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Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 18, May 4, 2012
Friday, May 4, 2012 | JustaDumbBlonde

Posted on 05/04/2012 7:31:41 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde

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Good morning FRiends and fellow gardeners! I really enjoyed all of you that participated in last week's thread. I've been so busy that I didn't have time to respond to each and every comment, but I think about what y'all write and the photos that you post while I'm out working on my own projects. You truly inspire me!

Looking forward to reading your updates this week. We welcomed 2 new members to the ping list last week, bringing us to 525 members. That is fantastic, and we are on track to add 100 members this year.

In my own little patch of earth, I've worked on many projects this past week and I did take plenty of photos along the way. If I get a chance I'll share some later on this evening, but if I don't, I'll post them all as next week's thread. My mind is reeling going from one thing to another and it would be easier to tell you what doesn't hurt on my body. It is all very rewarding though, as I'm sure y'all understand.

Happy gardening!

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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: garden; gardening
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

1 posted on 05/04/2012 7:31:44 AM 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 05/04/2012 7:33:16 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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Detailed State Plant Hardiness Zone Maps

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California ( Northern )
Idaho Massachusetts New Jersey Puerto Rico Virginia
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Colorado Indiana Minnesota New York South Carolina
West Virginia
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Delaware Kansas Missouri North Dakota Tennessee Wyoming

International Plant Hardiness Zone Maps
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China
Europe
Japan

3 posted on 05/04/2012 7:33:37 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

It’s been a wet week here in Central Missouri. I dumped 4.1” out of the rain gauge on Tuesday. It stopped just long enough for me to mow the yard and now it’s raining again. Mrs. Augie called awhile ago to tell me that it was hailing at the house. If it doesn’t dry up soon I’m going to have to re-pot my tomato plants for the third time.


4 posted on 05/04/2012 7:38:50 AM PDT by Augie
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Good morning!

I think the weather is finally cooperating here in eastern Virginia1


5 posted on 05/04/2012 7:45:59 AM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I need some FReeper gardening advice. I have several Lilacs that grow but won’t bloom. Does anyone have a trick or some helpful tidbit? One Lilac use to bloom but stopped several years ago. I have read online that adding Epsom Salt to the soil or in the water helps. Any advice is truly appreciated. I’ll be in and out today (dealing with tons of little fires that I need to put out) but I will check the Gardening Thread throughout the day. Thank you in advance. Hugs, Mom


6 posted on 05/04/2012 7:49:40 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
I live in Michigan about 40 miles east of Lansing. I have an 80x20x40 vegetable garden, as well as planters and flowers around my property. I have already planted Blueberries, rasberries and Roses in the yard, not in the garden. I got the garden tilled last Tuesday and plan to put in some of the cooler weather crops this weekend. I'll be planting broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and sewing radishes. I may try some zucchini early too. I will be planting a strawberry plot this year too, a first. Too early for tomatoes, peppers and cukes here...

Mike

7 posted on 05/04/2012 7:54:01 AM PDT by MichaelP (The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools ~HS)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Well, if you would be so kind, you can add me to your list.

I’m looking forward to the last frost in hopefully the next week so I can get my starts in the ground. Down here the old-timers say you look at the mountains and if you see snow don’t plant, if you don’t see snow plant. Works everytime.


8 posted on 05/04/2012 7:55:09 AM PDT by Idaho_Cowboy (Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Corinthians 3:17)
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To: momtothree
I wouldn't recommend putting anything on the lilacs until you get some idea of what's going on. Get an inexpensive soil test kit at a garden center, or better yet, get a sample kit from your local extension office and send off the test. I suspect it is a nutrient problem, but I couldn't begin to know which one.

You might also do a search engine query on how to fertilize a lilac. That will give you a formulation that is recommended to get the best results.

9 posted on 05/04/2012 7:57:04 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Gabz

Great! I hope you get some of your projects done!


10 posted on 05/04/2012 7:57:55 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I’ll be planting all of my stuff this weekend. Frost is over up here in New England. My asparagus still hasn’t come up yet (this is the year after I just planted it) and I’m getting a bit worried. Other than that my spinach and lettuce is kicking butt!

