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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:34 am 
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I found a similar problem in another gardening forum. Take a look and let me know what you think! Did you recently apply a pesticide to the basil? Those are photo toxic. It does look like sunburn to me. Basil can take full sun, but doesn't do well in the cold.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load ... 46357.html

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:59 am 
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Probably a silly question, but I'm very much a novice gardener trying to make the most of my apartment's porch:

I'm growing tomatoes upside down in d-i-y topsy turvy planters (made from 5 gallon buckets) and they're doing ok (growing lots, lots of leaves, a few little yellow flowers) but a lot of the leaves have some brown spotting and small holes. Not sure what the problem is. I'm wondering if this could be over-watering, as we've had a LOT of rain here in Michigan the last few weeks.
Also, I have one tomato that is getting really big (they are romas, the one I have is probably almost golf-ball sized) but nothing else sprouting that looks like a tomato. Like I said, I have a few flowers, I just don't know what to expect and when.
Does any of this sound normal?

Thanks a million bazillion!


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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:17 pm 
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Dearest Superherogirly:

Go to the tomato thread. I personally haven't found the upside down approach to be any better than others, and I'm growing both side by side to take notes this year. They are space savers for sure, but stay on top of your watering--those roots are so vulnerable! You can buy something called soil moist-(comes in regular or natural) to add to those planters to hold in the water.

I just posted a link to common tomato problems in the thread. Take a looksie and let me know if you have further questions.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:15 pm 
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What do you think Jewwy?

Image

Slugs? I sprayed everywhere with a garlic/hot pepper mixture, plus you know, hazelnut shells. However they aren't exactly the recommended depth... :P I didn't see any bugs whatsoever on any of my plants when I went during mid-day, so that usually means something that doesn't love the sun like slugs right? Dang.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:22 pm 
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Thanks! Yeah, that's what mine looks like, but it's just on the tips. If it can handle sun well, I'm wondering if I put it out one morning when it was too cold. No pesticide, just water!

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:06 am 
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Also, Have you heard of the brand 'Dr. Earth' for fertilizers (liquid solution)? Ingredients seem vegan...

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:19 am 
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Oh Mars--the tragedy to your plants! I would think slugs would hate the shells! Perhaps you have a family of hungry ants that find your greens tasty? Look on the undersides of leaves. Do you see caterpillars or what appears to be eggs? Many caterpillars are baby moths: they pupate from the soil, emerge as moths, lay eggs on leaves, eggs hatch, and the little forkers eat your plants. My next step would be the application of insect dust: it protects your plants from all creepy crawlies, including slugs:

http://www.wormsway.com/detail.aspx?t=prod&sku=DID705

It is made from pulverized diatoms--which are NOT shellfish, but are living algae. I've said it before, I'm not the vegan po-po, so you'll have to make the call.

Just in case you were wondering, I include Worm's Way links because this is where I work. We're an employee owned company, so I have a serious interest in the success of what we sell. If you call the 1-800-274-WORM number, there's a 1 in 3 chance you'll talk directly with me! If you get one of the guys, just ask for Jen and they'll patch you through. I get paid to discuss and help with all things garden related, and am the only one company wide with experience in veganic gardening.

Regarding "Dr. Earth" brand fertilizer, do you have a list of ingredients? You can google them to see if they are animal derived. Many commercial plant foods do have blood, bone, feather, fish, and other kinds of non vegan meal in them--not to mention they are bad for the soil because of chemical run off.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:59 am 
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jewbacca wrote:
It is made from pulverized diatoms--which are NOT shellfish, but are living algae. I've said it before, I'm not the vegan po-po, so you'll have to make the call.

I'm fairly okay with the idea of using this, I mean, the damage is pretty bad, it's not just those beans, it's actually almost everything... No I didn't see eggs but I wasn't 'looking' for them either. My only worry is... won't it kill butterflies too? Do you think there might be a way to apply it so the butterflies don't get any on them?

jewbacca wrote:
Regarding "Dr. Earth" brand fertilizer, do you have a list of ingredients? You can google them to see if they are animal derived. Many commercial plant foods do have blood, bone, feather, fish, and other kinds of non vegan meal in them--not to mention they are bad for the soil because of chemical run off.

