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ccgwebmaster

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #350 on: October 13, 2015, 01:26:00 AM »
About the extent of my gardening this year - the continuation of my jerusalem artichoke population - boats aren't good gardening sites. Last year I lost my special potato population to neglect/heat (I subsequently learned that the planting cycle down here is quite different seasonally, which explains the difficulties I had with them).

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #351 on: October 26, 2015, 09:45:14 AM »
Had to smile at your photo ccg, today I have been digging out the remains of my patch of jerusalem artichokes so they dont  take over my whole garden. I will just replant enough for us for next winter & the rest have gone into the compost pile.

Have a look at these wonderful photos of plant roots from National Geographic:
http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/15/digging-deep-reveals-the-intricate-world-of-roots/?utm_source=NatGeocom&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=pom_20151025&utm_campaign=Content&utm_rd=605715815
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 08:35:16 AM by Clare »

lisa

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #352 on: November 25, 2015, 02:51:44 PM »
I grew potatoes in tires this year and got about 20 lbs of potatoes.  I put down one tire, added about 6"/15cm of good soil in the bottom, and set in my spouted seed potatoes.  When the plants broke the soil and were about a hand high, I added another tire and filled it with cut straw.  Another hand high, and another tire and cut straw -- so, three tires high.  There were three plants per tire and I planted half reds and half yukon golds.

Next year, I'll fill the tires with a mix of cut straw and soil because this year, the straw all packed down to the bottom tire and though I added more straw, it was a pain and I didn't add enough.  I had about 20 plants, so I only got about a pound of spuds per plant, and tons of teeny, tiny potatoes, about the size of the top half of my thumb and a bit too small to use as seed (according to the MSU guy I talked to, who said if they're too small, the plants might not be vigorous.)  I'll cut the little guys in half and roast them, and save enough of the larger potatoes for seed for next year. 
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 03:00:14 PM by lisa »

ghoti

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #353 on: November 26, 2015, 04:00:45 AM »
We use a similar method. We make an enclosure about 1 metre in diameter by wrapping snow fencing around a few wooden stakes ( from tree pruning). We gradually fill with leaves we collect the previous fall that we chop up by running over them with our electric lawn mower. Works great and the effort to harvest is trivial.

JD

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #354 on: November 29, 2015, 12:16:47 PM »
I have been developing Permaculture in my small garden for about 8 years, and have been reasonably succesful. Recently, however,  I have started getting into the work of Dr Elaine Ingham.  It turns out that most  of the hard work I thought I needed to do is not needed (or wrong), and if I get my soil biology right, great things will happen.  Thought this might be interesting for this part of the forum.

She sets out the basics in this talk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2H60ritjag

Key points for me:

Amazing things happen if we get the soil biology right
1. No need for any fertilisers ever - nutrients will be made available in the right quantities at the right time
2. No need for herbicides - weeds simply don't grow
3. Food has higher nutrition - nitrogen is provided in the form that makes protein (Ammonium NH4+) rather than the form that makes food bitter and unpalatable (Nitrate - NO3-)
4. Great soil structure is built - bacteria and fungi glue soil together with the right gaps, plowing destroys soil structure and leads to compaction
5. Water is retained in the soil where it is needed - because of the structure drought and floods become much less of an issue
6. Huge carbon storeage - soil can be built at a rate of an inch a month not an inch every 100 years

Why does it work?
1. 50-80% of plant sugars are fed by the roots to the soil.  The sugars feed the soil life, which in turn feed the plants. Fungi create acids that break down minerals to extract nutrients, the soil web eat the nutrients so keep them locked up in their bodies, and the plants choose which sugars to secrete to get the release of exactly the nutrients that the plant wants at that time.  There is more than enough minerals in the soil to feed the plants, but it needs fungi to convert it into a plant available form.
2. The ratio of bacteria to fungi determines the types of plants that grow.  Early succession weeds like bacteria and nitrate dominated soil.  Old growth forrests like fungi and amonium dominated soil.  Vegetables and cereals like an approximately even balance.  Ploughing / digging cuts fungal hyphae, so kills the fungi. Adding artificial fertiliser typically adds nitrates which also kills the good fungi and quite a lot of the good bacteria.  Remaining soil life is all bacteria, so is perfect for early succession weeds.
3. Plants with too much nitrate will store the excess in their leaves to keep them away from the flowers and seeds.  This makes the leaves bitter and eventually the leaves wither.  Poor biology (see 2) also means that the plants do not get enough essential nutrients so cannot form the proteins easily.
4, 5, 6,   Bacteria bind the tiny soil particles together and fungi bind the bacteria groups together, so you get the fine soil tilth that grows great plants.  There are pore spaces for water to seep through, but enough surface for the water to be held, so soils can take huge rain water events without losing structure.  The fungi are also capable of breaking through hard pans and removing compaction layers, so the roots can go deeper, and with deep roots you get deep biology.

