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Grow an Garden?

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posted on May, 4 2006 @ 09:16 AM
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I would love to start another garden. I used to have one years ago and I found the experience very rewarding. My problem now is that in a few months I'll either be moving into an apartment or overseas. And I won't find out which until next week.

If I move into an apartment, I know I'll be able to have plants in an apartment, but I may miss the growing season if I wait until July. If I move to Japan, I'll have to wait until next year for a garden. Any ideas?




posted on May, 4 2006 @ 09:33 AM
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Keep in mind folks...
Survival thinking is good, but to account for all possibilities is better...

One of our main threats will be unstable weather... global warming.

The best i can tell, it will continue to mess with seasonal changes (i.e: freak cold snaps, long drought/rain, extreme heat...

all these things will kill a gardners hard efforts... so have a backup plan for that as well...

A little clear stretch plastic, and some spare wood can be used to make a climatized green house... So keep some handy...



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 10:22 AM
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Yes Laz, that is true. This is just covering the gardening aspect of it - and it is very important.

During the depression of the 30's, just under half of the US were into farming and look how much hunger happened.

Today, less than 2% are farming.

2nd grade math knows that is a bad answer.

Learning to grow your own food is important if you want to survive long term and Laz is right, it is only one aspect.

It would be good to learn trapping, hunting, water purification, food storage, natural medicines and even home protection. Many others will not have the same knowledge as you and will probably attempt to steal yours.

There are wild edible plants field guides. There are books on life 100 years ago and more to teach shelter, preservation of food and water, usable parts of animals and fire. Have you ever started a fire without a lighter or match? Not easy.

Our economy and security are becomming more and more fragile and can break at any time. There is less food and more people then the last depression.

It makes sense to learn how to support yourself now, so if it does happen you can survive.

And if nothing does happen, it was fun to garden, campout and hunt.



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by godservant
Is it advisable to save seeds from tomatoes and other veggies for next years garden? If so, how do you save your seeds? Is there a time frame that seeds need to dry before they can be used?


I always keep my seeds because I hate having to pay more than once for them, it just doesn't make any sense. Sure seeds are cheap, however, if you plant a huge garden every year, the cost of seeds, and seedlings can get quite expensive. This is especially true if you prefer certain hard to find varieties, or heirlooms, or what not.

Tomatos are one of those seeds that take a little bit of work to save though. In nature a tomato falls from the vine, decomposes, and fermentation takes place which breaks down the gelatinous coat surrounding the seeds. It is this process which you have to re-create in order to end up with viable seeds.

Basically what you do is cut a tomato in half, scoop out the insides, place them in a sterilized plastic cup, add a little water, place them in a dry location, let them ferment, rinse, then dry thoroughly. The drying part is not nec for germination so there is no need to worry about when to use them. Drying is important for storage, that's all.

Just remember, depending on the temperature, fermentation can take place in as little as 24-48 hours, after which, germination will occur. Also remember, viable seeds sink, immature seeds float. Below is a great link with step by step instructions(info provided by a seed company none the less, pretty cool!).

www.victoryseeds.com...
[edited to fix link]

[edit on 4-5-2006 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by CelticMist
Has anyone here used the "topsy turvy' method for veggies? I'll be giving it a go later today. The concept certainly has an appeal to it and if my tomatoes do as well as this fellows, then I'm really going to have a bumper crop of grape 'maters. Yee haw! I've provided a link below to his site~


I did when I first started getting into gardening. It is actually a great method when growing "determinate" varieties, these plants remain relatively short and bushy, and can be hung from 6' and might never reach the ground. If growing an indeterminate variety though (which is where your big ones, and heirlooms come from) the vines get soo long that even hanging at 10' would end up giving you plants with very low yield. If space is a concern then it is a great method of growing, just be sure to get a determinate variety or you might not end up with too many 'maters.



