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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 25, 2019 2:01 pm 
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Thank you for the great info. My fence area is new, never been any dogs there, I put my waddle fence up first, to secure a garden area and then the dog fence around it so I'm hoping that will protect garden (from them, they eat our peppers!). Hoping to start building containers, a greenhouse over winter and be ready for seedlings by spring. One thing, heard stories about wind here, how do you secure a greenhouse and how do you hand pollinate or what plant pollinates. It's going to be a little garden but it's ours and I'm going to put a bench in there, so excited...


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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 25, 2019 2:07 pm 
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Monchiladas wrote:
Am I making the box and then putting the 1/4 hardwire in there?


As CooknThyme said, be sure to use 1/4 inch, not 1/2 inch on the bottom of your beds. A couple things to be aware of regarding depth. When you use hardware mesh on the bottom of a bed that is 6-10 inches in depth you will end up with around 4-8 inches of soil depth after it settles. If you plant carrots or parsnips they may grow into the hardware mesh which can become problematic at harvest time. If you plan on growing these in raised beds, make the beds more like 15" minimum height. This is also a much better depth for tomato plants.

Also take into account what the soil is like under the bed. If all you have is crushed granite, you will want beds 10-15 inches deep. If you have good soil under the bed you can get by with a shallower bed but don't forget issues with the hardware cloth and root vegetables. I have good soil under my beds so I can get away with 12" in height. Depending on what you grow you may want to plan on multiple bed heights. I have wooden boxes I can set in a bed to raise the local height, I always use this method for leeks so I can increase the soil depth as they grow.

Regarding filling your bed. I tell folks I grow soil and the side benefit is being able to grow vegetables. Soil is something you need to maintain over time. It can be quite expensive to buy soil and compost for your new beds. You can start the fill using old branches etc. and fill around them with local dirt, perhaps what you cleared out prior to making the bed. Layer dead leads, grass clippings, brown matter (shredded paper etc.), known as lasagna gardening. Then only use good soil and compost for the top 6 inches. As time goes on, the filler in the bottom of the bed will decompose, releasing nutrients, and the soil level will drop. This is good because it provides room to add 2-3 inches of compost each spring. You can get animal bedding compost around here for free, collect it from friends, just be sure to let it age for two years before adding to your beds.

Despite what many folks say, you do not need a greenhouse up here. Just learn what varieties work well in our climate. Also look for micro climates on your property. Some produce like full sun, others shade. I don't have any shade so I use shade cloth for some crops. I think the hail cloth CooknThyme mentioned is a must. When you consider the time and effort you put into a garden, the cost of the cloth is well worth not losing your entire garden to one late season hail storm like we had two weeks ago.

There are many knowledgeable long-time gardeners on this forum that will help you out.


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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 25, 2019 3:55 pm 
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When I did my latest bed last year, I decided to put hardware cloth down in the whole bed instead of making "baskets" around individual plants.

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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 25, 2019 4:23 pm 
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Great info C4!

So true, I totally agree that you do not need a greenhouse.

A GH is nice to have but still not required if you plan to grow all year (read Elliott Coleman, he is a 4 season gardener in zone 5 Maine and uses a wonderfully designed hoop house). If that's your goal (4 season gardening) then let's have a face to face conversation sometime. But if you are just looking for a season extender then that's easily achieved without a greenhouse.

A "hobby" greenhouse (like you can get at Harbor Freight) with single or double cell glazing and aluminum framing adds very little value in my opinion. They need to be modified and are usually only rated to 30 mph winds. A hoop house is probably a much better investment. Or add a bit more $ and build a "real" greenhouse.

I know a couple of people who have made their "hobby" greenhouses work for them. They are in protected areas not seeing extreme winds. But only 1 of them can grow a few things in the winter. The others are just season extenders.

Yes the winds can be wicked depending on the orientation of your property. I'm on top of a ridge and I get winds every year that exceed 100 mph. But a 1/4 mile down from me it's rare to exceed 50 mph.

Again, as I stated before START SMALL. If this is your first time gardening in this type of climate, then I recommend that you DO NOT build a greenhouse yet. Wait a year or more before deciding if you need one.


And yes Angela, hardware cloth under the entire bed. The basket method is a waste of time, IMO


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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 25, 2019 4:53 pm 
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Monchiladas, I came to Bailey with decades of gardening experience, including a decade at 6200ft in Golden.

But I had NO IDEA what I didn't know. :thud:

My first season was a complete disaster. The second season was much better but still not great.
I started with 1 raised bed and built one additional bed per year for a couple of years.

I learn tons every year and make modifications every year.

If I were to start from scratch now, I would do MANY things differently.


