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Weekly Garden Thread Volume 12 March 21, 2014
Free Republic | March 21, 2014 | greeneyes

Posted on 03/21/2014 12:44:59 PM PDT by greeneyes

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!

NOTE: This is a once a week ping list. We do post to the thread during the week. Links to related articles and discussions which might be of interest are welcomed, so feel free to post them at any time.


TOPICS: Gardening
KEYWORDS: agriculture; food; gardening; hobby
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Sky's are overcast in Missouri, and the temperature is 70 degrees indoors and out. We have had some sunny days with moderate temps in the high 40's, so I have worked outside for at least 30 minutes each day double digging my raised beds and turning under the winter rye in preperations for spring planting.

This weekend I will be starting some carrots, onions, and beets, as well as bringing out some potatoes for exposure to light, and getting growing going on.

I have one bed for potatoes ready to go on 4/1, but the pot I ordered from Mega Greenhouse has not arrived yet for the other. Just hoping it gets here in time.

The indoor lemons are about ping pong size. The tomatoes are bigger than olives, but smaller than ping pong ball. The tomato plant has some more flowers.

I have made tentative plans for all of my raised gardens. I have 13 beds that are 3' x 4'. and one that is 2' x 4'. 8 of the beds are close enough to a walnut tree, that they can't be used for tomatoes and peppers or potatoes, so I often plant the nightshade family in container pots on the patio.

I didn't get to plant the rye and vetch in all the beds last year and while researching spring wheat, I found some articles on using mustard as a cover crop. Including the links for your information below:

http://plantcovercrops.com/mustard-as-a-cover-crop/

http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Managing-Cover-Crops-Profitably-3rd-Edition/Text-Version/Nonlegume-Cover-Crops/Brassicas-and-Mustards

http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/01/16/prep-your-garden-spring-mustard

Racehorse transplanted some fruit trees in February, and needs some advice for the San Antonio area. Most of his trees whether in pots or transplanted are doing well.

The transplanted Granny Smith is alive, but has failed to put on new growth. Any help would be welcome.

Have a great weekend, and God Bless.

1 posted on 03/21/2014 12:44:59 PM PDT by greeneyes
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To: greeneyes
The leaves on one or two of our tomatoes have tiny light dots, like they were burned.
Is this a virus ? What to do ?
2 posted on 03/21/2014 12:47:27 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
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To: greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; ...

Pinging the list.


3 posted on 03/21/2014 12:48:13 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Good Afternoon, FRiends!

I got some HUGE pots at a yard sale for very cheap and have just transplanted 3 avocado trees. Maybe they with make fruit in a few years...who knows?


4 posted on 03/21/2014 12:50:30 PM PDT by left that other site
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Not sure what it is. I usually pinch off such stuff and put it in the burn pile, hoping that will prevent it spreading.

Garden’s alive Catalog has pictures of various diseases and advice on treatment, so when I want more info, I usually start there.


5 posted on 03/21/2014 12:52:20 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: left that other site

Keep us posted on their progress.


6 posted on 03/21/2014 12:52:56 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Please add me to the ping list. We are still under somewhat of a glacier here in New England, but I expect it will melt some time.


7 posted on 03/21/2014 1:12:25 PM PDT by Republicanprofessor
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To: greeneyes

They are from Haas Avocados that i bought and made guacamole from, stuck the seed in the dirt, and over a foot high already! ;-)


8 posted on 03/21/2014 1:15:13 PM PDT by left that other site
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To: Republicanprofessor

Will do.


9 posted on 03/21/2014 1:17:03 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Eric in the Ozarks:" The leaves on one or two of our tomatoes have tiny light dots, like they were burned."

Check the underside of the leaves for aphids with a magnifying glass.
If you have other plants arround , this could be the beginning of an infestation .
Prevention is better than Control , especially if the plants are young .

10 posted on 03/21/2014 1:18:06 PM PDT by Tilted Irish Kilt (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: left that other site

Way to go. Frugal and useful!


