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Hi I'm new from zone 10

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Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  bbroomm on 1/7/2015, 1:42 pm

Hi there.  Just wanted to introduce myself now because I don't say much and didn't want to feel like a creepy stalker.
I actually stumbled up on this forum on accident looking for some answers about where to buy compost and decided to join.  I'm not a very good gardener and only have a patio that doesn't get much sun, but I do what I can with what I have.  I started container gardening on my patio over the summer and had a little success with a lot of failure.  I tried sprouting for the first time a few days ago with great results.
But hi, and I will be lurking and reading your tips and ideas so thanks in advance.  And I found my answer to compost so thanks for that too  Very Happy

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  sanderson on 1/7/2015, 2:54 pm

bbroomm, Welcome to the Forum! glad you\'re here Feel free to join in when ever you want. We are here to help.

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  Kelejan on 1/7/2015, 5:27 pm

glad you\'re here bbroomm. Ask as many questions as you like and you will at least get some useful  answers.
Please don't feel creepy about being a lurker.  Many people lurk and enjoy what they are reading and learning.  Our mission in life is to guide people to the Square Foot Gardening method of growing veggies as we believe in it.
Zone 10 must be way down South? I am in the Great White North.

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  walshevak on 1/7/2015, 6:53 pm

bbroomm,  If you change your profile and put a state or city rather than United States in your location, we fellow members can better advise you if you have questions.  AND, we can sympathize, agonize, or envy your weather when we are cold and snowy.

Welcome to the forum.  BTW, Mel's Mix works great in containers.

Kay

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/7/2015, 8:31 pm

Hi BBroomm.  Welcome from cold, breezy Atlanta, GA. 

(I know, I know, guys - I got NOTHIN' to complain about given what the weather's like up north...) 

Ahem - Editing after reading -40 in Great Lakes area in another post!

Hi BBroomm.  Welcome from warm, sunny Atlanta, GA!!



Please feel free to ask away.  Please post pics of your containers & patio!  We love to give encouragement!

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  bbroomm on 1/31/2015, 3:28 pm

Hi again  Very Happy
I decided to put my questions here, since they are newbie type questions and span different topics.
I've been taking notes kinda. 

If you do worm composting, would you also do a compost pile/barrel?
Check, this is being covered over there.  Thanks


Do you go by the Farmer's  Almanac moon calendar for planting?  I have been.  Planting things it says is ok on the days it says its ok to.  And staying away from doing anything on the days it says to stop.  I feel kinda silly about it.  Embarassed

Are my 5 types of composts good?  Am I ready to mix?
Check, sadly no I just found out. Sad


How do flies find your plants when they weren't there before!  Like the White Flies and these little black ones that I haven't researched yet.  Before I started growing things they weren't around.  How do they find us!

Starting indoors with grow lights - do you have a problem with drying out?  I just (for lack of patio space) started some little seeds in little cups.  (clear plastic party tumblers like Ray, and 8oz paper coffee cups just for variety i dunno).  I put them under the lights and they dry out in like 2-3 hours.  Are the lights too hot?  One is a reptile light, for reptile reasons.  But the other one is the light that Gary Pilarchik suggested in his video.  And they're both drying out.

And that's it for now.  I'm sure I'll have other questions.  
Thanks everyone!

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  bbroomm on 1/31/2015, 9:32 pm

Also, I have about 4 container cucumbers on my patio.  Maybe about 20 flowers or so.  All Male!  Now that I know about hand pollinating I've been keeping an eye out for the female flowers.  But there are none.  Am I doing/not doing something or is it just tough luck?
Also the compost mixture I just made from the other thread...I ended up with 3 -5 layer - layers (I didn't calculate how much it would take to fill it up, because the first layer I was leaving room for the coco coir and vermiculite til I realized I wasn't adding that in yet).  Question is (oh, I sprayed water here and there but did not saturate it   thanks for the tips), do I mix it all in now?  Like one big mixture, or is it ok to leave it layered like that.  And should I put the lid on?  It's on an enclosed patio under some shelving.

