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sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #450 on: April 05, 2017, 09:15:13 PM »
Re: Vermin in compost piles

Doesn't anyone have cats? I do composting in open piles, three at a time. Start a new one every year, use after three. Occasional turnover, with a shovel if i feel energetic, with a backhoe or frontend loader if not. Get field mice and moles and voles and such, the cats take care of it. I was turning over one of them once and one of the cats came up an protested vociferously. I found the reason soon enough, a little hole dug into the corner of the pile, with six (?!) bodies of assorted mice and voles hidden under some leaves. Clearly she had been storing them. I covered them up again and stayed away from that  corner.

I consult the cats nowadays (put out some cat food by the piles, wait till they show up, and then start turning over the piles while watching them for signs of dissent.)

sidd

mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #451 on: April 06, 2017, 12:06:53 AM »
the problem i have had in the past with open compost pits is that when the bears are hungry, they come by and clean them out.
and so it goes

DrTskoul

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #452 on: April 06, 2017, 12:41:30 AM »
the problem i have had in the past with open compost pits is that when the bears are hungry, they come by and clean them out.

Ha..talking about recycling...
“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

sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #453 on: April 06, 2017, 01:01:18 AM »
ooo, bears will kill cats. Need a loud dog for those. So far  black bears havent come around the compost heaps, tho they are around. Last year one killed a turkey but usually they stick to berries and such. But the trash is securely locked up and i think the trashpickers like the raccoons and bears (and these days coyotes) know it.

sidd

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #454 on: April 06, 2017, 08:39:47 AM »
Hello,

I also have a question regarding watering. My watering can has a capacity of around 10 liters.

When I feel that I'm generous (like a once a week watering for vegetables that already have enough roots), I have water for a line of about 3 meters of vegetables.

When I feel greedy (like a daily watering of seeds and shoots), I go about 6 meters.

If there is a bush that needs water, I put about a half watering can on it.

Of course, I adapt the watering to the meteorological conditions.

Do you see this as more or less ok ?

Thanks a lot.

Etienne
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 08:50:40 AM by etienne »

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #455 on: April 06, 2017, 04:47:20 PM »
Etienne

That sounds pretty good to me. One simple trick we use for thirsty crops like pumpkins squashes and courgettes (zucchini) is to cut the bottom off a 2 liter plastic water bottle, embed the neck in the soil near the roots and use it as a reservoir to water the plants. Examples here for courgettes:


silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #456 on: April 06, 2017, 05:12:08 PM »
Call me old-fashioned but I planted first early potatoes today in a trench accompanied by some well rotted farmyard manure  - exactly the way my Dad taught me to in the late 50's.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 09:26:53 PM by silkman »

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #457 on: April 06, 2017, 08:34:51 PM »
Well, you're lucky that somebody taught you how to do it. In my family, there is a generation gap. My parents only did the easy gardening (things like buying tomatoes plant and putting them in the garden). When I see all the problems I have, like that the birds just ate half of the spinach during the last two days, I protected them today with wire mesh, but the holes are too big, I have to buy something with smaler holes quite fast otherwise I'll have to start it all over. At least I know now who is guilty. If one day there is a war, it will be over before people know how to grow their food.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #458 on: April 07, 2017, 08:50:35 AM »
Call me old-fashioned but I planted first early potatoes today in a trench accompanied by some well rotted farmyard mature  - exactly the way my Dad taught me to in the late 50's.

Our soil is still too hard, and so we're trying the mulch routine, just laying the potatoes on the ground and cover them with hay. Luckily it rained that very same evening. We'll see what happens.
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

DrTskoul

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #459 on: April 07, 2017, 12:26:04 PM »
Call me old-fashioned but I planted first early potatoes today in a trench accompanied by some well rotted farmyard mature  - exactly the way my Dad taught me to in the late 50's.

