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  1. #1

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    Hi everyone! I got back from Chicago... actually I got back a week ago, but my parents decided the wanted a bunch of crops and gardens started so I've been doing that (and being immobilized by mussle pain at the end of the day) for the last week [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] Amazingly, I must have adapted because I weed wacked (old fationed scyth way) yesterday and I can still move, *YAY*

    Anyhow, Things have been good overall, but chicago didn't have anything in the musieums on carnivorious plants. I did however have the awsome experience of finding a mislabled specimen at the natral hystory museum, reporting it and actually getting thanked for it. That was cool, I never expected to ever do anything like that befor (was a Triops, the little bizar crustations I do experiments with now and then, I figured it was mislabled years and years ago befor we really new anything about them). I also got to see some awsome stuff at the aquariums, inclueding a beautiful femal aniconda (although she had her head stuck in a little hole so it was sort of funny looking). Oh and I also made friends with a balooga whale who posed for a photoe and followed me arround the edge of the tank, that was super cool.

    Okay, Chicago adventures aside, I'm now growing lots of plants I know almost nothing about, lol. I had the joy of planting 400 corn cernles, by hand, each in their own little hole, weeding the garden that was sapost to be weeded but still had all the grass roots in their [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img], attempting to give the asperiges(SP?) plants a chance to grow in all the blasted oats that sprouted around them(sprouted isn't the state I found them in though, more choaking out the other plants), Planting about 50 cilontro(SP?) seeds, putting up fences to keep the chickens out of the seeds, trying to revive the rubarb my mom mangled to make a pie earlyer in the year (we are working on the concept of plants require leaves to live, lol), watering and searching for signs of life in the nut tree saplings my dad planted (things are not looking too good), watering the newly planted bushes, soaking some more seeds and yesterday I got handed another type of corn to plant asap... I think that covers most of it. I do however have a question or two....

    Regarding asperigus(SP?) does anyone here grow much of it? Our plants are 3 or 4 years in the ground and it looks like 4 out of 6 survived. My dad is diapointed in the number of staulks they produce and keeps wanting them to go to seed to make new plants, but it doesn't look like it's working.

    1. I'm asueming the seedlings are being outdone by the oats that have taken over (this is my first year working on the garden), is that correct or do the plants have tricky seed germination?
    2. I've also notessed that three of the plants have the larger stalks and only one has the skinny type. My mom says the fat ones are female and the skinny ones are male. Is this correct?
    3. If the staulk size is a gender related thing, are plants always one gender, or do they produce both types of staulk. If it is the prior, would the seed be unsuccessfull most of the time with only one male plant?
    4. The skinny staulk has a shaggy sort of leaf-like looking erm extentions on it, but the big staulks have flowers and little balls a asume to be seed in the making. Do I have this correct?
    5. Since the plants had already done most of their bolting, I cut off the tops where the flowers hadn't been polinated yet to try and conserve the plants energy. Should I be shure to stop future staulks from bolting to save energy untill the parent plants get stronger? Right now the "females" are producing about 2.5 staulks per plant for the whole season thus far and the "male" has 1 staulk.
    6. Are they like other monocots in that each staulk is a single plant and multipul staulks come from sending out runners or more comeing from seed? If this is true, must one staulk be removed befor the same plant sends up another?
    7. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I do about this oat infestation? I assume it came from the manuer as one horse at the time only got oats. I don't want to hurt the asperiges, but the oats(and crab grass and other weeds) are overtaking it and have really extensive root systems. Thanks everyone [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    -Darcie
    There is no item greater in value than life, for without life value would cease to exist.
    My Grow List

  2. #2

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    WELCOME BACK! I was afraid you had left us! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    Asperigus LOVE swampy conditions, maybe they don't have that?
    COOL! You grow triops! So do I! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] However, I couldn't get any of them to breed, and the water temps were like 75-80F.! Any help? Thanks [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]
    -Spec

  3. #3
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    RE CORN:

    Nice sized crop... They should be planted in a square shape to maximize polinization, our crop this year has already set corn, and we have some that are almost ready for harvest. We are growing Burpee's Ruby Red, and Silver sweet Corn.

    I can tell you what i know if you ask specifics, but it'sn ot much. I do know that on smaller corn fields it is advisable to cut some tassels and then go around and manually polinate the silks, to increase your yield. (I learned this too late this year.) [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]



    Quote
    1. I'm asueming the seedlings are being outdone by the oats that have taken over (this is my first year working on the garden), is that correct or do the plants have tricky seed germination?[/QUOTE]

    It could be the seedlings, not sure, but I do know asperagus likes sandy soil, ours is doing great, and it is planted in almost totally poteet strawberry sand with about 10% compost added... were still experimenting. It is thriving alongside our strawberries.



