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Donnythecat

New Garden from Scratch

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Hello all,

 

I've just rented a small house in Northern Thailand and for the first time in a long time, I have access to a beautiful yard full of potential. I'm very excited at the prospect of growing delicious healthy food for myself and friends, but basically I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm hoping that those here with some experience might share a few tips on starting out - preliminary steps to lay the proper groundwork, common mistakes one makes early on, insights into maintenance of the garden in this climate - whatever you care to offer would be appreciated! 

 

The yard is roughly 20 meters squared, there are a few teak and fruit trees scattered about, weeds everywhere, don't know about the soil quality but the yard is in general disrepair. The parameters of the yard are delineated by fences and they, along with the trees and the house itself, offer some shade from an otherwise exposed plot.

 

I am soliciting any advice regarding

1) how I should prepare the soil/beds for growing by seed,

2) considerations to keep in mind as I lay out the garden,

3) suggestions for what vegetables or fruits do well in Northern Thailand this time of year, 400 m above sea level,

4) where those vegetables or fruits should be oriented within the layout of the garden, etc...

5) anything I didn't ask about but should have

 

I'm also interested in raising some black thai chickens but maybe that's another thread...

 

Many thanks in advance!

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Just some more information, I was looking into trying winged beans, long beans, various eggplants, luffa, chilis....

 

I also brought seeds from the USA but not sure if they'll fly here....darkstar zucchini, arugula, butternut squash, and beets. 

 

 

 

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  Been gardening in the north(between Chiang Rai and Mae Sai) nmfor over 20 years now-and still learning.

First -establish what kind of soil you have now-and if theres any topsoil covering the clay

I found raised beds are easiest to maintain and better for production-also way easier to work in

Make them a easy width to reach across-I just built the frames on what I had and skimmed any topsoil from in between-then covered the walkways with plastic to stop the weeds

   Orient the beds to take advantage of the sunlight and shade

I brought in new topsoil(din dam)-best to check quality prior to ordering-theres a huge difference depending on where its from-and ammended with black burnt rice husks and bagged potting soil(cheap in Chiang Rai-have location if needed)

    Start a compost pile  for all your kitchen veg scraps and leaves-works fast in the wet season and the best thing going for the soil

   Add composted cow/buffalo manure LOTS especially when your starting the beds-just ask someone keeping them-they usually sell the dried dung by the feedbag full

  Some things start better in potting bags(easier to adjust the soil mix) and easier to protect from the elements until there ready for the garden

 The beans are going to need something to climb -so either put up a trellus or just plant them with corn or near something they can climb-i prefer the red varietys of both wing and long beans-save the seed for re-planting

The chili's dont do well if wet -except for the local tobasco-so shelter will be a benefit

Eggplant and luffa need sun-but are hardy both wet and dry seasons

     I had problems with stem borrers on the zukini-so your probally going to need to address that-but they do produce well

Arrugula does well-and beets are a dry season crop-the hard rain washes them out -flattens the sprouts-just lost 2 beds that way this season-but can do well if started when its still dry

   Butternut squash-havent tried but would be interested-I think they are susseptable to the stem borrers as is zukinni-the thai pumpkin and winter squash are a winner-but they both need LOTS of space to climb-vines can cover whole trees

 

http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php

Theres a ton of info about fruit and veg in the tropics

Need more info I'm on as bbudd-just send a message

 

Have quite an orchard going from seedshere now- from all over the world-all from seed exchange on the forum

Starting.JPG

First Crop.JPG

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Good tips and photos from RandyT. 

 

There was a similar discussion this time last year

 

 

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Thanks for the tips everyone, especially Randy T for your thorough and thoughtful response. I suspect I will be back in the future for more advice, or if folks are interested I can post pics of the progress here, will likely get started next week. Cheers ya'll

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Randy's advice sounds pretty good. I TRY to grow in the NE and i also use raised beds. Biggest issues are -

 

1. Weeds. You may get on top of them in the dry season, but in the wet season they always win! After 6 years still my biggest problem. 

 

2. Yes, use the concrete rings where appropriate. Good for protecting your small trees from madmen with brushcutters (in my case, F-I-L and B-I-L)

 

3. Never had any joy with Zucchini due to the little orange beetles - Adults eat the leaves and flowers, grubs the roots, stems and fruit. Usually get to flowering stage but then loose. If you spray chemicals you may have more success. I suspect any other squash same problem.

 

4. For wet season, try Corn, Pumpkins and OKra. Dry season just about anything. Still learning. Every year have successes and failures. My main cool season crops are cabbage, carrots, Aubergines, tomato, lettuce and french beans.

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On ‎8‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 7:26 AM, randyT said:

  Been gardening in the north(between Chiang Rai and Mae Sai) nmfor over 20 years now-and still learning.

First -establish what kind of soil you have now-and if theres any topsoil covering the clay

I found raised beds are easiest to maintain and better for production-also way easier to work in

Make them a easy width to reach across-I just built the frames on what I had and skimmed any topsoil from in between-then covered the walkways with plastic to stop the weeds

   Orient the beds to take advantage of the sunlight and shade

I brought in new topsoil(din dam)-best to check quality prior to ordering-theres a huge difference depending on where its from-and ammended with black burnt rice husks and bagged potting soil(cheap in Chiang Rai-have location if needed)

    Start a compost pile  for all your kitchen veg scraps and leaves-works fast in the wet season and the best thing going for the soil

   Add composted cow/buffalo manure LOTS especially when your starting the beds-just ask someone keeping them-they usually sell the dried dung by the feedbag full

  Some things start better in potting bags(easier to adjust the soil mix) and easier to protect from the elements until there ready for the garden

 The beans are going to need something to climb -so either put up a trellus or just plant them with corn or near something they can climb-i prefer the red varietys of both wing and long beans-save the seed for re-planting

The chili's dont do well if wet -except for the local tobasco-so shelter will be a benefit

Eggplant and luffa need sun-but are hardy both wet and dry seasons

     I had problems with stem borrers on the zukini-so your probally going to need to address that-but they do produce well

Arrugula does well-and beets are a dry season crop-the hard rain washes them out -flattens the sprouts-just lost 2 beds that way this season-but can do well if started when its still dry

   Butternut squash-havent tried but would be interested-I think they are susseptable to the stem borrers as is zukinni-the thai pumpkin and winter squash are a winner-but they both need LOTS of space to climb-vines can cover whole trees

 

http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php

Theres a ton of info about fruit and veg in the tropics

Need more info I'm on as bbudd-just send a message

 

Have quite an orchard going from seedshere now- from all over the world-all from seed exchange on the forum

Starting.JPG

First Crop.JPG

I like your beds.   What did you make them out of?  Here in Kalasin anything termites can eat will get destroyed.  I have a large area where the soil is some of the worst I've ever seen, but with raised beds anything is possible.

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As far as I know in Northern Thailand the local climate is not warm enough. I suggest to grow fruits such as lychee, longan, mango. Also rice and peanut, tobacco, sweet corn, baby corn, onion, garlic, tomato, water melon, chilli. In addition if you want to get better harvest I suggest to buy grain seed cleaner. The machine separates any fungus;  replaces the work of 3 or 4 other machines and can pay for itself in just one season. This gives you more time to focus on important agricultural issues and not on the minor maintenance issues.

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