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
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.
Grow stuff that is easy,
pay attention to weeds and bugs,
Watch what and how you "feed" them.
That last one is easy to do. ;-)
What is the competition all about? Lbs. of final product or what?
What determines the winner???
"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
On Mon, 23 Jan 2006 00:31:15 -0600, OmManiPadmeOmelet
There is something you really can overcrowd and get excellent
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>
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.
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.
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
I am with the old guys, being one myself...
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
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
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
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
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...
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.
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
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.
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