Author Topic: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!  (Read 14573 times)

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Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« on: February 09, 2010, 04:00:55 AM »
I've been gardening 29 out of 31 of my years on the planet, and I work in the hydroponic industry.  Ask away.  I really enjoy helping people out, and I really enjoy helping plants out; If I can help both in one sitting... this is a great event.
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein

Offline HiWarp

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 07:04:49 AM »
Okay, I'll bite first. It's February in NY and it's 25 degrees but pretty soon it will be Spring.  :jump:

What, in your opinion, is the best way to stake tomato plants. I have tried wooden stakes, plastic stakes, combining multiple stakes in a tee-pee type structure, tomato cages... and all have been a royal pain in the ass when the plants grow too large. For this season I am considering a trellis system like I would use for grape vines but that involves a lot of work. Perhaps pruning the plants during the growing season so they don't grow to be 6+ feet high?

What do you think?
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when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
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Offline arksis

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 08:21:29 AM »
Great question HiWarp, I too have been trying every year, something different. This year, I put a wire chicken wire fence across the garden and planted the tomatoes along it and tied them up to it as it grew. Did much better than last year. Too much "rock" here, so I have to have a raised garden bed.

I also have alot of trouble with cucumbers!

Isn't hydroponic growing with water only? I would love to have a greenhouse and be able to grow like that.
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Offline Ulli

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 08:34:16 AM »
Hello Ariel,

what is your oppinion of Aquaponic-Systems.

Sincerly,

Ulli
"Cities run by progressives don't know how to police. ... Thirty cities went up last night, I went and looked at every one of them. Every one of them has a progressive Democratic mayor." Rudolph Giuliani

Offline pennyjangle

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 10:35:24 AM »
I had these types of plants in the 80's the roots grew in rocks with water only, isn't there a nutrient solution needed for this type of planting?
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Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010, 05:01:58 PM »
A trellis could work very well with tomatoes.  When I ran a hydroponic store I sold tons of tomato net trellises.  My Father liked to use these cages/braces that encircle each plant, but I like trellis more.  A trellis does take more work.

"Topping" the plant to keep it a reasonable height is also a good idea.

o-|-o
o-|-o
o-|-o
o-|-o
o-|-o <---Imagine this is a normal tomato plant.  It has one stem and it goes up.  The o's are tomatoes.  The bars are stems.

If you cut the top of the plant off, the bottom branches will turn into the main branches, giving you multiple tops.  You could make a plant look like this.

o-|-oo-|-oo-|-o
  o-\oo|o o/-o
   o-\o |o o/-o
     o-\ |o/-o  
         \/     Cutting the top of a plant off forces it to grow in a new shape, and instead of growing straight up like a tree and bearing fruit, a plant can be forced to grow into a bush shape instead.  Not only is the plant easier to manage, but yield should be improved as well.  [The reason for the yield change has to do with how much easier the plant has it to pull water up to its top leaves.  A 3' tall plant works a lot less hard than a 6' tall plant needs to to drink the same amount of water.  The energy not used by the plant pulling water goes to making larger, tastier fruits.]  

Another benefit of a shorter plant is: more solar power taken in from the leaves can go to the roots... roots are the #1 most important thing with most plants.

My vote is to cut the plants tops off to manage its height.  Tomato cages or staking may be required as well as yield increases in the later weeks.
---
When you transplant your plants into the ground, cut off the bottom set of leaves and apply some Rootone or Hormex rooting powder to the wound [Walmart should carry these products, if not a local gardening store will, these are not expensive items]...  then try planting the root ball sideways with the stem near vertical to the ground.  The wound should transform into another set of additional roots.  The existing roots will also benefit [increase in size] from reorienting themselves... this bit of stress produces a much more superior root system than planting the plants normally.  Again, roots are the most important thing.  Root mass dictates yield.

