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View Full Version : Garden for daycare: Help needed


lawnkingforever
03-22-2011, 10:53 PM
I was approached by the owner of my daughter's daycare about turning a small piece of land next to it into a garden. I will try to post pictures later in the week. The area is flat with alot of weeds. The problem is there is a small layer of gravel underneath all of the weeds. The weeds are no problem, as I can just run them down with my DR brushmower and blow the clippings over the hillside.
My thinking was to then rototill the area to loosen up the gravel and the dirt. Then I was going to put the blade attachment on the DR and push the loose gravel and dirt over the hill. They are fine with me using the hillside for the debris. I was then going to use the rototiller again and add the top soil. Or should I scrap this idea and just create a raised bed out of railroad ties. My business is mostly mowing, so I would normally just turn down this type of work. But the lady is willing to knock big money off of my daycare costs if I can do this job. Thanks for any help.

Smallaxe
03-23-2011, 10:13 AM
One thing about gardening... there is no debris...

If you have a heavy soil and a thin layer of gravel, you can easily get away with leaving the gravel there and tilling it in for drainage... If it rocky sandy soil, definately get rid of it...

The weeds should be mulched by the mower and tilled right into the soil, no matter what kind of soil it is... OM in tilled soil will break down quickly enough to not bother your plantings.

I would plan on ammending at planting time and ammending, only the areas that the plants go into, as the plants go in...

What kind of plants are you looking at and how large an area?

lawnkingforever
03-23-2011, 03:05 PM
One thing about gardening... there is no debris...

If you have a heavy soil and a thin layer of gravel, you can easily get away with leaving the gravel there and tilling it in for drainage... If it rocky sandy soil, definately get rid of it...

The weeds should be mulched by the mower and tilled right into the soil, no matter what kind of soil it is... OM in tilled soil will break down quickly enough to not bother your plantings.

I would plan on ammending at planting time and ammending, only the areas that the plants go into, as the plants go in...

What kind of plants are you looking at and how large an area?

Thanks,

Good to know I may be able to leave the gravel. Maybe 30X40 is the total area for the garden. The basic vegetables that grow well in this area: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash ect. She thought it would be a good activity for the kids this summer.
Thanks for the help.

Smallaxe
03-23-2011, 03:27 PM
Thanks,

Good to know I may be able to leave the gravel. Maybe 30X40 is the total area for the garden. The basic vegetables that grow well in this area: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash ect. She thought it would be a good activity for the kids this summer.
Thanks for the help.

You could be able to upsell, the staking of tomatoes and even some of the vine crops... becuz it is vegetables, advise them to stay away from pre-m and broadleaf sprays, and more seriously the insecticides...

Are your kids old enough to 'take charge' of the gardening situation? They may soon be paying you to have your kids come there... :)

lawnkingforever
03-23-2011, 05:21 PM
You could be able to upsell, the staking of tomatoes and even some of the vine crops... becuz it is vegetables, advise them to stay away from pre-m and broadleaf sprays, and more seriously the insecticides...

Are your kids old enough to 'take charge' of the gardening situation? They may soon be paying you to have your kids come there... :)

That would be nice, but she is only 2 and a half. Our daycare is expensive. But with anything, you get what you pay for.

Smallaxe
03-23-2011, 05:58 PM
That would be nice, but she is only 2 and a half. Our daycare is expensive. But with anything, you get what you pay for.

My grandson was working with me when he was 2 or 3 years old... but only with supervision...

So at this point, I suppose all you can expect is reduced cost and special treatment...

It is good that you have a daycare that even thinks along these lines. It is an encouraging situation, all the way around... :)

lawnkingforever
03-23-2011, 06:39 PM
How many inches of topsoil do you feel would be enough? She also wants to do a pathway in the middle of the garden. Would you do pea gravel, mulch or something else for that? Last question what size rototiller should be used on a project like this?

Sorry for more questions, thanks.

