Gardening: What are you growing ?

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Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on April 21st, 2017, 10:07 am 

Oh yes, gardening is great for gaining an appreciation for farmers.

This might be a good day to buy some lettuce starts and plant it in the box. I think I see sunshine. I have decided to use lettuce starts this year, so I am sure of what is growing. The mixed lettuce seeds give me plants I can't identify and then I don't know if I am growing lettuce or weeds. I have eaten some bitter stuff thinking it was lettuce. And I think I like the idea of using twigs to discourage the cats.

I will look into Scat too. I am not a cat person, so I know nothing about their ways or how to keep them away from my plants. I know our airport uses cougar poop to keep the deer away. Evidently not too far away is a sanctuary for cougars. Isn't it great that a sanctuary can be at least partly funded by what the animals produce.

About soil. Before the community garden plot, I just took good soil for granted. I have lived in places with great soil. The plot has terrible soil. I have used different manures. Hum, this reminds me, it is time to get a bucket full of fish scraps. Where I planted mostly salmon heads and backbones, was the best producing area of my garden. My dog dug up one and for two weeks I worried if he would get sick. Next year I boil the salmon to kill the parasite that can kill a dog. That was a lot of work. I don't have a dog this year, so I can just bury the salmon scraps.

I wish I had a flame thrower to scorch my ground. I have bugs that live in the ground and come out and destroy squash plants. Any idea for that problem?
Athena
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Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on April 21st, 2017, 2:35 pm 

Athena » April 21st, 2017, 9:07 am wrote:Oh yes, gardening is great for gaining an appreciation for farmers.

We try to remember that when stuck on the highway behind a very slow, very ripe fertilizer spreader. In late summer, the harvesters lumber along at a majestic pace. Hay trailers, we stay right away from: I've seen two of those topple over, and the giant bales roll off.

The mixed lettuce seeds give me plants I can't identify and then I don't know if I am growing lettuce or weeds.

I use a mix of seeds, but mix them myself from Romaine, red and green curly, Boston, and oakleaf, maybe some beet. Not a fan of arugula, and mustard outgrows everything and bolts before the other leaves are edible. If I want to eat dandelion, I pick it outside, where we also have a patch of heritage* sorrel.
(* That just means some relative brought the seed from Europe, many years ago. I could get it here now, but wouldn't mix it with other plants, as it's a super hardy perennial.)

Isn't it great that a sanctuary can be at least partly funded by what the animals produce.

Yea! Especially predators - not famous for their productivity.

I wish I had a flame thrower to scorch my ground. I have bugs that live in the ground and come out and destroy squash plants. Any idea for that problem?

Most of the things that live in soil are necessary for growing things. Scorched earth is even less famous for productivity than cougars.
Cutworm? Could be a couple of other things. One remedy is collars on the plants. Cut the lower end off plastic beverage bottles and push the cut edge down into the soil over each seedling. This prevents anything crawling to it over or just below the ground and also keeps it warm and moist - a little individual greenhouse. Twist off the cap for air circulation; put it back on for cold nights.
I've heard diatomacious earth sprinkled over the surface works; wood-ash might. I've had good luck with just the ground cover. Of course, I also plant more squash than I expect to survive. Last three years have been bad for them - not sure why only one in three lived to harvest.
Six nice dwarf cucumber plants are thriving, with tiny fruit on, in the indoor buckets. Containers may be another way to protect them.
If you want to read up on pests, I recommend the Rodale problem solver book - every public library carries that; it's well organized and has a sensible, straight-forward style.
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Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on April 22nd, 2017, 2:38 pm 

I made a note of the book and will check the library.

The squash beetles are not so easily controlled. They crawl and fly and multiple a lot! The first couple of years I ignored them and still had good harvests, but last year I lost all my zucchini. I didn't even think that possible! But I just read mulching can increase the problem, and my garden was well mulched. I will avoid the mulch and police the whole community garden and make sure everyone is well informed.

Besides avoiding squash this year, I will follow this advice, so maybe next year it will be safe to plant squash again and everything I plant this year has some protection.

http://thefreerangelife.com/control-squash-bugs/
You can also help control squash bugs by planting repellent plants with your squashes. Two of the most commonly used companions for squash is nasturtiums and white icicle radishes. Plant them throughout your squash beds for the best results. Other plants such as oregano, marigold, calendula and dill can also provide some protection.


Yesterday my granddaughter and I planted beets and spinach by adding bags of dry soil to the ground. She seems more interested in the garden this year, so I am more willing to invest money into it.

I need to plant the lettuce starts I bought yesterday in the box by the apartments. The peas and tomato I planted are looking good. It would be nice if the lettuce is still growing when the tomatoes ripen. If I ever get a chance to speak with God, I will make the suggestion that lettuce and tomatoes ripen at the same time.

We try to remember that when stuck on the highway behind a very slow, very ripe fertilizer spreader. In late summer, the harvesters lumber along at a majestic pace. Hay trailers, we stay right away from: I've seen two of those topple over, and the giant bales roll off.


Yeah, not fun to be behind those. A good time to pull off the road and have a picnic or stop at a cafe and have ice cream. We came upon a cattle truck that had tipped over, and the cattle was wondering all over the road. I would not want to be that truck driver.
Athena
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Posts: 1595
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on April 22nd, 2017, 6:00 pm 

I wouldn't want to be those cattle! Or any cattle, really...
I'll try planting more herbs near the squashes this year. Before, I always kept oregano separate, because it tends to invade, basil in pots, so I can bring them inside in late season, and dill has not done well. Nasturtiums are attractive, will grow anywhere, and you can eat the flowers. What's not to like?

It is too bad about most lettuce being cool-weather plants, while tomato is a sun worshipper. Maybe if you start Romain and some variety of head lettuce in a special row, you can leave thhose to develop longer than the green leafies, and let the tomatoes catch up? I've had very poor luck with that. Our summer is just too hot; everything bolts before it heads up properly. We usually make do with staggered plantings, as with peas.
Serpent
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