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Conflicting ideas and advice

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Conflicting ideas and advice

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/23/2013, 11:57 pm

One reason it seems like I can never read enough about gardening is that every other person tells you to do it differently. Sometimes even the professionals do it in ways that completely contradict each other!

My latest frustrations like that came up when reading about planting onions. Various sites and books I've been poking through say to make sure onions have plenty of water, at least until the last month of growing, when you want them to dry out. Others say to water sparingly. Huh? Some say they like fertile soil, some not so much; others say you should have fertilized the soil last year with manure if you want to plant onions now; others say mix fertilizer into the soil beneath when you plant them; others say give them a dose of fertilizer at X and Y weeks after planting; while others say weeks Y and Z. What?

Any of you still finding yourselves scratching your heads and making faces after reading yet another piece of confounding, conflicting advice, or do you just get used to it?
Marc Iverson

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Re: Conflicting ideas and advice

Post  GWN on 10/24/2013, 12:16 am

Good post... and concept Marc.  
I guess perhaps this is where experience comes in.  There are so many variables that make everyones garden different, and successes might be credited to one thing, when it may have actually been something else.
We all have to be scientists and report what we observe, and try to remove the variables that might have made the difference.  
My artichokes are absolutely incredible right now. Every one of them the picture of health.  It is hard to know what to credit. was it the wood chips, or the increased rain, could it have been that the weather cooled off.   OR could the compost I applied to them in August have kicked in late.
I could report any of these things as the "key to growing great artichokes in the Great White North... However I would be lying really, because I really do not know exactly why my artichokes are so incredibly incredible.
I am going to report weakly that I THINK it was the wood chips,  but then go back and observe another year.

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Re: Conflicting ideas and advice

Post  llama momma on 10/24/2013, 7:48 am

I enjoyed your honest assessment of things in the garden.  My neighbor still laughs and shakes his head at my success when I maintain I don't really know what I'm doing. Kind of similar to what you are saying because I can't really pinpoint exactly where the success lies. ( side note, everything is not perfect) We try to do  many things correctly that's all.  The microscopic biology that is brewing underneath the soil line is doing its own thing and doesn't talk to us and tell what it dislikes or loves,  other than giving back great things to eat.  I give complicated biology much credit, myself, not nearly as much.
Marc - I agree about conflicting advice towards gardening.  Just like you suggested, you get use to it.  Take the plunge and try things out.  If it doesn't work do it differently next time around.  Keeping notes is very helpful and fun to read during winter.  I am surprised at how many little improvements I wrote down, then forgot, then read/reminded over winter  reading .
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Re: Conflicting ideas and advice

Post  plantoid on 10/24/2013, 6:55 pm

Re the onions .. they are a fairly  hot country ( Spain ?? )  crop that loves sunshine,  so think it out for yourself  ... Do you get lots of rain in hot countries, now water accordingly . Wink 
 Too much water  will cause too much top growth and if you keep them too wet all the time they will go slimy rotten at the bottom of the stem from a disease  called "  botrytis " ( sp? )  

 Think of books as  rules made on  paper ..paper bends it is not rigid neither are gardening rules .

 Someone once said :- " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obeyance of fools "
 I say " A wise man uses rules as a guide to success ".

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Re: Conflicting ideas and advice

Post  GWN on 10/26/2013, 11:13 am

LM wrote:  I am surprised at how many little improvements I wrote down, then forgot, then read/reminded over winter   .
OH yes LM....  What would we do with out winter....  I am wondering what is happening to it, should be here by now

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Re: Conflicting ideas and advice

Post  jimmy cee on 10/26/2013, 3:05 pm

I have a friend who grows killer potatoes, he loves onions, however they won't grow well for him.
He has a buddy that grows killer onion's, and cannot grow potato's
They trade off each season, everyone's happy
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