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Useful tidbits. Tips anyone? Toplef10Useful tidbits. Tips anyone? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Useful tidbits. Tips anyone? I22gcj10Useful tidbits. Tips anyone? 14dhcg10

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Useful tidbits. Tips anyone?

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Amy in Idaho
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Post  Amy in Idaho 3/31/2010, 3:11 am

I have learned some things through experience that could save others a lot of hassle. Thought I would share a few.

Your local nursery is a wealth on information. It is amazing what they will tell you, for free. i.e. What zone you live in. When area frost dates are. Solutions to pests and bugs, like what they are and how to fix.

Slugs like beer, put a deep cup of beer next to a slug problem, end of slugs.

If your seedlings are leggy, they aren't getting enough light, thats why they get taller, they need more. Try adding a lamp on a timer.

Fast food containers are great for starting seeds! Most now come with a clear plastic lid, perfect greenhouse. Salad at Wendy's anyone.

Also, many bakeries package things in clear plastic, perfect garden/square foot cover! Just weight it down. Think sugar cookies at Walmart. Not to mention milk cartons, 2 Liter bottles of soda, dollar store storage containers.

Need a plastic cover? Painter's plastic is thick and comes in big rolls. Dollar stores carry clear shower curtains.

Pole beans love corn, they go right up.

Want garden markers that don't fade with sun or water, oven bake clay. Have your kids or grandkids decorate pre-cut squares of Fimo or Sculpey with green snakes for green beans, red circle for tomatoes, etc, and rubber stamp with small letter stamps before baking. Maybe show them what you want markers for, like easy to copy pictures. Have a hole at the top for hanging from a garden hook formed hanger wire, or glue to small wooden stakes or popcicle sticks. Makes a great art project for schools.
ex. [Peas {8}] [Tomatoeos O]

I will add more as I remember them. I would love to know anyone elses tidbits.
Amy in Idaho
Amy in Idaho

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Post  nancy 3/31/2010, 9:30 am

I love the garden markers! I think I have some sculpy under the couch. Hurray!

Great ideas,
n.
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Post  Lavender Debs 3/31/2010, 10:32 am

Amy every time I read you I think, "Cool! who is this woman?"

Thanks! Mine is eat yogurt and corn on the cob. Then wash the yogurt cup, stab the bottom again and again with a two prong corn holder (for drainage) use it to start seedlings. That way if you have the happy delima of needing to give away/sell seedlings the cost of pots will not be a consideration.

Deborah ....who stole gleaned her idea from Donna of SFG video fame
Lavender Debs
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Post  timwardell 3/31/2010, 11:10 am

Love the oven bake clay idea for plant markers! Thanks for sharing.
timwardell
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Post  Lavender Debs 3/31/2010, 11:21 am

C'mon Tim, where is yours (I know you have lots of them!)

Deborah ....save a few rough branches to push into the soil with your short vine peas to give them a little structure instead of using posts and a fence.
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Post  chocolatepop 3/31/2010, 11:36 am

I use old crib side rails as a trellis device. The old ones arent "safe" and many people are getting ride of them because of the spacing between the slates causing strangulation.

Freecycle is my best friend. It is where I got my chain linked fence for my trellised heavy stuff. I also got panty hose off freecycle for slings. I also got some decking wood when people were redoing theirs.

I use predator urine to keep creatures at bay, bad part is it needs reapplication every so often.

tulle makes great crop cover. My garden was quit festive. It goes on sale cheaply in the summer for weddings.

I use tongue depressors and clean fingernail polish, or ventian blinds and clear fingernail polish as garden markers.

shishkabob (sp) wooden spears of my plants get a little floppy.

christmas light clips to hold the painters visqueen to the PVC pipe when making a hoop cover

cat nail trimmers for thinning seedlings, or baby finger nail scissors.

I agree with take out containers for seedlings. i have a student athlete that works at Bob Evans and I get tons from them, also tons of commercial sized "tin" cans for wind and critter protection from the school cafeteria.

Milk crates for critter protection over my corn babies.

PVC for drip irrigation

I print off a schematic of each box and then laminate it, then I use a wet erase pen and fill in the blanks. I keep this in a plastic bag by my boxes and write nots on back.

go to habitat for humanity "restore" type places and walk around for ideas. I got two shop lights for my seedlings for a total of $5.

