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gixxerific
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hendi_alex wrote:What sized bucket, what source?
They are 7-10 gallon pots I acquired from a local nursery.

I suppose my one of my other experiments as others have stated is starting 95% of my flowers and veggies from seed. Seeing as how I decided to do this around Dec I went headfirst into it and never looked back. Just using lights around my house than buying more light cause I went overboard. Next year I will be more ready. :lol:

Oh yeah and along with the seed starting, that opened me up to whole new world of veggies/flowers that I have never grown before or much at all. Sorry Lowe's you are gonna have pay your rent through someone else this spring. :D :P

sjohnson9206
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Nothing major here, just growing strawberries, celery and cabbage which are firsts... that and pole beans. I'm also growing 1/2 my tomatoes against cattle panels instead of cages.

All pretty basic.
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tedln
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I guess you could call it experimenting, but I call it "just messing around to see what happens".

1. Heirloom tomatoes from seed (trying different germination methods).

2. Always grew crowded so this year I am trying to see how crowded I can grow without detrimental effects. I've planted some tomatoes, four plants to a hole, three plants to a hole, two plants to a hole, and one plant to a hole. I found out last year that pepper plants do not do well when crowded together with other pepper plants.

I've crowded one 4' X 8' bed with a row of carrots, a row of chard, a green bean trellis, a row of Prudens Purple tomatoes (five plants on a string trellis), and a row of three different heirloom plants (six plants in all on a string trellis) This bed had already produced a good harvest of garlic. This bed also has four Bell pepper plants. I am also trying successive planting of tomatoes in this bed with each variety planted about four weeks apart to best utilize available sunlight and extend the productive season through the mid summer heat.

3. I'm growing my squash under netting to protect it from pests. It will require more labor because I have to hand pollinate every morning. I want to see if the squash plants will live past the pest cycles if protected.

4. I am trying different mixtures of compost to soil in different beds.

5. I am growing multiple varieties of some vegetables to see which produces best and can stand the Texas heat the best.

6.I've built a composter out of a 45 gallon plastic trash barrel. I will install a wire mesh on the bottom of it today so the compost can simply fall through the mesh into a container. I've been putting everything but the kitchen sink into it and the level in the composter doesn't seem to grow any higher.

All I can think of at the moment.

Ted
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lakngulf
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New Spot for tomatoes

My experiment has been a new spot to grow tomatoes. I have had decent luck with my garden area, but due to planting tomatoes in small spot for so many years in a row, and lack of sunshine, I decided to "expand" my garden.

I build these "tomato boxes" and filled them with fresh top soil

[img]https://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab104/lakngulf/TopSoil3c.jpg[/img]


So far so good. This is how they looked this morning.

[img]https://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab104/lakngulf/2010_May_M01021.jpg[/img]

Please excuse if you have seen these before. I am proud of them!

Also, I definitely want to learn more about potato and tomato bags. That sounds like an interesting approach
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Joyfirst
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Lakngulf, these are so cute! I also saw this video about city person raising veggies in his truck.
My experiments:

1. Zuchinni and a few companion plants growing on the top pf my cold open compost pile. I thought it was decomposed enough not to sink much, but it still did, so now it gets less sun, because the edges are higher, but so far so good - first zuchinni fruit is setting just as that of my "control" zuchinni in the regular bed. So far they do about the same.

2. Trying to sprout tree peonies from seed - so far they are still dormant. I keep them in the bag between slightly damp vermiculite, and they should let out roots, then they go to the fridge. I might try to put them into seedling mix and put them on the heat pad on low, see if that would help a bit, and then just put the whole container with dirt in the fridge for a few months.

3. Sprouted my alpine strawberries from seed very nicely. They are still tiny, so I will keep my fingers crossed.

4. Los Angeles compost was a lousy experiment - things are stunted, so now I am adding rabbit manure and it seems to be helping a lot.

5. I got Santa Monica city compost just couple days ago and filled up two beds just with it and vermiculite, I want to see how good this one is - it stinks good, so it should be better than other one.

6. Beds with my own made compost are growing nicely.

7. Rock dust - I added it everywhere, so I am not sure I will know how it works.

8. I want to get some biochar, and maybe add it just to some beds and see.

9. I am raising bunch of new veggies for me this year, so i guess these can be considered experimental too.

10. Did I mentioned, that crows like to sit on the arch and poop into my blueberry pot. I was a bit mad first, and then changed my mind - fresh fertilizer straight to my blueberry-what can be better? Another ones don't get it, so we will see how good crow's pie is.

