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freedhardwoods
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Watching my (farm) garden grow

Here are a few pictures of my gardens. I will post more as it progresses.

The first is a view from the end of my sweet corn patch. Five rows 150' long, one row about 60' long because I ran out of seed. I will plant something to finish the row out.

[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/004.jpg[/img]




Next is a view of one side of my variety garden.
On the left is a row of green beans that were just planted. Next to them is a row of strawberries. Twentynine plants set out a couple weeks ago. To the right are some peas and two double rows of green beans also just planted. At the far end are some beets and cucumbers. Where the strawberries are is where we had a patch a few years ago. The fourth year after we set out 75 plants, we harvested 80 gallons of strawberries. :shock: That was a lot of picking.

[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/002-1.jpg[/img]




This is the other side.
On the left is a few potato plants and 5 rows of sweet corn planted in 3 stages. The row on the right has tomato and zucchini plants. At the far end is a raspberry patch. It needs to be weeded badly, but it still produces quite a few berries.

[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/001-1.jpg[/img]
5/25/09


[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/004-Copy.jpg[/img]
5/30/09 The corn recieved a heavy dose of 32-8-8 fertilizer on 5/29. I use urea (46-0-0) and 6-24-24 and mix my own ratios.




[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/WindDamage001.jpg[/img][img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/002-2.jpg[/img]
A big storm came through on the morning of 6/18/09. The picture on the left side was taken on that afternoon. The picture on the right was taken on 6/20/09 in the morning. The original corn will be fine, but I was experimenting by planting a second planting 6" away from the first 5 rows. I don't think that will do anything now. It wasn't looking very good before the storm. I think it just wasn't getting enough sun.




Here is what I planted almost all of the seed that went into the ground. I bought it at an auction for $5. It isn't perfect but it saves a lot of work and time. I am hoping to either improve on this one or completely build a new one for next year.
This is not the 2 row I mentioned in another thread.

[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/001.jpg[/img]




This is my workhorse. I bought it 17 years ago and have worn out one set of tines. It runs great. I have only had to do very minor repairs. It does a super job of preparing a seedbed and is a real time/work saver. Clay soil is notorious for compaction problems, but the churning action of the tines allows me to work ground that is much too wet to work with a tractor and tillage machinery or even a shovel as you can see below.

One sidenote; MTD bought Troybilt a few years back and have cheapened them to the point that the new tillers are basically junk. Mine came with a lifetime guarantee and is built like a tank.

[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/007.jpg[/img]




Here is how muddy it was this morning, 5/30/09. You can see my footprint at the bottom of the picture where I sank almost 3". I tilled the surface to open up the ground so it could dry. It had dried enough by the end of the day for me to plant 1 1/2 lbs of green beans. I love my tiller.

[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/008.jpg[/img]




In another thread, I mentioned an old 2 row planter I may fix up if I expand my gowing area. Below is one just like it except mine is a little more worn. Mine is not easily accessable at the moment. It is a John Deere 290. They were made about 50 years ago.

[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/MyPlanter2.jpg[/img]
Gerrie wrote:I like that farm planter, how does it work? Is there an equipment blog? I'd love to see what everyone favors most for gardening tools.
I could get into a long explanation, but basically both of my planters have ground driven seed plates that drop the seed down a tube into the ground.


I changed the title of my thread because I grow vegetables on a large scale. I thought some people might be interested in the differences between a small home garden and a commercial type of garden.
Last edited by freedhardwoods on Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:24 pm, edited 10 times in total.

slengteng82
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I wish I had space like this.. good luck with everything.
I won't mind going along with you for a while. But when you'll stop, I shall continue on my insane and triumphant way toward the great and sublime conquest of the nothing."

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freedhardwoods
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Thanks.
I'm experimenting again as usual. Since I took the above pictures, I planted 5 more rows of 89 day corn beside the 5 rows of 74 day corn in the variety garden, 6" from the original rows. I have been planting corn almost 3 times thicker than recommended for years with excellent results. This could either double the yield or really mess up everything. We'll see what happens.

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Earl K
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Wow, that looks great.I look forward to seeing your progress.
Florida porchgrown veggies
USDA zone 9

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BradyBones
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Very nice! You make me want to convert more of my lawn into gardening space, not that I wasn't tempted already!
My Green Blog: https://ourgreenadventure.blogspot.com/
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I love gardening!!!