    Quote
    2. I've also notessed that three of the plants have the larger stalks and only one has the skinny type. My mom says the fat ones are female and the skinny ones are male. Is this correct?
    [/QUOTE]

    I am not sure, wish I could tell you but I don't want to spread incorrect info.

    Same goes for the rest of the asparagus questions (sorry&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]

    As for getting rid of your oats, I have a suggestion that might help. get some cardboard, (to protect the plants you want from over spray) and mix together vinegar (white I think) and citrus oil (bought from garden supply, I believe GreenSense makes it, and is a national brand) I am not sure on the mixture, it's on the bottle. Mix these in a spray bottle and spray on the platns you don't want when it's really hot outside, the mixture, combined with the heat, somehow kills off the foliage. You may have to repeat several times on things of a grassy nature so as to exhaust the roots.

    another organically sound method of weed control, one I am using this year to great success, is flaming. Obviously you want to be careful with this, and buy an instrument intended for the use. (you can find them easily on e-bay, some of the lower end models are really cheap and run off coleman lanterns canisters)

    When you flame, there is an obvious misconception that turns many people against it, they think you are supposed to burn the plant to the ground.. NOT SO! (We cp'ers no better right? What happens to a bog when it is burned? It is re-invigorated! Grasses are re-invigorated in prarie fires, as are many species, so burning it only makes the problem worse... what you do is maintain a distance from the plant and heat it up, cause the cells to boil and rupture, it only takes a couple of seconds, on many plants you can see this by it turning froma shiny petina to a dull drab look, and that is it... a few hours later you will find a lot of wilted foliage... On grasses, you will need to repeat this until the roots are exhausted and the plant is dead, flame it as soon as you see new growth so it cant get mutch photosynthesis done. I think on seedlings, this would work rapidly.

    Oh, on your compost, are you aging it for at least a year? New manuer when braking down deprives plants of oxygen, you need to let the manure compost for about a year (maybe less depending on what it is and how hot, moist it is) in order to break it down, so it's nice and rich when you need it.

    To control future seeds from taking over, heavily mulch your garden with cedar chips, new cedar chips are a natural anti-emergent, and help prevent seeds from sprouting... after a year or so, (when it's time to re-plant) most of the anti-emergent qualities have passed and you can turn it into the soil to make it richer and more acidic. (don't know if acidity is a problem for you, ours is hellaciously alkaline&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    Also, this year, maybe plant a winter cover crop, thinks like st. johns wort that hug the ground and spread in a creeping fashion are great at controlling weeds too, and their root system is so shallow it won't be a detriment to your other plants.

    Oh, and on the corn, give them nice deep soakings so they build a deep root structure, I have yet to examine, but I have read that the roots on a corn stalk are pretty amazing! (bigger than one would expect&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    Hope that helps, glad you are back, and glad you had an awesome time!

    (tell us more about the aquariums in the aquarium topics! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] )
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

  4. #4

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    Yah, thats cool. Our corn is in squars, my dad researched it a bunch so I figure it's okay, although I'll be shure to tell him about the pollinating thing although last year we had a volunteer corn stalk in our rock garden and it produced corn, lol. I think it was because we have a HUGE corn feild accross the street.

    I was wondering if the conditions for the asperiges was too dry, I bet that was part of it, it does have sandy soil and our compose it aged and such, persoanlly, I think neglect was the biggest issue, it's easy to forget the little garden when you have a whole pasture to manage. We just fineshed the fenceing so this year the little things like the garden can have attention.

    You did give me a good idea for getting rid of the oats, I'm going to see if I can smother it via cardbord [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] (thank goodness it is a one year lifespan plant)

    Triops: To breed triops, you need to provide them with sand. Just put some nice clean sand in their tank and they will love you for ever. The just adore digging! Anyhow, they also lay their eggs in sand. Then once the adults die, poor off the water and let the sand dry out. Then add fresh distilled water and the eggs will hatch, switch to changing water with spring water once they hatch [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] You'll get a million babies, but they will eat each other untill the numbers are proper.
    There is no item greater in value than life, for without life value would cease to exist.
    My Grow List

  5. #5

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    Oh aquariums, right. Lets see, they had lots of different froggies, mostly poison arrow of various spiecies, but some treefrogs too. One neet section had different cockroach spiecies, some scopions and a giant millapeed. They had stuff like perhanna(sp?), all sorts of catfish spiecies, oh and a really cool electric eel tank with a series of lights hooked to it. That was cool because the lights would start out bright and get dimmer along the series as a way to measure the output of the fish. It would go up and down a little even though the fish didn't look like they where doing anything. They also had a similar machine hooked up that you could put your hand againced to see you resting electrical output. Lets just say we can't compeat, although it did strike me with an odd though, in the Move The Matrix, humans are used to power the machiens, why didn't they use electric eels insted, I bet eels would of complained less, lol!

