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Author Topic: My Garden (HELP!)  (Read 3509 times)
nepenthes
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« on: May 15, 2007, 10:15:10 PM »

(Wrong board or what?)

Tilled up a fresh patch of land about 20x30 feet, had to till it 5-6 times cause of the grass.  We bought a mantis. This is the first time I've gotten kinda serious about growing, but I started late! I still have seeds in the basement under grow lights.  rolleyes

I got-
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Peppers
Onions
Spinach (love fresh spinach)
Cucumbers
Water Mellon's
Cantaloupes
Corn
Sweet potatoes
Carrots
Pumpkins

We bought some Cucumbers tomatoes peppers and lettuce (still have more in the basement! sprouted and waiting to be planted), cause we started late and I need to have some stuff for fair. But Do You think my crop will make it? Should I wait for them to get their 2nd set of leafs or what? Ive grown tomatoes and Corn before but a 3 year old can do that! tongue

Ill post pictures later

Thanks for any help
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reinbeau
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2007, 06:25:50 AM »

You should be fine.  You may be fighting the grass, though, go over the garden with an iron rake and really get every root you can find.  What specifically do you want help with?  Some of your seeds should be planted directly in the ground and not started in pots.

Lettuce - you can start in pots but can be seeded directly.
Tomatoes - transplant out after last frost date
Peppers - same as tomatoes, a real heat lover.
Onions-seeds?   Kinda late.  Sets, ok.
Spinach (love fresh spinach) -this should be planted in the ground now.  It's hardy enough to withstand frosts.
Cucumbers- don't let transplants get too big, they don't like root disturbances.  Watch frost dates, very tender.
Water Mellon's - same as cukes
Cantaloupes - same as cukes
Corn - same as cukes, I prefer direct seeding.
Sweet potatoes-slips, not seeds, right?  After last frost, they can't take it.
Carrot-again, plant directly in the ground
Pumpkins
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MarkR
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2007, 05:14:40 PM »

Once you're sure that you've got all the grass roots out, add a good organic compost and you should be good to go.  You'll be amazed what you can get out of your garden.  Your stuff is going to totally change your mind about going back to the grocery store.  And once you get started, you won't be able to stop.

My garden this year is small, but packed to the gills.

Carrots
radishes
green leaf lettuce
arugala
mesculan
eggplant
tomatoes
cukes
zuccs
crookneck squash
pumpkins
watermelons
green, yellow, and purple beans
tomatilloes
basil
marjoram
chives
tarragon
rosemary
savory (winter and summer)
fennel
dill
thyme
strawberries
blackberries
red/black raspberries
morel mushrooms

The berries and most of the herbs have been here a while.  Just starting with the mushrooms and tomatilloes.  Should be interesting to see what, if anything, I get.  Won't know about the mushrooms until next spring.  I'm also going to start a couple half whiskey barrels with purslane (once my seeds get here).  Also want to make a 20x20 raised bed for blueberries but I'll probably have to wait for next year. 

Mark
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nepenthes
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2007, 08:55:51 PM »

How big should the seedlings be before I plant them?
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reinbeau
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2007, 09:10:02 PM »

Usually two sets of leaves.  Basically wait until the last frost danger has passed and plant them out - after hardening them off for a few days (that means getting them used to being outside in the sunshine and wind).
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nepenthes
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2007, 09:14:34 PM »

I know how to grow things, But Im a Tropical Plant person/temperate Carnivorous plants (the name nepenthes is a species of pitcher plant native to south asian Islands). Any ways, We have a mantis roto tiller (which I think is  a waste of money but my mom bought it) so we are gonna use that for weeding, i put some manure (decomposed so it doesnt burn the roots) down and rototilled it in around the first time i roto tilled and uhmmm Any Thing ealse you think I should do? we have those trelices for the tomatoes and 2 for the cucumbers.

Thanks
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BenC
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2007, 09:46:52 PM »

As mentioned above cucurbits(basically anything that grows like a squash) and corn don't transplant well.  Be very gentle with them.  As for timing, wait for two sets of TRUE leaves, don't count cotyledons.  I always allowed at least 5 days for hardening off, it's a gradual process.  IMMEDIATELY after planting, water each plant in well with a weak solution of miracle-grow.  If you use the mantis for weeding after the plants are established, remember that just missing the veggie stems is not enough-  You can set you plants back by tilling too close and cutting roots underneith.  If you simply chewed up and buried the sod rather than remove it, or added other organic matter you may need to supplement Nitrogen levels at some point.  Depending upon the varieties you selected, cukes, melons, lopes, and pumkins may need LOTS of room, space accordingly.  For best set, corn should be planted at least 3 rows wide, it's pollinated by wind.
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2007, 11:25:40 PM »

Number One:

Feed your soil. If you have healthy vibrant soil...your plants will be the same...healthy bacteria in the soil make it possible for roots to absorb more nutrients.

