Tag Archives: Garden

Brad's Garden Plan 2016

10.24.2016 – Garden (Part One)

I built a raised-bed garden 2 months ago.  I am excited about growing my own food.  I buy an awful lot of fruits and veggies from the grocery store, and I want to experiment with having my own source.  Plus, I like watching the miracle of plants growing.  And, I like eating different varieties and studying them – all very interesting to me.

So, I grow.  These are my “test beds”, quite literally.  I made 3 beds to study how things will grow (even in this late part of the season – I just moved here).  Later, I will expand it 10-fold when I acquire some larger acreage.  This is a great pre-cursor experiment to see what mistakes I make or what problems I encounter here so that I can learn from them when I scale up – or if it just does really well, I’ll replicate.  I also want to see what dies in the frost and what survives and why.  Come Springtime, I’ll have a better understanding of what needs to be done for each plant I’m interested in when I plan the next layout.

So, here’s what I’ve got growing:  Corn, wheat, cucumbers, garlic, strawberries, tomatoes, Anaheim peppers, jalapenos, habaneros, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, Chinese peppers, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, squash, onions, kale, radish, swiss chard, basil, parsley, cilantro, aloe vera, cacti, and probably a few more that I’m not remembering.  And, I have several varieties of some of them.  Let’s see what happens!

I planned the whole thing out before I started growing.  Here’s the chart:

Brad's Garden Plan 2016

So, I started the build in the late summer.  I used as much reclaimed wood (untreated) as I could find.  For instance I found some great 20′ 2×8’s used previously as roof rafters to use and had plenty of standard 2×4’s.  I bought the rest and went to work.

Brad Garden Pickaxe 2016

Muddy Garden Build

To make a long story short, I initially intended to drop them into the existing soil, but I decided to change halfway through to do raised beds as a more controlled experiment – like growing in huge containers with known, looser soil.  And, I ended up matching the building width of 7′ for alignment, so these are 4′ by 7′, and there are 3 of them.

That’s the old deconstructed, broken-down pyramid vocal booth that I built for my old home, in the background.  I broke it down to use the wood.  I found another sound booth solution for this place.  As you can see, the frames came up nicely – it was much easier after it stopped raining so much!  It was a pleasure to design and build these things – there’s great fulfillment that comes from it.  And, the garden area has remnant parts of that vocal booth and another climbing wall that I harvested wood from.  So, there’s some memories in there, as well.  🙂

Garden Under Construction

 

Brad's Bed Design - Close Up

And, finally, the finished product (below) with a few plants growing. 🙂  It took me about a month of evenings and weekends, after trial and error and design changes to finish it.  I used all untreated lumber for contact with the soil and plants.  For the treated 4×4’s, they are lined with plastic all the way up on the inside.  There are cons to using untreated lumber, too – they rot with extended water contact.  But with the chemically treated wood, I fear that they’d leech into the soil.  Cedar was overly expensive for my budget, so I went with what I had.  It’ll be fine for a few years.  It’s looking good!

Brad's Finished Garden with Rainbow

I am really enjoying my new location and being able to build stuff – having a great place to work out of.  I’ll be here for about a year while I save up and scout for a more permanent, larger acreage that I can live at for 10+ years.  The structures are transportable, so I can re-use them if need be.  My workshop is just adjacent to the garden, so I work wood and paint and carve stuff just right there nearby with the scenery – very inspiring to me!  I have a saw station, an “assembly” station, and a covered tool rack and deck that I’ll show more of with the 2nd garden update.  A fun, relaxing place for me to be.

In the evenings, like in this pic, the plants do go out of sunlight, but they get full sun from the time it comes up until about 6 or 7pm, in the Summer and Fall.  I specially prepared the soil with carefully-measured, all organic compost, vermiculite, peat moss, and other “dirt” to serve as an experiment to see what happens, built also of course, I made the soil rich and organic to grow good plants to eat, too.

 

Woodcarving: Barbara

07.12.2015 – Wood Stuff, Tool Hanger & Garden Fence

During the last few weeks, I have been using the wood from the fallen Juniper tree to build all sorts of things.  First, I carved some raised letters into a thick, peeled branch to give to my Mom for her 60th birthday.  BARBARA.  Some of the smooth spots were hard to get into, like the inside of the “R”, and breakage did occur once or twice, but I glued the affected parts back.  In the end, it looks pretty nice.  It was a fun project that took a considerable amount of time, and I learned about where I wanna go next.  I worked on it nights and weekends, after my full-time job.  Perfect compliment to logic-heavy thinking all day…  I did lightly paint and finish parts of it, but here it is before all of that.

Woodcarving: Barbara

And, last week, I restored a raised garden and put up a fence around it.  I planted potatoes, tomatoes, and some herbs like Basil in there.  And…  when the tomatoes start to show, I’ll build a small frame out of the same wood.  I want to get my gardening skills up so that I can have a large garden one day on my own ranch land and eat my own organically grown food.  I had this particular garden going with many plants in the past (twice!), but never got to full harvest because the deer and rabbits and foxes ate them up every time!  They even ate the cactus in another pot.  Can you believe that?  Haha.  So, I had to do the fence this time.

Round  Raised  Garden

I had to dig 8-inch-deep holes down into the ground for the poles, and it was really tough going with this rocky soil where I live.  Believe me, I had to take a chisel and hammer to break up the Texas limestone rocks, a half inch at a time.  But, nonetheless, despite the work..  yes…  It was fun.

I made it a hexagon pattern, since I love hexagons, and it was a more round shape for the round garden container.  I used hexagonal plastic chicken “wire”, too.  Yep.  So, we’ll see if this is enough to keep the animals out.  Probably enough for the rabbits and foxes, but the deer can jump right over that.  However, we’ll see if they wanna put up the effort.  Let’s test it.

Garden Hexagonal Fence

And, finally, I made a tool hanger wall.  I cut a few posts off of the fell Juniper tree and skinned ’em to use as supports for the tool wall.  I sanded and shellac’d the posts and the backing board (made of birch) – they all have a nice, rich grain to them.  And, I started to lay out places to hang my tools.  It’s all securely hung up there.  I had a lot to hang and only a little space to hang them in, so it got a bit cramped.  However, this is a fAR better solution than putting them on the floor of my workshop – you know, “that place on the floor over there where all the hand tools go”…  So, yeah – the hanging system has been really awesome.

Brad Ormand's Tool Hanger

And, more importantly, the wood is from a tree that I chilled out under when it was alive.  So, it’s got that nice memory attached to it.  Below the tool hanger is a shelf that I just assembled this week, bought from the Home Depot (likely, my favorite place in the world).  Inside those crates, you’ll find sandpaper, drill and router bits, glues, knives, bolts and nuts, and many other things organized by type so I know right where they are.  Plus, the Sabre Saw, the Belt Sander, the Dremel Tool, and all of that have a home of their own.  I’m stating to get more organized and it feels good.