Hello from South Carolina

Discussion in 'General chat' started by Benjy136, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

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    I was told this was a good site for gardening information by Brianworm. I've been an organic gardener for over 50 years, now. I have never liked squash, and never grew it til I found someone who could fix it where I'd like it. Great! My first squash plants (yellow crookneck) have put out like bandits. All of a sudden the leaves die on three of my babies. Turning to my old books I go to my good-looking babies and find the tell-tale holes in the stems with borer excrenent, take out my knife and make the slits to remove the boogers. 5 in one plant. I talked to Brianworm and he reccomended this site for controls. Anything as long as it is organic and won'thurt the worms and good bugs...HELP, please.

    lol Benjy136:blush:
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Don't know the specific answer but the approach is to find out what eats them and encourage the predators to move in. The other approach is to make your soil as healthy as you can as stronger plants are more resistant to attack - but if you have been doing organics for 50 years you probably have pretty good soil.
     
  3. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    There is also such a thing as 'too good'
     
  4. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

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    I've been into OG for 50 yrs., but this garden was a wormless piece of scrub oak when I got here 5 years ago. Its been babied and fed organic material since I dug the stumps out and tilled it up to mix the six-inch deep sand and the clay underbelly. Each year the crops are healthier, the ants are fewer, the birds and "good" bugs are more abundant, the soil doesn't dry out as fast, but, probably because of all the organic material on the surface (wheat straw, rabbit and horse poop and compost) I'm still having a problem with slugs and snails in spite of the 250 pounds of diatomatious earth I have added during the past 5 yrs. I've been fairly tolerant with them until I planted strawberries last year. Between the slugs, the millipeds and the rabbits I am left with a good handful of nice berries daily out of a 40' X 4' row. My potatoes, Beans, peas, fennel, cukes, mellons,peppers, Asparagus, kiwis, fennel, tomatoes (until July, when they'll get the late blight common to this area), grapes, celery, cabbage, collards, lettuce and okra all are doing fine but never having grown it before because I never liked it, squash is new to my garden. When I saw a nice healthy leaf turning brown I had no Idea that a larva was eating my plant from the inside out. Dusting off one of my old books, I found the culpret and commenced to examine all the squash plants. I was exasperated making stem-slits, digging out larvae and even cutting dying leaves at their base and finding larvae in their stems. I dusted with DE and Dipel (bacillus) but my newer transplants still got the boogers, or the other way arround.
    By the way, my garden spot is 75ft. X 60ft. My Kiwis are bearing heavily for the first crop since I planted them four and a half yrs. ago.
    Thank you for your interest

    Benjy
     
  5. farmerd

    farmerd Junior Member

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    welcome from a fellow sc'er
     
  6. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

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    Farmred:

    Looking at your profile, it seems you are around 35 to forty miles from me. I'm just outside Lexington, almost into Gilbert. I don't have a farm. Just a couple acres and a small 60' by 75' garden. Its not much, but, given a decent growing season, we put up enough not to starve through the winter. Beans are a good starting crop, as they help in fixing the elements in the soil that other crops love. This year I only planted one 60' row of bush beans so I woulden't have to trellis them. I just picked the last of my peas from the row next to the beans that are still producing vigorously and will, after worm-casting amendment to the pea row, plant some Kentucky Wonder beans for the pea trellises. I don't think its too late for them. I'm curious. What materials do you have on the propperty for dwelling construction? And how far along are you? Just an old timer's curiousity. About 65 years ago My Dad brought us two older boys up to the Catskills. We brought nothing but a double-bitted axe, a two-man crosscut saw, a lantern and coal oil, a sheet-tent sewn by my mother and enough staples to last a week. We ate blackberries, apples, puffballs, wild leeks and whatever else the 17 acres afforded and built a log cabin large enough to house us, my mother, my sister and two younger brothers. We left Brooklyn as soon as school was out and brought the rest of the family up before the first snows. It was hard work, but I look back with a certain amount of pride and satisfaction. I could go on, but I've probably taken up enough of your time. lol
    Benjy
     
  7. farmerd

    farmerd Junior Member

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    benjy

    thanks for the interest. we just got our "farm" last spring. currently we have tomatoes, corn, sunflowers, cukes, melons, beans, asparagus, squash, okra, blackberries, blueberries, pomegranates, grapes, and elderberries growing in our city lot, but nothing currently growing at the farm other than naturally occurring black and blueberries. the gadsden property is sitting on top of the perfect clay/sand material to build earthen based housing. we are currently working with an architect to design our new home, so nothing is in stone just yet. im working on our plan for the farm now, and have roughed in some future features, but most of the land modifications still need to be completed. our current plan has us moving out there in the next couple years. we hope to have a large portion of our polyculture installed by then, as well as our annual production fields and ponds. we have a long way to go and not much money, so progress is slow and backbreaking.
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I love it when people discover a neighbour here! I can sense a lunch date and some plant swapping in the near future....
     
