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Backyard Gardens: Time to get busy.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had Stupice before but this is the first time I'm growing it. It's a fine tasting tomato -- far from my favorite but the big plus is they ripen as much as 30 days before any other full-size tomato. They're also a good choice for foggy and damp climates. So, depending on how close you are to the shore, you might want to consider them.

I hope you have great luck with the Cherokee Purples. I think they're sensational. I wonder if you'll find, however, that they need a good bit of heat. There are some blacks that will do well provided the days are long enough and others that don't quite come alive in flavor until they've been subjected to some real heat. Black from Tula and Southern Nights are Russian varieties that I would assume do well in northern climes. I've grown them both and both are among my absolute favorites.

This CP business is a completely anecdotal finding on my part but it's based on group of tomato hobbiests. Within the group there seemed to be a division in people who loved CP and were from more southerly climes and people who were rather cool on it who came from cooler climates. I always thought that the difference was that they never developed their full flavor because of the relative temperatures. A full-flavored CP is sooooo delicious that I can't believe there's a person on earth who wouldn't crave 'em. Wink

To be safe, plant it where it gets the maximum amount of sun and even, if possible, against a reflective wall that will intensify the heat.

And don't be disappointed if you don't get too many. What I've found is the larger the fruit, the lower the yield.

Are you just growing out seeds now? I used to but we are sooooo lucky that people have discovered the incomparable superiority of heirlooms and now almost all of our nurseries have an heirloom plant section. ...at least for tomato plants.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey,
You are so lucky to have good nurserys there ours are a bit lacking in veggies. Most of the places around here have pretty extensive grounds so they really cater to people who are filling large spaces. I think veggies are sort of an after thought.
Thanks for the tip on the CP I will be mindful of that when I am planting. We get a lot of heat in the summer but I think the spring is supposed to be a bit unpredictable.
You always have great tips thanks Rainey! We novice gardeners need all the help we can get!
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Tammy



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 27
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 5:59 pm    Post subject: Grubs Reply with quote

I'm hoping someone can help me out with this one. We have grubs in our backyard. My partner has done a little research and found out that if you put potato where they are they'll flock to it, then you take it out and put it in soapy water. That kills them. We're going to plant the poatato this weekend but my question is this? How long do we leave it in the ground before removing it?

Any help would be great!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tammy- Have you sent a private message to Dairy_Queen? I bet she's the one who could really help you.

The only grubs I ever get are in my compost pile and they're a harmless fruit moth so I've never troubled myself about getting rid of them.
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Grubs Reply with quote

Hey Tammy,
No need to send me a PM on this; I'll post the answers for all to know.

First "grubs" is a generic term that can mean ANY larval stage of a beetle. Do you know which 'type' of larve you're dealing with?

Second, HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE GRUBS????????? The reason why I ask this, with 49 years of history in the "Green Industry", is that I've only seen one actual case of "grubs" in my life and that was at a back greens on a golf course.

There will always, always be larve living in the soil; we want this and need this because it means that our soil is healthy! But, with all the gardens that I tend professionally and have cared for these past 15 years, I've maybe run across 6 June Bug grubs the entire length of my work experience.

It may sound like I'm being harsh about this, and in a way, I am....but it's NOT directed at YOU!!!!! Even though my clients have full access to me, you can't believe the amount of times that they will do a "self-diagnosis" of something, run off to Home Depot, where a pimply-faced employee will sell them the latest poison put out by ORTHO. Then, when the client proudly tells me that they, themselves, treated the "rot, the bug, the fungus"...I have to tell them that it was "hail damage, acid damage from the painters, or sun scald".! And these are the VERY SAME PEOPLE who go to Whole Foods and pay 50% more for organic milk and produce, all the while they are poisoning their own back yards!!!

So, be very, very sure that you have a "grub problem" before you treat it. According to the industry, 2-3 grubs per square foot of space is normal and acceptable; 3-8 is a cause for concern; and 8-?? is time to treat it.