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freedhardwoods
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I added info to my original post above. 8)

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rootsy
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freedhardwoods wrote:Thanks.
I'm experimenting again as usual. Since I took the above pictures, I planted 5 more rows of 89 day corn beside the 5 rows of 74 day corn in the variety garden, 6" from the original rows. I have been planting corn almost 3 times thicker than recommended for years with excellent results. This could either double the yield or really mess up everything. We'll see what happens.
Make sure you get a lot of 46-0-0 on it or better yet get some 28 or 32% knifed in on it... Plants that close in that high a population will need a LOT of food...

Spaced a bit further apart.. say 12" would be better... If you are going to do that plant spacing in the 8 to 10 inch range would be as tight at I'd go...

I spent most of the weekend cultivating sweet corn with the Super A... I'm still cross eyed...

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freedhardwoods
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I buy urea and 6-24-24 and mix my own ratios. For my corn I tilled in a heavy dose of 50/50 mix before planting and then sidedress the first time with a 1:3 mix after the corn is at least 3" or 4" tall. The 50/50 would be 23-12-12, and the 1:3 is about 30-8-8.

I planted the original corn 36" apart. I had to plant the next rows 6" over so I can still get my tiller through. I will get a picture in a few days to show the in row spacing. It is a little erratic because my little planter isn't too precise. Even with this thick plant spacing lots of the stalks have 2 full size ears on them because I feed them well.

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freedhardwoods
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I added a couple pictures and a little info to my original post above. It is between the :arrow: and :!: .





I thought I would take a little time and explain some of the reasoning behind my gardening methods. As I have said before, I am not against organic methods, and I actually use several forms of organic gardening. I grew up on a farm and have spent many years working on farms. That has been a major influence on the way I do things.

There has been mentioned that there are "large" organic farms. Most of them are only a few acres, and all of them are very labor intensive. This year is a prime example of why organic farms can't work on a large scale. It has been raining so much this spring that when it dries enough to get in the fields, each of the farmers have to be able to work and plant hundreds of acres a day. The farm where I am working now got 2500 acres planted using about 35 man-days of labor (5 workers x 7 days). Trying to do that organically would require thousands of man-days of labor and that would not be feasible. There are thousands of farms across America and it would take millions of migrant workers to accomplish the task. There aren't nearly enough people willing to do that type of work and they couldn't do it fast enough if there were.

I have enough garden space so that when I want to build up the soil in one area, I just let it set out for the year as I improve it. This year I planted soybeans in my 30'x30' spot. Soybeans are a legume, which means they get nitrogen from the air and store it in their roots. They are also a very high foliage crop. When the leaves just start to turn, I mow them down with my lawn mower, then till them into the soil along with some urea (quick release nitrogen) to help everything decay and by next spring it will be ready for growing something else. After I harvest my sweet corn, I will mow and till the cornstalks, and plant soybeans there also. It would be planted too late too produce a crop, but it will gather a lot of nitrogen and produce a lot of foliage to help improve the soil for next year.

I believe that there is a place for quick-release fertilizer, pesticides, and other chemicals, but you can't use them carelessly or they will cause problems. This may sound crude or insulting, but there are a lot of people these days that have no common sense at all and have no business using chemicals and pesticides. Quick-release fertilizer should be used when plants are growing and need food now to be able to grow well. Pesticides and weed killing chemicals also have their place, but they can cause much more damage than good if not used correctly and carefully. Farmers have to attend classes every year to be able to buy and use pesticides and weed killers on their farm fields. Using them in a garden is much more risky than in a farm field, which is why I think many people should stay away from them.

There has been several discussions about using Sevin in gardens. If I have just a few bugs eating on my vegetables, I will usually not bother with them, but if I have a severe infestation I will use it because I don't have time to constantly be in the garden. If you put on even half the amount recommended in the directions, it will usually take care of the infestation. The problem with many people is that they either won't read the directions or they do and think that if a little is good, a lot is better.

