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Exploring God's Creation in Nature and Science
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stefoodie
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Posted: April 24 2006 at 7:45am | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

for asparagus you'd have to dig it up down to the taproot as was mentioned.

the bed has to be about 1 foot deep, and the asparagus crowns have to be planted 1 foot away from each other. spread out the roots and cover them with only an inch of soil. then every week or so add another inch of soil. keep doing that until the soil is level with everything else. i had to leave our asparagus bed in our old house:(

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Posted: April 24 2006 at 8:12am | IP Logged Quote Rebecca

marihalojen wrote:
Elizabeth,

Several plants that I remember liking wet soil are:

Hostas
Astillbes

Both of these are perennials and come in many varieties and colors.

Bleeding Hearts and Forget-me-nots would do well but only bloom in spring. A stand of pampas grass would be very dramatic and easy to care for.


OOH! I love these suggestions. They are all great shade lovers/wet soil lovers. My astilbe grows so beautifully in the shade. As do Lily of the Valley.

This is what I have in my shade bed:

Hosta
Giant hosta
Lily of the Valley
Bleeding Hearts
Astilbe
Lenten Roses
Many Ferns (love shade and wetness)
Lace cap Hydrangea
Anna Belle Hydrangea (big white snowball flowers)
Edelweis
Small clump of bluebells

My part sun beds have:
Several azaleas
Rhodedendron
Burning Bushes
Sand Cherry
Boxwood
Anna Belle Hydrangea
more hosta
Some evergreen bushes that I can't recall the name of

Full Sun Beds:
Brown Eyed Susans
Peonies
White Lilac
Kousa Dogwood
Little Kim Lilac
Tall Grasses whose name I've forgotten
Various Hydrangeas (regular)
Yarrow
Daisies
Foxglove

In my far back yard I have blueberry, blackberry and red raspberry bushes that I just put in last year so I am anxious to see how they do.

I did not plant any of these flowers or plants from seed so I have no experience with seed planting. I bought all of mine potted and put them in that spring that we made the beds. I have only lost a couple of plants due to bad placement choices. I transplanted the lily of the valley, peonies, daisies and lenten roses from my grandmother's yard after she died and the family was going to sell her home. The peonies were my grandmother's grandmothers. THey did not bloom for two years. The lily of the valley was horrific to transplant due to the tiny pips but I was determined to have them in my beds so I did it anyway.


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Posted: April 24 2006 at 8:32am | IP Logged Quote Dawn

Rebecca wrote:
In my far back yard I have blueberry, blackberry and red raspberry bushes that I just put in last year so I am anxious to see how they do.


Rebecca, how do you support your berry bushes? Dh just ordered a bunch of raspberry bushes to plant along our front fence. (I would've liked them out back, but the front gets full sun.)

Years ago, at another house, we had wild blackberry bushes growing all over our property. They were delicous! How I miss them come August.

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Posted: April 24 2006 at 8:53am | IP Logged Quote Rebecca

Dawn wrote:
Rebecca, how do you support your berry bushes? Dh just ordered a bunch of raspberry bushes to plant along our front fence.

Years ago, at another house, we had wild blackberry bushes growing all over our property. They were delicous! How I miss them come August.


Dawn, I have not supported them because I just put them in last summer. They are not very big yet. My grandmother had the raspberry and blackberry bushes in her yard and did nothing to support them. Then again, they grew along her fence so perhaps they were propped by the fence but I never noticed. Your raspberries will be scrumptuous! I bet the fence will work as a prop quite well.

Anyone else have more experience with berries?
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Posted: April 24 2006 at 10:02am | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth

Okay, south and slightly west exposure in front. I'm definitely not the manicured type. I want to put perennials in there. I was going to put the strawberries and herbs on the eastern side and the wildflower/butterfly garden on the north-mostly western side. The backyard is northern but the garden plot that doesn't drain (a raised bed) is in the far back corner of the yard with no real shade. I really want to make good use of that space. Then there is a stand of about five cedars that I want to do a bed all around and plant lots of bulbs in the fall.

Going back outside now...

