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Discussion Starter #22
I pulled hundreds of these tomato worms off last year. I have to take some preventative measure s this year
I did a little search on that too. Looks as though BT is the safest to use on those, for the caterpillar stage. Non harmful to humans, pets, or bee's. Like Spinosad though, they have to eat some foliage, and ingest it before it kills them.

I questioned it several years ago, to the son, of a buddy of mine who works in the Ohio Dept. of Ag. testing Lab, and he swears it to be safe. A natural bacteria.
 

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It also pays to rotate your garden crops. Advantages of less disease form one year to the next and planting where last years crop will fertilize this years help cut cost.


There is so much we can not eat any more we are pretty much down to leaf crops. The wife can no longer eat anything with seeds. It looks like if we plant this year it will be salad bowl stuff. Many be some summer squash.
 

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I pulled hundreds of these tomato worms off last year. I have to take some preventative measure s this year
I did a little search on that too. Looks as though BT is the safest to use on those, for the caterpillar stage. Non harmful to humans, pets, or bee's. Like Spinosad though, they have to eat some foliage, and ingest it before it kills them.

I questioned it several years ago, to the son, of a buddy of mine who works in the Ohio Dept. of Ag. testing Lab, and he swears it to be safe. A natural bacteria.
Interesting thanks for the advice I will look into that. they really destroyed my tomatoes last year
 

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I pulled hundreds of these tomato worms off last year. I have to take some preventative measure s this year
I did a little search on that too. Looks as though BT is the safest to use on those, for the caterpillar stage. Non harmful to humans, pets, or bee's. Like Spinosad though, they have to eat some foliage, and ingest it before it kills them.

I questioned it several years ago, to the son, of a buddy of mine who works in the Ohio Dept. of Ag. testing Lab, and he swears it to be safe. A natural bacteria.
.

Did some reading and seems like it does work from reading reviews. Ordered some. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I was planning on getting mine at TSC, when the time comes. I'd love to plant a few cabbage, and broccoli, but those dang worms really work on a cabbage. And the tiny worms that get in broccoli make it a pretty tedious job of cleaning, before freezing.
 

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Moved into a new house end of November 2018 so have some work to do with a new concrete walkway and address some drainage with the front lawn. No actual garden beds here besides small flower beds so I'll be working to create one. Probably about 300 or so square feet this year. Hopefully it does well and will be able to be expanded on for next year.
 

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I pulled hundreds of these tomato worms off last year. I have to take some preventative measure s this year
Haven't seen much problem with tomato worms like that at all. Smaller worms on the cabbage, and broccoli leaves are almost a yearly thing except for last year because I didn't plant cabbage or broccoli. Broccoli and cauliflower are back on the rotation for this year.

Do most of you start all from seed vs buying plants? I have a small 30" x 5' portable green house with the heat pads and grow lights that I was planning to utilize this year but when I do the math, by the time I purchase seeds and soil and such, pre started plants will be cheaper. Then factor in the electric and all, but I'd still like to start them from seed. Thinking if the seedlings do well, that I may be able to sell a few extra. A single pack of seeds should last for spring and fall plantings of those varieties and get at least a full year to 2 years per seed packet.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
The only thing I start from seed, is varieties the Amish greenhouse where I buy my plants, does not have. A couple types of paste tomatoes, some onions that were sent to me by a fellow from this forum, to keep them going, and some Leeks.

Last year, I tried germinating seeds in dampened paper towels, placed in a seal-able sandwich bag, with all but about 1" of it left open to breathe. I just placed them on a card table in the living room, which has a lot of sunlight coming in. Most garden forums,and videos tell you seeds will germinate in about 5-7 days. I soon found out with especially the onions, they need to be checked on the 3rd, or 4th day. I also found it's best to use coffee filters, instead of paper towels,because after 6 days, the onions roots had grown through the paper towel, and had to tear the paper towel to get the seedling out. I broke a few in the process. Although they did survive,were smaller than the others with full roots. And, the longer the roots, the harder it is, to poke that rascal down in a small hole of starting soil. I just use the eraser end on a lead pencil to make divots. Then a pair of tweezers to set the seedling. Just kinda' take my index finger, and thumb to pull the media up around the seedling.

Some I started in March, and some later. I'll probably wait a while,until the first of April this year, due to the biofumigtion experiment, and won't be able to set plants until around the first of June. But, once in starting soil, they grew pretty fast. Some I started in 50 cell trays,and others in the 6-pack trays that fit in a flat from previous years of buying plants.

Here's a couple of pictures of some tomato seeds, and onion seeds I started last year. I even started some Asparagus, and Rhubarb seeds the same way. All worked very well, especially the Rhubarb which were good sized in 4 days. But, temps in the living room average 75º, so they took off fast.