For the many new and/or small gardeners here on the forum, using totally or almost totally organic methods is a better way of doing things. A small garden only takes a few minutes a day to take care of, and you don't have to worry about damaging any of your vegetables. Most people with a small garden have several different things planted closely together and no matter how careful you try to be, if you use a chemical to treat one plant, it could damage another plant nearby.

I am 48 years old and have been farming and/or gardening all my life. I have used many different kinds of chemicals on farms that consist of several thousand acres each. My signature pretty much sums up my way of gardening. I use organic methods whenever it is practical and I carefully use chemical methods when I need to.

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freedhardwoods
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Here is a few more pictures of my garden as it gets closer to harvest.

In this picture you can see some of my sweet corn that was blown over several days ago. We will have corn in a few days. Next to it is one of my wide rows of green beans. Jade on the left and top crop on the right. The Jade has hundreds, if not thousands of blooms on them. Next to that is my strawberries that I just put sawdust on. They need a few days to stretch out of the sawdust to start looking better. Beside them I planted one row of top crop beans and 10 tomato plants that don't really show in this picture.
[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/CornBeansStrawberries.jpg[/img]




Here is another wide row of Jade green beans beside the sweet corn that I hilled yesterday. I make my wide rows by planting 4 single rows 6" apart. A wide row shades the ground which helps conserve moisture, reduces weeds, and you can easily reach the beans that are ready to pick. I have not needed to weed between the rows in this picture since planting. There is field corn on the left.
[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/GreenBeansHilledCorn.jpg[/img]



This is my raspberry patch.
[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/Raspberries.jpg[/img]

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freedhardwoods
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We finished picking our early sweet corn. Between the weather and the coons it did pretty lousy. The longest ears were only about 6" long and there weren't very many of them. Most were very short and only partially filled. The coons ate most of the best ears. :x

I mowed the stalks, tilled them in, and then scattered soybeans and tilled them in. There should a lot of foliage by the end of summer, and I will mow that and till it in.

[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/Garden002.jpg[/img]




This corn is all the same variety and was planted at the same time. The row on the right is pollinating and the rest is hardly showing any tassles. I'm not sure how it did that. :?

[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/Garden003.jpg[/img]

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freedhardwoods
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The second picking of my green beans netted about 40 gallons. Even at my reckless pace it took about six hours to pick them.

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Diane
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freedhardwoods wrote:The second picking of my green beans netted about 40 gallons. Even at my reckless pace it took about six hours to pick them.
Very nice farm/garden. Looks more like a farm to me. Especially if you saw my little garden. :)
You must put in a lot of time managing it all.
Gardens are a little bit of heaven on earth.

https://s600.photobucket.com/albums/tt87 ... G00047.jpg

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freedhardwoods
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We picked quite a bit of the sweet corn from our large patch. The picture on the left is part of it. We have picked about 20 bucketfuls so far. There should be about 10 more. If I had gotten a decent stand there would be quite a bit more. The picture on the right is one of several multiples we found. If you look closely you can see that there are actually 5 ears although 2 are barely formed.

[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/CornHarvest004.jpg[/img][img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/CornHarvest001.jpg[/img]


Here are a few with the shucks pulled back.

[img]https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk129/freedhardwoods/Garden/CornHarvest005.jpg[/img]

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SP8
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Fantastic job but ARGH!!!!

I’m so envious of all of your space! :oops:


p.s. looks like a ghost is moving in on your buckets of corn there. :lol:
I >>used to<< grow vegetables in containers on my balcony and this >>was<< my Blog:
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Diane
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Nice, large harvest for all of your hard work.
Gardens are a little bit of heaven on earth.

https://s600.photobucket.com/albums/tt87 ... G00047.jpg

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freedhardwoods
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SP8 wrote:p.s. looks like a ghost is moving in on your buckets of corn there. :lol:
I could see the glare but was too lazy (tired) to move them just for a picture and then have to move them back to work them up. I took the picture twice and picked the best one.



I probably have at least 15 gallons of beans that need picked but I have been helping with a big concrete job 10 hours a day and I am exhausted and my back needs a rest before I do it again next week. We should get it done this week. Pouring concrete is extremely hard work.

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Wonderful harvest! Too bad the coons got the first round, but that second patch of corn did great. I can't grow corn, we get smut and that grosses me out.

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