As for the lilacs not blooming, I’m not sure. Epsom salts won’t hurt. It’s usually a feeding issue. Test the soil around it as well.


11 posted on 05/04/2012 7:58:33 AM PDT by TheRhinelander
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To: momtothree
Are they getting enough sun, 5 hrs? Are you getting lawn fertilizer on them, too much nitrogen? Try this link:

Here

Mike

12 posted on 05/04/2012 7:58:36 AM PDT by MichaelP (The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools ~HS)
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To: Idaho_Cowboy
I'm proud to add a cowboy from one of my favorite states! Welcome.

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13 posted on 05/04/2012 8:00:09 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: MichaelP
All of that sounds great! Please keep us up-to-date on how everything comes along. I didn't get any cole crops planted this year, as it has been too warm. Hopefully, I'll get them in this fall.
14 posted on 05/04/2012 8:02:47 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; tubebender; rightly_dividing; greeneyes; All

Good morning, all. I might actually buy some seedling starts of flowers and veggies in the next couple of weeks. I think we are finally beyond the chances of a frost here. I moved my 25 year old Jade Plant out to the front porch this week and also have some Crysanthemum starts out there. That is the beginning.

On the home front, I’m still recovering (slowly) from my slip on the ice in Jan. Might have to have a knee replacement and am fighting the idea mightily. But, everytime I think I’m out of the woods, by knee will catch and bring me to my senses.


15 posted on 05/04/2012 8:03:16 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Augie
I’m going to have to re-pot my tomato plants for the third time.

You need to put your tomato plants in double 5 gallon bucket planters. They self drain so your plants don't drown.

16 posted on 05/04/2012 8:04:45 AM PDT by painter (Rebuild The America We love!)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
I've finally gotten my whole garden planted and everything is doing well. I've been watering every day until I get a gravity-fed drip system put in. Advice regarding this is welcome!

Does anyone know of any problems putting okra next to tomatoes? They don't show as companion plants anywhere I've looked, but also don't show to conflict with each other. I still have a few okra in peat pots in the greenhouse ready to plant.

On another note, I had read that cornmeal would kill fire ants. Didn't believe it, and it took a while, but they are gone! I used it in the greenhouse beds where I couldn't use pesticides AND in the yard and if they've only moved, not died, I haven't been able to find where they've gone and hubby hasn't seen them either.
17 posted on 05/04/2012 8:05:23 AM PDT by texas_mrs
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; All

Does anyone have a successful approach to prevent rabbits from mowing down young bean plants....short of an impenetrable fence, bullets, or dogs tied to the area at night?


18 posted on 05/04/2012 8:05:51 AM PDT by OB1kNOb (The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. - Prov 22:3)
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To: momtothree

How old are your lilacs? I have several 40 year old lilac bushes that are not blooming well any more. I’ve been told that I should prune them half off and wait 2 years. They should come back strong the 2nd year.

But, I’ve also noticed that nobody’s lilacs are doing well in Wisconsin. I think it might be our strange weather this year.


19 posted on 05/04/2012 8:07:45 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: momtothree

How old are your lilacs? I have several 40 year old lilac bushes that are not blooming well any more. I’ve been told that I should prune them half off and wait 2 years. They should come back strong the 2nd year.

But, I’ve also noticed that nobody’s lilacs are doing well in Wisconsin. I think it might be our strange weather this year.


20 posted on 05/04/2012 8:07:45 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: OB1kNOb

pee around the perimeter...


21 posted on 05/04/2012 8:09:47 AM PDT by stefanbatory (Insert witty tagline here)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Not too many projects getting done around here today. Tonight is the middle school equivalent of a prom - I have to pick her up from school, take her to get her hair done, help with her makeup, then take her over to the school to meet her “date.”

However, I do have my entire day planned practically to the minute for tomorrow!


22 posted on 05/04/2012 8:09:51 AM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: OB1kNOb

Indeed we need help! Rabbits and Bugs are eating our potatoes and beans. The fence helps against the rabbits and the spray help against the bugs but there does not seem to be enough spray nor fence to result in skinny rabbits nor bugs.


