Sundays in the Garden with – Y’all

It was a few years ago on Facebook that some gardeners and I were talking about different problems in the garden. The conversation went from pests to frosts to not enough room to the difficulties that come with aging- namely how much harder getting down on the ground, and even worse, getting back up, becomes.

We talked about row covers and low tunnels, cloching and cold frames to add to the season and all kinds of barriers to keep out the deer and other critters.

Growing up.

Growing up.

A few of the gardeners in more urban settings commented that these things are all well and good if you have a large garden, or if you don’t live in a HOA. But what about the urban and suburban gardener, what’s out there for them?

As A Geek (and proud of it) I love to solve a problem, so set about designing a gardening system that could answer that need.

Really, I should probably just learn to knit.

Instead Mandolin and I went back and forth with the design, hammering (literally) out issues and finding alternative solutions.

What we got was far more effective than we even anticipated.
Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that we did not have even one tomato attacked by anything, grew carrots without fear of rabbit invasions, and even grew squash and melons vertically.
The only critter issues we had at all were in the old garden area.

Bite free tomatoes.

Bite free tomatoes.

We spent little time weeding with the new system and had tomatoes and green beans a good month before anyone else around here.
And we’ll keep getting tomatoes for weeks after the frost takes out all the other gardeners’ plants.
All of this in a relatively small amount of space.

So what does this have to do with y’all?
We need your 2 cents.

We were told we need a market survey if this is ever going to become an actual product, and well, we’re just regular working stiffs and really cannot afford to hire a professional.
So we are turning to the people that matter the most- you.

If you would take a minute to fill out the survey at the end of this post, we would greatly appreciate it!
Once you are done, please just leave a comment below to let us know.

July 6- tomato. Really really.

July 6- tomatoes. Really really.

We were given, between the two of us, three $25 gift cards valid in the US. We will let the online randomizer choose one person who fills out the survey and leaves a comment to win a gift card.

Because we want to get as much feedback as possible, we will also randomly choose another person who Tweets this link and mentions Gardening Jones in their tweet.

The third gift card will go to another wonderful individual who shares this link on Facebook, again mentioning Gardening Jones. That way we will get the message that you shared.

If any of the names chosen are outside the US, we have a few wonderful gardening books we will give instead.

Thanks y’all so much for your help, for stopping by the blog, and for being a part of our gardening lives!

Rest assured we will never share your name or email address with anyone else. Heck, we wouldn’t want anyone to do that to us either!
The contest part ends on Oct. 31st.
Here’s the short survey, please only hit Submit when you are finished:

Are you a vegetable gardener?

How would you describe the size of your garden?

What type of area do you live in?

Have you had a problem with any large pests, including deer, rabbits, groundhogs, neighborhood cats, squirrels? Please choose all that apply, and feel free to add others in.

Have you had an issue with bad bugs such as aphids, squash beetles, Colorado potato beetles, tomato horn worms and the like? Please choose all that apply and feel free to add more in.

How much money would you estimate you spend on pesticides, whether organic or not, each growing season? Please type in your response here -->
How much do you think you have spent on large critter deterrents, including fencing and repellents? Please type in your response here -->
What is/are the main reason(s) you garden? Please check all that apply and add in your own reason(s) if you want to.

As a gardener, how would you describe your enthusiasm?

Have you ever used an Earthbox? If yes, do you still? If no, why not?

If you are not a gardener, why not?

For everyone: If you could purchase a gardening system that took up only a 4 ft. by 4 ft., space, was 5 ft. tall, and could: a. protect your produce from most pests b. extend your season in cool areas c. practically eliminate the need to weed d. help prevent damage from high winds, hail, and even excess rain e. double your harvest f. help you grow vertically Would you be interested? Note that the system would be non-intrusive visually and could be put on any level surface including a parking lot or driveway.

If this system were to cost $299-$399, and would last practically forever, would you consider it? Keep in mind it would pay for itself many times over.

Last but not least, how did you hear about Gardening Jones? Please check all that apply and add your own if we missed an option.

Thank you for completing this survey. Your input means a great deal to us! There are a few bugs with this survey thing, so to play it safe, please enter your email address, in case you win! Please put it here -->

October 6, 2013  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: Gardening People, Places & Things

67 Responses

  1. Kris - October 6, 2013

    I completed your survey. I love your website, so much information.

  2. gj - October 6, 2013

    Thank you on both counts Kris!

  3. Carole Schneider - October 6, 2013

    I love gardening but don’t have a lot of time or money to invest. We have a small garden in the suburbs, you know, tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, onions and cucumbers. We also have a big pot of assorted lettuce. Pretty much salad gardeners.

  4. gj - October 6, 2013

    I think that is true for a lot of people Carol, thanks for filling out the survey!

  5. AM - October 6, 2013

    I completed your survey – I’ve just recently found your site through Pinterest and now make sure to check back regularly. We are just novice suburban gardeners so I appreciate everything that you share!

