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Old 04-14-2011, 09:46 AM   #81
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A previous neighbor had 3 cats who loved to do this to some of my smaller ground level flower gardens. Talk about annoying.
So I outsmarted them with this stuff.
Snow Fencing Source|Green Roll-Out Barrier Fencing

I laid it out HORIZONTALLY and stapled it across the wood that bordered the gardens, completely covering the dirt and mulch surface. I cut out small sections of the webbing, large enough to allow me to replant the flowers, which were torn up by the cats during their visit. Then I sprinkled straight cayenne pepper on the wood. Problem solved.
For areas where I had planted seeds, the plants came up right through the webbing and did beautifully. If there was no wood bordering the bed, I used metal landscaping fabric spikes to secure the webbing.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:48 AM   #82
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I remember a caution about dealing with cat litter during pregnancy because of toxoplasmosis. If you're not pregnant or immunity impaired it should not be an issue.

Should I Keep Cats Out of My Veggie Garden - Dr. Weil
Thanks for that link! Thankfully it was only one time, so it looks like the risk should be minimal, plus, neither of us falls into those two categories of high risk.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:53 AM   #83
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I got the stuff in pellets and sprinkled it around my garden two days ago. Rabbit came by sniffed and turned away. Great! It works except today rabbit came by sniffed and started munching!

ANy ideas? I put some more out but at this rate the big jug will be empty in a month and the it says its suppose to be good for 2 months!
In my search for ways to keep kitties out of my containers, here is one solution that I found which we may actually use to keep our neighbors' dogs off of our lawn...he-he-he! Not sure if it would scare off rabbits, but maybe?

Amazon.com: Contech Electronics CRO101 Scarecrow Motion-Activated Sprinkler: Patio, Lawn & Garden
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:32 PM   #84
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So I have a question - looking at the photos below...are there actually 3 cucumber plants and 4 squash? When I first bought and planted them I thought they were each one plant b/c their roots were all intertwined (yes, I'm a newbie), but now I'm thinking otherwise. If they are multiple plants, do I need to snip off all but one of each? Nervous about doing that!

In other news, my bush beans have sprouted!
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:35 PM   #85
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Yes, your count is correct.

If you pull the extras out, you take the risk of disturbing the roots and damaging the stems/leaves of the others. I use a small sharp scissor to snip off the extras just above soil level. The cut stems will wither away.

Next time, buy seeds and plant only 2 seeds next to each other. Keep the stronger seedling.

If you do buy plants again, it is possible to GENTLY separate them and plant single seedlings. Handle the roots gently, separating without tearing. Avoid touching the stems and leaves. I've used a knife to slice the root ball if the stems are not touching.
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:20 PM   #86
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Oh crap. Seeds & plants...want!
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:46 PM   #87
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Yes, your count is correct.

If you pull the extras out, you take the risk of disturbing the roots and damaging the stems/leaves of the others. I use a small sharp scissor to snip off the extras just above soil level. The cut stems will wither away.

Next time, buy seeds and plant only 2 seeds next to each other. Keep the stronger seedling.

If you do buy plants again, it is possible to GENTLY separate them and plant single seedlings. Handle the roots gently, separating without tearing. Avoid touching the stems and leaves. I've used a knife to slice the root ball if the stems are not touching.
OK, so I broke down and snipped off the extra plants this morning...so hard to do! I will do seeds next year - just didn't get started in time this year. Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:36 PM   #88
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OK, so I broke down and snipped off the extra plants this morning...so hard to do! I will do seeds next year - just didn't get started in time this year. Thanks for the help!
You're welcome.
If you felt a little heartless with the scissors, remember that the surviving plants will do so much better when not crowded.
I checked your profile and saw you are in the Southeast. You are golden for planting seeds anytime you want. I am in the northeast with a much shorter growing season, making it necessary for me to start my seedlings indoors or purchase seedlings. I have to stick with early varieties.
Have you considered successive plantings? You can do one small planting, wait 3-4 weeks, and then put more seeds in separate containers.
As your first set of mature plants grow their fruits and then start to produce less, you will have more seedlings on deck.
That way your harvest won't all come in at the same time and extend your picking season. If you are cramped for space, use 2 lb plastic food containers, washed out very well. Put about 1 inch of gravel or several small stones from the yard in the bottom so the bottom soil doesn't get compacted. Or you could punch holes in the bottom and place a plastic water collecting dish underneath.
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:50 PM   #89
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I checked your profile and saw you are in the Southeast. You are golden for planting seeds anytime you want. I am in the northeast with a much shorter growing season, making it necessary for me to start my seedlings indoors or purchase seedlings. I have to stick with early varieties.
Have you considered successive plantings? You can do one small planting, wait 3-4 weeks, and then put more seeds in separate containers.
As your first set of mature plants grow their fruits and then start to produce less, you will have more seedlings on deck.
That way your harvest won't all come in at the same time and extend your picking season. If you are cramped for space, use 2 lb plastic food containers, washed out very well. Put about 1 inch of gravel or several small stones from the yard in the bottom so the bottom soil doesn't get compacted. Or you could punch holes in the bottom and place a plastic water collecting dish underneath.
FD suggested successive plantings for my bush beans - so I am doing that with those. Half are one week old and just sprouted yesterday. Will plant the next batch in a week or two. Can't wait to see how much we get from all of these plants! I'm keeping track of how many things I've planted so I can get a good feel of how much to plant next year.