11 posted on 03/21/2014 1:18:12 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Weather looks ugly next week doesn’t look like any March planting this year!


12 posted on 03/21/2014 1:18:41 PM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead...)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Sound like you got some wilt virus. Not alot you can do as it’s in the dirt, but I’ve take peroxide and water 1/2 and 1/2 and sprayed it on the plants. Seems to slow it down.


13 posted on 03/21/2014 1:21:35 PM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead...)
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To: greeneyes

There’s still snow on the ground here. LOTS of it.

It’s not forecast to warm up until April.

>:(


14 posted on 03/21/2014 1:24:50 PM PDT by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: Free Vulcan

Same here. We might have snow next Thursday. Temps in the 40’s during the day, but back to freezing or close to freezing for the next 10 days.

3/25 is the start date for carrots, and cool weather crops here, but all my planting will be in 3 oz dixie cups instead of in the ground.

I am betting we get a late spring, so I’ll probably start some seeds indoors this year for a change.


15 posted on 03/21/2014 1:29:13 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: metmom

Yep the next 10 days are pretty dismal here too. At least the 40 plus daytime temps, make getting out and digging around and walking around the property enjoyable.

Gonna try some seed starting indoors this year for a change.


16 posted on 03/21/2014 1:31:52 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Free Vulcan

I checked for bugs and don’t see any.
The leaves are not wilting and other than the dots, the plants look happy.

We sterilized the soil mix in cooking bags in the oven before starting the seeds.
All plants are still inside our beach house/sun room...


17 posted on 03/21/2014 1:32:01 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
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To: greeneyes

Add me to the list, please.


18 posted on 03/21/2014 1:35:57 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: greeneyes

Still no internet here, so I’ll be scarce. Had a few asparagus show up this morning. first of the year.

/johnny


19 posted on 03/21/2014 1:36:10 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Compare it to pics of ‘early blight’. I take care of that with a spray of a bleach solution.

5oz of the clorox concentrate bleach + 1gal exactly of water. Mix thoroughly and spray till saturated AFTER the sun goes down. Sun + this solution == burned plants.


20 posted on 03/21/2014 1:37:47 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Eric in the Ozarks :" All plants are still inside our beach house/sun room..."

If other plants are present in the sun room , all the more likely that aphids may have overwintered elsewhere.
Check the bottom of the leaves with a magnifying glass for possible beginning of aphids, or white fly .

21 posted on 03/21/2014 1:38:20 PM PDT by Tilted Irish Kilt (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: greeneyes

I always have to start stuff indoors if I don’t want to buy. We have too short a growing season.

And the selection when buying isn’t as good.

I like the heirloom varieties so I can save the seeds myself.


22 posted on 03/21/2014 1:39:09 PM PDT by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I ordered extra asparagus seeds to replace any attrition in my bed over winter. No asparagus here yet but I haven’t looked in a couple of days.


23 posted on 03/21/2014 1:40:30 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: greeneyes

Transplanted tomato seedlings from their starter container to bigger containers yesterday and today.


24 posted on 03/21/2014 1:40:48 PM PDT by painter ( Isaiah: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,")
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To: greeneyes; Excellence
greeneyes :" Yep the next 10 days are pretty dismal here too."

Last week I gave the wrong date (3/8/14) for the Joe Bastardi upcomming spring conditions and moisture conditions.
The correct listing should have been for 3/1/14 submitted by Freeper 'Excellence' at:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3130994/posts
Excellence states :" First 10 minutes is a not-global warming rant (pure Joe and great, as always), quick look at March/April/May/Summer (don't blink, you'll miss it), and temps/precipitation for next winter."
I just wanted to submit the correction - TIK.

25 posted on 03/21/2014 1:47:45 PM PDT by Tilted Irish Kilt (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: greeneyes

I have several raised planter beds with kale and Swiss Chard.
What is the reasoning behind changing the soil in raised beds?
I’ve heard it recommended but never knew the reason. Any info appreciated!


