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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2007
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    USA
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    An orange one

    Default Need advice on gardening/gardening plot

    My wife and I last year purchased 16.4 acres of prairie remnant in the Loess Hills of Northwest Iowa(never before been tilled). We are planning to build a home next spring. Beautiful view on a hill. As with most of the Loess Hills, they are all hills. So hence the problem with a garden on top near where the home will be and I really don't want to ruin good prairie that's been there hundreds of years. My choice is to put a garden in about 250 yards further down the hill on one side where the land is flat and mostly weeds with no prairie. Working the soil up won't be a problem. My questions revolve around watering and deer. I just bought a new kubota L4400 and I was thinking about getting a TSC King Kutter brand pallet mover or carryall and maybe using that to transport a Troy-built tiller (occasionally) and 55 gallon plastic drums of water (often). Is there some type of pump mechanism that will allow me to spray/water from the plastic barrels? If one of you guys has a better setup for a situation like mine, I'm all ears

    Also, in regards to deer, I've heard to go 8 feet instead of 6 feet for a fence because deer can easily get over 6 feet fences for a chance at a garden. I've thought about chain link, but that can be expensive. Maybe there is a lot cheaper fence available that would work. Forgive my ignorance because I'm going to be a transplant from the city to the country. I really don't want electric fence because I have heart arrythmia problems and don't need a jolt to stop things. I saw what an electric fence did to my brother when he was a young kid and decided he needed to urinate. Thanks for your advice. My wife and I are eating all organic now and we can't wait until we can eat all organic AND LOCAL!

    And you guys may think I"m crazy but I traded off my '88 Harley Davidson Road King Classic and a '53 Ford Jubilee for a new Kubota L4400. It was absolutely the right choice for me. The Jub had too much work that needed to be done including cracked block and differential housing and I wasn't up to driving the Harley over gravel.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Need advice on gardening/gardening plot

    Now that was a good trade!

    Where will you be getting your water from? Will it be above the garden? How big a garden?
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2007
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    Central Lower Michigan
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    Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: Need advice on gardening/gardening plot

    Sounds like a good trade to me too. I moved to a dirt road last fall and I know my Kawasaki Vulcan is not suitable for it; I really need to sell it. Fortunately I also have an R1150GS which laughs at the dirt and gravel (though it will probably be sold too due to lack of riding time!).

    Size of the garden would be a major consideration for me. If smaller, I would put it close to the house. If you're feeding the neighborhood or growing for sale, I can see why you wouldn't want to disturb a lot of nearby land. You might want to consider which veggies will require the most attention or are most deer and pest-susceptible and put those in a smaller garden near the house while putting everything else in the larger garden 250yds away.

    Deer will leap 6' fences without much trouble. 8' is not a guarantee but much more likely to work. Don't be stunned if you get a little bit of deer damage even inside that. Electric with lots of strands would be a typical choice, but you can do non-electric just as well. I would recommend "high tensile" which is basically a steel wire fence that's stretched very tight across rigid fenceposts. It looks like electric wire but it doesn't need to be electrified; it works based on its strength and simply being in the way (like any fence). High tensile is significantly cheaper than cyclone or wood fencing and should last a couple decades. You can DIY but it requires some skill and can go wrong easily. If you have friendly farmer/rancher/livestock-owning neighbors you may see if any of them can point you toward a professional installer or would be willing to help you in exchange for $$ or some huge future favor.

    Depending on garden size I might skip the 3ph pallet mover and instead consider a small four wheel cart that will carry 2000lbs or more and be much easier to hook up and unhook. There are several companies selling these and you should be able to get one complete with wheels, hitch, and deck for something in the $600 range new. That way you could carry multiple barrels of water along with tools and also use the same thing for carrying harvested veggies, firewood, hay bales, or whatever.

    We put our garden close enough to the house to use a hose, but we also planted 100+ baby trees on our property lines that need watering every couple weeks when it doesn't rain. So far we've been using a ~50 gallon trash can with a lid to fill up with water and then use 5 gallon buckets to dip out and water each tree. Primitive, but it works. We are just using our pickup for this most of the time, though on a small scale my wife sometimes puts the same can in the back of a little cart pulled by our riding mower.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
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    An orange one

    Default Re: Need advice on gardening/gardening plot

    Quote Originally Posted by Z-Michigan
    Size of the garden would be a major consideration for me. If smaller, I would put it close to the house. If you're feeding the neighborhood or growing for sale, I can see why you wouldn't want to disturb a lot of nearby land. .
    Near the house is a high quality piece of prairie that is irreplacable so that rules that out, anyway, I want to have a garden about half the footprint of the foundation of the house which would make it pretty good size.


    Quote Originally Posted by Z-Michigan
    I would recommend "high tensile" which is basically a steel wire fence that's stretched very tight across rigid fenceposts. It looks like electric wire but it doesn't need to be electrified; it works based on its strength and simply being in the way (like any fence). High tensile is significantly cheaper than cyclone or wood fencing and should last a couple decades. You can DIY but it requires some skill and can go wrong easily. If you have friendly farmer/rancher/livestock-owning neighbors you may see if any of them can point you toward a professional installer or would be willing to help you in exchange for $$ or some huge future favor..
    Michigan, thanks for the reply....I will look into the high tensile strength wire. That sounds promising!

