Clippings by rohanjcp

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mason bee homes (which is best)

posted by: lostman on 03.18.2005 at 09:28 am in Bees and Beekeeping Forum

I have been looking around on the web for info on mason bees.
I ordered some from knox cellers to get me started, but I now see there are aot of options has far as housing for the bees.

There are straws, reeds, blocks and binders. Does anyone like one style better than the other?



clipped on: 12.27.2013 at 09:15 pm    last updated on: 12.27.2013 at 09:15 pm

Guide To Help Others Germinate Lettuce Seeds Successfully

posted by: soulreaver on 02.19.2013 at 08:35 am in Growing from Seed Forum

Lettuce seeds can be one of the most difficult seeds to uniformly germinate due to thermodormancy and photodormancy. Lettuce will not germinate well if temps are too high or if seeds are in the dark. For a near 100% germination rate this is what I do.

1) Make sure lettuce seed is from this year. Lettuce seed loses its vigor within a year. This is often one of the unforeseen problems that handicap one's efforts right from the start.

2) If you make your own soilless mixes this is the recipe I use.

A) 1/4th perlite, 1/2 fine grade horticultural vermiculite, 1/4 peat moss.

If you don't make a soilless mix then you should just buy an organic potting mix that contains peat moss and perlite.

3) Keep temperatures between 70-85 degrees. Lettuce seed requires daily temps that are on the cooler side 55-75 is good to prevent bolting. To germinate the seeds however, the best temperatures are between 70-85. At these temps with the good seed and proper light I can get 10% germination in 18 hours and 98% germination in 48 hours.

4) Light is the most overlooked part of growing lettuce. Since lettuce is photodorment it will not germinate in the dark. It seems very difficult to think of a seed successfully germinating on the surface where the air is dry and the seed can dry out quickly. But that can be pretty easily overcome. For light sources you will want to place the plug tray, or whatever else you have used to put your soilless mix in under fluorescent lighting within an inch of the bulb or in a south facing window where the seeds get sunlight at least 3-4 hours a day.

Final preparation.

With your plug tray or flats, make sure the soil has been pressed down smoothly. Sprinkle lettuce seeds on top of the soil surface. Lightly press the seeds into the soil. Use a spray bottle or a garden hose on mist setting. Thoroughly soak the soil and seeds gently.

It is a common understanding of most growers not to over soak your soilless medium when germinating seeds. Generally this practice is applied because many seeds take 5-10 days to germinate and molds that can cause diseases such as the dreaded damping-off will have a much better chance at establishing themselves well before the seed can break the surface.

Lettuce is the exception. You soak the seed and you place saran wrap over the flat or tray you have the seed in. Place it under the light, keep temps between 70-85. After 1 day check the soil to make sure it is still saturated. If it looks to be drying up even a little, soak the entire surface again and recover. After 48 hours, open the flat or tray again and closely look at the lettuce seed. You should notice most seeds have split at the base where a very tiny root is breaking through. If you see that more than half of the seeds are like that, take the saran wrap off, spray with water to keep the surface wet while the seeds dig their roots into the soil. Once the roots are established enough after 3-4 days you can begin letting the soil dry out a little bit before watering again.

By allowing the soil to dry out a bit you will have changed the environment your seeds were in and if there was any fungus growing that could potentially damage your seedlings you will have slowed or stopped its growth by allowing the soil surface to dry out a bit. Now all that is left is to lightly water, keep under light, and wait 4-6 weeks to transplant into your garden. Don't forget to harden lettuce off. Even though it is a cold crop that can tolerate light frosts if it was grown in the house it still needs to be acclimated to the outdoors.


clipped on: 12.10.2013 at 02:25 pm    last updated on: 12.10.2013 at 02:26 pm

fall and winter gardening in san francisco

posted by: thespirals on 10.22.2004 at 05:36 pm in Winter Garden Forum

Hi, I just moved to a place in san francisco in the marina. The place has a backyard, there is already some fushias and hydrangeas growing there, and I'm not sure if my identification is correct, but I think I see some calla lilies (or some kind of lily) sprouting from the soil. There are other plants, but I do not know their names. The backyard looks like it hasn't been worked on in awhile. There are also two abandoned wooden boxes that look good for maybe an herb garden?
Anyways, I've never had the chance to garden, though I have always wanted to. Now that I have a place to do it(maybe), I would like to try...though I am very novice.
The problem is, I only have this place until the end of May.

