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Redd Hudson

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since Jun 26, 2020
Grower, gardener, geek.
Zone 8a
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Recent posts by Redd Hudson

It was Julie, not Judy who suggested gravel in the bottom of the yogurt containers.

Julie Reed wrote:I can’t bring myself to buy anything plastic if at all possible, but will re-use plastic already in the system. For round containers I like the 24 oz yoghurt tubs that are about 4” diameter and 4” tall.

4 months ago
I also collect and use the 24 oz yogurt containers for tomatoes. I drill a hole in the bottom for drainage. Think is was Judy that puts gravel in the bottom, which is a great idea. I fill the pot half way with soil and plant a seedling. Ten put the lid on. My lids are clear and I have poked a hole in it to let the air circulate. As the tomato gets taller I add more soil, eventually removing the lid. This lets me start the tomatoes much earlier. The plants have a good root system and I get an earlier harvest.

I have also planted directly in the garden and covered the seed with a clear soda bottle. I cut the bottom off at about the line (most plastic bottles have an indentation around the bottom). I take the cap off and walk away. This works with cold crops that like warm sow to germinate.

I garden in zone 8.   I just read this article by Trudi davidoff.

http://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/how_to_winter_sow.html


4 months ago
Consider adding info on determinate vs. indeterminate.

Determinate plants grow to a certain height and produce all at once. This is great if you plant to make lots of tomato sauce and canned tomatoes. I don't prune determinate plants because I believe this reduces harvest. However I do trim the first 2 feet, to prevent disease caused by back splash from heavy rains.

Indeterminate plant keep growing and flowering. They must be the ones Sabastian is growing 😁 I trim the first 2 feet to prevent disease, and I prune the suckers. These are the branches that develope between a producing stem and the main stock of the plant. I am zelous in spring and lazy by the end of summer. I believe it helps the stock to be stronger, because the suckers are little plants. You can ct them, put them in sprouting mix and get a cone of the original plant.  Indeterminate plants produce continuously.  The stem produces fruit, then dies back. The stock keeps producing stems.

Any way this is all based on observation and growing.

Also,  as tempting as it is to add lime to correct the ph, compost is a better long term fix.

My 2 cents...
I have raised beds. I defend them from wild rabbits, thieving squirrels and rats...

I discovered pvc pipe when my neighbor put a rack her (deceased) husband had made, on the curb. She said he had made it to help her 4 o'clocks stand up. He had used pvc that is made to stand up to the sun. He must have gotten it from his work, decades ago. I didn't find any "sun proof", but the big orange box store provides many options. Mary said it made her happy that the rack would have a new life.

I matched to the 3/4 OD from the rack and bought a little more pipe, some tees, elbows and connectors. I didn't use pipe glue because I wanted to be able to change the configuration til I got a working set up. I also bought garden wire and lattice fencing. Later I added plastic and recycled tent screening. This year I discovered greenhouse clamps.

I made 4 foot tall 8 foot long frames, because that was the length and width of the lattice. I used zip ties to secure the wire on the inside and the lattice on the outside. I wanted the lattice on the outside because I thought it made the fencing look better. However, the combination of wire and lattice really helped keep the rats out. I was surprised.

I used pipes from a former mini greenhouse to make stakes in the ground over which I can slide the pvc uprights to make the fence stand. These are about 2-3 feet, pounded about 1/3 of the way in. I have clay soil. The stakes are cemented in.

I added cross connectors so I could create a tent like set up over the bed for plastic or row cover. This was not as successful, but it was me over engineering the whole thing. The plan was to be able to pop the top off and lift the fencing out of the way, but 8 feet was too akward. And I could not find a connector with the angle I wanted. Think roof. As I said over engineering...

I recommend 4x4 sections and put the cross connectors on the corners. Of course, if you meet the height requirment to swing 8 foot long fence panels around, go for it.😁

I find the pipe gets wobbly in places after opening /closing/ lifting because I  refused to use glue. I have been working on a reconfiguration that I may glue...(insert waffle dance here). It's stronger and stabler in shorter sections.

This fall DH and I built a potting shedish thing out of former hoop house panels and used pvc pipes to make doors. I have made pvc gates using wire and zip ties and the former mini greenhouse poles.

So give it a shot. Make short sections, wait until you are happy before gluing. Expect to reconfigure.  
My daughter burried her gold fish next to the rose bush. Full ceremony. Thinking it's not the same. 😁

However, I started thinking about adding fishtank water to my garden.

