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Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


I'm planning to start a garden next weekend, but I have a black thumb, and way more space than I'm used to! Also, I live in the desert, and the last 36 frost is supposed to be next week, according to those charts linked above, so hopefully I'm not too late. But the set up at the house I moved into is just too good not to try!

I've got a large terrace with several built in planters, about 2'x4', and room to build a few of the square-foot garden containers, as well, but I'm not sure I'll do that this year. (I don't own any tools anyway) But maybe some containers for veggies that can handle them? I also have a front porch that is shaded and I'd like something on that. But I don't really know where to start!

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HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

whyrat posted:

I didn't know that about green bean seedlings, well I have a ton of leftover seeds so I'll just sow some directly into the garden if the ones I start indoors don't take.

Thanks for the warning on the zucchini... I started 9 (thinking most of those won't make it) and was going to transplant the best ones. I guess I'll only pick the best 1 or 2.

Is mesclun mix like spinach? That was going to be an option too (I read you can start it later in the summer) but it'll all depend on how full my garden looks. So if the zucchini takes over I'll either have to dig out some more space or maybe plan for it next year.

I'm trying to avoid window boxing and/or potted plants (I have a few flowering plants in pots; but I never move those). I'm lazy is all :/

Zucchini is one of those things you can easily end up trying to pawn them off on everyone you know, on your neighbors, on strangers, making 100 zucchini breads and leaving it on a soup kitchen doorstep, leaving them in a bag that says EAT ME in a public area and running--you get the idea.

Yea, as Zeta said mesclun can be well, anything. Its just a mix of greens that you eat young. I suggest them instead of lettuce because its the sort of thing you can take scissors to when you want some and not think about it. I think that sticking something like that in a container is the lazy way, because you don't have to make a bed for it. You can also buy these like plastic bags for pennies that you throw soil in and use instead of a bed for small stuff. Ugly, but lazy-friendly.


Squid-Row posted:

I'm planning to start a garden next weekend, but I have a black thumb, and way more space than I'm used to! Also, I live in the desert, and the last 36 frost is supposed to be next week, according to those charts linked above, so hopefully I'm not too late. But the set up at the house I moved into is just too good not to try!

I've got a large terrace with several built in planters, about 2'x4', and room to build a few of the square-foot garden containers, as well, but I'm not sure I'll do that this year. (I don't own any tools anyway) But maybe some containers for veggies that can handle them? I also have a front porch that is shaded and I'd like something on that. But I don't really know where to start!

You are only too late really for peas and carrots. Peas I know stop producing when its above 75ish, so they need to be in early.

Relax, you have a long growing season, enjoy it. The timing and getting a jump start headache is for those of us that only have a few months warm enough to grow warm weather crops. Although, if next year you want to plan ahead you can have even longer.

How deep are the containers you have? Are they 2x 4 each? If so that is a bit of space, depending on how much soil it holds. You can do tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, lettuce, radishes, green beans--they even have small varieties of eggplant for containers if they are deep enough. All you have to do is dump some good soil in. The catch is that the smaller the area the more watering they need, especially somewhere hot. Twice every day sometimes (I'd wager a guess most days in the desert)--just keep it in mind.

Greens and beans will tolerate some shade--in the desert they might even be better off. They still need some sun though.

I should probably mention that if you have a terrace and not a lot of vegetation/flowers around you should plant some window boxes or pots with some bee/butterfly attracting flowers, need the pollinators.

HeatherChandler fucked around with this message at 04:49 on Mar 15, 2009

Anubis
Oct 9, 2003

It's hard to keep sand out of ears this big.

Fun Shoe

It took over two weeks and they may not be quite big enough when it's time to transplant but my green/red peppers finally germinated on my second attempt! No tomatoes worked out though, looks like I'm buying pre-grown plants for those again. Still, I think I came out ahead if I can transplant 10 or 15 bell pepper plants. I'm also hoping that my green bean plants transfer properly, now that you people have sufficiently worried me. I only need 10 to survive to supply me with everything I'll need in a year but if I could get more I could share, which is always enjoyable.

