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mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #400 on: March 18, 2017, 03:06:15 PM »
and so it goes

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #401 on: March 18, 2017, 03:52:06 PM »
Well, it's not really a hole in the plant. Here is a scan of 2 leaves :


Furthermore, it's a little bit too early for bugs problems. I live in Luxembourg.

Looking at the scanned leaves, maybe it looks like a bird would have bitten it.

Etienne

magnamentis

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #402 on: March 18, 2017, 04:33:23 PM »
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

Escargots ?
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etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #403 on: March 18, 2017, 09:52:12 PM »
Escargots ?

I don't believe so, I think that it is too early. I haven't seen any this year and they wouldn't leave so much food behind. Sorrel is really the first eatable (kids won't agree with the eatable concept) thing to come out in the spring. Crocus are still blooming in the garden, rhubarb leaves are not visible yet. My problem is not to save the sorrel, but to save what comes after. Once other vegetables are available, it's not eaten anymore.

thanks,

Etienne

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #404 on: March 19, 2017, 03:56:57 AM »
Etienne, It looks like bird damage to me also. Getting early peas up often results in similar damage .
If you keep an eye out you should be able to spot the culprits. Wire cages will probably fix the problem and if you leave some plants out without protection and see reoccurring damage you will get some confirmation.

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #405 on: March 19, 2017, 05:52:39 AM »
Yes I'd agree with Bruce, here I see/get similar damage particularly by sparrows. Also in the garden section at a local store I see flocks who feed the tops of the lettuce plants off there all the time.
You would all laugh to see it - my vege garden always looks a lot like a battle zone, not anything like those gorgeous pics in the garden mags. I have plants netted, caged with all sorts of 'found' (= untidy looking )wire baskets, rows of seedlings under pegged strips of plastic gutter guard, ... I love having birds around so wont have a cat but then have to do this.
 :)
Clare

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #406 on: March 19, 2017, 07:18:31 AM »
Thanks for the information. Does anybody has any experience with bird scarer ? On Wikipedia, they have a picture of a stationary modelled owl used as a bird scarer. Would that work ? It would be easier and look better than wire mesh and plastic foils.

Etienne

mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #407 on: March 19, 2017, 08:25:16 PM »
they work for a while,
but birds are smart and will realize it is not alive
try a motion activated sprinkler :)
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Avalonian

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #408 on: March 19, 2017, 10:32:55 PM »
The ones they call 'dogs' seem to work exceedingly well, based on experience with our community orchard... but of course they're a bit more maintainance than a plastic peregrine.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #409 on: March 19, 2017, 10:46:06 PM »
How about some old CDs on a string? I never tried it, but I'm still in the process of attracting birds to my 2/3 acre.
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etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #410 on: March 20, 2017, 09:56:18 AM »
I asked in the village, and people seem to use gardening textile to protect vegetables. I just wonder if this doesn't protect slugs from predators. Right now, slugs are not awake, so in the early spring, this could be a solution. Rhubarb leaves are just coming out right now.

Maybe I need to have some patience. A magpie just buit a nest near the garden, maybe wildlife has to adapt itself to the new situation. I moved in only 2 years ago, and the former owner seems to have used chemicals when gardening.

The old CD method would be very good to protect cherries, but I don't know about salads. I never tried myself, I don't know if it would scare the magpie which would be a bad news in this context.

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #411 on: March 20, 2017, 09:44:49 PM »
Netting😊

TerryM

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #412 on: March 21, 2017, 03:16:34 AM »
Beautiful Silkman


Terry

Red

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #413 on: March 27, 2017, 07:54:30 PM »
I asked in the village, and people seem to use gardening textile to protect vegetables. I just wonder if this doesn't protect slugs from predators. Right now, slugs are not awake, so in the early spring, this could be a solution. Rhubarb leaves are just coming out right now.

Maybe I need to have some patience. A magpie just buit a nest near the garden, maybe wildlife has to adapt itself to the new situation. I moved in only 2 years ago, and the former owner seems to have used chemicals when gardening.

