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Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by sandpebbles, Apr 14, 2009.
Makes me feel like an old lady - maybe this is why!
lol, was talking to sandpebbles
I know, but I think this is why. A lot of women hate to be called mam because it's something we heard our grandmothers being called! Too funny.
Well, this bug problem you seem to be having, can be easily cured. What exactly are you dealing with?...
I'm 99.99% sure they are fungus gnats and the larvae is what is harmful. I think I've solved the problem with copper pennies after those BTi spores I was so ecstatic about failed to transfer their invertebrate killing properties up the moisture strip and into my rock wool. The good thing about copper is that it is an element and is often in a mineral form which allows it to dissolve in water as it rusts. Things that dissolve are able to be transferred up a moisture strip with the water and water's amazing capillary abilities.
Next weekend I plan on cleaning all portions of my system and transferring the remaining pepper plant outside if it is still alive after the severe pruning I gave it.
P.S. Would you know what bumps on a honeydew melon mean even without a picture? They are not evenly spread around the fruit, but their size is consistent and the minimum distance between each bump is constant in the most densely bumped area which is facing away from the sun. This only happened after I put it into the pantyhose sling.
Hmmmm - not sure about the bumps, but know it isn't because of the pantyhose. Hopefully this will have nothing to do with the flavor and quality of the melons. Were the ones you harvested before, like that?
So glad you're happy about the herbs - thought you would enjoy growing some fresh herbs over winter. When your Bay cutting roots into a little tree - you will have another herb to add as well. I even sent you one of my personal favorites - lemon balm!!! It's a perennial too!
I don't know if you like Lavender, but you now own some. Ok, I'll stop, so you'll have some surprises - unless you want the whole list now. How rotten of me to tempt you, huh?
I forgot to include some Goji Berry seeds for you as well - I'll mail those with the succulents...
Ok, about the fungus gnats incessantly bothering your containers - sprinkle a light layer of cinnamon over the top of all your infested pots, right after watering with some dishsoapy water. Sprinkle more cinnamon as needed because it is a natural anti-fungal remedy and fungus gnats hate it. It can really help to control a gnat problem. Water again with dishsoapy water before adding fresh cinnamon sprinklings.
Also, I want you to leave several bowls of water around the area where they are - not cups, but wide bowls so you can drown a number of them. As well, I want you to buy some sticky traps and hang them also around the area to doubly trap them. Even packing and masking tape strips can be hung up too - you don't necessarily have to spend money because you can make your own.
Gnat problem? What gnat problem?!!!
Lol, Thank you, but I've done everything you mentioned to try and kill the bastards. I even added straight dish soap to the system and it bubbled for the next 24 hours at least due to the air pump bubbling. On the sticky trap I placed after adding the copper pennies I've noticed very few adult gnats as compared to the two I used before the penny solution.
I wont be needing more goji seeds as I have some that are doing great and there are still seeds left in the previous envelope.
If you've sent me too many herb varieties, I might have to buy some more moisture strips to double or even quadruple my starting points in the German hydroton! I need to get some manure for the melons at Home Depot anyways. ;)
You tried all of this stuff and you still have a gnat problem?!!!
I am able to rid them almost entirely using these methods. Even bottom watering can help, so the top soil stays dry and gnats can't breed. I rarely deal with them anymore.
Another way to be sure to get rid of them, is to scoop off the top inch of soil where gnats and their eggs are, and refill with fresh soil. This seals the deal, in ridding them completely, but you must be sure to do it to every pot - not just a few.
I don't think you've been reading me correctly.... The gnat problem is - well... was! - in my hydroponics system which has no dirt.
There's a reservoir in the shape of a square tote you'd use to store things in with 6 square "pots" or "buckets" that hold Hydroton which is german expanded clay (little clay pebbles baked as hard as rock). In the bucket there is a moisture strip that runs from the bottom to the top and is surrounded by the hydroton. The base of the buckets are submerged in a kind of nuietrient soup with a bubbling device in the water to prevent the soup from going stagnant. At the top pf each bucket is a rockwool cube in which I can start seeds/cuttings. The moisture strip carries the nuitrient soup to the rockwool through capilary actions (take a papper towel and dip it in water - the water moves upwards through the towel despite gravity and that is capilary action).
In my system there were gnat larvae in the soup, in the moisture strips, and in the rock wool and all the soap, cinimmon, sticky traps and BTi in the world would NOT prevent them from eating up my seedlings. Six copper pennies later, and all the larvae are dead - simple solution for not-so-simple problem.
I don't know how much of that you knew or didn't know, but I'd rather cover it all than miss something. ;)
Yes Zac - now I totally understand, and thanks for taking the time to clarify.
Oh boy - those bastards will breed in anything, won't they? Sounds like you have a real handle on the problem though - good for you. You are a lot like me, because I was the same when I first started out with gardening - I was relentless and would try all kinds of things until I got control.
Your persistence will pay off, and you will win this battle. Never heard of that penny idea but I like it. Thanks for passing that tip on. Yes, the larvae will prevent seed germination so it's great they appear to be all dead.
Don't worry, you are doing the right things, and you are on top of it. Use your sticky traps to catch the airborne buggers too. You will be helping so many others who decide to become involved in hydroponics and find themselves dealing with a gnat problem.
