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Gardening 101: Tips, Tricks and So Much More

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posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 08:14 AM
reply to post by Iwinder

Thank you for all you've brought to the discussion, Iwinder. It is very much appreciated trust me, your thoughts and ideas have enriched this thread.

And to the thread I must apologize for my little tirade there, as it threatened to derail the meaning and purpose of this thread but it's something that I feel very passionate about......however in the future I will endeavour to keep that thought process out of this thread.... go figure.... a red-headed Scots-Irish woman having an outspoken opinion....

Keep up the great postings everyone!

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 08:36 AM
The Moon, The Moon, The Moon

We are planting our second round of seeds on March 15. The "super moon" is on the 19th.

For later in the year, we go around the neighborhoods in the fall and pick up loads and loads of discarded lawn cuttings and leaves. We then pile them in the garden still in the bags and the composting begins. We till this in every spring, great soil.

Lastly, The foremost best gardening book in my opinion. The Old farmers Almanac.

You can pick it up at almost any gardening center. It gives you all the planting tables for your zone. I am in Zone 9 in the U.S. almost year round growing season.

The Farmers almanac is a great book to read even if you don't garden.

Lots of stuff of the olden day in there.

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 08:44 AM
reply to post by Iwinder

Yes that bill that you mentioned above(S510 bill) is one creepy bit of legislation if I ever saw it. Here in Canada they are on the verge of approving GM pigs for consumption by the public. Quite a bit of noise in the newspapers about it but it is all in letters to the editor....

Here is the really chilling info. The connections between Animal Patenting, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations. I feel like an ant about to be squashed by a big heavy army boot...


“...The Patenting Sentinel and Action Service (PSAS) is an important initiative of the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) as regards patenting in the animal sector. This is an issue which is of uttermost importance for the future of all organizations involved in the sectors of animal recording and genetic evaluation. The latest developments in this field and the future prospects are causing increasing concern among industrialists and breeders, thus stressing the need for continuous updating on the progress of animal patenting issues worldwide and raising the awareness of professionals regarding their possibility to take action towards the protection of their professional interests.
Based on the above concerns, the Board of the International Committee for Animal Recording has considered ways to positively support ICAR member organizations and other interested entities in confronting the issue of patenting in animal breeding. The result of the deliberations is the ICAR Patenting Sentinel and Action Service, formed in March-April 2006....

 The mission of the ICAR Patenting Sentinel and Action Service (PSAS) is to:
constantly update its members on patenting application legislation in the animal sector, so as to lead to a deeper knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of this issue;
monitor specific patent applications worldwide, which are of most interest to its members;
possibly take action in a rapid and effective way in relation to specific patenting applications.
Animal Patents:


As the animal recording and evaluation industry evolves, so will ICAR membership. The recently revised by-laws provide the opportunity for expanded membership and a broader level of participation... Various industry sectors (by species as well as activity) will participate in ICAR as members in order to participate and access the global network, expertise and exposure that ICAR provides. ICAR will continue to build on its strength of neutrality and integrity as related to standards and guidelines for animal recording, evaluations and equipment approvals. This will include further strategic alliances with international organizations including EAAP, FAO, IDF, OIE, ILRI, WAAP and ISO.

Patent Questions and Answers by EFFAB (ex FAIP)
The concept of "Patent": "A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.  In order to be patentable, the invention must fulfill certain conditions..." read more at the website of the World Intellectual property Organization.   
Relation between Patenting and Intellectual Property: Patenting is one of the different forms of Intellectual Property. The latter "allows people to own their creativity and innovation in the same way that they can own physical property. The owner of IP can control and be rewarded for its use, and this encourages further innovation and creativity to the benefit of us all." read more at the website of the UK Patent Office. 

General Overview of IP Protection Tools by the IPR Helpdesk. Go.
General Information Concerning Patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Go. 
IP protection in animal breeding: "The field of animal breeding and genetics, especially as it relates to farm animals and livestock, encompasses a broad range of species, traits and processes. A simple laundry list of those items that might directly affect our field and require IP protection include, but are not limited to, genes and markers for genetic improvement, statistical methods for genetic improvement, transgenic and cloned animals, methods to measure traits (e.g. use of ultrasonic probes), electronic methods to identify animals, computer software and other written materials. Allied fields like nutrition and veterinary medicine will also have methods or processes such as vaccines, feed supplements or specific treatments." read the entire article by Rothschild M.F., Plastow G., Newman S.: Patenting in animal breeding and genetics. (2004) In: WAAP Book of the Year 2003 - A Review on Developments and Research in Livestock Systems, Eds: A. Rosati ,A. Tewolde and C. Mosconi, 269-278.  27.3b
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) by WTO (World Trade Organization) Full text or Article 27.3b on traditional knowledge, biodiversity or Progress on Article 27.3b.


