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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
7/10/15 10:18 A

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Cayenne pepper whether flakes or powder deter most mammels.

CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (113,750)
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7/9/15 10:59 A

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I may have to try that too. Something has been eating my cauliflower and broccoli. No green cabbage worms in sight (I checked under ALL the leaves, and no worm 'dirt' either), but I've got holes and some tops of the leaves actually look chewed off. Have to check to see if rabbits like brassicas.
Also need to buy more MVP (like BT, get it from Gardens Alive) to spray for the cabbage worms, as I'm out of it.

Edited by: CBRINKLEY401 at: 7/9/2015 (11:00)
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DJ4HEALTH's Photo DJ4HEALTH Posts: 48,242
7/9/15 2:19 A

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Great info and will look for the red pepper flakes

Dorothy

If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.
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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
7/6/15 1:27 P

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Thank you for that information. I will go get some of that.

Darlene


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TEXASLYNN's Photo TEXASLYNN Posts: 3,375
7/6/15 10:59 A

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Our problem is wandering cats and moles/gophers. Since the veggie beds are fenced away from my two four-legged children, I sprinkle red pepper flakes over the surfaces. Birds love the flakes and leave the veggies alone; the other critters do too but for different reasons. Big bottles of flakes are cheap at the dollar store and last through most of the pest season.

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
7/4/15 11:53 P

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A spray made by grinding 1-2 hot peppers in a blender full of water then letting it steep for a few hours and straining will help eep mot mamals away from your veggies & fruit. You will need to re spray regularly.

FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
7/4/15 6:50 P

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Oh, I wonder if that is what is helping eat my garden. I haven't got the netting up over it yet. My dad used to grow really nice gardens and thought the squirrels were getting his tomatoes. Nope. It was my Dachshund. She just loved the veggies and berries she could get to. Never had a raspberry when she was around.

I lost my raspberry plant this year, but I am noticing the wild plant next to the old hedge looks like raspberries. So I am wondering if I can safely leave that there next to the patio and just let it grow up. I might have to do something to keep them contained there. Down by the garden I seem to be starting a catnip farm, too. Currently outside the garden fence. Maybe I can package it and sell it. I have to trim back the trees there because this year they are shading most of the garden. Rats. That is the only place in the yard that I can get any sun at all for most of the day other than the front yard where I am sure the neighbors would complain. I do have thyme growing out front, though.

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SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
7/4/15 8:21 A

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I wanna talk SQUIRRELS! Well, I've been asking Mr. Google how to deal with them, and he suggests trapping them and driving them at least 10 miles away. Ok, so that's what I did with the other 3 I caught...I left them in a lovely wooded area...I'm sure they LOVE their new home because they have not been back here, although I'm also sure they are missing my apple tree!!!

So, now there is one young black squirrel left who is intent on noshing on my apples.... I've set out some tasty peanuts for him, hoping to entice him with my lovely treats (it works for my grandkids!)

I'll let you know how it goes!

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
7/3/15 6:17 P

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I didn't realize that Home Depot and the like had the DE. I've never seen it at ours, but not thinking they would have it I never checked. Thanks for posting that.

Turning away from vegetable gardening for a bit, does anyone know what to do for rust on roses or mildew on roses? With all the rain, my one bush looks simply awful. I was told to use sulphur powder and also to take off the leaves with the rust on them. Of course, if I take off those, there isn't anything left unless I leave the top half that keeps falling over because they are so tall and spindly.

Darlene


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SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
7/3/15 12:37 P

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Excellent, thanks for the info

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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (113,750)
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7/3/15 10:28 A

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I got my DE at Home Depot - bought a 4 pound bag. So if you have one of those or a Loews, Menards, or other store like that around, you may be able to get some there.

Edited by: CBRINKLEY401 at: 7/3/2015 (10:28)
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SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
7/3/15 6:06 A

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ok, Monday I'll make it my mission to find some...don't know where to start looking b/c my local garden centre closed....sad....

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DJ4HEALTH's Photo DJ4HEALTH Posts: 48,242
7/3/15 2:20 A

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Agree with the diatomaceous earth and you can make it liquid too by adding a tablespoon to a quart of water and shake well, let us know it it works

Dorothy

If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.
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For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in


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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (113,750)
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6/28/15 10:45 P

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If the bugs jump, then they could be flea beetles. The damage they inflict is usually just cosmetic - they go after the leaves. Unless the infestation is really bad or the plants are just seedlings.

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
6/28/15 9:51 P

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Are they crawling? If they are crawling maybe diotamacious earth (sp?) around the ground? There is also an organic insecticide (not sure what it has in it) from Happy Frog. I haven't heard about the rhubarb or vegetable oil and detergent. I have tried the dish detergent and water, but it didn't do anything for mine. I've also tried peppermint essential oil and water, but around here the bugs, spiders and mice all like peppermint, unlike what they all say about them.

