SparkPeople Organic Gardeners Team Messageboard This Team is for people interested in growing plants and edibles that are organic and eco-friendly. Learn about composting, grey water, rain barrels and other natural gardening techniques. SparkPeople Organic Gardeners Team Messageboard Hydro lettuce? I'm finding it in the grocery stores. <BR> <BR> It is safe to eat? <BR> <BR> Does the 'water' lettuce have the same amount of nutrients as lettuce grown in the dirt? Mon, 23 Nov 2015 19:32:44 EST Why? Why do you garden? Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:29:39 EST Im new Im Brandy and I am new to this team and gardening. Hoping to learn lots!! I will be gardening in a very small area in around my apartment and looking for easy ideas. Thu, 12 Nov 2015 19:52:33 EST just about time to leave this team. :-( Well, my beloved garden (jungle) of the past ten years is all torn out and I'll be seeding grass this weekend in preparation for selling the house. Seems a little tragic, both as a land use issue and for my own personal joy and fulfillment. I'll live vicariously through you all for a little while longer... <BR> <BR> Looking forward to moving to Manhattan, but I'll miss my patch of dirt and my darker night skies. Wed, 28 Oct 2015 00:34:43 EST New here Hello fellow gardeners, <BR> NYC community gardener here. 25x20 plot in the heart of Queens. First year in this garden, but fourth year gardener. Still consider myself a newbie. Just starting to seed save this year. Hoping to learn so much from all of you. Growing herbs, loads of greens, tomatoes, ground cherries, cabbage, squash, pumpkin, and much more. Planted a fig and peach tree this year and plan to add more trees and some berries next year. Wish I had more time to devote, but doing m... Tue, 15 Sep 2015 16:02:15 EST Colliodial Silver for gardening I wanted to share this tip: <BR> <BR> Collidial Silver (spray in my case) works to not only kill fungus and disease but also allows the fruit to heal! <BR> <BR> I've been trying to get my Winter Luxury Pumpkins to survive lately with no luck. I've had 1, ONE out of almost 2 Doz survive past pollination. Most of the females are dying before they can even bloom. I found one yesterday that had rot spot, the bloom hadn't even fallen off yet, but the female fruit was still alive. So I sprayed it... Wed, 5 Aug 2015 12:39:51 EST Is anyone else obsessed with Heirlooms? I am! <BR> <BR> I've been collecting heirlooms of all variety for a few years now including some incredibly RARE seeds. I think of it like coin or stamp collecting except our family gets amazing nutrition and flavor and my bees LOVE them! Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:31:33 EST Just joined sparkpeople, interested in growing food. :) Sat, 25 Jul 2015 22:32:12 EST Get a Load of These Cinder Block Raised Beds! Texas Gardener has an article about cinder block raised beds this month which sent me off on a Google search as I have three old railroad tie jobbers I want to replace. Dig these: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm thinking 4 x 12 three blocks high with a cap and I would have something I could sit on and... Sat, 11 Jul 2015 14:38:18 EST What LEAN protein did/will you eat today? broiled chicken breast! YUM! Tue, 16 Jun 2015 05:49:24 EST What fruits did/will you eat today? apple Tue, 16 Jun 2015 05:48:23 EST What veggies did/will you eat today? Today I will eat pumpkin, dandelion and kale. Tue, 16 Jun 2015 05:47:34 EST Click here if you LOVE having a SP gardening team! <em>252</em> Tue, 16 Jun 2015 05:38:12 EST Today's action toward a HEALTHIER WEIGHT! I LOVE LOVE LOVE gardening. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE not being overweight any longer. On this thread I'll post my planned actions each day toward a healthier me! <BR> <BR> Please come share YOUR daily plans here too!!! <BR> <BR> So for me, to start, this evening I am going to a barbeque. I will pre-plan what I will eat and envision only eating healthy portions of those foods! Tue, 16 Jun 2015 05:36:26 EST Tip of the day! I'm hoping everyone will share a tip here. I'll probably learn more from everyone else but here's my first tip: To stop squirrels from digging up flowers in pots and boxes, but bits of doggie poo around the plants on the top of the dirt. Small bits work! Apparently squirrels don't like to get their little paws poo-ey! Sat, 13 Jun 2015 01:51:41 EST Homegrown Tomatoes Showing off some Homegrown Tomatoes <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 5 Jun 2015 10:03:16 EST composting bins, need advice who here has used the turning bins one can buy at a hardware store or make using a metal 50gal drum? Are they worth the $$ or trouble. I'm thinking about investing in one. Always have. Thu, 28 May 2015 18:06:26 EST April Challenge - Eating the Rainbow <em>437</em> <em>426</em> <em>550</em> <em>45</em> <em>265</em> <em>289</em> <em>277</em> <em>488</em> <em>491</em> <em>267</em> <em>485</em> <em>69</em> <em>284</em> <em>291</em> <em>367</em> <em>368</em> <em>369</em> <em>370</em> <em>371</em> <em>372</em> <em>373</em> <em>147</em> <em>427</em> <em>437</em> <BR> <BR> Since April is known for showers, and after showers we sometimes get rainbows, let's see how many colors... Wed, 1 Apr 2015 18:49:16 EST Seed Starting This is a link to an excellent article on seed starting! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ng-101-why-start-from-seed/ </link> Mon, 9 Mar 2015 16:00:31 EST Cultivating the Wild I know I've seen previous posts on this question before, but I can't seem to find them at this point in time. So here it goes again: <BR> <BR> We have a large space of land behind our house that backs up to "open space". It has never really been cultivated; we simply mow down the wild grasses and invasive weeds during the summer. It covers over 1,000 sq ft. Our official garden area (and chicken run/coop) are on the other sides of our house. <BR> <BR> I am preparing to begin cultivation of... Fri, 26 Dec 2014 11:08:26 EST Dried beans I am thinking of growing beans this year not just for eating fresh and freezing, but also for drying. I'm curious, how much (weight-wise) can be harvested from a single plant? <BR> <BR> Starting to plan the garden and getting excited! Fri, 26 Dec 2014 10:02:35 EST HUGE green onion? I received a regular-sized green onion, which I planted. <BR> <BR> It is now taller than a tomato cage and is BIG. LOL! <BR> <BR> What do I do with it? Will it go to seed? Is it still edible? Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:09:19 EST Gift ides What garden item would you like to see in your stocking or under the tue? Tue, 2 Dec 2014 20:37:04 EST Team Bonus points (red flags) Under section 3 on your start page, you can spin up to 5 times for bonus points, depending on how many teams you are a member of and how many other points you get that day. If you miss a day, you just change the start page to the day you missed and spin. <BR> The amount varies from 1 to 50 points. The points are awarded to you and also can affect the standings of the team compared to others in the same category. It's a great way to accumulate more points quickly to get to your next level or t... Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:35:02 EST Pointers on pruning big old apple tree I'm trying to do my research on best approach for pruning a large old apple tree on our property. Most of the fruit this year was way up high and un reachable so most of the fruit fell to the ground, got buggy and then decayed. I managed to get about 5 nice apples from the ground but just could not safely get apples from the upper branches where they were concentrated. <BR> <BR> How severe can you prune back a large mature apple tree - and not kill it.... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:26:20 EST Ants!! Hi all. I'm a fairly new gardener and have a question about ants... I have raised beds in my back yard and apparently, the ants thought I made these for their colonies. <BR> <BR> How can I destroy a colony of ants organically? Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:54:30 EST Recipes Thought I'd start a new topic where we can share some recipes that use the organic produce we are growing Wed, 24 Sep 2014 12:14:25 EST what end-of-season clean up do you do? cover crops? everything is permaculture anyway? last top dressing before winter? do tell. Sat, 13 Sep 2014 12:17:22 EST HELP- What to do w/peaches??? In july hubby & I finally moved into small hobby farm property in WV that has 5 small peach trees. In July you couldn't even tell what kind of fruit trees they were, but after some good rains the end of July and all of August they are now ripening & falling off the trees. I'll be picking them this week and thought I'd wash em, peal em, chop em & then freeze them for future consumption. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I'd appreciate in put on how to best freeze peaches (should the be blanche? dipped in l... Wed, 10 Sep 2014 04:05:18 EST fusarium wilt in container gardening So, I have been having fusarium wilt problems in my container garden- only with herbs so far. It's ruined 2 kinds of basil, oregano, and mint. Possibly also rosemary, but I can't tell if it's the same problem or not. Anyway, getting rid of my fusarium wilt laden plants today along with the dirt (luckily these are small containers). What do I need to do to the pots to make sure I don't have infect the new plants I plant in them? Help! Sat, 16 Aug 2014 17:42:29 EST Homemade Mosquito repellant recipes Have come across several mosquito repellant recipes that don't use lots of chemicals. <BR> <BR> First one is just take citrus peels and rub them on your skin. The video showed them rubbing the white part, but I figure the oils are actually located on the outside and that should be more effective. You can also squeeze the peels over your skin to release these oils too. <BR> <BR> Catnip also is supposed to repel bugs, so rubbing some fresh catnip leaves on your skin may also help. <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:37:48 EST Had a great 4th! HI everyone! <BR> <BR> Sat, 5 Jul 2014 12:22:55 EST Chat Line- what is happening with you today? I am getting ready for the 4th.. <em>283</em> <em>232</em> <em>195</em> .cleaning house, <em>542</em> cleaning floors, prepping food <em>491</em> <em>485</em> <em>284</em> <em>45</em> <em>496</em> <em>53</em> <BR> <BR> Still need to transplant more perennials, rhododendron and lilacs,plus never ending weeding <BR> and refinish my 3 tiered bird bath fountain. VEgetable Garden is finally in. <em>244</em> Wed, 2 Jul 2014 09:33:21 EST HI. my name is Debbie... Hi there, <BR> My name is Debbie.. My short story is that I am married, no kids. Married later in life - married for 15yrs now. 52yrs old or young I should say! I have some health issues - fibromyalgia, which is pretty manageable. Had a leg injury 2.5yrs ago, and that has made life quite challenging, as walking is coming back very slowly. <BR> <BR> My GARDENING has taken a bit of a back burner due to this challenge. Not as much as I have done or would like to do. But, I am doing little bits ... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 22:59:38 EST I AM NEW to this team! Yoohoo! Washington State Hi there! <BR> My name is Debbie. <BR> I am new to this team. I was away from SP for a few years. LIFE. :) <BR> Anyway, have a new purpose and decided this was the place to be! <BR> <BR> Look forward to getting to know people here! Tue, 1 Jul 2014 22:54:29 EST Dropping Fruit And here's my next question. We have 2 fruit trees... a pear and a plum. They both produce LOADS of fruit early in the season; the trees right now are covered with pears and plums. As the summer wears on, however, the fruit slowly drops off the tree. By the time the fruit is ready for consumption, we have only 4-6 pieces. <em>46</em> <BR> <BR> Although we water regularly, I've never deep-root watered. And I've never used any sort of fertilizer either. When I tried to Google it last summe... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:27:55 EST Rotating Composter Hi everyone. It surely is the time of year when all my questions get rolling... Here is my latest: does anyone have (or previously had) one of those rotating/spinning composers? My parents handed one off to me several years ago because it was too heavy for my mom to spin. We gave it a shot and found the same to be true. The ad that fooled my mom into buying it said you could just put your dead leaves in, give it a few spins and Voila! Compost! <BR> <BR> Now my mother taught me almost everyt... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 12:59:45 EST Grape Hyacinths I love them! I planted a bag of them about 10 years ago and they've grown in really bad, rocky soil and every year do not fail to bring me the very first glimpse of spring. <em>126</em> <BR> <BR> I need to transplant them now and, after 10 years, they are very much in need of it. I had to dig them today, but all the foliage was either dead or almost, so I didn't feel like waiting would have benefited them anyway. Now what??? I don't really have anywhere else to put them right now - in t... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 13:01:50 EST Itty Bitty Seedlings So, I tried this method of seed starting this year with great success... <BR> <link><BR>our-2014-winter-sowing-project/ </link> <BR> for those things I started on time. I had a crazy spring, and not everything got started when it should have. <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> So... I have these itty bitty plants (tomatoes and peppers, mostly) that have only 2 true leaves right now (some don't even have those yet). Would you plant the itty bitty ones (2 tue le... Fri, 30 May 2014 22:47:01 EST SP's Gardening Workout: get prepared! <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=197 </link> <BR> <BR> <em>381</em> <em>323</em> <em>378</em> Wed, 14 May 2014 11:52:21 EST Advice for controlling leaf miners? Brand new garden, brand new location, chard well hidden among the onions and herbs. But still they come! Any ideas, or should I just give up trying to grow chard and beets? It's devastation out there. Wed, 14 May 2014 10:39:22 EST I am Brand-New to the team Hi, my name is Sharon. I just joined this team and finding it is a perfect fit for me. Sure hope to learn all I can and have a great time in the dirty this year. <em>374</em> <em>376</em> <em>377</em> <em>27</em> <em>67</em> <em>291</em> <em>284</em> <em>267</em> <em>258</em> <em>369</em> <em>371</em> <em>372</em> <em>373</em> <em>368</em> <em>367</em> <em>45</em> <em>289</em> <em>104</em> Love Being in the Dirt Mon, 5 May 2014 11:49:32 EST New Member I am so glad to find others that are interested in organic gardening. Hello everyone. I retired from the cube farm in Information Technology and now I have a wonderful vegetable and fruit garden started and eating healthier than ever before. Its good to know that I can always eat my food if the prices in grocery stores goes sky high. I try to stay away from GMO and chemicals so I can be as healthy as possible in my 'older age'. <BR> Sun, 27 Apr 2014 20:05:22 EST Straw Bale GArdening I cannot believe this... it's the perfect solution for both moving my present garden AND creating a new garden space in an area that is my "low maintenance, zone 3" part of our property ("Your Farm in the City", Lisa Taylor) An elementary school near us does their school garden this way. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>gardening/ </link> <BR> <link><BR>n </link> <BR> <BR> Has anyone tried this yet? If so, what pointers do yo... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 09:17:36 EST Cultivating Dead Land We've got 1/3 of an acre - most of which is wild grassland and noxious weeds. We've gardened successfully with raised beds in some areas but I'm looking to cultivate an area that is over-ridden with thistle, bindweed and native grasses, with my lower maintenance crops (winter squash, potatoes and onions primarily). I do not particularly want to do more raised beds but rather edge this area and dig in. I'm not sure really how to accomplish this, however. What to do about the weeds so that ... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 17:59:13 EST ebook $3 was 20 Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year I haven't read it but thought it was a good price? <em>58</em> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ifehackeramzn-20&ascsubtag=[referrer|t<BR>.co[type|link[postId|1548124304[asin|B<BR>0061S3XSG[authorId|5727177402741770316 </link> <BR> <BR> Publication Date: December 14, 2011 <BR> The first frost used to be the end of the vegetable gardening season — but not anymore! In The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, Nova Scotia–based gardener and writer Niki Jabbour shares her... Thu, 20 Mar 2014 14:39:51 EST Back, disgusted but going on... and added Chickens Well after my physical I found I put back on 10 pounds! Since being here I had done real good but lately have had some major physical/health setbacks. <BR> <BR> But I'm getting back on the horse so to speak. I will loose weight again. <BR> <BR> I added free range organic Chickens of the Heritage Rhode Island Red Nelson Breeder line. I will be helping a breeder to breed and promote this Heritage breed. I got rid of the Production reds I started with and built (not quite finished but enough... Sun, 16 Feb 2014 18:45:04 EST Medjool dates I spent sooo much money on dates in the last year and am seriously considering planting a medjool date palm. I'm thinking I will just get the female and get some male pollination each year from a local grower. Any experiences/tips you may have would be appreciated. I've been researching it for a few weeks, but will not probably make the final decision/plant until spring. Sat, 15 Feb 2014 17:59:14 EST Pruning Grapes-deep breathes In retrospect, I should have posted something pre-pruning, but now all I can do is beg for positive reinforcement. I have 4 beautiful 3 year old grape vines. I don't have any first hand experience growing grapes and I read extensively about how much to prune. I know that it is early, but it is a weird year and everything is taking off early so I went to do the dreaded pruning yesterday and I can't help but feel like there is no way they can recover. They look so spindly and, well, dead. G... Sun, 9 Feb 2014 10:36:45 EST A Chance To Protest Proposed GM Deregulation Here is a link explaining that the Gov't plans on deregulating GM crops to allow more dangerous herbicides because weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup. <BR> <BR> In the article is a link to the gov't website where you can comment. The EPA has a 45 day window for protesting the proposed deregulation. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>nvironment/genetically-modified-crops-<BR>24d-herbicide-zb0z1401zsto.aspx?newsle<BR>tter=1&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=<BR>email... Sat, 8 Feb 2014 10:25:15 EST Obesogens A good discussion on the chemicals that contribute to weight issues. This is one of the reasons I eat organic when I can. I like to grow my own food to be sure of what I get. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-wellness/mind-and-body/obesogens-weig<BR>ht-gain-zm0z1401zpit.aspx?PageId=1 </link> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 11:24:52 EST Winter Sowing Hello, <BR> <BR> I was just wondering about sowing and sub-zero temperatures and found this tested information. I was wondering if any of you have or will be attempting this and what kind of crop you are planning on using. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>our-2014-winter-sowing-project/ </link> <BR> <BR> At the bottom of this page there is a link on Winter Sowing 101 <link><BR>inter-sowing-101-6/ </link> <BR> <BR> MGA Sun, 26 Jan 2014 13:10:53 EST Seed Catalog Time - which ones do you like? I thought it would be good to share which seed catalogs we like to order from, and/or which ones we get. <BR> One I order from all the time is "Totally Tomatoes". They have hundreds of heirloom varieties of tomatoes, from all over the globe and ones that are suited to cool weather climates as well as ones that will do well in extreme hot weather. They also have lots of pepper varieties, more than any other catalog I've gotten, as well as now introducing some other veggies - though not too man... Mon, 20 Jan 2014 13:29:24 EST Not gardening but... I know this doesn't have to much to do with gardening, but here is a story about original Cheerios cereal now being made GMO free <BR> <BR> <link><BR>rios-to-go-gmo-free-1.2482761 </link> Sun, 5 Jan 2014 09:01:13 EST Worm Castings - what to do "until then"... I've just harvested a good amount of worm castings and it's too cold to dig into the soil right now. I am hoping to use them for seed starting, but that's a few weeks down the road. <BR> <BR> 1.) How should I store the castings that I have? (it's possible that there are still some little bitty guys in there so I want to be friendly to them) <BR> 2.) Would you use worm castings for seed starts? Mixed with what? I have used many methods for my seed starts with varying success each year. ... Mon, 30 Dec 2013 14:53:15 EST I have a 75 gallon aquarium that I want to turn in I'd like to have a tiny garden going this winter and I happened to come upon a free 75 gallon aquarium with a crack in the bottom (so I guess it's a terrarium now). I was thinking I'd like to put an inch or two of sand at the bottom (I have some leftover from an aquarium), another inch or two of gravel (again, leftover), and about 6-8 inches of potting soil on top of all that. I'm not sure what I should plant though. I have seeds for so many random things: herbs, vegetables, flowers. <BR> <B... Thu, 19 Dec 2013 20:33:10 EST Hi new from the midwest ..and yes our growing season outdoors is over but if you have a greenhouse then you have veggies/fruit all year round <BR> <BR> <BR> No I do not have a greenhouse so my season is over. Looking forward to being in this group to learn some more about organic gardening. DH and I and some friends n family have been gardening for 5 years now. We are mostly organic but once in awhile we find we have to use chemicals to kill a pest. <BR> <BR> Anyway we mostly have learned by the seat of our pa... Sun, 17 Nov 2013 19:28:36 EST Did you try anything new this year? What worked? Did you plant any new varieties that you loved and will definitely try again? Did you try a new way of planting things? Found any ways that worked wonderfully in dealing with weeds, pests. Tried raised beds, growing veggies in containers, etc? What worked, what didn't? Tue, 5 Nov 2013 16:38:26 EST Seed Saving Any tips, hints, tricks or good stories? Are there some plants that are easier/better for seed saving? <BR> <BR> I have already saved some seeds from my Cinderella pumpkins. I just rinsed them off, dried them on a paper towel for a week and then stored them in a clean/labelled envelope. <BR> <BR> I am also going to try to save cucumber seeds and seed from my cue-ball zucchini. Tue, 8 Oct 2013 14:03:19 EST Advertiser on SP There is an ad here on SP about Washington State farmers backing "No to 522". I thought they had a valid reason. It turns out that they are spewing the Monsanto line that it would cost families more for non-GMO. I'm really getting tired of those ads and am a little disappointed that SP would run such garbage on the site. Sat, 28 Sep 2013 13:39:36 EST Anyone try fermented vegetables? I made my first batch of fermented vegetables... I added 3 kinds of probiotics and whey from my yogurt. I added freeze dried probiotics. and a 30 billion probiotic cap and another kind... small amounts of etch... I followed Dr. Mercola and Caroline B recommendations and juiced a bunch of celery to give it some liquid. I used a whole cabbage, half a red cabbage, bunch of broccoli a head of cauliflower , 4 to 6 carrots, some ginger a fist full, and a small onion, a red pepper, kale, and some wi... Sun, 22 Sep 2013 12:12:58 EST Hi, new here & uploaded some garden photos for you Hi all, I was excited to stumble on this group and it got me inspired to go into the yard with camera in hand today to take the photos which I have now uploaded on my sparkspage. I live on a 610 square block which was void of plants when I purchased this house - I have over the past 7 years created a forest of edible foods and lushious greenery - my sanctuary. It now pretty much takes care of itself thank goodness, but certainly there are days when a lot of effort needs to be put in to it ... Wed, 18 Sep 2013 20:11:12 EST Canning Green Beans I have an overload of green beans! Does anyone have any recipes I can preserve them with besides plain green beans? I have canned 65 pints already and my second crop it is maturing. <em>198</em> Thu, 12 Sep 2013 10:25:38 EST Hi I'm new to organic gardening and have a question. We have limited space for gardening so we use containers and raised beds. What is the best mixture for a planting medium. We tried organic compost and organic soil mixed equally and our plants didn't do very well. We live in western WA state and have a very short growing season, 10-12 weeks. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Links to websites will be appreciated. I'd like to be "armed" with information in the spring. <BR> <BR> Ruth Mon, 9 Sep 2013 14:55:21 EST Worms! Hi my name is Linda, I am new to this team and was very excited to see a team for gardening. <BR> I vermapost,and compost. I have a large tote in my cellar that is full of red wigglers (worms) and they are doing a great job! They eat our scraps, make black beautiful compost and multiply like crazy. Sun, 8 Sep 2013 09:17:56 EST Zucchini ideas Hi guys <BR> Our zucchini have gone nuts this year. Every time I check, which is pretty much every day, there seem to be more and more of the things. We can't keep on top of them. <BR> <BR> My freezer is full of soup ready for the winter. Last night we had stuffed zucchini. We've had curried zucchini, zucchini with a tomato and garlic sauce (my personal favourite) but I'm running out of ideas. <BR> <BR> I've given some away. I've got four oversize ones in my fridge, a couple of marrow-size... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 08:34:22 EST Bye bye blueberries All week I've been meaning to eat my last blueberries with my Greek yogurt in the morning. Today I ran out of excuses and started sadly gathering remnants of my first harvest. 49 sweet little guys that are the most delicious fruit I've ever eaten. It took me a little while to talk myself around to rejoicing. After all, they will be back next year. They'll be back even better! This was my first year with fruit and I have wanted them for so long...AND it looks like some Concord grapes are... Sat, 10 Aug 2013 11:02:26 EST How do you know when pumpkins are ripe? Seems like a silly question, but it has been years since I have had the space to grow pumpkins and I'm not sure how to judge ripeness. I guess that in the past I have just waited until October and cut the ones that are orange. <BR> <BR> Early August seems like WAY too early to have ripe pumpkins...but I have a few that are big, orange and look ready to come off the vine. Any pointers? <BR> <BR> I am growing Cinderella heirloom pumpkins (Rouge Vif D'Etampes) and Orange Cutie Hybrids, bot... Wed, 7 Aug 2013 20:20:14 EST low-fat pesto Well I look at my several container gardens of basil and it is time to do something with it...So I need to invent a freezer low-fat pesto ,,,, all suggestions welcome... I think last time I used walnuts instead of pine nuts... and it worked out good so I will do that again. Wed, 31 Jul 2013 22:19:04 EST Tomato Madness I just got back from vacation and thought I had too many tomatoes to handle but that isn't possible! I'm all about making sun dried tomatoes this weekend!! Sat, 27 Jul 2013 15:40:38 EST Tomatoes- Ay-yay-yay! When I first started my organic garden over 10 years ago we used a lot of compost mixed in with our soil. I had tomatoes coming out my ears! For the past few years my tomatoes have been less prolific... and the past 2-3 years they were downright anemic- as was much of my garden I must say. I finally had my soil tested, discovered a nitrogen deficiency, and corrected it. (Last test, pre-plant time, soil was in the "perfect" zone for N-P-K and alkaline levels.) <BR> <BR> So now I've got bean, ... Sun, 21 Jul 2013 09:48:56 EST Greetings Fellow Growers I'm new to SP and this is the first team I have self selected. I'm lucky to be in sunny SoCal albeit with plenty of drip irrigation. I have two raised beds with tomatoes (hundreds right now), peppers, herbs and then beans, peas, squash and some lettuce I let go to seed. I also have 4 grapes and 2 blueberries but they were just put in last year so the harvest is tiny. That only makes them taste more sweet. I live with my wonderful husband, a dog that thinks she's human and a cat that thi... Sun, 21 Jul 2013 00:48:04 EST Too much baking soda!? I hope someone can help. I had powdery mildew on my pumpkin plant so I used a baking soda/water mix. The problem is the leaves are now dried up and withering. I think I put too much baking soda in the mix and sprayed excessive solution on it. Does anyone have any ideas as to how to fix it? Have I killed my poor plant? Thanks! Sun, 14 Jul 2013 13:10:40 EST Self Seed-ers Every year I let certain plants grow, although I have not planted them. These are my self-seeding plants like dill, marigolds and arugula. What do you leave in your