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Lessons Learned From a Backyard Garden

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posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 04:33 PM

Originally posted by Ihavenoidea
Okay, thanks.

But instead of being grown in soil, how about being grown in water instead.

I know this is possible but I don't know the name for it.

hydro something....

Faster growth.




Along with some other interesting information about tomatoes on the 2nd site.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 06:57 PM
I have a question.

Obviously you have / had a nice garden of your own. What is there to stop someone from saying, this is my garden now. The only way you could really survive is if...

a) you live in the country, a good distance from town.

b) you own many weapons.

when a starving mob is rushing your backyard, all your hard work will do down hill.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 07:36 PM
reply to post by 30 Seconds
At this point in time most people in America are relearning gardening in order to have tastier healthier food but if our food supply were to dry up people with gardening skills would become more important. Before people start stealing their nieghbors crops they would probably start their own gardens. That is why threads like this one are important. Also hunting and wildcrafting ( which wild indigenous plants are nutritious and edible) skills are important to learn. Ultimately there is something empowering about growing food. Community gardens are also wonderful even though miscreats usually steal the vegetables before harvest . When neighborhoods have communtiy gardens the home prices go up.

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 07:38 PM
better get used to arsenic or hemlock dust then.

Heard kings used to eat that stuff to not get poisoned.

But , meh, what do I know?

[edit on 18-4-2008 by Ihavenoidea]

posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 08:56 PM
Anyone try zero tilling gardening?

I've been stealth gardening in field behind a strip mall near my RV park. It's well watered as it is a leach field for a laundry mat that's located in the strip mall. I found several edible local wild plants that grow well in the poor rocky soil. Wild onions seem to grow best. Non hybrid corn grows well in a little bare rocky bare patch that's on the creek that borders the field.

I'd like to find some leafy green vege's that will grow with minimum work. The idea here is to look like no one is working the soil. My little podunk RV park is an area that has both single wides and McMansions side by side. It was once considered far out of town but now it's being swallowed up by a rapidly expanding urban area about 15 miles away as the crow flies. My lot is tiny and I've got no place to grow anything.

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 02:07 PM
What about growing a tomato tree? Has anyone tried this? looks like it's a pretty good idea, and your could no doubt stealth grow it.

[url=]>>>Tomato Tree

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 02:20 PM
reply to post by thelibra


we have dug over some of the garden this year

so far we have planted out some potatoes and Onions we have in trays in the back bedroom of tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, courgettes,

we will be seeding some more tomorrow

to be honest im on a bit of a panic as im dead tired in the week. worried about not getting crops all year round.

thanks for the tips


[edit on 19/4/2008 by drevill]

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 02:22 PM

Originally posted by jimmyjackblack
What about growing a tomato tree? Has anyone tried this? looks like it's a pretty good idea, and your could no doubt stealth grow it.

[url=]>>>Tomato Tree

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 02:36 PM
reply to post by drevill

I don't know, what's GM? General Motors? Great Mormons? Googly Moogly? Lol, is GM something I need to be reading about?
I first saw these on a tv commercial, I'm thinking about buying them.

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 02:42 PM
reply to post by jimmyjackblack



I meant Genetically modified.

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 03:24 PM
reply to post by drevill

Oh ok, um, I don't know, that is a good question.

I don't know how harmful it would be if they were, they very well possibly may be geneticly modified, but it may just be a breeding thing.
I don't know, looked like a good deal to me.

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 03:27 PM
reply to post by jimmyjackblack

somtimes the summer here is bad and you cant get tomatoes to ripen unless you chuck a load of chems on em

going to try cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets this year

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 05:17 PM
Take a note from the illegal marijuana growers.

Move your car out into the weather and grow an indoor garden in the garage.

Skylights will give plenty of light.

I had no problems starting seedlings end of January with just the light from a somewhat large pebbled glass east facing window over the bathtub.

My pal has a 30' x 30' shop building with four not-too-big skylights and when we walk outside in the daytime I always feel I should switch the lights off . . . except they're not on.
So if he wished to, he could grow a garden indoors.

You should be able to grow a garage garden even in the dead of winter without skylights if you have the right kind of lights installed.

