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Posts by mindymom

Squash vine borer is a perennial problem for us.  If you know what you're looking for you can tell pretty easily if your plant has been invaded by a borer.  The worms chew their way into the vine near the base and climb upwards, eating out the vine and expelling orangish "frass" (i.e. poop) out through the large hole/slit.  When they have totally killed your plant they crawl into the ground to pupate, then re-emerge as adults to lay eggs on more of your...
I use regular florescent bulbs with no problem.  Good luck!
You should check out The (New) Self-Sufficient Gardener, by John Seymour.  If your library doesn't have either edition they might have The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It, which contains a lot of the same information plus info on livestock.   For backyard fruits and berries there is a lot of regional variation even in the same zone in what plants do well, which varieties work best, what pests have to be monitored, and when and how they can be thwarted.  I...
Hi all, I hope this is a good place for this post. I have suffered from hand eczema for about 6 years now, and have found that it is very irritated by strong detergents and pretty much any scent in hand/body soaps, lotions, shampoos, baby wipes, etc (and many products that are labelled "unscented", "sensitive skin", or both).  I had a very tough time with my first baby because of all the constant washing that has to be done, and I am expecting my second in May.  I...
Sorry, I have no advice for the OP but wanted to ask DuckDuckGoose and lmonter, how tall does your asparagus get?  Does it do a good job shading out the grass over the summer?  I am preparing to put in a bed, too, and your stories sound discouraging.  We don't have bermuda grass, but I do have many "weed" grasses that flourish here and there.  I'm pretty good about weeding in the spring and fall, but for several reasons I'm much less so during the summer months.
I agree with the PP that your compost will probably re-awaken if you moisten it.  If there are a lot of leaves in there, make sure that the moisture gets distributed throughout instead of just running down the sides and out through the holes.  You can throw in a litte ordinary soil, as well, to re-colonize it.  If that doesn't work - especially if the pile doesn't seem to be warmer than the surrounding air - try mixing in a couple gallons of used coffee grounds;...
Hi, I just wanted to add a couple thoughts:   1) I've had more luck with tomatoes in old recycling bins (or you could probably use large totes) than in 5-gallon buckets.  I'm in zone 6/7 and I have to water 5-gallon buckets constantly in the summer heat to get good tomatoes.  On the other hand, I put two plants in each standard-size recycling bin and they did really well.  I re-used the soil the following year for carrots.  You don't get many, but they don't get...
Welcome to composting!    The main things that help keep compost from freezing are the size of the pile and the amount of nitrogen.  My pile is just under a cubic yard and usually freezes around the edges but stays steamy in the middle.  (I rarely turn it in the winter.)  Our winters here are probably a good bit warmer than yours.  If you're using a "store-bought" composter there's probably not much you can do to keep it from freezing, due to the size.    FWIW, I...
Thanks so much for the response.  I never trust those online apartment locators, but I don't know why I didn't think to check craigslist.  Your minimum estimate was pretty consistent with what I found there.  We are going to have to think this over very carefully.  Thanks again for your help.
dh is currently working in a temporary position in the d.c. suburbs that ends after the holidays, and has been looking for longer-term work for almost a year now.  we have a 2yo and i'm expecting again at the end of may.  he finally received a job offer in cambridge, ma, but the salary is significantly less than he's making now, plus we own a home here that we will be unable to sell and will have to rent at a loss (or walk away from).  on the other hand, the job he's...
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