TOTM May 2016- Gardening

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Motomom34, May 1, 2016.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    "There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments" ~ Janet Kilburn Phillips

    Have you ever grown garden? If so then you know it takes more then scattering a few seeds in the soil and reaping the harvest. For those of you that have ever had a garden or grown a food bearing plant, recall your first attempt. Chances are high that you have changed something in your technique, crop or plan.

    From the first year to your present garden, what has changed and why? Maybe you have advanced to having your own seeds, gathered from last years plants. Maybe you have learned that X really doesn't growing your area even though the zone map tells you it does. I recall the happiness when I was able to gift my neighbor with some zucchini. Maybe you get joy from canning your crop and eating you home-grown carrots in January.

    Container gardening, in the ground, aquaponics or hydropnics. One could be raising herbs, vegetables, berries or fruit trees. The growing of food is a vast area of subjects and ideas. If you have never had a garden and are thinking of starting one, share your plans, ask your questions. I have found that advice and wisdom shared between gardeners is some of the best.

    Lets talk about our experiments in gardening.
  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    The thing I like about container gardening is its portability (for the most part) I find that plants that are not thriving where they are, can be moved to a place that they like better. Too much sun? too little sun? to close to a hot fence? in a frost spot? in an unprotected, position? Too little shade? Too much shade?, Inconveniently located? The beauty of container plants, the problem can sometimes be resolved by moving, or re-orienting the container....up sizing, re-potting, shading, etc, etc. Lots of options and alternatives...if worst comes to worst...pulling the ailing plant and planting something else can work too.
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  3. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    My largest experiment in gardening to date has been the building of raised beds from unmortared concrete blocks that were stacked two high with no foundation work of any kind. The blocks were an auction buy--we got about 300 of them for $50.00;

    I had built raised beds out of lumber before and watched them rot away in the span of a few years, and come apart at the corners as they did.

    Concrete seemed like as better option. So far, they have worked out fine.

    Over the last five years the beds have almost filled, thanks to regular additions of composted leaves and grass and veggie scraps.

    The blocks have settled a little, and a few of them lean a bit, but it's not something I'll need to repair within the next fifty years.

    The earthworms are thriving. The soil is dark and moist. The plants are obviously happy.

    This year we planted half as many beans, and are still getting swamped by them. Now we must dehydrate in self-defense.

    We have cherry tomatoes that are running riot, producing much faster than the squirrels can eat them. We have cantaloupes and carrots and a dozen other things that we'd rather grow than buy.

    Our four collard plants have produced so many leaves that our freezer is full of "Larry", and we have dehydrated gallons on the side.

    And every time we plant, pick, water, or weed, we bless the fact that we don't have to bend over so far. Raised beds save an immense amount of effort.
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    That is the issue I am facing now. My homemade planter boxes are bowing on the sides and when they were constructed there was a bottom. Unsure how that is holding up. They need to be taken apart. My strawberries have taken over 1/4 of a 4x8 box. They are healthy and happy and I really hate to move them. So the boxes need to go.

    Some one just gave me 4 of these:

    They are cute, easy to put together but only about 8 inches high. The people I got them from bought the boxes, tried gardening for a year and I guess it was too much work. So I now have these 4 little boxes but there is not a bottom. I have a horrid vole issue. Last summer the voles trashed the yard and burrowed all around my apple trees. I had a solar vole repeler next to the apple trees and it didn't deter them at all.

    I can use the 4 gifted boxes and transfer the dirt from my other planter boxes that are falling apart. I have no clue what to put under the new boxes to keep the voles out.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Fairly fine mesh stainless screen?
  6. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter+++

    I have beutiful south facing hill that has sun all day and springs on up the hill from there.. Just need some heavy equipment and cash to have it terraced And to dig out a pond at the springs.. I love to garden but it is hard with tall timber all around you..
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
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  7. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    Raised beds are definitely the ticket! 3 years now and not a problem, easy to weed, prolific supply of vegetables.
    Here's this years summer crop Pics.
    My blueberries are so full I had to tie them up to keep them from collapsing to the ground! 100_0405.JPG 100_0406.JPG 100_0407.JPG 100_0408.JPG 100_0409.JPG
    Gator 45/70, GOG, Seepalaces and 3 others like this.
  8. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    DSCN4230.JPG DSCN4225.JPG DSCN4226.JPG Cactus apples DSCN4227.JPG DSCN4228.JPG these are my egg plants ,got 20 of them. DSCN4230.JPG
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  9. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

