Official Gardening/Homesteading thread: Our back yards are our grocery stores

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by lhprop1, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. lhprop1

    lhprop1 Fullsterkur
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    Like the autumn sees the end of one crop, the crash saw the end of the old thread. Let the gardening thread begin anew in this, our TMB spring.
     
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  2. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    Planting a third of the corn, some cantaloupe, and some watermelon this weekend.

    Also got two more bee hives in and installed. The queen's are already out a laying. Get the last three hives next week. In the middle of the last picture you can zoom in and see eggs and larva growing.

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    #2 billdozer, Apr 9, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  3. ashy larry

    ashy larry marcy projects, son
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    got some tomatoes, okra, banana peppers, cucs, and squash going in the ground this weekend. am excite.

    billdozer and the og chickens thread has me feeling some kind of envy. but, alas.
     
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  4. Open Carry

    Open Carry TMB Rib Master
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    I'm looking at getting a few blueberry bushes and some tomatoes this year. I'm currently trying to identify a sunny enough place to put the blueberries as I understand they need a lot of sun. I'm hoping to get started in the next couple weeks as it's still in the low 50's.
     
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  5. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    Also my pear trees are already done blooming and my apple trees are in full bloom with my bees all over them. My blueberry and blackberry bushes are just starting to bud out so the bees should be enjoying them soon.
     
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  6. George Feeny

    George Feeny Sweatervest Alpha

    My garden's coming along swimmingly, about 1 month old now (benefit of living in Florida). I will try to post some pics this weekend.
     
  7. George Feeny

    George Feeny Sweatervest Alpha

    Do you guys prune the suckers off your tomato plants? I have always done so but i'm wondering what someone who has done both has observed.

    CharlieKelly
    lhprop1
     
    #7 George Feeny, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  8. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    Went into the bees this today to see how they're doing. As far as egg laying, it doesn't get better than the first two pictures. Most of what you see in those pictures is capped brood and bees will hatch from that in the next week or so. The white at the top of the third picture is capped honey and the open orange cells are stored pollen.

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  9. George Feeny

    George Feeny Sweatervest Alpha

    That is so awesome. I swear I am gonna keep bees one of these days. Wife just wants me to wait until the kids are a little older.
     
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  10. -Asshole-

    -Asshole- TMB OG Reject
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    That really is awesome billdozer. I was on the verge of buying bees 3 years ago but my wife got pregnant so I held off. I still want to get some bees, maybe in a few years i will be able to do it.
     
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  11. cutig

    cutig My name is Rod, and I like to party
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    How expensive are bees to start up?
     
  12. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    To do a standard hive like I have, it's fairly expensive, even if you build your own. The bare minimum of what you need is a brood box with top and bottom and one honey super. That will cost about $150, with additional supers being around $40. A package of bees will be around $100. Then you'll need some minimum equipment like a veil, gloves, smoker, and a hive tool (all that ~$100). Depending on what protection you want, they have suits or jackets. At first I just used a sweatshirt and long pants and didn't get more until I decided to get more hives.

    If you're fairly decent doing woodworking, there are plans for building hives to make it cheaper. I'm probably going to build a hive with glass on the side next year like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Doug

    Doug Skeptical Doug-o
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    How often do you have to tend to the bees / get the honey
     
  14. -Asshole-

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    Do you have a link for plans for the hive in your pic?
     
  15. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    Once their established it's generally recommended for every two weeks. When the nectar flow is going (when the major sources for the bees is blooming), they can fill a super that already has comb in a week or less. You don't want to go into the bees too often because it disrupts them some each time.
     
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  16. George Feeny

    George Feeny Sweatervest Alpha

    Feeny's Garden Update

    Guess it's been about 3 weeks since the last one. Everything is still alive and I have added a few new things from the last time. Here goes...

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    This was three or four weeks ago. Now it looks like this...

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    Had one scary night where the temps got down in the 60's. :ohnoes: Other than that and a 1 day caterpillar massacre it has been smooth sailing.

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    Okra, tomatoes, romaine lettuce and green beans (bush). Plus you will see marigolds, nasturtium, and porterweed mixed in with all my beds. Still excited about the tasti-lee (far right) tomato. No problems in this bed so far.

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    Bell peppers, collards, tomatoes, and carrots. Last year's carrots sucked. My beds were only 6inches though. I think the 12 inches are making the difference this time around. The bare spot in the middle will have some more tomatoes and peppers by next week.

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    Herb garden plus some sunflowers to transplant later. Sage, basil, green onion, chives, lemon balm, cilantro, cilantro, parsley, rosemary. I think I am going to need some shade for the basil. Pretty much all but the top leave dried up and died within a week.

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    Red onions and potatoes. Do you onion growers chop the "leaves" down? Let me know. I want to do these right. The potatoes had a caterpillar infestation earlier this week. I smashed a bunch of them and went through with some seven for good measure. I had 3 ladybug casualties I had to bury lest my kids (girls) find them and be mad at me for all of 5 minutes. No problems since treatment.

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    Other side of potato bed. Got eggplant to the left and a row of okra. Growing some cilantro in the shade of the okra. Supposedly they're great companions.