I have a soaker hose in my garden and have redone it several times to try to get everything watered really well. Turns out that it isn't working to get to all the plants, so I need to put another one down there. I have one of those faucet dividers that I will use on the hose and put another soaker on. Sure hope that will work. Then I have to be careful where I put sprinklers so I don't get water on top of the plants. If my sprinkler system would work it would be easy because I could turn off the zone that comes from the corner by the garden.

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SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
6/28/15 7:20 A

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It's BUGS! Little black bugs! They are in my eggplant, peppers and now beans! I'm sure they are in my raspberries tooo but I need new glasses and can't see them. lol

now what??? now what??? I heard if I boil rhubarb leaves, strain and spray? how about that. Or I also heard of a concoction of vegetable oil and dawn dishwashing detergent.

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
6/27/15 11:24 P

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Oh, thank you. I planted some of the seeds this evening and put the fertilizer in with it. Also put some fertilizer around the other plants since one has gotten a little more dead. I have about half of a plant left. I also planted my replacement plum tomato. This one is a lot larger than the others were, so hopefully it will keep growing. I don't know why those died and the others I got from DUG are doing fine, but I might have used a little too much epsom salts even though I covered it up with soil before planting. I just read about that this year and couldn't remember exactly how much. Probably won't remember anything about it next year.

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/27/15 6:00 P

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Most squashes and melons don't like to have their roots disturbed once they are planted. So, if you want to get a head start on them, you can plant them in containers that you can plant into the ground. Peat and fiber pots work well as well as the one you can make out of newspaper. You can also use toilet paper rolls. Just be sure on any of them that you do not leave any of the pot above the soil line, either plant it deep enough to cover the top or peel back the upper part. If you leave it above the soil it will wick moisture away from the plants.

FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
6/27/15 5:28 P

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I get seeds and seedlings from the Denver Urban Gardens in the spring. Then will get some seedlings at the Garden center when my started seeds don't make it. Today was the first time anyone told me that squash doesn't like to be transplanted very much (I keep losing some) and I should start from seed directly in the garden. So I got spaghetti squash seeds to start this late in the year. I hope I can get something. I did get some more organic fertilizer for the garden so maybe I can get something usable from the squash and pumpkin plants, cucumber, cantaloupe and peppers. I am not so worried about the tomatoes this year since I finally got quite a few last year. I just hope I get some of that spaghetti squash so I can have some spaghetti this year.

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
6/26/15 9:54 P

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I hadn't heard that about the DE before. Guess that will help my potted basil. Around my house the bugs are not repelled by basil, but attracted to it. I also planted some by the tomatoes, so I hope that will help them both. I am thinking that my peppermint might be having problems with too much moisture, too. We have had a very wet spring, too, and starting to have storms again. Very unusual for this area (Colorado) to have as much rain as we have been getting.

I got a new plum tomato to replace the ones I lost. I don't know if I can still plant a spaghetti squash. I have been trying to find one, but it is hard.

Darlene


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SUMITH2008's Photo SUMITH2008 Posts: 5,132
6/26/15 2:21 P

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Sandi not sure if you know but you can upload images now. That could help with troubleshooting problems. But usually yellow plants means over watering. And the solution is a good drainage. You can add things such as granular DE to absorb the water so your soil mix does't get soggy. I use DE as a seed starting medium similar to hydroponics and it can hold quite a bit of water without suffocating the plants.

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/26/15 9:46 A

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From what you and others have said, you've had a lot of moisture there so root rot might be the problem, especially for things grown in containers outdoors. Try to let the soil dry out as much as you can and only water when the soil is dry past at least 1 inch deep. An easy way to test that is to insert your finger in the soil to at least the first knuckle, if it still feels dry then water. Do NOT let water stand in saucers under the pots. If it is root rot and it has not progressed too far, let the soil get dryer may let the plants recover. If the plants don't recover and you decide to replant be sure to mix plenty of organic matter, like compost, into the soil. That will help keep the soil loose and let it drain better.

SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
6/26/15 9:00 A

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Niagara Falls Ontario

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/26/15 7:32 A

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Sandi,
What area of country do you live in? Here in Missouri, we have had a very wet spring with cool temps than normal. That kind of weather can easily lead to root rot and possibly other problems.

SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
6/26/15 7:08 A

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I grow my peppers, beans and eggplants in boxes...and they all look terrible this year. The leaves are turning yellow and dropping off. Do you think those weevils are in the boxes too?

Any suggestions to save this year's crop?

Oh yes, and my raspberries look terrible too, although there are some berries on them.