This is all part of becoming a better and more experienced gardener. At this point now, I kind of like it when a new problem arises because I love the challenge of trying to overcome it.
Did I tell ya that I cut out a 25' long by 2' wide garden this past weekend?!!! Might even be 30 feet long! I know it's off topic, but I am bursting with excitement over how much room I have now, to plant anything I want! I will be putting in a show of Spring bulbs this Fall, to introduce the area at the first of Spring next year.
Ohhhhh how much fun I am going to have. The best part is that the whole garden can be seen from my living room window!!! Many other tenants can see it too! The tenants are already asking me excitedly about my plans - which are still in the making. Today, I am going to bury a few bulbs of something called 'Lucifer's corms' - hate the name but they are supposed to be beautiful. They are Crocosmia.
Well it's raining here today, but we needed some. I am collecting some rain water outside, to bring inside for my container plants. There is no fertilizer on earth that compares to rain water. My container plants just absolutely love it.
Here is an article on building your own light table using fluorescent lights. https://www.localgardener.net/pages.php?lang=en&page=articles&action=view&vid=68 You just attach the light with chains so that they are adjustable. I built this myself and it works quite well. The only problem I have had is that you can't get the lights quite far enough away if your plants grow too big. If you are growing large plants, you might want to make it two levels, instead of three.
You can download the plans. There is a link at the bottom of the article.
Sometimes what is suggested and what can be a whole lot easier, is to keep the fixture stationary, as high as the tallest plant, and then just bring the smaller ones up to the light, by stacking them on empty pots.
Used to suspend my fluorescent fixture from a chain as well, but got tired of moving it constantly. Now I move my plants, so that all of them are as close to the bulbs as can be.
You may need to try different things until you find a way that is right for you. We are all different and have different ways of doing things - often times there's no right or wrong, just preference. Once you get some experience, you'll find a way that feels right to you.
hello all. thought i'd drop by to see what you kids are up to. i'm in the process of puting things together for my indoor garden and i'm missing "the good old warmth...LOL. thanks JanR for the link. it's much appreciated. hey hollyberry, i actually saw ornamental pepper plants being sold at my local supply store. they were pretty basic even for my untrained eye, but available nevertheless. and shearme, you've got mail. i apologive for getting back late.
Good luck with your indoor garden, Sandpebbles - bet it will be wonderful.
Did you buy any of the hot peppers? I am surprised that you don't want me to send you seeds for these three varieties...
1) Chilly Chili
2) Explosive Amber
4) Close-up of Masquerade
hi hollyberry. your plants look amazing and beautifully healthy as usual. i recently purchased some purple ember seeds and planned to share them with you. although not sure i didn't send them. anyway, besides peppers, what else do you grow/enjoy. h
may have found a site to purchase a light system. and i bought an oscillating ceramic heater today. yeah...some of my larger plants are blooming like crazy. will they continue or will they taper off at some time, later re-emerging next spring.
Hey SP, I got all those tomato and pepper seeds you sent! I can't remember which day because I had the flu and the last half of last week and the weekend is all a big blur, but it was neat seeing all those seeds packaged in little baggies in slightly larger baggies and all those in a bigger bag.
Thank you. :)
hi SM, great, you got the seeds. don't forget to post pictures letting us know which one you preferred. glad to hear you're feeling better, flu-like symptoms can prompt follow-up. they're suppose to start vacination for the swine flu today. begining with focusing on all ages 2yrs - 4yrs first., etc.
Even if I didn't get sick (which leaves me cured for life from whatever I had) I would not have gotten the vaccination.
So what is everyone planning to grow over the Winter in containers, anyway? I am growing swiss chard and kale, among other things.
Thanksgiving is this coming weekend for us Canadians, and it's usually when I sow a number of seeds to get ready for my winter container garden, but I started early this year, so all I will do this weekend is pig out!!!
Turkey, here I come...
The basil and oregano you sent has sprouted! :D
That's terrific news, Zac! I am glad you had success with germination. You are going to have some tasty meals ahead of you.
Please don't despise me, but I have all the packaging and everything set to go, and I am going to mail your cuttings tomorrow if it's the last thing I do! It's just that Thanksgiving is this coming weekend, and with shopping, cleaning, cooking, and baking, I am pooped! Trying to get as much as I can done, and prepared ahead of time, before family hits London.
I will send you a message late tomorrow night, to let you know that I've mailed stuff, ok? Great about your herbs seeds.
That's ok, I'll just have to hurry up and send out your stuff before I wallow in self pity and guilt. :P
No need for those two things - I understand how life gets busy, and you just can't get everything done that you need to. We both know that eventually things will make it to each other.
I seriously and truly mean it this time though - I will mail your stuff by late tomorrow night. Kind of excited about sending you some succulent goodies that I just know you'll like...
Sm, i've also got mixed feelings about the vaccination...too new i guess. would like to know about it.
Hb, i've got a third generation (most recently planted) that's now starting to putting out peppers. once i get everything set up, i'm sure i'll sow some seeds to see how things work. :)
oh and hollyberry, Happy Thanksgiving.