Our soil is still too hard, and so we're trying the mulch routine, just laying the potatoes on the ground and cover them with hay. Luckily it rained that very same evening. We'll see what happens.
Is your soil clay content too high?
“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

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #460 on: April 07, 2017, 12:32:06 PM »
Is your soil clay content too high?

Yes, very high. And it used to be agricultural land (Schnitzelcorn as I call it), so it's going to take a while to restore that layer of humus. But mulching really helps. That layer has been on since October, and the soil beneath was a lot softer, with big earthworms crawling around.
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DrTskoul

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #461 on: April 07, 2017, 12:47:24 PM »
Is your soil clay content too high?

Yes, very high. And it used to be agricultural land (Schnitzelcorn as I call it), so it's going to take a while to restore that layer of humus. But mulching really helps. That layer has been on since October, and the soil beneath was a lot softer, with big earthworms crawling around.

Increasing the sand content will help tremendously.  Aggressive mixing is too much work but if you have patience you can spread sand gradually with mulch. This will separate the clay particles and make the soil more permeable.

On the other hand just wood chips according to the attached information works great
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 01:05:42 PM by DrTskoul »
“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

mati

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #462 on: April 07, 2017, 11:50:20 PM »
sorry but i could not another place to let you know that life is fine ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ4Mm8alM6I
and so it goes

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #463 on: April 08, 2017, 08:33:54 AM »

On the other hand just wood chips according to the attached information works great

The other pages she wrote are also very interesting :
https://puyallup.wsu.edu/lcs/

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #464 on: April 08, 2017, 01:55:34 PM »
Hello,

Here are my spinach with the bird protection I built around them.


I had some wire mesh for fence left. Don't know if the birds still eat as much when the leaves are taller.

Bye,

Etienne

DrTskoul

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #465 on: April 08, 2017, 02:55:52 PM »
Hello,

Here are my spinach with the bird protection I built around them.


I had some wire mesh for fence left. Don't know if the birds still eat as much when the leaves are taller.

Bye,

Etienne

Ha.. I had such arrangement for my tomatoes years ago, but the squirrel chewed through. :)
“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

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #466 on: April 08, 2017, 04:02:50 PM »

On the other hand just wood chips according to the attached information works great

The other pages she wrote are also very interesting :
https://puyallup.wsu.edu/lcs/

Very interesting website, indeed.

I'm fine with how things are going, just letting things grow and then mowing it and leaving it in place. But I might throw some woodchips and sand around (if I can find sand I can trust).
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #467 on: April 08, 2017, 04:34:45 PM »
I think wood chips are great for mulching trees , like the WSU site said , but I would be careful about digging in chips before they have been well composted if you are going to use them to build garden soil for vegetables. Bacteria will begin to compost your chips if dug in and they will borrow nitrogen in the process . This can leave your soil lacking in nutrients for a couple years until the composting is complete, dependent upon warmth and soil moisture. For vegetable gardens you should compost first then add them in.
 If you have extra land that you don't plan on putting into garden for several years spreading chips will control weeds and built soil organics, but it takes time. Wood shavings are used for horse stalls and they are plentiful and free . They come with manure and urea but usually even after composting they require some added nitrogen for a balanced soil additive. So adding some other manure , like chicken, before composting will speed up the process and result in a better final product.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #468 on: May 13, 2017, 10:14:16 AM »
Hello,

To start with the beginning, I had a summer compost and a winter compost. The summercompost (spring material) was very fine at the end of the winter and the side of the garden where I strewed it grows very well. The winter compost (fall material) wasn't so well finished when I strewed it in March, but I thought it could keep composting on site.

Composting on site doesn't seem to work so well, and I have for example the oinons that get yellow (see picture). Does anybody has a clue of what I should do ? Or would there be another reason for yellow onions ? Salad and spinach seems to grow very well on that not finished compost, but radish and cabbadge not so well. I have the feeling that it dries out quite fast.

Thanks for your ideas.

Etienne

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #469 on: May 13, 2017, 03:10:39 PM »
Hi Etienne

Good compost needs self-generated heat and if you spread it it won't work so well.

