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Gardening - 2020
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Elsa
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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 7:59 am
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Usually my garden is mostly planted by now. It’s cooler than normal so things are delayed.

This is good in a way. I’m finding less variety out there as far as stater plants go.  There’s been a huge supplier in this area who set up a tent and sold EVERYTHING each year. That family did not come down this year. It’s not virus-related. The man told me this could happen. Last year was bad for them. There was street construction which limited access and parking. The man was mad and I didn’t blame him. You have these little plants; they’ve got to move.

So now, supply is somewhat limited and chains (Lowes) are beginning to price gouge.

Point here is would usually but a 4 pack of tomatillos (and many other thing). This year, I have to grow from seed. 

it’s fine, but slower and I did not expect this!

Luckily, I did start a lot of seeds, weeks ago, so I’m in decent shape. Especially because I’m supposedly having back surgery.

I am really glad to see people getting more interest in gardening.  Recently I bought some beautiful, BEAUTIFUL, fabulous tomatoes. I thought they were high end… they looked like something grown at home.  As much as I know about this, I was stunned when they had no taste or flavor at all. AT ALL.

My husband was just as surprised. There is no actual “tomato” left in a tomato! 

I really hope I have tomatoes on the vine when my daughter gets here. She loves veggies of all kinds, as does her son. I would like them to taste the real stuff! 🙂

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NotMyCircus
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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 9:24 am
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This morning I was going to start my garden. I was ready to go! Until I discovered….

 

1.  The potting soil is actually “plant food”. I didn’t read the label closely. So now I have to go out and get potting soil. (My housemates have a garden, but it’s pretty much out of room. They alsdo told me I could plant stuff in the yard, but the deer will get it. So it’s best to put my plants on the back patio.)

2.  Zucchinis need a LOT of space to grow. YUUUUUGE pots. I washed a bunch of drawers from a busted refrigerator last night, thinking I’d use a few of those for my plants. They should be fine for the herbs (hopefully the plastic won’t be toxic to them). But for the zucchini, I guess I’ll have to buy some giant pots or containers, 15-20 gallon capacity PER PLANT. I see nothing in the house big enough. And my zucchinis are about to bust their seedling containers. 

3.  I looked online for potting soil. Home Depot is SOLD OUT of pretty much all of theirs. Walmart has some that can be shipped out, but I’m pretty sure if I went in person, they’d be out of everything. 

4.  I have “plant food”, earthworm castings, and fish fertilizer, but apparently zucchini need wood chips and other stuff as well. I can’t afford to buy 5 or 6 different forms of fertilizer!!

 

I don’t know what to do. I’m trying so hard to save money and stay out of stores. it isn’t working out that well. 

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Elsa
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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 10:36 am
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Most of the stuff you got will grow just fine in soil-soil. But zucchini does grow into a 4′ X 4′ mound.

You also don’t need potting soil. “Garden soil” is cheaper and you an mix it with any dirt you could find.

They make it sound as if you need to spend all this money but the fact is, God, made it so you can have lots of seeds, grow food, eat it and have lots of seeds again, for the next year.

Just thrown those herbs in some pots with whatever. Pay attention to sun /shade needs and also some of that stuff does well to dry out. You don’t need to over water or overfeed.

Good luck.

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NotMyCircus
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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 11:37 am
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Thanks, Elsa. I’ve been trying not to get discouraged, so this helps. 

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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 3:01 pm
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This is one thing that prevented me from planting for so many years. I would get overwhelmed with the cost and the timing and the space etc. This year I just eff it, Im putting seeds in dirt and letting go of any expectations.

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Elsa
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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 11:49 am
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Just keep in mind, the plants want to grow. That’s why they’re breaking out of their pots. Get any container with drainage and room for more soil on all sides of the root ball. You do not need expensive fertilizer. The plants know what to do. You just need to keep them reasonably cared for – not dried out for too long, etc.

I think it’s humid where you live? Just give them some room to grow and they will. If you see a problem.. yellowing leaves of something, come tell us and we’ll help you. But right now, you can assume you have some healthy plants there, ready to hit the high season! 🙂

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NotMyCircus
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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 12:09 pm
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I just talked to one of my housemates. She said the zucchini can be just planted in the ground. (I think there’s still room out there, they have a big yard.) She also said she just uses garden soil with some dirt from the yard mixed in–which is exactly what you recommended. Wood mulch might be available in one corner of the yard, so I may not need to buy any. Yay! 🙂

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Elsa
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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 12:42 pm
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Don’t buy anything for zucchini. It grows like a weed. FAST!

Get it in the ground when lows are above 40 degrees (or more). The only thing to watch for is squash bugs, which to be honest; once you see them, it’s probably too late.

They lay eggs on the undersides of leaves… they look like rows of tiny gold or black beads. They’re sneaky bastards.

Really, it’s worth it to get one can of sevin dust ($3) and sprinkle on the plant to prevent this. Do it early because they tend to appear early. The internet will tell you do all kinds of burning and stuff but they are nearly impossible to get rid of and they can overwinter,.

You’re probably good, this year, because you are not a squash area! Your yard, I mean. But really, that’s all that can go wrong with zucchini and you will get endless fruit; plenty to eat, freeze and give away.

Last, if you come home and they’re sagging, this happens on HOT days. Just water and they’ll be fine. Notice the big leaves that provide shade for the fruit. It is not at all uncommon to discover foot-long zucchini, you didn’t see the day before.
This is a (nearly) certain winner for you, Circus. Get that puppy in the ground! It is NOT a container plant. Plant in the sun or mostly sun. They really don’t require feeding but again, if you have a problem, ask!

