Family Contest

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My two uncles and I are having a gardening contest and they are saying they can beat me just because they are older than me and have more experience (I'm very young). Even though that may be true, I think I can win because I have the help of the Internet on my side. They garden with advice only from old books and magazines. I already have a bit of a head start because I've started some seeds indoors already. Plus, even with school, I have more time on my hands than they do, so I can garden more often (besides, I have summer vacation whereas they still have to work in the summer). Our competition is mostly for our vegetable gardens, so any tips, tricks, and advice you can give me is really appreciated.
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clevermonkey wrote:

Listen to and respect your elders.
OG
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You started seeds and have more time on your hands? lol Gardening is not a race. You can't buy experience. I suggest you learn from them, but a friendly competition could be fun and a good way to learn. Gardening is like almost every other endeavor in life....the more you learn, the more you learn you don't know.

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Grow stuff that is easy, pay attention to weeds and bugs, don't over-water, Watch what and how you "feed" them. don't over-crowd!!!
That last one is easy to do. ;-)
What is the competition all about? Lbs. of final product or what? What determines the winner???
--
Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
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On Mon, 23 Jan 2006 00:31:15 -0600, OmManiPadmeOmelet

results...bush beans. I plant them in flower pots. Nothing too big, just any pots I have around. Most no larger than 8," a few smaller and a few larger, but those larger ones are generally bulb pots & so are more shallow.
I have 6-8 plants per pot. I know that sounds absurd, but I have done this for over a decade. I line the pots up on the rail of my deck. They are planted in compost enriched soil with some Osmocote. The only concern is water. Once they are flowering and fruiting, they need to be watered twice a day in the heat. I get great yields and they keep going as long as I keep picking.
This is not the sort of idea that works with corn. <g>
Boron
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<lol> Too true... And I agree obout beans in general. I grow mostly string type vining beans in the garden and I never worry about crowding those.
They have some fencing as trellis to climb on.
--
Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
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On Mon, 23 Jan 2006 11:15:02 -0600, OmManiPadmeOmelet

Great!! You brought up something I wanted to know. Do string beans need to be in multiple rows or can they be in one long row? I, too, have a fence that I'd like to grow them on because I don't want to have to build a trellis thingy. How about standard peas? My cousin made the mistake of growing corn in one row. I think he was lucky enough to get one ear. Sue
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Since beans are insect pollinated, it does not matter. I grew two long rows. One on either side of the fencing I used.
I've not grown peas, but I don't see why they would be any different.
--
Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
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You can grow either beans or peas on that fence. My favorite bean configuration is tepee-like, though. I usually do peas up a cylinder of chicken wire.
--
Warm Regards,

Claire Petersky
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Hi, do not discount old books as there is a lot of good infomation in them. I will not dispose of my old books. The only part that is obsolete is the information on pesticides, as a lot of them have been taken off the market, with good reason. hope this helps you.
Richard M. watkin.

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How will you decide who wins? Biggest tomato or the most corn???
Depends where you live and what soil you have and what you want to grow.
If in the US, stop by your County Extension office and talk to the Ag Agent.
I am with the old guys, being one myself...
John!
clevermonkey wrote:

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clevermonkey wrote:

Sounds like fun. One way to take advantage of the internet might be to browse all the seed catalogs that are now on line, looking for keywords like "productive" and "disease resistant" and "pest resistant." And don't forget "delicious." Your uncles might not be up on hybrid advances.
Don't be surprised, by the way, if a lot of what you find on the internet is the same advice from old books and magazines that your uncles have already seen. And don't believe everything you find on the internet either.
Another way to take advantage of it is to ask, in places like this, specific questions when you have decided what to plant and when you see potential problems developing. Make it an ongoing process rather than a one-time shot.
When summer vacation time comes, resist the temptation to do too much in your garden. Daily weed and insect patrol is good, for example, but daily watering is (generally speaking) bad. -aem
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Yep!
Some gardening benefits from "benign neglect". <G>
Plants grow in their own good time.....
--
Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
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Your uncle/s will be formidable opponents b/c they have more experience than you. Chances are they will be better at recognizing plant diseases in their early stages and know what to do to prevent crop loss. Chances are they have learned when and how much to water. They probably know which plant varieties do best given their local soil and climate conditions. Their soil is probably in better condition than yours b/c they/ve been building it up for many years.
The I-Net has a lot of good information, but it has a lot of contradictory information, as well. How will you know what advice to follow?
Timing is often critical when it comes to gardening success, which is where experience will almost always carry the day. You have a great opportunity before you to learn from your uncles. Instead of competition, why not try cooperation? Let them teach you what they have learned and then build on that experience.
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Since many of you wanted to know, I live in zone 8a, in Western Washington. Also, we haven't really decided how to judge the contest, but it will have something to do with eating the harvest in the end... ***~~***
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Are you all growing the same things, or do you get to pick?
If you're growing tomatoes, in our climate you should go with an "early" variety.
--
Warm Regards,

Claire Petersky
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then, if you are there, here is my advice.
1) the place is no good for hot weather veggies. skip the peppers, the eggplants, okra, melons, watermelons. I am of two minds about tomatoes. They will probably ripen, but it is the late season ones that have a glorious taste. If your site does not give you 8+ weeks of 80+ weather, skip the toms as well.
2) pile on with the cool weather veggies. Green beans, cukes, winter squash, any conceivable greens, onions, carrots, beets, peas, favas. Pick the best tasting varieties, i.e. Hubbard or butternut squash, Blue Lake beans, round-tipped carrots, etc. Territorial Seeds has a great selection for the Northwest.
3) lay down the manure now (two inches if you have clay, 3 if you have sand), sunny site, don' t plant too early, mulch only after the soil has warmed, and water regularly during dry spells.
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What kind of cukes are "cool weather veggies"? I'd love to hear about 'em. If the soil temp is below 60F and the nights get below 60F.......I like to see them grow. What's up? Are you trying to fool this kid? Farmer Joe Madison, Illinois
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gherkins are the most cool weather tolerant of all summer crops. at least in my experience. Besides, they fruit quickly.
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a paint brush and some neat glycosate weed killer. Visit uncles, when they are busy remove small bottle of weed killer, dip in paint brush and paint leave of their vegetables. You do not need to do every leaf but the weedkiller should be neat, not watered down. Sit back and enjoy seeing their crop die. That, of course, would be cheating and if you ever got caught most likely you wouldn't walk for a week.
rob
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