Gardening, Part 2

The placement of the chews seems to fall into two categories: 1. Tubes within foliage and 2. Tubes in the way of somewhere they want to dig. So far, we aren’t missing any pieces that we can tell. Hopefully they aren’t swallowing it, just accidentally chewing or removing an obstacle. I don’t mind replacing them- the attrition isn’t very high. Partner doubts they want the water inside- apparently buns can’t drink from standing water or something on the ground. Could be rats also- we’ve got some of those in the neighborhood

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Wow, thanks for the recommendation on Gary Pilarchik. He’s fantastic. I’ve watched a zillion gardening YouTube channels at this point but his is by far the most useful I’ve seen. Information dense, well structured content, down to earth (sorry) and easy going.

The challenge with learning from YouTube is always finding channels that don’t ramble on for 20 minutes before saying something useful, and finding channels that structure information pedagogically. Gary really hits those points. I finally feel like I understand seed starting and soil amending for raised beds, for example.

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I’d echo everything everyone else has mentioned and add one thing: if you’re looking for a quick easy “win” when you get started next spring, I cannot recommend sun gold cherry tomato plants highly enough. I generally buy seedlings, but starting from scratch isn’t that difficult. They have thrived everywhere I’ve tried them, from in a 5 gallon bucket beside the rental in KY to the raised bed here in maine to a border plant out back. And the fruit are so yummy, I just eat them like candy while I’m out weeding.

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Some plants ready for the garden.

The pole beans are putting out tendrils so they need to go in ASAP.

The small tray of plants in the foreground is labelled “Orange Pumpkin?” because I saved seeds from a number of squash last year but like an idiot I didn’t label which was which (I’ll remember!). Theres also “Ghost Pumpkin” and “Acorn Squash?”

By the way, I was at a garden center earlier and they were selling squash plants at $3.27 PER PLANT!! Pure insanity.

Spuds in grow bags

Lettuce is getting going, finally

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leaf miners! arrgh!
they are all in my long beans. eventually, the leaf will die, but the plant still makes beans (albeit, the yeild is reduced).


what do y’all know about these pests - a larval form of a type of fly - and what (besides harsh pesticides) discourages or eliminates them in your gardens? neem oil does not do a damn thing and we won’t use anything that could endanger our already greatly depopulated bees and other critical pollenators. sticky fly traps are right out due to the lizards that do eat bugs and are welcome in our gardens. we quite literally have hundreds and hundreds of little anoles, geckos, tokays and some i don’t even know. i couldn’t bear seeing them get stuck and suffer.

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If it’s early on, removing the infested leaves will slow down the overall damage.
When the larva have had their fill of the leaves, they drop down into the soil to pupate, then adults emerge, rinse and repeat. So a couple things you could try:
Plastic mulch beneath infested plants mean the larvae drop onto the plastic and give the ants (natural predators) time to gather them up and do your work for you.
If you don’t like the idea of plastic, you can use some inverted funnel traps to try to catch some of the adults as they emerge from the soil. It’s not great, and generally used more for monitoring effectiveness of pest control methods, but it would get some of them before they can lay eggs in more leaves.
Outside a greenhouse environment, those would be my first things to try. Good luck!

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I’d put diatomaceous earth on top of the pots, that will do in emerging adults, and a bit of neem beneath the leaves won’t hurt… but yeah, pull the badly chewed leaves and dispose of them away from those plants.

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I’ve used the DE for other stuff, but it is also potentially harmful to bees or other beneficial insects that come into contact with it. It’s a tough call, depends on what one is prioritizing.

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If he has solitary burrowing beeses it might be worth thinking twice, and I know it’s not good for worms, but used in moderation, in a small area of the garden, the effect should be pretty limited IMHO.

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@docosc Have you done your mushroom buckets yet? I got some sawdust spore and have a bunch of wood chips, but have been nervous to start them, not sure why. The weather’s been wacky here, from unseasonably hot and dry for a few days to cold and wet for the next few.

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I am planning to do them first of June. You can’t keep spores too long, i like to get them in within a week or so of receipt. (Length of viability differs for different strains.) First, make sure you have your buckets ready, drilled and enough chips to fill. Pasteurize the chips, layer chips and spores, then sit back and wait. I mentioned i like to put down a layer of chips, then some coffee grounds to add some nitrogen, then a sparse layer of spawn. Then repeat until full. It is really easy. At least, it is if you are growing super aggressive 'shrooms. There are touchier ones that require a lot more finesse and technique. I dont do those. :grin:

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Thanks! I’m mostly trying to figure out the mechanics of pasteurizing the wood chips in the containers I have available. Do you pour boiling water into a plastic bin full of chips? I find myself getting nervous about putting hot stuff into plastics not deemed “food safe,” you know?

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I do just that. Pour boiling water over them and let them sit until cool, usually overnight. I can’t speak to the use of nonfood safe plastics for this, considering the remove i don’t worry about that factor.

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Installed an arch trellis for the cucumbers and melons. It will also provide shade for the lettuce. Needs a lick of paint and i have another one to install later.

The missus has a thing for arches.

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Ooo an arch trellis for cucumbers! I’ve been having trouble finding cukes in our little forest. 3 grew without me noticing, hidden amongst the leaves.
Do you plant in both sides or just one? Or alternate?
I understand your missus’ fascination. Arches are nice! I’m sure it will look even better once it’s all leafed out

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I’m going to plant both sides and see how it goes.

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Good work!

Also… do bhean cheile! Dia duit!

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Thanks for all the tips! Chips are pasteurizing right now.
I have oyster and Lions mane spore to try out. It’s been a little over a week since I got them, so who knows, but once I’m all set up it seems like doing a “re-do” will be pretty easy if they don’t work.
I’m planning on sticking the buckets out back in a cool shady spot with the mushroom logs. I’ll post pics if we get anything!

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I’ll be setting mine up in a week or so. I will post as well.

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I’m pretty excited. This would be a really nice thing to add to our annual garden schedule. And easier than most things to keep away from hungry groundhogs!

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