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Name: Kelly
Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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locakelly
Mar 12, 2010 6:32 PM CST
OK, so I spent waaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too much time watering last summer. What do you all use for mulch around your veggies? Once they fill in nicely it's not so bad, but until that point things dry out too much for my liking. The downside of gardening in raised beds with good drainage - lol...

Yup - I still hand water - lol. If the garden gets bigger I may have to go to a drip or soaker system though.
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown
Moderator for Southwest Living Vegetable Forum


Name: Dan
San Tan Valley, AZ
Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: Southwest Gardening Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Tropicals
Dann_L
Mar 12, 2010 6:50 PM CST
I had a drip system but every time I replanted I had to change the water system again. To much trouble so I just hand water again. The only time it is a problem is when we want to go away for a few days. But that's when I call upon local friends and neighbors that I gave plants to to come over a do a little watering for me. Most do it willingly because they want to see how they are doing compared to my garden. I let them sample while they water too!

I use the 3 cubic ft bags of Kellogg's Garden Soil (white bag with red stripes) for mulch. It's fairly course with a lot of forest stuff in it.
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap ...What a ride!'
Name: Kelly
Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
locakelly
Mar 12, 2010 7:09 PM CST
Oh that's perfect Dan. I bought two bags of that soil last weekend to use to work into some beds I need to amend. I was thinking if I sifted out the big stuff I could use it for mulch - lol. I also have big pieces I sifted out of the last load of compost I got from Singh Farms. Some I put back into the compost pile but I could use that too now that I think of it!
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown
Moderator for Southwest Living Vegetable Forum


Name: Mary
Phoenix Arizona
MaryMcP
Mar 13, 2010 7:44 AM CST
Sifted Singh compost is ideal. I also use straw - but don't get Dan started on that subject! He had an issue with wind and the straw ended up just about everywhere. The wind wasn't a problem for me, the straw is cheap but make sure it's straw NOT HAY. Hay has weed seeds.
Name: Dan
San Tan Valley, AZ
Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: Southwest Gardening Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Tropicals
Dann_L
Mar 13, 2010 8:33 AM CST
Whistling
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap ...What a ride!'
Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
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tomatofreak
Mar 13, 2010 8:44 AM CST
I'm a big believer in straw, too. If I got a lot of wind like Dan does, I probably wouldn't. I have no problems so I just go buy bales of straw at $6 a bale at the feed store. It goes a long way, biodegrades slowly and stays put - at my house. Rolling my eyes.
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
Name: Dan
San Tan Valley, AZ
Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: Southwest Gardening Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Tropicals
Dann_L
Mar 13, 2010 9:17 AM CST
I don't get very much wind out here but that year I had just spread it out shortly before we did get a good wind...I think it was during the monsoon season. Anyway it blew straw everywhere and it took me, seriously, about 3 months to get it all picked up out of the rocks and shrubs. Constantly had to skim the pool....Now the only straw that comes to my house goes directly into the enclosed compost bins.

When I lived in a more rural area I would till straw and rice hulls into the garden and it made fabulous soil. We also had a chicken coop in the middle of the garden and that was very convenient in a lot of ways. Garden scrap would go in...eggs and fertilizer would come out. They were pretty good on bug patrol too...they loved to fight over hornworms. Smiling
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap ...What a ride!'
Name: Jayne
Glendale/Parks Az
Charter ATP Member Permaculture Vegetable Grower
rtl850nomore
Mar 13, 2010 2:14 PM CST
My favorite thing to mulch with is alfalfa. Contrary to what I have been warned...it has never sprouted on me. I wish it would, it is a nitrogen fixer.
The reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment.
Name: Dan
San Tan Valley, AZ
Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: Southwest Gardening Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Tropicals
Dann_L
Mar 13, 2010 2:21 PM CST
Jayne....next time you're near a health food store pick up some sprouting alfalfa seeds and throw them out there.
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap ...What a ride!'
Name: Kelly
Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
locakelly
Mar 14, 2010 10:28 AM CST
Thanks for all the great ideas folks!
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown
Moderator for Southwest Living Vegetable Forum


