wordwiz
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:44 pm
Location: Cincinnati

My leased garden

A couple pics of the area I plan to lease this year for $5. It's about 16,000 sq. ft., not including the hillsides or parts under the trees at the south end. However, I should be able to sow peas/beans on the top of the hills and maybe chard under the trees, since it will get full sun until the afternoon.

Looking south, the Interstate (I-75) is on the right:

[img]https://valleycat.net/garden/2011/garden1.jpg[/img]

The east side, where the hill is:

[img]https://valleycat.net/garden/2011/garden2.jpg[/img]

Looking north - at the far end is another hill.

[img]https://valleycat.net/garden/2011/garden3.jpg[/img]

Mike

csvd87
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Looks great, I was just reading through your post on THP yesterday. You got 16,000 sq. ft. I got 1600 sq ft. :) God luck with all your toms this year.

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

I am absolutely green with envy. I have 96 sq. ft. under cultivation (raised beds) here at the house. When I can get there, I have access to a 4'x4' raised bed at my MIL's house.

And I've just rented ($25/year) a 4'x8' raised bed at the Seniors' Center--anyone in the city may rent--for 12 months. There are flies in the ointment, though: 1) it's the city's first year doing this, so 2) access is only when the Seniors' Center is open--Mon-Thurs 8:00 to 5:00; Fri 8:00 to 4:00! Due to my very low work hours lately (I work on call), I can make this right now, but regular people with normal jobs might find these hours useless.

So I have access to a grand total of 144 sq. ft. in two Sunset climate zones. MIL's house is in Sunset zone 15, which runs warmer than zone 17, but since I'm only at her house once a month, I need to grow plants that can take care of themselves *or* expect heavy losses to aphids and such. :(

But I don't see water access in your terrific photos. Is there water access? And how will you prepare such a large area? Do you have a tiller? Broadfork? Will you bring all 16,000 sq. ft. into cultivation this season?

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

wordwiz
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Location: Cincinnati

Cynthia,

No water, unfortunately, though there is a plugged line I could have reopened if I really had to. But I grew up raising tobacco, acres of it, and none of the fields had water. Not once did we experience a complete failure in the tobacco or garden (our garden was probably 1.5-2 acres - large family). There were, of course, years when production was down but we usually got that one good, mid-summer rain. Now last year would have been a different story. We did not have a single decent rainfall from early August until nearly October. Driest summer I have seen in 50+ years.

I do have a tiller, I just bought a new one last year. Because the land slopes, I plan to only till where the plants will be grown, leaving the space between the rows untilled. I do have a weed eater to keep the area trimmed.

csvd87,

According to Google Earth's measurements, it may be closer to 30,000 sq. ft. I stepped it off and came to about 270 feet long, Google said it was just over 290. Where I was way off was the width, my 60 feet vs. Google's 110.

Not that I am complaining - it would give me room for a couple more rows of plants!

Mike

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Nice plot for $5, you did good.

Growing crops without water is a foreign concept to me. Here in dry Utah we can't grow a garden without weekly irrigation. That is just part of the job.
However, I should be able to sow peas/beans on the top of the hills and maybe chard under the trees, since it will get full sun until the afternoon.
My experience says stay away from the trees. They suck up water and nutrients and plants do not do well under trees.

Have a great season.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

jal_ut wrote:Nice plot for $5, you did good.

Growing crops without water is a foreign concept to me. Here in dry Utah we can't grow a garden without weekly irrigation. ....

Have a great season.
Same here. Bay Area weather: it *never* rains from approx. April 1 to November 15. Sometimes it will start raining "early"--in mid-October. So access to water is essential to growing anything.

Cynthia

annastasia76
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Posts: 223
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:59 pm
Location: Southern Ca

Same here, I can't imagine not watering, I water daily, 2-3 times per day in mid summer.
Annastasia

wordwiz
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:44 pm
Location: Cincinnati

In Cincinnati, who knows. We can go from being 4" over average rainfall for the year to 8" under in the space of a summer. No major farmers I know of have irrigation or similar systems for their crops - imagine the cost to install one in a 20-acre field. The major crops around here (a 75 mile radius) are corn, soybeans and tobacco, along with clover for hay.

The only "moisture" I am trying to save to compost tea! I've got four 55-gallon food-grade drums, with outlets at the bottom, I would love to fill with the stuff.

Mike

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rainbowgardener
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But last year in Cincinnati, we had 4 months of close to zero rain. My rainbarrels were empty all season. If I hadn't been watering from the hose, everything would have been dead. As it was I lost some things (including I think my strawberry patch and a couple shrubs) because I just couldn't bring myself to pour out as much water as they needed... My lawn needs to be reseeded in spots, because I make it a principle never to water grass!

But what a wonderful gift, free access to all that land!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

greenstubbs
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Posts: 231
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:41 pm
Location: N. Nevada

cynthia_h wrote:
jal_ut wrote:Nice plot for $5, you did good.

Growing crops without water is a foreign concept to me. Here in dry Utah we can't grow a garden without weekly irrigation. ....

Have a great season.
Same here. Bay Area weather: it *never* rains from approx. April 1 to November 15. Sometimes it will start raining "early"--in mid-October. So access to water is essential to growing anything.

Cynthia
That's what I love about living out here, the weather is so choice! You give the amount of water required and you can grow anything. I'm hoping for a bumper out of my "victory garden" this year.

wordwiz
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Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:44 pm
Location: Cincinnati

rainbowgardener wrote:But last year in Cincinnati, we had 4 months of close to zero rain. My rainbarrels were empty all season. If I hadn't been watering from the hose, everything would have been dead. As it was I lost some things (including I think my strawberry patch and a couple shrubs) because I just couldn't bring myself to pour out as much water as they needed... My lawn needs to be reseeded in spots, because I make it a principle never to water grass!

But what a wonderful gift, free access to all that land!
RBG,

Yeah, last year was worse than any season I can ever recall. I helped raise tobacco for about 30 years and never remember a season where we lost almost everything. Lowered production, true. But it seemed we always got that one decent rain sometime in August. It doesn't seem to be too expensive, I would need about 5500 gallons to give the rows an inch of water - I use to fill a swimming pool that used 23,000! Plus, Lockland has the best water in the Tri-State - very little chlorine and from what a brewer told me, it is a different type that breaks down easier. But since the site has a (plugged) 6" service line, it wouldn't take much time to water it.

Mike

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