Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees!  


Welcome  backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, beekeepers & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 175
Latest Activity: 5 hours ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, plant & prune, grow food & flowers, or sit and watch as someone else does your landscaping, you'll find something here to discuss!

Selected topics, in sort of alphabetical order:
Aging.  Gardening with an older body.
bees.  insectary.  insectsbee gardening. Beneficial insects.  insects drive evolution

Compost.  herecontaminated compost.

Backyard Chickens here. here. here. here.

Edible yard.  here  urban farmfront yards.
Growing Fruits


Fragrance and Scenthere.
Fruit growing.  in a small space, by backyard orchard culture.
Frugal gardening.  labels.

Gardening for future generations.  also permaculture, trees, historic varieties, soil

Hegelkultur here, here, here

Heritage and historic varieties.   heresources

locally grown plants to prevent blight transmission here.

Moon Phase Widget here. Moon phase topic here.

PeppersHot peppers.

Permaculture MollisonFalk  Liu, Joan's IntroTransformation in 90 days, Perm Principles at work. Food forest, Holzer

Potatoes.  here.

Rooftop gardening.  here

Seed starting. starting spring crops.

Scientific Gardening.   The Informed Gardener.  The truth about garden remedies.

Soil and soil building - healthy soil microbes, mycelium, dirt is everything, soil analysissoil pH.


Tomatoes.  Myths and truths

Trees.  Tree tunnels.  Ancient tree planting. Plant commemorative trees

Comment Wall


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Comment by Daniel W on January 3, 2015 at 9:29am
Garden writer Lee Reich describes the various varieties if mulberries. There are many. from insipid to rich and delicious. Based on his recommendations, I planted the chance-hybrid "Illinois Everbrearing". I bought that about 5 years ago. It's an attractive tree. Started bearing a few the second year. Now From July to Sept I stop by the tree regularly to pick and eat berries. They are so delicious. This variety is seedless. I've been keeping it pruned to keep it compact but might let it get bigger now. One person's weed is another's delight.

By the way, I recommend about anything Reich writes. He's very knowlegeable on trees, fruits, pruning.
Comment by Barbara Livingston on January 3, 2015 at 9:02am

Randall, Hackberry and Mulberry very prolific here too and many call them 'trash trees'.  I like to think of it as a living plant that will provide lots of shade for my very hot back yard.  It's said "CPS and the birds plant them".  When local power company disturbs the dirt, the birds eat the worms, etc. and plant the seeds. My mulberry is exactly in the center of my fence line as if planted by a human. 

Daniel, due to heavy pesticide use in the U.S. and Mexico, I only eat fruit that is certified organic. I would pay extra for the bagged fruit.  Reading the article about how the Italians grow and market their bagged peaches it made me want to whip out my VISA and order some. 

Comment by Randall Smith on January 3, 2015 at 7:43am

Around these parts (IN), mulberry and hackberry trees are considered a nuisance. They're so prolific. However , they make good firewood!  I have one gigantic hackberry, but keep the Mulberries cut down (They come up under my pine trees).

Barbara, I like your car choice. Sounds like the ticket.

Comment by Daniel W on January 2, 2015 at 9:43pm

I think bagging just never caught on in the US.  Other places, use of pesticides changed the cost/benefit.  That ratio will depend on who is doing what.  In the Hawaii article, they go through the labor costs, the benefit of more salable fruit, the increased price for the better quality fruit from bags, and conclude it would be profitable to bag some of theirs.  Here, in most orchards, that would be way too expensive under current practices.  The expense is the labor.  But at one or two minutes a bag...  I don't know.

Comment by Barbara Livingston on January 2, 2015 at 9:23pm

Okay so 'bagging' has been around for a long time.  Do I dare ask who was the genius that suggested the practice should be discontinued.  If and when I have fruit on my trees, I'm going to bag it.

You are right about mulberry tree, birds cleaned mine within days. One morning as I was putting water in the bird bath I noticed them and thought 'oh good, i'll have berries when they ripen.'  The birds didn't wait and a couple days later not one berry on tree.

