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Anybody getting their gardens ready?

I've been tilling my gardens most of the day.

Getting ready to plant several kinds of beans/peas, tomatoes, peppers, some herbs, sunflowers, radishes, cucumbers, watermelons, muscadines...

=)



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We use a ComposTwin

And it generally works fine, so long as the crank pins hold up...

CompoTumbler works well also.

Both of those drain off a dark liquid called compost tea which by itself is a potent fertilizer (at least my apple tree thinks so!). Both types use a crank to turn everything over (think of a clothes dryer with a manual crank and you get the idea) and they tend to break stuff down faster.

bin-style composters can work but take longer. They are great for worm composting, though!

I don't use the tumblers,

I don't use the tumblers, just a simple pile system, but you're right about the bins for worms. If someone is getting a bin for a worm composter, I recommend getting one with a spigot at the bottom. With the spigot you can drain out the fluid that builds up (like the compost tea) and use it as fertilizer, though it should be diluted a little for garden plants since its strong.

"Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered." -- Cicero

I drilled...

...lines of 3/8" holes up and down the sides, probably not closer than two or three inches apart. Just eyeball it and drill about 3/4 of the way up your can. I put about 6 or 8 holes in the bottom, and four holes in the lids. I was turning them every so often, but I've decided to let the one full can cook. I'm adding batches to the other can now. Basically you want to add about 60 / 40 ratio of dry "brown" material (shredded newspapers, non-glossy paper, dried leaves, dried yard waste, non-treated wood chips, sawdust, cardboard, etc) to wet "green" materials (coffee grounds, tea bags, fruit and veggie peelings, any non-meat, non-dairy kitchen scraps). I had two spare trash cans and I felt that doing it myself was better than paying upwards of $80 for something online that is a lot like a trash can with holes drilled in it. You could always build a pile as well, I might do this too if I end up with too much stuff for my cans. Get four 3 or 4 foot tall metal fenceposts, mark off a 3' by 3' area, pound your posts in, wrap the enclosure with chicken wire, and just chuck your compost in there. This is just a bare outline....for more good info, check out this site:

journeytoforever.org

There are good links on the left column for composting, farming, etc.

You want to choose an area that won't stay soggy after rains, and as level an area as possible. You don't have to sink the edges of the raised bed in. A good level area that is well drained will work, just put a layer or two of landscaping fabric down underneath it before you fill your beds in.

Landscaping fabric or paper...same as weed barrier. Just a roll of stuff you unroll and cut and place underneath your raised beds to keep the weeds from growing up into your veggies. Here is an example of what it is:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productI...

The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!

The Retrocon
Hope for America, Ron Paul for President in 2008!

For some reason compost bins

For some reason compost bins (with an exposed bottom) do better when placed over birch roots. I couldn't tell you why this is but it does work.

"Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered." -- Cicero

Bloodmeal

Sprinkle bloodmeal around the outside of the garden. It will keep out deer, squirrels, raccoons etc. and it's great for the soil too. The smell of the dried blood must be the reason it keeps some animals out. It's not fullproof like a fence which I have but it really helps. Also, I haven't tried this yet but supposedly to keep deer from rubbing on and chewing on fruit tree leaves, I've heard that a bar of hotel soap tied to one of the branches on the tree will keep deer away. Good luck!

Bloodmeal

Unfortunately, the dogs also like bloodmeal.

Squirrels

Any ideas (besides a gun) on how to keep squirrels out of the garden? So far they've ruined some lettuce seedlings and also some carrots that just sprouted. When the tomatoes come in, they eat those.

greyhounds!

They see small and fury and think "lunch!" Works on rabbits, rats, cats, gophers, squirrels, and even birds.

That, and there are plenty of loving greyts that need homes after the track. I admit I'm biased here; I have two now and three previously and they are low-maintenace, great pets.

However, if you have them in your area, quail are great to take care of tomato hornworms.

I have..

.. a country cat and my country cat has at least 5 or 6 cat "friends" that hang out together off-and-on.

They are my Feline Garden-Defense Force (FGF) and neutralize any squirrel/rodent threats...

>;)

The best way I know is,

The best way I know is, well, rather crude. Kill a squirrel in a trap (usually available at feed stores) and hang it up for all the squirrels to see. I had a friend who lived in rural Indiana that did this to stop "garden" problems (it was basically a small farm) and I didn't see a squirrel the entire week I was there. Make sure neighbors can't see it though, they might call the police. I don't think its illegal, but better safe... as they say.

"Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered." -- Cicero

I've heard this works with

I've heard this works with birds as well. I haven't tried it yet, but about one month ago a marauding migratory flock of grackels descended on trees near my barns. I took a .20 gauge out, took aim into the trees, and blasted one of them. The grackels flew away and I left the dead bird where he had dropped, under the tree. Grackels did not return....so it may be the smell of death, and not the sight of the dead animal on the string, that keeps them away.

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Support the Constitution of the United States

SUPPORT OUR FOUNDERS' AMERICA
Support the Constitution of the United States

Best way....

