|In our society growing food yourself has become the most radical of
is truly the only effective protest, one that can-and will-overturn
corporate powers that be. By the process of directly working in harmony with
nature, we do the one thing most essential to change the world-we change
ourselves. ~ Jules Dervaes ~
Maximize organic matter production: Intercropped green manure/cover
crops (gm/cc's) can produce from 50 to 140 tons per hectare (green weight)
of organic matter with very little work: no transporting of material and
no cutting up, layering or turning over of compost heaps. In fact, sometimes,
because of the gm/cc's control of weeds, net labor costs decrease. And soil
quality often improves visibly each year. Possible gm/cc's: Velvetbeans (Mucuna
pruriens), cowpeas (Vigna spp.) and jackbeans (Canavalia
Keep the soil covered: Mulches of crop residues and fast-growing gm/cc's
drastically reduce the weed problem. sow into the plant residue rather than
tilling the soil. This does not appear to apply well to grass. Experiment
found that grass will grow up through the crop plants and that cutting
and leaving it simply accellerated spread. Grass can be killed by baking
with plastic cover (which also bakes everything else) or just pulled out.
Additional control of weeds: Use a few layers of large leaves (banana, etc..)
or carboard left on top of the areas between desired plants. It won't kill
the grass but the grass can't grow where there is no light. Use slits to
allow sun around your crop, poke holes thru and place transplants, put a
small pile of dirt on top of an area with holes under it to start seeds.
Fowl herds may also be usefull in weed reduction if they are discouraged
from eating the crop plants by a physical barrier.
1 chicken weed labor
Use Zero tillage: start by planting the cover crop. Cut the plants
off in the spring, leaving the cuttings on the soil to serve as a mulch.
Then plant the tomatoes or other crops right into the undisturbed roots without
tilling or adding fertilizer. Additional mulch might need to be added after
planting if any soil is left exposed. If the soil must be disturbed and immediate
crop planting is necessary use kelp or composted seaweed to treat the soil.
Rinse seaweed to remove salt and leave the stuff in black garbage bags in
the Sun for several weeks to compost it quickly.
Maintain biological diversity: avoid diseases and insect pests by
fighting fire with fire. Do NOT use incecticides. Use bird seed to attract
"insect removal squads." The better quality seeds will not contain grass
and so will not start a weed problem.
Wagner brand is excellent. Although
good seed will minimize damage, protect plants that the birds seem to want
to eat by encloseing them in nets. For smaller pests, buy ladybugs
and release at night. For aphids on trees, use tangle foot because most aphids
are farmed by ants inside "barns" made from leaves curled up by the ants.
Use Milk to kill fungus or mold. Use diatomaceous earth to stop catapiliers
Plant more than one crop in the same bed by finding good pairs.
squash, peas, and corn
tomatoes and basil
tomatoes and asparagus
head lettuce and peppers
peas and last years eggplant
rows of onions, one row of squash,
corn drives Carpophilus beetles from sunflowers, sunflowers protect corn
from fall armyworms.
corn meal is said to keep ants at bay.
Combine tall, narrow plants with wide leafy plants to stop weeds.
Lettuce with peas
Squash and buckwheat
Strawberries with blueberries
Black walnuts have long been known to interfere with garden plants like tomatoes,
eggplants and corn. The trees roots emit a chemical called juglone,
which is toxic to many deep-rooted plants growing nearby
When planting broccoli in your garden, make sure that you practice good crop
rotation since broccoli can leave behind residue that lettuce and cruciferous
crops (cool weather vegetables and have flowers that have four petals so
that they resemble a cross) cant tolerate.
Some plants, like alfalfa, seem to exhibit a remarkable type of allelopathy
that interferes with the germination of their own seeds.
Garlic and onions are believed to interfere with the growth of beans and
peas, but seem to be compatible with most other garden denizens.
Mint and onions where asparagus is growing
Pole beans and mustard near beets
Anise and dill are said to make bad neighbors for carrots, but this hasn't
Cucumber, pumpkin, radish, sunflower, squash or tomatoes close to potato
hills. Tomatoes and potatos are attacked by the same blights, so when
theyre right next to each other, the diseases spread more easily.
