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Thu Aug 13, 2015, 05:26 AM

 

I need some help with gardening.

It's heading into fall, so I figure now is when I start thinking about strategies for the spring.

I can't grow anything. Sure, I grew a handful of mediocre sized tomatoes, NRaleighLiberals cherry tomatoes and some ornamental pepper plants he sent produced like gangbusters, but anything else FAILS.

I planted some onions, they got eaten up by some sort of weevil looking things. My eggplant produced a grand total of one medium sized one, and was covered by these red aphid looking things - and I mean a SWARM of them.

These evil bugs:





My strawberry plant gave up the ghost without doing anything.

I will say that my rosemary is hearty and is thriving, though.

I even tried crook-neck squash, but it didn't even make it out of the gate.

What am I doing wrong? I live on the coast of Mississippi, we get plenty of sun and rain.

Do I just have a black thumb?

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Reply I need some help with gardening. (Original post)
Aerows Aug 2015 OP
NJCher Aug 2015 #1
Major Nikon Aug 2015 #2
Curmudgeoness Aug 2015 #3
alfie Aug 2015 #4
Aerows Aug 2015 #5
NCarolinawoman Aug 2015 #6
NRaleighLiberal Aug 2015 #7

Response to Aerows (Original post)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 10:08 AM

1. I'll be interested to hear what other gardeners say

And I have some opinions, but I have to wait until later to write them out. Right now I have to get out and check all my plants.

But I will definitely come back in the heat of the day, when I can't be trolling the garden.



Cher

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 10:48 AM

2. I like using horticultural oil as a pesticide

Most of it is made with mineral oil, which is harmless to humans, but you can find organic versions. It works by smothering the bugs. It has no preventative effect and only kills the bugs you spray it on, but it's very effective against most insect pests.

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 12:13 PM

3. No one has a black thumb!

There are lots of reasons why things don't work out the way we hope. Sometimes, it is as simple as planting in the wrong place. Or it could just be a bad year for gardens (temperatures or too much/too little rain). Your soil might need augmented with organic material, and if that is the case, working on it over the years will allow it to get better every year. There are so many reasons for poor vegetable performance, and I don't know all the answers, but I do know that you will get better over time.

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 07:04 PM

4. I would start off getting a soil test

Fall is a good time to put in amendments for the next spring. Also a good time to dig in manure and leaves.

Could you give more info about what your spring and summer weather was like? I had a cold, wet spring then a hot dry summer. Poorest crop I have ever had this year. It was really hard to keep up with the watering. The weeds thrived though!

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Response to alfie (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 08:43 PM

5. Hot as hell

 

humid and raining to the point of flooding. That was our weather this spring and summer. We were floating.

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Sun Aug 23, 2015, 03:28 PM

6. Try this.

Last edited Sun Aug 23, 2015, 09:19 PM - Edit history (1)



These are ladybug larva. Each ladybug larva eats about 5000 aphids in its lifetime. I had hundreds of these on my tulip poplar tree watching them eat aphids. I watched the whole metamorphosis from ladybugs to eggs to the strange looking larva that used to scare me as a child. Now I love them.

You can also try keeping your eye out for lacewing larva. Some people think they look like little alligators. Creepy looking but great for eating aphids.

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 07:04 PM

7. So a few things about gardening (from a 35 year gardener)

It is a hobby for optimists - because no season, no garden, goes perfectly - a few many approach it, most will vary far from it. There are just so many variables - critters, weather, one's ability to pay attention to it, quality of the plants and seeds.

I say optimist because though we may be beaten after a difficult season, a break comes, seed catalogs arrive - and we start again.

You are doing the right thing - asking questions, seeking information. Each year I have mini or big disasters - but the real disaster would be to not learn something from it.

Mostly it should be fun, an escape - a place to play, be outside, be with nature.

As you can tell...I simply can't get enough of it!

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