New at this - zone 10 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-07-2009, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So i am a zone 10 and i have no idea what that means. I have a lot of land and soft dirt. i want to start a simple veggie garden, like carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, lettus... basically everything you put in a salad :

we have soft soil and a really green patch in the yard that never gets water because i guess the septic tank is under that area...my landlord said it would be a good place for a garden..(is that gross, will we have poppy food) see i know nothing...but im eager. We also have a loooootttt of gophers and bunnies....now i know that we need a above ground garden with chicken wire below the soil and around the garden..i need to know how to build this...is there a site anyone can recommend so i can see play by play instructions and pictures? And now would be the best time to start planting right? Thanks sooo much for your help, but i really want to learn this craft.

thanks again
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#2 of 6 Old 03-07-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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If you do raised beds you don't need to worry about contamination from the septic. If you do in ground beds you might want to skip the carrots and other root crops, possibly the lettuce too since it's close to the ground. Zone 10 means you have a long growing season and a very mild winter, tender perennials won't die from cold and your annuals have lots of time to grow. No doubt your danger of frost is over now, so yep time to get planting. Tomatoes and often cucumbers are usually started in pots indoors then transplanted when very young, but with a long season like yours you might plant all your seeds outside. Lettuce will need shade especially when it gets hot out. Don't forget to mulch really well, I'm using straw this year for that.

One good way to do raised beds is lasagna gardening: http://ourgardengang.tripod.com/lasagna_gardening.htm You'd need short carrots I think for this.

There's also square foot gardening, soil free raised beds with 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost or composted manure, and 1/3 pearlite or vermiculite (which is hard to find uncontaminated though). This method you plant intensively with things closer together than normally recommended.

This looks good for instructions on fencing in your situation: http://www.ehow.com/how_4791621_buil...nd-garden.html Though the soil prep with machines part isn't a good plan over septic. Also, plant some marigolds in your garden, bunnies hate them.

Have fun!
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#3 of 6 Old 03-07-2009, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so its not good to use the dirt from the leach field then for a raised bede? tHE septic tank is away from the spot i want to garden but the reason why its so green in this area is because its the leach field, so poopy water i guess is under the ground...so this wouldn't be natural fertilizer then? This area gets morning to late morning sun so i think its a good sport for growing cause it does get to the 90's out here in summer and it misses that blazing sun time.
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#4 of 6 Old 03-07-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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Oh it's great fertilizer, but it also could have bad bacteria and chemicals in it so you don't want to eat anything that grew directly in it or leafy stuff that got splashed in it. Human or other carnivore/omnivore waste has to be composted in a very particular way to be safe, doesn't happen in a septic field. The more sandy your soil the more likely the bad stuff reached the top.
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#5 of 6 Old 03-07-2009, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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eww yuk, ok i wont be using that....my neighbors have horse poop, is that ok?

hmmm im so lost, i need to do a lot more research
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#6 of 6 Old 03-08-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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Horse poop is great, so long as it's sat and composted first. Fresh manure isn't good directly on gardens except bunny poo.
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