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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:12 pm 
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I think it's that time of the year Toshav! I discovered leaf miners in my 'happy little pumpkin' leaves..:( Ya can't kill those. I picked off the afflicted leaves which leaves open tubes to contaminate.

Got lotsa holes in the potato plant leaves too. Been seeing lady bugs in there and thought the ladies were doing their job...not enough of them I guess.

My garden is very well weeded so I can't blame the weeds. I think the bugs just smell the food, and they come running!

Did some reading up on Neem oil today and i think i saw some at one of two stores so I'll check those out. Seems to be a fairly decent all purpose helper.

I harvested my first strawberries...all 4 of them :) I ate two and gave 2 away.

Also harvested some lettuce today. I try to plant enough for a nice batch of thinnings as I just love baby lettuce.

The peas that were supposed to get 3 feet tall...well, they're 5-6 inches tall and are putting on blooms. The hot weather came too fast.

Your garlic will grow Toshav, but it will put on very small bulbs...maybe a half inch to an inch around. That's why fall plantings or very early (feb) plantings are good. They give time for size.

The dill is now over a month old and is standing 3/4 of an inch tall. So much for herbs not needing good soil. And the oregano hasn't grown since it was put into the ground. It needs better soil too. Mine has too much clay so Sunday I'll fix that wagon.

The pepper plants are 6-8 inches tall and are wild with blooms. That's a LOT of fruit for such tiny plants! Too much heat too soon me thinks. It's tricking the plants.

the rutabagas never did get to be more than 3/4 of an inch tall..not sure why. They got water and miracle grow, and were in amended soil.

Everything is in miniature! But now that things are fruiting is when the trouble begins.

for the time being, the beans and carrots look good.

the cukes sprouted quickly, and now they just sit there nice and green, but doing nothing.

the sweet potato slips aren't doing well either. They are going pale and not growing so I took the two sweet potatoes from which I harvested the slips, and planted THOSE. Those are nice and green and full of more slips. Planted a few water mellons and zucchini but the zucchini hasn't sprouted yet. One of the waltham butternut squashes sprouted, but it looks like the loose soil covered the others too deeply so i fixed that, and planted a few more.

Sigh..and i shaved my legs for this??????


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Checked out better half's corn plot today and I see no seeds where there should be some. My daughter said her pumpkin and watermelon seeds have disappeared from her little garden plot too. We've been seeing swarms of swallows descending on the garden in the evening and I'm fairly certain they, as well as the geese, may be to blame.

The cukes are really off to a running start, though. I've found a few plants out of place in the garden, though, so I suspect a pick-up then drop-off by birds. The cukes seem to love the lasagna garden, and besides the butternut squash and carrots, most things seem to be poking through the surface now. I'm not sure the butternut will work as the seeds were from a butternut we ate last fall, but I'll give it a week or two more and then maybe replant some other squash. Zucchini seems to be coming up fine and today I noticed my cabbage up and looking smart. I planted large purple cabbage in a conspicuous spot in the yard and I'm hoping it will be a showy greeting.

I've yet to see any herbs up. I was really hoping these would work. I go through a lot of basil and oregano, better half wants the cilantro for guacamole and I need the dill for pickles. My chard is slow-going too.

And I really should have put the peas in much sooner...

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:08 pm 
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How long does chard take to sprout? I planted some a week ago and it's not sprouted yet.

We have a problem with black birds stealing seeds here. They'll take corn and anything in the squash family. I usually try and plant those things when they aren't watching, seriously!

I live in an area which grows a lot of food stuffs like corn, mellons, squash, onions and so any disease or bug problems particular to those plants, rapidly finds its way into the home garden just on the wind.

Corn smut happens here quite a lot in sweet corn. Course the big producers use gmo stuff so that they can get a harvest..which is mostly feed corn. But they'll pick it early and try to pawn it off as sweet corn. I don't bother giving the space to corn, only to pick what seems to be a full ear but in reality is nothing but skins full of black powder mildew! I had an entire crop like that once, and that was the last time.

I'll try the neem oil and see if it protects against the squash and cucumber bugs because I really hate pesticides, and I'm sensitive to some of them. some give me an asthma like acute breathing issue..nasty. They are used to better farming by chemistry here, and it's destructive..visibly so. Those bugs tend to bring fungus infections with them as well.

If the pumpkins don't look better tomorrow, I'll pull them altogether. The change in them only took 2days. I thought they looked a tad bit yellow and not a deep enough green but I was busy and didn't check closely. I thought maybe i'd overwatered or something. When 'it' happens, it happens fast.

