clutchrider
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Location: CT Shoreline

Garden Fencing and Soil Prep in CT

Hello Again,
So far I have gotten amazing answers and a warm welcome here. I want to let you all in on the plans for my fencing and get some ideas on proper soil prep. I'll start with the soil.

Last year all I did was cut grass layer off by hand, tilled the existing soil, then layered down bagged manure and a few bags of plain soil. Then another good till and raked it out. Then I planted the seeds immediately in the raised rows shown below.
[img]https://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/248466_10150195358139051_604849050_7149996_2042163_n.jpg[/img]

This year I am doing the rows in the opposite direction and adding more veggies since all I did was corn and some lettuce.

I cut the corn down (used it for fall decor on the house) and put hay over the existing area. The corn roots (bottom of stalks too) are still there and I'm trying to figure out the best way to get that area prepped. Questions:

1) Do I remove the hay or till it in with the soil?
2) Do I remove the corn roots or till them as well?
3) I typically as told above just throw in some fresh soil and manure and call it a day. Anything else to ensure proper setup?
4) When should I start this? I live in CT, it's late February, and temps are not freezing on average. There was not really a winter to speak of so the ground has never really frozen.


Now onto Part II, the fencing. Last year as you saw above I used a simple set of stakes, staples, and chicken wire. I want something a little more permanent and plan on utilizing metal green T-stakes with that rectangular welded wire coated in green. I only need to cover two sides and not very tall since I have a smaller dog who does not bother the garden one bit regardless. So here are my layouts:

-Perimeter with 4' stakes and 3' fencing tied into the chain link in my yard.
-Use 4' stakes for pepper trellis
-Use 5' stakes for the cucumbers
-Use tomato caged (round ones) for the tomato plants
[img]https://www.hardwarestore.com/media/product/274837_front500.jpg[/img]
[img]https://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/b3/b3e11933-495b-447e-a260-b3ba53ac406f_300.jpg[/img]

My questions:
1) Should I use the same welded wire from the perimeter for the trellis design of the peppers/cucumbers? If not then what else would be more than sufficient?
2) Has anyone created some type of gate with this fencing? Instead of stepping over like I did last year I was hoping to maybe just take a section of the wire and frame it with some small wood studs and just use some type of clamp between two T-stakes or metal round stakes?

I know I'm probably sounding crazy and a bit overboard but I want it to look neat and clean.

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SPierce
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I'll throw in my quick 2 cents on the fence:

be aware, squirrels and chipmunks, along with various other small critters can and WILL crawl through those openings to get to your plants than you don't want them there! :evil: :evil:

I did that fence 2 years ago, and lost all my cantaloupe. You may want to do a switch over to chicken wire as the grids are smaller and they can't get through. it doesn't look as pleasant, but it keeps the critters out!

clutchrider
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:45 pm
Location: CT Shoreline

I"ll check into some coated chicken wire then. I don't have a lot of squirrels or chipmunks in my area and definitely no deer to speak of. Wouldn't the fact that I have chain link on two sides mean I would have to cover those as well? And even if I did, couldn't they simply climb over?

Flatlander_MB
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For perimeter fencing I've always used the 24" high chicken wire. I have squirrels, chipmunks, & rabbits to contend with. Fortunately, I engage in an annual chipmunk relocation program (unofficially sponsored by Havahart :D ), the squirrels don't seem to care about my garden, and rabbits tend to be pretty stupid. I make sure the bottom edge of the chicken wire is staked down tight to the ground & it seems to keep the rabbits out just fine. The 24" height makes it easy for me to step over, too.

I find the round tomato cages to be too small/short and go with the folding kind that are either 3 or 4 sided & tend to be taller. I still wind up having to add 6' stakes later in the season to tie the highest branches up.

Trellising the cuc's is an excellent way to save space. You want to be sure the openings in the trellis/fencing you use are large enough for the fruit to dangle freely. I'm going with 6' trellises but 5' should be just fine, too. Thinking about going with crop netting with 4" grid openings as the trellis material.

clutchrider
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:45 pm
Location: CT Shoreline

More stuff for me to research and I love it! I would use the existing chain link but I want to keep a border because my neighbors driveway is on the other side and I don't want stray animals getting at anything that grows through the other side.

The dog is not a concern, but it is also just makes me feel better to know it's fenced in completely. Maybe I will just stick with the 24" chicken wire I am using now and just get new wire and better stakes. Should cut down on cost too.