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SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
6/24/15 1:22 A

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okee dokee...I'm movin' on to Plan "B"!

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DJ4HEALTH's Photo DJ4HEALTH Posts: 48,242
6/24/15 12:27 A

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I would try the habanero peppers they are one of the hottest and make sure that you wear gloves too

Dorothy

If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.
Charles Stanley

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in


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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/23/15 5:28 P

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Hot peppers help discourage most mammals.

FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
6/23/15 3:03 P

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I think I need to try something like that. I have had 1 1/2 tomato plants eaten, 1 cabbage, 1/2 pumpkin. I have about a 3' fence around and the rabbits still get in.

Darlene


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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/23/15 12:56 P

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You can make a spray out of hot peppers. Grind up a hot pepper in water in a blender, then pour it into another container. If you leave it in the blender it will flavor anything you put in the blender for a while afterward. Let it steep for a couple of hours. Strain out the pepper and pour the water into a sprayer. Spray the plants you want to protect. You will have to respray after rains.

DJ4HEALTH's Photo DJ4HEALTH Posts: 48,242
6/22/15 11:27 P

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the minute that you remove the one squirrels another will move in it place. I think that I heard that hot pepper will keep them off you plants.

Dorothy

If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.
Charles Stanley

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SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
6/22/15 2:43 P

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I need some good news. ...

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/22/15 7:38 A

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Relocating squirrels sounds like a losing battle to me. Squirrels have a large enough range that even if you get the ones that frequent your yard the most, others will just move in.

As far as the baby apples go, if the tree had a good fruit set this spring, the tree could just be dropping some of the apples because there is more fruit on it than it caneasily support.

SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
6/22/15 3:54 A

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I started "re-locating" squirrels this year. So far I've taken 3 to new woodsey homes far, far away and thought I was done. Last night we had company for supper and the gentleman was facing the window where he watched 2 young squirrels scamper along the top of my fence....directly toward my apple tree. No wonder there are baby apples all over the ground every morning! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....back to relocating!

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DJ4HEALTH's Photo DJ4HEALTH Posts: 48,242
6/21/15 11:40 P

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You can also put some beer out in a small shallow pan and they will go of it too. Not sure why slugs go for the beer but it gets them

Dorothy

If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.
Charles Stanley

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in


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SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
6/21/15 11:18 A

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Thanks for the suggestions! !!

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/21/15 9:04 A

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Sounds like you are having lots of different problems with those berries.

For the slugs crush eggshells and sprinkle them on top of the soil.

SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
6/21/15 1:31 A

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A final word about my poor, doomed strawberries.... So 2 days ago I found little piles of semi-ripe strawberries in the corners of my growing areas. ????? I set a mouse trap and caught the fattest mouse I've ever seen (apparently critters CAN get fat on strawberries). So, between the root weevils, the slugs, the birds and now the MICE...oh my gosh, I'm thinking I should just give up!

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SANDICANE's Photo SANDICANE Posts: 3,111
6/19/15 8:13 A

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Thank you so much for the advice about my strawberry roots....SAD...I'M SAD..... Apparently strawberries are HARD for me to grow. I'm gonna try buying new plants next year and relocating them....

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
6/18/15 7:30 P

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Thank you. I don't remember if my cucumber is bush or vine (have to look). The main thing I want to control is the squash and pumpkins. Last year they climbed through my little fence and all over the yard. Also up the grape vine.

I finished planting today and have some more space for something, just not sure what. There wasn't much left at Country Fair and the other close place doesn't have very good plants anymore, at least not vegetables or things like that. Used to be the other way around. So I will have to go to someplace farther from me to see what I can find.

Does anyone know if marigolds will repel ear wigs? They are already back around here.

Darlene


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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (113,750)
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6/18/15 5:21 P

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Yep. Even old broomsticks would work (we use metal fence posts because we've accumulated so many over the years. Every fall hubby cleans them off with a wire brush and uses leftover spray paint on the ends to help prevent rust and to make it easier to pull out of the ground when we are cleaning up).

The main thing is that if you are using twine, the poles are supporting all the weight, so you have to make sure they are sturdy. The only drawback for making a tepee is you have to crawl under it to pick the cucumbers, since that's where they always seem to end up (at least that's what always happens to me). But at least it would be self supporting.
You can use wire instead of twine, which would be a bit more rigid and wouldn't tend and no risk of breaking like with twine.

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/18/15 4:34 P

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The metal fence posts and twine are a good idea. There are also a lot of things you can use as stakes that are very low cost or free, though they may not last as long as metal. Some place sell wood tomato stakes or you can make your own out of 1 by 2's, as long as they are not treated with toxic chemicals. I've also seen people use branches a couple of inches thick to support trellises. If you know someone who has bamboo, you can make tepees out of it by tying the tops together. With a little imagination there is a lot you can do on the cheap.

