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Weekly Gardening Thread (Soil Types) Vol. 4, January 27, 2012
January 27, 2012 | JustaDumbBlonde

Posted on 01/27/2012 10:40:54 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde

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I have a dear friend and neighbor who is elderly and not in the best of health. Day in and day out during gardening season she sits at her kitchen table and watches me work in my yard and garden, living vicariously through me. Once or twice a week I'll take her some vegetables and we discuss gardening, which was such an important part of her earlier years. You can see the love of gardening in her eyes every time we have a talk. I asked her one day to tell me the difference between dirt and soil. Soil, she stated matter-of-factly, was the ground that God provided to feed us well. Dirt, she continued, is what you have under your fingernails after you've worked in the soil. Pretty good description, if you ask me.

Actually, there is a difference that is considered a bit more scientific. Soil is a collection of minerals, air, water, animals and other living matter (and their wastes or decaying bodies) that accumulate in layers and become compacted over time. Indeed, soils are laid down in discrete layers and whose compositions vary over time and space. Soil is the diverse but integrated community of living and inanimate things that make up the ground beneath our feet.

So what exactly is dirt? It’s a group of runaways or kidnapped individuals that used to be part of the soil. Dirt can’t easily be associated with where it was born and grew up. In a sense, dirt is particles of soil that have been rendered anonymous. Sounds like my friend is even wiser than I ever imagined.

Did you know that each of the 50 US states have a State Soil? Neither did I. It was interesting that none of the soil types we have on our homestead or farm are the type that is Louisiana’s State Soil. (Note: you will need Adobe Acrobat to view each individual state in the list, but you do not need Acrobat to view the description of State Soils.)

In preparing for this weeks thread, I thought I had good knowledge of the 4 basic soil types of soil in the US. I remembered clay, silt, sand, and loam from Ag class in my days of FFA. There is also a little peat in the swampy areas here in Louisiana, but there is not enough peat in the US to register as a basic soil type. Well, I didn't know near as much as I first thought.

Did you know that soil is classified into different orders just like plants are classified into different types? Twelve different soil orders exist, and within these orders are different suborders. Soils are composed of different percentages of clay, sand and loam. Each type has different moisture, mineral and organic content. The environment where the soil is found plays heavily into the soil composition. It is well worth the time to read about soil classifications as written in eHow.com.

After determining the type of soil you are working with in your garden, you will need to test your soil before planting so that you can get the most out of all the hard work. I can't emphasize enough the importance of this step. You can spend a lot of money on fertilizers that will not be absorbed by your plants unless the pH of your soil is in the proper range.

Simple pH soil test kits are available at most garden centers and nurseries and can be easily performed following the directions on the kit. More detailed soil tests are available through your county's extension office. It may take a couple of weeks or more to get the results, so now is definitely the time to be contacting your extension service.

Please add any knowledge you have to the thread. Have you successfully amended your soil type to improve production? Any tips you've learned in working with your particular soil type? This is intended only as a jumping-off point. Please share and, above all, enjoy!

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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; soil
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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

Next week: The first in a series on soil structure

1 posted on 01/27/2012 10:41:03 AM PST 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

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

2 posted on 01/27/2012 10:43:06 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Mild temps continue here. Man I hope nothing starts budding.


3 posted on 01/27/2012 10:46:32 AM PST by Free Vulcan (Election 2012 - America stands or falls. No more excuses. Get involved.)
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To: All
Here are the state-specific links to find your newly adjusted USDA hardiness zone:

Detailed State Plant Hardiness Zone Maps

Alabama District of Columbia
Kentucky Montana Ohio Texas ( East )
Alaska Florida Louisiana Nebraska Oklahoma Texas ( West )
Arizona Georgia Maine Nevada Oregon Utah
Arkansas
Hawaii Maryland New Hampshire Pennsylvania Vermont
California ( Northern )
Idaho Massachusetts New Jersey Puerto Rico Virginia
California ( Southern ) Illinois Michigan New Mexico Rhode Island Washington
Colorado Indiana Minnesota New York South Carolina
West Virginia
Connecticut Iowa Mississippi North Carolina South Dakota Wisconsin
Delaware Kansas Missouri North Dakota Tennessee Wyoming

International Plant Hardiness Zone Maps
Australia
Canada
China
Europe
Japan

4 posted on 01/27/2012 10:47:11 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

MYAKKA must be the fancy name for sugar sand.


5 posted on 01/27/2012 10:48:12 AM PST by scottteng (Tax government employees til they quit and find something useful to do)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Jed Clampett: Why, we could grow corn right here out front!
Miss Hathaway: You can’t grow Corn here! This is Beverly Hills!
Jed Clampett: Dirt is DIRT.

