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The Gardening Thread

Discussion in 'Permanent Threads' started by bewildered, May 27, 2017.

  1. bewildered

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    About 3 years ago I broke ground for a vegetable patch out back. I was too busy to maintain it properly so not much came of it that year or the year after.

    This year I tried to start on time and have been working diligently. I have harvested some tomatoes and look forward to okra, green beans, a plethora of peppers, eggplant, onions, herbs. It's been fun to learn along the way. For my garden, Neem and Thuricide BT take care of most of my pests, and I have some peppermint soap coming in so that I can mix up a concoction to kill leaf footed stink bugs on contact. Diatomaceous earth helps, too. Boba straws were trimmed, split up the middle, and snapped onto stems of new plants to protect them from cutworms. Early on I lost almost all my peppers over the course of about 3 nights due to cutworms. I am pleased that I've been able to fight off and recover from every attack so far. Next year should go a lot smoother once I've had a full run on a season and figured out what works best.


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    Focus: Got a garden? Herbs in your windowbox? Or are you more of a black thumb.

    Alt-focus: Tips and tricks that work for yours.
     
  2. Kubla Kahn

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    I don't know why Im so taken with trying to perfect my tomato growing game since they are one of the hardest garden plants to get right. Ive had to battle deer, terrible clay soil, and plain old gravity constantly. Last year I finally went whole hog on 14'x12'x18" foot of premium gardening soil from a local place. This year I constructed the tomato cages out of rewire because the bamboo I tried last year was less than useless.

    Besides tomatos I have herbs, pickles, and peppers. Ill spare the pics of the peppers as I slacked on beer traps and the slugs have near ruined them.

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  3. Improper

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    I usually have a fairly large garden, but did not run with it this year. Just so much going on for me in 2017.

    However, I have used bits of free time to replan and rework the area....took out two raised beds, plowed under my onion area, corn area. I am using this season to redesign the whole thing for next year.
     
  4. bewildered

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    Kubla, I had a helluva hard time getting my soil to be quality, too. The first year nothing really grew because it was just piss poor, very clay heavy, not a lot of organic material in there. Last year I caved and supplemented the 7'x17' area with 3 bags of topsoil. I have a bunch of live oaks on the property and they heavily shed leaves twice a year so I regularly mulch new leaves. That, plus fertilizing, adding lime (this is huge), and throwing in eggshells and coffee grounds as I get them, seem to have culminated in decent quality soil this year.

    I've read that growing a bunch of rye grass in your garden during the winter in between growing seasons and then mulching the rye grass into the soil is a really great way to improve the soil quality. I plan on trying it for the first time this winter. I mean... "Winter."
     
  5. Kubla Kahn

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    Yeah I bought the cheap as shit top soil for my side yard and ended up just tossing in some pine bark I had used for containers the year before. It's turned into nice rich soil in the past few years. Since it takes 2-3 years to really condition bad soil most people go the raised bed thing. Im a bit lazy for that.

    For a few years Ive been toying with the idea of doing the worm castings thing with a few 5 gallon buckets and get rid of all the extra kitchen waste that I accumulate. Just like any diet book you read, if it's something you like, it's no good for you. I read that coffee grounds and onions are too acidic for worms. That's like 95% of my fucking food scraps. For regular composting it's like 30 to 1 mix of browns (grass, leaves, yard waste) to greens (food scraps like apple cores and coffee grounds.) to be the balanced right. Im not sure if that's by weight or volume but damn its a big difference.
     
  6. Crown Royal

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    Also dump a bag of sheep or cow manure in your imposter once every couple months. It will help it decompose and break down faster.

    I have a huge patio but a small green area, and since I love plants and gardening I've learned to utilize pots.

    Herbs I especially love. I grow four kinds of mint (Peppermint, spear, mojitos and pineapple) and ants hate mint smell so I keep it near the doors. I'll also clone a citronella plant a few times and stick it around the property to deter skeeters. Plenty of Basil for my sandwiches, as well as Rosemary. Lavender and Dill smell good but they can attract Yellowjackets so grow sparingly.

    For veggies it's tomatoes and bell peppers. Good quality soil, plant them when it's hot and I feed them well with MiracleGro. Stop four weeks before you pick them so they don't taste like fertilized asshole. If I lived in a place where it was always warm, I would grow as much of my food as I could.

    Wife and little girl love flowers so the rest of the property is teeming with gerbera daisies, lilies, dahlias, petunias and hostas in summer.

    Ah, hostas. The plant that could outlast Jason Vorheese. IMPOSSIBLE to kill.
     
  7. Rush-O-Matic

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    Unless you have deer. They eat that stuff like candy. I couldn't keep hosta if I tried.
     
  8. bewildered

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    Does fertilizing near harvest time really make the produce taste bad? I've never heard that.
     
  9. Crown Royal

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    Deer are a rural pest here, I need only worry of rabbits, skunks and Japanese beetles (which eat rose petals). And my own goddamn dog who keeps snapping my lillys.

    I also like growing sunflowers because they bring out bumble bees, my slave-guardians. Bumble Bees get used to your smell and will leave you alone, but they hate other large insects and will chase wasps right off the property. Other assorted useful bees they leave alone. They just hover like eerie little UFO's all day above my back lawn, just waiting for something to fly into their comfort zone to fuck their shit up. They can come half the size of a human thumb and their buzz is LOUD. Intimidating fuckers with an unbarbed sting.
     
  10. Crown Royal

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    If you use a liquid "big blossom" type that gets drunk up into a plant quick, and then pick it, it could taste lousy.

    I'm talking about the kind you mix into a watering can and direct-feed the plant. It often comes in liquid or a crystallized powder form.

