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AlanP



Joined: Mar 11, 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Apparently you can start garlic by separating the cloves and half-submerging them in a clear plastic cup on the windowsill. Might try that, and plant outside once they've started. I hear that winter and autumn is the time to start with garlic.
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JovianPyx



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is absolutely true.

I grow garlic often. Each individual clove will grow a complete "fist" of a garlic with many cloves. Garlic likes cool weather and loamy soil.

You will get bigger garlics if you plant the large cloves instead of the small. The small taste just as good too.

One year I had so many plants, I had to do that braiding thing with the leaves to dry them.

The garlic is ready to harvest when it has grown and then the plant begins to wilt near the soil; it becomes flexible rather than stiff.

I just plant the cloves root end down in the soil. Water and they take off.

The soil should be moist, not wet.

In some areas, garlic can be grown two crops a year. Mild winters allow planting early for the first season and again after the summer heat has subsided.

Most pests naturally ignore garlic and onions.

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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Don't believe everything you saw in that video but yes, as jovianpyx already confirmed you can grow garlic from cloves.
I don't think there is any need for rooting in water first as mine usually sprout by themselves if I leave them too long anyway.
But it should work as it provides moist air which will stimulate root growth. I would not place them IN the water though just
above it. Putting them in damp perlite will probably work even better.

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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here's another one of my houseplants I haven't shown before, although it has made a background appearance in some Moon Base studio pics.
It's a Dracaena fragrans massangeana and it's one of the plants I've had the longest apart from some cacti. I am not exactly sure when I got it but
I am pretty sure it is >10 years ago now. When I originally got it it had 2 side shoots coming from the big stem but in the time that I had it I
managed to almost kill it twice due to overwatering to the point it lost all its leaves, otherwise it would have probably been bigger by now.

It's doing great now though and the largest leaves are about 60cm in length. There are some brown tips on the lower leaves which can be
a sign of overwatering but I think that is because of low humidity. It only gets light from one direction so the leaves are all growing to that side.
It's still attached to the main stem and I think it might be possible to remove it but it helps with stabilizing it. It was time to water it again and I also
gave it a shower so a good opportunity to take some sexy photos.


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

photo time:

The Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade) plants are doing well and the Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) that was started in 2017
from a tiny seed, has some nice fresh growth. The Pulmonaria (lungwort) is starting to look much healthier than last year, I guess it's happy
with its extra legroom.

None of the Mandragora officinarum (Mandrake) seeds have sprouted yet, but they can take some time and so far I've never had any luck with those.


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Antirrhinum (snapdragons) look a bit yellowish like the longwort did last year so I added a bit of fertilizer but I don't know if that will help.
These were also started from seed in 2017 and I thought they were annuals. I put some seedpods in the pot this year and I did notice a lot of
tiny plants so that might have worked.

The Nicotiana alata (Tinkerbell F2 Hybride) (flowering dwarf tobacco) survived the winter and might have self sown bit. I see some conflicting
information online varying between annual/herbaceous perennials/short-lived tender perennial. Since they are still alive I think I can cross off
annual. They also didn't die back which would suggest it's not a herbaceous perennial but that might just be because of the mild winter.

Convallaris majalis (lily-of-the-valley) has some new shoots so that survived as well.

Aquilegia (columbine) is growing nicely but the Aconitum (monkshood) has died off again. I think it might have been overwatered.


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

some of the Arctotis (african daisy) plants have survived although the ones in the other container are all dying like a lto of plants did last year.
There must be something in the soil. I spotted some flowerbuds so hopefully these will survive long enough.

The Dryopteris (ferns) have also started to wake up.


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AlanP



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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Not a single clove sprouted on my windowsill. Well, a couple sprouted maybe a couple millimeters of root (one strand per clove, i.e. sweet bugger all), but no green to be seen at all.

As a last resort, I just jammed the stupid things in the dirt in the garden bed outside.

They've sprouted! Dirt, yes, just water, no. I'm planning on leaving them there for a few years to naturally spread themselves (I'm hoping they flower.)

Also got a piece of ginger root above the laundry cupboard, and I'm going to try and grow that in six months time or so, once summer arrives.
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JovianPyx



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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That doesn't surprise me.

A bit of warning about letting garlic just grow wild. I'm sure it will grow, and it will spread slowly, but garlic and onion plants do best size-wise when planted and harvested each season. Left to grow close together, the cloves will be small. If you like garlic, I would plant and harvest each season. They do flower, and I believe that the seeds are viable, but flowering can also sap the bulbs, so I harvest before flowering.

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AlanP



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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A piece of ginger was slowly sprouting, in winter, so I stuck it in some dirt. Hopefully it's happy there, but I'm not expecting any real activity from it until spring.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I put a warming pad underneath it, and to my surprise it's sprouting Smile

This is ordinary ginger, straight from the supermarket's produce section.


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

congratz, that looks like a happy piece of ginger Smile
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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I had this one for quite some time, struggling a bit to keep it alive, and I've only seen it flower the first year. Razz


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JovianPyx



Joined: Nov 20, 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Beautiful plants PHOBoS!

I've finally gotten some success with mine. I couldn't get pepper seedlings to grow beyond on inch tall, so I bought some pre-started seedlings. Those are doing great. I also planted pepper seeds in the pots (instead of first planting indoors in small peat moss pots) and those are growing beyond the 1 inch. Some reading suggested that I might need to keep the seedlings warmer during the winter. My wife turns the heater off at night in winter and that end of the house can be as low as 50F which I wouldn't think is too cold, but I will try using an electric warmer next year.