Onions are hungry little beasts. Yours look perfectly healthy to me - no sign of rust which is a real problem here - but if the compost isn't providing the nutrients they'll need a feed. The easy way is to give them a dose of a general purpose fertiliser but if you want to be totally green, liquid manure made from something like comfrey (http://www.allotment-garden.org/comfrey/comfrey-compost-feed-tea/) would do the trick.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #470 on: May 14, 2017, 09:12:19 AM »
Hello Silkmann,

Thank you for the information. Since you believe that they look healty, I'll wait a little bit more to see how it evolves. When roots get longer, nutrients should become available.
Regarding the use of comfrey to accelerate the composting process, I believe that mine is just too dry. I just filled yesterday a compost tank and always mix it completely before leaving it for composting, and I found totally dry areas in it.

Bye

Etienne

H2O world

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #471 on: May 14, 2017, 11:13:05 PM »
hi Etienne,

No offense but I think your onions look a bit nitrogen deprived. I would give them a dose of compost tea loaded with mycorrhizae and beneficial fungus. I brew my own and would be happy to give you the recipe if interested. I have been an organic gardener for many years. Pay attention to the roots and you will always get healthier plants. I feed them with mycorrhizae and supportive fungus, the microbes live in and on the roots breaking down soil allowing the plant more access to the nutrients.
Never argue with stupid people they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.   
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johnm33

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #472 on: May 15, 2017, 01:36:30 PM »
H2O world" I brew my own and would be happy to give you the recipe if interested."
I'm interested too, as a novice I need all the help I can get.
john

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #473 on: May 15, 2017, 10:13:08 PM »
Hi H2O world,

Nitrogen deprived would be normal since they grow on unfinished compost, and if I understood well, nitrogen is only given back when composting is finished. Yes, the reciepe interesses me.

Etienne

H2O world

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #474 on: May 16, 2017, 11:47:55 PM »
Sorry it took me a while to get back! Here is my recipe

pH 6.5 water @ 70 degrees. 

In a 5 Gal bucket:

5 Gal pH'd water
1/2 tsp Hi Brix unsulphured molasses
1 cup worm castings (make sure its high quality)
1 cup high quality compost (the best compost is leaf compost)
1/2 cup Alfalfa meal (very high in N, omit for fruiting or flowering plants)
2 Tbs Alaskan Humus or 60 ml liquid Humic acid
2 Tbs Bounty Fungal activator
3 Tbs low N bat guano
60 ml fish emulsion

Add liquid ingredients to the pH'd water, stir. Fill the dry ingredients into a painters bag. Aerate for 24-48 hours using a air stone. Use it right away, don't take a chance on bad bacteria using old tea.
Never argue with stupid people they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.   
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H2O world

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #475 on: May 16, 2017, 11:50:10 PM »
Also.... to use dilute tea 1 gal of tea to 10 gallons of water
Never argue with stupid people they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.   
- Mark Twain

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #476 on: June 08, 2017, 10:28:13 PM »
Hello,

Does anybody knows why onions would grow like on the picture below ? Slugs could be the reason because I have many, even this year (beans are eaten faster than they can grow).

Thanks,

Etienne

TerryM

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #477 on: June 08, 2017, 11:58:27 PM »
I have neighbors that swear by putting crushed eggshells in their garden to rid themselves of snails and slugs. No idea of how effective this really is. I do know that Neven up thread spoke of a tiny electrical fence to keep them away from his and their favorite treats.
Best of luck
Terry
Edit} Perhaps escargot ranching might be an alternative?

