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Old 02-05-2008, 03:56 PM   #1
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Unhappy Growing an herb garden amongst the trees - with "animals"

This year I'm looking at an herb garden. Problem is we have cats .... all starting would have to be done in the basement or protected area using grow lights, in my neighborhood that's an invitation to the cops.

And I want to do a small garden but problem is we have groundhogs, rabbits and squirrels. But the real problem with that is I have tall trees on 3 sides ...

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Old 02-06-2008, 02:05 PM   #2
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Well Wart it sounds like you are boxed in. Does the house close in the fouth side? What kind of trees are shading the yard? I ask as conifers acidify the soil as do some shade trees. It may be possible to elevate the branch level of the trees to allow lateral light into the yard. The down side is the branches maybe the only screen between you and your neighbors back yard that isn't always a nice view. What kind of cooking do you need herbs for? My basil is in light shade all day long. Planted in bright sun it was thin leaved limp and poorly flavored. LOL that is fine if you are into more Italian dishes. Firery herbs tend to want sun. Say , what is your herb growing wish list?
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:08 AM   #3
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Boxed In

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Originally Posted by oneoffour View Post
Well Wart it sounds like you are boxed in. Does the house close in the fourth side?

House is in the middle with the street on the 4th side.

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What kind of trees are shading the yard? I ask as conifers acidify the soil as do some shade trees.
No pines here. Pin oak and mulberry mostly, a couple of black walnuts. Some poplar, maybe another one or two.

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It may be possible to elevate the branch level of the trees to allow lateral light into the yard. The down side is the branches maybe the only screen between you and your neighbors back yard that isn't always a nice view.

Don't get me started on my neighbors.

Imagine a 100' tall by 120' wide square, neighbors on top, about 200 foot deep line of trees goes 160 feet BEFORE the bottom left corner, up the right side and continues about 1/4 mile. Bottom of the square is, effectively, trees. Up the left side is the street. Trees on the neighbors side are 20~30 feet away and 30+ feet tall, trees on the back are 40 feet or so off the deck and 50,60 + feet tall, trees on the bottom are 60 feet or so away and 50, 60 feet tall. Drive way runs across the bottom to the garage which is off the bottom right of the square.

The 'square' is oriented north west on the left, south east on the right, facing the neighbors the sun rises just past two o'clock, sets just before 8 in the summer. My deck does not get direct sunlight until 12:30 to 1:15 in the summer.

That was just an exercise to see if I could describe my property.

This is what it looks like: (clicking on the following picture will open a larger version in a new tab or browser)



What looks like a bare spot next to the garage isn't, it's under a canopy of limbs, it's not my property, and it's between the home and a major thruway , and between me and the south west wind.


Quote:
What kind of cooking do you need herbs for? My basil is in light shade all day long. Planted in bright sun it was thin leaved limp and poorly flavored. LOL

Basel, thyme, oregano, garlic. Herb bread. Italian.

I bought some 'fresh' herbs in December. Had too many so I dried them and put them in a plastic bag. Pulled them out to use them last friday and, Oh My!! Why doesn't McCormic smell that good? LOL

Quote:
Firery herbs tend to want sun. Say , what is your herb growing wish list?
I like hot. Not self abuse hot but warm my belly hot.

Basel, garlic, thyme, oregano, chives, parsley, more maybe.

I want a couple pepper and tomato plants. For eating and canning. Herbs for that, too.

I don't know what it is about asparagus. Talk about making a commitment.

Rhubarb and black raspberries .... when I was a kid we had a patch of rhubarb. One day my friend came over when I was cutting the grass. He asks if he can take the tractor for a spin, Dad says sure. Ziipppp, there goes the rhubarb patch.

Late last summer the across the street neighbor made me a deal, if I cut his grass he would weed whip my yard. Ok. I suppose if there had been raspberries on the bushes he wouldn't have decimated them. Or worse. There are enough left that in a couple of years with careful tending I should have a nice patch again.
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Old 02-08-2008, 01:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Wart View Post
This year I'm looking at an herb garden. Problem is we have cats .... all starting would have to be done in the basement or protected area using grow lights, in my neighborhood that's an invitation to the cops.

And I want to do a small garden but problem is we have groundhogs, rabbits and squirrels. But the real problem with that is I have tall trees on 3 sides ...
You can just build a planter, outside, and discourage groundhogs by lining it with wire mesh.