23 posted on 05/04/2012 8:17:09 AM PDT by cotton
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To: painter

I made several of those 5 gallon self-contained buckets for some of my tomaotes. The last one I made using only 1 bucket, putting a platform and basket in the bottom of it. The tomatoes seem to be doing the same as the double buckets.


24 posted on 05/04/2012 8:24:24 AM PDT by texas_mrs
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To: Gabz

I remember those days and don’t envy you a bit.

Whew, it was over 80 degrees at 8:30 this morning in Central Texas when I was headed out to the garden. Far too hot already. Still weeding and I think I pulled up some alyssum from the side bed, oops. I’ve given up on veggies in the that bed and am just going to throw out some flower seeds. The garden is doing well (as are it’s weeds that I can’t keep up with) and I’ve been sharing green beans, onions and greens. There are blooms on the tomatoes and peppers. The cuke I’d moved and thought was done for is perking up.

The herbs I started are slow to come up in their pots. Don’t know why since the seeds were this year’s and they’re in starting mix.

The cat was sniffing around some and tossing jalapeno seeds I had drying in a dish. I gave her a get out of my stuff look and she just stared back like “What you lookin’ at?” Well, if she really wants to eat jalapeno seeds then go for it and maybe it’ll teach her a lesson. I won’t tell you what she left in another dish of drying seeds but I’m gathering recipes for bbq cat...


25 posted on 05/04/2012 8:46:45 AM PDT by bgill
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; All

We haven’t been able to catch our county extension agent in the office. Can anyone here tell us how to control ticks and vegetable garden pests without harming the lizards? Thank you in advance for input.


26 posted on 05/04/2012 8:48:00 AM PDT by Silentgypsy
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Do not trim your lilacs!!! They hate that!!! It cuts off new growth, and they will not bloom for a long time!
Old time gardeners fed their lilacs vinegar water because they like acid soil.
I’d consider using an iron/sulpher solution.
I think keeping the yard too tidy can be a problem. I think they like dead leaves left over the roots.
I learned the hard way about trimming.
Just my thoughts.


27 posted on 05/04/2012 8:53:42 AM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: momtothree

Old time gardeners fed their lilacs vinegar water because they like acid soil.
I’d consider using an iron/sulpher solution.
I think keeping the yard too tidy can be a problem. I think they like dead leaves left over the roots.


28 posted on 05/04/2012 8:57:39 AM PDT by WestwardHo
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: bgill

OUCH!!!

I don’t know who I feel more for - you or the cat!


30 posted on 05/04/2012 9:05:24 AM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: texas_mrs
The only problem you might have with tomatoes next to okra is that the okra is going to get larger and will probably shade the tomatoes. My okra gets 7-8 ft. tall before the season ends.

I don't know any thing about cornmeal and fire ants, but I have 100 bushels of shelled corn in a grain cart and I may grind some and try it out. I've been battling those rascals for 6 weeks now.

31 posted on 05/04/2012 9:10:46 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
Thanks for the okra-tomato info. No more than I'm planting & relative to the sunlight, this shouldn't be a problem, then.

I think it took the cornmeal 4-6 weeks to kill the fireants. I just sprinkled a little on the mounds and when it looked like they were getting low I gave them more. Some were at the edge of my garden and others were in 3 self-contained bins in the greenhouse. Nowhere to be seen now. Love it!
32 posted on 05/04/2012 9:17:28 AM PDT by texas_mrs
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To: momtothree

I’ve read that proper pruning is the secret to getting lilacs to bloom. I haven’t had a lot of luck with my Persian Lilac. It has gotten to where it only blooms on the very top. The areas where I trim it back on the sides seems to never bloom well again.


33 posted on 05/04/2012 9:21:43 AM PDT by Mama_Bear
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To: painter

Too much water isn’t the problem, too much plant for the pot is the problem. Some of the are getting close to 2’ tall. I need to get em in the ground.


34 posted on 05/04/2012 9:28:35 AM PDT by Augie
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To: WestwardHo
Do not trim your lilacs!!! They hate that!!! It cuts off new growth, and they will not bloom for a long time!