The old CD method would be very good to protect cherries, but I don't know about salads. I never tried myself, I don't know if it would scare the magpie which would be a bad news in this context.
Crushed egg shells in a line around your garden works well to stop slugs. Takes a lot of shells to go anywhere though. Beer in saucers works pretty well to and easier to find a lot. The slugs like beer just make it deep enough and they will drown.

mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #414 on: March 27, 2017, 09:07:22 PM »
are slugs edible?
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Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #415 on: March 27, 2017, 09:23:11 PM »
You have to remove the intestines, as they apparently give the slugs a horrible, bitter taste.  If you could eat them just like that, I'd never have to go to a supermarket again. But then again, ducks eat them, and you can eat the ducks.

As for slug solutions, it depends on how many are plaguing your premises. There is no way I could keep out the local Army of Darkness (as I call them) with egg shells, never mind the fact that my vegetable garden is 500 square feet. And beer traps just lure them in.

So, what I did, was build an electric fence with two stainless steel wires attached to 6 rechargeable batteries and a red LED as a resistor. The 6-7 Volts keep most of the slugs out, killing the small ones (sorry, little buddies!).

This month I have built a couple of cold frames. Last night it was -4 °C, but with a blanket over it, the temperature in the cold frame remained stable at 1.2 °C. Unfortunately, my wife forgot to open them yesterday, and half the plants died from the greenhouse effect (38 °C).

But all in all, it should help us plant things earlier.
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sesyf

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #416 on: March 27, 2017, 09:29:51 PM »
Silkman, and others: you need to be careful with those nets as birds can get caught in them. I've seen such things in neighbours garden long time ago... especially when bushes started to have the berries...

Red

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #417 on: March 27, 2017, 09:33:10 PM »
are slugs edible?
I'm not sure I would eat them. The ones found in my area have a parasite in the slime trail they leave behind. It causes liver flukes in cattle and goats. The cattle form a cyst around the fluke and that is the end of it. However this doesn't happen with goats, as a result during very wet springs and summers I had some serious infections in my dairy goats that required antibiotics. Needless to say this was always a pain for someone trying to stay away from these things.

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #418 on: March 27, 2017, 09:55:45 PM »
Sesyf

I can honestly say that in many years of vegetable gardening I've never knowingly killed a bird with a net. The only species interested in getting at my brassicas are Wood Pigeons and they are big enough to look after themselves. I use cheap plastic nets to keep them at bay. The truth is that, without the nets, there are no sprouts for Sunday lunch.

As you rightly say, soft fruit bushes are more of a challenge as they do attract lots of interest from a range of smaller birds. So to protect our precious currants and berries I use much more expensive soft woven nets that don't seem to cause any problems. I do on occasion have to rescue the odd well fed finch that has found its way in but can't get out again though!

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #419 on: March 30, 2017, 02:23:15 PM »
Question for Silkman, how wide are the areas where you plant vegetables, and what about the pathways ? In my gardening book, they talk about 1m50 (a little bit less than 5 feets), but I feel that it is too wide in order to be able to work without walking on the gardening area.

Beautiful pictures.

Etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #420 on: March 30, 2017, 02:27:24 PM »
Question for Silkman, how wide are the areas where you plant vegetables, and what about the pathways ? In my gardening book, they talk about 1m50 (a little bit less than 5 feets), but I feel that it is too wide in order to be able to work without walking on the gardening area.

Beautiful pictures.

Etienne
Beautiful indeed.

I guess it should be as wide as a wheelbarrow + 50% so around 3-4 ft??
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silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #421 on: March 30, 2017, 10:18:55 PM »
Thanks for the kind comments guys!

I have to admit to the fact that it's Mrs Silkman who is the brains behind the allotment* - I'm the unpaid labour!

There's not too much science to the design but the individual raised beds are roughly 2 meters by 1 but flexed a little to fit the space. These obviously can be  tended easily from the paths which as Dr T says should be sufficiently wide for a wheel barrow - most of them are. We also have two bigger beds that are several meters in each direction. The key to success is plenty of organic manure in the right places and rotation plus the battle to keep the pests at bay, organically mostly but not religiously. Our aim is never to leave the garden without at least something fresh for the table.

*Allotments are publicly owned land, divided into parcels and rented very cheaply to local residents. Our Allotment Society is very active and provides cooperative support with facilities, materials in bulk (farm manure, wood chippings, etc). We have an annual show - veg, flowers, jam, chutney - all very British. The boss at work-
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 11:56:56 PM by silkman »

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #422 on: March 30, 2017, 11:22:35 PM »
This is what I hope my wife will order me to create together with her.  :)

Thanks, Silkman.
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DrTskoul

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #423 on: March 31, 2017, 12:57:30 AM »
I've only managed to put together two 8x4 ft raised bed garden for my tomatoes and oregano a couple of houses ago... now starting all over again... might post a couple of pics when I find them.

