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Old 10-23-2012, 04:22 AM   #16
GraphicGr8s
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With your small area what's the worst that can happen if you plant winter rye now? It grows for a spell and dies from snow? Turn the soil a little and plant it.

The first year I moved into this house and planted I had the best garden ever. I was giving away watermelon. I had so much eggplant I spent hours frying and freezing it for parmigiana. Corn was so abundant as were the beans. Froze tons. Never a sign of disease at all. Year two wasn't as good. Still had a good harvest but it was more work. I've got enough land that I can rotate plantings. 11 years later I am constantly fighting things. Early blight. Late blight. Blossom end rot. Caterpillars.
So you may not have them now. But you will.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:49 AM   #17
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If you're starting over, check out the methodology of Square Foot Gardening. It's great for getting a lot of crop out of limited space, and he offers good tips on soil prep, companion planting, seasonal planting, etc.

Here's my garden this year



This year we continued growing culinary lavendar, rosemary, thyme and basil, roma and orange cherry tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, pole beans, blueberries, and tried pumpkins.

Blackberries are an evasive plant here... I've been beating them back all season. If you need some, let me know. I can send you plenty. lol
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:12 AM   #18
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They are plenty of public urban gardens in NYC. Check them out for info.

Oh, throw egg shells into the compost. It'll give it plenty of calcium.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:22 AM   #19
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I have a garden. It's been dormant for a couple years. When I raked off the dead leaves this spring, I found black soil, with some worms and a snake. A friend told me that was perfect.

I grew a dozen basil plants of a couple different varieties, as well as a rosemary bush (that had lasted a couple years) and some swiss chard, and some cherry and pearl tomatoes, and a few other plants.

Basically, my feelings about a garden are to start with a nutrient-rich soil, keep it wet, and enjoy the fruits of your lack of labor.

The basil, all of it, grew impressively with regular rain or sprinklering, and I ate many meals that had basil as a significant component. The cherries I mostly enjoyed a couple times a week after going out for a harvest.

Terrestrial plants are sooo much easier than aquatic ones.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:24 AM   #20
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I live in Queens also and for the last few years now we have been growing our own tomatoes and cucumbers on the side of our house. We have had pretty good success and we don't know half of what you guys are talking about in this thread.

We had good success this year using the water out of my 55G community tank.

From reading this thread I will look more into fertilizing with calcium.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:04 AM   #21
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Does aquatic gardening count?
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
They are plenty of public urban gardens in NYC. Check them out for info.

Oh, throw egg shells into the compost. It'll give it plenty of calcium.
Not only public urban gardens but also rooftop gardens.

Egg shells are great but do take a while to break down and be useful. Dolomitic limestone will provide calcium, which helps prevent blossom end rot and will also "sweeten" the soil. Like anything else you have to see which is more readily available to the plants. It may be in the soil but locked up.
Another good thing to plant is beans. It fixes the nitrogen so it's more readily available.

Many people have the wrong idea about compost though. It's nutrient level is low compared to other types of fertilizer. It does however have more benefits than just the nutrients. I swear by it. It can be used to break up a clayey soil and to bind together a sandy one. (I still wonder about that sometimes though. I've dumped literally hundreds of pounds into my sand and can't tell much of a difference. I use the neighbors front end loader to dump it.)

A nice pile of leaves and grass clippings composting over the winter will provide a great side dressing and mulch. Dried leaves will provide a good carbon source and the clippings a good nitrogen source.

Raised beds are nice too. Just don't use any PT for any part of them.
Most sawdust is good for composting. But stay away from walnut. It has a natural herbicide. Use only sawdust from solid boards. No plywood, pressboard or other engineered lumbers.

Last edited by GraphicGr8s; 10-23-2012 at 01:17 PM.. Reason: 123
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:31 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Even in NY you'll have bouts with fusarium wilt, early blight, late blight among many others. I couldn't get the pdf to open due to problems on my end but I've seen the studies before. If you garden long enough and talk to commercial farmers and small urban community farms you learn that it appears great under controlled conditions but in real world scenarios it fails miserably. If it were practical every farm would do it. And I know of none that do. At least here.

