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Old 02-12-2017, 04:52 AM
Location: Home in TN:)
18,715 posts, read 22,794,325 times
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Gardening seems to be a mixed bag. I have had a small garden for the past 8 years. Some years are good and some are bad. The cost is always high. I keep trying different things soil additives, growing some things in pots, moving the garden, different trellises, overhead watering, soaker sprinklers, individual planters for some plants, etc.

I do OK with lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, and I usually have enough zucchini for at least me.

I tried broccoli last year and the heads were beautiful but the worms were not Kale and collards did very well but I didn't care for them enough. My onions rarely get big. Peas have been good for me twice. Green beans have done OK…but those Japanese Beetles…ugh!! I cannot get green peppers to grow at all.

I have never had luck with herbs.

This year(winter) I have been seeing a lot of stink bugs. This worries me. I never heard of them before last summer when I was in PA. Since then I have seen them in VA, TN, TX, FL, SC and NC.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:59 AM
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
1,305 posts, read 502,906 times
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Originally Posted by ylisa7 View Post
This year(winter) I have been seeing a lot of stink bugs. This worries me. I never heard of them before last summer when I was in PA. Since then I have seen them in VA, TN, TX, FL, SC and NC.
I stopped veggie gardening three years ago. Since then I see maybe one or two stink bugs a year. Before that they were everywhere.
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:33 AM
Location: Dallas
4,889 posts, read 3,641,667 times
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I've gardened successfully my whole adult life - until I moved down South. I had very little luck getting any meaningful bounty from my gardens, despite huge efforts on my part to improve the soil and keep up with watering in this heat.

Not sure what the problem is, but I'm switching to container gardening this year and will hope for better results.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:54 AM
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
62,882 posts, read 69,057,996 times
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Originally Posted by aquietpath View Post
I've gardened successfully my whole adult life - until I moved down South. I had very little luck getting any meaningful bounty from my gardens, despite huge efforts on my part to improve the soil and keep up with watering in this heat.

Not sure what the problem is, but I'm switching to container gardening this year and will hope for better results.
good luck; we lived in Dallas 13 years and I never had a decent garden. The best I could manage was a few cukes. We had every kind of bug known to man kind, we had lousy soil and the heat made it almost impossible to keep the ground yet unless you had a sprinkler system. Everywhere else we have lived I have had a decent garden; not anything to brag about but always, at least a couple of things I can be proud of. Now, I do container gardening only.It takes some practice. Last year was better than the first year. The best we had was NM: cool nights, sunny days, a sprinkler system on a timer, good soil and not too many bugs. By the time the squash bugs took over (August) I was gald to let the little guys eat away, so were my neighbors. The got sick of my bringing them squash.
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Old 02-12-2017, 05:25 PM
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,367 posts, read 12,063,353 times
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For the past 6 or so years I've had my veggie garden, it has gotten easier to grow some things and harder to grow others. My soil is better now, and I know what veggies to plant when so I'm getting better with lettuce, spinach and peas. I got decent yields with peppers for the first time last year. Okra always does well.

Tomatoes were OK for a year, and then did badly. I'm not even sure I could grow a full size tomato now. Squash and cabbage-family veggies have been giving me trouble as well. These troubles seem to do with pests finding my garden. I'm agreeing with the posters who mentioned crop rotation.

Making sure to have rich soil, and taking advantage of improved hybrids has helped me. It's also helped to mix it up with fruit trees, nut bushes, berries, herbs etc. Pawpaws, berries, figs, filberts etc. have become more productive in the short time I've been gardening. With less work than the vegetables.

One of my original goals was to have ornamental edibles, so the daylilies, quamash, cattail etc. that I'm growing also count as food to me. Some of these seem to be less finicky than the annual veggies.
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Old 02-13-2017, 05:27 AM
Location: SWCT - close to coast
54,552 posts, read 36,571,183 times
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Yup, getting harder and harder each year with these late winter patterns and more snow than any other decade past 8yrs. Seriously, getting tired of February and March snows now.

Waking up to this, this morning. Plenty of time to till and garden. Snowpack has amazing benefits for it.

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Old 02-13-2017, 01:11 PM
1,819 posts, read 927,705 times
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This year was rough.

1} we had a drought situation

2} I didn't realize our new house had so many rabbits and squirrels and chipmonks getting into our fenced in yard to EAT my garden

3} first year here to make produce not always the best as the soil needs amending "right" for maximum growth and perhaps not quite up to par

4} who knows if I used best brands of seeds, I have collected other seed types and heirloom seeds which will perhaps produce better.

5} since I put in some raised beds from fresh start this spring, who knows if I got a "early enough" start on planting.

6} late frost didn't help and I didn't start in cold frames.

7} if I used the wrong modified seeds or plants, I may have lost out on the great producers {hence the reason I've been collecting organic seedlings.

8} my greenhouse is still sitting happily in it's original box, hoping to put it up this year, but it will still be too late to use it for seedlings this year. I have an indoor "garden" and plant lights seedlings might just do well in.

Thsoe are what I see as my problems, don't know about yours.