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    Tomato, squash, cucumber, salvia. In the middle I have the tomatoes and reaper peppers I ordered at CharlieKelly 's recommendation. I will plant them in the other bed later this week once they're done hardening off. Here's another pic of the little guys...
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    Watermelon and pumpkin in a container. Easier to make sure they get a ton of water.

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    Crappy banana trees are crappy. My puppy tried to put them out of their misery and bit them off at the base. They're growing back now. I only use the leaves anyway.

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    There he is looking for more things to destroy. I have been giving away mystery tomato and pepper plants because he ate all the popsicle stick labels I put with them.

    That's it for now. Hope to see more pics from everyone else's gardens.
     
  17. Doug

    Doug Skeptical Doug-o
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    My peppers are growing like crazy- we've gotten a lot a lot of rain and I put a little triple 8 on everything for a quick pick them up
     
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  18. AIP

    AIP Spilled the Paint
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    you southerners and your gardens already growing, I curse you all. I did get to till over the ground, add some horse shit and compost to my boxes and in one planted the radish and lettice
     
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  19. lhprop1

    lhprop1 Fullsterkur
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    I started my tomato seeds on 4/5. As of Friday, all of the Bonny Best were 2-3" high already!

    I put my b. sprouts in the ground yesterday. I started them about a month ago and they were outgrowing their pots. Weather permitting, I'm planning on putting my cool weather seeds (mesclun, carrots, beets) in the ground this weekend.
     
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  20. bigred77

    bigred77 Well-Known Member
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    Man I was wanting to get mine planted this weekend, but the damn rain came around just enough to make the garden muddy and I still need to run the tiller through it once over again before planting

    Got tomatoes and pepper plants in small ass pots just about at their max size before they start being hurt by the lack of room to grow more roots, I think

    hopefully the sun today will have dried the ground out enough and I will get to till this evening
     
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  21. -Asshole-

    -Asshole- TMB OG Reject
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    Ok here is my attempt at a garden this year. Last year was a bust so we removed a lot of the old soil which I think was our problem.
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  22. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    Not my garden, but here are the turnips in our food plot. My blueberries have started blooming now, hopefully it stops raining so much so they can get pollinated.

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  23. Merica

    Merica Devine pls stop pointing out my demise. :(
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    What's your opinion on this setup billdozer?

     
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  24. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    Really neat invention, but really expensive for someone who cares about that. From reports I've read from really experienced beekeepers, it works really well. But from the Indiegogo site, just a brood box and one super (with only 6 frames instead of 8, 9, or 10) costs $600, not assembled or anything. I can buy a standard hive with a brood box and super put together and painted for $150 and cheaper than that if I do all the work. So for the cost of one of these hives, I can get three hives with an extra super each.

    For those that aren't really worried about cost and are just doing it for the fun, it'd be great for a couple of hives. For someone who has more hives and is trying to do it somewhat like a business, it's not cost effective. It would greatly cut down on the cost and time of extracting, mainly having to buy an extractor. I'm lucky in that my dad has one that he got for next to nothing. Extracting a super takes about 1 hour, so with six hives, I could be looking at spending most of the day extracting honey. If they get the cost down a lot, I may look into it.
     
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  25. -Asshole-

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    I was just about to post this! It looks awesome to me!
     
    #26 -Asshole-, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  26. -Asshole-

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    This hive setup would save me from needing to buy a smoker, personal protection, and extraction equipment though. Right?
     
  27. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    No. You would still need to use a smoker and personal protection for normal inspections of the hive. That is >90% of your time. For extraction, I put a board on below the super to be extracted that lets the bees go out but not back in. Then the next day I go and take it off with <10 bees in there. It takes less than 1 minute at the hive, so I don't even use a smoker then. It would save you on extraction equipment if you chose to use a centrifuge type extractor. Plenty of people use the crush and strain method or straight comb honey. Going those routes, you would just need a 5 gallon bucket I think. People have been extracting honey like that for thousands of years.
     
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  28. George Feeny

    George Feeny Sweatervest Alpha

    Looks great. What are those in the foreground middle and right, watermelon? Also, mind if I ask what you put in your dirt this year?

    bigred77 , have you grown tomatoes with and without pruning off the suckers? I don't know why but I just really want to know if there was much difference in production.
     
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  29. Open Carry

    Open Carry TMB Rib Master
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    Picked up two tomato plants and three blueberries. Planning on getting them in shortly now that it's in the 60's here.
     
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  30. -Asshole-

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    Thanks :) Front row from left to right is a tomato and two watermelons.

    Oh, and I added a 50:50 ratio of black cow - cow manure and Home Depot brand top soil together on top of a layer of some of last year's crappy soil. A local farmer recommended it for an easy and cheap mix. Hope it works...it can't possibly turn out worse than last year's garden.
     
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  31. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    Have you ever grown watermelon before? In my experience with watermelon, you've got it too close to the other plants. It may choke them out. My watermelon and cantaloupes spread out over 5 ft in two directions and 3 ft in the other two.
     
