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Still have tomatoes growing on the vine from a plant that I grew in a wine barrel this spring. After it quit producing in the brutal heat I cut it back and it came back and hasn't quit yet.

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Jim Gilmore,

can you elaborate on dry ice?

does it take the oxygen out of the tunnels or what...?

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So far I am liking the propane bomb (a lot), the mothballs and the pee and in a distant fourth, hair.

Seriously, gophers are the most relentless and unstoppable garden pests ever.

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I've had great luck with strychnine bait using an underground baiter.

Wilco GOpher GEtter is what it is called..

Made from Milo( a grain) and oil of anise to lure them

http://www.cdms.net/ldat/mp5qb007.pdf

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I'm afraid if my wife saw strychnine in the ingredients it would be a no sale

for organic or any other kind of gardening. Would it get into the soil?

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Strychinine is an organic molecule from a tree seed. It degrades with moisture and temperature in a few weeks.

No worries. It's not systemic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strychnos_nux-vomica

"The strychnine tree (Strychnos nux-vomica L.) also known as nux vomica, poison nut, semen strychnos and quaker buttons, is adeciduous tree native to India, and southeast Asia. It is a medium-sized tree in the family Loganiaceae that grows in open habitats. Its leaves are ovate and 2–3.5 inches (5.1–8.9 cm) in size.[1]

It is a major source of the highly poisonous intensely bitter alkaloids strychnine and brucine, derived from the seeds inside the tree's round, green to orange fruit.[2] The seeds contain approximately 1.5% strychnine, and the dried blossoms contain 1.0%.[1] However, the tree's bark also contains brucine and other poisonous compounds.

The use of strychnine is highly regulated in many countries, and is mostly used in baits to kill feral mammals including wild dogs, foxes, and rodents. Most accidental poisoning is by breathing in the powder or by absorption through the skin[1]."

Edited by weaver hillbille

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GArdened for forty years.

CAliche soils benefit from sulfur( over time) to acidify and help to break it down.

I hope you don't overwater as caliche can act as a bowl-drowning roots.

Were you able to penetrate all the way through?

http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/az1281.pdf

I formed a bowl when I dug it out that drains into the 24" dry well that goes through the caliche so drainage should be good.

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Sod buster or clay be gone will adios that rock hard caliche. Add some peat moss,nitrohumas or organic mulch and feed with steer manure juice and your garden is golden. What can I say born into Walts Nursery and my first halloween costume was a Red Star steer manure bag because I was such a little crap.... :4chsmu1: -John

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WAs ist das, JOhan der Hoser?

Some land is so alkaline in the West that to get it arable, farmers have resorted to using sulfuric acid .

Hoser John, on 25 Dec 2013 - 07:12 AM, said:


Sod buster or clay be gone will adios that rock hard caliche. -John

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You can do a search on dry ice. Which is just carbon dioxide. As it sublimates it will just displace the oxygen in the tunnel and kill the moles or gophers. They suggest you put it into every tunnel opening you can find and then pack or cover the opening with dirt to help hold the carbon dioxide in.

It is belived that carbon dixoide is what killed every first born in the time of the Pharo/ and Moses in the bible. Because it was a popular habit that the lowest bed went to the eldest child.

But You will not be usung enough to have any real impact on your. family If your just packing it into some mole/goper holes. Co2 is heavy and tends to stay low....

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Hi Jim,

I figured that's how it worked.

I used to work in films. We would sometimes do stage sequences that needed to have "fog."

Of course we used dry ice. After awhile, everyone would get drowsy and we would have to stop filming,

open the stage doors and let oxygen in. It was an amazingly strange feeling to slowly begin to

feel fatigued and then listless and then you suddenly realize you are suffocating.

Anyway, good idea and one I will try if I ever get back to California.

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Ifn you were going to kill them like that it probably would be better to use bottled gas wouldn't it? Co2 is a lot cheaper in a bottle. And nitrogen is super cheap. Get yourself some tubing and snake it down the holes, fill em for three minutes and move to the next group.

Exphixiating them is a good idea. Holes and tunnels lend themselves to that ssituation. How about Halon? Novek? That would get er done quick and last several minutes in a tunnel.

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We till in Chicken poop mixed with straw and sand. Nice lose soil now

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As a kid growing up in the gopher state, MN, I learned how to catch streaky gophers using one of the old gallon milk bottles filled with water. You need to see the gopher go into the hole, and when it does, you pour the gallon of water into the hole and put the neck of the bottle into the hole. The water goes down and the gopher comes up right into the bottle. :yesss:

Today's plastic gallon containers have a neck that's too small.

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I have problems with corn earworms. They bore the tops of the cactus. They ruin a lot of other crops too. I usea lot of thuricide and dipel to keep damage down. It is a natural fungus that gets in the worms stomach and eats him alive.

If you have worm problems or fungus gnats on indoor plants that stuff works great. It is natural and non poisonous too.