Any member of the cabbage family near strawberries or grapes is trouble according
Cabbage, cauliflower, corn, dill and potatoes near tomatoes
Use all the plant. Many traditional root plants have edible leaves:
Cutor harvesta portion of these crops without harvesting the
Lettuce grows as a head or loose leaf. Unless youre aiming for a perfect
head, you can continuously harvest leaves until the plant goes to seed.
Kale grows taller and taller as you harvest leaves, and can last for months
in the garden, offering an ongoing source of food.
Celery is easier to store in the garden than the fridge. Simply use a knife
to cut outer stalks as you need them.
Swiss chard is harvested similarly to celery. Cut the outer stalks and use
the leaves and the ribs. One of the easiest vegetables to grow, it also works
well in a pot. The stalk is sweeter than the leaf, but tastes more like dirt...
Green onions can be a source of flavor almost all season long. Just snip
off the larger stalks and leave the more immature ones in place.
Spinach and bok choy are two different kinds of greens that offer up the
option of cooked or fresh greens. Simply cut the outer leaves as you need
Purslane is considered a weed by many, but its a great addition to
salads. Just snip off branches as you need them.
Broccoli is a borderline cut and come again vegetable. Harvest the main head,
leaving the plant intact and youll find that smaller side shoots develop.
Cilantro goes to seed quickly, but its easy to grow. Harvest by simply
cutting off stems a few inches above the ground. New growth will follow.
Basil just keeps coming during the hot summer months. Pinch leaves off from
the tips as you need them.
Potatoes arent exactly cut and come again, but you can carefully dig
under the plants to harvest small new potatoes before the plant
is ready to be pulled and the potatoes harvested.
Feed plants through the mulch: When soils are hostile to plant growth,
feed plants by adding the fertalizer on top of the mulch. Rabbit dung is
probably the best. Worm castings are great when available. Chicken poop is
too hot, but goes well into the compost bin.
Water from the bottom: Use tall, unglazed clay pots with a lid held
on with a rock, or plastic milk or soda containers with holes punched in
the bottom; buried in the bed with the top just above the mulch. Fill with
watering can or use drip irrigation tubes. Roots will grow down to reach
the water (rather than along the surface) reduceing compitition and allowing
dense planting. Also, the deep soil has minerals and retains water so plants
are less likely to dry out. Also, you need less water and weeds on the surface
will not start. If you don't till the soil, the surface can be covered with
weed seeds and nothing will grow except your plants. Check this out!
An ancient watering technique that conserves and delivers water direct to
the roots. The use of buried earthen jars for watering plants has been used
for thousands of years. The hand-thrown unglazed pot is buried neck deep
into the soil, fill the pot with water and it slowly seeps into the soil
to be absorbed by surrounding plants (not for use around wood plants such
as shrubs and trees) Designed from nature, handmade in the USA.
You can get continuous production by planting one new row of seeds every
week or three. Plant close together and thin by moving or eating overcrowded
seedlings. Lettuce / spinach / etc... will continue to produce if you peel
a few leaves at a time from the outside of each plant.
Disease Diagnosis / Treatment
New leaves with yellow between veins: Add Zinc.
New leaves all yellow or with dark blotches: Add magnesium.
Bronze or red leaves: Potassium or phosphorus.
Older leaves brown at edges: Potassium.
Yellow leaves near bottom only: Nitrogen.
Very nice looking site which helps you find the best veggies to plant, and
goes on to schedule, help combat disease, and offer advice.
Excellent and detailed chart and graphic for diagnosing nutrient
Very well regarded gardening system with exact instructions. Follow to the
letter for best results.+
Seawater is evaporated at the front of the greenhouse to create cool humid
conditions inside. A proportion of the evaporated seawater is then condensed
as fresh water that can be used to irrigate the crops. Excess freshwater
created in the Seawater Greenhouse can be used to irrigate additional crops
grown outside the greenhouse. The air going into the greenhouse is first
cooled and humidified by seawater, which trickles over the first evaporator.