1flipflop
03-24-2011, 05:50 AM
hi you said 30 by 40 im not into veg gardening but id recomend a grass walkway that way you can charge something for up keep on that as well?? just a thought use turf grass(from seed designated to grow your area)to better your chance of survival on heavy traffic areas maybe some stepping stones for decor and functionality then a nice bench or 2 for the garden lovers to take a rest and enjoy the bounty view...:)ps i just tilled about a half acre lot for friend took three half hours in sandy florida soil {was} easy but it cost 52 dollars here rental for(half day rental)a self propelled tiller..makes it alot easier..The size your talking i used to have a mantis tiller (used to death but it paid for itself)that would worked fine for what you need they are light and goes good through finer type soils to compacted soils with ease..Depending the situations you may need rent mantis (some call them ladies tillers)if cheaper then rent it if you want self propelled they are heavy to load the one i rented recently had a 5.5 honda for powerif i had used the mantis would have taken lot longer.. so all in all i would say you could use a small tiller to get the job done just may take little extra time..also as your establishing your garden you run the small tiller between anrrower rows to keep the weed back and the airation aswell..enjoy

lawnkingforever
03-24-2011, 09:57 AM
Thanks Flipflop. My wife's aunt moved to St. Cloud. We were down in Florida last month. We ate at a Seafood buffet in Kissimmee, a tourist trap for sure, but the food was good. Winters would be sweet down there. Stander mowers are alot more popular down there as opposed to Pittsburgh. I test drove a couple while I was down there, my wife was not to happy with me looking at equipment while on vacation.

Smallaxe
03-24-2011, 12:32 PM
How many inches of topsoil do you feel would be enough? She also wants to do a pathway in the middle of the garden. Would you do pea gravel, mulch or something else for that? Last question what size rototiller should be used on a project like this?

Sorry for more questions, thanks.

You would want to till as deep as you could go for vegetable garden. I use a full sized,rear tine tiller and pulverize the soil as deep as it would go.
After it is tilled up, you can see what should be added to the soil... If it is not too heavy or too light, just dump a bunch of Compost on it and till it in for a final touch...

The best pathways in the garden are straw or wood chips IMO. I dig a trench for the stuff which raises the bed next to it and put it in thick enough to stay above the dirt... This is the cleanest, driest and most comfortable to kneel down in and weed.

BTW, if it is to light don't be afraid to add a high clay loam or vice versa, as long as whatever you chose has enough OM in it to mix well with a tiller... have fun... :)

lawnkingforever
03-24-2011, 01:47 PM
Thanks smallaxe, As soon as the weather breaks I am looking to start this. I will get a couple of before pictures to post, when I was there yesterday, it was pouring rain.

1flipflop
03-27-2011, 03:32 AM
Thanks Flipflop. My wife's aunt moved to St. Cloud. We were down in Florida last month. We ate at a Seafood buffet in Kissimmee, a tourist trap for sure, but the food was good. Winters would be sweet down there. Stander mowers are alot more popular down there as opposed to Pittsburgh. I test drove a couple while I was down there, my wife was not to happy with me looking at equipment while on vacation. i have a full time job @ disney world.:waving:.i setup conventions and meeting.,,weddings,,parties,,you name it,,we did alot today,1 wedding,1 prom actually, 4 outdoor events..if youd like to go sometime to disney i can get up to three people in at a time myself..i used to live in my own home,,now i renting a room but where i used to live a lawn mait. guy i knew bought a wright stand up. good machine. he was getting jobs done faster. i use in my line up of mowers a 21" toro proline & a 36H gravely fixed deck with a velky single wheel this machine ive run through retention ponds not too wet or pass the areas too wet but grass up pass your eyeballs, i would push down on handles to get the deck up so the cut grass would discharge faster without bog down engine,,pass a second time to put the finish cut..would? be able to do that with a stander ?have done other jobs cutting vacant lots that were terribly thick and tall. but the gravely cant be stopped it goes through that stuff decent..but all in all id love to have a standup 1 day for the finer quality smaller residential lawns to not run such a heavy machine and see alot guys on :sleeping:Z's cutting augustine grass week after week running in the same patterns wearing ruts in i just they using sharp blades.. anyway thanks for the chat and the thank you i hope my feedback was of some help catch ya later:walking: