Author Topic: Gardening: The Gateway Drug to a Unabomber Compound  (Read 146 times)

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Offline nacho

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Gardening: The Gateway Drug to a Unabomber Compound
« on: March 12, 2022, 12:01:13 PM »
Yep... it's pretty great. We can just kind of slowly add to it, cook a bit extra to freeze with our meals, and by fall we'll have a bunch of stuff to live off of for months if need be.

I think we're going to have a real go at gardening this year too, so hopefully we'll have some produce to preserve as well.

We're townhouse living, so no real functional gardening. We do container gardening and get limes, simple vegetables, and herbs almost year round at this point (at the cost of a section of our floors we've discovered). I would love a proper garden. Last year, my uncle converted his entire backyard to full-scale gardening. We're talking bushels of veg coming out of his half acre. He build a greenhouse last summer so that garden is now year round. Lots of folks I know with land have started their own gardens with great success. A couple friends with enough acreage are also going down the homespun farmer hole: chickens, milk goats...

if we had the space we'd go for it. And our "retirement" plans to bug out of the city incorporate this idea.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Gardening: The Gateway Drug to a Unabomber Compound
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2022, 03:51:37 PM »

I think we're going to have a real go at gardening this year too, so hopefully we'll have some produce to preserve as well.

We should star a gardening thread if we don't have one. Tips and tricks! I know I mentioned somewhere how I discovered that store bought seeds are apparently some kind of pyramid scheme.

We're doing the backyard garden again this year, though we do have the 33 acre "escape compound" in bug out land. We're just not going there often enough right now to make a garden worthwhile.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Gardening: The Gateway Drug to a Unabomber Compound
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2022, 06:17:42 PM »

I think we're going to have a real go at gardening this year too, so hopefully we'll have some produce to preserve as well.

We should star a gardening thread if we don't have one. Tips and tricks! I know I mentioned somewhere how I discovered that store bought seeds are apparently some kind of pyramid scheme.

We're doing the backyard garden again this year, though we do have the 33 acre "escape compound" in bug out land. We're just not going there often enough right now to make a garden worthwhile.

Yep... if you want plants to yield seeds you can plant again the following year, you have to buy heirloom seeds. The advantage to these is obviously that they will keep giving you seeds you can use, but the downside is that without that good ol' genetic engineering in the cheaper ones most people buy, they are more susceptible to insects and disease. So it's kind of a wash. I'm not an expert, but I guess there could be a flavor advantage to heirloom seeds as well, particularly if you buy them from a local farm.

I feel lazy this year, so I think I'm just going to try and buy some starters at the hardware store and use those. We're still too rudimentary to even attempt much from seed.
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Offline nacho

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Re: Gardening: The Gateway Drug to a Unabomber Compound
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2022, 12:38:24 PM »
The secret to keeping pests down is native plants. In the mid-Atlantic: My uncle's garden is lined with marigolds (which keeps down nematodes that attack the roots of your vegetable plants). Nasturtium keeps down the aphids (and is fully edible). He also plants "companion" plants that attract bees, wasps, ladybugs, and butterflies. All bugs who benefit the garden in a number of ways. (You can buy and infest your garden with ladybugs as well. Make them a nice home and drop them in at night and they'll usually camp out for a few weeks. If they really like it and stay then you're golden.)

Companion gardening is actually how agriculture worked for thousands of years before genetic engineering came along. It's also how nature works. We do this for our container gardening as well. Everything we grow that may be susceptible to pests has a container next to it growing a companion plant. We've had great luck with Pelargonium citrosum, which is a citronella-scented geranium. We've tried and failed with citronella proper, but the broad-leafed geranium really does the trick. It's protected our tomatoes (even from birds) and is the rose bush's best buddy. Our big container rose was plagued by aphids but we jam the citronella around the base and it's aphid free.  Chives protect strawberries. Thyme protects everyone. Most companion plants, you'll find, are also edible flowers or herbs.

He's had great success without having to resort to chemical sprays (and the "safe" DIY sprays rarely pay off). So, at the  moment, his greatest enemy is rabbits and deer.

Healthy soil is key as well. The first step to this is permanent garden beds. My uncle's raised all his into garden boxes so he can monitor and control soil conditions. You sneak in "pathways" here that can be home to your companion plants and also soil-enriching plants like clover and other ground plants (don't get something super invasive here). Compost these pathways as well.

Before he planted his garden he sheet-mulched the boxes. Cardboard (non-treated, 100% recyclable only) and homemade compost under the soil, sit for several weeks (anywhere from 1-3 months) to let it break down, then plant. This brings in worms and other soil bugs, who are your first line of defense against pests.

If you buy store bought compost or soil, then make sure it's high quality. Usually the packaged stuff is laced with herbicides and pesticides that will set back all of your work. Basically avoid at all costs. For our containers, we buy ridiculously expensive soil (or gather it from the creekside if we're bored) and use our own compost.

Also, just like the thousands of years of agriculture behind all this, you want some boxes to go fallow each year. These you can sheet mulch and plant cover crops (or, better still, companion plants like herbs) to prepare for the following season. Rotating crops also confuses the pests who tend to be very specific if they infest one plant or area of the garden. They'll die off instead of moving to wherever you've moved to.

Also pay attention to sun and shade-loving plants, moist and dry, etc. Never the twin shall meet in the garden. So you'll need sections.

