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Thread: The Gardening Thread

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    United States Avalon Member Strat's Avatar
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    Default The Gardening Thread

    We have some seriously talented gardeners here, I'd like to see some garden pics and learn from the experienced gardeners here on Avalon. I've been gardening for quite some time myself but I'm more of a casual gardener. I go to the nursery and try this soil or that fertilizer, or the other compost. I garden cause I genuinely have fun doing it, even if I don't see the results I want.

    I enjoy plants and their diversity; the smell of a tomato plant, the size of cucumber leaves, the toughness of rosemary, etc. I like getting to know them, which sounds dumb if you don't work with plants. But I can look at plants and tell you how they're doing physically, if they need water, if it's too hot out, etc.

    I have a few small areas that need to be cleaned up. I get lazy from time to time until I have the proper motivation. So that's where you folks come in. Show me what you got!

    Also I would like help with some of my plants as well as general advice. Composting doesn't seem hard but I need to really iron out a plan. I'm in the suburbs so this comes into play a bit, I can't have a trash pile.

    I'm also fascinated with soil aka dirt. What soil do you work with? I'm a mile off the beach, on an island. Much of the soil I work with is literally sand like you find at the beach so I have to buy compost.

    So lets see it, what you got? Fruit bearing or not, lets see some pics.
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    Costa Rica Avalon Member ulli's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    Picture of my garden. No snow nor frost to worry about, as I live in the mountains of tropical Costa Rica.


    Getting started:
    Compost tumbler could be the most practical way to go. Here is a small version. $60
    https://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Gro-S...SIN=B0785GSKJ1
    Last edited by ulli; 17th June 2019 at 04:01.

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    Ah, Strat, you warm the cockles of my heart on this subject.

    You need poo. Animal excrement mixed with hay to make the best soil. When people ask me what I farm, my response is “I farm soil”. And that’s the heart of gardening/market farming/ farming.

    We utilize no till - the layers of soil develop along with the beneficial nematodes and minerals that not only produce healthy and productive plants, but that also produce produce that truly feeds the body versus the factory farmed junk with zero nutrients and flavor that contribute to overeating and obesity.

    All that you require is based in growing nutrient rich soil.

    We have goats, sheep and chickens. Chicken manure is hot and must compost longer. Goat and sheep is cool and can be used sooner as long as you are pathogen free.

    In the burbs, your best option is poultry- fed organic feed forms pure form of compost

    Also bees. Don’t need to be honey bees, just pollinators. Lots of mason bee houses available commercially.

    Also try in bed worm towers. A five gallon bucket modified to be buried into raised beds in which you can deposit your kitchen and lawn waste. Worm castings are the best!

    Love your post and your positive energy!
    “The World is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
    Albert Einstein

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    United States Avalon Member Dennis Leahy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    After a few decades of organic gardening, where I knew that healthy soil was paramount, I finally came across some information about micronutrients in organic food that made me see the microbes in the soil in a new way. The microbes "eat" rocks. The microbes don't just break down the organic components in the soil, they also break down the inorganic mineral compounds in (microscopic) "rocks." When the microbes digest the minerals, they output bio-available mineral compounds that the plants can take up. So, of the 999 reasons to eat organic food, include that your body will get more micronutrients from organic food grown in organic soil. "Conventional" farming (inorganic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides) kills off most soil microbes, so even big beautiful produce from conventional farming will contain significantly less micronutrients (and of course, a bunch of toxins.)


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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    Excellent topic Strat. I will wade in as soon as I get the chance.

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    never bare the soil. microbes feed on plants. fungi feed on bacterias as well as plant matters. they excret enzymes that degrade the dirt/rocks and make the minerals bioavailable for plants. If weeds need to be remove do so gradually by replacing with food plants gradually. clearing the plants or baring the land is equal to annihilating the soil microbione. here is my suggestion http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...dirt-gardening

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    I feed my garden soil with nutrients like kelp and molasses. Last year I made compost in a 2 cu. ft. flower pot ( it was available)which is now working in one of the raised beds. My gardening is all organic and thriving. I live 1 mile from the beach so we don't get a lot of heat here. I use vinegar, Epsom salt and dish soap for weed control. As for garden pests hand picking of garden snails daily seems to work best. And good bugs to eat bad bugs. I fertilize with fish and poo!

    Gardening helps me forget whats going on in the rest of the world...and that can be a good thing at times! Namaste.

