As you sow, so you shall reap

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Re: As you sow, so you shall reap

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:02 am

jackson wrote:Hi Ben, All, :smile:
I'm currently thinking about starting a garden myself, and would be interested to know how you handled "pests", for while I find the idea of growing food for my family appealing I'm also strongly averse to causing another being harm.
Great photos!
Jackson

Look up 'Companion Planting' - it does (I think) help.
Personally, I don't bother with pesticides - the bugs do get a percentage of the produce but there's enough left for us. :shrug:

:namaste:
Kim
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Re: As you sow, so you shall reap

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:08 am

Hi Jackson,
For the first year, I had the perfect storm of pests. First were about a dozen chickens who I had roaming the garden eating anything I planted. I couldn't get them out. I then had the neighbour's turkeys come and roost there as well. So any work I did before I went overseas was completely destroyed. As the land is very close to a man-made lake and very fertile soil, when I returned to work the weeds were waist high. In the next winter I had six floods which meant that the vegetable garden was inundated six times and again, waist height until July/August last year. I ended up spraying the weeds with a "green" glyphosate which caused the weeds to die without it affecting the wildlife. During spring and summer I didn't use any pesticides but I did drape a fine bird net over most of my seedlings to protect them from birds. and while some vegetables were blitzed by hungry creatures, the vast majority were not touched. My garden is very loosely following permaculture principles. I also suggest that you make contact with gardeners in your area either in the real world or a gardening blog local to your country/state/locality and draw on the wisdom of others in your area what works well and what doesn't - particularly in dealing with pests without harming them.
I look forward to seeing some of your photos.
All the best,

Ben
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Re: As you sow, so you shall reap

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:20 pm

Hi Ben, All,
I'm currently thinking about starting a garden myself, and would be interested to know how you handled "pests", for while I find the idea of growing food for my family appealing I'm also strongly averse to causing another being harm.
Great photos!
Jackson


A very good point. I resolved never to kill even the smallest thing when tending my little veg patch. The slugs and snails are the worst problem, so they get kidnapped and transported to some waste-land behind the garden. I also encourage frogs, who presumably eat some of them. Bigger insect pests can be kept off with fine netting or mesh, but timing has to be right in order not to trap them inside the net and make things worse!

The main defence I have is to not grow anything that is too appealing to the pests. Where I live, little will eat onions, garlic, and leeks, and nothing seems to eat beetroot, turnips, etc. Beans and peas get attacked, but not enough to affect the production of the actual pods.I have learnt by my mistakes, and now have a reasonable understanding of what I can get away with.

More importantly, attempting to grow food has done a lot to prevent me falling into the trap of "smug veganism". I know now that most of what I eat is only there because someone else did the killing on my behalf. All rather sobering, really.
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Re: As you sow, so you shall reap

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:32 pm

My mother-in-law from my first marriage threw a couple hands-full of squash seeds into her lawn and got a bumper crop of squash that year. I tried the same thing as we regularly cook squash and wound up feeding the squirrels which absolutely loved the seeds. :tongue:

I guess that will make me popular with the squirrels. :anjali:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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