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patriarch
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4,809 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Uggh! My garden space is awful, really. I never put the tomato cages away, the trellis I built for beans and birdhouse gourds is still hanging with old vines. Corn fodder, tomato vines, sweet potatoes hills, Oh my! :eek::
My troy tiller blew up and it just took the wind out of my sails, so to speak. Well, got the new motor mounted on the tiller, let it run for an hour idling to break it in. Been scanning the seed catalogs looking for serious items for fresh eating. I expect to see hyperinflation soon. Food prices will surely increase. The garden is one place a family can eat good and save money. I put a lot of energy into my garden and I expect a lot out of it. On the list this year is plenty of sweet corn, tomatoes of course, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and several varieties of lettuce. A hill or two of cucumbers, zucchini, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and a few peppers. Serious gardening this year folks! The economic forecast is bleak to say the least. Gona squeeze every vegetable out of that garden I can.:)
 

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You have a pretty good list there.

I'm going to add some flour corn and winter squash to it in my garden. Some beans and English peas and maybe snow peas also.
 

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patriarch
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4,809 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The tiller tyranny runs good as new, Guess I got everything hooked up correct. Didn't have any bolts/screws left over. Looks naked, no battery & no throttle control. It just doesn't look right with a black motor.

 

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patriarch
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Discussion Starter #7
Such a beautiful weekend, I worked on my garden. I am planning to have a strawberry patch, rather a row. I like a June bearing strawberry. So, my daughter is giving me some plants. Here is the row I made. Now, I'm just waiting for the soil to warm up before transplanting them. I think they are "AllStar".

 

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gardener & news junkie
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Congratulations on getting that tiller fixed! Major accomplishment. Yep, a black engine on a Troybilt sure does look funny. :)

I've thought about doing strawberries before and then decided that I just didn't want to give up the space for them. Besides, there's a u-pick-it place a few miles up the road and two folks can just eat so many berries. Hope yours do well for you!

Today was the last day of a short warm spell. It got up to 80 so I just had to go out and sow a few turnips, beets and radishes just for the heck of it. But boy, did that sun feel good on the shoulders. Rain and cold coming back in.
 

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patriarch
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4,809 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Congratulations on getting that tiller fixed! Major accomplishment. Yep, a black engine on a Troybilt sure does look funny. :)
My son has the original Tecumseh engine apart. It has a broken piston rod. I have ordered a new one. I may have a spare engine if he gets it to running. :)

The little garden on my property has all my perennial plants, comfrey, red raspberries, horseradish, rhubarb, walking onions, asparagus, and possible strawberries. Then, I have a few rabbits, chicken pen, and a green house. Doesn't leave much room for vegetables.
 

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patriarch
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Discussion Starter #10
This is how I begin my yearly garden season. Near the wood stove, so the temperature is warm. I'm a cheap scape, using cardboard egg cartons for seed starter trays in an aluminum chafing pan. I will cover the tray with plastic or film wrap until the seeds geminate.

 

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patriarch
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4,809 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Last year, we only had two nights below freezing in April. Frost can occur at much warmer temperatures and cause much more long term damage. For zone 6b, last frost date is about May 10, really depends where you look. :(
I will start broccoli any day, and transplant 1st April to the garden. Plants will be app. 6 wks old.
I will start lettuce 1st March and transplant to the garden 1st April. These plants will be app. 4 wks old.
I will start cabbage & cauliflower 1st March and transplant to the garden 15th April. Plants will be app. 6 wks. old.
I will start peppers and tomatoes 1st April and transplant to the garden 1st -10th May. These plants will be 6-8 wks. old.
All my plants will be transplanted from the egg carton cells to Styrofoam soup cups when they get 2-4 true leaves. They will also spend a week or two in my little green house becoming tempered to the weather. (Hardened off)

This plan is dependent upon weather conditions and unscheduled events.
Most of my seed starting supplies are reused year after year.
 

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patriarch
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Discussion Starter #12
This is where most plants will migrate to before being moved permanently to the garden. I don't get in a big hurry this time of year due to the cold nights. The green house warms to 70 degrees on sunny days even with snow on the ground, but its the nights that are disastrous to plants. And I don't heat. I have thought about it. On a cool night in April when it is full of warm weather vegetables, I might burn a coal oil lamp to take the chill out of the air.

 

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gardener & news junkie
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Lookin' good, Two Bits! Two questions:

- Do you have a hard time keeping those egg cartons from drying out?