If you try the sideways planting a bush like plant may emerge w/o the need to cut the tops off of plants.
?  
  0 00 00 0 0 00 0
    \/  \/  \/   \/  \/
 __|__|__|__|__|
/\                                  <--This would be an example of what happens when you plant a plant sideways.  The main stem is made to function like a vine, and stalks emerge from the vine-like stem, each of these emerging stalks could be treated as an individual plant if one wanted to trellis it out over some space.  If a plant gets too talk or lanky, turn it sideways!
---
http://gardening.about.com/od/totallytomatoes/qt/Red_Mulch.htm
^If you live in a cold area, you can prepare the area you will be planting tomatoes by warming it up with red mulch or black plastic for a more harmonious transplant.
http://gardening.about.com/od/growingtips/tp/Tomato_Tips.htm
^I can vouch these tips are effective as rules of thumb.
---

What variety of tomatoes are you doing this year?

:dance:
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein

Offline arksis

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2010, 06:05:52 PM »
Thanks so much for you sage advice! I always pinch off the bottom leaves and plant in the ground past where I pinched them off. I always wanted to try planting sideways and will try that this year. I keep reading it is much better. I was always afraid to pinch leaves off the top, as I never know how much to pinch off. We have awful soil here, so I use top soil, peat mulch, and lots of mulched leaves. My soil turns nice and black (rich). I also use tomato food. Varieties I like to grow are a couple of cherry tomatoes, Big Boy, Beefsteak, Early Girl, Roma, Arkansas Traveler, and tried one from here called Bradley. 2 years ago, I tried one called German Queen, was the most odd looking leaves I had ever seen and only got 1 tomato that wasn't edible. I will try the trellis way again, it was alot of work, but well worth it. Again, can't thank you enough for your advice! I also use Miracle-Gro, do you recommend it? How do you feel about that Topsy Turvy thing to grow them upside down?
---Never, ever deal with terrorists. Hunt them down and, more important, mercilessly punish those states and groups that fund, arm, support, or simply allow their territories to be used by the terrorists with impunity.
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Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2010, 12:01:27 AM »
Tomatoes and cucumbers which rot can be alleviated by adding a Calcium supplement; it is a good idea to use a "Cal Mag" supplement with Magnesium, and Iron in it as well, as these are all supposed to be consumed in a harmonious ratio.
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein

Offline ~Hanna~

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 12:08:34 AM »
Thankyou for this thread. I plan on having vegetable gardens this year, so I will ask you something, I just don't know what, yet. Lol.
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Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 12:09:01 AM »
Hello Ariel,

what is your oppinion of Aquaponic-Systems.

Sincerly,

Ulli
I really like what I see.  Dr. Rackary of the University at Virgin Islands runs a commercial aquaponics curriculum.  I am very encouraged when I read about the work that goes on at UVI.  I think Aquaponics has the potential to end much of the world's hunger at a cost of near zero.  There is another program in British Colombia which has succesfully cultivated over 60 varieties of plants in aquaponics.  I myself am toying with the idea of setting up a little home aquaponics thing with an aquarium, fish, and basil plants. - I think it would be really fun to travel around the world and teach poor people [who like Jews, ie, Brazil just added a Jewish Immigrant day to its national celebrated holidays] how to garden with aquaponics.
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein

Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2010, 12:14:00 AM »
I had these types of plants in the 80's the roots grew in rocks with water only, isn't there a nutrient solution needed for this type of planting?
Depending on the plant, usually a nutrient solution is vital with hydroponics [some plants like Orchids and Bromeliads to not need very much solutions, and can get by on just rain water/purified water, Chlorine is bad for Orchids/Bromeliads].  Typical hydroponics solution are derived from soluble metallic salts.  The idea is to have all the nutrients that would be in soil instead be dissolved into water. 

