"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > The Back Porch > Off Topic Discussions
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-17-2006, 05:09 AM   #1
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Midwest
Posts: 874
Gardening question for friend

I hope I explain this correctly. I have a friend that wants to put in a garden where an old garden existed. That is, American "garden", not European "garden". Vegetable garden. Anyway... the bed has old leaves and some weeds that have been infested with this red and black bug that we've concluded are called "box elder" bugs. She and I both are quite avid advocates of whole, organic farming, but at this point, I think she'd do anything to get rid of the bugs and put in her garden. Financially, it would help her family to have some fresh vegetables this summer.

So.... first... do you have any natural ways of getting rid of the bugs? And barring that, can she till up the ground with the bugs there and get rid of them that way? What will happen to the plants if she does that? Will the bugs eat the veggies? Last resort... put on some sort of chemical this year and plant next year. What sort of chemical would she use? She has small children, so this is truly a last resort, using chemicals.

I know nothing of gardening or even where to start on the web. She's in the Midwest of the United States, btw.

ETA: Garden in Europe usually means "lawn"... that's why the distinction.

__________________

__________________
velochic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2006, 05:28 AM   #2
Sous Chef
 
Raven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Posts: 554
I would reccomend Soil Solarization (see: Garden Guides.com Soil Solarization, The Soil Solarization Home or Google for more options )

I don't know if you can do this AND get a summer crop in, you may have to wait till fall and plant cold weather crops such as Broccoli, Cabbage, Lettuce, Kale and Brussle Sprouts, but it should be fine for next spring.

BTW , you say she's in the midwest U.S. do you mind if I ask what hardiness zone she's in? That will help immensely with options for her area.

~ Raven ~
__________________

__________________
Mike's Vet and Taxidermy - Either way you get your dog back.

A great nation is not built in a lifetime, but in the lifetimes of many. - Support our troops.
Raven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2006, 05:47 AM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
buckytom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 18,710
velo, box elder bugs should only infest trees and tree litter. i don't think they would have an effect on vegetables, so long as all of the leaf litter was cleaned up, and the soil was turned well.
most bugs will attack a certain plant, one which they are either "designed" for, or is the most easily obtained in their environment. since your friend is restarting a garden, ya never know what things were done to the soil in it's last years. i would have your friend have the soil tested by their local agricultural extension (gov't. dept.) to see it's composition.
failing to do that, i would at least deep till or double turn the soil, adding lots of new clean topsoil, peat and lime.
the first year my be a little iffy, but once the peat breaks down, and the lime becomes useable (maybe not until the second year), the garden should come back to full fruition.
__________________
in nomine patri, et fili, et spiritus sancti.


Meh nom eh noh...doot dooooo do do do.
buckytom is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2006, 07:43 AM   #4
Sous Chef
 
Raven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Posts: 554
Yeah I agree with you on getting a soil analysis from the conservasion service and using this year for building your soil.

Really a first-garden is a 2 year propsition. Some elementals such as Lime, Sulher, Bone Meal, Blood Meal etc. take 3 months or more to break down to a useable form and if your trying to change the Ph of the soil it'll take even longer (that's why most gardeners do their soil preperation in the fall so it can be conditioning over the winter and ready to plant in the spring).

I would still solarize the old soil before turning new topsoil into it because you don't know what diseases the old garden may have had that can be passed on to your new plants. Some diseases can last in the soil from 2 to 7 years.

Unfortunantly solarizing can kill off the good bugs and microbes as well as the bad one's so, as I said I would do this before incorporating any new material in.

What they probably were doing by covering their garden with leaves is composting and vermicomposting. There is a lot of benefit to covering your garden with leaves in the fall, your adding organic material, you can put your eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags etc. (non-meat non-dairy only) under the leaves and the worms will convert them to nutrient rich worm castings which will make your garden explode, but leaves can also incorporate diseases into the garden as well so it's kinda 50/50 on this practice.

~ Raven ~
__________________
Mike's Vet and Taxidermy - Either way you get your dog back.

A great nation is not built in a lifetime, but in the lifetimes of many. - Support our troops.
Raven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2006, 11:58 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
buckytom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 18,710
great info raven, thanks. i've never heard of solarization before.

have you (or anyone reading this) tried planting hairy vetch in the off season? i think my garden could use a nitrogen boost, and a N fixing plant would do the trick.
__________________
in nomine patri, et fili, et spiritus sancti.


Meh nom eh noh...doot dooooo do do do.
buckytom is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2006, 05:56 AM   #6
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Midwest
Posts: 874
Hi all! Thanks for the replies. I've printed off your replies and will call her back today.

Raven - hardiness zone A or B, I believe based on the map.

Other than that, I'll have to talk to her (or her husband probably) to see what she wants to do from here.

Thanks again!!!!!!
__________________
velochic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2006, 09:48 AM   #7
Sous Chef
 
Raven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Posts: 554
Okay she would be in a zone Number (Letter) like I'm in zone 7B here in Arkansas.

Bucky >> No I've never tried it with Vetch, I would see if I could find an edible legume that would do well in my area over the winter (LOL! I know there's not much choice there if any at all) but that way not only does your soil get the fixed nitrogen it needs but you can eat it too. :)

~ Raven ~
__________________
Mike's Vet and Taxidermy - Either way you get your dog back.

A great nation is not built in a lifetime, but in the lifetimes of many. - Support our troops.
Raven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2006, 04:52 PM   #8
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: California
Posts: 270
One way to help -kill off pests and weeds is to cover the garden area with a black plastic tarp. Not sure how long you would have to leave it on but it will kill off whatever is under. Heat is the trick. As everyone has said it must be dug up well and turned over frequently. We can get composted mulch from the land fill for the yard and garden....FREE! 2 months ago we got 8 cu yds. We also have an active mulch pile.
__________________
Swann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2006, 05:17 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
mudbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NoVA, beyond the Beltway
Posts: 11,166
It wouldn't hurt to find out what eats box elder bugs and introduce them to the garden (if they don't also eat the veggies).
__________________
Kool Aid - Think before you drink.
mudbug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2006, 06:59 PM   #10
Master Chef
 
Constance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern Illiniois
Posts: 8,175
From what I read on the web, they're not going to bother the garden. They feed only on the leaves and flowers of the box elder tree. If they get pesky, you can control them with Malathion or Seven...or cut down the box elder tree, which would be no big loss.
If you choose to use the chemicals, please use an appropriate, well fitted mask while spraying. Malathion is a corosived in the lungs. It also kills honey bees. Sevin (Carbarl) can give you one heck of a headache, and is a suspected carcenagenic (prolonged exposure causes tumors in mice). Still, I dust my green beans with it to get rid of the bean beetles.

What I learned in my greenhouses is that good house-keeping is the best way to get rid of bugs. I'd clean the area up, raking out all the leaves and such, and burn the refuse. Sprinkle the ground liberally with lime (it will be acid from all the rotting leaves, then till in. If it were me, I'd also add some 12-12-12 fertilizer.
If you know someone with a tractor, it would be best if you have them come in and plow, then disc the ground before you plant. The tractor will get much deeper than you could get with a tiller.

A garden is always an ongoing project. There's no reason why you can't grow a few tomatoes, peppers, string beans, etc, this year. But if you keep working with it in the ways mentioned above, the soil will eventually become a deep, rich loam.
If you want to plant a crop to till in next spring, I'd recommend rye grass.
__________________

__________________
We get by with a little help from our friends
Constance is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.