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Gardening 101: Tips, Tricks and So Much More

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posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 03:55 PM

Originally posted by mutantgenius

Originally posted by Iwinder
One to add here if your planting tomatoes in the same spot every year, before you plant on the second year give the ground a little bit of Epsom salts to help with removing the acidity in the soil as it builds up over the years.

Really great read and thanks to the OP for such an informative thread.
Regards, Iwinder

Also, if your tomatoes have blight it is quite possible that it will stay in the soil, so if your tomatoes suffered from blight the previous year, best not to plant them in that same spot until one full year has passed. I plant my toms in the same spot every year and they seem very happy, but will definately try the epsom salt this spring. Thanks!

EDIT TO ADD: Before I go, if you are having squirrel problems (they like to dig in my beds just after sowing, little brats - I think there are peanuts growing underground!) They can't stand capsicum(sp?) so sprinkling a little cayenne around will deter them until after a couple of rains, also if you recognize their routes across your fences and such a little hot sauce here and there helps.

edit on 8-3-2011 by mutantgenius because: didnt want to make a new post.

Squirrels.....bastards they are a real good solution is to place hair around the areas that they tend to dig in.
No joke just ask your hair dresser or barber to save some for you and you will also get a laugh out of watching them when they go nuts brushing their face and wiskers once the hair contacts them.

When we plant bulbs here they get a dose of hair right in the hole with them and they are never eaten.
Regards, Iwinder

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 04:00 PM
reply to post by Reevster

Thank you... I will just be patient a little longer. Let's see what happens by this weekend.

Also I read on another thread about planting potatoes in a bucket of straw. I'm going to give that a try too.

Also read here of some sort of organic matter used for insect repelent. It was some sort of micro fossil composition. It basically slices through the exoskeleton of the insect and they die. It is also used in horse feed to eliminate parasites and kill flies on the horse poo. If anyone knows what this is called please remind me, as I cannot find the thread again, and I really want to give this a try.

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 04:35 PM
I highly recommend this book as well. I am not promoting Amazon etc , just showing you the book... I bought mine through Chapters online as I recall.

One thing he talks about in the book is about "seeds" I really had my eyes opened up about the quality of seeds that you see in places like wall-mart etc in those little pouches on those racks DONT buy them, go to a reputable seed company such as Stokes or the like, most of the seeds in those packets are called "seconds" or low grade seed and a large percentage of them might not even germinate or if they do the plant turns out to be small week plant and wont produce good veggys, and you have just wasted part of or all of your gardening season on crap seeds...."dont do it".....just dont.....

Actually a better term for those seeds is "floor sweepings" as alot of them are whats left over from from all the good seeds that are packaged and sent to the Farmers, the farmers wont accept those crap seeds so why should you?

Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times
edit on 8-3-2011 by Reevster because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 05:14 PM
reply to post by dizziedame

Hi there dizziedame! I am so jealous! I used to live in the still has property down there too and it was nice to have the longer growing season for sure as I could get several different crops out of my plot of land. I'm currently living in a place that has a shortened growing season so there is a little bit of getting used to as to when to start my seeds and so on.

Look forward to seeing you in the thread and I hope you get a lot out of it.

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 05:28 PM
reply to post by mutantgenius

I'm glad to see you mutantgenius! And thanks for the tip on the squirrels...I've just tried to live it them the best I can while calling the little buggers every name I could come up with everytime I was in the garden.

One tip I've used with alot of success in ridding my garden of birds and other critters.. other than squirrels.... is to take a couple of old pie plates (the kind you can buy in the grocery store that are meant for 1 time use if baking) poking a hole in them and tying them together with twine then hanging them up around my garden, tree limbs, fence posts etc. When the wind blows even a little bit they make a soft rattle and it keeps birds and such at bay...also the sun glints off of them and scares birds away. If you don't want to purchase pie tins, old DVDs and CDs will do the same without the rattle.

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 05:33 PM
reply to post by Reevster

Thanks for supporting the 'premium stock produces premium results'. Even if a person decides to not go with non-GMO heirloom seeds for their garden I would urge choosing a high quality seed to start with in order to get the most bang for your buck. Thanks for the tip on the book as well. Will have to check that out myself.

