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Another Newbie! HELP!!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by detectorbill on March 04, 2006 02:09 PM
First, I love this site! It's incredible! Now for the stupid questions, How do I found out what region I'm in. Jackson, SC. I'm starting new garden this year, just tilled it this week. I think I'm a little late, what kind of fert. should I use. Should I till a lot between now and planting time or will it matter. I found out my land was a cornfield and soybeans years ago. Was easy to till up. Is horse manure ok to use? Exactly how long do I have to wait after fert? Is there anything I can do to make up for lost time?Thanks ahead! [dunno]

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by mikestuff on March 04, 2006 07:45 PM
It looks like 7b or 8a.
by tkhooper on March 04, 2006 10:11 PM
Don't over till. That can cause the soil to clump up and strangle your little seedlings. Before adding any amendments do a soil test for pH. You can find the kits in the garden center where you live. I found mine at Lowe's. How much and what kind of fertilizer depends on what you intend to grow.

Your not behind times for planting.

You can start with young plants rather than seeds if you are looking for the earliest possible blooms/harvest.

Decomposing horse manure is fine as a fertilizer.

Tell us more about your garden.

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by detectorbill on March 04, 2006 10:25 PM
thanks for the quick reply! I'm planning to plant tomatoes, squash, potatoes (in tires or a barrel), cabbage, lettuce, brocolli, cucumbers, watermelons, bellpepers, onions, carrots, okra, hot peppers, radishes, may plant a seperate section of corn and will for sure plant a spot for asparagus (then wait a couple of years patiently!) I also wanted to ask about using plastic in the begining for weed control but also through the season on and off to help with weeds. Is that ok? Thanks for all the help, you folks are so cool. I will be a part of this family forever!!! Bill

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by peppereater on March 04, 2006 10:50 PM
I'd buy the broccoli and cabbage plants...summer heat is hard on them, so you need a head start. Get the potatoes planted now, as well as the lettuce, radishes and onions...possibly the carrots, too. Start the peppers and tomatoes now unless you buy plants later. Plastic is fine as long as you leave room around the plants...mulch well with straw, leaves or whatever you have.
Sounds like a big, ambitious garden...think about how much time you can devote to it. Good luck!

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by tkhooper on March 05, 2006 03:09 AM
As far as the corn goes if you goggle this site you should find a very good string with all the information you need on that subject. Planting corn is different than planting most things.

Did you look up companion planting while you were looking through the site? You want to do that because it can help you with the size and taste of your harvest.

I think if you keep at the weeding thing you will find that after a few years it becomes less of a problem. And like Weezie says weeding after rain is much easier than doing it while the ground is dry.

Are you going to compost? I just started gardening last year and I'm finding it is much cheaper if I am willing to compost. And I'm all about saving a penny or two or three lol.

Because full to note that potatoes try to grow up out of the soil and they have to remain covered so having some thing like straw around that you can cover them with is very important. Green potato is poisonous. I'm not trying to scare you it's just something that you need to know so you can keep an eye on where you plant your potatoes.

For yellow onions you will need "slips". I think that's what they are called. I'm not quite sure where you will find those. Otherwise I think those are a two year crop too. I'm doing garlic from seed as well as from bulbets this year. From seed is a two year crop also. That way althought I only started growing them this year I'll already have both years crops in now so it will be continuous after next year.

Personally I would stager sowing radishes, green onions, carrots and the like. Doing some every other week. That way you can harvest them all summer long. That's because I love fresh veggies and I'm only a family of one.

Yeppers time is an important consideration. Do you have a drip irrigation system all set up? Or how do you plan to water. That is very important as I found out last year. I hand water and it is a pain. If I owned the land you know I'd put a water source out there and drip lines even though my plot is small. Because with the really warm temperatures were have been getting the last few year it takes a bunch of water to keep everything growing.

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by obywan59 on March 05, 2006 03:11 AM
I looked on my big hardiness zone map that shows all of the US counties, and I would say you are definitely in zone 8a, but fairly close to the border of zone 7b.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by ChristinaC on March 05, 2006 03:21 AM
quote:
Personally I would stager sowing radishes, green onions, carrots and the like
I agree with Tammy!! Radishes and green onions don't take long to mature. In fact, you can harvest radishes in as little as 4 weeks!

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by Amigatec on March 05, 2006 08:14 AM
I already have onions, shallots, garlic, peas, potatoes, lettuce, radishes, brussels sprouts, and cabbage in the ground.

Most of these are cool weather crops.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by detectorbill on March 06, 2006 03:02 PM
I'm planning a drip system but gathering info now. I'm running PVC now but need info on dripping. I'm going to get my soil tested this week, how much does it cost if I have someone do it. Everyone around me says our area is not that successfull for gardening, but they don't use this site! How soon can I plant after adding lime and fert? I'm waiting 3 weeks for the section I added horse manure, but not sure about other stuff. I'm starting my first compost pile tomorrow.

