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Thread: First opportunity at a garden

  1. #9
    Axelrod12's Avatar
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    Oh and one more question. Kind of expected but there were lots of different bugs while we were digging. I can't ID anything beyond a typical earthworm so I don't know if any of them were bad or not. Should I consider any sort of organic insect control?

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    Safer soap is all you should need for a while. Don't worry about bugs until they're visibly eating/affecting your plants. It is unlikely you will have pest problems for your first year--most garden pests overwinter in the dead leaves of previous gardens. Since you've never gardened on that spot it'll take a while for them to find your plants. It's important to collect and burn the plants after they die in the fall--best organic control you can do!

    You should learn to ID basic garden pests beforehand like cutworms, tobacco hornworms, aphids, potato beetles, flea beetles, and squash bugs. Each veggie you plan to grow will have its own specific set of pests and it'll help to do research related to what you want to grow.

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    Axelrod12's Avatar
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    Here's another one. Organic fertilizer. Maybe I'm reading too much into it but it seems I'd need around 5 different products to provide the plants with the nutrients they need. Manure, guano, kelp, and blood meal keep coming up. Is there an easy way to fertilize the soil or do I need to create some sort of custom mix.

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    While you will need to feed your plants, I would strongly, strongly suggest not trying to mix your own blend of fertilizer. You can cause more harm than good. Fertilizers affect pH, fruit growth, overall plant health, disease and cold resistance, susceptibility to pests, etc. If anything is unbalanced you may end up with situations that are hard to get out of. Wait until you have a couple years under your belt, and try to stick with premixed products. Miracle-Gro is a great beginner food.

    I don't do organic fertilization for my veggies because I am cheap and I want feeding to be simple. I can't recommend anything other than Dr. Earth products because John Brittnacher has used them to great effect on his rose garden. http://drearth.net/products/recipe-f...vegetable-kit/ I've seen what Dr. Earth does, but otherwise my experience here is limited. Fertilize at the recommended rate and always feed right before a rainstorm to avoid burning. If your plants wilt at all the next day, you've overfertilized and can solve this problem simply by watering them a lot until no wilting is observed.

    Lay down some fertilizer now that you've got bare ground so that it can leach into the soil for when you plant your transplants. You're probably too late to start most things from seed, so go grab nice big plants from the store.

    At home my recipe is a rough blend of 50% 10-10-10 fertilizer, 50% granulated limestone (not powdered--dissolves and burns more quickly and hard to spread!) and maybe a 6" pot worth of Ironite for a 5-gal bucket of mix. I hand-guesstimate and feed very little, but frequently. Maybe once every two weeks or whenever I notice the plants slowing down in growth or fruiting.
    Last edited by theplantman; 05-31-2014 at 01:50 PM.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    I can't imagine what's simpler than a 1" layer of composted manure worked into the top 6" of soil. If you plan on tomatoes add about a cup of granulated lime per 10 ft2. Done.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    Axelrod12's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Tons of help so far. I was out looking for some ferts today and kinda got suckered into buying some bagged soil bacteria stuff. What he said made sense based on what I've read so far. So is it all garbage and I should return it or can it help out some. It wasn't overly expensive so if it even might help I may try it. Opinions?

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    Axelrod12's Avatar
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    The product is called root organics oregonism xl by the way.

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    Axelrod12's Avatar
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    I left a decent section dug out for a bog but I think I've decided not to go forward with the bog aspect at least for the time being. I still haven't tested whether the amount of light will be acceptable and I simply don't have enough Sarrs and VFTs to fill in the space I'd like to cover.

    I added around an inch of compost to the rest of the space along with some corn gluten meal for weed control, but with the added bonus of being a nitrogen source, bat guano for phosphorus. Potassium will come from the compost and from a kelp fert I will use as a foliar spray as needed. I went a little light on the corn gluten meal and guano because I don't want to overdo it and burn plants. I'm not sure as far as the lime though. I'm a little nervous I added too much so I gave the soil a good soak to hopefully wash away any excess.

    I went to a local garden center that sells all organic plants and just got an assortment of different veggies and stuff we like. I figure if I give a wide assortment a shot I'll figure out what works and what I need to work on more. From memory edibles include cherry tomatoes, asparagus, swiss chard, romaine, zucchini, cucumbers, raspberries, strawberries, bush beans, and I know a few others I can't remember at the moment.

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