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 05:48 PM

Originally posted by chiefsmom
One thing I do, because yes, I'm a very lazy gardener, is to throw the stuff most people put into a compost pile, in between my rows. Saves me time, and since I plant my rows just a bit wider than the rototiller, it gets blended in nicely.

From what I can remember from some of your previous postings on other threads, you need to have some time savers under your belt. Great tip! Thanks for sharing and I hope to see some other tips and tricks from you when you have the time!

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 06:05 PM
reply to post by Wetpaint72

It is called diatomaceous earth. Be careful not to over use that stuff because it can kill things you don't want to kill.

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 06:11 PM
reply to post by hardamber

Please share more about this if you can. What would it kill?
I certainly do not want to do more harm tand good!

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 06:34 PM

Originally posted by Iwinder

Originally posted by MyMindIsMyOwn

The solution is to plant Merry-golds all around the base of your tomatoes and you will be good to go.
Our experience tells us that they (earwigs) hate Mary-golds)

Regards, iwinder

Snakes also find Merry golds smelly so they stay far far away from them. So if you have a snake problem like we do... dig a narrow row and sprinkle the seeds and lightly cover and encircle your garden plot. Ill try and post some pictures of my neighbors garden.. it was beautiful last year

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 07:35 PM
reply to post by Wetpaint72

I think this is what you wanted.

Diatomaceous Earth - Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Health Benefits
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth promotes healthy livestock, animals, and pets. Buy diatomaceous earth to eliminate worms, parasites, fleas, flies...

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 07:42 PM
reply to post by MyMindIsMyOwn

One tip I've used with a lot of success in ridding my garden of birds and other critters.....

Actually I found having a good mouser (female cat) did wonders for my garden. She would hide under the strawberry plants and grab the birds coming to eat my straw berries and blue berries.

I planted blueberry bushes with wild strawberries (hunted out of my woods) as a ground cover. I then took a good cultivated variety and planted them among my wild berries. I ended up with a cross about twice the size of a wild berry with the intense wild flavor.

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 08:42 PM
reply to post by MyMindIsMyOwn

It has been a while since I had a garden. I have been raising livestock instead. (building barns, the house, putting in fence and more fence and more fence...)

Here are some suggestions. Consider fruit trees and bushes when you landscape. I put in a beautiful eatable crab tree, Jan and Jill?? bush pie cherries, everbearing raspberries, Kiwis, my blueberries and strawberries. (All from eatable landscaping)

Pick the easy care no spray fruit. I have dealt with apples, pears and peaches - you do not want to go there. If you miss the twelve hour window for spraying PLUM CURCULIO you will lose your WHOLE crop!

Next do not forget the herbs. Often if you grow herbs you can trade them for all the tomatoes, zucinni... you want from your neighbors.

Third PLAN your garden. If you want to plant this year use containers but take the time to PLAN!

For example: I have the most beautiful pile of composted manure. It is a combination of sheep, goat, cow, chicken and horse. Unfortunately it will be weedy. So it is worth it for me to "sterilize" it by moving it into the full sun and placing a black tarp over the whole pile. Include a registering thermometer and make sure I kill all those weed seeds now instead of pulling them later.

Next - What about a raised bed? If you have pure sand or pure clay, this may be you best bet. Besides it is a heck of a lot easier to sit on the edge of a rock wall and weed than it is to get down on your knees, especially when you are 60!

RR ties and landscape ties can leak nasty chemicals into the soil so natural rock, cinder block or retaining wall block are a better bet. The last time I build rock retaining wall (in New England) I took my 3/4 ton pick up to a farm and offered to pick rocks out of the farmers fields/pastures. He was so happy to get rid of them he helped with his tractor! Why pay for something I can get for free and help some one at the same time. (You may get a free load of manure tossed in too)

Check out books on raised bed gardening. As I recall I used a couple of layers of landscape cloth on the bottom and some gravel/sand for drainage followed by another couple layers of cloth. I then put in my topsoil.

