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Old 02-19-2018, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ForestBeekeeper View Post
Lets look at those a bit:
Spaghetti squash [Cucurbita pepo]
Butternut squash [Cucurbita moschata]
Acorn squash [Cucurbita pepo]
Winter squash [Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita argyrosperma, Cucurbita moschata, Cucurbita pepo]

Spaghetti squash and Acorn squash are both the same species, Cucurbita pepo. They WILL cross-breed if grown the same season and within a mile of each other.

Butternut could be grown in the same field and it will never cross breed with Spaghetti or Acorn squash because they are different species from each other.


Winter squash is an interesting phrase. It does not refer to any specific species of plant. Plants labeled 'Winter Squash' could be a plant from among the following list of species: Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita argyrosperma, Cucurbita moschata, and Cucurbita pepo.

There are a total of five species of squashes. You may safely grow one of each species in your garden without concern of them cross-breeding. But you can never grow 2 or more varieties of the same species, as they will not produce reusable seed.
Had a fun garden last year with a plot of squash, pumpkins, gourds, cantaloupe and sunflowers. Scored some spaghetti squash, acorn squash, turk's turban squash, zucchini, connecticut field pumpkins, jarrahdale pumpkins, baby boo pumpkins, jack be little pumpkins, a bunch of small mixed gourds, a couple very small cantaloupe and a dozen mammoth sunflowers. Used up most of my very old stock of seeds of those.

I got an awesome yield, some we're still eating, all grew true to type and the edible ones taste good.

Somehow all my sunflower seeds were empty hulls. That has nothing to do with the squash though. It was probably a pollination issue. Next time I grow sunflowers I will go for the black oil seed type.

It was a new patch of ground that we had just turned over. That patch drew squash bugs and striped cucumber beetles like you've never seen before, but no borers.

This year we are planting no squash, gourds, pumpkins, or melons. I will have cucumbers this year but in a different patch. I will be watching them like a hawk too.

No way was I planning to save any of the seeds from that patch, but it was fun to use up some very old seeds. Have since ordered fresh stock for my favorites.

(no fertilizer, herbicides, pesticide were added, and minimal amounts of well water. They grew with dirt, air, sunshine, and rain for the most part. No fertilizer = no manure, aged manure, manure tea, or compost. Just turned over sod.)

Last edited by thyme2bprepped; 02-19-2018 at 08:06 PM.. Reason: keeping OT as far as bought additives
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:28 PM
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That's not the focal point of the topic... can you / they grow all that food entirely without the aid of modern industrial shortcuts as laid out in the original post?

I'm just trying to keep the thread on the topic of absolute survival / self reliant gardening skills alone without buying any "stuff"...

I'm of the belief that most people WAY overestimate their ability to garden apart from their reliance on industrial products that wouldn't be available in a grid down environment.
You can do it. For many plant species you can put the seed in the ground and water the area until seed germinates, and it will grow. Weeding takes out the competition, and is helpful, but sometimes weeds can help shade the ground and prevent evaporation, thereby lessening the need for irrigation. At a certain point your seedlings grow stronger and the weeds need to go. Especially get rid of them before they go to seed.

If you're not comfortable with weeds providing ground cover remove them and use some kind of mulch like leaves, straw, wood chips, or cardboard.

It is possible to garden without lots of fertilizer and chemicals.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:55 PM
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Not at all. I'm a miserable gardener. Much, much better with livestock of all kinds. I'm probably gonna die of protein starvation. Or I guess I could barter.

I have had a congenital condition that has kept me from doing much leaning over (kinda a must do when gardening) or lifting stuff. I had surgery last year that went a long way towards correcting that so hopefully this year I will be able to at least give a garden an honest effort. I'm looking forward to it.
Container gardening so you can have the garden at the height(s) you want. Both hanging and sitting containers. The sitting containers can be put on top of blocks, tables, deck railings, etc. The hanging containers can be hung with a pulley to raise and lower and needed. The wand-type watering thingees with the adjustable angle heads that fit on hoses are great, too. I also like drip irrigation for everything except Earth Boxes.

As far as gardening ability, I can grow basic veggies in containers (bell peppers, hot peppers, onions, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, parsnips, garlic, horseradish, celery, lettuce, etc.). Not so good with the potatoes.