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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 25, 2019 5:16 pm 
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Ok, so I'm going to start with a couple of containers and the bench and the rainbarrells and limit outdoor gardening to summer and early autumn and start the seedlings inside late Jan. No way am I building a greenhouse if the winds get that bad. The small hoop houses look more manageable for growing season. As for the fruit trees, I hope it's possible to grow them here, guess we'll see.


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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 25, 2019 5:41 pm 
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I sure love your enthusiasm! But that's more realistic, IMO.

Talk to your neighbors to see how bad the winds are in your area. But very few places only have light winds.

Next summer visit as many gardens as possible. Everyone does some aspect a bit differently. You'll learn so much! You are welcome to come see mine. And I'm sure several others will be open to showing you theirs.


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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 25, 2019 8:06 pm 
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Maybe a pretty pathway, some garden ornaments, purple snow flowers, its going to be fun, cant wait to get started! Thank you for all the helpful info, I've taken notes.


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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 25, 2019 9:19 pm 
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Monchiladas wrote:
The small hoop houses look more manageable for growing season.

For season extenders, hoop houses work great! These are what I use instead of a green house. I did have a green house in the past and have thought about rebuilding one. If I did, it would be to enable growing year round which would require a significant investment, not you average greenhouse. Instead of using a green house, I start my plants indoors (with 6500K florescent lights) and use hoop houses. Works great.

Gardening up here is a challenge, but it is a fun challenge and can be SO rewarding. I have been gardening up here since the 80s and am still amazed every year, not only by how much I can grow but the variety of produce I can grow. But I must give credit to other pinecamers who have helped me find the right varieties over the years and given me so much inspiration (CooknThyme, TillerBee, and Local Person, just to name a few).

Angela, I have used baskets around small pine trees I transplant. But you are correct, for garden beds the full bed is best.


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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 26, 2019 7:12 am 
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Found some articles on fruit trees at high altitude, for a newcomer, going to start small, just researching, if anyone ever wants to read:

High Altitude Orchard Part 1 by Substainable Homesteading

Growing giant veggies, fruit trees at 8300 ft by Barbara Hardt
Themtnear.com

Growing tree fruits in short season gardens by Stephen Love, Email Fallahi and Kathy Noble, University of Idaho Extension, Bulletin 867, Short Season High Altitude Gardening


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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 26, 2019 7:17 am 
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You can also grow in large pots on your deck, if you have a deck. I do that exclusively now. When we first moved here the husband and I built a greenhouse and we were meticulous in construction. The first big snowstorm the sucker collapsed. So even with attention to snow loads nature takes its course.

On my deck garden I do tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, snap peas, potatoes, zucchini, beans, herbs, and if I get lucky, peppers. Lettuce, spinach, radishes and chard. Get a good source of seed. Johnny’s is always great but shipping is $ Pinetree is less expensive but seed can be hit or miss. Both are Maine companies so are familiar with colder climate gardening. Territorial in Oregon is also great. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: 2019 Gardening
Post Posted: Sep 26, 2019 8:52 am 
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Sorry to hear about your GH mummydog. What a bummer after all that work. You probably posted about that in the past but I had forgotten.

Yes, container gardening is great too. I do a fair amount of that also. Some years more than others. But seems like more work than raised beds to me. And water management is a bit less forgiving unless you have super big pots.

I have two 18 gallon trash cans that I use to grow tomatoes. They are as good as my 3ft tall raised beds and better than my 2ft high raised bed.

For many years I had a Meyers lemon tree in a container. It lived on the deck during the summer and in a sunny window (with supplemental lighting) in the dining room the rest of the year. It was a good producer of lemons.

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It died last winter. It froze one too many times. Oops, my bad.

I also have a fig tree in a container that lives outdoors in the summer and winters over in the greenhouse. The fruit has not been good yet. I think I need a different variety. But I'll give it one more year.

Monchiladas, those are some good references! Thanks.
That first one was the one that encouraged me to try growing a couple of apples.
While you are waiting for your orchard to be planted and produce, you can grow other fruit.

Strawberries do okay, I unexpectantly had a great crop this year! I have Eversweet in a container that did awesome! It will get moved to the GH for the winter as it's only zone 5 (for things in a pot you have to subtract 1 - 2 zones). I've had okay luck with Tristan in the past. This year I planted new plants of Fort Laramie, but did not let them fruit this year (so they would grow a good root system to survive the winter).

Also you can try blackberry/raspberries and perhaps blueberries (they should work although I don't know anyone above 8500 who have had any luck). The trick is getting the right varieties. And give them protection from the winter winds.

Also consider chokecherry and currants (grows wild up here).

Although technically not a fruit, growing rhubarb is a snap!

I too am a big fan of Territorial Seed Company.


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