S Bengi wrote:I dont think you have to be too worried about the contaminants in concrete blocks. Also you are in Georgia that gets alot of water so you don't really need the wicking bed setup.
Thanks for the input! Just a couple of notes.
1. I want to use the Hugel base as a filler so I will not have to purchase so much compost. The Hugel will be more beneficial to the plants than rocks.
2. Georgia has been having the worst drought and heat-wave conditions for the past few summers. Mmmm...can we say "Climate Change"?
Just to add - Husband is worried that the soil will leak out without a liner. Now the blocks solid side faces the soil. Maybe this will help and I can go without the liner??
Hi! I'm a urban gardener. I am building a raised bed out of old concrete blocks on my back patio. The bed will be 22" high. The actual growing space is long and narrow (7'x 15"). First, I will be using heavy plastic sheeting as a liner to prevent possible chemicals inside the blocks from leaking into the soil. Then I want to use hugel-type filler before adding the soil for planting. Since both the hugel and plastic are known for retaining water, AND this is all built inside basically a large concrete planter ...
MY QUESTION: Will this type of raised bed cause root problems in my plants? Will it be too much water retention going on? Would it help to leave out to plastic sheeting?
BTW: I've read the great posts by Daron Williams on building different types of hugels and the thread Hugel Bed on Concrete. But I could not find what I needed. Thanks in advance for the helpful advice!
Has anyone successfully grown tomatoes from seed saved from purchased ORGANIC tomatoes? I'm emphasizing ORGANIC because I have read lots about the downside of using treated grocery store produce for saving seed. But I have not yet read anything about successful yields using ORGANIC produce.
Thanks in advance for any helpful tips!
Do you have fans? I think by afternoon our house is into the eighties and we joke about those days that are three and four shower days...just cold water and no soap is so refreshing. Soon I would like to have an outdoor shower like we've had other places we've lived...being able to cool down makes a huge difference in what one can accomplish over the summer in the south...
Yes fans certainly help! Especially since the house's air-conditioning unit went out this past May. So now we have two small window units. But our house still registers middle 80s before noon. I cool down using refreshing rainwater kept in a large pot under the bathroom sink - My secret stash!
One of your tasks is watering your patio plants. I do this too. I fill a watering can from the rain barrels and go to each container individually. They all have a bit of mulch (some more than others) but most of them still need watering every single day. Even if I was dragging the hose around, I'd still have to do them one at a time. There must be a more efficient/time saving way to do this! I'm going to research and think about it (I'll take suggestions but can't implement anything that isn't free).
I agree the watering those containers is definitely time consuming. At times I'll use the garden hose. But the plants seem to do better with rain water - so its me and the watering can! Maybe you can start a thread on this topic. I would love to know a better way too!
Salut Judith! J'apprends le francais aussi!
I guess you can say I'm learning French and Permaculture! But back to the topic - I like the way you intertwine your permie's morning routine with other aspects of your life. I guess that is part of being a permie - its a mindset for daily living.
["A few weeds don't get pulled, projects don't advance as quickly as I might like - but I don't get heatstroke or make myself miserable, either, and that probably helps me to stick to it in the long run"]
Thanks Artie! I do want to stick to homesteading. I really enjoy this more thoughtful way of living.
The message I'm getting from y'all is PRIORITIZE and stay flexible in your routine.
So... I don't have to try to do it all? Everyday? Perfectly? YAY!
Thanks for the encouragement everyone!
P.S. Glad y'all like my art! Its a homesteading perk!
Hey y'all! I live on a small urban homestead in Georgia. Today's forecast high temperature is 100. Ah-July in Georgia! With this in mind, I was more thorough in this morning"s homesteading chores.
Filtered and boiled previously harvested rainwater for personal care. (No rain in today's forecast!)
Watered ground garden
Watered and added mulch to my patio garden
Filled bird baths and feeders
Checked my 5-gallon bucket worm bin's temperature, added ice. The bin was already at 78 degrees at 7am - inside the house! Ah- July in Georgia!
Jotted down brief record keeping notes.
For a healthier, thriving homestead, I should be this thorough daily. Especially the record-keeping bit! However, these simple tasks took me more than 1 hour. So I'm frustrated. I'm still tired from the more intense yard-work and gardening chores of yesterday. Or maybe I'm just just hot and hungry.
Nevertheless the time spent got me thinking about other urban homesteaders. How thorough are you in your daily upkeep of the homestead? How long does it take? I understand your answers depend on the size and scope of your urban homestead.
Encouragement needed. So thanks in advance for your thoughtful replies.
We are experiencing intense heat here in Middle Georgia (USDA zone 8a). We are in the upper 90s now. Triple digits starting this weekend. This is crazy hot for the month of May!
My yellow squash was just beginning to blossom. I planted my tomatoes, eggplants and okra earlier than normal, trying to beat the intense summer heat. Oh the IRONY!
Now they are all struggling.
I don't expect any of them to grow or thrive during this time. I'm sure they are redirecting their energy into just surviving.
What can I do to help my garden to survive this type of heatwave?
No rain is in the forecast. So I'm watering extra and I've added mulch to the garden. Should I hold off feeding/fertilizing until the intense heat passes?
Any other suggestions?
Hello all! I grow Spring and Summer vegetables in my suburban raised bed garden. In the past, during the rest of the year I'd cover the soil with pinestraw (I'm in Georgia.. LOTS of pinestraw}. Since joining Permies.com I've learned it is better to cover garden soil with something that will add nutrients.
I'm trying wheat hay. A few weeks after I laid it out, the hay started to sprout! (I'm blaming that on the unusually warm and wet weather we had in October). I pulled up some of the sprouting grain, but mostly uprooted and mixed it back into the hay. Recently, I turned the hay over again. Just to see if it was breaking down into the soil. YAY! It was! So I'm hoping that by Spring I will have a nutrient-rich garden bed that will require less store-bought soil.
