All Things Gardening forum: Your Favorite Ideas

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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Feb 19, 2017 7:39 PM CST
I appreciated the replies to my light rack system, and it occurred to me that most have us have a few good ideas me probably never think to mention (like my plywood shelves of different heights to make it easy to keep the seedlings close the lights without having to adjust the height of the lights).

Thumb of 2017-02-20/Yardenman/e6bfd8

I have others. For example, I added 2 mailboxes to my garden area. One stores small hand tools, the other stores nozzles and hose connectors. Nice water-proof storage.

And I developed a system of index cards for scheduling plantings indoors and out. The divider cards count down the weeks to average last frost (-10, -9, -8 etc and then +1, +2 etc) each card in the week has instructions for 1 crop. -8 has a card for planting tomato seeds inside with depth and best temperature, another for peppers, another for leeks, etc. -4 has cards for transplanting the tomato seedlings to deeper pots, fertilizer suggestions, planting some crops outside and etc. I have a calendar marked with the week numbers next to the light rack. It all fits in a recipe card box.

I can add more details and pictures if anyone is interested...

I'll bet you all have some great ideas I would love to know about. What do you do that is a bit novel and others might not have thought of?

Let's add some...

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Feb 19, 2017 9:15 PM CST
Yardenman,

That's WAY too organized for my fly-by life style.

But I have always wanted a garden door. Not a gate, a door. And no connecting wall or a fence, just a door.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Feb 19, 2017 9:23 PM CST
Great idea for a thread. I hope to read lots of contributions.
Porkpal
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Birds
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Weedwhacker
Feb 19, 2017 9:56 PM CST
I think it would be better to start a thread for this topic on the All Things Gardening forum. Smiling
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Feb 20, 2017 12:54 AM CST
Hopefully, a Moderator could move it...
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Birds
Image
Weedwhacker
Feb 20, 2017 8:55 AM CST
It looks like we're now in All Things Gardening Smiling
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities[/I] / Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Feb 20, 2017 11:35 AM CST
Okay! Bring on the ideas!
Porkpal
Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Feb 20, 2017 2:01 PM CST
Yardman, I love your seed tray ideas. I just wish I had room for something like that. I also had a mailbox in my yard which I painted flowers on as a disguise. lol I've been thinking of building one of those mailbox covers that looks like a house for a corner of the yard.

My garden journal is a spreadsheet on my computer with about 16 and counting pages. Each page is labeled differently, one is the year where I keep track of new plantings and chores needed to do that year. Other pages consist of each garden around the house which I have named, with current plants and ideas for future plants and even long dead plants and why I think they died. Others pages are for winter sowing, container plants, plants that bees like, reseeders etc. You get the idea. Right now I'm researching privacy plants for along the alley. So I added a page labeled "hedges" and when I find something interesting I add it to the page along with a picture and a few growing facts.

The journal helps keep my mind organized otherwise all this gardening info would be like a bowl of spaghetti in my head! LOL

I also use Google calendar to remind me to feed, prune, spray and other chores that need to be done at a certain time. Otherwise I'd forget, for sure!
Meri
[Last edited by mnmat - Feb 20, 2017 2:06 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1374723 (8)
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Dreams don't work unless you do.
Bookworm Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper
Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Region: United States of America
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greene
Feb 20, 2017 2:15 PM CST
I agree I agree with using the old mailbox. My yard is about 400+ deep and it would be a long walk back to the house if I forgot the gloves and pruning shears. Keeping items like that in an old mailbox makes it more convenient.

Had trouble keeping pots from blowing away, falling off shelves, etc. So here are my two ideas:

Small pots stacked and stored inside an old milk crate.
Thumb of 2017-02-20/greene/ee1cff

Larger pots stacked and threaded onto either a garden stake or a piece of rebar. Stick the stake into the ground or, as in the photo, into a large pot of soil.
Thumb of 2017-02-20/greene/28ce21


Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Feb 20, 2017 3:14 PM CST
Hey Greene!

When you stack the pots on the rebar do you have to poke a new hole in the middle? Don't most nursery pots have holes on the side? Good idea.
Meri
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Dreams don't work unless you do.
Bookworm Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper
Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Region: United States of America
Image
greene
Feb 20, 2017 5:19 PM CST
mnmat said:

When you stack the pots on the rebar do you have to poke a new hole in the middle? Don't most nursery pots have holes on the side?


All of the larger pots in my yard have a center hole in the bottom. They may also have holes along the outer bottom edge but I don't use those. Some holes are too small for the re-bar so I used a plastic coated metal garden stake because it was easier than drilling larger holes in the pots.

Oh, and since all my pots are freebies, any that do not conform get chucked into the recycle bin.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Feb 22, 2017 11:49 PM CST
I have 3 barrels in the basement. One each for large pots nested as well as possible, one for medium pots 6-8" across, and one for all those small pots.

I like that rebar idea, and drilling a hole to suit the rebar isn't a problem. My cordless drill is almost always out on the workbench.

