Author Topic: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017  (Read 42488 times)

G-dog

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #350 on: June 06, 2017, 06:01:07 AM »
Barriers? Wire or other panels you can use to block access.

Here's several options:
https://www.organiclesson.com/how-to-keep-cats-out-of-flower-beds/

hm, some good ideas there. Off to stick pointy things in my herb bed.

That was my favorite - cats are picky about surfaces.

totoro

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #351 on: June 06, 2017, 04:24:59 PM »
Any tips on keeping the neighborhood cat from pxxping in my raised bed, without using chemicals or anything with blood in it?

Also interested in responses to this, although I am squeamish and redacted a word.

We collected big pine cones and put them down around the plants in our large raised planters and that worked.

bender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #352 on: June 07, 2017, 10:39:37 AM »
I new to gardening and could use some help with fertilizer.  So far I've researched the following:

Fish fertilizer - people seem to rave about this and use it on everything.
Epsom Salt - Generic - use on everything as well
Bone Meal - use specifically on certain high nitrogen feeders (corn?)

So what do people use and how do they use it (how often, etc)?  I'm trying to figure out a plan for my corn, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and peas.  Thanks!

jlcnuke

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #353 on: June 07, 2017, 11:44:44 AM »
I new to gardening and could use some help with fertilizer.  So far I've researched the following:

Fish fertilizer - people seem to rave about this and use it on everything.
Epsom Salt - Generic - use on everything as well
Bone Meal - use specifically on certain high nitrogen feeders (corn?)

So what do people use and how do they use it (how often, etc)?  I'm trying to figure out a plan for my corn, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and peas.  Thanks!

Too much of any type of fertilizer can be harmful to plants, which is why you want to start by testing your soil before blindly adding stuff to it. Do soil samples to figure out what you need (in the US, you're almost guaranteed to have a university agriculture department extension nearby that will do them for you for free/cheap, then fertilize with the appropriate fertilizer.  Epsom salt provides magnesium and sulfur. Bone meal is a bit of nitrogen and a bunch of phosphorus but no potassium. Fish fertilizer is more nitrogen a bit of phosphorus and a bit of potassium. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the "primary" fertilizer ingredients you'll see labeled on most plant fertilizer, in that order (NPK). This is generally shown with 3 numbers sequentially (for instance, fish fertilizer is often 5-1-1 indicating it has 5 parts nitrogen for every 1 part phosphorus and 1 part potassium).

A good soil sample test should also let you know if your soil needs additional amounts of magnesium, sulfur, calcium, etc.

Problems with plants can also give you an indication of deficiencies in some cases (such as bottom end rot which indicates a need for calcium and/or magnesium generally).

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jlcnuke

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #354 on: June 08, 2017, 04:52:31 AM »
The raised bed garden that I put in this year has been growing much, much, much slower/worse than the rest of the garden, despite being planted around the same time. I decided to test the "organic gardening soil" I bought to fill it up with. Turns out, if your soil doesn't have any/much nitrogen then plants don't grow too well (test kit didn't even register a change in color, so tried the other kit and got the same "nada" result for nitrogen). Hopefully the urea I put down yesterday will start to fix that problem. That's what I get for expecting the stuff I paid for to be suitable for what its purpose is..

Oh, and blight in one of the other beds is causing havoc with the tomatoes this year but as long as I cut off the infected leaves regularly I hope that the plants that have grown to a decent height will continue to be okay overall.  Next year I'll have to avoid planting anything susceptible to blight there.
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Cache Stash

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #355 on: June 08, 2017, 05:13:26 AM »
Anyone use a shun shade in their garden for themselves?  Does it block too much sun for the plants?



Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #356 on: June 08, 2017, 08:43:50 AM »
I second testing before adding a lot of fertilizers.  That said, top dressing with compost both to add micronutrients to the soil and help with moisture retention can be done without worry.  I am continually adding an inch of compost spring and fall and as the compost is ready throughout the summer. But just on the bare areas of soil -never against the stems of plants. 