My season down here is opposite yours. In fact I have two seasons. I've got tomatoes, squash, cukes, corn, pole and bush beans down. Next month cold crops go in. Lettuces, Broccoli, radishes, carrots, etc. Come January it's time to start tomato seed again along with eggplant and peppers. etc.
There was so much info here and I was so sleepy that I missed some important points. Your absolutely right. Field studies are much more important than primarily studies. I have a study somewhere in JSTOR but I can't find it at work. However, I was actually over at sycamore farms and I talked to the owner about his amazing heirlooms. His tomato, Aunt Ruby was rated #1 in New York in the farmers market. I asked him about grafting and he said he tried to do it him self but they failed to graft and next year is using a company to get them grafted for him. But he did have about 20 plants that did graft and he said even though it was a small sample, it was overwhelming in what the plant produced. It was able to stand up to the outside conditions and had a much higher yield in both the early and late harvest. Maxifort is an extremely vigorous plant and I had suspect as much. But not just me or this farm, many people have people have had great success with grafting root stock for tomatoes. Places like North Carolina State University and the University of Maine have done field studies for years in terms of disease management.

Your harvest season's really cool. I'm so use to NYC climate that I can't even think of harvesting anything in the coming months. I envy you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
With your small area what's the worst that can happen if you plant winter rye now? It grows for a spell and dies from snow? Turn the soil a little and plant it.

11 years later I am constantly fighting things. Early blight. Late blight. Blossom end rot. Caterpillars.
So you may not have them now. But you will.
Great point. I will buy some seeds now. I was just worried that it won't give it enough time for it to build the nitrogen fixing roots to enhance my soil.

And thanks for the advice. I will look into it. I don't have enough space for crop rotations but this square foot gardening sounds like a great alternative. I am almost done reading the book. I think I'll aim for that next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestems View Post
Here's my garden this year



Blackberries are an evasive plant here... I've been beating them back all season. If you need some, let me know. I can send you plenty. lol
Your garden is beautiful! Really I am envious. I am ashamed to post a picture of my garden.

And Yes! I think I will take you up in your offer. By any chance, do you know what variety of blackberries you have? Sorry I don't mean to be so picky, but since I don't have much space I really have to try to get the sweetest best blackberries to make up for my lack of space.

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Not only public urban gardens but also rooftop gardens.
While true, you guys are over estimating the amount of gardens we have. Its really only the nice neighborhoods that have that luxury. I live in a relativity nice area so I have more gardens here. About 1/3 of the people who live hear have backyards but less than a quarter actually have growing gardens. A lot of us here use container gardening since we don't have that much space. Roof top gardens are awesome and I visited this new rooftop farm in Brooklyn. I really wish I had the money and permission to take on such a project. But again its widely publicized but not as much as it might seem. The only area that I have seen that actually have a good concentration of rooftop gardens are in soho. They are wealthy enough to afford such commodities. Even with these rooftop bee hives, man I wish I could get one but NYC could only support so much and I its more common in certain areas. Most people that I know here do apartment gardening.

The point is that there shouldn't be enough contact between gardens for plant diseases to spread. But again, I will remain cautious

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Many people have the wrong idea about compost though. It's nutrient level is low compared to other types of fertilizer. It does however have more benefits than just the nutrients. I swear by it. It can be used to break up a clayey soil and to bind together a sandy one. (I still wonder about that sometimes though. I've dumped literally hundreds of pounds into my sand and can't tell much of a difference. I use the neighbors front end loader to dump it.)
Correct me if I am wrong, but is it more so about the organic matter in the compost that breaks down over time that releases the nutrients that the plants need rather than the immediate uptake of available nutrition? I'm just studying this field and I am more in the chasing hype phase than understanding it.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:37 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
I have a garden. It's been dormant for a couple years. When I raked off the dead leaves this spring, I found black soil, with some worms and a snake. A friend told me that was perfect.

Basically, my feelings about a garden are to start with a nutrient-rich soil, keep it wet, and enjoy the fruits of your lack of labor.

The basil, all of it, grew impressively with regular rain or sprinklering, and I ate many meals that had basil as a significant component. The cherries I mostly enjoyed a couple times a week after going out for a harvest.

Terrestrial plants are sooo much easier than aquatic ones.
Yeah I whole hearty believe soil is so vital. And for you to rest it for a few years, I think is a great move. But that's why I prefer aquatic plants. It was so much easier for me to put aquasoil in a tank than it is to till and maintain soil in my garden. lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluek24a4 View Post
I live in Queens also and for the last few years now we have been growing our own tomatoes and cucumbers on the side of our house. We have had pretty good success and we don't know half of what you guys are talking about in this thread.