Name: Jayne
Glendale/Parks Az
Charter ATP Member Permaculture Vegetable Grower
rtl850nomore
Mar 14, 2010 10:35 PM CST
Thanks for the idea Dan. I don't have to go to the store I need only open my cupboard. I make alfalfa sprouts all the time and never thought of throwing the seeds out in the garden.
The reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment.
Name: Dan
San Tan Valley, AZ
Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: Southwest Gardening Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Tropicals
Dann_L
Mar 14, 2010 10:37 PM CST
Smiling
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap ...What a ride!'
Name: Jayne
Glendale/Parks Az
Charter ATP Member Permaculture Vegetable Grower
rtl850nomore
Mar 14, 2010 10:39 PM CST
In addition to alfalfa I am going to mulch with compost made in this badboy.

Thumb of 2010-03-15/rtl850nomore/5f2705
The reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment.
Name: Dan
San Tan Valley, AZ
Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: Southwest Gardening Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Tropicals
Dann_L
Mar 14, 2010 10:58 PM CST
Hey! Interesting...what do you have there Jayne?
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap ...What a ride!'
Name: Jayne
Glendale/Parks Az
Charter ATP Member Permaculture Vegetable Grower
rtl850nomore
Mar 14, 2010 11:21 PM CST
It is a homemade compost tumbler using a 55 gallon barrel. 21.50 for the barrel, left over wood and PVC from my son's garage. He sent me home with all the dimensions and a template for the part that holds the barrel rod. The barrel has a removable lid for ease of putting in and getting out. I had him make one while I was in California since he is prone to re-engineering everything; I knew he would take the best ideas and make them better. That thing is solid. I had to leave that one behind since I flew but I will be making mine very soon.
The reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment.
Name: Mary
Phoenix Arizona
MaryMcP
Mar 15, 2010 7:04 AM CST
How do you keep the lid on when you tumble?
Name: Jayne
Glendale/Parks Az
Charter ATP Member Permaculture Vegetable Grower
rtl850nomore
Mar 15, 2010 7:54 AM CST
The lid has a metal ring with a locking mechanism.
The reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment.
Name: Kelly
Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
locakelly
Mar 15, 2010 10:53 PM CST
Like the tumbler!
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown
Moderator for Southwest Living Vegetable Forum


Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
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Sonoita
Mar 22, 2010 9:04 AM CST
Would you be willing and able to pass on the plans?
Be the person your pet(s) believes you to be.
Name: Jayne
Glendale/Parks Az
Charter ATP Member Permaculture Vegetable Grower
rtl850nomore
Mar 22, 2010 9:46 AM CST
This is the tumbler I made this weekend. I added a little piece of slip joint between the tumbler and the wood so that the tumbler is tight but doesn't rub on the wood. I also added the caps to finish it off. This barrel does not have a removable lid. I cut it off and have to bungie it back on. The 2x4's are from HD cull costing .51 a piece. Some pieces were long enough to get two cuts. The wood pieces holding the axel is red oak plywood also from HD cull. The axel is 2" schedule 80. I had to go to a plumbing suppy to get this. This video was our starting point. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7IN_9s8C8E The tumbler is now loaded with 1 part cardboard, 2 parts leaves, .5 part coffee grounds and .5 parts kitchen green waste for a total C:N ratio of 29.61. I watered it good before putting the lid on, then tumbled it. As you know you cannot have good microbe rich compost without water and oxygen. BTW I drilled air holes in the barrel and two holes in the bottom for the excess water to drain out. I made this barrel because I can't keep compost in a pile wet enough for the microbes, I don't want to have to turn it and if I don't the microbes will die, and the mice kept moving into my pile not to mention la cucaracha came to dinner too. Sonita, if you need more detail c-mail me. I will see if my son kept the word doc he gave me. It has all his measurements.

Thumb of 2010-03-22/rtl850nomore/13e04d
The reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment.

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