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Posted: April 27 2006 at 6:03pm | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth

The Lasagna Gardening book says to layer soil, compost, mulch, etc until the bed is 24 inches deep. Two questions:

24" really? Does it need to be that deep? Lissa?
If it is that deep, how do I keep it all from running off?

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Posted: April 27 2006 at 6:17pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Elizabeth wrote:
The Lasagna Gardening book says to layer soil, compost, mulch, etc until the bed is 24 inches deep. Two questions:

24" really? Does it need to be that deep? Lissa?
If it is that deep, how do I keep it all from running off?


Elizabeth,

First of all, since I haven't even started my garden, you can take my advice with a grain of salt. That being said, I read both lasagne gardening and Square Foot Gardening. I think some of the ideas are similar. I would implement some of lasagne gardening in the fall, to prepare your garden for next year...or do the beginning of the method with the wet newspapers and some soil, but I would recommend you checking out the new book and website of Square Foot Gardening.

Basic program: The Ten Basics Of Square Foot Gardening
1 - LAYOUT
Arrange you garden in squares, not rows. Lay it out in 4' by 4' areas.
2 - BOXES
Build boxes to hold a new soil mix above ground.
3 - AISLES
Space boxes 3' apart to form walking aisles.
4 - SOIL
Fill boxes with Mel's special soil mix: 1/3 compost. 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 coarse vermiculite.
5 - GRID
Make a square foot grid for the top of each box. A MUST!
6 - CARE
NEVER WALK ON YOUR GROWING SOIL.
Tend your garden from the aisles.
7 - SELECT
Plant a different flower, vegetable, or herb crop in each square foot, using 1, 4, 9, or 16 plants per square foot.
8 - PLANT
Conserve seeds. Plant only a pinch (2 or 3 seeds) per hole. Place transplants in a slight saucer-shaped depression.
9 - WATER
Water by hand from a bucket of sun-warmed water.
10 - HARVEST
When you finish harvesting a square foot, add compost.

The soil depth is only as deep as the box surrounding it...not to worry about the existing soil.

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Posted: April 27 2006 at 6:18pm | IP Logged Quote Rebecca

Elizabeth wrote:
The Lasagna Gardening book says to layer soil, compost, mulch, etc until the bed is 24 inches deep.


FWIW, I did not make ours that deep and I wish I would have. In time, the bed gets conpacted from walking on it to plant or mulch, repeated rain, etc. Ours (although I did not measure it with a yardstick) was maybe 16-18 inches but it would be better had I done it deeper. The beds are now 5 years old and I am planning to order a truckload of soil this season to build them up again because they are getting pretty thin.   
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Posted: April 27 2006 at 6:19pm | IP Logged Quote Rebecca

Sorry Elizabeth, I think you were talking about your vegetable garden, not your flower beds, right?
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Posted: April 27 2006 at 7:20pm | IP Logged Quote Lissa

Elizabeth wrote:
The Lasagna Gardening book says to layer soil, compost, mulch, etc until the bed is 24 inches deep. Two questions:

24" really? Does it need to be that deep? Lissa?
If it is that deep, how do I keep it all from running off?


Well, I wasn't planting veggies, I was just extending a flowerbed. The old bed was a long narrow rectangle bordering the lawn. I wanted it to be curved but didn't feel like digging up the grass, so I just put newspapers down directly over the lawn, using a garden hose to mark the curved border. Then I put a few inches of mulch over the newspaper. My goal was just to kill the grass so that I could plant perennials there in the future.

Then I decided the mulch looked too bare, so I scraped it back in places, dumped some potting soil on top of the newspaper, and planted portulaca plants in each little pocket of soil. They filled in the gaps pretty quickly, and it looked like a real flower bed months before it would have without that little shortcut. But portulaca are annuals and I didn't need them to establish a good root structure like perennials would need.

So all I used was a few inches of potting soil for each plant, with a few inches of mulch over that. Nothing nearly as sophisticated as the lasagna method.

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Posted: April 27 2006 at 7:41pm | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth

Rebecca wrote:
Sorry Elizabeth, I think you were talking about your vegetable garden, not your flower beds, right?

