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 Post subject: Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:55 am 
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Black Hole
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I don't really do it.

I am impressed by people that do do it and case in point is Karen growing tomato plants from seeds taken out of a tomato we ate.

Just amazing.

They're approaching 2 feet tall.

We're poor, so buying planting pots is beyond our current funds, so we bought buckets to use. Not sure if they will work as we're not sure how big the root system for a roma tomato plant is (or requires for proper full growth).

Any thoughts or tips or experiences?

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:13 am 
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Man, that's something I wish I was good at. My father worked in the nursery business his whole career and even now at 74, he works two days a week as kind of a groundskeeper for a guy who owns a lot of land in Florida.

We've grown tomato plants before but unfortunately we took a one week trip and when we came back the leaves had been overrun with bugs that killed them all. Our "yard" is all paving stones, is about 10' wide and about 30' long and backs up to an alley. It's also extremely hot so it's hard for us to grow anything that requires partial shade.

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:21 pm 
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Pender wrote:
We're poor, so buying planting pots is beyond our current funds, so we bought buckets to use. Not sure if they will work as we're not sure how big the root system for a roma tomato plant is (or requires for proper full growth).

Buckets are fine, depending on their size. Five to seven gallons is best, but you can get away with three-gallon buckets just fine for romas.

If money is very tight, try grow bags instead. Imagine getting 25 five-gallon pots for 50 cents each. Ta da!!

I can vouch for these. I've purchased and used them to grow potatoes, squash, and cucumber. If you take care of them, they can last for several years, too. I have some that are on their third season of use.

Unfortunately, potting mix is expensive, and you should NOT fill these with standard garden soil. It's too thick and clumpy. You will get bad root health and growth.

Check your area. Your county or state may make compost available to you for free via public works, recycling, waste management, or a related department. Use a mix of 1/3 compost, 1/3 sand (which you may also be able to get for free), and 1/3 peat moss (which is dirt ass cheap at any garden center).

Mix it up, fill the bags with it.

You will need to fertilize a few times over the season growing this way.. I suggest you skip Miracle Grow. Try fish emulsion. It works well, you can't really overdo it, and it's organic and healthy for your plants. Should be available everywhere.

Growing in containers, you have to water more often. Sometimes daily in the dog days of summer.

Consider trimming all the branches off the bottom foot, foot and a half of the plants. This will help prevent disease and provide good airflow.

Tomato cages are expensive and not necessary. You can let them just vine if you want, though you won't get as good a yield that way, critters will get to your fruit easier, and they will be more prone to disease. But you CAN do it. That's how they grow wild.

However, you can also get good bamboo stakes for cheap right here. Again, I buy and use these.

Stick one in each bag, right to the bottom. Hell, if you won't be moving the bags poke through the bottom into the ground if you want. Every foot or so the plant grows, gently tie it to the stake. If you prune off horizontal growth you can train them to go more vertical. Or just let them go as is. Either is fine.

Best bang for your bucket garden vegetable is zucchini. One single plant can provide so much you'll be suck of the stuff. I'm talking you can be harvest four or five healthy zucchini every three or four days once it starts kicking.

If you decide you like doing this, this seed pack is a ridiculous bargain. Once again, I've bought it and have used it. I've gotten so much crap from it you wouldn't believe it. For $11, it's a total steal. 30 types of veggies, 10,000 seeds, and just store it in your fridge. They'll last years. I am still using mine three years later. No lie, I've probably grown $300 - $400 in groceries from that seed pack.

God help you if the gardening bug bites you.

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:05 am 
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Black Hole
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Shoe wrote:
God help you if the gardening bug bites you.

I suck at gardening, but Karen is very good at it and it helps her a lot of the time (with occasional times of being overwhelmed and absolutely frustrated with worry and anxiety).

Last night I made a spaghetti dish with some basil from her garden.

Her basil is definitely doing well and she did them from seedlings.

I really appreciate the advice, though.

You have no idea.

Very good and will make for moving forward a lot more economical.

Unfortunately, when I got divorced I tossed out or sold probably 95% of what I had bought for Kim. She always had me buying stuff and she hid stuff that she had bought on the sly. None of it she used. Or she used it halfheartedly and whatever she did just became a dirt pile that rotted.

Must have spent hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on stuff for her.

Made me very nervous when Karen started wanting to do gardening, but, fortunately she has not let me down and has endeavored to use everything we've bought, so far.

caryc wrote:
Man, that's something I wish I was good at.

I wish I was good at it, too.

I've killed every plant I have been put in-charge of since I was a kid.

I am very amazed at Karen's capability because it is hot as fuck here, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:03 am 
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From what I understand -- and I could be wrong -- you're already getting out of season for a lot of stuff in Texas. Too hot.

But people manage it, and it sounds like Karen knows what she is doing, so you're prolly in good shape.

Gardening for the sake of economics is one of those things like, say, homebrewing. In THEORY you can save money by doing it, but that assumes you don't fall down the rabbit hole and starting getting stuff and turning it into a huge hobby.

If you learn what fruits and veggies to target, learn how to save seeds (even from some store bought stuff), and some other stuff, you can save a lot of money on produce by growing much of your own.

Plus, I found that you end up eating a little healthier, too, since you don't want the fruits of your labors to go to waste!

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