I can also grow basic culinary/medicinal herbs and flowers (mint, spearmint, chocolate mint, foxglove, citronella, marigold, basil, caraway, chives, dill, fennel, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme, etc.) in containers. Foxglove does a lot better in the ground, though. Along with sunflowers.

Strawberries, and blueberries OK in containers, too. I've had little luck with apples, pears, peaches, etc. ... the extension thinks it's a pollination issue, so we're working on encouraging/enticing bees and butterflies into the orchard with lots of flowers. That should also help the raspberries and grapes (not in containers).

Now I understand why orchards don't mow the wildflowers down

I can pretty much forget about everything else., except I'm going to try again with potted citrus one of these years. I'd also like to try growing ginger and cinnamon. Nutmeg is probably out of the question, though

Maybe I can trade with BadgeBunny, as I am a terrible rancher
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:09 AM
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If you're not comfortable with weeds providing ground cover remove them and use some kind of mulch like leaves, straw, wood chips, or cardboard.
Yeah I am deciding what to do about weeds now. I have a 1 year old garden patch that I am weeding now, and another patch next door that is all wild grass (and FULL of cutworms) that I may only partially weed.

If I strip the ground bare in the new patch the cutworms will have no choice but to decimate my young plants for food, so it is a tough call. The really tasty plants (beans, cukes) will go in the most protected area, may also think about splitting the plants up so one cutworm doesn't eat ALL the beans (instead of planting in a big cluster of rows offering easy crawling distance).
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:41 AM
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You could plant the afflicted area with some "bait" plants in order to keep the bugs away from the actual garden bed. Apparently, they also do not like diatomaceous earth. http://montanahomesteader.com/get-rid-cutworms-garden/

If it were me, and you have birds, I'd let the chickens free on the days (and a few after) that I tilled. I do this anyway, because we've got fleas in the yard, and the chickens are heck on wheels for those, and anytime we are out, so are they.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:04 AM
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You could plant the afflicted area with some "bait" plants in order to keep the bugs away from the actual garden bed. Apparently, they also do not like diatomaceous earth. http://montanahomesteader.com/get-rid-cutworms-garden/

If it were me, and you have birds, I'd let the chickens free on the days (and a few after) that I tilled. I do this anyway, because we've got fleas in the yard, and the chickens are heck on wheels for those, and anytime we are out, so are they.
Good tips. When I find the odd cutworm I do toss it to the rooster, and the chickens free range.

I actually don't think there are very many, judging from the massive amount of damage done last year (3 separate crops of bean plants destroyed) I suspect only one or two grubs were showing up and having a stem severing party to kill whole crops of bean plants in one or two nights. This year I will use BT too.

But to keep this somewhat OT -- cutworms will likely be a BIG problem for SHTF gardeners that plan to expand their garden space in an emergency situation. The eggs get laid in grass, so new gardens planted in what was a grass field, or a lawn, will likely get hit very hard the first year and many crops could be entirely wiped out. Without BT or something to stop it, and without extra seeds to replant, folks could face disaster from cutworms alone.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:12 AM
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A sprinkle of ashes helps deter the cutworms.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:20 AM
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A sprinkle of ashes helps deter the cutworms.
LOL. In theory. I used every trick I could find, collars, cups, etc... Finally used homemade nicotine spray on the some plants every evening (plus collars) and managed to save 3 pole bean plants. Little suckers were crawling up and over 5" foil collars to snip the stems above the foil. After searching for tips not one place mentioned BT!

I battled them for 3 months and kept losing, it was really awful. If I had to survive off of what that garden produced I surely would have starved.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:23 AM
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I always think I'll go out to the garden after dusk, and never end up doing it. I've also heard that some pests will glow under a UV light. I want to check with ours this year. Grubs also bring moles or voles, or something, that tear up a newly planted row.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:18 AM
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I have found moles to be a good thing. Yes, there are tunnels in the yard but the years I have had moles I did not have cut worms or those rotten Japanese Beetles.
Between ashes and chickens, my cutworm problems are in check. Used to have lots.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:42 AM
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I have found moles to be a good thing. Yes, there are tunnels in the yard but the years I have had moles I did not have cut worms or those rotten Japanese Beetles.
Between ashes and chickens, my cutworm problems are in check. Used to have lots.
I don't mind the mole trails unless I turn an ankle. My ankles are kind of bad anyway. The uprooted plants just get pushed back down. Seeing sign of moles does let us know the state of our grub problem. If the moles went away it would be a good sign. For now we just live with them. July 1st... Japanese beetles.