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6/18/15 1:28 P

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If you have sturdy poles (we use metal fence posts), you don't even need to use fencing for the vines to climb on. You can just string twine between the posts (you may want to use a post in the middle too, depending on how long your row is). At the end of the season, just remove the twine and compost it along with the vines. Works great for pole beans, since trying to get the bean vines off the fence is a real pain!

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
6/18/15 12:45 P

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Well, guess I know about those weevils and raspberries now, since I looked at the article. Don't know if that is what killed the plant, though.

Darlene


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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
6/18/15 12:43 P

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I would like to trellis my vines, but don't have the money for much of a fence. I have some light-weight wire fencing that I put around the outside of the garden and used heavy plastic rods to hold it up. I wonder how I could make something to get the vines to grow up on. I do have another roll of lightweight fencing that is a little taller. Maybe would that work? I would probably need lot more of those rods, though. They are the heaviest duty that I found, but maybe in the main store they would have metal ones that would work better. My spaghetti squash is looking really bad with all the leaves dying, so I don't know if that is going to make it.

I have never heard of that happening with strawberry roots. Do they get raspberries, too? My raspberry just totally disappeared this year after I trimmed things back and pulled the weeds that got to it. A new one would cost $40 and doesn't give enough raspberries to worry about.

Darlene


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6/18/15 9:44 A

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On Powdery Mildew, to help prevent it, try to be sure tat plants that tend to develop it have plenty of air circulation which allows the leaves to dry faster when they are wet. On vining plants like cucumbers you can trellis them which helps and will take less room in the garden.

SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/18/15 8:59 A

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You are probably having a problem with strawberry root weevils. Here are links to a couple of articles on controlling them.

www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/st
ra
wberry-root-weevil


homeguides.sfgate.com/strawberry-roo
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weevil-control-66687.html


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6/18/15 8:09 A

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Oh and I have been battling powdery mildew for 4 years now on my cucumbers, zucchini and squash. Last year I basically harvested "none-of-the-above", so I'm thrilled to read about skim milk!

My nursery sold me some VERY EXPENSIVE spray for which you must not spray the edible parts of the plant. I used lots of little plastic bags and sprayed and sprayed but it still didn't work. Perhaps the plants not ripening any fruit was the universes' way of protecting me from that spray!!! lol

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6/18/15 8:05 A

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My poor strawberries! Closer examination has revealed that the roots have LOTS AND LOTS of tiny holes through them....Any suggestions as to how I can get rid of whatever little bug is devouring them????

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6/12/15 9:54 A

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I don't know about he powder milk. You could give it a try and let us know. Since you're suppose to dilute the skim milk, I would use twice the water in the dry milk to make the spray


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Thank you. I guess I will end up needing at least a gallon of skim milk with all this rain we are having LOL. It's been raining for the last 3 hours, at least. And this is a semi-arid state.

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Would using non-fat dry milk work with that, or do you have to use fresh milk?

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Mix water and skim milk in equal amounts and spray on the plants. Its supposed to help with powdery mildew. You will need to reapply after each rain. You need to use skim milk because the fat in other milk can clog the sprayer.

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Is there any way to get rid of mildew on squash/pumpkin plants other than NEEM oil? I have sprayed mine a couple of times now. The pumpkin leaves are drying up. Last year I lost 2 squash plants and got only 1 pumpkin ripened and the last squash I got ended up with 3 tiny squash that weren't big enough to do anything with. I haven't got them out of pots yet because of the rain we've been having so they haven't had water on the leaves all the time. I keep watering them at ground level.

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6/1/15 4:47 P

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Curious about using plants like Marigolds to repel insects in the veggie garden. I was wondering about putting some around in my garden this year, but the Marigolds come from places that sell GMO products with insecticide in them. I don't know if they do that to the Marigolds or not, but I'm sure it isn't in organic soil. Seeds don't grow well for me (in fact, that kind don't sprout at all). So wanting an organic garden, what do I do? I also bought an heirloom tomato that may not be GMO, but is from the company that has the incecticide GMO plants. should I plant that in a different location than my organic garden?

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5/24/15 7:00 P

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TexasLynn, that is good to know about the Weed and Feed. I never knew it reactivated every time it was watered. Cassie gets itchy enough without me adding more to the lawn than the actual lawn I have been using the mulcher for my grass when I mow, but Pete bags the clippings. He usually will do my front lawn. Would rather he would do the lower half of the back and I will do the front. The hills in the back are really hard for me and the front is flat.

I will have to do something with the trees (at least the one in front) because they are dying from borers. I think even the locusts are dying and only the wild ones are growing. The ones that are planted are pretty far from my garden, though.