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #478 on: June 09, 2017, 12:07:11 AM »
I just saw the rabbit that was eating all my delicotta squash.  It was so cute.  I haven't eaten rabbit since about 1975 (and no meat since '78).  My cherry tomatoes (in a pot) have done quite well (for us).
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

johnm33

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #479 on: June 09, 2017, 11:01:37 AM »
I put strips of wood around my beans, then herd the chucks down there and turn them over in the morning, that helps keep the numbers of slugs down. With snails I plant out bait plants, marigolds for instance, then go out an hour after dark and collect all the volunteers, jar them and feed them to the chucks the following afternoon, there's an endless supply of volunteers! In the polytunnel I keep an led light on which inhibits them both.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #480 on: June 09, 2017, 12:23:50 PM »
I do know that Neven up thread spoke of a tiny electrical fence to keep them away from his and their favorite treats.
The fence works quite well and keeps the big, brown slugs out. Maybe a small white/grey one slips through occasionally, and once they're in, that's when all the fun starts. My wife is adamant about mulching with hay in the vegetable garden, and it has many advantages. But one downside is that it's impossible to completely exterminate the small white slugs, who hide and feed under the hay, only to come out when things are wet. By themselves they can't do much, but several of them can kill off small seedlings in one night.

Every evening we'd go out and kill 100-200 slugs, but they just kept coming. So, last week, we threw out all the mulch for a couple of days and then put new mulch in. That seems to have helped somewhat, although nights are cool and dry right now. However, the plants are getting big enough to withstand them.

My wife said: Just two small slugs need to slip past the fence, and then they just procreate until kingdom comes.
And I said: They're probably hermaphrodites, so just one will do the trick.  ;)

I really dislike slugs, but I also respect them as a species.  8)

I'm thinking about making raised beds with planks like Etienne has this winter, but will have to convince my wife first.

BTW, our goal of improving year on year seems to be reachable this year, as many things are going better than last year again. Everything is growing bigger, we have more berries, the vegetables are coming along nicely (despite the slugs and other vermin like psylliodes and white flies on our cabbages), and although I'm not sure if we'll have a high yield from our potatoes under mulch, the plants are growing well. Still no apples (despite five blossoms), the cherries and potential walnuts were killed off by frost, but we'll have a handful of hazelnuts for the first time.

I don't know if I mentioned it here, but we bought an extra plot of land adjacent to what we already have, 1000 m2, or a quarter acre. We now have almost one whole acre. On this new plot - which also used to be zombie corn field/moon landscape - we've planted out phacelia, buckwheat and a clover mixture. Some of it has started to bloom.

I'll try and post some pictures soon.
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #481 on: June 09, 2017, 01:11:59 PM »
"I really dislike slugs, but I also respect them as a species."

That's the point! Anyway I understand those who are trying in places where is really difficult to avoid plages. So I'll share this option with you in order  to keep your vegetables free of slugs and snails. It works, but it means killing them.
The only thing you have to do is set up a rave for them!
You have to place a few small plates around your veggies in the evening and fill them with a small amount of beer. You will have wild parties every night, the slugs smell the beer and go crazy for it till they die.

As Terry mentioned other green options, barriers, are useful. The one that works better is surrounding every plant with ashes (from your fireplace, for example). This is much more efficient than the crushed eggshells, but is very difficult to sustain because of the wind and rain (were it does).

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #482 on: June 09, 2017, 06:52:39 PM »
For some unknown reason, I don't have too many slugs in my raised bed. It contains potatoes, Brussels sprouts and grass clipping. Don't know if the raw wood on the side might make a difference. I'll put the beans in it next year to see if it changes anything.

Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #483 on: June 10, 2017, 09:57:34 AM »
Another natural way of getting rid of pests, this time for insects.
This won't kill anybody but it's a very good repellent for most insects.
You have to smash a head of garlic, thoroughly, and then let it macerate in water (1/2 l) for at least 15 days.  Then you filter the water. That water can be used mixing it with more water up to a 15%-20% concentration to be spry over your plants.
Extremely easy to make, cheap, no harm and works pretty well. The inconvenience is that the smell of this macerated is definitely disgusting.  But doesn't last long and you would not notice it after 3-4 days.

