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Old 02-16-2010, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
4,280 posts, read 6,101,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southward bound View Post
Our weekly radio gardening show said topsoil is only good for lawns, not for gardens, because it is too heavy. Is that true, or are they steering listeners in the direction of special soils in support of their advertisers?

What would be wrong with using topsoil and mixing in additives and enrichers such as Black Kow, compost, etc. Topsoil is less expensive than products like Miracle Grow planting mix, and as I understand it the latter has nutritional benefits that only last 3 months or so.

We have to do considerable soil conditioning (most of it already done, but each year we have to add some) because of the heavy clay content.

All I know is that my grandpa has used regular soil forever, and he never has any problems. In fact, when we demolish two of the three huge planters, my dad wants the dirt.
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:58 PM
 
Location: OB
2,404 posts, read 3,956,057 times
Reputation: 879
Things I learned real fast:

Birds and cats like seedlings/sprouts, I lost a few 2 month old cherry tomato sprouts to one of the two.

If you havent planted a veggie yet, you don't know what it's sprouts look like. So if you sow a bunch of seeds, you'll be on this board asking which sprout is a weed.

My landfill gives away free mulch and compost.

You can recycle wood pallets and build raised beds with them.

Germanation rates are less than ideal, I've started to double sow when starting sprouts for transplant.

Brussel sprout are weird! I always thought brussel sprouts grew like a little head of lettuce.
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:59 AM
 
Location: S.E. US
13,163 posts, read 1,734,655 times
Reputation: 5134
[quote=mossomo;12970937]My landfill gives away free mulch and compost.
Germanation rates are less than ideal, I've started to double sow when starting sprouts for transplant.[quote]

The landfill in our old town gave away recycled processed sludge from the waste facility. Some people used it on their vegetable gardens. Yuck. We never used any of it, not even for the lawns.

Regarding seeds and germination rates, the package usually states the % germination that you can expect. Sometimes I get nowhere near the germination they say! I suspect it has to do with the way the seeds were stored somewhere, or the way I sowed them. I like to think it's the former, but more likely it's the latter.

Also, talking about seeds, be sure you are using seed that is not genetically modified. That way you can gather your own seed for the next crop. Properly stored, the seed will germinate just fine. Some genetically modified and treated seeds will produce crops whose subsequent seeds will not germinate. Not sure if the companies do this to ensure you keep buying seeds, or whether it's just a result of their processes. (Besides, there is thinking out there that says genetically modified foods are not good for us, but that's another topic.)

Also, try some heirloom seeds. You can gather those yourself for next season. I haven't done that, but would like to get a supply of heirloom seeds.
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:24 AM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
1,354 posts, read 6,388,303 times
Reputation: 1343
[quote=southward bound;12979570]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mossomo View Post
Also, try some heirloom seeds. You can gather those yourself for next season. I haven't done that, but would like to get a supply of heirloom seeds.
Heirloom seeds are not hard to save and store. I have mine in brown paper bags with the year grown and harvested on the front. So far I have harvested beans, squash, and lettuce seeds. This year I am only using heirloom seeds, so I should have a nice seed harvest.

I keep them in a container that is in a cool dark closet. This weekend I am starting heirloom tomatoes and peppers for the first time. Wish me luck.
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
18,287 posts, read 23,227,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southward bound View Post
The landfill in our old town gave away recycled processed sludge from the waste facility. Some people used it on their vegetable gardens. Yuck. We never used any of it, not even for the lawns.
May I ask why you feel this way please? Have you ever put manure down on your garden? That practice dates back to pioneer days here in the USA and we have done it all my life. Now if you have a problem with the chemicals your town might have used to break down the sludge I can see your reasoning I would not use it either because of that fact.

Inthesierras May you have endless beautiful bounties this season!
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:56 AM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
1,354 posts, read 6,388,303 times
Reputation: 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxson View Post
May I ask why you feel this way please? Have you ever put manure down on your garden? That practice dates back to pioneer days here in the USA and we have done it all my life. Now if you have a problem with the chemicals your town might have used to break down the sludge I can see your reasoning I would not use it either because of that fact.

Inthesierras May you have endless beautiful bounties this season!
Thanks, I am looking forward to this years crop.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:55 AM
 
Location: S.E. US
13,163 posts, read 1,734,655 times
Reputation: 5134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxson View Post
May I ask why you feel this way please? Have you ever put manure down on your garden? That practice dates back to pioneer days here in the USA and we have done it all my life. Now if you have a problem with the chemicals your town might have used to break down the sludge I can see your reasoning I would not use it either because of that fact.

Inthesierras May you have endless beautiful bounties this season!
Because it is the product of processed human waste, plus whatever else they flushed down the pipes, including chemicals and cleaning agents, medicines, and whatnot... etc.

Compost is good, animal manure is good. Like I said, some people used it. I have a personal aversion to doing that. Just quirky me.

Yes, wishing everyone boundless bounties this season!
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:05 PM
 
658 posts, read 2,010,591 times
Reputation: 430
Here is my inside cherry tomato I grew from a 3 inch cutting taken off my outside plant last October. I have eaten all the ripe ones and am waiting for the next group to ripen. There are hundreds of flowers once again starting to set on...I may have to keep it inside, it is to big to transplant now.



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Old 02-22-2010, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
18,287 posts, read 23,227,677 times
Reputation: 41179
southward bound I fully understand the sludge thing and agree with your explanation. I would not use it either but I suppose growing up on this farm and always using manure on our gardens and flower beds it is 2nd nature to me? I rather use natural fertilizers than chemical ones.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:36 AM
 
Location: S.E. US
13,163 posts, read 1,734,655 times
Reputation: 5134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxson View Post
southward bound I fully understand the sludge thing and agree with your explanation. I would not use it either but I suppose growing up on this farm and always using manure on our gardens and flower beds it is 2nd nature to me? I rather use natural fertilizers than chemical ones.
Remember, I said compost and manure are good. I use them quite willingly. I'm with you with regard to natural vs. chemical!

It's waste sludge produced by waste treatment facilities that turns me off. Many municipalities saw that as a good way to make money and dispose of the end product. There are people who don't mind using it. Each to his own, I say.
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