One can use soil in hydroponics, but the nutrient solution should be cut by 50%.  I like using soil and hydroponics together.
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein

Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 12:23:22 AM »
I do not use Miracle Grow.  I find it is too harsh for many plants, and it affects the taste of vegetables.  If I need a high nitrogen formula I like to use either fish emulsion, or a blended organic fertilizer from Dr. Earth, or Whitney Farms.  Your vegetables will taste much better.

You can add sugar to the water when you feed your blooming/fruiting plants, it helps with size and taste.  Literally it's force feeding a plant carbon, and most plants are made out of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen [mostly] so sugar or molasses adds building blocks.

SuperThrive vitamins are another commonly available supliment which benefits plants greatly.  SuperThrive is not a fertilizer, but it is added into nutrient solutions in addition.  The stuff has 50 vitamins and hormones plants need, and it has a great track record of being effective stuff.  One can soak seeds in water with SuperThrive in it to speed up seeds popping open and growing.  SuperThrive is excellent when transplanting, or dealing with shocked or adding nutrient solution to plants with deficiency.  SuperThrive is cheap, and the dosage is low, I think it's in most people's budget and well worth it. - I have had seeds crack open in less than 24 hours with SuperThrive, compared to the usual 3-5 days I need to wait in absence of SuperThrive's presence.
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein

Offline Edward

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 07:42:23 AM »
Hi Ariel, I'm Ed & I'm from Oak Grove KY. I've been working the land with my grandpa since I was about 10 years old. We grow apple trees, pears, hazelnuts and plums. I love gardening, it's a parts of my life.. much as I love my little hometown and our big ol' farms, I want to move to Israel. Do you think there's a way I can find a good job there, in the Kibbutzes or somethin' like that?

Offline arksis

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2010, 08:35:13 AM »
I do not use Miracle Grow.  I find it is too harsh for many plants, and it affects the taste of vegetables.  If I need a high nitrogen formula I like to use either fish emulsion, or a blended organic fertilizer from Dr. Earth, or Whitney Farms.  Your vegetables will taste much better.

You can add sugar to the water when you feed your blooming/fruiting plants, it helps with size and taste.  Literally it's force feeding a plant carbon, and most plants are made out of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen [mostly] so sugar or molasses adds building blocks.

SuperThrive vitamins are another commonly available supliment which benefits plants greatly.  SuperThrive is not a fertilizer, but it is added into nutrient solutions in addition.  The stuff has 50 vitamins and hormones plants need, and it has a great track record of being effective stuff.  One can soak seeds in water with SuperThrive in it to speed up seeds popping open and growing.  SuperThrive is excellent when transplanting, or dealing with shocked or adding nutrient solution to plants with deficiency.  SuperThrive is cheap, and the dosage is low, I think it's in most people's budget and well worth it. - I have had seeds crack open in less than 24 hours with SuperThrive, compared to the usual 3-5 days I need to wait in absence of SuperThrive's presence.

Thank you for your advice on Miracle Gro! I prefer the "organic" way too. How do you feel about adding manure to gardens? I don't know WHY, but this really creeps me out! LOL
---Never, ever deal with terrorists. Hunt them down and, more important, mercilessly punish those states and groups that fund, arm, support, or simply allow their territories to be used by the terrorists with impunity.
Meir Kahane

Offline Ulli

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2010, 10:09:53 AM »
Hello Ariel,

what is your oppinion of Aquaponic-Systems.

Sincerly,

Ulli
I really like what I see.  Dr. Rackary of the University at Virgin Islands runs a commercial aquaponics curriculum.  I am very encouraged when I read about the work that goes on at UVI.  I think Aquaponics has the potential to end much of the world's hunger at a cost of near zero.  There is another program in British Colombia which has succesfully cultivated over 60 varieties of plants in aquaponics.  I myself am toying with the idea of setting up a little home aquaponics thing with an aquarium, fish, and basil plants. - I think it would be really fun to travel around the world and teach poor people [who like Jews, ie, Brazil just added a Jewish Immigrant day to its national celebrated holidays] how to garden with aquaponics.

