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Greetings from an Alabama gardening Newb

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Southern Neighbor

Post  kbshark on 4/30/2013, 1:27 am

Hey Stinky,
You are off to a great start! I really like your energy and enthusiasm. Great looking boxes and blackberry trellis.

A couple of thoughts.... I have used the vermiculite that you show in the picture and it is a good quality however I think you will like "coarse" vermiculite better and achieve better results. I have both in test and and it is a little early to tell. I will get the name brand that was more coarse and where I located it. (I am in Mobile) but we should probably have some of the same vendors.
I also have sweet peas planted as you do. I would wrap the chicken wire around the PVC and leave the short ends open so that you can reach in with your hands and train the peas up the trellis and then be able to pick the peas as they come to harvest. I am glad you are here as we are planting zone neighbors and will be able to share a lot of thoughts and strategy.
I pass through Montgomery at least once a month.
Keep up the good work and have some fun with it! I learn something new every week!
Keith (kbshark Mobile, Alabama)
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kbshark

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Re: Greetings from an Alabama gardening Newb

Post  camprn on 4/30/2013, 7:48 am

@StinkyFeetMendoza wrote: I'd love to find a great compost tea recipe.
My recipe for compost tea:
Shovel full of compost,
into a 5 gallon pail,
fill with water
stir and let set a day.

fill watering can half full with tea and fill to top with water.
Water plants at soil level.
What a Face

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Rainbarrels

Post  riverregion on 5/1/2013, 11:42 am

Hey Stinky,

Not sure if you are interested, but there is a rainbarrel workshop this Saturday, May 4, from 9:00am - 10:30am on Vaughn Road. The cost is $30.00, and you pay on-site. I have not been to this particular workshop before, but I do plan on attending this one. They provide the barrel and associated supplies, and you construct it on-site. I've attached a URL below for the Alabama Rain Barrel Project. Near the top of the page will be a link for "Workshop Registration".

http://www.alabamarainbarrelproject.com/index.html

Also, if you still have a few spaces left and are interested, I have a few transplants left that I'd like to share. I have a couple of Cherokee Purple and Roma tomatoes, and some Applegreen Eggplant.

rr
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Re: Greetings from an Alabama gardening Newb

Post  donnainzone5 on 5/1/2013, 11:55 am

Stinky,

Those are some gorgeous boxes! I also LOVE your blackberry pictures.

Is that plastic sheeting beneath your beds? If so, it could cause a drainage problem.
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Maxwell compost

Post  dathor on 5/1/2013, 1:41 pm

If you still want the contact info, or for anyone else, the Maxwell dirt contact is Larry Howard at 334-593-7478, they have odd ours so call ahead. Maxwell also has sand, rock, and lots of other things, the inmates load it up in the back of your truck or trailer.

I'm kind of new to gardening here in Alabama, been trying to garden for a few years in Prattville, with mixed success. With your blackberry bushes, they will put roots down wherever they touch the ground pretty much, so don't let them wander too much. The whole half of my garden that used to be strawberries and watermelon is now blackberry plants because I let the branches wander over there last year and they took root.
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So much help, sorry for the long post:

Post  StinkyFeetMendoza on 5/1/2013, 2:09 pm

I finally figured out how to quote people Smile. So many responses and so many people helping me, I love it! Sorry but this is going to be a long post. I have several people I want to respond to. Thanks everyone Smile


@kbshark wrote:A couple of thoughts.... I have used the vermiculite that you show in the picture and it is a good quality however I think you will like "coarse" vermiculite better and achieve better results. I have both in test and and it is a little early to tell. I will get the name brand that was more coarse and where I located it. (I am in Mobile) but we should probably have some of the same vendors.

Hey kbshark,
I have brothers in Mobile Smile I hope I didn't mess up too badly with my mix. It is too late for these boxes. But I'm addicted and I'm already planning several more(I need at least triple what I have now:) ). I would love any tips on vermiculite you might have to share and I would love to hear the results of your test. Update us please.

@kbshark wrote:I also have sweet peas planted as you do. I would wrap the chicken wire around the PVC and leave the short ends open so that you can reach in with your hands and train the peas up the trellis and then be able to pick the peas as they come to harvest.

I left the short end on the edge of the box open, I also left the top open. It blew over the other night so I used zip ties to attach it to my grid. How have your peas in the past turned out and how many squares worth do you typically plant?

