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Squash Vine Borer Information
Posted on Sep 13, 2017 4:54 PM

https://papasgardens.com/2015/...

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Aquaponics
Posted on Sep 13, 2017 4:54 PM

This is an interesting concept -- can be done on a small scale, using an aquarium and growing herbs, greens, etc.

Some thoughts:
My intent is to use a currently unused 10-gal aquarium with an LED hood, along with an aquarium stand that is also no longer being used, placed either in the sunroom or in my craft room. I would need a grow light of some sort for the plants; maybe a 2-foot fluorescent hanging light, or some other type.

It seems to me that the inflow and drainage from the plant tub need to be essentially the same, or maybe a little faster on the drainage side of it. And maybe some sort of "overflow protection" would be a good idea, although I have no idea at the moment how to accomplish that (or how to ensure that the inflow will be slower than the drain).
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"Easy and Inexpensive Aquaponics" article by LizDTM in the Gardening Ideas forum: https://aquaponics.com/build-a...

How to start a small aquaponics setup, found online:
https://aquaponics.com/build-a...

12 ideas for small aquaponics systems -- I especially like the bookcase setup!
https://theselfsufficientlivin...

Simple backyard aquaponics system:
https://inhabitat.com/diy-ever...

An article about setting up a basic home aquaponics system, with links to quite a few other articles:
http://homeaquaponicssystem.co...

small-scale aquaponics setups - "Aquaponicals"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

I love this setup -- simple and would be a nice addition to the sunroom!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Another "miniponics" setup to check out - a lot of background noise makes it a little difficult to follow, but this is a pretty nifty-looking setup made from a 5-gallon water jug.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

An idea for a tiny setup using a flowerpot and a coffee-pot carafe
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

A different type of inexpensive system that doesn't require a separate tank for the plants:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

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Backyard farming for profit
Posted on Jul 9, 2017 7:29 PM

Good article with various sizes of operations, what to grow, etc.

http://www.motherearthnews.com...

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HERBS
Posted on Dec 11, 2016 8:37 AM

Directory of culinary and medicinal herbs, from Mother Earth News:
https://www.motherearthnews.co...

Twelve healing herbs to grow in the garden: http://www.naturallivingideas....
1. Aloe vera (apply pulp of leaves to minor cuts and burns, and for dryness, inflammation and other skin conditions; can also be eaten to prevent/relieve constipation, ulcerative colitis and IBS)
2. Peppermint (tea for stomach upsets, headaches, cramps; poultice of leaves applied to skin for inflammatory conditions)
3. Thyme (respiratory tract infections - extract is taken orally to relieve bronchitis, chest congestion, asthma, and whooping cough; infusion used as a gargle for bad breath and mouth sores)
4. Rosemary ( used for general health and wellbeing; memory enhancement)
5. Roman Chamomile (C. nobile) (tea made from flowers used for anxiety and as a sleep aid; use topically for eczema)
6. Calendula (a poultice of the petals is used as an antiseptic on cuts and bruises, to relieve sunburn, and for almost any condition related to the skin)
7. Sage (tea used for hormone regulation in women; inhaling an infusion of sage is useful for asthma and respiratory problems; also used for dementia and depression)
8. Lavender (fragrance is therapeutic for headache and depression, and aids sleep; an infusion of the flowers can accelerate wound healing)
9. Echinacea (roots used to treat wounds, insect bites, burns; infusion of flower buds used to prevent and treat colds and flu)
10. Comfrey (can aid tissue repair and regeneration; leaf and root poultice used for arthritic pain and varicose vein ulcers)
11. Broadleaf plantain (antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, wound healing; poultice made from the leaves used for skin sores and insect bites; tea used to help control diarrhea)
12. Great mullein (tea made with leaves and flowers is an expectorant, used for cough associated with bronchitis and consumption; leaves can be rolled up and smoked to relieve chest congestion; powdered dried roots are used for skin infections, including warts and athlete's foot)