Regarding planting seeds, most people say the last frost around here is usually by about April 15th. I guess next year I should start seeds inside a week or two before Oh, and if you only want a few plants of each, so you just plant say 2 tomato seeds and keep the strongest - will the pack of seeds still be good for next year? If not, I'll try to find someone to give them to. Hate to waste things!
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:17 PM   #90
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FD suggested successive plantings for my bush beans - so I am doing that with those. Half are one week old and just sprouted yesterday. Will plant the next batch in a week or two. Can't wait to see how much we get from all of these plants! I'm keeping track of how many things I've planted so I can get a good feel of how much to plant next year.

Regarding planting seeds, most people say the last frost around here is usually by about April 15th. I guess next year I should start seeds inside a week or two before Oh, and if you only want a few plants of each, so you just plant say 2 tomato seeds and keep the strongest - will the pack of seeds still be good for next year? If not, I'll try to find someone to give them to. Hate to waste things!
In year 1 (stamped on seed packet), I always plant (indoors for me) 4x the amount of seeds, 2 per planting spot, for the number of plants I want. That way if some do not germinate or the single kept seedling does not do well, I still have plenty. Once my weather is warm enough to plant in larger containers, I get mine done.
I will put the extra plants in a yogurt cup or a small standard 3" pot (1 per container) and give them to friends as presents.
I have carried over seeds from year to year. In general, the larger and/or thicker the seed, the longer it will stay viable. Tomato and lettuce seeds tend to not last past 1 year, but sometimes I get a surprise and they germinate in year 2. Bean seeds will often remain viable for 3 years.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:52 PM   #91
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FD suggested successive plantings for my bush beans - so I am doing that with those. Half are one week old and just sprouted yesterday. Will plant the next batch in a week or two.
I'd go with 2 weeks not 1 week. 3 or 4 weeks may be better because you'll get 2 or 3 pickings from the 1st plants. If you start another batch in 3 weeks after planting the 1st you'll better time the maturity of the 2nd with the end of the 1st.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:26 PM   #92
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I'd go with 2 weeks not 1 week. 3 or 4 weeks may be better because you'll get 2 or 3 pickings from the 1st plants. If you start another batch in 3 weeks after planting the 1st you'll better time the maturity of the 2nd with the end of the 1st.
That would be perfect. So, with bush beans, you get 2 or 3 pickings and then they are done producing? So, about how many weeks does that mean they are actually producing beans?
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:55 PM   #93
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Typically you'll get 3 pickings over 15-18 days then the plants don't really produce but I think if you wait a few weeks they do produce again but at a lower rate. I'm not 100% sure because I stopped growing bush beans years ago. My primary reason was they produced just 2 good pickings (and inundated you with too many beans) then slowed down and you'd get another picking that was much less. I got tired of feast then famine, the back breaking task of looking for beans at ground level, Mexican bean beetles, and the fact that pole beans produced all season at a steady rate and gave you a lot of beans that are easy to pick.

