Thoughts on the finalized grow list...

ReedBaizeJanuary 24, 2013

Seeds go in on Saturday so this is final.

Amos Coli
Berkeley Tie-Dye
Berkshire Polish Beefsteak
Big Ben
Big Cheef F6
Black and Brown Boar
Black Bear
Black Cherry
Blue Beauty
Box Car Willie
Brad's Black Heart
Brandywine - True Black
Captain Lucky
Cherokee Green
Cherokee Purple
County Agent
Earl of Edgecombe
Eckert Polish
Gary'O Sena
Great Divide
Hazelfield Farm
Indigo Apple
Jaune Flamme
Lemon Boy VFN Hybrid
Livingston's Paragon
Maiden's Gold
Malakhitovaya Shkatulka
Muddy Waters
Mule Team
Orange Minsk
Porter - Charles Herring Strain
Red Pear - Gransasso Strain
Sun Gold F1
Super Sioux
White Tomesol
Zagadka Prirody

This post was edited by ReedBaize on Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 22:13

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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I hope you report on all of those at the end of summer. Which of those have you grown before and liked? I recognize some of the names as good, but I've never heard of several and will have to look them up.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 7:11PM
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I dont think I have ever grown that many plants at one time. Black cherry, Cherokee Purple and Sun Gold are the only ones I can remember growing from that list. I hope you do give a report at the end or summer.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 7:56PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Did you sow your seeds?

I might sow mine this afternoon if the weather doesn't improve, though I'd rather be outside.

How many of these varieties are new to you?


    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:08AM
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I actually planted them on Friday night because my family was coming to visit this weekend and I wanted to get it done before they got here. Of the 40, 35 are new to me. I also planted a few extra because I have some Maxifort and RST=04-105 rootstock and I'm going to try grafting Dester, True Black Brandywine, Brad's Black Heart and Orange Minsk to them. Three of those varieties are notoriously stingy so I thought I might see if that improved yield.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 1:14PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Jay has done some grafting the last couple of years. He hasn't been on the forum much lately to discuss it though.

I started my tomato seeds on Sunday, though I may start 2-4 more varieties today.

In keeping with my desire to stop experimenting so much and to stick with proven varieties that produce well for me here in drought years, of the 31 varieties I seeded, only 3 are new to me.

Except for the heart-shaped varieties and the Brandywines that are notorious for producing poorly in our climate, I've found that almost any variety I have planted will produce well enough as long as I plant it as early as I possibly can in order to beat the heat. The challenge of beating the heat is one that's not going to go away either. I had great Brandywine years in 2002 and 2004 and not so much since then, and I really miss the Brandywines. However, Keith Mueller's Brandywine crosses have done really well in my garden, and so has Brandy Boy, though its flavor isn't close enough to the flavor of Brandywine for my tastes. I still like it, but it doesn't make the grow list as much as it used to.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 6:30AM
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I grew up in a commercial hybrid family. What I mean by that is that, aside from my grandfather's Porter strain, we grew a lot of Celebrities, Early Girls, etc. I've always had a few heirlooms but those have usually been Yellow Pear, etc. The grow list I have includes a lot of varieties you said that you have had good luck with in the heat so I've decided to try a few. I'm relatively good with tomatoes so I thought that I'd try them out. That said, I sort of came into some seeds with about 1200 cultivars in the collection so I'm going to grow about 40-50 varieties per year and regrow the best 5-10 from that year while adding another 30-35 to replace my culls. Does that make sense?


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:16AM
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To us who are new at growing tomatos, all varieties are an experiment for us. With the help of this forum, and especially you, Dawn, Carol, Jay, Larry, Dorothy, Helen, and many others, we are at least planting varieties that have proven to be good ones, if not excellent ones (which most are BTW). I can't imagine having to go thru Tania's list and deciding which tomatos to grow, for instance! LOL!

On the other hand, I am leaning toward growing more tomatos this summer and giving up space I normally grow butterfly plants in, to grow some in the ground. You guys have NOT helped me with this tomato addiction at all. Noooooo, not at all. In fact, it is worsening. I ordered more seeds from Gleckler's this weekend:

Gary O Sena
JDs Special C-Tex
Indian Stripe
506 Bush (developed in Argentina, grows in poor soil or pot culture; early red beefsteak, det.; rarely cracks or gets sunburn; smallish fruit)
Ashleigh (red, mid-season, 12-16 oz., indet., from Macedonia)
Aussie (1-2 lb red ribbed beefsteak, Australian heirloom; mid-season indet.)
Danko (early-mid season, red heart, 8-16 oz. det.)
Dwarf Stone (Livingston intro; red; dwarf)
Early Rouge (semi-det., red, early, compact; 6-10 oz.)
German Extreme Dwarf Bush (very early; dwarf, red 3-oz.)
Mendoza 44 (I think from Argentina; red 6-12 oz mid-season, indet.)
Mr. Bruno (early red compact indet., good for cramped spaces, 8-12 oz., Australian heirloom)
New Big Dwarf (pink)
Tigarella (red/yellow stripe, early, indet., salad-size; rather have Juanne Flame, but didn't want to do a separate order)
Vorlon (black or pinkish/purple beefsteak PL, mid-season, 8-16 oz.)
Val's Red Nibbler (red grape, compact to medium plants, indet., mid-season; Dan McMurray cross)

These, in addition to the others:

Chocolate Stripes
Greek Rose
San Marzano Redorta
Bloody Butcher
Hawaiian Currant
SunGold F1

..and I will pick up plants of Bush Goliath, which did so well in the extreme heat last year.

Since I am not going to add as many butterfly plants, nor am I going to grow as many peppers or Okra or squash (decided not to fight the squash bugs and/or SVBs), I will have some available in-ground space for several tomato plants, and also recycle the soil in some of the containers (beefing it up, of course, by adding some amendments like Chicken Manure, worm castings, etc.) and new potting soil (but not near as many bags to purchase as I did last year). I'll take the potting soil that I remove from the pots (in order to reduce the volume so I can replace with the above) and put into the garden. I still have one bed that I need to improve the drainage in. So amazing how one side of a very small area can have excellent, free-draining soil, and the other be more compacted and clayey (is that a word?). It is not an area that has had much foot traffic or other compacting activity on it either. Anyway, I am working to improve the tilth of the soil in this bed and will see how the tomatos do in it this year.

Reed, your list is very impressive. Can you tell me a little about Earl of Edgecombe? I received a free packet of these from TomatoFest, but don't know much about this tomato.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:17AM
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I've never personally grown Earl of Edgecombe but it comes HIGHLY recommended. I really wanted to grow some old varieties (Manalucie, Mule Team, Great Divide, etc.) but also wanted some color. I, therefore, decided on Earl of Edgecombe. The history is readily available on Tania's site but it looks to be a midseason variety with regular foliage and a mid-sized orange fruit.

I'll tell you my secret for variety selection. When on Tania's site, I ALWAYS look at Michael Gunn's reviews. He lives in Pasadena, Texas which is hot AND humid. If it does good for him there, it should do exceptionally well here. If he gives it a good review then I'll cross check it with Susan Anderson before making my decision. I'll post the link below for the Tomatobase sheet.

Mr. Gunn's SSE code is TX GU R.

Here is a link that might be useful: Earl of Edgecombe

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Also spent the weekend working on my beds, etc.

Just moved into a new house right after Christmas so I've been doing some work on the beds, etc. Going small-scale this year in terms of space but it's still been a chore to work on my soil, etc.

So, here we go.

This is my set up for growing my seedlings. This is currently in my livingroom because the garage has been a tad bit too cold. The ones on the left are for my grandparents down in Texas and mine are the ones just planted on the right.

This is the bed where my EarthBoxes will be. It's ~32ft long and is 3.5 ft wide. I'm going to use a trellis over the posts for tie them up.

I have this bed next to the house. The spot that it is in, coupled with the fence means this area doesn't get much sunlight. I thought about planting a few cherry tomato plants in here just to see what happens (for future use, etc.) but I think I'm going to grow my greens over here.

I have this bed right behind my house off of the back porch. It's a 3x6 raised brick bed that the original owner used for an herb garden. It gets enough sun that I can put my peppers and some carrots/radishes in here.

This is my last bed. It's 28ft long and 1ft wide. It goes down the side of the house and gets sun from noon to sunset. I'll probably be planting a tomato on each end but I can be sure that I'll be planting a row of Dragon Tongue beans here.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:18AM
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Wow, Reed, all of your beds and your seedling set up look fantastic!

Thanks for the info on Earl of Edgecombe, too. I only have 1 orange so far, so maybe I'll go ahead and do EOE as well so I'll have a couple. I went out and did some light "surveying" of my beds. I am going to have to dig a little more to expand two of them. I do my own digging, and don't use a tiller because I don't want to mess up the soil structure. I will mix in some Chicken Manure, worm castings, and compost to further improve them. One bed, as I mentioned, needs more work than the other one. I will be growing my tomatos among my flowers, most of which are attractive to bees and other pollinators, like Zinnias, Maximillian Sunflower (perennial), Hibiscus, Butterfly Bush, Milkweed (pollinators love the flowers, and the Monarchs use the plant to lay eggs), Liatris, White Dutch Clover, Cleome, Salvias, Fennel, Sennas, and several others. One of the most popular bee plants is Mountain Mint. They sure love that stuff. I had so many bumblebees last year that it was hard to believe they are a bee in crisis, along with the honeybees. But then I grow to draw them in, and they do come to visit.

In the 2nd bed shown by your images, where you are thinking about planting some cherry toms, they will probably appreciate that shade come July on. It might also be a good place to plant a currant tomato because they get humongous and will probably exceed the height of your privacy fence in due time.

Once again, thanks for the info. At Tania's site, I always check the Texas growers' info on the plant to see how it did in the heat and humidity.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 3:11PM
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I haven't been tilling with an mechanical tiller either. I have a traditional Oklahoma soil. Heavy on the clay and red, red, red. I've purchased several bags of Black Kow composted cow manure (which is just awesome) and some peat moss and I've been tilling it into the soil in an attempt to get a more workable soil. It seems to be working so far. I actually thought about planting a "Pasture" variety cherry back there to fill the space. I only worry about having to stake or trellis such a large plant.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 5:36PM
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Here's a really good thread from about 2 years ago on trellising. Lots of good info on various trellising methods.


Here is a link that might be useful: Trellis Thread

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 11:59PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Reed, I grew up in a family of gardeners, and a neighborhood with plentiful veggie gardens and fruit trees, and we grew mostly hybrids, but also some O-P varieties that back then were just called 'tomatoes' but which have been around long enough now that we call them 'heirlooms'. I certainly understand the desire to try many new varieties. I only had a small sunny patch for veggies in my very shady yard in Fort Worth, so growing 12 plants was a big tomato summer. I partly fed my tomato fever by helping my dad and my brother with their veggie gardens because then I could talk them into letting me plant different varieties in each garden and we could try more different varieties that way.

It wasn't until we bought acreage, built a house and moved here in 1999 that I could start growing a wide variety of all kinds of tomatoes. In my peak year, I had 600 tomato plants, which I believe represented at least 175 varieties. All I did that year was pick tomatoes and give them away to everyone we knew, and sometimes to perfect strangers who happened to be driving up the road and stopped to say "your garden is beautiful...."

Back then, the deer knew we were here, but didn't bother the garden much. We had drought in 2005-2006 and they started eating my tomato plants outside the fenced (4' tall fence) garden in 2006, so I had to start cutting back on how many I grew. With repeated droughts, we had to raise the fence to 8' to keep them out of the garden, and I have to pack in the tomato plants much too close to one another in order to grow as many plants as I like to grow and still have room for all the other veggies, herbs and flowers.

Because last year was such a wonderful tomato year, I have about a 3 year supply of tomatoes preserved in many ways, including as sauce, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, chilibase,ketchup, salsa, regular sun-dried tomatoes, wine-marinated, herbed sun-dried tomatoes, and frozen puree for salsa, frozen sauce and frozen whole tomatoes in zip lock bags that can be used in cooking or canning. All I really "need" this year is enough for fresh eating, and to make more salsa, because no matter how many jars of salsa I make in any given year, it is never enough because we give it away frequently to family and friends.

This year will be the fewest varieties of tomatoes I've planted since around 2000, but I simply don't need a lot this year.

I have red clay too and have spent years and years building the soil. Red clay is highly fertile and tomato plants grow well on well-amended red clay. We have a couple of sandy areas, but I use those for plants that prefer sweet potatoes and melons. I'm in the process of turning one sandy area into a new garden spot for this year so I'll be able to move all the veggies, flowers and herbs that love sandy soil to that area. Ultimately that will leave more space in the big garden for lots of tomatoes, and I won't have to plant them as closely as I have in recent years.

I'd grow too many tomatoes every year and be perfectly happy with it, but I try to grow as much of my family's produce as possible, so I have to be sensible and leave some space for all the other vegetables, fruits and herbs as well, and flowers too of course.