Only 4 more weeks till the frost date!

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



Woo! gardening thread!

I got into gardening about 3 years ago, which surprised my wife, previously the garden was that weird green outsidey bit I don't park the car on, then I realised I can get almost free food!

I've planted Potatoes, got a couple of pounds of new potatoes from 3 troughs ( I know deeper pots are better, but these were what I could get). The seed potatoes were from a friend on a farm. We saved a dozen and planted them again this year, they're really sweet little things.
Tomatoes, had hundreds for months, that was great, disagree with the poster who said not worth it - I felt a great sense of achievement and didn't have to buy tomatoes.
Peppers & chillies, got 3 peppers & 10 chillies from 6 & 3 plants respectively - Think I need a greenhouse or something for those.
Rhubarb - The unstoppable 50pence clump from the market has netted me about £50 worth by supermarket prices in the 3 years it's been in the ground. #1 success story for me.
Herbs. Meh. The bay tree looks nice though, I chuck a couple of leaves in the bolognese when I remember.
Courgettes, there were no survivors.

Although we plan to move house everything is in pots anyway, so I'm trying for carrots & parsnips this year, I'll plant peppers again because I eat so many of 'em. I'd like to try asparagus, anyone got any advice? Maybe beans, if I only plant a couple of tomato plants this time.

When we move a big garden is a priority. I'll spam this thread with my garage/shed/greenhouse combo when we get there.

What do people advise for carrots? I've been told a bucket of sand, stick a broomhandle in to create a space for the soil, plant in the soil-tubes. Does this sound right?

jovial_cynic
Aug 18, 2005



Cakefool posted:

What do people advise for carrots? I've been told a bucket of sand, stick a broomhandle in to create a space for the soil, plant in the soil-tubes. Does this sound right?

I've never really tried carrots, but I plan to do so this year. I heard from a friend who grows carrots regularly that mixing in wood ash into whatever soil mix you use makes the carrots much sweeter.

As for a particular method... my friend says she doesn't care about the carrots looking pretty, so she just scatters the seeds and lightly overs them up with a bit of dirt. She says she hasn't had any spacing concerns.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


HeatherChandler posted:


You are only too late really for peas and carrots. Peas I know stop producing when its above 75ish, so they need to be in early.

Relax, you have a long growing season, enjoy it. The timing and getting a jump start headache is for those of us that only have a few months warm enough to grow warm weather crops. Although, if next year you want to plan ahead you can have even longer.

How deep are the containers you have? Are they 2x 4 each? If so that is a bit of space, depending on how much soil it holds. You can do tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, lettuce, radishes, green beans--they even have small varieties of eggplant for containers if they are deep enough. All you have to do is dump some good soil in. The catch is that the smaller the area the more watering they need, especially somewhere hot. Twice every day sometimes (I'd wager a guess most days in the desert)--just keep it in mind.

Greens and beans will tolerate some shade--in the desert they might even be better off. They still need some sun though.

I should probably mention that if you have a terrace and not a lot of vegetation/flowers around you should plant some window boxes or pots with some bee/butterfly attracting flowers, need the pollinators.

Thanks for all the advice. I took a closer look today, and it looks like I have one planter that is about 1x6, one that is 2x4 and one that is a weird corner thing. They look about 2 feet deep. These are each against a wall, and partly shaded by a roof, but I think they get full sun for several hours a day still. I also have a very large flat area in full sun--about 12x30 of brick terrace, and then much more that is covered with small stones, but level enough to put containers on I think. I am going to draw a diagram and take it to the garden center next weekend. This is on the east side of my house, so it's shaded by the wall in the afternoon, but my front balcony is lit up right now. I have tons of usable space, it's just a matter of getting things into it, and then not killing them.

We get a lot of sun here in the summer, so I think that will be ok. And I will just have to build it into my schedule to water morning and night. I am hoping to do most of those veggies listed and some herbs. I'll ask about flowers to attract pollinators, too.

I am not looking forward to digging the old, mystery soil out of the built in planters next Saturday!