So, I would like to know if it is possible to garden during the fall and winter. I know San Francisco has very minimal, if even any frosts, so I thought maybe this would be possible.
I have some seeds that I have collected from the CA native nursery I worked at, but I'm more interested in taking cuttings and rooting those, because it is faster.

Are there any suggestions or tips anyone can reccomend?


Winter garden
clipped on: 12.07.2013 at 09:27 pm    last updated on: 12.07.2013 at 09:28 pm

When is the best time to apply the aged horse manure

posted by: sara_in_philly on 11.24.2010 at 07:35 pm in Soil Forum

I read a lot about horse manure in this forum and found aged horse manure in the nearby horse farm.

The aged horse manure looks more like black dirt and I can have as much as I want, I am only limited by how much I can transport to my garden and already got a few bags of it put into my veggie bed.

When is the best time to put the horse manure into vegetable bed?


clipped on: 11.15.2013 at 07:39 pm    last updated on: 11.15.2013 at 07:39 pm

Bean question for Grainlady...

posted by: katiec on 03.20.2008 at 06:03 pm in Cooking Forum

Grainlady, you mentioned on the grain mill thread that you mill pinto beans up and make bean flour for refried beans. How do you do it? Do you mill the raw beans? And if so, when you make them into refried beans, do they need to be cooked or just mixed with water? How fine do you mill them?

I've always cooked my pintos, mooshed them up, dehydrated them, and then I rehydrate and refry.

Just got my I want to see what it will do.


Country beans
clipped on: 07.12.2013 at 01:58 pm    last updated on: 07.12.2013 at 01:58 pm

Compost fruit flies

posted by: rohanjcp on 05.06.2013 at 02:53 am in Soil Forum

Hello I am new to composting and have a question about fruit flies.

People say that when you have fruit flies, it means that your biun is too wet. I'm confused because I only wet the content of my bin so that its like a wrung out sponge (50% moisture).

Am I not doing things correctly? This is happening on both my earthmachine bin and my compost wizard tumbler.

Thank you for your help.


Compost fruit flies
clipped on: 06.05.2013 at 12:53 am    last updated on: 06.05.2013 at 12:53 am

compost thermometer is worth having

posted by: tropical_thought on 04.21.2012 at 11:18 am in Soil Forum

Since I got my compost thermometer I have been checking the big bin. I got it up to 140 yesterday afternoon after we had some sun. This morning it was back down to 120. I think the black plastic and sun created a differences of a full 120 degrees. I have to check again this afternoon and see if I got 140 again. It has only been in the high 60's to low 70's, but it we had a hot day of 90 which we not have very much, maybe I could get 150? I added Starbucks coffee and kellogs amend. I was lucky and got ground three times this week. The key thing is going to Starbucks in the morning. People drink more coffee in the morning and they have more grounds. The grounds were making the pile too wet, so I put the UCG on the ground to let them drain out before I put them in the bin. But, you can't let them sit out there very long or they will attract flies. The pile is still too wet and I should turn it, but there are no bugs in the pile. I may have time to turn it on Sunday, but I hate to lose all of this heat.

If I did not have the compost thermometer I would have missed this information. I can tell if it is hot or not, but not by how much by checking without a compost thermometer. There is a good deal on amazon, the one I bought and reviewed is doing great and not falling apart. But, you should read the reviews before buying some people claim they falling apart or the dial breaks.


clipped on: 04.20.2013 at 02:26 am    last updated on: 04.20.2013 at 02:26 am

Any books about vegetable gardening in San Francisco?

posted by: tropical_thought on 01.23.2010 at 10:06 am in California Gardening Forum

This is my first vegetable garden in two raised beds. I would like to find a book about San Francisco Gardening. It is so hard to select the plants, because I don't know how they will perform in my climate. I am planning on Carrots, basil, cucumber, lettuce, mint (in a pot). I already have basil seeds, and I planted strawberries in a baggy from Lowe's. They were 3.95 for 10 plants, but I don't think they will grow will. I don't like zucchini, I know that is the easy one to grow. I tried pumpkins once and they all turned bad and fell off the vine in their infancy. If I get tomatoes I am going to just buy the plant, the seeds are too hard to germinate. With all this rain we can only dream instead of getting to work planting. But the rain seems to protect from the cold and cold damage.

Here is a link that might be useful: My vegetable bins


Lyngso for cheap compost
clipped on: 04.12.2013 at 01:41 am    last updated on: 04.12.2013 at 01:44 am