There are probably tons of other stuff I forget. Garden is a fun playground, isn't it?

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love11
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I really like thos tomatos boxes how they hange over the water like that very inventive great idea.

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lakngulf
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Joyfirst wrote:Lakngulf, these are so cute! I also saw this video about city person raising veggies in his truck.
When I first started thinking about the "over the water" method to get the tomatoes in more sun, I looked for a couple of old canoes. I thought that would be pretty neat, to attach them to the side of the pier, fill them with dirt, and plant tomatoes.

I looked at the picture below and had another idea:

[img]https://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab104/lakngulf/2010_May_M01012.jpg[/img]

If those weeds will grow so well in the cracks of the boards then why wouldn't this work? Maybe it is just a variation on the upside down bag.

[img]https://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab104/lakngulf/2010_May_M01044.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab104/lakngulf/2010_May_M01045.jpg[/img]


One other thing that is new this year is an "oldie but goodie". I still had some tomato plants that I grew from seed. The farmer in my had to see them in the ground somewhere. I found this area near the herb garden that will get fairly good sun during part of the day. I cannot grow the tomatoes in cages here because my wife does not want anything "tall" around the herb garden. My plan is to let them grow free and hopefully the pine straw will aid in keep the fruit clean. Also, I used the "lay down flat" method to plant. I have never tried that before

[img]https://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab104/lakngulf/2010_May_M01043.jpg[/img]
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Urban_Garden
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Growing what I can in a small space.
I have a small garden and I am trying to make the most of it, so I’ve planted things on the edges of the beds, outside, in small pots (even old pop bottles) and I’m just seeing how well they produce.
I guess my experiment is how much space is really needed to grow things.
:o
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supagirl277
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I'm planting in pots this year! I'm also planting in my garden space, but I'm doing a whole lot more vine plants. I need to have faith in those little seeds cause it definitely wavered when my pumpkin seeds got drowned and I never got to see sprouts! I didn't know a lot then, so hopefully I can be happy with them this year with a lot more knowledge.
I have planted herbs for the first time, but that's not veggie related.
I'm going to do the most planting I have ever done too :)
Hopefully my interesting spacing will be alright!
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Ozark Lady
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OMG Ted, you have more in one bed of 4x8 than I do in three of them!
No wonder I am out of space! But, my soil just isn't that rich, and I don't feel that it could support that quantity of plants.

I will be watching this experiment with alot of interest, but, I already know it is going to work great for you! I just wanna see it happen!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

Tate
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I am growing a tomato plant in a burlap sack this year. I got the burlap sacks at the feed store for $1 a piece. They will hold plenty of soil. I filled it up about halfway and folded the sides down. It is growing extremely well. I ran out of soil or I would have done more. I am getting more soil to grow sweet potatoes in the rest of my burlap sacks.

Tate

tedln
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Tate,

Why burlap? Is burlap supposed to have a special quality like water retention or something?

Ted
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tedln
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Ozark Lady wrote:OMG Ted, you have more in one bed of 4x8 than I do in three of them!
No wonder I am out of space! But, my soil just isn't that rich, and I don't feel that it could support that quantity of plants.

I will be watching this experiment with alot of interest, but, I already know it is going to work great for you! I just wanna see it happen!
I will post some photos of the bed tomorrow.

Ted
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Tate
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tedln wrote:Tate,

Why burlap? Is burlap supposed to have a special quality like water retention or something?

Ted
Nothing special. A lot more pros than cons and large containers are usually expensive. I don't know exactly how much soil they will hold, but it is a lot.

Pros
They are $1 a piece. The potato and tomato grow bags I have seen range from $5 to $25 a piece!
They are biodegradable.
Things are proving to grow well in them.
There are no chemicals involved and are consistent with an organic garden.
They drain well so you don't have to worry about too much water and problems like blossom end rot.
They actually look pretty cool and people are instantly drawn to them and ask questions.
For potatoes, you can add soil as they grow to get more production.

Cons
They might only last one season, but I'm not sure about that yet.