I think too, that this system has much potential. I went to the website of University at Virgin Islands. It is interesting. They do it, like I saw mainly outdoor. This saves a lot of energy for the Sodium-vapor lamps, that are usually used in this sector, specially to grow the little plants inside before planting them outside. But I think in the USA & Europe, you need a controlled environment because of the climate and sun-shining-time. So there is the problem with the energy. Perhaps it is possible to solve with good solar cells. In this way you could controll the energy costs, which are the greatest part of the total production-costs. But I am not shure if solar cells today are advanced enough.
"Cities run by progressives don't know how to police. ... Thirty cities went up last night, I went and looked at every one of them. Every one of them has a progressive Democratic mayor." Rudolph Giuliani

Offline pennyjangle

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2010, 01:07:20 PM »
I do not use Miracle Grow.  I find it is too harsh for many plants, and it affects the taste of vegetables.  If I need a high nitrogen formula I like to use either fish emulsion, or a blended organic fertilizer from Dr. Earth, or Whitney Farms.  Your vegetables will taste much better.

You can add sugar to the water when you feed your blooming/fruiting plants, it helps with size and taste.  Literally it's force feeding a plant carbon, and most plants are made out of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen [mostly] so sugar or molasses adds building blocks.

SuperThrive vitamins are another commonly available supliment which benefits plants greatly.  SuperThrive is not a fertilizer, but it is added into nutrient solutions in addition.  The stuff has 50 vitamins and hormones plants need, and it has a great track record of being effective stuff.  One can soak seeds in water with SuperThrive in it to speed up seeds popping open and growing.  SuperThrive is excellent when transplanting, or dealing with shocked or adding nutrient solution to plants with deficiency.  SuperThrive is cheap, and the dosage is low, I think it's in most people's budget and well worth it. - I have had seeds crack open in less than 24 hours with SuperThrive, compared to the usual 3-5 days I need to wait in absence of SuperThrive's presence.

You read my mind. What about mushroom compost? My neighbor's parents have a farm that's what they used, my garden did well on it except for my cukes and how do you keep pumpkins from getting mold while on the vine? Thank You!
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Offline HiWarp

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2010, 02:28:57 PM »
Thanks for the info on tomatoes, Ariel. I will try the trellis and cutting the tops off as well as planting sideways. I actually have some Rootone but I've never used it.

The usual varieties that I plant are grape, beefsteak, roma and celebrity. I have also tried heirlooms, but did not find them very appealing.
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny;
when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
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Offline Rubystars

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2010, 06:18:06 PM »
Do you know anything about growing this:
http://www.waysidegardens.com/gardening/PD/48052

I'd like to give it a try.

Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2010, 07:29:04 PM »
Hi Ariel, I'm Ed & I'm from Oak Grove KY. I've been working the land with my grandpa since I was about 10 years old. We grow apple trees, pears, hazelnuts and plums. I love gardening, it's a parts of my life.. much as I love my little hometown and our big ol' farms, I want to move to Israel. Do you think there's a way I can find a good job there, in the Kibbutzes or somethin' like that?


I too have hopes of working in the agricultural societies of Israel.  I can't give advice on the probability of employment, however I feel you will be able to find the work you wish to find in Israel.  I am in the process of preparing for Aliyah, but I do not have much ground work done yet.  When I find out I will keep you in mind, Ed.  Yasher koach!
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein

Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2010, 07:32:13 PM »
I do not use Miracle Grow.  I find it is too harsh for many plants, and it affects the taste of vegetables.  If I need a high nitrogen formula I like to use either fish emulsion, or a blended organic fertilizer from Dr. Earth, or Whitney Farms.  Your vegetables will taste much better.

You can add sugar to the water when you feed your blooming/fruiting plants, it helps with size and taste.  Literally it's force feeding a plant carbon, and most plants are made out of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen [mostly] so sugar or molasses adds building blocks.