Great article about soil types! Thank You! :-)


6 posted on 01/27/2012 10:52:00 AM PST by left that other site
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To: Free Vulcan

All of our elm trees have completely budded. Undoubtedly, they will get nipped before Spring arrives. We have been as high as 81 degrees this past week.


7 posted on 01/27/2012 10:53:59 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: left that other site

Thank you! I love the Beverly Hillbillies (the original series).


8 posted on 01/27/2012 10:58:31 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
Great post!

Greetings from southern New Hampshire, where the sad job of cleaning up after the fatal coop fire starts tomorrow.

Monday morning, our chicken coop burned to the ground, killing all 14 chickens and all 5 Indian Runner ducks. Not just barnyard animals, but family members. The cause is not certain. Most likely a falling heat lamp knocked down by a duck, but arson has not been entirely ruled out. A neighbor had complained about the ducks and the coop last year.

We have ordered chicks and ducklings. The latter are due in the week after next. Plans for Coop II are well along and it will be better, safer and more convenient.

Time to order seeds.

9 posted on 01/27/2012 11:03:35 AM PST by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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To: All; Mrs. Don-o
I will be issuing one more supplemental thread, which will be a complete list of seed catalog links, gathered from our first 3 or 4 threads this year. That information certainly deserves a thread of its own so that the info will be really easy to find.

The other thing that has been on my mind is a seed-swapping list, where we can each list an extra seeds that we have on hand that we are willing to donate to another member, or willing to swap for something that we need.

I believe it was Mrs. don-o that kept the list last year. I was able to acquire some really neat seeds from members of our group, and would like to get this feature up and working again in our weekly thread.

Please let me know by posting to this thread if you have any seeds that you'd be interested in parting with. I'll do my best to get the swap going again and each member can send each other FReepmail if there is a request.

Whatcha think???

10 posted on 01/27/2012 11:06:29 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

All good ideas...


11 posted on 01/27/2012 11:09:37 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Me Too! And “Green Acres” was good too!


12 posted on 01/27/2012 11:09:38 AM PST by left that other site
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To: Free Vulcan
Mild temps continue here.

Same in Red Hampshire...snowmobiling and ski industries taking it in the neck.

13 posted on 01/27/2012 11:13:15 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: All

Garden-fresh veggies w/ a dip of Lemon Garlic Aioli.

14 posted on 01/27/2012 11:15:11 AM PST by Liz
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To: Redleg Duke
"Great post!"

Thank you so much for the feedback, RD. That helps me know if I'm doing this right :)

I'll be following your rebuild on Facebook. I'd put a trail cam somewhere near the new coop, just to be sure on that arson thing. Good quality stills and videos can be had for under $100 these days.

15 posted on 01/27/2012 11:17:58 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I’m in Ct., and my crocus started popping up a few weeks ago. It’s been unseasonable warm here. We’ve since had a little snow and they seem to have gone dormant. No sign of my tulips or daffs yet, thank goodness!


16 posted on 01/27/2012 11:19:29 AM PST by SoKatt ("Change" is not a strategy!)
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To: SoKatt

^ unseasonablY.


17 posted on 01/27/2012 11:20:12 AM PST by SoKatt ("Change" is not a strategy!)
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To: Redleg Duke

Where do you order your seeds from? I’m a gardener and I get most of my veggie seeds from Baker Creek Seed Co. They’re all heirloom varieties, and you can request a free catalog. it’s SO worth checking out.
Really sorry about your fire and the loss of your animals. :-(


18 posted on 01/27/2012 11:25:34 AM PST by SoKatt ("Change" is not a strategy!)
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To: Redleg Duke

Sorry for the loss of your property. Sounds like you need some video on the new coop also, if your neighbor did it once he will try again.


19 posted on 01/27/2012 11:25:34 AM PST by Ratman83
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To: Redleg Duke
Sorry to hear that...lots of people have chicken coops in the rural areas of New Hampshire...the only people that I have ever heard bitch are the New Yorkers that have flooded into the area..."What the hell is wrong with these people...chickens in the road..."

I don't have to tell you who never makes it onto the local 'free eggs' list. :-)

20 posted on 01/27/2012 11:26:15 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

First sunny day here in Benderville in a couple of weeks and here I sit. The native soil here is what is left after the brick factories closed. It is a heavy clay due the Redwood trees and the annual rains. Most of the visitors to our garden want to know where we purchased the soil in the beds and I have to do a mini course on building soil structure. There are river bottoms here where the soil is several feet deep and most of it is in our dairy belt...