My experience with garden /potting soils is that they have very little fertility over time. The fertilizers that come in them must be highly water soluble and ready just to get things started. I have liberally supplemented all the soil in the pots and beds with manure and compost. As soon as I stop picking asparagus - I add a few forkfuls of manure to each crown.  In the fall I put my garden to bed with lots of leaves, manure and the compost.  I try to have both compost bins nearly empty at the beginning of winter so that there is lots of capacity over the winter.  That often means that some of the compost is not entirely finished in September but I just dump it on top of the leaves to keep them from blowing away.  In the spring, I may have to push some of it out of the way to plant a row, but I keep it between the rows as mulch to prevent moisture loss.

The thing will mulches is this:  If they are not fully decomposed (as finished compost is), they actually draw nitrogen out of the soil surface for decomposition. Once rotted completely the nitrogen is released back into the soil.  So besides blocking light to the soil surface they are also reverse fertilizing for a period. 

I have always felt adding a specific fertilizer is a short term solution which may be necessary for this season's crops, but I recommend ramping up the long game with nourishing a very deep healthy rich soil. 

I will add epsom salts around the tomatoes if they don't seem to be ripening.  One year they had way to much green growth and very little fruit so I really cut back the manure the next year around them. 

I should probably run a soil sample to the ag lab this fall just to see if there is anything specifically deficient.  I am going to try and reuse the soil in the green house planting boxes as getting all new soil will be too costly and difficult so a test might be a good idea.  I am going to let it get really hot and dry out to kill molds and fungus first for a couple of weeks in the fall while it can still get really hot inside.  But then add compost and keep it moist to bring back the biota. 
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bender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #357 on: June 08, 2017, 09:47:04 AM »
Thanks for the advice on soil fertility.  It's way more complicated than I hoped.  I wish it could be made as easy as general lawncare - put down X in the spring and Y in the fall and you're done...  I'm sure that's not scientific, but its what most people do and it generally works fine.

My corn and cucumbers seem to be getting yellowing on the leaves.  I assume this is N deficiency so I watered with some fish fertilizer and some epsom salt to try to help for now. 

I bought a soil test kit and will be testing the soil this weekend so I'll be more scientific about this in the future.


Elderwood17

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #358 on: June 09, 2017, 08:39:05 PM »
Started picking raspberries this week.....got about a quart Monday, and two quarts Wednesday and today!  Should be picking about every other day for the next week.   This is our third year for them and they are starting to really come in.

bender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #359 on: June 09, 2017, 11:07:22 PM »
I need to move to NC, just for a he garden temps!

FerrumB5

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #360 on: June 10, 2017, 01:30:49 PM »
Just ate my first cucumber of the year. Zone 5

pekklemafia

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #361 on: June 10, 2017, 02:15:54 PM »
Very envious of everyone already enjoying their produce!

So far, we've harvested a lot of rhubarb (it doesn't stop) and pea shoots. Everything else is coming up very well - tomatoes and tomatillos are flowering too. I'm also attempting a cut flower garden, just a couple of beds, with zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers etc.

I'm getting really tired of weeding the lawn... we're not at the point yet where we can just tear it all out (probably have close to 2000 sq ft of lawn on our property still.) Has anyone had any luck with a clover lawn or any other alternative?
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RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #362 on: June 10, 2017, 06:04:03 PM »
Any tips on keeping the neighborhood cat from pxxping in my raised bed, without using chemicals or anything with blood in it?

Also interested in responses to this, although I am squeamish and redacted a word.

We collected big pine cones and put them down around the plants in our large raised planters and that worked.

My neighbours have 4 cats and I have pine cones - thanks for the idea!
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Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #363 on: June 11, 2017, 05:28:57 AM »
Very envious of everyone already enjoying their produce!

So far, we've harvested a lot of rhubarb (it doesn't stop) and pea shoots. Everything else is coming up very well - tomatoes and tomatillos are flowering too. I'm also attempting a cut flower garden, just a couple of beds, with zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers etc.

I'm getting really tired of weeding the lawn... we're not at the point yet where we can just tear it all out (probably have close to 2000 sq ft of lawn on our property still.) Has anyone had any luck with a clover lawn or any other alternative?

