Author Topic: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread  (Read 34978 times)

Miradus

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #950 on: February 11, 2018, 10:58:04 PM »

Yeah, if it's not a good spot then it's not a good spot.

Container gardening? I've done that before and you can actually get a pretty decent yield.

boog

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #951 on: February 11, 2018, 11:44:02 PM »
I might. I have containers here at the house. I just hate having to water them 3 times a day! I have an automatic system at my mom's. Maybe I'll plop it all out there.
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Miradus

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #952 on: February 11, 2018, 11:51:52 PM »
I might. I have containers here at the house. I just hate having to water them 3 times a day! I have an automatic system at my mom's. Maybe I'll plop it all out there.

I used some dripline and empty 2 liter bottles turned upside down. It was enough to keep the soil damp throughout about a 2 day period, if you have at least a gallon of soil. Give it a good soak and then set up the dripline for when you're not attending it.

You can either order dripline online or get it from a really good gardening center. I got mine from a grower's supply shop that probably ended up putting me on a watch list. But hey, some great basement tomato.

boog

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #953 on: February 12, 2018, 12:03:03 AM »
HEH. I got my setup from one of those places too, though this was less of THAT watchlist than another.
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
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Cind

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #954 on: February 12, 2018, 02:29:32 AM »
We got new chickens! They're being quarantined in the coop for a few days because they are wild and were caught by our neighbor dogcatcher, to whom we had given a rooster once. They're all hens! We're trying to show them that the food is here so they don't run off, since there are coyotes around and some neighborhood dogs run free.

Our first chicken, a lovely ginger named Rosie, has been occasionally bossing them and otherwise ignoring them. She is a laying magnet, and they're brown eggs, too. She lays once every day, hates our cat, and loves our dog.

Unfortunately, the presence of Rosie and the others kind of destroys our possibility of growing green beans, and the tomatoes that regrow themselves every year are probably going to lose their fruit to them as well. Here's to hoping, since Rosie tends to prefer hashbrowns to tomatoes. I'm going to call it a blessing, since green beans are a lot of work.

We have a patch down the road, though, where we can grow mountains of okra in peace. We didn't grow any soil-restoring crops in the meantime and I don't know if okra sucks out the nutrients, so hopefully its as tasty as it was last year.
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Refugee

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #955 on: February 12, 2018, 06:16:09 AM »
Free hens!  That's great!  My first 8 were free too.

Delirium

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #956 on: February 12, 2018, 09:21:00 AM »
Okra is a heavy feeder. No reason you can't toss some fertilizer and/or compost down though. Pretty inexpensive to buy if you don't have some on hand.
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Miradus

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #957 on: February 12, 2018, 12:48:36 PM »

Okra is indeed a heavy feeder, and deeprooted too. If the soil was good to begin with (hardly any is anymore in America) then you probably wouldn't notice a production decline until about 3 years in. If you start with bad soil you might only ever wonder why the plants never thrived.

Bad soil is the bugaboo of gardeners everywhere. Particularly beginners.

They buy a bag of topsoil from the garden center and think they're good. But what happened was that for 100 years some guy grew corn and depleted his soil nutrients on his big farm, only adding back the requisite NPK. Then he died and his kids who had moved to the city didn't want his farm, so it got sold to developers. What's the first thing developers do when they buy an old farm? They scrape off all the topsoil. It gets sold to the companies whose bags you buy at the garden center. And then ultimately sold back to the people in the developed housing area where the farm originally stood. Crazy, huh?

But the soil was bad when it went into the bag and it's bad when it comes out. Not harmful, but it's just got no useful nutrients left in it.

Compost is really good. Fertilizer I'm 'meh' about. Because it's almost always NPK only. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Great. Plants need those, but what about the trace copper which gives tomato such a great flavor? Or manganese? Or zinc?

Compost is good. Composted manure is REALLY good. Composted human manure and you're returning your soil back to Garden of Eden standards.

