Author Topic: Growing food - The Garden Thread  (Read 102070 times)

Offline punatic

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #300 on: June 06, 2012, 09:46:58 PM »
earwigs will also help control slugs. course, then you have earwigs, but they are fairly harmless.
Can you point to a reference?  i tried googling around, but everything I find talks about how to control both, not one to control the other.  My google-fu has failed me.

Click on Night Gallery (it is a hyper link) in reply #298 above.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #301 on: June 07, 2012, 12:08:40 AM »
earwigs will also help control slugs. course, then you have earwigs, but they are fairly harmless.
Can you point to a reference?  i tried googling around, but everything I find talks about how to control both, not one to control the other.  My google-fu has failed me.

well okay, to be fair it is knowledge from another forum so it is suspect, however here is the link to decide for yourself

so here is the link that I originally found

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/organic/msg051520163415.html

and here is further reading leading from that forum post

http://www.insectguide.net/earwigs.html which has a somewhat quaint olde tyme writing style and speaks in more detail.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #302 on: June 07, 2012, 12:54:55 AM »
Interesting, thanks.
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Offline pinnah

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #303 on: June 23, 2012, 07:06:27 PM »
new potatoes! 

add some chopped
bulbous scapes, onion, chard, broccoli for a light garden stir fry.

Dinner from the garden season is here. 8)
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #304 on: June 24, 2012, 01:41:37 AM »
new potatoes! 

add some chopped
bulbous scapes, onion, chard, broccoli for a light garden stir fry.

Dinner from the garden season is here. 8)
Cheers.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #305 on: June 26, 2012, 06:44:28 AM »
Lettuce and spinach have been on the table for a few weeks now.  Radishes are about done.  Starting to get beets in (roasted a few this weekend) and got our first tomatoes (Early Girls) and peppers (bells and poblanos) this weekend.  Jalapenos are coming on strong and ready to pick.  Lemon peppers (yellow thai) are coming on , but not turning yet.  Peas are starting to pod.  Corn is about chest high.  Eggplant is flowering, cucumbers seem to be a little slow, but the plants are healthy.  Spaghetti, yellow, and zuchini squash are looking good as well.  The celery is fine too.  The okra and string bean plants are about 6 - 12 inches tall.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #306 on: June 26, 2012, 07:28:58 AM »
Question about "compost":

I don't really have much space for compost, but I have a corner of the house that we have not yet landscaped. It was just dirt (no plants, weeds, etc), so I started piling up and burying my spent grain, trub, dryhops, grass clippings and burying it (it gets a bit funky otherwise).

Will this produce dirt worth using or am I more harm than good?
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #307 on: June 26, 2012, 07:43:11 AM »
Question about "compost":

I don't really have much space for compost, but I have a corner of the house that we have not yet landscaped. It was just dirt (no plants, weeds, etc), so I started piling up and burying my spent grain, trub, dryhops, grass clippings and burying it (it gets a bit funky otherwise).

Will this produce dirt worth using or am I more harm than good?

I think this is sometimes called "trench composting". The usual method is to have a dedicated spot or spots in the garden for this each year, creating new pockets of rich soil. You should get some nice soil from this, but it may take a year or so since the composting will happen a lot more slowly underground.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #308 on: June 26, 2012, 07:50:16 AM »
Question about "compost":

I don't really have much space for compost, but I have a corner of the house that we have not yet landscaped. It was just dirt (no plants, weeds, etc), so I started piling up and burying my spent grain, trub, dryhops, grass clippings and burying it (it gets a bit funky otherwise).

Will this produce dirt worth using or am I more harm than good?

that will work. it'll take a while (like a couple years) but it will work. some folks with stronger stomachs than I will do what they call 'sheet composting' where they just spread the compostables in an even sheet across the whole area to be enriched. but it is messy.

the idea situation is to build a pile, if you mix grass clippings with the food scraps, spent grain, etc it will hold down the smell somewhat, make sure it stays moist but not wet, and turn it every couple days you can have good dirt in a few months. if you get some worms or black soldier flies http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_soldier_fly they can turn gunk into goods in a short time indeed. Our compost system is two bins made of cinder blocks next to each other. each one is about 2.5 feet square. We add our scraps and clippings to the left side and when it starts to get full (about 3-6 weeks for us) we clear out the dirt from the right side and flip the whole pile from the left into the right where it gets turned.

By doing it this way we allow a good amount of mass to build up and it can maintain heat while it works. The worms go nuts in there. when you turn the right side it's crawling with worms and bugs and stuff.

They also make various composting 'machines' that are big bins or one description or another that allow easy turning and thourough aeration of the 'pile'. aeration is vital to controling the smell as there are two kinds of composting process aerobic and anaerobic (sound familiar?) the anaerobic process makes nasty smells and the aerobic one makes less nasty smells.
hope this helps!
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Offline euge

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #309 on: June 26, 2012, 08:41:04 AM »
I have a pile that moves around the back of the backyard in the low spots. I have remediated some poor areas and now they are vibrant indeed- just from having a pile there. Actually you don't even have to turn the pile if you don't feel like it. It will work its magic quicker if you do but just dumping on top and flipping the pile to a new spot a couple times a year is enough to break everything down.

When I had weeds real bad I would use a bag on the mower and have a separate pile for these clippings. I would pile it up high to get the heat going. This keeps any potential seeds out of my regular compost and the heat hopefully kills and break them down. The pile will melt away and you will have a nice fertile spot.

Spent grain needs to be mixed in or spread out to dry in order to keep the flies and that gawd awful smell down. That's the only thing I've had stinking from the compost pile and if you mix it in the flies won;t be a bother. And surprisingly I've found that the feral cats like to eat spent grain!
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #310 on: June 26, 2012, 08:52:56 AM »
I feed em Lead  >:(
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #311 on: June 26, 2012, 09:31:21 AM »
I have one of these that I got from my parents years ago.  It works very well.  They are a bit pricey though.

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #312 on: June 26, 2012, 09:37:09 AM »
I have seen one of these types of machines that is just a big sphere with a hatch on one side that you roll around the yard to turn the 'heap'. looks kind of fun
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Offline Delo

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #313 on: June 26, 2012, 09:53:34 AM »
I live in an urban area and dont have a lot of room either. I have two of these kind side by side.

The entire top opens to allow for easy turning with a pitchfork.  I bury fresh stuff in the right one and transfer the broken down stuff to finish off and use from the left.  I usually turn the stuff up at least once a week, depending on how much and often I add to it.  They were free or really cheap from a County program.  If your compost starts to smell there may not be enough "brown material", wood, paper, etc. After a brew session with all the grain and hops I usually add a lot of wood chips to keep the pile from going anaerobic.   

I have one of these that I got from my parents years ago.  It works very well.  They are a bit pricey though.
These are supposed to break everything down faster than normal bins. They are nice, but pricey. I know Costco sometimes sells them.

Offline punatic

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Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« Reply #314 on: June 26, 2012, 10:48:25 AM »
Compost heaps don't need to be fancy at all.  Just a place where you dump organic matter.  I've found that grass cuttings thatch and need to be turned often to prevent thatching.  Dead leaves deteriorate quickly and are very good for compost.  Throwing your coffee grounds on the compost heap attracts eartworms and accelerates composting.  Spreading fish emulsion on the compost heap accelerates composting. 

Healthy compost heaps smell earthy, like wet dirt, not stinky.  You should be able to begin harvesting compost in a few months of warm weather, not a couple of years.

And anyone who is a fan of Fraggle Rock can tell you,  The Compost Heap is very wise and a dispenser of sage advice. 8)
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