My grow lists are always heavy on blacks, purples and pinks because those are the ones whose flavor we like the best. Back in 2003-2007, I grew a rainbow garden where each raised bed had mixed veggies, flowers and herbs in one color of the rainbow, arranged in the same order in which the colors appear in the rainbow. Back then I grew the tomato 'Blue Fruit' (which wasn't blue at all, of course) in the blue bed. One of these days, now that we actually have tomato varieties that produce blue fruit, I'll have to plant rainbow beds again....maybe as early as next year. It really was a pretty way of growing the plants, but it was time consuming to raise all the different plants and get the right colored plants in the right beds.

Susan, You have a nice list this year. That will give y'all lots of tomatoes for sure, if only the weather cooperates!


    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:53AM
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Dawn, thank you so much. I appreciate your comments so much, and as you can see, most of the tomatos on my list are those recommended by you and others who grow the same varieties.

You may have already addressed this, but what are you growing more of this year that will replace all of those tomatos that you normally grow? More veggies, flowers, etc.?


    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:15AM
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Thanks for your reply. I also been saving my leaves to compost and add into my soil after this season. By the way, I found some Siberian Tiger seeds and I think I'll plant one or two of them just for grins. Have you seen those?


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Susan, I'm growing lots, lots, lots more flowers and herbs. Then, in general more of everything else. I'm going very heavy with the sweet corn plantings this year. Usually I stagger my sweet corn in an early-season, mid-season and late-season planting, sowing mid-season about 3 weeks after early and then late-season about three weeks after the mid-season. Well, the last two years, we have had a hard time getting a good crop of mid- and late-season corn because it has gotten far too hot far too early in the year and has negatively impacted fertilization. This year I am going to sow all three at pretty much the same time, using distance to separate them and planting a barrier crop of sunflowers so that they won't cross-pollinate each other. I may even plant 5 or 6 different varieties of sweet corn since I've added two new growing areas already---one is north of the barn-style garage and the other is west of it. I could put a small planting of two other varieties in each of those two new spots. We have been getting enough sweet corn to eat fresh and to put up a little in the freezer, but I want to have enough to put up a lot in the freezer.

I'm making significant changes to the big garden. We've always had an issue of encroaching trees from the west and the north and for several years now it has become increasingly shady, and rather than cutting down trees (which I hate to do), I am just going to let some of its northern and western edges revert to shade-loving flowers and small trees, so even though I am making new garden beds, the total overall square footage may not increase too much. It is just that some of the garden will be in a different location.

I've been collecting seeds for a chocolate garden for three years now and didn't plant them in 2011 or 2012 because of drought. This year I am going to have at least some of that chocolate border growing, and it will go into the part of the garden where I grew about 50 tomato plants last year. That specific area is wonderful soil, but I've grown tomatoes in spring and beans in fall in it for several years and am looking forward to mostly just having ornamentals in it this year. I likely will plant a few edibles in the chocolate border too, just because I like to mix it all up together.

Reed, I've never seen that one and it looks so cool. I can see you have Tomato Fever really bad. Welcome to the club. You realize it is contagious, right?

When I first moved here and was growing black tomatoes, a lot of our new neighbors and friends thought I was crazy. Well, at least until they tasted a black tomato. One of my old farmer friends got mad one year when he found out I was giving away black tomatoes to people other than him. (He was getting them too, so it wasn't like he didn't have any black ones to eat.) He told me to stop giving "those black 'uns" to someone else, and to keep them our little secret. lol lol lol Now several people here near us grow black tomatoes too.

I grew so many tomatoes last year that it often would take me 10 to 12 hours just to pick them, and then I'd spend the next couple of days canning and dehydrating all the ones we couldn't eat fresh. By July, what I had was Tomato Exhaustion. I really could barely stand to look at another tomato by then. So, this year I am going to be really firm and strict with myself and not plant more than I can manage easily.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 11:19AM
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You are correct. I do have the fever and, if it's contagious, my wife sure isn't catching it. She thinks I'm crazy. I'm hoping to get enough to can this year for sure. I'm thinking that, with 40-45 plants, I should have enough for myself and my wife. I also hope to attempt to make some tomato wine.


This post was edited by ReedBaize on Tue, Jan 29, 13 at 13:15

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


It's okay if she thinks you've gone off the deep end over tomatoes. I was "normal" when Tim and I got married and my passion for gardening didn't really get out of control until we moved here and had endless sunny gardening space.

