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Peaved and Frustrated

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Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Gunny on 3/15/2013, 6:26 pm

KISS. I spent a lot of time and trouble rounding up five composts that didn't have animal manure in them because I am new to gardening and everyone carried on about five blended composts. A person from my military background is very literal minded. When I saw bags of manure the association was fertilizer not compost. The book does not make it clear that fertilizer can be used as compost. The results is an undernourished garden. I will be fortunate if anything lives to harvest. My request is that when discussing the five compost ingredients that you include animal manures in your discussions. When I found out this info most of my enthusiasm flew out the window along with my android. BTW how come this spot on the site is not mobile friendly? Try back traking to correct something and you will see what I mean if using am android. Can't get back to the end to keep going and have to start all over.
Now the frustration part. Mr. Joe Diddly me following along with all the spring gardening advise etc. Planted my garden according to you alls idea of spring gardens. A couple of days ago I obtained a planting chart from the county extension office. Everything is fine until I start reading it. What you all plant in spring has to be planted in the fall down here. That means I probably wont harvest any leaf crops and a few others in the coming weeks. All the effort shot down wants to make me cry almost. Talk about how we were treated when we came back from 'Nam and its almost the same feeling. Very discouraged at this point. All new gardeners need to check with their extension office before planting. A few things might servive. No wonder there is only one active member in my area. Now I have to make it through summer before I can enjoy the leaf crops that we were so looking forward to. The spring here has come and gone. We are into early summer. Dautime temps

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  camprn on 3/15/2013, 6:44 pm

Gunny, I'm sorry about the way you are feeling. I always recommend animal manure compost as part of the compost blend. Composted animal manure is just that, compost. It is also considered an organic fertilizer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertilizer

As to advice that you have received here, many folks express opinions and facts. In the Terms of Service it is requested that all facts be backed up with information that can be further delved into by the reader. Many folks here are also new to gardening, though some of us have gardened for decades. We share what we know, or think we know and it is ultimately the responsibility of the gardener to make the decisions regarding their own gardens.

I am glad you have taken the advice to consult your local county cooperative extension service for your region specific information. They will be your best source of information.

Patience is one of the things I have learned through the many years I have gardened; it is not always an easy lesson. Another very important thing to keep in mind is that to everything there is a season and each of us must learn about our own seasons. Also, one book, or one website about gardening is not going to give you all the information you need about botany, plants, their physiology and growing requirements.

As to the android problem, I share your frustration. Not all websites do well at supporting the mobile technology, but that is hardly the fault of the members here.

I am sure all is not lost, but I do understand your frustrations. You will have another planting season.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Check this thread for other very good books about gardening. There is so much to learn.

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Gunny on 3/15/2013, 6:51 pm

Temps are in the hundreds, cools down to the fifties at sunup. Have a few hot weather plants that may do okay. 90% of the garden wad in leaf. So much for carrot week. Will have to wait until August to plant. Its a shame to have wasted that seed. Anyone got any sweet potato slips for a care package, I can start planting them now. The seed houses wont have em for awhile yet and when they get them my window will be gone. I have some globe 'choke seed that I can can sow if I hurry and that might make it for a harvest in June and then its a waiting game until July when winter squash can go in. Hopefully the toms will make it. Used transplants from the box store. Makes since that the asperagus roots didn't take off, they are for October. Haven't found out about the strawberry roots yet, think they might be the same. Anyway just had to say it. Let you all know whats going on and how I feel. I know some of this is a comedy of errors and thats life. Lets all look at it as a learning experience. Just take the two main things to heart.
1. Mention animal manures as part of the compost.
2. Encourage all new gardeners to get a planting list for their respective area.
3. Make this spot more mobile friendly.
Okay, I've had my pitty party. Its your turn.

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  camprn on 3/15/2013, 6:55 pm

My turn? OK, here's my season... It's snowing again and the ground is still as hard as a rock. I will not be planting peas next week. Sad Sad

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Gunny on 3/15/2013, 6:58 pm

Thanks camprn. I know see part two at the end.