- The Jiffy seed starting mix... is it real peaty and hard to wet down initially or does it wet easily? Like a dummy I tried Miracle Grow seed starting mix and it was almost pure peat. The water sat on top of the filled cups and refused to soak in. I ended up squishing it around in a bowl by hand with water to get it wet and then add it to my starting cups. I need to find another mix.
 

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patriarch
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4,809 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Lookin' good, Two Bits! Two questions:

- Do you have a hard time keeping those egg cartons from drying out?

- The Jiffy seed starting mix... is it real peaty and hard to wet down initially or does it wet easily? Like a dummy I tried Miracle Grow seed starting mix and it was almost pure peat. The water sat on top of the filled cups and refused to soak in. I ended up squishing it around in a bowl by hand with water to get it wet and then add it to my starting cups. I need to find another mix.
The cartons are setting in 1/4" water, they soak water up from the bottom. When I transplant to Styrofoam soup cups, I poke a hole in the bottom. This also allows watering from the bottom. I never water from above.
The mix will float if watered from the top. I fill cartons and add water to pan, 24 hours will soak through & through.
When I transplant, I use a potting mix, it too will float. The mix is poured into a bucket and water is added, maybe a gallon or so. Mix bye hand until consistency is damp throughout. Then the transplants are set in a pan with water. I usually transplant in the greenhouse.



The best mix I used was years ago. Sold by Parks Seeds . It can be purchased from commercial greenhouses. It comes in bales. Its "Fafard" soilless mix. Sold in bales of 2.8-3.8 cu. ft.
http://www.parkwholesale.com/page/wholesale_seedsupply/
 

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patriarch
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Discussion Starter #15
I have a very poor memory! In 2014, I used row fabric/ floating row covers on my cabbage plants. It worked great on flying insects, especially the white cabbage moths. The heat was extreme & cabbage hates the heat. I did have a few slugs, due to the shade of the row covers and moisture under the leaves. Also, hardly any weeds to speak of. Last year 2015, I never used them and yes, the cabbage worms eat my cabbage up. So, this year, I plan to unroll my fabric, and use it on all of my Brassica oleracea vegetables.



 

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patriarch
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4,809 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Was curious as how you use the row covers
Being the cheap scape that I am, I used clothes hangers. Straighten the clothes hangers out straight. Then, about every other plant, I make a hoop, poking each end in the ground. One on each side of the plant. This will keep the fabric from lying directly on the plants. When the plants get bigger, they will push the fabric up. The fabric weighs almost nothing.

Unroll the bolt of fabric, weigh it down on both ends with a brick, center it up on your row of plants. You can use rocks, brick, etc to hold the edges down from on end to the other. If you don't, a breeze will lift it up & off the plants. Away it goes. :D:
You can see my description from the first photo from above. Hope this helps.
Last year, the cabbage looked so bad, I didn't take any photos. :eek::
 

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patriarch
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Discussion Starter #18
Years ago, I would start all my seed/plants in a hot bed. Its a subject that I haven't seen discussed here on Survival Board! Built app. 3-4' wide and 16-20' long. Framed from sawmill lumber or railroad ties. Glass windows or plastic for covers. It was dug app 20-24" in the ground, filled with fresh horse manure in the fall, with a layer of soil over the top. The heat from the composting horse manure would heat the bed for seed germination. Mighty fine plants, too! That is how a homesteader would do it. No jiffy pots, no fancy green house, no heaters or fans.
 

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gardener & news junkie
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Last year 2015, I never used them and yes, the cabbage worms eat my cabbage up. So, this year, I plan to unroll my fabric, and use it on all of my Brassica oleracea vegetables.
Have you every used a bT spray? Bacillus thuringiensis, a very user friendly organic spray, is deadly to all caterpillar types like cabbage loopers, tomato hornworms, etc. You can use it up to day of harvest too. It goes by several brand names including Dipel and Thuricide.

It might be the answer to your munchers if stuff gets too hot under your row covers.
 

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patriarch
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4,809 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Have you every used a bT spray? Bacillus thuringiensis, a very user friendly organic spray, is deadly to all caterpillar types like cabbage loopers, tomato hornworms, etc. You can use it up to day of harvest too. It goes by several brand names including Dipel and Thuricide.

It might be the answer to your munchers if stuff gets too hot under your row covers.
Seen the name, but never researched anything about it. Thanks, I will check it out.
 
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