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #484 on: June 11, 2017, 12:46:17 AM »
One advantage we have up here in north central Yukon is the almost complete lack of garden pests. But we have other challenges.... It has reached 30 degree here for 4 days running the corn is a metre high, the tomatoes are budding and the squash are flowering. BUT it is forecast to be zero on Monday night and minus three on Tuesday night....

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #485 on: June 11, 2017, 01:00:32 AM »
Wow...  :(

Good luck with that, Sebastian. I'm sure you know what to do, but the frost took us by surprise last year. This year we went and got old cardboard boxes from the municipal waste facility to cover what wasn't big enough to be covered (we had some cold frames for the vegetables). It helped somewhat.
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Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #486 on: June 12, 2017, 08:35:06 AM »
Thoughts on mulching:

The last few years I have been experimenting with using 'living mulch', particularly in the spring/early summer ie. interplanting my crops with either catch crops (like lettuces, chinese greens, radishes, leafy annual herbs etc) that will be harvested prior to my main one or just as green cover crops like mustard & blue lupin. I have been reading/learning about biological activity in soil lately(never mentioned much in my day of ecology studies at uni) and like this method for increasing the activity around the root systems of my main crop.
So my living mulch helps shelter new seedlings, maybe ups N in the soil, reduces evaporation/transpiration & gets harvested or trimmed off at ground level to be used as mulch and the root systems just die off underground. I dont need a lot of radishes but cut them off at ground level too & they rot away & help open up the soil too.
When we first started our vege patch here from lawn on v heavy soil here 35 years ago we did have trouble with slugs but they are much less of a problem now. Also I surround individual new seedlings inside large catering cans without bottoms & if it is v wet can put some slug bait just inside there. And I can mulch right up against the can when I plant.

I do use lots of regular mulching materials too, but usually later in the summer when it gets hotter & a lot drier here. Then I use the green crop trimmings, also fine dry shredded garden stuff mixed with coffee grounds from a local cafe, grass clippings, shredded dry seaweed, maybe over some sieved compost, whatever I can get that I don't have to pay for! (Straw bales you can buy here seem to bring weed seeds, tho' some people swear by pea straw.)
Pics are of lupin around shallots & chervil around cabbages-
Clare

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #487 on: June 12, 2017, 08:36:43 AM »
missed:

Hyperion

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #488 on: June 12, 2017, 12:31:52 PM »
Getting the ecology diverse enough to sustain predator populations is a good idea. Don't know whats local their. Particularly for slugs. Lizards frogs some larger hunting spiders. Perhaps. Certainly birds but they can turn on your produce of course. Often a few free range hens are effective. Putting them in a chicken tractor and prepping beds with them is effective if done intelligently. Their are also lots of parasite wasps that lay their eggs in slugs in bugs and they feed on nectar from flowers with shallow bells. They are great pollinators too. Two mistakes are not enough species in the plot and fully exterminating the pests. The predators need some to be present. If you avoid monocultural plots you don't get nature rushing in to stop the dangerously overprolific selfish species. Good way to attract local predators if you got a pest explosion is grind some up in a triggerspraywith water and spray them all over the garden. Their mates think it aint so safe and the preds smell a banquet.
Using char? You'd be astonished how much better everything grows. And healthy plants in good diversity seem very rarely touched. Preds seem more drawn to the struggling. If you really have a slug plague then a moat with some frogponds would be ultimate.
The Titan Hyperion was the first to understand, by diligent attention and observation, the movement of both the sun and the moon and the other stars, and the seasons as well, in that they are caused by these bodies, and to make these facts known to others; — Diodorus Siculus (5.67.1)

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #489 on: June 16, 2017, 02:41:05 PM »
I thought it might be time for an update on the Silkman plot. Things are going pretty well courtesy of a mild Spring and we're now harvesting lettuce, radish, rhubarb and spinach and I've just dug our first root of first early potatoes.

The battle is now to keep nature at bay - weeds, slugs, pigeons etc. We have a visiting badger (as yet unseen as it's nocturnal) which we are happy to tolerate as it likes slugs but last week it managed to make a real mess of a raised bed. Clearly it's partial to a strawberry or two as well!