How do you create the right biology?
1. Aerobic compost - applied at a rate of 1 tonne per acre - very small amounts.  Aerobic compost is not difficult to make, but it needs to be done carefully - the biology has to be assessed with a microscope and you need to pay attention to ingredients, temperature and moisture.
2. Compost Extract - strain out the biology from aerobic compost and you can cover more area, or get to difficult places (e.g. compaction layers).
3. Aerated Compost Tea - similar to compost extract, but with air bubbled through it for 24 to 48 hours - creates a glue so that you can spray it on the above ground parts of plants and trees and it will stick to the plants.

No need for Monsanto or the fertiliser companies!

There is a much longer set of videos too here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5Lbag-4Dew&list=PLEF3AC2CFE07692A4

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #355 on: November 29, 2015, 10:00:56 PM »
Thanks for this, JD. Soil is everything, I believe. If our soil is healthy, our gut is healthy, we are healthy.

I'm still too busy getting everything in and around the house done, but after the coming growing season where my wife will experiment some more (me being the assistant), we want to get increasingly serious, especially when it comes to soil.

A couple of months ago Clare posted links to a project in New Zealand, and if we can manage, my wife and I are hoping to do something similar over here in Europe, to prove how far you can get with gardening (collecting as much data as possible), how much you can save and how much healthier it is than what you can buy in shops (even organic).

Clare also sent me this E-booklet as a gift: Growing nutrient dense food. I already knew soil health was paramount when it comes to gardening, but this drove the point home even more.

Contents of the book:

Growing Nutrient Dense Food

Nourishment Home Grown


          Principles

          Patterns

‘Laws of Nature’ or Patterns a la Beddoe

          Carbon - The Moisture Regulator

          Nature Follows the Line of Least Resistance

          Phosphate Controls Sugar Content

          Getting the Ratios Right

          The Importance of Calcium

          Nitrogen is the Major Electrolyte

          Cultivating Too Deep

          Energy Release

          Magnesium Is the Enemy of Nitrogen

          And Another Pattern

Where To Begin

          1. Refractometer

          2. Aeration

          3. Moisture

          4. Humus

          5. Minerals

                    A) Buying Already Mixed Minerals

                    B) Through the Compost Heap

                              a) Calcium

                              b) Phosphate

                              d) Minor Minerals

                              e) Humanure

          6. Microbes

          7. Seeds
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

lisa

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #356 on: February 29, 2016, 03:04:35 PM »
I'd like to hear how everyone's garden plans are shaping up.  This year, I'm attending nursing school through the summer, so I'm not sure how successful my garden will be with the limited time I'll have to give it.  I'm worried about drought this summer (I'm in mid-Michigan.) 

I've got three beds that measure about 7m by 1.5m or so, as well as two vertical-cylinder planters that are about 1.25m high and 1m in diameter, a "tire patch" where I'm growing potatoes in tires, and two rows of berries (high bush blueberries and raspberries), as well as perennial asparagus and rhubarb. 

The lot where I garden is an empty neighborhood lot across from my house.  It's owned by the city, and I'm renting it through a county garden program at the cost of $25/yr.  There's no water outlet on the property, so if I need to supplement the garden with water, I have to drag buckets or run hoses across the street -- I've done both. 

Last year, I dug a swale between the first and second long garden bed.  It's filled with rocks on the bottom and wood chips on top.  I need to do the same thing between the second and third bed.  I've been thinking of digging out a small cistern to catch rain -- I don't know if I'll have time for all that this summer.  The digging is good therapy for stress, though.

This year I'm planning to try quinoa again, and this year I'll start it in little pots and then transfer it.  And I'm going to try sweet corn again and hopefully the neighborhood kids will let it be -- gotta put a fence up.  Also rutabaga, onions, peas, broccoli, kale, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, and both summer and winter squash.  I'm going to put strawberries in the top of the vertical planter, and maybe some grape tomatoes or cucumber vines in the bottom. 