I finally seem to have won this year's battle with earwig bugs. I slathered Vaseline on all the pots and I don't get snipped off uneaten plant shards now. The tomatoes are growing too. And LOTS of radishes.

So I should have some green and red plant stuff to eat this year.

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JovianPyx



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Since I could not get pepper seeds to grow beyond one inch tall, I bought some already established pepper seedlings and planted them.

2 were planted in pots with old soil and one was planted in brand new "potting soil". I also planted some radish seeds in one of the old soil pots and one of the new soil pots. The other new soil pot has a tomato plant.

All of the old soil plants, pepper and radish are doing very well, thriving, and I'm getting peppers for my eggs.

The new soil plants, however, became stunted, refused to grow. One 1 inch tall pepper seedling and the third pepper plant I bought, as well as the radishes, grew either very slowly or not at all.

I tried more water and less water, no love. I then purchased a soil testing kit that tests for pH, potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus. pH was good for both peppers and tomatoes at around 6.5. Phosphorus and potassium were both in the "sufficient" range, but nitrogen was showing "depleted". I applied some chemical fertilizer (Miracle-Gro) which contains nitrogen. 2 days later I'm seeing new green buds on what looked like a pepper plant ready to die.

We'll see what happens later, but what are other people using instead of chemical fertilizers for growing plants in pots? (especially food plants).

Years ago, I raised chickens and the desicated poop was the best fertilizer I'd ever used. No chickens now (and a bit more work than I want to do).

From now on I will always test new soil before using; this was a surprise. I never imagined I could buy potting soil that is depleted in a nutrient.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

good to hear that worked Smile

I use organic (liquid) fertilizer myself. Apart from being organic it is also less concetrated than the non-organic stuff,
so I mostly just use it for peppers or any other food I might grow. Although as long as you have a period between fertilizing and
harvesting it doesn't really matter much health wise. Unlike a pesticide with which you have to be a bit more careful. But I tend to
avoid those anyway as it usually does more harm than good in the sense that it is not very selective and is harmful for all kinds of
animals.

I should keep my eyes out for one of those test kits, I think they are usually a bit too expensive but it is nice to know what is
actually wrong if plants aren't doing well. I think I've had some soil problems as well the last few years not sure what caused it
but I might indeed have been using some different soil than usual.



btw. Chicken manure is great stuf, but indeed a lot of work, so maybe a worm farm might be something to look into.


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AlanP



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The ginger is doing very well with the warming pad underneath Smile (the warming pad is for my homebrew... speaking of which, I need to do a few more batches to age.)

The chives, to the bottom right, are also starting to do well for themselves. Waiting for the chives to get more established before I start harvesting them.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What does it mean for a plant fertilizer to be "organic". I know that in USA we have laws that define exactly what that means for food products, but I'd not heard of it applied to fertilizer.

I do in fact taper fertilizer to zero as fruiting begins. I don't fertilize the healthy pepper plants I have, only the sickly plants.

You are right about the cost, the kit I have cost around $30 and can test 10 times for each of the 4 - pH, K, N and P. However, to know what is happening can be critical. Without adding nitrogen, I'm sure those plants would just die.

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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am not sure about what ingredients are used and what the main difference is that makes it organic but it does say:
Quote:
This fertilizer is permitted for use in organic farming in accordance with EU regulation 834/2007

I did just notice that this is only an N-K fertilizer instead of the more common N-P-K, so no phosphates,
but I do have some other fertilizers aswell.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Interesting, I'll have to see if I can get the N P and K as 3 separate compounds. In my case, I could have used just N. What I have is heavier for N than P or K, but P and K measured as sufficient. I was worried I might overload P and K by using the combo gen purpose N P K fertilizer.

One thing about pots with good drainage is that watering can wash away nutrients as well as waste products. So for what I'm doing I think a regular use of very small amounts of NPK is something to try so that the nutrients are regularly replenished and waste is well removed.

I tried growing all my pepper seedlings in this soil... now I know why none ever got taller than one inch.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Pest trouble never seems to end, but it seems nature has a solution. I went out to look at my peppers and found millions of aphids on one of the plants (well, it looked like millions, they were everywhere). However, I noticed a lot were dead ones (or perhaps what I saw were teensy turds), little black dots. There were so many aphids they were crawling around the edge of the pot. Then I noticed the ladybug larvae. Found 3, two on the pot side apparently having a feast and then another much smaller one on the plant itself. The larvae look pretty nasty, so I had to look them up. Now that I know what they are, I won't bother them and I'll water so I don't drown them.

The other nearly dead pepper plant is now full of leaves and flowers and has one tiny pepper fruit. The smaller stunted plants are all growing now and I hope that I can get another year out of them.

This stuff is why I like to grow 4 or 5 times as many food plants as I think I need.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've got what I'm pretty sure is a sprawling rosemary bush (or a few), that have gone seriously woody, as you can see from the photos!

Does anyone have any experience of trimming a rosemary bush with woody stems this thick? At the base, they look like they're 30 or 40 millimeters wide!

The bees sure do love this plant...


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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 4956
Location: Moon Base
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

nice bush afro

I have no experience with them but would think you can cut them back pretty hard to stimulate new growth.
But I might be wrong and maybe that ends up killing them so don't take my word for it.

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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 4956
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 660

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think they are finally done with my balcony so here is what it looks like now.
Can't say I am happy with it and it is smaller and darker but let's see if I can get some stuff back on it.


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AlanP



Joined: Mar 11, 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you're allowed to paint, then white will cause more light to be reflected, rather than absorbed, by the walls.

I asked the man who does my lawns (old family friend), and his recommendation was to pull most of the rosemary out. Too old, and borer has apparently gotten into the thick parts of the stem.
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