The geese..are you talking about wild geese?

Herbs can take a while to come up...some up to 3 weeks. They must be kept moist, and it's so easy for them to get buried too deeply just watering.

I usually have better luck with oregano and basil when I start them indoors so that i can keep them covered with plastic wrap.
Cilantro isn't too bad though and neither is parsley they're pretty easy, even in containers.

i'm going to have to replant the dill though, and transplant the oregano into amended soil. It's just way too heavy. I thinned some lettuce that I'd put around the peas, and discovered that the roots are very short and shallow. That soil is amended, but apparently not enough. That lettuce was/is stunted also.

This area flooded back in the 60's so the soil deposited unevenly, and different types can coexist with a few feet of each other. My room mate didn't keep the ground watered or fed so it's just been exposed to the sun and over baked...leached...normal summer temps are 105-120 and dry. Semi arrid desert.

I fogot how hard it is here to garden since I was away for several years. I'm being reminded of why I hated it here. I have some decisions to make.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:49 pm 
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Yippie Skippie, the first canning job of the season is completed! There's a black currant bush by the house that produced a nice clutch of berries, so I picked them and made some jam! My roommate had no idea that the bush was a currant bush. It was a small canning job..only 6 half pints but it took over an hour to clip the berry stems and of course a couple of hours to pick the berries. But you can't get it any fresher than that!

The rain we got did the garden good, everything took a leap in growth, and some of the seed I was waiting for finally sprouted. Planted more lettuce, and onion from seed the other day to use as green onions so I won't be tempted to pick the bulb onions before they're ready. Now is where I utilize a little square foot method...looking for spaces to tuck a little of this and a little of that.

The sweet potatoes aren't happy..don't know what to do about that. Got tiny grass hoppers munching away on lots of stuff. The pumpkin plant has perked up though. Beans are suffering from munched leaves, but even they are perked up since the rain. I wonder why rain does such a good job, and our city water barely keeps things alive? PH maybe? Our city water is mineral rich..could be too rich..salts? I know this though..if I hadn't amended the soil, it would definitely be a pathetic mess out there.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:54 pm 
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I haven't caught up on reading this thread, read this page, I'll get a chance to go through it all. I tried the little milk jug sprouting method and it worked well. I never had to close the lids for worry of frost. We got hot here too real fast, and now we've settled back to somewhat normal temps for the time being.

I sprouted pumpkins, cukes, tommy toes (these are tiny and look somewhat pitiful), squash, and watermelon.

Last year I had put beans at my Dad's place up by the road (for sun) but groundhogs ate them entirely, so D. made me a little patch the best he could back here this year. Our only clearing is where the septic system is located. Trees surround the rest. So I only have the areas where the main system lines run down to the septic bed, that is all I have to work with for space. I haven't been able to help my mother in the big garden at all, just not doable unfortunately. D. stands watch over me here if I am out there very long (not really much to do) and starts scolding me if it looks to him like I am attempting to do something physical. Or, like yesterday, the local farmer was trying to apply ammonia to the field next to us and it was blowing heavy. D. took a sniff, and was right out there sending me in the house. uh. So who knows what I will accomplish. lol But all the little sprouts seem to be doing well. I will use that method even earlier next yr.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:43 pm 
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That sounds like an interesting sprouting method, Simone!

My garden is about done for the season for me anyway. I dug up the potatoes, today and some were huge! Had they been able to finish out the season, there would have been a lot of potatoes! At least now I know what it takes to make good spuds.

Most plants had well over a dozen taters each, and some as large as the length of my hand. It's also good to know that you most certainly CAN grow spuds in the desert under the right conditions!

Ya know, adobe houses exist for a reason. They make for really nice cool dwellings in hot places, and are super warm in the winter. Well, I used that adobe clay mud over the tops of where the plants were since it's all I had to hill with and what happened is that they made mud huts over the good rich soil. I watered around them by building a mud 'moat' to contain the water as it seeped in. The result was contained moisture and coolness!

I saw in the news recently that Israel has also developed a method for growing potatoes in the desert, and they got a good harvest this year. Since Israel and I did well with potatoes under impossible conditions, should I take that as a sigh or something lol!?

My bell peppers did great also. I picked all of them, and the onions and all the green tomatoes, too. I've got a bunch of veggies sitting in salt right now and I will can them tomorrow and make piccalilli.

I dug up some of the cukes and brought them over to the potato dude's house. We made a lasagna garden in a huge bucket and transplanted the cucumbers. They're catching and doing well despite the fact that they'd begun to bloom before I dug them up.

