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Weekly Gardening Thread, Vol. 30 July 27, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012 | JustaDumbBlonde

Posted on 07/27/2012 6:36:15 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde

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Apologies for the late posting of the thread ... I have been on the go since I woke up this morning, and didn't even think about it being Friday until we were 20 miles from the house.

I harvested another 15 gallons of honey last Sunday ... boy am I rethinking how many bees I really want to have. Honey robbing in 105 degree heat is no fun, even with a camelback of cold drink under my suit. Got 3 new queens in the mail and installed one in a hive that I had split into 2 hives, and the other two are in nucs (nuclear hives - half the size of a typical 10-frame brood box.

My cowpeas are beautiful and have started vining. Blooms won't be far behind.

Muscadines are getting ripe, both the wild ones in the woods and the cultivated vines in the yard. It is a great year for them ... the taste is exceptional and the fruit are huge.

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The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.

This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you won’t be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isn’t asked.

It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread ... there is no telling where it will go and that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!


TOPICS: Agriculture; Food; Gardening; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: cowpeas; eggshellpots; garden; gardening; muscadines
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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Previous weeks' threads:

Weekly Gardening Thread (Catalog Fever) Vol. 1 Jan 6, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Seeds) Vol. 2, January 13, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 3, January 20, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (U.S. Hardiness Zones) Supplemental Vol. 1
Weekly Gardening Thread (Soil Types) Vol. 4, January 27, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Vacation) Vol. 5, February 03, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Vacation) Vol. 6, February 10, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Vacation?) Vol. 7, February 17, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Home Sweet Home) Vol. 8, February 24, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Soil Structure Part 1) Vol. 9, March 2, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Transplanting Tomatoes) Vol. 10, March 9, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Useful Links) Vol. 11, March 16, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread -- Vol. 12, March 23, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread -- Vol. 13, March 31, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Happy Easter!) Vol. 14, April 6, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 15, April 13, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 16, April 20, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 17, April 27, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 18, May 4, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 19 (Getting Projects Done) May 11, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Harvesting Wheat) Vol. 20, May 18, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 21 (Keywords) May 25, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 22 (Keywords 2) June 1, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 23, June 8, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 24, June 15, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 25, June 22, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 26, June 29, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 27, July 06, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 28, July 13, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 29, July 20, 2012

1 posted on 07/27/2012 6:36:25 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde
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To: Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; billhilly; Alkhin; ...
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Ping to the Weekly Gardening Thread Member List

Please let me know if you would like to be added to or removed from the ping list.

2 posted on 07/27/2012 6:38:03 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
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I've got half an acre of wild Hibiscus I'm gonna do some separating this fall and caver a couple acres

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Some of these plants are very tall some over 6 feet tall Photobucket

3 posted on 07/27/2012 6:47:10 PM PDT by ATOMIC_PUNK (Any man may make a mistake ; none but a fool will persist in it . { Latin proverb })
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
I'm not very good in the garden but I try.

I noticed things would grow in my hay bales so I used it as a raised bed planter.


4 posted on 07/27/2012 6:56:19 PM PDT by South40 ("Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance." Hussein Obama, Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK; JustaDumbBlonde


Wow, you folks are on extraordinary land. We have a maybe 120 sq.ft. plot our landlord said we could plant vegetables on. I absolutely love it, but it's sure teensy in comparison. We do have a pretty nice area for flowers. Here's a picture of the garden in late May. The vegetable garden is in front of the pool tucked in on the right.
5 posted on 07/27/2012 7:09:43 PM PDT by mlizzy (And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell others not to kill? --MT)
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To: South40

That is so cool. You placed lettuce plants (or seeds) into the hay bales? Any dirt/compost/peat in the pocket for the plants/seeds? And what else do you have growing out of hay? I love it!


6 posted on 07/27/2012 7:15:32 PM PDT by mlizzy (And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell others not to kill? --MT)
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To: All
Could someone please answer this question.

Should I cut back on my tomato plant to produce more tomotoes? It has grown all over the small garden.