I love seeing that others are using mailboxes to tool storage. I never saw that idea anywhere myself, so great minds think alike!
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Feb 23, 2017 1:36 AM CST
My index cards...
Thumb of 2017-02-23/Yardenman/752a6d


Thumb of 2017-02-23/Yardenman/e1dab5


Thumb of 2017-02-23/Yardenman/3ed0d6

Why can't I get the full picture of the index card to show?
[Last edited by Yardenman - Feb 23, 2017 1:37 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1376418 (13)
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
Image
gardenglassgems
Feb 23, 2017 5:14 AM CST
When you click on them, the whole card is visible, isn't it? Great idea.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Feb 23, 2017 5:23 AM CST
gardenglassgems said:When you click on them, the whole card is visible, isn't it? Great idea.


I didn't realize that. And here I spent 2 hours trying to make the whole cards show, LOL!

Good thing to know for the future.

And thanks for liking my card idea.

Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Feb 23, 2017 5:31 AM CST
mnmat said:Yardman, I love your seed tray ideas. I just wish I had room for something like that. I also had a mailbox in my yard which I painted flowers on as a disguise. lol I've been thinking of building one of those mailbox covers that looks like a house for a corner of the yard.

My garden journal is a spreadsheet on my computer with about 16 and counting pages. Each page is labeled differently, one is the year where I keep track of new plantings and chores needed to do that year. Other pages consist of each garden around the house which I have named, with current plants and ideas for future plants and even long dead plants and why I think they died. Others pages are for winter sowing, container plants, plants that bees like, reseeders etc. You get the idea. Right now I'm researching privacy plants for along the alley. So I added a page labeled "hedges" and when I find something interesting I add it to the page along with a picture and a few growing facts.

The journal helps keep my mind organized otherwise all this gardening info would be like a bowl of spaghetti in my head! LOL

I also use Google calendar to remind me to feed, prune, spray and other chores that need to be done at a certain time. Otherwise I'd forget, for sure!


I like Excel. Could you post a page or part of one to show the idea?

Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Feb 23, 2017 9:06 AM CST
Do you make your own seedling starter soil? I bought 2 smallish bags of it 2 years ago and it didn't go far. So I bought the basics last year and sifted/mixed it myself. And there was still plenty of most for THIS year

The sifter is a 1/4" hardware cloth fastened around a 2'x4" frame. It fits over a plastic bin. It takes some handwork, but I love that...

My starter formula is 4 parts leafgro compost, 2 parts peat, 1 part vermiculite, and 1/2 part perlite. I arrange all the parts in 35 lb cat litter tubs. 5 gallon buckets work just fine.

I add scoops of each from a cheap kitchen pot (no holes and consistent) and run my hands over the sifter mesh to keep out chunks. Its my first "digging in" to soil for the year and it makes me very happy.

Darn it, I KNEW I should have taken pictures... OK, I'll replicate it.

This is the bin.
Thumb of 2017-02-23/Yardenman/b4bd5b
Sifter...
Thumb of 2017-02-23/Yardenman/42720e
Scoop...
Thumb of 2017-02-23/Yardenman/ef051e\
Various tubs
Thumb of 2017-02-23/Yardenman/30f336
Filled barrel
Thumb of 2017-02-23/Yardenman/f79c5b

And with each bin addition, I sank my hand to the bottom and lifted up. If there is better mixing than that, it takes equipment. And I repeat "oh that felt so good"...

Eventually, I filled a 60 gallon barrel. That's about what I use every year in the seedling trays. The 60 gallon barrel cost the same as the 2 gallons of commercial starter soil did, and I think mine is better.

Seriously good day!


[Last edited by Yardenman - Feb 23, 2017 9:23 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1376541 (17)
Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
Image
mnmat
Feb 24, 2017 1:27 PM CST
Ok yardman, I'm sold. I rebelled at buying bags of starter this year so I found a brick of compressed coir. Its not perfect but it was cheap and I've got vermiculite and perlite so I have enough for this year. Later on I'll see about following your recipe. I've never heard of Leafgro compost so would any compost do?
A can full the size you have would last me years so I think I'll start with a tote and see how that works. I'm thinking of drilling a small hole in the lid of the garbage can, inserting a large paint mixer through the hole from the bottom of the lid and attaching it to my drill. The lid will keep the dust contained and really give it a good mix. Plus it should be fun!

Here's a couple pics of my journal.
Thumb of 2017-02-24/mnmat/c5702f


Thumb of 2017-02-24/mnmat/c1a886


Thumb of 2017-02-24/mnmat/6f6e97

Meri
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies
Image
UrbanWild
Feb 24, 2017 6:54 PM CST
I used a lot of coir last year right into winter. Then I found out that a lot of it has high salt content. I can't seem to find out much specific to brands sold here though.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro.
Name: Cynthia Reed
Stockholm, Sweden (Zone 6b)
A determined Imposter Gardener.
Image
UKCynthiaR
Feb 25, 2017 7:02 AM CST
I'm new here, and have nothing to contribute (never mind there's still snow on the ground and my zone doesn't call for much quite yet--plus the path to the greenhouse is icy!) but I wanted to say 'THANK YOU' for the thread and all the ideas...and especially the enthusiasm and experiences that come through.

My "beginnings" (I haven't gardened in decades) are in an Excel spreadsheet, so, "mnmat", your samples are terrific to pore over. I tip my hat to you.

Thanks to everyone,
Cynthia
Longing for 'pattypan' squash in a world devoid of same.

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