So, my situation has changed. Potato dude was witness to an unexpected situation and so he and his mom invited me to stay with them for a time as I look for a place to live..which will most likely be up toward Cheyenne, Wy.

Which is why I moved what I could from my garden, and harvested the remainder.

I have a different plan for potatoes if I get a chance to do them again. I'll build on what I've learned.++


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:04 am 
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Here is an update on my potatoes. The bucket thing didn't work because grass hoppers ate my potato tops before I realized they were infested but, the next year, I planted potatoes in large dog food bags. That worked good and I finally had potatoes.

Doing research I think I have been leaving my potatoes in the ground too long and that is why I kept having a doodle bug problem but the potatoes planted in bags did well. I am going to try that again this year.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:05 pm 
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I leave the plants in the ground till they die back after blooming. And at that point, you reduce water too.

I'm thinking of only doing the sweet potatoes this year because they are so very productive, and the vines work really well for cooling the soil, and keeping moisture in the ground...a green mulch sort of.

How much of a yield did you get using the dog food bags? Did you bury the bags and fill them with soil, or did you leave them on top of the ground, and what kind of potatoes did you use?

So far, Red potatoes have given me better harvests than the idaho type.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:01 pm 
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Judith1 wrote:
I leave the plants in the ground till they die back after blooming. And at that point, you reduce water too.

I'm thinking of only doing the sweet potatoes this year because they are so very productive, and the vines work really well for cooling the soil, and keeping moisture in the ground...a green mulch sort of.

How much of a yield did you get using the dog food bags? Did you bury the bags and fill them with soil, or did you leave them on top of the ground, and what kind of potatoes did you use?

So far, Red potatoes have given me better harvests than the idaho type.


I want to try sweet potatoes this year because I keep hearing what a good yield they give.

I don't know how many pounds I got. It wasn't a huge yield but for the amount I planted, I did well. I didn't plant much maybe around 5 bags because I didn't expect them to do well. I just had the bags laying on the top of the ground. I used russet potatoes.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:38 pm 
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temu wrote:
No thoughts on the netting, but I must say you are one remarkable lady.

:s_thumbsup

Strange weather out here this year...below 40 last night (cabin); near freezing down in the garden area (below cabin). Expecting some thunderstorms today and tomorrow.

I was going to do my garden this year, but since my neighbors wife passed away, I'll be working with him in his garden and let mine sit.


I just saw this post. Wow. Crazy memories! I will say Gail is one blessed dude, and it's too bad I'm not over there with you fellers...

I'll bet it was a good garden. :smile:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:51 am 
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Texas Jon wrote:
temu wrote:
No thoughts on the netting, but I must say you are one remarkable lady.

:s_thumbsup

Strange weather out here this year...below 40 last night (cabin); near freezing down in the garden area (below cabin). Expecting some thunderstorms today and tomorrow.

I was going to do my garden this year, but since my neighbors wife passed away, I'll be working with him in his garden and let mine sit.


I just saw this post. Wow. Crazy memories! I will say Gail is one blessed dude, and it's too bad I'm not over there with you fellers...

I'll bet it was a good garden. :smile:


It 'twas~He is going strong...I did tell you that He and Fred's mother (Eleanor) are together now? They both lost their spouses within a month of each other, so it certainly has been good for the both of them.

Hope you get out here this year!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:54 am 
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We usually get a great crop of potatoes (a couple of years ago we got 1000#!), but last year we had an infestation of potato beetles. Other veggies did very well, but unfortunately our potatoes did not. It seems like that every year -- Most things do well, but there's always one or two things that do not.

We'll be rotating the potatoes out of that plot this year and hopefully they'll do better.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:49 am 
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This is what gets my potatoes.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:57 am 
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temu wrote:
Texas Jon wrote:
temu wrote:
No thoughts on the netting, but I must say you are one remarkable lady.

:s_thumbsup

Strange weather out here this year...below 40 last night (cabin); near freezing down in the garden area (below cabin). Expecting some thunderstorms today and tomorrow.

I was going to do my garden this year, but since my neighbors wife passed away, I'll be working with him in his garden and let mine sit.


I just saw this post. Wow. Crazy memories! I will say Gail is one blessed dude, and it's too bad I'm not over there with you fellers...

I'll bet it was a good garden. :smile:


It 'twas~He is going strong...I did tell you that He and Fred's mother (Eleanor) are together now? They both lost their spouses within a month of each other, so it certainly has been good for the both of them.

Hope you get out here this year!


