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Thread: Helping a beginner

  1. #1

    Default Helping a beginner

    Hi All,

    I've read some of the threads up, but have a more basic question than you all usually cover. We just got done building our house last spring, moved in and this summer we're trying to start working on getting a shed and a garden. I've only ever grown a few odds and ends in pots sitting on a deck. Our land is not really flat and we like to be gone a lot hiking in the summer so I'm wondering what kind of a simple garden I should try and put in. I'm thinking some raised beds (are raised beds like garden boxes?)? Raised beds with bottoms in them? About how high should I build them? I've found a nice sunny spot and I'd like to do this right and nice the first time, so am soliciting advice or tips from people who have done more gardening than me! I gather from your other forums which veggies will grow better here in Fairbanks, just need a little more specifics on what exactly in the way of soil to put into my raised beds when I get them done... Obviously, I'm buying my plants this year... Thanks for any tips in advanced!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birkebakke View Post
    Hi All,

    I'm wondering what kind of a simple garden I should try and put in. I'm thinking some raised beds (are raised beds like garden boxes?)? Raised beds with bottoms in them? About how high should I build them? I've found a nice sunny spot and I'd like to do this right and nice the first time, so am soliciting advice or tips from people who have done more gardening than me! I gather from your other forums which veggies will grow better here in Fairbanks, just need a little more specifics on what exactly in the way of soil to put into my raised beds when I get them done... Obviously, I'm buying my plants this year... Thanks for any tips in advanced!
    Raised beds and containers are the best bet. Then there is less need to till. Backbreaking work is only done once. No bottoms, about a foot high or taller depending on how much effort you are putting in. Buy some topsoil, add Susitna Organics compost if it's available and lime. Then start a compost heap with your garden waste in the fall.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Just a little hint on raised beds. It helps to cover the bottum of the bed to prevent weeds from comming up from underneath. Standard garden fabric can work if properly secured.

    As for soil I would get some top soil and add some manuer to it. If it is fresh make sure that it is a safer type like goat. Horse works too but tends to contain weed seeds.

  4. #4

    Default Thanks!

    Thanks... Three 3x8 foot boxes are in the works, 2-3 feet deep, sitting on a gravel box. I'm going to line the boxes with visqueen and perforate it on the bottom. Getting 1/2 top soil and 1/2 humanure to fill them. Now I guess I just need to start finding some greenage to put in them when I'm all done! Yipeeee!

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    Default Raised beds

    I'm trying something different this year.We found a 2 ft. plastic contruction drain pipe,cut it in half and put it up on frames and planted my veggies in them,will see how they do.Keep your fingers crossed!

  6. #6
    Member lynch's Avatar
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    Default Tomato development

    I have a newbie question about tomatoes. I am starting to get little green tomatoes forming now. How long till they are full size and ripe? They are tumbler tomatoes, a small determinate cherry tomato.
    "Bark,bark,bark,sniff,sniff,bark,and bark" - Lynchs Blue Roan Lynch E.C.K.

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    I'm not familiar with that hybrid/variety, lynch, but I'd guess a month to two months is what most take once fruit has formed.

    I've found the golden nugget variety of cherry tomatoes are prolific in their production, even outside the greenhouse, but they take a bit longer than some to ripen. My favorite determinate tomatoes (which is what we primarily grow here; determinate varieties) are starfire (nolonger available commercially that I know of), Oregon Spring (a decent replacement for the starfires), the already-mentioned golden nuggets, and the yellow pear (an oblong, pear-shaped, yellowish cherry tomato.)

    If you added any dolomitic lime (dolomite) to the soil, and/or bone meal (or other decent sources of calcium, to include Alaska whitefish bone meal), and they're happy with their nutrient levels and ph ('maters like lower to modest nitrrogen levels, moderate to high phosphorous, and moderate to high potassium, and most do well at a ph range of 6.0 to 6.7 or so), then you should be grazing your way through your garden, salt shaker in hand, in no time...

  8. #8

    Exclamation Humanure?????????

    Quote Originally Posted by Birkebakke View Post
    Thanks... Three 3x8 foot boxes are in the works, 2-3 feet deep, sitting on a gravel box. I'm going to line the boxes with visqueen and perforate it on the bottom. Getting 1/2 top soil and 1/2 humanure to fill them. Now I guess I just need to start finding some greenage to put in them when I'm all done! Yipeeee!

    Is that (humanure) what I think it is????? Holy crap, I hope I'm never invited over for a salad! Never heard of it before....

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    Member lynch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corn View Post
    Is that (humanure) what I think it is????? Holy crap, I hope I'm never invited over for a salad! Never heard of it before....
    I am using a 50/50 mix of potting soil and sewage compost from the fairbanks sewage treatment plant and my tomatoes and lettuce are doing great. mmmmmm mmmmmm sewer salad is great.
    "Bark,bark,bark,sniff,sniff,bark,and bark" - Lynchs Blue Roan Lynch E.C.K.

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    i like to leave my beds unlined to allow earthworms in. just plain earth to earth. i havnt had problems w/weeds from underneath-more from above.

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    Lynch, where is the Fairbanks sewage treatment plant? I have heard of it before and I think it may be where a neighbor of mine got some compost. At any rate, I hear that stuff works great. From what I have heard, they put the waste on woodchips and then burn it to make the compost. May sound nasty, but if it helps my plants grow and doesn't make me sick, I'm all for it.

  12. #12
    Member lynch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKHuntressNP View Post
    Lynch, where is the Fairbanks sewage treatment plant? I have heard of it before and I think it may be where a neighbor of mine got some compost. At any rate, I hear that stuff works great. From what I have heard, they put the waste on woodchips and then burn it to make the compost. May sound nasty, but if it helps my plants grow and doesn't make me sick, I'm all for it.
    Nor sure where the plant is, it should be easy to look up though. I got a bunch that was left over from a condo clean up day where we used it on bad spots in the lawn. One of the board members said that the sewage people only charged her $15 for a whole pick up load.
    "Bark,bark,bark,sniff,sniff,bark,and bark" - Lynchs Blue Roan Lynch E.C.K.

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    Member AkKevin's Avatar
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    Earthworms are very beneficial. They love compost. Leave grass even newspaper. Make a small area of extra compost and leave it undisturbed.
    Are we talking about goals or are we talking about dreams? AkKevin The one and only

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