@camprn wrote:
My recipe for compost tea:
Shovel full of compost,
into a 5 gallon pail,
fill with water
stir and let set a day.

fill watering can half full with tea and fill to top with water.
Water plants at soil level.
What a Face

Hey Camprn
I followed your recipe but added a few things. I always over complicate things. I added unsulphured molasses, some rabbit food pellets and some sushi wraps. I have no clue what I'm doing, just trying some stuff I read on the net. Its looking nice though. Oh I also bought and aquarium pump and some air stones. Im making an aerated tea.

@riverregion wrote:Hey Stinky,

Not sure if you are interested, but there is a rainbarrel workshop this Saturday, May 4, from 9:00am - 10:30am on Vaughn Road.

Im very interested. Unfortunately, I'll be at a wedding in Andalusia, Al this Saturday. I was just telling my wife I need two rain barrels! And $30 for the class seems very reasonable, especially since you are keeping your bucket. Please take notes for me Wink I just missed a composting class. I feel like Im missing all the good stuff I need.

@riverregion wrote:
Also, if you still have a few spaces left and are interested, I have a few transplants left that I'd like to share. I have a couple of Cherokee Purple and Roma tomatoes, and some Applegreen Eggplant.

rr

Again, Im very interested Smile. I have 6 inner spaces left, if that makes sense. I was thinking about doing some Eggplants in them. Also I would love to try a Roma Tomato if y'all think I have room. I need to make a Diagram of what I have done so far. I saw someone on here using an interesting app or website to diagram their garden, I'll have to look into that so I can show y'all exactly what I have going on. I feel like my boxes are so crowded. i have three extra okra if you would like to make it a trade

donnainzone10 wrote:Stinky,

Those are some gorgeous boxes! I also LOVE your blackberry pictures.

Is that plastic sheeting beneath your beds? If so, it could cause a drainage problem.

Hi Donnainzone10,
That is a product called "Weedblock". It said it would let water through on the package, it also said to put it shiny side up for better drainage. If anyone has had any problems using WeedBlock please let me know. Thanks Smile

@dathor wrote:If you still want the contact info, or for anyone else, the Maxwell dirt contact is Larry Howard at 334-593-7478, they have odd ours so call ahead. Maxwell also has sand, rock, and lots of other things, the inmates load it up in the back of your truck or trailer

dathor,
That is some great information! I never did track down their number. thank you so much for that. Have you used their compost before? did you like it? whats in it? Good luck with the gardening.


sorry for the long post everyone. thank you all so much for being so helpful and involved with my garden. your support is a real encouragement. thanks guys

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StinkyFeetMendoza

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Re: Greetings from an Alabama gardening Newb

Post  dathor on 5/1/2013, 2:31 pm

I haven't actually used their compost myself, but am planning on getting some this next week so I can put some more down before the heat hits. From what I understand, it's made from the trimmings from the landscaping and gardens that the inmates do on Maxwell, that is second or third hand info but it makes sense.

I've used some similar weed protection covers under my raised gardens and haven't had any issues with water. My entire yard floods every time it rains (high clay content), but my raised gardens always seem to drain fine even with a few inches of water over the rest of the lawn.
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Why am I failing?

Post  StinkyFeetMendoza on 5/10/2013, 9:54 pm

Hey Guys. Im very very discouraged. I dont know why it seems like nothing is growing. My okra is turning yellow from the inside out and has barely grown since I transplanted it. My watermelon has not grown at all. I dont know if its the cold front or a lack of nutrients. My compost came from a reputable source and was made from 7 different ingredients(compost guy said I would still have to fertilize though). I used a home made compost tea with fish emulsion on Tuesday afternoon to see if that would get things kick started. Nothing has changed except for one watermelon looked very very unhappy. The only thing that is doing well is one out of two cucumbers( and they are both in the same square). One has taken off, the other has done nothing. Im gonna include some pictures to see if you guys can help me. The first pictures are of my watermelons:

These are both my watermelons the day after compost tea:
Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

Here is the wilted watermelon a few days after compost tea and some fresh water rinsing:
Image hosted by servimg.com

This is what my okra looks like:
Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

So those are all the pictures Im gonna unload on y'all for now. So basically to recap, 1. what if anything is wrong from what you see in the pictures? 2. What if anything organic can and or should I be feeding my watermelon, okra, and tomatoes. and 3.(not a recap but a first mention) Where Can I find a good guide to growing tomatoes?(Sorry to be lazy, I am gonna google all of this, but I figured Id ask all you experts first. As always, Thanks a lot for the help.

-StinkyFeet

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Re: Greetings from an Alabama gardening Newb

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