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  32. -Asshole-

    -Asshole- TMB OG Reject
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    Thanks for the advice. My wife volunteered to plant everything while I was at work today. She called me worried that she would mess it up by not spacing shit out properly. But we really don't have enough space for all the shit we bought to plant so...if stuff gets too crowded and I have to thin out or remove some things later because they're growing so well then that's an acceptable problem :)
     
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  33. -Asshole-

    -Asshole- TMB OG Reject
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    I did tell her to plant the watermelon on a corner so it could grow off the box in two directions. Hopefully that will give it a little extra room to grow.
     
  34. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    I learned the hard way. They each overtook each other and It was like Where's Waldo to find the fruit in all the leaves. They also strangled my green beans and strawberries and started growing up the tomato stands.

    For future reference, Clemson recommends watermelon be spaced in rows 6 to 8 feet apart. Transplants or seed in 6 foot row spacing should be 4 feet apart and 3 feet apart in 8 foot row spacing. A rule of thumb is to allow 24 square feet per plant.

    https://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/vegetables/crops/hgic1325.html

    This website has good info on most other fruits, veggies, and nuts too. You can probably find something similar at your state's ag school website.
     
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  35. One Two

    One Two Send it!
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    You're going to want to stake and cage your squash plants. Also will want to go ahead and do a large center stake for your mater plant. What kind of tomato is it? For max production, if it's one that gets large, you're going to want to pick/pinch the buds on the tomato plant until it hits three feet.
     
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  36. George Feeny

    George Feeny Sweatervest Alpha

    Yep, that's why I was asking. Glad billdozer jumped in too. Watermelons will compete with each other for sun and they need a ton of water. You will have to train the vines away from your other plants. I usually buy skewers and cross them into the ground over the vines to guide them where I want them to go. But In my experience you will get better and larger fruit by spacing them out. Still, as long as you train them away from your other plants and each other I think you should be good. Good luck with it.
     
    #37 George Feeny, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
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  37. -Asshole-

    -Asshole- TMB OG Reject
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    Thanks. It's a celebrity tomato. Never heard of it before.
     
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  38. One Two

    One Two Send it!
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    Quick google search and that is a determinate variety so never mind on pinching buds. If you're going small, that's the way to go but will want to go ahead and start a seed first of June to replace it with mid July. Could also grow several determinate or smaller indeterminate varieties in containers. I'd say 10 gallon minimum but personally prefer 20.
     
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  39. bigred77

    bigred77 Well-Known Member
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    Man, i dont even know what you mean by the suckers?
    i have never heard of pruning a tomato plant before, maybe i would have better results if i did?
    but short of last year, i have always had way more tomatoes than i could keep up with
     
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  40. George Feeny

    George Feeny Sweatervest Alpha

    They are the secondary growth coming up from each branch.
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    The idea is that if you prune these off of indeterminates then you will have more water/nutrients to the older, stronger branches and will also lessen the overall load (stress) of the plant. This is supposed to result in larger, healthier fruit and still in abundance due to less overall stress. However, Iowa State did a study that said it did not matter one way or the other which one you did. Near identical results either way. When it comes to gardening/farming, however, I would much rather hear it from actual gardeners/farmers who have real life experience than some snot nosed punk in a classroom.
     
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  41. CharlieKelly

    CharlieKelly What's your spaghetti policy here?
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    I'll have to post a pic later this week. I put out 36 tomato plants and 18 pepper plants last weekend in addition to my cukes and okra.
     
  42. CharlieKelly

    CharlieKelly What's your spaghetti policy here?
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    You won't need to stake a Celebrity. It's a determinate.
     
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  43. bigred77

    bigred77 Well-Known Member
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    Pics of tomato stake method?
    ive always caged my maters, are stakes better?
     
  44. CharlieKelly

    CharlieKelly What's your spaghetti policy here?
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    Florida weave is easier and cheaper and works better.
     
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  45. -Asshole-

    -Asshole- TMB OG Reject
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    Time to do some jugsian research to figure out what a determinate tomato is.
     
  46. -Asshole-

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    And florida weave
     
  47. CharlieKelly

    CharlieKelly What's your spaghetti policy here?
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    Determinate varieties of tomatoes, also called "bush" tomatoes, are varieties that are bred to grow to a compact height (approx. 4 feet).

    They stop growing when fruit sets on the terminal or top bud, ripen all their crop at or near the same time (usually over a 2 week period), and then die.

    They may require a limited amount of caging and/or staking for support, should NOT be pruned or "suckered" as it severely reduces the crop, and will perform relatively well in a container (minimum size of 5-6 gallon). Examples are: Rutgers, Roma, Celebrity (called a semi-determinate by some), and Marglobe.

    Indeterminate varieties of tomatoes are also called "vining" tomatoes. They will grow and produce fruit until killed by frost and can reach heights of up to 10 feet although 6 feet is considered the norm. They will bloom, set new fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time throughout the growing season.
     
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  48. -Asshole-

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    Thx
     
  49. -Asshole-

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    Looks like I'm going to pull the trigger on this today. But I've never done any kickstarted type crowd funding stuff before so I feel a little uneasy about it.