Cheers,

Tate

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I've been trying to get my thoughts together before replying to this thread 8)

(1) Repeat of last year's experiment - Rain Garden Rice Paddies
(2) New Tomato Bed/Luffa & Pole Bean fence trellis intended to shade the hot SW wall of the Family Room (also a whole bunch of heirloom tomatoes grown from seed)
(3) Outdoor mushroom cultivation (not going as planned but we'll see how much of the original plan can be implemented)
(4) Ruth Stout style raised hay-mulched bed
(5) Venturing out into the front yard with "ornamental" Edible Landscaping
(6) 6 varieties of hot/spice peppers grown from seed. Each variety to be potted up and kept as perennials over the winter.
(7) MORE citrus seedlings and avocado seedlings, pineapple pups to be potted up/start growing with fruiting in mind, mango and pomegranate seedlings -- part of ongoing tropical fruit experiment
(8) Re-designed small pond to be supplied/recirculated via a drain spout/rainbarrel and a vertical wall garden ** to be honest, I think THIS is the biggest experiment. I have an idea in mind that I've been noodling for a while, but I'm still not sure it's do-able **

:()

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I have about a dozen volunteer pumpkin?/squash? seedlings that popped up in my strawberry bed. This past weekend, I moved them to a new area to see if they will grow and what they will produce.

This past fall, I got 3 chickens. As a treat, I would give them pumpkins and/or squash (various varities). Then I composted their bedding & poop.
This spring, I used the bedding & poop to mulch my strawberry bed. Now, I have about a dozen volunteers! :D I have no idea what they will turn out to be but I'm very excited to find out. If I get a few treats for my girls, that will be the icing on the cake! :lol:
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hendi_alex
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Ambitious year this year Applestar!

I tried container lemons, limes, and oranges in the past. But several frustrations caused me to give up. One was a huge infestation of scale. Didn't realize at the time how effect oil spray is for getting rid of the critters. Secondly, storing the large plants in the winter was a problem, just took so much room in the greenhouse. Third, the lemon kept blooming way before bees were active, and little or no fruit set. Guess I should have investigated hand pollination.

I may try a couple of lemon trees again next year.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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lakngulf
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[quote="applestar"](6) 6 varieties of hot/spice peppers grown from seed. Each variety to be potted up and kept as perennials over the winter.
[\quote]

May be a crazy question but will they go in pots at the start or some kind of transplant to pots? My peppers hang on each year longer than anything.
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tedln
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lakeingulf,

You don't need to ask to be excused for reposting some beautiful photos. Since you have posted before and after photos of the project, I really enjoy them. You took what was essentially an unattractive spot and converted it to a beautiful spot. The scene has all the natural elements I love, sky, water, wood, soil, flowers, vegetables and most importantly creativity and created anticipation for more.

Ted
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gixxerific
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lakeingulf I have only one word for those pics: AWESOME! :D

Applestars post reminded me of another thing I'm doing more of this year. The "ornamental" edible landscaping. Mainly with lettuce and basil. I have colorful lettuces, rainbow chard and purple basil in my flower garden, oh yeah and onions and garlic in my rose bed, and the onions around my Maple tree.

Gotta love gardening.

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The peppers will be grown in the ground since I'm better at growing in the ground than in containers. Healthiest ones will be "lifted" into appropriately sized containers at the end of the season -- probably early~mid September -- with some accompanying root and top pruning to help in the fit :wink:.

In all honesty, I don't know if everything will get done as envisioned, but I always have more ideas than I can accomplish. Some are on-going projects, the wall garden idea has been percolating since at least last year, if not the year before last. It's been merged with the pond idea as well as the aquaponics idea (though definitive fish in the pond plan is still absent). Just don't hold your breath. :winik: :lol:

tedln
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Okay Ozark Lady, here are some photos of the extremely crowded, 4' X 8' bed. The photos are not as good as I like because the sunlight was very, very bright this morning. I doctored them a little in Photoshop and I think they can be seen.

This is the bed with carrots planted on the right hand side. I planted two varieties of carrots, one germinated well, the other didn't; so I have Swiss Chard planted at the other end of the carrot bed.

The trellis on the right is my Yard Long green beans. They always have very thin and wispy foliage, but the planting is very thick and has reached the top of the trellis. Blooms are forming on the vines and I should have beans very soon all summer. Also notice the fact that I have four Bell Pepper plants with two at each end of the bed.

The center trellis is for my Prudens Purple heirloom tomatoes. The trellis on the left is for my Sweet Carneros Pink (free seed), Black From Tula, and JD's Special C Tx. The Prudens Purple have been blooming for about a week and grown to the second level of my rope trellis.