Thank you for the input on the trellis' I am going to check out different kinds today. And for tilling, am I good to keep the corn roots which are I am sure long dead at this point. I don't see it hurting once mixed in the soil with the hay, manure, new soil, etc.

I plan on renting a sod cutter and tiller together the day I setup shop for prep. Again since it's late February, when is a good time to stir up the soil? Can I just go out any nice day and start and then turn it over and rake it before planting?

clutchrider
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Found this type of Trellis design, seems really flexible as you can adjust the angle.

Could use this over the tomato plants and between the rows of peppers to allow support without taking a lot of space. Then just get flat ones for the cucumbers. What say HG?

[img]https://images.lowes.com/product/converted/721161/721161012649xl.jpg[/img]

clutchrider
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Marlingardener wrote:Yes, you can leave the corn roots in the soil--they may tend to clump up on the tiller, but just yank them out and have at it!
You can till anytime the soil is friable--if you take a handful and squeeze it, and it makes a hard clump, it's too wet to work and isn't friable. If you take a handful and squeeze it and it still breaks apart when you let go, it's friable and ready to work. Tilling wet soil just makes clods, not a garden patch.
The pictured trellis looks good. Is it expensive? You may be able to buy the wood and make your own cheaper. Wouldn't hurt to do a comparison.
If you use it over the tomato plants, remember you need to reach the tomatoes. Placing it so there is room for your hands and arms will save you grief later.
The trellis lists at Lowes for $20 and it's 42x48". You can also open it fully or adjust it to be a tighter A if needed. I figure if I put it over the tomato plants I can still reach in and get at them fairly easily. It got good reviews and seems good for the price point. I may pickup a few and stake them in the ground for a little more support from wind.

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SPierce
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clutchrider wrote:
Marlingardener wrote:Yes, you can leave the corn roots in the soil--they may tend to clump up on the tiller, but just yank them out and have at it!
You can till anytime the soil is friable--if you take a handful and squeeze it, and it makes a hard clump, it's too wet to work and isn't friable. If you take a handful and squeeze it and it still breaks apart when you let go, it's friable and ready to work. Tilling wet soil just makes clods, not a garden patch.
The pictured trellis looks good. Is it expensive? You may be able to buy the wood and make your own cheaper. Wouldn't hurt to do a comparison.
If you use it over the tomato plants, remember you need to reach the tomatoes. Placing it so there is room for your hands and arms will save you grief later.
The trellis lists at Lowes for $20 and it's 42x48". You can also open it fully or adjust it to be a tighter A if needed. I figure if I put it over the tomato plants I can still reach in and get at them fairly easily. It got good reviews and seems good for the price point. I may pickup a few and stake them in the ground for a little more support from wind.
Oh wow, this is a wonderful Idea and price too. I may just need to stop by my local lowes !- thank you for the idea! I've been wrestling with my extremely tall & large tomato plants as the cages don't really do much of anything

clutchrider
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Location: CT Shoreline

SPierce wrote:Oh wow, this is a wonderful Idea and price too. I may just need to stop by my local lowes !- thank you for the idea! I've been wrestling with my extremely tall & large tomato plants as the cages don't really do much of anything
I saw some trellis' at Lowe's yesterday while pricing stuff out and though that up against a wall they work great but by themselves in a garden would be a little flimsy and potentially topple with some wind or too much weight on one end/side. Realizing I would have to support them someway I looked for another answer. The only complaint on these is that the hingers are plastic but I could easily reinforce that with some metal strapping and couple screws that would still allow flexibility.

Once I figure out how many I need I'm going to order them for pickup at my local Lowe's. I'm sticking with them because their pricing is a good amount cheaper than HD. Comparable equipment for fencing was over $110 at HD and like $93 at Lowe's

FaTRippz
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NICE!!!

I think your garden is great. don't over think it, just go out there and grow. i think that fence will be perfect. unless you got a real critter problem don't worry about it. just make sure you plants have planty sun moisture and T.L.C. (tender love and care)
Natural Green Thumb HaHa

clutchrider
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:45 pm
Location: CT Shoreline

Re: NICE!!!

FaTRippz wrote:I think your garden is great. don't over think it, just go out there and grow. i think that fence will be perfect. unless you got a real critter problem don't worry about it. just make sure you plants have planty sun moisture and T.L.C. (tender love and care)
Thanks for the feedback. I'm gonna get a soaker hose this year to run through the rows instead of using my shower hose. Should be a little easier too.

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