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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    for optimum flavor and texture Be careful not to bruise the fruits Use a knife to cut the stem and avoid damaging the plant Sudden wilting of vine tips indicates an infestation of squash borers They are fat white or striped grubs which feed on the insides of the stems Look for holes in the stems which may be surrounded by a sawdust like material Carefully split open the stem and remove the grub or spray bacillus thuringensis directly into the stem with a needle and syringe Squash bugs are 1 2 long shield shaped insects which fed on the plants and spread the fatal disease called bacterial wilt The base of the stems get a chewed appearance and soon after the plants wilt and die Prevent bacterial wilt by strictly controlling the insects by using a row cover or hand picking If you use row covers be sure to remove them before the plants flower to ensure pollination Rewove any diseased plants immediately and burn Cucumber beetles feed on young plants and can also spread disease They look like yellow lady bugs with either black spots or stripes Make sure you wash your hands after handling diseased plants you

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=squash (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    more When the soil warms up get your garden ready Sweet potatoes are grown in long ridges taller ridges make harvesting easier They donít need great soil Avoid very rich soil or your will get lots of vines and no potatoes Ridges can be 3 apart with 12 spacing of plants or 6 apart with 6 plant spacing I rototill the area as deep as I can shovel dirt off paths into ridges then till the paths again It helps to water the young plants in but don t worry if they wilt for a short time after transplanting Control weeds and conserve soil moisture during the long growing season by mulching While the plants are still small cover the whole area with 6 more of hay Soon you will be unable to see the mulch for the luxurious vines Use the young leaves like spinach they are very nutritious and mild tasting Insect pests are a little problem but deer can devastate the crop An electric fence or a deer repellent such as hinder can help If all else fails tie a dog in the garden at night When the first frost threatens dig the sweet potatoes carefully with

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=sweetpotatoes (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    tomatoes heavily to help retain the moisture Mulch also helps keep the fruit that may be touching the ground from rotting If you are growing tomato varieties that are short and compact just mulch around the plants and pick your tomatoes as they ripen The tomato varieties that just keep vining and sprawling can be staked trellised caged or grown up along fences Loosely tie the plants to their support system if necessary to keep them of the ground These vining varieties can also be pruned to help focus their energy on growing fruits and not vines Prune the suckers that appear between the main stem and the leaf axils Keep only two or three vines for the biggest fruit production Never plant your tomatoes in the same spot they were in last year or you are asking for pest problems Tomatoes like to be in slightly acidic soil pH 6 7 They also need a lot of trace elements like calcium which can be provided by ground up egg shells Companion planting chives African Marigolds onions parsley asparagus nasturtiums basil or carrots with your tomatoes will help create beneficial environments for them Don t plant potatoes and fennel near

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=tomatoes (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    plant nutrients Legumes such as clover alfalfa and beans fix nitrogen from the air into nitrates which can be used by the plants Deep rooted cover crops such as alfalfa if allowed to grow long enough bring up nutrients from deep in the soil One can divide cover crops into o 4 groups according to when they are planted and how long they grow 1 Fall seeded over winter crops Winter rye wheat and hairy vetch are planted in the fall after the row crops are harvested They provide writer cover and continue growth in the spring Then they can either be tilled in before planting or in the case of rye and wheat harvested for grain and straw later For best winter cover plant early in September or early in October If the previous crop will not be harvested soon enough the cover crop can be seeded into some standing row crops This can be done in August before the last cultivation which will then cover the seed 2 Short term cover crops Soybean and buckwheat are examples of cover crops planted in early summer and tilled in about 2 months or less Soybean is a good nitrogen fixer Buckwheat makes fast lush growing and is good at suppressing weeds 3 Longer term perennials Alfalfa and the various clovers are biennials or perennials which should be grown at least a whole season or longer if possible to get the maximum nitrogen fixing and soil building effects One common practices is to over seed them into rye or wheat in the spring After the grain is harvested or just cut for straw the legume cover crop comes on 4 Living Mulch Low growing white clover can be seeded into standing crops such as corn or tall vegetables in the middle