7 posted on 07/27/2012 7:17:04 PM PDT by mickie (My grandson is a Marine...God Bless them all!)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Those Muscadines look beautiful! They make a potent wine.


8 posted on 07/27/2012 7:19:22 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Very pretty! We have lots of wild hibiscus on and around the farm, but they are all white blooms with a burgandy throat. Yours almost look like an Althea bloom. (my grandmother's name)

Thank you for posting. This is going to be a beautiful thread.

9 posted on 07/27/2012 7:20:28 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: South40
"I'm not very good in the garden but I try."

Yeah, riiiiiight. You can go tell that story to somebody that doesn't recognize big and gorgeous vegetables! Love the cabbage. Looks like you are a fairly talented gardener. Hay bales are a wonderful medium. I have so much ground that I've never done those, but just for looks alone I might try.

10 posted on 07/27/2012 7:23:23 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: mlizzy
The Chinese Elm tree in my yard dropped seeds that grew quite well in the hay. Given that, I thought other thihngs would grow in hay also so I tried it and it worked! I dug small holes in the hay and filled them with a compost/soil mixture. I then planted the seeds in the mixture.

I grow lettuce, cilantro, basil, red bell peppers and kale. It's easy to keep watered as it's very absorbant and it provides nutrients as well.

The soil around here is terrible so raised beds is a must.

11 posted on 07/27/2012 7:24:14 PM PDT by South40 ("Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance." Hussein Obama, Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Better late than never.

Really nice photo heavy post so far.

We are thinking of putting collards in a row where the mutant okrys did nothing, and some cushaw squash in the big bed where we have a few openings. Also some ghost peppers in containers. And take cuttings from our tomatos for a fall crop.

We are still getting a few small tomatos and plenty of banana peppers, along with some okry everyday. Wife has a quart ziploc bag full on Cajun Delight, and about half that much Jade.

Tomorrow I start refurbishing the back porch. It has been enclosed by some jackleg know-nothing and is in terrible shape. I am going to rip out a long wall and make a screened porch. Hopefully, that is. I will have to learn to make screens. My one experiance rescreening a door once resulted in my trashing the screen door! But I have backup plans B & C!


12 posted on 07/27/2012 7:25:25 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (We are Scott Walker.)
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To: Red_Devil 232
They are lovely, and we have some really small sweet ones in abundance too. You should come over and get a load.

I have a meadmaking book on its way to me, and I will be trying to do a muscadine infused honey wine. Gotta do something with all this darn honey. I have 40 gallons in buckets. You could pick up a gallon of honey too (free)!

13 posted on 07/27/2012 7:26:26 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: South40

Great job!

What variety of carrots are those? They look like Chantenay.


14 posted on 07/27/2012 7:27:00 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: mickie

Yes. Cut off the growing tips.


15 posted on 07/27/2012 7:27:54 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

If you knew how much effort I put into it and how little I get in return you would agree I lack something. The cabbage was one of my best efforts.


16 posted on 07/27/2012 7:28:18 PM PDT by South40 ("Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance." Hussein Obama, Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Blaupeas produced just enough to return the seed planted. Voles began attacking the carrots, so had to harvest all of them; winds lodged the purple onions, so they didn’t fully mature, but the Walla-Wallas are doing good. Also, 28 of the rescued Egyptian onions are up. Oddly, the Brussels sprouts are growing well, as is the broccoli; cool season cole crops standing up to 3-4 weeks of 100+ heat without bolting?!?

2 small Purple Cherokee tomatoes have ripened on one hanging vine, though the rest of the hangers have a lot of green ones; the garden vines are pretty much a bust, a are the peppers & eggplants.

Squashes, summer & winter; and the green beans are still iffy, from too many days of triple digits, though the pole beans are doing fine.

The Painted Hill & the white super-sweet corn: both barely knee high or less & tasseling. The Serendipity is now waist high, or slightly over, and only a very few just starting to form tassels.