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Old 02-15-2017, 01:58 AM
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,776 posts, read 5,173,465 times
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Here in central Fl, I sit up on the old Ridge that was Florida many, many moons ago. And, that means, pure sand I am sitting on. I do some amendment but not enough. I built two raised beds, one 8'x 4' and one 4'x4'. This is only my second yr in those. First year, the soil wasn't right. This year I added some manure and some different soil. Leafy things grew like mad. I do use old plastic tubs, children plastic swimming pools, and pots to grow some things. It sits in a fenced back yard so no one else sees it but me.

I grew beautiful okra, which is usually easy to grow, at the edge of where I had cut down a cluster of five live oaks and the sawdust, after 3 yrs was like liquid nitrogen. I planted southern peas in the sand and the most prolific was the raised beds and the area with the sawdust. That was time consuming but fun. Here, collards always grow for me very easily, plus mustard greens and at least, turnip tops. I never have much luck with the roots.

I am trying broccoli and kohlbrabi. That has been sparse but, I eat the broccoli leaves in with the collards, so no waste just cutting the crowns. I had some green beans for a bit until I did all the wrong things and fungus got in them. I just let the tomatoes come up voluntarily.

Unfortunately, for years, I did use chemicals (Roundup) to control the weeds. I wasn't really trying to grow vegetables then. My yard slopes quite a bit coming off that ridge and I think the poison has gotten in the ground in some places. Things just do not grow well in the spots that is where the flow pattern from run off is. So, I don't use anything from that area but I do plant a few things that are like a canary in a coal mine for me. If they ever start to grow, I will know the soil is getting better.

It's all a crap shoot. I am 73 and still work so I really don't have the time for a garden but I enjoy it.
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:59 PM
Location: Raleigh NC
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I had a friend in central NY who planted his tomato plants in pure peat moss he got directly from peat bogs in northeastern PA. His tomatos grew like crazy.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:12 AM
13,025 posts, read 10,717,975 times
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Originally Posted by opalminor View Post
<Don't be fooled into thinking yesteryear was a paradise. The same holds true for gardeners of any previous generations....Irish Potato Famine, anyone?>

I hear what you're saying Nonchalance.. I know there's always been famines & crop failures, from not diversifying crops and droughts, bugs, soil depletion, and so on.. and the reality of food-growing was definitely not always an idyllic paradise. Humans worked harder than anything we can imagine to not starve.. but I still think things have gotten worse, more pests/disease/weeds than ever before. (Of course I'm only speaking for the U.S... not sure if those in other countries are having the same experience.)
Again, it could be just my bad luck, but that's why I'm posting these questions on here, to try & find out if it's something more. My many years of experience & observations are telling me that it is. The question is- is it man-made, and if so, why?

Here's another theory- that has to do with overpopulation of Earth in modern times:
It seems to me that since that people are so crowded together now, that the transmission of pests/ plant disease/fungus/ etc. is now traveling more rapidly between gardens and farmed areas than ever before. In the past when there was more space between human population clusters, and more space between actual properties, the plants could 'breathe' better i.e., it took longer for a pathogen, pest or weed (whether local or exotic) to travel in between. It also took longer for an exotic pest to travel from one country across the world to another. But now, everything sped up (thanks mostly to globalization) and there's more & more cross-contamination, producing devastating results overall.

Not to mention how scientists have tinkered with Mother Nature, re Monsanto & pesticides, as OrganicSmallHome mentioned, and how that ends up affecting EVERYONE...

Perhaps also the selling of cheap backyard grass seed on a mass scale...?? I wonder how much that has contributed to the spreading of invasive weeds? It's a hunch, but does anyone really know for sure? I have seen some kind of Uber-Franken-Weeds pop up almost overnight (it seems) and smother my entire garden like nothing I've ever seen. Extremely aggressive and invasive. Even after tilling the soil completely digging way down and removing every little root and everything.. adding new clean soil and so on. I do understand that weeding is part of gardening and takes a lot of work. But Jesus!! Are these natural weeds that have always been in the environment? Or have herbicides created a whole new generation of SuperWeeds?? Do they put evil weed seeds in commercial soil or fertilizer, just so you'll have to buy more of their products? WHAT is going on here...?!

So based on these theories, it makes sense to me that in the first few centuries of the U.S. when the country could still be referred to as an unspoiled continent- up until the middle of the 1900's- when modern chemical pesticides were starting to be used and mass-produced on a huge scale, and also marketed to the average homeowner; and when genetic manipulation really began in earnest (correct?), and the U.S. was still somewhat globally isolated (in terms of trade/goods).. it seems like the land was still somewhat pure and disease-free.. and therefore much easier for our ancestors to grow things. And thus the memories of Grandma and Grandpa smiling in their abundant backyard victory garden.
Here's another clue-- if veg gardening was as agonizingly frustrating as it is now, and required such backbreaking work- there's no way our elderly grandparents could have physically handled it. So it MUST have been easier! (just using some deductive logic here..)

Or as StageMomma said, were they just the first generation of toxic chemical-using gardeners, and THAT'S why they were so successful? (think of the ending scene in the Godfather here.) And that stuff worked much better in the early days, before it really created a chain reaction that just threw the whole ecological system off, so to speak. As in, pests/disease getting stronger to circumvent the chemicals.

And speaking of.. THAT may be really what this whole thing is about. Anyone know the scientific term for that phenomenon? (please excuse my ignorance..)
For pesticide resistance? Or for a biological arms race? The former I don't know of any particular term, the latter is called Red Queen or Red Queens hypothesis.
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