  6. gj - October 6, 2013

    So glad you have found us AM, and thanks for completing the survey!

  7. Corrie Garrison - October 6, 2013

    Survey complete. I am curious about your product/system/idea. Being a zone 1 gardener has encouraged me to experiment with different gardening practices to increase our limited season and bulk up our harvest capabilities. Can’t wait to see what you have been up to!

  8. Gloria Monroe - October 6, 2013

    Hi GJ!!
    I completed the survey , found it very interesting and am looking forward to more info on the system that was mentioned that would be in a 4ftx4ftx5ft space, sounds like what I need, would be and answer to my rick hard red clay ground I have been amending the past 7 years, I have beautiful black ground in a space larger than that now , so this would be awesome, love the idea of virtual pest free of all types of creatures and critters!
    Thanks for the opportunity to be of help!
    TOL = Tons of Love
    Happy gardening!

  9. gj - October 6, 2013

    Thanks for completing the survey Corrie! This is a great addition especially in colder areas. WE are doing our best to keep the cost down, while still keeping the system at its best. We will know much more in a few months- can’t wait!

  10. gj - October 6, 2013

    Thanks for the help of completing the survey Gloria! Even though we have a large garden, also clay soil, we got so spoiled using this system prototype that its all I want to garden in anymore. At the very least, we can use it for our most vulnerable plants- the only tomatoes we found this year with bite marks were the volunteers that were unprotected. This system made gardening so much easier it was -almost- boring!

  11. Gwen - October 6, 2013

    My father has a large garden, but due to health / physical issues needs to downsize. This would be wonderful for him and still keep him in the garden – possibly for a longer season.

  12. gj - October 6, 2013

    It sure does make gardening easier Gwen, and yet he would still be able to harvest a lot. Thanks for commenting, and to be truthful, our gardening future was one of the things we were thinking about as well.

  13. cheryl sigler - October 6, 2013

    gj filled out the questionnaire and submitted a post –it was easy and fun –thanks for this opportunity to take part in this to further succeed in your goal to reach your market survey –it was a pleasure <3

  14. gj - October 6, 2013

    Thanks Cheryl, I so appreciate it!

  15. Wendy - October 6, 2013

    Sounds exciting! and very If it came from your mind tho, I have NO doubt it’s something that will work fantastic. :)

  16. gj - October 6, 2013

    Thanks for helping Wendy, and for the kind words!

  17. Aimee B - October 6, 2013

    Survey completed. Hope it was helpful.

  18. gj - October 7, 2013

    Thanks Aimee!

  19. karen - October 7, 2013

    took the survey … am new to gardening and would love to hear more about your product!

  20. Sandy - October 7, 2013

    Completed your survey. I absolutely love your blogs and everything gardening. I think I was a farmer in my past life lol. Still learning a lot though. Thanks again for taking the time to give us your valuable knowledge рЯШЙ

  21. gj - October 8, 2013

    Thanks Karen!

  22. gj - October 8, 2013

    Thanks Sandy- I always wanted to be a farmer myself!

  23. Dana Martin - October 8, 2013

    Survey submitted!

  24. Theresa Kresge - October 8, 2013

    I have only tried tomatoes, cucumbers & Lettuce only had luck with tomatoes.

  25. A - October 9, 2013

    Completed Jones!

  26. gj - October 9, 2013

    Cucumbers can be tricky, but thanks for commenting!

  27. gj - October 9, 2013

    Thanks A!

  28. petra whitaker - October 10, 2013

    i really enjoy scouring your info….i share alot of your tips…Im a Happy Hippie Gardener…

  29. gj - October 10, 2013

    Well that’s the best kind of hippie to be- thanks Petra!

  30. Tom Mann - October 13, 2013

    Hi, GJ! Survey entered. Will be exploring new methods of gardening in the coming months, so looking forward to hearing more.

  31. Donna Christy - October 13, 2013

    Love to read your site , so much great information ! You have such a great attitude and I can feel your love for gardening in your words. I have several gardens including veggies and plumerias.

  32. Beth - October 13, 2013

    Hi GJ…you know you can count on me!! I completed your survey. Can’t wait to see your new product and wish you every success with it. =)

  33. queen of string - October 13, 2013

    Completed. Something at that price point is not something we would do at this time. If there were plans to build your own, that is something we sometimes do too. Thanks.

  34. gj - October 13, 2013

    We are hoping to get the price down lower, we won’t know for a while. The original idea was actually to sell the plans, so we probably will do that as well. Thanks for your comment!

  35. gj - October 13, 2013

    Thanks Donna! I have been seeing a lot of pictures of plumerias, perhaps it is something to try. Them that grow them seem to love them!

  36. gj - October 13, 2013

    Thanks Tom!

  37. Dee - October 13, 2013

    Done. Thanks for your website. I’ve learned alot.

  38. gj - October 13, 2013

    Thanks Dee!

  39. Donna@Gardens Eye View - October 13, 2013

    GJ, I am fascinated as always…everything you do is top quality including your book and blog!!