Thanks again

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  has55 on 2/1/2015, 4:01 am

welcome bbroomm from Denton, tx glad you\'re here

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  sanderson on 2/1/2015, 11:18 am

Hi Bbrroom,  The male flowers seem to show up early.  Just be patient for the females to show up.  I can't remember if you have bees or if it was even mentioned.  If there are no pollinators, you will have to be ready with a little paint brush!

I don't quite understand about the container of compost and the layers.  I think you should mix your five sources so it's ready when you need it.  A lid will keep unwanted seeds and debris out.  Open and mix a little to aerate, check moisture and close, once in a while.

I think it was another post, but you mentioned worm tea?  If you have worm castings in the compost, every time you water you make "a blended tea."

The reptile light is probably way too hot for germination inside.  Get the cheapest fluorescent shop light for germinating on a budget.  The plants can actual touch the tubes without getting burned.  Pre-wet the soil, plant seeds and spritz in a couple / few days if the surface gets too dry on the top.

I hope I understood your concerns correctly.  Only on 2nd cup of coffee! reading

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  Turan on 2/1/2015, 1:35 pm

Just adding too/trying to compliment Sandersons post~

MIx your layers so they can compliment each other.  I don't know how dry your horse manure is? It can be difficult to wet thoroughly and you want it to finish composting in the mix before you add vermiculite and peat/coir.

Sounds like something is too hot for seed starting.  Most seeds germinate in soil between 60 and 80 degrees.  Most do not need light until they have germinated.  What they need is gentle bottom heat often found on the top of water heaters.  After they sprout put them with a light and put the light at a height it won't burn them, the light is not for heat.

Cucumbers and squash usually start with male flowers and then a week later start opening female flowers.

I hope this helps

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  quiltbea on 2/1/2015, 2:17 pm

glad you\'re here from the northeast.  I lived in Palm Beach Gardens way back when, but didn't garden at the time.  Love the area.  So much to see and do. 
You would still do better to post your questions on your regional thread so those in the know can see them and help you. 
So far, You've had good advice.  The reptile light gives off too much heat for starting plants.  As mentioned, they don't need light until they've germinated but must be kept moist.  Except for lettuces and even greens that germinate well under lights. 
Try putting your paper cups in a tray of water to they can suck up their needs from the bottom.  Be sure to keep the soil moist til germinated, then allow to dry out a bit before adding more water to the tray.  The water needs of seeds and young plants differ.
I'll be doing more and more container gardening as I get older.  I like having my crops close to my kitchen doorway where I can tend their needs more easily.
I've grown many herbs, lots of greens, cukes, peppers, tomatoes and even a zucchini in pots.  If the pots are large enuf, the plant will thrive.  For peppers and tomatoes I'd be sure to have a 5-gallon container unless they are the mini-plants and then a 3-gallon one will suffice.  Another thing to remember is that potted plants need more water as a rule.  The soil dries out very fast.  Daily watering may be the rule and for you, in your heat, possibly twice a day watering.
When temps reach the 90sF, you'll want to provide some shade.  A layer or two of cheesecloth over the plant or an old window screen as a barrier between the plant and the sunshine.  The breeze can pass but not the excessive heat.
Your growing time differs from those of us in the north so as I said, check in with your questions to your regional thread for good advice on your specific needs.

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  bbroomm on 2/3/2015, 1:06 am

Awesome awesome replies thanks.

Still awaiting female flowers on my cucumbers, maybe a little impatiently.  There's just SO many flowers, i hoped some would be girls  pale .  Yep, no bees here.  I'll have to do it.  I was going to use a qtip tho so I didn't have to buy a paintbrush.

