ongoing whackiness

digit(ID/WA)July 13, 2008

By the time I think I've figured something out, the moment is past and I'm waiting another 12 months + to see if I've got it right or not.

So, I try to be proactive and attempt my harebrained experiments here and there rather than snooze in the shade. Since early and mid-season planting naked carrot seed (I've always wanted to plant my garden naked :o) is nearly a total failure for me - I'm now a total proponent of either pelleted seed or cornstarch gel planting. Gel worked again on June 23rd! The carrot seedlings are up thickly and look to be doing fine.

Elsewhere, I've whacked down the Caribe potato foliage on what looked to me to be the 3 most mature plants. The tubers are about 3" in diameter in this bed and I'm hoping that removing the foliage will prompt them to a brief dormancy so that they can be replanted elsewhere for a 2nd, Fall crop. I'm really excited about this little trial. Dad claims I'm just being cheap trying to get 2 crops out of a single purchase of seed potatoes . . . he should talk.

What trials have you got on-going? Every season is a learning experience. Something you're hoping to learn by being a little whacky! Wait, that might just be me . . .


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Well..... my potatoes inna bucket 'sperament. Since I have waaay too much potato disease in my normal garden, I thought I'd try growing some in a container. Got huge container, put decent potting soil on bottom, laid out 10 organic red potatoes from the grocery store that were sprouting. Continued filling up container until foliage was over the brim, and watered it well, with an occasional feed of compost water, they flowered, it all looked good, and I tipped everything out on the 4th of july.

Maybe 2 lbs of potatoes, size of ping pong balls. But boy, were they good.

Need fewer potatoes to start with, richer soil.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 2:52PM
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Love my carrots in gel. Worked great again this year! The gel also worked grand on fennel but not for basil. I think it might have worked on the basil but I put too much soil on the paper towels.

The other Bonnie on the forum got me going on the winter sowing and boy did it work. Got tons of mixed greens, Choi Joi, pumpkins and parsnips.

The bindweed and quack grass took over the back garden, so am battling them and ended up not even planting those beds.

We trimmed the grape vine very heavy in an attempt to get more grapes and fewer birds. Will let you know how that works.

Put aluminum strips on the lower limbs of the cherry tree and got great results. Have made two pies from the cherries and have not seen any birds flying out of the tree. Last year I could have counted the cherries I got to eat on both hands.

Tried to propagate raspberries by potting them first and was going to replant once they were growing roots. Coons pulled them out of the pots and dumped the soil. Not sure they are going to survive the re-potting.

Oh yea, dusted the kohlrabi, Choi Joi and kale with flour when they were showing signs of being nibbled on. Stopped the avengers in their tracks!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 5:57PM
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Last year was a bust with the battle between the strawberries and the slugs. I thought sprinkling salt would help. I thought beer would help. Nope. This year I was hoping I'd think of something before it was too late. when I went to water the pretty white columbines, ew, their foliage had been attacked! I bought Sluggo at Cnetter's advice from last year. So far, so good!! Not sure why I waited so long tho.

I forgot a golden raspberry in the cup I brought it home from the swap in. There it was, under the tomato foliage. Poor thing does not look strong but I transplanted it anyway. I hope it takes!

Also, instead of wondering why the sempervirens doesn't spread far on its own, I have been taking the tiny chicks and placing them where I want them to grow. Oh, how brilliant!!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 9:18PM
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David, I should have said that the largest spud snuck out from under the plants was 3" so far. The others are . . . either pong ping or ping pong sized. Do ya wanna try planting those red spuds again? You may get another hatful for the effort - don't know, just sayin'. Must have been an early/early.

Bonnie, the only problem I've had from the gel on an ongoing basis is getting out there in the garden and not having quite enuf for the amount of seed I intended to plant - need to be a bit more generous. It isn't as tho' the stuff's expensive or something. What do you suppose was nibbling on your brassicas - flea beetles? But, what about mildew or am I just a victim of the etymology of the word - "mill dew?" I'm having a little problem with the pea blossoms stuck on the developing snap peas allowing a fungus to start on the pods . . . not on the Super Sugar Snaps, fortunately.

J, the intervention of the gardener in every facet of plant growth is supposed to be beneficial. Carrying happy chicks to an appropriate environment with your own green "digits" is testimony.