My lawn is a mix of clover, moss, wild strawberry and traditional turf seed.  I just mow frequently and over seed three or four times in the spring to fill in the bare spots and reduce opportunity for dandelions.  I have a very small lawn though.  I have more wild meadow than lawn - mostly asters and goldenrod.  My dad the farmer thinks it is a weedy mess but I love watching the butterflies and goldfinches.  I think it is all about perspective.
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Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #364 on: June 11, 2017, 05:43:48 AM »
I harvested peas - which is phenomenally early for my area.  I planted them in one end of the greenhouse planter. 
Tomatoes that I am growing in the greenhouse are flowering.
Haskaps are sweetening up but still pretty sour.  Do they ever get sweet like blueberries?  This is the first year with netting.  I rescued a chipmunk out of the netting yesterday so re barricaded them with chicken wire at the bottom and netting on the top.  Last year between the birds and the chipmunks, the berries never did fully (I hope) ripen.  Today is going to be hot so I will water in the morning and hopefully enjoy the sweet fruit this evening.
Allotment garden is filling in - I lugged water down from rain barrels and then refilled them in the river and lugged them back up.  Strawberries are covered in fruit but if last years experience is any indicator - water is required or the fruit just falls off.  Peppers are settling in from transplanting.  Basil is looking good, peas are flowering.  Some beets, lettuce, beans are coming up.  No sign of cilantro, carrots or golden beets.
Only two of the three Tayberry canes are leafing out.  All of them looked like dead stick when I planted them.
Black raspberries are covered in blooms.
Saskatoons are coming along.
Lots of flower and herb seedlings are in the ground and coming along.
Squirrels dug out most of the sunflower seedlings.  More chicken wire and trying again.
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BTDretire

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #365 on: June 11, 2017, 08:15:35 AM »
My wife is the greenthumb in our household, I'll post her extensive list of plants.
Fruit trees- Lychees, longans, persimmons, Meyer lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, pomelo, sugarapple, starfruit, guava, mango, peach, blueberries, pomagranite, a miracleberry tree. We have a greenhouse frame over some of these that we cover for about 4 months a year.
 Herbs- Green onions, basil, chives, mint, ginger, hot peppers (several varieties), lemongrass, and at least two others I don't know the name of.
 Other- taro root, wintermelon, two types of luffa, bittermelon, sugarcane, and aloe vera.
 I'm sure there's more, but that's most of it.
 People say, you must have a lot of land, no, this is all on less than a 150ft x 150ft lot with a house and two sheds, and still more grass than I want to mow. :-)
 It is kinda fun to run out and cut green onions, basil, or hot peppers at supper time.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #366 on: June 11, 2017, 12:55:43 PM »
We have now a small field of oregano and parsley in the garden, ready for consumption. I just need to get used to using parsley.
Today I used the green of garlic feds in a dish.

totoro

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #367 on: June 11, 2017, 01:09:35 PM »

My neighbours have 4 cats and I have pine cones - thanks for the idea!

No problem.   You need quite a few to make sure there is not space for the cats to dig in between still.  Once the plants grow in this is less of an issue.   We tried cayenne pepper first and that did not work.  Also we used some cut holly leaves when we ran out of pine cones.

CloserToFree

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #368 on: June 11, 2017, 08:34:02 PM »
Reading this thread has been great inspiration for me, a very non-green thumb type who's trying to grow her first veggie and herb garden this year. Here's what I'm attempting:
Tomatoes
Peppers
Zucchini
Summer squash
Edamame

Herbs:
Basil
Mint
Dill
Cilantro
Parsley

So far I haven't killed anything yet, but I'll report back! The herbs have been wonderful​ already-- a ton of dill and moderate amount of everything else.  I'm not expecting much from the tomatoes bc my patch doesn't get quite enough sun, I don't think.  Fingers crossed at least some of the veggies pan out :)

bender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #369 on: June 11, 2017, 08:53:46 PM »
I've run a soil test with a kit from Amazon.  Tested in two spots so far with similar readings.

N - sufficient
P - off the chart high - I guess this means avoid any P fertilizer or manure.  Any thoughts?
K - inconclusive- maybe sufficient or depleted depending on how test is read (reagents kept separating).  Keeping it shaken up looks sufficient.