vegetable garden when it self-seeds itself? Fri, 5 Jul 2013 11:54:36 EST Pole vs. Bush Beans My pole beans have never done all that well so last year I planted both pole and bush beans. That worked well so this year I tried that again... About 75% of my bush beans, however, have been vining... sending out shoots to climb. I've now had to stake them as well. I thought maybe I had mixed up the seeds, but no. (My bush beans have purple flowers while my pole bean flowers are white.) Has this ever happened to anyone else? What's up??? <BR> <BR> (BTW - the "bush" beans are actually do... Fri, 5 Jul 2013 11:51:21 EST Back again, new to this group Hi all- <BR> I'm a stay at home, homeschooling mom. I live in Central Florida on the family ranch-I'm an avid gardener. I need to lose about 20-30 lbs...and just got back on the sparkpeople site. Lovely to meet y'all. Thu, 20 Jun 2013 14:17:22 EST Hello there! My name is Nikki and I live in Upstate New York. Although we have many gorgeous farms up here I live in the middle of the city and grow in 2 wooden raised beds and containers. This season I have peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, radishes, peas, cucumbers and strawberries. <BR> <BR> I have been working on being some "social" here on SP and am joining teams. So hello! <BR> <BR> Hope everyone is having a lovely Monday. <BR> Mon, 17 Jun 2013 12:14:38 EST GMO FOOD Hi, question can you assume that if a food be it plant or animal that if it is certified organic that it is GMO free. I have been told that that is the case but I thought that organic meant not sprayed or chemically fertilized. Fri, 14 Jun 2013 14:05:46 EST Hello Hello everybody. I am excited to learn from all of you on how to be successful as an "organic gardener". My husband and I have just started growing watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber and wheat grass - all from organic seeds. We are about to install our small greenhouse, and are very excited about growing some of our vegtables. Although, we live in Arizona (Tucson) we have been to local organic gardens to learn from them. We have done a 360 turnaround in our lives and that of our children, du... Fri, 14 Jun 2013 10:21:48 EST Berry leaves Something is eating the leaves off of my berry plant. I'm in Colorado. any ideas what it can be? I don't see any bugs on the leaves. but they are definitely dinner for something! Wed, 12 Jun 2013 23:47:50 EST ANTS!!! The ants think they need to live in my garden! What is worse, they think I am their daily meal while I am weeding! My ex wants to kill with chemicals, I'm considering a bazooka...any advice? Wed, 12 Jun 2013 23:46:28 EST New to the group Hey all!!! My name is Selena! I'm a 39 yr old wife to the best guy in the world & mom to 2 great boys!! I love to organic garden too! I've been doing it for about 3 yrs now. I'm glad to be apart of this group! <BR> <BR> Selena Wed, 5 Jun 2013 14:24:05 EST Great Gardening Tools I purchased a Cobra Head Hand Hoe a couple of weeks ago. This is the most amazing tool I have ever used in all my years of gardening. I have used it to weed it works fantastic. I have hoed my entire garden with it. You can dig holes deep and quick even in hard soil. Make rows. Hoe between seedlings. This thing is truly amazing. There is also one available with a long handle. I bought my Cobra Head Hand Hoe from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: Both the hand hoe and ... Mon, 3 Jun 2013 10:54:56 EST Straw Bale Gardening We tried this method years ago and had good luck with it. This year we've set up 3 straw bale beds and the plants in it are THRIVING. Very excited about it! <BR> <BR> You can look up the method online and there's a new book out too, titled "Straw Bale Gardens" by Joel Karsten. Great little book! It'll tell you everything you need to know and is generously illustrated too, He reccommends starting with fresh bales every year but we're going to let ours break down and box them in for a raised b... Fri, 24 May 2013 19:01:30 EST Radish Greens, num! I made radishes and radish greens with ham for flavor. <BR> <link><BR>cipe-radish-greens-and-ham/ </link> Tue, 21 May 2013 11:55:06 EST Pest control ....tick ...yuck! Does anyone have problems with ticks in their yard? I have a 3 year old granddaughter that I don't want anywhere near the chemicals that I know will kill them off. Sun, 19 May 2013 09:41:07 EST Gardening articles on SP Just thought I'd start this thread as a place to share any interesting articles you find about gardening on SP. And if you find an interesting article on the web, feel free to include a link to it as well. <BR> After you type the name of the article, or a little of what it is about, be sure to click on the "add a link" button above the message box in order to add an active link to your post. <BR> <BR> "The Benefits of Growing Your Own Food" <BR> <link><B... Fri, 17 May 2013 10:36:30 EST Salad Bar Strategies SP article (basic nutrition) This may be fun to look at for deciding what things you may like to grow, although the article is comparing choices from the salad bar. Check it out! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=422 </link> Thu, 9 May 2013 09:39:25 EST A-Z, peas I'd forgotten SP has this A-Z series! <BR> <BR> Fun stuff. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1317 </link> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 09:44:04 EST New Pictures I just put some new pictures of some flowers and roses that are blooming in my yard right now. Hope you like them. Sun, 28 Apr 2013 19:33:48 EST Food revolution summit starts 4/27 <link> </link> <BR> <BR> "From April 27-May 5, John Robbins is interviewing 24 of the world's leading experts in movements for healthy, sustainable, humane and conscious food for all. You can listen to each broadcast via teleconference or streaming webcast. In addition, all the presentations are available on 24 hour replay for no charge."... <BR> <BR> That's the link to join the summit for free to listen to the speakers. They will keep sending you emails to p... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:27:10 EST Save The Bees This link came from l heirloom seeds to ask that a petition be signed to ban a pesticide that may be contributing to colony collapse. <BR> <link><BR>_bees_usa/?cl=902472586&v=8126 </link> <BR> <BR> I'm also adding a link with companies to boycott who support GMO: <BR> <link> <link><BR>/the-grocery-store-blacklist-12-food-c<BR>ompanies-to-avoid-and-95-sneaky-aliases/ </link> </link> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 16:26:25 EST our first 'harvest' Our late spring has finally produced something. Not enough to make a serving, let alone a meal but it's the first: <BR> <BR> 3 spears of asparagus <em>368</em> <BR> (I didn't see asparagus, so I chose another green veg) Mon, 15 Apr 2013 15:59:15 EST aphids with coir pots? This is the first year that I have used the coir jiffy style pellets, the ones that expand when the get wet. At least half of my seedlings have aphids all over them. Would these pellets have brough aphid eggs in, or is this just a bad coincidence. This was the only thing that I have done differently this year. Usually I just use a peat based seed mix with reused trays and pots and have never had this happen before Sat, 13 Apr 2013 19:20:49 EST Organic Gardening A to Z game Thought it might be fun to start a game here where you come up with ANYTHING to do with organic gardening (not just fruit or vegetable names). Start with A, next person names something with B, etc. Once we get to Z, we just start over again with A. Along the way we just might learn about some new produce, organic gardening methods, etc. <BR> <BR> If you want to include an organic gardening tip about your item, that's great too. Wed, 10 Apr 2013 17:32:35 EST My important blog I don't know if you guys read other peoples blogs, but I would like to invite you to take a few minutes on Thursday to read my blog. I am enrolled in college and it is part of an assignment. I am keeping the subject secret so that I can get feedback from those who read it. I would appreciate it if you leave a comment on my blog if you read it. Thank you in advance. Wed, 10 Apr 2013 05:14:25 EST Magazine subscriptions Hubby and I are bad about getting magazines in the mail and then never reading them. Many years ago we stopped getting any because it was a waste of time and money. But in the last year we have found 2 that we will probably never get rid of and eagerly await their arrival in the mail. <BR> <BR> Grit and Mary Janes Farm. Both are organic gardening/farming/etc magazines. Grit has been around a long time. My parents both remember their parents subscribing to it. Have you heard of them? I... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 10:58:54 EST Fruit Salad Tree at GrowOrganic <link><BR>deos/fruit-salad-tree </link> <BR> <BR> Several videos are available on this page. Be sure to watch the one at the top: Fruit Salad Tree. <BR> <BR> Today. <BR> Mon, 1 Apr 2013 19:04:45 EST Kind of garden related I mean after all, what do you do with your produce AFTER you produce it? <BR> I have a new blog entry up, a give away of Jams or Jellies that I sell at my etsy shop. <BR> If you are interested check it out. I'm on Facebook as How Does Our Garden grow but my blog site is: <BR> <link><BR> </link> <BR> <BR> A few new entries coming up as well. I got a request on making medicinal salves with herbs, and I've gotten a few questions recently on ver... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 14:15:36 EST Forgotten Onions Hi all! I've been planting onions in my garden for several years now and love them to death. This past year, however, I got overwhelmed in my personal life (working on a master's degree!) and didn't get all my onions harvested. This past week I've been out to start my spring clean up and the forgotten onions have sprouted new growth. The plants are looking very happy BUT the bulbs themselves are what I would call "empty". <BR> <BR> My question is this: should I leave them and let them g... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 13:14:46 EST Hi there! I am also now one of the co-leaders of this team. I have been with Sparkpeople now for about six years, give or take. <BR> Weight wise, I've been on a roller coaster in a way. Life threw a lot at me around 2008/2009/2010 and that was not kind to me or my waist line at all! <BR> Since Dec 2011 though I have lost around 40+ pounds and have about 15 or so more left to go which I hope to drop this spring and summer as we become more active. <BR> Hubby, son and I are avid gardeners and camping a... Fri, 29 Mar 2013 10:40:00 EST Waspinator Has anyone tried this product? Every year I have a wasp takes up residence in one of my rose bushes. And it is a little disturbing to be chased around by it. <BR> <BR> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 21:27:17 EST Waspinator Has anyone tried this product? Every year I have a wasp takes up residence in one of my rose bushes. And it is a little disturbing to be chased around by it. <BR> <BR> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 21:24:35 EST Planting veggies in the flower beds? I just wondered if anyone planted any of their food crops in decorative flower beds. I know that rhubarb can be decorative, as can asparagus, sweet potatoes (vines are great for groundcover). Oregano and thyme also look great in walkways and cascading over stone walls. Dill has lacy leaves which also would be attractive among flowers. Basil tends to be fairly compact so it wouldn't look out of place, though you'd want to cut off any flower stalks. Are there any other plants which would do dou... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 16:57:26 EST Have you gardened today? This has been added to the team goals, but you can also report WHAT you did here. It would be great to know what people are able to do in different areas at the same time. <BR> <BR> This includes ANYTHING gardening related. It could be reading an article, ordering plants or seeds, starting seeds, transplanting, setting up a cold frame or compost bin, weeding, planting, pruning, picking, you name it. <BR> <BR> Please include your zone or area where you live. Tue, 26 Mar 2013 13:08:11 EST Rose Cuttings I just saw this today and thought I'd share. I only have one rose bush but it's super hardy and blooms almost all year round so I think I'll try these tips for new plants. <BR> <BR><BR>ing-rose-cuttings/ Sat, 23 Mar 2013 09:52:29 EST Has anyone tried the Cut and comeback Cabbage? Here is a update on our Cut and Comeback Cabbage. Has anyone tried this before? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>hotos_enlarge.asp?gid=12953&pid=37946&<BR>sidqsip=%3DrOKrtNLbM+++++hk%3D+psEa4Ao<BR>M+bvJqs_K_&sidqssd=Fyc%604%3D++MUdF&vl<BR>iqsparentpg=%2Fmyspark%2Fgroups_photos<BR>%2Easp%3Fgid%3D12953&vliparentpg=%2Fmy<BR>spark%2Fgroups_photos%2Easp%3Fgid%3D12953 </link> Fri, 22 Mar 2013 19:22:45 EST How to Root Tomato suckers using DE I made this video today on how to root tomato suckers. <BR> <BR><BR>E9Y Fri, 22 Mar 2013 18:14:54 EST Idea for a grow out challenge. Here is something that might be fun to do as a grow out challenge. Find a partner who has a similar zone to your own and plant 4 different type of vegetable plants. Could be a Tomato, Pepper Plant, Cucumber plant, Eggplant and list the variety your growing. If you like you can mail the other person the seeds to get started and try to start at the same time and see how they turn out in your growing area. We can do a picture update every 2 weeks to see how each of our vegetable plants are d... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 16:51:52 EST It's almost spring ... I heard the first cuckoo of the year today! Sat, 16 Mar 2013 20:29:19 EST Soil Amendments to Perennial Beds How do you effectively fertilize your flower beds? We've got beds that are filled with perennials and bulbs and so digging in compost (like we do with the garden) isn't an option. Do you make your own from organic materials and scatter? Spray? Our beds are starting to look anemic and need a boost! I've considered just digging everything out in the fall and amending and replanting but frankly - I just don't have time! Sat, 16 Mar 2013 12:28:07 EST Mouse in the House What do you do??? Traps aren't working (the bugger either doesn't grab the goods OR escapes somehow OR if on the rare occasion we do catch one, there is another one around within 2 weeks) and although I know poison is extremely effective I have issues with it on so many fronts - including that we have a cat and my parents had a cat that died from getting into poison. Never mind the wonderful snakes that live (outside) around here that will soon be waking up... <BR> <BR> We've done the obvi... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 12:25:34 EST Free seeds, if anyone is interested Hi all, <BR> Just wanted to share that I am offering free seeds for some varieties of winter squash. <BR> I have my list on my home & garden blog. <BR> <link>www.tamsgarden-howdoesourgardengrow.<BR> </link> Thu, 7 Mar 2013 16:16:42 EST Just became a new co-leader of this team Hi, my name is Shari and I've just joined the other members of this team as the co-leader. <BR> <BR> I can't remember when I started gardening, but I was very young. I have been a Master Gardener for about 9 years. During the interviews for the master gardener program, one of the questions I was asked was "What is your first memory of gardening?" After thinking for a minutes, I told them about sitting outside at a wash tub, washing the dirt off of potatoes as my sisters and older brother ... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 15:29:37 EST When preparing your garden for the planting season this spring remember this old english proverb when deciding on how many seeds to plant: <BR> <BR> One for the pigeon; one for the crow; one to rot; and one to grow. <BR> <BR> Jim Thu, 7 Mar 2013 13:01:07 EST Did you see this show? I thought we might gather TV show resources. But for now, I'm trying to remember the name of this one so I can perhaps watch it on the internet again. I'm not positive, but I think it was a show on Create??? Help? <BR> <BR> I saw a gardening show on PBS in the last week. A man in a wheel chair was doing a lot of container gardening, but everything was under his trees in dappled shade. And his vegetables were beautiful. <BR> <BR> He had created what i thought was a decorative fence along t... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 08:20:03 EST Grass trimmings grow weeds? I've read of some people using grass trimmings both in the fall, for wintering their gardens, and also around their plants, as mulch. <BR> When I mentioned I wanted to do this to my hubby, he said he disagreed, and that it would grow weeds in the garden. So, who's right here? Something to keep in mind: we have a lot of weeds, and also what we call 'stickies' (like mini gumball type burrs) where we live, in Central Florida about 2 miles from the coast. <BR> I didn't use grass in my last vegg... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 13:55:57 EST It's not gardening, but... Yesterday I made my own laundry detergent. Fels naptha bar soap, borax, washing soda, baking soda. 20 gal for less than $15. Plus, I am now using white vinegar instead of fabric softener. Today my clothes are clean, soft and static free. Economical, and about as eco-friendly as soap can get. Works in my high efficiency washing machine. I love it!! Sun, 3 Mar 2013 12:42:15 EST March Challenge <em>318</em> <em>324</em> <em>231</em> <em>315</em> <em>331</em> <em>332</em> <em>355</em> <BR> <BR> This month we are going to focus on cardio minutes. All you need to do is copy and past the "template" below and then each day you do your cardio you record your minutes. At the end of the month just add them up. <BR> <BR> <BR> Please only post once and then edit that post as you need to record minutes. <BR> <BR> <BR> March <BR> 1- 50... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 19:48:59 EST Composting. Do you or don't you? We compost spring/summer/fall. It is so exciting to add our pile to our garden and till it in for spring planting. So many people I know think it's a waste of time to compost but until you have done it, I guess you don't understand the rewards. <BR> <BR> Anyone else compost? <BR> <BR> <em>435</em> Fri, 1 Mar 2013 19:41:34 EST Hi! I'm so excited to find this group! I've really enjoyed reading about everyone's gardens. It's that time of year when I'm dying to get outside in the sun and get my hands in some dirt. <BR> <BR> We are trying to get healthy as a family and have always had a garden. We just need to focus more on eating all the wonderful things out of our garden. And we're hoping for a better year than last year! Everything just dried up and we couldn't keep it going. <BR> <BR> This is going to be a really... Sun, 17 Feb 2013 13:53:43 EST TEDxManhattan Anybody besides me watching/ going to TEDxManhattan Changing the Way We Eat today? <BR> <link> </link> <BR> Sat, 16 Feb 2013 02:14:44 EST Hello! Hi Everybody! I'm Tara. This is my fourth time on Sparkpeople and i'm just 4 lbs. shy of having lost 100 lbs. since 2006. I'm really hoping this time I can keep my internet more than two months after making this account. Wed, 13 Feb 2013 18:23:11 EST You can't BEET it! I love beets. <BR> <BR> Growing up, we ate only the root veg -- and while we boiled them some, we mostly cold-packed pickled beets (talking 100-some quarts). We used those old canners, not pressure canners! It takes about an hour to get the water up and then you have to keep boiling to seal the jars. Anyway! <BR> <BR> As an adult, I began seeing what a terrible waste it was to trim off the greens (we have them to cattle, hogs, mules and whatever roughage-eaters we had - not wasted but we c... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 10:26:34 EST New to the forum I am from Victorville California (High Desert) I've built a beautiful raised bed vegetable garden out of cinder block each bed is 16" deep. I've built my own soil 95 % organic peat moss, organic mulch, vermiculite and 5% garden soil. It has a drip system and I usually water by hand. I get some of the worse production compared to using native clay, sand, and 30% organic. I've been analysing the problem and realize I may need better drainage because the top 4 inches dry out but the bottom is li... Fri, 8 Feb 2013 22:11:48 EST A couple of things I do each season to attract beneficial bugs to my garden is: <BR> <BR> Plant common buckwheat. In addition to improving your soil it attracts the beneficial wasps and flies. <BR> <BR> Let a few of your radish plants go to seed. The flowers attract all sorts of beneficial including the Big Bad Assassin Bug ( at least until the mud dobbers find them). Be careful tho, they bite! and it hurts! But worth it. When the radish seed pods form and are plump and young, eat them, pod and all. They taste just like the radish and y... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 17:55:08 EST Tools: kitchen or garden, Share! I recently purchased a Ninja Prep Pro (Master, something). It's the LITTLE one. <BR> <BR> It works so well, that it replaced by blender (which had broken -- this was the reason I went looking) AND it's larger than my mini food processor but smaller than the MASSIVE LaMachine (still runs, circa 1982?) that I haul out for big jobs. <BR> <BR> It came with a pitcher and this smaller prep thingie and I've been going mental with my veg ever since :) Having a tool that is so easy to clean, so sma... Sun, 3 Feb 2013 20:33:47 EST Back again Hello, <BR> I've been a member of SP on and off for years. Always successful when I am truly committed. <BR> I've also been a member of this team for quite sometime, and would like to be active in it again. I look forward to getting to know you all. <BR> <BR> Went through my seed catalogues today! I'm getting excited as I get ready to put my orders in :) Fri, 1 Feb 2013 02:49:43 EST new here hello my name is christina and i love love love gardening , i am only growing organig veggies and use nothing at all exept a composttea once in a wile . i started already some seeds inside . i live in TN now and hope winter will be gone soon so that i can start planting outside Sat, 26 Jan 2013 22:27:55 EST "raw" California almonds aren't This so disappointed me. The USDA, in the name of protecting us from some disease we might get from eating raw almonds?, has mandated that almonds be either pasteurized (kinda defies the definition of "raw") or gassed with a poisonous chemical. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Sat, 26 Jan 2013 10:01:54 EST Zone 5 seed starting OK I know what the timetables say but I rarely follow them. Mostly because my seeds aren't started in ideal greenhouse conditions but on shelves with "grow" lights and 6-8 weeks just never seems long enough to get early tomatoes or peppers, especially when I can't technically plant until 5/26 or thereabouts. I even plant tomatoes under "wall o water" to get earlier tomatoes, but I am still about 5 days shy of getting a tomato by the 4th of July which has been my goal. <BR> It's 5 degrees here... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 13:22:46 EST Fruit trees in Zone 5? Hi all, <BR> <BR> I've recently moved from Minneapolis, MN (USDA Zone 4) to the Madison, WI area (Zone 5). As the seed catalogs start to pour in (yay!!) I'm seeing a bunch of fruit trees that claim to be hardy to Zone 5. Apples, sour cherries and pears, of course, but also plums, apricots and peaches. PEACHES! Makes my little northern heart go pitty pat! <BR> <BR> Has anyone tried to grow any of these hardy stone fruits? How's that going for ya? <BR> <BR> Any advice/info greatly appreciate... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 16:52:49 EST Sweet! SP's article on Organic Gardening <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1740 </link> <BR> <BR> The recent, enthusiastic exclamations of 'Organic is NOT better than Commercial' <em>101</em> <BR> <BR> is met with: ' these studies set out to compare nutrient content, not the flavor, safety, or environmental impact...When it comes to taste and freshness, what you grow at home can't be beat!' <em>4</em> <BR> <BR> If you're on this board, you probably know all that's in the article but you n... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 16:25:04 EST Vegetable Zone I am curious what Zones everyone is in. <BR> <BR> I am in 5-6 <BR> <BR> Here is a website to find your zone. <BR> <link><BR>ss-zones </link> Mon, 21 Jan 2013 21:12:29 EST New Here Howdy y'all from the Texas Panhandle. O.k. o.k. I know its cliche but how else should a Texan say hi, lol? Anyways, my name is Zach, and this will be my second year of growing a vegetable garden. I had some good luck last year and am looking forward to a good year again. <BR> <BR> I am married to a wonderful God fearing woman, and we have two awesome boys. Nicholas my stepson, is 16 years old and Asher my newest is 18 months. We attend an Assembly of God church in our town, and we try to pu... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 21:00:49 EST Wild fire question Last summer, as most of you probably heard, here in Colorado Springs there was a bit of a fire (understatement) called the Waldo Canyon Fire. My home is in the area, though thanks to God, alone, my house wasn't affected, at all! Other than a stressful couple of evacuations...won't even GO there. When I mentioned to someone that my house was untouched, he said, "that's what you think, even your dirt is affected!" that got me thinking, did the stuff that was dropped on the fire & the partic... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 11:02:14 EST I'm Lily, your new co-leader Hello Spark Gardeners! <BR> <BR> I'm hope to meet team goals, pass along some ideas and learn a lot. <BR> <BR> Bio: <BR> I grew up on a working ranch in the Ozark Mountains. We're zone five / six. <BR> <BR> While we raised meat for income, we had a three acre veg patch, strawberry patch, asparagus and sugar cane stands and a 'lower garden' for peanuts and sunflowers. We also raised two kinds of grapes. We raised *almost* everything we ate (not wheat, I'm Celiac, so no biggie there). We us... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 13:33:58 EST 10 minutes a day: Stretching for Gardeners Whether you're training for a triathalon or stare at a computer all day, gardening works different muscles. Let's work to avoid straining muscles or stressing our joints. Do your own or check out these ideas: <BR> <BR> <BR> Video reminding us, gardening IS exercise. <BR> Warm up, basic safety tips and stretches, under 3 minutes long instructional. <BR> <BR> Tips from a physical therapist: <BR> <link><BR>hysical-therapist-gardening-stretches </link> <... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 12:43:10 EST Organic Gardening tips Would like to do a tip of the day, but I can't guarantee that I'll be posting daily. Feel free to add your own tips to this thread. <BR> -Cathy <BR> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 14:49:12 EST Cauliflower - never grown it before Has anyone ever grown cauliflower in your home garden? I have a small vegetable and am thinking of growing some. I'm an experienced gardener and always looking for something new to try. Does it take up a lot of room? When is the best time to plant it (from a plant) and harvest it (I'm in zone 5)? What kind of pests like it? Any advice would be great! Thu, 10 Jan 2013 09:28:51 EST start seedlings (article w/ how-to indoor setup) <link><BR>en-started-now-with-this-indoor-diy-se<BR>ed-starting-setup </link> <BR> <BR> We don't do this...use the floor near a SW facing window. There's a great comment below it for now with more info. I'll paste it here in case it 'migrates' later! <BR> <BR> ***** <BR> <BR> This is sort of misleading. You don't need light until the seeds have germinated and began to sprout. You need moisture and warmth for that, and that can easily be had by wetting... Wed, 9 Jan 2013 12:29:11 EST Need help with sulfur I need to acidify my garden. I tested the soil and it is an eight. I was very disappointed, <em>46</em> but now I can get this fixed. I feel so stupid that it took me this long to figure out that this was the problem. <em>198</em> I know that sulfur is ok to use in organic gardening so my question is has anyone used it? If so how much to use, and where did you get it? Sat, 5 Jan 2013 18:34:57 EST Wanting to start Hey, My name is Shanon. I'm wanting to start organic gardening. I've been mulching for years, and absolutely LOVE it! We used to live at a great place, a large farm, but we finally broke down and bought us a place. It has lots of potential but has to be started from the ground up. One of our first two projects is to get a green house built and an herb garden. <BR> I built myself a mulcher out of a garbage can, but I'm not liking it so much. Not like my big one from the farm we left. ... