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Jennifer Lowery

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since Dec 16, 2013
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Recent posts by Jennifer Lowery

Made a few interesting observations as a beginner gardener last year.

1) The first frost date came about 1 month late here in Oklahoma.  Instead of Nov 3 it was Nov 30.  (Climate chnage?)

2) I just made guacamole this morning on January 19 2021, with cilantro that was planted back in the summer. Wow it sure is winter hearty!  It tastes good too not bitter.

3)All my kale plants are thriving even after many days over winter in the 20's (F).   What would happen if I just let them stay there, would they be good for another year? Or do I need to pull them at some point and plant new seed?

Is a layer of straw over each bed good enough method to preserve the soil?  Or do I really need to throw clover seed over it?
Thanks for all the replies.  I believe all the damage is being done by caterpillars.  I look under the leaves and found some under each leave.  I've been picking htem off and they are doing better.  I haven't did the thuricide yet.
My Kale is so full of holes.. actually i'd say 65% of it is eaten up before I have a chance to pick it.  I haven't used any pesticides on my garden this season and it's been really great.. even the tomato plants.. not a single horn worm.  It's just my poor brassicas!  I have some thuricide here.. should I mix som eup and spray the undersides of the kale leaves?  Is it really harmless to the human if you rinse it well after?
Or I guess a cage would work instead?
Found out it needs a stake after it grew a while.. Next time I'll put one there same time I transplant the seedling.
.. just found out today.  Need some long gloves.. Dang sharp everywhere.
So can I pretty much prick out any seedling including all nightshades?
I notice a lot of people from the UK "prick out" seedlings.  They grow a bunch of seed in small area, then use a pencil or dibber to gently work the seedling free then transfer it to a module or pot.

I don't normally do that but I have a cluster of 6 eggplant seedlings which I germinated in a wet paper towel (inside baggy) on 85F heating mat.  Evidently I accidently put all six seedlings in the same pot instead of 3 in each.  Anyways, I was wondering can I "prick out" these seedlings and transfer to another pot?  I'd like to have six eggplant seedlings and give a couple to my doctor who gardens.. eggplants aren't the easiest to germinate and thought it would be a nice gift.

Eric Hanson wrote:Jennifer,

Have you considered adding in some woodchips?  And I don’t mean cedar, I mean something quick to decompose.  Here is the reason I ask.

Like you, each year when I planted my garden I used to start off by adding a bunch of amendments that looked surprisingly like what you add, in particular the black kow manure and worm castings.  I labored under the understanding that my vibrant veggies from the previous year seriously depleted my source of nutrients.  

But recently I discovered woodchips, and more importantly, the decomposers in the woodchips that form symbiotic relationships with the veggies.  I have stopped adding more nutrients to my soil and instead add woodchips (lots of them) and fungi in the woodchips consume the chips and wrap themselves around my veggie roots.  The veggies flourish now like never before.  I am sure that you have plenty of nutrients in both the garden bedding and the soil beneath.  The soil microbes radically help move those nutrients towards your plants.

I have had great luck in not fertilizing as my soil biota does the job for me.

Good Luck,


When and how do you add the wood chips?  Like do you mulch with them over the winter and then turn them in? Trying to understand how you go about adding them in and what state they are in when you do.  Do you make a wood chip compost pile hten mix in that in the spring? Do you get free wood chips then innoculate them with fungus?