Peppers, Epsom Salt

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Natural Girl wrote:

there are other solutions that don't require spraying every week.
D
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On 6/3/2013 6:29 PM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

I'm all ears! er .. eyes!
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Natural Girl


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Natural (Smoking Gun) Girl wrote:

I didn't mean solutions as in solute plus solvent I meant ways of keeping your plants healthy.
Foliar feeding is handy if you want to provide a quick boost or if you want to diagnose a deficiency. For example, you can apply a differerent mineral solution to each of a set of plants and see the outcome of each quite soon. But the effect doesn't last long. This is because the plant absorbs via the leaves and into the vascular system but if there is no more liquid spray (probably a few hours after application) it has to stop. The overspray will drip into the soil and be absorbed by the roots as well but being soluble much will leached out when you water unless your soil has good binding capacity.
If you make your soil healthy with the right minerals, organic matter and microbes and you won't need foliar feeding.
D
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On 6/3/2013 9:03 PM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

ohh ok One thing I've noticed is I don't see any more slugs on my plants since I've started spraying them. I wonder if that's just a coincidence?
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wrote:

My land is mostly oak forest , the piece where we have made a garden was woods until recently <~12-15 yrs ago> and the soil is acid enough that low-bush huckleberries thrive . Because a local recommended it I've been adding 1 tbsp of ES under each tomato and pepper plant as I transplant . Seems to be working ... and much as I hated to do it , today I used some 13/13/13 on the lettuce and a couple of the tomato plants . I'd rather build the soil naturally , with mulches and composts . But our situation won't allow a couple of years to let the soil become productive , I have a feeling we're gonna need it sooner rather than later . <Chickens by the weekend , we just haven't decided whether to get chicks or older birds .>
--
Snag
BTW , as mentioned in my post above , this is the first time this soil has
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Chickens (birds) will give your soil phosphates, too, as well as reducing any bug problems.
"Magnesium defi ciencies most commonly occur in soils described as light, sandy, and/or acid, though occasionally clay soils under intensive production can show magnesium deficiency as well."
Being reclaimed forest, you may have acidic conditions. Turning the soil the next couple of years to incorporate organic material, and to deepen the growing zone (top 2 ft.) will let some of the CO2 blow off, raising the pH. Then I suggest you go to no till. Joel Salatin says that 12 worms/ sq. ft. will give you 3" of soil per year. Organic material (5% by weight, or 10% by volume) will encourage the worms.
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Shades of Ruth Stout ! Actually , Billy , what you suggest is my basic plan . This fall I'll be tilling some straw or hay in , followed by more manure/compost before planting next spring . Every pass with the tiller gets more rocks up and deepens the loosened soil a little . Light supplemental feedings with 3/13 only if necessary . Since the ground has a slope , as I till I'll be terracing this area . We got between 4 and 6 inches of rain last night , looks like more of the same tonight/tomorrow . That terracing thing helped a lot , only had a couple of minor washouts <and the county road into our place was washed out in 5 places this morning ...> .
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Snag
Bet that 13/13/13
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Clay may have held on to part of it, but that is part of the beauty of organic fertilizers, they are more likely to stay put.
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wrote>