Ph - around 5-6.  Pretty low for veggies.  Hopefully it will be ok.  Is there anything I can do to increase Ph during the season?  after the growing season I guess lime?

Not sure what else to do with this info - at least I know I don't need to rush to put down any fertilizers.

Spruit

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #370 on: June 12, 2017, 01:27:32 AM »
I'd recommend wood ashes: it adds both Kalium and Calcium (raises the pH). Don't overdo it, as a oversupply of K can slow growth of plants by preventing them from taking up enough N to grow. So, sprinkle ashes around in moderation. Ashes are a great addition especially around potatoes, carrots, strawberries, and other fruitbearing/tuberous vegetables that use a lot of K.
Do not add ashes to blue berries, they are not a fan of neutral soils but prefer acidic
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 01:29:47 AM by Spruit »
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StarBright

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #371 on: June 12, 2017, 08:34:57 AM »
I almost had strawberries but a few unseasonably warm days might have killed them off before they got big enough. Am keeping my fingers crossed that they will make a comeback as they were one thing my 5 year old planted himself. My cilantro also looks like it is ready to bolt. I may cut it back and dry the rest of it just to get some use out of it. Had a huge salad for dinner last night to use up some greens before the heat gets them too.

On the good news side - this is the first time I've successfully had peas flower! Both sweet and sugar snap - I think I'm about a week and half from harvestable peas and I'm super psyched. I only planted about a square foot of each since they were an experiment this year. But I will definitely plant more next spring.

I totally overplanted tomatoes and peppers but my kids will eat a pint of cherry tomatoes in one sitting, so I don't think any will go to waste.

The rest of my space is filled up with kale, basil, cucumbers, bush and pole beans and I'm trying some cabbage and beets this year too.


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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #372 on: June 14, 2017, 09:17:17 AM »
We started harvesting strawberries this week and my brother and I got to eat the first couple of cherries off the tree I gave my mom about five years ago. (She's out of town or the honor would have been hers.) Most of the cherries are still green so I'm hopeful that they'll stick around until my mom can have some.

One blueberry bush is looking pretty good and the other, right next to it, has plenty of leaves but zero berries. I'm not all that concerned. The plant has looked sickly in the past so the fact that it's leafing out nicely is progress.

My spinach bolted so I'm letting it go to seed for fall. Some of my broccoli has also bolted, so I'm doing the same tactic. (Although, it might not get planted for fall.)

At our new house, I'm still trying to figure out the garden. I pulled out a bunch of stuff that the previous owners had planted that had either bolted or that we didn't want. Now I need to add compost to all of the raised beds and re-plant with what we do want. We'll see if that actually happens, though. It's a busy summer/year.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #373 on: June 14, 2017, 12:07:34 PM »
I finally found some use for the parsley in the garden. On a fish dish.

sol

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #374 on: June 14, 2017, 11:47:03 PM »
Strawberries are fruiting.  About half of my tomatoes are thriving and half in a different part of the yard are pitiful and shriveled.  All but two of my cucumbers died, and those two seem to have stopped growing so they might make one or two veg each.  The sunflowers are chugging along, but much more slowly than in previous years.  The puppy has been chewing on my two year old asparagus bed, but I think they'll all live.  I have one hot pepper plant on the deck that is just now setting flowers.  Most of my basil didn't survive being transplanted, but the oregano is thriving and will hopefully be a permanent fixture.  The blueberries are three years old and finally generating significant amounts of berries.  I'm still waiting for my apple tree to flower. 

It's been a cool, wet spring around here.  Everything is sort of unfolding more slowly than normal.

boarder42

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #375 on: June 15, 2017, 05:48:00 AM »
what is everyone using for worms.  i have worms just destroying my cauliflower leaves.  want a mustachian solution that doesnt involve picking them off.

its our first garden everything looks to be going great except the worms.

i'm told we will get some on our tomatoes soon as well. 

so what you got?
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bender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #376 on: June 15, 2017, 07:32:03 AM »
I just did some reading on tomatoes last night and it got me to prune my indeterminate tomato plants.  I cut off the lower branches that are within a few inches of the ground.  This helps let air and light closer to the soil to prevent fungus, blight and other diseases.  Seems to make sense.  Also pruned off some 'sucker' branches that were growing in between main branches.  Hopefully the plants will like it.