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Unmutual on 3/15/2013, 7:36 pm

I remember that frustration when I first started gardening. It always amazes me how something so simple can end up being complicated for no good reason. I suspect you punished the biggest culprit when you threw that phone out of the window(finding info can be frustrating in-and-of-itself, let alone when you add a handicap).

Just to mirror Cmprn, yes composted animal manure is good(and at least 2 of my 5 are from animal sources-cows and chickens). And yes, you can't go wrong with your local ag center. Just remember this: the veg list(tested cultivars that grow well, for example: Better Boy tomatoes) are mostly for farmers and don't take things like microclimates in to consideration. Don't worry though, they should still do perfectly well, but as a gardener you will have more options that you can look at later on down the line when you feel more comfortable. Just remember, most(not all) garden centers have no idea what veggies you should be planting. So just because it's available, does not mean you should buy it.

I strongly suggest joining a gardening club, or find out where your ag center/master gardeners have classes so you can get more local knowledge. Last, but not least, you're in a hot and dry part of the country, so mulch is going to be your friend.

And don't worry, I messed it up pretty well my first try too(heck, I still mess up all the time, but at least Mother Nature insists on keeping things alive in spite of me).

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Roseinarosecity on 3/15/2013, 7:45 pm

Hello, Gunny.
I am in California so at first I didn't understand where in the USA is getting 100's. But I see you are in Yuma, Arizona! Wow, that hot.

I also noticed your avatar has a picture of what looks like elevated beds. Is that a picture of your current garden? In your area I think elevated beds will get warmer faster than if they were on the ground. Somebody correct me here if I am wrong. Would it help if Gunny shades the beds to get the leafy crops?

I also agree with Unmutual about joining a garden club in your area. Since I joined one last year, I learned quite a lot, exchanged seeds and plants, and helped out each other.

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Unmutual on 3/15/2013, 8:01 pm

@Roseinarosecity wrote:Hello, Gunny.
I also noticed your avatar has a picture of what looks like elevated beds. Is that a picture of your current garden? In your area I think elevated beds will get warmer faster than if they were on the ground. Somebody correct me here if I am wrong. Would it help if Gunny shades the beds to get the leafy crops?

Shade can help prevent leafy greens and brassicas(and probably a fair amount of other cool weather crops) from flat out dying in the heat or slow down bolting. I'm not sure how well shade will do when the temps are already at 100(80 at best in the shade?). You could always move a bed to the east side of the house to find out(afternoon sun is the worse) or move the bed in and out of shade on the north side.

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Triciasgarden on 3/15/2013, 8:07 pm

How frustrating for you gunny! I am always so surprised when someone has such warm weather when I have snow on the ground and those in Canada barely have a growing season at all!

Is there a way you can create some sort of shade for what you have planted and then mist them with a light spray several times a day? I saw on one of the gardening shows on tv where someone grew all their cool weather crops under the shade of their trees. I don't know what area they lived, but they had a lot of trees.

It looks like your beds are out in the open so you will get plenty of heat, obviously. As your area gets even more heat as time goes, your tomatoes may even benefit from a little shade to cool them off. I have my sfg book upstairs and sprained my ankle so I can't get it right now but look in your book where it explains about temps for your tomatoes.

I was lucky my first year in Utah, moving from So. California, that my neighbors kept telling me to wait to plant. I was sure there would not be enough time to grow things if I had to wait until the end of May to plant tomatoes and corn. But last year I got anxious and planted my corn too early. One year I planted cool weather crops in the Summer without thinking and wondered why they didn't make it.

I know there have been a lot of discussion on this forum about using chicken, rabbit, llama, horse, and cow manure. It sounds like you may have missed them somehow. I know with me I don't always remember and have to refresh my memory.

There is a good discussion about compost on "Are you a hottie?".

It is hard to know everything at once and I know you have been working so hard for quite awhile! I'm so sorry that things are so frustrating for you!

One good thing about living where you do, is you have a much longer growing season and your tomatoes can grow for a much longer period of time and you can harvest for a long period of time. I think they have to be indeterminate (meaning vining as opposed to bushing) tomatoes.

