In the vegie garden for 2017, I will be having Early Italian Purple Garlic (Softneck), French Gray shallots, Jackpot Hybrid zucchini, SMR-58 pickling cucumber, 6 cabbage, 6 cauliflower, and 22 tomato plants. There will be two Sweet Million cherry and two Sugary grape tomatoes along nine Plum Regal and nine Early Girl tomatoes. Also I will be planting Henry Fields Elite II Hybrid sweet pepper in my two Earthbox. The tomatoes are spaced 21" apart and each are in a square tomato cage 48" tall and 20" square with a two 5 foot rebar to keep them from falling over.
I have erected 4 six foot tall, 22" wide wrought iron trellis supported by 5 foot rebar for the cucumber to climb. This allows the vines to climb up off the ground and be in an area 6' long and 4' wide and keeps most of the cucumber not touching the ground. Since 2010 my production is higher and I have loose fewer cucumber to rot.
Click on image to see larger picture.
Flower & Vegetable Garden Layout
Below are pictures of the 2 Earthbox on a cart at the old house with sweet pepper These are now located next to the deck in the back yard. For more info about the Earthbox growing system, see http://www.earthbox.com/.
Two days after transplanting the pepper plants (5/17/05)
Three weeks later (6/4/05)
Three weeks later (6/25/05)
First picking!!! 72 peppers!!!
Here is the plan for my flower beds for 2017. The color refers to when the different flowers bloom.
I start my own seedlings under a grow light in my basement. The first Saturday of February I start my green peppers and the first Saturday of March I start the cucumber. The third Saturday of March I start the tomatoes and zucchini. Here are a couple of pictures showing my grow light and seedlings:
(click thumbnail to see larger picture)
|(left) Grow light
February 13, 2014.
(right) Picture of seed tray March 21, 2014 seven days after the tomatoes were started. Underneath the seed tray I use a 40 watt heating mat to maintain a temp of ~60 degrees. The concrete floor was 40 degrees when I checked the first week of February!
|(left) Grow light March 29, 2014.
(right) March 29, 2014; peppers after 9 weeks, cucumber after 5 weeks, zucchini and tomatoes after 2 weeks.
|(left) Grow light May 5, 2014.
(right) May 5, 2014 peppers 14 weeks after seed planting, zucchini 10 weeks after seed planting, tomatoes 7 weeks after seed planting.
In 2003, I found the original plans for my grow light on Cornell University's "Garden Based Learning" page. A PDF file containing the plans is located here: Low Cost Grow Light Frame Plans.
I built the double shop light version of the grow light in 2003. The following year I
made it wider by replacing the four 17" pieces of pipe with four 24" pieces and added a third shop light.
The next year (2005), I added a fourth shop light. I had originally planned to widen the stand but I noticed that my lights were not fitting thru (between) the legs on each side. So... what I did was lengthen it by 8".
I took the two 49" pieces off the bottom and cut them so that they were now 8" longer than the 2 long pieces at the top. Then I replaced the bottom pieces with two 59" pieces. This modification now allows a shop light to hang between the legs making room for 4 shop lights. This allows me to have 4 trays side by side and 2 at the end. From 2006 thru 2013 (as seen in pictures above) I used 5 shop light and had 6 seed trays.
In 2014 I added an additional 6" length of PVC to the top and bottom of
the sides plus an adapter and an additional 24" piece on the top allowing me to add a 24" mini fluorescent light at
one end of my growlight allowing me to have 8 1/2 seed trays under my growlight
(see below). That May, when I took the growlight down for the season I added 2
vertical pipes because the weight of the lights causing the frame to sag as can
be seen in the May 5th. picture. This now allows me to have 9 seed trays (see