  9. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

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    Farmerd

    Sounds as though you have a well rounded out crop. My worst pests have been the squash vine Borers and slugs. The borers deposit the eggs early in the life of the plant and you don't know about the damage until after the fruit comes on and you get a couple pickings. Then the leaves droop and the next morning you come out to make another picking and the whole plant looks as though it just laid down and died. I don't know how long you've been gardening organic but it takes quite a while, usually, to build up a good preditor population, and once they've cleaned up Dodge they go looking for more outlaws, but they usually leave some eggs behind if the conditions are right and some of the smaller wasps can survive on nectar if the right flowers are there. If you have a lot of birds,as I do. the larger predators, like praying mantids, don't survive the birds for long. The smaller wasps love my Rosemary and other herbs when they are in bloom.
    I'm going to try some pyrethrian and rotenone at the base of my new squash plants and along the long stems. Got to keep it away from the flowers because it;s not too selective. And tonight, after dark, I'll work on the slugs by dusting my susceptable plants (cabbage, lettuce, celery, strawberries,etc) with food grade DE.
    How large an area do you have in groceries, and are you planning on selling to stores or roadside or just keeping your friends happy and foes jealous? Probably should strike that last remark, as we don't usually have enemies. Just some friends closer than others, as long as they refrain from telling what and how much of any food, drink or smoke I can consume. Darn! Didn't mean to get into politics Oh well. Got to get things ready for tonight. G'night. Sleep tight, and don't let the Squash-bugs bite,
     
  10. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    Good on you Ben, you found the site. More experts here than you can poke a stick at, and SC neighbours too.

    We found each other over on our other favorite site The Worm Expert. Got to love the Internet.
     
  11. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

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    Briansworm:

    Gotta love it. When I was a boy the comics didn't even dream of such a network. We dreamed up space travel and the time machine but something like this wasn't even in the offing. Dick Tracy's Wristwatch radio was futuristic but believable. But to reach so many people with the click of a key. Wow! One would think something as unbelievable as this would lead to world peace. If something like this were possible the next step is to build translators into the system and it would be like in the Book Of Acts when the apostles spoke and it reached the ears of every person in his or her native tongue. We would understand one another's desires, wants and needs. Well, it has done a lot of good. Look at us. People on the opposite sides of the world able to stretch accross the planet and discuss different aspects of the same thing. Finding that we have things in common, in some cases, more than the person accross the street or in the adjoining farm. One has to ask, "why has this not led to a better relationship arround the globe. Of course the answer is really apparent. When something as amazing as this comes along there will always be some who will find ways to use it for personal gain "at the expense of the naive, gullible and mentally challanged" with no regard for the misery they inflict.
    What happened to my joyful entrance? My garden, by and large, is doing well. I talked to Bruce the day before yesterday and ordered a pound of Red Wrigglers. I'm setting up a bin for them. My neighbor came over yesterday and we exchanged produce. I came home last night from our penny poker game with a whole dollar more than I left with. Wow! They are calling for some rain tomorrow. I can't complain about my life, so I'd better log off before the guys in the white coats get wind of my whereabouts. Won't take long with today's technology. Lol
    Benjy
     
  12. farmerd

    farmerd Junior Member

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    i know what you mean about the borers! they tore us up last year, but havent been much trouble this year. ive been using an organically approved slug bait, and havent had much trouble with them.

    right now, i have the back yard of a city lot full of raised beds and containers. when we're able to keep it rolling it keeps us in fresh produce, but it doesnt produce as well as i would like due to some shading in the morning and afternoon. my goal is to get at least an acre prep'd and cover cropped by next spring so i can begin shifting my production out to the farm in gadsden. we hope to move out there for good in a year or so.

    for us, the goal is to run a small market farm with a food forest. we'll have a small poultry flock, a couple grazers, and an aquaculture/green house setup. we should be able to supply most, if not all, our own food as well as sell enough to make a small living.
     