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  quiltbea on 3/15/2013, 8:19 pm

Gunny.....I'm sorry you had such a bad start. You learned the hard way, unfortunately, that a gardener has to read, read, read and I found that utube also has many videos that can be helpful for all parts of the country. I was taking books our from my local library every week.
You made your mistakes, but believe me, we've all made mistakes. I've only been and SFGr since spring 2009 but I still learn new things all the time, things that pertain to my specific area. We don't all have the same weather, micro-climate, sunshine, winds, temps, rains or anything else. Each of us has their own little Garden of Eden and we have to learn from scratch. Like many New Englanders, we're having snow this weekend and more on Tues with nites in the teens. Brrrrrr, will this spring ever arrive for us?

I know I've seen many threads here discussing composts with the additions of the animal composts included, from rabbit, to chicken, to horse, cow, bat, worm, llama and even fish emulsion. Maybe you just missed them. Manures from plant-eating animals is also listed as a compost ingredient in the ANSFG book.
So don't let this stop you from gardening. I would start adding animal manures to your compost pile right now so it'll be ready for next season or the fall season which is yet to begin for you.
And I, for one, was always thankful for the service of our 'nam warriors. We lost a cousin there only 3 days before he was to come home.
Good luck.

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Andrea13 on 3/15/2013, 8:45 pm

Hello Gunny ~ First and foremost thank you for your service.

I would just like to add, fwiw, that since you do have 5 types of compost, regardless of the manure content, you are likely to have very nutrient rich soil. I think you are being a bit too hard on yourself. If you can somehow find a bit of protection from those harsh elements, you might be surprised at what you can grow!

Best of luck!

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Triciasgarden on 3/15/2013, 10:24 pm

@Andrea13 wrote:I would just like to add, fwiw, that since you do have 5 types of compost, regardless of the manure content, you are likely to have very nutrient rich soil. I think you are being a bit too hard on yourself. If you can somehow find a bit of protection from those harsh elements, you might be surprised at what you can grow!

I agree! Do a search to the left for "shade cloth". There are a lot of listings for that topic so I wasn't able to just pick one. If you keep your beds watered (you may have to do it twice a day in your heat), get them shaded and mist them some, you may be able to keep your leafy crops from bolting.

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Tris on 3/15/2013, 11:23 pm

I'm sorry you've had such a rough time! I know the book mentions cattle compost and was fairly specific that you ought to only use 1 source for animal compost ( ie chicken and cow both only count as 1 of the 5). You're probably better off without the manure, since Mel really suggests using your own compost from your scaps etc, not from composted poop Smile
I've had a terrible time rounding up my varied 5, so I feel your pain! I haven't started mine yet, hopefully this weekend!

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Coelli on 3/16/2013, 12:31 am

Echoing Andrea here - thank you for your service!

I'm in SoCal, which is not as hot as AZ but we get well over 100 degrees in the summer where I live. Last year was my first year SFG and I found that shading my garden from the hottest part of the day helped a LOT. Everything was getting fried so I put muslin on the hoops over my beds. It gave the plants a break when the sun was high.

My tomatoes stopped producing (I never moved them out of the sun) in the heat, but they started producing again once the weather started cooling down. This year I'm going to move them to the side of the house in the high summer so they get shade in the afternoon, or perhaps rig up some other sort of portable shade.

The idea of shade cloth combined with misters on a timer is fantastic - I think the misters are easily hooked up to drip irrigation, which I already have. That's something else you should consider if you're not already. Watering, especially in elevated beds, is going to be key too and drip irrigation on a timer is a huge lifesaver (and timesaver). It is not very expensive either, all things considered.

As for your beds, I think you'll be fine with the compost you have but if you're really concerned that things are looking poorly, grab some organic fertilizer and side-dress your beds (okay, SFG forums, put down the torches and pitchforks... Smile ). I did that my first year because I used crappy compost from the big box stores and it made a huge difference (I used Happy Frog fertilizer). Right, I know you're not "supposed" to, but I think when you're first starting out you should not feel bad about needing to step outside the SFG box while you're learning about what the plants need, what your particular climate needs are, etc. Ironically, in the first edition of SFG organic fertilizer is part of the mix! It was phased out (along with sand) in later versions.

