So what if in my efforts to grow melons, cukes pumpkins

HiDelight

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I take these huge foam coolers I grabbed at work and rescued from the dump ...and bury them part way in the ground ..with lOTS of big holes in the bottom ..then build a very richly nitrogen soil by composting the chicken litter at the bottom of the coolers ..I was thinking of gravel first ..chicken litter ..then composted soil ..then my usualy garden mix on top ..toss in a few worms

what do you think? from what everyone says I need lots of nitrogen in this mix and figured if I put that litter in now and built it up by the time the ground warms up I should have some nice stuff

is this a crazy idea or one that will work ..the coolers are making some very nice planters..I roughed them up and spray painted some left others white and kind of like it!

they are really interesting shapes and some even have pedestals ..if I was more creative I could do some cool things with these they are good sized sturdy and make awesome pots ..seem to be keepign tender things growing still into the frost

but I wondered about intentional building of high nitrogen soil in them to help heal my cucurbit misery and give me some success

I was looking at these sweet tart Mexican pickle cukes that sounded wonderful and have all these great seeds to try

it is all about the soil I betcha and keeping them warm?

this may help both

if you have a better idea for building the soil in the cooler please let me know?
 

digitS'

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HiD, you will always be challenged there on the Beautiful Salish Sea to grow these warmth-loving plants.

They are like my peppers . . . If I can get the peppers in my garden thru June, they've got a real chance of producing well. Too often, they come out of June, stunted. I've had cucubits just - die :(!

So, what's the problem with June in my garden? Spring weather here is too much like the weather on the Puget Sound! Sometimes, it isn't until after the 4th of July before the clouds blow away.

I probably should use row covers but that will hold in only so much heat and limit sunlight, at the same time. That may be a remedy for me . . . maybe . . . A remedy for YOUR cool June can't just be another cool 30 days in July . . . and August.

I've had some years, when the warm-loving plants just don't produce well. But, here's a thought . . . you don't have cold weather crashing down on you in September, usually. Start your plants indoors and don't be in any haste to get them out there in the ground. And, make sure that they have the sunniest space in your garden to grow. Be cause, even if you have a sunny summer, they will suffer in a cool, cloudy, rainy, etc., spring.

Steve
 

journey11

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I think that sounds like a great idea. No harm in experimenting anyway! I'm sure that chicken litter will compost down by spring. Only thing I can think of is that you'll also want to add a little ag lime to even out the pH since chicken litter is so potent.

You'll have to remember to come back to this next summer and update how it went!
 

jojo54

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Sounds like it might work fine. One old gentleman that I met at a farmers' market told me he had a secret for great pumpkins. He lives about 100 miles from us and they don't have as long or as warm of a growing season. He told me he dig a whole and puts manure in the bottom then covers it with dirt. He covers it with black plastic with a drip line under it. He then cuts holes where he puts in his prestarted pumpkins, etc. He said the manure and the plastic give it extra warmth that his neighbours don't have. Plus he doesn't have to worry about watering or weeding. :thumbsup
 

obsessed

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How big are the coolers. Because couldn't you just use the coolers as potting containers rather than bury them? Most all of the curbubits can be grown in a container even if it is only one plant per container. Fill the container/cooler with good potting soil or soil mixture and viola. No more drainage problems. High nitrogen is important but there are always excess so be careful.
 

HiDelight

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like 3 by 3 some of them but part of my idea for burying them would be to keep them even warmer than letting them free stand

I have a spot in a sunny area that is kind of predug so it would not be too much work to get it in

I just stuck the smaller coolers in some of the raised beds that I covered with cold frames ..and put a couple of radiccio in there to see how they would do

I am going to load three big ones up with manure (buried or not if not buried I will put something mounded around them to insulate them some more) ..cover the top with soil mix and then top with black plastic this spring when my world warms up ...plant one with melon..one with pumpkin and one with cucumber
see what happens

thanks so much this is so helpful! I like the idea of building a pot of soil
 

obsessed

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Awesome! I hope your growing grows! In Montana my cukes were spindly little things. Then I moved here and my two cuke plants ate literally ate my garden and provided enough cukes for my office, neighbors, and me. I was amazed that any plant would grow like that. It almost reminded me of Kudzu.

I have been half playing with an idea to build a bed in the front lawn. Like a circle and plant watermelon cukes squash in it. they grow to such huge plants here with such beautifyl foliage and flowers. But I don't know what I would plant in the winter and I don't think DH or neigbors would want it to sit bare all winter.
 

HiDelight

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you know I love those tiered gardens why do I think Reinbeau has one? where you make a round bed then stack on top of it ..in the front yard they look so pretty :) worth a try for vines
 

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