yophotoman's journal of diy projects

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on this website
Project Articles Laptop Icon
About This Site .................. pg 1
DIY Sailboat .................. pg 2
DIY Rowboat .................. pg 3
DIY Wood Shed .................. pg 4
Amateur Radio .................. pg 5
Radio Station .................. pg 6
Radio Clubs .................. pg 7
Christian Author .................. pg 8
Bible Websites .................. pg 9
The Iconclast .................. pg 10
Gardening .................. pg 11
Photography .................. pg 12
Writers Guild .................. pg 13
 
About & Contact Laptop Icon
Contact Form .................. pg 20
About The Author .................. pg 21

Contact me with the contact form
or call Cell: 727-412-3603
(write first, your not on my contact list, so I probably won't answer unknown numbers)
Raised Bed Garden Box

Inspired by youtube homesteading videos, I decided to try my hand at gardening, even though Florida is not the greatest place for it. I was inspired by the idea of "hugelkultur" method. That's where the base of the garden box is wood branches or limbs. I dug a trench and filled it with left over wood from cutting down our dead orange trees. Over that I dumped store bought top soil and compost. I even installed a watering system, made from left over lawn sprinker parts. I ordered some tropical plant seeds and bought some typical vegatable seeds at the local home store. All seemed to be going well, even though I started it rather late in the season for Florida. Then diaster hit.

success and failure

About late May, some damn hurricane went up the Gulf of Mexico, dumping heavy rains on our part of Florida for ten days straight. That flooded my new seedlings everyday with no chance of recovery. Finally the storm made landfall and the rain subsided. But that was just the first onslaught.

The garden box had not drained when the Florida heat started. Following flooding, the temperatures soared to the mid 90's. I didn't expect the squash and melons to survive but I had higher hopes for the tropical plants. Well, the Moringa did survive and it is promoted as a tropical salad item. However, once mine got big enough to eat, taste testing failed, I really don't like Moringa! So I tore them out. I also had hopes for Swiss Chard but in spite of my every effort, even reseeding them twice, I only got 10% of the seeds to germinate and those didn't grow very well. Another failure.

future plans

A few months after I cleaned out all the failed plants, including masses of root balls (should I have left them in??), I noticed that the bed had setteled down several inches. I suppose the spaces between the wood branches are now filled with dirt. I do hope so but I'm not going to dig it up to find out. I also discovered in cleaning out the left over mess that my soil is now only a couple of inches thick. My next plan is to buy more topsoil to gain at least a six inch soil bed.

I do have plans for additional raised beds around the backyard shed but no hard decisions yet. I've got some gifted Morning Glory seeds that might do well in more sunny places on the south side of the shed. What I don't know, being a northern vine, would they survive a Florida Summer... ?? Perhaps this year, we may find out.

In spite of these failures, I will try a garden again. Afterall, were it not for challenges, what else would I do?

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