So, ah, that's a bit ambitious.  We'll see how it all works out.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #357 on: March 01, 2016, 04:49:13 AM »
Lisa, Spring came early this year. All the stone fruit started blooming Valentine's Day. It has been very dry and there was a + 12 degree temp anomaly for February  here in the drought zone. I was loath to post anything but it looks like we are going to get some rain in about ten days so things aren't totally screwed.
 My cover crop in my best garden area is about knee high, it should grow a few more weeks with the rain but digging it in will begin in a few weeks. My lesson from last year is to keep two fences between the pigs and the garden. I am planning on some quick growing crops that can utilize rain supplied  soil moisture with an expectation for a dry ,hot fall. Squash,Cole crops,lettuce. Corn, winter squash and tomatoes demand a lot of fall watering and I just don't think our water situation will support those crops this year.
 Sorry if it sounds like I'm sniveling. Everything is green and beautiful and nobody else seems worried around here. Our reservoir is at 14% and serves as the major water source for 5 or 6 cities and about 150 farms in the riparian zone downstream from the dam. There aren't any notices or recommendations for farmers to conserve. Makes me wonder why I worry. The cities are on some voluntary conservation plans and and the farmers are in denial.
 I have about 100 oak tree starts that I am planning on planting into mushroom hunting areas. I figure those are the wettest areas I know and that may give them some chance at survival,long term.
Several years since the last good chanterelle season. Last year I planted out 40 white oaks and they are doing well with some supplementary watering. I am trying to put something in the ground to outlive me. As an experiment I am also sprouting  some acorns in the dirt under some proven chanterelle producing trees. I will be transplanting those newly inoculated trees  to other areas.
       

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #358 on: March 03, 2016, 06:57:26 PM »
I'd like to hear how everyone's garden plans are shaping up.

Hi, Lisa!

Well, our goal is to do a bit better every year. Last year my wife tried to start seedlings indoors early in the season, but it didn't work because they were behind our triple glazed windows and it was very cloudy for weeks on end. The seedlings were spindly and eventually toppled over and shrivelled.

This year we've put the seedlings under the double glazed roof windows upstairs, and I've added an LED lamp for extra light (it's very cloudy again). It seems to work a little bit better now, but still not perfect. I wanted to make a proper growing lamp set-up, using LED strips - two at 6500K (cold white) which is good for seedlings, and one at 3000K (warm white), to try to get as much of the needed spectrum in there. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time for this project because of a flooding in our house in January that took me a couple of weeks to fix.

Hopefully things will get a bit sunnier soon, as my wife will keeps planting new trays every few days, especially now that our new seeds arrived today (a large part of our collection got destroyed during the flooding).

As for the garden itself, we've decided to do a lot less mowing this year, and let plants just grow as they please on around 50% of the area of our plot. We'll only mow twice and then use the biomass as mulch for our vegetable garden. Of course, with all that mulch it will be crucial to keep the slugs out, and so I'll tinker some more with the electric slug fence I built last year (which worked reasonably well). I'll put some second-hand paving stones around the perimeter to keep the grass away.

Back in September we planted four big ribes bushes that an old lady wanted to get rid of, so we now have quite a bit of berry potential and variation. I hope this will also go better than last year. I'm also hoping our apple, cherry and nut trees will continue to grow well.

And then next year we'll try to do a bit better again (maybe get some chicken). Live and learn.  :)
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #359 on: March 03, 2016, 08:25:32 PM »
I didn't know what a "ribes bush" was, so I looked it up:  "Ribes is the name given to the group of fruits including currants and gooseberries." (yum!)

Rather than putting energy into vegetable gardening in my rather shady yard, I'm spending 5 or 6 hours per week pulling invasive species from my and my neighbors' yards, mostly coral ardisia, but also nandina and liriope.  We have some wonderful wild flowers in our woods:  bloodroot, green dragon and Solomon's seal (and others).  But the ardisia can create a monoculture within a decade, wiping out all the good stuff.  Some neighbors have joined the fight; some have given up.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #360 on: March 03, 2016, 09:32:22 PM »
I didn't know what a "ribes bush" was, so I looked it up:  "Ribes is the name given to the group of fruits including currants and gooseberries." (yum!)