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by obywan59 on March 06, 2006 03:16 PM
detectorbill, I've heard people say not to plant right after fertilizing, but I do it all the time--and I mean immediately after fertilizing. The only time I wait is after I till in winter rye, as the rye has the effect of retarding seed germination. In this case I wait 2 weeks before planting my seeds.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by detectorbill on March 06, 2006 03:54 PM
Thanks Terry! What kind of fert. do you use?

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by obywan59 on March 07, 2006 03:21 AM
I use Harmony. It's an organic dry granulated composted poultry manure.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Longy on March 07, 2006 04:36 AM
I've heard people say not to plant right after fertilizing, but I do it all the time--and I mean immediately after fertilizing. The only time I wait is after I till in winter rye, as the rye has the effect of retarding seed germination. In this case I wait 2 weeks before planting my seeds.
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I use Harmony. It's an organic dry granulated composted poultry manure.
==========================

I think it's advised to wait a while if using a chemical fertiliser or if the manures etc are still hot. Organic ferts as you describe Obywan are slow release and ready immediately. I use something similar as well as blood and bone, compost and well rotted manures. Basically dig 'em in today and plant whenever i like.

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The secret is the soil.
by weezie13 on March 07, 2006 06:44 AM
Detectorbill,
Sent you a PM on the cardboard [thumb] [thumb] ...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by SusieF on March 07, 2006 07:13 AM
A good way to make sure that your corn does well is to first soak the seeds in sour milk for at least 2 hrs. before planting. This will also keep critters from digging up your seed.

SusieF
by detectorbill on March 07, 2006 11:20 AM
Thanks Weezie, tried to reply but your pm is full, here it is: I can't believe as busy as you must be you take time for a lowley gardner like me! Your an inspriration to us all! I'm planting squash, broc, watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, bellpeppers, jalapenos, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, potatoes (separate with high PH), aspargus (separate 2 year plan) fish, gold bricks, okra, Moose, corn. You will be happy to know I'm starting my first compost pile this year also! Thanks for all your help, I'm telling everyone about this site!

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by comfrey on March 07, 2006 12:00 PM
quote:
Originally posted by detectorbill:
I'm going to get my soil tested this week, how much does it cost if I have someone do it.
In most area's the county extension office will do soil testing for free, check out you county offices or call you local agriculture agent and they can advise you as to where to get your soil tested.

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by detectorbill on March 07, 2006 12:17 PM
I can't believe as busy as you must be you take time for a loley gardner like me! Your an inspriration to us all! I'm planting squash, broc, watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, bellpeppers, jalapenos, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, potatoes (separate with high PH), aspargus (separate 2 year plan) fish, gold bricks, okra, Moose, corn. You will be happy to know I'm starting my first compost pile this year also! Thanks for all your help, I'm telling everyone about this site!

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by Greenthumb newbee on March 08, 2006 04:05 PM
DetectorBill

Horse manure is good but so is chicken manure as well. Last year I used about a half pickup truck load of it and athough my garden stank for a few days it worked GREAT. I had the best growing season ever.....That is untill the big drought hit but I got my Brocolli and my colliflower harvested before that (in june) and my tomatos and pepers did well, So did my potatos. My vine plants did`nt do so good because of lack of water.

Oh I also grew lettuce before the drought. plant that early and just put the seeds on the ground...DON`T plant them, then just through dirt on top of the seeds. Lettuce grows on top of the soil like raddishes and onions. BTW....I got over 4 BOXES of romaine lettuce. Grew it for giggles and to see if it would grow. If kept weed free they grow like weeds. I had a 6'x 1' of carpet lettuce (thats how well it covered the ground.)

Cucumbers and watermellons like and will take LOTS of space and will climb all over what ever they get there vines on/into. Water WELL and you will get a good harvest.
by detectorbill on March 10, 2006 11:28 PM
Is it OK to raise all my rows in mounds? I'm planting toms, broc, squash, peppers, (hot & sweet) carrots, radishes, lettuce, cabbage.

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by weezie13 on March 10, 2006 11:36 PM
Raising them in rows and mounds have been done for like everrrrrrr...

Is is good especially for heating up the soil early... and getting warmth to the soil...
Is great for drainage, it's up higher so it drains much better, especially if you have a clay based soil area.... or a lower spot for your garden where water would end up...
Is good, cause then you don't walk on that area and doesn't compact the soil..

But, remember if you live in an area where it's warmer, it will dry out quicker...
so make sure you ammend your soil, like with Compost, for some water retention and nutrition..

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by johnCT on March 11, 2006 12:12 AM
quote:
Originally posted by detectorbill:
Is it OK to raise all my rows in mounds?
Sure! Its probably better that way cuz it helps with drainage. Poor drainage is a plant's worst nightmare. Just keep an eye on erosion or use some mulch to prevent it.

