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to tell us what you're working on, share your show & tell, vent, whatever you want...  
...this is an open thread. Nothing is off topic.

Do you want to know how to grow anything?  Read on if you do. And after you read this, tell me if you are inspired to do it. I want to know.



Anyone who comes to New Day knows smileycreek and I are gardeners. We grow fruits, veggies and flowers. Of course different plants require different things. Citrus plants need more iron than other plants. Tomatoes like loamy soil but don't tolerate acidic environments very well. Azaleas and camellias do like acidic environments. Soil needs to be amended and constantly given a new compost layer each year. We make compost on our land plus I get some great compost for free from a friend with chickens. The added chicken manure is awesome.

Anyway, I was talking with some folks at NN13 about gardening. They were telling me things like they can't grow a thing because they have a brown thumb or they can't dig deep holes in the ground or build raised garden beds because it's just too much for their bodies to take. One person told me they wished they'd started a garden but thought it was too late to do this year.

I decided to write this diary today to put all these notions to rest. You'll see how easy it is to grow amazing plants...I promise.

It is not too late to start a garden. You'll still reap a grand harvest if you start one now. I'm going to show you how to succeed (100% guaranteed) without digging holes or building raised beds.

What if you don't want to fiddle around figuring out what your plants need once you've planted them? What if you don't have a green thumb and still want a 100% fool proof way to grow anything? What if you don't want to deal with the specific requirements and fertilizers different plants need? I want to let you know how you can grow anything...and I mean anything starting right from the get go.

All you really need to do is start with outrageously awesome soil. That's it.

This tutorial is meant for those who desire everything they grow to be the ultimate it can be...whether you are growing flowering plants, vegetables or anything else. All you'll have to do is water your plants once you start with superior soil. The simplest way to acquire it is to buy it (I told you I was going to make this easy peasy).

There are brands of potting soil out there that are far, far superior to the normal and usual stuff you can get at Home Depot, Lowes, KMart, Walgreens or anyplace like that. Frankly, if you are growing anything other than flowers, I'd not buy potting or planting soil from one of these places. This typical stuff will work, but it isn't that good in truth, and you'll still need to fertilize as the planting season rolls along or you'll end up with disappointing results.

To get the best planting soil you have to go to your local nursery and hope the folks there are serious about growing whatever you desire to grow. In northern California where I live this is not a problem.

The planting soil I absolutely must have is Fox Farm Ocean Forest. This soil all by itself is literally all you need...trust me on this. The company that makes it is located in Arcata, Humboldt County, northern California ('nuff said):

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MORE PLANTING ADVICE and Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the New Day sunrise cloud

Other great planting soils (and these are all pNut certified as being optimal...all of them) include: Laughing Frog, ProMix#2, Magik Moss Potting Soil, Ferti-lome Ultimate Potting Mix, Dr. Earth Pot of Gold and Harvest Gold...BUT my top three favorite are Fox Farm Ocean Forest, Laughing Frog and Dr. Earth Pot of Gold (just saying).

These soils don't need any extra ingredients at all...they are actually already perfect right out of the bag. My favorite one, Fox Farm Ocean Forest, has forest hummus from northern California and the Pacific Northwest, sphagnum peat moss, sandy loam, fish emulsion, crab meat, shrimp meal, worm castings, perlite, kelp meal, oyster shell powder, bat guano and granite dust.

However, even though it is already perfect...I still amend it to super, duper charge it when I want to grow something I treasure.

Here are the things I add. You'll notice all of these things are organic and come from nature. There will be no need to fertilize my plants for the entire growing season. I won't have to worry about giving them something higher in nitrogen early in the growing season (which makes plants grow) then switching to something lower in nitrogen but higher in phosphorus later in the growing season (which makes things flower or fruit).

Green sand is for deep root growth over the long haul. Bat Guano is a "super food" for plants.