One minute later I saw that it's redcurrant bushes, to be precise, but I was too lazy to change my post.

The old lady said she used to get 10 kg out of those four bushes, so hopefully they've adapted well. We also planted a fig from my grandfather's village in Croatia, and the winter was mild enough for it to survive, it seems. But whether it will ever bear fruit, si something we'll have to wait and see.
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Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #361 on: March 25, 2016, 10:49:52 PM »
Masanobu Fukuoka, one straw revolution
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsRSsvfu5fM

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #362 on: March 26, 2016, 12:10:56 AM »
10kg from four redcurrant bushes, Neven?

No problem!

See reply #228 on page 5 above for our 2014 crop

Martin Gisser

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #363 on: March 31, 2016, 01:45:09 AM »
One of my favorite flowers is Agrostemma Githago (en: corncockle, de: Kornrade).
It seems it keeps voles at bay if seeded densely. Anybody else here sharing this theory?


(Agrostemma Githago meeting wild Viola Tricolor in Florifulgurator's last lost garden)


(Source: https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kornrade )

Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #364 on: April 01, 2016, 10:49:02 AM »
I am seeing that garden set being quite practical. (I have been doing elevated garden (1 m) for 3 years, with weaved branches. The wood start to rote, and the earth may escape some days). It may last longer because of the geometry and the thickness of the wood.

from : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=900113243438515&set=a.310858319030680.73702.100003195441524&type=3&theater

mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #365 on: April 01, 2016, 06:52:51 PM »
i have 5 hascap (Haskaap, Hasukappu) bushes on the go.  last year (first crop) i got one cup of berries, am anxious to see how they do this spring :)

http://haskap.ca/

a grower near me has 50 acres of bushes planted, will talk with him this spring to see how things are progressing.
and so it goes

lisa

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #366 on: April 04, 2016, 06:35:03 AM »
Mati -- I'd never heard of haskap, and am very interested in how they do for you this year.  Please keep us posted, hey?

baileyrorys

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #367 on: April 15, 2016, 11:10:13 PM »
I read that Ortho will stop using neonicotinoids in their pest control products. Supposed to be good news for the bee population. Fingers crossed.

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #368 on: May 02, 2016, 06:32:52 AM »
While many here will be starting or at least planning their spring planting here on NZ's north east coast autumn is well underway. The remnants of my summer garden are an untidy muddle & need work before I can get planting the rest of my winter crops. I'm running a bit late but the weather is still mild & the ground warm for early May tho' we usually have our first frost later this month.
Our predicted el nino summer drought didn't really eventuate here with some regular rainfall & while it wasn't a hot hot summer, night temps were high. All made for some bumper crops. All our spare time at present is in trying to hold onto all the produce - drying, freezing, bottling/canning, wine & cider making + sharing with friends & colleagues & the 'free box' at my work. My wrists are sore today  from dealing with peeling the buckets of apples. And next to go gather up yet more feijoas.
But I have to share a pic of some of our choko (it is known by many other names in asia & the americas) crop, the single vine went mad engulfing all in its way. So far we have picked 136 & while it is useful & keeps well we need to eat one a day for the next 4 months! It's fritters tonight = meatless Monday. But I need help!  ::)
PS Over 230 choko/chayote now & the vine is still growing. Lucky they keep well cos friends aren't helping any more!

« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 12:21:34 AM by Clare »

lisa

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #369 on: June 28, 2016, 12:36:19 PM »
choko/chayote -- another plant I've never heard of before!  I wonder if I could grow it as a perennial here in Michigan, and just plant a new one every year?   

Eric Blair

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #370 on: July 04, 2016, 04:09:58 PM »
choko/chayote -- another plant I've never heard of before!  I wonder if I could grow it as a perennial here in Michigan, and just plant a new one every year?


   Chayote are damaged badly by the light frosts that rarely happen around here.

   BTW, the seeds are edible too. I'm not fond of them… but they are very easy to grow.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #371 on: July 04, 2016, 04:51:17 PM »
: Neven
Il faut cultiver notre jardin
I never thought to look up your 'signature', but discovered that beyond it translating "We must cultivate our garden" (Google translate confirmed this years ago) but that it comes from Voltaire's Candide and is, according to Yahoo, 'a calling for us to take care of ourselves, mentally and physically. We should take care of the things we love as well, and help them grow. ... it means to take responsibility for your life.'  Wow!

