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Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

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Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  annamagpie on 4/5/2012, 11:39 am

Very Happy Hi, I am just starting out with SQ Ft gardening and am pretty excited about it. I live at the base of the Black Hills and it is pretty arid here. Not desert but almost! (Especially this year). My biggest problem has been grasshoppers the last 4 years. They eat everything including the wood off the side of my house. Well, thanks for the wonderful forum--I've already found a source for vermiculite--hooray! (Who knew to look in the insulation department?)

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/5/2012, 11:51 am

Hmm...I tried to welcome you in the other thread but I must not have posted it...going for it again Smile

glad you\'re here Annamagpie!

I was one of the members last year that contacted Sungro - and yes, their Sunshine or Stronglite brands of vermiculite insulation are safe for gardening. You might find the particle size varies more...but otherwise you are fine. Smile

Have you read All New Square Foot Gardening? Do you have your 5 composts (or your own homemade, the best of all)? Newbies in the US can usually find peat, it's the vermiculite and the composts that usually have them scurrying... Smile

Keep us posted on your progress. We like picures! Smile Grasshoppers, hmmm - don't have a ton of experience with them, but I imagine with SFG you could erect something to protect your plants (at least the ones that don't need insects to pollinate them...). Search critter cages and netting using the search bar in the upper left - I don't know if a grasshopper could force itself through tulle - I know they are pretty aggressive critters... Smile

The black hills are beautiful! I have an uncle who lived near Newcastle, WY for several years - gorgeous! Smile

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Thank you!

Post  annamagpie on 4/5/2012, 12:32 pm

Yes I have the new book as well as the old book (I tried a sort of square foot gardening years ago). And my fiancee just found a source of compost--critters standing under cottonwood trees for years. How nice!

I have a friend who suggested wrapping the garden with plastic (or something) , that the grasshoppers can't jump higher than 4 or 5 feet. I'll try it.

I'm going to go ahead and make one bed--we've been having VERY unseasonable 80 degree weather for a few days so I thought I'd go ahead and get some peas and other cool crops in.

Thank you so much for your warm welcome.

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  elysia on 4/5/2012, 2:50 pm

Glad to know there are fellow Western so daks roaming about on this blog...this is my first year to SFG too! How is it going so far? I have been wanting to plant some things outside but have to remind myself that we sometimes get snow in June and I need to be patient!

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  annamagpie on 4/5/2012, 3:04 pm

cheers hooray! another western so'dakian! I was thrilled to see someone from Casper, let alone SD!

pretty good so far. well, since all I've done is start seeds! I'll put together my 1st box this weekend and put some cool weather stuff in there but I am seriously wondering whether to put more in. I mean, 80 in MArch? Insane. How about you? How are you doing? And if you don't mind my asking--where are you? I'm in Piedmont.

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  elysia on 4/5/2012, 3:27 pm

I had the same reaction to seeing someone else in the Black Hills! I'm in Rapid. It's been going o.k. - I started some seeds too (I know so many people say not to the first season but I just couldn't help myself) and am prepared for the whole seedling thing to be a disaster...so far, my broc sprouts and cipollini onion sprouts have been disappointing but my peppers are going for it...I sprouted a few different kinds, including a super-hot variety that is actually called "fatalii" (I am embarrassed to admit I didn't notice "fatal" bing a part of the name at first and just ordered them because I wanted hot, hot. It might all just be a coincidence anyway)...
This weather has been crazy! cyclops While it may still snow (since rapid has almost burned, twice, moisture in ANY form PLEASE), I think the chances of sustained freezing temps are slim...so as long as you can cover your plants...? Tough call.
I am still trying to figure out where I will get my mel's mix components and what will actually comprise the stuff - otherwise I think I'd have planted outside too! May I ask where you found your vermiculite?
btw, I've seen several good sized hoppers already (it was still March, in fact!!!!) - you're wise to try to nip this problem in the bud...

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  annamagpie on 4/5/2012, 3:42 pm

ok I haven't actually purchased the vermiculite. But I looked on-line at Menard's and they had a big ole' bag (30 ft3for 15.00 ) on the website. I work in Rapid so I'm stopping off there on the way home. FYI--located in the insulation department! I checked Lowe's yesterday--got some peatmoss but they only had small bags of Verm. I didn't know to check the insulation aisle. As for compost, I have some that my hubby-to-be found in Belle. He works construction and at one site there was a HUGE mound of compost-- for years horses and maybe cattle hung out under these cottonwoods. So he brought a pick-up truck load home. I'll ask him if there is more and will gladly share if you need it.

Also I just called the landfill. The guy there said there is always a chance there will be pesticides, etc. showing up in compost. He doesn't test for those, But there are no heavy metals or ...I forgot what else he said. (other bad stuff). There is a second type of compost too, comprised of stuff from the sewage plant (I think he said?) newspapers and cardboard. He personally loves that for his garden. I still worry about pesticides and chem-lawn stuff though.

My seedlings so far are eggplant and marigolds. I just planted most of them this past weekend. One variety of eggpalnt (planted almost 2 weekends ago) an Asian variety (long and slender) hasn't popped up yet. The packet said 2 weeks possible germination....so I'll wait a little longer...