With this economy, stores are going out of business and many structural items are handy. powder coated/wire shelving, etc can creatively be used im sure.

cut open socks for hammocks for fruit/squash/pumpkins grown vertically (he my hubby has size 15 shoe Wink )

When making your newpaper seed starting pots, if you are having a hard time getting the seams to stay "closed" try the old time glue of water and flour.

have a bunch of high school boys (or husband/sons/self) pee in your compost to speed up the process (thanks Ward and Boff)

someone said use water from the fish take occassionally to water your plants? Never tried it but seemed interesting.

pop up laundry baskets for shading lettuces and such.

Building off calling local nurseries, call your local extension office also.
I kept going into one of the small ma and pa place asking for help and we found we have an obsessive love of trying new things, so she always gives me deals and I am her "tester" on many new plants before she sells.

Im sure there are more.


Last edited by chocolatepop on 4/1/2010, 1:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
chocolatepop
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Post  nidiyao 3/31/2010, 11:40 am

Fishtank water in compost pile to heat things up.

Soiled water/bedding from bird cages in compost pile.

Sandy
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Post  swripley 3/31/2010, 1:14 pm

chocolatepop wrote:II use predator urine to keep creatures at bay, bad part is it needs reapplication every so often.


Please elaborate...I'm trying to get a mental image but having no success Useful tidbits. Tips anyone? Icon_biggrin
swripley
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Post  lakemom 3/31/2010, 1:19 pm

chocolatepop wrote:I use old crib side rails as a trellis device. The old ones arent "safe" and many people are getting ride of them because of the space between the slate causing strangulation.

Freecycle is my best friend. It is where I got my chain linked fence for my trellised heavy stuff. I also got panty hose off freecycle for slings. I also got some decking wood when people were redoing theirs.

I use predator urine to keep creatures at bay, bad part is it needs reapplication every so often.

tulle makes great crop cover. My garden was quit festive. It goes on sale cheaply in the summer for weddings.

I use tongue depressors and clean fingernail polish, or ventian blinds and clear fingernail polish as garden markers.

shishkabob (sp) wooden spears of my plants get a little floppy.

christmas light clips to hold the painters visqueen to the PVC pipe when making a hoop cover

cat nail trimmers for thinning seedlings, or baby finger nail scissors.

I agree with take out containers for seedlings. i have a student athlete that works at Bob Evans and I get tons from them, also tons of commercial sized "tin" cans for wind and critter protection.

Milk crates for critter protection over my corn babies.

PVC for drip irrigation

I print off a schematic of each box and then laminate it, then I use a wet erase pen and fill in the blanks. I keep this in a plastic bag by my boxes and write nots on back.

go to habitat for humanity "restore" type places and walk around for ideas. I got two shop lights for my seedlings for a total of $5.

With this economy, stores are going out of business and many structural items are handy. powder coated/wire shelving, etc can creatively be used im sure.

cut open socks for hammocks for fruit/squash/pumpkins grown vertically (he my hubby has size 15 shoe Wink )

When making your newpaper seed starting pots, if you are having a hard time getting the seams to stay "closed" try the old time glue of water and flower.

have a bunch of high school boys (or husband/sons/self) pee in your compost to speed up the process (thanks Ward and Boff)

someone said use water from the fish take occassionally to water your plants? Never tried it but seemed interesting.

pop up laundry baskets for shading lettuces and such.

Building off call local nurseries, call your local extension office also.
I kept going into one of the small ma and pa place asking for help and we found we have an obsessive love of trying new things, so she always gives me deals and I am her "tester" on many new plants before she sells.

Im sure there are more.

Gotta chime in here with the opinion that human waste used in the garden is a no-no!! It may be effective, but composing human waste is just not something that should be done.
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Post  choksaw 3/31/2010, 1:24 pm

Useing an old fish tank as a small green house for seed starting just cover the sides with tinfoil
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Post  boffer 3/31/2010, 1:35 pm

swripley wrote:
chocolatepop wrote:II use predator urine to keep creatures at bay, bad part is it needs reapplication every so often.


Please elaborate...I'm trying to get a mental image but having no success Useful tidbits. Tips anyone? Icon_biggrin

I remember this from last Sunday night because the light bulb turned on in my head. I don't recall this being discussed before in topics about keeping veggie predators at bay. But it makes sense. In stores that sell hunting supplies, they sell 'scents', of different animals, that are frequently urine based. They are used to both attract and repel animals. Specifically, we were talking about the scents that would keep deer at a distance. I've never had any luck using suggested scents commonly found in our homes, like Irish Spring soap. I plan on trying urine scent this summer.
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Post  gridgardener 3/31/2010, 2:42 pm

i use deervik to keep animals away it is water proof an lasts 6-7 months
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Post  Retired Member 1 3/31/2010, 3:06 pm

lakemom wrote:[
Gotta chime in here with the opinion that human waste used in the garden is a no-no!! It may be effective, but composing human waste is just not something that should be done.

