Grow Your Own, Nevada! Fall 2011: Growing and Composting in Small Places
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Grow Your Own, Nevada! Fall 2011: Growing and Composting in Small Places






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Grow Your Own, Nevada! Fall 2011: Growing and Composting in Small Places Grow Your Own, Nevada! Fall 2011: Growing and Composting in Small Places Presentation Transcript

  • Gardening in small places • Angela O‟Callaghan, Ph.D. • Area Specialist • Social Horticulture 2/25/2013 1 AA/EO
  • What do you want 2/25/2013 2
  • DefinitionsPhotosynthesis Plant takes water Takes place Requires and carbon dioxide only in light energy and creates sugar.Respiration Plants breaks down Takes place in Gives off sugar into carbon light and in energy dioxide and water darkTranspiration Plants carry water Pull from the Keeps plants from soil through leaves delivers upright leaves. Nutrients water and are dissolved in nutrients water
  •  Light: Amount Duration Direction Nutrient levels Water (precipitation or irrigation) Day temperature Night temperature Protection from Pests: insects weeds disease 2/25/2013 4
  • Patio gardener‟s tool kit 2/25/2013 5
  • Before starting, answer the following • Easy access to water? • How many hours of sunlight does the area receive? • From what direction is the light? • What is the level of time, strength & interest? 2/25/2013 6
  • Getting started  Often easiest to start annuals from seed.  Can be planted in a tray or in peat pellets (dry out too quickly?) .
  • 2/25/2013 9
  • Starting seeds indoors Can be more or less of a production2/25/2013 10
  • • Do not use field soil• Use potting mix (peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, nutrients)• Seed per package directions• Maintain moisture• Temperature – Key  Too high, spindly plants that dry out quickly  Too cool, promote disease• 2/25/2013 11
  • • Root system will develop before top growth.• Roots must be clean and healthy 2/25/2013 12
  • .• Transplant seedlings after true leaves have formed• NEVER pull or handle the transplant by the stem (throat)• Exercise care not to destroy roots
  • Plants that have large seeds tend to beless successful as transplants– Beans– Corn 2/25/2013 14
  • • We have small yards or patios• We want a lot out of a small space• We must resist the temptation to crowd so much together that we make the plants unhappy and ourselves crazed.
  • • Hardy, even frost tolerant• Seeds germinate at lower temperature• Root systems shallower• Plants smaller• May be susceptible to bolting if - too cool or too warm for too long 2/25/2013 17
  • • Roots• Tubers• Stems• Leaves• Up to, not including, flowers 2/25/2013 18
  • • Must have 8 hours or more bright direct light• Generally grow best between 70 and 80 (with exceptions)• Most seeds will not germinate at temperatures < 50• Produce may suffer chilling injury at temperatures < 50 2/25/2013 19
  • Warm season vegetables • Flowers • Fruits • Seeds 2/25/2013 20
  • • Most herbs are grown either for leaves (basil, oregano, mint) or flowers (dill)• Many can grow as companion plants• Some (e.g. mint) should be kept in pots to control spread• May be used as houseplants 2/25/2013 21
  • • Garden can be – in the ground, well amended soil – In a raised bed – In a pot – In a barrel• It’s up to the gardener• AS LONG AS THERE IS SUFFICIENT DRAINAGE and FERTILITY 2/25/2013 22
  • •Unglazed clay (terra cotta) •Glazed clay •Plastic •Wood •Biodegradable material •Large •Small •Sitting •Hanging2/25/2013 23
  • Express the gardener‟s taste Sophisticated Rustic Urban Antique Eclectic 2/25/2013 24
  • Not for all crops
  • Can be made of brick, block, wood, plastic, etc.Can be built to size, height and mobility needs of gardener 2/25/2013 29
  • Dry faster than sitting Smaller dry faster than larger Clay faster than plastic or glazed2/25/2013 31
  • • Insulation• Conserves water• Moderates heat 2/25/2013 32
  • Mulching• Even a plant in a pot can be mulched• Conserves water• Keeps temperature more level• Your choice of materials
  • • Vegetables are often grown as annuals, although they may technically be something else 2/25/2013 34
  • • We treat most of the vegetables we grow as annuals, whether they are or not• Many of our common vegetables are not 2/25/2013 35
  • • Annuals will flower and produce seeds once before dying• Biennials will flower and produce seeds once, and only if they have experienced a chilling period with short days• The desired part of many biennial vegetables is produced only in the first year• Perennials can produce for several years 36 2/25/2013
  • Flowering broccoliFlowering carrots 2/25/2013 37
  • 2/25/2013 38
  • Gardeners generally need to increase fertilitySoluble fertilizers are commonly used – May be organic or conventional – Very convenient – Concentrated levels of nutrients – In addition to NPK, micronutrients may be present – Potted plants – often best to fertilize with ¼ strength with each watering. 2/25/2013 39
