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Really frustrating gardening summer-2014

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Post  yolos on 10/10/2014, 7:24 pm

Sanderson - did you think about herbicide drift.  They say it makes the leaves of Tomatoes curl up like curly top.
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Post  sanderson on 10/10/2014, 7:44 pm

Yolos,  I went through the curly leaf episode back in April.  Due to my specific set-up, location, etc, it was very unlikely that there was any herbicide drift.  Even the replacements I bought at HD and a local nursery rapidly became infected.  Next spring is a whole new experience and I hope it doesn't repeat!  Shocked

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Post  walshevak on 10/11/2014, 11:09 am

I guess the powers don't want me to post my disappointing summer.  I have tried 3 times to create a post and each time I have managed to wipe it out. So I'll just agree and hope for better next year.

Kay

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Post  boffer on 10/11/2014, 1:23 pm

Sorry to hear that, Kay.  I hate it when I do that.

There are anomalies happening across Forumotion land as they migrate to their new servers. http://help.forumotion.com/t135889-change-of-datacenter-report-bugs

Maybe that contributed.

Regardless, I was excited to find some code a few days ago that is supposed to automatically save post content while it is being written.  It would save us from ourselves! and protect us from glitches.   I can't do anything with it now, but I'll give it to whomever the next admin is for consideration.
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Post  sanderson on 10/11/2014, 2:02 pm

Auto save!

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Post  Marc Iverson on 10/11/2014, 3:30 pm

I hate it to death when that happens, Kay. So disappointing!

Sometimes when I realize a post is getting long or that the thought processes within it would be hard to recreate as well should I lose the post, I will copy it over to MS Notepad, save it, and only post it on a forum when done and checked over. Formatted to not break lines.

Saves a ton of wasted time and a bit of heartbreak. I really should do it more, but sometimes a person just doesn't think of such things.
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Post  RJPugh on 11/10/2014, 8:58 am

Somewhere during the last week, we must have had a kill frost.  Or at least enough of a frost to frag my SFG.  All of the plants are rapidly dying off.  Oh well.  As I've said elsewhere, I'm planning to dismantle this SFG structure and build a new, hopefully better one over the winter, and get an earlier start next year.

My final pick for this year were five, very fat but still green Romas.  I've borrowed a piece of my daughter's window sill to try and sun-ripen them.  But if that doesn't work, then I'll find a recipe for fried green tomatoes and give that a try.  The toms will go to waste otherwise.

There was also one single bush green bean, but it was a pretty good one.  I'm going to try using it as a seed bean next spring.  Just to see what happens.

Anyway, It's time for me to put away my garden tools, and bring out my wood working tools.
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Post  sanderson on 11/11/2014, 2:00 am

RJ, Wood working sounds like a wonderful winter hobby. lots o

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Post  RJPugh on 11/24/2014, 9:01 am

I had an interesting surprise this weekend.

I've been dismantling my existing garden box, and keeping some of the soil in bins for future use.  Well, while digging, I found half a dozen carrots!  Most of them were the small "baby carrot" size, but one was quite large.

Apparently my carrots grew after all!  I suspect they took off when the weather got cooler, as some strains of carrots prefer cooler temperatures.  So next year I'll either plant them early in the spring or in late summer.

As for the carrots themselves, they are bound for tonight's dinner.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/24/2014, 9:10 am

Woo-hoo!  Enjoy!
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Post  RJPugh on 11/25/2014, 8:41 am

The carrots were delicious!  I've always liked carrots, but these guys had a tart, bold flavor that was almost "in your face."  What a difference home growing makes.  It was sad that there were so few of them. I will definitely try more carrots next year.

Which brings me to a box construction question.  Most of the designs for free-standing garden boxes suggest walls made from 8" planks.  For root vegetibles like carrots or potatoes, should I plan on building higher walls, perhaps using 10" or 12" wide planks?  Or should I make some "top hat" extensions from smaller pieces of lumber?

