Cardboard as mulch and other Q's

  I was just wondering if using cardboard instead of (or in addition
to) straw as mulch will help prevent stuff like squash borers from
attacking the plants . I'm doing it this year for other reasons , just
wondered if that might be a bonus . Got a few seeds in the dirt today ,
iceberg lettuce out in the garden and tomatoes and green peppers in
starter cells . I think this year I'll start my squashes indoors too ,
I've had lousy germination rates planting outside . But they grow fast ,
and I'm not sure how much lead time they need before planting out .
Suggestions ? 4 weeks ? 5 maybe ?
  I'm also looking for suggestions for a sweet corn variety . I'm going
to try some this year in hopes my wife can eat homegrown - we suspect
the Roundup used on commercial corn crops is the true culprit with her
corn "allergy" .
Reply to
Terry Coombs
i don't know but my guess is not really likely to make a difference. plant resistant varieties (buttercup, rambo, trombonico, etc).
i'm not sure if growing plants in larger containers and growing them longer will give them a tougher stem and a harder target. i just don't notice them that much and when i do see a lot more of them then it is time to rotate the planting spot for them.
i've never started squash indoors here and peppers are the opposite as we always get starts from the greenhouse for those.
if you have poor germination rates on squash it is probably not warmed up enough soil for them yet. if the area is mulched pull back the mulch so the sun can get to the soil and warm it up. then after they are up and going you can put the mulch back some.
we eat so little of it these past few years that we don't grow it. no problems with me from the sweet corn varieties we've had (peaches and cream seems to be one type i recall).
if you have critter problems corn is the one plant we decided it just wasn't worth growing for how little we eat it. raccoons all around us and no way for me to easily fence them out for a few $. in order to grow corn here we'd need a new fence with a very good gate and electric hot wires to keep them from climbing over (not worth the price in comparison to what else we grow).
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  A neighbor gave me some seeds of that variety ! Of course it was a couple of years back , don't know what the germ rate might be now . Probably best to buy new . I'm buying new for some other stuff too , open pollination has resulted in some odd stuff - squashes in particular .
  Raccoons and corn seems to be a recurring theme ... I'll probably have to upgrade parts of my chicken wire and electric setup . Because we do have a pretty large 'coon population here .
Reply to
Terry Coombs sweet corn...
that would seem rather strange because you say you are in an isolated area from surrounding gardens/ gardeners. unless the seed had already been crossed when sent to you to begin with.
here the local pollinators for the squash are the mostly native bees/bumblebees/mason bees which are great to see IMO. i wish we had more of them about. i always want to grow some squash/cucumbers just to give them more early season source of food (later season the cosmos work for that for them).
you will. if you are the only clearing in the woods and trying to grow corn you're going to be a magnet for them (and never be able to trap them enough to remove them as a potential threat).
that is one thing i've learned here. it is useless to try to trap out any species that is around here. we can have fields on three sides of us growing corn and the raccoons will still eat corn from our gardens if we plant it.
in an armageddon situation we could likely get all of our meat needs met by small game trapping. there's at least a half dozen rabbits out there right now and tons of tracks even in the new snow we've had.
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  Many of the seeds I have came from our annual Ozark Seed Swap , and (deity of choice) knows exactly what has been pollinated by what .
  I'm more inclined to try to prevent them from reaching the corn to begin with - knowing that it's an uphill battle all the way . But hey I've got something they don't have - opposable thumbs ! Hey wait raccoons don't ... do they ?  Anyway , this is the first time I'm trying corn , and may be the last if my wife still can't eat it . We're hoping that growing it without drenching it in Roundup will let her eat it . She likes corn , but store-bought causes digestive issues . If she still can't have it it's not worth my time to grow it .
Reply to
Terry Coombs
...squash seed diversity...
hey, that sounds pretty good to me as if it were grown in that area then at least the plants may be somewhat adapted to the conditions.
i would buy some this summer from an organic grower and make sure they're not using a seed source that is glyphosate resistant.
better would be to ask around for someone who is an organic grower that people actually know and who does actually grow it themself organically.
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