We had good success this year using the water out of my 55G community tank.

From reading this thread I will look more into fertilizing with calcium.
Hahahaha I barely knew anything about gardening until last week. I been researching like mad and I was lucky enough to know a few local farmers from the farmer's market. I'm just a sponge right now and I want to learn everything I can. So call me master gardener in training, maybe?

And me too! I always lug out my water changes into a rain collector for my parents to water the garden. We had good success but they just don't really know what they are doing.

Quote:
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Does aquatic gardening count?
Hey no fair! lol. But seriously I always played with the idea of converting all my tanks into aquaponics. If you can grow something edible out of your fish tanks, please do share!!
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:06 PM   #25
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Yes, compost is about the organic matter and what it adds into the soil besides just the plain fertz. The part you didn't quote me on is I swear by it. Manure tea is good also. Compost tea. You get the idea.
If I were you, just starting out, stick to basic stuff first. See how things operate in YOUR yard first. Learn from that and modify your approach as needed. I've been planting here in my yard since 99. I am still learning and adapting. I've got weeds that won't quit. Even thought about totally giving up the dirt garden and going aquaponic. If you want to get into grafting do it after you've got a season or two under your belt. You've got to crawl before you can walk. Now is the time to look at seed catalogs.
And don't envy us down here. We've got the summer where no veggies will grow at all. Cherries survive the heat sometimes.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:10 PM   #26
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That's because I completely agree with the compost tea. The bacteria gained from it makes a lot of sense. I was thinking of inoculating the soil with a beneficial root mycelium to further work with that principle.

And thank you so much. All you advice has been very useful. Especially since you have more experience than I do with NY gardening. Crossing my fingers, this weekend is going to be a lot of hard work
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:25 PM   #27
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There are so many things to learn that a garden special forum may be good. Look in on Dave'sgarden forum for a whole world of help.

http://davesgarden.com/
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:55 PM   #28
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That's because I completely agree with the compost tea. The bacteria gained from it makes a lot of sense. I was thinking of inoculating the soil with a beneficial root mycelium to further work with that principle.

And thank you so much. All you advice has been very useful. Especially since you have more experience than I do with NY gardening. Crossing my fingers, this weekend is going to be a lot of hard work
You don't yet realize how fortunate you are. First you have some actual soil up there. We don't. Second most of the books and magazines out there are geared for the northern climates. It's hard to find anything for Florida. I've got one book on native plants and Florida Home Grown 2 The Edible Landscape by Tom MacCubbin.
Organic Gardening magazine use to be really helpful but it's gone to political for my tastes. Mother Earth News is OK and I just started a subscription to Urban Farming. Well it started because I had 2 years left on Aquarium Fish Int. I save most of the mags so I can refer back but always have to remember that it's for up north.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:57 PM   #29
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Your garden is beautiful! Really I am envious. I am ashamed to post a picture of my garden.

And Yes! I think I will take you up in your offer. By any chance, do you know what variety of blackberries you have? Sorry I don't mean to be so picky, but since I don't have much space I really have to try to get the sweetest best blackberries to make up for my lack of space.
Thanks, it's still a work in progress. Don't be ashamed to post a starting pic. We all start somewhere!

The variety of blueberries is unknown, there's two different varieties growing wild on our property. They are a big nuisance here... very evasive and difficult to remove, unless you have goats

And, +2 on the compost tea.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:37 AM   #30
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I have managed to kill mint three separate times (well, once was "failure to propagate" which I was assured was not the same thing), so I'm definitely not one to give any advice. I could not manage to do the aquaponics thing, either. I was recently given a pot of live mint, which is doing okay so far. (I keep trying because it is supposed to be easy to grow, in fact difficult to kill, and my rabbits have expressed a preference for it.) Let me know if you would like a few plantlets, as it needs to be repotted soon. I also have around 1/4 cup of alfalfa seeds if you would like to try some as a cover crop.

If you would like any rabbit droppings to work into the soil to enrich it for the coming season, please let me know! I will be happy to bring you as much as you would like. They are parasite free (I checked them myself recently, plus rabbits don't really carry much of anything that can be transmitted to humans) and the poops don't smell unless they get wet.
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