All that aside, Neven, (and given this is the "Gardening" thread) how is your garden?
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mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #372 on: July 04, 2016, 05:44:57 PM »
Mati -- I'd never heard of haskap, and am very interested in how they do for you this year.  Please keep us posted, hey?

It was a funny spring here in Ontario Canada, we are now in a drought condition, after a cold May.  Lost one small Haskap due to rodents, the others survived no problems and growing well, but only one bush had a few berries.  Planting 3 more this year (different varieties) Two new varieties will be available next year.  These seem to have longer and different berry bearing periods:  http://www.fruit.usask.ca/haskap.html
and so it goes

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #373 on: July 04, 2016, 06:56:02 PM »
: Neven
Il faut cultiver notre jardin
I never thought to look up your 'signature', but discovered that beyond it translating "We must cultivate our garden" (Google translate confirmed this years ago) but that it comes from Voltaire's Candide and is, according to Yahoo, 'a calling for us to take care of ourselves, mentally and physically. We should take care of the things we love as well, and help them grow. ... it means to take responsibility for your life.'  Wow!

All that aside, Neven, (and given this is the "Gardening" thread) how is your garden?

I can recommend Candide, it's a funny little book, with a deeper meaning that appeals to me. Cultivating, literally and figuratively, is the best thing one can do with one's life, I believe. Marcus Tullius Cicero said that all you need in life is a garden and a library.  :)

As for our garden: It grows. No matter what you do, it wants to become a forest.  ;D

Just like last year, we had a bad start. Seed starting in the house was a mixed success. Last year our the triple glazing seemed to induce stunted growth, so we moved things upstairs where we have 'just' some double glazing in the slanted roof windows. This seemed to work better, but things were very gloomy outside and the windows are small. I investigated how to build my own LED growing light set-up, but time had ran out.

Things were extremely warm and sunny here in April and May, so the seeds that did survive indoors, caught on well in the vegetable garden. Our berry bushes, cherry tree et al. were also full of leaves and buds. The fig tree (very small, only 20 cm high) that we had taken with us from my grandparent's village in Croatia had survived winter and sported its first leaves.

And then the cold came (from the Arctic, of course). Three nights in a row of sub-zero temperatures, snow and rain, basically killed everything in the vegetable plot, and most of the buds. Only the larger berry bushes have produced berries, the rest has dropped off, including the many cherries that were coming our way. More importantly all the leaves on the walnut and fig tree turned black and fell off, leaving bare branches. The same goes for the four big red currant bushes we had bought a year earlier. The cold caused tens/hundreds of millions of euros in damages in this corner of Europe, it was quite extreme really and the magnitude took even the farmers by surprise.

And so we waited to see how resilient nature would be. Well, it's resilient. Here's the walnut tree, with bare red currant bushes to the right behind it (and the small stick, barely visible, is where the fig tree is):



Here, BTW, is how things looked 3 years ago from this position, so things have definitely improved, cold snap or no cold snap:  :)



The fig looked completely dead, but then new shoots sprouted up at the base of the plant! I was so thrilled.

My wife is in charge of the vegetable garden, and has tried to get things going again since May. All in all things are going well, but it's the soil we need to focus on more, as it is still relatively weak. We're already planning what we're going to do come winter (throw in compost, rock minerals, mulch, etc). For now we try to mulch a lot to get a thicker layer of top soil.

As for pests, we have the slug epidemic reasonably under control, mostly thanks to our electric mini-fence which keeps most of them out (except when the batteries ran out one rainy night three weeks ago!). But of course, there's eggs inside and an occasional lucky b*stard that gets in anyway, so we keep checking and setting beer traps, etc. But there really are very few, not enough to seriously damage plants. No flea beetle infestation this year so far either. We do see some, but because it has been relatively wet here, they're not spreading on the massive scale they did last year.

I'm also trying to do things differently with regards to mowing. Instead of mowing the full half acre every two weeks (which I did in three 4-hour stages), I leave large patches untouched and just mow around them (taking me two 3-hour stages). With the mulch I make these big rings around bushes, trees and plants to keep weeds back, and keeping the surrounding ground moist and more fertile. Seems to work well, and makes it easier to mow next time.

