Sunday, April 6, 2014

Friend's Garden

We recently visited our good friend, Brandon, and was inspired by his massive garden.  He showed us a ton of seedling peppers, among other baby vegetable plants. He was nice enough to give me permission to show off his awesome plot on my blog!

Using a borrowed tiller and stakes and string, Brandon made neat long rows with furrows in between.  He is lucky enough to be renting a house with water rights.  He uses the furrows for flood irrigation.

The windows in the foreground are cold frames - mini greenhouses used to harden off plants and start plants early.  You can learn to build these from the sustain life website, This Old House, or  The mounds in the background are for melons.  They are surrounded by burlap coffee sacks, to keep the melons off the ground and to provide mulch.  
Brandon is using mounds to plant his melons.  Each mound has plenty of space around it, as melons like to spread out.  Melon plants like intensive watering, but they do not like to hang out in soggy soil.  Melon mounds allow for good drainage.  Based on the helpful gardener forum, melon mounds stem back from farmers using compost heaps as a place to grow melons.  They also allow for one to plant seeds deeply for good germination and root development.

A frame for a greenhouse.  I forgot to ask Brandon what he was planning for this.

A very nice compost bin.  To build the bin, Brandon stood five pallets on end (tall dimension is vertical) and held them together with long boards, including one on top for extra support.  The light brown material in the second bin is coffee chaff.  This Ehow article says chaff contributes nitrogen to garden soil and it can be used as a mulch.  I have tried using it as a mulch and find that straw works better.  The barismo blog has excellent information on chaff!

We always enjoy visiting our friend Brandon.  Hopefully, we can give y'all an update on his huge garden this season.

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