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Bone meal helps plants to bloom and set flowers and fruits. The bowl on the right side of this pic is full of ground up egg shells from eggs we've eaten. You let the shells dry out then smash them up...then pulverize them in a coffee grinder. The reason you use egg shells is for the calcium carbonate of which they are made. As nutrients break down in soil, your soil becomes more acidic. Calcium carbonate neutralizes the pH so your soil won't become too acidic over time...which is important when growing certain plants.

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Kelp is full of 67 different micro nutrients. Blood meal supplies nitrogen which makes your plants grow. Don't use too much blood meal with super good soil like I start with or you'll "burn" your plant's roots.

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Worm castings are a must. I put a very healthy amount into my soil mix. Let me repeat that...worm castings are a must!!!. I add 25-30 pounds of them to 65 gallons of soil. Not only are worm castings packed with nutrients, they are also full of tons and tons of soil organisms which makes your soil "alive." You want "living soil" because this provides the healthiest possible soil for your plants (think of probiotics for you)...and these organisms keep breaking down all other organic nutrients in your soil all season long.

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I add vermiculite so the soil holds moisture and also stays loamy. BUT be sure that is countered by having perlite in the soil. Perlite is a volcanic rock that allows the soil to drain. The combo of vermiculite and perlite creates the optimum balance between the soil holding water and staying moist BUT also draining well so it doesn't stay saturated with water. Too much moisture in your soil will kill your plants from root rot. It's kind of a balancing act. If you have peat moss in your soil, you'll have to add a bit more perlite as peat moss also holds moisture in the soil.

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Mix your soil up and put into the ground or the container you are planting your stuff in. I mix my soil and amendments in a wheel barrow most of the time (as seen in the top pic below). For larger quantities I mix it all up on a big tarp. In the bottom pic is a 65 gallon fabric container (made from recycled stuff). They are called "grow bags" and are super for growing something you want kinda big when you don't want to dig a hole. They are made in smaller sizes too for other things you might want to grow. They come from the one-gallon size for decks all the way up to the 200 gallon size. They are reusable.

One last thing...you can leave this soil in the container you will grow your plants for a week or even two to just air out a bit. If you are going to put your plants in this soil mixture right after you make it, water it entirely and thoroughly letting water soak through completely so it drains out the bottom. Do this the first two times you water as well after you plant. You want to do this because this soil concoction is "hot" meaning it has a lot of nitrogen...and you want to wash some of that out of the mix with the first couple of waterings to "cool" it off some (i.e. leach some of the nitrogen out).

Enjoy! Because now you can grow anything no matter what it is...guaranteed! You'll be amazed at the health of your plants and the fruits or flowers they create. :)

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:: COMMUNITY BUILDING UPDATES ::
Let's build communities!

Every region needs a meatspace community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.


THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY

Click >>>HERE to see a list of all the regional Kossack groups that have organized for social and activism events. There are handy links to contact each organizer to join.

>>>Instructions on HOW TO FORM A NEW DAILY KOS GROUP

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:: Events Currently on the Books for ALL Kossacks ::
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Glacier National Park
June 27- June 30th

Glacier National Park Kossack EPIC Meetup!

TIME: 24/7
LOCATION: Glacier National Park
402 9th St W • Columbia Falls, Montana

ORGANIZER: Send arizonablue a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. BlueJessamine
2. arizonablue
3. Mr.arizonablue
4. Truman
5. Ojibwa - arriving for the weekend
6. MTmofo
7. figbash!
8. spottedbear
9. jakedog42
10. Oke
11. cooltraveler
12. Mr.cooltraveler
13. state of confusion
14. Lute the Norwegian
15. Josh Blue
16. Thinking Fella
17. Blu Gal in DE
18. NormAl1792
19. winifred3

Maybees:
Joan McCarter
slksfca
Ed in Montana
BoiseBlue
BoiseBlue GF
Timmethy

Latest diary: Glacier National Park Check In! Glacier National Park Meetup - Part II w/ lodging and campground info!
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Houston Area Kossacks banner
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Saturday, June 29th