21 posted on 01/27/2012 11:27:53 AM PST by tubebender (I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; Diana in Wisconsin

Wisconsin = Antigo

Well, what do you know? I looked at the very interesting soil page for my state, but (for the life of me) I don’t understand how a soil that is distributed over less than a quarter of the state can be designated the “state soil”. What do the rest of us have? Just plain dirt? Sounds political to me, but everything is political in Wisconsin these days. LOL

I have about 10 different kinds of soil just on my property, I think.


22 posted on 01/27/2012 11:48:04 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; Diana in Wisconsin

Wisconsin = Antigo

Well, what do you know? I looked at the very interesting soil page for my state, but (for the life of me) I don’t understand how a soil that is distributed over less than a quarter of the state can be designated the “state soil”. What do the rest of us have? Just plain dirt? Sounds political to me, but everything is political in Wisconsin these days. LOL

I have about 10 different kinds of soil just on my property, I think.


23 posted on 01/27/2012 11:48:04 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

TGIF!

Warm weather let me finish our raised beds for our new garden - 13 in all, and a compost bin. Will fill them up next week - 50% trucked in dirt and 50% compost from our local community yard waste recycling program - 60,000 lbs/year from 36 acres - who knew!

Special thanks to FReeper DR for the heirloom seeds! (Arrived in the mail @ an hour ago.)

How about a list of YouTube gardening channels along with the gardening sites?

Garden on!


24 posted on 01/27/2012 11:48:27 AM PST by ImProudToBeAnAmerican (We were born citizens. Now we are subjects. Currently on the path to become serfs.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Good afternoon. 78deg here in the piney woods region of Texas. We are supposed to have sunny days ahead for a week or so. We had 4in of rain again two days ago, so we are in a drying out mode.


25 posted on 01/27/2012 11:51:57 AM PST by rightly_dividing
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To: Redleg Duke

Sorry to hear of your loss.


26 posted on 01/27/2012 11:56:47 AM PST by rightly_dividing
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To: Redleg Duke

Oh no! That is terrible. We used to heat our peacock shed with a kerosene heater OUTSIDE the pens. We “insulated” with plastic sheeting over the windows and outside the doors. We never had a problem. Our shed was an old stable that my husband replaced the doors with chicken wire doors and covered the areas above the solid sides with more chicken wire. It was servicable for the birds, though not pretty. We already had normal electric service out there. No lanterns needed.

I am so sorry about your poultry.


27 posted on 01/27/2012 11:59:30 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; All

Thanks for the link JADB. Great info on soils. Love the weekly links, it will sure help to find info again.

We are still in relatively warm weather for Missouri, but still cold enough to be a deterrent to going outdoors for any length of time. I have a huge stack of seed catalogs, so am spending looking through them, and planning the garden.

I intend to start some seeds soon for container plants. That way I can get some things going for earlier harvest. That way if we have a cold snap I can bring them in.

Have a great week everyone. God Bless.


28 posted on 01/27/2012 12:19:46 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

All my old charts have us in zone 5, but these new charts have us in zone 6. Does that mean that our temperature has gotten warmer? Or have they just changed the system, so that we have a new number for the same temperature?


29 posted on 01/27/2012 12:26:00 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: SoKatt

Diana works for Jung Seeds, I believe. That is a very good source.


30 posted on 01/27/2012 12:31:51 PM PST by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

A helpful tool to see a map of soils;

http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/HomePage.htm


31 posted on 01/27/2012 12:36:44 PM PST by posterchild (I'm old enough to remember when journalists bothered to look things up on wikipedia.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Lotta work and much appreciated.

http://backtoedenfilm.com/

Inspiring film...how to make soil.


32 posted on 01/27/2012 1:32:51 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: Redleg Duke

Sorry about you poltry loss.


33 posted on 01/27/2012 1:36:58 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Well, there are state birds even though there are probably dozens of birds in each state. It may be political ... the state soil of Louisiana starts about an hour west of me, but the state by far has more Mississippi River delta black clay-ish soil than the red hills of Ruston. I still thought it was interesting.


34 posted on 01/27/2012 1:39:55 PM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

For those of us in the northern tier of states, glaciation has rendered multi;ple soil types. I have 5 types on my 40 acres in Upstate NY. Glaciers dropped a multitude of rocks in their retreat, leaving us to clean up the mess. One field is almost all sand, while the next one over is full of stones and rocks. You can likely get a soil map of your county at the extension office free - at least, mine was. It will tell you about the nature of each soil type and what it’s good for - or not. the extension office is a fountain of info. It’s a good source. Also good is your land grant college. sd


35 posted on 01/27/2012 1:55:41 PM PST by shotdog (I love my country. It's our government I'm afraid of.)
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To: All

We're having a mild winter!

36 posted on 01/27/2012 1:58:38 PM PST 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: JustaDumbBlonde

WOW - just wow!