Humic acid, and organic all purpose fertilizers like Whitney Farms and Dr. Earth contain the mycorhyzza that help this process. The healthy organic matter also provides a nice place for earthworms to live...Earthworms=earthworms castings...You can also add comercial worm compost like "WormGold Plus" with minerals...The worm gold contains "chitans" little ectoskeltons which ward off naughty bugs. They sense the dead bugs and keep away.
So healthy up your soil...til it, feed it now before you plant...it is not only a foundation, but THE foundation for a happy garden!
I like "www.gardencompass.com"..they have helped me a lot in growing organically...

So, then...after you have your soil nice and ready for the reception of the tuber roots...you can begin thinking about fertilization. There are a bezillion ways to fertilize...I guess we can rely first and formost on good old Mother Nature...that being : photosynthesis..THE SUN...yay for the sun...plants make their own food...we just add supplementation and amendments...If you soil is healthy and you have good sun exposure, you are in luck. I , of course, like organic supplements, which have really improved over the years. Since there are so many to chose from, I just recommend a balanced all purpose...5-5-5..it has worked very well for me over the years...This year I am going to try fertigation..we'll see what happens...
There is also a new pelleted time released OMRI certified called GrowBetter...this is a pelleted chicken manure...I would like to try it, but I have over 200 plants and it is pricey!
The nice thing about the organic all purpose is that you cannot burn your plants, and the plant will only take from it what it needs...Feeding with chemical fertilizers is kind of like drinking apple flavored Kool Aid instead of eating an apple...it is "fast food" for the plant...Some people do like using it, but in the long run, it is unhealthy for the soil, and one may find themselves having to do extra work...The organics feed the soil too, and make a cozy home for beneficial bugs and worms.which in turn help keep nasty bugs and insects at bay...
Dis-ease/Pests: Prevention is key in growing organically...You need to stay one step ahead of the nasty stuff...How?? Well...Take care of your soil!! Allow the soil to live by using non-toxic amendments and fertilizers! Feed with life, get life...I have found a plethora of lady bugs and beneficials in my garden now, they do most of the work...But for those pesky problems...I have to use "stuff". For chewing, sucking bugs I use Spinosad spray. I follow the directions on th container and I do not spray the blooms, only buds and plant. ( Always spray in the coolof hte morning or cool of the evening on a non-windy day...) For mildew, I was having luck with Potassium Bicarbonate, but this year I am going to treat prophilactically with light soluble sulfur and neem oil...The neem is also good for bad bugs, but I found that it kinda burned some leaves..so I am less likely to use it much...Worm/compost tea, use this to help prevent disease and pest...it helps the immune system and the chitans in it help keep certains bugs away...hhhhmmm...I also just pick naughty bugs off with my fingers, as well as use water to spray them off...For earwigs I use diatomaceous earth arond the base of the plant...As well as keeping the area around the plant clean and clear with a nice mulch layer...Keeping the garden clean and free from weeds will help prevent problems as well...

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reinbeau
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2007, 06:44:12 AM »

Nepenthes, I've got a Mantis and I love it.  You can't break sod with it but you surely can prepare a nice seedbed with one.  It's also great for weeding, but as mentioned, don't get too close to the plants, you don't want to sever any roots.  I prefer less invasive means for weeding - and don't forget to use a good mulch between rows to keep those weeds down in the first place!
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MarkR
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2007, 06:48:48 AM »

Lots of good advice here.  I would respectfully disagree with BenC on the miracle-gro, though.  If you're interested in growing organically, you can feed with fish emulsion and seaweed solution.  They should be available at most nurseries.  Or, if you have a good compost pile going you could make a batch of compost tea.  Just shovel some compost (one or two shovels) into a cloth bag (burlap, it's good for more than just the smoker), and soak it in a trash can full of water for a week or so.  Then apply to your garden.  Some folks add a gallon of good (organic) apple cider as well.

Wait for two true leaves before transplanting.  Actually, the only thing I've been starting ahead these days is tomatoes.  I'm basically a lazy gardener.  The less I have to do, the better.  Almost everything can be directly sowed in the ground.  But you've already started your stuff it sounds like.  You should be fine with those, but it's something to keep in mind for next year.

Finally, to avoid a lot of weeding I use some intensive gardening methods, reducing the space between plants.  This keeps a lot of weeds from even getting started.  There are some good books on this out there.  John Jeavons is good.  You might also check out Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholemew (I think).  I've stolen ideas from both.

Hope you're having fun in your garden.

Mark
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Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2007, 09:37:38 AM »

Cody, you have some really great advice from our friends.  Listen, read, you will learn lots.

The mantis rototiller, I have one too and never in my life have I seen a little machine do such a big job.  I have turned over myriads of hard rock soil, the rocks that can be as large as a baseball (and I have even bumped out bigger ones) are just bumped out of the soil by the tines, the tines have a lifetime guarantee.  I love my mantis and it does stuff my husbands big reared tined one can't (LOLL).  I can pick it up and walk it anywhere I want and it runs for a long time on a tank of gas.

