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Successes and failures so far in 1st SFG

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Successes and failures so far in 1st SFG

Post  ander217 on 5/13/2010, 8:48 pm

I've just come in from the garden, and made a mental inventory of successes and failures thus far in our first year of converting part of our garden to SFG.

Crops that are up and growing well: Tomatoes, cabbage, peas, cucumbers, pansies, sunflower, squash, pumpkins, lettuce, basil, muskmelons, and scarlet runner beans.

Okay plantings: Carrots*, kohlrabi (some cutworm damage), parsley, and bell peppers.

*They were growing well until my calico cat decided their box made a nice place to sit and lazily watch the voles destroying the corn and sweet potato beds. I can't really blame that on the carrots, though.

Dismal so far: Red onions (never started growing, just sitting there), Blue Lake and Kentucky Blue pole beans (cutworms behead them as soon as they pop up, but strangely enough the worms haven't touched the scarlet runners right next to them), eggplants (flea beetle damage), and hot peppers (just sitting there, not growing even though bell peppers next to them are doing better).

All these are planted in boxes with the same Mel's Mix, and receive the same water and weather conditions. I have no idea why the red onion plants and hot peppers are just sitting there doing nothing. The yellow onion sets we planted in the row-garden are humongous and starting to bulb at the bottom.

I can also tell you that catnip does no good for flea beetles. I set a catnip plant next to an eggplant to see if it would help deter the beetles, - today I saw flea beetles on the catnip leaves. I'm going down the list of suggestions - laying chopped garlic leaves around the plants, spreading chopped mint leaves, placing toads next to them (yes, I even went through the yard catching toads and placing them under the eggplants) - so far nothing seems to work. I'm still trying to find neem oil - may have to order it from the 'net. If that doesn't work, I'll just have to hope the plants come out of it once the flea beetle cycle is over.

That's my report so far from a longtime row gardener who is converting to SFG. So far the potatoes, onions, and spinach in the row garden are doing fantastically well. But it took a LOT of work to get that soil in its current condition, and it will take work to keep it that way. The jury is still out on the beds since most of them are just now coming up.

I'm sold on SFG, but we need to figure out what is wrong with the red onion plants and hot peppers. Any thoughts?
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ander217

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Re: Successes and failures so far in 1st SFG

Post  Wild Bill on 5/17/2010, 8:55 am

I had the flea beetles all over my radishes in my SFG. What I used was the diatomaceous earth.

It worked great and took them out almost overnight.

Check out this link: http://www.getridofthings.com/get-rid-of-flea-beetles.htm

Food grade diatomaceous earth will help get rid of flea beetles
or prevent adult flea beetles from feeding on plants.

Diatomaceous earth is an incredible thing. It's a soil composed of
fossilized, microscopic algae with razor sharp edges, which are
non-toxic to most mammals but fatal to insects that come into contact
with it. Dusting your plants with diatomaceous earth has been shown to
reduce adult flea beetle feeding to a tolerable level in areas where
flea beetle populations have gotten out of hand.

Wild Bill

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diatomaceous earth

Post  ander217 on 5/17/2010, 10:02 am

Thanks for the info. That was a great link.

Where do you find food-grade diatomaceous earth?
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Re: Successes and failures so far in 1st SFG

Post  Wild Bill on 5/17/2010, 10:04 am

My Lowes actually carried it.

Came in a yellow bag.

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Re: Successes and failures so far in 1st SFG

Post  nancy on 5/17/2010, 10:54 am

I found neem oil at Lowe's on Friday. It was around $10 for an 8oz. bottle. I made a mixture of about a teaspoon of it, a teaspoon of ivory soap, and a quart of water. (I didn't actually measure. I drizzled them in - guessed at a teaspoon.) Put it in a spray bottle and have been spraying my roses and broccoli daily. Will drop down to once a week after today. I'll keep you posted on the results. Best wishes with your pests!
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