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 09:49:14 EST Merry Christmas Wishing you all a Happy Holiday Tue, 25 Dec 2012 13:34:08 EST Will you try a new vegetable/fruit to grow 2013?? Sitting here nursing a raw throat and sinus infection, pouting I can't be in Church Worship. But then thoughts turned to what the Lord gave me last year in the garden.... <BR> <BR> So.... now I'm thinking what I want to plant this next year and how much extra to plant for a commodities distribution center near by.... <BR> <BR> So my new planting (strickly for the center) is radishes. They always get potatoes, onions, and lettuce so radish should make a salad more interesting. <BR> <BR> Sun, 16 Dec 2012 10:02:24 EST Any knowledge on sprouted wheat bread? Last summer, i got interested in sprouted wheat bread, specifically making my own. <BR> My space is not big enough to grow my own wheat. But I did by wheat berries, and sprouted them. I enjoyed chewing them like chewing gum. I had no way to grind them, so I dehydrated then froze them, while I researched grain mills. <BR> <BR> I just received a newsletter from with information about making your own sprouted wheat bread. Their directions are much more streamlined for sprouting... Fri, 7 Dec 2012 20:14:33 EST Need help choosing I have a 5 ft high pool with an old satelite dish on it that I am gonna take off and ther ewill be a little platform left at the top of it. I was thinking of Making a planter to place on the top of it, maybe one that will cascade over the side. What vegetable or fruit plant would you recommend? Thank you. Thu, 29 Nov 2012 13:44:41 EST I am trying my hand at tomato grafting. Has anyone tried it and has had success? <BR> <BR> Not sure how mine are going to turn out but i figured it would make a fun winter gardening project. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Tue, 27 Nov 2012 19:34:16 EST How many of you Wintersow? I am trying it for the first time and i love the concept. No babying.. let the strongest survive. <BR> <BR> I would like to know if any of have tried it and what your thoughts are? How did it work out for you? <BR> <BR> If you don't know what the heck I am talking about :) here is a link or FAQ section to Wintersowing. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Fri, 16 Nov 2012 11:42:40 EST Let's talk favorite varieties of Vegs you grow? I'll start. I like planning out my garden early so i know what to plant. As for <BR> <BR> Tomatoes - Brandywine, Cherokee Purple & Big Beef (This is a Hybrid) <BR> New varieties I am trying for next year - Rutgers <BR> <BR> Broccoli - the usual Calabrese or Waltham 29 <BR> <BR> Cucumbers - Japanese Long <BR> <BR> Lettuce - Butter crunch, Romain <BR> <BR> Bitter Melon - not sure what variety it is <BR> <BR> Luffa - we asians actually eat it :) instead of making sponges <BR> <BR> Spin... Thu, 15 Nov 2012 16:09:07 EST Jalapeno Does anyone grow jalapenos in Containers? How tough is it? Wed, 14 Nov 2012 23:43:11 EST Regrowing store bought Celery I've seen a few people trying to regrow store bought celery and decided to give it a try. Going to have to do a update in a month or so. Has anyone else tried it? Here is my video. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>list=UUo98ES1MPpZfI2HdTPHgnGw&index=1&<BR>feature=plcp </link> Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:04:20 EST Organic question If I use a planter box that uses pressure treated wood, can I still call the vegetables organic? Wed, 7 Nov 2012 20:39:05 EST How to make a $2.00 Self Watering Pot How to make a $2.00 Self Watering Pot for your Vegetable Seed Starts / Transplants <BR> <BR> <link><BR>list=UUo98ES1MPpZfI2HdTPHgnGw&index=2&<BR>feature=plcp </link> <BR> <BR> If you guys/gals find the video useful or helpful please rate, comment & subscribe to my youtube channel thanks! I also have other gardening videos if your interested. <BR> <BR> Enjoy! Mon, 5 Nov 2012 11:26:41 EST inoculant for legumes So, is using inoculant considered to be an organic growing practice. <BR> And I've already planted peas and bush beans without inoculant being added, and I know there was no pink powder or any other color on the seeds.. 2 bean plants have started to flower. Is there a remedy at this time? <BR> <BR> Is it necessary? <BR> <BR> I've read a little, but I remember buying seeds in the past that had a hot pink powder and I wasn't supposed to touch them without gloves, etc. That was a long time ag... Fri, 2 Nov 2012 20:41:22 EST SUggestions Needed I am looking for some suggestions on vegetables or fruits I can grow in containers with only 4-6 hours of sunlight? I have plans already for the front yard which get a lot of sun but the back yard only gets 4-6 and I hate to not use that area too. Thank you for your help Fri, 2 Nov 2012 09:44:57 EST Turn Zombies into Mulch I received an email from Home Depot where you can play a game (and earn up to $15 in Garden Club rewards if you are interested in these). You have to be on Facebook to play the game. I don't know if you also have to have joined the Home Depot Garden Club (free online - you can get gardening tips and ideas there) or not. I'm not on Facebook, so I can't try it, but I thought this might be something fun for October, even if you don't have a Home Depot nearby. <BR> Also not sure how long this li... Fri, 19 Oct 2012 16:50:00 EST This Diet Loser Isn't losing weight! <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5098276 </link> Sun, 14 Oct 2012 06:02:25 EST Putting your garden to bed for the season What steps do you take to put your garden to bed for the season, so that it is ready for planting again in the spring? Thu, 11 Oct 2012 15:19:32 EST Green Sand Anyone? My local greenhouse recommended that I treat my raised beds with green sand in the fall to restore minerals. They said the sand would break down over the winter and the beds would be ready for planting in the spring. <BR> <BR> Has anyone else done this? I don't compost, but I do want to keep my garden organic. Mon, 8 Oct 2012 14:33:07 EST Pick 3 Challenge This is for 3 challenges that you pick yourself. They can be any 3 things you wish to accomplish today, this week, or this month. You can even choose 3 daily challenges, 3 weekly challenges, AND 3 monthly challenges if you like. Feel free to post new challenges when you've accomplished your old ones. Mon, 8 Oct 2012 13:24:05 EST Hello I am new here. Hello I am new to this site and this particular group. I am very excited to find this group because everyone I tell about this technique laughs at me because they have never heard of it. I will actually be combining this technique with another technique called lasagna gardening this spring. At the present time I am doing all the planning and building the beds as we have such poor soil I will be planting in raised beds. I am also planning on raising some chickens and rabbits for meat and e... Sun, 7 Oct 2012 11:15:04 EST Planting/using carminitives Does anyone plant anything specifically for this reason? If so, what plants and how do you use them? My mom relies on Bean-o but I thought I'd try to find something more natural. Wed, 3 Oct 2012 13:39:44 EST Photo contest of your harvest at <link><BR>otos </link> <BR> <BR> No need to reply here, but we'd like to see your pics, too. So maybe you'd post your favorites in our team gallery, or on your own sparkpage with a link posted here. Up to you. Fri, 28 Sep 2012 20:43:24 EST Weed killer I'm not sure if this is a true organic weed killer, but I "discovered" a new way to kill weeds in my yard and patio this fall. I have been on a big canning kick this year and have had many large pots of boiling water to do something with. I needed my stove for some other cooking a bit ago so I took my big pot of boiling water out the back door and splashed it across the patio. There were a few weeds and tufts of grass growing up between the pavers that got splashed. To my surprise, the nex... Fri, 28 Sep 2012 20:30:43 EST Drying stevia plant leaves - what now? I started this plant from seed early in the spring and I finally cut off all the branches and hung them to dry. I'm just not sure how to best use all the leaves. Should I grind them up and use as powder? I've never taken the time to use fresh leaves since using Xylitol was easier. But I want to use these stevia leaves. Does anyone have experience with this? <BR> I'm also wondering if the plant will grow back from the rootstock which is in a pot inside. It has not gotten any hard frost yet. <B... Thu, 27 Sep 2012 01:35:21 EST Composting I separate composting into 2 categories - active and passive. These can be further subdivided if you like. <BR> Active composting involves turning the compost pile regularly - at least weekly - either with a fork, shovel, or by using a compost tumbler and turning it. The reason for this is that it incorporates air into the mix, and helps the compost pile to stay warmer. By keeping the compost pile at around 160 degrees, it helps the scraps break down faster and also will kill most weed seeds... Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:31:38 EST Monster Zucchini!! DH brought home a huge zucchini. 16" long 13" round. <BR> What to do with it? <BR> <BR> 1) Am I remembering correctly that the larger the zucchini, the milder the taste? <BR> <BR> 2) Do these larger zucchini have the same nutrients as the smaller ones? <BR> <BR> If so, then how do I deal w/ it? Keep it on the counter until ready to use then cut up the leftover part and put in fridge? <BR> <BR> Yikes! Sun, 23 Sep 2012 19:58:55 EST Harvesting beans for dried beans??? This is the first year I decided to let my beans grow until they are ready to dry. I planted a kind called rattlesnake, I googled it and it is a type of pinto beans. I went to harvest them and most of what I pulled where green still. I decided to compost them and see if I get any more this year or try again next year. <BR> <BR> When do I pick them for dried? <BR> Sun, 23 Sep 2012 19:50:56 EST Fall planting anyone? I've never planted a fall garden since I've usually been glad when I was done for the year. But organic food is expensive to buy. We just pulled all our tomato plants and only a few things survived the two night frosts we had. But the days are still in the 70's, so I thought I might try to seed some kale and other frosthardy greens like mustard greens that I can cover with a small hoophouse. <BR> Does anyone else plant a fall garden? What do you like to plant? <BR> <BR> Birgit Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:25:53 EST Which Tomatoes Are Tastiest? It has been assessed that red tomatoes are some of the least tasty and were bread that way to attract the supermarket shopper. I'm not saying there aren't some good one out there, but so far it's a bust for me. So next year I want to try something new. <BR> <BR> So what kind of tomatoes have you found to be the absolute tastiest you've ever had? <BR> <BR> TIA :) Sat, 22 Sep 2012 19:32:58 EST Film About GMO - Genetic Roulette <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Genetic Roulette <BR> A film by Jeffrey M. Smith – Narrated by Lisa Oz <BR> A production of the Institute for Responsible Technology <BR> Are you and your family on the wrong side of a bet? <BR> <BR> When the US government ignored repeated warnings by its own scientists and allowed untested genetically modified (GM) crops into our environment and food supply, it was a gamble of unprecedented proportions. The health of all living thi... Fri, 21 Sep 2012 12:31:32 EST What planting zone do you live in? I don't know if it is the same in other countries, but her in the USA, the country is divided into planting zones. <BR> I am in Zone 5. Average last frost date in the spring is May 7th. It is usually recommended to delay planting warm vegetable seeds like corn and beans until May 15th, as we do occasionally get a late frost and sometimes the ground hasn't warmed up enough for the seeds to germinate. It is also recommended that you wait until June 1st to plant tomato and pepper plants, as they... Thu, 20 Sep 2012 21:23:26 EST Interesting news I hadn't heard about this whole Scotts flap, but the resolution makes me happy: <link> </link> Thu, 20 Sep 2012 12:43:57 EST When do you pull your tomatoes? I'm just wondering when everyone pulls their tomato plants for the year. My Mom usually says that when the temps drop below 50 degrees, the tomatoes change flavor, so if the nights are to get below 50 she pulls the remaining tomatoes. For me, I've always waited until the temps are to get in the lower 30s. We had one night in the upper 40s, but it is usually in the 50s now, with daytime temps in the 60s and lower 70s. Part of me wants to put the garden to bed for the season, but part also want... Thu, 20 Sep 2012 12:21:57 EST Tomato plants... I have 3 grape tomato plants that lived through the summer, but never really did anything as far as production. I am thinking about cutting them back and top dressing with some composted manure to see if I can get some fruit! I am in Texas - north of Dallas - any thoughts? Sat, 15 Sep 2012 09:59:27 EST Spark newbie Hi everyone! I am a container gardener in Texas (north of Dallas). I love to grow herbs - basil and cilantro are my FAVES! <BR> <BR> I did well with okra this year and plan to plant more next year. I would like to harvest 8-12 pods per day (only got 6 or so per week from 4 plants this year). My onions always do well, too. The lettuces did great - I just planted them too late. I am planting some more today. I think we are over our 100 degree days now. I have my first sweet potato pla... Fri, 14 Sep 2012 11:00:28 EST List 3 jobs you plan to accomplish in your garden Check in and list 3 main jobs you plan to accomplish in your garden by the end of September. <BR> <BR> Here are mine: <BR> 1. Finish mixing Mels Mix for 2 1/2 more square foot gardening beds. <BR> 2. Plant the beds. <BR> 3. Protect the beds from rabbits. Thu, 13 Sep 2012 00:01:04 EST List 3 jobs you plan to accomplish in your garden Check in and list the main jobs you plan to accomplish in your garden this month. <BR> <BR> Here are mine: <BR> 1. Finish mixing Mels Mix for 2 1/2 more square foot gardening beds. <BR> 2. Plant the beds. <BR> 3. Protect the beds from rabbits. Thu, 13 Sep 2012 00:00:23 EST Tomatoes & Vines (winter squash/water melon/gourd) Good morning Sparkers! <BR> <BR> Good news: Tomatoes are plentiful and all coming in at once, so I thought I'd share this link because it's hard to pluck them right off the roasting pan and freeze them for later :) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>asted-tomatoes/ </link> <BR> <BR> Bad news: my vine veggie harvest is stunted by ... something. The fruit/veggie start forming on the vine, they are very very tiny at this stage and suddenly they turn brown and rot. I... Sun, 9 Sep 2012 10:27:04 EST Gnat problem I got home from a weekend away to find a horrible gnat problem in my kitchen. I have been picking my tomatoes before they are completely ripe b/c of the extreme heat we've been having. The gnats LOVE them! <BR> <BR> My question is this.... how do I harvest my tomatoes before they crack to bits but keep the gnats out of the kitchen? My mom always used to place the partially ripe tomatoes on the kitchen counter so that's what I'm doing but I don't ever remember her having this problem! <BR> ... Tue, 4 Sep 2012 