The idea is to only mow those patches twice, so that we have some hay we can use for mulching. I haven't decided how to do that yet, either by hand, or with hedge shears, or perhaps ask a farmer to do it with a gear mower (or borrow it). At the end of the season I will build a second plot where we can dump all the biomass and then grow potatoes in them.

So, all in all things are going well, better than last year (which is our goal, to do better each year), but to our regret both my wife and I don't have the time yet to give the garden the full cultivating attention it deserves. There's simply still too much to do in and around the house, working and blogging, homeschooling our daughter, etc.

Mind you, I'm not complaining. We really are blessed, especially compared to where we were before this. But it's hard work, of course. It's not a rose garden, beg yer pardon.  ;D
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Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #374 on: July 04, 2016, 07:27:40 PM »
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 07:43:50 PM by Laurent »

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #375 on: July 04, 2016, 07:44:50 PM »
Some little French guys... you know voltaire bla,bla.

http://www.risebox.co/
https://www.facebook.com/getrisebox/?fref=nf


Don't know how useful this (and it's incredibly expensive), but it looks cool. I'd always build such a thing myself, though.
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Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #376 on: July 04, 2016, 09:09:50 PM »
Incredibly expensive... It is indeed ! Someone know cheaper elsewhere ?

Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #377 on: July 04, 2016, 11:25:33 PM »
I was seeing some aeroponic video may be there is something to dig :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2EzPN3rIn4
https://faircompanies.com/videos/teens-create-automated-aeroponics-garden-kit-with-nasa-tech/

May be it will inspire someone ?

I wonder if I can use my urine for feeding or a compost tea... ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR-A96zH6oU May be a bit too technological ? There is huge quantity of chemicals in the plastic that you don't want in your body. I could use some bamboo instead...?

This ultrasonic foggers are inexpensive : http://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-Mist-Maker-24v-Atomizer-Head-Air-Humidifier-Fogger-Ultrasonic-Humidifier-Nebulizer-Water-Mist-Humidistat/32659233954.html?ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_0,searchweb201602_1_10037_10017_406_10032,searchweb201603_1&btsid=9a1b27e8-a036-495c-9d5d-abd2fb399376
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 11:53:48 PM by Laurent »

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #378 on: July 05, 2016, 03:36:21 AM »
Thanks, Neven, for recommending Candide.  I've gotten to the part:
"Excellently observed," answered Candide; "but let us cultivate our garden."

 ;D
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lisa

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #379 on: August 20, 2016, 12:44:51 AM »
Mati wrote: >It was a funny spring here in Ontario Canada, we are now in a drought condition, after a cold May. 

The same here in mid-Michigan.  Our raspberries did ok, but the later blueberries were a bust.

sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #380 on: August 20, 2016, 01:35:47 AM »
Is this thread just for food gardening, or may we discuss ornamentals also ?

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #381 on: August 20, 2016, 10:11:00 AM »
Go ahead, sidd!

Ornamentals can be useful too for attracting pollinators, etc, right?

We bought two old syringas a couple of months ago, whcih are blooming now. At first we noticed that few bees were sitting on the flowers, despite the sweet smell, and thought: hmmm, this plant is pretty useless, although it looks nice.  ;)

But now this week they're completely full of butterflies (monarch?)!
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #382 on: August 20, 2016, 08:06:59 PM »
With the addition of another clematis to keep the first company i have noticed that the number of petals (sepals actually) on the new one's flowers is not constant. I was wondering if this is common in clematis ?

This year, i have seen some japanese beetles and bagworms (Midwest USA) but not too many. The beetles seem to be attacking a river birch and a pussy willow, but have left the rest alone. The bagworms this year are on a blue spruce and an arbor vitae, but have not spread very much.

I control the japanese beetle with milky spore and bagworms with Bacillus thuringiensis. Starlings eat both, but i have no desire to attract them. What other birds eat them ?

I have some red finches this year (rather than the yellow ones from years past.) Attempts to teach them bars from classical pieces proceed apace, but with little success.

sidd

mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #383 on: August 20, 2016, 10:12:37 PM »
i have a clematis wall on the northeast garage wall, and it is doing well 8 different varieties, as is the PILU clematis from estonia by the pool... they are one hearty plant... i lost one haskap bush due to the ongoing drought, but my hot peppers are doing well.  The maple trees however are under a lot of stress and they expect this to be a bad year for fall colours.