Every hole/hill I planted a seed or start in was a 50/50 mix of soil and manure/compost . The row stuff all got a side dressing of same m/c on the uphill side . Got 2 bags of straight manure to be added as the season progresses . So far weeds haven't been a problem .
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There are two basic groups of cover crops: legumes and grains. You may choose to plant one or the other, or combine the two types, depending on your goal.
Grains, such as oats, BUCKWHEAT and winter RYE, are very good for adding bulky organic material to the soil (increasing water retention).
Legumes contribute nitrogen in addition to organic matter. Where soils are depleted of nitrogen, a nutrient essential for plant growth, leguminous cover crops help restore fertility. ==== In addition to all the living organisms you can see in garden soils (for example, earthworms), there is a whole world of soil organisms that you cannot see unless you use sophisticated and expensive optics. Only then do the tiny, microscopic organismsbacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodesappear, and in numbers that are nothing less than staggering. A mere teaspoon of good garden soil, as measured by microbial geneticists, contains a billion invisible bacteria, several yards of equally invisible fungal hyphae, several thousand protozoa, and a few dozen nematodes.
The common denominator of all soil life is that every organism needs energy to survive. While a few bacteria, known as chemosynthesizers, derive energy from sulfur, nitrogen, or even iron compounds, the rest have to eat something containing carbon in order to get the energy they need to sustain life. Carbon may come from organic material supplied by plants, waste products produced by other organisms, or the bodies of other organisms. The first order of business of all soil life is obtaining carbon to fuel metabolismit is an eat-and-be-eaten world, in and on soil.
Most organisms eat more than one kind of prey, so if you make a diagram of who eats whom in and on the soil, the straight-line food chain instead becomes a series of food chains linked and cross-linked to each other, creating a web of food chains, or a soil food web. Each soil environment has a different set of organisms and thus a different soil food web.
Most gardeners think of plants as only taking up nutrients through root systems and feeding the leaves. Few realize that a great deal of the energy that results from photosynthesis in the leaves is actually used by plants to produce chemicals they secrete through their roots. These secretions are known as exudates. A good analogy is perspiration, a human's exudate.
Root exudates are in the form of carbohydrates (including sugars) and proteins. Amazingly, their presence wakes up, attracts, and grows specific beneficial bacteria and fungi living in the soil that subsist on these exudates and the cellular material sloughed off as the plant's root tips grow. All this secretion of exudates and sloughing-off of cells takes place in the rhizosphere, a zone immediately around the roots, extending out about a tenth of an inch, or a couple of millimeters (1 millimeter = 1/25 inch). The rhizosphere, which can look like a jelly or jam under the electron microscope, contains a constantly changing mix of soil organisms, including bacteria, fungi, nematodes, protozoa, and even larger organisms. All this life" competes for the exudates in the rhizosphere, or its water or mineral content.
At the bottom of the soil food web are bacteria and fungi, which are attracted to and consume plant root exudates. In turn, they attract and are eaten by bigger microbes, specifically nematodes and protozoa (remember the amoebae, paramecia, flagellates, and ciliates you should have studied in biology?), who eat bacteria and fungi (primarily for carbon) to fuel their metabolic functions. Anything they don't need is excreted as wastes, which plant roots are readily able to absorb as nutrients. How convenient that this production of plant nutrients takes place right in the rhizosphere, the site of root-nutrient absorption.
At the center of any viable soil food web are plants. Plants control the food web for their own benefit, an amazing fact that is too little understood and surely not appreciated by gardeners who are constantly interfering with Nature's system. Studies indicate that individual plants can control the numbers and the different kinds of fungi and bacteria attracted to the rhizosphere by the exudates they produce. During different times of the growing season, populations of rhizosphere bacteria and fungi wax and wane, depending on the nutrient needs of the plant and the exudates it produces.
Soil bacteria and fungi are like small bags of fertilizer, retaining in their bodies nitrogen and other nutrients they gain from root exudates and other organic matter (such as those sloughed-off root-tip cells). Carrying on the analogy, soil protozoa and nematodes act as fertilizer spreaders" by releasing , the nutrients locked up in the bacteria and fungi fertilizer bags." The nematodes and protozoa in the soil come along and eat the bacteria and fungi in the rhizosphere. They digest what they need to survive and excrete excess carbon and other nutrients as waste.
Left to their own devices, then, plants produce exudates that attract fungi and bacteria (and, ultimately, nematodes and protozoa); their survival depends on the interplay between these microbes. It is a completely natural system, the very same one that has fueled plants since they evolved. Soil life provides the nutrients needed for plant life, and plants initiate and fuel the cycle by producing exudates. ===== Your garden soil shouldn't be more than 10% (by volume), or less than 5% (by weight) organic material.
Garden soil should be 30% - 40% sand, 30% - 40% silt, and 20% - 30% clay. You can check your soil by scraping away the organic material on top of the ground and then take a vertical sample of your soil to 12 in. (30 cm) deep (rectangular or circular hole). Mix this with water in an appropriately large glass (transparent) jar. The sand will settle out quickly, the silt in a couple of hours, and the clay within a day. The depth of the layer in relationship to the total (layer/total = % of composition) is the percent that fraction has in the soil.
Garden soil needs a constant input of nutrients, i.e. carbon, e.g. brown leaves, and nitrogen, e.g. manure in a ratio of C/N of 25 - 30. This is the same ratio you will want in a compost pile. -----
Let it Rot!: The Gardener's Guide to Composting (Third Edition) (Storey's Down-to-Earth Guides) by Stu Campbell
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid94901182&sr=1-1>
p.39
Compostable Material Average C/N
Alder or ash leaves ........................ 25
Grass clippings ........................... 25
Leguminous plants (peas, beans,soybeans) ........................... 15
Manure with bedding ....................... 23
Manure .................................... 15
Oak leaves ................................ 50
Pine needles .............................. 60-100
Sawdust................................. 150-500
Straw, cornstalks and cobs ............... 50-100
Vegetable trimmings ...................... 25
Aged Chicken Manure.......................7
Alfalfa ................................. 12
Newspaper............................. 175 -----
<http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/ruth-stouts-system.aspx

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Terry Coombs wrote:

...