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 08:20 PM
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hmmm... the topsy-turvy thing just gave me an idea for re-cycling those plastic hanging bags they sell petunias in. I know just where to get a couple (used ones) too. Might be good for planting cherry tomatos in, then hang from my clothesline posts or side of the compost bin. I had my fill of those in my dad's garden where they'd come up as volunteers from unpicked fruit from the year before--doing the fermenting thing right on the ground. They soon over ran the place, growing like weeds. Dill and cilantro will do that too. And oregano--makes nice (uncontrollable) hedges.

Weeds are your #1 problem with strawberries. And nothing could be more fun than digging the trench and hills for asparagus, unless you make them a raised bed?

In gardening there is a spiritual connectivity to the earth and the wonders of watching things grow, in the nourishment and sustenance it provides the body and the soul. Or maybe it's just the inner child who still loves playing in the dirt? Either way, awakenings can happen, tradition abounds, and knowing your food is the freshest it can be is a satisfaction well founded.

And it's nice to get out into the fresh air.



[edit on 4-5-2006 by psyopswatcher]



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 08:43 PM
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psyopswatcher, I'm going to use 5 gallon white paint buckets from the local supply store, for my tomatoes. If you do use the petunia pots, let me know if you have good results.



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 07:54 AM
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Sure will, CelticMist. I sent the link to my sister who likes it too. Now she needs to find a sunny place to hang them from. I think it sounds like a good idea for decorative gourds too, the long vines clilmbing along the deck railing. And they do ok in only half a day's sun.

For anyone who does composting with kitchen scraps (and anyone who doesn't too), stop putting eggshells in the compost and start saving them in a separate container for use when you're planting tomatoes. I just stick mine back in the egg carton. By the time it's done, they've dried in the fridge without taking up extra space and without attacting pests.

This is a tip especially helpful if you are in an area plagued by slugs and cutworms. After you've planted, staked or caged your greenhouse packs, crush the dried egg shells and sprinkle around the base of the plants. This is as good as using diatomaceous earth, which is deadly to any insect. And the eggshells are free (if you eat eggs).

Maybe I should have used the DE on my dad's leftover row of potatoes? Dusting the leaves wouldn't hurt the taters growing underground, but it sure would the bugs munching them down to nubbins. Used judiciously though, you don't want to kill your pollinizers or, lord forbid you injure a walking stick or praying mantis!

Another tip for planting tomatoes in the garden. If the packs are starting to get long and leggy, pinch off all but the top two set of leaves, and bury the stalk and roots in a shallow trench sideways. The buried part of the stalk will sprout roots and the plant will develop a much stronger root sytem as it grows.


Planting tomato plants on their side in a shallow trench will promote root growth along the stem.
source

Stake or cage your plants when you put them in the ground so as not to damage the roots after they start to get big. Cut up old nylon stockings to loosely tie your plants to stakes, if you use them. It stretchs as the plant grows.

I typically use both, cages AND stakes to hold the cages down.




[edit on 6-5-2006 by psyopswatcher]



posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 01:07 PM
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Midpoint in our growing season and everything is going strong. Practically overrun with the hybrid squash"eightballs" and more roma tomatoes than I can eat , have given to the neighbors as well. Very pleased with my first time around at tilling the soil. Next year's plan is already on the table, no pun intended. So, how did ya'll's gardens do? BTW, my upside down tomatoes look strange hanging on the pole, but they are ready to bust with toms...next year I'm doing cukes in the bucket, topsy turvy. Sure has been nice raising my own veggies



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 07:42 AM
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Gardening tip:

If you're plagued with a Japanese beetle problem (mine just made an appearance in my yard) take a small jar or cup and a pencil or stick and collect the beetles from the leaves they're chewing up by tipping them into the jar. Or you can use your fingers and palm of your other hand--ick. Have a small fire pit going (I light mine with lighter fluid, saves time) and dump the beetles into the fire to destroy. The fire cleans up yard debris (what doesn't go in the compost--sticks, branches, etc.) and the smoke helps control other insects too.