I have a bunch of flowers on most of my tomato plants that have been developing for a couple of weeks.  I tried gently shaking the plant to encourage pollination.  A couple of the flowers and their stems fell right off.  I guess I was too late as it seems the plant was rejecting those flowers.  Hopefully I see some of these flowers start going to fruit soon.

My peas are about a month old and are growing fast.  No flowers or pods yet - how long do these take to flower?

Corn is now reaching 'V4' stage and is looking good.  They're planted about 4 per sq. foot which is starting to look pretty tight.  Some leaves are touching each other and the plants are only about a foot tall.  Research shows this is as tight as you should plant, so it may be OK.  Considering thinning, but I really don't want to as I don't have that many plants.  It's probably too late to try to relocate some of them.

Poundwise

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #377 on: June 15, 2017, 07:37:06 AM »
Update on my garden:
Cherries on 2 year old cherry tree... had 5 beautiful cherries, which disappeared before they were ripe.

Blueberry bushes: Largest bush set many clusters of berries, which never seem to ripen.  Many fewer berries now than originally set.

Strawberry patch: Over three years, has spread to cover a 3' x 6' area.  Many flowers.  Saw one stunted red berry yesterday, which disappeared by this morning.

Squirrel crop: bumper.  Enough to run an export business!

bender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #378 on: June 15, 2017, 09:05:31 AM »
I hear you poundwise.  The pests eat everything.  I've got a groundhog, squirrels, and chipmunks.  It seems this year the chipmunk population has boomed.

So far I'm having luck with my garden fence, but I worry it's only a matter of time before they figure out there's good stuff in there.  My cheap fence consists of 8 foot tall pressure treated tree stakes with some 7 foot tall deer netting wrapped around the perimeter and stapled to the stakes. 

My blueberries usually get eaten by birds.  I'm planning to put some deer netting on top of them soon to hopefully prevent that.

All this is new experimental stuff this year - my first year attempting to grow food to actually eat.

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #379 on: June 15, 2017, 12:47:49 PM »
I just did some reading on tomatoes last night and it got me to prune my indeterminate tomato plants.  I cut off the lower branches that are within a few inches of the ground.  This helps let air and light closer to the soil to prevent fungus, blight and other diseases.  Seems to make sense.  Also pruned off some 'sucker' branches that were growing in between main branches.  Hopefully the plants will like it.

I have a bunch of flowers on most of my tomato plants that have been developing for a couple of weeks.  I tried gently shaking the plant to encourage pollination.  A couple of the flowers and their stems fell right off.  I guess I was too late as it seems the plant was rejecting those flowers.  Hopefully I see some of these flowers start going to fruit soon.

My peas are about a month old and are growing fast.  No flowers or pods yet - how long do these take to flower?

I am trying to be more vigilant about pruning my indeterminates this year. Last year I ended up with a jungle of vines winding their way in and out of one another's cages. I still got a LOT of tomatoes, but it was a mess to tear down.

I planted my peas (from seed) in late April and just saw a flower on one a couple of days ago. It very suddenly got hot here, and the peas aren't that happy with the heat. I may not get any this year. :(

My one raspberry bush that's already bearing ripe berries is starting to grow right through the netting. Ugh. It was such a PITA to get it put on.

Of my 3 blueberries, one's covered in them, one has a handful, and one has exactly ONE berry forming. The latter 2 are brand new bushes bought this year so I'm happy to be getting anything off of them.

boarder42

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #380 on: June 15, 2017, 02:00:39 PM »
what is everyone using for worms.  i have worms just destroying my cauliflower leaves.  want a mustachian solution that doesnt involve picking them off.

its our first garden everything looks to be going great except the worms.

i'm told we will get some on our tomatoes soon as well. 

so what you got?

anyone?
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G-dog

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #381 on: June 15, 2017, 02:11:45 PM »
what is everyone using for worms.  i have worms just destroying my cauliflower leaves.  want a mustachian solution that doesnt involve picking them off.

its our first garden everything looks to be going great except the worms.

i'm told we will get some on our tomatoes soon as well. 

so what you got?

anyone?