  13. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

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    Bluebirds & worms

    fARMERED: tHANKS FOR THE REPLY. i USE THE SLUG BAIT YOU SPEAK OF, BUT THEY ARE STILL TRYING TO WORK ON MY MORE SUSCEPTIBLE CROPS. tHE BAIT WON'T RID YOU OF THE BORERS, THOUGH. (Yeah. I had my caps lock on) The booger that lays the borer eggs looks like a wasp with a colorful back. She lays the eggs, usually, in a leaf stem. The egg hatches and travels down to the main artety and then does the real damage. I've been checking my squash stems, now, every day now and when I see a damaged one (the leaf will usually be turning yellow and you'll find a brownish soft area somewhere on the stem) I cut it off at the base and pile some dirt on the wound. So far I haven't lost another plant. I'll keep you advised. I was going to use pyrethrian and rotrnone on the stems, but once the grub is inside its protected by the stem.

    I was thinking about the way the birds wiped out my blueberry crop this morning and waxed poetic. I thought the wormies on Bruce's blog would appreciate the humor, so here goes on this one.


    BLUEBIRDS AND WORMS

    A BLUEBIRD FOUND MY BERRY PATCH ...I WATCHED IN FACINATION
    HE PERCHED UPON A LIMB CLOSE BY ...ASSESSED THE SITUATION
    THE BERRIES, RIPE, BUT SMALL HE SAW ...NOT TO HIS SATISFACTION
    COULD IT BE, IN HIS MIND, HE SAW ...A NEED TO TAKE SOME ACTION
    WOULD THIS NOT DO AT ALL FOR HIM?... A BIRD OF NOBLE COLOR
    IT WOULD BE EMBARRASING ...THEY MUST BE FIRM AND FULLER
    WITH A SCREECH OF DISDAIN ...HE QUICKLY TOOK TO FLIGHT
    A BLUR OF BLUE AND HE WAS GONE ...SO QUICKLY OUT OF SIGHT

    I RETURNED TO HOEING WEEDS ...IN MY EXCUSE FOR VEGGIES
    PUNY PEAS, BITTEN BEANS ...AND LETTUCE FAR TOO LEGGY
    SHORTLY, THOUGH, I TURNED MY HEAD ...TOWARD A SOUND I HEARD
    DID I HAVE A VISITOR? ...I TURNED TO SEE THE BIRD
    I LOOKED AND SAW WITHIN HIS BEAK... AN OBJECT THAT DID SQUIRM
    ON CLOSE EXAMINATION ...I PERCEIVED IT WAS A WORM
    TO DESCRIBE THE BIRD'S EXPRESSION ...I CAN'T EVEN TRY
    BUT I SURMISED HE SAID TO ME ..... "YOU NEED THIS MORE THAN I"
     
  14. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    You are probally having less borer problems this year because they have moved to Ben's place lol. I would like to start a veggie patch but my yard doesn't get enough sunshine because of the trees. I have thought about a plot in a Community Garden which are becoming popular over here but it is not the same as your own backyard. My worm farms take up a lot of time too so I guess I will just keep supporting the farmers.
     
  15. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    Ben you are a man of many talents, well done. I think I get more inspiration from you that I could ever impart on you.
     
  16. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

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    to Brian"

    Oh! golly and shucks, You're turning my ANs red.
     
  17. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    This Ladies and Gents is what is called Bromance....
     
  18. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    Ben and I have been swapping posts on The Worm Expert. He has plenty of go in him for his 81 years and I thought this Forum would be right up his alley. Seems I was right and he found a neighbour. His AN's are African Night Crawler worms, just thought I best clear that up lol. The ants he is having trouble with is Fire Ants so if anybody has any ideas.
     
  19. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

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    Brian

    Thanks for that introduction, Brian. The book you reccomended is out of print & out of stock. I believe they ought to pay you a commission. I found a few other worm books and ordered them while that one is on backorder. Theres probably more info on this site than all the books flying around. Y'all should get together and colaberate (or however you spell it).
    Thanks again....

    Ben ..............Bromance? C'mon. They can do better'n that. Where's that Aussie wit? I saw croc Dundee.

    "You call that a kni....worm?"
     
  20. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I think you are right Brian - he's going to fit in here just fine!
     

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