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 07:48 AM
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Wont a garden be overcome with radiation?

I'm the smart one here. I'm growing my garden in my Sun room. Indoors.



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 07:56 AM
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CM, I didn't do the upsidedown buckets, but my sister did and they're going strong too.

I have ten plants in the garden and four on the patio which are getting some nice fruits and lots of buds and side shoots.

Do you pinch yours? That's always a big controversy, to pinch or not to pinch the suckers. I like to let them go and see what they do on their own. Just keep some strong support so they don't drag in the dirt. Use an old nylon hose, cut up, to tie them up with. The stretchiness gives the stalks room to grow.

Hey, I have a pepper plant in an old crock that I kept inside thru the winter and it's budding too! It was a patio plant last year along with some rosemary. I had heard that peppers can be perrenials, now I know it's true.

This is the time to water peppers with some epson salts for the magnesium they love.



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 08:01 AM
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Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin

Originally posted by godservant
Is it advisable to save seeds from tomatoes and other veggies for next years garden? If so, how do you save your seeds? Is there a time frame that seeds need to dry before they can be used?


I always keep my seeds because I hate having to pay more than once for them, it just doesn't make any sense. Sure seeds are cheap, however, if you plant a huge garden every year, the cost of seeds, and seedlings can get quite expensive. This is especially true if you prefer certain hard to find varieties, or heirlooms, or what not.

Tomatos are one of those seeds that take a little bit of work to save though. In nature a tomato falls from the vine, decomposes, and fermentation takes place which breaks down the gelatinous coat surrounding the seeds. It is this process which you have to re-create in order to end up with viable seeds.

Basically what you do is cut a tomato in half, scoop out the insides, place them in a sterilized plastic cup, add a little water, place them in a dry location, let them ferment, rinse, then dry thoroughly. The drying part is not nec for germination so there is no need to worry about when to use them. Drying is important for storage, that's all.

Just remember, depending on the temperature, fermentation can take place in as little as 24-48 hours, after which, germination will occur. Also remember, viable seeds sink, immature seeds float. Below is a great link with step by step instructions(info provided by a seed company none the less, pretty cool!).

www.victoryseeds.com...
[edited to fix link]

[edit on 4-5-2006 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 08:09 AM
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DJ, That's where mine come inside for the winter. Big jungle in the bay window that gets trucked outside for the summer ambience. They love it, I even drag everything onto the driveway for a good old-fashioned wash down in the soft summer rains.

I just have to keep after them watering, some can dry up really fast in the smaller pots and dishes with no rain for a couple days.

Something else you can do to help control pests, alphids, spider mites, and whiteflys. Mix a teaspoon of dish detergent and a teaspoon of cooking oil in a spray bottle of water and mist down your plants that are prone to them. Beans in the garden too--and get the undersides of the leaves. Before a rain shower is good to do it too, washes them off and shines everything up really pretty.

The only ones they say not to use it on is cabbage.



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 08:22 AM
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Nice reading

I certainly do not have green fingers and I believe every indoor plant Ive had has died..even cactus, but I have been considering a veggie garden, and this thread has given me some inspiration to try. thanks


A topic like this could use its own forum section, 'survival for dummies' well at least in my case anyway

Seriously if anything major were to happen in the uk, my family and I would not be prepared atall.



[edit on 6-7-2006 by crittz]



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 09:03 AM
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crittz, I understand your relunctance about growing plants, I killed an air fern one time that only needed air according to the package
My family certainly reminded me of this when I announced my intentions to actually plant edible food. Start small, maybe in a container and go from there as the satisfaction is well worth the effort.



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 09:30 AM
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Originally posted by godservant
Is it advisable to save seeds from tomatoes and other veggies for next years garden? If so, how do you save your seeds? Is there a time frame that seeds need to dry before they can be used?
You can but they will have cross-pollunated so they may not be the same as this year.