SuperThrive vitamins are another commonly available supliment which benefits plants greatly.  SuperThrive is not a fertilizer, but it is added into nutrient solutions in addition.  The stuff has 50 vitamins and hormones plants need, and it has a great track record of being effective stuff.  One can soak seeds in water with SuperThrive in it to speed up seeds popping open and growing.  SuperThrive is excellent when transplanting, or dealing with shocked or adding nutrient solution to plants with deficiency.  SuperThrive is cheap, and the dosage is low, I think it's in most people's budget and well worth it. - I have had seeds crack open in less than 24 hours with SuperThrive, compared to the usual 3-5 days I need to wait in absence of SuperThrive's presence.

Thank you for your advice on Miracle Gro! I prefer the "organic" way too. How do you feel about adding manure to gardens? I don't know WHY, but this really creeps me out! LOL

Manure from some animals is good, others not so much.  Bat guano, worm castings, seabird guano... these are all good.  Steer manure has a high sodium content which can cause problems with nutrient uptake, or cause a plant burn.  Not all plants do well in high saline environments.  As a rule of thumb I stay away from manures except what I listed above.  I know tomatoes can benefit from some sodium [not sure of the dose], in terms of sugar production, but I don't have the experience of growing tomatoes with steer manure myself.
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein

Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2010, 07:37:59 PM »
Hello Ariel,

what is your oppinion of Aquaponic-Systems.

Sincerly,

Ulli
I really like what I see.  Dr. Rackary of the University at Virgin Islands runs a commercial aquaponics curriculum.  I am very encouraged when I read about the work that goes on at UVI.  I think Aquaponics has the potential to end much of the world's hunger at a cost of near zero.  There is another program in British Colombia which has succesfully cultivated over 60 varieties of plants in aquaponics.  I myself am toying with the idea of setting up a little home aquaponics thing with an aquarium, fish, and basil plants. - I think it would be really fun to travel around the world and teach poor people [who like Jews, ie, Brazil just added a Jewish Immigrant day to its national celebrated holidays] how to garden with aquaponics.

I think too, that this system has much potential. I went to the website of University at Virgin Islands. It is interesting. They do it, like I saw mainly outdoor. This saves a lot of energy for the Sodium-vapor lamps, that are usually used in this sector, specially to grow the little plants inside before planting them outside. But I think in the USA & Europe, you need a controlled environment because of the climate and sun-shining-time. So there is the problem with the energy. Perhaps it is possible to solve with good solar cells. In this way you could controll the energy costs, which are the greatest part of the total production-costs. But I am not shure if solar cells today are advanced enough.


One of the most interesting suggestion of technology I have heard involves an industrial de-humidifier powered by solar panels.  If placed on a coast it can suck down tons of PURE H2O.  I do not know if solar technology is where it needs to be to be practical, but it is a nice thought for now.  I hope solar power makes the advances quickly; the world is waiting... growing ever hungrier.
-I read an article where the Japanese are trying to put satellites in the sky which will grab solar energy from space, unfiltered, and then, somehow, beam th energy down to earth with a laser.  I am like a fish out of water trying to make sense of HOW this is possible; but I know the Japanese are a really hard working smart people, if there is a way, perhaps they will find it.
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein

Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2010, 07:42:48 PM »
I do not use Miracle Grow.  I find it is too harsh for many plants, and it affects the taste of vegetables.  If I need a high nitrogen formula I like to use either fish emulsion, or a blended organic fertilizer from Dr. Earth, or Whitney Farms.  Your vegetables will taste much better.

You can add sugar to the water when you feed your blooming/fruiting plants, it helps with size and taste.  Literally it's force feeding a plant carbon, and most plants are made out of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen [mostly] so sugar or molasses adds building blocks.