  40. Modern Mia Gardening - October 13, 2013

    I filled out the survey. Thanks for always having useful gardening information!

  41. Leslie - October 13, 2013

    So excited for your latest adventure…I just love surveys…and gave my 2 cents.

  42. gj - October 13, 2013

    Oh thanks Donna, you are too kind- but right back at ya!

  43. gj - October 13, 2013

    Thank you Modern Mia, everyone’s opinions and comments are helping us so much!

  44. gj - October 13, 2013

    Thanks Leslie- 2 cents is all it takes to make a major difference for us, thank you!

  45. Jess Beverly - October 13, 2013

    an interesting survey, and it will be even more interesting to see the ‘product’ roll out. enjoy and learn a bit from you, so thank you!

  46. gj - October 13, 2013

    Thank you as well- this was so unexpected and all the input we can get will help a great deal!

  47. gj - October 13, 2013

    Thanks so much Jess for doing the survey! We never expected to find ourselves in this scenario- thanks for your help!

  48. Debi Marti - October 13, 2013

    I’ve learned so much from you! I’m interested in what you’re talking about but not sure I could talk the Mr. into spending yet more money….BUT that being said, I got mostly gourds this year. Between Mr. Groundhog and the Deer family, I got only a handful of tomatoes, several green beans and NO squash….frustration is running rampant with me! Hugs to you, Mandolin and that cute little Sprout!

  49. PattyM - October 13, 2013

    Completed the survey and I am very interested. I talk every day about buying some kind of greenhouse and also chicken wire to help keep the squirrels away.

  50. gj - October 13, 2013

    We all deal with so many issues- critters, weather, and so on.
    Our design kept the critters at bay for us, now we just need to make it affordable to all! We have already decided to cut any profit to a minimum, we so want to help other gardeners!

  51. gj - October 13, 2013

    Squirrels took out 20% of our tomatoes just 2 years ago, seriously. They are cute, but heck! Thanks for doing the survey Patty, it will help us a lot!

  52. gj - October 13, 2013

    Debi We have already decided to cut our profit in an attempt to keep the price low- our main goal has always been to help other gardeners.
    We have lost so much produce to the ‘wildlife’ and would rather see other gardeners not have to deal with that!
    We are hoping that the redesign will prove to pay for itself the same way our original prototype did.
    Fingers crossed!

  53. Karen McM - October 13, 2013

    I also took the survey and am looking forward to more info. In the mean while Im passing this along on FB as well. Thanks GJ вЩ•

  54. gj - October 13, 2013

    Thanks Karen!

  55. Ellen O. Bender - October 13, 2013

    Answered the survey… wondering how your product will compare to the “Grow Camp” I am currently using…

  56. Sheila - October 13, 2013

    Looking forward to additional info!!!

  57. stephenie hawn - October 13, 2013

    debi posted on fb, so i followed the link. i had never heard of this product or the other things ppl mentioned, so very interested.

  58. gj - October 14, 2013

    Thanks Sheila- we are as well, waiting on the final CAD drawings!

  59. gj - October 14, 2013

    Hi Ellen! You are the first person to mention using the Grow Camp. Although some of the idea is similar, our system is taller, you can get more veggies in the same amount of space, and it allows more opportunity for critter protection, as well as better plastic to extend the season. I also expect it to be less expensive, but last longer. The price part we are still waiting to learn as the final specs come in. One more benefit- it will be made in America. :-)

  60. gj - October 14, 2013

    I’m glad Debi shared! The product is not available yet. My husband and I built a few ourselves from wood, and tested then the last 2 years. They worked better than we expected! Now they are being redesigned to be made of plastic, easy to assemble and use, and still have the solutions to all the gardening issues we and so many other gardeners deal with. Best of all, they will be made right here in the US!

  61. Karen McM - October 14, 2013

    Oh My Gosh..all that you are and INVENTERS too! dang girl Im loving this more and more and MADE in the good ole USA!!

  62. gj - October 15, 2013

    :-) You’re too kind.

  63. michele - October 20, 2013

    I’m new to the web, but not gardening. I enjoy all the aspects of your lovely site. I must thank you for all the work you do to bring us all the beauty, experiences, & advice you have! Looking forward to my second season reading!

  64. cheryl sigler - October 28, 2013

    not sure if i left a statement ( here ) but i filled the survey when was first posted — to read everything and learn new ideas and just feeling like we’re one big family and no question is a stupid question is the best feeling when joined this group along with the perks of sprout and all the funny shenanigans — good luck to all and thanks for this opportunity–

  65. gj - October 29, 2013

    Thanks Cheryl!

  66. Kim - October 29, 2013

    I garden because of Gardening Jones. I am expanding now for the third time this spring. There is nothing quite like it!It is a daily adventure and the harvest you reap, whether it be 5 onions or 12 tomatoes, it is so self satisfying.

  67. gj - October 31, 2013

    Thank you so much Kim, and I so agree- it’s one of the best ways to spend your free time!

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