  •  If you want to grow  If you want what is organically, then usually most conventional convenient, then fertilizers are a no-no organic methods might be too much of a bother 2/25/2013 40
  • How do you water these things? Irrigation, hose, watering can 2/25/2013 41
  • 2/25/2013 42
  • • Ongoing fresh crop of plants• Some plants are only used fresh• For instance, leafy greens• For an ongoing supply, – time from planting to mature plant – amount that is planted at any one time – How long plant(s) will stay usable 2/25/2013 44
  • 2/25/2013 45
  • • Bolted• No flowering• No fruiting• Tip burn• Blossom end rot• Fruit cracked 2/25/2013 46
  • • Premature flower stalk production• Plant stress• Excess heat• Excess cold• Incorrect day length 2/25/2013 47
  • • Nitrogen fertilizer applied just at flowering• Insufficient phosphorus• High winds• High temperatures• Incorrect day length• Flowering stalks pruned off (problem with woody plants) 2/25/2013 48
  • • When leaf was first developing, shortage of calcium reached growth point.• Result of irregular or insufficient watering 2/25/2013 49
  • • Similar to tip burn• Water deficiency as fruit first developed 2/25/2013 50
  • • Temperature too high, water taken up too fast, cracks skin 2/25/2013 51
  • Summary• Right plant in the right place• Plant when conditions are right• Plant in well amended soil or good mix• Containers should be big enough• Containers 2/25/2013 52
  • Composting in small places
  • Sawdust 100-500:1 Very high carbon! Paper 150-200:1 Bark 100-130:1 Wheat straw 80:1C Oat straw 74:1 Corn stalks 60:1 Leaves 40-80:1 Carbon Fruit wastes 35:1 Horse manure 25:1 Nitrogen Vegetable wastes 12-20:1 Grass clippings 12-25:1 ratios Apple pomace 21:1N Cow manure 20:1 Coffee grounds 20:1 Alfalfa hay 13:154 Poultry manure, fresh 10:1 Very high nitrogen! 2/25/2013 54
  • TYPES OF COMPOSTING • Pile hot • Tumblers hot • Bins hot • Trench cold • Worms cold 55 2/25/2013
  • Which is best for you?1. How much space do you have?2. How much biodegradable material do you have?3. How much compost will you need?4. How much labor can you reasonably perform? 2/25/2013 56
  • Hot or cold? 2/25/2013 57
  • Starting compost1--Place a layer of coarse material several inches thick for drainage on the ground2--Place a layer of high nitrogen material ~3”3--Place a layer of high carbon material ~6”4--Place a layer of garden soil (&/or fertilizer or “compost booster”) ~1”5--Water thoroughly. Repeat numbers 2 through 5 2/25/2013
  • Turn the pile – or not?• Pile can be turned regularly using a garden fork or a special auger - Or• Pile can be constructed, mixed once and left to degrade slowly - Or• Pile can be constructed in layers (lasagna) and left to degrade very slowly 2/25/2013 59 2/25/2013 59
  • Compost worms• Red wigglers (Eisinia • Foodstuff ground in foetida) gizzard• Hungrier and tolerate • Microorganisms in worms higher temperatures than themselves and in „nightcrawlers‟ degrading materials also• Very fast degrading of involved materials • Little heat generated• Worms eat raw materials • compost = worm castings• May eat their own weight daily
  • Worm bins61 2/25/2013 61
  • feedstock worms wormsworms
  • different methods Electric heat & regular agitation NOT exactly composting 2/25/2013 63 2/25/2013 63
  • TrenchSlowerAnaerobic microbes do work Bury starter material near new garden Add small amount of fertilizer C/N ration not critical Will smell bad if opened before complete 2/25/2013 65 2/25/2013 65
  • Bokashi (anaerobic)
  • Problems to confront• Dry air – Always keep lightly moistened• Hot – Place in a shady space if possible – Always have a cover• Insects• Odors 2/25/2013 67 2/25/2013 67
  •  Bugs happen. They benefit compost & help to expedite process by breaking down starting material No pesticides! Can kill bugs and worms Decrease amount of flies and other insects in compost by freezing starting material before putting it in the composter If roaches are a big problem, put DE on top of pile68 68 2/25/2013
  •  Compost should smell like fresh soil  Foul smells may be due to  Anaerobic conditions – stir to add oxygen  Too much green or large green clumps – add some browns and stir well  Always make the top layer of the compost brown69 2/25/2013 69
  • Not Composting???Possible causes:• Turned too often, heat doesn‟t generate• Not turned often enough, process is very slow• Too much carbon, no food for microbes• Pile too small, microbes can‟t get established 2/25/2013 70 2/25/2013 70
  • Compost tea• A brew of compost in water• ~ one part compost to five parts water 2/25/2013 71 2/25/2013 71
  • Compost tea (CONT.)Properties will vary with:1. Starting materials2. Length of brewing time3. Level of aeration and stirring • Insufficient air will cause it to go anaerobic and smell foul 2/25/2013 72 2/25/2013 72
  • SummaryCompost• Is a terrific source of plant nutrients• Is a source of many beneficial microorganisms• May control plant disease, both as compost and tea• Lowers the amount of organic garbage going to the landfill. 73