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5/23/15 6:14 P

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Corn gluten applied in late winter/early spring should help prevent weed seeds from sprouting. Blood meal is a good source of nitrogen for the grass. Both are organic.

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We don't use weed and feed either. Hubby will use weed killer to try and get the creeping charlie under control, but he just uses that in the areas that are really bad (there was no way we'd ever be able to pull all that out either). Even organic weed control formulas, like using borax, will build up in the soil over time, so you still have to be careful. We use the dandelion digger to keep the dandelions under control in the yard, and it has definitely helped keep them under control. I'm looking to get some compost to put on the yard too, to feed it and keep it healthy.

We rent garden plots from the park district, and friends will give us their grass clippings to help keep the weeds down (we don't generate enough from our yard to cover the whole garden, plus I want the clippings to be mulched instead of bagged up, to help feed the lawn), but we have to be careful and always make sure they haven't recently treated THEIR lawns with weed and feed.

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We are not using anything but organic fertilizer on our yard this year. The yardman told us that repeated use of weed and feed was ruining our grass and actually causing more weeds plus one of the mutts displayed a severe skin allergy last year after we sprayed the yard. She had to wear a t-shirt all summer and fall because ever time the grass was watered, the spray was reactivated.

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I have thought of digging them up that way (can't find those weed diggers around here lately, though), but it would take me the entire summer just to get the ones up that are there now and I cannot get up and down. It is 1/4 acre lawn. I can dig the weeds up in the garden, though. I will try the vinegar thing.

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As long as the dandelions aren't blooming, there shouldn't be a problem with the seeds. And instead of using weed and feed on your grass, you could always go the old fashioned route and just get a dandelion digger and take them out by hand. That's what my hubby does. They do grow back, but if you keep at it, they will eventually use up all the food stored in the taproot and will die.
You don't want to use the grass clippings from lawns treated with weed and feed in your beds until you've had at least 3 mowings, since the chemicals are in the grass blades and could kill the plants in your beds.

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The vinegar will kill the dandelions if you spray them several times, whenever they sprout back up.

Several layers, 4-5 pages, of news paper help keep weed seeds from sprouting but you will need to put something over it to hold down, like a light layer of mulch.

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Thank you for the ideas and info on the peat. I guess my grass might not be the best idea since I have a lot of dandelions. Having pets I don't want to put the weed and feed stuff on the lawn. Probably will have to sometime since neighbors might complain about the dandelions.

I have heard to put newspaper over the ground around the plants to keep the weeds down. Have you used that method? I have a lot of papers from when my last dogs had problems and I haven't thrown them out. I would like to get enough produce to keep some over the winter if I can get a small freezer.

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5/21/15 10:06 P

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Vinegar does work as a weed killer. On some weeds you may have to spray the a few times to kill them. I have killed poison ivy with it and even if you have to repeat spraying them its a lot cheaper than roundup and a lot better for the environment and you.

Grass clippings make a great addative to your garden as long as they do not contain weed or grass seeds. Peat moss is organic but is on the acid side side so don't add too much of it

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Adding the grass clippings is an excellent way to improve the soil. We had a garden when we lived in an apartment. When we first turned it over it was hard and didn't have any worms at all. By the time we moved several years later, after only adding grass clippings when we mowed, the ground was loose, black, and filled with huge worms - a good indication of healthy soil.

If you drink coffee, you can add the used coffee grounds to the soil (including the filter, which will also break down completely. Just dig it in to the soil before planting. You can also sprinkle it around the plants AFTER you have the area planted - you'd never know they were there except for the coffee smell. If there's a coffee shop in your area, you can check and see if you can get their used coffee grounds too - some may be willing to save them for you or give them to you when you stop by.

And crushed eggshells are also a great addition both before and after planting. Sprinkling them around your plants will help keep any slugs off if you have an issue with that (lettuce and hosta are favorites of slugs).
Shredded paper is an excellent addition to a compost pile or bin if you have one.
If you live near any stables, it is worth it to check and see if they would be willing to let you haul off some of the well rotted manure mixed with straw that they may have. We were able to do that one year for our garden. If it's well rotted, it doesn't smell, and it is excellent for plants. The straw in it will also help keep the soil loose. Most likely it will have lots of earthworms in it too (and often you will see mushrooms growing on the pile).

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I have used that weed killer spray. It did pretty well on the weeds by the house, but they did grow back. It took a while for them to die, though. That is about all that grows up by the house, so I put the potted herbs there.

I am hoping to get some top soil and peat moss or something like that for my garden. (not sure if peat moss is an organic, so will have to check on that). Then will mow the lawn again and put the grass in. My neighbor is talking about getting a rototiller to turn the soil and get it deeper (he is so nice -- I can't afford to rent one of those and can't handle one anyway). I don't have much that makes a compost, but is there anything else I can do to make a better garden? It is about 6-8 feet wide and 16-20 feet long on the lower terrace and about the only place out back that gets enough sun to grow anything.

