I'm clever VIP Member

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    nice my 6th grade science project involved potato regeneration I aced it needles to say :D I went on to prove you dont need much of a hill to have it split and became a cluster. took notes and photos and got the curve set for my 7th grade agriculture class hahaha
    yeah coffee grounds are awesome any veg scraps work well even melon rinse and leaves and grass clippings composting is great stuff.:Cheers:
     
    ZyberGoby, Apr 5, 2012
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  7. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    I don't have a compost pile set up yet, but for now, I can just bury that stuff under the plants right? Same thing, isn't it?

    My daughter earned one of 2 honorable mentions in the 5th grade. ALMOST made it to the county science fair :) Still quite proud of her! I actually won first prize when I was in 5th grade...I did mine on water evaporation.
     
    wontonflip, Apr 5, 2012
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  8. wontonflip

    ZyberGoby Because I'm clever VIP Member

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    here you go compost 101
    Organic Compost
     
    ZyberGoby, Apr 5, 2012
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  9. wontonflip

    SarahSmile :)

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    I just mix the coffee grounds in the soil around the base of the azaleas. Everything else seems like a hassle.
     
    SarahSmile, Apr 5, 2012
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  10. wontonflip

    ZyberGoby Because I'm clever VIP Member

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    that works also but to use the scrap food for compost it has to brake down and yeah that takes time. but well worth the work imo :D:bounce::D
     
    ZyberGoby, Apr 5, 2012
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  11. wontonflip

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Not to thread hijack, but I may be asking you plant oriented people for advise here over the course of the next few weeks

    My wife and I bought a home with an amazing garden, but we've totally bit off more than we can chew as far as maintenance and knowing what the heck is supposed to be there and what is a weed.

    In one of the borders while I was pulling weeds last fall, I think i was a little over zealous and pulled out a lot of plants that were supposed to be there

    In any case, its .75 acres full of flower beds and bonsai's - and we'll definitely be working with a landscaper, but I'll be needing to bounce ideas off of you guys

    Sorry Gretchen - you can have your thread back now
     
    Northstar24, Apr 5, 2012
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  12. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Dangit! Damn thieves!

    :mrgreen:

    Pics or I'll have you arrested ;)
     
    wontonflip, Apr 5, 2012
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  13. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    OK SORE SORE SORE!!!

    What started out as just a flower garden for my daughter turned into a flower garden and a veggie/herb/strawberry garden in the backyard for me and the hubby :D Picked up 6 bags of soil. I'm sure I went about this the wrong way, so bear with me.

    A few years ago, we got these bricks off some on Craigslist. They were sitting along our back yard fence the entire time. We finally put them to good use in the gardens. So we saved money on that!

    I did the backyard (digging and all). After reading up some more, I realized I should've also bought some kind of organic stuff to put between the clay and the miracle gro. But I just wanted to get everything done, so I'm hoping for the best.


    Digging it up...that cable is our now-none-existent directTV hehehe. No loss there! I freaked out because at one point, I found a severed black wire...I thought I clipped it! I found another loose piece....and another...and another...ok, turns out maybe it was just an old extension cord that got buried hehehehe

    [​IMG]

    FINALLY found some use for the kids' oversized truck!!!! (We don't have a wheelbarrow HAHA):

    [​IMG]


    I laid brick on the back of the garden:

    [​IMG]

    Testing out the measurements against the white border I got:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    A truckload of rocks!! Our backyard consists of 30% weeds, 30% clay, 30% rocks, and 10% more rocks:

    [​IMG]

    I put them to good use -- I piled them on top of the bricks against the fence

    [​IMG]


    I haven't pegged the fence in when I took this picture. I was trying to figure out where to plant what. Basil and lemon thym on the left, then cilantro, then banana peppers, then strawberries.
    [​IMG]
    I've watered the plants, and will take pics tomorrow.

    Hubby did our daughter's flower garden. Since that area seems to get LOTS of sun, but never get enough water, he buried a porous u/g water hose (not sure if it will work but we'll see! I did not get to take a final pic of the hubby's end-result because it was too dark. But he lined it with the gray bricks and it looks GREAT!! Will take some tomorrow. Our daughter will plant her seeds tomorrow :)


    Digging up the clay.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    wontonflip, Apr 9, 2012
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