Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees, backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 180
Latest Activity: 12 minutes ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, grow flowers, putter around the yard, dig in the kitchen garden, raise backyard hens, or just like daydreaming about the garden, this is the place.

Many topics have been discussed in the archive.  Revive a topic by adding your 2¢ or start a new topic.

Everyone likes photos of the garden, so if you like to share photos of your prize dahlia, your favorite hen, or your first tomato, go right ahead!

Comment Wall


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Comment by Joan Denoo on May 6, 2014 at 11:07pm

Hi Barbara, I am glad to see you here. We learn so much from each other, especially with the unpredictable weather we have. 

I live in Spokane, WA and have gardened in El Paso, Killeen, San Antonio and know how different Texas is from eastern WA state. I had to learn about caliche, limited watering, wild animals and strange-to-me plants.

It is a real challenge to start seeds in Texas soils because so much of it is clay that quickly turns to muck ... there was a term we used when the feet and tools caked with clay that I can't remember. I went out in the free-range areas of these different places and collected cow pies. I also made my own compost, all in an attempt to lighten the soils.

Where I live now is no clay and 100% humus. I live on ground that once was a swamp and in the days of the migratory Indians, they camped in our valley to collect camas, wild fruits and vegetables of all kinds. It is now a neighborhood near downtown.

When I lived in Texas, I grew wonderful cucumbers and tomatoes as well as the usual other kitchen garden things. I had difficulty with corn because the corn worms were so terrible we could barely get any corn kernels off the cobs. I ended up making dried corn for the wildlife. I had to use far too much Seven to try to control diseases and pests and so didn't use it for human or animal consumption. I use no Seven at all here, haven't ever had it in my shed. 

I learned how to grow more of the desert kinds of flowers and shrubs in TX. They were very pretty and not at all like the kinds I grow now. 

This was my garden 21 years ago

And the same garden, taken from the same angle Last fall

Notice the Blue spruce in the background of both photos.

I look forward to gardening with you 

Comment by king on May 6, 2014 at 10:59pm
How long is ur summer
Comment by Daniel W on May 6, 2014 at 10:54pm

Today I planted in containers-

Roma beans

Scallop squash

Green bush zucchini and yellow summer squash

A bush cucumber variety

Butternut squash.

sweet corn.

Never grew sweet corn here.  Summer too short and nights too cool.  It's an experiment, maybe planting a few seeds in containers will speed them up.

Okras growing nicely in cotainers.  I'm amazed.

Comment by Daniel W on May 6, 2014 at 10:51pm

Barbara, welcome! 

We are both Zone 8, but so very different!

I've known people who grew figs in Texas.  As I recall, there are some Texas-specific varieties. 

I always wanted to grow opuntia for either napoles, or just to have cactus flowers.   But its so wet here, the cacti rot.  One year I got some to bloom.  Very pretty.  Then that winter there was a hard freeze and they died.

The smart pots sound like a great idea.  Even is Western Washington, the summer is dry, so container plants van be baked and require attention.

Last year I grew a lot of fig trees in containers to give away.  I went to home depot and bought an insulating wrap, not sure what it's really for, maybe water heater.  It's like a bubble wrap, sandwiched between shiny foil-like mylar.  I wrapped each container in the shiny insulating wrap.  By my measurements, it kept the soil cooler by 15 degrees.

I imagine sedums and sempervivums would do OK there.  Some sedums have nice flowers, and honeybees love them.

Wow, crazy ants! 

Comment by Barbara Livingston on May 6, 2014 at 9:06pm

Hi All, I new this sight and enjoy reading your comments.  

I'm from very hot and dry south Texas, zone 8. I guess the weather controls our planting, and success also.  I am growing only flowers this year and am trying my hand using seeds.  We went from cold winter to hot summer in a matter of weeks so my little seedlings are struggling. After cooking everything on my patio last year I switched this year to 'smart pots' and sub-irrigation for all my plants that are not in the ground.   Everything I planted is drought/heat/sun tolerant, but we do have to get them started.  How successful it will be is yet to be determined.

I was fascinated with the conversations on grafting.  I've never tried it.  This is my first year of growing completely organic and am using a few ideas passed along by a friend to discourage the ants - molasses.  Doesn't kill them, just sends them to someplace else.  We have fire ants, and I now have what they call 'crazy ants'.  Little black buggers that go 90 mph in different directions, and bite just as bad as the fire ants. 

Because we are already under water restrictions and it looks like they will soon be stepping it up to the next level I'm hoping everything takes hold soon.  I certainly wish I had some of the water that is in abundance in WA.  :)

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 6, 2014 at 8:57pm

By the way, there are two way I have grown beets, carrots, radishes, etc. I make a furrow about 1/2" to 1" deep,  with a string for straight lines. Sow the seeds in the furrow, cover with soil and tap lightly to get a firm touch of seed to soil. Water gently so you do not wash out the seeds. Plant deeply enough so the birds don't eat them. Don't be surprised if cats come along and dig their little potty holes creating interesting crocked rows. It becomes a comedy feature of a garden. Besides, one doesn't want perfection in a garden. Perfectly imperfect is the goal. 

The other way is to select a patch of ground, no more than 4' across and sow seeds by scattering them in well prepared soil. Toss on a layer of soil on top, just enough to keep the birds from eating them, water gently, and as they grow, thin out and enjoy the very young ones in salads, and when vegetable gets bigger, there will be room for them to mature. Keep in mind the  diameter size of the mature plant when thinning. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 6, 2014 at 8:46pm

I am in Sunset gardening zone 2B 

I am in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Zone 6a : -10 to -5 (F)

To find Sunset plant zone map go to: 


To find USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map


Go to maps, type in your zip code in the designated place and it will give you your hardiness zone. 

The difference between the two systems is Sunset takes in more factors in determining the hardiness zone. 

To find out what is recommended for doing now, go to Sunset Magazine online and select Garden, then go to month you desire. You don't need to subscribe. 

What to do in your garden in May


I haven't put in seeds yet, ground needs to be warm enough and dry enough or the seeds will rot. I don't start outdoor seeds until mid-May and don't set out tender seedlings until after June 1. I have had killing frosts June 16. See Starting Spring Crops from Seed on this site. 

Comment by king on May 6, 2014 at 4:52pm
I was wondering if anybody has direct sowed any yet and if so are they up
Comment by Joan Denoo on May 6, 2014 at 4:43pm

What about "sow carrots"? Do you want to know how to do it? or When? or in what soil? or moisture needs? or sun needs? 

Comment by kathy: ky on May 6, 2014 at 2:54pm
King, you can't give the stuff away around here.
Well, youccan but people really don't like to tramp through anothers garden.

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