Nice to meet you!

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  elysia on 4/5/2012, 5:53 pm

Thanks for the info - I don't have a solid line on any compost - was expecting to just have to buy - so if you have any extra that would be awesome!

Yeah, our neighbor knows someone (you know how that goes) that just uses stright compost from the landfill and swears by it. I am totally with you, I'd like to be more confident that there isn't a lot of extra junk in the soil where I am growing things to eat.

I totally sprouted asain eggplant (lampung I think??) too! Mine sprouted after 1 week and then the others came up about 10 days from sowing. I spent about 10 yrs out of the BH area and thai eggplant is on the short list of things I miss having access to. yum. So far, so good, for that plantling...*fingers crossed*

Are you anticipating a big deer issue (I think anywhere around here must have deer problems) and thus the marigolds (plus they're just pretty, of course)? I've been trying to research deer determent and have seen everything from hanging hair clippings in pantyhose to strategic strategic urination by a meat-eating, male human.affraid I'll let you know if I see any grasshopper ideas...

Nice to "meet" you too.

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  elysia on 4/5/2012, 6:38 pm

Oh, I forgot to include this email I got in response to a call to our local cooperative extension office inquiring as to the last frost date:

Hi Elysia,



I failed to asked where you were from so I gathered the entire state. Remember these dates are of the a 20% chance or less of a killing frost. I agree we can start sooner with the weather being so warm and the soil is banking heat, but anytime the forecast is for a freeze below 26 degrees, plants should be covered or moved inside.



Let me know if I can be of more help.





SOUTH DAKOTA
Camp Crook 20-May - 21-Sep
Hot Springs 20-May - 20-Sep
Huron 4-May - 2-Oct
Pierre 30-Apr - 8-Oct
Rapid City 5-May - 30-Sep
Sioux Falls 10-May - 25-Sep
Watertown 16-May - 27-Sep




Dave Ollila

Extension Sheep Field Specialist

SDSU

elysia

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  cheyannarach on 4/6/2012, 1:52 am

Hello! Another BH South Dakotan here, so excited to see more of you here, excited to follow your blogs!

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  elysia on 4/6/2012, 12:40 pm

neato! I knew there had to be more of us out there! Very Happy How goes it so far? Is this your first SFG season?

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  Goosegirl on 4/6/2012, 5:52 pm

I'm in the far corner of the state, but can I say HI too? Been WAY too nice a winter here as well - have not had a frost in several weeks, but supposed to be 3 days with lows into the 20's starting Sunday night. Nothing planted outdoors yet, but have tomato and pepper seedlings about 2" high inside under lights. Hoping to put potatoes in this weekend and maybe some carrot seeds, but I don't dare try anything else yet!

Thankfully the grasshoppers don't hit here until later in the season. They were the only real bug pest in my SFG last year (this is year 2 for me). They hit my bean leaves pretty hard but left the beans alone, so I still got my crop. Hope this year they are as easy on me!

NE SD

GG

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Hooray--more So'dakians!

Post  annamagpie on 4/6/2012, 6:00 pm

Smile Hmmm...I thought I posted but I don't see it, so if this is doubled...just ignore it.

Menards did have the vermiculite but I didn't get my box built today because of the RAIN! Did you all get rain? Hopefuly! (Apparently Deadwood got lightning and no rain and a transformer got hit--yikes).

I re-planted my Asian eggplants and will plant everything else since our frost -free date is early MAY????? (wow--i was shooting for June 1st--that sure changed!)

Smile Smile Smile

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  elysia on 4/6/2012, 6:51 pm

We did indeed get some rain! (and pea-sized hail) That's crazy about Deadwood!

I am sorry the rain interfered with your box construction, however. 8/ What kind of wood are you using? We had some untreated redwood scraps we were able to use. My husband got a little overzealous and made them 12" deep - he found the depth more a[/size][size=12]esthetically pleasing and I thought since he was the one making them and since I read in the SFG book that it was okay to make them deeper and we could use perhaps sand to elevate the bed interior... I, too, like they way they look, deeper - although now getting sand on top of everything else I am trying to figure out, seems an unneccessary pain (we do not have a truck with a bed for transport). I'll just turn that task over to him and make him Mr. Sandman Laughing


I'll keep my fingers crossed for your Asain eggplants this go-around.

I know re: the frost dates, I was shooting for the end of May! I have to rethink my planting schedule for the rest of my stuff...

Thanks again for the info on the vermiculite.