FAO is supporting harmonization of seed rules and regulations in Africa and Central Asia in order to stimulate the development of a vibrant seed industry...An effective seed regulation harmonization process involves dialogue amongst all relevant stakeholders from both private and public sectors. Seed quality assurance, variety release, plant variety protection, biosafety, plant quarantine and phytosanitary issues are among the major technical areas of a regional harmonized seed system. The key to a successful seed regulation harmonization is a strong political will of the governments involved

1991 PVP monopoly has applied to seed multiplication and also to the harvest and sometimes the final product as well. Previously unlimited right of farmers to save seed for the following year's planting has been changed into an optional exception. Only if national government allows, can farm-saved seed still be used, and a royalty has to be paid to the seed company even for seeds grown on-farm.

Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) introduction of intellectual property rules on plants, animals and seeds under WTO’s Agreement “could damage the livelihoods of these 1.4 billion farmers worldwide and undermine food sovereignty and food security ” Joint Communication from the African Group to the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (2003)

June 2006 Global Diversity Treaty: Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) a standardized contract that will enable much easier access to crop diversity. [ germplasm for patenting] royalty payment (1.1% of sales) is paid only if product is unavailable for further breeding and research. funds will be devoted to conservation efforts. Translation: Bio-techs Corporations steal seed from third world farmers, patents it and pay money to Bioversity International

April 2007 Monsanto, Cargill and Maseca-ADM sign agreements to establish regional seed banks in the center and south of Mexico.

May 2008 Bio-tech companies lobby to lift ban against terminator gene (This info has since disappeared)

In the EU, there is now a list of 'official' vegetable varieties. Seed that is not on the list cannot be 'sold' to the 'public' To keep something on the list costs thousands of pounds each year...Hundreds of thousands of old heirloom varieties (the results of about eleven thousand years of plant breeding by our ancestors) are being lost forever, due to some rather poorly drafted EU legislation.


Feb 2007 Clones declared save: FDA decides based on “risk assessment” that meat and milk from adult clones and their offspring are as safe to consume as those from standard animals.

I did say I had 14 pages or so of this stuff.

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 08:50 AM
reply to post by TigaHawk

Really happy to have someone toss this subject into the ring. I toyed with the idea of mentioning it myself but I have absolutely no experience with it at all and did not want to lead someone down the wrong path with any misinformation, so having you give us a basic idea with what you already practice is fantastic.

We have a lot of old fish tanks in the basement and spare supplies such as pumps and things and I was wondering if I could use some of that to try an experiment in this or just perhaps using them with grow lights to see if I could get an inside garden to go. Thoughts?

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 08:54 AM

Originally posted by someguy420
I would like to know of a natural source of phosphorous to add to the set up with out killing the fish.

I know just the person you should talk to. Was president of a local fish club here and has experimented with a lot of things for this purpose. With your permission I will have him U2U you with some information if you like.

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 09:03 AM
reply to post by MyMindIsMyOwn

Sorry for jumping in again. I am just about to go out to the garden now and was happy to read this thread real quick.

I saw the above post, got a quickie.

Rock phosphate Rock phosphates are natural deposits of phosphate in combination with calcium. The material, as dug from the earth, is very hard and yields its phosphorus slowly. When finely ground and with impurities removed, the powdery material is only slightly soluble in water, but it may be beneficial to plants in subsequent seasons following application. The reaction of phosphate rock with acids from decaying organic matter in the garden or compost tends to make the phosphorus available to garden plants. Collodial phosphate is also available and widely used.


Bonemeal is a byproduct of meat-packing plants, available at some nurseries and garden supply stores. It comes in raw and steamed forms, both of which are high in phosphorus. The raw form releases phosphorus slowly. The steamed form has a higher phosphorus concentration and releases phosphorus more quickly than the raw form. Both forms also contain some nitrogen. The steamed form is recommended, if available. Apply rock phosphate or bonemeal at the rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet of garden soil annually, or 10 pounds per 100 square feet every five years. In heavy clay soils, phosphate (phosphorus) levels decline more slowly than in sandy or loam soils.

edit on 10-3-2011 by timewalker because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 09:08 AM
reply to post by gallopinghordes

Sage is another "smelly" plant that seems to keep the bugs away. I had a few "volunteer" near my roses and those are the roses the Japanese beetles stayed away from.

