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 Post subject: Veggie Gardens
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:33 pm 
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Is anyone going to plant a veggie garden this year?

Last year I hand dug a space about 5 feet by 6 feet and got incredible results from such a tiny garden.

This year I had someone till up a spot 14f by 23 ft.

I live in the DEEP south, so I can actually start planting now.

Any suggestions on something I should definitely try, things I should avoid...any helpful hints? I've got a pretty good green thumb, but I am still nervous/excited about this whole thing.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:12 pm 
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lefty, I saw this information at the HGTV site. It looked interesting...

http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_plants_vege ... 35,00.html

I used to grow a large veggie garden, but not anymore. I grow herbs, a few tomatoes, squash, and my sister's significant other makes a garden big enough to feed an army...I'm serious. His garden is fabulous. He grows four or five different types of tomatoes and the same with corn. I just go to his garden and help myself to his scrumptious veggies until the first frost. :P

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:53 pm 
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If you can, build a little greenhouse or start a germination tray in a sunlit window or under a growlamp, so you can start seedlings early. When one crop is done, rotate in a second group to finish the season and choose crops that can withstand cooler temperatures. Never sew seeds outdoors if the soil is cold, wet or claggy(muddy) or they will probably fail.

Break up the soil 8-10" deep and bury annual weeds, grass, compost or other organic matter. Work it in systematically or rent/borrow a combine to mix the compost with the soil. Adding peat as a way of retaining moisture and allowing aeration and is another way to bolster your soils potential. Use organics- fish fertilizers are excellent (cats love it too)- and try to pursue non chemical solutions to pesticides when practical. Soil test for acidity/alkalinity and appropriate action to neutralize gives better fuller crops.

Keep all your fresh produce scraps for your compost heap and help your landfills from producing greenhouse methane gasses. Plenty of sites on the web that show how to build a simple 3 stage unit composter or they are available to buy. Don't forget to mist leaves regularily with a foliating fluid and water, and that 60% of a plants growth above ground goes on below the soil, so light/water/air/nutrients is optimum to success. Plant tallest crops, like corn, towards the north side of the garden so they are not shade providers for your other plants.

Some seeds are hard and should be soaked in water until they soften, like peas. You can also sandpaper them, but don't damage the eye, like on a bean. Use 2 sheets of sandpaper and rub them in between.

You're lucky, you can get two, maybe 3 crops in a year, being that far south and using the germination system to get plants a head start each rotation. Once you have a system down, you can decide which crops to plant at whatever time of year is relevant. Follow seeding directions on envelopes and thin when required. Some, like beans, are sewn at wider spacings. Get your leeks in by April. Spinach likes cooler weather as hot months run it to seed. Plant before may and late august.

There's so much to know gardening is an art in itself. Pick up a good book on it at the library and get into the dirt of it all.

Good luck and happy eating.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:02 pm 
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Ok fellow gardeners, I need some assistance.

First of all, you can go to my blog about my garden here: http://amandasorganicgarden.blogspot.com/

Ok, everything is going great in general, tons of squash (yellow and zucchini) already harvested as well as some peppers and herbs galore, everything else is well on its way. The only problem I seem to have that I cannot control is the whiteflies that are all over pretty much everything but the tomatoes and peppers. I'm going the organic route, so I don't want to put any chemicals on anything, but I need some help, the whiteflies are getting really bad and are completely covering the cantelopes, watermellons, squash and green beans.

Any suggestions?

I have sprayed pyretherim (How ever you spell that damn word) to control the flea beetles that were eating my eggplants and that worked fairly well, I am reluctant to do this yet, but I will if I need to, because the whiteflies are covering such a large portion of the garden.

Anyway, please, please, please help.[/url]

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:11 pm 
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Take a look at these sites, lefty, and see if there are any suggestions you can use:

http://www.greenharvest.com.au/pestcont ... _info.html


http://www.gardenerspath.com/articles/o ... tefly.html

http://www.ghorganics.com/page9.html

http://www.growquest.com/whitefly_control_page.htm

I'm planning to grow my own garden next year, so this information will be important then, too.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:27 am 
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When I was gardening, I planted garlic and painted daisys (whre pyrethrim comes from) along with my vegetables. Kept the area clean of other plants and had shallow bowls of beer out to catch slugs.

Misting with soapy water sometimes helps.

I kept chemicals out of my property except for poison ivy spray--we are loaded with poison ivy and the roots reach 20' I am told.

I am in a northern area so have different problems than you would lefty. I hope one of Catherine's links is to companion planting.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:28 am 
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I believe you have the pest whitefly, which is described here- http://www.umanitoba.ca/afs/hort_inquir ... tefly.html

The Sticky Sticks (TM) work, made by Safers, as well as Safers Soap in a spray. I used to have a formula for pests as a spray - Water, some dishsoap, some alcohol and a little hydrogen peroxide and spray on leaves. The sticky sticks look and sound hokey , but the flies are attracted to yellow. Important to control because they spread viruses as well as attract other pests as well to the picnic- your plants are the picnic ground.