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5/21/15 9:11 A

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I haven't tried this, but I just read about a weed killer solution that is supposed to work like Roundup.
Just fill a spray bottle with 5% strength white vinegar and add a teaspoon of dish soap. The dish soap helps the spray to stick to the leaves of the plants. It supposedly will kill ALL plants that it is sprayed on, so be careful to spray it ONLY on the plants you want to get rid of. I'm going to try this and will let you know how it works.
It's best to spray it on a warm sunny day, and for best results, you probably don't want to spray if rain is in the forecast within 24 hours.

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
3/11/15 5:14 P

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I've never done cover crops. I filled my raised beds with a combination of top soil and compost and to maintain them the way I described below. I have a total of about 150 sq ft of raised beds that I grow enough veggies in to feed me, give some to my neighbors, and freeze some for use in the winter. Some of my gardening friemds comment on how great my veggies grow compared to theirs.

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I was listening to the Organic Gardener podcast last night and she was interviewing an Aussey gardener who gardens this way. I'm going to try and follow his blog and see if it is helpful.I'm not finding the site real helpful. Moore has written an ebook at a cost of $.99 called No Dig Gardening. I do like this idea and am going to try it.





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SharJo- so you never put in a cover crop? I worry that it may get in the way but plan to chop it with the weedeater right to the ground before I put the amendments on the beds. This may help suppress it. Knowing plants it may just bolt through and throw up seed heads anyway.
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3/10/15 5:26 P

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I would think that if you let the grass go to seed, the seeds would start growing in your garden beds, which you would not want during the growing season,
I add a small amount of blood meal, bone meal and wood ash on top of my cleaned up beds in the fall and top that with a layer of shredded leaves. In the spring I add a what compost I have ready and work it in. If your layer of leaves and compost isn't too think you can do it while doing your planting. I have been doing this to my raised beds for several years and have great results.

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It is getting close to till the garden time and I'm ready for a change in habits.

Does anyone here practice no til? I have raised beds and always turn the soil in the spring since I plant a cover of annual rye grass. It really helps keep the soild freiable and adds a green manure to it. Is it possible to do no till where the rye grass is or is this growing grass going to become a monster? Annual is supposed to die back when it goes to seed (and is that seed going to be a problem?) I have a couple beds that don't have the grass so I will try no till there by adding a cover of compost and then just planting in it. My daughter does this and seems to have great luck but she does add a LOT of compost. She does not plant a cover crop. I was thinking 1-2" of compost would do. Anyone doing this?





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As long as the seeds don't also need light to germinate (tomatoes don't), you can put the tray on top of the refrigerator, which is usually warmer than on counters, at least until the seeds sprout. Then they DO need to be put near a window or other source of light. You could also put them on the fridge at night so they stay warm, then move them to a sunny spot during the day to get warmth from the sun.

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Seeds from warm season plants, like tomatoes can be slow to germinate if they don't get adaguate warmth. So try to keep them in the warmest area of the house or use a heat mat under the tray.

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I'm trying a beefsteak plant. Its part of the James Wong collection, I think with Sutton seeds in the UK. I looked up the latin name and actually a Japanese herb, I've got the purple kind. Very slow germination in the kitchen at the moment.

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1/27/15 1:55 A

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I throw it out because if I don't put it in a container then it will absorb the moisture and get hard. I do have an old tomato book that has that info in it and I just have to find where I put it.

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1/26/15 7:43 A

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Info on using epsom salts in the garden is usually on the package.

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Will try that with my tomatoes and I also heard that you can put epsom salts on the tomato plants, mixing it with water and then putting it on. Will have to find the info on how to do it.

Dorothy

If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.
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Thank you, Cathy. I was just going to peel and freeze them. I sure don't have enough for much of anything else. My computer won't open things half the time, so I will check out the web site when it does.

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light beige skin sounds more like sun scald, though that's usually at the top or sides, depending on what part is exposed to the sun (green peppers can get that too). If that is the case, the tomato is safe to use, though I would trim off the beige spots. Tomatoes with sun scald don't keep well, so you need to use them up quickly.
Blossom end rot can start out as a beige spot, but as it progresses it gets darker and sunken in.
Here's a link to images I found when I googled "tomato blossom end rot". Perhaps some of those may look like what you have?
https://www.google.com/search?q=toma
to
+blossom+end+rot&client=firefox-a&hsR>=1mX&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&
ch
annel=sb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=u
niv&sa
=X&ei=c38rVJuqEM6LyATjhoH4Cg
&ved=0CEwQ
sAQ&biw=1280&bih=895


