It's My Standard Practice

digitS'

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But: is it a Best Practice?

This thread should allow you to step up on your soap box and proclaim something in your gardening world that you do that you may not be able to defend as a best practice but you don't much care! It's how you do things.

If we critique these, let's not be harsh. Does it really matter to any one of us that @Ridgerunner plants a cherry tomato at his garden entrance and thereby subjects it to traffic that puts it at risk to the spread of foliage diseases 😨 .

Yeah. Chill.

This thread was prompted by two recent posts. One by @Purple Iris :frow referring to a failure of companion planting to deter pests. Also, @Carol Dee saying that she will plant potatoes on Good Friday.

I'm a fan of diversity in the garden and think that monoculture is an invitation for a pest population explosion. At the same time, I can cite horticulturalists who can only point to French marigolds in crop rotations as being effective against root nematodes as a single pest, not repelling multiple or flying pests.

Carol, do you realize that Easter may come on any Sunday between March 22nd and April 25th, so a Good Friday planting date is also in a range of over a month? link

No one is very good at predicting the future conditions a month, a season or a year ahead. I have indoor seed-planting calendar dates. They are anticipating garden conditions 6, 8, even 12 weeks ahead.

Might I be doing things differently? Do I really want to :confused: ? What do you think and how might I strengthen my gardening practices by everything from ritual chanting to scheduling by moon phases to doing it exactly like Joe Gardener?

Steve
did You know that the US has it's Joe Gardener and the UK has a different Joe Gardener?
 

flowerbug

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to me the point is to do things that make you happiest as much as you can. when doing that it encourages you to do more. do we need to do more? perhaps. i sure do. :)

if i can do things in such a way as to be more like a lever than actually having to do the raw lifting then that seems also more efficient and has a larger impact. one good example of this was when i leveled an area to help head off further erosion - that had a lot of subsequent positive effects.

do you have root knot nematode problems?

i'm psyched that i have new peas and beans coming to plant. :)

i need to work on setting up some more insect hotels this season.

we do have a routine and i do have my own best practices and i'm usually trying new things out too.
 

Purple Iris

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:frow Back at ya! As far as companion planting for squash bugs goes, it hasn’t worked for me possibly due to the fact that the best companion plants, nasturtium and radish, don’t grow here in the summer. They die back about the time the squash gets going. I do plant french marigolds and lots of herbs all around though, just in case it can help. I too am a fan of diversity. I have lots of flowers growing in the garden and, not too far away, is a totally native plant area. I was hoping the bugs would all go there, or at least the area would attract birds and other benificials. It has, but I guess nothing likes to eat a squash bug... I was thinking about planting some sacrificial squash plants among the natives to maybe get some birds attention...:fl
So while no, companion planting has not helped my garden, I will keep doing it :hebecause I like to, and heck, maybe things would be even worse without it. Right? But then I could try that ritual chanting thing too...
 
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digitS'

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I may not have waited long enuf for Ridge' to begin raising a fuss about questions on where he plants his cherry tomato but I'd like to say something about nematodes and diversity.

Get those pesky nematodes out of the way, first. They usually don't cause much of a problem but how can I really be sure about that? They attack plant roots below ground and if we don't pull a plant up and look at it regularly through the growing season, what do we really know about nematodes and several other pests? They may be seriously limiting growth.

What I diagnose as nematode damage is in my potatoes each fall. Some varieties don't have much damage and there are plenty of tubers and they store okay. But, it really seems to be on all of them. Additionally, sometimes I can have lots of carrots with lots of small, hairy roots on them. The edible part of the carrot will not develop to a good size when this happens - which is very infrequently. Do I take any remedial steps to curb this garden pest? No.

Diversity is best seen in my salad beds. I like to have things in rows, because I'm likely to have quite a few of everything, running over many feet of ground. However, I also like things in beds and the rows can be several in a bed and of multiple species of plants. I also like to have several varieties of everything. That isn't always easily possible because I try to economize with seed orders. I wish that I could have even more diversity and plant beds with even more attention to it. Doing what I can now and hoping to do more of it -- brings me much of that happiness @flowerbug is talking about :).

Steve
 

flowerbug

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if you have very sandy soil, add some clay and predatory nematodes. clay is cheap. predatory nematodes, not so cheap, but i've heard they work from a friend who gardens in an area where they are prevalent. no, he's not added any clay either... every few years he gives his gardens another shot of the predatory nematodes.
 