Potatoes are starting to die from maturity, rather than deficiencies, pests or disease; and the few plants I’ve harvested still had plenty of soil moisture, and produced decent tubers, though not abundantly. Even generously over estimating expenses, and lowballing the harvest, that comes in at less than 15 cents/pound for all Yukon Golds we can eat & preserve, and still leave plenty for friends & the food bank.

OTOH, despite not only the large fire that was near us, we had 3 others, up to 12 acres in size, within a half mile of us, and didn’t suffer any damages or losses, so counting our blessings.


17 posted on 07/27/2012 7:28:32 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Those grapes look like plums! They’re huge!


18 posted on 07/27/2012 7:30:05 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: mickie
Whether or not to prune your tomatoes depends on a few things ... the type of soil, available nutrients, and the length of your growing season.

I did a little sort of experiment a few years ago -- pruned and pinched tomatoes on one row and left the others go except for really weak suckers, which I removed. I got far more tomatoes from the plants that were allowed to go wild, and the fruit was not appreciably smaller than the pruned tomatoes and there were many, many more of them.

My tomatoes get tied to a rebar stake in an effort to keep them somewhat in check, but other than that they receive minimal pruning. I get tomatoes by the wheelbarrow full. That is the story for my area because I have a growing season of 8 months or so. In a shorter season, you may want to concentrate on a few less slightly larger fruit.

19 posted on 07/27/2012 7:34:50 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Oh, yes; about a quart of chokecherry syrup get bottled tonight.

Also helped our friends in town, with whom we stayed the 4 days we were out of here from the fires, ‘steal’ several pounds of apricots from a city park tree along the river-walk in town. Huge tree, about 20’ with a 12+” trunk that fruited for the first time in at least 10 years that they’ve known it was there.


20 posted on 07/27/2012 7:35:15 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: thecodont
I know! They are fabulous this year. The hulls are my favorite part ... I plan on putting a load of them in the dehydrator to make little leathers from them. Yum!

Those muscadines are cultivated. We do have a cultivated vine that produces very, very small fruit and they are a pain to do anything with other than pop them in your mouth. The wild ones are nowhere near as large as the ones in the photo.

21 posted on 07/27/2012 7:39:43 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: thecodont

The carrots were nantes coreless. I bought the seeds because it said “Guaranteed to grow” on the package. :-)


22 posted on 07/27/2012 7:41:16 PM PDT by South40 ("Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance." Hussein Obama, Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009)
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To: ApplegateRanch
Well, I'll be darned. When we were in Montana for the 4th, the chokecherries were not even on the trees that I saw. I have some syrup that I canned a couple of years ago. Matter of fact ... I'm thinking pancakes in the morning. :)

I am so thankful that y'all are okay after the fires. Hope they stay away from you.

The heat was miserable in the Bozeman area. People up there just aren't used to that kind of heat and most don't have central air to deal with it. It was only cooling to the high 50's at night. Strange.

23 posted on 07/27/2012 7:45:49 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
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24 posted on 07/27/2012 7:51:56 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Gardening tip of the day:

Where did all of my green bean plants go to?

Answer: The groundhog. Fixed with 50 yard head shot with .17 cal Hornady Ballistic tip.

Tomorrow: Rabbit control.


25 posted on 07/27/2012 8:00:19 PM PDT by Michigan Bowhunter
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To: Michigan Bowhunter

Good shot!


26 posted on 07/27/2012 8:25:02 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I love how Muscadines slip right out of their skin when you squeeze them. Mississippi State used to have a winery and they made some really potent Muscadine wine. I think they only use their Muscadines to make a juice drink now. So sad.

That offer for the honey sounds good. I might take you up on that offer in August when my wife and I head back to the old homestead in Mississippi to pick up a few things we left behind.


27 posted on 07/27/2012 8:32:17 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Red_Devil 232; JustaDumbBlonde
Muscadines must be related to these Muscats. Muscatel wine was/is made from these, the cheapest fortified wine on the market when I was a teen ager. 55¢ per pint, if memory serves me. Yes, 55¢ was fairly big money back then - I'm telling my age.