My husband isn't a gardener and probably would be happy if I grew about 3 tomato plants, except for this....

He has become sort of a gardening rock star at work, sharing home-raised tomato plants, bags of produce, jars of home-canned goodies, etc. for many years with various coworkers. I'm proud to say we've helped more than a few of his coworkers venture into the previously unknown-to-them world of home veggie and fruit gardening. He dispenses lots of advice. Though he doesn't garden, he's learned a great deal over the years merely from being married to someone who does.

If there is a cure for Tomato Fever, I don't want it. As Jay often says here, I can quit anytime I want to. I just don't want to.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 2:03PM
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Ha Ha. I'm sure she'll benefit as soon as we get some fruits. I know that she really enjoyed the Black Krims, Cherokee Purple and Green Zebras last year.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Tomato Fever??? By the way, is this the same Susanlynne that COULDN'T grow vegetables? HaHa Susan, I think you caught the fever.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 4:23PM
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Oh, you're awful, Carol! I thought for sure you had forgotten those comments.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I say, and I happen to be darned glad I did.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 4:41PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I caught my love for gardening from my mother and it has been a wonderful hobby. It is a good thing to have interests and Reed, I can think of more dangerous obsessions for a young man. I grew Earl of Edgecombe last year and it was a cutie from the time it was a young plant. It is a compact plant with crinkly green leaves - pretty for a tomato plant. It produced pretty well for its size. The Orange Minsk produced more and bigger tomatoes, but the Orange Minsk plant was many times larger and took up more space. Earl of Edgecombe is in the upper left. The ratio of tomatoes means nothing in the picture. The little Earl earned its space. You can see I have a stink bug problem from the blotches. Dawn says last year was a good tomato year but the last two years have been terrible for me. Some of my tomato plants didn't produce at all because of the heat.

This post was edited by helenh on Wed, Jan 30, 13 at 13:47

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:13PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I'd rather catch Tomato Fever than catch the flu, y'all.

Helen, Last year I pushed the envelope as hard as possible to beat the heat, and I truly believe it was being able to plant about 5 weeks earlier than usual that contributed the most to my great tomato year.

In 2011 it was harder to get a good crop. I did get a lot of tomatoes early before it got so outrageously hot so did consider it a good year, but was so busy fighting the wildfires constantly day and night and night and day that I didn't preserve any of them. Well, I guess at some point I did make salsa, but I don't even remember when or how.

Stink bugs drive me crazy. Once they arrive here they are just all over everything. They do cause endless problems. I have some luck with planting a lot of sunflowers some distance away from the garden. The stink bugs will flock to the sunflowers and then I can spray them with neem, orange oil or Spinosad or something (I sprayed them once with hairspray, figuring it would encase them and kill them, but I wouldn't use hairspray on edible plants) without actually spraying plants that are producing an edible crop. I cannot say how near or far the sunflowers need to be in relation to the tomato plants, but it seems like they work even if they are 20-40' away from the garden.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:56PM
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You organic folks have supreme dedication. I can't STAND the sight of blemishes caused by insects on my fruit. I use Malathion every year.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:13PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

But you don't have baby frog pets I'll bet and skink friends and toad friends. I save water off the barn roof in stock tanks and then I have trouble using the water because of the babies.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:27AM
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Oh, Helen, how cute! I wish I had frogs and skinks and toads. I had a toad for a couple years, but haven't seen it for a very long time. I keep hoping I'll get another one, but so far, nada. I do get little garden snakes. I never see them except at dusk, and in early spring when turning over cardboard or emptying large pots in the garden. All creatures are welcome in my garden. Well, I wouldn't want a mountain lion - the big guys like Dawn sees - or poisonous snakes - like y'all see - uh uh - no way, Jose!

I don't have any watering holes in my garden, though, so that's probably why I don't see the frogs.

Reed, I just couldn't possibly ever use a heavy duty chemical like Malathion, or Seven. In fact, I don't even use insecticidal soap. For aphids, I wait til the ladybugs get here. If I get rid of their food, they won't come to visit the garden.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:54AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


For me it is a choice about health. I'd rather have blemished food any day of the week than food sprayed with chemicals. And, like Helen, I have plentiful wildlife and don't want to do anything that will harm it.