It sounds as if you are planting a garden and the area that you're planting has the "grubs". All you really have to do is work a good bag of manure into a 6 square foot area, turning the soil "over" to a depth of 6-8 inches. You'll loosen up any grubs that are in the soil, and what I've done in the past is simply leave the grubs out, and a robin or grackle will swoop down to devour them.

With food products, even the chemicals that are sold out there, you have to be so, so careful, because leaf veggies will suck up EVERY SINGLE POISON that is in the soil and even "organic" treatments tell you NOT to harvest produce if strayed within 2-3 weeks.

Joni Mitchel was right, when she said, "Give me spots on my apples...but leave me the birds and the bees...please!" I have over 30+ full time clients, most with kids and pets, so I have to have a 100% organic treatment of my gardens. In 15 years of having my own firm, there has NEVER been an outbreak of fungus or insect that I haven't been able to control...naturally.

If you have very specific questions about your grubs, just leave the question HERE, and then everyone can benefit. And once again, I was NOT yelling at you or anyone else out there! I'm just saying that people don't equate how dangerous these over-the-counter poisons really are and the damage (short and long term) that they do to ourselves and the environment.

Here's also a link with good background on grubs, but of course they want you to use a deadly poison to control them, too! Shocked http://www.pestproducts.com/whitegrubs.htm
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cynthiaLW



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 13
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:18 pm    Post subject: Toxic treatments Reply with quote

Hurray- thanks for saying so exactingly what I was thinking.
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:37 am    Post subject: Re: Toxic treatments Reply with quote

Thanks, cynthiaLW; your words mean a lot to me!

It's hard talking to clients, face to face, and three times as hard, trying to convey information over the Internet where any phrase can be misinterpreted as harsh or mean-spirited. I'm glad that I got across what you were thinking.

Honestly, I am astonished at the naivity of people regarding poisoning their own yard! When I have clients ask me to buy them "pretty pink and blue hydrangeas", I nod and then ask them, "Do you want me to then put arsenic or aluminum in your drinking water?. They look at me with HORROR, not understanding what I said. I then explain, that to keep the hydrangeas that color, I have to either add arsenic sulfate to the soil, where it persists for years, or aluminum sulfate, which is a possible link to Alzheimer's. Wouldn't you know it....when they hear that, they kick the idea of "pretty hydrangeas" to the curb!

And my Darwin Award goes to the Chicago Circuit Court Judge who was a client of mine, who ended up putting himself into the E.R. room. He bought TRIOX, a nasty-ass fungicide/insecticide product. Apparently, as told to me by his wife, after he put the milky solution into the water-dillution sprayer, he couldn't see the "milky liquid" coming out. So the IDIOT held his hand under the sprayer, trying to see if his hand "became white" from the fungicide!!! Shocked Within half an hour, he had shortness of breath and was dizzy, ending up being driven to Evanston Hospital for toxicity and poisoning. He soooooo overdosed himself that day, that his LD-50 (amount of solution that will KILL 50% of a population: means Lethal Dose of 50%) went over the limit and he can't be exposed to ANY chemical with fungicide....ever again!

You need a prescription to buy antibiotics, but not to buy poisons that kill you and the Planet.

I don't get it.
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cynthiaLW



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 13
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:54 am    Post subject: Plants and fertilizer Reply with quote

Yes, I agree, Dairy_Queen. This afternoon I planted out 8 Oriental Lily bulbs in my perennial bed, and the only fertilizer I used was a bag of chicken manure. I hope it was the right thing, but I'll be lucky if the neighborhood cats or racoons don't dig them up. Don't get me started on the whole antibiotics issue. Everytime I work, I have to make allowances for patient's infections that do not respond to antibiotics. Sometimes life is just way too complicated. Guess its time for me to call it a day and crash.
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 4:26 am    Post subject: Re: Plants and fertilizer Reply with quote

cynthiaLW: Depending on the ratio of manure to soil.....er....well.....you just might need to dig up your Oriental Lilies! (Dairy Queen scampers away and waits for anvil to fall!)