Banana Factory
Mar 13, 2009


I've heard growing tomatoes upside down in a bucket is a viable technique- what about growing other vine plants or plants that can't support their own weight? I don't think there will be anything that gets in the way of that working. Has anyone tried it with any success?

the ones I have in mind right now are runner beans and squash

HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

Cakefool posted:

I'd like to try asparagus, anyone got any advice?

Well, Asparagus takes years--2 or 3. You can buy 2 year old crowns, but even then aren't supposed to harvest the spears the first year at all. The upside is they can keep producing for like 15 years, so you would want to plant them somewhere they won't be disturbed. I really want to give them a try some day, once I actually stay in one place for long enough to harvest them.

Zeta Taskforce
Jun 27, 2002



Banana Factory posted:

I've heard growing tomatoes upside down in a bucket is a viable technique- what about growing other vine plants or plants that can't support their own weight? I don't think there will be anything that gets in the way of that working. Has anyone tried it with any success?

the ones I have in mind right now are runner beans and squash

I don't think it will work, just because the beans need something to wrap themselves around and won't thrive just hanging down, and squash needs an amazing amount of water once it gets going, and I don't think a hanging basket could provide an adequate amount. In addition, the squash themselves will need support once they get big, or else they could pull the entire thing out.

That said, you have nothing to lose by trying it. The only downside is probably $10 of materials and your time. Go for it.

Banana Factory
Mar 13, 2009


Zeta Taskforce posted:

I don't think it will work, just because the beans need something to wrap themselves around and won't thrive just hanging down, and squash needs an amazing amount of water once it gets going, and I don't think a hanging basket could provide an adequate amount. In addition, the squash themselves will need support once they get big, or else they could pull the entire thing out.

That said, you have nothing to lose by trying it. The only downside is probably $10 of materials and your time. Go for it.

What about the wrapping around makes the beans thrive though? I thought it was because they climb to reach more sun. Is there some sort of importance in the actual holding onto things? I figure, if they are getting sun anyways they should be fine. I might have to keep pulling them off whatever they find and wrapping it back onto itself to keep it hanging.

Zeta Taskforce
Jun 27, 2002



Banana Factory posted:

What about the wrapping around makes the beans thrive though? I thought it was because they climb to reach more sun. Is there some sort of importance in the actual holding onto things? I figure, if they are getting sun anyways they should be fine. I might have to keep pulling them off whatever they find and wrapping it back onto itself to keep it hanging.

They wrap around things for support as well as to survive. Assuming they have nothing to wrap around, they will probably wrap themselves around each other and try in vain to grow upwards, or more likely some of them will manage to send out shoots that will manage to grow upwards and the plant’s energy will go toward these shoots that make it, and these will manage to cling to the outside of your basket and then start wrapping themselves around the wires that the basket is hanging from.

However, like I said before, you should try for yourself. Part of the fun of gardening is when you figure out how to do the impossible. When I was a kid I wanted to grow watermelon. Unfortunately this was in Northern Vermont, North East Kingdom, up in the mountains, about 20 miles from Canada. I had to find the earliest, smallest variety I could find, something like sugar baby. I started the seeds, put them in black plastic mulch and waited, and waited, and when we had our first killing frost on Labor day I had to cover them, and finally at the end of September they were ready. We had an unusually cold rainy summer and other people barely got tomatoes and I had the bragging rights that I grew watermelon. The amount of time, effort and money for what I got was a pathetic. I got about 4 watermelon; the largest was about 8 inches across. The logical thing would have been to go to the store and buy one, but still, I managed to grow it.

Banana Factory
Mar 13, 2009


Zeta Taskforce posted:

They wrap around things for support as well as to survive. Assuming they have nothing to wrap around, they will probably wrap themselves around each other and try in vain to grow upwards, or more likely some of them will manage to send out shoots that will manage to grow upwards and the plant’s energy will go toward these shoots that make it, and these will manage to cling to the outside of your basket and then start wrapping themselves around the wires that the basket is hanging from.

