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Old 03-19-2010, 09:59 PM
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Do you worry about contamination from the synthetic petroleum based rubber in the tires?
Not especially. All of these tires are ones I used last year to grow "fruit" crops like tomatoes, beans, squash, okra, etc. Besides, I checked with the Oklahoma Ag extension office last year about it and they said it was fine as long as they were used the first year for something other than root crops. I have heard of people just washing them out really well or lining them with something but no, it doesn't worry me. There are too many other things to worry about in life.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:07 PM
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I never have understood the benefits to doing the raised bed thing.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:22 PM
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I never have understood the benefits to doing the raised bed thing.
Then you probably haven't run into the remains of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl where I live (Cherokee County, from where the fictional Joads family in The Grapes of Wrath came). We have two kinds of soil here: clay and rock (usually sandstone).

You can, given years of work, improve clay but drainage can still be a problem and raised beds solve that problem.

You can't fix rock in any way except a raised bed. I have about 2 and 3/4 acres of land (2.68 to be precise). Of all that land, I have about 5000 square feet that is tillable. And that part is all either clay, crumbled sandstone, or a combination; not particularly useful. The rest has no more than an inch or two, if that, of soil over rock. It's pretty typical here. We have fixed some of the clay over the years but I am building raised beds this year to get us more space.

Of course there are other benefits, benefits that even those with good soil can enjoy:
  • The soil warms earlier in the spring.
  • You can concentrate your fertilizer, pest control, and watering to only the part of the garden producing food - the raised bed.
  • It is easier to reach. My wife has arthritis in her hip. She can only help garden in the raised beds. Mine are 2 feet high to accommodate her.

Offsetting those benefits, the only real down sides are that by providing better drainage, the soil will dry more quickly requiring more watering or better moisture management, and the cost of building the beds.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:06 AM
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I like your garden ideas! My husband is a mechanic so we always have tires. I'm gonna put some of those babies to good use this spring. We rarely eat potatoes but I will enjoy gifting the excess.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:17 AM
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What a difference a day makes.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:43 AM
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I've covered most of my garden with anywhere from 12 to 16 inches of loose straw - except the cabbage (including broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi) plants. What do you think? Will those stand up to the coming snow or should I bury them, too?

And, yes, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday was 75 degrees. Today is 35 degrees right now and that snow is due here any minute.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:53 AM
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I read about growing potatoes in tires. I grow a 1/4 acre garden every year but didn't try it please keep me posted on how it goes. I am really curious if this helps cut down on the potatoe bug , or is there no difference. I have battled those critters the last 2 years. Anyone one with suggestions to that please let me know.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Levant View Post
I've covered most of my garden with anywhere from 12 to 16 inches of loose straw - except the cabbage (including broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi) plants. What do you think? Will those stand up to the coming snow or should I bury them, too?

And, yes, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday was 75 degrees. Today is 35 degrees right now and that snow is due here any minute.
I really think it depends on how much of your plants is already out of the ground. The snow isn't supposed to stick around long so if it is just a little bit, it should be OK.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:17 PM
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I read about growing potatoes in tires. I grow a 1/4 acre garden every year but didn't try it please keep me posted on how it goes. I am really curious if this helps cut down on the potatoe bug , or is there no difference. I have battled those critters the last 2 years. Anyone one with suggestions to that please let me know.
I'll keep posting updates. I haven't had any potato bug so far but this is only my second year growing potatoes. Last year I grew them in the flower bed up by the deck. This year I'm trying tires to increase yield hopefully.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by reddog64 View Post
I read about growing potatoes in tires. I grow a 1/4 acre garden every year but didn't try it please keep me posted on how it goes. I am really curious if this helps cut down on the potatoe bug , or is there no difference. I have battled those critters the last 2 years. Anyone one with suggestions to that please let me know.
Horseradish planted around the potato plants will increase your yield. My grandmother ALWAYS had her potato plants and horseradish plants in the same place. She swore she never had a problem with potato bugs either.