Have fun in your garden, our friends have said it all, I am learning some stuff too.  Have a wonderful day, great fun in your garden, great life and great health.  Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2007, 09:33:07 PM »

I too have a mantis...it helps grow weeds. I am converting to a raised style garden w/ a no-till philosophy i hope.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2007, 12:47:37 AM »

I use the raised bed method.  It is a lot of work to set up initially but once it's up and running it's a lot easier to maintain than a regular garden and lots less weeding.  The berry patch has the raised beds with 30 inch walkways of chipped wood on top of newspaper--no weeding needed and it looks great. 
The great thing about it is that the mulch you lay down to protect the plants for the winter composts in place renewing the soil. 
In my berry patch I have 20 foot rows.  Row 1 is 2 current bushes and 4 gooseberry bushes.  Row 2 is 5 blueberry bushes--2 varities for cross pollination.  Row 3 is everbearing strawberrys--berries from June to Labor day.  It will look like a short hedge by fall, a 2 foot wide carpet of green.  Row 4 is wall to wall raspberrys--2 feet wide and 20 feet long.  I'm building a self supporting arbor so that as the stalks grow they are supported by the arbor and all I have to do is cut out the old canes. Row 5 is rhubarb--that's right 20 feet of rhubarb--I grow enough to feed my family, my kid's families, my brothers families, and still give some away.  Row 6 was just planted to asparagus.  It takes 3 years to develop but in 3 years I'll have all the asparagus I'll need, may even give some away to friends and neighbors. 
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2007, 08:39:01 AM »

Brian, wow, nice garden going on at your place.  What do you do with gooseberries?  I think I may have tried them as a child in a friend's mother's garden, but have never grown any.  Do you have acreage at your place?  Have a wonderful day, great day and great health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
nepenthes
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2007, 04:26:24 PM »

Thanks for all the help guys! We have a row between each row of plants (kinda its basicaly enough for the mantis to fit through) so we can fit the mantis through their the rest we will weed by hand.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2007, 06:15:27 PM »

A gooseberry is a cousin to the currant.  Same leaf structure but a shorter bush with thorns.  The berries are tart.  The best Jam I've ever had in my life used 2 tart plants: gooseberries and Rhubard--UUHHMMMM.  A good gooseberry pie is to die for--if you like Rhubard you'll like gooseberries.  Treat them the same way you would blueberries, with maybe a tad more sugar if you find them too tart.  They are a late July-early August crop in my area.
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2007, 03:44:08 PM »

MarkR, you say you are growing morels in your garden. i doubt this very seriously. i have tried for years to grow them with very limited success. WVU has tried to cultivate them and the easiest way to do it with the most success is to dig up an entire spore bed from the wild and transplant it to where you want to grow them. you can imagine how difficult this could be because you want to dig the spore bed without disturbing the spores. i know here in wv that the first warm rain of spring brings out the morels and their season is in for only a few weeks. if you have morels in your garden at any other time of year, they are not the same morel that grows in the wild. i see you posted this back in may, after morels were already out of season.

 Growing Morels

    Morels are one tough mushroom to grow commercially! One cultivation process has been patented. The patents are held by Terry Farms and vigorously defended by them. Still, at last report, no one has been able to produce morels by the instructions in the patent. Just perhaps, the patents left out a detail or two? Terry Farms opened a morel production facility in Auburn, Alabama and offered their products for a few years, but eventually closed down the operation. We suspect the economics were pretty marginal. Some of our advertisers sell morel spawn with instructions for creating a small outdoor patch. This works, sometimes, but it is certainly not a sure thing and don't expect commercial yields. If you'd like to try indoor cultivation, you might start with the instructions on Mushroompeople's web site (it has step-by-step details with photos). Terri Marie Beauséjour has also developed some instructions for morel cultivation. Expect to do some experimentation on your own!
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MarkR
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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2007, 08:39:14 AM »

Old timer,

Relax with the attitude and go back and read my post  angry .  I "doubt very seriously" you have a clue what I can or cannot grow.  I've been gardening for most of my 40 years and I've been hunting and growing mushrooms for a long time, just not morels (growing that is, hunting since I was about 6).  Yes, morels are hard to grow. Yes, I posted back in May.  No they weren't coming up in the garden at the time, they come up earlier in the spring, and I said I wouldn't know whether these worked until next year. 

Quote
Should be interesting to see what, if anything, I get.  Won't know about the mushrooms until next spring.

Yes, they are a true morel.  I'm not going to tell you where I got the spore, but it is wild and several folks have successfully made their own beds from this source, though others haven't.  It seems to be working about to about a 50% success rate, which, frankly, isn't bad.  I don't recall ever saying anything growing commercially.  It's an experiment.  I'm not invested in whether it works or not, though I'd be really happy if it does.  My mushroom bed has the right soil and the right trees for it to work.  We'll see.

Mark
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