We're also trying trombocino for the first time. Has anyone grown them?

Our onions look very like Etienne's this year. It will be interesting to see how they turn out.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 02:48:16 PM by silkman »

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #490 on: June 24, 2017, 03:17:02 PM »
First real summer harvest.

Family lunch tomorrow  :)

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #491 on: June 26, 2017, 07:57:13 AM »
Thanks for sharing these wonderful pics, Silkman. And congratulations to Mrs S. too! Your garden looks so tidy & productive.
Mid winter here but at least I can grow some stuff all year round, just v slowly at present and not much variety to harvest. Nor impressive, today's cauli (the last for a few months) is only ~ 2 1/2" in diameter!  :(

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #492 on: June 26, 2017, 06:21:45 PM »
Clare

Thanks for your kind words. The boss (Mrs S) is delighted too. We pride ourselves on never leaving the plot without something to put on the table. A small cauliflower would fit the bill admirably in winter. I hope you enjoyed the modest morsel!

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #493 on: June 26, 2017, 08:35:15 PM »
I have an acre of garden in, all plow work done with a one bottom plow pulled behind  my piggie biodiesel  powered tractor. I am using my battery powered wheel hoe for cultivating and my water is overhead sprinklers , the pump is run on solar grid tied three phase.  I have twenty rows of flint corn , each row two hundred feet. Forty hulless seed squash plants, enough for two or three gallons of dried pepidas. I have in one row of Costata Romanesco Sqaush that I let get about two feet long then slice and sun dry. I have black eyed peas, black beans and limas for dry beans. All these crops are crops that can be dried and stored for winter.
 I can harvest summer squash , tomatoes, melons and several forage crops for greens as the winter crops mature. I have a big crop of sweet corn in but there is a big murder of crows pulling up the starts and eatting the seed . I don't use any herbicides or pesticides. I plant enough to suffer a certain amount of losses to the crows and cucumber beetles without much for worries.
 I have been allowing tomatillos, red root pigweed ( amaranthus ), and lambs quarter to grow around the edge of the garden where they get watered from the sprinklers. They don't get fertilizer or hand weeding and are what I consider forage crops. I don't plant them but they are all edibles.
 The apricots, Santa Rosa plums and mirabelles are all currently ripe and need to be canned. I have had a bad season with fire blight and my pears look bad but there will be bushels of pears in spite of the damn blight. I have been checking the oaks trees I forage in the fall and there appears to be a nice set of acorns this year. I am down to my last ten or fifteen pounds of acorns stored from last year. Still processing and making flour. I am going to get something north of a thousand pounds of acorns picked and dried this year, that's my target anyhow.
 This years acorn challenge will be much easier to get through with the garden providing dry goods and variety.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #494 on: June 26, 2017, 10:15:43 PM »
Thanks a lot for the updates and pictures, everyone!

Over here in Austria it looks like we'll reach our goal of doing better than last year (mostly thanks to my wife who does most of the work in the vegetable garden, while I take care of the mowing on the rest of the plot, watering the shrubs, etc). Everything has grown, plants that struggled are doing better. First hazelnuts are coming (45, I counted them). Despite the frost in May, we have a lot more berries than last year. Every day a full bowl which we juice and mix with water, for the past two weeks, and probably two more weeks to go:





And when these run out, we have aronia, blueberries and goji berries ripening. All in all, very motivating to keep going. I really enjoy getting up in the early, go out with the dog and pick all the berries. That was the plan from the very beginning, so it's great to get a whiff of the end result for the first time.

This year has been extremely dry so far (no snow), and when the temps started hitting above 30 °C, we had some more watering to do than usual. The water level in our poor non-lined pond was at an all-time low, but still enough for the frogs, water snakes and this year, for the first time, salamanders.

So, when a couple of days ago there finally was a summer storm, we received it with open arms, although the wind was extremely freaky (lots of crazy, short-lived gusts this year) and then hail started to fall. We got off lucky, as just 10-20 km from us the hail caused major agricultural damage:



There's been lots of rain yesterday, which was a great relief.