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Jul 2006
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    Meridian Idaho
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    Kubota B7100D

    Default Re: Need advice on gardening/gardening plot

    Big or small I think you would want it reasonably close to the house. Gardens require a lot of weeding etc. and you are less likely to go do that if it is a ways away

    We have two 4x16 raised beds and two 4x4 raised beds right outside the kitchen. This is where we grow tomatoes, garlic, strawberries, herbs etc. Very handy when you are cooking or preparing a meal. Further away I have a 20x40 flat garden that is corn this year and beyond a that a 45x60 that has 8 raised beds with no sides. This big garden is where I grow the stuff that really spreads, 4 kinds of pumpkins, 3 kinds of squash, watermelon etc.

    I have a 4' tiller for my b7100 and I can drive it right down the raised beds to till in spring/fall. In between will eventually be grass and be mowed for mulch.

    Plan on putting in drip irrigation or other automatic watering, it just makes your life so much easier. Plenty of other things to do besides move hoses.

    Charles

  6. #6
    Veteran Member bigtiller's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    central Iowa
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    JD 2720

    Default Re: Need advice on gardening/gardening plot

    I think charlz has a good point. A garden that far away stands a good chance of turning to prairie. Probably not the first year but most likely by the 5th year. Besides, building a house, driveway, septic, and utilities will tear up more prairie than the size garden you are planing.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Central Lower Michigan
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    Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: Need advice on gardening/gardening plot

    One thought - as noted, the house construction is going to tear up a lot more ground than just the size of the house. In particular, the soil will be removed and replaced for at least 5-10' around the foundation, and more likely will be disturbed for close to 20' outside the foundation if you don't have an extremely conscientious crew start to finish. Maybe some of your garden could go in where the soil is disturbed anyway, instead of the typical landscape plantings people put in next to their house. Only caveat is that many builders will backfill with whatever subsoil is lying around, which is very low fertility, and that code usually requires them to severely compact the soild next to the house, which is bad for plants. Maybe if you work with the builder you can minimize both these bad features and get reasonable soil that's not excessively compacted close to the house and garden in that (along with a separate plot in your chosen location).

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
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    Triangle Of North Carolina
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    JD 4700

    Default Re: Need advice on gardening/gardening plot

    Figure out the area of the garden and assume you need to put down one inch of water a week. Then cipher how many gallons are needed. That should tell you if running 55 gallon drums will work for you.

    I put up a six foot tall fence around our garden. The first four feet is wire mesh to keep smaller critters and our dogs out of the garden. The top two feet is HT wire. The HT fence is pretty easy to put up but it does need some stout, well dug in corners and posts. I'm using T posts right now since the garden will likely grow next year. The deer have not gone into the garden. TSC and other farm/fence online suppliers have guides on how to install HT wire.

    There is a mesh plastic fence that is sold in rolls 8 feet wide that can also be used. Its very light. I would be concerned about how long it would last before the UV took it out. Anyhow, I have seen the stuff in farm supply catalogs and this morning on a Ag/Gargen shows a lady to our north has been using the fence with success. She cuts the roll in half which gives her a four foot tall fence! She says the deer walk up to the fence feel it browse around the border but don't jump over. She has a large garden so it must work. The only reason I can figure out why the forest rats don't jump the fence is that the plastic is black and hard to see thus they don't know how high it is.

    My local farm store also sells 8 feet wide rolls of wire mesh fence. I would hate to install that stuff though. 4 feet tall stuff is bulky enough.

    Get some pallet forks. I have a set for the JD and I wish I had bought them with the tractor since they are so danged useful. I just moved the logs from four trees with the forks and they are really good for getting brush to the burn pile. And if you ever order anything that comes on a pallet its so much easier with the tractor and the forks.

    Later,
    Dan

  9. #9
    Veteran Member jbrumberg's Avatar
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    Western MA
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    New Holland TC29DA, John Deere 455D

    Default Re: Need advice on gardening/gardening plot

    Kubota4me:

    Keep your primary garden close to your house and get a dog . I would also suggest you run a long hose to your garden Jay
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    1995 John Deere 455 Diesel with 48" mower, MC 519 Cart with PowerVac

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
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    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Need advice on gardening/gardening plot

    I believe I would get a trencher and run 1” PVC down to the proposed garden. Because it will be for seasonal use install a shut off at the house and a drain valve at the garden to let gravity or compressed air drain it for the winter. That way you will not have to trench below the frost line. Hauling water that far for a garden of size will get real old fast.

    There are PTO and electric pumps available at farm supply stores for sprayers that could be used to pump water from a drum. With a drum mounted to a pallet you could move it with pallet forks and let gravity feed a hose from the bottom of the drum.

    Congratulations on the new place and the new tractor.

    MarkV

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