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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Converse!

Hi everyone.  Matt and I are going away for a few days for a much-needed vacation.  We’re visiting a college friend who is getting married, and then will spend some time just relaxing.  I’m looking forward to it very much. It will only be for a few days but I’m looking forward to it. We realized we have not really been on a vacation since our honeymoon 3 years ago!  That’s me in Mexico City 3 years ago, the last day I had a vacation:

 

On My Last Vacation, 3 Years Ago

 

So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to start a conversation.  We discussed a bit about an open forum.  Eventually I will see about starting a “real” forum, but for now, let’s use what we have.  I think it would be fun to open up this post to asking one another questions we have been pondering, to sharing ideas, to blabbing about whatever strikes our fancy.  We’re all knowledgeable in different ways, so let’s share our knowledge.


What has been driving you bonkers, something you just can’t find a good simple solution to?  Questions about why your garden plants are wilting?  Updates about what you’ve been doing in your community?  Don’t be shy now, we’re all learning together!  Ask and chat away!


Of course, as always, do be nice and respectful please. 

 

And PS, I will be very sad if I come back on Tuesday to no juicy discussions here.  So please join the conversation!  Come -

 

Converse!

 

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22 comments to Converse!

  • OK, I’ll start off. I have some Nicolas daylilies and every year their leaves turn yellow. Not completely, more like a striping along the leaves. They’re watered weekly. They’re in full sun. Any ideas? They do bloom nicely.

  • OH, and have a great vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We’re planning, hoping, to take one this year and it will be our first in three years also……due to layoffs.

  • I have a question for any other zone 8-9 gardeners. When do you normally plant onions and what kind have you had the best luck with? I put my sets in the ground in Nov. (comred and shallots) and they all bolted. The only ones that didn’t were a yellow variety (can’t remember which kind) and they were very small.

    Also, any advice on potatoes….when to plant, what kind. I put in several varieties (first year ever) and they did ok but only one (yes – one) plant got a flower on it, tho they did produce potatoes. But we only got ‘new potatoes’ none that could be saved because the plants died before they were fully mature.

    HELP!

  • How in the world do I keep rabbits from eating my annuals???

    My 10 year old was so excited to plant giant sunflowers. We nurtured the seeds in pots until they could be put in the ground. They weren’t in the ground two days before the rabbits had decimated them!

  • Rob

    Maureen- from what I have read and such and trial and error, Shallots do the best here in my garden- although none of my onions have bolted- yet. Potatoes, should be planted in early spring.

    Marianna- you could try putting some border fencing around your annual beds.Or get a big dog.

  • Maureen: In Bakersfield, CA I planted red and yellow onions (sets) in February. They are now maturing enough to harvest and dry for storage. Green onions and leeks (seeds) were sown about the same time. I’ve been harvesting those as needed. This is my 1st year for potatoes as well. Red and Yukons were planted. There was lush greenery prior to mounding. Then, fungus of some sort set in. I pruned away the infected leaves and now the plants are recovering and blooming. I harvest those as needed as well.

    Kim: Your daylilies may need food.

    Here’s what’s driving me bonkers (& it’s a good thing)—zucchini is coming out of my ears! I didn’t harvest for a couple of evenings and now I have monster squash. There is only so much I can do with squash. So, now I’m taking it to work along with suggested recipes. I believe world hunger could be solved by distributing a package of zucchini seeds to each person. Smokes!

  • http://www.bakersfield.com/news/business/economy/x1216780937/Piles-of-potatoes-put-to-the-test

    Maureen: I just saw this report featuring potatoe growers gathering here, in Bakersfield, CA. I wish I would have been aware of the event. It really would have been interesting.

  • What is the most effective way to convince gardeners that insect damage is a good thing in the garden and to celebrate the fact that the insect populations dictate what else moves in…………?

  • http://www.kernradio.com/goout.asp?u=http://gardenpartyradio.com

    Maureen: Here’s a link for a garden radio program that is broadcast from Bakersield, California (zones 8 & 9) each Saturday morning from 8-10 PST. It’s hosted by a local nurseryman and a landscaper. You can listen online and an 800 number is provided for you to use to call in with your questions. There are archives on the website. Sometimes they have give aways.