Speaking of sand - I still have a significant amount in my beds because I followed the instructions for the original mix. Sad I am slowly trying to make my own compost (not easy because we don't have much in the way of landscaping) but have resorted to all kinds of things to try to get my beds in order without scrapping all of that mix and starting over. So what I have in my boxes is a complete mishmash, and I think that's okay. You do what you can. Smile

So in a nutshell - I bet shade cloth should be a priority for you, and if things are looking like they need it, a little boost of organic fertilizer to help your compost mix. Misters are a really "nice to have."

Good luck!!

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/16/2013, 12:59 am

@Andrea13 wrote:Hello Gunny ~ First and foremost thank you for your service.

I would just like to add, fwiw, that since you do have 5 types of compost, regardless of the manure content, you are likely to have very nutrient rich soil. I think you are being a bit too hard on yourself. If you can somehow find a bit of protection from those harsh elements, you might be surprised at what you can grow!

Best of luck!

this is what i wanted to say....i have read and watched video's where gardeners dont use any manure composted or not in their gardens and they get great results......

this is our 4th year gardening and we are still learning and have made many mistakes.....and had crops fail....last fall we put in a 4x10 and a 4x8 full of cole crops.....we got wonderful healthy plants but come harvest time....ALL the heads rotted for some reason Sad and we still are trying to figure out....here in the PNW we should be able to grow these kind of cool crops....yet they failed...

dont give up....you maybe surprised on what grows....in our gardens we push the limits to see what we can grow....sometimes it works out great and other times it doesnt...

hugs
rose

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/16/2013, 8:50 am

I don't have any manure in my MM. My first year was fine with growth except for spinach. The only manure in my current compost pile is a little goose poo from clean up of the yard across the street. Not sure if it will make a diff this year or not, but since I didn't miss it the first year any improvement will be a bonus.

I think your issue is the heat and probably not the MM. I use burlap over hoops during heat waves. It helps, but greens just don't want to grow in heat. But you CAN grow them in the house:

Last winters indoor salad mix:

And this is some mixed greens I just started the other day because outdoor planting is being delayed due to a super cold March this year:

It should end up looking like this in a few days (also from last year):

Once I had 3 pots like this going as I eat salad every day. You can buy the seed already mixed and it's so easy to sprinkle it onto MM and keep it moist by spritzing. Sprouts and grows quickly.

Don't despair...it'll all come together eventually and you will become one with and master your climate, more or less. lol!

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  littlejo on 3/16/2013, 9:41 am

Gunny, put your address in a PM and I'll send Sw. potatoes, I have plenty.

I have my garden with a big pine tree in the center, so each of the beds gets shade for part of the day. I've heard of folks using lattice panels to give some shade, I don't know how they rigged it.
I also have some Jerico lettuce seed, it's from Isreal and is heat tolerant? maybe, haven't grown or ate any yet, can include in package.

First figure out something for shade, then plant some heat loving plants, squash, melons, corn,
eggplant, toms love the heat, but won't set fruit til it cools some.

Jo

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Chicken and Cow Manure only count as one component of compost???

Post  Windmere on 3/16/2013, 12:57 pm

[quote="Tris"]I'm sorry you've had such a rough time! I know the book mentions cattle compost and was fairly specific that you ought to only use 1 source for animal compost ( ie chicken and cow both only count as 1 of the 5). You're probably better off without the manure, since Mel really suggests using your own compost from your scaps etc, not from composted poop Smile

Hey everyone.... I plan on using composted chicken manure and composted cow manure as two components of my Mel's Mix.

I have the second edition book. I have looked for any language that says two composted manures count as one, and I haven't found anything.

Do you folks think I need to look for another compost ingredient to replace one of my composted manures? I hope not. I can't think of anything else!