NO BULBS, WHATSOEVER, CAN EVER COME IN CONTACT WITH MANURE! It rots them out, completely! Sorry, Darling, and you with the good posts and back patting for me!

It's just that I want you to Succeed with your pretty lilies, not fail, and if you placed the manure in direct contact with the bulbs....da-da-DAH....you'll end up waiting for nothing! Now, if the manure is scattered w i d e l y in the area, you might be safe, but...

I hope you're not upset with me for telling you this, but it's one of the canons of Horticulture. The manure creates too much heat and it destroys the bulbs, whether lily, tulip, narcissus or whatever. Sorry, cynthiaLW. I'll just keep my mouth shut from now on. Embarassed
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cynthiaLW



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 13
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I'm not too worried. I'm going to be working 12 hour shifts for the next 4 days, so there's no way those babies are gonna get dug up. The way I planted them was to dig a hole of three shovels of dirt, tossing the dirt into my wheelbarrow, add a couple handfuls of manure and some potting soil from last years' pots and mix it all up with my hands. Then I put one shovel full of this mixture back into the hole, carefully place the bulb, and cover it up with my mixture. That's how I did my tulips and daffs last fall and I have some really beautiful flowers out there blooming now. I bet you're a lot more precise than I am with planting, but then its your profession. I do seem to have a degree of success anyway. Thanks for your concern, and I'll let you know how the lilies turn out.
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I can go to sleep tonight! The way that you described YOUR process, it's going to turn out alright. The manure is so diluted in the soil mix that it will just enrich the soil.

I was referring to people who place cow manure or mammal manure directly in contact with irises or bulbs. In those cases, the bulb/rhizome/corms....will just rot out.

I'm sure your lilies will be thanking you for your loving care in a couple of months!
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Tammy



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 27
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:43 pm    Post subject: Grubs Reply with quote

Thank you so much Dairy-Queen for your very thorough response! And let me just say right off the top...I NEVER intended to run out and buy pesticide. That's why the potato solution seemed so appealing.

Okay, let me start answering your questions. How do I know we have grubs? A couple of things would suggest it: 1. our landlord told us we do (but he's not the best source admittedly) and 2. actually, I don't think there really is a no. 2. The evidence we have is a torn up LAWN (not a garden). Our landlord told us it was because "critters" were digging to get the grubs. Mel, my partner, subsequently found out that it's skunks who like them, not racoons, which was my first city-girl instinct. And I've run into skunks in the yard on the way to the garage on more than one occasion so we do have skunks in the 'hood.

Also, Mel's research turned up some info about june bugs, which we defintiely have in the yard and the fact that certain species of wasps hover around because they like to lay their eggs where the larvae is. We have so many wasps in the summertime that I have to go into the house to get away from them!

Mel and I are going to dig up some of the soil tonight to see if we can actually SEE the grubs ourselves. We definitely need proof before doing anything drastic! We'll post the pics if we can figure out how.

So, what should we do about it if it is a grub problem? Half our lawn is torn up and we just want that to stop. We don't have a problem with a grub or two. I totally agree with you that they're necessary to our ecosystem so should have the right to live here too.

Thanks again for your help DQ. What a wonderful wealth of knowledge you are!
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Tammy



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 27
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 11:28 pm    Post subject: Grubs Reply with quote

Okay, we did some digging and here's what we found. What we think is ONE grub. That's it! My theory is that whatever's digging to get them, got them.

Unfortunately, I'm not able to post pictures so would it be alright to e-mail them to you?

Many thanks!!
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news Tammy---and once again nature takes care of itself!
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Tammy



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 27
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really David. We still have huge holes in our lawn. What do we do about those? Won't the critters continue to dig looking for grubs? How do we stop it from happening next season? (As I'm not sure where the larvae are in their life cycle. Apparently it's a three year cycle.)
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