Here's a grrrrrreat site for sprays etc.- all natural-
http://davesgarden.com/journal/d/t/Gabrielle/3854/
Monday, July 17, 2006

Quote:
Fungicide
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon dishsoap
1 gallon water
Agitate as using.
--
To kill fungal spores on fruit tress and other harmful organisms, mix 1 gallon water, 5 tbsp 3% hydrogen peroxide, 4 tbsp baking soda, and 2 tbsp Castile soap. Spray before pruning.
--
To control fungus and mildew on roses and vegetables, mix 5 tbsp baking soda and 5 tbsp 3% hydrogen peroxide in 1 gallon water. Apply.
--
HORSERADISH TEA, made from the root of horseradish has antifungal properties. Make by finely chopping 1 cup horseradish roots, adding 16 ounces of water, and allowing to set 24 hours. Strain, add 2 quarts of water, and spray.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Insects & Pests
1 cup alcohol
1 teaspoon dish soap
1 quart water
--
Mix equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Spray on plant to control aphids and other insects. If this is not working well enough, mix up a batch consisting of 1 c 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1 c black strap molasses, and 1 gallon water.

Hope this helps, and good gardening. You are contributing in saving the planet- every little bit helps.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:41 am 
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Thanks for the great tips guys, I knew you all would be helpful.

Last night I discovered a plague of squash vine borers in every single one of my yellow squash plants. So, I had to pull all of those, kill the bugs and ditch the plants (I nearly cried). Strangely, the borers aren't interested in the zucchini, which are planted in the exact same row.

I also do the companion planting thing. TONS of garlic, mint, parlsey, dill, basil everywhere in the garden. It works to some extent, and I'm not to the point that my garden is dead, my thumb is too green to allow that, but I am a complete freak/perfectionist about certain things and I hate to lose a plant to stupid bugs. I have flowers planted throughout the garden as well as around the edges, they also seem to help, because the plants adjacent to them are rarely harmed. Yesterday I read about making a spray from tomato plant leaves, because many bugs are repelled by the scent...so I took that idea to the lazy level (I have a broken toe right now and it makes it super hard to get around in the garden without extreme pain) and took some feeder arms off of other plants and hung them on the lines around my cantelope. We'll see how it works.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:46 am 
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What great advice you have all given! I am going to have to bookmark all those sites--I don't do much gardening now but you never know.

My Dad used to find where the borers were in his squash and with a pen knife cut into that area and remove the borers by hand. He picked all kinds of things from his plants by hand. He really had a green thumb, none of his kids were that fortunate.

I can believe you wanted to cry when you had to pull your squash plants, lefty. Yellow summer squash is so special.

Do you have a farmer's market where you can get some?

Right now I am having a hard time with slugs. I HATE to pick them up, but I take my throw away plastic glass with beer in it and pick the darn things off what plants I have and dump them into the beer. Most of them stay, some have to be pushed back in a few times before they give up. My yard smells like a brewery...

Sure wish I had my possum back. Stupid neighbors kill everything!!! Possums eat slugs, NEVER had a slug problem when I had the possums. Nature's vacuum cleaners.

Thank all of you for wonderful tips for gardening.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:05 pm 
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I should have just removed the borers, but I was so mad about it, I just pulled the plants, killed the borers and threw the plants over the fence. I guess it was sort of a temper tantrum, to be honest.

I don't get many slugs here in the summer because it is so incredibly hot, so I don't have a lot of advice beyond this. You can save your old egg shells and crunch them up well and put them around the stems of the plants the slugs are getting at, the shells will cut up the slugs and they won't make it to the plants or if they do, they won't live long enough to do much damage. (Plus the egg shells slowly degrade and release nutrients to the soil.)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:13 pm 
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I am an apartment dweller, but one of my neighbors had a wonderful garden until she moved last year.

In addition to zucchinis, tomatoes, and many flowers, she actually managed to grow both a peach tree and a fig tree in the Chicago suburbs. For some temperature sensitive plants, the key to their survival lies in insulation.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:25 pm 
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I have loved the stories I have heard of neighbors getting together and turning a vacant lot into a garden. That always sounds like the old 'V' gardens of the WWII period. That is what started many city folk into gardening.

Lefty, I had never heard of the egg shell treatment. As soon as I get some eggs, I will try it. I HATE picking those slimy slugs off the plants!

Supposed to be in the 90s here next week, so maybe some of them will dry up? Or cook? Umm, beer soaked slugs. Ummm...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:48 pm 
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Lefty...fill us in on your veggie growing experiences. How are things going?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:23 am 
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Well, things are growing like mad out there. I have been very busy these last few weeks, so sorry I haven't updated recently.

We got a tremendous amount of rain over the past week or so and things are just drying out. I have lost a few of my watermelons and zillions of tomatoes because they busted from being pumped full of so much water. Other than that, I think my bug problems are better under control naturally. I have just tried to be patient and to better understand the environment in my garden...that's going alright for now. Of course its so hot nowadays that its impossible to spend much time out there without feeling sick, but I do still spend a large part of my days in the yard doing things. I've found that putting all my grass clipping in the garden has helped considerably with water retention and to control weeds (which in turn controls a lot of the bugs).

This is sort of rambling, I'm sorry. I'll answer more fully tomorrow. Thanks for asking though, I do appreciate it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:57 pm 
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Let's see...so far, I've canned green beans, 'kraut, pickled beets, and today I canned salsa. I picked the tomatoes and the peppers this morning...early. I found a great recipe which called for 2 cups of lemon juice, bottled. I fresh-squeezed the lemons, instead. I also added a couple of red onions, cumin, parsley, and green chilies. Now, there are 12 half-pints and 6 pints sitting on the kitchen counter. Often, I'll hear the 'pop' of a sealing lid! :P

Sometime this week, I'll be canning vegetable soup.

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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
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~Harry S. Truman


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