My milk weeds are doing well, but again no monarch caterpillers... it's now been over 5 years... i blame the neonicotinoids that the corn farmers use in southern ontario
and so it goes

Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #384 on: August 22, 2016, 12:24:22 PM »
A first hint for those gardeners interested in pollinators insects  :):

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/property/gardens/article4658063.ece?shareToken=954ccf73dacf7f27df47cbb9a277285a


and a second hint:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u2LeTPGo9w

Published on 14 Oct 2013
This video describes the research project "Quantifying variation among garden plants in attractiveness to bees and other flower-visiting insects" carried out by Mihail Garbuzov and Francis Ratnieks at the Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects in the School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, UK in 2011 and 2012, and published in the scientific journal Functional Ecology in 2013. The project, which is part of the Sussex Plan for Honey Bee Health & Well Being, aimed at helping bees and other pollinating insects by putting the process of recommending "bee friendly" flowers onto a firmer scientific footing. The project counted and identified insects visiting 32 varieties of summer-flowering garden plants in an experimental garden at the University of Sussex. The results show that the best plants attracted 100 times as many insects. This shows that, by selecting plants carefully, gardeners and park managers can be much more helpful to bees, which were 87% of the insects seen. Flowers that attract bees and other insects such as butterflies and hover flies are just as pretty to look at, and no more expensive or difficult to grow.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 12:32:53 PM by Aporia_filia »

sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #385 on: September 09, 2016, 07:05:57 AM »
As I mentioned, I have been killing the bagworms with Bt spores spray. They know they are dying and attempt to emerge in the days following, and crawl away. But it is too late, they will die as the Bt makes holes in their gut. I feel sorry for them, but needs must, i'd rather have healthier trees.  I must live with the karmic consequence.

I planted a white  pine many years ago, and in the first year discovered a worm infestation, which proceeds from eggs laid on the tip highest candle, and they burrow down the trunk from there. I dealt with it by pruning down until i found the worms, quite deep in the tree. This year i see it again, as the top candle died. But I cannot get up there witout a cherry picker or hi-reach basket, for it has grown much. Should I leave it alone or resort to sprays or go rent a cherrypicker ? I cannot save all the trees I plant, perhaps best to leave it be and see if it can survive ...

sidd

Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #386 on: September 10, 2016, 12:43:56 PM »
I'm not an expert but I have large experience with an old man who lived from the land with no electricity, no water but the rain, no engines whatsoever and no help other than his wife's and mine after he became older than 70. Some good friends are agronomist engineers.
What I have learn is that is very rare for a tree to fall under any bugs attack if the tree is healthy and happy with its surroundings. Good soil, enough water and optimum range of temperatures is all they need to cope with those attacks.
This is less true for:
-trees or plants force to grow with our help and not in its right environment
-years with drought or too high temperatures
-hybrids made for a bigger production
-industrial farming
-...

All my efforts always go to improve soil quality, I never treat any tree or plant. There are a few people now looking for traditional plant varieties. We produce less amount, no so nice looking products, but much more resistant to plages, droughts and needing less attention. We also assume that part of our production goes to local birds and other small animals.

Stephen

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #387 on: January 01, 2017, 12:07:04 AM »
I'm in Melbourne Australia, about 37 degrees south.  Summer is here and the zuchinis and cucumbers are going mad.  They are really the only vegetables that will grow without any care past the seedling stage.  Indeed it takes an effort to stop the zuchinis once they get going.  If you don't watch them grow you end up with gigantic 2 foot long (60cm) zuchini in no time.  So I pick one a day and add it to my stir fry.  The cucumber is for lunch time sald and sandwiches.

Other than that, I am keeping a close eye on the tomatoes.  My tomtatoes always, always get a mould disease.  i do get a crop first, but not as good as it should be.  I think that melbourne summers are becoming wetter and more humid with climate change.  Tomatoes like mulch and water at their roots, but they do get mouldy diseases easily.

I have also put in eggplant (aubergines), capsicum and strawberries. 
The ice was here, the ice was there,   
The ice was all around:
It crack'd and growl'd, and roar'd and howl'd,   
Like noises in a swound!
  Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #388 on: January 01, 2017, 12:54:55 AM »
For Americans, capsicum are bell peppers (or green, red, yellow or orange peppers).  (The knowledge I gained from once living in N.Z. has finally paid off!)