Who else uses a dixie cup with water for the Japanese beetles?
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:15 PM
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Cottage cheese container, soap and water. Yuck, hate those bugs.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by thyme2bprepped View Post
You can do it. For many plant species you can put the seed in the ground and water the area until seed germinates, and it will grow. Weeding takes out the competition, and is helpful, but sometimes weeds can help shade the ground and prevent evaporation, thereby lessening the need for irrigation. At a certain point your seedlings grow stronger and the weeds need to go. Especially get rid of them before they go to seed.

If you're not comfortable with weeds providing ground cover remove them and use some kind of mulch like leaves, straw, wood chips, or cardboard.

It is possible to garden without lots of fertilizer and chemicals.
Not sure what this was in response to?? You quoted a reply where I was trying to steer the discussion back on track. It appeared that Forest B wasn't addressing the crux of the topic - growing without the aid of modern industrial products and shortcuts. I have a hard time believing anyone is growing acres of food with the methods I described in the original post.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Old fart View Post
Container gardening so you can have the garden at the height(s) you want. Both hanging and sitting containers. The sitting containers can be put on top of blocks, tables, deck railings, etc. The hanging containers can be hung with a pulley to raise and lower and needed. The wand-type watering thingees with the adjustable angle heads that fit on hoses are great, too. I also like drip irrigation for everything except Earth Boxes.

As far as gardening ability, I can grow basic veggies in containers (bell peppers, hot peppers, onions, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, parsnips, garlic, horseradish, celery, lettuce, etc.). Not so good with the potatoes.

I can also grow basic culinary/medicinal herbs and flowers (mint, spearmint, chocolate mint, foxglove, citronella, marigold, basil, caraway, chives, dill, fennel, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme, etc.) in containers. Foxglove does a lot better in the ground, though. Along with sunflowers.

Strawberries, and blueberries OK in containers, too. I've had little luck with apples, pears, peaches, etc. ... the extension thinks it's a pollination issue, so we're working on encouraging/enticing bees and butterflies into the orchard with lots of flowers. That should also help the raspberries and grapes (not in containers).

Now I understand why orchards don't mow the wildflowers down

I can pretty much forget about everything else., except I'm going to try again with potted citrus one of these years. I'd also like to try growing ginger and cinnamon. Nutmeg is probably out of the question, though

Maybe I can trade with BadgeBunny, as I am a terrible rancher

This thread isn't about general gardening with all the assistance of modern convenience products like wands for watering. How would you provide pressure for such a thing in a grid down scenario, or do you have a gravity feed system set up?
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:19 PM
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Not sure what this was in response to?? You quoted a reply where I was trying to steer the discussion back on track. It appeared that Forest B wasn't addressing the crux of the topic - growing without the aid of modern industrial products and shortcuts. I have a hard time believing anyone is growing acres of food with the methods I described in the original post.
Sorry for the post then. I'll let you wait for FBK to answer if the market farmers he knows do it without the modern conveniences... or if they could.

Have a day.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:32 PM
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Not at all. I'm a miserable gardener. Much, much better with livestock of all kinds. I'm probably gonna die of protein starvation. Or I guess I could barter.

I have had a congenital condition that has kept me from doing much leaning over (kinda a must do when gardening) or lifting stuff. I had surgery last year that went a long way towards correcting that so hopefully this year I will be able to at least give a garden an honest effort. I'm looking forward to it.
I paid my oldest $5 per stake to drive a row of stakes in he garden. It was money well spent. That and a $15 plastic stool from the hardware store really helps me to garden, even though I am handicapped.

I plant a tomato at the base of some of the stakes, and I tie the plant up as it grows. Then I can sit on the stool to harvest.

I can also plant a row of topcrop bush beans, and run strings from post to post on each side to keep the plants supported. Then I can sit on my stool to harvest.

I also have 2 small raised beds, and I can sit on my stool to tend that as well. .The raised beds are mostly things like onions that would otherwise be down low. By putting them in the raised bed I do not have to bend over when I weed.

