Tag Archives: Plants

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.

 

Cucumber Plant - Brad Ormand's Garden

09.25.2015 – Gardening & Land

In less than a year, I am planning on getting a big spread of land to build a homestead on.  I’ll have my wood workshop, my electronics lab, my recording studio, my tool shed, my camping areas, and my painting and crafting area all on the property.  I mean, that’s total paradise to me!  In my mind, I ask, “why spend more in the city for a quarter acre and close neighbors, when you could have your very own territory to expand and grow food out in the quiet country!”  That’s obvious to me (for my life).  There’s still excellent community out there…  But, there are different strokes for different folks, I realize.  I’m going to build a home there, put down some roots, and then get ready to start businesses and raise a family and all that.   Even if I had a billion dollars, I’d still be on this same path – I’d just buy more acreage and have more expensive tools, ha – and probably one or two of those Pro Tools | Avid S6 consoles, as well..  but I digress…

Seedling Garden 1

Anyway, at the land, I envision at least 200 sqft of outdoor farming to start off with.  I have been growing cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes.  That’s one of my projects, too.  There’s also basil and eggplant and cilantro, and more, too.  I started from seed (inside) and took care of them and now they are huge!  Well, none have bore fruit yet, but it’s almost time.  And – I wanted to test to see if I could do it in the summer.  It worked – even on 100 degree days as seedlings.  I gave them plenty of attention.  I’m glad I have done these tests/experiments with this right now to see what I have to do with a small sample size.  I’ll report about it some more when I get some fruit!  These 3 photos are about a month apart, each…

Seedling Garden 2

I’m really excited about these.  I might be moving to a new place sooner than later, but I’ll take what I can with me.  I also have about 20 other plants in other portable containers.  I’m not sure I can take the cucumber plant with me, since it has already vined, but I’ll grow another if it’s too “dug in”.  It’s really miraculous how the vines reach out for sturdy things to grab onto.  Incredible!

Cucumber Plant - Brad Ormand's Garden