    One of the newer parts was the coral reef exhibit. They had lots of cool critters, but my favoret where the garden eels. They are so amazingly cute! They come in all colors and burry their tails in the sand pretending to be plants. They look like little candy canes sticking out of the sand but with big cute eyes. Their is also a spot where they have a glass FLOOR and you can see the blue spotted rays and blue spotted sting rays swimming ballow you. The point was the blue spotted ray mimics the sting ray so well you can't tell which is which. They had a bunch of sharks, but most where fairly young, their was also a shark incubator that was back lit so you could see the embrios wiggling around in their eggs! They had Chamberd Nautalis, but they where hidding and not real active when I was their [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] Oh and these wierd fish called flashlight fish that have a bioluminesent bacteria that lives in their eye tissue, very bizar. It was cool.
    There is no item greater in value than life, for without life value would cease to exist.
    My Grow List

  6. #6
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    sounds like you had an awesome time! Good for you!

    On the corn, I would seriously not worry about polinating if there is a HUGE field nearby, it will take care of it for you! (wind drift&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    And yes, Cardboard is a great idea! Matter of fact, Newspaper is better! I don't know why that slipped, as we use that technique to prepare a new garden! Don't worry about leaded ink, that is illegal now, but do only use black and white sections.

    Lay it out, 5 or 6 pages thick if possible, Spray it down lightly as you go, keeping it moist so the wind doesn't ruin anything. When you can, get rocks on it to weigh it down. (and walk lightly on the wet paper, tears easily&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] When all is said and done, you starve the plants below from light, and if your sun is hot enough (like in texas) you bake the little buggers too.
    The newspaper will also allow the ground to continue breathing so that your beneficial critters will still be alive when you are done.

    Don't get to close to the plants you want to keep though, you don't want the heat to damage the roots!

    Just leave the paper on all season, eventually through rain and the elements, it will start to break apart and you can just turn it into your soil, the cellulose will add a nice light composition to it, improving it.

    Also, don't know if you have done it allready, beneficial nematodes are awesome, they kill grubs and other larvae that can effect root health. If you want to do a fun experiment with beneficial insects as a control, you can buy a bait that simulates femal soldier bugs, the males will swarm from miles around and jab their probiscus into anything that looks tasty, usually caterpillars and other nasties, I saw one eating a grasshopper last week.

    If you make a ladybug house (plans all over google) you will increase your population next year, aiding you that way. We have two, but have to keep the hornets and mud dobbers out.

    Last year our gardens got razed by the grasshopper swarms that just devestated practically every garden in south texas (one step in a back yard would send about 20 1 inchers skittering around) we had tomatoe bushes nibbled to within an inch of the ground, entire rose bushes defoliated and killed, I kid you not, it was horrible. Towards the end of the season, we bought a bunch of praying mantis egg cases and hatched them. Never saw hide nor hair of the little buggers after they took off, (we have a 69 acre ranch) but this year the grasshoppers are manageable, and we have a TON of adult mantisis hanging out all over the place... vry nice. We have also seen a sharp population in scorpions... but recent observation seems to point to one of the new dogs, who bites off the stinger and then eats the scorpion... I tell you, that mouth must be made of sterner stuff, and they must taste REALLY good!

    (Now if I can get her to stop laying on my artichoke plants (down to one now! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img] )
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

  7. #7
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    Hi Darcie! Can you post the pic of the Beluga Whale? I've only seen them from the top while they're bumping me around while I'm trying to fish and I've never been able to get a good pic [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img] That would be so cool to be able to actually see it in an aquarium where you could see the whole whale. I only get to see a bunch of white humps in the water LOL
    Sorry.. everyone else is talking about corn and I'm stuck on the marine life.. but we don't have any big aquariums like that here so it would be awesome to see pics [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8

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    Hmmm, yes well, curently we are working on reducing the lady bug population up here. See, they hybernate in houses and bite during the fall and while normally it's not an issue, we have had thousands the last few years, so many that people knotessed they bite in the fall. I usually get 500+ lumped in the corners of my bedroom each fall. And if you sit down outside, you'll even see the lavea manuvering through the grass chasing down other critters. I do luv Mantids though, I've tried cases in the past, but I always get duds [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] thankfully, we have a decient population here already and I usually seed 1 egg case, 1 baby and 1 adult per year (I have no idea why it's one of each, but it is, lol) Solderbugs, yup yup got them and assasin bugs and ambush bugs and spiders gallor! Actually, this year has been really weird, almost no nasty insects and just gobs of the good guys. I've only seen 3 mosquetoes the whole year! And not one Japanises beetle!
    There is no item greater in value than life, for without life value would cease to exist.
    My Grow List

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