[img]https://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll308/tedln/2010%20Garden/05-20-10/IMG_2253.jpg[/img]

This is the same bed from a different view. I had said previously that I had five Prudens Purple plants growing. If you look at the bottom of each plant, you will see that two plants are in each hole planted very deep with the root balls touching. I actually have ten plants growing, but I consider each planting as a single plant. By planting very deep, each plant penetrates the different moisture zones, mineral zones, and nutrient zones that stratify during a gardening season. They send out roots from the main stem from top to bottom into the zones.

Under the front rope trellis, I have the Sweet Carneros Pink tomatoes planted still in their cups. This is how I harden my tomatoes after germination. These plants are about three weeks old and will be soil planted later this week. I have Black From Tula (thanks Dono) and JD's Special C Tx heirlooms germinated inside and will move them out to harden in about one week.

I purposely planted the front tomatoes much later than the Prudens Purple in order for the PP's to get full sunlight while growing and blooming. The front tomatoes will grow up and shade the fruit on the PP's from the hot sun preventing sun scald. As fruit develops on the PP's, I will thin the lower foliage, but I will not thin the foliage on the front row. I plan to prune the tops of the plants when they reach the tops of the trellis's forcing late growth lower after the hottest part of the summer.

[img]https://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll308/tedln/2010%20Garden/05-20-10/IMG_2255.jpg[/img]

This is a different bed showing a planting of Brandywine tomato plants with three plants planted very deep with the root balls touching. This grouping is producing three times as many blooms as the single planting of the same variety. Some of the blooms are setting fruit. Their height is the same and foliage production is the same as the single planting.

[img]https://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll308/tedln/2010%20Garden/05-20-10/IMG_2256.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll308/tedln/2010%20Garden/05-20-10/IMG_2259.jpg[/img]

This is a Jalapeno pepper plant blooming and setting fruit. I have to cage the jalapenos because they put on so many peppers that they fall over and break. I am also growing Habeneros, but I don't have to cage them because they grow on a short, stocky bush.

[img]https://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll308/tedln/2010%20Garden/05-20-10/IMG_2258.jpg[/img]

These are my cucumbers heading up the trellis. Notice the small fruit behind the blooms. They will make full sized cucumbers because these are the Sweet Success variety which is gynoecious. It produces fruit in the total absence of male blooms and pollinators.
[img]https://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll308/tedln/2010%20Garden/05-20-10/IMG_2249.jpg[/img]

I also am growing two varieties of eggplant at each end of the cucumber bed. I grew them from seed and I look forward to seeing how well they produce. I also grow them in cages because they get so heavy with fruit they will break over without the cages.
[img]https://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll308/tedln/2010%20Garden/05-20-10/IMG_2251.jpg[/img]

My squash are doing very well under their protective nets. This bed needed thinning badly, but we had a couple of days when the wind gusted up to 50 mph. It was whipping the squash plants around really hard and snapped half the plants off at ground level. My plants were thinned perfectly.
[img]https://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll308/tedln/2010%20Garden/05-20-10/IMG_2248.jpg[/img]

And some young squash I will harvest in a few days.

[img]https://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll308/tedln/2010%20Garden/05-20-10/IMG_2263.jpg[/img]

Ted
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gixxerific
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Everything look wonderful Ted. I'm jealous, hopefully IF it ever warms up here I will be looking that.

And your welcome for the BFT's let me know how they turn out.

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gixxerific wrote:lakeingulf I have only one word for those pics: AWESOME! :D

Applestars post reminded me of another thing I'm doing more of this year. The "ornamental" edible landscaping. Mainly with lettuce and basil. I have colorful lettuces, rainbow chard and purple basil in my flower garden, oh yeah and onions and garlic in my rose bed, and the onions around my Maple tree.
I love Applestars style. It reminds me of the "Old English Country Cottage Garden" style. A different surprise around every corner. Who would have thought a "rice paddy" in a home garden.

Ted
Last edited by tedln on Thu May 20, 2010 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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crobi13 wrote:I have about a dozen volunteer pumpkin?/squash? seedlings that popped up in my strawberry bed. This past weekend, I moved them to a new area to see if they will grow and what they will produce.

This past fall, I got 3 chickens. As a treat, I would give them pumpkins and/or squash (various varities). Then I composted their bedding & poop.
This spring, I used the bedding & poop to mulch my strawberry bed. Now, I have about a dozen volunteers! :D I have no idea what they will turn out to be but I'm very excited to find out. If I get a few treats for my girls, that will be the icing on the cake! :lol:
Thats what I call the circle of life. If we keep it going that way, we can occasionally reach into the circle and remove our needs, but we have to keep feeding the circle.