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28 posted on 07/27/2012 8:52:26 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Free people, when presented only with evil choices, create other choices.(EternalVigilance))
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

We are just back from another trip to CA to take care of some of my mother’s business. She suffered a broken leg in mid May and has been in rehab ever since. We’ll be going back in about 3-4 weeks.

I planted nothing this year — didn’t even complete weeding my beds. It’s lucky that I did that because the drought here has been terrible. Nothing would have survived because nobody would have been here to water, and there has been no rain.

But, it RAINED today. And a little bit Wed. night. And a little bit Thurs. morn. I’ll just be planning new plantings for when I have the time and the weather is more cooperative.

I have been in Fresno, CA, and the weather there was dreadful — triple digits every day. Our car registered 113 one day.

There was a study group of Southeastern Cotton Farmers in our hotel one morning, and I thought of you. They were there to study how Fresno farms cotton. I dunno — Fresno irrigates. In the past they have depended on a chain of man made lakes and dams to make the water last throughout the dry season which lasts from April to October. I don’t know what folks from other parts of the country are going to learn from that — folks who depend on rain and who have unexpected floods. Especially since the government now wants to take the water away from the California farmers.


29 posted on 07/27/2012 8:53:21 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (ABO)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

By the way, we drove by the CA State University Ag farm every day we were there, and there was a flourishing apricot orchard there. The trees were laden with fruit, and the ground was yellow with fallen fruit. Nobody was picking. I don’t know why. It just broke my heart wondering why all that fruit was going to waste? At first I thought that maybe there were waiting for more to ripen and they would come through with machines and pick it all at once. But, we drove by every day for 2 weeks and nothing happened, except more fruit falling on the ground.

Do you have any insight as to why they would do this? (Normally, the college makes jams, etc. out of the fruit that they grow and sell them in their farm to market store.)


30 posted on 07/27/2012 9:03:01 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (ABO)
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To: South40

Thank you very much. I’m definitely going to try this. I’ve wanted raised beds as bending gets old and I love the way hay bales look too, In fact, I just got done mulching with a bunch, so keeping the bales intact will take care of both a raised bed and mulch!


31 posted on 07/27/2012 9:20:05 PM PDT by mlizzy (And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell others not to kill? --MT)
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To: mlizzy

You are welcome. Just water them a lot and they work great.


32 posted on 07/27/2012 9:29:31 PM PDT by South40 ("Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance." Hussein Obama, Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde


Here is our aforementioned tiny garden space (at the end of May). It's all filled in now; but I'm putting up this image because the two bushes in the containers are blueberry bushes, and they are not said to work well in Illinois as we have too alkaline a soil. I followed the directions sent by the nursery (the plants came as 3- and 4-year plants) and planted them straight into peat with pine bark mulch on top. There is a third one planted in the ground in a 20 inch wide x 15 inch deep hole of peat only. I also worked a small amount of elemental sulfur into the peat and I've used Holly-Tone to feed the plants. The two in the containers have taken off wonderfully, and the one in the ground while not dying, isn't flourishing either. I may leave it in until the spring, and then if it still looks ho-hum, take it out and put it in a container (which is so easy to control the medium in). I'm planning on plopping the two in containers into holes in the soil (container and all) for the winter, mulch after the ground freezes, and hope to heck they will make it that way. I've been advised this should work. If you see anything wrong with the plan, please let me know.
33 posted on 07/27/2012 9:53:31 PM PDT by mlizzy (And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell others not to kill? --MT)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Oregon water war... http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2911403/posts?page=1


34 posted on 07/28/2012 6:58:55 AM PDT by tubebender
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

At what stage will those Cowpeas be harvested and how?


35 posted on 07/28/2012 7:01:43 AM PDT by tubebender
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Yes, please! I’d like to be on the list! I’ve done a bit of plinking at gardening over the years, but I consider myself a newby.


36 posted on 07/28/2012 7:43:06 AM PDT by TEXOKIE
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To: All
This is a very good idea! Y'all give it a look ...

How to Plant Seeds Using Eggshells

Many of you know that I plant my seeds in little newspaper pots that I make with a form, but I am gonna try this idea. For tomatoes and peppers, you are planting some calcium along with your plant, which helps prevent blossom end rot.

