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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:19 am 
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Hey Dr Wookie:
this is an emergency question from my mom, who is at the edge of sanity.....
Something is pulling her recently-planted begonias out of the ground, maybe doing a little nibbling, but just pulling the mustards out of the ground at night. She goes out in the AM and replants, and the next morning, they're pulled out again. I would assume that the deer would *eat* the begonias if they were pulling them out, it seems like they're more having fun with my mother, but what do i know. She's about to buy the "deer off" stuff and i'd like to know if you think it's deer or if it's something else.
thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:11 am 
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torque, could it be a mole/vole burrowing under the plants pushing them out? My SIL has been having that issue with the petunias she planted, and now has to go out every morning and put them back into the ground.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:00 am 
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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.



Speaking in pure chemistry terms "organic" means it is carbon based. Many things are organic, including humans. Remember when the Coneheads referred to us as "carbon based life forms?" The factory farm waste you speak of is technically organic. Doesn't mean I'd use it, just letting you know. Look for things that read blood, bone, feather, meat, guano, frass, dung, manure, etc.

OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute) is the good housekeeping seal of orgainics; however, you have to have $$ for that tag, so many ferts, nutes, and soils on the market don't have that seal.

At work we have soil free options. Sunshine organic planting mix is 100% animal free, but the base is Canadian Peat Moss, which is non-renewable. The Canadian Peat Moss Association tries to propose that it's okay, but that's because they have financial motives.

It's really about what you can live with when it comes to soil and soil less mixes. I love coco coir, but while it is renewable, it is harvested in developing countries. Is that more ethically sound than peat moss? Depends on who you ask. I know neither one contains animal by products, so you have a decision to make.

You can also use stonewool/rockwool, although I think it's a pain in the asparagus to use. You have to pH adjust it first, treat it with some liquid seaweed and THEN you can germinate seeds or use loose shreds to grow plants in.

Hydroton (small terra cotta clay pebbles) is another option. They create great air/water ratio and plants love it. If you look at the Jewy's garden thread, I show a butternut squash I'm growing in a hydroton/coir combo using passive hydro. I water it, the water goes through the mediums, and I dump the water that filters through to the other plants. Pain in the butt part is I have to water the plant a couple of times a day.

Miracle grow soil has chemicals and animal by products-(usually feather and bone meal) in their soils.
I hope that helps!

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:00 am 
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Mars wrote:
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!


Yeah, that's why I thought it was bullshiitake. [badum ch]

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:07 am 
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ol' garly cooch
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torque wrote:
Hey Dr Wookie:
this is an emergency question from my mom, who is at the edge of sanity.....
Something is pulling her recently-planted begonias out of the ground, maybe doing a little nibbling, but just pulling the mustards out of the ground at night. She goes out in the AM and replants, and the next morning, they're pulled out again. I would assume that the deer would *eat* the begonias if they were pulling them out, it seems like they're more having fun with my mother, but what do i know. She's about to buy the "deer off" stuff and i'd like to know if you think it's deer or if it's something else.
thanks!



Torquirino:

Sounds like moles or voles to me, or even gophers or groundhogs. Do you have those in Brasil? Sorry to sound like an idiot, but I don't know much about the animals in Brasil.

All of these underground critters love to munch on the roots AND they are huge fans of Japanese beetle larvae. The larvae are like Little Debbie snack cakes to them. To rid yourself of these grubs, you can apply milky spore powder--which infects and kills the larvae and gets rid of the food source for the critters. You can also apply beneficial nematodes, which are little pinworms that eat ANY insect with a soil stage, but are harmless to people and pets. You can also take your pet waste and put it in the holes in the yard. Moles, voles, and friends will think a predator is near and go somewhere else.

There are other things on the market that kill these critters, but you can just redirect them elsewhere. We have a number of customers here that are big fans of the sonic mole chasers. You could find any of these items at gardening centers. Deer off is just something that either has animal urine or has been synthetically developed to smell like whiz.

I hope that helps you out! Good luck and keep me posted.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:19 pm 
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Thanks Wookster. My mom is in New Jersey, but believe me we have moles and gophers and such here (although we have no idea what the hell they're called, i have seen tunnels. Sprog says "topeira" but i have doubts, last time i checked that was the word for an open-palmed smack across the top of someone's head). Other pests, though, it's like a whole new universe. The insects that attack my garden make my head spin, and the online ID sites don't usually include southern-Brazilian attack beetles.
After further talking to Mom, she mentions that the plants do seem to be pretty chewed up, and the roots left alone, which to me says deer. She's just bought something made of rotten eggs, from what she tells me, and I can only thank my lucky stars i am far enough away to not smell it. It may get rid of the deer, but I bet it will be bear city there as soon as they smell it. Sadface.
Thanks anyway....