It is not a disease, but is caused by a deficiency in calcium - either because the soil is lacking in enough calcium, the PH of the soil is to high or low so calcium can't be taken up by the plants, or too much or too little water result in not enough calcium. If water is the issue, you can't do much about too much rain, but you can make sure that they get enough water if the weather is dry. I added compost with finely crushed eggshells to the bottom of the hole when I planted my tomatoes this year, and definitely saw less blossom end rot than last year, though I don't know if that was the reason or not. Lime works too, though both take time and aren't much help if you are already having a problem. Dissolving epsom salts in water and spraying it (or applying using a watering can) on the leaves of affected plants may help. If you boil eggs, save the water, let it cool, then water the leaves of the tomato plants with that (lots of calcium and other minerals are in egg water).

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9/30/14 6:24 P

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I picked several tomatoes yesterday and found that some have a light beige skin at the blossom end that extends down about 1/3 of the way of the tomato. I have been trying to find out about it by looking at the web, but nothing I have found has anything mentioned like that. When I try to find it by pictures all google does is send you to another search engine, which sends to another search engine and that just keeps continuing. Does anyone know what that would be and if it completely ruins the tomato? Was wanting to have enough to make sauce or ketchup, but it looks like I won't have very many.

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Thank you for the information. I will try taking something to get more manure whenever I go out to see Fancy. I did use horse manure last fall, but that only got about 3/4 of the garden so I can use more if I get the grass out of there this fall.

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An additional thought regarding you increasing your garden area. Something I do to improve my existing soil that is low cost. Each fall I put on some blood meal, bone meal and a little wood ash (from untreated wood) then cover that with a layer of shredded leaves. In the spring I add compost from my bin and turn it in. The blood meal and bone meal don't cost much and the rest of it is free. If you know anyone with horses or cows you can usually get manure to add to your garden for free, the fresher manure you can add in the fall before covering the area with leaves, if it is well rotted you can add it in the spring before turning in the leaves.

FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
8/21/14 10:31 P

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Thank you. I did have to plant late again because it kept snowing off and on until the end of May. I went to a class a couple weeks ago on how to extend the life or your garden and hope I can get some of that stuff done before next year. It will help to start the things earlier, even if it is a little snowy, I think. The guy who did the class is in Colo Springs and that is a higher elevation than here. I hope that will mean I can start things around the 1st part of May rather than the 1st week of June.

I will try to get some of the DEh mixed with water and see if that will help. I had tried it on the ground, but in some cases it didn't work too well.

Edited by: FANCYQTR at: 8/21/2014 (22:33)
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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
8/21/14 7:49 P

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FANCYQTR
Here is a link to an article with a few ideas on getting rid of earwigs.

www.hgtvgardens.com/garden-basics/bu
g-
off-get-the-earwigs-out-of-my-garden


If you decide to use the diatomaceous earth, you can mix about tablespoon of it in a quart spray bottle of water and spray it on that way. It is easier to get the undersides of leaves that way. I always wear a dust mask when using it.

Some of the other problems you have may be caused by various insects on the squash and pumpkin plants, squash bugs/borers maybe the problem, or stink bugs. The diatomaceous earth will help with the stink bugs.

As far as the size of your tomatoes, it could be a number of things. If they are still green, they will probably get bigger before they ripen. If you have not gotten any ripe tomatoes yet, you may have planted them late. Also, this year a lot of things in my garden have been coming in late due to the very cool, very wet weather.

FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
8/21/14 7:10 P

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The bugs eating my plants have turned out to be earwigs. I found them on the bottom side of the raspberry bush leaves. I have seen a couple down in the garden on the ground, but I guess there have been a lot because the leaves are getting eaten on everything.

I am getting totally frustrated trying to have a garden and get any produce from it. I have pumpkin, apparently, that just grew all over the place, but there are only two pumpkins on it that would be worth harvesting (if they completely ripen). There are plenty of blossoms on everything, that vine plus the spaghetti squash that has only 4 squash on the entire plant and they are very small. I have tomatoes on the tomato plants. A few of them are larger than cherry tomatoes (they are Better Boy) and the plum tomatoes are no larger than the cherry tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes (in a different area) have some the size of cherry tomatoes and the rest the size of grape tomatoes. I have been trying to get produce so that I can save money on things, but the garden is costing a lot more than buying high priced vegetables. Plus my pumpkin vines are completely dead in the center of them and I don't know what happened there. It just got that way in the last week. And I have mildew on the spaghetti squash that I cannot get rid of. I have used neem oil on it as we were told at a class I took and it has just spread more. How do I get anything to actually grow well? I used well aged manure for fertilizing this year. I would like to expand the garden a little again since the tree that was shading the yard further over has had several branches die and doesn't shadow it now. Of course that will take more top soil, compost, peat and everything, which will make it a lot more costly to try to grow anything.