37 posted on 07/28/2012 7:59:06 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; mickie

I don’t prune at all, and I don’t pinch suckers...I have a relatively short season here in PRNH (New England)...I grow ALL tomatoes in containers...all plants (150-200...kind of lost count) are LOADED...best-tasting Goose Creeks ever...Kosovos the size of softballs...Ovita and Orange Oxheart plants so big I can’t get thru the aisles to water them...beautiful Indigo Rose tomatoes everywhere...so many tomatoes on ‘dwarf plants’ that I had to stake them due to the weight of the fruit.


38 posted on 07/28/2012 8:08:21 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

That’s a lot of extra work plus she will had egg shells in her yolks. I like your paper pots much better.


39 posted on 07/28/2012 8:12:54 AM PDT by tubebender
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Is that a deer stand at the end of your bean field?


40 posted on 07/28/2012 8:58:31 AM PDT by painter (Rebuild The America We love!)
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To: mlizzy

If you have a small place to garden you might try planting tomatoes in double 5 gallon buckets to save space for your other plants.


41 posted on 07/28/2012 9:11:46 AM PDT by painter (Rebuild The America We love!)
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To: painter
If you have a small place to garden you might try planting tomatoes in double 5 gallon buckets to save space for your other plants.
Thanks, painter. I think I might do that next year. I noticed our neighbor has tomatoes (one per each) in standard outdoor garbage cans, and the plants are huge with so many tomatoes on them I couldn't begin to count.
42 posted on 07/28/2012 9:18:49 AM PDT by mlizzy (And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell others not to kill? --MT)
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To: who knows what evil?
Thanks for your reply. My plant came in a container. Then I put in in a corner of my flower garden. It now has almost taken over the garden, much bigger than any other plant there.
I have put in stakes to support it, and just wondered if I should trim it back some.
43 posted on 07/28/2012 10:31:17 AM PDT by mickie (My grandson is a Marine...God Bless them all!)
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To: tubebender; JustaDumbBlonde; All
I agree it's too much work, except maybe as an occupy the grandkid kinda project.

For everything else I would just crush some eggshells to put near the bottom of the paper pots, or just wait and throw them in the hole when transplanting the seedlings.

We actually bought one of those wooden pot makers on sale at the end of last year. We used them this spring they were great.

Still no significant rainfall. Trees are getting yellow leaves and dying. Still hauling water for fruit trees and other perennial fruits and veggies.

Hauling in about 45 gallons every two or three days for some of my heirlooms and perennial herbs. Especially concerned to get at least one good ear of corn for seeds next year,since corn seed doesn't remain viable for long, plus it should have some tolerance for drought maybe LOL.

Have a great weekend. God Bless.

44 posted on 07/28/2012 10:39:08 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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bmfl


45 posted on 07/28/2012 12:02:41 PM PDT by Titan Magroyne (What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.)
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To: who knows what evil?

That sounds like you have got it figured out! How big are your containers?


46 posted on 07/28/2012 12:13:18 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (We are Scott Walker.)
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To: rightly_dividing

A little of everything...Earth Boxes, 10 gallon ‘Smart Pots’, 5-gallon pastry buckets, and so forth. Water from below is the key, IMHO.


47 posted on 07/28/2012 12:30:27 PM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: who knows what evil?

I am big on drip irrigation. We use it on containers, flower beds and veggie garden, all controlled by two timers. Is that water from below that you spoke of?


48 posted on 07/28/2012 1:05:31 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (We are Scott Walker.)
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To: rightly_dividing

No. You are still watering on top of the soil, although drip is probably the best system available for keeping the growing medium evenly moist...I water ‘from below’ so the root system has to draw water UP (along with nutrients in soil) into the plant. Result? Bushels of veggies...


49 posted on 07/28/2012 1:25:00 PM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: South40

Thank you for the information. I might try some cabbage or collards in hay for fall. I might even try some carrots, potatoes?


50 posted on 07/29/2012 7:26:29 AM PDT by tillacum
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