We've been eating salad from the vegetable garden every day for many weeks now, thanks to the cold frames. Other stuff has been coming online as well, like red beets, chard, courgette, cucumbers, and Elisabeth is fighting a battle with various pests to pull the cabbages to the other side (she might win this year). Here she is with today's bounty:



I'll take a couple of pictures of the vegetable garden tomorrow, as it's really starting to look nice now.

I can't remember if I've mentioned it here, but we had to buy another quarter acre next to our plot, or else someone might have built a house on it. We divided it up in three parts, planting crimson clover and sainfoins in the first part, phacelia in the second, and buckwheat in the third part. Maybe one day we'll try and do something like you do, Bruce, but we first need to revive the soil on this new plot.

Phacelia really is a wonderful plant with beautiful purple flowers, attracting thousand of pollinators. Next year we'll probably sow them again, but then I'll make a two foot wide path to the middle of the field to a grass circle where we can lie down for some sweet aroma and humming therapy. ;-)

Here's how the field looks from the top of our carport:



And here from the other side, with our house in the background:



It looks like the potatoes won't bring us much, mostly thanks to the army of darkness (slugs) and probably not enough mulch. I might post pictures once we harvest in a couple of weeks, but I had a look under the mulch and it didn't look very promising. Another aspect that will hopefully improve next year. And so we learn.

Speaking of learning, I hope to implement some of the soil stuff from that booklet you sent me, Clare, starting this winter. :-)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 10:33:25 PM by Neven »
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Archimid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #495 on: June 29, 2017, 11:42:14 PM »
Not a garden yet, but these are the first two mangoes from my tree. I'm proud of them and wanted to share them with you.
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Re: Gardening
« Reply #496 on: June 30, 2017, 01:54:30 AM »
Not a garden yet, but these are the first two mangoes from my tree. I'm proud of them and wanted to share them with you.

they look like cut from a spanish bull LOL ( hope you forgive the little joke ) but yes that's something great to have, i still at times get exited about anything that grows and can feed people, i heavily try on avocados and mere tomatos LOL, also very recommended if the climate allows is
aloe vera, very useful and healthy stuff to be added to smoothies of all kinds.

good reason t be proud of those mangos, my favourite fruit BTW
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Re: Gardening
« Reply #497 on: June 30, 2017, 02:30:36 AM »
I have aloe vera, which I use on every cut and scrape, sun burn and to heal my dogs when they get cut. It is quite a miracle plant. I also have a couple of avocado trees (different varieties) but they are on their first year of life.   

Back to the mangoes last year there was a pretty heavy drought and that mango tree had a lot of trouble with pests. A few horses even broke into my house and ate a significant amount of the young tree. But this year was much better. It rained quite a lot and I've learned to manage the pests that were troubling the tree. I can't wait until they ripen. They'll make excellent breakfast.
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etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #498 on: June 30, 2017, 07:42:02 PM »
Hello,
I'm also doing much better than last year. Thank's for all the help. I still have the problem that many things  I sow after mid April is eaten. Nets are a great help until that date, but after, I feel that birds eat more slugs than salads.
I sow salads in a pot on the table with the idea to put them in the ground when they would be taller, but placed the pot on the ground because of a storm, and most little salads where eaten.
Watering is the other issue, I found out that dry gardenning doesn't work and the balance between too much and too little is not always easy to find.
I even have mushrooms between the salads and the onions. Don't know if that means anything. Slugs like them, it might be a good way to catch them.
Best regards,
Etienne

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #499 on: June 30, 2017, 10:04:21 PM »
Not a garden yet, but these are the first two mangoes from my tree. I'm proud of them and wanted to share them with you.

Wow, that looks wonderful. I'm really jealous. I don't think we'll ever be able to grow that kind of stuff here in the Southeast of Austria, even with climate change.
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