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 09:44 AM
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Man. . . . where to start.

I got pretty serious in my preparations for Y2K. It was a great dry run and I learned a lot. One deal I cut with Frau Dr. was that I would not spend money on stuff we wouldn't use anyway. That way, when nothing happened, we were fine, and even saved money because of our stockpile.

Incedentally, the chances of your life being disrupted are more likely from a natural catastrophe (hurricane, freak storm, earthquake) than from civil disaster (war, riots, power outtage), but you prepare for both in the same way.



We're not eating our cat---we live in an area surrounded by pasture, and under constant assault by field mice. Pussy is quite skilled at killing even norway rats, which are the HUGE gray ones. He gets all his shots, since the kids love on him after he's been predating the vermin. Still, you're less liable to catch disease from the cat than from the mice. And I can't stand the racket of a mouse in the house at night. Somedays he doesn't even touch his catfood, having gorged on field mice.
----

When it comes to stockpiling food, don't bother with anything that your family doesn't already like. Presumeably, they will be eating the stockpile during times of stress, and people are not accepting of strange foods when they are stressed.

Pay attention to shelf life. Don't go to the survival store and get a year's supply, since it will all expire on the same month. Unstead, you'll need to begin rotating your stock. Not hard if you leave a chart on the inside of the pantry door, and write the date on packaging with a sharpie. Back when we lived in an apartment, I stockpiled cans under the bed. Every week, Frau Dr. bought two cans of food more than we needed, and put them under the bed.

-----

I still keep about 120 gallons of water on hand, and rotate it out. If the city water supply is compromised, you'll be told not to drink any from the tap for A WEEK! Figure each person needs about 3 gallons a day, so 21 gallons a week.

-----

In the garden, I gravitate toward root crops; since if they are in the ground too long they don't go as bad. I grow a lot of green beans; my family likes them, they can well, and have a long productive season.

I grow tomatoes in buckets. That way, in a hailstorm, I put them in the kids' wagons, and just roll em into the house.

-------

Basically, any activity you plan on for survival, you should be doing a bit of right now. That way, you'll have worked the kinks out before your life depends on it. For instance, if you think you're going to survive on rabbit, then you'd better know what tularemia is (cat scratch fever), and how to recognize it. Also, know that rabbits carry an insane amount of tics. Here in Texas, it's basically unsafe to eat rabbit or even dress them out unless there's snow on the ground.

-------

We have an upright freezer that is key to our household economics, aside from survival questions. Now, I know the power will go out in a catastrophe . . . . but the contents will still be good for 8 hours or so, with the door kept closed. That's enough time for me to fire up the smoker and all the grills, and at least save the meat.

The meat is either from the butcher shop, or meat I traded for, or game I've hunted and caught. We had some friends over for the 4th and were discussing how little store-bought meat my family actually eats. Since January, all we've bought is briskets and some steaks. The roasts came from barter with a rancher, the rest is game meat.

-------

I keep multiple gas cans in the shed.

I've got a crank radio that picks up shortwave as well as standard bands. I can usually get international news as well as local weather . . .

I have several of those flashlights you shake, but the crank flashlights are a lot brighter.



posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 10:08 PM
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Isn't anyone worried about bid-flu infested birds getting at their garden and infecting the plants? I don't even know if that is possible, but I think I remember reading somewhere bird flu can live in bird feces for up to 3 days.

Anyone have any tips as to what grows well indoors without a lot of light (I have no sunroom).



posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 05:18 PM
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Halfway through the summer, and the plants are doing great. I didn't get a chance to plant till the beginning of June (very late for SoCal) however, everything is just about caught up. Tomatoes, zucchinni, eggplant (aubergines) pumpkins, edamame, and peppers amongst other things are all doing well.

I think I planted too much basil this season though, oh well, I guess a few gallons of pesto over the winter won't be such a bad thing.



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