But for deep feeders like okra, sprinkling it on the ground isn't good enough. Most of that nitrogen burns off and returns to the atmosphere. You want to use a spade and work it deep into the soil before you plant. If you've already planted and can't do that this year, then make a manure tea.

I found a link for you:

https://www.thespruce.com/using-manure-tea-in-the-garden-2539481

Manure tea puts water soluble nitrogen and other nutrients from the manure straight down into the ground ... mostly. You lose a lot less of it than just sprinkling the stuff on the top of the ground.

I have videos online of me standing in an okra patch where the plants are taller than I am. And I was harvesting 3-5 pounds A DAY from about 8 plants total. I love okra, that renegade slave plant brought from West Africa. Mmmm mmmm.

Lizzie

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #958 on: February 12, 2018, 03:21:19 PM »
She has hens. She doesn't have to spend a dime on manure. Hens. Chicken-shit. Nitrogen-rich, all natural free manure. Also is excellent for keeping grubs out of the soil, which also means it's great for mole/vole-prevention.
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boog

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #959 on: February 12, 2018, 03:39:21 PM »
I want to make my own compost tea something fierce. I might try. I haven't checked the bin in a while, but last I did, things were rotting and earthy smelling and yum.
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
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Miradus

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #960 on: February 12, 2018, 03:59:41 PM »
She has hens. She doesn't have to spend a dime on manure. Hens. Chicken-shit. Nitrogen-rich, all natural free manure. Also is excellent for keeping grubs out of the soil, which also means it's great for mole/vole-prevention.

MOSTLY.

Chicken manure is too high in nitrogen to put directly on your plants. It'll burn up the root systems. Got to break it down into compost first, or let it sit on the surface for a winter to have some of that nitrogen burn off back into the atmosphere.

I'd skip compost tea ... compost is good for its own purposes. I'd drive out to the country where you see a horse barn or cow pasture and gather up some dried flops. (May need to ask first, but nobody I've ever asked told me that no I couldn't take their horse/cow shit.)

Buy a five gallon Home Depot bucket with a lid, fill it half up with the dried flops and half with UNCHLORINATED water. (Chlorine is the devil.) Let it sit for about 3 weeks in the shade. The lid should be on there to keep something from falling in but don't seal it or instead of manure tea you'll have a fermented mess. (You are aiming for all the ingredients in the manure to leach out into the water, not to make shit kombucha.)

When it comes to shit, I prefer the shit of mammalian grazers rather than avians. Particularly if those hens are penned up and eating only scratch grains or corn. The grazers pick up all sorts of trace minerals that the hens may not. The hens are great at concentrating nitrogen, but I am not sure they are distributing the trace minerals needs for, say, proper root growth or stem support.

There is far more to healthy soil than NPK.

Delirium

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #961 on: February 12, 2018, 04:15:46 PM »
For the casual/apartment gardener, though, I'd argue there's nothing wrong with storebought compost.

If you were investing in your own soil on your own property, now that's different.
Will they tell your story in the end?
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Miradus

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #962 on: February 12, 2018, 04:21:19 PM »
For the casual/apartment gardener, though, I'd argue there's nothing wrong with storebought compost.

If you were investing in your own soil on your own property, now that's different.

It takes me about 12 months to have compost ready, so yeah, I see nothing wrong with starting off with storebought either. But be careful what you're buying. Compost isn't all equal. Often it's composted mushroom mulch or something that may not be very good. It needs to have started out as green matter.

Often you can get compost from muni dumps. It's worth calling to ask, particularly if you have a friend with a truck.

Cind

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #963 on: February 13, 2018, 02:35:05 AM »
That manure tea sounds good. Last year we just took our rabbit's year's worth of droppings and turned it beneath the soil before planting green beans. Those were the most flavorful beans I've ever had, but it makes sense that straight droppings might not be the most efficient. Although, honestly, I eat storebought just like everyone else most of the time and turning in straight droppings seemed to work just fine.

