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Hello from Vernonia

Posted by whygarden VERNONIA (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 14, 10 at 17:53

Hi all i just joined this group and would love to meet gardeners around Vernonia....First a little about me..I have been gardening for over 40 years now from Calif to New Orleans...Oregon to Belize..And the last 12 years in Vernonia,Oregon..And i have to say the north west just about made me give up on gardening.I took the master garden class 6 years ago and got me a big hoop green house and started putting in my garden..And like all Organic(NUTS)I started makeing and hauling in tons and tons of compost and manure...BIG MISTAKE IN THE NORTH WEST...Most of the nutrients are leached out every year because of the rain and you feed the monster.....SYMPHYLAN.....I KNEW SOME THING WAS WRONG...I was losing every thing(i blamed voles,bad seed,to much water)Then i got a garden book from my wife called...GROWING VEGETABLES WEST OF THE CASCADES..Steve Solomon...I couldnt stop reading the book and i have never finished a book in my life!He was writting about every thing i was thinking for the last 10 years...I was thinking this mulch compost,no till thing i have used my whole life in warm climates wasnt working here!The bugs where eating every thing!...Well i live on 30ac so i can move my garden and was starting to do that even befor getting the book,thinking what i am doing isnt working and wanted to try one more year and if it didnt work i was out of gardening!...Well like the old saying goes you are never to old to learn!...I moved my garden(hard to do after spending 10 years hauling in and making about 100 tons of compst)And now i dont use compost or manure for fertilizer..I still use it but only about 1/4in a year for the tilith..and i use a good organic fertilizer...So there it is and i am still gardening...Hope to hear from some of you close by.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hello from Vernonia

I looked up Vernonia, you are in the northern part of OR and not far from Scappoose, so I suppose in addition to nurseries there must be gardeners, or gardening clubs there?

I googled symphylans. I guess they haven't made it to where I live yet, I hope. It's hard enough growing stuff with the voles and moles. And wascally wabbits. I'm puzzled because the article below I read on google states-

"Organic matter may be important in getting to know their habits. Chaney said organic growers tell him they have fewer symphylans problems than conventional growers. It may be, he suggested, that when they have enough other organic matter to feed on they ignore crop roots."

Another article says that organic matter makes their populations increase, and tried 7 different treatments-

"An analysis of the data indicated no significant differences among treatments, although Vesser says the data
suggest that some treatments may influence symphylans populations, and that modifying them or monitoring
them over several years may show reductions in symphylans. She notes that mulching did reduce the symphylans populations to an average of 60 compared with an average of 184 in the control plot. While the count for mulching is not statistically significant, it does bear further investigation. The sifting and untreated controls were virtually identical."

http://wsare.usu.edu/pro/pr2002/FW01-089.pdf

So- it doesn't sound like the above worked for you. This article sounded like fungi and perhaps the nematodes that go after flea larvae in the soil, various things that attack chitin, diatomaceous earth, etc. could work against the symphylans, plus they have some natural enemies-

"true centipede, predatory mites, predaceous ground beetles, and certain fungi. Little is known about their effect, although they are not considered significant controls."

Good luck with your gardening. With voles, I had to only dig enough hole to plant individual bean seeds, cover them with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper, and put a 4" galvanized nail by each seed to get any pole beans last year. Though growing runner beans in a new area where I had not been growing beans before was successful without the above.

Here is a link that might be useful: symphylan control


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RE: Hello from Vernonia

I blamed voles for years...then seeds...then water...then weather...i have lost over 14 cherry trees,5'x 100' bed of asparagas..last year i planted a 5'x 100' of salad greens and none came up.Now thats about $70 worth of good seed.And yes there is garden centers around(do any of those people know any thing?)I took a master garder class 5 years ago and there isnt even any thing in there book?I stopped using mulch about 6 years ago because of the pill bugs and ear wigs,and i did notice things starting to get better...But then a couple years ago i did soil test all over my garden and seen it needed N...sO WHAT DOES A GOOD ORGANIC GARDENER DO?????Compost and manure.....Well that dosent work here in the northwest,its all leached out in less then a year of rain,and things got worse again...I am putting in a new green house this year(96'x 30)and will watch and learn and see if this new way works....LOL...bUT WHAT I SHOULD DO IS GET A BIG 2X4 LET MY WIFE BEAT ME WITH IT TILL I SAY I WILL NEVER GARDEN AGAIN AND IMPORT ALL MY VEGGIES WITH MY RENTED AIR PLANE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD...it would save me money...lol..at least we grow great trees..lol..


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RE: Hello from Vernonia

Have you tried cover cropping? Most commercial organic growers of annual crops in the Northwest now employ seasonal cover cropping as the primary means of enriching their soil.


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RE: Hello from Vernonia

Yes thats what i am doing now,but it ties up lots of ground.Plus i have so many elk on my land they love that new cover crop and its like putting 30 cows on your garden in the winter.And yes i have fenced and have dogs,but when a 1500lb elk needs food he gets it....This year i will be fertilizing with a organic mix as i plant,plus i will till every year now and not ever few years like in the past.Is any one going to take the master gardener class in Vernonia this year?This will be the first year in Vernonia most the time you had to drive all the way to St Helens.


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RE: Hello from Vernonia

Wow, and I thought deer were bad. I don't have any luck with lettuce or asparagus here either (I usually blame the slugs and voles), but I do get good crops of Wild Red Kale. The runner beans did very well last year too, and I get very good squash, cucumbers, and tomato crops. The greenhouse sounds like a good way to go.

I also have been eating more of the stuff that grows by itself, too. Chickweed and small amounts of sheep sorrel are very good in a salad. I'm also growing some hardy native edibles this year that are adapted to the climate and don't need babying like the vegetables we have been brain-washed to grow. Leaves of the Malvaceae family are all supposed to be edible, as long as not grown with too much nitrogen, and I chewed some last fall and found them nice, a little mucilaginous but I like that. So I'm growing a bunch of plants in that family like Malva, Hollyhocks, Sidalcea, Sphaeralcea, etc, if I can get them to germinate. Okra is also in that family, which hasn't grown well for me but if I grow it for foliage rather than fruits I may get enough to eat some.


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