    If it's long term fertilizer I wouldn't worry so much. It's strictly a "better safe than sorry" policy of mine.
     
  11. CanisDirus

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    Same reason I grow sunflowers, they also pollinate and nectar-drink at my fruit trees in flowering season, and they're great for tomato pollination. Weirdly paper wasps, yellowjackets and bald-faced hornet will also pollinate and kill and eat pests insects and mites. Having paper wasps meant that anytime the tomato hornworms (five-spotted hawk moth larvae) hatched out they quickly ate them like fat kids on Hershey's bars. Also, never been able to get them to set up shop but those parisitic wasps will practically slowly kill their respective hosts as their injected larva eat them alive from the inside out.
     
  12. bewildered

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    I leave wasps alone, too. As long as they aren't nesting on or right around my house, I view them as beneficial for the garden. Wasps are predators and kill a lot of the insects that I am spraying for to begin with.

    The home I live in sits on an acre. There was no landscaping to speak of when we moved in, and I've spent a lot of time redoing the back yard: fence installation, brush removal, putting in flower beds, cleaning up existing fencelines. I like to watch the birds, so I've got a couple birdfeeders around as well as a cool hummingbird feeder.

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    I am in zone 8b. The first flowering plants I've put in are specific to attract birds or bees. For the hummingbirds, I chose cuphea and 2 kinds of salvia. I am told that bees are attracted to the color blue, so I chose blue diamond delphinium. I have hanging baskets with Dark Eyes fuschia along the shady part of one fenceline. I am starting seeds for another variety of cuphea, balsam, purple candy snapdragons, a tricolor mum variety, and a few others. I found a deal at a local nursery and just bought some additional blueberry bushes as well as a flat of 32 gardenia plants for $10. Those gardenias will create my privacy shrubbery for the back once I finish removing the rest of the brush.

    I have great aspirations for flower beds around here but the limiting factor is my back. I have done everything by hand. There is an electric tiller on my amazon wishlist, but in the meantime I need to find one to borrow if I want to make significant progress in a season.
     
  13. Nettdata

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    I used to have a couple of cool hummingbird feeders... until I woke up one morning to a bear ripping the shit out of them to get to the sugar water inside.

    I might just set up a few more around here at the new place, seeing as there are no bears around here.
     
  14. bewildered

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    Damn. I haven't had to deal with bears or deer. I've read tips and tricks against deer, but is there anything you can really do against bears?
     
  15. Crown Royal

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    They are starting to creep further and further south, though. There's been black bear spotting on the outskirts. I saw a bald eagle for the first time EVER just the other day outside of a zoo. It had killed a wild turkey in field north of Thamesford. That big white head is unmistakable. What a badass, utterly pissed-off-looking animal.

    But if you're in the city, no bears or deer. Just Raccoons, rabbit, skunks or chipmunks. This truly is one of the wimpiest area for wildlife in the world. Not exactly giant antler beasts or screaming, killer ants jumping on you from trees here.

    Myself I do not approve of wasps and their nests, they get the foam of death. Primarily because wasps scare the actual shit out of me, I can't stand them. Yellowjackets are straight-up assholes and they have the highest population density of any wasp here.
     
  16. bewildered

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    Personally I make an exception for yellow jackets. They are aggressive and their underground nests can be huge if you don't take care of the problem early on. I once accidentally ran over an unknown underground yellow jacket nest with a riding lawnmower. The piece of property I was cutting was about 4 acres, and I was on an outside loop so they had plenty of time to get mad. By the time I came around again they were nice and stirred up and really wailed on me. My memory of the event is very splintered, but what I do remember is that I found myself suddenly on the ground rolling around with bees all around. I ran screaming to the truck, which was about 100yards away. That was a good enough distance to lose them. I managed to only get stung 4 times, but my arm swelled up like a sausage and I vowed that it would never happen again.

    Friggin yellowjackets.
     
  17. Nettdata

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    Mom had deer in her back yard last year for the first time ever.
     
  18. Crown Royal

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    I saw them in the dog park on Adelaide. Well within the confines of the city, it's not likes there's no shortage of things to feast on where they belong. This is corn country, right outside this city is Deer Heaven.

    I never realized how fast those animals hit their top speed from standing until the dog spooked one a month ago. Holy moly, they take off like Barracuda. And they run like moronic lemmings too, I anticipate one crashing into a house soon and shredding the joint.

    My guess is the coyote and coywolves are chasing them in. Those bastards are EVERYWHERE in the sticks, and they murder pets.
     
  19. Nettdata

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    We just had a bit of a thunderstorm pass through... with some of the longest running thunder I think I've ever heard... a solid 3 minutes of thunder, with no pauses.

    Then the skies opened up and it started to just dump down rain.

    So what did I do?

    Watered the lawn.

    You see, we have a shit-ton of skunks around here, because they feed on the shit-ton of grubs that we have in our grass. The way you get rid of the skunks is to get rid of the grubs, and the way you do that, is to use nematodes.

    So I bought some today, and figured that the best time to apply them was tonight during the rain, as they recommend that it's done when it's rather cool out, and the grass is wet. And to water the lawn after application.

    So yeah... I was out in the pissing down rain with a big golf umbrella spraying my lawn.

    Neighbours thought I was nuts.
     
  20. Crown Royal

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    That, or they thought you were Wendy's or Timmy's. They like to water the properties while it's a fucking deluge outside.

    Grubs suck. Besides the critter attraction and the undebatable fact that they're gross, they're an ungodly lawn cancer. When we're at maximum heat, see if you can find alfalfa to spread on your lawn. It will thicken it and give it a golf-course texture (if you like that London Life HQ look) if you fertilize regularly, and thickening it can deter insects like grubs.