Howdy, NE SD

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  cheyannarach on 4/7/2012, 12:17 am

It is my first year of SFG, I have been reading everything I could find online and just got the book today! I have raised beds that I built a few years ago but just recently have discovered SFG! I am sooo excited, I have tons of seeds started and am hoping to plant some potatoes, carrots, lettuce, and radishes this weekend. I was in the Menards parking lot today when it started hailing, lol, but I got the coarse vermiculite (dummy me bought about 6 bags of the horticultural verm first) I also jumped the gun on the compost and now have some of the landfill compost made from yard waste in my beds already but I got better stuff now so will be fixing that up and hoping for the best as far as herbacides, ugh, my heart just sunk when I started reading the details of the compost. I am building more beds so I will have a good comparison to see if it does have some side effects and will keep you posted on the results. I am also going to try a cattle panel trellis for cucumbers and squash, any of you ever tried it? Have you seen that Chickity Doo Doo? I was going to get that today but can't bring myself to put it in my garden It smelled sooo bad. If you need anymore peat it is on sale a runnings for $9.99 for the 3.8 foot bags!

I have been really lucky as far as pests go, we live in the woods and have no neighbors, lots of deer, but they never come up that close so far bugs have not been a problem either!

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  annamagpie on 4/7/2012, 9:01 am

@Goosegirl wrote: Hoping to put potatoes in this weekend and maybe some carrot seeds, but I don't dare try anything else yet!


GG

How are you planting potatoes? Are you using the high rise boxes like in the book? I tried the old tire method once (saw it in Organic Gardening) but all I ended up doing was cooking the poor things.Rolling Eyes

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Potatoes!

Post  cheyannarach on 4/7/2012, 9:40 am

The raised beds I have are all different heights because they are built on a slope so I am planting them in the bottom bed because it is about 2 1/2 feet tall, instead of raising I will just dig down deeper! I am doing yukon golds and red pontiacs!

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  cheyannarach on 4/7/2012, 9:44 am

Have any of you planted horseradish with your potatoes? I am trying to figure out the best way to do this so it is not super invasive but is an effective pest and disease guard...

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  elysia on 4/7/2012, 11:22 am

cheyannarach:

Thanks for the info re: runnings peat sale. I was planning on using the Chickity Doo Doo as one of my compost components - hopefully if I am expecting it to smell really bad, it won't seem as bad??Shocked

re: the compost from the landfill, have you considered making all your beds (not just the potato and carrot boxes), say, 12" deep? I've seen a couple posts here indicating that they have deeper beds and use less expensive compost or sand on the bottom to raise the interior of the bed and then use weed barrier (or cardboard??? I think I read) to separate from the 6" or so of Mel's Mix on the top layer. Also someone posted yesterday that next time they are going to make all of their beds deeper and even leave a raised edge as they found a lot less stuff (like weed seeds) blew into the box...

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  Goosegirl on 4/7/2012, 5:09 pm

@annamagpie wrote:
@Goosegirl wrote: Hoping to put potatoes in this weekend and maybe some carrot seeds, but I don't dare try anything else yet!


GG

How are you planting potatoes? Are you using the high rise boxes like in the book? I tried the old tire method once (saw it in Organic Gardening) but all I ended up doing was cooking the poor things.Rolling Eyes

I am hoping to put the potatoes in wooden 1/2 barrels this year. Last year they were in a brick raised bed which came with the house.



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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  Turan on 4/7/2012, 5:21 pm

@elysia wrote:cheyannarach:
I've seen a couple posts here indicating that they have deeper beds and use less expensive compost or sand on the bottom to raise the interior of the bed and then use weed barrier (or cardboard??? I think I read) to separate from the 6" or so of Mel's Mix on the top layer.

Did they say why they are separating the layers?
I know some people lay down a barrier that they put the rised beds on to seperate from weeds in the native soil.

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  elysia on 4/7/2012, 5:36 pm

Weeds were def. a reason given...also, I may have misunderstood your "fly-wheel" affect thinking that you were talking about separating the layers, but upon review today, I understand you were NOT talking about separating the layers, but just making sure the richest soil is on top...so much information (which is a good thing!) for my little newbie brain!!! :drunken:

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  Turan on 4/7/2012, 6:03 pm

@elysia wrote:Weeds were def. a reason given...also, I may have misunderstood your "fly-wheel" affect thinking that you were talking about separating the layers, but upon review today, I understand you were NOT talking about separating the layers, but just making sure the richest soil is on top...so much information (which is a good thing!) for my little newbie brain!!! :drunken:

O ok. I am not an orthodox ANSQF gardener and am also new here so I wondered what I missed

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Box finished and planted!

Post  annamagpie on 4/8/2012, 7:35 pm



I got a box built and Mel's mix put inside! Just in case the compost isn't pure compost I am going to add fish fertilizer when the plants start coming up. I planted peas, arugula, lettuce, pak choi, radishes (I don't normally like them but they were free, so maybe I'll develop a taste), spinach, cilantro, and I think that's it.

Oh! Steer maure is a buck a bag at Hardware Hank's on April 8th at 8am.

Are any of you South Dakotans on Facebook? If you would like to be my FB friend, please PM me! Smile

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

Post  elysia on 4/9/2012, 12:14 pm

Way to go! I bet that feels great!cheers

I'm not big on radishes either but this recipe seemed promising :
http://www.food52.com/recipes/6606_sauteed_radishes_with_mint

Have you seen the posting regarding worm tubes on this site? Seems like a great idea.

I have a facebook account but rarely use it...

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Re: Hello from the Black Hills of SD!

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