I do remember you telling me something about that awhile ago. Good for those two. I'll bet Eleanor keeps Gail on his twos! No hats on at the table for him, I bet.... :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:59 am 
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I saw one dude putting DE in his trenches prior to planting and covering the potatoes, says it works great. For me, last year I lost quite a lot of seeds and had to treat and replant due to FIREANTS! Those little buggers were stealing and eating my seeds! :s_mad


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:39 pm 
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Texas Jon wrote:
I saw one dude putting DE in his trenches prior to planting and covering the potatoes, says it works great. For me, last year I lost quite a lot of seeds and had to treat and replant due to FIREANTS! Those little buggers were stealing and eating my seeds! :s_mad



DE is effective, but I think you would have to make sure to use it at the larvae stage. DE is not effective on hard-shelled insects like beetles and ants :(

But that is a great suggestion… I wonder if the potato beetle larvae have a hard shell …

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:57 pm 
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Just found this:


Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Potato Beetles?

According to research conducted by the University of Minnesota, diatomaceous earth controls potato beetles. During this research, a solution of 1/8 cup of diatomaceous earth diluted in 1 gallon of water was sprayed on the plants before dusting the wet foliage with dry diatomaceous earth. Another option is to apply the dust around the plants and lightly dust the underside of the plant’s leaves. Wear chemical-resistant rubber gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask when applying diatomaceous earth. These prevent skin, eyes, nose and throat irritation caused by the organic dust.


http://homeguides.sfgate.com/diatomaceous-earth-kill-potato-beetles-82625.html



Thanks, TJ!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:33 pm 
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Texas Jon wrote:

No hats on at the table for him, I bet.... :mrgreen:


Ha! He would put his boots on the table if he wanted to! He wears the pants, fer sure!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:34 pm 
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My bane last year was squash vine borers. I had ''virgin'' soil and as soon as the zucchini began to put on female fruit, there went the plants. I pulled them all, and replanted. Put foil around the stems of the new seedlings and the same thing happened again! they managed to get under the foil, and into the plants. So, no zucchini for me this year. I'll try and grow some squash variets which are known not to draw borers as well as their surface counterpart, the smelly squash bug.

I also had a bit of a problem with cucumber beatles., but still managed to get enough cukes for pickles. I've settled in on a dwarf bush variety which is much more proloific than some of the bigger vine varieties I've used.

And, also, this year I'm planning on trying 3 varieties of tomatoes. An early, mid season and late season. I'm also planning a giant german variety of Okra. I'm NOT an okra fan, but I do like it pickled. I do love the look of the okra plant and I love the beautiful flowers they put on. I have some banana squash seeds and some butternut seeds. We'll see how they do. The banana squash is one of those that get HUGE...up to 3 feet long, and nearly a foot thick. But they have a large seed core so you only get about 1 1/2-2" thick flesh. The skin is pink/orange, and the flesh is an orange flesh. It's a winter squash, and I like the flavor of them. They make for a good side dish or for pies (versitile).

I loved the variety of sweet bell peppers I used last year. They were the most prolific variety I've ever used, but they were a hybrid. I only had 6 plants but the harvest had to have been a bushel or more which is a LOT for only 6 plants. The fruit grew quickly, large, and thick walled with a wonderful flavor, too. I always used california wonder but they can't even begin to compare with the hybrid variety which doesn't have a name. They were potted peppers from a store and all it said on the tag was hybrid green bell pepper. Oh, and the plants got to more than 4 feet tall. They kept bearing and bearing and bearing right to the bitter end!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:55 pm 
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Toshav wrote:
Just found this:


Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Potato Beetles?

According to research conducted by the University of Minnesota, diatomaceous earth controls potato beetles. During this research, a solution of 1/8 cup of diatomaceous earth diluted in 1 gallon of water was sprayed on the plants before dusting the wet foliage with dry diatomaceous earth. Another option is to apply the dust around the plants and lightly dust the underside of the plant’s leaves. Wear chemical-resistant rubber gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask when applying diatomaceous earth. These prevent skin, eyes, nose and throat irritation caused by the organic dust.


http://homeguides.sfgate.com/diatomaceous-earth-kill-potato-beetles-82625.html



Thanks, TJ!


Righteous! :biggrin:

Whodathunk that tiny seashells on a big sandy pile would control pests! :s_thumbsup


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:58 pm 
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temu wrote:
Texas Jon wrote:

No hats on at the table for him, I bet.... :mrgreen:


Ha! He would put his boots on the table if he wanted to! He wears the pants, fer sure!


LOL! He sure would, and hand me a cold Paps! :mrgreen:


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