As long as the garage temps stay above freezing.
Mine will get down to 26* F when it's 16* F outside.
It's insulated to a degree, but you'd need a touch of heat inside and the lights on may raise the temps just enough to keep the seedlings safe.

Plus there is a lot of metal in my garage/shop that cold soaks overnight so that's a problem if you like to pursue hobbies and interests in the garage.

Let your electric utility know what you're doing.
The meter readers are trained to recognize excessive energy consumption for your size house under average conditions and will make a note at the billing office.
Enough of an over the above average usage will ring the bell so to speak.

If you are growing something illegal you will get turned in....

[edit on 19-4-2008 by Desert Dawg]

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 05:20 PM

Originally posted by drevill
reply to post by jimmyjackblack

somtimes the summer here is bad and you cant get tomatoes to ripen unless you chuck a load of chems on em

going to try cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets this year

Here's a bit of information about growing in containers:

Yesterday I saw a nice way to set up tomato plants in hanging baskets and can't find it now.
Do a search for patio or container gardening.

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 05:32 PM
If for no other reason and whether you think you have room or not, grow some tomatoes.

The taste is so worth the small effort....


Short story here:

My dad - and grandfather - used to work in the Southern California oil fields west of Ventura, California - on the coast on the way to Santa Barbara.

The oil company had bought out several small farms in the area.

One of them was near a small creek that flowed nearly year-round.

Dad was raised on a farm and knew what to look for.

He went down to one of the old broken down corrals near the stream - the house and barn were long gone - and found wild tomatoes growing along the edge of the creek bed.

He'd pick a lug of tomatoes - lug size being an orange lug box which was common to the area and fairly large - bring them home and share them with neighbors and friends.

The tomatoes grew wild every year and every summer at about two or three week intervals he'd bring home fresh tomatoes.

I'd grab a bunch of them, a salt shaker and go out into the back yard and eat them like candy.
Almost got sick a couple of times, but no tomato I ever ate tasted as good as those.

I would not be surprised to see the tomatoes still growing wild in the area and if I could it would be worth the 300+ mile drive to go pick some just for the seeds.

I think I remember where they were growing . . . 50 years later....

[edit on 19-4-2008 by Desert Dawg]

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 06:06 PM

Originally posted by d11_m_na_c05
reply to post by kattraxx

No problem . Let me know how it goes. I have been running an indoor garden year round for a few years. I don't get too many pests . But when i do they are extremely hard to get rid of. I am an all organic person . Cant have my crop tasting like chemical's ..

I won't know how it went until I can look inside an apple just after they form. I know earwigs are around, as I saw one floating in the dog's kiddy pool (gets hot here). The tuna can with cooking oil didn't capture a one before my Siberian dug it up. Spraying is difficult, as the trees are planted on a steep berm and are about 15 feet tall. What I need is a way to stop the earwigs from climbing up the tree trunk to begin with. It all may become moot tonight or tomorrow night as the temp is supposed to drop into the high 20's and may freeze the blossoms. But I haven't given up on the apples yet.

Mites-- I always use a vinegar/water spray on my roses that works quite well. 50%/50%, but you might want to weaken it for more tender plants.

posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 06:09 PM
Also, on those tomatoes; Don't forget to sucker.

Knowing the growth habit of the variety you are growing is critical in determining whether a plant can be pruned and the level of pruning. Indeterminate varieties will have many suckers and branches, each producing many flowers and eventually fruit. These can be pruned and pruned severely. Determinate types, however, are pruned slightly if at all. Any pruning done on a determinate removes a finite number of blossoms and fruit. If you prune all the suckers on a determinate type you will have a small plant, few fruit and lots of sunscald due to a lack of foliage and shading. You will also dramatically reduce your yield. Semi-determinate types can be pruned but not nearly as much as indeterminates.