My original idea was to make one box with standard 8" walls, and a second one with higher walls, say 12", to handle root crops.  Has anyone explored these options?
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Post  llama momma on 11/25/2014, 10:27 am

@RJPugh wrote: Most of the designs for free-standing garden boxes suggest walls made from 8" planks.  For root vegetibles like carrots or potatoes, should I plan on building higher walls, perhaps using 10" or 12" wide planks?  Or should I make some "top hat" extensions from smaller pieces of lumber?

My original idea was to make one box with standard 8" walls, and a second one with higher walls, say 12", to handle root crops.  Has anyone explored these options?

RJP
Mel teaches that you can grow anything in 6 inches.  Top hats are very useful to grow carrots and potatoes in 6 inch tall boxes. Just remember if your boxes are 8,10,12 inches tall it will take much more material and expense to initially fill it with Mel's Mix.  Most of my 10 beds are 12 inches deep because I have lots of compost to put in the boxes and it still allows generous room on top for mulching.  Mulching is important to me since Ohio summers can be very hot, into the 100's.  In my experience root crops like potatoes, carrots, and rutabagas all grew well.
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Post  Turan on 11/25/2014, 12:18 pm

I like beds that are 12" but like LM I have lots of ingrediants around me to fill them with.  I think the deeper beds are better at holding a constant moisture level and easier to incorporate mulches on.  I usually only fill a new bed about half way and then add over the years.  Another plus for deeper beds is that it is easier to sit on a bucket and reach the soil level.

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Post  sanderson on 11/25/2014, 1:20 pm

RJ, Either way. Taller box or top hats. I think most of us have various height boxes for various uses and reasons. Top hats are very good when first starting SFG, because most folks do not have enough free compost (to make extra MM) to fill taller boxes. True, you only need 6" of quality Mel's Mix to grow anything. But, the extra heights allow for growing crops that need deep root area such as potatoes, long carrots, parsnips, etc. The extra height also allow for lots of mulch during hot summers.

Remember, an 8" plank is usually only 7-1/2", a 2" x 4" is really only 1-1/2" x 3-1/2".
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Post  CapeCoddess on 11/25/2014, 3:40 pm

@Turan wrote:I like beds that are 12"... I usually only fill a new bed about half way and then add over the years. 
Ditto.  I have different size beds but the taller ones don't get filled but half way in order to give the seedlings some protection from the high winds in my area.

CC
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Post  Marc Iverson on 11/25/2014, 8:40 pm

I like how beds and pots/containers with sides a few inches above the soil line help retain mulch and keep it in place when I water my plants. When the soil is too close to the top, mulch has to be shallower Then when I water, it sometimes gets pushed aside, and there's not enough of it for the exposed soil to naturally cover itself back over again as the water settles in and gets absorbed.

I may get splashback of mud onto the leaves and elsewhere, or have to carefully push the mulch back into place, or otherwise be very fussy to set things right again or not have anything go wrong. Even watering wands on a very light setting or the spray from a watering can can disrupt thin layers of mulch. Sometimes the mulch will even float or get pushed right out of the bed or container, because it's already so near the lip anyway. So I'd much rather have the lips of beds and containers at least a few inches above the soil.
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Post  sanderson on 11/26/2014, 1:23 am

CC, love your tennis!
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Post  RJPugh on 11/26/2014, 8:50 am

If I were to make top-hats, how tall should they be?  I'm imagining a quad of four short planks, perhaps 11" to a side so as to fit within an SFG square, standing on 5" stilts made from dowels.  The stilts would be within the soil, as would the bottom 1" of the quad, for stability.  If I use 6" wide planks I'll get an additional 5" of soil depth, while 8" planks would give me 7".  What has been people's experience?


I may still build my garden boxes with 12" high walls, but use only 6" of soil.  The added height will help retain mulch and what not.  And if I do very well with root crops, I'll have a working box to grow them in.
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Post  sanderson on 11/26/2014, 11:48 pm

RJ, I'm not sure about the stilts. Interesting idea. As the MM settles downward during the season, the stilts may leave the top hat looking like a deer blind or tropical hut. I would just set it on top the lower MM and it will settle with the MM.
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