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High Yield Gardening: High Yield Gardening in Small Spaces

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Forum: High Yield GardeningReplies: 12, Views: 275
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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

February 19, 2011
5:05 PM

Post #8381339

Not everyone has a "back forty" to grow on. But, that shouldn't stop you from getting the most you can from the space you have!

Let's share the creative ideas and methods we use to maximize vegetable productivity in "small space" gardens (100 square feet or less of growing space).

And, though we love you all, as a courtesy to others, let's try to stay as "on topic" as we can, and take our sidebar discussions to the dmail. Thanks!

Now, show us your productive spaces!

This message was edited Feb 21, 2011 1:31 PM
yehudith
silver spring, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 20, 2011
3:49 PM

Post #8383015

This has got to be the greatest http://www.earthlypursuits.com/GardenMag/GardenMag0517-231.htm

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2011
4:09 AM

Post #8397139

What a wonderful resource, Yehudith! I bookmarked it.
yehudith
silver spring, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2011
8:53 AM

Post #8397722

OK guys I need some help. Which is the quickest way to raise nitrogen and phosphorus and lower ph? I just did a soil test on one of my beds and its very anaemic. I'm thinking of ordering some Peruvian bat guano. I'm organic remember so that makes it a bit dicey.

Thanks in advance

Yehudith

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

February 28, 2011
10:26 AM

Post #8397916

I think "blood meal" will add nitrogen quickly. Can't think of an organic quick-fix for the other two.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

February 28, 2011
1:09 PM

Post #8398245

Bone meal is phosphorous.
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2011
5:06 PM

Post #8398673

"OK guys I need some help. Which is the quickest way to raise nitrogen and phosphorus and lower ph?"

What is the pH reading?

As for nitrogen, what are you going to grow in that bed? It'll help to know so the best rate can be applied.

Regarding phosphorus, compost is your safest bet but ground phosphate rock also works.Keep in mind that phosphorus is more readily available when organic/humus/decaying matter is in your soil Phosphorus is usually not a quick fix nor quickly available using "organic gardening" techniques but the finer the rock is ground will certainly help with its availability. I think it is one of the best investments you can put in your soil as it won't leach out like other forms and is not used up until roots attach to it.

Need to know your pH reading for more input...and what crop is going in this season.

Shoe
yehudith
silver spring, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 1, 2011
3:43 AM

Post #8399317

Just tested with a ph meter its ph7. That's what the soil test kit told me yesterday. As far as the nitrogen and phosphorus go the test kit is just saying low, its not giving me any numbers. I'm tempted to stop by the hydroponics store and pick up a better test kit.

I was planning on planting peas, green beans and radishes in that bed. The legumes in particular for the nitrogen anyway, but it looks like I'm going to have to add some, I had greens in there last year before the cabbage worms got them.
LiseP
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 1, 2011
10:55 AM

Post #8400310

LOL, guess things are all relative. I'm pretty pleased to have a pH of 7 in my raised bed, because my surrounding yard is 8.5. That said, I'm still also trying to lower mine too.
lottabeds
Blooming Grove, NY

March 1, 2011
4:09 PM

Post #8400877

Soil science can be tricky, complicated. Aside from pH, many factors play into how available nutrients might be for plants, from soil temp, to interplay between soil microbes, fungi, soil tilth, etc. Err on the side of caution, and stick with compost, organic substances, and some fish emulsion for quicker uptake during warmer weather. It takes a long time to raise or lower soil pH, unless you are treating a new raised bed like a large container, filling it with new soil. Anyway, that is my "2 cents". And, one more penny...a great book for this subject, one I refer to every year, is Secrets to Great Soil, by Elizabeth Stell.
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

March 1, 2011
7:15 PM

Post #8401409

yehudith, it sounds like you have one of those "all purpose" dial/needle meters.

As for pH of 7, I wouldn't be the least bit concerned about lowering it. And as for a "low" reading of N and P I'd recommend deciding what you are going to plant there and adjust it accordingly. For example some plants would love that low N reading while others would prefer more.

As lottabeds said above, a lot of factors come into play (although it really isn't all that complicated once you get the gist of it) and adding compost would be a kindness to your soil. I'm big on fish emulsion/kelp, and other liquid and/or foliar feeding as well; it goes a long way to helping your plants until getting your soil to a more closer-to-perfect state.

Shoe (exhausted from setting out umpteen hundred onion plants yesterday, feeling it today!)
Katlian
Carson City, NV
(Zone 6b)

March 1, 2011
7:35 PM

Post #8401440

We have about 200 square feet and roughly half of that is used for annual veggies and the rest for perennial onions, strawberries, and asparagus. It's hard to rotate crops because of the small space but I swap tomatoes and strawberries every few years because the strawberries get infested with black vine weevil.

I added an organic compost based soil amendment to the beds this year to boost nutrients. My drip system keeps the beds evenly watered in our hot, dry summers. My MIL has a slightly larger garden and refuses to use a watering timer so she spends a couple of hours each day just watering her veggies and a few more watering flowers and the horse pasture. Hanging baskets seemed like a good way to expand the veggie beds last year but they just don't work very well here.

We usually grow more tomatoes than we can eat but last year was very bad for tomatoes so our best crop was the beans. I usually try to plant tomatoes on the north side of the beds and shorter things on the south side. Some years I plant a loofah near the tomatoes and let it ramble around in the tomatoes. It's rather surprising to be at the other end of the bed in August and see a loofah tendril peeking out of the top tomato plants.
yehudith
silver spring, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 2, 2011
2:40 AM

Post #8401756

Actually all the beds have been emptied and are ready to be turned over. I just added some bonemeal, bloodmeal and essential sulfer in the reccomended amounts. Since its going to be several weeks before my seedlings are ready to plant out anyway I thought this might be my best course. I'm putting in an order for kelp meal tomorrow. Got 4 beds done today and got cold frame over one and hoop houses over two before I ran out of row cover. Now I have to order some of that too.

k

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