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Nathan 01-19-2010 05:03 PM

New Gardening Topic
Just in time for spring (OK, maybe I'm a little optimistic), welcome to the new Gardening topic on


Leah Frances 01-19-2010 05:21 PM

Hmmm... Time to be thinking about ordering seeds, cutting a new vegetable garden into my newly sunny backyard, and turning my compost a time or two before spring.

Thanks for the new Gardening topic, Nathan!

Oh, and it must be spring because my hens are starting to lay eggs again.

Scuba_Dave 01-19-2010 06:30 PM

I have a lot of gardens I've put in
I do mostly perennials..very few annuals - Marigolds - I save the seeds, plus take some from other flowers I see

My veggie garden has been getting bigger & bigger
Despite that the past 2 years have been terrible..too much rain...or at the wrong time

1st 2 years before I enlarged the garden I had tomato plants 8' high

Thanks for the new area

inlikeflint 01-26-2010 02:58 AM

I have a pond... so my garden usually gets some soil from the pond bog and waterfall (that skims out a lot of fish poop.) Then I have a cold compost pile that is always cranking out good soil... I rotate a lot of soil out of planters and I made a raised bed for a garden last year with large red/pink concrete pavers.

I have been wanting to use earthworm castings, but I have pretty much just stuck with my own compost... Some of the earthworms that have pulled out of the pile when turning it have been big enough to stop me from turning the pile... 1/2 inch diameter and 2 to 3 feet long... First time I saw one of these I thought it was a snake.

Last year my Jet Star tomato bushes and the others caught some sort of leaf curl... It was not a fruitful season last year. My cucumber plants did not do well, radishes did not do well, the spinach bit the dust... My okra rocked! Both onion and pepper plants did great.
I am just going to double up on everything this year to make up for last year.

gma2rjc 01-26-2010 09:22 AM

Wow, it sounds like you have a nice yard. I can't imagine finding a worm that size. It must have been a big surprise.

Vegetable gardens in Michigan didn't do very well last summer either. If we have a warmer summer, maybe things will grow.


inlikeflint 01-26-2010 03:59 PM

The yard is okay... My soil is has a lot of clay. The worms have to work a little harder at digging... Usually the worms are 6 to 8 inches at most and this was the first time I had ever seen a worm this large. (In high school biology class they had large worms to dissect, but they would only be about a 1/4 of this size of the worm I found in the compost.) I have never even seen this large of a worm when it rains real hard an brings wigglers to the surface.

Anyway, a lot of the pond foliage goes into the cold compost pile (including fish that kick the bucket...) The cold pile has been there for 15+ years and the pile breaks down quick. I turn the pile once every month in the summer, but the rest of the year I just let it sit and pile up. Kitchen scraps old garden soil, planter soil, leaves, shredded paper... It turns pretty quick.

What zone is Michigan? You guys probably have shorter growing periods. I have read articles about people who are growing stuff year round with lean-to types of greenhouses.

gma2rjc 01-26-2010 04:54 PM

I'm in zone 5, I believe.

I can imagine that the stuff from your pond is the best fertilizer available. When I had two fish tanks in the house, I used the water I drained out of the bottom of it to water my plants. One year I had a Flowering Maple in my yard. When it started cooling down at night, I put it in a pot and brought it in the house for the winter. I was surprised when it started flowering and kept flowering for some time. I always thought it was because I gave it the water from the bottom of the fish tank.

How did you get started composting? I've been wanting to do that for years, but never quite got it started. I think about it sometimes when I'm throwing away vegetable peelings or other scraps that could go in a pile.

jameson12 02-02-2010 10:46 PM

Glad to see this topic!
Gardening has become more and more important to us, helping us to save money. If I'm allowed to,I'll put links to my articles about how growing herbs and vegetables saved us tons of money as well as results for some newer plants being offered this year at some garden centers. We even experimented with growing tomatoes upside down and had eggplants (very pretty) mixed in with flowers down by our mailbox :)

user1007 02-03-2010 05:49 AM

I am one of the majority of Americans whose water company is owned and controlled by a foreign company. And let me play tree hugger and rant about living in a state that is running out of fresh water and propose one thing that could make a difference and that your plants will love---drip irrigation.

I first used a system developed for Israeli farming years ago (in Israel, water meters get set and work backwards. When you are out, you are out. No paying a premium for more) when doing landscape design in Northern California during a drought and water rationing. Fell in love. Plants loved it. I never stopped using it after the drought was over. Water went only where you wanted. And unlike conventional irrigation, drip works in gallons per hour at low pressure and flow rate, not gallons per minute. If you were to measure, when you water out the end of a garden hose you are splashing around 8-12 gallons per minute and flooding water everywhere?

It is inexpensive, a snap for DIYers to install, emitters come in all sorts of configurations and flow rates from .5 to 12 or so GPH. It just makes sense. It is easy to connect plumbing wise, requires minimal irrigation valving if you want to fully automate. Since it needs little pressure to operate, you can run a drip system gravity fed in some situations or with a small booster pump attached to say a rain harvesting set-up (some of the new rain barrels are actually decent looking).

So why not plan a drip system when laying out your garden for this year? The water savings will pay for it in no time. You will have less weeds, pests, fungi, etc. You can even add a fertilizer injector to feed everything with liquid food!

user1007 02-03-2010 05:51 AM


Originally Posted by gma2rjc (Post 389573)
How did you get started composting? I've been wanting to do that for years, but never quite got it started. I think about it sometimes when I'm throwing away vegetable peelings or other scraps that could go in a pile.

Can even do it here in the City I think for a little deck garden I plan. They make some nice composters to get you started. Here is just one type that will crank out a batch in about 14-21 days. Check online for other options.

jameson12 02-03-2010 03:51 PM

Drip system
I like the idea of a drip system to conserve what water there is. Great idea!

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