Um...sorry. I study this stuff all the time because I want to move to an armed compound in the mountains.


 

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Gardening: The Gateway Drug to a Unabomber Compound
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2022, 05:34:42 PM »
The secret to keeping pests down is native plants. In the mid-Atlantic: My uncle's garden is lined with marigolds (which keeps down nematodes that attack the roots of your vegetable plants). Nasturtium keeps down the aphids (and is fully edible). He also plants "companion" plants that attract bees, wasps, ladybugs, and butterflies. All bugs who benefit the garden in a number of ways. (You can buy and infest your garden with ladybugs as well. Make them a nice home and drop them in at night and they'll usually camp out for a few weeks. If they really like it and stay then you're golden.)

Companion gardening is actually how agriculture worked for thousands of years before genetic engineering came along. It's also how nature works. We do this for our container gardening as well. Everything we grow that may be susceptible to pests has a container next to it growing a companion plant. We've had great luck with Pelargonium citrosum, which is a citronella-scented geranium. We've tried and failed with citronella proper, but the broad-leafed geranium really does the trick. It's protected our tomatoes (even from birds) and is the rose bush's best buddy. Our big container rose was plagued by aphids but we jam the citronella around the base and it's aphid free.  Chives protect strawberries. Thyme protects everyone. Most companion plants, you'll find, are also edible flowers or herbs.

He's had great success without having to resort to chemical sprays (and the "safe" DIY sprays rarely pay off). So, at the  moment, his greatest enemy is rabbits and deer.

Healthy soil is key as well. The first step to this is permanent garden beds. My uncle's raised all his into garden boxes so he can monitor and control soil conditions. You sneak in "pathways" here that can be home to your companion plants and also soil-enriching plants like clover and other ground plants (don't get something super invasive here). Compost these pathways as well.

Before he planted his garden he sheet-mulched the boxes. Cardboard (non-treated, 100% recyclable only) and homemade compost under the soil, sit for several weeks (anywhere from 1-3 months) to let it break down, then plant. This brings in worms and other soil bugs, who are your first line of defense against pests.

If you buy store bought compost or soil, then make sure it's high quality. Usually the packaged stuff is laced with herbicides and pesticides that will set back all of your work. Basically avoid at all costs. For our containers, we buy ridiculously expensive soil (or gather it from the creekside if we're bored) and use our own compost.

Also, just like the thousands of years of agriculture behind all this, you want some boxes to go fallow each year. These you can sheet mulch and plant cover crops (or, better still, companion plants like herbs) to prepare for the following season. Rotating crops also confuses the pests who tend to be very specific if they infest one plant or area of the garden. They'll die off instead of moving to wherever you've moved to.

Also pay attention to sun and shade-loving plants, moist and dry, etc. Never the twin shall meet in the garden. So you'll need sections.

Um...sorry. I study this stuff all the time because I want to move to an armed compound in the mountains.

This is fucking awesome and we’re definitely going to try some of this stuff.

We should have a garden nerd thread.

I’ve decided I’m lazy and going to cheat this year. I’ll just buy already started plants from the store and try my hand at those. I’m too busy at the moment to go full tilt into the garden space we have. Plus we’re already behind the 8 ball here as we’ve passed our average last frost date.
8=o tation

Offline nacho

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Re: Gardening: The Gateway Drug to a Unabomber Compound
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2022, 10:24:01 AM »
Those "pathways" by the way are also good for the friendly insects. Ground-based guys like spiders are slow to move around a thick garden. They'll find and use the pathways to go from section to section. So encouraging a "friendly infestation" is part of the plan as well. If any pests take hold they'll never be safe if your friendly army has range of movement.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Gardening: The Gateway Drug to a Unabomber Compound
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2022, 12:36:11 PM »
Split off a gardening thread even though I'm still weeks away from getting started.

Definitely want to do a box garden though. How deep to dig? 8-12 inches seems the conventional wisdom, but is that 8-12" from the top soil of the elevated box? Or 8-12" from ground level.

EDIT:
Thinking about purchasing one of these:
https://www.gardeners.com/buy/greenes-premium-cedar-raised-garden-beds/8609825.html
« Last Edit: March 30, 2022, 12:45:58 PM by RottingCorpse »

Offline nacho

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Re: Gardening: The Gateway Drug to a Unabomber Compound
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2022, 10:50:54 AM »
Box garden tips: Remember that you're taking these plants somewhat out of a normal, natural environment. So think first about the box: Is it protected from the wind? Is it protected from pooling water or soggy conditions? Will it cause water to pool due to where it's placed? Will it be subjected to any sort of run-off from a street/driveway/etc?

There's really no agreement on how deep the box should be. I see the 8-12 most commonly, yes. The uncle does 15 I think. There's really no limit. The trick here is to research what you want to grow. We do know the depth of the root systems for all the various plants (e.g. lettuce and other stuff like that goes down about six inches, whereas peppers and fruiting vegetables need about 12 inches. All that's online).

If you're doing shallow boxes (less than 12 inches) then do dig out some of the ground soil. if you're doing big boxes (more than 12) then the dig is from the top soil of the elevated box. A deeper box isn't always part of the ground system -- in fact the "bottom" of a deep box should be the sheet mulch stuff I mentioned in the earlier post. You're monitoring and maintaining the soil in the box, not the ground. This is also a great way to get around bad soil if your yard sucks (clay, rocky, sandy, whatever).