You might also consider putting PAINTED small mesh chicken wire between two layers of landscape cloth to keep critters out of the soil. (to paint galvanized metal first wipe/spray with distilled vinegar, rinse well with water, dry and then paint with latex primer and outdoor latex top coat)

Another idea: If you want to make a quick CHEAP green house (convert your raised beds?) how about Cattle Panels? Link

Heck cover the panels with chicken wire and you have a chicken tractor! Link

Here is another way of using cattle panels in building:

I hope those ideas get people thinking "outside the box"

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 10:09 PM
Great thread! I've had luck growing potato's in a tub. Layered them and they did quite well. I made the mistake of taking topsoil off someone's hands and have been paying for it ever since. I have a quack grass infestation that is not going to be contained until I Roundup the whole area. Which I won't do. So I have resorted the last couple of years to growing in containers and raised beds. This year I have two old plastic Kiddie pools that I am going to utilize for an herb garden and perhaps some shallower rooted plants such as lettuce.

Last year I grew cantaloupe's in a container, they were kind of laughable. Softball sized is all, but man, they were like eating cotton candy, they were so sweet. I tried watermelons as well but they didn't have enough time to grow. I live in the north and have a max growing season of 3 months, so I am really envying you southern gardeners right now.

Does anybody have a method of getting rid of the quack grass without killing everything in sight?

posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 01:01 AM
Great thread! It's amazing what you can grow on your own if you have enough imagination and determination.

I built the perfect little box garden in my yard last year and it was Perfect!

posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 01:13 AM
I just ordered over 300 dollars of heritage organic seeds, a wide variety from tomatoes, cukes, beets, squash, many kinds of peas and beans for protein, and even rhubarb. Corn. Squash. Wheat, and unusual grains, even barley.

Its been almost 10 years since I had my gardens, and I'm going to be rusty. I want to keep some seeds, grow things indoors year round and plant the seedlings out as well.

What is the best way to plant to get the highest yield? Indoors I'm going to use flourescent lights in some areas, and try to make pockets against the walls, so they will be wall gardens. Even planning on lots of potatoes in tubs indoors and out. And will get tons of sunflowers for along the property becaue we have lots of squirrels and birds.

will be collecting the seeds.

posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 01:23 AM
Thank you. I woke up today needing to find something like this.

posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 05:41 AM
reply to post by Christarella

Does anybody have a method of getting rid of the quack grass without killing everything in sight?

Here is a really novel way to get rid of quack grass in your lawn

From what I read dig it out by hand using a spading fork not shovel. Make sure you get ALL the roots and then put down plastic, tarp, cardboard to kill the emerging "seedlings"

The biggest problem is you have to go after ALL the Quack Grass at the same time because it spreads like wild fire.

You could try digging then killing the roots with boiling water. Rr this suggestion:

For the areas you are converting lawn into beds, try lasagna beds. The first layer of wet newspaper followed by alternating green (nitrogen source) and brown (carbon source) layers will kill everything including quack grass while improving your soil at the same time and making a great new bed. Jan Posted by: Jan | Mar 14, 2007 5:13:24 PM

Someone else recommended


Your Agropyron repens (Quack grass) sounds a lot like our Sorghum halepense (Johnson grass)

I had a major problem with Johnson grass. It grows over 6 feet tall in large tough clumps and spreads by deep roots.

I gave up and used round-up. It took several applications to kill it all.

For spot spraying in my pastures I take an appropriate size funnel and thread it onto the disassembled hose of my hand sprayer. Luckily the funnels I use are large enough to take the hose but small enough to hang up on the nozzle.

This allows me to place the funnel over the plant I wish to kill and spray ONLY the area under the funnel. The funnel since it is near or touching the ground keeps the spray from driving onto the plants I want to keep.
edit on 9-3-2011 by crimvelvet because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 06:18 AM
I always added coffe grounds,egg shells, even a few fish bones and skin into mine. I've also buried many hamsters into mine. Deep enough not to dig up of course. You would be amazed at what you can fertilize with.
Composting works well. Most garden centers carry Humus cheap,adds alot to your soil very cheaply.

posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 06:49 AM
reply to post by mugger

In the fall I went around the neighborhood and picked up all the bags of leaves. I dumped them into a paddock of with miserable clay soil, Poison Ivy and my ponies. (The ponies were belly deep in leaves and seemed to love rolling in them and stomping them.

I fed very good quality timothy Orchard Grass clover hay that winter and took the ponies off the paddock early in the spring.

All the poison ivy and weeds were gone and I have a lovely velvet carpet of grass!

If you are inventive you can get a lot of stuff free.

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