Oh, and this is what I currently plan to use:

Organic Composted Chicken Manure
Organic Composted Cow Manure
Organic Mushroom Compost (pure)
Organic Fruit and Vegetable Compost
Worm Castings

study

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/16/2013, 1:04 pm

[quote="Windmere"]
@Tris wrote:I'm sorry you've had such a rough time! I know the book mentions cattle compost and was fairly specific that you ought to only use 1 source for animal compost ( ie chicken and cow both only count as 1 of the 5). You're probably better off without the manure, since Mel really suggests using your own compost from your scaps etc, not from composted poop Smile

Hey everyone.... I plan on using composted chicken manure and composted cow manure as two components of my Mel's Mix.

I have the second edition book. I have looked for any language that says two composted manures count as one, and I haven't found anything.

Do you folks think I need to look for another compost ingredient to replace one of my composted manures? I hope not. I can't think of anything else!

Oh, and this is what I currently plan to use:

Organic Composted Chicken Manure
Organic Composted Cow Manure
Organic Mushroom Compost (pure)
Organic Fruit and Vegetable Compost
Worm Castings

study

Here's what Mel says:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t14581-mel-s-soap-box-february-18-2013-compost

You can read the discussion here:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t14579-new-forum-mel-s-soap-box-discussion-thread

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Thanks Rooster

Post  Windmere on 3/16/2013, 1:25 pm

Thanks very much for the links you posted Rooster. Sigh... I truly thought I was good to go with the combination I was planning to use. Does anyone have any thoughts about what I could use to replace one of my manures. Again, what I have now is:

Organic Composted Chicken Manure
Organic Composted Cow Manure
Organic Mushroom Compost (pure)
Organic Fruit and Vegetable Compost
Worm Castings

I truly can't think of another available compost component in my area.

Sad

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Gunny on 3/16/2013, 2:01 pm

Work on a mushroom farm once upon a time. Horse manure was a big component of the growing medium. Even now in my composting of horse manure I get some mushroom coming up so I know the microbiotic life is working in it. Hope this will help a little.

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  Turan on 3/16/2013, 2:03 pm

From Mels post~
Because many of the bagged compost you buy are a byproduct from that industry, we consider that just one ingredient.~
Some suggestions would be: manure from as many different animals as possible, mushroom compost, shellfish industry, barnyard, or in other words, dairy cows. ... Chicken might be included in the barnyard category or could be separate. Horse manure available anywhere and everywhere but not usually bagged is also good if lengthy and well composted.

Windmere, So if you think your chicken manure is a byproduct of that industry it is one source. I would think chicken coop manure composted fits that description. So you have it nailed.

The gist of what Mel seems to be getting at is that mixed up stuff in bags is suspicious. And I should not think my barnyard shovelings that include horse, sheep, chicken, hay and straw composted as 5 blended composts but as one compost.

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  sfg4uKim on 3/16/2013, 2:38 pm

Gunny:

I'm SO sorry you had this problem. I hope this isn't a repeat of previous posts (I only had time to skim through them).

I agree with the others, try to use shade cloth to get as much as you can out of what you have already planted.

It sounds like you have the book, but might not have seen a couple things: On page 91 it shows a picture of various bagged composts and shows a bag of manure. On page 96 there is a detailed list of compost ingredients and mentions "stable or poultry manure".

Several thread also warn that many bagged "compost" are filled with peat moss - which will skew your balance.

I hope you can salvage your garden and at least get SOMETHING from it.

Your friend the former Wing Nut!
Kim

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Whew!!

Post  Windmere on 3/16/2013, 2:48 pm

Hi Turan,

You have no idea how happy you've made me!! Thanks so much for clarifying Mel's post for me. I wasn't understanding what he meant. It all makes sense now. Thanks again.

rahrah

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

Post  yolos on 3/16/2013, 3:21 pm

Windmere - Last year Swints had some kind of cotton compost. But I did not find it until after I filled my beds and the ingredients on the bag were not very specific. Pikes had a forest products compost last year also. But I had to sift this because it had large chunks of bark in it which I did not like. Last year I used almost exactly what you have listed above. This year I have my own compost but I only consider it as one of the five because all it has in it is leaves, coffee, vegetable scraps, grass. No manure of any kind. My next door neighbor just got horses so next year I will have horse manure.

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Re: Peaved and Frustrated

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