The least expensive starting media I have purchased has been Pro-Mix, that comes in a compacted bale similar to peat moss. A bale of that will go a long way. I just checked the local Menards, and a 2 cu.ft. bale is almost $13.00. Any big box garden center should carry it. I also bought a bag of vermiculite, and mixed it like 70/30, for a little additional moisture retainer. I bought 3 of the bales, probably 6 years ago, during a clearance sale, and have half a bale left, and I know I've started nearly 1,000 seedlings with the other 2-1/2 bales in those 6 years.

I used a couple standard 3500 Lumen LED shop lights for grow lights, and they worked pretty well. But nothing like real sunlight, after transferring them outside into the little greenhouse I built. Within a week, they were a deep dark lush green. I was late getting them out there, due to a cool wet Spring.

To each his own on seed starting, but this worked well for me, and I'll keep using it. At least you know for sure you have a full tray of plants, and no empty cells.
 

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We buy both seed and plants. Peas, pumpkins, gourds, sunflowers, morning glories, corn, beans, and half the cukes were seed. Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and the rest of the cucumbers were plants. We have a small garden (~30’x30’) and this works well.

We haven’t started seeds indoors in years as they didn’t do well (that’s on me). As we get back into gardening we may give it another go. I like the look and results from DJ54’s methods.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Thanks, it does seem to work well. Here's a few pictures of plants, started using this method. The biggest problem I had, was the wet Spring last year. I did not get plants set out until nearly the first of July. So most were pretty root bound in those trays. Then, about a week or so after setting them out, we had a hard downpour of I'm thinking nearly 2" of rain in a short period of time which literally beat 4 dozen each of the tomato, and pepper plants into the ground, killing them. Pretty disheartening. Where I'm usually picking tomatoes, and peppers by mid July, it was in Sept. before they were fully producing. I had plenty to to make my tomato sauces, and put up, and peppers to stuff and freeze. Just came up a little short on what I usually donate to a food bank.

The last picture is of some of the tomatoes taken on Sept. 4, and you can see the gaps in the plants. They were just starting to put on bloom when I took this, so another 20-30 days before bearing any fruit. Hoping for a bit better luck this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Apparently too many pictures for in the last post,so here's the one of the tomatoes on Sept. 4.

And, I really rather set those seedlings at a younger stage. Like the onions, where there is only maybe 1/2" sticking out of the original seed. You can grasp the seed itself with tweezers, and not damage the little plant. Makes for a good rainy day job if the timing is right, or something to do in the evening. It doesn't take all that long to do, once you get set up.
 

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The only thing I start from seed, is varieties the Amish greenhouse where I buy my plants, does not have. A couple types of paste tomatoes, some onions that were sent to me by a fellow from this forum, to keep them going, and some Leeks.

Last year, I tried germinating seeds in dampened paper towels, placed in a seal-able sandwich bag, with all but about 1" of it left open to breathe. I just placed them on a card table in the living room, which has a lot of sunlight coming in. Most garden forums,and videos tell you seeds will germinate in about 5-7 days. I soon found out with especially the onions, they need to be checked on the 3rd, or 4th day. I also found it's best to use coffee filters, instead of paper towels,because after 6 days, the onions roots had grown through the paper towel, and had to tear the paper towel to get the seedling out. I broke a few in the process. Although they did survive,were smaller than the others with full roots. And, the longer the roots, the harder it is, to poke that rascal down in a small hole of starting soil. I just use the eraser end on a lead pencil to make divots. Then a pair of tweezers to set the seedling. Just kinda' take my index finger, and thumb to pull the media up around the seedling.

Some I started in March, and some later. I'll probably wait a while,until the first of April this year, due to the biofumigtion experiment, and won't be able to set plants until around the first of June. But, once in starting soil, they grew pretty fast. Some I started in 50 cell trays,and others in the 6-pack trays that fit in a flat from previous years of buying plants.

Here's a couple of pictures of some tomato seeds, and onion seeds I started last year. I even started some Asparagus, and Rhubarb seeds the same way. All worked very well, especially the Rhubarb which were good sized in 4 days. But, temps in the living room average 75º, so they took off fast.

The least expensive starting media I have purchased has been Pro-Mix, that comes in a compacted bale similar to peat moss. A bale of that will go a long way. I just checked the local Menards, and a 2 cu.ft. bale is almost $13.00. Any big box garden center should carry it. I also bought a bag of vermiculite, and mixed it like 70/30, for a little additional moisture retainer. I bought 3 of the bales, probably 6 years ago, during a clearance sale, and have half a bale left, and I know I've started nearly 1,000 seedlings with the other 2-1/2 bales in those 6 years.

I used a couple standard 3500 Lumen LED shop lights for grow lights, and they worked pretty well. But nothing like real sunlight, after transferring them outside into the little greenhouse I built. Within a week, they were a deep dark lush green. I was late getting them out there, due to a cool wet Spring.