These will be larvae of moths or beetles or other insect.  So - you need some sort of insecticide.  Likely eggs laid on or near the plant, hatching out and then snacking on your garden.
If you have an extension office - they could help you identify the most likely pest, and treatment options.  Or google.  Or your local nursery or store that sells garden supplies (TruValue, Ace Hardware, Lowes, Home Depot, or local store). If you can, take pictures of the damage to the plants, and the larvae/catepillar eating on your plant.

We haven't been using any insecticides - so no advice.

sol

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #382 on: June 15, 2017, 02:28:17 PM »
Seeds are cheap.  My advice for dealing with insect damage is to plant more, and accept some losses.

Of course that only works if the bugs are vaguely under control and you don't get wiped out by locusts or something.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #383 on: June 15, 2017, 07:11:19 PM »
1 part soap and 20 parts water.  Spray on all sides of the plants, hose down after 10 minutes. 
Look for the eggs and squash before they become caterpillars? 
Floating row covers to prevent the moth/insect from laying eggs in the first place?

Everything in the cabbage family is highly susceptible to cabbage moths so maybe that is what you have.  Organic farmers use row covers and squashing them....
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SAfAmBrit

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #384 on: June 15, 2017, 09:52:20 PM »
I am drowning in tomatoes. I have always planted in pots and got some tomatoes - so this year I put them in the ground and - wow!

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #385 on: June 16, 2017, 12:48:53 PM »
I have tiny bell peppers, one tiny hot pepper, and some tiny tomatoes! Pretty good for mid-June in Edmonton.
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horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #386 on: June 16, 2017, 09:37:53 PM »
No cherry crop at all this year, but it's looking like it will be the first real apple harvest from my three small trees this year. 

The hops have already hit the top of their 16' trellis and are on their way back down.

The tomatoes are nice and bushy, and have even set a few fruit.  The peppers and eggplants are protesting the cool spring and not doing much.

Lots and lots of garlic is on the way, and the potato plants are growing nicely.  It looks like I'll be getting lots of raspberries this year too.

The squash are planted out and a couple melons will go out tomorrow.

After getting bird netting over the lettuces, we are enjoying some salads.

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #387 on: June 18, 2017, 10:33:04 PM »
Organic Microgreens! I grow them in planter trays. After 2 weeks cut them ,enjoy, let the roots dry out , and plant more. Super healthy, easy to grow and they don't take up much area

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Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #388 on: June 19, 2017, 04:52:23 AM »

The hops have already hit the top of their 16' trellis and are on their way back down.


That's interesting Horsepoor -- I've never known anyone to grow them.  Do you homebrew? Use them for something else?

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #389 on: June 19, 2017, 08:48:05 AM »
Gardens are looking really good after a week of heat and some rain and some irrigation.
Harvested one dozen strawberries from plants that I have been coxing along for three years.  I have fenced my allotment garden and that seems to be the magic.  There are more fruit on the plants so hopefully the fencing holds.
Planted more beans, carrots and cilantro in the allotment.  The first outdoor planting of peas are developing pods.  The second are flowering.  The early carrots are MIA, while most of the beans look great.  I also harvested garlic scapes, some onion and accidentally a garlic bulb.  It is pretty big already.

I made a huge salad for Father's day supper with greens, basil, edible flowers and spring onion. All ten adults are big salad eaters so it was all gone even though I started with two salad spinners full of greens.  Simple vinaigrette - black cherry balsamic (that I made last year) olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup (made this spring), basil (thinnings) salt and pepper.

The greenhouse is nearly empty of seedlings - just some lonely mystery tomatoes and a pot of zucchini starts that were slower than the others.  I normally don't start zukes inside but I had nowhere to plant the seeds that I left in my pocket and ran through the washing machine.  Nearly a %100 seed germination with new seed, freshly laundered. The greens are just about finished, peppers are just sitting there, tomatoes and cukes are blooming.  Need to find out if they will set or do I need to assist pollination.

The patch in front of the greenhouse (neighbours property) is coming along except for the sunflowers (gone)  Zinnias, calenduala, sage, rhubarb transplants are looking robust.  The seeds - cukes and watermellon have been spotty.  I only had three watermellon seeds and have two small plants so hopefully this works out.  Only one cuke came up in the hill.  I dumped a bunch of old seed to see if anything else will catch.