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  10. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    Looks like it, and a leghorn in there too. Their not mine I have about 35 birds now.
    Nice set of Cactus Pears coming in! Looks like Satsuma's or Oranges.
    Need some Rabbits![LMAO]
    My Turkey's are sitting on about 40 eggs a piece, Hatching out chickens so far. Turkeys chicks should be coming in another 10 days or so. If I'm lucky I'll have 50 chickens and 30 turkeys by the seasons end!b::
    Only a few of my chickens will set the eggs but all 4 of my Hen Turkeys are. I never knew they would hatch chicken eggs too.
  11. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    its not hatching that is the problem, its if you let the turkey's run wild, the young ones get wet in the morning dew and die of colds and pneumonia
  12. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    we keep them in a raised covered pen for the first three months then out in the chicken tractor for 2 more. By 7 months the Tom's are 15lbs and we butcher them and freeze em.
  13. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I am still purchasing the hardware to put our first aquaponics system together. I didn't realize how difficult it was to source some of the parts needed. (I just received $180 AUD worth of Uniseals from Australia, and am about to place an order for $200 USD worth of bulkheads from the US. Both of these necessary items are unheard of in Cambodia, it seems.) You folks in the US should appreciate the convenience of just being able to run down to the local Lowe's, Home Depot, etc., to pick up what you need.

    My girlfriend enlisted a group of local children to go around and collect plastic water bottle caps. They will be used for our moving media filters. I found Kaldnes media and bio balls to be much more costly. We come out cheaper in media costs, and it gives the local children some spending money.

    Fortunately, most of the other parts can be sourced from a Thai lady who lives in Phnom Penh. She owns a hydroponics shop there, with most items on hand. Other items, we found at a local high-end aquarium shop in the same city.

    We have decided to go with some bees on the property, as well. I figure it can't hurt to have some honey bees to work their magic on some of our crops and flowers my girlfriend would like to grow.

    So, sorry @Motomom34, not much of a "former" or first attempt to share, by comparison. But, I hope I have done enough research on this to give us a good start.

    We just lost some chicks due to a pretty heavy rain. They caught - I guess anyway, a cold that killed them.
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  14. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    How old are you blueberry bushes? If you planted them how long did it take to get them that size?

    @arleigh what is that bush?
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  15. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    These bushes are at least 15 years old. They were unproductive when we moved here. I took a chainsaw to them 3 years ago and cut them to 5' the next year nothing but last year was great. I culled any that were over 1" thick at the base.
    Over the winter I put the Rabbit poop and Coffee grounds to them a couple of times, and HOLY CRAP!!
    My other fruit tree's are doing great as well. I won't get fruit on my Pears for at least another year, but my Nectarines have a few fruits on them. My Hardy Kiwi I started from seeds 3 years ago are in the ground and going nuts! Grape vines have flowers on them right out the gate, I got some small bunches last year but they are acting different this year, hoping for a good crop.
    Passion Fruit vines came back and climbing the trellis again. With a well established root system I think I'll be getting fruit all year
    (I HOPE, I HOPE .....).
    I have 30 gal.of Compost Tea brewing now. I'll hit all my tree's and plants with that and see what happens.
  16. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I think most people can't truly imagine what it would be like. I went to a Gardening 101 class and the phrases- go buy or you can buy, were used quite often. I sat there wondering if the other people in the class would know how to go things if they couldn't buy everything.
  17. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    You might want to give this a peek: Voles and moles in the lawn - GreenView

    It talks about both moles and voles.

    I've heard of discouraging moles by mounting speakers on metal rods/pipes driven into the ground and then playing heavy metal music thru the speakers. Apparently it overloads their hearing, which is their most important sense. Moles are almost blind. They avoid each other by listening for the sound of digging, then steer away from it. If two moles drive into the same tunnel, they'll fight to the death. A little Black Sabbath sends them packin'.

    Voles are a little harder to deal with. A cat is far and away the best solution, followed closely by a rat terrier. I've heard you can adapt the 5-gallon bucket/tube-on-a-stick rat trap for voles and pretty much wipe them out in just a few days. I've also heard that free-range chickens will eat them like popcorn.

    One other thing: If you want a super easy live trap that's mega-cheap, see this...
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
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  18. Dovey

    Dovey Monkey++

    For years I tried to garden with raised beds, but I always battled nut-sedge and Bermuda grass it was a big failure for me. I was ready to call it quits. I was getting older and the heat, weeds and grass were getting to be too much. Then I saw the online movie about Back to Eden gardening.

    I tried it and I love it. I've been gardening this way for about six or seven years. I still have to put down chips every year but I do it in the winter when the weather is cool and mild. In the brutal Georgia summers I don't have to water or fertilize and I don't have to lime to adjust the ph. I have a few weeds but they just aren't much of a problem. The soil is very rich and loamy and now I'm gardening in basically compost. I still get some nut grass but I use a garden fork and can usually get it up in a long section of weeds with roots attached. It's almost like a game.

    Insects are still a problem sometimes and I do use shade cloth from time to time but not having to water it is huge. Yields are great.
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  19. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++

    Gardening in Texas is tough right now but I got a plan.
  20. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

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