16:28:24 EST Trail of Tears Beans - When to harvest? This is the first time I've decided to try some pole beans and let them go to where I can shell them. <BR> <BR> Q1 --- I have beautiful black beans (Trail of Tears) and I'd like to know how I determine when and which pods to harvest and shell out. (some pods are just starting to feel fatter and turn darkish) <BR> <BR> I also want to dry them for later since I have a huge harvest of other beans, green, purple swan and forgot what other purple kind :) which we'll be eating and freezing. <... Sat, 18 Aug 2012 16:29:56 EST OXALIS (for looking, not eating!) Found a real-life nursery whose online presence caught my eye. <BR> <BR> It's called Florida Hill Nursery, and GUESS where it might be... <BR> <BR> Ordered three OXALIS ("false shamrock") plants. Two of one type, and a third that's a bit different. <BR> <BR> I've had great luck with oxalis before, as a house plant. They are hardy, and grow pretty fast! <BR> <BR> You also may plant it out (in the yard)! <BR> <BR> All three arrived, efficiently packed, within days, and in excellent sh... Thu, 16 Aug 2012 16:02:02 EST earwigs and wilting Ok we have a really nice organic garden BUT! the chard is overrun by earwigs (ew) what can get rid of those? Also I have noticed that even when the day after I water, the ground is even damp, and my beets, chard, etc. are wilted? I'm sure there's something wrong that I can fix?? Wed, 15 Aug 2012 14:55:01 EST Using Plastic Owl To Scare Off Birds, Does It Work I have finally had it with Magpies and other birds eating my strawberries, this is my second/third year growing strawberries and I get very few berries because of the birds eating them once they start to turn color. Hubby was told to use a owl by co-workers, we picked one up today after I had tossed another 21 berries over the fence and harvested just a handful. I have it in the strawberry patch right now, but I will probably move it around everytime I go water the garden. Sun, 12 Aug 2012 20:32:10 EST Oddball Broccoli In the spring I planted 6 broccoli plants --- at the exact same time I did last year. (Last year's harvest was perfect.) But this year we had an early heat wave (over 100degrees for 5 days in a row) and the plants didn't develop the broccoli heads. I let them continue, however, in hopes that they would develop broccoli later. <BR> <BR> Fast forward to today, August 11th. On one of my broccoli plants I've got a head about 4" across. On the two next to it I've got an ABUNDANCE of leaves... Sat, 11 Aug 2012 10:51:19 EST Today's harvbest . . . Today I harvested Basil, cilantro and sage (in the dehydrator now), cukes, crookneck squash, red and white radishes, cabbage, a huge zucchini, a mystery squash, green pepper, chili peppers, scarlet runner beans, sugar snap peas, green peas and the perfect tomato. <BR> <BR> Stir fry for dinner tonight! <BR> <BR> What are you eating from your garden? <BR> <BR> (sorry for the typo in the title - don't know how to fix it!) Thu, 2 Aug 2012 16:14:48 EST Raising and Mixing Herbal Teas I have decided to raise more herbs with the desire to dehydrate them for my own herbal teas. <BR> <BR> I'm currently raising parsley, sage, 3 mints and stevia, and plan to add more herbs in my fall garden. <BR> <BR> Does anyone else do this? I'd love to hear what you grow, and your favorite recipes for combining different flavors. Wed, 1 Aug 2012 14:29:33 EST Have you a cure for ridding ants from your garden? We are only just beginning to work on our bad soil ---by beginning a compost and by planting only legumes (to feed back nitrogen into the soil). <BR> In the meantime, our soil is a bit sandy and dry and we have LOTS of ants who seem to be eating A LOT of our legume plants. <BR> Does anyone have a "cure" for getting rid of ants? <BR> Thanks- Mon, 30 Jul 2012 13:52:14 EST Regrowing veggies from scraps! I don't know if anyone else has seen this floating around, but a friend shared it on Facebook. I personally am trying the green onion and romaine lettuce and am having success with it! Thought I'd pass it along to see if any of you would like to see your produce go further. <BR> <BR> <BR> Apples-<BR>-seeds.html <BR> <BR> Tomatoes-<BR>oes-fresh-tomato-seeds.html <BR> <BR> Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes- http:/... Sat, 28 Jul 2012 20:14:09 EST Do you garden in the tropics? Need your help! Hi, I'm working to help people in sub-saraharan Africa have better nutrition, and would very much enjoy communicating with anyone who has experience gardening in the tropics. <BR> Thank you! Sat, 28 Jul 2012 16:56:51 EST Horseradish Anyone in south London looking to divide their horseradish? Tue, 24 Jul 2012 02:30:38 EST What could be eating my chard? I have foiled the deer and bunnies from eating my chard with fences. Now this year I have lots of bug holes. These look similar to the ones on my green beans. <BR> <BR> Anyone have any idea what is eating these and what I might do to help prevent it? Mon, 23 Jul 2012 14:48:27 EST Organic Planting Compost Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question. I'm new to organic gardening. <BR> <BR> I bought organic planting compost for my veggie garden. I use containers because the soil is too wet here. They don't seem to be going very well. Was I supposed to add sand or top soil to the planting compost? Sun, 22 Jul 2012 19:59:22 EST cucumber beetles, vine borers and squash bugs 1 - I just sprayed with GREEN STEP CATERPILLAR CONTROL which contains BT last week <link><BR>asp?pn=8797&ss=GREEN%20STEP%20CATERPIL<BR>LAR%20CONTROL </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> 2 - I got impatient and sprayed Monterey Garden Insect Spray which contains Spinosad <link> </link> this week. <BR> <BR> Both products are accepted by organic community from what I read so far. Anyone has any experience with those products? <BR> <BR> <B... Sun, 15 Jul 2012 21:38:39 EST Succession Planting for Fall I found this today and thought it a useful tool for counting backwards and knowing when to plant for the first frost date. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ls.aspx?source=HomeInteractive0711 </link> Sat, 14 Jul 2012 13:35:06 EST Horehound?? Has anyone ever tried growing horehound? I know it's an herb, but I've never known anyone who's grown it. In fact, I've never even actually seen it! I'd like to find out where to get it so I can plant it next year. Any ideas? Sat, 14 Jul 2012 07:55:53 EST Slug and Snails feasting on Rhubard I have a 2 year old crown that is producing 4 small spindly legs with moth eaten leaves. We've been drenched with rain this summer - so I'm suspecting snails. That and I've seen escargot sized snails climbing up my raspberries. <BR> <BR> I've tried wood ash and copper tubing. Not really working with all the rain. <BR> <BR> Suggestions? advice? <BR> <BR> I've not been harvesting as I want the crown to survive. Mon, 9 Jul 2012 10:02:37 EST Radishes I don't know what possessed me to plant two packets of radish seeds - one white and one red. I am inundated. I'm snacking on them, eating cucumber/radish salad and tonight I will fry some. (they taste like potatoes) <BR> <BR> Anybody have any other suggestions? Fri, 6 Jul 2012 14:49:47 EST Compost Bin Problems I have an infestation of Roaches in my compost heap. How do I deal with the problem without hurting the compost heap? <BR> <BR> I put Combat outside the bin. I just know that if I don't do something. My bin will soon be crawling with roaches, ewww. Fri, 29 Jun 2012 15:37:50 EST Pest Invasion, Need Help Hello, <BR> <BR> I have some critter that crawls under the bird netting I've placed over my veggies and seems to prefer vine and bean foliages with the occasional napa cabbage (1/2 of one in a night). I will be building cages with chicken wire for the shorter crop, but my vines will remain exposed on their trellis if they can ever make it there... grrrrrr... I have one cage and the darn bugger hasn't had a taste of what's under there so I suspect, raccoon or prairie dog. Not a deer most l... Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:42:43 EST a cool web site I found this site today and just thought I would share it. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Hope everybody is having a great day! Thu, 28 Jun 2012 15:43:10 EST Gourds Anyone? I planted rather large gourds so we can make some bird homes and have fun decorating them. What do you do with yours? <BR> <BR> It's also my first time growing them; is there a good online place where I can learn about harvest, cleaning etc :) Thank you :))) <BR> <BR> Fri, 22 Jun 2012 20:31:03 EST Anyone plant any pumpkins? My pumpkins are coming , I love seeing them because I can't wait for fall. <em>465</em> Fri, 22 Jun 2012 10:58:17 EST Hello Everybody! Hello. I'm Vinia from Michigan. I'm 31, I've never been married, but currently have a boyfriend, and I have no kids. I've been overweight since I was 8 years old and i'm just looking to change that. My highest weight was back in 2006 when I was at 283. I think my last weight in was 209. So i'm just hoping to find support and maybe speed up the process a little. I'm really looking forward being 130 lbs. Fri, 22 Jun 2012 10:21:11 EST Vegetable facts Did you know cucumbers should NOT be stored in the refrigerator OR near melons, banansa or tomatoes! Who knew! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>Cucumber/ </link> Wed, 20 Jun 2012 08:25:08 EST Planted.. no more toxic store veggies!!! Looking forward to the yellow squash casseroles, zuchinni quiche, acorn squash, home made pesto of tomatoes, onion, green pepper! Frost got apples so will have to make last years last longer. All without the commercial salt added content! Yeah fresh veggie tastes. Hoping for good wild berry crops. <BR> <BR> No more having to buy those veggies at chain stores. Wish could use the food card at Farmers Markets!!! Tue, 19 Jun 2012 12:01:09 EST Dolomite vs Hydrated Lime Okay - so I found a "recipe" for organic fertilizer online that I was really intrigued by. (4 parts seed meal, 1 part dolomite lime, ½ part bone meal -or- 1 part soft rock phosphate & ½ part kelp meal). You'll notice that the recipe calls for "dolomite lime", but since our soil here is nowhere near acidic, I cannot find dolomite lime anywhere. I found "hydrated" lime, however. <BR> <BR> I did an online search in which the warning was to NOT substitute... but these were forums in which the... Thu, 14 Jun 2012 22:49:42 EST aphids off artichokes Best ways to keep aphids off my artichokes. I have sprayed them with water but they keep coming back and they are inside. Does anyone have a safe way to get rid of them? <em>39</em> Sun, 10 Jun 2012 12:15:13 EST Parsnips anyone??? Does anyone here grow parsnips? My mom loves them but I am having a heck of a time getting them to germinate. I have tried them directly in the ground and I have tried soaking them indoors first. No deal.... <BR> <BR> Any advice would be welcomed! <em>40</em> Wed, 6 Jun 2012 16:56:41 EST sluggo Hi, I was just wondering if any fellow gardeners use sluggo plus, It is suppose to be the safe way to get rid of snails, slugs, pill bugs. Do any of you use this product? Jackie Mon, 4 Jun 2012 20:04:47 EST Hi from New Zealand Always had a garden and always given extra away in the last few years ive gone organic in my vegetable and flower gardens. <BR> The only time of year when i have to buy vegetales is late winter. <BR> I love knowning what i'm and how i'm growing my vegetables. <BR> At the monment i want to have my own free range chickens but sadly i live in town and not possible. <BR> Thu, 24 May 2012 05:45:24 EST Red Plastic Mulch I always put my tomato seedlings inside water walls, and they work wonders. My peppers and eggplants are a little more difficult, however. I space them by the square foot gardening method - 1 per square foot - and my water walls have a larger than 1 ft diameter, making it extremely difficult to do it well. I've tried every-other-plant, hoping that the heat from the surrounding walls will benefit the un-walled plants, but those guys on the edge get shafted. <BR> <BR> So I"m wondering about... Sun, 20 May 2012 09:14:08 EST coddling moth (worms) in fruit trees We lost 90% of our apples to coddling moth larvae in our apples last year so I decided I need to take steps to prevent this. There are a lot of organic compatible products online but I'm not sure where to start. Our trees are blooming now. Does anyone have experience with this? <BR> Birgit Mon, 14 May 2012 17:38:47 EST Friends School Plant Sale, anyone? Hey peeps in Minneapolis/Saint Paul and environs: Have you checked out the Friends School Plant Sale yet? <link> </link> <BR> <BR> If so, wadja get? <BR> Fri, 11 May 2012 13:13:48 EST cherry trees I finally have cherries on my trees. How do I keep the birds away? I have tried netting , but they find a way to get in. I also tried can lids. Has anyone tried flash tape? jackie Thu, 10 May 2012 13:37:24 EST Hardening Off It's difficult for me to set plants out "a few hours a day" to harden them off as I work full-time, pick up kids from school, etc. I'm only home "a few hours a day" (at least until school gets out) and it's usually right at sundown. And by then it's hectic around my house so I don't always remember to do it. <BR> <BR> That said, I'm wondering if there is an easier way. Maybe plant them outside with row covers over them? Any thoughts? Fri, 27 Apr 2012 08:45:39 EST Weird compostables? What weird stuff do you compost? <BR> <BR> I read it was possible to compost 100% cotton t-shirts. Thu, 26 Apr 2012 21:59:31 EST exact nutritional content of chick weed I made a smoothie with two cups of chick weed today and I wanted to add it to my nutritional tracker. I wasn't surprised that spark people did not have any data, but a google search did not yield anything specific after reading through several articles. Of course it was frequently stated that chick weed was high in vitamin c, zinc, etc. and there were articles on how to use it but I still did not find an exact nutritional breakdown that could be used for tracking. Maybe I am dreaming, but cou... Sat, 21 Apr 2012 09:37:39 EST late introduction Hi, I've been on SP since August, but this is my first post. I am a mother of 2 young boys and love to garden. I have lost 18 lbs and have 8 left to go. I just created new goals and one of them is to be more active on SP, which leads me to this post. I am lacking SP friends, so let me know if anyone is interested in friending me! Sat, 21 Apr 2012 08:03:22 EST Hello! Hi everyone. <BR> <BR> I have grown a very small organic garden for four years, but this summer I will have my first REAL large vegetable garden and I'm very excited. <BR> <BR> Glad to have found this spark team! <BR> <BR> I live in eastern Ontario, Canada. Tue, 17 Apr 2012 