While you are figuring out what to plant do not forget ROSES!

My roses had died back to the root stock rose. A very deep red hardy rose with thump size rosehips.

When planting I always try to go with the hardy carefree varieties at least outdoors.

Rich in Vitamin C
Rose hips of some species, especially the Dog Rose (Rosa canina) and Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa), are a rich source of vitamin C. With one to two percent vitamin C, by dry weight, rose hips have a higher content than citrus fruit. During World War II when imports of citrus products to Great Britain were limited, tons of rose hips were harvested there from the wild to make rose hip syrup as a vitamin C supplement for children.
Medicinal Properties
In addition to their culinary uses, roses were also valued for their medicinal properties. In AD 77 the Roman writer Pliny recorded 32 disorders that responded to treatment with rose preparations. Medieval herbals contained many entries that tell of the restorative properties of rose preparations.

The anti-inflammatory properties of rose hips have recently been shown to be useful in the treatment of patients suffering from knee or hip osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease affecting over 20 million Americans. It is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joint, allowing bones to rub against each other, causing pain and loss of movement....

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 09:37 AM
reply to post by crimvelvet

I was just having a crack. I live in Australia, over here its bad to let your cat kill the wildlife. Mice yeah. We don't have squirrels. Or moles. But if got caught letting your cat eat possums. You'd be up #es creek without a paddle so to speak.

We have a feral cat problem, so most of the time cats are considered pests over here. Although people in the city might say different.

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 09:43 AM
reply to post by Wetpaint72

To be honest I wouldn't touch the stuff. It said it also killed worms, worms are a necessity in a garden.

Beer is good to attract slugs and snails, if you bury a margarine/butter container, to soil level in your garden and add beer it will attract slugs and snails and they will fall in unable to get out and die.

used coffee granules also stops snails as they don't like to slide over them.

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 09:53 AM
reply to post by MyMindIsMyOwn

There is an awesome range that is out now. In Australia anyway. The man who makes it is one of the cluiest fellas I've ever met. It is called the Eco range. There is Eco-rose,Eco-neem,Eco-oil,Eco-cweed and more. One good thing is called Eco Hydrate, it works really strange. Its has the purpose of wetting the soil, but works more like what I would call moisturiser for soil. It also allows plants that are in a humid region, to dram the humidity or water from the air through the roots.It actually starts sucking it from the air like an air plant. This is very good for if your going away for a while and can't water plants for a while.

We tested the eco hydrate on 40 plants at the start of our Australian summer during the drought period. We watered the Eco hydrate on the plants, they were in pots too, waited for them to dry alittle then gave them another quick sprinkle. The plants lasted three weeks in the blinding sun without a drop of water. These plants would usually drop dead if not watered at least once a day.

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 09:57 AM
reply to post by Iwinder

Treated sleepers also shouldn't be used with food plants/produce. They treat it with stuff you don't want it your veges.

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 10:10 AM
Also most peas will grom nitrogen bubbles on there roots, so when removing the plants leave the roots in the soil. They will fertilise it.

Basil is a good companion plant to tomatoes.

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 10:30 AM
OK. I was doing a little research last night. Last year my cukes and squash were attacked by powdery mildew and it pretty much ruined the crop. Unfortunately, by the time you usually notice it, its too late. There are remdies out there but with the extreme humidity last year it didn't do much for me.

I went online last night to see if PM will stay in the soil over the winter and it surely does. Last year we had a thread on here and alot of people were complaining of it.

So, as someone posted very early in the thread, cornmeal kills fungus (Iwould love to give credit to the poster but don't really feel like going back, so if you said it...claim it!) If you had powdery mildew last year work some into the beds before you plant anything!!!! Prevention is key. Cornmeal has nutrition benifits too.

Secondly, neem oil is also good for getting rid of pests, so you can put a couple tablespoons in your watering can and get the beds with it before planting.

If you do wind up with PM, first of all. FacePalm. Secondly, they are going to need some daily attention.
There are three recipes that are cheap, organic and purportedly successful.

1) 1 part milk to 3 parts water (add 1tsp baking powder or a small drop of dish soap)
2) Baking soda and water (not too sure about this one, but some say it works well)
3) Neem oil and water - 2TBSP to 1 gallon

Spray one of the above concoctions on the plants every other day, being sure to get the underside of the leaves as that is where it is most prominent. Do not top water the plants until the mildew is gone. The spores spread rapidly and will spread to other plants of the same type. (eg. the strain that attacks cukes, also attacks squash, melon) Like I said previously an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is really hard to get rid of, especially in humid conditions. It will malform your fruit and significantly reduce your crop.