if you have scrub woods that you can trim back you can use the green leaves in a mulch pile and chip the wood and add that. use agricultural lime to increase the pH, short term the finest powder acts quickest, for a longer term amendment use limestone grit.
it doesn't take much to get worms going and they can generate many lbs of calcium rich compost. a few yards within a year.
pigs can do a lot of conversion of forest grub into manure. i'm not into using animals here on this small a site, but a larger farm with more acres and plenty of woods might support a small population of pigs in rotation to clean up the acorns and fruit tree droppings. but then you have to be a farmer/farmer for that as once you have animals to take care of then that's a whole different arrangement than if you are just doing veggies and worm wrangling (both of these you can leave go for a few days if you have to).
for a free range bird fertilizer solution a few of the permaculture authors recommend having a pigeon loft as then you can get the droppings underneath there for the scraping when you need hot fertilizer or extra nitrogen for the compost heap. i'd probably just site the compost heap under the pigeon roost -- then once in a while add a layer of carbon and dirt and water it a bit. empty it once a year and start over... the birds are unpaid employees gathering bugs, fruits, seeds, etc. and turning them into free fertilizer. i like this approach even better than having chickens. sometime in the future i hope to raise quail, pheasants and/or bob whites as they can free range and i don't have to go after them for meat or eggs if i don't want to. just be nice to have more of them around again.
songbird
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Hmm , not sure my neighbors would hold still for pigs , and no way we can let 'em roam the woods . Already got a big problem in this area with feral swine , and I won't take a chance here . The chickens are another thing entirely , several neighbors let theirs roam during the day - though Tom down the road lost a couple last week , he thinks a fox got 'em . And during the day ! Great benefit here to let chickens roam , they take care of the ticks ... only potential problem is the dog . She's never been around birds , might decide they look tasty . And she's big enough to easily take one down . A goat , on the other hand , is quite likely to do well here <neighbor has one , it hangs pretty close> . Get a nanny , let 'er breed , and we'll have meat AND milk ! Can you say goat cheese ?
--
Snag
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Terry Coombs wrote: ...

i didn't mean let loose without fencing and tags, perhaps even making sure they are sterile so even if they did get loose they couldn't procreate.
feral pigs are on the upswing around here too. haven't seen any yet on this property. it is open-season on them any time.

they can strip a green area bare and scratch the soil searching for bugs. some people use them to clear gardens before or after harvest.

i think if you raise them from eggs or chicks the dog might cope better. if you can find a broody hen to take care of them even better (so they would be raised as normal birds and have some protection by an adult bird)...
songbird
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I've been around pig farms , I think I'll stick to buying my pork ... besides , if we run low on meat here , the deer reproduce like rats in a grain silo . And the only water for miles runs thru my land ...

There are 12 acres of woods for them to harvest bugs from . Between ticks , chiggers , and fleas <plus whatever else lives here that doesn't bite> they should have plenty of protein . We have no "lawn" , just whatever wild grasses that were already here .

Actually , she's a pretty good dog . Once she knows they're off limits I don't expect trouble .
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Snag



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Terry Coombs wrote:

i've been around pig farms too. never wish to return. bad enough to make me not want to eat pork again. but good BBQ is hard to resist. there are ways of doing pig that aren't quite so smelly and nasty. permaculturists are able to run them in small groups to clean up woodland tree leftovers. a little smell, then shift them to a new spot. use good electric fences and rotate regularly so the area can recover. sounds possible for people with more patience than i have.
deer here are the same way. if we get deep enough snows in the late winter they'll come through in large groups and browse the cedar trees. i've had them bed down about 30ft from where i am now. i can hear them chuffing and wandering around in the night.

:)

that is a good thing. the other aspect of having a mother hen for the chicks is that she'll help them figure out what is good to do and protect them while they are growing up better than if you just get chicks and let them wander around and have to figure it all out for themselves. follow the leader is much more efficient.
good luck! i was drooling over acreage the other evening.
songbird
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songbird wrote:

My neighbour had a job muckong out the stalls at a local pig farm for a while. After a few months he got a get a better job so he quit. Of course he wore rubber boots at the pig farm. After the boots had been scrubbed with strong soap and disinfectant and left in the sun for a week his wife issued instructions that if he wanted to keep them they could go in the shed. If he wanted to keep his boots in or near the house he had to get a new pair.
D
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If you're lazy like me, you'll just put out a bird feeder, and a bird bath. It might be just coincidental that i've never had problems with bugs.
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Billy wrote: ...

we have birdbaths but no feeding as then the birds have to forage. we grow plenty of seed sources and bugs are all about. i'll continue to try to train the birds this year to eat japanese beetles and other bugs that they don't seem to be picking up on (rhubarb bugs and the stink bugs). except i've yet to find a stink bug on any plants... dunno where they hang out other than in the house when it gets cooler.
songbird
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My black oil sunflower seed feeder is for small birds (mostly chickadees, chookadees?). They can be extremely fussy about what they eat, and may toss away as many as 20 seeds before finding one that is just right for them. Some seeds fall to the ground, and larger birds come to take advantage of the free food. Large, and small, I then see them scratching up the yard. Salatin mentioned in "Salad Bar Beef" that birds will venture about 200 ft. from cover to find food.
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Billy wrote: ...

ah, you got around to reading it. what did you think? i preferred it much over his more recent book. seemed more practical and more descriptive of what he actually does for the beef part of his operation.
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