18:01:22 EST Reflective Mulch???? This stuff supposedly helps get more sun to the plants, especially sun-loving ones like tomatoes. <BR> <BR> Someone said using strips of aluminum foil could also work. <BR> <BR> Sounds interesting but would like more info. <BR> <BR> Does anyone know about this type of thing???? <BR> Mon, 16 Apr 2012 20:33:05 EST Un-pull-able Weeds How do you control weeds (without the aid of harmful chemicals) whose root systems are so extensive that pulling is a losing battle? I've read that vinegar is an option but I'm skeptical. Has that actually worked for anyone? Sun, 15 Apr 2012 11:20:27 EST Best Mail-Order Bulb Companies I am currently enjoying my tulips and grape hyacinths and looking ahead to fall when I would like to order more bulbs. The bulbs I have now have lasted many years but are starting to slow down and it's time to do some replacement. I bought them from different mail-order companies but can't remember which came from where. <BR> <BR> Looking online at various options I have found very few with a positive customer approval rating, and those do not carry what I'd like to buy. What are your exp... Sat, 14 Apr 2012 20:17:08 EST Another raised bed idea? My little gardener has made raised beds in our garden without the wooden frames. She said it works better if you want to till (it's very hard to till within the wooden frames, maybe?) and it also is better for the water flow. (the wooden frame holds water inside/outside the bed) She and her helper were so busy this morning planting carrot, beet, radish, lettuce....all the early stuff. It looks so orderly and neat and no boards necessary! Sat, 14 Apr 2012 18:20:14 EST Does gardenin =fitness minutes? I worked very hard this morning helping my gardeners cut sod---I haven't worked in a garden for years and it felt soooo good! I'm so excited about it!!! But can I put it in my fitness tracker and if so, how? Tue, 10 Apr 2012 17:11:44 EST Pinterest anyone? Just wondering if anyone uses Pinterest. I signed up for it, but just haven't had time to really dig into it. I did look around from some gardening information and there are some really nice garden ideas on there. Easy to follow pictures, too! Tue, 10 Apr 2012 11:04:51 EST Snow/cat complications? hey everyone! <BR> <BR> last week we had 2 days of snow (UK) literally 3 days after i built my raised beds and planted the seed potatoes and carrot seeds! anyone know if they're likely to have survived this? <BR> <BR> on another note, my kitten has discovered the raised bed and thinks it's her new toilet. does anyone have any frugal and friendly deterrents for cats? <BR> <BR> cheers and happy growing! Tue, 10 Apr 2012 09:51:38 EST Garden Projects for 2012 Well Laurie and Al have harvested the first rhubarb of the year, obviously very early for Wisconsin. Due to the relatively mild winter and the hot March weather, there was a flourish of early growth of plants and trees. This week has been more normal temperature wise. The asparagus trench has been dug and leaves put into the elevated planting beds. I've also installed a good irrigation distribution system, and only need a few parts to complete the project. That and using the PVC glue to join ... Sun, 8 Apr 2012 19:49:19 EST An Easter Message This was in my inbox this morning and I thought that I would share: <BR> <BR> "Easter in the Garden": Essay by Burpee CEO George Ball <BR> <BR> "At this time of year, just as my thoughts turn to Easter, I think of gardening, and as soon as I think of gardening, I'm reminded of Easter, and then I'm back to gardening, and then back to Easter, and so forth. If my toing and froing sounds like spring fever, well, it is. <BR> <BR> After all, let's remember that Easter, spring and the garden are... Sun, 8 Apr 2012 13:57:45 EST Coffee grounds This morning I talked to my local coffee shop folks and they have agreed that I can have their used grounds. <BR> <BR> Now..... I just need suggestions from you all how I could put these to good use in my yard/garden beds.... Sat, 7 Apr 2012 15:10:07 EST Do you talk to your plants? I'm serious, here. <em>246</em> And does it help???? <BR> <BR> Just read in a an adult fiction book, she said, 'I heard it's the oxygen you breathe on them." <BR> <BR> He said, "You emit more carbon dioxide than oxygen. Perhaps it's the sound of your voice...." <BR> <BR> <BR> Tue, 3 Apr 2012 18:54:28 EST Asparagus? I'm thinking about growing asparagus. <BR> <BR> It will be an investment for me so I'm doing much research, first. <BR> <BR> WHERE does one purchase it? In what form does it come in? Seeds better? <BR> Evidently, my local garden center has neither the seedlings nor the seeds. <BR> <BR> Does it need to be in a bed by itself? It is difficult to grow? <BR> <BR> Any advice is wonderfully helpful. AND, thank you!!!! Mon, 2 Apr 2012 17:47:28 EST looking for fencing ideas I am moving to a place that has many deer, rabbits, turtles, foxes, and probably other things that loved my garden when I lived there before. <BR> <BR> I am looking for options for fencing my raised beds and container collections, preferably reasonably priced and not interfering with reaching into the beds from the sides. The soil around is shallow and sitting on a lot of shale so sinking posts is very difficult. <BR> <BR> I know someone who has solved her problem with a 24 in high wrough... Tue, 27 Mar 2012 17:16:55 EST The advantages of containers(one raised bed idea) My partner and I made a raised bed out of an old bookshelf and it worked great. We also used a small kid's pool to plant the big stuff. <BR> <BR> The rest we planted in rubbermaid containers, an old plastic sink, and some large plant containers (some people use garbage cans for things like potatoes because you can plant so much and save a huge amount of space). We drilled holes in the bottom of them and we were good to go. <BR> <BR> The advantage to planting in containers is that if you ... Tue, 27 Mar 2012 10:39:29 EST Raised beds I plan to construct some raised beds for my garden this year. I'm hoping it'll help deter the groundhog(s) that ate my chard/beans/kale last year in-ground, but also give a more polished look to my front yard garden. Has anyone constructed their own raised beds before or do you have any general tips on raised bed gardening that you think would be helpful? <BR> <BR> Thanks in advance for any ideas! <BR> <BR> Nicole Mon, 26 Mar 2012 16:43:29 EST Preparing for a draught :-( My area hasn't gotten the needed rain. So I'm trying to come up with ideas for watering my garden with 'other' water. <BR> <BR> Do you have any ideas for me? <BR> <BR> Is it okay to water my plants with Ivory dishwater soap? I tried googling it up. I think it's okay, just not sure. Sun, 25 Mar 2012 17:58:15 EST We Can Learn A Lot From Our Gardening! "Successful gardening is doing what has to be done when it has to be done the way it ought to be done whether you want to do it or not." ~ Jerry Baker <BR> <BR> I came across this quote and thought it would be nice to share. Sometimes life's ups and downs make it hard to keep going. But remember a gardener has a unique ability we don't even realize we have. We can learn a lot from gardening. Believe in yourself! <BR> <BR> Sat, 24 Mar 2012 14:03:05 EST New to OG Hello! I'm fairly new to organic vegetable gardening, my first was last summer. I was pretty relaxed about it, didn't measure anything other than with my feet, kinda guessed at stuff, etc. so we had three different kinds of corn, were short on tomato plants, and a groundhog ate all of our bean and green bell pepper plants before we could get the fencing up. I for two days, I would literally stand watch and chase the giant furry enemy from our yard! <BR> <BR> Anyway, I recently moved and a... Fri, 23 Mar 2012 19:48:25 EST Pesticides A letter from Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group <BR> <BR> I know you count on EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce when deciding which fruits and vegetables to buy organic and which ones are ok to buy conventional. But EWG counts on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to publish complete, unbiased pesticide data to create our guide. <BR> <BR> For the last two years, the pesticide lobby, especially a front group called the Alliance for Food and Farming, has waged a mu... Mon, 19 Mar 2012 15:42:55 EST Gardening is MORE than just gardening! I was just outside, looking around at my "old" garden area, I'm moving my garden to a bigger area of my yard. I've been in kinda a funky mood the past week, with talks of my favorite QB maybe getting messed over, the anniversary of my step-dad's death, ect. Anyway, while looking around, I noticed that there were some green carrot tops! So, I went over and...plucked up a carrot!! okay, it made a "baby carrot" look huge, but the more I dug, the more I saw CARROTS!! It was like God & my gard... Mon, 12 Mar 2012 20:09:24 EST Question! Last year my garden was attacked by powdery mildew...I composted the plants this Fall in my non-garden use as compost but I am not sure if I should eradicate the soil from my raised beds before planting this year. I am considering using some of it to plant my potatoes in a container this week if I know it is okay to use. Any thoughts? Should I get rid of as much soil as I can and start over? Also, I used a kitty pool to plant my pumpkins last year...same issue...should I clean out the pool wi... Sun, 11 Mar 2012 20:03:05 EST Frugal ideas on starting your vegetable garden These ideas are genius! <BR> <BR> How to make my starter pots from newspaper. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>tomatoes-for-beginners/starting-your-t<BR>omato-plants/ </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> How To Make Seed Starter Pots Using Toilet Paper Rolls <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/using-toilet-paper-roll-to-start-seeds/ </link> Sun, 4 Mar 2012 16:23:43 EST Ever seen this before? I've already started about 1/2 of my seedlings and am nervous to try this but I LOVE the idea of the low-maintenance aspect of it. I'm really curious if anyone has tried this or knows anyone who has! And if so - what were the results? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>inter-sowing-101/ </link> Sun, 26 Feb 2012 18:57:57 EST New to SP and to gardening Hi. <BR> <BR> My boyfriend and I are currently trying to get the soil/ground ready outside for some gardening. The garden he used to have in his backyard has become overrun with some sort of grape vines (?) and we are currently clearing out the area in order to plant veggies as well as flowers for the two flower beds in front of the garden as well. :) <BR> <BR> I'm extremely green (pun intended) to gardening so I was wondering if anyone could share any information/start up tips? Right now... Sun, 26 Feb 2012 14:32:13 EST New to starting from seed I am in Western WA state and I would like to try starting from seed this year. I am not sure when to start the seeds but I am thinking the time is now. Any advice? I have indoor cats which is my only reservation I don't want to end up with my seedlings dumped out on the floor! I do not have a huge amount of light coming in but I would like to make the best use of the one window in my kitchen which does. Thanks! Sun, 26 Feb 2012 13:12:31 EST Harvesting Worm Compost I've harvested my first batch of worm compost BUT I didn't need all that I harvested. How would you store said compost? Covered? Uncovered? Refrigerated? Room Temp? I'm all ears! <BR> Sun, 26 Feb 2012 11:07:58 EST Vermiculite for Seedlings Hi all! I have been starting my own seedlings for years... sometimes in vermiculite, sometimes in organic starting soil. I know that vermiculite is the preferred method BUT I have had hit or miss success with this. One of my sources recommended that the seedlings be moved from the vermiculite into potting soil when 4 leaves form. Two years ago I did this but it seemed as though the leaves would never form. Their growth became stunted and I finally succumbed and moved them to the soil wit... Sat, 25 Feb 2012 22:03:16 EST Miniature Roses Right now I have 2 miniature rose plants in my house. One of them is growing & doing beautifully, the other seems to be drying up & dying! The only difference is where they are at. The healthy one is in a western facing window, the other in an east facing window. <BR> Does anyone have any ideas how to save the dying one? Fri, 24 Feb 2012 12:58:33 EST Composting eggshells? I've read that one is to wash the egg shells before composting them. <BR> <BR> Is this true? If so, why? <BR> <BR> If I have to wash the residual egg from inside the shell...... I'm gonna just toss the eggshells. Wed, 22 Feb 2012 16:15:43 EST Tent caterpillars? Does anyone have an organic fix to tent caterpillars? And other bugs on my fruit trees? We have aphids, but plan to spray soap stuff on them---although how organic is insecticidal soap? I have alot to learn yet! Sun, 19 Feb 2012 14:06:54 EST greetings and salutations I am interested in organic gardening---there's just too many pets and little ones around to be spraying poison all over! I have some help with the labor, but need ideas on how to start! I have a nicely sized garden plot, able to expand it, plus little spots around the yard to put flowers or other vegetables! Our soil is basicly gravel pit, so it does drain well!! I welcome any and all advice! Sun, 19 Feb 2012 10:52:12 EST Aloe plant I want to get an Aloe plant but am not sure if I can raise one, my house is heated by wood mostly some times gas and it is a drafty 1900 house will aloe take temps in the sixties Mon, 13 Feb 2012 21:08:49 EST Newby here and new organic gardener I admit it; I am a skeptic, both in weight loss and organic gardening. I've 'dieted' my entire life and never lost but gained, and we'll see about the organic gardening. I have some beautiful dogs for my west neighbors and a toddler girl as my east neighbor so I'm all for organic in place of poison! I think it might take a few years, but I am in contact with some strong young people who are willing to donate the labor to grown their own vegetables, and I will foot the bill out of gratitude. I... Mon, 13 Feb 2012 20:22:10 EST Rain Barrels I've been looking at making my own rain barrel. Has anyone made one and where did you get the barrel? Did it work and was it worth it? <BR> Thu, 9 Feb 2012 08:27:31 EST Who grows their own berries? I'm thinking of overhauling and moving around my garden considerably this year and trying to grow some berries for the first time. I have a small patch of garden between a sidewalk and a chain link fence that's about 18 inches wide and 10-12 feet long. Would that be enough space to grow "some" berries (I'm thinking blackberries or raspberries)? I know it wouldn't be a huge crop, but would be better than