For me in Florida, 'tis the season to pull invasive exotics: mostly Coral Ardisia.  (2 hours with my wife this afternoon, and many afternoons after work - we're clearing our neighbor's yards (about 3 acres of 'wild' woods - 1 ha) and some common land (1 acre = .4 ha) where it has become a mono-culture.  The berries and foliage are pretty!  In other seasons, poison ivy (an invasive domestic!  It likes increased CO2.) mostly keeps me out of the woods.

I successfully grow edible ginger.  I have neighbors with terrific gardens, but I'm in the woods (lots of shade and no morning sun) and haven't spent much time figuring out hot weather gardening.  I have grown a moringa 'tree' in a pot and enjoy eating the leaves (as a fresh outdoor snack, but seed pods have never grown).  I grow it in a pot so it doesn't grow so much (but yes, 2 meters in one summer) (and we usually (used to) get freezes during the winter.  (I once read the roots will find your water pipes (and septic system) and break into it.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #389 on: January 01, 2017, 01:41:20 AM »
Here in NW England its chilly, currently 8C, but the vegetable plot keeps on giving. Today we harvested sprouts, leeks, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and a swede. Downhill now to the early rhubarb. Fresh air and exercise to boot - what's not to like?

Happy New Year!




« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 01:46:53 AM by silkman »

meljay14

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #390 on: January 01, 2017, 07:39:58 AM »
What a great basket of produce, Silkman. I am impressed and inspired.

sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #391 on: January 01, 2017, 08:00:15 AM »
mashed parsnips in sherry is a good recipe

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #392 on: January 03, 2017, 10:14:04 PM »
What a great basket of produce, Silkman. I am impressed and inspired.

My wife and I are positively jealous. This is what our goal for the future looks like. Well done, silkman!  :) 8)
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #393 on: January 03, 2017, 11:41:36 PM »
Neven

The secret is keeping those darned slugs under control :)

Enjoy your well-earned sabbatical!

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #394 on: January 04, 2017, 10:42:11 AM »
Hello,

Stupid question, how do you get leeks without worms ? My aunt told me to plant them in June and get them out in August and to store them in the deepfreezer, but this is a very short time compared to what I'd like to have. I search the forum with "worm" and "leeks" as key words and didn't find anything.

I live in Luxembourg, don't know if this has an impact on worms.

Thanks,

Etienne

in4apenny

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #395 on: January 04, 2017, 11:05:53 AM »
Etienne

sounds like  leek moth  / onion maggot

https://www.rhs.org.uk/Advice/profile?pid=652

Reading the link correlates with your June to August time frame.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #396 on: January 04, 2017, 01:46:02 PM »
Hello in4apenny,

That's exactly the problem I have. Thanks a lot.

The second problem that I have is that some animal, I believe mouses, eat plants when they come out. I'd be happy to have a non chemical solution for that. I don't believe that a mouse trap could be a solution because I am too close from the cow fields. I heard that mint and hyacinth could keep them away. Does anybody has experience ?

The third problem are slugs, but there solutions seems easier. Last year was very wet so it didn't help. I already tried a few with some success. Unfortunately, I found out that one of the solutions attracted mouse (special organic slug pellets). I might buy some specially folded metal sheet to protect the side near the cow field.

The fourth problem is a soccer ball, but it's almost solved.

Thank you, best regards,

Etienne

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #397 on: January 04, 2017, 05:20:59 PM »
Etienne

We find leeks are pretty easy to grow and they're very hardy when standing over winter. Slugs are a challenge when they're young but we've never suffered from leek moth. Maybe we're too far North for that. Rust is a bigger challenge for the onions and shallots too. There's not a lot you can do about it.

The secret is to grow lots of different things. Every year some do well and some struggle.

Our objective is to be able to eat at least something home grown 52 weeks a year. This is the most challenging time - there's a limit to how many Jerusalem artichokes you can eat!

sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #398 on: January 04, 2017, 08:31:24 PM »
Re: mice

My solution is barn cats.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #399 on: March 18, 2017, 11:57:27 AM »
Hello,

My plants are eaten each year the same way, I though it was by mice, but I talked about it with somebody who tolb me that mice eat mainly roots.

Does any body has an idea what animal eats plants that way ?


The plant is sorrel, so I should have big leaves.

Later in the year, the same animal prefers other plants, so the problem moves on the other vegetables.

Thanks,

Etienne