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Years ago I had a large garden 50x100 plus 6 strip gardens 3x50 ... I never wanted for fresh veggies 75% of the year. It was all organic ... no chemical fertilizers or pesticides at all. Hand picked the bugs, dishes of stale beer to collect the slugs, dish soap/water solution sprayed on the tomatoes, nasturtiums/marigolds planted throughout to further keep the bugs down and a couple orders during the season for Lady Bugs to take care of the mites and other tiny pests. Also had a couple of very large snakes that loved the coolness of the garden shade on the hotter days and more than that the large number of mice that seemed to like to play Russian Roulette. Point being that was in Maine ... This year for the first time I am getting antsy to garden again. This AZ soil is brutal. Alkaline to neutral red sanding soil with very little organics in it. I am planning to visit the local horse farms to see if I can rid them of some of their excesses ... I know some of you long timers are going to say not to use it as horse manure has a lot of grass and weed seed in it as opposed to cow and better yet chicken hench. I have to deal with what I have. This is going to be a grand experiment using plastic, drip irrigation tape and a rototiller. Once Carol moves back with me in another year we will have lots of chicken hench and straw waste, but until then it will have to be horse manure. The hardest part is that I will be away the month of June when I go East for my annual striper/kayak fishing trip. The watering will have to be on timers ... hope the batteries last the month! If anyone has experience with leaving the garden for a long period of time during prime garden season here in AZ or other hot dry areas I would love to bend your ear. Anyway I'm going to give it a try. The starter garden will be about 50x50 plus about 6-8 fruit trees planted along one edge but not in the garden. I don't expect fruit from those for a year or two.

Mike

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Mike,

Altitude, chemistry, insects and critters can be brutal in the Southwest.

The raised beds are great in cooler climates. Use a piece of the PVC roofing membrane or pond liner to block out gopers and conserve water. It is a great barrier.

Where it is hot raised beds can be a problem. I found several old rusted 500 gallon water tanks... about 5' in diameter and 18" deep. I bury them with the rim just above the ground and fill them with a mix of peat moss and perlite. You will find big bags of coarse perlite cheap from several Arizona sources. Use the big chunks for insulating walls and it is cheap. Then add your organics to that or mix with native soil and fertilize.

I start the round gardens under plastic with a piece of sturdy fencing for support in case of snow. After last frost replace the plastic with shade cloth and then hail screen as the season progresses. As plants get larger I put chicken wire around the garden and elevate the hail screen over the chicken wire. The garden is protected on all sides at all times.

In a lot of places out here you will save yourself trouble by starting in a semi controlled environment. It just depends on where you are. The weather is great until it is not and then it is quite chaotic. It is easy to have a good garden in several small modules too.

Corn, sqash and beans are easy here. If you get outside of that you would probably be better off in an isolated bed in a lot of areas.

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I used to use Sevin, b ut toxic it is, then found out that a drop or two on the silks( of mineral oil) is all that's needed.

you could use a small spray bottle to apply, as well

Of course Bacillus T. works good , too, if available.

I have problems with corn earworms.

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I used to use Sevin, b ut toxic it is, then found out that a drop or two on the silks( of mineral oil) is all that's needed.

you could use a small spray bottle to apply, as well

Of course Bacillus T. works good , too, if available.

Thuricide and Dipel are BT Weaver. The mineral oil works good on corn but crappy on cactus....no silk. And those buggers get in all sorts of things besides corn nowdays.

We have had huge swarms of various moths the past few years. That worm damage is bad and getting worse. I like Thuricide after a rain and Dipel when it is dry. You never know when a few little grey moths are going to flutter by and before you even know they did you have an ugly worm hole or a plant completely ruined. The suckers will go right into the meristem and bore out an inch in a matter of minutes.

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I am planning to visit the local horse farms to see if I can rid them of some of their excesses ... I know some of you long timers are going to say not to use it as horse manure has a lot of grass and weed seed in it

You can deal with the first few crops of bermuda as long as you kill off the seedlings.. I like to use a flame weeder on them.

Have another pile of manure to compost for future use..

Pile up at least 1-2 cubic yards worth. The amount is needed to have enough heat storage ( exothermic bacteria) to get temps where they need to be to decompose them..

Use whatever you have to contain it. I use chicken wire/mesh fencing and cover it with plastic. to contain moisture/warmth. About every 3-4 days you can check it to monitor temps.

I also use a long digging bar to poke holes in piles for aeration every foot.

There's nothing worse than stanky anaerobic "black glop"( "compost" that's not.) To much wet, rich,heavy material will do that.

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Yes, I know, baccillis thuringiensis :4chsmu1: .."worm away"

On cactus- Nopal? for the "apples"? A neighbor has a huge Nopal in their front yard with hundreds of pounds of fruit that just drops....

Thuricide and Dipel are BT Weaver.

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I don't grow nopal cactus (the fruit are "tunas"). I grow several varieties of tricocereus. The tall columnar ones. I don't think worms are an issue with nopal but they could be. Fungus and chinch bugs are hard on them. And the drought and freeze a few years ago has really hit all cactus here very hard.

Yeah, "tuna juice" and "tuna wine" are big regional favorites. And the nopalitos are a main ingredient in our local salsas. Wine made from the tunas is the best stuff you have ever tasted...there are several vineyards here that incorporate them in grape wine as well as the straight "tuna jack". They are full of sugar and make a rich potent cider that will make all your bodily fluids turn bright fuscia. Even your white tee shirts will turn a little pink under the arms after a quart or so.

Near my old claims there is a box canyon running through cliffs of colored jasper. The nopales are growing everywhere and in the fall the canyon is dark purple under the cactus from the ripe fruit. Every coyote poop, bird turd and rat pellet is purple.Those things are so delicious, plump and sweet it is amazing.

One of those cactuses will produce twice as much fruit as a peach tree that covers the same area. And it will grow in a 1/4" crack in solid rock. I like the fruit and figure it could be used for dye as well as fiber. And all those little thorns have got to be good for something.

Edited by Bedrock Bob

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Yesterday I put out about 1/3rd of the garden plants to make more room in the grow room. They are just out growing the hydroponics way to fast in the room and we have no more space under the lights. Heck I'm harvesting chile's and peppers inside already. Hope we don't get any more frosts this year and the long range outlook looks good.

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