Looks nice...
“You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts.”
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etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #424 on: March 31, 2017, 12:20:29 PM »
Hello,

Two more technical questions to Silkman.

For the raised beds, are the side board in or on the ground ? How much do they go above and maybe into the ground ?

For the pathways, did you do any specific work (removing grass...) before putting the wood chips ?

Thank you very much for your help. If this year is better than the last one, maybe I'll have some picts during the summer.

Bye,

Etienne

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #425 on: March 31, 2017, 01:30:11 PM »
Etienne

I built the raised beds from standard decking boards that are 12cm/5in wide. It's a cheap way to do it but using wider wood to raise the beds a bit higher wouldn't hurt. The bases are at the original ground level. I put a 5/5cm square post into the prepared ground at each corner, making sure they were squared up to the direction of the sides and screwed the boards to them. Once it's all joined up it's very stable. You can lift the surface of the bed by adding compost, manure or additional top soil but it tends to grow as you cultivate over 2 or 3 years.

The jury is out on whether they should be dug annually. The current view says not to disturb the structure of the bed but I'm old fashioned. I dig.

As for the paths, we do weed in Spring but suppress further growth with wood chip from a local tree surgeon, trying to avoid too much conifer which is a bit acidic.

Paths and beds I think improve yields and I like the more structured look of the plot.

Good luck. We're 150 meters above sea level on the edge of the Peak District, just south of Manchester. I suspect your growing season will be much longer than ours.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #426 on: March 31, 2017, 05:02:18 PM »
Thank you very much for all the informations.

Regarding digging, in the older part of the garden, I only did it the first year (spring 2015). I didn't do it in the spring 2016 and results weren't too good, but 2016 was a terrible year for gardening in Luxembourg, too much rain, slugs and mildew. This year, I didn't dig either, and everything seems to grow well, but we had so many sunny days. Spinach and green peas are now about 1cm tall. Self growing calendula is about 2 cm tall.

I am now increasing the size of the garden and was looking for more natural ways to do it. The former owner placed concrete blocs in a concrete fundation around the beds, and it's not the way I want to work. In the garden, I define sustainable as using things that decompose themselve if I don't use them anymore, that are easy to remove, or that are good enough to be used by somebody else if I don't want it anymore.

I'll probably put only potatoes in the new part of the garden. If I remember well, it's what my grand-father always did.

Regards,

Etienne

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #427 on: March 31, 2017, 05:17:05 PM »
Etienne

Potatoes are a great idea when opening up a new piece of garden - partly because you have to dig to plant them😊

Good luck with it all.

Silkman

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #428 on: March 31, 2017, 11:52:06 PM »
Last autumn we covered a plot 5 x 5 metres with a thick layer of hay, killing off all the grass below it (well, most of it). This weekend we're going to remove the mulch layer, lay potatoes on the ground and put the mulch back again.

It should work, even though I must admit I'm sceptical.

It should rain again next week, after five weeks of incredibly dry, sunny days.
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wili

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #429 on: April 01, 2017, 01:55:23 AM »
As Neven points out, you don't in fact have to dig to plant potatoes. I generally just toss them on the leaf pile that is killing the grass and pile more leave on top. Makes them very easy to harvest!

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/potato/grow-potatoes-in-leaves.htm
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silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #430 on: April 01, 2017, 10:22:26 AM »
..... but I need the exercise  :)

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #431 on: April 01, 2017, 10:25:01 AM »
You can dig at your heart's content, except when you're in a hole.  ;)
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mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #432 on: April 01, 2017, 07:03:30 PM »
last year i built a wooden wheeled device upon which i put my container for growing my hot peppers.  I'll build a second one this year.  I cant bend over to garden anymore, and based on the season i need to move the container around on the deck to get more sunshine :).  Also need to get all my containers wheelable :)...   it's finally warming up here again, and i cant wait :O

and so it goes

charles_oil

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #433 on: April 03, 2017, 01:34:21 AM »

Neven - saw your comment #415 re hot cold frame -


May be worth considering an automatic, heat operated, opener such as :
http://www.window-openers.com/greenhouse-auto-openers/