What's a gardener to do? Remember, you can grow perfectly fine fruit without pruning your plants. But if you want to prune, here are a few guidelines. For determinate types, there is no need to prune at all. For indeterminate types, allow one, two, or three suckers to grow from the base of the plant. Each of these will become a main stem with lots of flowers and fruit. Prune off all the others suckers and provide the plants with strong support. Research has shown that the best time to remove suckers is when they are about 3 to 4 inches long. For the semi-determinate types, limit your pruning. When the plant is 8 - 10 inches high, look carefully and observe the first flower cluster on the stem. Remove all the suckers below the flower cluster except for the one immediately below the cluster. You may have to go back and give these a second pruning 7 to 10 days later. Remove no more than that or you run the risk of pruning too much. The amount of pruning among these varieties to produce optimum yields varies. Some varieties would do better if you left 2 suckers below the flower cluster. Experiment and see which works best for the variety you are growing. Hope this is helpful. Any questions, please let me know.

Get plants off the ground.

Give plants room.

Never prune or tie plants when the leaves are wet.

Side stems affect plant vigor

As a tomato grows, side shoots, or suckers, form in the crotches, or axils, between the leaves and the main stem. If left alone, these suckers will grow just like the main stem, producing flowers and fruit.

Suckers appear sequentially, from the bottom of the plant up. The farther up on the plant a sucker develops, the weaker it is, because the sugar concentration gets lower as you move up the plant. On the other hand, side stems arising from below the first flower cluster, although stronger, compromise the strength of the main stem. For a multi-stemmed plant, your aim is to have all stems roughly the same size, although the main stem should always be stronger, because it has to feed the entire plant for the next five or six months. Here's how I achieve this.

I keep tomatoes free of side stems below the first fruit cluster. When trained to one vine and left free-standing, tomato plants develop strong main stems. To encourage a strong stem, I remove all suckers and I don't tie plants to their supports until the first flowers appear.

Determinate tomatoes need no pruning other than removing all suckers below the first flower cluster, because pruning won't affect their fruit size or plant vigor. If you do any pruning at all above the first flower cluster on determinate tomatoes, you'll only be throwing away potential fruit.

Indeterminate tomatoes can have from one to many stems, although four is the most I'd recommend. The fewer the stems, the fewer but larger the fruits, and the less room the plant needs in the garden. For a multi-stemmed plant, let a second stem grow from the first node above the first fruit. Allow a third stem to develop from the second node above the first set fruit, and so forth. Keeping the branching as close to the first fruit as possible means those side stems will be vigorous but will not overpower the main stem.
Early pruning
Click to enlarge image
Early pruning encourages strong stems. Remove all suckers and leaves below the first flower cluster. Let a second stem arise from the node just above the lowest flower cluster. Let a third stem arise from the second node above the first flower cluster.

Q. Some tomato varieties are recommended because they are determinate and fast maturing. What does determinate mean and can you tell if a tomato is determinate by looking at it?

A. Determinate means the plant is small. Determinate tomato varieties seldom are more than 5 to 6 feet tall. A determinate vine is distinguished by a repeating pattern of two leaves followed by a flower or fruiting cluster. An indeterminate vine has a repeating pattern of three or four leaves, then a cluster.

Below is a tip for upside down growing, 'bucket method.'

Building upside down hanging vegetable garden bucket

Things You’ll Need:

* 5-Gallon Bucket
* Drill or Utility Knife
* Tomato Seedling
* Newspaper
* Soil

Step 1:
Purchase an empty 5-gallon bucket with a snap-on lid. This bucket can be found at hardware stores. Clean the bucket with warm sudsy water to prepare it for planting your tomato plant.

Step 2:
Cut a hole in the bucket using a drill or a utility knife. The hole should be right in the middle of the bottom of the bucket and about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Cut several 1/2-inch holes in the snap-on lid of the bucket to allow you to water your plant.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 12:13 AM
About the Tomato Tree: link Looks like it's not even a tomato plant.

If you want to increase your tomato yields without devoting more land, you can build cages for the things. Works great, and the cages should last for years. My parents made some back in the late 70s and they still use theirs. Basically, it's just a big wire cage. Look around and you'll find plans for everything from wire mesh to wooden ladder constructs.
Here is an article from Mother Earth News talking about using wire mesh in the garden; the illustration shows the types of cages my parents use.

Mother Earth News from the 70s is a great resource for these sorts of things, especially since there was that hippie-led "back to the land" movement, but because people were batsnot scared about what was going on back then, with good reason--we're not even close to that bad yet, and some people are already that scared. Anyway, I even seem to remember they sold plans to turn a Ford Opel into a gas-electric hybrid, and all sorts of DIY alternative fuels ideas that were promptly forgotten when the oil embargo lifted and crude futures went to $10/barrel. Fortunately, they have articles from their full run online. Many great ideas there.