This provides good climate conditions for the crops. As the air leaves the
growing area, it passes through the second evaporator over which seawater
is flowing. This seawater has been heated by the sun in a network of pipes
above the growing area, making the air much hotter and more humid. It then
meets a series of vertical pipes through which cool seawater passes. When
the hot humid air meets the cool surfaces, fresh water will condense as droplets
that run down to the base where they can be collected. The cool and humid
conditions in the greenhouse enable crops to grow with very little water.
When crops are not stressed by excessive transpiration, both the yield and
the quality are higher. The simplicity of the process imitates the hydrological
cycle where seawater heated by the sun evaporates, cools down to form clouds,
and returns to the earth as rain, fog or dew.
Organic pest control+
A good blog.
Planting shallow root crops in a standard rain gutter mounted to the side
of your house conserves space, keeps the pests out of the crop, provides
some temperature stability and protection from the wind. Try to find unpainted
copper or stainless steel gutters, or line them with food safe rubber or
plastic. Make sure they are mounted absolutly level to keep water from pooling
at one end, or use a layer of sand at the bottom to wick the water evenly.
Since there is very little soil to hold water, regular attention will be
required to keep them from drying out. Gutters can also be mounted to a line
of stakes for a vertical garden away from a wall, but watch out for over
watering from rain. Drain holes near the bottom of the gutter may help, but
again, there is little capacity for holding water, so drainage will increase
the need for watering between rains.
Seed your row of carrots and water them in well. Place a 1? x 4? board over
the row. Thats right, right on the ground on TOP of the row of newly
planted seeds. Check on the row daily as you water and as soon as you see
sprouts, place bricks under each end of the board so that its not directly
atop the new sprouts, but still shading them. Once the seedlings are tall
enough to touch the board, you can take it away. Keeping the seeds moist
and shaded as theyre getting situated in the garden is the ticket.
Disconnecting your down-spout and directing the water into mulch or barrels
An AMAZING volumn of information on the subject of food.
Golden Crispy Japanese Melon: Eat like an apple: small golden skinned melons
with white flesh. Fruits
develop 30 days after prolific flowering. May be started indoors in colder
climates. Bbob says they are excellent and not available in any market. Seeds
are available for $3.50 per 100
No-till, Permanent Bed Farming
Pop bottle drip irrigation+
site but very nice. $15/year or $5/bimonthly as of 2003.09.30 Some christian
http://www.pathtofreedom.com The site for suburban
sustainability. Huge garden, huge production in a small
Use old newspapers to make your starter pots
Each time your potato plants show leaves, raise the sides of the bed about
6 inches and bury them again. Repeat 4 or 5 times then let it grow till harvest
time. Each layer of leaves will produce more potatoes.
Fertilizers: seaweed, sludge,
bone meal, blood meal, cottonseed meal, soybean meal, transplants, manure,
sulfur, fish meal, rock powder, lime, gypsum, compost, guano, worm castings,
Sul-Po-Mag, alfalfa meal, limestone, rock phosphate, oyster shell lime, banana
peels, egg shells.
Fungicides: cornmeal, baking
Natural Insecticides: neem,
pyrethrum, citrus rind, flour.
Natural Herbicides: corn gluten
meal, ants, field mice and birds [eat seeds]
Beneficial insects: (insecticides)
bats, snakes, bees, lizards, birds, wasps, frogs, ladybugs, lacewings, flies,
bumblebees, butterflies, toads, milky spore, beneficial nematodes, Bt, praying
mantis, barn owls.
Compost: hulls, bagasse, coffee,
food waste, newspapers, sawdust, grass, leaves, tree trimmings, gin trash,
cotton burs, manure, sludge Vermicomposting.
Foliar sprays: seaweed, manure
tea, fish emulsion, compost tea, molasses Natural Pesticides: garlic, oil,
Neem, peppers, molasses, peppermint, citrus oil, soap, citronella, baking
soda, diatomaceous earth, vinegar, tobacco
Irrigation: Ollas, DIY drip,
soaker hose, pitcher
Season extension: crop rotation,
companion planting, shade cloth, trellis, row covers, cages, intercropping,
no-till, Wall O'Water
Mulches: compost, hulls, hay,
sawdust, leaves, straw, newspapers.
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