26 posted on 03/21/2014 1:50:08 PM PDT by Don@VB (Power Corrupts)
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To: greeneyes

Could I get on the ping list, please?


27 posted on 03/21/2014 1:57:38 PM PDT by crazycatlady
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To: Don@VB
Don@VB:" What is the reasoning behind changing the soil in raised beds? "

Certain plants require mineral use intensive than other varieties in order to grow .
Plants of the brasscia family (kale, cabbage,brussel sprouts,kohrabbi,etc.) require more calcium from the soil;
Not changing out the soil will result in stunted plants, and more susceptability to disease .
Crop rotation, soil testing, and soil amendments will minimze disease and provide for healthier plants .

28 posted on 03/21/2014 2:07:39 PM PDT by Tilted Irish Kilt (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: greeneyes; rightly_dividing; sockmonkey; JRandomFreeper; All
rightly, you asked how old Prissy is - she will be three the last of July.

I need help with Fingerling Potatoes. I have 10 that have come from Burpee. The instructions on their website is nothing for Fingerling, just regular potatoes. So, I looked around the net and saw some cut them up but most plant them whole but they should have some eye growth on them to do that, right? They have nothing. Maybe two have some little bit at their ends but I'm not at all sure that is the start of new growth.

I'm going to plant them whole but what do I have to do before that since there are no eyes producing growth?

I have worked today to fill black pots with potting soil mix so I can transplant plants from the greenhouse. It is sunny and gets hot when one is working but this is nothing compared to what it will be so the pots have to be done now. I have many more pots to fill.

Aha! The seeds I planted last Monday in Espoma seed starter are coming up already. I knew they would in that starter. I have two types of sunflowers peeking up and Homemade Pickle cucumbers breaking through the soil. I really need those T squash seed to hurry up and grow.

The first squirrel appeared yesterday. As a result, I had to cover everything with net and spent time trying to separate a huge mound of netting. I finally got two large amounts folded and ended up tossing a mound of net that would never be untangled. I must have ordered an amount to cover the entire world. Plants are to the left and to the right on the deck and both sections are now covered with net. I have some metal plant support stakes and stuck a few of those around under the net to hold the net above the plants. I got those especially to do that as the metal is thin and will stick through the small holes between the planks on the deck to hold them up.

Since the under the roof deck has been cleared I have room out there for two people to sit and have room to move around, I ordered a Craftsman work station, not large but with a top to work on and shelf underneath to hold the various tools I use in the garden. I had them on the dining table out there but that wasn't great to have tools facing you as you sat there. Plus, having no real place to put something meant I couldn't find what I needed at the time I needed it. I spent 15 minutes today looking for the scissors I use out there. When that station gets here, that will be the place for my garden tools.

If you have planted Fingerling potatoes, please tell me what to do with these in order to plant them. I am at a loss right now with those.

29 posted on 03/21/2014 2:11:23 PM PDT by Marcella ((Prepping can save your life today.))
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To: Tilted Irish Kilt

Can ferilization and soil supplements be used instead of changing the soil or is it better to just change it out? That’s a lot of grunt work


30 posted on 03/21/2014 2:14:03 PM PDT by Don@VB (Power Corrupts)
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To: Marcella

Ok. I planted some fingerling potatoes about a month ago. Here’s what I did. I put them in in a bright spot (but not direct sun) for several days. Then I looked for the eyes. Many fingerlings won’t have more than 2 or 3 eyes per potato. Need at least 2 on each seed piece. On potatoes that have 4 or more eyes try to divide them up as evenly as possibly wrt the eyes leaving as big a chunk of ‘potato’ with each set of eyes as you can. Next I took a dinner plate, put several layers of paper towels on it, and then put the cut potatoes on the plate and back in the bright spot for 2 or 3 days. Then Planted them just like regular potato planting.

As of right now I have pretty close to 100% germination from the pieces I planted. These weren’t ‘seed’ potatoes either but some I got at Kroger. YMMV.


31 posted on 03/21/2014 2:26:30 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
The leaves on one or two of our tomatoes have tiny light dots, like they were burned.

