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2019 Gardening

Discussion in 'The Off Topic Room' started by Toothpick, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  2. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  3. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  4. Intrigued

    Intrigued Founding Member

    Looking good, Jason! :)
     
  5. butch

    butch Professional Craftsman Founding Member

    zukes are just now getting going here as well cant wait to fry some up peas are finished only one garlic made it past all the rain this year taters lookin gstrong tho. onions lookin ggood and i have more dill then i know what to do with so if your close to me forum friends i have dill to give.
     
  6. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

  7. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  8. Spaz

    Spaz Founding Member

    Been picking lots of squash for the past couple weeks. Got the first tomatoes a few days ago.
     
  9. Mark Brock

    Mark Brock Professional Craftsman

    Good grief Jason. Very nice garden sir.

    I've been working on my small raised bed garden for 3 years now (since we moved in to the new place).
    I've finally realized just how sad our soil is here in the mountains of AZ. We are at about 5000 feet with pine / oak / juniper with manzanita pretty much everywhere too.
    The soil is a light brown, clay-like, and just chock full of small rocks.

    So for the last two years I've been working on composing the bags and bags of oak leaves we get from our 7 tall trees.
    Vermi-composting I should say. I am using mold and worms to break down these shreaded oak leaves dwn and it seems to be working great.
    I've finally got some worm castings from my worm bins, pretty much only feeding them the molding oak leaves which is doubling as the work bedding.
    My neighbor said it would take about 7 years for the oak leaves to break down, but if shreaded and kept moist they mold very quickly and start breaking down right away.
    The worms and other bugs do their work and it seems to go pretty fast. I have two barrels that are less than a year in and they seem ready to harvest castings from.

    So I am doing this test on my soil to see if these castings are any good and going to help my pitiful soil.
    Below is a pic of 4 pots, with the following:
    1. Just sifted soil
    2. Half sifted soil, half pure castings.
    3. All pure castings.
    4. Oceans potting soil.

    I put 2 seeds of asian cabbage and 2 basil seeds in each pot. Way over crowded when they start getting big, but I wanted to allow for some sprouting failure.

    I would be very interested to hear of anyone else experimenting with this kind of stuff. :)

    PotSproutingTest-CastingsAug2019-2.jpg
     
  10. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

    Never done anything like that myself. I’ve got chickens so I spread the chicken poo over the garden and till it in. Works great.

    You can send off soil samples to be tested. You’ll get a report that will tell you exactly what nutrients your soil is lacking. There are also home test kits you can purchase. But I suppose you are still stuck with having to buy the fertilizer. Whereas creating your own soil saves you from that hassle every year.
     
  11. Mark Brock

    Mark Brock Professional Craftsman

    I've recently read "Teaming with Microbes" and love the idea of living soil. My concern for years has been the tastelessness and no doubt non-nutritive value of grocery store vegetables.
    My spinach has so much more depth of taste compared to the factory farmed stuff and I'm positive it carries more nutrient value by many factors.
    I've had to sift my soil for rocks, and then amend heavily with organic mulch and such. Now I just have to figure out how to maintain the natural vitality and fertilizer in the beds. So that's what I am up to with the worm composting.

    I am just getting ready to seed in my fall garden. Anyone else? The heat here lately has really taken it's toll on everything. I'm ready to start fresh again. We can usually grow into December.
     
  12. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

    Late Oct. Early November is usually the first frost here in Mid TN. By the time the summer garden is done I’ve had enough of it. As of now we only have peppers left. Bell peppers and various hot peppers.
     
  13. butch

    butch Professional Craftsman Founding Member

    heat has beat the heck out of my garden as well zukes got beetled again this year but got a few to eat only thing left in the garden are beets 2 peppers and cucumbers (just found out how much water they need ) need to till compost into my one bed and plant the fall salad greens
     
  14. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

    90% of our watermelon split on the vine. But with 10 plants we still got a bunch that we ate and made watermelon jelly from.
    Had to Google why they were splitting because it’s never happened before. Erratic watering was our problem. Also some types are prone to splitting. But I’m 99% sure it was the watering. Basically excessive water after times of drought. I also don’t think the plastic helped any.
     
  15. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

    Half of our tomatoes haven't even set fruit yet, and the first frost is just around the corner. Tried a grafted Brandywine and it's done nothing but sulk. We ended up getting watermelons at the grocery. They were good this year, and a chance to use my little fruit knife.

    FruitKnife.jpg
     
  16. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

  17. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  18. butch

    butch Professional Craftsman Founding Member

    all i got left is beets and i need to pull some and start thinning and canning them
     
  19. Mark Brock

    Mark Brock Professional Craftsman

    I had to pull most of my old stuff out due to heat effects. Still have some cherry tomatoes and am leaving in the brussel sprouts to see what they do.

    I put in new broccoli and kale as it will grow right into December here so should work out. Kale definitely will. You ever notice even aphids won't hardly touch kale? Why is that?

    A few pics of my potting experiment below too. It's been kind of enlightening and interesting.
    The first thing was that the only 100% germination pot was in my native soil.
    The one doing about the worst is the premium organic potting soil mix, which was totally unexpected. I paid a lot of money for that crap over the years...
    The 50/50 soil and worm castings seems to be about the best, and I think it would have been better yet at 75% soil, 25% castings.
    The castings really change the texture of the soil. It cracks like clay at %100 and even a bit at 50%. I think at %25 it would have been near perfect and certainly seems to be feeding the sprouts very well.

    ... 20190908_115311.jpg
    20190908_115315.jpg
    20190908_115334.jpg
    20190908_115341.jpg
    20190908_115355.jpg and then there's the chicks. :)
     
  20. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

    You’ve got all the free fertilizer you want with those chickens. In my coop I’ve got “poop boards”. They sit under the roosts and collet the chicken poop. So every few days I go in and sift it out like a cat litter box. All last winter when I would do this I would throw it on the garden. Then this spring I tilled it all in when I planted the gardens. It helped A LOT with the harvest. Everything just grew like crazy and BIG. Going to do it this year too.

    Do you composting set up like? Or how do you get the worm casings? I’m considering setting up a composting operation.
     

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