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=covercrops (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    and or plastic for nighttime frost protection can extend the growing season until late in the year The success of a successful fall garden is to germinate flats of seedlings in an air conditioned place Remember to plant the seedlings in the garden where you can keep them watered and a bed that has late afternoon shade This will keep tender plants like lettuce from frying on a hot September day Popular spring vegetables are often well suited for fall gardens Try lettuce spinach Chinese cabbage and broccoli as well as various mustard and turnip greens Plant lots of turnips on August 8 the old timers say to supply your hungry neighbors when they visit We often enjoy a crisp turnip or two as we stroll through our garden on a cool day and lots of folks like to take a sack home and fry There are many fall radishes you can mulch and enjoy well into the winter We like Winter Rose Icicle and well as Daikon They hold their quality well in cold weather Be sure you have enough seeds for you fall garden It is very difficult to buy seed in the late summer so when you

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=fall (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    growing medium containers and adequate warmth and light Stick with tried and true locally adapted seed varieties from a dependable regional supplier Peat pots peat pellets or fiber cubes are the best for seedlings since they can be planted right into the earth You can use other containers such as Dixie cups yogurt cups milk cartons or tin cans to plant seeds three times the length of the seed Put the seeds in a warm place 70 to 75 degrees After the first true leaves appear cut off all but the strongest seedling at soil level As soon as the seedlings come up put them under a light Unless you have a greenhouse most windows do not provide enough light for growing good seedlings They grow best under fluorescent lights Several kinds of special growth lights are available but regular fluorescent lights generally are adequate Hang the fixture so that is is eight to ten inches above the seedlings Keep the soil moist but not soggy Feed the seeds a natural fertilizing solution fish emulsion is good Repeated weal doses are better than one big dose When the seedlings have four to eight true leaves they re ready for the

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=seeds (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    Improved soil structure Soil compaction is greatly reduced because the beds are never walked on after being tilled and the addition of compost increases the organic content of the soil This is ideal for carrots and other root crops that require extensive root penetration To construct beds rototill or dig until the soil is well loosened to at least six inches Place two parallel strings four feet apart over the area to be planted and shovel the loosened soil an both sides of the string onto the raised bed area Add an inch or two of compost and rake level The result is a four foot raised bed that is 6 12 inches higher than the adjacent paths Some growers using raised beds frame their beds with wood While ordinary rough cut wood is the least expensive choice it will rot out in a few years and need to be replaced Eight inch cedar boards which are rot resistant are a better choice Cedar is very expensive but it s cost is generally covered with the very first crop Do not use pressure treated wood because the toxic wood preservative chromium copper arsenate will leach out and contaminate the soil

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=beds (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    moist environment We always had a compost bucket on the porch to store food wastes no meat scraps for composting She would start a pile with dry winter stalks and leaves Then she would carefully layer the pile with food waste grass trimmings leaves garden thinnings manure some old compost or dirt and sometimes a little lime from the bucket next to the out house The piles were about three feet high She started new piles in the fall and winter During the winter microbes that decay compost are not very active But the moist conditions along with the freezing and thawing soften the course materials Food wastes dissolve down into the course material Manure helps fuel the composting process when the weather warms Mother said she was seeding the pile with the old compost or dirt since they contain the necessary composting organisms With warmer spring temperatures and rains compost heats up and the microbes use up the most readily available nutrients and moisture Adding fresh yard and garden wastes at this time keeps the pile working My mother was careful to mix the piles claiming it was like making soup you add the ingredients and stir until everything eventually blends together Mixing moves the fresh succulent materials around the drier and courser winter trash It leads to a more uniform finished compost Mother had a few rules A smelly pile is to wet and needs more course material and more regular mixing A pile that is to dry will have a dry center and needs more moisture green clippings or a few shovel fulls of moist dirt She knew that the composting organisms worked best when the pile was not to wet or dry It has the feel of a good pie crust she explained And she has

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=compost (2016-02-17)
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