This site, http://www.basic-info-4-organic-fert...ionplants.html says horseradish "may" deter bugs. There is also a plant called Lamium (which I have never heard of) that they say deters the bugs.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:00 PM
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Horseradish planted around the potato plants will increase your yield. My grandmother ALWAYS had her potato plants and horseradish plants in the same place. She swore she never had a problem with potato bugs either.

This site, http://www.basic-info-4-organic-fert...ionplants.html says horseradish "may" deter bugs. There is also a plant called Lamium (which I have never heard of) that they say deters the bugs.

Hope this helps some.
That's good to know. I actually did plant some horseradish in one of the onion beds adjacent to the potato tires. Totally not on purpose. Nifty. Hope that's close enough to be of benefit. You think?
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:43 PM
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I have never seen any horseradish seeds anywhere. I hope this snow doesn't stick around long but it looks like we have some rain on the way aswell.
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:14 PM
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I have never seen any horseradish seeds anywhere. I hope this snow doesn't stick around long but it looks like we have some rain on the way aswell.
It comes as a root... looks like a stick that you are supposed to bury and water. LOL! The picture on the package looked like a ginger root to me which I guess is what horseradish looks like on the bottom. I always thought it was the plant people eat, not the root. Husband corrected me. That is twice in 2 days he's been right. Darn him!
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:33 PM
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That's good to know. I actually did plant some horseradish in one of the onion beds adjacent to the potato tires. Totally not on purpose. Nifty. Hope that's close enough to be of benefit. You think?
Maybe ... Ok ... I dunno ... have no clue ... My grandma just always had one spot in the garden where she had horseradish and she would put her seed potatos in there. I guess horseradish is kinda like a weed once it gets going because she would dig it out every year and it would come back up every spring. Kinda like my peppermint does now ...
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:34 PM
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It comes as a root... looks like a stick that you are supposed to bury and water. LOL! The picture on the package looked like a ginger root to me which I guess is what horseradish looks like on the bottom. I always thought it was the plant people eat, not the root. Husband corrected me. That is twice in 2 days he's been right. Darn him!
Man, I hate it when that happens! GR gloats!!
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:52 PM
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Then you probably haven't run into the remains of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl where I live (Cherokee County, from where the fictional Joads family in The Grapes of Wrath came). We have two kinds of soil here: clay and rock (usually sandstone).
Your right. I can't imagine that. Good post. We have mostly red Georgia clay.
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by oktx View Post
It comes as a root... looks like a stick that you are supposed to bury and water. LOL! The picture on the package looked like a ginger root to me which I guess is what horseradish looks like on the bottom. I always thought it was the plant people eat, not the root. Husband corrected me. That is twice in 2 days he's been right. Darn him!
oh yah. Do you just buy one of the big chunks of it and chop it in small pieces and plant it or what?
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:04 PM
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oh yah. Do you just buy one of the big chunks of it and chop it in small pieces and plant it or what?
I guess you could do that and see if it grows? I got mine at Lowes.
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:37 PM
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I really think it depends on how much of your plants is already out of the ground. The snow isn't supposed to stick around long so if it is just a little bit, it should be OK.
I know it's off topic but how'd you do through the storm, oktx? We ended up with 14 inches of snow near Lake Tenkiller. 75 degrees on the last full day of winter, 14 inches of snow on the first full day of spring.

I drove to Bartlesville for work today. All the way from Muskogee to Bartlesville looked like they only got a few inches. I'm sure they had more but it was mostly gone today. I spent the morning digging out where I live and then waiting for downed power lines across my drive to get fixed before I could leave. I was shocked at what the rest of the world looked like in comparison to the crazy mess we have.

We won't know for several days how our cabbage plants or onions hold up. We mulched the onions heavily but not the cabbages; we just did not expect this severe of a storm. The peas, carrots, and beets are just sprouting so they should be ok under their foot-plus of straw.
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:04 PM
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I think we ended up with around 3-4 inches most of which melted off today. I'll have to go down to the garden to see how everything survived hopefully tomorrow. Not exactly the snowmaggeddon they were predicting around here.
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