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  • Welcome

    10 posts, 7 voices, 736 views, started Sep 25, 2008

    Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2008 by Ecosafemom

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    • Amethyst
      Offline

      What’s your gardeing story? I’ll share mine. I’m a new gardener (2008 my first year seriously trying).

      I’m learning through trial, error, books, and friends.  

      My DH built me a 14×3 raised bed and I have several containers some really large purchased one and many reassigned kitty litter buckets.

      I’m growing tomatoes (21 total/8 varieties), zucchini, green beans, lettuce, broccoli, snap peas, garlic, and green pepper.  

      I’ve I’m getting because of our unseasonably cold season is tomatoes (which I’ve had to riped inside), lettuce, and snap peas.

      I’ll start earlier next year and design the use of space more effectively.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Tuliplady wrote Sep 26, 2008
        • Hi Ecosafemom,
          I see this says it’s for novice gardeners, but I hope you don’t mind if an old hand joins in.  I’m always excited when I see folks talking organic gardening.  I’ve been gardening that way for 20+ years.

          My vegetables are all grown in raised beds.  Flowers are in little plots dug into the yard here, there and everywhere.  I have plenty of space, so it’s a rather haphazard layout.



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          Holly Beck wrote Sep 27, 2008
        • I am interested in organic gardening and hope to start a garden next year. I have started saving kitchen scraps for compost - a tiny step, I know...

          My reasons for wanting to do this are many: to eat healthier; to enjoy food fresh from the garden (sooo much tastier!) and to save money. (Please see my blog about living well in tough economic times to contribute any tips you have in this area!)



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          Lisab41 wrote Sep 27, 2008
        • I love to hear about organic gardening! It is the only way to go...when I can’t grow it I buy organic at the Farmers Market! My other half does most of veggies and I do the flowers-have to feed the sole too! Kind of weird summer here so not much peppers but lots of early tomatoes.



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          Rita Feltes wrote Sep 27, 2008
        • We have always raised our own vetables and I love flowers but, for many reasons I would like to grow organic. What exactly is Organic and is my soil damaged because we have used pesticides? How do I start fresh for next year? Can anyone help?



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          Ecosafemom wrote Oct 2, 2008
        • Thanks for joining us tuliplady. You can be our resident expert. When I said novice I meant more towards people who may be novice about gardening organically. or gardening at all.

          This is my first year gardening but I used organic top soil, compost, etc.  

          I’d like to grow seasonal crops year round. I don’t know which crops are best planted when but I’ve got a couple of books I’m going to come up with a game plan during the winter months.  

          Any tips on growing green beans or zucchini. I bought two zucchini starts and I got about 6 flowers but no fruit. I planted about 18 green bean seeds who all sprouted and grew fabulously but slowly and haven’t produced anything.

          My snap peas are producing pretty well but I’m not getting an over abundance of them as I’d hoped so I’m wondering how many I should plant next year.

          What are you hoping to grow successfully? What do you have good success with? What do you struggle with?



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          Ecosafemom wrote Oct 2, 2008
        • My understanding of transitioning to organic takes three years. When I inquired at my local organic food store that was what they told me w/regard to some “transitional” apples. Yes your soil is damaged but it can be repaired. Are you using ground soil or raised beds?  

          One of the reasons I went w/raised beds and containers is because before I married my hubby he had Chem-Lawn come out regularly to spray toxins on the yard. I put a stop to that 8 years ago but I still don’t trust our soil, esp. as a lot of the soil here was sold as fill from smelting plant and was nothing more than toxic sludge.

          You can begin working organic materials into your soil, i.e. organic top soil, compost, worm castings, composted manure (chicken, cow, horse) and that will vastly improve your soil. Grow things in there for the next three years that don’t absorb and retain high levels of pesticideds (I’ll post the dirty dozen later, someone please remind my tired brain if I forget).  

          Most importantly don’t beat yourself up. As we know better we do better. Let’s all share ideas and learn from each other so we can do better.



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          Tuliplady wrote Oct 2, 2008
        • Ritaabook, your soil may be a bit damaged from pesticides, but don’t despair.  From here on out you can do it better. Organic gardening, in a nutshell is gardening without the use of synthetic chemicals.  It’s about building your soil by naturally replenishing the nutrients.  

          If you already have raised beds, start this fall by mulching them with tree leaves. Leaves break down over winter and provide lots of organic matter and nutrients.  Grass clippings are great to add as long as the lawn hasn’t been treated with chemicals.  Normal, healthy soil is a living thing.  It’s teaming with microbes and insects and fungi, all the things that go about breaking down organic matter into soil.  Chances are if you’ve been using chemicals for awhile, your soil is kind of dead, but in time, it will rejuvenate itself.

          Are you composting yet?  If not, get a compost pile started.  Lots of great info on the net on composting.  

          Ecosafemom, it’s been a tough year for zucchini it would seem.  I’ve talked to lots of folks with your problem.  In fact I had the same problem myself.  I have two yellow crookneck squash plants that just bloomed and bloomed and never set fruit.  This was because the plants were producing all male flowers to begin with.  Finally after more than a month, I have a few fruits set on.  We are a couple weeks past due for a frost, so I don’t expect much of a harvest.

          What part of the country are you in?  In my area it would be too cold for beans to still be producing very well.  It could be you have poor soil, not enough water- so many things.  Peas, well, it takes a lot of pea plants to harvest a lot of peas.  Peas like fairly cool weather.  If it’s too hot, they stop producing.



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          Ecosafemom wrote Oct 2, 2008
        • I’m in Seattle and I got an admitted late start. Not planting until the first weekend in July because our June was more like January than June.

          My green beans finally have a few buds on them, my peas are sugar snap and I’m excited to get what I have because now my son is excited to eat them before he’d turn his nose up at them.

          I was hoping to get enough tomatoes to can them but I’ve got an awful lot of green ones and the rain started again today so I’ll probably have to pick a lot more of them green and ripen them in a box. I have a box of tomatoes ripening in my room now.

          I bought a square foot gardening book and want to make the most of our space next year so I can produce what we need versus using a CSA.
          Cynthia



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          Marcy wrote Dec 17, 2008
        • Our soil is very sandy & rocky. Because of that we’ll most likely recycle a couple of BIG stock tanks - filling them with fresh, black soil. We will have to put a tall fence around our garden area as we have deer, elk & bear. I’d love to have a green house but with the wind in our part of the country I don’t know how smart that would be.  

          Is anyone composting?  What compost method works best for you?  Is anyone living off the grid (solar only)?  I’d really like to visit with you about your experiences!



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