Our tomato plants are older than sin. They just keep coming back, giving relatively good tomatoes considering we don't do anything to them. There's a few pepper plants mixed in there, not sure if that's for the benefit of the soil or not, probably not.

Our rabbit cage is specially designed, its high off the ground with a net bottom at the level the rabbit lives on, so you just move the box whenever you want to get at the droppings. Its just the one rabbit, but jesus he makes a lot of fertilizer. We originally got him because my dad wanted cheap fertilizer, and the cost for feed compared to the poop you get is better than buying it at the store.

Kind of makes me want to take care of a few potted plants. Like, you know, one flower and two vegetables or something. Often those plants seem to outgrow their pots though, especially if you take care of them right. Because of my mental thingies, I'm basically free from responsibilities (I would probably spend several hours buying, planting, mulching and taking care of a damn plant and then forget to water it the next day, then forever) but I'd still kind of like to take care of one. (Heh, kind of reminds me, somewhat recently I logged in, in a relatively dangerous situation, and forgot about the fact that I was logged in for three hours.)

Its that time of year--- they're sending us gardening magazines. "Thumb-sized berries!" "Beautiful, stunning flowers!" "Thrives all year long!" That's a bunch of shit and you know it. Still... I wonder if me and my family could grow something together this year. Something less labor-intensive and damaging to the soil than okra. Every other year or so we'd plant something, right, in the 'big field' that is ours (there's several fields and patches that belong to different people,) I think usually we just fill the field with squash. I have the sneaking suspicion that the soil hasn't been regenerated, or regenerated that much, I do kind of got the gardening bug now, and we live in Georgia, so it'll be pretty soon we can plant something. Its already too warm for jackets.

Question: Can you plant anything during the Alaskan summer?
Look, a petting tregil.  So silky...Feel him.

Melkor

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #964 on: February 13, 2018, 12:26:30 PM »
Decided I'm going to turn an old water-heater into a compost tea silo.

Time to bust out the angle grinder.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Miradus

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #965 on: February 13, 2018, 01:11:29 PM »
Soil temperature monitoring is key to getting out there early. They make these 2' soil thermometers and I just shove one into a raised bed and leave it there year round. Every time I'm in the garden (3-4 times per day) I'm looking at it. In the spring, I start monitoring it for what I want to plant.

Here, I found a chart for you. Save this one ... very useful.



That's essentially the temps required for a seed of that type to germinate. I absolutely dislike starting plants indoors in pots. Between the weakness of not having a good taproot and transplant shock, about 15 days into the growing season the plants I start later in the actual beds have caught up with the early ones I started in pots when I tried to steal a march on the gardening season.

There's other tricks you can do to get the soil to warm up faster. Covering up your beds with black plastic is one of them, but I have never felt they were very successful. Yes, the seeds will germinate faster and plants will start, but it takes a certain level of ambient temperature for the plants to "pop". They'll burn up all their seed energy (the gift from the parent plant) and it still won't be warm enough to really grow well.

I experimented with all these tricks when I lived in Illinois and was growing for the farmer's market. You really only make money with tomatoes twice a year ... if you're the first person to have fresh tomatoes at the market, and the last. In the middle of the summer, everyone has tomatoes coming out of their ears. So I worked all sorts of gardening magic to try and get those first tomatoes. From tarping my beds to specialized grow lights set up in the basement.

Refugee

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #966 on: February 13, 2018, 02:45:18 PM »
Rabbit poop is like gardening gold.  You can dump it right on the garden without aging.  We've been dumping the trays on our fruit trees all winter (because they're closest to the rabbitry and who wants to cart that stuff around in the cold?), and even though everything is still brown and sleeping, there is green grass around the fruit trees!  I guess it warmed things up a bit too.  We do have quite a bit of it and we're adding the urine too.