I'm talking about both, though the vegetable garden is already a raised bed so I don't have to worry about retaining walls there. I just ordered enough dirt, compost, and peat moss for new beds all the way around the house and in the vegetable garden ! The nursery guy was so alarmed by the quantity that he talked me into getting half what I said I wanted and promised that if I still wanted the rest, he'd deliver it for free.

I read pretty much all of Lasagna Gardening this morning. I've already read Square Foot Garden and we've all watched the video. I can't exactly build boxes and beds right now; that's why the lasagna method appealed to me. And she doesn't seem to think the seasons are a problem. I just don't want it all to wash away the next time we get a good gullywasher.

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Posted: April 28 2006 at 8:40am | IP Logged Quote marihalojen

Edgings of local rock would hold the dirt in or even edgings of low growing plants like portulaca or marigolds or Mexican heather's roots would bind the soil. Grass clippings as mulch (or any other mulch) protects the dirt from being washed out, too.

As far as depth, 24 inches really compacts quickly because of the air incorporated into the layers. I think in Square Foot Gardening I got the idea of not walking on the soil and I started tossing a board in the bed to stand on to distribute my weight. Oh, the things we do for love! Actually since it sounds like you are going to use non-homemade compost less is probably fine as it is less chunky.

I'd definitely do the newspaper layer and then apply that Eclectic Homeschooling approach and take what you like the best from all the various theories. The garden will be beautiful.

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Posted: April 28 2006 at 9:21am | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth

marihalojen wrote:

I'd definitely do the newspaper layer and then apply that Eclectic Homeschooling approach and take what you like the best from all the various theories. The garden will be beautiful.


There you go! Eclectic Homeschooling Gardening! Now it has a name. I don't have enough newspaper, but we have Trader Joe's bags. I didn't have any homemade mulch or compost, so we're buying commercial. And...I have no idea what I'm doing, practically speaking. so this ought to be interesting...

Thanks for the advice. We'll go get some marigolds and I'll look for portaluca--having trouble finding that.

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Posted: April 28 2006 at 9:47am | IP Logged Quote Mary Chris

FYI, I saw Square Foot Gardening at CostCo the other day.

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Posted: April 28 2006 at 9:50am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

marychris wrote:
FYI, I saw Square Foot Gardening at CostCo the other day.


That's where I picked up my copy of the latest version. It's a big improvement to the first book, IMHO. Thinner, straight to the point, and glossy lovely pictures in color.

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Posted: April 28 2006 at 11:02am | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Ok, I was jealous of all you multiple bloggers so I went ahead and created a new blog for my garden!
It is called Digging In
Not much there yet, but I'm working on it!

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Posted: April 28 2006 at 11:33am | IP Logged Quote Christine

Theresa,
It looks great! I look forward to visiting often and learning a lot from you.

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Posted: April 28 2006 at 11:39am | IP Logged Quote teachingmom

Hey, Elizabeth, I have a two foot high pile of newspapers in my recycling bin. We often forget to recycle those for weeks. You are welcome to them all, if you'd like.


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Posted: April 28 2006 at 1:15pm | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth

teachingmom wrote:
Hey, Elizabeth, I have a two foot high pile of newspapers in my recycling bin. We often forget to recycle those for weeks. You are welcome to them all, if you'd like.

Irene,
Call me when you get in. I'll send Michael to get them! Thanks!

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Posted: May 08 2006 at 7:42am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

I have a few questions. Our vegetable bed still isn't planted. I've run into a few snags. I'm trying to adapt Square Foot Gardening, which calls for 1/3 each coarse vermiculite, peat moss, and 5 varieties of compost.

1) Any suggestions on places to find compost? Only Southern States had one type of "compost" and Home Depot and Lowe's had none. Well, Lowes had a horse manure mixture which I got. But I'm still in need of 3 other kinds. I can't think of where else to try. Anyone in Manassas area that have suggestions?

I was thinking of using my Plan B and use organic soil. But should I still mix in the peat moss and vermiculite?

2) Our beds are going down on the existing grass. Could someone who has a copy of Lasagna Gardening explain her instructions of the wet newspaper as the beginning stage?

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