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    Crossing my fingers these will upload. The photos are from the garden surrounding my family home at the beach ( on top of a hill ) taken during our summer when it stops raining. The “ Veraneras” , the pink flowers bloom to their best potential during the dry months ( from June to nov) . The yellow flowers from the Guayacan tree bloom after the first rain.

    Edit: ups. The first photo is NOT of the Veranera at its full potential. Will look for another one !
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    Last edited by Rosemarie; 17th June 2019 at 12:48.
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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    Quote Posted by ulli (here)
    Picture of my garden. No snow nor frost to worry about, as I live in the mountains of tropical Costa Rica.


    Getting started:
    Compost tumbler could be the most practical way to go. Here is a small version. $60
    https://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Gro-S...SIN=B0785GSKJ1
    Ulli. Your garden is beautiful. What more can you ask than having a river run through your property/ back garden. So lucky. The sound of the river one of the most soothing noises ever. You know, that is my dream.....a little piece of land with a river near it in Cuenca. Knocking on my neighbors wnlight and BR for some sugar. Jaja, just kidding you guys.
    "Be kind for everybody is fighting a great battle" Plato

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    @Rosemarie

    Lovely. I notice your garden has the lovely, soft Zoysia grass.
    It doesn’t work too well in cold climates, unfortunately, as the cold turns it brown.
    I have a small area near the terrace, but wish I could have it all over the property.
    It doesn’t need cutting, and keeps the weeds at bay, too.
    Last edited by ulli; 17th June 2019 at 13:07.

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    gardeners also need to realize that plants behave much like any bio specie. they share/ give nutrients to one another through the soil internet, fungi, parent plants also take care of their youngs, like a breasfeedig mom. plants that grew under the care of parent plant are healthier. therefore grow the youngs beside the parents and dont kill the parents while the youngs are not yet weaned.

    I have a garden but no camera. just sharing what Ive learned.
    Last edited by Bubu; 17th June 2019 at 14:11.

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)
    gardeners also need to realize that plants behave much like any bio specie. they share/ give nutrients to one another through the soil internet, fungi, parent plants also take care of their youngs, like a breasfeedig mom. plants that grew under the care of parent plant are healthier. therefore grow the youngs beside the parents and dont kill the parents while the youngs are not yet weaned.

    I have a garden but no camera. just sharing what Ive learned.
    Bubu, this is so interesting. We could do a thread on the symbiosis and cooperation of plants. It shows us how the intelligence that permeates all things is alive and well in the plant world.

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    Well rotted manure is no longer cheap in the stores. Check out sites like Gumtree for people who are eager to GIVE this stuff away. After a few weeks I've found 2 x places that want to give away this stuff - a stable in Ynysddu and a gypsy family that keep ponies. What I tend to do is let it rot down in compost bins for a few months before using it. Or - come late Autumn spread it over the ground and let the worms do the rest. Either way this stuff is almost miraculous in improving poor soil.

    Here are my set of late potatoes ("Desiree") , photo taken today:

    And some ordinary garlic, elephant garlic and shallots that I dug up recently, just waiting for them to cure:
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    Last edited by happyuk; 17th June 2019 at 19:42.

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    Ok guys. I love gardening. I have 3 raised beds and consider making the soil healthy as my primary responsibility. I get such a rush out of composting and watching it turn into a beautiful earthy dirt. I live a stones throw from the ocean and I get sea weed to throw into my compost bin. In the spring I work it into my top level of soil and have watched as the soil becomes more alive every year. There is all kinds of activity in that soil. I love the cycle of life. I grow vegetables and have fruit trees because I like to eat healthy food. I grow flowers because it is a passion of mine. I do a lot of basket and pot planting of flowers as well as some small areas dedicated to flowers. The kind that slugs and snails don't like to eat. I love to go out and listen to the hum of honey bees that are swarming around a blooming California lilac right now.

    When I look back, it is not all the times I tried so hard to have fun that I remember so fondly, it is the tiny joys like watching the wasps build their nests and compost progressing or just observing nature that I give me joy.

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    What gorgeous garden pictures! Mine would be nowhere near as beautiful, but I love my garden just the same. I've managed to build up the soil pretty nicely on our land. My in-laws recently let me take over their garden plot across the road that they are no longer using. It is very depleted from years of NPK and Preen. I was almost ready to give up on it and just focus on my own gardens, but you folks have inspired me to try again.
    There's no time like the present.

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    A row of Zucchini coming along nicely.

