Peter Garnham, Amagansett, Long Island, NY, US

gardening interests: Composting, Cooking, Culinary Herbs, Fruits and Berries, Medicinal Herbs, Organic Gardening, Sustainable Living, Vegetables

Gender: Male

Member Since: 03/26/2009

recent comments

Re: DIY PVC Grow Light Stand

Note that a hex-head machine bolt, with nut to fit, not galvanized, is better than a lag bolt. The best combination of fluorescent tubes is one warm-white and one cool-white. This gives the fuller spectrum of light required by seedlings.

I have mounted three 4-foot shop-light fixtures on a sheet of plywood, that is in turn suspended on chains from a tall sawhorse. This allows me to place several seed flats under the fixture. I use four of these contraptions for seed starting.

Re: Rain Barrels for Christmas

Unfortunately, rainwater isn't as pure as we might like to think. Acid rain kills trees, and water that runs down asphalt rooftops can contain a real mess of chemicals. Gutters are breeding grounds for many organisms, some harmful. Use rainwater with caution, and never ever drink it!

Re: Swiss Chard

Kale keep going no matter what (I've dug it out of the snow to harvest it) and chard does OK but will do better with a little protection from heavy row cover fabric held up with wire hoops. Another winter survivor is the Japanese green tatsoi, which forms attractive rosettes. Collards, too, will provide winter greens.

Re: Hot Things Come in Little Packages

Although we grow them as annuals, peppers (Capsicum spp.) are perennials and will continue growing if the "climate" we give them is OK. Remember that plants in containers need watering, but not too much! Let the surface soil dry a bit between waterings.

Re: Rabbit Manure in the Garden

I believe rabbit manure is the highest-nitrogen animal manure, so I would hesitate to add it too generously around plants such as tomatoes. You could get HUGE plants,and very few tomatoes. And if you are making what is essentially compost tea with rabbit manure, it is much safer to run an aquarium bubbler in the bucket. Without oxygen, any manure mixture can create some really nasty pathogens, including e.coli. That's not something you want on your lettuce . . .

Re: Cut-and-Come-Again Lettuce Sampler

Tigerlady, use a really sharp knife, or sharp scissors. Cut the whole plant, and do it a bit lower than shown in the photo. Leave about 1 to 1-1/2 inches of the plant so it can regrow. It may regrow even if you cut too low, but it will take longer. If you cut too high the leaf "stubs" will die back and rot. Experiment until you get the hang of it. You can generally get two or three cuttings off lettuces and spinach before it's time to re-seed. Hope this helps!