To each his own on seed starting, but this worked well for me, and I'll keep using it. At least you know for sure you have a full tray of plants, and no empty cells.
I've never tried sprouting the seeds like this, though I have had great luck with those self watering seed starting greenhouse kits. I do struggle with regulating the temp and humidity levels and sometimes, certain seedlings get leggy.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I was talking to a buddy of mine who raises produce for farm market. He's been scattering seeds on a damp paper towel, in the open. Just gives the seeds a spritz of water a couple times a day to keep the towel damp. It's setting on a table in front of a large window to get sunlight. He's telling me within 3-4 days, lettuce seeds are germinating. Pretty much puts them in a tray of media at this stage, and they are doing good. He'll move them out to the hoop house here in a couple weeks.

If using a grow light, keep it down close, so the plants aren't reaching for the light. I did have some tomatoes get leggy on me, when I put them out in the little green house a couple years ago, due to wet weather. They ended up being about 18" tall. I just planted them laying in a shallow trench, and left approx. 6" exposed. Within a week, the top 6" had turned straight up. The great thing about tomatoes, any stem/stalk a couple inches below the first true leaves will form roots, which to me just makes a healthier plant.

I'm pretty fortunate to have a heated shop, so kept it around 68º in there last year when I put them out there. The only bad thing is, the humidity most generally was around 30%, so a good soaking twice a day was a must. I just used a 1 gallon pump sprayer to keep them watered.
 

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DJ54, I see you use red plastic cups the same as I do, We sure did have a lot of rain last year here in PA also, Just plowed my garden on 3-19-2019, Now I need it to dry out nice since my cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants are getting big and need planted, My garden did good last year except for the zucchini, some darn bug must have gotten them because every single plant was killed, Looked good 1 day then go out the next and it is dying that fast.
 

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Here are my tomatoes ,put them out, in greenhouse, 2 weeks ago.daytime highs were in the 30s.23w flouresent bulb in styrafoam box.Usually leave them indoors longer, till they are half dead,from lack of sunlight.
 

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DJ54, I see you use red plastic cups the same as I do, We sure did have a lot of rain last year here in PA also, Just plowed my garden on 3-19-2019, Now I need it to dry out nice since my cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants are getting big and need planted, My garden did good last year except for the zucchini, some darn bug must have gotten them because every single plant was killed, Looked good 1 day then go out the next and it is dying that fast.
Yeah, I like to think of it as recycling my drink cups. I like them because it allows a little room for root growth, and not get so root bound, if I'm a little late getting them out due to the weather.

We had a record rain fall total last year. It took until the last week of Dec., but we broke it. I lost 4 dozen tomato plants, and about the same of various pepper plants. I lost all of the Carolina Reapers. The rain literally beat them into the ground, snapping the stems off.

It sounds as though you had some vine borers attack your Zucchini. Usually when you see them start to wilt, it's already too late. Here's a link to The Old Farmers Almanac explaining what they are, and some prevention's. https://www.almanac.com/pest/squash-vine-borer If you happen to use the diatomaceous earth, if you have a feed mill near by, you can buy a 50 lb. bag for just a couple of bucks more than what a big box store wants for 10 lbs. Just be sure to wear a dust mask when sprinkling it on. I have a friend in his early 80's, that uses's garden lime to sprinkle on a lot of his plants to keep pest's away. Even sprinkles it on his cabbage heads to keep the cabbage worms of of them.

I'm going to try BT this year on some cabbage, and tomatoes, since my buddy's son who works for the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture, swears BT is perfectly harmless. I'll probably do the lime thing on the cabbage too, for double prevention. I do recall seeing more than several Zucchini patches in my travels, with the leaves and stems dusted with lime, just about the time they start to bloom, so I'll give it a shot..
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Here are my tomatoes ,put them out, in greenhouse, 2 weeks ago.daytime highs were in the 30s.23w flouresent bulb in styrafoam box.Usually leave them indoors longer, till they are half dead,from lack of sunlight.
I used 3500 lumen LED shop lights for my grow lights. As you can see in the pictures, the plants have a nice dark green color to them. I got the lights from Rural King, when they had them on sale for like $9.99. I have another buddy that spent some big bucks for the red, and blue only colored grow lights, and his plants didn't look nearly as good as mine.

I may go today, and see about getting the mustard seed for my biofumagation experiment. I'm only going to do about 1/2 to 2/3 of the garden this Spring, due to mustard being susceptible to a killing frost. I'm going to get enough seed to seed it twice, figuring on doing it towards Fall, when there is no danger of frost. I'll at least get a practice run in, to see how to go about it.
 

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yea is was the darn squash vine borers that got my plants, I tried several different sprays but must have not gotten them in time, will have to do more searching on the I used diatomaceous earth before for other plants so I will give that a try.
 

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yea is was the darn squash vine borers that got my plants, I tried several different sprays but must have not gotten them in time, will have to do more searching on the I used diatomaceous earth before for other plants so I will give that a try.
Last year was a very wet year and this year is starting out to be more of the same. Hopefully we are a little dryer this year as compared to last year. I had some squash rotting before it got sized simply from sitting on the wet soggy ground.
 
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