I also have things planted in the ground, and I sit down to take care of them, but there is a limit to what I want to do on the ground.

For me, my garden is my workout and I spend about a half hour a day taking care of it. It is more fun than walking on a treadmill or lifting weights, and it also is a good way to save money on produce. So, most days I take my cane in my right hand and some kind of garden tool in my left, and a bag in my pocket and head on out. I weed a bit and harvest a bit, and then I come in.

........................................

Edited to add: during the Great Depression my husband's family took care of a garden that was well over an acre. It was probably fertilized with animal manure, as they also kept animals.

Their Father also raised field corn. The field corn was ground for cornbread and also fed to the pigs. I expect pig poop went into the garden, as they had to put it someplace.

The kids never went hungry.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:43 PM
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Sorry for the post then. I'll let you wait for FBK to answer if the market farmers he knows do it without the modern conveniences... or if they could.

Have a day.
No problem. This thread has almost reached the point with multiple pages of responses, where its about to lose its original intent due to thread drift anyway.

Currently, I sometimes use grass clippings to stifle the weeds until the plants get established. In a grid down, I would use leaves gathered from the previous autumn. That's not a method I could see working on several acres / football field sized plots however.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Velvet Elvis View Post
Not sure what this was in response to?? You quoted a reply where I was trying to steer the discussion back on track. It appeared that Forest B wasn't addressing the crux of the topic - growing without the aid of modern industrial products and shortcuts. I have a hard time believing anyone is growing acres of food with the methods I described in the original post.
I am not growing acres of garden ,,,but I am growing almost a acre ,,,and the only modern thing it gets is a tiller,,,i have added composted manure and plan to keep doing so ,,, my plan is to enrich the ground more than is needed so if something happened the soils ready for several years as is


so I use no modern chemicals as a fertilizer or insecticide,, and it still will outproduce my needs by a long shot ,,,I could do with out the tiller if I didn't need to work 40+ hours a week to continue upgrading my place as in buying materials to get other projects on the go
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:46 PM
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That's not the focal point of the topic... can you / they grow all that food entirely without the aid of modern industrial shortcuts as laid out in the original post?

I'm just trying to keep the thread on the topic of absolute survival / self reliant gardening skills alone without buying any "stuff"...

I'm of the belief that most people WAY overestimate their ability to garden apart from their reliance on industrial products that wouldn't be available in a grid down environment.
I can see that.

As survivalists, we need to practice the lifestyle, and actually 'do it'.

I just got back from a trip into town. Every week on Tuesdays we make a trip into town to get groceries. This week we needed a bottle of Worchester sauce. Most weeks we do not need anything, but this week we did. [I go on Tuesdays because that is senior discount day]. My wife wants us to record all grocery store purchases this year, so she will know exactly how much of our budget 'per year' goes to the grocery store. I think that I spend $100/year just on sugar, but we will see.

I am NOT producing 100% of our food. there are things that we still need. Every 2nd or 3rd week I need to go get something, as you see this week it was a bottle of Worchester sauce.

Most of the time, I need to pick up more sugar. We have pretty much cut refined sugar out of our diet, but I ferment. Mostly for trade goods, and that requires sugar.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:00 PM
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Sorry for the post then. I'll let you wait for FBK to answer if the market farmers he knows do it without the modern conveniences... or if they could.

Have a day.
I have Solar Power on our farm, and I do have well water, in an area that is pretty much free of drought historically. Water at the faucet is a great 'convenience' that I hope to keep even after SHTF.

I haul in 30 to 35 yards of horse manure each Spring from a neighbor. I am of the belief that I am building my soil a huge amount. For every year that I apply a foot of horse manure, I am adding a decade of fertility.

If I lay-down a thick layer of horse manure now, it increases productivity a lot, and I hope this new increased level of fertility will sustain for years to come. Decreasing gradually each year for the rest of my lifespan.

I know Farmer's Market vendors who haul water from streams, and others who use night soil in their gardens.

Obviously the biggest modern convenience that we all use is automobiles. Today if you load up your station wagon with veggies, spend a day at market and make $100. It was a profitable day.

The trip to market might have only cost you $6 or so. [factoring in insurance, maintenance, oil, fuel, etc] If you need to make $20/day to pay for all the rest of your needs, then $100/day at market selling veggies, is a good day.
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