Twenty Under-rated herbs: http://www.naturallivingideas....
1. Agrimony (eye ailments, wound healing, cough and congestion, GI issues, sleep aid)
2. Alfalfa (severe nausea, kidney stones, UTI, flushing toxins from liver and GI tract, helps lower cholesterol)
3. Aniseseed (improves digestion, reduce flatulence, ease nausea, quell anxiety, reduce cold symptoms)
4. Cardamom (antimicrobial - periodontal disease, UTI; antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic)
5. Catmint (sore throat, sinus pressure, headache, reduction of fever, GI upset, help with stopping bleeding and reducing swelling)
6. Sweet Cicely (natural sweetener, hypertension, anxiety, stomach upset, urinary tract symptoms)
7. Red Clover (cold symptoms, detoxifying the body and blood)
8. Coriander ( seeds are known to stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin, and have a similar effect on blood-lipid levels; they are also a natural antibiotic against some food-borne pathogens – salmonella being one of them.)
9. Feverfew (powerful anti-inflammatory, able to reduce pain and swelling associated with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and headaches; also useful for reducing general pain and body aches, as well as for calming tension and anxiety.)
10. Greenthread (Also called Navajo Tea, Plains Tea, or Coyote Plant; Greenthread are any of the flowering herbs of the genus Thelesperma (in the Asteraceae family; potent diuretic, anti-inflammatory, one of the best natural remedies for infections of the urinary tract and for soothing gastrointestinal distress.)
11. Hyssop (one of the oldest known medicinal herbs; antimicrobial; may also be used to combat strep, influenza, and many fungal infections.)
12. Lovage (digestive aid used to cleanse GI and urinary tracts; soothe sore throat and stomach ulcers; add to bath for inflammatory skin conditions)
13. Pot Marigold/Calendula (inflammatory skin conditions; lower fevers, reduce swelling of joints or other damaged tissue, ease headaches, and block histamines which cause allergy symptoms; improve circulation; herbal hair rinse.)
14. Sweet Marjoram (antimicrobial, digestive aid; packed with nutrients and antioxidants)
15. Parsley (rich source of vitamin K, vitamin C and iron; powerful antioxidant; improves digestion)
16. Stevia (calorie-free sweetener; used as a treatment for burns, indigestion and colic)
17. Tansy (organic repellant for potato beetles, flies, ants, and mosquitoes; rub leaves on the skin to repel stinging and biting insects; also useful for eliminating parasitic worms, though Tansy may be toxic in large enough quantities)
18. Sweet Violet (cold and flu symptoms; pain reliever, sleep aid, diuretic)
19. Winter Savory (reduces pain and irritation from bug bites and bee stings; antiseptic; tea used for sore throat; also useful for easing upset stomach and indigestion, reducing flatulence, and as a remedy for diarrhea)
20. Yarrow (boosts immune system; antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent; tea used to aid digestion, clear congestion and cough; essential oil for skin conditions)

Grow Your Own Herbal Tea -- an article from the Learning Library on NGA: https://garden.org/learn/artic...

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Building a 16x20' hoop house
Posted on Nov 24, 2016 5:49 PM

10/24/16: We've started work on the new big (16x20) hoop house, which will replace the 8x16 greenhouse plus have room for growing in the ground. The past 2 days we spent by moving the Rion GH off it's base, using "rollers" cut from PVC pipe and planks (which were actually old bifold closet doors). I really didn't have much faith that this would be successful, expecting it to flex too much and break, or at least lose a lot of the panels. However, we managed to move it not only off the base, but then another 30 or so feet to the west, near where we store the picnic table in the winter. Today John started removing the gravel and probably got about 2/3 of it done -- I cleaned weeds out of the area in the garden that will be inside the hoop house, and also cleaned up the area where the herb barrel is. Also, the greenhouse film for covering the new hoop house was delivered today. We pretty much have all the materials that we need, having bought them at Menards while an 11% rebate deal was going on. After the great success with the tomatoes in the small hoop house this summer, I'm pretty excited to have a larger area for growing under cover. It should also be pretty convenient for using the hose, with the south door only being about 15 feet from the outdoor faucet.