Urine is sterile -- no problem using it. As to human "poop", also called humanure, it is fine if either composted hot and let age for a year or if composted cool, let it age 2 years. All pathogens are killed by that time. I've used humanure for years but do let it age two years since I'm not a fanatic about keeping the compost pile the right tempurature. A great book is "The Humanure Handbook" by Joseph Jenkins.

I agree that raw human waste is not a healthy thing to use in the garden, but composted is not only good it is very beneficial.

The book is available free on-line at: http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/humanure.html

Not trying for converts here, but don't knock it until you've used it! Useful tidbits. Tips anyone? Icon_biggrin
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Post  Retired Member 1 3/31/2010, 3:09 pm

Tip: On beds with trellises, make a small hook out of wire and hang your trowel and/or small hand cultivator from it. Makes it easy to find.
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Post  swripley 3/31/2010, 3:17 pm

boffer wrote:In stores that sell hunting supplies, they sell 'scents', of different animals, that are frequently urine based.

Okay, now that I can picture...LOL!
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Post  boffer 3/31/2010, 3:24 pm

old rural type mail boxes are the perfect waterproof place to keep all your misc sfg 'tools' handy near your beds
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Post  choksaw 3/31/2010, 11:56 pm

an old drum stick (for playing the instrument) works well as a direct sowing dibbler it can even be notched for certain depths to make things easier Useful tidbits. Tips anyone? Icon_biggrin
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Post  SirTravers 4/1/2010, 12:00 am

I know some trowels have inch marks but they're still hard to see. Those thin line paint markers work really well for making the inch marks more visible.
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Post  Kabaju42 4/1/2010, 12:05 am

boffer wrote:
swripley wrote:
chocolatepop wrote:II use predator urine to keep creatures at bay, bad part is it needs reapplication every so often.


Please elaborate...I'm trying to get a mental image but having no success Useful tidbits. Tips anyone? Icon_biggrin

I remember this from last Sunday night because the light bulb turned on in my head. I don't recall this being discussed before in topics about keeping veggie predators at bay. But it makes sense. In stores that sell hunting supplies, they sell 'scents', of different animals, that are frequently urine based. They are used to both attract and repel animals. Specifically, we were talking about the scents that would keep deer at a distance. I've never had any luck using suggested scents commonly found in our homes, like Irish Spring soap. I plan on trying urine scent this summer.

I've also seen predator scent (urine) it at my local nursery. There were four scents: wolf, coyote, another one and something else.
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Post  chocolatepop 4/1/2010, 12:46 am

Yup Boff is spot on. I hunt so it only made sense to try scents first.

You can get all sorts of smells/musk/urine. I use fox (squirrels), wolf, and coyote (ground hog). I know you can also get bobcat and mountain lion. you can also use cat pee for small animals (squirrels and such), I take some used biodegradable kitty litter (no poop!).
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Post  Amy in Idaho 4/1/2010, 12:57 am

I love the feedback! I especially like the idea of laminating a grid and keeping it in a ziplock next to SFG. Saw an awesome idea today: plastic spoons as plant markers, write on the back. So much cheaper.
Amy in Idaho
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Post  chocolatepop 4/1/2010, 1:01 am

Amy in Idaho wrote:I love the feedback! I especially like the idea of laminating a grid and keeping it in a ziplock next to SFG. Saw an awesome idea today: plastic spoons as plant markers, write on the back. So much cheaper.

I love this idea, so simple! I think I'll have to use clear finger nail polish to keep it from fading in the sun, but I have like a million spoons left over from a party!
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Post  boffer 4/1/2010, 1:03 am

Amy in Idaho wrote:

Slugs like beer, put a deep cup of beer next to a slug problem, end of slugs.

In the PNW, it's more effective to drink the beer and throw the empties at the slugs.
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Post  choksaw 4/1/2010, 11:43 am

[/quote]In the PNW, it's more effective to drink the beer and throw the empties at the slugs.[/quote]
Useful tidbits. Tips anyone? 641297 LOL the PNW isnt the only place that this method is used
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Post  gridgardener 4/1/2010, 11:48 am

you need use right type beer since if don't is just a waste.
strong malt flavor beers work best.
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