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
8/20/14 9:42 A

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Nematodes should work for grubs as well as for Japanese beetles.

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8/20/14 9:13 A

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Good question! I did try some several years ago, but we really don't have a big grub problem - to the extent that we can see actual damage to the lawn, I didn't get enough to actually treat the whole yard, and I never checked to see if they worked or not. So I haven't tried it again.


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8/19/14 11:31 P

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Question....I've found grubs in my soil...has anyone tried nematodes? I came across an article about them, and wondered if anyone tried it.

Fall seven times...get up eight.

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
7/7/14 12:37 A

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Oh, I hope it isn't those. Would Diatomatious Earth (don't know how to spell) work on them? I poured some of it around the basil. Then had a bug repellent recipe from some essential oils and mixed up some of that to try on the plants. I will have to do something for the Cannas that I have out front. The bug repellent is actually for pets, people, etc. but I thought maybe it would repel them from the plants, too.

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7/6/14 8:01 A

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Not sure what is eating your basil, but I've found that japanese beetles do love basil, along with rhubarb, cannas, and roses. Of course, I don't know if there is a plant that japanese beetles don't like, but those are the ones in my yard that they seem to go to first. They seemed fond of my eggplants 2 years ago as well.
I go around with a dish of soapy water, knock them into the water, and let them drown. They also leave pheromones on the plants they feed on, as a way of marking them to find them later and also of attracting a mate. So I do my best to spray the leaves thoroughly of the plants they have fed on, especially the undersides, to try and wash those off.

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
7/3/14 2:06 P

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I am always reading to plant Basil around other things because it keeps the bugs away, but they are eating my basil and leaving about everything else alone. Does anyone have any idea what bugs would be eating basil and how to get rid of them?

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
6/26/14 3:03 P

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Don't know where you guys are located, but if you anyone is in Denver don't bother with the Extension Service. They don't seem to know anything. Some of the better nurseries have Master Gardeners there that can answer questions. I walked in a different door of one and found they have a Master Gardener right by the door that can answer questions like "what is this bush that is growing wild." Actually found out I have a wild plum growing but the extension service has no idea what to even look at to find out what it is.


Well, the extension service finally called back and said that the bush looks like a flowering quince. I looked that up and the bush doesn't look anything like it.

Edited by: FANCYQTR at: 7/3/2014 (14:08)
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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/26/14 12:24 P

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ANDEPK
Home Depot will probably not be much help. Most of the big box stores that have a garden center don't employ many people who know much about gardening. You would be better off checking with your local Master Gardeners or your county agricultural office. You can usually find either one by searching on line (ie Master Gardeners city, state or County Agricultural Extension county, state.)

ANDEPK Posts: 22
6/26/14 7:43 A

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I can try to catch them but they do fly. I don't know of a nursery that is organic that can help but will check with Home depot or maybe my daughter will know of a nursery near by. Thank you for the info. I will continue to check my books.

SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/25/14 4:34 P

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: ANDEPK
When trying to control bugs, it helps to know what kind of bug it is. If you can capture at least one in a tightly sealed container, jar or ziplock bag, you can take it to a good nursery or your county agricultural extension/Master Gardeners office and they may be able to identify it and let you know the best ways of taking care of the problem.

ANDEPK Posts: 22
6/25/14 12:42 P

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This year my tomato plants are producing really well. I have some tomatoes that are bigger then my hand. I have one problem. I find there are small bugs like small fleas that are eating my tomatoes. I have tried mint and that has helped a little. Any suggestions?

FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 7,415
6/24/14 6:19 P

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I will have to keep an eye out for those slugs. Haven't seen them before.

I have an apple tree that is producing this year. Last time every apple on the tree had something eating it. Is there anything safe to use to keep the insects/worms away from them? And any ideas to keep the birds from eating on each and every apple?

I have heard that basil is good to plant with veggies to keep the bugs away. I have a problem, though. I have my herbs all in pots so that I can bring them in in the winter and the only herb that the insects are eating is my basil. What can I do for that. I did get seeds to plant marigolds. Should I try that in with my basil?

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 32,148
6/24/14 1:24 P

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Here are a couple of articles on squash bug control.

Since add a link doesn't work for me you will have to copy and paste the addresses.

http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-an
d-grow/technique-organic-squash-bug-co
ntrol

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect
/05609.html

HOPEFULHIPPO's Photo HOPEFULHIPPO Posts: 6,759
6/24/14 12:36 P

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well I know crushed eggshells are good for slugs, I don't know if it'd do well for squash bugs... maybe a spray container of cayenne, garlic, dawn??

Corinna
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