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John - Zone 6
by detectorbill on March 11, 2006 10:43 AM
thanks, was'nt sure if raising the mounds was good for anything. What about melons, cant. and watermelons, does it matter? I have good drainage. By the way, how far will watermelons travel, I put my patch 12' away from my garden.

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by detectorbill on March 11, 2006 11:00 AM
oh yea, nother question. Is there ever a problem with soil being too hot? Was wandering about leaving plastic on all season. Was also wandering why everyone doesn't do that always? Seems like the only way to go to me unless I'm missing something. WHAT about Potash, I'm low on my soil sample and added a sprinkle then a little dirt, then my potatoes. Think it'll burn 'em when the roots get there, had second thoughts after I did it. What else besides compost (which I'm gonna go crazy with thanks to what I've learned on this site) is good for potassium? preferably organic??? THANKS!!!

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by obywan59 on March 11, 2006 03:05 PM
Here are some potassium sources:

Granite powder, Greensand, Langbeinite (Sul-Po-Mag), Kelp meal, and Wood ashes.

Not sure about the potash burning your potato roots. The granite powder and greensand are slow release while the potassium in kelp is in a relatively available form, but I doubt that it would burn. The Sul-Po-Mag is a source of quick release potassium, and some of the nutrients of wood ashes are soluble enough to burn plants. I use greensand myself, and always till it in before planting. 1 application of greensand (and probably the granite too) will last 5 years.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by detectorbill on March 11, 2006 11:52 PM
thanks terry! gonna find me some greensand!

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by peppereater on March 13, 2006 01:53 AM
Be careful with too much woodash...a little is great, too much makes soil alkaline, and raises salt level.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by detectorbill on March 13, 2006 03:14 AM
thanks pepper, i'll watch that.

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by Deborah L. on March 13, 2006 08:08 AM
Speaking of radishes, what am I doing wrong?
All I ever get are red, spicy-tasting strings.
Why won't my radishes make globes?
[dunno]

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by tkhooper on March 13, 2006 08:28 AM
I'm wondering how compacted your soil is. Also my radishes usually grow down before they begin to fill out could you be picking too soon? Also there are some white radishes that do have more of a carrot shape than round but they are pure white.

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by Amigatec on March 13, 2006 09:09 AM
My soil here is hard, lots of clay.

I can't till as deep as I would like. So this year I planted my carrots in a big pot, now I don't have to worry about the soil getting hard on them.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by weezie13 on March 13, 2006 09:38 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Deborah L.:
Speaking of radishes, what am I doing wrong?
All I ever get are red, spicy-tasting strings.
Why won't my radishes make globes?
[dunno]

Waterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr is one, they need consistant water,
not soggy, just moist!!!!!!

And they grow best when it's cooler temps outside...
*Spring and Fall*

And age, the longer they grow, the spicier and tougher they get...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by peppereater on March 19, 2006 05:58 AM
I just had a thought...are you thinning your radishes? They need a little space or they won't develop.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Deborah L. on March 19, 2006 06:57 AM
Thanks, Weezie and Dave. Could it be that I planted them too shallowly? Was scared to plant too deeply, and so I'll bet I planted the seeds not deep enough !
I never got to the thinning stage. When they were supposed to be ready to harvest, there, every single time, were the red strings. Nothing formed a globe.
I planted them far apart so that I wouldn't have to thin. Thinning would upset me ! Can't bear to kill anything.
By the way, these were planted in a deep, wide container. I'm a container-only gardener. No yard-just the open spaces of the condominium complex, where planting is not allowed.

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by peppereater on March 19, 2006 07:20 AM
No, you can't plant radishes too shallow (don't quote me! [Big Grin] )
I'm thinking the recommendation is just to cover the seed...
It could be that your soil isn't rich enough? What all is in your mix?

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by weezie13 on March 19, 2006 12:32 PM
A good rule of thumb is for planting seeds
is 2 times what the seed size is...

Like a piece of corn, might be to the first joint of your first finger, and some may only get a fine, fine, fine dusting of seed starting soil, or nothing...

I let my radishes go to seed the year before last, and got babies from those flowers/seed pods,
and I obviously didn't even plant them, they just landed on top.. *although they did have a covering of all the radish stems/stalks/flowers over the whole winter...*

I'd be with Dave on that same question,
what was your dirt/soil like???

What was your watering like, they like it moist,
NOT soggy, but moist..

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by detectorbill on March 20, 2006 11:41 AM
I planted radish seeds today, I think I may have planted them (and my carrots) too deep. like a couple of inches. What should I look for or do?

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by weezie13 on March 20, 2006 12:03 PM
You planted both carrots and radish's over an inch deep????