Houston Area Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Goode Company Taqueria and Hamburgers
4902 Kirby Drive • Houston

ORGANIZER: Send Chrislove a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Chrislove
2. nomandates
3. suesue
4. Mr. suesue
5. cosette
6. Delilah
7. MarciaJ720
8. jmbar2
9. mister mustardhead
Maybees:
GrannyOPhilly
Mr. cosette
Bridgitt (honorary Kossack)
Latest diary: Houston Area Kossacks: Meet-Up Scheduled for Saturday, June 29!
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Sunday, June 30th

SFKossacks Watch the Gay Pride Parade

TIME: Meet 10:00 AM, Parade at 10:30 AM
LOCATION: One of the Montgomery BART Stations
The one at Montgomery and Market, across Market from the Palace Hotel • San Francisco

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. slksfca
2. dharmasyd
3. kimoconnor
4. navajo
5.
Maybees:
SanFernandoValleyMom
Sychotic1
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Sunday, July 7th

Chicago Kossacks Go to a Ballgame!

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Fifth Third Bank Ball Park
34W002 Cherry Lane • Geneva

ORGANIZER: Send NormAl1792 a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. NormAl1792
2. figbash
3. broths
4. Mr. broths
5-10. edwardssl & her family
Maybees:
winifred3
luvweasel
Jennifer Clare
luvsathoroughbred
Mr. luvs
ScottyUrb
Latest diary: Chicago(land) Kossacks Meet-Up July 7: Take Me Out to the Ball Game
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New York Hudson Valley Kossacks

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boran2
Saturday, July 13th

NY Hudson Valley Kossacks' First Meet-up

TIME: NOON
LOCATION: Hudson House
2 Main Street • Cold Spring, NY

ORGANIZER: Send boran2 a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. boran2
2. thankgodforairamerica
3. betson08
Maybees:
ask
curly
Latest diary: [Coming soon!]
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Thursday, July 18th

Phoenix Kossacks Meet-up for navajo

TIME: 6:30 PM
LOCATION: Rancho de Tia Rosa
3129 E. McKellips • Mesa

ORGANIZER: Send arizonablue a kosmail to attend.

navajo's in town one day, even though it's a Thursday we hope you can make it.

RSVPs:
1. arizonablue
2. Mr. arizonablue
3. navajo
4. Azazello
5. Mrs. Azazello
6. ninothemindboggler
7. Mrs. ninothemindboggler
8. thomask  
9. mrs. thomask
10. BluejayRN
11. Late Again
12. Mother Mags
Maybees:
Kane in CA
Kane in CA friend
cosmic debris
PSzymeczek
Mr PSzymeczek
Mr. Late Again
dewey in the desert
Latest diary: ATTN Phoenix Kossacks: Let's Welcome Navajo to the Valley of the Sun!
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Dkos Asheville
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Saturday, July 20th

Dkos Asheville, North Carolina Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville

ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Randallt
2. Gordon20024
3. davehouck
4. Joieau
5. SteelerGrrl
6. SteelerGuy
7. Captain Sham
8. Smiley7
9. DawnN
10. Phil S 33
11.
12.
Maybees:
eeff
Audri
gulfgal98
PearlJamSteelworker
Amy
Latest diary: DKos Asheville Open Thread 5/18/13: Frogs and tomatoes and snakes, oh my!
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Sunday, August 4th

NYC Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: Noon
LOCATION:  Spitzer's Corner
101 Rivington Street (Ludlow) • NYC

ORGANIZER: Send Sidnora a kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. joanbrooker
2. mconvente
3. belinda ridgewood
4. Yasuragi
5. sidnora
6. Its the Supreme Court Stupid
7. blue jersey mom
8. kathny
9. ask
10. rubyr
11. plf515
Maybees:
andgarden
wader
Latest diary: New York City Meetup - August - Choose your date
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Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.

Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?


Originally posted to Connect! Unite! Act! on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by SFKossacks.

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