However, like I said before, you should try for yourself. Part of the fun of gardening is when you figure out how to do the impossible. When I was a kid I wanted to grow watermelon. Unfortunately this was in Northern Vermont, North East Kingdom, up in the mountains, about 20 miles from Canada. I had to find the earliest, smallest variety I could find, something like sugar baby. I started the seeds, put them in black plastic mulch and waited, and waited, and when we had our first killing frost on Labor day I had to cover them, and finally at the end of September they were ready. We had an unusually cold rainy summer and other people barely got tomatoes and I had the bragging rights that I grew watermelon. The amount of time, effort and money for what I got was a pathetic. I got about 4 watermelon; the largest was about 8 inches across. The logical thing would have been to go to the store and buy one, but still, I managed to grow it.

That's awesome

You're right, I'm going to try growing a whole bunch of stuff upside down this year. I'll do beans, carrots, tomatoes. I'll try to find a container variety of cucumber and if I can do that, I'll try growing cucumber upside down too.

I obtained a commercial planter a while back(I got the flew off the back of a truck discount), and this year's sprouts are growing in it.
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2dlkvfd&s=5
That picture is from two weeks ago though, right now it is covered in green. It has 18 different types of vegetables. Considering how much space I have to grow in(10x10feet), I'm going to need all the upside-down container space I can get.

I love that planter, after I pull the soil plugs when the plants are big enough I can reuse it after a little cleaning.

Zeta Taskforce
Jun 27, 2002



I look forward to seeing the “hanging gardens of Banana Factory” Take pictures.

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



Upside down? Do you mean growing from a hanging container?

HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

Cakefool posted:

Upside down? Do you mean growing from a hanging container?

Not quite, you actually grow them...completely upside down. You take something like a bucket and cut holes in the bottom where the plants are to grow, and it is filled with soil and hung. Like this:

Click here for the full 768x1024 image.



I just started my tomatoes and peppers today. I busted my budget buying a new garden hose and I really wanted to get one of those plant germinating heating pads. Turns out the new fridge isn't warm on top like my old one was. Anyway, I stuck a few dish towels on top of my human heating pad and have it on low hoping it gets a bit warm but that the towels keep it from getting too hot. Is this a really bad idea?

Banana Factory
Mar 13, 2009


Cakefool posted:

Upside down? Do you mean growing from a hanging container?

Yes, just like that picture in the post above me.

Here's an MS paint of what my plans are for my garden:



-the "M" made out of circles is the walking path.
-the blue lines cutting through it will be the supports for the hanging buckets- most likely 4"X4"'s buried deep and reinforced to carry the significant weight, and as high as possible.
-Green area is the part of my yard that receives full sunlight most of the day
-Brown area is shaded at least half of the day, due to the tall fence on the side and the fact the sun travels horizontally left to right in this picture.
-Red area receives more sun then green area due to the short fence and distance from tall house.
-I'm thinking of expanding my operations to the open area beyond there, but if someone decides to mow it down there's really nothing I can do about it. And the grass is mowed down regularly back there too(by who I have no idea)


In the brown area, I'm going to plant climbing plants like different varieties of beans and peas. I have some standard home-depot seed packet breeds for that. I will need some ground cover for that area too and it will probably be carrots or leaf-vegetables like kai-laan, edible rapeseed and collards, stuff that you grow one-off and replace afterwards. During summer I might try planting heat-intolerant plants here.

In the green area, I will have bushy plants like soy bean and contained areas for one squash and chives and lettuce, but nothing too tall that it will reach the hanging plants

In the red area I will plant a row of sunflowers so i will have a "back wall" made of sunflowers, and herbs like oregano that are supposed to taste better with more sun will get that premium space

The blue hanging areas will house multiple different varieties of tomatoes and whatever experimental plants I want to try hanging upside down(i will probably use a third of the area for experimentation)

I will have an automatic irrigation system set up- normally I don't like to spend money on this sort of thing but I think the concept is really cool, and will let things keep living even if I have to go out of town. It will run one hour at the morning and the hottest part of the day, drippers for the containers and sprayers for the beds.

The water here is very hard and somewhat alkaline(ph 8 or so), in my experiments it made potted tomatoes with peat moss soil go white with PH shock after about three weeks of watering and no flushing out. But outside it rains sometimes and should be alright, right?