Well, it would be up to you.. wait a bit and watch..radish's sprout in days, very quickly...
Carrots, a little bit more...but, if after say 2 weeks, and nothing, replant, scatter seeds on top of soil
and gently shake a hand full of compost or seedstarting mix over the top of the seeds, and I mean a light covering...
You could take a piece of flat wood, and press ever so lightly or pat down, just so seeds have good contact with the soil.
And give the dirt/soil a very light showering of water, so it moistens, but not washes away...

and keep moist...seeds won't sprout when they are toooo dry...

Radish seeds are a little bit bigger than a carrot seed, so they may be planted like to the bottom part of your finger nail....

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by comfrey on March 20, 2006 01:09 PM
When I plant carrots, since the seed is so fine, I end up having to always thin them out. I make a humped up dirt row, then take my hoe handle and drag it lightly along the top middle part of the row,sprinkle my seeds along that drag line when that is done, I take my hands and gentle push a little dirt into this slight indention I made, pat it down and water good. Growing carrots in a container is a good way, esp if you have hard or rocky soil. I have light and fluffy soil with some small rocks, but have no problems with those few small rocks. I grow the Danvers half long, and over half of them get almost as big as full sized would. Radish is one thing I have never been able to get to grow right either, so gave up years ago. Maybe I'll try again, I have some fresh seed.

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by weezie13 on March 20, 2006 08:56 PM
quote:
Radish is one thing I have never been able to get to grow right either, so gave up years ago. Maybe I'll try again, I have some fresh seed.

Remember, watering is the key, moist but not soggy..
and harvest early...

*My idea of harvesting early is by eatin' them out of the garden while I'm in the garden everday...* hehehehe

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by peppereater on March 20, 2006 11:33 PM
I have sandy soil, and radishes do well. I plant them early (should have done that already!) They like cool weather.
Lettuce likes to be sown on the soil surface, or barely dusted with soil...lettuce and some others need some light to reach the seed to germinate. These are just things you learn as you go... [thumb]

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by detectorbill on March 21, 2006 09:04 PM
We just had a monsoon! Poured all night, may have washed all the dirt off my seeds even though they were 2 ' deep! may have veggies spread all over the place.

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by Deborah L. on March 25, 2006 12:35 PM
Thanks, all, for your posts about radishes.
The soil is bagged good quality potting soil, called E.B. Stone. So it can't be impacted.
I wait a whole month, cross my fingers, and pull. Sure enough, no globes, just strings.
I water well, and never overwater anything.
I'll try one more time, and after that, hello grocery store radishes forever ! [dunno]

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by Longy on March 25, 2006 02:03 PM
With fine seed like radish and carrot, i get a container, like a glass jar with a lid and drill a 1/2" hole in the top and put very fine very dry sand in it. Tip the packet of seed into the sand. Shake. Make a furrow or drill along the bed and pour into the seed drill. You get pretty reasonable spacing this way. I always cover any seed with dry, seived worm castings. It holds moisture really well and gives the seed a little feed once it sprouts and starts to grow.

You can also buy these small seeds on a tape and just lay the tape on the soil, cover lightly and press down. Perfect spacing every time.

A tip to stop small seed drying out is to cover them with a piece of board, shadecloth, even an old bedsheet for a larger planting. This will prevent the soil from drying out and stop heavy rain or watering from disturbing the small seeds. Check underneath each day and once the first few seeds have sprouted, either remove the cover all together or, in the case of extremely hot weather, lift it and place a brick under each end of the board to allow some light underneath. Gradually move it off altogether.

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The secret is the soil.
by detectorbill on March 25, 2006 10:48 PM
I got tater sprouts today! Thought I had set them too deep also, still may have, but I've got 4 sprouters... Oh Yea..

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by tkhooper on March 25, 2006 11:54 PM
make sure the actual taters stay coverd if they turn green they are poisonous. They like to try and grow out of the ground.

Good luck with the taters.

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by weezie13 on March 26, 2006 10:37 AM
Or for the fine seeds a spray bottle of water...
And mist it good, depending on where you have it,
if it's full sun, a couple times of day..
but that does cut down on the dirt/seed displacement...

I do the worm castings too..
*when my son brings them to me...
he's an awesome finder of those casting..*

But mostly I sprinkle the sifted compost
or the seed starting mix soil..

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by detectorbill on March 27, 2006 08:36 AM
Gotcha, should I allow them to 4-5" before covering with dirt?

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by Longy on March 27, 2006 11:36 AM
should I allow them to 4-5" before covering with dirt?
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A bit taller is OK. Say 10". Hill the soil up around the stem, just enough to leave the top of the shoots exposed. If you don't have enough soil, you can use straw and compost, well rotted manures or mulches. You should bury the growth about 3 times thru the growing season.

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The secret is the soil.

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