SuperThrive vitamins are another commonly available supliment which benefits plants greatly.  SuperThrive is not a fertilizer, but it is added into nutrient solutions in addition.  The stuff has 50 vitamins and hormones plants need, and it has a great track record of being effective stuff.  One can soak seeds in water with SuperThrive in it to speed up seeds popping open and growing.  SuperThrive is excellent when transplanting, or dealing with shocked or adding nutrient solution to plants with deficiency.  SuperThrive is cheap, and the dosage is low, I think it's in most people's budget and well worth it. - I have had seeds crack open in less than 24 hours with SuperThrive, compared to the usual 3-5 days I need to wait in absence of SuperThrive's presence.

You read my mind. What about mushroom compost? My neighbor's parents have a farm that's what they used, my garden did well on it except for my cukes and how do you keep pumpkins from getting mold while on the vine? Thank You!

I have never used mushroom compost.  Sounds interesting!  I might have to take a Google on that one!

http://www.bigpumpkins.com/nepga/ViewArticle.asp?id=25
^This is an interesting article about pumpkins and calcium [Giant pumpkins to be specific!].  Most rotting, or mold/disease, can be controlled by adding some Calcium/Magnesium/Iron nutrient.

Edit:  Neem oil and soap can help out a lot too.  Bugs and mold do not like neem.  You can actually wash your plants/vines/fruits while they grow to eliminate mold, disease, or bugs.

Jerry Baker, "America's Master Gardener", has a million tips with ordinary items one can use in gardening...  a trick I have learned from him is to add anti-septic mouthwash [like Listerine, something that kills bacteria] as a defensive measure.

Spraying plants with beneficial bacteria/fungus also can keep diseases in check.  "Plant Success" is one of the most readily available products which consists of beneficial microbes such as these.  One needs to make sure to use chlorinated water; chlorine is bad news for microbes.
-You can take a 5 gallon bucket, an aquarium air stone and pump, and microbes like "Plant Success" w/ a spoon full of sugar, mix it all into the bucket, and pump air into the mix with the pump for 24 hours and then you have a "microbe tea" to spray onto your crops, or apply to the root zone.  Kelp is another good additive for a tea, as is Fulvic and Humic acid.  Sugar, Fulvic, and Humic are all edible to microbes.  Fulvic and humic also help plants with nutrient uptake [they bond to nutrients, "chelating", and it makes it easier for the plant to consume], and humic itself is useful for plants surviving in cold weather.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 07:54:03 PM by Ariel Shayn »
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein

Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2010, 07:44:33 PM »
Do you know anything about growing this:
http://www.waysidegardens.com/gardening/PD/48052

I'd like to give it a try.

I do not!  But that is a GORGEOUS specimen to try out!  If you try it out, let me know!
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein

Offline Rubystars

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Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2010, 08:39:30 PM »
Do you know anything about growing this:
http://www.waysidegardens.com/gardening/PD/48052

I'd like to give it a try.

I do not!  But that is a GORGEOUS specimen to try out!  If you try it out, let me know!

Ok I'm thinking of buying some when I have enough money. I really think it would be great, but I need to do more research on it first. Thanks for replying!

Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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  • "The Necromancers Could Not Stand Before Moses."
Re: Ask Ariel about gardening questions!
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2010, 02:52:03 AM »
Do you know anything about growing this:
http://www.waysidegardens.com/gardening/PD/48052

I'd like to give it a try.

I do not!  But that is a GORGEOUS specimen to try out!  If you try it out, let me know!

Ok I'm thinking of buying some when I have enough money. I really think it would be great, but I need to do more research on it first. Thanks for replying!

My pleasure.  I ran an impromptu hydroponics college here in California for a few months.  I miss answering questions.  8)
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

"When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.” - Maimonides

 “I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

"The difference between a Jewish liberal and a Jewish conservative is that when a Jewish liberal walks out of the Holocaust Museum, he feels, "This shows why we need to have more tolerance and multiculturalism." The Jewish conservative feels, "We should have killed a lot more Nazis, and sooner."" - Philip Klein