Thumb of 2016-11-24/Weedwhacker/389b04 Thumb of 2016-11-24/Weedwhacker/3260f3

The floor of the old greenhouse consisted of gravel on top of sand, with a path of pavers down the center; we ended up removing the pavers and digging out all of the gravel and most of the sand, replacing it with garden soil. Although my intention at this point is to use that area for growing my seedlings in the spring, there's always the chance that I could decide that I wished I could use the entire hoop house for growing in the ground -- and if we didn't do this step now it would be unlikely that I could change my mind later on. Once we have the hoop house structure completed and move the benches and such in, I plan to use shredded cedar mulch for paths and under the benches.

Thumb of 2016-11-24/Weedwhacker/4192bb Thumb of 2016-11-24/Weedwhacker/92159b

11/1/16: Working on the base of railroad ties

Thumb of 2016-11-24/Weedwhacker/5f0dab

11/ 9/16: Constructed the sidewalls.
Thumb of 2016-11-24/Weedwhacker/61004d

11/14/16: Moving along with the new big hoop house; today we put up the PVC-pipe roof structure. We attached one of the halves to a sidewall using pipe clamps, then joined the 2 halves using the PVC cement. Before actually raising the structure up to its roof shape I used "Rustoleum Plastic" spray paint to cover the outer aspect of the pipes, for UV protection and to prevent PVC-to-plastic film contact, which is said to degrade the plastic film prematurely. I also have some white felt tape to use for that purpose, but will wait until spring, when we add the plastic film, to attach that to the pipes.

I also tilled the ground inside the area of the HH, and raked it out fairly level. Just need to construct the endwalls in the next couple of days, and then we will wait until spring to cover it with the greenhouse film. I'm really happy at this point in that so far the plan is coming together very well!

Thumb of 2016-11-24/Weedwhacker/87a43c

We put the roof structure together in 2 halves -- this is one of the halves:

Thumb of 2016-11-24/Weedwhacker/ef097b

11/15/16: Constructed the lower part of the north endwall, including the door frame.

11/16/16: Constructed the lower part of the south endwall, including the door frame.

11/18/16: Constructed the upper part of the north endwall, and added the plywood sheathing; went together nicely. Used pipe clamps to hold the end hoop to the door frame uprights, and zip ties to fasten the hoop to the plywood. We're running out of good weather, but still may be able to get the additional (upper) bracing done on the south endwall.

11/22/16: This is as far as we'll be going until spring, when we'll add the doors and the plastic film covering. We were able to use pipe clamps to fasten the PVC roof to the south wall 2x4's in 4 places, which should hold it in place securely.

Thumb of 2016-11-24/Weedwhacker/328dc0

7/12/17: The completed greenhouse, with tomato plants growing inside; we didn't get the covering put on until June 1st as we were waiting for a day that was fairly warm so the plastic would be a little more cooperative. We used wooden lath strips screwed to the wooden frame to hold the plastic on; a LOT of lath strips and screws! We also have a support pole in the center to keep the roof from sagging, and for the winter will put 2 more supports in, about halfway from the center to each side.

Thumb of 2017-10-30/Weedwhacker/2bc384

Thumb of 2017-10-30/Weedwhacker/a3d736

10/26/17: The greenhouse has been a great success as far as growing the tomato plants; they have grown so tall that I've had to trim the tops back several times as they were hanging down over the tops of the 5-foot wooden cages and making it difficult to get between the rows. There is essentially no sign of disease on the plants, which is a huge difference from when we've grown the tomatoes outside. And, we are still picking tomatoes! This bowlful was harvested today, and there are still lots of tomatoes coming along

Thumb of 2017-10-30/Weedwhacker/806819













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