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:16 pm 
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Perhaps, I'm ignorant, but there are bears in NJ? Do they live in Hoboken and take the PATH train? I haven't been around the state, so I don't know. The only Jersey I've been to is Jersey City/Newark/Hoboken. Funny how limited I can be in my thinking.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:21 pm 
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it's bear overload out there! you need to ask Tofulish, she's a bear advocate if i remember (the response to the bear issue is to hunt them, and some valiant folks are trying to stop the hunt). Sue (TVT2) is another one.
you need to go about half an hour, 45 minutes west of Hoboken on a trash night, and you'll see a crapload. My mom lives as far west in NJ as you can get, right across the Delaware river from PA, in a rural cow town (pop 6,000) and the bears are a real problem, mostly due to overdevelopment and natural habitat loss (and easier access to trash to eat while natural food sources are destroyed). If my daughter wanted to go for a bike ride last summer, I had to go with her. We regularly encountered bears, and one of them was seriously as big as a pony. Scary shiitake!

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:14 am 
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thanks for your answers :-)

i find gardening to be overwhelming to my brain. i am picking up things here and there that stick but over all all the knowledge abotu each different plant and what it likes/needs and where it needs to be planted and soil ph and pests...........its all very overwhelming for a newbie.

plant fertilizer to me is all universal (i know its not in reality but im not there yet) we bought 10-10-10 fertizlier for our asparagus plants because we couldnt find what was recommended and those were the closest numbers we saw so i gave the cauliflower some 10-10-10 in the soil, workign it in and watered it and then dumped some compost on top.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:42 am 
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Hey Lisa:

Let me simplify it for you. All plants need to grow. You need a grow fertilizer for that stage. In NPK terms (Nitrogen Phosphorous Potassium) go with a 3-0-0, 5-1-1, but don't go any higher than 10 in the FIRST number. That stuff you have has an even NPK, but you don't need the P or K until the plant starts to fruit and flower. Some plants don't need it at all.

Green leafies need nitro: lettuce, herbs, root veggies, and greens

Flowery Fruities need phosphorous and potassium: If it flowers, makes a fruit/veg, or both then you give it this. Pay attention to your plants and they'll tell you all you need to know. When you buy a particular plant google everything you can on the plant or check out stuff at a library. I started working at a gardening center 3.5 years ago with very little gardening knowledge. I essentially had to unlearn everything I knew to learn what I know today. I'm still learning too! So hang in there, please. I believe if everyone gardened and grew their own food, we could really stick it to The Man. Viva la garden!

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:58 pm 
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i think this info is slowly permeating my brain now :-)

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:42 am 
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I have a question for you! We have two apple trees planted, one flowers briefly and the other doesn't seem to flower at all. Both have orange spots on the leaves but the one on the left (which doesn't bloom) seems to have a bit less and the spots are larger. The one on the right (which blooms and produces tiny edible apples) has more orange spots and smaller ones (see pic, it was taken today). Both seem to still be growing every year (the orange spots appear every year).
Image

What's up with these trees??

Also, this is what the right one looks like when it's flowered (this pic is a few years old):
Image

And this is from this year:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:47 am 
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Shankalicious, gimme a minute. I'm looking at mah handbook on natural insect and disease control. My knee jerk response is rust, but I may be wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:00 am 
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Okay, we have what appears to be cedar apple rust.

This is a fungal problem. On apples, rust symptoms commonly appear in spring, which later expand and turn orange.

Prevention and control: CAR completes its life cycle only if fungal spores can travel between cedar and apple trees. Do you have cedar trees near by? Fungi grows in cedars and they send spores to infect apple trees. However, infections on the apple tree do not spread within the tree; the fungus can only send spores back to infect cedar.

Rust fungi needs moisture, so prevention is the best control. Promote drying through pruning and site selection to limit disease problems. Plant apple trees if cedars are at least 4 miles away. Apply fungicides: Green Cure, Neem Oil, copper based fungicides,and Actinovate are all great fungicides. When pruning trees, place infected limbs and leaves away from your compost.

Information is from "The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control" by Barbara W. Ellis and Fern Marshall Bradley

The second picture looks like an ornamental apple tree, but I don't know for sure.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:13 am 
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We definitely have cedar trees nearby. There's one almost directly behind them and our neighbor in the back just planted about 6 more. The apple trees are also planted right in our "swamp area." It's the area that always seems to be very wet (my poppy thinks we have a spring there) and is also near where we pump the pool water out. Are our apple trees doomed?

The one that flowers is the one that produces apples, the other one just kind of sits there doing nothing. They start out with green leaves every year and then all of a sudden the orange appears. I don't think my nan ever prunes the trees. How would I apply something like neem oil? Right now, my grandparents way of treating the orange is to spray the hell out of it every year with chemicals which never does anything.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:21 am 
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Mars wrote:
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.


hey mars! i think that's slugs for sure. we are having an extra heavy slug-filled spring. look closely at the leaves and see if you notice anything that shimmers--they usually leave a little bit of their slime trail behind that dries out and turns shiny. sluggo is supposed to be super non-toxic to every creature except for slugs if you want to try some. also, hand picking works, you could re home them somewhere?

xo
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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:59 pm 
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i am a brand-new gardening infant, and we recently planted a large pot with four herbs. bunnies (i'm assuming) have since eaten two of the herbs (cilantro and parsley), so we're thinking the simplest solution there is to move the large pot up onto the picnic table. (yes?)