My dad used all kinds of chemicals in the 1960s and 1970s but by the 1990s had mostly given them up and, if anything, his garden's health was better after he almost totally eliminated pesticide usage than it was before. He still kept a bag of Sevin dust in his shed and might have used it occasionally, though I don't remember him using it in the 1990s and beyond. I kind of think he held on to it as a sort of security blanket just in case he might need it again.

I have found that if I treat my garden as an ecosystem, it is chock-full of all sorts of living creatures, both good and bad, but about 75% of the time the good bugs and other creatures keep the bad bugs under control. The remainder of the time I try to ignore the pest damage as much as possible, and then use eco-friendly methods like hand-picking the bugs to gain some control over them. I'm in a wild rural area surrounded by thousands of acres of rangeland in its natural state so it would be impossible to wipe out all the garden pests even if I tried, and I don't try. I practically live in my garden, at least until the worst heat arrives, and I don't want to be in a chemical-treated garden. Different strokes for different folks, though, and I know some people are perfectly happy using synthetic pesticides in their gardens and yards.

Helen, One of the great joys of being out in the garden is my enjoyment of all the little creatures out there with me. Sometimes the skinks do startle me in early spring, but I'd rather have them in the garden than have the venomous snakes.

Turtles provide a surprising amount of pest control too, though turtles are less common in my garden than frogs and toads, which are simply everywhere. Every year we do have a turtle or two live in the garden and eat potato bugs. It is the easiest method of Colorado Potato Beetle control I've ever used.

Susan, I haven't seen one in several years, so I am hoping that horrible summer was an aberration. Neighbors within a mile of us saw some last year, but they are significantly closer to the river so they always have more wildlife than we do. Venomous snakes also haven't been as bad in 2011 and 2012 as they were prior to that. I still see them, but mostly I've seen the water moccasins move into the lily pond after the local native creeks and ponds dry up, and haven't seen as many copperheads as usual. The timber rattler population seems unchanged, but I only encounter them maybe 4 or 5 times a year. I hate having the venomous snakes around, but suspect we'll have just as many 20 years from now as we have now. Actually, out here in the rural areas we need snakes and lots of them or we'd be totally overrun by field mice, voles, pocket gophers, etc. It is just that I don't want the venomous snakes in the yard or garden where they might bite a person or domestic pet. They can roam roughly 13 acres of our property however, whenever or wherever they please, but if the venomous snakes are found on the acre or acre and a half nearest the house, we shoot them.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:49AM
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By the way, I wasn't trying to offend and my apologies if I did.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:03AM
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You certainly haven't offended me, Reed, at all. A person has to garden the best way they can. I heard someone say, many years ago that, "if you believe a thing is true, it is". I also believe in "live and let live". Just because I believe in organic, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening, doesn't mean I am going to try to change everyone elses mind or try to persuade them to do so as well.

I started out gardening for the butterflies, so that is how I arrived at organic gardening. If I wanted to raise butterflies (which I still do because some populations are so much lower presently than they used to be - and that's another story....) then I have to create the habitat most conducive to it. Pesticides and herbicides aren't - they kill eggs, larvae, and adults. I also oppose genetically modified corn and other crops because of their potential to adversely effect all beneficials, including butterflies.

Like Dawn, I do lots of hand picking. For aphids, I just use a strong spray of water from the hose if it's a very heavy infestation, and allow the ladybugs and other beneficials to do their job. Sometimes the beneficials consume my caterpillar eggs, but also as Dawn says, it's the balance of nature - if we just step aside and allow her to take care of things.

There is a reason for all creatures, big and small, to have a place on this Earth, is my personal belief. But, I sure don't fault anyone for their beliefs either. I've enjoyed greatly our discussions on the forums, and your enthusiasm. You're a pretty cool dude and hey, I like you, Reed, so it is nothing personal at all. If we all share our thoughts and actions in the garden, we glean, learn, and take away from it a little bit from everybody who participates in our favorite activity. I've been on this forum since 2004, and the Butterfly Gardening forum, too, and have learned a little about a little from all of you - even people who just started gardening. Heck, I'm a newbie to veggie gardening - so I learn a LOT, and hopefully will continue to learn a lot.

Thanks for all of your input, Reed, I think we all appreciate your presence on the forum, and hope we haven't offended you in any way either.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:11PM
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Reed, I doubt that you have offended anyone. I dont like to use insecticide either, but I do a time or two each year.

The past two years I have had a major problem with blister beetles and had to spray them. The year before I was over run with army worms and sprayed them, but I seldom use spray in the garden.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:31PM
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