I live in zone 8 and the last frost is around this time. summers are very hot. I don't know what grows really well around here especially in these conditions, but I figure if I go with a lot of variety, something's bound to not die.

So that's my plan- if there's anything obviously wrong or that would work better I would love to hear it. I can forsee some problems in the future with the sun not getting to plants due to shading, and plants trying to expand past my limited spaces.

Tad SG
Apr 16, 2003

Here are provided seats of meditative joy, where shall rise again the destined reign of Troy.


I grew some Cherry Tomatoes in a bucket upside down last summer, it worked really well. I'll probably do it again this year.

Zeta Taskforce
Jun 27, 2002




Is that basil growing out of the top of those buckets? That is so awesome!

mischief
Jun 3, 2003


I was given a handful of radish seedlings, with the roots all firmly bound in some sort of water retaining seed-starter fabric, and I am completely at a loss for how to plant these things. Am I supposed to pull individual plants out, damaging roots, or what?

My understanding of radish is to start from seed and give it a little room. It seems like starting 50+ seedlings in a 3"x3" spot would be less than useful.

HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

Zeta Taskforce posted:

Is that basil growing out of the top of those buckets? That is so awesome!

I think so, I've seen it that way before. Picture not mine, so I unfortunately can't take credit for awesomeness. I myself am irrationally terrified of non-traditional methods (other than regular containers). I dig, I till, I plant in rows. I'm excited to see someone else do it though.

mischief posted:

I was given a handful of radish seedlings, with the roots all firmly bound in some sort of water retaining seed-starter fabric, and I am completely at a loss for how to plant these things. Am I supposed to pull individual plants out, damaging roots, or what?

My understanding of radish is to start from seed and give it a little room. It seems like starting 50+ seedlings in a 3"x3" spot would be less than useful.


I am trying to picture seed starter fabric, and really can't. Can you take a picture? Can you maybe cut it into squares around each plant and then plant them seperately? Does it look like it is biodegradable? I have never seen it before.

Anubis
Oct 9, 2003

It's hard to keep sand out of ears this big.

Fun Shoe

HeatherChandler posted:

I am trying to picture seed starter fabric, and really can't. Can you take a picture? Can you maybe cut it into squares around each plant and then plant them seperately? Does it look like it is biodegradable? I have never seen it before.

The stuff I'm thinking about is the bottom of a seed starting kit I saw at home depot earlier this year. It has fabric on the bottom going into each seed's pod that draws water up into the soil so that you just poor water into a bottom tray and don't have to worry about over-watering or damaging young seedlings. I almost got one but figured that the setup would require the plants would need to be transplanted at least twice and that is usually when my plants die, so no thank you.

mischief
Jun 3, 2003


It's really just a porous foamy kind of material, but it's pretty root bound at this point. I only care because it was given to me by my wife's crazy Chinese mother, and if we don't at least try to plant them I'll hear about it for at least a month.

I'll dig out the camera later tonight after work.

HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

Anubis posted:

The stuff I'm thinking about is the bottom of a seed starting kit I saw at home depot earlier this year. It has fabric on the bottom going into each seed's pod that draws water up into the soil so that you just poor water into a bottom tray and don't have to worry about over-watering or damaging young seedlings. I almost got one but figured that the setup would require the plants would need to be transplanted at least twice and that is usually when my plants die, so no thank you.

Yea capillary fabric--but I can't imagine how anything could grow to the point that the roots would be bound in it, it is underneath the pots. Weird.

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



HeatherChandler posted:

Not quite, you actually grow them...completely upside down. You take something like a bucket and cut holes in the bottom where the plants are to grow, and it is filled with soil and hung. Like this:

Click here for the full 768x1024 image.



I just started my tomatoes and peppers today. I busted my budget buying a new garden hose and I really wanted to get one of those plant germinating heating pads. Turns out the new fridge isn't warm on top like my old one was. Anyway, I stuck a few dish towels on top of my human heating pad and have it on low hoping it gets a bit warm but that the towels keep it from getting too hot. Is this a really bad idea?