BUT... this bunny problem makes me a little concerned about planting the seedlings we got from the awesome stephanie. she gave us 2 kinds of sweet peppers (4 seedlings total) and 4 kinds of tomato (2 larger, and 2 cherry), and i'm a little afraid to plant them now, in case the bunnies will just eat them down to the ground. is that a valid concern? should i be investing in some kind of fencing before i plant those?

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:05 am 
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kittee wrote:
hey mars! i think that's slugs for sure. we are having an extra heavy slug-filled spring. look closely at the leaves and see if you notice anything that shimmers--they usually leave a little bit of their slime trail behind that dries out and turns shiny. sluggo is supposed to be super non-toxic to every creature except for slugs if you want to try some. also, hand picking works, you could re home them somewhere?

I've never been able to get to my plot early/late enough to hand pick them, there's none to be found. I did not see their shimmer on these beans, however there is some shimmer here and there around the plot. Update however... I did nothing, and while some got eaten into oblivion, enough beans survived and seem to be growing just fine. Now the thing I'm worried about is my cantaloupe. There were three little starts in the pot, and when I separated them, I lost a good amount of roots, they were just so delicate! So now two have died, one is alive but barely. Come on, little cantaloupe! I want to eat you...

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:42 am 
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Hey Bluedawg:

I'm a fan of hot pepper wax. It's cheap and it works. It'll keep any veggie eating varmint away from your noshables. Make sure you get the hot pepper wax animal repellent and not the insect repellent.

Mars, I swear by sluggo as well. You can take care of your cucurbits-(that's your mellons, squash, cukes) by making sure you inject the stalks with Bt. Squash vine borers love this family of plants.

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Is there a difference between ornamental and herbal rosemary? Are some varieties just better flavored for eating? There is a big rosemary in our front yard that was planted by the previous owners and I wanted to know if it'll be good enough to cook with or if I should invest in my own plant of a known variety.


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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:50 pm 
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There really isn't a difference. There are different breeds, but they have culinary applications. It can be trained like a bonsai tree!

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:44 pm 
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jewbacca wrote:
Hey Bluedawg:

I'm a fan of hot pepper wax. It's cheap and it works. It'll keep any veggie eating varmint away from your noshables. Make sure you get the hot pepper wax animal repellent and not the insect repellent.

thanks, i'll look into it! is this something that would just be used on the plants we don't eat ourselves? like, is it tough to rinse off (i.e., avoid the herbs)? my next stop is the ol' google but i thought i'd ask here, too, in case anyone has quick answers! :) and thanks again!

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:48 pm 
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Hey jewbacca, I've got a couple questions.

1)Is there anything(preferably non-chemically) I can put down to deter ants? I wouldn't mind them, but I hate trying to weed and getting ants all over myself.

2)When harvesting greens, how much can I take at one time? This is my first year growing kale, chard, and red leaf lettuce, and all look like I could take leaves now, but I'm wanting these plants to really take off and come back next year, so I'd hate to take too much too soon.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:21 pm 
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Hey Everyone:

Bluedawg, you can use HPW on edibles, you'll just have to rinse off. Follow package instructions. You don't want to spray it on in the middle of the day, or you'll cook your veggies in pepper wax. I spray mine at dusk or first thing in the morning, right around 8 a.m.

Gaia, ants are super beneficial in the garden. Take a look at Mollyjade's photo of them hauling off aphids in the BUGS BUGS BUGS thread. They also control scale and I saw one a couple days ago carrying away a slug carcass. If they truly bug you, I would suggest diatomaceous earth. The aforementioned thread talks about what that is in more detail.

When it comes to harvesting, it is really up to you. I like the baby ones, but there's nothing like a big ol' leaf of kale or chard to turn into chips or make your own raw tacos. Make sure you pinch and pull as close to the stalk of the plant as possible, so the plant can get busy making more leaves instead of trying to heal what it thinks is a big wound. I bet a chocolate covered newman o. that there's a Youtube tutorial out there. Hmmmm. Perhaps I'll start a thread!

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 Post subject: Re: They Call Me Dr. Worm: Ask a Lovable Wookie a Gardening
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:44 am 
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Thanks for you help, jewbacca! I guess I'll let the ants stay put for now.

I impulsively bought some strawberries yesterday and put them in a pot on my porch. I know they require fertilizer from everything I've read, but can I use my 10-10-10 on them or should I just wait and get different fertilizer next time I'm out? I've read conflicting things on the internet, so I figured I'd ask and get your opinion. Also, my SIL wants to know if there's anything she can do about tomato worms other than pick them off her plants 3x/day.

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