    Hope this is a helpful source for your zone 8-9 questions.

  • Something keeps chewing tunnels in my turnips and rutabagas. Any ideas?

  • I’d go for rabbit fencing rather than hoping a dog will help keep the bunnies away. I’ve got three beagles (yes, the rabbit hunting breed) and i still have bunnies living in the yard and eating my vegetables. This year i’ve put up 24″ chicken wire around the veggies that they seemed to like the best last year (beans, peas, and squash) and i’m hopeful.

    That said, last week i saw the teeniest tinyest baby bunny in the garden and i just melted. If the babies need something to eat, or if mama needed to keep up her strength… i guess i can share. They’re so stinkin’ cute.

  • Marianna, I have a fairly extensive bunny problem too. Mine tend to feast on specific plants (coreopsis is their favorite target – they let the plants just bud out before they come around to “mow” them), so I’ve had an opportunity to test a few things out. The things I’ve found work in our yard are: 1) surround the plant with a fine circle of bloodmeal, and 2) plant allium, lavender, or another fragrant plant they don’t like nearby. So far so good this year!

  • I wish I had something to add to the discussion, but saving the planet seems to be something I’m really not good at. Too much moving around.

  • Thanks Rob and Maybelline for all the info. I think I will definitely be planting onions and potatoes later than I did this year. Live and learn!

    ps. does anyone grow peanuts?

  • Jenny

    Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
    that I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you write again soon!

  • SusanB

    I’m a sucker for those baby bunnies too.

  • [...] a bit of catch-up, so I’ll be back writing soon.  For those of you who spent some time Conversing while I was gone, THANK YOU.  Please continue to ask questions, voice thoughts, and so on until I [...]

  • I have a question about keeping the communication going in community. How do you keep the lines of communication open and a group on track in regards to a project? Our little community garden project got off to a good start; but we’ve had some issues with communication and keeping people focused. One person has decided they are the “leader” and is not communicating plans, etc. with others, so things are not going as originally planned.

    What would you do if your “community” lost its ability to effectively communicate???

    Love the idea of community, finding it hard to walk out right now, though.

    Thanks so much!
    Catherine :)

  • Just found Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth. What a great book! Also found Gene Logsdon’s book on small scale growing of grains. Anyone read it or have experience growing grains other than corn?

  • You guys are awesome. Thank you for keeping the conversation going while I was away, and for supporting each other so well!!

    Marianna, have you seen this post: “How to Keep Rabbits And Other Animals Out Of Your Garden – Humanely, Organically, Frugally, & Sustainably”? I wrote it for my sister, Lori, who answered you above. : ) Though looks like she and Judy both have solutions I didn’t include in that post!

    Emily, what kind of tunnels? I learned about voles when suddenly some of my carrots went missing, and had been taken from below. Or are you talking about tunnels a potato bug might dig, in the turnips themselves?

    Maureen, I started a potato-planting series, but you’ve reminded me that I never finished! I learned recently that you can plant fall potatoes as well, so I’ll post about that soon.

    compostinmyshoe, it’s a tough one – it goes against what most of us learn first about gardening. I’ll give it some thought, as I agree – for instance, if I have aphids, the best ways I’ve found to get rid of them is to 1. feed the plants, and 2. leave the aphids to draw the ladybugs, who always come eventually.

    Maureen, I haven’t grown peanuts, but keep wanting to try. My old neighbor in Geyserville used to grow them – he buys some raw peanuts (in the shell) at the store, and plants them. He didn’t do it the year we lived there, but apparently they grow quite easily in the warmer areas of the country – and they are funny plants, too. They get to a certain height and do a nose dive into the ground, where they form the peanuts.

    Deb G, I’m growing amaranth for the first time this year. Wow – beautiful and incredibly easy to grow!! And tasty as a salad green or a cooked green (though they’re not green they’re purple). I’ll let you know what happens when they grow up and start producing grain. I decided to grow them because they produce an awful lot of grain per plant, and I don’t have a lot of room in my p-patch.

    Catherine, GREAT question. I will give it some thought and write a post about it very soon.

    Please continue to answer one another’s questions, and I will do this again. It is fun, and I’ve learned from you all!

  • [...] let’s converse again!  It was interesting for me last time.  Some conversation [...]

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