This is madness. What are the advantages? How do you get the plant through the hole? Either the root or green bit are going to be too big, or do you plant them really young? Do you put anything special around the hole to stop pooping the entire ensemble out?

HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

Cakefool posted:

This is madness. What are the advantages? How do you get the plant through the hole? Either the root or green bit are going to be too big, or do you plant them really young? Do you put anything special around the hole to stop pooping the entire ensemble out?

Haha, I should have made it clearer that I googled up that picture and can't take credit for it. I have read quite a bit about it, and I can tell you that the biggest advantage is ease. No staking, no pruning, no bending, no digging. You can harvest at eye level, standing up. When you water, less is lost to evaporation and through the soil. The hole is only a few inches wide and on a mature plant the root ball should hold soil into place.

http://www.minifarmhomestead.com/gardening/tomato.htm <--these are pretty thorough instructions for doing a tomato, the same idea should follow for anything you can do upside down.

I have a problem with the whole not pruning thing because it was always drilled into my head that the best tomato production is on the main vine, and offshoots just waste valuable plant evergy into foliage. I just can't unbeleive it.

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


HeatherChandler posted:

I have a problem with the whole not pruning thing because it was always drilled into my head that the best tomato production is on the main vine, and offshoots just waste valuable plant evergy into foliage. I just can't unbeleive it.

It's not the offshoots that are the problem, it's the overall distance from the roots. The farther the plant has to transport nutrients to a fruit, the smaller that fruit will be. Tomatoes naturally are a low growing vine that will layer itself as it spreads. Each spot that touches the ground will produce new roots to help send nutrients along. You can see this growing habit on tomato vines easily, just look for the little white bumps on the vines. But humans don't let tomatoes grow this way: they prop them up in cages to maximize garden space and keep the fruit out of reach of 'visitors'.

Cakefool, you're right, you plant them very young. You start them in the bucket turned upside-down, then when they got enough of a rootball to hold the dirt in place so that it won't pour out the hole, you turn the bucket over and hang it.

Tad SG
Apr 16, 2003

Here are provided seats of meditative joy, where shall rise again the destined reign of Troy.


Cakefool posted:

This is madness. What are the advantages? How do you get the plant through the hole? Either the root or green bit are going to be too big, or do you plant them really young? Do you put anything special around the hole to stop pooping the entire ensemble out?

I took a bucket, cut a hole in the bottom, and rested it on 2 chairs, with the hole over the space in the middle. I then took a young tomato plant (no more than a foot tall), put a cut coffee filter around the base of the stem so it would hold in the dirt, and carefully put the stem through the hole so it was hanging upside down, with the root ball still inside the bucket, supporting the plant. I then filled the bucket with soil, covered the bottom, and turned the bucket so the stem was now facing up. I let it grow like that for about a week, and then hung the plant upside down.

Advantages: no snails/slugs/worms on the plant, easy picking since the fruit is at an easy to pick height, no cage required.

Banana Factory
Mar 13, 2009


kid sinister posted:

It's not the offshoots that are the problem, it's the overall distance from the roots. The farther the plant has to transport nutrients to a fruit, the smaller that fruit will be. Tomatoes naturally are a low growing vine that will layer itself as it spreads. Each spot that touches the ground will produce new roots to help send nutrients along. You can see this growing habit on tomato vines easily, just look for the little white bumps on the vines. But humans don't let tomatoes grow this way: they prop them up in cages to maximize garden space and keep the fruit out of reach of 'visitors'.

Cakefool, you're right, you plant them very young. You start them in the bucket turned upside-down, then when they got enough of a rootball to hold the dirt in place so that it won't pour out the hole, you turn the bucket over and hang it.

I wonder if you can keep an upside down tomato, but let it touch the ground and send out bottom roots too. It would be like a tomato stalagmite

I am definitely reserving one tomato bucket for this, this year. For science.

HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

kid sinister posted:

It's not the offshoots that are the problem, it's the overall distance from the roots. The farther the plant has to transport nutrients to a fruit, the smaller that fruit will be. Tomatoes naturally are a low growing vine that will layer itself as it spreads. Each spot that touches the ground will produce new roots to help send nutrients along. You can see this growing habit on tomato vines easily, just look for the little white bumps on the vines. But humans don't let tomatoes grow this way: they prop them up in cages to maximize garden space and keep the fruit out of reach of 'visitors'.

Well poo poo, I know exactly what you mean. Like if a tomato seedling is too leggy you can just bury the stem and it grows roots. I never thought about how it would grow naturally.

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



HeatherChandler posted:

Well poo poo, I know exactly what you mean. Like if a tomato seedling is too leggy you can just bury the stem and it grows roots. I never thought about how it would grow naturally.

Strawberries are the king of this trick. I moved my strawberry pots a couple of years ago and found a single runner that snuck across the back of the house, about 15 feet over patio slabs, behind the door step, behind the drainpipe, behind the little plastic 'greenhouse' into the border.

About 30 feet away.

It had rooted and grown secret strawberries.

They were tasty.

Subliminal
Jun 24, 2005

butter me up

I just did a upside down tomato plant yesterday. I bought a coco hanging basket and cut the bottom out, then just tipped the plant upside down and pulled through. Then I packed it with potting soil. I found/opened a "topsy turvy as seen on TV" at home depot and realized it was just a ugly green basket. We'll see how it goes.

TheFuglyStik
Mar 7, 2003

Attention-starved & smugly condescending, the hipster has been deemed by
top scientists as:
"The self-important, unemployable clowns of the modern age."

I've been slowly hand tilling our new 25'x10' garden plot in 5'x10' sections and it's almost finished. The topsoil is amazingly dark and pungent, but very thin and over some lovely red clay. Finish busting up that last section, add some organic material to make the best of the clay I can, and cover it for a week is all I have left until I can start getting some of the early plants in the ground since our last frost date is nearly a month away.

I've got an arrangement for free fishing at a nearby paylake so long as I catch bluegill and remove/kill them to keep them from killing off the species they actually want. Since I can easily annihilate 100+ a day, I'm thinking about putting them to use for the organic material I need. My only concern is six inches of soil above might not keep the smell down if there are 250-500 fish spread evenly over 250sq. feet.

Does anyone know if I'm in for my backyard reeking like a brothel, or if it's going to work as wonderfully as cheap fertilizer as I'm thinking?

TheFuglyStik fucked around with this message at 13:54 on Mar 19, 2009

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


TheFuglyStik posted:

Does anyone know if I'm in for my backyard reeking like a brothel, or if it's going to work as wonderfully as cheap fertilizer as I'm thinking?

The only composting that I've heard of regarding fish was of just their skeletons. And that was with a proper compost pile, not just lumping dirt on top of them. I bet a whole fish would take quite some time to decompose entirely.

Still, putting that much fish in your garden would pretty much guarantee that you'd have pests trying to dig them up: raccoons, possums, even neighborhood dogs and cats.

TheFuglyStik
Mar 7, 2003

Attention-starved & smugly condescending, the hipster has been deemed by
top scientists as:
"The self-important, unemployable clowns of the modern age."

kid sinister posted:

The only composting that I've heard of regarding fish was of just their skeletons. And that was with a proper compost pile, not just lumping dirt on top of them. I bet a whole fish would take quite some time to decompose entirely.

Still, putting that much fish in your garden would pretty much guarantee that you'd have pests trying to dig them up: raccoons, possums, even neighborhood dogs and cats.

Good point on the pests, we have plenty of coyotes around and I haven't had to fire off any warning shots in a while. A mass grave from a fish holocaust would draw them back around in no time.

I really need to get a good bin for starting some compost, which I would definitely use fish for, but no aquatic graveyard for now.

Zeta Taskforce
Jun 27, 2002



I agree about the dogs and cats (and coyotes) digging through your yard. Also, you might be attracting flies, and where there are flies there will soon be maggots.

In this paylake, they must be constantly feeding these fish, so the nutrient load in the lake must be high. Are they constantly pulling out algae and seaweed (lakeweed)? That might be a better option.