Was watching this video last night and the host mentioned this website below for vegetable diseases and maladies.

http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/factsheets/Tomato_List.htm

32 posted on 03/21/2014 2:28:48 PM PDT by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: DuncanWaring

OK.


33 posted on 03/21/2014 2:38:13 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

We miss you when you are gone.


34 posted on 03/21/2014 2:38:55 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper; All

Best brands/types of landscape fabric? No, I don’t have a scrap carpet supply and refuse to do newspapers that blow all over the yard. No, I don’t want mulch because I garden barefoot. Online reviews are all over the place from either one star or five stars with nothing in the middle on the same product so makes me wonder who is posting reviews and what their agenda is. Anyway, which brand do y’all recommend?

The main garden has been tilled and hopefully will get the side one done this weekend. Next week will be devoted to measuring and getting the landscape fabric down. We’re supposed to have some rain next week so that’s all good.

I’m getting antsy to put things in the ground so I may be slapped AGAIN by Mother Nature by getting them out too early. A&M says March 15 but this gal didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. Though I’m getting antsy and so are the seedlings. Thinking of making a garden center trip tomorrow to get that landscape fabric, stakes, wire, berries and whatnot.

I couldn’t find peanuts so planted a whole tray of very old ones Sunday so cross your fingers and toes for just a couple to germinate. If just one makes it, then that’s seeds for next year.


35 posted on 03/21/2014 2:41:41 PM PDT by bgill
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To: metmom

Me too. I like heirlooms the best. I do try hybrid stuff now and then, but mostly do heirloom

We are normally blessed with a long enough growing season that we have the option of planting most stuff outdoors.

However if we get a jump start with seeds indoors, then we can also get a second planting sometimes.


36 posted on 03/21/2014 2:42:26 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: painter

You are ahead of me except for the Mr. Tomato that I grew over the winter indoors.


37 posted on 03/21/2014 2:43:17 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Tilted Irish Kilt

Thanks.


38 posted on 03/21/2014 2:44:07 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Don@VB

I don’t change the soil in my raised beds. I just add compost/nutrients and green manure such as winter rye and hairy vetch to turn under come spring.

When you grow veggies, the nutrients in the soil are used up and need to be replaced. Perhaps some people are simply dumping the soil, and adding new, but it is more self sufficient and cheaper to have a compost pile and add the compost to your raised bed.

Another reason might possibly be if you have some sort of soil borne disease in the bed, and you wanted to sterilize the bed and then add new soil? Just a guess.


39 posted on 03/21/2014 2:48:53 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: crazycatlady

Yes you can. Will add you for next week’s ping.


40 posted on 03/21/2014 2:49:48 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Tilted Irish Kilt

All the garden plants were started from seed in January.

We do have some house plants that over winter in the beach house.
Maybe they’re the source.

Thanks everyone for good ideas...


41 posted on 03/21/2014 2:53:06 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
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To: greeneyes

It’s 39 degrees here in Massachusetts. We started some tomato seeds on Sunday in peat pots on our kitchen table. We still have snow on the ground, but there are finally some clear areas in the woods, and so we are hopeful.


42 posted on 03/21/2014 2:53:19 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Don@VB

I would imagine that crop rotation would work better than anything. Here’s my notes from Patty Leander, a Master Gardener from Austin, TX. Do a search for her tips. She says:

Don’t plant a particular “family” in the same area for 3 years. Families are:

Amaryllis = onion, leek, garlic, shallot
Composite = artichoke, lettuce
Crucifer = arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collars, kale, kohlrai, mustard, radish, turnip
Goosefoot = beets, chard, spinach
Legumes = peas
Umbel = carrots, cilantro, parsley, dill

Eliot Coleman, who wrote Four Season Harvest, has this to say about an optimal 8 year rotation plan:

Potatoes follow sweet corn, which follow cabbage family, which follow peas, which follow tomato, which follow bean, which follow root crops, which follow squash, which follow potatoes.