Ridgerunner

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I may not have waited long enuf for Ridge' to begin raising a fuss about questions on where he plants his cherry tomato
Come now, Steve. You expect me to raise a fuss? Who do you have me confused with? :plbb

I know I can be a little weird. Often the best time for me to do something is when I can. I try to not let the pursuit of perfection get in the way of good enough. No matter what you do there are always trade-offs. Pick your fights. And I think my convenience is pretty darn important. What could be more convenient than grabbing a handful of ripe cherry tomatoes as you are walking by the garden, don't even have to open the gate? It's not perfection as I'm growing a tomato in the same spot every year instead of rotating it around. I just try to do the best I reasonably can within my limits. If that's not good enough for some people, well that's their problem, not mine.

Is that enough platitudes for you, platitude being defined as a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound. That's all I can think of this morning sort of related to the topic.
 

ducks4you

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I am a BIG fan of nasturtiums. If I can get them going early enough they spread, cover and help smother weeds, plus I am fond of red/orange/yellow flowers, although a few varieties have pink and purple-ish flowers. I like to grow flowers with my vegetables, but I cannot start and plant them late, or else they dry out. Don't like Swiss Chard to eat, but I grew about a dozen from seed last year, transplanted them, and they didn't quit until end of October, when the were finally frozen out, at 2 ft tall. I prefer Bright Lights, and I am growing them again, as filler and as a flower, of sorts.
I have had it with trying to save any plant that doesn't want to live. DON'T care if it is my fault!!
Last Fall I bought/started a "grow your own basil" package on clearance. 4 sprouted and 2 survived the transplant, and I DIDN'T try to save the other 2. Both failing basils went straight into the burn barrel. There had to be about 30 seeds, 26 of which were too old. They are some kind of "green" basil. I have since bought Opal to try from seed.
IF YOU THINK IT IS A GOOD IDEA, AND IT WORKS, SOMEBODY ELSE HAS DONE IT SUCCESSFULLY!!!
Watched Mid American Gardener last week, and there it was, the suggestion to use fence posts and livestock fencing for climbing vegetables, JUST like I have done for years.
Just try it, if you think it will work, then evaluate. Your instincts are better than you know.
ALSO, microclimates are a real thing and pigeon holing vegetables does not really tell you how they like to grow.
I am convinced that many cool weather vegetables are really warm weather vegetables that don't like it hot bc they also don't like it chilly, either. They will sit there growing only millimeters, like a dog that wants meat, but you filled the dog bowl with carrots, and the dog is waiting for you to get it right. And, YES, Eva is growing by millimeters while she waits for her dinner.
 
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digitS'

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a little weird
The same soil every year 😨 !?

Here I thought that you must, at least, be setting it out in a large container of something from the store.

Oh, the greatest sympathy for that Cherry and the terrible risks to which it is subject.

(Ya know, if you save seed through several generations of those plants, you may have something of great monetary and genetic value that could be marketed as '🎶 Ridgerunner Resistant'🎶. Yeah.)

digitS'
 

Beekissed

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No worries....I plant cherry tomatoes on the trellis over my garden gates also....it's the only trellis I have that's big enough to handle them. They do fine, grow like something from outerspace and produce well, so if it works I say don't fix it.

I guess I have a few standard practices in my gardens....pretty much trying new things all the time, tweaking here and there to see if I can get the most out of the space and my time spent, but I do stick with some tried and true veggie types simply because I've found them to produce and thrive well in our particular area....it's another one of those if it ain't broke scenarios.

Mulch gardening definitely gives pests more places to hide, so I've had an explosion of squash bugs....but the problem is rectified with the addition of livestock to the picture, which is usually a good idea anyway. Those bug eaters are currently laying me fresh eggs every day too, so it's the ultimate solution....turn nasty bugs into delicious food. So, it's my standard practice to use deep mulch in my garden and low cultivation practices as needed.

Companion planting...haven't found those to actually work, no matter how many marigolds and nasturtiums I plant or how many onions I plant with my tomatoes. I have had some success with sacrificial plants here lately, but so far have found no plants that will protect other plants from any bug predation. I did have some success by hiding beans in my tomatoes on the same trellis...the Jap beetles bothered those beans hardly any at all, while those planted together on the one long trellis were covered over with them.

All in all, I think most folks who have been gardening for long will have things they do that don't make sense according to some book or article out there, but they work and so we continue them. And why not?
 

digitS'

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No worries....I plant cherry tomatoes on the trellis over my garden gates also....it's the only trellis I have that's big enough to handle them.
I wish that my tomatoes could grow up and over my head.

A non-gardening neighbor was once out in his yard planting a tomato. He said that the plant tag said it would grow to 5'. He said, "I don't know, I've never seen a 5' tomato."

I stopped myself from saying, "Then you have never seen my garden." He never did see my tomatoes but 5' is just about their limit. That's if I let them do whatever they want and go wherever they want. Now that I have potted, pampered, trellised tomatoes in my own backyard, some do grow over my head but that isn't with me standing at their soil level.

Steve
 

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