When I clean my fish tank, I add the spent filters to my compost barrel. They don't compost very well. I pull the filter out before adding the compost to my beds. But they are covered with green fish poo and other fishy good stuff. The charcoal doesn't hurt anything. The water dreggs go into beds and pots of herbs and everything seems happy for it.

So.... mini fish cycling...LOL
6 months ago
I noticed a a lot of wild birds in my suburban backyard after I added chickens. Which surprised me. The numbers continued to rise after planted elderberry bushes, blackberries, holy basil and a variety of flowers that produce a lot of seed heads.

I further noticed a large woody the wood pecker pecking at my rain gutters. At first I thought someone was using a jackhammer on my roof. LOL. I added some water sources and he stopped.

I don't set out feeders because of the farrel cats, and my ongoing battle to keep rats out of everything. I am winning that war. Thank. Goodness.
6 months ago
The sun comes streaming in through the french doors. I open the doors into a deck overlooking the Double Nickel valley. This is our valley.  

Winter has begun to relinquish it's hold.  The soil is starting to thaw. I smell the soil. Deep, wet and rich.

I smell coffee. The DH has been busy.

Sitting at the kitchen table, I open my planner. This holds my designs and dreams for The Garden. The Garden is this year's adventure. What new structures will be added? What old attempts will be swept away? The planner holds the memories of glorious successes, epic failures and all that happened in between. The planner holds the map for this year's Garden.

The dog and I conduct our morning ritual. Check the barn. Feed the rabbits and goats and chickens. Break ice in the water bowls. Get hay, add straw. Shovel.

Fog is drifting from lingering pockets of snow throughout The Garden.  Soon. The snow will be gone. Soon.

I use my boot to make ruts, creating little fast moving rivers of snow melt. I set a leaf from last autumn's gathering to sail down the make shift river. The dog digs in the leaf pile. A sleepy chipmunk awakes. The chase is on.

I continue the inspection. The soil is almost ready. I check the hot house. The seedlings are almost ready. Wet and cold, I turn back to the house.

Today I will work on my painting. Or maybe the quilt. Then lunch, then dinner, then sleep.

Maybe tomorrow The Garden will be ready. I know I will be.
8 months ago
I agree with you Devin,

It is hard to reduce and reuse, because things are just not made that way. I would suggest looking carefully at what you buy, and if it produces too much waste stop buying it. There is a lot I stopped getting because it generated too much waste.



My grandmother always said "We're too poor to buy cheap stuff".

Sometimes I buy an item I need based on the package. For example - powered laundry soap - it comes in large plastic buckets. I have reused the buckets as planters for herbs and medium sized produce. I also screwed the open buckets to the back of the bunny hutches to make nests/beds for them. Since they are square-ish, I was thinking that I could make a veg bin for the root veg and winter squashes I am hoping to get this year. DH is very good at making my crazy ideas work, and he has stopped rolling his eyes.

I had not thought to use feed bags as grow bags, I am going to try that. Currently I fill dog food bags with dog poop...what goes in, must come out. I saw a pinterest item on how to make floor mats out of plastic bags. I am not sure I am that talented. But it looked interesting. I have used the bags, white side up to try and defeat squash vine borers with limited success. Clemson did a study that white plastic mulch confused pests, including SVB.

I like to go to Habitat and Good Will (at least I did last year. 2020 the year we all stayed home.) when I have a need. I find a lot of good stuff to re-purpose. There is a lot of junk too, you have to shift thorough carefully. I got a solid birch floor to ceiling kitchen cabinet for $20. It needed the paint scraped off and be repainted. DH said that I turned a $20 find into a $120 project. It was worth it.

I made garden art from #10 cans, a deep fryer pot and some scrap duct-work.

Food scraps are composted or become animal feed. I buy all cotton clothing - which is getting harder to find - so I can use it all up.

But it is getting harder and harder to use everything all up. I think we are shoving against the tide.

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout, Would not take the garbage out! ~ Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein.


11 months ago
It has been my experience that a pepper plant needs all 6 of it's allotted hours of sun. And room. The peppers I have planted too close to tomatoes are out competed for nutrients and eventually shaded out. Tomatoes are greedy, and fast growing.  

You might consider digging them up an move them at least 2 feet away from the tomatoes. Also, move the wood chips away from the pepper, just to the current drip line. The wood might be providing cover for pests. It looks like the pepper in the last picture is being nibbled.  If you decide to move the plants, dig about an inch further out than the drip line, if you can without harming the tomatoes. The goal is to not disturb the roots too much. Make sure you pick the new spot and dig and prepare the space first. Water the new hole and water the pepper before moving. Watch the plants, you may need to remove the fruit to help the plant recover.

Just my thoughts.  
11 months ago