Yeah, it's an organic fertilizer so no bad runoff... there are ingredients and I did look them up, but it was very vague. It's all very mineral-y sounding, like 'potassium sulfate' (it's actually pretty much all sulfates). Wikipedia didn't say anything about sulfates being sourced from animals at all, though it didn't say it wasn't. One ingredient says 'rock phosphate (mined)'... so I imagine maybe since it specifically points out that it is mined they are trying to say it is not animal-sourced, therefor maybe insinuating it's safe? Heh. Anyways, I ask because my local nursery didn't have too many options for what seemed to be both vegan and organic. For some reason I really prefer getting all my gardening stuff in person, rather than buying from online! I have no idea why, I buy other stuff online. But hopefully other people will buy from your shop, now that we know that link is to your place maybe we'll be more likely to, heh. :)

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:20 am 
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Ah, butterflies. Yes, DE would pose a problem for them. Butterflies are attracted to flowers and moist soil, so I'm thinking the foliage on the ground wouldn't interest them.Try a controlled ring of DE around the base of the plant and away from the leaves.

Plant some marigolds near your precious greens. The pyrethrins in the flowers deter many bugs. Unfortunately, slugs like them.

Your other option-(it's expensive) is Azamax. It is an organic pest control product that works systemically and foliarly. Azamax's main component is azaderachtin a byproduct of the neem seed. Most bugs don't like it. The manufacturer states it won't bug bees or butterflies either, but boy howdy--it ain't cheap.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:40 pm 
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There were certainly some options for expensive ones, but this one here is okay priced... maybe it's not as good as that other kind. Other one just says 'broad spectrum', this one doesn't... but it doesn't say what it's supposed to do really.
Amazon link

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:18 pm 
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I just started this year growing everything from seed. My spring garden was ok but my carrots never got very big. Then I started my summer garden. The tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash all sprouted up fine but then only the squash grew. They were spaced apart so and I fed them so I just can't figure out what happened. Then I relented and bought a tomato start and it go pretty big in the same soil. And the sprouts are still there! I keep hoping that they will grow up but now it is too hot for tomatoes anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:06 pm 
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Hey Lazy Smurf:

Carrots actually do best in containers. Aubade has an awesome "seed tape" approach on her blog where she talks about how to evenly space them out. Carrots thrive in soil or medium that is super fine so they can grow really big.
You also want to grow carrots in succession, unless you want a buttload of carrots all at once. What were you feeding the other plants? Do you know what the pH and nutritional breakdown is of your soil? Did you grow them in raised beds. Sorry to plague you with more questions, but this can give me and other forum members more info.

Knowing the pH and soil analysis of your soil is like an oven thermometer is to an oven--it can really make or break the success of your plants! County extension offices will do this for free, or you can get a cheapo soil pH test kit to know where you stand. If your pH is too high or too low, you could be poisoning or starving your plants.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:58 pm 
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LazySmurf wrote:
I keep hoping that they will grow up but now it is too hot for tomatoes anyway.

I don't know much about heat and tomatoes, but mine are doing fine in the heat. I transplanted seedlings maybe three weeks ago, and they're blooming and fruiting now. Maybe some are more heat tolerant than others?


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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:40 pm 
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mollyjade wrote:
LazySmurf wrote:
I keep hoping that they will grow up but now it is too hot for tomatoes anyway.

I don't know much about heat and tomatoes, but mine are doing fine in the heat. I transplanted seedlings maybe three weeks ago, and they're blooming and fruiting now. Maybe some are more heat tolerant than others?


Yes! Since I posted I have learned a lot more, mine stopped growing cause it got to hot and there are different varieties. Cherries do better in the heat. Mine has flowers that are probably all going to fall off because it is too hot at night! They need a drop in temp or otherwise they are working to hard. I'm thinking about bringing mine into the AC.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:44 pm 
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jewbacca wrote:
Hey Lazy Smurf:

Carrots actually do best in containers. Aubade has an awesome "seed tape" approach on her blog where she talks about how to evenly space them out. Carrots thrive in soil or medium that is super fine so they can grow really big.
You also want to grow carrots in succession, unless you want a buttload of carrots all at once. What were you feeding the other plants? Do you know what the pH and nutritional breakdown is of your soil? Did you grow them in raised beds. Sorry to plague you with more questions, but this can give me and other forum members more info.

Knowing the pH and soil analysis of your soil is like an oven thermometer is to an oven--it can really make or break the success of your plants! County extension offices will do this for free, or you can get a cheapo soil pH test kit to know where you stand. If your pH is too high or too low, you could be poisoning or starving your plants.


I'm pretty sure the carrots didn't get big because I didn't thin them enough. It seemed like I spent the entire spring (well it was like 2 weeks) thinning carrots. Next year I will definitely try the tape method. I am surprised you can grow them in containers! I thought they needed fairly deep soil.

It was the tomatoes I really cared about! It is just too dang hot. I have one beautiful one and I'm worried something else is going to eat it. Is there anything I can put over it that I would have to buy?