That Sluggo does the job. A bit pricey if you are inclined to water often. The stuff disappears under the watering wand. Speaking of expensive - would spraying beer on the weeds cause the slugs to attack them instead of our plants? I know that I go after them with greater vigor when there's the prospect of a cold beer as a reward.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 1:04AM
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"would spraying beer on the weeds cause the slugs to attack them instead of our plants?"

I'm not sure but I almost started another 'experiment' yesterday with aphids and ants. I had to stop myself and acknowledge that I would be acting on a guess.

I just noticed on my aspen tips that aphids are being controlled by ants. I thought "I should squash them" then I thought "maybe I should chop off the infested parts and bag them and trash them?" Then my mind wandered and I forgot all about them!

I was worried that if I attacked them they might move to other plants, namely the ones I really like and paid for!

I'm thinking of looking this up before acting on it.

Science and, fun, fun!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 9:02AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

I'm still new enough to gardening that it seems everything I do is experimental, from sowing dates, to plant placement.

Bonnie, last year wintersowing was my big experiment, but this year, I considered it to be a viable method of germination. I hope that you were pleased with the results. I know that others on this forum had mixed results. My conclusion is that the germination on some things may be lower with wintersowing than starting indoors, but since space is not as big an issue outside, you can start a lot more containers to make up for it. I'm still tweaking the sowing dates on some of the tender annuals though, but it's the only way I'll plant the cool weather crops, like lettuce, spinach, broccoli (if I ever decide to grow that spacehog again!), and peas.

The only thing that is new to me this year, is growing tomatoes. The experimental part was that some were sown indoors, and some were wintersowed. At this point, the wintersown ones are a bit smaller than the others, but they are all starting to flower, and the plants look healthy, other than the inevitable grasshopper damage.

The only other "experiment" I've got going, is a comparison between peppers in the garden, and ones in a container on the porch. There might be more flowers on the container ones at this point, but its to early to declare a winner yet. I was going to do the same experiment with the tomatoes, but I had that unfortunate "maggot incident" and had to bail on that one.

The Other Bonnie

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 10:58AM
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Steve, that first bumper harvest of 'tub 'o-spuds® was snarfed. Steamed, smushed up with cream and salt. There were no left overs.

Today, I scored another 3 lb bag of organic red potatoes, which tell you to keep them refrigerated "to preserve fresheness" which means they're gonna sprout.

Trial #2 will start in a few days.

Planted a 30 ft row of French fillet beans today, called "Roland", a packet of seeds I've had for at least 5 years, a freebee from some order some years ago, the date thingie on the packet was gone, or never printed. We'll see if they work.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 7:57PM
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J, I almost consider aphids a clean-up issue. Ants? Ants like my recycle bin with its pop cans - it's almost enuf to drive me to sugarfree!

The freeloader ants are always looking for something sweet and I guess the aphids provide it. I parked the pickup under Dad's honey locust yesterday and could hardly see thru the windshield in the afternoon sun on my way home. If I could figure out his hose-end sprayer, I'd put a stop to that tomorrow with my bottle of Palmolive - hah! Anyone know how much dishwashing soap to put in one of those things?? . I've used 3 tablespoons of Palmolive Green dish soap for every gallon of water with good results but Dad once tried dish soap in that hose-end job and his plum tree dropped every leaf it had!!

I consider tomatoes my premier variety experiment each & every year, Bonnie - altho' melons have been running neck-&-neck with them lately. I guess I crave fruit. We had 5 ripe tomatoes off 1 Jaliranchr plant yesterday!! They were SUPER and the 1st of the season! (DW still doesn't know that they are aka Bloody Butchers . . . snicker.)

David, we'll keep our fingers crossed for you (& me please). Mid-July just doesn't seem like spud planting time.

Haven't heard of "Roland" but I really liked 2 types of French fillet that I grew for several years. Each year, I'd get mixed up as to which 2 of the 3 varieties I was growing from large seed packets were the GOOD ONES!! It got kind of embarrassing . . . One was rather stringy and tuff. The other 2 were superb. I guess I should go back to the records, buy, & grow ONE each season. (I probably have another 3 gardening seasons left in me. ;o)


    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 10:20PM
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