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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 3:29 pm
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Temps are right for it. Now I’m looking for space. So far, there isn’t much left.I may just plant it all over the place, LOL. 

I’ve been warned (again) about deer. There’s a lot around here. I also saw a rabbit today. I don’t have a fence to keep them away. Should I spray the plants with something to repel hungry animals? 

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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 12:42 pm
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Don’t buy anything for zucchini. It grows like a weed. FAST!

Get it in the ground when lows are above 40 degrees (or more). The only thing to watch for is squash bugs, which to be honest; once you see them, it’s probably too late.

They lay eggs on the undersides of leaves… they look like rows of tiny gold or black beads. They’re sneaky bastards.

Really, it’s worth it to get one can of sevin dust ($3) and sprinkle on the plant to prevent this. Do it early because they tend to appear early. The internet will tell you do all kinds of burning and stuff but they are nearly impossible to get rid of and they can overwinter,.

You’re probably good, this year, because you are not a squash area! Your yard, I mean. But really, that’s all that can go wrong with zucchini and you will get endless fruit; plenty to eat, freeze and give away.

Last, if you come home and they’re sagging, this happens on HOT days. Just water and they’ll be fine. Notice the big leaves that provide shade for the fruit. It is not at all uncommon to discover foot-long zucchini, you didn’t see the day before.
This is a (nearly) certain winner for you, Circus. Get that puppy in the ground! It is NOT a container plant. Plant in the sun or mostly sun. They really don’t require feeding but again, if you have a problem, ask!

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Elsa
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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 3:52 pm
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The sevin dust will keep them away, somewhat, I think. You only need it in the beginning.
I don’t think the deer will be a big threat though, just because you’re new on the route! And they never bother my squash, ever. They like tomatoes.

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JoFrance
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Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 6:59 pm
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I’ve never planted zucchini, but I don’t think it would do well in a container.  In the ground is best.  I usually use my own soil and mix in a little Miracle Gro garden soil into the hole I’m planting in.  You don’t need the organic stuff, the regular will do.  Sometimes I mix in Kelp meal or liquid seaweed for fertilizer to perk up the soil.

Its definitely a good idea to put sevin or something on the plant for insects, early on.  Deer are always a problem.  There isn’t really a good way to stop them from eating anything.  They are the reason I ended up doing container gardening.  Deer and the Ground Hogs.  When they started getting interested in a plant, I would move the container somewhere else.  It worked for me because I have a big yard.

Elsa is right.  They may not discover your plants because they’re not on the route – this year.    

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Monday, April 20, 2020 - 9:51 am
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http://npic.orst.edu/factsheet…..ylgen.html

Carbaryl is the active ingredient in Sevin dust, which is a broad spectrum pesticide meaning it kills bees, earthworms, other beneficial insects… and fish. It’s not great for humans either. I bought some when I first started gardening a few years ago, upon the recommendation of an experienced gardener… and then I read the label when I got home and decided I didn’t need to use it. I’ve been using organic methods ever since, and I avoid pesticides as much as possible (there are some that are considered organic and Sevin is not one of them). I’ve never had squash bugs, but I have had squash vine borers and loads of other pests. For me they are part of the learning experience. I enjoy identifying all the bugs that show up, and making a judgement on whether I need to kill them (usually manually) or let them be. I find that I learn so much more that way rather than killing them all indiscriminately and never encountering them at all. I think this is very manageable for a small garden. I like to water by hand so that I can keep a close eye on everything. That’s just me. There are endless ways to garden.

@NMC, whether you decided to use a pesticide or not, I do agree that zucchinis want space to grow in the ground! Finding a massive container and filling it with soil would be costly, and very heavy. If I were you, I would put the zucchini in a slightly larger pot for the time being – it could be a large yogurt container with holes poked in the bottom. Separate them into multiple pots if there are more than one in your seedling pack. They will continue to grow quickly. Get your herbs situated – make sure your containers have plenty of holes in the bottom for good drainage. And work on finding at least a 4×4 foot patch of land where you can plant one or two zucchini. Don’t crowd them! But sometimes having multiple plants near each other helps increase pollination. When they flower, then you can also learn how to pollinate squash blossoms by hand (aka squash sex.) I don’t know what to tell you for deer or rabbits. Fencing needs to be very tall to keep deer out. There is some smelly stuff called Deer Scram that I think works pretty well but it needs to be reapplied after every rain and it might be expensive… how do your housemates keep deer and rabbits out of their garden? Also get in on that wood mulch! That is like gold! It’s great for soil health. Any type of mulch is great because it holds moisture around the plant and it prevents weeds from coming up (if you apply it thick enough.) Just leave enough space around each plant so you don’t suffocate the stems. And don’t mix the mulch into the soil or it will tie up the nitrogen cycle. Just keep it in a layer on top. Fish emulsion and worm castings are great organic fertilizers so don’t worry about buying any more plant food. I’m excited for you 🙂

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Monday, April 20, 2020 - 7:30 pm
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I’ve used this place for fertilizers and other things for years.  Gardensalive.com

I use their Tomatoes Alive fertilizer and it works really well.  They have a lot of organic pesticides.  I’ve never tried them, but its an alternative.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 9:28 am
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I’ve tried a few of the organic pesticides. I like BT because it comes in various forms that are each selective and will only harm a specific target. I have used the one that kills only caterpillars – we have nasty tent caterpillars/gypsy moths that attack our apple trees, and lots of other guys that will eat my cabbages… It works incredibly well.

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