Ted
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lakngulf
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Ted, those are some beautiful plants, but I got confused. Do you use a traffic cop to direct each how to grow? I admire how much you get in those boxes.
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crobi13
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tedln wrote:
crobi13 wrote:I have about a dozen volunteer pumpkin?/squash? seedlings that popped up in my strawberry bed. This past weekend, I moved them to a new area to see if they will grow and what they will produce.

This past fall, I got 3 chickens. As a treat, I would give them pumpkins and/or squash (various varities). Then I composted their bedding & poop.
This spring, I used the bedding & poop to mulch my strawberry bed. Now, I have about a dozen volunteers! :D I have no idea what they will turn out to be but I'm very excited to find out. If I get a few treats for my girls, that will be the icing on the cake! :lol:
Thats what I call the circle of life. If we keep it going that way, we can occasionally reach into the circle and remove our needs, but we have to keep feeding the circle.

Ted
What a great way to put it, Ted! Thanks :D
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Tate
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Ted,

What are the nets over your squash for? What type of netting is that? Initially, I thought it was row cover you were using to stop the squash vine borer, but then how do you get pollination? Are you hand pollinating all of those? If so, that is a pretty cool trick to defeat the borer organically.

Tate

kgall
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My biggest experiments this year are probably things most everyone has done before, but this is year 2 for me.

1. I am growing everything from seed. So far so good, though my peppers, tomato and basil are not in the ground yet.
2. I am trying potatoes :roll: and onions :? this year
3. in an effort to thwart the SVB I am growing my squash on the opposite side of the garden with row cover, I am also planting some in whiskey barrels, also covered.

Ted...I planted my squash seeds today. Do I have to cover them immediately? I know I will have to hand pollinate and I am ok with that.

tedln
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Tate wrote:Ted,

What are the nets over your squash for? What type of netting is that? Initially, I thought it was row cover you were using to stop the squash vine borer, but then how do you get pollination? Are you hand pollinating all of those? If so, that is a pretty cool trick to defeat the borer organically.

Tate
It's a real cheap material I buy at fabric stores called tulle. It is for the squash vine borer and squash bugs in general. I have it set up where I simply lift the material from each side every morning and hand pollinate each bed. It takes about fifteen minutes to do two beds.

I would be hand pollinating anyhow because the traditional pollinators haven't shown up yet. I think commercial bee keepers arrive at about this time every year either to make honey or to pollinate farm crops. They are not hear yet. No bees.

Ted
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tedln
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kgall wrote:My biggest experiments this year are probably things most everyone has done before, but this is year 2 for me.

Ted...I planted my squash seeds today. Do I have to cover them immediately? I know I will have to hand pollinate and I am ok with that.
No, I covered mine early because I don't know when the first wave of borers will arrive. It will probably be another couple of weeks. Usually when the first extended hot weather shows up, they show up. After the first wave, you can uncover for a month or so until the second wave or second generation of borers arrive. Some parts of the country only get one generation and it lasts for a couple of weeks. I will keep mine covered because squash bugs are around almost all the time. I've never had much damage from squash bugs, but I figure since I have the netting up, I may as well use it.

You won't need it until your plants are up and growing pretty well.

When the natural pollinators like bees become active, I may simply leave the netting up for a couple of hours while I work in the garden. Then keep an eye open for borers. They are easy to recognize. When they show up, I will put the netting down.

Ted
Last edited by tedln on Thu May 20, 2010 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tate
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Thanks for sharing. I am going to try that next year at least for some of my plants. Good idea!

Tate

kgall
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Last year I lost all 9 of my squash to them!

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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

lakngulf wrote:Ted, those are some beautiful plants, but I got confused. Do you use a traffic cop to direct each how to grow? I admire how much you get in those boxes.
I hope no cops are around. They would arrest me for vegetable abuse. That bed is planted even heavier than I normally plant. Thats why I listed it in my "experimental or just messing around" category.

While I have a lot of space, it is simply easier to grow more with less. If you noticed, that bed is designed almost entirely for vertical growth. When the carrots and Swiss Chard are gone, I will probably plant a couple of varieties of tomatoes so we can eat tomatoes with our Christmas dinner again. Then it will be a totally vertical garden.

I purposely plan to grow a lot of stuff vertically in order to best use the square footage of my garden. I'm thinking about growing melons and cantelope on my current cucumber trellis next year. I think they would do well because they wouldn't have to hang straight down.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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