Gardening and a question

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Cirion Spellbinder
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Gardening and a question

Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:37 am

Do any of you guys garden? What do you guys grow? Any cool gardening stories? :mrgreen:

I am currently growing broccoli, zucchini, sweet peppers, shishito peppers, thai peppers, pepperoncini, strawberries, mint, spearmint, basil, and korean melon. I’ll upload some pictures later this week if anyone is interested.

My question is what should I use for fertilizer? I’ve only been gardening for a little over a year and I’ve just been using Miracle Gro liquid fertilizer and those little rock looking things, but I’ve been told that melons need a lot fertilizer, and it was recommend that I use manure, which I don’t want to do since it’s not vegan.

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Post by PsYcHo » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:20 am

My partner does most of the gardening, but I'm trying to learn.

A compost works well for fertilizer. If you have the capability, a "drum" type works best. Basically a tube with a hole for aeration. Make it to where you can rotate it. Put soil, leftover food stuff, earth worms if possible.(They really make the soil fertile, but use care when rotating it)

I'm not sure on this, but I've heard Miracle Gro will make your plants larger, but they might lose some flavor/gain unfavorable flavors. Really not sure on this, so you may want to research it.

Good luck on your garden, and if you have any pointers you learn for amateurs, please share! I want to get more involved in self-sustainability, and my partner likes to grow stuff. (mostly pretty things, but they like food as well. ;) )
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Post by PsYcHo » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:51 am

I meant to ask about korean melons, and what size is your garden? I'm looking for plants we can easily grow in a small space.
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Post by carnap » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:04 pm

I have a good size garden (around 3,000 sqf) plus a bunch fruit trees. I tend to grow the crops that are either expensive at the store or poor quality. Grow a variety of greens, a variety of squash, variety of peppers, a lot of tomatoes (mostly heirlooms and cherry), brocoli, kholrabi, etc. Manure is good for improving the health of your soil but its not that great as a fertilizer but it also depends what type of manure you use. Chicken manure is high in nitrogen but can burn young roots, cow manure works well but is low in nutrients. A replace for manure would be just composting plant matter.

But most good fertilizers contain animal derived ingredients. The Miracle Gro liquid is rather pricey, personally I buy a big bag of Lilly Miller vegetable food (a 5-10-10 fertilizer) for $20 which lasts me around a year. I also use a high nitrogen fertilizer (21-0-0). What I do is mix the nitrogen and veggie fertilizers in the soil before planting and then amend with more veggie fertilizer every 1~2 months.

At some point you'll likely need an insecticide of sorts as well. Insecticidal soap is a safe one that works for many pests. In any case, if you're getting very lush and productive plants than you're doing things right otherwise it can be a variety of issues.

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Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:41 pm

PsYcHo wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:51 am
I meant to ask about korean melons,
They are my favorite melons!
PsYcHo wrote:and what size is your garden? I'm looking for plants we can easily grow in a small space.
I have three plots about 22 square feet each. Two of them are dedicated primarily to the melons because I don’t know how to grow them vertically, so I’m going to let them sprawl out.

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Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:43 pm

carnap wrote:At some point you'll likely need an insecticide of sorts as well. Insecticidal soap is a safe one that works for many pests. In any case, if you're getting very lush and productive plants than you're doing things right otherwise it can be a variety of issues.
I asked about this in a thread a while ago and I ended up buying praying mantises, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps. What do you thing about those options?

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Post by carnap » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:13 pm

Cirion Spellbinder wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:43 pm
I asked about this in a thread a while ago and I ended up buying praying mantises, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps. What do you thing about those options?
I've never tried them but I cannot imagine it being very effective if your garden is surrounded by other plant life. Also there is a difference between measures to prevent and measures to control an infestation. With home gardens I don't think you need much in terms of prevention, nature tends to do that for you. But at some point you may get an infestation of something and there insecticides act very quickly to resolve the issue.

But actually my biggest problems are rats and at times squirrels. Rats eat various young plants, tomatoes, most fruits, etc. They are annoying to deal with.

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Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:18 pm

carnap wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:13 pm
But actually my biggest problems are rats and at times squirrels. Rats eat various young plants, tomatoes, most fruits, etc. They are annoying to deal with.
If this happens I’ve been thinking about surrounding my plots with chicken wire. Thoughts?

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Post by carnap » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:55 pm

Cirion Spellbinder wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:18 pm
If this happens I’ve been thinking about surrounding my plots with chicken wire. Thoughts?
It will have to be well secured and you'd need a lot of mesh to cover anything that grows big. If I was going to do it I would build mesh frames to go on top of the growing area but that is only realistic for a small garden and plants that don't grow that large. Rats don't seem to eat bitter greens and things like that but they will eat any sort of fruit. Though they (black rats) don't seem to eat squash much, I see small bites at times but they must not like the taste because they never eat them.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:00 am

Pictures of the garden would be great!

If you want to grow melons vertically, you'll probably need to manually train them. There are some perennial "melons" that might be easier and are strong climbers (related to tomatoes, I think).

For fertilizer, chemical options like you're using are best for a quick boost. Organic matter like compost provides a slow-release.

If you have space for an aerobic compost pile that's great. Otherwise, worm composting is great and can be a lot faster... although they also need more attention and you have to mind their temperature, keep them from crawling off, etc. It's a bit of a project.

If you're technologically inclined, you can keep rats and squirrels away with a sentry gun:
https://boingboing.net/2012/03/26/howto-build-a-robotic-squirrel.html

You would have to load it with something noxious like diluted capsaicin (with soap to emulsify) so they don't just ignore it, though.

Might not be a practical approach depending on your layout, since you wouldn't want to have to build a bunch of them (unless you just really love robotics).

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