I think you are right. Everywhere I trim mine, to keep it back from the lawn, stops blooming completely. Now, only the very top that never gets trimmed is the only place I get flowers on my Persian Lilac. It appears that blooms only come from new growth on old wood. I am wondering if a severe trim and then just leaving it to grow untrimmed for several years would rejuvenate it. Over the years mine has outgrown it's allotted space. I had no idea that they grew so large.

35 posted on 05/04/2012 9:37:22 AM PDT by Mama_Bear
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To: texas_mrs
My fire ant mounds are over a 12 acre yard area, and every time I kill a mound, they pop up 5 feet over. It almost like playing whack-a-mole with ants.

I don't like using the fire ant killer because all of the rain that falls in my yard eventually ends up in my pond. Nothing has ever been killed, but I still worry about it.

If the cornmeal will work, it would be a wonderful alternative for me!

36 posted on 05/04/2012 9:41:07 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Did you know that Okra is first cousin to cotton...just sayin and I think you knew this. Okra a favorite vegetable of mine


37 posted on 05/04/2012 9:44:43 AM PDT by dennisw
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To: dennisw
"Did you know that Okra is first cousin to cotton..."

No wonder my shirts are so tasty ---

38 posted on 05/04/2012 9:49:05 AM PDT by BlueLancer ("No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full" (Sulla))
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To: Augie

Two feet tall? What size pot are they in?


39 posted on 05/04/2012 9:58:18 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

Ended up with 570’ of Yukon Golds planted. Also added another packet of peas; plus 150 sweet red onions. Pink Banana Squash & Pattypan seedlings are also doing well in the small plastic “4 tier greenhouse” we bought last Fall.

Next week (2 weeks prior to ‘last frost) I’ll plant seeds of some of the less tender veggies.

Just about time to pull the grass clippings off the carrots, as they are starting to sprout.

A neighbor gave us 5 each “Bonnie Best” and “Delicious” tomato seedlings; and will give us some Egyptian Walking Onions in a couple of weeks.

Last night, I trimmed the fat from a whole brisket, and put it into brine, to make pastrami...spiced & smoked corned beef. I’ve corned beef before, which comes out (no surprise) way better than the stuff in stores, so I have high hopes for this. Here’s a link to the recipe/instructions I used:

http://blackgirlchefswhites.com/wordpress/2011/04/07/homemade-pastrami/

For the first time, we’re seeing tiny green apricots swelling on the trees, so maybe....

Strawberries are starting to bloom.

Two broody hens glued to nests; fryer bunnies just about ready for the freezer.

All is well in our little corner of the world.


40 posted on 05/04/2012 10:10:46 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: Silentgypsy
Raise some Guinea hens. The love them some ticks.

Ticks need moisture to survive. The don't like short grass and they hate rocks used as mulch. Keep a wide area (3 feet)around your beds as rock. A ticks primary vector is the mouse. Make the area inhospitable for mice and that should reduce the issue. Also attracting toads and frogs could help reduce bad bugs in general.

For your protection I would suggest that you get some pyrethrum. Dedicate a pair of pants, socks, and shoes for gardening. Spray those clothes heavily with the pyrethrum. Let them dry. Wear those clothes to garden. The ticks touch the clothes and more or less die on the spot. Good for about three washings.

41 posted on 05/04/2012 10:19:41 AM PDT by Drill Thrawl (The United States of America, a banana republic since 1913)
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To: OB1kNOb

Since the best methods are already ruled out, you can try this:


Plantskydd® Repellent
“Effective against deer, rabbits, voles & small critters”

OMRI Listed Organic Materials Review Institute

safe for use in protecting fruit, vegetables and other food crops.

Contains no synthetic additives, is non-toxic,
and is not harmful to animals or the environment.

Considered the most cost-effective
and environmentally safe animal repellent available.
http://www.plantskydd.com/repellent.html


I have some that I’m going to use this year on a large corn patch outside the deer/rabbit fenced garden.

Now, if I could just find an effective grasshopper deterrent...


42 posted on 05/04/2012 10:23:13 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: ApplegateRanch
effective grasshopper deterrent...

Turkeys.