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


Zeta Taskforce posted:

In this paylake, they must be constantly feeding these fish, so the nutrient load in the lake must be high. Are they constantly pulling out algae and seaweed (lakeweed)? That might be a better option.

Fertilizer runoff from neighboring fields and yards can also cause this. Are there a lot of great big yuppie houses with perfectly manicured yards on the shore surrounding this lake?

TheFuglyStik
Mar 7, 2003

Attention-starved & smugly condescending, the hipster has been deemed by
top scientists as:
"The self-important, unemployable clowns of the modern age."

The place is stocked monthly with channel and shovelnose catfish, which usually wind up being in the 60+ pound area there, so heavy feeding is pretty much required. Algae and vegetation isn't a problem, just more bluegill larger than the catfish can reasonably eat that have wiped out the smaller catfish species that were there.

Back to gardening since I came across a dilemma. I'm looking to keep the harvest paced out so that I don't wind up with three buckets of something and nothing else by the time it all spoils. Plants that keep producing for a good while won't be much of a problem, but things I plan on planting like onions, cabbage, and spinach could use some staggering in when individual plant are put in/seeded. Since I have a ~180 day growing period, would a 10 day or week staggering in planting these be advisable?

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


TheFuglyStik posted:

I plan on planting like onions, cabbage, and spinach could use some staggering in when individual plant are put in/seeded. Since I have a ~180 day growing period, would a 10 day or week staggering in planting these be advisable?

A staggered planting schedule is really only for plants where you have to harvest that entire plant at once that won't survive the winter (lettuce, cabbage, root crops). Even then, that's assuming that they will all grow at the same rate. You could even leave those onions in the ground to get bigger for next year if you'd like.

HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

There are recipes on the internet for using fresh fish parts to make fish emulsion, here are a few:
http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/...0041031662.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_2325703_mak...fertilizer.html

The instructions seem about the same on all the ones I've seen. Something to try maybe?

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ChaoticSeven
Aug 11, 2005



This year I gots me a house and I gots me some property so I'm going to try growing plants for the first time in my life. I've never even had a plastic palm. I went to our local mega mall (Wal-Mart) about a week or so ago and found these little peat pellet greenhouses. They expand when you add water to them and it's actually sort of entertaining watching them blow up. 6 bucks a pop, 72 pellets per tray, I grabbed two and some seeds, figured that would be more than plenty if not excessive. Planted one tray full of a zucchini hybrid, straight neck yellow squash, and another yellow hybrid squash. The other tray was tomatoes, 3 varieties. Five days later I have this guy in my squash box:



loving sweet! I planted something and it came to life!

Heres the tray a today, about a week from when I planted the seeds:



The tomatoes weren't doing poo poo though, so I decided to do something crazy. I put them on my heating pad I use for my back and set it on low. Overnight almost every one of them shot up. Cool. Here they are, looking fairly pathetic compared to the giant tomato plants I saw at a nursery yesterday. I was tempted to just buy a few flats of those and use these as an upside down pot experiment or something. Better boy hybrid, early girl hybrid and some other one, who the gently caress knows what these names mean anyway:



After my perceived success with the astonishingly fast growing squashes I went and bought three more 72 count trays, more seeds and a hoe. The hoe was $5. I haven't used it yet. It looks kind of cool. I don't have a picture of it.







Now I have two kinds of watermelon, jalepenos, sweet banana peppers, two colors of bell peppers, 3 varieties of yellow squash, that alien looking round disk white squash, 2 varieties of zucchini, butternut winter squash, broccoli, 3 tomato strains, basil, sweet basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, lavender, plain parsley, triple curly parsley, oregano, and dill all in trays.

Also I'm going to be planting cucumbers, romaine lettuce, carrots, serrano chilis, some weird as gently caress thing I don't even know what is but you can eat it "kohlrabi", and three different types of onions straight in the ground. Seriously thinking of making a strawberry patch thing but I'm put off by the lack of results first year. It's possible I've gone overboard with a lead weight tied to my ankle. I don't even have the garden spot sized or tilled, but the dirt is apparently great because everyone bitches about my good dirt.

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