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Introducing myself - Don Curry

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Introducing myself - Don Curry

Post  dcurry9541 on 9/2/2013, 2:07 pm

Hello, All:

My name is Don Curry.  I reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and currently have nine 4' X 16' and one 8' X 16' raised beds as well as other assorted beds around the house.

I am currently growing everything from strawberries, asparagus, sweet potatoes and pumpkins, to many herbs like fenugreek, basil, sorrel, sage, etc.

I LOVE gardening.  I started the hobby while living in an apartment in Austin, and have loved it ever since.

At one time, I was growing over 250 different types and cultivars of herbs.  

I love the history of the plants, their utility, and the actual act of gardening - including pulling weeds (when it isn't incendiary hot outside).

Recently I have taken up propagating methods to increase my garden aptitude and save some money on expensive shrubs and trees.  That is still a work in progress...

I look forward to learning from everyone and will be happy to share anything I can.  I am currently finishing a degree in molecular biology and have taken some botany and virology courses, so I may be able to assist in some different ways.

Sincerely,
Don Curry

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Re: Introducing myself - Don Curry

Post  sanderson on 9/2/2013, 2:37 pm

Don, Welcome to the Forum! glad you\'re here 

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Re: Introducing myself - Don Curry

Post  TxGramma on 9/2/2013, 3:43 pm

Welcome Don! Sounds like you have a good bit of gardening experience. Are you currently doing SFG in your beds? What do have in the 8 x 16 and is it hard to work with? I would definitely have trouble reaching the inner squares of that plot especially once the plants really started filling out. lol But then I'm short and don't have 4 foot long arms lol. Can't wait to see some pics. You have some of my favorites growing...strawberries, asparagus and sweet potatoes...yummy.

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An 8' X 16' bed is a BIG bed

Post  dcurry9541 on 9/2/2013, 4:10 pm

Howdy,

I put strawberries and asparagus in the big bed.  I figured those I don't need to get into all the time.

However, some of the bare-root strawberry crowns didn't do great so I had extra space and put in the sweet potatoes (supposed to be a "bushy" cultivar that wouldn't take as much space - HA!), cilantro, salad burnet, french sorrel, fenugreek, and right now, some wandering pumpkin vines.

After this Fall, I will keep it Strawberries and Asparagus.

I am looking to add a couple of SFG beds, but currently the beds are not SFG.  I will start the SFG beds over the Winter for Spring planting.

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Re: Introducing myself - Don Curry

Post  TxGramma on 9/2/2013, 10:32 pm

Sounds like a good choice for that big of a bed for sure...but that's gonna hold a lot of strawberries and asparagus. Good luck with your garden! And again welcome aboard!!!

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Re: Introducing myself - Don Curry

Post  sfg4uKim on 9/3/2013, 7:16 am

glad you\'re here  to the Forum.

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Re: Introducing myself - Don Curry

Post  Goosegirl on 9/3/2013, 8:45 am

welcome  Don Curry!  Looks like you are on the edge of regions, between Upper South and North & Central Midwest.  Looking forward to hearing more of what you have going, and seeing pics (hint, hint) when you can.  We LOVE pictures of everyone's gardens!

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Re: Introducing myself - Don Curry

Post  donnainzone5 on 9/3/2013, 1:20 pm

Welcome from Oregon, Don!

I know that your expertise will be appreciated here.

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Re: Introducing myself - Don Curry

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/3/2013, 2:57 pm

Welcome!

P.S.: Wow, 8x16!

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Re: Introducing myself - Don Curry

Post  plantoid on 9/3/2013, 3:14 pm

Welcome to the world of " All New Square foot Gardening " Don .
 
 Your education aspects interest me no end  , I'd love to read posts from you that tell us about Meristem propagation and how to do it.

 I would llike to master it and be able to produce hundreds of identical clones from a good plant host or root  stock .

I've tried dabbling in it several times of late  but only had a very low success due to bacterial infection in the what was once a sterile gel on sterile cotton wool growth in supposedly effectively sterilized sealed test tubes ( plugged with sterile cotton wool plugs ) which may /may not have arisen from infected plant material .

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Re: Introducing myself - Don Curry

Post  cheyannarach on 9/3/2013, 7:07 pm

Welcome to the forum, glad you found us!!  Do you have compost piles?  If not you should start right away to help you fill up your new SFG boxes this winter!!  Your garden sounds wonderful and HUGE!!

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Sterile Propagation is tough to do...

Post  dcurry9541 on 9/3/2013, 10:54 pm

@plantoid wrote:Welcome to the world of " All New Square foot Gardening " Don .
 
 Your education aspects interest me no end  , I'd love to read posts from you that tell us about Meristem propagation and how to do it.

 I would llike to master it and be able to produce hundreds of identical clones from a good plant host or root  stock .

I've tried dabbling in it several times of late  but only had a very low success due to bacterial infection in the what was once a sterile gel on sterile cotton wool growth in supposedly effectively sterilized sealed test tubes ( plugged with sterile cotton wool plugs ) which may /may not have arisen from infected plant material .
I spent the last couple of semesters inserting genes into plant genomes.  We used sterile techniques with sterile seeds to prevent contamination from fungi or other microorganisms.  It takes very sterile techniques using positive-flow ventilation, magenta boxes, etc.  It is tough to do.

I have been reading books about propagation.  They are much less concerned about sterile methods when propagating from cuttings and more concerned with the right mix of humidity and light to promote root growth.

What kind of dabbling have you done?

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Re: Introducing myself - Don Curry

Post  plantoid on 9/4/2013, 5:24 pm

All sorts of cuttings green plant ,soft wood , hardwood , evergreens , budding , grafts  of all kinds , increasing bulbs the quick way , growing bulbs from seeds and of course trying to grow clones by the meristem method .

 I have a good pal who used to be the head honcho microbiologist responsible  for all microbiology & disease control aspects of a large group of hospitals ( £ 160 ( 201$ USD ?? )  million budget) .

He has given me ideas of converting a HEP filter vacuum cleaner into a clean air source and to use taped up plastic bags over my arms that are fitted into a bigger bag to make a sort of bio control tent containing all my gubbins for the task of meristem propagation . I've also used sterile latex gloves on my hands

 I've been using a regular solution straight out of the bottle made up already of simple sodium hypochlorite (normal baby bottle steriliser solution )  to sterilize my instruments and equipment and to also immerse the host plant parts in immediately prior to putting them in then HEP clean air bag set up
 I pressure cooked sterilized all the test tubes , cotton wool plug and associated equipment and only open the still slightly warm cooker once it is inside the tent inside the .

 It could be that the sterilizer solution was either not strong enough or I didn't allow things to soak in it long enough especially the host plant material. Could also be the light frequencies and strengths not being quite right .

 I will be trying again in the near future but this time round am thinking of using a 3high  x 2 wide x 4 foot long sealed air filtered Plexiglas cabinet with the sort of arm long gloves used in AI of cows taped into the front so I can work in a total clean sterile atmosphere.

 I think I will also have to do some trials on how long to leave host plant material in the sterrilant and try to culture them to see what if anything grows on the agar-agar
 
Like as not I'll end up with a reasonable microscope to see things better ..may be even with an integral video camera set up so I can see things on a large screen flat screen monitor in colour .
 Any advice as to the magnifications needed / suitable  would be welcomed .

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Re: Introducing myself - Don Curry

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