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:26 am 
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Lazy Smurf: some home and garden centers have row covers, that allow rain and sun to get to the plants, but keep moths and other pests out. I'm a fan of using netting cloth, which one can purchase at most sewing/fabric stores.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:59 am 
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Lots of shrubs are on sale right now. My mother-in-law keeps telling us not to buy them because they'll just die. We think they'll be fine if we just keep them watered and don't let them dry out. Besides that, most of what we're buying are shade-loving plants. Do we take advantage of sales or wait until fall to plant, when prices will be surely be higher, but we won't be subjecting our plants to alleged doom.

(It was so hard not to ask my question Dear Abby style, but I couldn't come up with a clever signature.)

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:52 am 
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Take advantage of the sales, Ms. Dee-zigned. If you read them articles from your favorite gardening magazine, sing some Chopin, keep them watered, and keep them in the shade, you should be good. You can get something called plant success-(comes in granular, tablet, or soluble) with mycorhizae, which is a beneficial bacteria that clings to the root hairs and allows for better nutrient uptake. I'd go with something that has that in it or putting in some good ol' worm castings in the hole when you are planting.

http://www.wormsway.com/detail.aspx?t=prod&sku=PSG450

There's the product description. I post links from this site because that's where I work. In fact, if you call the 1-800-274-WORM, there's a 1 in 3 chance you'll talk to me. You can always ask for Jen and they'll patch you through.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:52 pm 
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hi :)

i have several questions if you dont mind

#1 how long does a packet of unplanted seeds last? ie: are the seed packets that have been sitting on my bookshelf in my sunroom for 3 years no good?

#2 i planted broccoli and cauliflower in raised beds this year. the broccoli has already produced "fruit" and i even ate some last night. the cauliflower is still just leaves. the leaves are a teeny bit yellow. i gave them some organic fertilizer yesterday and some more compost. is this normal cauliflower behavior? do they "bloom" later?

#3 why do i always kill my cilantro but my basil and parsley are fine?

#4 does kale "bolt" like lettuce will?

#5 we planted asparagus this year. i know we cannot harvest it til next year. is it normal that it is insanely tall and razor thin?

thank you so much :-)

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:32 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
hi :)

i have several questions if you dont mind

#1 how long does a packet of unplanted seeds last? ie: are the seed packets that have been sitting on my bookshelf in my sunroom for 3 years no good?

All have exp dates. Give 'em a try and see what happens. I just made some snow peas from 09 germinate this season.

#2 i planted broccoli and cauliflower in raised beds this year. the broccoli has already produced "fruit" and i even ate some last night. the cauliflower is still just leaves. the leaves are a teeny bit yellow. i gave them some organic fertilizer yesterday and some more compost. is this normal cauliflower behavior? do they "bloom" later?

I don't know a ton about cauli. It is possible they bloom later. The yellowing leaves sounds like a nitrogen deficiency. What food are you feeding them? I'll read up on this tonight.

#3 why do i always kill my cilantro but my basil and parsley are fine?
Cilantro is a fussy herb. I always have problems with it. Bolts too damned quick for my liking, so I just pay the 49 cents a bunch to get it at the store. My other friends grow it just fine so maybe the plant just hates the both of us. (wink-wink)

#4 does kale "bolt" like lettuce will?
Yep. Herbs and greens just need nitrogen and will bolt with elevated levels of P and K in addition to high heat and extended periods of sunshine.

#5 we planted asparagus this year. i know we cannot harvest it til next year. is it normal that it is insanely tall and razor thin?
Yes. Asparagus is in the lily family, so it might take one or two full seasons for it to grow. It is a spring crop.

thank you so much :-)


You are very welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:50 pm 
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This thread is awesome! Thanks so much! I may be calling you this fall when I plan out the raised beds and fruit tree(s). Our plan is to leave as little lawn as possible. Next stop, composting!

I'm kind of afraid of what I'm going to come home to this week, though. Mr. K just texted me "Sweet!! I'm going back to the nursery and stocking up!"

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:00 pm 
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jewbacca wrote:
Lazy Smurf: some home and garden centers have row covers, that allow rain and sun to get to the plants, but keep moths and other pests out. I'm a fan of using netting cloth, which one can purchase at most sewing/fabric stores.

That is a great idea!

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:58 pm 
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What's the best organic soil on the market? I looked at some today, and all were based on factory farm waste, which probably has more chemicals in it than normal fertilizer/soil.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:55 pm 
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designedtobekind wrote:
This thread is awesome!

It is <3

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:43 pm 
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chatter710 wrote:
What's the best organic soil on the market? I looked at some today, and all were based on factory farm waste, which probably has more chemicals in it than normal fertilizer/soil.

I doubt that was certified organic. For soil to be certified organic it has to be chemical and pesticide free for three years, all ingredients of it. To answer your question though I have no idea!

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