    One or two remaining new potato sets ("Jersey Royal") which I will shortly dig up and save for seed.

    To the right are some rows of second earlies ("Charlotte") with a light dusting of Bordeaux Mixture (Copper Sulphate) to ward off blight, also grown from last year's seed:
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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    Quote Posted by AriG (here)
    You need poo. Animal excrement mixed with hay to make the best soil. When people ask me what I farm, my response is “I farm soil”. And that’s the heart of gardening/market farming/ farming.

    We utilize no till - the layers of soil develop along with the beneficial nematodes and minerals that not only produce healthy and productive plants, but that also produce produce that truly feeds the body versus the factory farmed junk with zero nutrients and flavor that contribute to overeating and obesity.

    All that you require is based in growing nutrient rich soil.

    We have goats, sheep and chickens. Chicken manure is hot and must compost longer. Goat and sheep is cool and can be used sooner as long as you are pathogen free.

    In the burbs, your best option is poultry- fed organic feed forms pure form of compost

    Also bees. Don’t need to be honey bees, just pollinators. Lots of mason bee houses available commercially.

    Also try in bed worm towers. A five gallon bucket modified to be buried into raised beds in which you can deposit your kitchen and lawn waste. Worm castings are the best!

    Love your post and your positive energy!
    If my father read your post he'd glare at me and say, "I told you so." I can be hard headed at times. And thanks for the compliments, much love.

    I'm going to quote this post again and ask for particular details. I'm on poor sleep and too tired to be articulate.

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    After a few decades of organic gardening, where I knew that healthy soil was paramount, I finally came across some information about micronutrients in organic food that made me see the microbes in the soil in a new way. The microbes "eat" rocks. The microbes don't just break down the organic components in the soil, they also break down the inorganic mineral compounds in (microscopic) "rocks." When the microbes digest the minerals, they output bio-available mineral compounds that the plants can take up. So, of the 999 reasons to eat organic food, include that your body will get more micronutrients from organic food grown in organic soil. "Conventional" farming (inorganic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides) kills off most soil microbes, so even big beautiful produce from conventional farming will contain significantly less micronutrients (and of course, a bunch of toxins.)
    I don't use any of the 'cides' but I do use conventional fertilizer (10-10-10 and miracle grow). I need to work on this I know. My friend is all organic and some of his plants are what I call 'little shop of horrors mode', meaning they're massive. The size of his collards is unreal. That being said our sunlight conditions are different.

    My issue has been the organic route is very pricey from what I can tell. I do know that 'poo' (as AriG so eloquently put it haha) is free. I can find it already composted w/ hay on craigslist from time to time. I suppose I've been lazy on getting it.

    Quote Posted by Rosemarie (here)
    The photos are from the garden surrounding my family home at the beach
    Wow that's like out of a magazine!

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)
    gardeners also need to realize that plants behave much like any bio specie. they share/ give nutrients to one another through the soil internet, fungi, parent plants also take care of their youngs, like a breasfeedig mom. plants that grew under the care of parent plant are healthier. therefore grow the youngs beside the parents and dont kill the parents while the youngs are not yet weaned.
    Very interesting, haven't heard this before. What plants do you like to grow in your garden?
    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints

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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    This guy ("Dave") has a wealth of information to draw from, once you penetrate his thick Geordie accent and humour.

    He really does know his stuff:


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    United States Avalon Member Strat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    Quote Posted by Blacklight43 (here)
    I live 1 mile from the beach so we don't get a lot of heat here.
    Ditto, but different coast. The heat here is absolutely brutal. My plants can take the morning sun but they must be in the shade around 2pm-ish. Some plants can take it (like rosemary) but very very few.

    Here's a hidden gem of a youtube channel. This guy does legit ital cooking and it's neat to see how he lives his life. In this video he gives a brief tour of some herbs in his garden:
    Last edited by Strat; 17th June 2019 at 20:20.
    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints

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    Canada Avalon Member Nenuphar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gardening Thread

    I am so happy you started this thread, Strat! I love to see pictures of other people's gardens and hearing about what grows well in other climates.

    We are in zone 2a (though I have read that it is now closer to zone 3 in recent years). We have a little house and a decent-sized yard. I started gardening almost by accident about 15 years ago. I grew two tomato plants, two pepper plants, and some curly blue kale. My first taste of those heirloom tomatoes was a game-changer and is what got me hooked on gardening and on heirloom/open-pollinated varieties.

    Once I figure out how to upload pictures here, I will post a few.

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