Has anyone used wheat hay to replace soil nutrients? What do you use for covering bare soil in a small garden?
Hi Tristan! Please let me know how I can help. What can I send y'all from Middle Georgia? I know you are looking for LOCAL items. Are we too far away from your zone to send any of our native seeds, cuttings, etc. your way?
Thanks Anne for the topic! My husband also suffers from Degenerative Disc Disease. I appreciate the information posted in the replies. Juanita, is willow bark commonly available in most natural foods/herbal stores? Is generally affordable?
FINALLY! Zone 8a seems to be warming up properly. Stabilizing. For now. Today local gardeners were excited about planting summer vegs. I was too! Sowed squash, tomatoes and eggplant.
Hope my fellow Permies 8a'ers were able to move forward with their gardens.
Happy (belated) Spring!
Wanted to share a bit of my art!
BUT FIRST: Some artists need help posting images of their work. If that is you, read on. If not, just skip this part and enjoy my sketch!
I had a devil of a time trying to figure out how to post images here. Finally found information in the Forum: Tinkering With This Site and the Thread How to Post Pictures on Permies. Thanks Jennifer Wadsworth for getting me on the right path!
I'm posting here what worked for me - borrowing from Jennifer's instructions.
1. Began by writing a post using the "Post Reply" button. "Quick Reply" did not have the options I needed.
2. Selected an image From the Internet. (From my blog Homesteading Artist)
3. Right Click on the image I wanted to use. Clicked on "Copy image address" 4. Placed my cursor where I wanted the image to go in the post.
5. Clicked on the Img button at the top of the Reply screen.
6. Scrolled over the Img box and Right click to Paste image address into box. Select OK 7. Only my image address appeared in the post I was writing. To actually SEE the image, I selected the PREVIEW option at the bottom of the Reply screen.
Again, that is what worked for me. Results may vary. Please do check out the Thread on this! Its 4 years old, but still useful! And forgive for this section that had NOTHING to do with sharing your art. But if you do not know, you can't share. And I would love to see more art from the Permies community!
SHARING MY ART Dreaming of the summer garden! This is a page from my gardening journal. Hoping to enjoy Burgundy Okra this year!
Thanks Redhawk for the explanation of USDA Zone assignments. I'm still relatively new to vegetable gardening. I had been taught that USDA Zones were chiseled in stone, the "10 Commandments" of gardening. Understanding the reality of Zone variations makes the Wacky Spring Weather a little less frustrating!
Hey y'all! I'm in zone 8a. There is a rule around here regarding spring planting: "Never put anything in the ground until after Easter." This allows time for the last frost to pass and the ground to warm up. So I was all ready to direct sow my tomatoes and summer squash this week. Then SURPRISE! Nature must have missed the memo. The next few nights will be in the 30s and 40s. Looks like I have to hold off another week or so.
This waiting game makes me anxious for my summer squash. Planting the squash before mid-April allows time for several harvests before the squash vine borer moth lays her eggs in late June. With my planting schedule off, my yields are sure to be affected.
Thinking now of planting extra squash to stay in the game.
How has this unexpected cold snap affected your planting schedule? What adjustments have you made? I know I'm not the only one!
Thanks William for the copper screen option. My honey is quite the handy-man. I think he will be willing to try it around the base. And maybe some of the larger branches we can reach. Certainly can't hurt.
Trying a compromise with hubby. Rather than planting a new pear tree, I'm thinking about grafting scions from a blight-resistant variety onto the Bartlett. Will the resulting new pears from the scions be more viable? Can the grafts aid the 16 year old tree to better withstand reoccurring fire blight?
Has anyone tried this? Practical advice appreciated.
Oh Alder! You almost made my 65 year old husband cry at the thought of planting another pear tree and waiting years until it matures to produce enough pears for us and the neighborhood squirrels. But I like this practical advice! My stepfather planted a pear tree back in the 1950s in his home garden. Today the property sits abandoned but that pear tree still bears fruit. Definitely will be doing some research for our next blight-resistant pear tree. Thanks for the reminder about old pear trees.
Hey y"all! I live in Middle Georgia - Zone 8a - and have enjoyed Bartlett Pears from my lone pear tree for several years. Three years ago fire blight, the bacterial scourge of many fruit trees, attacked. I fought it by pruning away most of the infected limbs and spraying with a solution of chlorine bleach water. Of course many limbs I could not treat because the 16 year old tree is quite tall. Nevertheless, the tree regained its health. Last year was there were very few blooms. The few pears we did have were stolen by squirrels. This spring I was more hopeful because of the over-abundance of blooms. Yet the fire blight has returned. About 10% of the pear buds and leaves have turned black already. And its spreading. Rapidly. Any suggestions for fighting the blight other than pruning and the chlorine method?
Or should I give up my dreams of pear preserves again this year???
Hi Lucrecia! My hometown is in middle Georgia. Local old-timers say "Don't plant anything outside until after Easter." So that's the rule I follow. I usually begin planting about a week or so afterwards.
Never lost a young plant to frost. So if you want to try some folk wisdom - Easter falls on April 1 this year.
Hi Angelica! My favorite veggies to grow are yellow squash, tomatoes, eggplants and especially okra - which seem to thrive in our Georgia summers. Three tips for you.
1.Plant what you/your family will enjoy eating. Keep experimentation down to a minimum.
2.If you must purchase seed, buy good quality seed. It may be a little more costly, but catalog seed companies often handle and store their products better than most big box stores.
3. Keep a garden journal. Notes on what, when, where and how much really come in handy when the next growing season rolls around.