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Old 01-31-2006, 08:36 PM   #11
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There's a deer repellant my friend used years ago. Scared away the deer, but not the bears!

It's a mix of tabasco, milk, eggs and a couple of other goodies. I'll ask my aunt if she's got the mix.

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Old 01-31-2006, 08:41 PM   #12
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We have bears, too...it's quite a wildlife refuge around here during the summer! The deer (and bears, too) don't have any fear of walking on our decks. They look in the windows and doors - and eat everything in sight. The deer even ate my jalepeno plants! Haven't found anything yet that keeps them away...

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Old 01-31-2006, 08:44 PM   #13
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I haven't looked at seed brand names, sorry Callie. But I think you will be happy with the romas. I also like to do pepper plants in pots. Whoo! Say that 10 times fast!
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Old 01-31-2006, 09:12 PM   #14
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Thanks for the deer repellent idea - pleae post it my MIL and DF both have deer coming into their front yards and "pruning" everything in sight!

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Old 01-31-2006, 10:49 PM   #15
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experienced organic veggie and herb gardener here. stooped posture, bow-legs, sunburnt back, constant muttering about the bugs and wild animals. you know the kind.
also, kinda hank hill-ish about my lawn and shrubs. boy-howdy.

i grow 2 to 3 season veggie gardens a year, starting with leafy greens, peas, beets, onions, turnips, carrots, and other cool weather plants, leaving a 2 1/2 foot space between rows. everything is started from directly sown seed. i usually begin in late march, depending on the snow.

then, just after mother's day, i fill the empty rows with nightshade veggies and other hot weather crops, as seedlings started in my basement, as the spring stuff comes to fruition.

this usually carries me into sept. or october, when, in a good year, i will replant leafy greens and peas in the spent spring rows, shaded by the now overgrown summer stuff.

i do not use any chemical pesticide, herbicide, or fertilizer. i use compost, sphagnum peat, lime, and natural fertilizers, and employ sacrificial and naturally pest repellent plants. i also use sulphur (fungicide), pyrethrin and diatomaceous earth (pesticides), beer baths and copper strips, and beneficial insect releases (bacillus thuringensis, green wings, lady bugs, etc.).

in the end, it's all about the soil.

now, if i could only keep 'bug and her collected bugs away from my garden.
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Old 01-31-2006, 11:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Alix
We're several months yet from thinking about gardening. But...I read there is some kind of "panther pee" that you spray on your garden to keep the deer away. Don't know how well it works though. Try some roma tomatoes next time. They bear really well and are PERFECT for canning and salsa.
I'm an avid organic vegitable gardener but since I live on the second floor of an apartment I have to do container veg's.

Roma's are great because they can be grown in as little as 4 quarts of soil (I've grown them quite well in thos 5 quart "Flower Pouch's" from Parks, but ROMA'S ARE NOTORIOUS FOR BLOSSOM END ROT (as some varieties are, especially the plum and cherry sized varieties), so be very careful about using plenty of Compost and Worm Castings, keep the Ph between 6.2 and 6.8 and use water crystals to even the watering out.

A dear friend of mine is a professor of micro-biology at Rutgers University and gave me the complete low-down on BER (and in scientific terms that went far over my head ha ha), but in essance, here is what she said.

Blossom End Rot (BER) is not a disease, it's a calcium deficiency. It can be caused by either too little calcium in the soil or the plant is unable to absorb the calcium that's in the soil. There are sprays that claim to stop blossom end rot but since liquid cannot penetrate the skin of a tomato, and the leaves are only marginal at absorbing Ca. there is little evidence that they have any effect what-so-ever. (though I did have a good experience feeding my plant's Caltrate one year)

What's more, once you notice BER, there's nothing you can do about until the plant get's over whatever is causing it (stess, uneven watering etc.), and there is strong evidence that BER is a natural part of the life-cycle of tomatoes that are vulnerable to it even under perfect conditions and usually show signs of BER in the first round of the plant's production (sometimes even showing BER on all early fruits).

Since the tomatoes are the reproductive part of the plant, if the plant does not have adequate calcium to keep it alive, it will sacrifice the fruit to keep the plant it's-self alive, so keep both Plant Stess and Nitrogen to a minimum. The more Nitrogen you put on the plant, the more plant you will get and thus the more calcium the plant will need, therefore fewer tomatoes.

BER can be caused by any and/or all of the following.

1. Too much Nitrogen
2. Too much water
3. Too little water
4. A combination of 2 and 3 (drought/drown)
5. Too little Calcium
6. Too high/low Ph.
7. Plant Stess (Too hot, too cold, flip-flopping temps)

If you see BER on your roma's, just check to make sure your doing everything correctly, and if you are don't worry about it, it probably just means that the plant isn't mature enough to be producing good tomatoes yet. Give it some time to grow and you'll be canning before you know it.

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Old 02-01-2006, 03:15 AM   #17
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My sister was telling me about an ad she saw for an earth box for gardening. Has anyone tried that. I believe it has a place to put water so you don't have to do that much - it takes it up as it needs it. She is thinking about getting one for my mother who loved gardening and can't do all those things anymore.
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Old 02-01-2006, 08:21 AM   #18
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I'm sure I had BER on my tomatoes Raven. The kids planted tomato seeds last February and got some beautiful vines with nice, blump tomatoes but once our 110 degrees summer hit they began to rot. We ended up pulling out all the plants (more than 20 of them). Our cayanne, banana, and anaheim pepper plants are doing great. The vines are as tall as 4 feet now. I do see some deterioration on the leaves so I'll search for ants or some sort of bug that's eating them away. Some bug repellent might work.

We live in Zone 9 (minimum temps of 20-30 degrees) and neighborhood was made over what used to be fields of crops. We have lots of bugs and our soil is claylike - EEK! I read that Ixora shrubs need acidic soil or acid fertilizer at least. Where do I find that fertilizer and what's it called? Should I dig deeper and add gardening soil to finally have my Ixoras bloom? I've even afraid to transplant my hibiscus to the ground. RATS!

I love rose bushes, hydrangeas and azaleas too just end up killing them all the time. Must be the heavy soil. Does anyone know what plants would tolerate clay soil?
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Old 02-01-2006, 08:48 AM   #19
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dina, you can "repair" your clay or heavy soil by turning in lots of organic matter, such as peat moss and compost. i took over my fil's garden a number of years back, and the soil was terrible. it was a shallow layer of expended soil, almost sandy, above heavy clay soil. he was a big believer in chemicals, so the soil was over used and abused. it took me a few years of adding cold compost (which was mostly composed of worm castings) and peat moss. i double turned the soil, putting a good inch or 2 of peat into it, them forming my rows, then tilling the compost into the top few inches of row.

if you don't want to go that route, try growing grapes. they thrive in clay soil, so long as you don't get too much rain. try to get your hands on a 1/2" to 1" thick by 3 foot piece of live grape vine, dig a hole about 2 1/2 feet deep, give the hole a good watering, then bury most of the vine in the hole.
you'll have grapes within 2 to 3 years as the vines mature.
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:19 AM   #20
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I love Colorado; it's a beautiful state. We took the train tour to Pike's Peak last summer and boy, was it an awsome sight. Sorry I can't give you much input on keeping the dear away. We have none down here

If you have much, give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart. - Arab proverb
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