This weather is absolutely weird. It rained to beat the band all morning (my driveway is still flooded) and at one point the outside temperature was higher than the inside temperature. It’s January - this is coastal Virginia, not the deep south or south west. It should not be 68 degrees here.


37 posted on 01/27/2012 2:36:35 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Redleg Duke

Oh Red, I’m so sorry. That’s awful. I truly hope arson can be ruled out.


38 posted on 01/27/2012 2:41:17 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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Click an eyeball!

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39 posted on 01/27/2012 3:07:23 PM PST by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: SoKatt
Hi SoKatt, and thanks for the update! My iris have put out leaves, but no sign of a stem yet. My bed of various other bulbs has not shown any signs of growing yet, but the paperwhites that grow wild around the property are in full splendor.

My mayhaw trees are getting ready to bloom. I saw the first hints of white in the buds this morning.

40 posted on 01/27/2012 3:10:24 PM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Redleg Duke

Oh no!! :(


41 posted on 01/27/2012 3:27:47 PM PST by Ellendra ("It's astounding how often people mistake their own stupidity for a lack of fairness." --Thunt)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Diana, I am thinking of ordering the ‘Supermont’ cherry and the ‘Contender’ peach from Jung’s. I’m living south of the Twin Cities in MN and in zone 4b. I already have several sour cherries and hope this would be a good compliment to the bunch (Mesabi, Bali, Montmorency). What do you think of this cultivar? Is it really 30% larger fruit?

Also, I’m thinking of giving the peach a try. I have an area sheltered from the N and W behind the barn on a slight rise and the barn is paneled in white steel siding. Nice micro-climate and out of the prevailing winter winds. Any experience with the Contender peach?

Thanks for your expertise (double so) since I know you’re busier than heck at this time of the year.


42 posted on 01/27/2012 3:33:32 PM PST by WorkingClassFilth (I'm for Churchill in 1940!)
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To: Redleg Duke

Oooh, how sad.


43 posted on 01/27/2012 4:20:19 PM PST by bgill (The Obama administration is staging a coup. Wake up, America, before it's too late.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Well, starting over again no thanks to my cat. Had half my potted seeds already up and happily growing until she knocked the whole thing over. Upside down. Then tore the rest up scrambling to get away from very mad mama.

The garden has been tilled twice and raked. Went in to town today and bought some onions but they didn’t have any berries.


44 posted on 01/27/2012 4:33:28 PM PST by bgill (The Obama administration is staging a coup. Wake up, America, before it's too late.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I’ve been wondering if instead of a seed exchange, maybe a “seed ring” would make sense. For example, I take the seeds I have that I don’t need and mail them to the next person on the list, who takes what they want, adds what they have, and on to the next person.

Haven’t decided if it’s a good idea, but it’s an idea.


45 posted on 01/27/2012 4:45:46 PM PST by Darth Reardon (No offense to drunken sailors)
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To: bgill
Well, starting over again no thanks to my cat. Had half my potted seeds already up and happily growing until she knocked the whole thing over.

Same here. Wish I had a cat to blame.

Over the last week I lost 50 tomato seedlings to damping off. They were two inches high when they collapsed. Usually, that's a self inflicted mortal wound.

Not quite sure what I did. I've seeded the media in the identical fashion for the last five years. Maybe the trays and cells were not clean enough.

So, I'll clean everything with a bleach solution and try again. Oddly, none of the pepper varieties were affected.

Fortunately for me, there's plenty of time left.

46 posted on 01/27/2012 5:22:30 PM PST by Racehorse (Always preach the Gospel . . . . Use words if necessary.)
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To: Darth Reardon

I’m thinking that the seeds might take a beating if they stayed in the mail. Not sure though.


47 posted on 01/27/2012 6:09:17 PM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Redleg Duke

That has to be devastating; I know how it is to lose a single animal unexpectedly.

Lots of luck on the rebuild; and in finding the cause for certain. The camera ideas from others above are good advice.

For our combined chicken & rabbit house, I’m using a space heater that has a tip-over safety switch, mounted from the ceiling. For extra added protection, it is switched to its lower, 750W setting, instead of the full 1,500W, so that it runs longer, but doesn’t get as hot when running.


48 posted on 01/27/2012 7:08:36 PM PST by ApplegateRanch ("Public service" does NOT mean servicing the people, like a bull among heifers.)
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To: Racehorse
So, I'll clean everything with a bleach solution and try again.

It's a PITA, but I bleach everything every year. Hot soak, 10% bleach/warm water soak, lukewarm soak. Never a problem.

49 posted on 01/27/2012 7:10:17 PM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: bgill

I am so sorry about your seedlings. You are taking it very well. :)


50 posted on 01/27/2012 7:15:05 PM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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