Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

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Comment by Randall Smith on November 17, 2018 at 7:22am

I know one thing, Daniel: don't eat those mushrooms!

Speaking of which, I made a mushroom and black bean soup last night. Chicken of the woods mushroom I found several weeks ago. Really good soup, if I do say so.

And, Daniel, in regard to your comment about my comment, my great X 3 grandfather came from Germany, possibly a Schmidt Americanized into Smith. That might explain Dad's negativity. Hopefully, I've ended the "tradition".

Comment by Loam Gnome on November 16, 2018 at 9:15pm

Spud, my memory plays games with me.  For some reason, I'm thinking you lost your brother due to mushrooms? Please forgive me if I'm wrong.

It's amazing to me that fungal mycelium grows through the soil, sort of like cobwebs among the soil particles, and every now and then they send up these completely different, organized mushroom structures.  And those mycelium connect to plant roots, and interchange nutrients with plants. 

I used to buy mycorrhizal inoculum, thinking it would benefit my plants.  Now I think that was unnecessary and possibly completely futile, given the diversity and numbers of mushrooms I find around the property.  I think the main thing is to just let the existing ones grow.  But last winter I did buy morel spawn.  I didn't have the ambition to prepare the ground properly, just buried chunks of it around dying trees and some new chestnut trees.

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 16, 2018 at 12:29pm

I've always found mushrooms fascinating, but never studied them  enough to know which ones I could eat, like my brother did.  He was an expert.

Comment by Loam Gnome on November 16, 2018 at 9:51am

More mushrooms.  

Comment by Loam Gnome on November 16, 2018 at 9:51am

Joan, thanks for the info regarding leaves.  I'll be hauling another batch today.

For the most part, this year's leaf mulch goes on top of the mulch from last year, which is almost disappeared.  It did a great job suppressing weeds, and kept the ground more moist during a record hot summer.  For the area where I want to extend mulch and kill off grass, I'll leave them in place for the long term.

I wonder if they have proof about leaching mineral content?  I guess that doesnt matter forme.  My soul is high in most minerals, except calcium and magnesium.  Wood ashes and Epsom salts take care of that.

Randy, Im sorry to hear about your dad's negativity.  I know how that is too...  I thought it was a German midwest thing.  

mushrooms today.  Chilly out there but not frozen yet.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 16, 2018 at 7:33am

Well, to be fair, and, at the time of posting, I didn't realize there was a thin coating of slick ice on the roads. Hence, the school closures. Too risky, I suppose.

Yes, Joan, I taught middle school science (mostly). And I've always had somewhat of an inferiority complex. I blame my father. He never once said he was proud of me--for any thing. Plus, he was forever critical of things I did--or didn't do.

As usual, more good information from you, Joan.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 16, 2018 at 1:42am

Daniel, my understanding is that if you get a very thick layer of leaves on the grass, it will die with grass & leaves decomposing into fine soil.

The authorities for my claim are: 

"If you only cover the grass in the winter Nov-April, then remove the leaves the grass will still be alive because they don't use much energy in the winter, and they store a lot of energy. You will have to keep the grass covered for spring+summer if you plan on suppressing them. You could try daikon radish as a living mulch. They have roots that go down 6ft, so they dont have to fight with the grass root, but the daikon radish leaves will shade out the grass."

~ leaves to kill grass over Winter for Spring garden bed.


Another blog may give some information:

" Leaves are at their nutrient best shortly after they’ve fallen from the tree. Soon after that, their nutrient value begins to disappear. Leaves left on lawns or in piles over winter lose much of their mineral value to leaching. Leaves composted without shredding and not mixed with a green source of nitrogen may sit for years before decomposing. Without a source of nitrogen, leaves will not become compost but instead become leaf mold, a valuable soil addition concerning drainage and water-holding capability, but not as valuable as mineral-rich compost."

~ Leaves, easily turned into protective mulch, soil-enhancing leaf ...

From my experience, piling a very thick pile of leaves on grass will eventually kill it, turning it into friable humus, rich with earthworms.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 15, 2018 at 4:13pm

Randy, do I remember correctly that you are a retired teacher? 

When you wrote, "I don't like "experts" telling me what to do; I will feel inferior;" your words startled me.

I wanted to take the Master Gardener instructions, howeer, my memory is so bad, I decided to spare the instructor that challenge. Now that I am in Newport, there is an exceptional Extention agent here and I have no transportation. The dept very kindly takes my email questions and answers them as best they can. 

We also have a Kalispel Tribe member who helps me out. I would still like to learn at the elbow of a master gardener for the greenhouse. 

Comment by Loam Gnome on November 15, 2018 at 2:35pm

Around here, there is only one or two major snow situations a year, plus usually an ice storm.  I think major equipment to remove all of that would cost a lot, and it's only for a short term situation.  I can see closings being more cost effective.

As for me, snow means sitting by the wood stove while it warms me and my canine companion, and generates plant food in the form of ashes. I'm getting lazier.

Comment by Patricia on November 15, 2018 at 1:20pm

Inch of snow....wimps! School buses don't run here when it gets to -35*C. but school is still open for anyone who can get there.


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