You can discourage cats by using 220 grit sand paper to sharpen the tips of long teriyaki sticks, them seating them, with the points facing out, in the soil around the planter.
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Old 02-08-2008, 03:14 AM   #5
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First, thanks for moving this.

Yes, A box. YES!

I overbuilt my deck, it's 20 wide and 16 deep, 6 4x6 to 2' plus rebar reinforced footings. One side is attached tot he house but I think I'm going to change that. There are two 2x12 girders in the middle and outer edge. Basically the deck is heavy enough to frame in and extend the house another 16 feet. Reason for telling this:

When ordering the girder material I asked for 2x12x10 foot. They said they had only 12" 2x12s, I said fine but you'll charge me for 10'ers, right? They said Yes. So they sent 14 footers.

Crazy!

I finished the deck and went to cut off these 8 pieces of girder that stick out about 4 feet in 4 places about the deck. I'm getting ready to cut the first outrigger when I think, I may be able to do something with these.

These outriggers have had citronella candles and flower pots sat on them, one holds the coiled hose, the cats sit on them while hunting, I've used them to wash the litter box, And now the outriggers are going to have a 4x4 bolted between them to hold up 8 foot + long boxes. Probably 2' wide to maximize 8' lumber and 4x8 sheet.

Yep, 2x8 would make a box 6 ~ 6 1/2 inches deep, dado a slot 1/2 deep for the plywood bottom, build this roughly 2' x 8'. Put the top of the box at or around the rail level. That's about 62" off the ground. Fabricate a multi section hinged fold down fence to try keeping the cats out, I would have to move the loading dock to the rail closest to the house ... route a radius on the inside and rip a wedge out of the outside so water doesn't sit on the top of the board, slice a drip stopper in the bottom, drain holes, route the drain holes, slather it with spar urethane before and after assembly, Urethane glue, dowels and Kreg screws. Line it with 4 or 6 mil or heavier ground contact and UV stabilized plastic, cut drain holes and glue in spuds.

Forgot the sanding part, that comes after doweling, and some way to hold the edges of the plastic down. Probably a batten strip.

Designed it as I wrote, have two configurations for the box and fence.

The box is important because,it can't be seen in the pictures, I have a 360 degree drive. Trying to get as much covered with lime stone as I can.

Thanks for the seed idea.

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Old 02-08-2008, 06:51 AM   #6
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You can just build a planter, outside, and discourage groundhogs by lining it with wire mesh.

You can discourage cats by using 220 grit sand paper to sharpen the tips of long teriyaki sticks, them seating them, with the points facing out, in the soil around the planter.

geez, woodman. where are you from, viet nam?

bungee sticks to keep out cats?

do you fish with dynamite too?

j/k.

wart, anyone can grow any type of garden even with ravenous little beasties about, but you have to be willing to build a wire mesh enclosure. it has to go underground about 2 to 3 feet to keep out burrowers like rabbits and groundhogs, and it may even have to be caged in on top if you have deer. they can jump pretty well, and if they're hungry enough, watch out. it's no fun trying to get a scared deer out of an enclosure without it destroying everything and hurting itself or you in the meantime.

they sell different types of fencing, from 2"x3" spacing "rabbit" fence, to chicken wire, and so on.
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:25 AM   #7
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go to the local zoo, and ask the Lion/Tiger keeper for a bag full of lion dung, mix this with water and spread it around the area you want to protect.

trust me, it`ll keep MOST animals away! ;)
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:40 AM   #8
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this just in: man attacked by horny lion while gardening!

ok, mr. smartypants, what about tigers and bears?
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:27 AM   #9
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LOL YT and BT I just spit my coffee all over the 'puter!!!!

I live in the sticks and really dont have deer trouble somehow, must be the abundance of food and gardens. My MIL has more trouble with them in the suburbs!
Bunnies aren't too much problem either, except for my tulips and sunflowers last year. Every last one!!!
I think that was bunnies anyway, may have been deer. Either way, they dont eat my veggies, just my flowers.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:21 AM   #10
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Basel, garlic, thyme, oregano, chives, parsley, more maybe.

I want a couple pepper and tomato plants. For eating and canning. Herbs for that, too.
Most of these kinds of herbs grow naturally on sunny hillsides around the Mediterranean - they need sunlight to grow well. And tomatoes and peppers need at least 6 hours of direct sun per day to thrive. Maybe a greenhouse would help you maximize the sunlight you do get. HTH.
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