nothing. Thanks for any tips/advice! <BR> <BR> Nicole Mon, 23 Jan 2012 10:02:47 EST Do you think this is weird? Do you think this is weird? <BR> <BR> While I was doing research on how to save seeds from a fresh tomato to plant next year... do you think it's weird that we eat seeds that if/when planted in soil, they would grow into plants, etc? Wed, 18 Jan 2012 23:46:41 EST What are your new garden projects for 2012? The dead of winter usually has me dreaming of my garden and coming up with new ideas. Anyone already planning any new projects? <BR> <BR> I'm definitely moving my herb garden to just outside my back door. It's 3 degrees here today and I didn't relish the thought of trecking 25 feet to dig out some parsely for soup! <BR> <BR> Beyond the fenced portion of our back yard is a bunch of weeds and poison ivy before the trees start. It's probably 55w x15 deep. I'd really love to clear it and plant ... Sun, 15 Jan 2012 13:34:54 EST compost full of chemicals??? Just been reading about all the toxins and chemicals in our food. (non organic) <BR> <BR> So, if we compost those foods (kitchen scrapings), does that mean our Compost is full of chemicals????? Thu, 12 Jan 2012 21:14:41 EST Learn how 2 use limited space to grow your garden Forget about not having a lot of land. Learn how to use your space — and start gardening go to <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> One of his recent tips is important. Start your own Heirloom Seedbank. <BR> <BR> "Some believe that one of the best investments to currently make is in an emergency seed bank. <BR> With everything that is going on with the global economy and food system, it’s hard to argue. <BR> What would happen if our food supply was cut-... Wed, 11 Jan 2012 10:25:55 EST Composting in winter?? How well does your compost do in the winter? <BR> <BR> Our is 'going down' but not producing much heat. Is this normal? Mon, 9 Jan 2012 00:20:30 EST Squash bugs We got infested last summer. I tried several suggestions, but I am not looking forward to spring. I can not imagine how many will appear. Sat, 7 Jan 2012 17:38:03 EST Do I need to protect my good soil? Do I need to protect my good soil from heavy rains? <BR> <BR> I have a container garden. Some of the containers have good soil but no plants (yet). <BR> <BR> Does the heavy rains leach out the nutrients? Tue, 3 Jan 2012 22:26:12 EST Can organic food feed the world? Happy New Year! <BR> <BR> In searching for a CSA to join (to augment my own backyard food production) I ran across this thought provoking article. Would love to have anyone's feedback on this..... <BR> <BR><BR>e/2011/12/organic-can-feed-the-world/2<BR>49348/ <BR> <BR> Enjoy. <em>334</em> Mon, 2 Jan 2012 13:08:56 EST Is anyone from Maryland, or near Baltimore? I know it's awfully early, but I was wondering if anyone nearby is planning to go to the MD Home & Garden Show in March 2012 in Timonium, Maryland? <BR> <BR> If so, I'd like to meet up with you. I'll be speaking Saturday, March 3rd and Sunday March 11th. <BR> <BR> Kim Thu, 29 Dec 2011 21:51:15 EST Adaptive Gardening Anyone here unable to bend over or confined to a wheel chair? I'm interested to see how people adapt their gardens for this situation. <BR> <BR> Because of spine issues, I'll be starting physical therapy soon. I'm not sure how far along I'll be this growing season, so I'm going to try table top gardening. I currently use the Square Foot Gardening method, and since I'm growing in 6" of soil-less growing medium, it will be easy to adapt. <BR> <BR> I'm interested to see if anyone else has... Thu, 29 Dec 2011 21:38:36 EST 2012 garden planning What's going in the ground in 2012? : ) <BR> <BR> This year I'm doing more of less -- I grow market vegetables, so I tend to grow a lot of what sells well. This year I'm ditching cabbage in favor of more kales. My favorites are Lacinato (dinosaur kale), Red Russian, Winterbor, and White Russian. We're doing more potatoes, more peas and snap beans, and more greens and lettuces of all types. We do 400-500 heirloom tomatoes each year, and I always try at least one or two new varieties. We'll d... Thu, 29 Dec 2011 20:21:43 EST Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Has anyone read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver? <BR> <BR> I've just started it, and it has really opened my eyes about how our food supply is being manipulated and makes me feel even better about my decision to grow my own veggies. <BR> <BR> Wed, 21 Dec 2011 22:00:31 EST Help! What keeps killing my red wigglers?!? I have tried worm composting twice now. The first time I thought I lost my "colony" b/c I had added onions to the bin. Then I started over with some red wigglers and at Thanksgiving time they were wriggling their little hearts out. Now they are all dead. What the heck am I doing wrong????? <BR> <BR> The bins are in my basement. It's cool and dark down there. I added both vegetable peels and newspaper to the bin periodically and it stayed nice and damp. Mon, 19 Dec 2011 14:01:31 EST Who has bought worms? Where did you buy? I could really use some extra ones, my ducks have been a little too busy this year. I'm looking for a larger quantity to get a reasonable price. <BR> Birgit Mon, 12 Dec 2011 00:30:24 EST Composting question.... What type of compost container do you use or have used, and why? <BR> (stand up plastic, tumbler, rotating orb, wooden, pile, wire/plastic mesh, computerized indoor, garbage can, etc.) <BR> <BR> I'm currently looking for a bin. Right now I'm using a huge cardboard box that is slowly collapsing. Sun, 11 Dec 2011 22:22:13 EST Muscadine vines? Anyone have knowledge of muscadine vines? I planted mine a year ago, I thought it died during the winter because it shriveled up... but then it reflowered in the spring. It is now massive and running out of room to grow. The problem is - I can't get it to produce any good fruit. A few small ones will come every now and then, but mostly it is just vine! How do I get to to make more muscadines? Any help is appreciated! (And just so you know, I'm not exactly a gardening expert, I'm more o... Thu, 8 Dec 2011 12:28:53 EST Do you compost? Do you compost? If not, why not? <BR> <BR> If you do, why? <BR> <BR> Just curious..... Tue, 29 Nov 2011 19:25:17 EST 2012 Garden Catalogs Wow! Last week I received my first 2012 seed catalogs in the mail! One from Vermont Bean Seed Company and one from Totally Tomatoes! I've never received any from these companies before and I'm interested in buying since I love both tomatoes and beans. I'm already thinking about what to plant in 2012! Anyone ever order from these catalogs before? <em>258</em> Tue, 29 Nov 2011 07:07:18 EST New Team Leader?? Where's Coach Nicole? <BR> <BR> Actually, I think she's one too busy gal.... a needs a break. <BR> <BR> Who would YOU like to see as a Team Leader? <BR> <BR> I'd like to see one of the members who responded so eloquently to the Topic, "What do you think?" about what type of people gardeners are. Mon, 21 Nov 2011 20:20:25 EST What is 'flitting' around in your garden? It's been an interesting Garden Season for me. For the first time, I saw White butterflies, Monarch butterflies and a bunches of birds. THEY seem to like my garden. :-) Sun, 20 Nov 2011 14:15:17 EST Cold Storage for root veg I canned and froze most of my carrots and parsnips, but I wanted to try cold storage. Following instructions I saw online, I layered them in damp sawdust about 2 weeks ago. Now I noticed that the parsnips are getting mushy spots. Is my sawdust too damp? We lined a cardboard box with a plastic bag, since they need low circulation - too little circulation? I'm going to put them into the fridge, but I'd like to try cold storage again next year so any suggestions would be great. <BR> <BR> ... Mon, 31 Oct 2011 10:35:29 EST Do you think.....? Do you think us gardeners are Positive People? <BR> <BR> I mean: growing veggie from a seed. Loving, watering, fussing over it, making sure it gets plenty of light, etc. JUST to have it eating by critters, etc? <BR> <BR> Do you think us gardeners are Patient People? Mon, 17 Oct 2011 00:23:30 EST Brown Thumb here! As the topic states I have a brown thumb with plants and gardening. There have been many plant casualties at my hand, I swear I try! I am joining because Ive kept several plants I bought half dead on clearance alive and thriving so once again I am ready to dive in and give edible plants a go :] Im starting small with what should be a fool er siena proof indoor plant, green garlic. Dont laugh at me. I hope to learn much from yall! TIA Mon, 10 Oct 2011 22:16:54 EST Square Foot Gardening Hi Everyone: <BR> <BR> I'm Kim & I live in Maryland (Zone 7a). I use a method called Square Foot Gardening which is a small space, high intensity method for growing my vegetables, herbs & flowers. <BR> <BR> I'm new to SparkPeople so I'm still trying to figure all this out. <BR> <BR> Today I'll be harvesting some fingerling eggplant, sweet & hot peppers. <BR> <BR> My main garden was complete ruined by Hurricane Irene so I'll be starting over as soon as the insurance adjuster comes over ... Fri, 30 Sep 2011 13:47:23 EST Fall bed prep? So, this has been my first year attempting a garden and I have had mixed success (as I expected - actually, more success than I expected!). It is fall here now (in southeast Alaska) and the rain is falling, leaves are changing etc. I know that, besides pulling my dead plants, I need to be adding more nutrients to my soil. <BR> HELP?!! I am a complete newbie to all of this and have been adding seaweed and coffee grounds... but I don't want to add too much of one thing and not enough of an... Mon, 26 Sep 2011 16:28:08 EST Got a glut of cherry tomatoes? DH loves sweet cherry tomatoes for salads and snacking, so he planted 11 (!) cherry/grape tomato plants and now we have them coming out the ears. Every day we pick about a quart. <BR> <BR> I have dried several quarts (in my dehydrator) but my favorite thing to do with them is make soup. At the risk of sounding immodest, I have come up with a really good soup recipe using cherry tomatoes, and NO peeling! It freezes and cans beautifully. If you want to check it out its called Rustic Tomato... Tue, 20 Sep 2011 12:17:34 EST September Garden Sorry for how long it's been since my last post. A few things have moved forward garden-wise: The new girl tomato has done really well this summer, and has produced a bountiful harvest, well over 2 dozen tomatoes. Made some delicious chili this week which is almost gone. Did not plant the asparagus or peas. But the berm wall was not designed properly; one deadman is gone from rot, and the other is not level.Found an excellent article in Handyman magazine that shows how it should've been desig... Sat, 17 Sep 2011 13:12:18 EST Leftover seeds from a seed packet I just planted about a dozen seeds each for lettuce, kale, and spinach. Can I just keep them in the packages to use again come Spring or do I have to stick them in the freezer so they will still germinate next year? <BR> <BR> Do they really expire as the package says? Tue, 13 Sep 2011 13:53:31 EST What in the WORLD are YOU! Okay, lesson learned, be more careful about labeling what I grow! I always think I will remember what I've planted & where, I forget that I'm over 30 & drank too much in my 20's so I don't have the greatest memory! Anyway, I planted alot of squash & melons. Something is growing like CRAZY in my garden, I thought, by the looks of it that it was a watermelon! I was actually going to give it to one of my sons who loves watermelon. But, I thought I'd better harvest one, because it was gettin... Mon, 22 Aug 2011 21:29:01 EST Tree stump removal - planting a new tree We recently had a tree cut down in our front lawn, and there is a very short stump left. <BR> <BR> I'm hearing that the best thing to do is to pay someone to remove it, as if we leave it there it will interfere with anything else growing. We could pay someone to grind it, but they will leave the grindings and roots in the ground and as they rot they deplete the nitrogen from the soil, making it difficult to grow anything else. <BR> <BR> According to the permit that we obtained to cut the t... Sun, 21 Aug 2011 17:13:27 EST Can we talk about gray water use? At this time of year I am especially conscious of wasting water. Ugh! I think of people who have to haul all their water and cringe at all that I flush down a drain to get it the right temperature. <BR> <BR> I use the water from my dehumidifier to water plants and have 2 rain barrels, but aside from that I'm not doing much. Anyone have some good suggestions - short of installing an expensive gray water system? Mon, 15 Aug 2011 14:21:44 EST What can I plant now? (Zone 6) Hey everyone! <BR> This is my third year of gardening, and for whatever reason, my garden is not faring well this year. It could be the wacky weather, but my pepper and tomato plants, planted in May after frost, are tiny and barely fruiting. And as some of your may remember, a groundhog came through and ate everything else in my front yard garden, which is now bare except for the marigolds I planted around the border and ONE swiss chard plant that survived the groundhog attack and is still pr... Mon, 8 Aug 2011 10:21:41 EST Preserving zucchini? I picked 8 (!) big zucchinis yesterday and I was planning on blanching and freezing them. There are still a lot of little ones on the plants. <BR> <BR> Does anybody have any other ways to preserve these beauties? We BBQ'd some a few days ago and they are gorgeous inside - sweet, firm and there are few seeds, but we (and the neighbors) can only eat so much fresh. Sun, 7 Aug 2011 12:13:40 EST Potato advice I planted french fingerling potatoes in my Square Foot Garden beds this year, and the plants have gotten so huge and leggy that they've taken over my paths. Does anyone know if I can trim the plants without harming the potatoes? <BR> <BR> Thanks much! <BR> Marcy Sun, 7 Aug 2011 10:22:01 EST How do you tell if watermelon are ripe? This year I planted watermelon for the first time. My hubby loves them and I thought it would be fun. I have them growing up a trellis so there will not be a light area underneath where they sit on the ground.... The package says they grow to 8-12 pounds each but can't weigh the on the vine.... One thing I read says to harvest when the skin is no longer shiney, but this skin has been dull for a while now.... <BR> <BR> Any words of wisdom from the experienced crew? <em>20</em> Sat, 6 Aug 2011 15:20:26 EST garlic when should I plant garlic, I live in southern New York Wed, 3 Aug 2011 17:07:39 EST Small Breakthrough in war against GMO's Maybe little by little we can get GMO's out of our lives. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>mination_lawsuits.html </link> Wed, 3 Aug 2011 07:47:30 EST