I was told to go ahead and let my horse manure compost with the other composts that I had (unless I completely read that wrong) so I made a concoction of my 5 composts (horse manure I picked up, black kow, worm castings, mushroom, and garden) and layered them, but I did not mix them.  I have since went back and tried to blend them a bit.  
The horse manure wasn't really dry.  I saw somewhere to add water to it, so I did the fist time I stirred it.  But even when I went to get it, it wasn't dry.  I dunno where I put my lid...
Yes, I bought worm tea bags when I bought my worm castings.  I figured I'd be using the tea asap, but the castings wouldn't be of use til I could add my compost, which wouldn't be ready until I could use my horse manure.  I wasn't really ready for what I got with the tea bags tho.  (I don't know what I expected, but they were really big!  and made 5 gallons!   affraid )  I started using it last night finally.  I don't have an ...aerator?...so I just stirred it a few times over the course of about a day and a half of it sitting in the water.
So what you're saying is, that when I start using my MM i will not need the worm tea anymore?  I won't need any kind of tea?  Cause the soil I'm going to be using is better than what others use since its' MM?  
The reptile light probably is too hot/bright.

This is after spritzing.  But I feel it dries out way too fast.  
This is the one in the bulb I bought specifically for this.

I guess I skipped that part about putting them on top of something warm.  Oops.
Seems like I completely screwed up that whole starting indoors thing.  I was bumbed about using the mini greenhouse kit and not having it work very well.  I decided to do my own thing, I just forgot a couple steps  Sad
Quiltbea, I work in Gardens.  And we lived in Jupiter once upon a time.  Very Happy

Thanks all for all the help.  Gonna keep trying!

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/5/2015, 11:01 am

Relax, BBroom...  Take a breath.  It's okay.

I don't use a heat mat either.  Nor do I use a florescent light (yet!  Hubby's supposed to make me a rack, but hasn't happened yet...). 

I put them in an east-facing window.  I also start taking them outside almost immediately to get them hardened off faster/easier later.

Pictures look GREAT!  How exciting that you're already getting flowers...!

On your tea - yes, you'll want to keep using it.  It adds all sorts of nutrients over a long term.  You may want to look at the worm archives and read thru what some of the vermi-folks do.  You may end up like some of them with a garage full of worms, lol!  Or at least space on your patio...

Remember, it's all a process.  You'll find some things work and others don't.  We learn from our failures all the time in the gardening game.  Thankfully, this group knows how to laugh at ourselves at our funny mistakes.  And we all commiserate with each other on the not-so-happy failures.

You're doing fine!  You're starting to see what works for YOU.

Hugs!

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  dstack on 2/5/2015, 9:22 pm

Welcome Bbroomm!  I'm also in zone 10 too here in Fort Lauderdale.  I've recently embraced the fact that I'm in the tropical south, and growing papayas, pineapples, passion fruit, etc.  I recommend looking into things that thrive in this climate rather than spinning your wheels on things that take so much work. 

Two things you should check out:

1)  My Most Recent Garden Tour: 


2) My Post About What Varieties I'm Excited About Trying This Year:

(You'll have to scroll down to my comment.)
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t18871p32-what-varieties-are-you-excited-about-trying-this-year

Anyway, you stumbled on a great forum with extremely helpful community of gardeners.  They've been a huge help for me since I started my SFG in September 2013.  Happy Gardening!

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  quiltbea on 2/5/2015, 10:50 pm

dstack......I loved touring your garden.  With white sow around me everywhere, its nice to know that in the near future, I, too, might have some greenery in my garden like yours.  Continued good luck with yours.

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

Post  bbroomm on 2/5/2015, 11:34 pm

Thanks!
Yea, I've been trying to find a couple of youtubers from here so I could learn what works down here.  I think there were only 3 that i could find, never found yours.  One seems not to be making videos anymore.  So that left me with 2. 
I don't know why I started in small cups indoors.  I think cause everyone else does/did.  But all of those people do not live here, so we can start outside all the time, right?  Just a spacing issue for me.
But yea AtlantaMarie, I figure this is my learning session.  Once we get a house I'll have it, with all my mistakes being made in containers and easier to start over for.  Thanks for all the tips.

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Re: Hi I'm new from zone 10

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