I'll be back with more on this, that and the other.
By the way......I started my pepper seeds last night, and my daughter sang to them for me. This really, really works by the way, so don't be afraid to bring the boombox outside and sing along whilst working out in the garden! My orchid is next to the speaker in my living room...I swear when there are good happy tunes playing it grows a little!

edit on 10-3-2011 by mutantgenius because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 10:32 AM

Originally posted by Slipdig1
Basil is a good companion plant to tomatoes.

Yes. It's a marriage made in heaven in my tummy too!

In some countries Basil is sacred.

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 12:01 PM
reply to post by mutantgenius

Ok, I'll claim it... I was the one that mentioned corn meal. Can't take the credit on that one fully however as it was my father who told me about it years ago, its amazing some of the things we have in the cupboard that can be used for various problems in the garden!

I'm going to toss this suggestion out there too. Keep a journal. What reminded me of this is all of the tips/tricks and ideas that are coming to light in this thread that I may not remember for future use. They are now a permenant fixture in my journal. How you do it is up to you as no one can tell you what works best, but for me I got a 3 ring binder and put dividers in it with tabs like "critter control", "insecticdes", "planning", "seeds" and so on. I also have one labled "failures"... which I have had a plenty, which is expected when experimenting with things in the garden once you are comfortable with doing so.

If you want to know one of my all time favorite failures, it is the time I tried to do a homemade 'topsy turvey" planter. You know, like the one you can see on commercials with the huge tomato plant growing upside down. I used a large Maxwell House coffee can and a plastic grocery sack. Made holes in the can, put the can in the sack and made corresponding holes in the sack to match the ones in the can. Put the seedlings in the holes, filled the can with soil and hung the sack from a low tree branch. Total failure...... but I have not totally given up on the idea, it may work well for something with a smaller root system like some herbs. But that's a tree to bark up another day!

All I can say is that its a very good thing I learned to laugh at myself a long time ago because I still get a giggle outta that one!

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 12:04 PM
reply to post by Slipdig1

Hey Slipdig1, glad to see you back and thanks for giving us another view point on how they do things in other countries. Appreiciate it. Especially like the moisture control idea there. I would like to know more about that one!

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 12:14 PM
reply to post by gallopinghordes

Really good ideas there, thank you for sharing. Great example, I think, of reusing common everyday items so they don't just get tossed in the garbage and adding to landfills. Saves on the wallet as well which these days no matter where you are is a serious concern.

Along the lines of reusing and the wallet I was wondering if anyone has any tips/ideas or experience on making your own seed starting 'cups' instead of using the ones made of peat moss??

posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 12:27 PM
reply to post by MyMindIsMyOwn

I make newspaper pots to start my seedlings in. When its time to plant them out you can plant out the whole pot, although I like to open up the pot just to give the roots some room to spread out.

Here is a site that shows how to make them, I do it slightly different but the idea is the same....

Newspaper plant pots

The more I look at those pots the more flimsy they look, i'll try and get another link.
edit on 10-3-2011 by cazzy2211 because: .

This looks a bit better

edit on 10-3-2011 by cazzy2211 because: To add video

posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 10:46 AM
reply to post by cazzy2211

Excellent! Thanks cazzy2211 for the video link, much appreciated. Will have to give that a go since, atm, I am trying like heck to get costs down and still get premium results this year.

posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 08:02 PM
WOW!! so happy to have found this thread as I am an avid gardener and have been for several years. This year will be ambitious as I have two different plots of land to work with. The back of the house will be devoted to growing wonderful heirloom vegetables like purple passion spinach, orca or "yin yang" beans (which look amazing, btw) and black knight carrots. I amass seeds from many different organic suppliers all throughout the year in preparation for the new season. I'll be integrating container gardening in as well and if it hasnt been mentioned already, container gardening/companion planting is great for beginning gardeners since they can be moved around for the best amount of light and are easily accessible. I am hoping to get closer to my ambition of urban homesteading this year and will be preserving much of what I plant. Im also getting into botanicals this year so that my family and I can enjoy the benefits of more holistic healthcare. A series of poor to bad experiences with hospitals and doctors has left me leery of both them and big Pharma. My crowning glory will be the 10 species of black flowers I managed to procure. Some are more a deep deep burgundy but several species are a true black that makes my inner goth squeal with delight.

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