We have some nasty neighbors who would probably love to call the police about such a thing.
An interesting story - there was a wealthy elderly woman in our town who loved gardening - had beautiful gardens in her back yard, her home was always on the garden tour every spring, etc., but she had major problems with squirrels. She would sit out on her deck and shoot them. Well, the neighbors complained so she got a Have a Heart trap. The neighbors were thrilled. What they didn't know was that she was taking the trapped squirrels into her basement and shooting them!!!

Of course,

this story was told for academic purposes only, and is not to be considered advice!

Squirrels..

... are LITERALLY rats with fluffy tails. Really.. they are..

(=

Now that's comedy.

Now that's comedy.

"Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered." -- Cicero

LOL! Like hanging a looter

LOL! Like hanging a looter during a riot to discourage others!

This may be worth a try: To

This may be worth a try:

To keep squirrels away from or keep them from eating your garden plants, mix this:

* 1 gallon of water
* 6 capfuls of Murphy's Oil Soap
* 2 Tbsp. of cayenne pepper

Spray onto plants. This does not harm the plants and WILL keep the squirrels away!

By Kelly from Largo, FL

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf15001484.tip.html

Also found this:

Things You’ll Need:

* Pruning Shears
* Aluminum Flashing
* nails or screws
* chili peppers: the hotter, the better
* motion detection sprinkler
* bricks, stones or lumber
* fine plastic mesh
* squirrel-proof bird feeder

Step 1:
Wrap 24-inch wide aluminum flashing around the base of tree trunks to prevent squirrels from shredding the bark. Use copper or stainless steel nails or screws to attach the metal to the trunk. (These metal collars will only protect stand-alone trees.)

Step 2:
Keep trees trimmed above fence lines and roofs. Squirrels prefer to travel via overhead highways in the tree canopy. By creating a break in their path, you eliminate the squirrels route into your garden.

Step 3:
Place loose plastic mesh over flower beds at planting time. The plants will grow through the mesh, but squirrels will be prevented from digging.

Step 4:
Use motion detection sprinklers in the garden where squirrels are a problem. A sudden burst of water will frighten them, at least temporarily. Motion detecting lighting is of no use because tree squirrels are not nocturnal.

Step 5:
Cover spring bulb beds with fine plastic mesh. Secure it along the sides of the beds with bricks, stones or lumber. By the time the bulbs are up in the spring, you can gently remove the mesh.

Step 6:
Place ground chili peppers in flower pots and garden beds. Use the hottest chilies you can find, the little Thai chilies are excellent, so are habaneras and cascabellas. The capsicum in the peppers makes for unpleasant digging. The term 'hot foot' applies here.

Step 7:
Rake up under bird feeders, or hang them over paved areas so that you can keep the ground beneath them clean. Squirrels love bird seed!

Step 8:
Use a squirrel-proof bird feeder. These feeders have cone shaped covers so squirrels can't slide down the wire to reach the seed.

http://www.ehow.com/how_172122_keep-squirrels-garden.html

======================================================
Federal Reserve to the American People:

"Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam."

================
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Thanks -

I'll try anything to keep the darn critters away!

Have mine started!

Started mine. I tripled the size this year and am using heirloom seeds. I started raising chickens too (love them). Food independence is so basic. I work in a grocery store and it really hits home how dependent we are on BigAG. Plus, I read yesterday how Monsanto's stocks have been going up...ick.

Chickens..

... drive me insane. Have you had to clean their roosts yet? Do you hire kids to do it?

=|

yes it is messy

It is pretty dirty business, but I put it all in a compost pile. They are fun and quirky and are great egg layers...my Rooster likes me too (thankfully, cause I had some real meanies).

Haha!

Roosters always seem to hate me.

=|

You can keep you cat off your garden!!!!

I have also started a garden and I have 2 indoor/outdoor dogs and one cat. I fenced it with wood and chicken wire and to keep the 100's of alley cats off my babies we soaked the perimeter of it with water mixed with lime juice. It works, for some reason cats despise it and stay away. It was recommended to me by a hippie friend of mine who also owns cats. Also you should grow some catnip in a corner so he doesn't even think of messing with the other ones. Happy gardening!

Javi

Do you happen

to have any ideas for how to keep 4 boys off of a garden? ROFL

Is there a remedy for that?

This brings back memories--

My boys are all grown now. One suggestion I have for a busy mom: Peas are very time consuming to pick and prepare for dinner--so I grew peas, and the kids were allowed to go eat peas off the vines. Raw peas are better for them, anyway!
The comment below about letting them prepare and plant their own garden is a good one, also.

Give them dog poop pickup

Give them dog poop pickup duty or something else nasty that they hate :D

======================================================
Federal Reserve to the American People:

"Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam."

================
Who is John Galt? Vote ███ ███ 2012!

Give them their own piece of garden

to cultivate OR make the punishment for garden playing something like pulling weeds in it and in other places. Had boys also and used all kinds of tricks to rear them into the wonderful, responsible men they are today.

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

LOL!!!

that's a toughie. Good luck. lol!

"He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it." Confucius

"He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it." Confucius

I haven't tilled yet..

We are still expecting snow today and I have been busy with some other things but, I can't wait to get going. I'm expanding my plot this year to most of the yard which is about 20,000 sq ft. I was inspired by this website...
http://www.spinfarming.com/

Although I'm not planning on selling anything :o)

Wow..

.. 20k sq ft.

;-)