TerryM

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #434 on: April 03, 2017, 01:56:38 AM »
last year i built a wooden wheeled device upon which i put my container for growing my hot peppers.  I'll build a second one this year.  I cant bend over to garden anymore, and based on the season i need to move the container around on the deck to get more sunshine :) .  Also need to get all my containers wheelable :) ...   it's finally warming up here again, and i cant wait :O


For someone who can't bend over you do some beautiful, and creative carpentry work. :)


Terry
PS - That is some view!!


edit: Would it be possible to eliminate some slugs and pests by placing the legs of these elevated planters in cans filled with oil?

mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #435 on: April 03, 2017, 02:25:32 AM »
For someone who can't bend over you do some beautiful, and creative carpentry work. :)
Terry
PS - That is some view!!
edit: Would it be possible to eliminate some slugs and pests by placing the legs of these elevated planters in cans filled with oil?

I used a workmate, great tool, and novel uses of chairs :O, yes the view is magnificent :) o and the oil would just bring the bears around for a feast
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TerryM

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #436 on: April 03, 2017, 03:08:21 AM »
For someone who can't bend over you do some beautiful, and creative carpentry work. :)
Terry
PS - That is some view!!
edit: Would it be possible to eliminate some slugs and pests by placing the legs of these elevated planters in cans filled with oil?

I used a workmate, great tool, and novel uses of chairs :O, yes the view is magnificent :) o and the oil would just bring the bears around for a feast


My workmate was never so productive. I was thinking of a good use for used motor oil, didn't think bears would be interested.

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #437 on: April 04, 2017, 12:16:44 AM »
Impressed with seeing your garden Silkman, and Mati's beautiful woodwork projects. Autumn is on its way down under and our garden is in its usual untidy end of summer stage, still productive but I need to start sacrificing the last of some crops so to get the cool loving winter things started. When the rain stops that is, currently we are getting the remnants of ex- tropical cyclone Debbie here in NZ. My only tidy picture to share is some of our LARGE selection of chilli plants, these growing by the house. Oh & my composting bins! :D

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #438 on: April 04, 2017, 12:24:53 AM »
Ooops the chillis are on their side, cant work out how to fix that, you'll just have to lean over to view ;D. Or click on image to get the upright view.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 02:42:17 AM by Clare »

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #439 on: April 04, 2017, 04:36:57 PM »
Hello,

Thank you all for the pictures, it gives ideas of things that works.

Here is a picture of the old part of my gardening area and of the extension according to Silkman's comments. There is some lost space between the new beds and the compost because it is where I have the wires to dry clothes.



I'm very happy with the extension. Looks like it will be of easy maintenance. I don't know how long the wood will last, but it won't be too much work to replace it when needed. Next time I need to do something similar, I'll make the frame in the fall, will fill it with straw like on Neven's picture, and I believe that it would be even less work than what I did this year. I would say that it took me about 8 hours to go from grass to a bed with potatoes. This also includes the time to buy the wood...

Clare, I am surprized by your composting bins. I always heard that there had to be a lot of air available for the compost. My wire mesh system (you see it in the back of the picture) has the problem that the compost is too dry, so if your system works well (which I believe otherwise there wouldn't be so many bins on the picture), maybe I could put a sheet (metal, cardboard ? ... to be tested) on the wire mesh to keep humidity.

Thanks to all,

Etienne

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #440 on: April 04, 2017, 06:08:36 PM »
Looking good Etienne!

I'll look forward to seeing the fruits of your labours later in the season.

Best wishes

Silkman



mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #441 on: April 04, 2017, 06:16:03 PM »
A long time ago i read an article about the slum dwellers in Mexico city growing potatoes in rubber tires towers... a) small footprint b) tires warm soil
so i found an article:
http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/2009/04/how-to-grow-potatoes-in-tire-towers/

My sister is grew potatoes on her patio last year in a very large dark container following a similar idea.  She lives in northern Alberta canada :)

My mother also used an old rubber tire to grow squash.  Fill the tire with compost, plant squash seeds, again the tire keeps the soild warm and moist.
and so it goes

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #442 on: April 05, 2017, 12:04:49 AM »
In principle, I love the idea of using tires as a garden construction material, but I'm afraid some of the many toxic chemicals in them may leach out.
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mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #443 on: April 05, 2017, 12:44:08 AM »
In principle, I love the idea of using tires as a garden construction material, but I'm afraid some of the many toxic chemicals in them may leach out.

a valid point, you could line the tires to prevent any leaching, or use any of of the other interesting ideas:  burlap bags, vertical wooden pens etc.

although i would be much much more worried about commercial manure :O
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Re: Gardening
« Reply #444 on: April 05, 2017, 12:53:09 AM »
In principle, I love the idea of using tires as a garden construction material, but I'm afraid some of the many toxic chemicals in them may leach out.