43 posted on 03/21/2014 2:54:19 PM PDT by bgill
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To: Marcella

I haven’t ever planted fingerlings. However you need to take potatoes out of the sack and let the eyes sprout. Cool temps of 40-50 degrees are desirable.

It will take about 2 or 3 weeks for the potatoes to be ready. If sprouts are visible, then a little light will help speed up the process.


44 posted on 03/21/2014 2:55:34 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: trisham

I am hopeful too, but our weather forecast says snow on Thursday next week. Here’s hoping they are wrong - maybe rain instead!LOL


45 posted on 03/21/2014 2:57:19 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Black Agnes

These Fingerlings are small so I’m planting the whole potato. A bright spot would be right where the upper deck meets with the lower deck as that gets bright with a little sun in the morning but the shade from the lower deck roof puts shade over that place fairly quickly.

The are in a heavy duty blue plastic net sack so I’ll spread them out in there and leave them in the net so no killer could get to them. I copied what you said. Thanks.


46 posted on 03/21/2014 2:59:55 PM PDT by Marcella ((Prepping can save your life today.))
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To: Don@VB
Don@VB:" Can fertilization and soil supplements be used instead of changing the soil or is it better to just change it out?"

Fertilization with a well-balanced fertilizer (like 10-10-10,along with micro-nutrients)will do wonders.
But don't forget to use crop rotation to prevent diseases from over-wintering, or re-infecting a newly planted crop.
A good source of calcium is "Bone Meal", which should be incoporated into the soil.
If you have 2 raised beds, alternate or change which bed has the high demand crops ; and switch locations in the bed.
Just for example :Hypothetical Crop Rotation ; 4 year plan
1st year : swiss chard , cabbage, kale, kohlrabi (all are high demand calcium)
2nd year : tomatoes , beets ,peas , onions, herbs , flowers peppers,etc.
3rd year: beans (with nitrogen innoculant), corn, squash, cucumbers,carrots , parsnips, lettuce.
4th year: melons , spinach, tomatoes , onions, etc.

If you continue to plant the same crop in the same location, you are inviteing catastrophic disease to hit and wipe out your entire crop.
Its much better to diversify not only crops , but also locations . Keep a homeade chart of what grew where , and then change them arround to different locations.

47 posted on 03/21/2014 3:04:16 PM PDT by Tilted Irish Kilt (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

The leaves on one or two of our tomatoes have tiny light dots, like they were burned.

Thrips or Aphids? When you hold a leaf up to a strong light, and look at the leaf underside, do you see any damage? If so, what does it look like?


48 posted on 03/21/2014 3:10:26 PM PDT by sockmonkey (Of Course I didn't read the article. After all, this is FreeRepublic..)
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To: Don@VB
Don see what bgill (post #43 ) said .
There are many members of the same family that need to be rotated, otherwise you risk crop failure by keeping in the exact same location .

You may see many references to various books on this forum. Make a list of books you may wish to review.
Your public library is your friend for books to borrow !
Two books that I highly reccomend: "Crockets Victory Garden "(maybe out of print), and " Square Foot Gardening".
The internet is a good source of general information, but you will get lots of information right here ! As greeneyes says: " There is no such thing as a stupid question .." , just ask here in this forum , you are among Freeper friends

49 posted on 03/21/2014 3:26:50 PM PDT by Tilted Irish Kilt (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: greeneyes
Ack, couldn't take it anymore so threw out some cucumber seeds just now and hooked up the water hose. Hey, the Farmers’ Almanac said root crops and transplants today but barren days tomorrow. Maybe not roots but the upcoming barren days is my excuse.

While out there, my wild cat came to see what I was up to while things in the neighborhood are quiet. Between us tilling and the neighbors drilling and big tractor trailers driving through for some reason, she's been skiddish. Did I tell y'all she had her kittens? I don't know where she's keeping them but she better think about bringing them closer to the house what with everything going on around here.

50 posted on 03/21/2014 3:40:42 PM PDT by bgill
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