Outdoor stuff on the front lawn is coming along.  Potatoes are only sprouting in the top of the tower - so I poked holes in the side.  Gourds are up, tomatoes blooming, haskaps finished by the birds, edible flowers are blooming, sunflowers are gone but marigolds and strawflowers are looking lovely.  Pear trees are looking sad with some pests.  Saskatoons have potential.  Monitoring for asparagus beetles but haven't seen any yet.
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Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #390 on: June 19, 2017, 10:02:46 AM »
Who here has netted their fruit bushes? How do you keep the bush from growing through the netting - do you just remove and re-net with a bigger piece as it gets bigger? Do you cut a hole? That seems counterproductive. Also, how do you secure the netting if the bush is in the ground (or a raised bed)? I have it sort of clamped to the sides of the raised bed, but it is loose on one side and a determined bird or critter could probably still get in there. And one side of the blueberry bush is getting smooshed down by the netting. The netting I bought is such a pain in the ass, so tangly and unwieldy. I really don't want to have to keep re-netting these things as they grow.

Three of my tomato plants are making tiny tomatoes! And I have two pods forming on the snow peas! I was sure that they were going to die in the sudden heat. Unfortunately the sugar snap peas did not make it. :(

One of my peppers appears to be about to burst into flower. Seriously, about 20 buds on it. (It is a mini pepper variety.) The rest of the peppers aren't doing so well. I mean, they look healthy but most are not flowering. A couple have one or two small buds. Most are in my small raised bed at home, and I think they're getting too shaded by the tomatoes. One of which was supposedly a dwarf variety. Which I suspect is false, as this thing is now enormous and very leafy. I may need to prune it so it doesn't take over.... except I thought you weren't supposed to prune determinates? Argh.

Oh well. Now that I see how the sun hits the back yard, I'll be able to better plan next year.

This is my first time growing tomatoes in big containers. I have 3 in containers and the rest are in one or the other of my raised beds. The container plants are already taller than me and have outgrown their cages, In mid-June. Yikes. Is that normal? The ones in the raised bed are about the size I'd expect for this time of year. I guess they must like having some space and depth to spread out. I actually have better soil in the raised bed so it's not that.

I am trying to be better this year about harvesting and drying the herbs that I am not able to use up while fresh. I cut down my "mammoth dill" - aptly named variety, it gets huge - and am drying that, and also some oregano. Waste not want not! Last year I just couldn't use up everything I had.

SAfAmBrit

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #391 on: June 19, 2017, 02:19:39 PM »
Tomatoes have taken over my life - I have 3 kg frozen in the freezer, eat some every meal and given about 3 kg away.  We are now 110 + so the plants are stating to die. I have a lot of thyme so started drying it. 1/4 jar so far!

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #392 on: June 19, 2017, 06:11:17 PM »

The hops have already hit the top of their 16' trellis and are on their way back down.


That's interesting Horsepoor -- I've never known anyone to grow them.  Do you homebrew? Use them for something else?

I haven't in a while, but plan to do a couple batches this fall.  I also use them to flavor kombucha, but mostly they are a Mustachian summer shade for the south wall of our house.  There are some large commercial hop fields within 20 miles of my house, so apparently it's a very favorable climate for them!

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #393 on: June 19, 2017, 06:12:26 PM »
I got to eat strawberries straight from the garden today.  I was weeding, I think the animals missed them because they were hidden in grass (my bad, I'm not weeding enough in the heat wave and he weeds are thriving).
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sol

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #394 on: June 19, 2017, 09:21:43 PM »
There are some large commercial hop fields within 20 miles of my house, so apparently it's a very favorable climate for them!

[agricultural tangent]
Hops are a remarkably drought-tolerant crop, except when they're flowering, but for good acid development they like loooong summer sunlight hours coupled with cold nights.  That effectively restricts their zones of commercial development to inland areas of northern latitudes, which is why Washington and Wisconsin and New York are the the big hop growing states.  Oregon grows some, but mostly for local craft breweries who can pay a premium for 100% local ingredients. 

