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Gardening: (2016– )


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5 hours ago, haresfur said:

 

I've been looking into Arduino recently. A person I know programmed all his father's garden beds with moisture sensors and irrigation control valves.

They're very convenient.  Many years ago, you'd have to spend $1000 to get an industrial controller... now you can have most of the functionality for $20, and it's much easier to program than the industrial stuff.

 

Using sensors and controllers can save a lot of money and water over time - many people needlessly water based on a clock schedule.

 

I was reading an article about new high tech farming techniques (for outdoor farms, not indoor).  Many farms now used enhanced GPS and sensors to be able to robotically drive tractors and deliver fertilizer only where needed.   A lot of fertilizer is wasted by mistakenly spraying the same area repeatedly as the tractor makes its rounds, and some areas don't get any at all.  The new system winds up using a lot less fertilizer and has a much more even application for healthier crops.

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My GF's dad, a retired air force technician, has been occupying himself for the past two winters by building an Arduino/GPS-based autopilot for his sailboat. It's a remarkably versatile platform.

 

(He may never finish it, and may not be able to sail his boat anymore by the time it's done, but that's not the point...)

 

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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4 hours ago, TicTac said:

One a separate topic - I am curious as to suggestions of when I should start my seeds for our outdoor garden (first year doing so, we live in Southern Ontario)...

 

 

Margaret is in upstate New York. I trust her. https://awaytogarden.com/when-to-start-seeds-calculator/

Edited by heidih (log)
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That's useful.

I had a worksheet that's very similar when my website was up and running.

I'm in the process of relaunching the website, but it'll be a while.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Have we talked about seed libraries before? The local libraries here (Pima County Public Library branches) have a seed library, which includes a selection of heirloom and open-pollinated seeds that can be "borrowed" to grow at home. It's pretty cool. I have no idea how common this is. They have lots of information and book recommendations tied to the seeds provided. They give growing timelines, organize classes and events and so forth. 

 

https://www.library.pima.gov/browse_program/seed-library/

 

 

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3 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

Have we talked about seed libraries before? The local libraries here (Pima County Public Library branches) have a seed library, which includes a selection of heirloom and open-pollinated seeds that can be "borrowed" to grow at home. It's pretty cool. I have no idea how common this is. They have lots of information and book recommendations tied to the seeds provided. They give growing timelines, organize classes and events and so forth. 

 

https://www.library.pima.gov/browse_program/seed-library/

 

We have it here: http://ccld.lib.ny.us/seed-lending/

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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The Duluth Public Library system has it also, at least at the main branch.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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20 hours ago, KennethT said:

This is amazing.. now you have me wanting to grow a curry tree!!!  How did you start yours?  I've heard that you can root a branch pretty easily, but have never tried...  How old is this one by now?

 

I think it is three years old. Maybe 4. I bought it as a seedling. It took a bit but then really took off. I tried to re-pot a sucker but don't think I got enough root with it. Maybe I'll try a cutting.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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As a librarian I envy you your seed libraries.

As a black thumb grower (Who do you know who can kill English ivy?)

IOur local Shoprite has been offering some "mini" things -I bought a mini garden of cat grass for Smudge and Sinder and a garden of mini tomatoes.   We shall see <SIGH>

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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9 hours ago, suzilightning said:

As a librarian I envy you your seed libraries.

As a black thumb grower (Who do you know who can kill English ivy?)

IOur local Shoprite has been offering some "mini" things -I bought a mini garden of cat grass for Smudge and Sinder and a garden of mini tomatoes.   We shall see <SIGH>

 

I asked at work about seed lending.  It's been looked into.  Our Shoprite sells organic herb plants that seem to be locally grown and in stock all year long.  Good quality.  The selection is inconsistent though.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have a seed library here also.   I found out about it last year and was able to get a few seeds for Cherokee Purple tomatoes.    Tulsa City County Library Seed library

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It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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4 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

How to tell when peas are ready for harvest? 

 

It takes a bit of practice to harvest them when they're perfect.

Generally, harvest when the pods become plump and you can first feel pea "bumps" or "lumps."

They often turn "mealy" fast.

ETA: So, when first plump with bumps or lumps! :smile:

Another ETA: I worked on dairy farms for many years—farms of family, friends, and neighbors. One forage blend was peas and triticale—wheat-rye hybrid. I can remember standing out in the of fields eating the sweet tender young peas intended for the cows. That particular cultivar was very good! We ate a lot of them.

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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On 1/28/2019 at 3:41 PM, DiggingDogFarm said:

I ordered 8 ounces of Miracle-Gro.

The following is interesting: http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=1346

 

Okay DDF,

 

I concede that your link is interesting, but what has it got to do with Miracle-Gro, which I have had good luck with and was unaware it had any sugar in it.

 

Are you saying that it does?

 

Don't get me wrong. I don't know anything about anything. 

 

I once spoke with a Vermont farmer who won the first prize for largest pumpkin at the state fair and he said he had injected the vines with milk. I have no earthly idea if he was telling the truth, but back in that day and time and place, people did tend to tell the truth much more than they do now.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

 

Okay DDF,

 

I concede that your link is interesting, but what has it got to do with Miracle-Gro, which I have had good luck with and was unaware it had any sugar in it.

 

Are you saying that it does?

 

Don't get me wrong. I don't know anything about anything. 

 

I once spoke with a Vermont farmer who won the first prize for largest pumpkin at the state fair and he said he had injected the vines with milk. I have no earthly idea if he was telling the truth, but back in that day and time and place, people did tend to tell the truth much more than they do now.

Nothing to do with Miracle-Gro directly, but relates to priming old seed I mentioned earlier.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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2 minutes ago, TicTac said:

What do you folks use as tomatoe 'cages' / support systems?

 

I have used re-bar posts in the past with hemp twine, but was wondering if there are better systems and if any benefit to 'cages'?

 

Hopefully @dcarch will post info and pics about his very clever system soon.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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42 minutes ago, TicTac said:

What do you folks use as tomatoe 'cages' / support systems?

 

I have used re-bar posts in the past with hemp twine, but was wondering if there are better systems and if any benefit to 'cages'?

 

I've used both commercial cages and cane poles stacked as "teepees" and tied at the top. With cages, you generally don't have to tie the tomatoes. With any kind of poles, you do. I find the legs cut off panty hose work wonderfully; they don't cut into the plants.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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3 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

I once spoke with a Vermont farmer who won the first prize for largest pumpkin at the state fair and he said he had injected the vines with milk. I have no earthly idea if he was telling the truth, but back in that day and time and place, people did tend to tell the truth much more than they do now.

 

 

I've heard that from other competitive growers as well, and apparently milk does work reasonably well as a liquid fertilizer. Injecting it is probably not that great an idea (why damage your vines and give opportunity for pests/illness), though I'm sure some do it anyway. Serious competitors from what I've read use chelated calcium instead.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I was at Lee Valley (an unreal store which could warrant its own thread!) looking for items for my seed starting venture this season and was talking to the folks about tomato supports.  They have this metal post that kind of 'swirls', meant to make it easier to tie onto.  I suggested my metal re-bar with its textured pole would be more than sufficient and half the price.

 

Guess I am going back to 1 post per plant method!

 

 

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I belong to a few FB gardening groups (mostly hydro but many grow outdoors), and many people put a heavy pole on each side of the row and string a wire between them. Then you tie a string from the base of each plant to the horizontal string and train the tomato plants up. You can secure the plants with a tomato clip, or just wrap the string around the plant at each truss.  Google greenhouse tomato farming - that's how the pros usually do it.

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