An interesting rabbit thing happened.  I put a virgin doe in with my buck a month ago and it didn't seem like they got it done.  No fall offs.  Old Charlie gave it his best but seemed frustrated the whole time.  So I did a little trick to get her in the mood a week later and he got three fall offs bang bang bang.  Thing is....went out there this morning and little Petunia had pulled off amazing amounts of fur to try to make a nest.  Quickly we gave her some hay and she immediately built a fine little nest, but if she kindles today, that means ol' Charlie got the job done without any fall offs the first time.  Veerrrrry interesting!  It's possible for rabbit does to have two pregnancies at once though it rarely works out with two sets of living kits, so there's that to think about too.

Cind

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #967 on: February 14, 2018, 05:48:52 AM »
That's a good chart, thanks. I am a little tired of squash. Watermelons are kind of a pain in the ass, though, we usually don't pick them at the right moment. There are a couple of ways to tell that they're good to pick, but then, they often aren't when you pick them, I think?

Charlie might be too old, but that would be a shame, I like to think they're just too fumbly and awkward around each other.
Look, a petting tregil.  So silky...Feel him.

Refugee

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #968 on: February 14, 2018, 06:38:12 AM »
I was worried about Charlie being too old too.  But she had 7 wiggly squeaking kits yesterday.  So having to have a fall-off to impregnate is a myth I guess.  All but 2 of the does I have bred are bred to Charlie, I hope he's doing great!  (well, 2 of them have kindled already, one 2 days ago had 9 kits, 7 alive, and one yesterday had 7, so I guess he must be doing ok). 

I have another, younger buck but he's a Rex and not so very big and meaty as Charlie.  I use him for my Rex does.

boog

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #969 on: February 14, 2018, 09:59:20 AM »
That's a good chart, thanks. I am a little tired of squash. Watermelons are kind of a pain in the ass, though, we usually don't pick them at the right moment. There are a couple of ways to tell that they're good to pick, but then, they often aren't when you pick them, I think?

Charlie might be too old, but that would be a shame, I like to think they're just too fumbly and awkward around each other.

The best way I've found to tell if a watermelon is ready is by the spoon leaf. If it and its corresponding tendril are withering, your watermelon is like 95% of the time poifect.

I don't knock on watermelons, that's just a myth. And the yellow spot thing is a myth too if you're like me and you roll your watermelons over so all the sides get some sun. And, also, some watermelons don't have green skin and have yellow rinds instead, so how the fuck would you tell then?

Spoon leaves, mon freres.
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
Kismet: didn't see you in GQ homey
BadSkeelz: Whatever you say, Kim Jong Boog
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There is only one boog.

Delirium

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #970 on: February 14, 2018, 11:04:52 AM »
About to start volunteering at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Pretty fucking stoked. It is one step closer to where I want to be.

It is fucking gorgeous there and I get to play in the dirt, what more could I possibly ask for?
Will they tell your story in the end?
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?

Refugee

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #971 on: February 14, 2018, 11:46:47 AM »
That's awesome!  The botanical gardens in St. Louis gave all sorts of gardening classes, I bet Atlanta does too.

Delirium

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #972 on: February 14, 2018, 11:59:04 AM »
Well, it's my hope to get a full-time gig there someday, so volunteering there is a foot in the door.

The whole place is stunning, but their orchid greenhouse in particular is just out of this world.
Will they tell your story in the end?
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?

Miradus

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #973 on: February 14, 2018, 01:17:55 PM »
That's awesome! I'd love to go do something like that but I don't work well with other people. (Who'd have guessed?)

There's orchids that just bloom here in the ditches. They're all over the place. All the trouble that goes into keeping them alive (and I struggled for years to keep them going on the mainland) but here? They're just trash flowers.

Melkor

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #974 on: February 14, 2018, 01:22:53 PM »
Del, good luck landing that job. That would be amazing.

Mir, lava rocks are a recommended substrate for many orchids. Your island is basically made for them. :)
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.