About 70% of the US domestic hops supply comes from one little valley in central Washington, not because they are the best but because there it is cheap to grow the cheapest hops that get added to cheap (mass-produced, oft-maligned) American lagers.  If you only care about the bittering agent, and not the flavor profile, why pay for anything fancy?  Budweiser certainly doesn't.

Germany grows a bunch in Europe, for similar reasons.  High latitude means long days, inland areas mean cold nights, and they have local buyers.

There's actually a thriving body of scientific literature about how our changing climate will slowly and inevitably change the ideal locations to grow specific crops.  Just like we all choose garden plants specific to our local climate, farmers grow for their climate too and they're much more concerned about maximizing exact yields.  For most things it doesn't matter so much, but for flavoring hops and (even more importantly) for specific wine grapes, terroir is everything.  You need that perfect combination of soil and climate and ag methods to generate a uniformly recognizable product, and as things warm up you just can't grow a good Bordeuax in Bordeaux anymore.  But we CAN identify which areas are most susceptible to losing their favorable climate (French wine is going to turn into Australian wine, sadly) and which areas that are currently marginal are going to improve (no surprise, it's the northern and the upper altitude fringes of the current areas).

But to expand that same science, we can also identify which areas appear to be ideally suited to particular crops where they are NOT currently being grown.  For example, large parts of the middle east should be producing the best wines in the world, if they only bothered to make such things there.  Such a loss.

We can do the same thing now for broccoli or onions or pears or corn, but generally speaking no one is interested.  These are commodity crops that will get grown wherever it makes economic sense, not in places that have spent decades and millions of dollars cultivating a public perception of location-specific quality in a particular agricultural product, the way the French have with wines.
[/agricultural tangent]
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 09:23:16 PM by sol »

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #395 on: June 20, 2017, 06:25:58 AM »
But field corn (and maybe sweet corn) IS adapted for various growing regions by the efforts of breeders (selecting for earlier maturity to enable growing in more northern climes). This is a plant that came from Mexico - and is now grown down into southern Brazil and up into Canada, across Europe, China, Australia.

I planted a bunch of varieties with a big spread of maturity in the middle of the corn belt (central Iowa).  For some varieties from Mexico - the plants were more than 10 ft tall, and finally had ears in September, clearly a MUCH longer maturity!

Now - I don't know how many fruit and vegetable crops this has been done for. But I've bought tomatillo seed adapted for my area. Whatever seed or plant you are buying in your region has likely been adapted for your area (growing zone). That said, you may not get the highest yield (on average) of ANY growing zone, but you should get a good yield for your growing zone.  That said - still not growing bananas or pineapples here (yet).

Sounds like hops has more specific requirement than growing zone per se (cold nights, etc.). that was really interesting - thanks Sol

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #396 on: June 20, 2017, 07:08:43 AM »

Sounds like hops has more specific requirement than growing zone per se (cold nights, etc.). that was really interesting - thanks Sol

Yes, thanks, Sol.  Very interesting about the hops.  And I now recall seeing a couple of commercial hops fields when we lived in Wisconsin.  I only knew what they were because I had seen them grown years ago in Germany. 

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #397 on: June 20, 2017, 08:23:01 AM »
Interesting about the hops! Our local Fancy Garden Center sells them, and had quite a few still when I went last weekend to browse. I've been curious but I have no idea what I'd use them for as I don't brew beer. I'm in Chicago so it sounds like our climate is probably favorable for them.

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #398 on: June 20, 2017, 10:09:11 AM »
Here's my little 4x4 raised bed:


It's a bit crowded, but seems to be growing well.  Some tomatoes on the left, a pumpkin, cucumbers along the bottom right.  They seem to be having trouble with yellowing leaves and stunted growth, but there's two more plants slightly pushed into the center that look very healthy.  Pepper plants center right, bean, strawberry, with peas climbing behind them.  Not visible on the other side is a bunch of carrots and lettuce. 

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #399 on: June 21, 2017, 11:11:35 AM »
DH has bought two new grape bushes, this time of best type suited for northern climate, Solaris.

We have eaten the first strawberries, nice and sweet.