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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 17,733
6/11/15 11:31 P

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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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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (292,037)
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6/11/15 10:34 P

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

-Cathy B
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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 34,084
6/11/15 9:39 P

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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.

FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 17,733
6/11/15 3:34 P

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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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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 17,733
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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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 17,733
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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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 34,084
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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5/23/15 6:04 P

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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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TEXASLYNN's Photo TEXASLYNN Posts: 3,841
5/23/15 5:49 P

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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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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 17,733
5/22/15 8:00 P

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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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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (292,037)
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5/22/15 7:40 P

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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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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 34,084
5/22/15 3:00 P

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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.

FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 17,733
5/22/15 2:34 P

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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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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 34,084
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

CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (292,037)
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5/21/15 9:37 P

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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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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 17,733
5/21/15 9:06 P

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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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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (292,037)
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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.

-Cathy B
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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 34,084
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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3/11/15 4:19 P

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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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1234MOM's Photo 1234MOM SparkPoints: (231,315)
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3/11/15 4:08 P

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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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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 34,084
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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3/10/15 5:09 P

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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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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (292,037)
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2/6/15 7:12 P

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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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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 34,084
2/6/15 7:59 A

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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.

JWOURMS's Photo JWOURMS Posts: 825
2/6/15 7:19 A

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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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DJ4HEALTH's Photo DJ4HEALTH Posts: 70,901
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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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 34,084
1/26/15 7:43 A

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

DJ4HEALTH's Photo DJ4HEALTH Posts: 70,901
1/26/15 2:23 A

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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.
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
FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 17,733
10/1/14 11:20 A

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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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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (292,037)
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10/1/14 12:28 A

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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?
www.google.com/search?q=toma
to+blossom
+end+rot&client=firefox-a&hs
=1mX&r
ls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&ch
an
nel=sb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&saR>=X&ei=c38rVJuqEM6LyATjhoH4Cg&ved=0CE
wQ
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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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 17,733
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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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 17,733
8/22/14 1:56 P

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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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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 34,084
8/22/14 10:48 A

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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: 17,733
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: 34,084
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: 17,733
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: 34,084
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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TERRY0217's Photo TERRY0217 SparkPoints: (26,630)
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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.

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 17,733
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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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (292,037)
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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: 17,733
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: 17,733
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: 34,084
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: 33
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: 34,084
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: 33
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: 17,733
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: 34,084
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: 7,206
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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