Leaching of organics is more of a problem for shredded tires. If the metal wires are exposed some metal leaching might occur. In general the biggest problem with tires is that they are not biodegradable and rather inert. I would not be willing to use them for vegetables and edible plants.
“You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts.”
― Richard P. Feynman

ghoti

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #445 on: April 05, 2017, 05:05:48 AM »
We grow potatoes in an arrangement very similar to Etienne's composter. We partially fill with last year's tree leaves we've mowed over. As the plants grow we keep adding more leaves and they sort of compost in place.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #446 on: April 05, 2017, 07:03:52 AM »
Raised bed gardening is very trendy right now in Luxembourg. Beds are so high that you don't have to lean yourself to do the work. I believe that the main adventage is that the ground heats much faster, which is probably the same with the tire gardening.

I didn't chose that solution for different reasons. Cost is very high compared to the surface you get, you have to use moisture treated wood, I wonder how easy it is to bring nutriments to the earth after a few years of use, and I feel that I don't have the needed experience to really enjoy such an infrastructure. I use containers for cherry tomatoes and it works fine, and didn't try the normal tomatoes yet.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #447 on: April 05, 2017, 10:48:20 AM »
Another problem with the Hochbeet (as they're called here in Austria, and very popular as well), is that you need a lot of material to fill them up, and then you need to keep filling them up because all the stuff settles.

You can also make them using concrete rings they use to make cisterns.
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Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #448 on: April 05, 2017, 01:01:17 PM »

Hi Etienne,
re. my compost bins, yes they seem to work well though it took me a little to get 'used to them'. Mainly because they retain more moisture, need little added. But I haven't had any issues with ventilation & anaerobic problems, smells etc. I think maybe they are not completely airtight or just cos they are loosely filled & one of mine does have some holes like this one:
http://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/p/round-compost-bin-with-lid-240l/R614518.html#q=compost+bin&start=1
I guess you could drill some if you needed. Sometimes I push a stick down the centre to make a vent hole down & I do have a worm farm so a fair % of soggy household scraps go in there. I like these because vermin cant get in (rats are a problem in our v low socioeconomic neighbourhood I find, too many folk have rubbish sitting around toooooo long!)
I did find once I made sure there was ample brown material layered in they work well & produce dry crumbly compost. Technically how good it is I dont know as have never had it tested. But we have gardened here 35= years & stuff grows vigorously so lots of trimmings,WEEDS etc to compost!

I alternate with filling bins# 1&2, when one slows down I start on the other leaving the first to settle & when I need it again turn it into bin#3. I usually get 2 turned into there before it is full & needs turning into bin#4 which is the one I take some out each time I clear or plant a new place in our beds (we have 11 - 2x1m beds & some other areas for growing veges & soft fruit, rhubarb etc as well. Plus fruit trees that are not in the beds).

My recent reading has encouraged me to up the proportion of brown stuff in the mix & I find that is better, my compost making booklet from Koanga Gardens advises a C:N ration of 60:1! I doubt I get near that but anyway my stuff definitely has improved.
I'd agree some cover even over the top of your piles will help, if you turn your piles then maybe the dry outer edges will get turned into the centre in due course. But I dont have to do that with my bins.
One thing I should mention is, and I think it has been mentioned elsewhere in Walking the Walk is I had a very serious health problem with an acute pulmonary infection which damaged my lungs & took 3 years of terrible meds to stop the autoimmune reaction. It wasn't Legionnaires ie. bacterial, but possibly fungal & I strongly suspect my playing in the compost in an enclosed space. Now I am completely fine but v careful & often wear a mask when moving it & dont put my head in the bins now.  :)



DrTskoul

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #449 on: April 05, 2017, 01:05:32 PM »
Now I am completely fine but v careful & often wear a mask when moving it & dont put my head in the bins now.  :)

I am glad. Fungal infections can be hard to get rid of.
“You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts.”
― Richard P. Feynman