I've got to admit, shamefacedly, that I don't have a garden. I had every intention to get one ready, but we've had such a horrible spring so far that I've not even figured out where I'm going to plant; we've lived here five years and I've not scoped out a place (which is weird behavior for southern Illinois.) As a kid, though, my parents had a huge garden, I helped keep the compost heap going (now THAT's a fun job in the summer
) and was basically the child labor in the gardens and when it was time to cut firewood.

It's great that people are working on planting gardens and re-learning the art of gardening; before you predict total gloom and doom, though, remember that part of what's driving up prices here in the West is not solely shortages but also speculative trading. I don't care what anyone says; ethanol is not doubling the price of milk. If you want a culprit, look no further than diesel...c'mon, Shell, scale up your biodiesel efforts

And hopefully the higher-population parts of the world will also work on food security, as well as places like it really true that they import 60% of their food???!? And hopefully they'll work on sustainable methods. We can't rely on oil and mined minerals for crop production forever.


Terra preta

No-till farming

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 12:39 AM
Oh! Almost forgot. I saw that someone had worried that they wouldn't have crops all year. If you've got a decent-sized area to grow in (if you live in a rural area or in a decent suburb, you probably do) and if you use a decent area to do so, you don't have to worry as much about having year-round crops, and instead freeze, can, and dehydrate. Also, do some research on crops (such as potatoes; basically, root crops) which can keep well in the winter, given care. And though no one I know personally does so, there are crops which can actually do well in the winter, if you have time for that sort of thing.

How to can anything

Root crops

Winter gardening

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 06:38 AM
Wonderful topic!
This is my first post on this site, but the topic warranted some responses.

I like the potato tire idea, but will probably use the straw/hay idea for my situation. For growing in a nearby field, tubers, underground stocks. I would do potato's and onions and garlic, with a few peas and beans. Just don't plant them all together, or it will get you noticed.

I am a renter, and have built a couple rather large, cedar wood containers for my back patio area. I will be planting a large variety of veg in them, but I also have purchased an EarthBox. If you don't know what one is, they are a container with a water reservoir under the soil, a pipe going through the soil to reach the water, and fertilizer on top. It is covered, to avoid water evaporation as well as weeds.
Here is a link for them :
They have a decent forum for helpful tips, and loads of research too. This is great for tomatoes, and many other plants too. Organic versions are available.

I am more interested in saving money and DIY projects. So with that in mind, I spent a few weeks looking at viable options for my patio. And for more EarthBox style planters, I am building 2 or 3 of these
with the same concepts as the EarthBox. A great advantage to these containers, is they are small enough that they are possible to move indoors for any late frost spells, as long as they are on wheels. And you can set up an easy self watering method for them too, some hose and a timer on your water spout works great! (personally, I wish I could harvest rain water without my land-lady complaining. And a compost pile. For that matter, I wish I had my own piece of real estate!)
You must make your own soil for these. These planters, like the EarthBox, need soil to wick water up. Mostly peat moss and pine bark fines, with added minerals and so on. A good recipe is here
this is for container gardens, not for gardens in the ground.

I found a couple in Chicago growing on a roof there, using home made containers like these, so here is a link for them too
This is mostly urban ideas, but they can work in most areas, adjusted for climates and elevation that is. (Containers can retain more heat, as the soil is already above ground. High elevations and raised beds, or containers, can work well together.)

A few things I have learned; start seeds early, if at all possible. Look into companion gardening. If you have the room, permaculture is a great solution. A garden shouldn't need such intense work, if you plan it well, it can take care of itself.

Finally, I have a mosquito problem, as well as grasshopers here. I have learned that all sorts of pests don't like marigold. Hoppers don't like the herb horehound, and there are other uses for it as well. I am starting 30 marigolds in the kitchen, and will be distributing them all over.

One last tip I have heard about; For snails, line your containers with copper strips, nailed down along the edges. For some reason they get a small electric jolt crossing over it, which they don't like.

Again, wonderful topic here. I look forward to more tips, and thanks for the ones that have already been posted.


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