Comment by Daniel W on January 2, 2015 at 9:02pm


Here is more info on bagging fruits - this time peaches in Sicily.  They use parchment paper, and the resultant fruit is called "Pesca Settembrina".  Google translate#1  Google translate #2

I saw another article stating that some chinese farmers bag their peaches to create a pale yellow peach with no traces of red.  Apparently, they like that appearance.  Bagging them also lets them stay longer on the tree to become more fully ripe.

This is the nurse tree I know about.   That is because of my Oregon phase.    The hackberry trees make sense if they deter grasshoppers or attract grasshoppers away from the fruits.   Mulberries are intended to draw birds away from fruits, but I love eating the mulberries myself.

Comment by Barbara Livingston on January 2, 2015 at 11:06am

Daniel, have you heard of the term "nurse trees"?  A woman posted in a local FB page saying she plants hackberry trees to protect her fruit trees from grasshappers. 

Comment by Barbara Livingston on January 2, 2015 at 10:39am

Eat my bunnies?! Oh golly, no!  :)))  I did not realize how popular rabbit raising for meat is, especially among the urban homesteaders and permaculture enthusiasts. While doing some research on rabbits I made all sorts of interesting discoveries, such as rabbits have hard time in heat over 85F. So will be a challenge to keep them cool during July and August.  The main reason I'm getting the bunnies is for their poop - being pets is secondary. Although I'll still pay for it, I won't have to buy and cart home organic fertilizer or compost from Lowe's ever again - and I'm smiling when I think about how well fed all my plants will be.

I didn't want to have a car payment, so I opted for a used 5-dr 2009 Toyota Matrix.  Verrry zippy, I have to be careful to not spin my tires at stop signs and pay attention to my speed. The entire cargo area, including the back of the full rear seats, which lay completely flat, are covered with a hard vinyl - giving me 5.5' of carrying space.     Purchased from dealership who has maintained it. 

Daniel, bagging the fruit makes sense for the backyard grower, but, now I understand why the big growers have resorted to pesticides. Doesn't make it right, I just understand. If you are going to bag all your fruit, it makes the E-Z-prune method more appealing. Considering how many fruit trees you have, once they begin to fruit you will be spending less time staring and more time bagging, have fun! 

My dad never used anything on our apple orchard and I remember "perfect" apples were set aside to be taken to school in our lunch bags. Bug holes, etc. were simply cut out and the rest of the apples were used - ditto with the peach and pears  All the rest were gathered for the pigs. Funny, even back in the 50's we were essentially permaculture.  

As far as the sub zero-wet-snowy-slushy weather y'all are experiencing ... think of it as stratification. A necessary botanical process. (':') 

Comment by Daniel W on January 2, 2015 at 8:54am

Barbara, I hope you enjoy your  bunnies!  Are they for pets, or eating?  I can't get too attached if they are for eating.  Of course, they do manufacture good fertilizer - important to all of us gardeners.

The fruit bagging is new to me.  I had no idea it's a long standing tradition, dating back centuries in Asia and nearly that in France.  It does seem like a lot of trouble.  To do it, labor and materials need to be cheap.  Or for the backyard hobbyist, like me, something to do instead of standing around peering at each but and each leaf.  Reading more, I want to try for more than just apples and Asian pears. With apples, on most of my trees it's not an issue of perfect fruit, it's an issue of any usable fruit.  The insects, animals, diseases leave just lumpy distorted too small to eat, apples.  What I liked about the articles is, they are actually evidence based, not just what someone thinks would work or not work.

Envious of your ability to grow oranges!  I am trying to grow a kumquat in a container, no fruit yet in 2 years.

You are right, we have to choose our battles.  More and more in life, I understand that!

Spud, you can have your snow too!   And your -7.  Brrrrr.....   Which goes to show how I have softened since leaving the midwest in the 80s.  Back then, I liked walking on the frozen Mississippi, seeing my breath freeze, and the sense of accomplishment of a shoveled walk and driveway.  Now I just want to keep warm.

Comment by Idaho Spud on January 2, 2015 at 7:53am

Barbara, it sounds like a good plan to buy a car and pay for dirt hauling.

There has been 5 inches of damp snow here in the last 2 weeks.  Shoveling my sidewalk and driveway was not too odious, and I can certainly use the exercise!   My garden appreciates the moisture, and the snow keeps it from freezing too far down.  The temperatures here have been cold.  -7 F (-22C) one night.


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