43 posted on 05/04/2012 10:35:07 AM PDT by Drill Thrawl (The United States of America, a banana republic since 1913)
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To: Drill Thrawl

We are, and have been, over run with wild turkeys for years; they can only eat so many; also they can die from eating too many, as it plugs them up.

Last two years were declared ‘ag emergencies’, which allowed the use of normally disallowed pesticides on a large scale.

I did spread a grasshopper disease spore last year, but killing on an acre surrounded by thousands of (government) acres of uncontrolled breeding grounds doesn’t make a dent.


44 posted on 05/04/2012 11:06:40 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Hello, all! We started a terraced square foot garden on a hill on the south lawn this year(since we can’t sell our house and get out into the country). It’s proving to be a much larger project than we anticipated! We knew that the soil wouldn’t be cheap but are limited to two beds at the moment. We may try for two or three more throughout the summer for late crops or a jump on next year.

Also, starting plants from seeds is horrifying! I started with 6 of each seed and am down to one survivor from each plant. Mostly tomatoes and peppers. I’ve got them in a sunny window that I open so the breeze hits them for part of the day. I’m trying to get them strong enough to go outside and into the ground. I’m afraid I’m going to wind up going to the local nursery to purchase plants after buying all the seed and killing all the plants. I pray something survives my not-so-green thumb!

Next year I’m just going to drive down to Mansfield, MO and buy substantial plants ready for the ground from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. It’s going to be hard for me to try to can stuff this year if there’s nothing to can. Oh, woe is me!! :0)

I wish you all much success!


45 posted on 05/04/2012 11:07:12 AM PDT by samiam1972 ("It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."-Mother Teresa)
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To: samiam1972

How did you seedlings die off? Did you have any grow lights?


46 posted on 05/04/2012 11:12:00 AM PDT by Drill Thrawl (The United States of America, a banana republic since 1913)
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To: Drill Thrawl

We are so new to this and think we did a lot of things wrong and are making mental notes. We did use a grow light but had it on 24 hours a day. Probably stressed them out. We tried to move them outdoors for a couple hours at a time but think we started too early and should have put them in the shade first, then direct sunlight later. Some of them needed a bigger pot to grow in other than the tiny things we started them in.

Now the peppers and tomatoes are in their own separate larger pot sitting in natural sunlight most of the day and only one or two of them look like they won’t make it. The rest are reaching for the window. We turned them all around one night so the kids could see how the plants reach for the sun. I think next week I’ll try setting them outside for one hour at a time.

I really don’t know what I’m doing. It’s so easy to read a book or info on the web and think, “I can do this!” It’s entirely different to actually do it. I’m a slow learner.


47 posted on 05/04/2012 11:18:27 AM PDT by samiam1972 ("It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."-Mother Teresa)
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To: momtothree
The first thing that crossed my mind is that it might need pruning - when bushes get older, they stop blooming & need to be "refreshed". Here's a video by Mark Viette - he and his dad are well respected & know what they are talking about:

Mark Viette Video - Lilac Pruning Tips

Their website, in general is helpful. There is also a forum where you can add questions. Andre has a very popular radio show - I enjoy listening to it on Saturday mornings!

Hope some of this helps - I love lilacs!

48 posted on 05/04/2012 11:24:30 AM PDT by MissMagnolia (Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't. (M.Thatcher))
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To: dennisw

Be careful if you’re allergic to poison ivy because mangos are their cousins. There’s a substance between the skin and the meat that is the poison/allergic part so even if you peel it carefully there’s some that will get into what you’re eating. I learned that lesson the hard way.


49 posted on 05/04/2012 11:30:00 AM PDT by bgill
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To: samiam1972
We are so new to this and think we did a lot of things wrong and are making mental notes

I think anyone who has started gardening could say "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt". It's frustrating I know but stick with it. Next year will be better and the year after better still.

If you don't already have them, I recommend the following books:
The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, 2nd Edition - Ed Smith
Garden Way's Joy of Gardening - Dick Raymond

50 posted on 05/04/2012 11:36:24 AM PDT by Drill Thrawl (The United States of America, a banana republic since 1913)
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