Pole beans take a little longer to start producing, typically 66 to 68 days to maturity, but they'll live until the sun is too weak and nights too cold to produce but by then the season is over. Mexican bean beetles don't bother pole beans but Japanese beetles will but the plants are so prolific they shrug off the J beetles eating the leaves. Pole beans tolerate frost and to a point freezing temperatures, probably 23-24 would be the end point. I often pick pole beans the 3rd week in October when the sun is so weak even lettuce and broccoli are hardly growing and we've had many frosts and some nights at 27 or 28. I do toss sheets and comforters over the trellis when they are calling for temps under 28 degrees if I have a lot of tiny beans that might produce 1 last picking.
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:04 AM   #94
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Typically you'll get 3 pickings over 15-18 days then the plants don't really produce but I think if you wait a few weeks they do produce again but at a lower rate. I'm not 100% sure because I stopped growing bush beans years ago. My primary reason was they produced just 2 good pickings (and inundated you with too many beans) then slowed down and you'd get another picking that was much less. I got tired of feast then famine, the back breaking task of looking for beans at ground level, Mexican bean beetles, and the fact that pole beans produced all season at a steady rate and gave you a lot of beans that are easy to pick.

Pole beans take a little longer to start producing, typically 66 to 68 days to maturity, but they'll live until the sun is too weak and nights too cold to produce but by then the season is over. Mexican bean beetles don't bother pole beans but Japanese beetles will but the plants are so prolific they shrug off the J beetles eating the leaves. Pole beans tolerate frost and to a point freezing temperatures, probably 23-24 would be the end point. I often pick pole beans the 3rd week in October when the sun is so weak even lettuce and broccoli are hardly growing and we've had many frosts and some nights at 27 or 28. I do toss sheets and comforters over the trellis when they are calling for temps under 28 degrees if I have a lot of tiny beans that might produce 1 last picking.
Very helpful and interesting! We'll see how the bush beans work out for us and if we have the problems you mentioned, I will try the pole beans. I went with bush b/c I have so many other items that will need something to climb (tomatoes, cucumbers, squash).

Speaking of that, what kind of trellis/staking system do all of you recommend? Keep in mind we have these on our back deck. We can do some kind of staking near the railing, or move the containers near the wall of the house and put some kind of system there...

Oh, and man are these bush beans growing like crazy!!! So fun to wake up every morning and see the progress of all of our plants.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:39 AM   #95
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I remember a caution about dealing with cat litter during pregnancy because of toxoplasmosis. If you're not pregnant or immunity impaired it should not be an issue.

Should I Keep Cats Out of My Veggie Garden - Dr. Weil

I'm begging horse owners for manure for the garden, so don't worry about a couple of cats.
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:21 PM   #96
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Depending on where you live, various critters will decide you are running a salad bar.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:37 PM   #97
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I'm begging horse owners for manure for the garden, so don't worry about a couple of cats.
I disagree. The warning about cat feces re pregnant women is a valid concern.

Manure from vegetarian animals is much preferred over that of carnivores. Dog feces would not make a good amendment for soil due to parasites.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:42 PM   #98
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Speaking of that, what kind of trellis/staking system do all of you recommend? Keep in mind we have these on our back deck. We can do some kind of staking near the railing, or move the containers near the wall of the house and put some kind of system there...
I use an 8' long A frame trellis made from steel pipes with concrete re enforcing wire laid on both sides. It'll last a lifetime and hold all the cukes and pole beans I could ever grow! For you on a deck maybe twine suspended from the building that run down to the ground for the vining plants to climb.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:07 AM   #99
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I use an 8' long A frame trellis made from steel pipes with concrete re enforcing wire laid on both sides. It'll last a lifetime and hold all the cukes and pole beans I could ever grow! For you on a deck maybe twine suspended from the building that run down to the ground for the vining plants to climb.
3 tall saplings (minus leaves and branches) tied together at the top with strong twine will make an excellent teepee climbing support. Or you can get creative and tie togther a square arrangement. If you have no access to saplings, you might be able to find some bamboo poles at a garden supply store. They will be very expensive in longer lengths. Maybe a wooden replacement handle for push brooms would be more cost effective.
Beans cannot climb a perfectly smooth surface, so forget about using PVC pipe.
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:11 PM   #100
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You can get some ideas of the types of plant supports you can make yourself with a little ingenuity and the right supplies.

Gardener's Supply Company - Search Results

Some of these are very expensive, but the long term durabilityand quality is a tradeoff to the cost. I own an expandable pea fence, and several of the upright single plant supports. I used to make my own and finally spent the bucks.
No buyer's remorse.
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