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: 181
Latest Activity: 6 hours 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 Thomas Murray on January 23, 2017 at 2:49pm

Speaking of seeds.....years ago we bought an Asian hamster for my oldest son...cute little thing and cuddly. A weeks later, she had babies....7 of them. All grew up healthy and were given away. Another two weeks went by and viola! ...more babies! What the hell! There are no males around yet something is "seeding" her.

And yet, third time around she had 5 more babies.

Comment by Daniel W on January 22, 2017 at 4:50pm

Spud, last year I germinated bean seeds that we have had in the basement in envelopes for 10 to 15 years.  Only about 10% grew, and some of those were sick looking plants, but I got enough to regenerate the variety.  Since these were descended from Chinese beans and I have never seen them in catalogs, I was happy.  That's unusually long for beans.

I've grown peppers and tomatoes from 10 year old seeds.  One of the pepper types was from a package in the kitchen that sat on the shelf for at least 10 years.

I test similar to how Joan does.  I put them in a moist paper towel, fold it, and place in a ziplock bag.  With those beans, I germinated them that way then carefully transplanted the seeds into containers.

Corn and onion seeds are thought only to last 1 or 2 years.  It really depends on the species.

I have a collection of seeds that I draw from each year.  It's too many but I hate throwing them away.  For some, when I plant new seeds I mix them equal parts with old seeds because they need thinning out anyway.  I do that with radishes, carrots, greens, lettuce. 

In Israel, some date palm seeds were found at an archeological site, 2,000 years old.  One has been germinated and has grown into a tree, dubbed "Methasulah".  It's important because this species has been extinct for many centuries.  Most likely, date seeds are very durable and long lasting, and it was in a dry protected archeological site which helped.

I keep mine in a plastic box that doesn't seal completely.  My basement is cool and dry, not damp.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 22, 2017 at 4:25pm

OR, I finally found Daniel's Blog,

"Growing Greener in the Pacific Northwest"


Comment by Joan Denoo on January 22, 2017 at 4:12pm

Spud, seeds are viable as long as they are viable. Some die quickly, some remain viable for centuries, i.e. Egypt and ancient Inca seeds have been viable. 

To test, wet a paper towel, put a few seeds on it, cover with another wet paper towel. Check the seeds after a day, a week, a month, and if they sprout, perhaps the others in the pack will sprout. No guarantees the other seeds are viable or not. 

When I have questionable seeds that I don't care if they are viable, I add them to the bird seed mix in the feeder or throw in a small patch I have fenced off so cats and hawks can't get the birds as they feed on the hand-tossed seeds.  

Or, I dry seeds on a metal surface in a dark place that is not damp and where mice can't get to them. When they are dry, I put them in labeled jars and put them in the freezer. 

Or, I leave them in the seed pack and store them in a dry place where mice can't get to them. Mice love flower and vegetable seeds and they can smell them as easily as you and I smell bacon frying from outside. I keep the packets in a metal tin, usually the kind in which Christmas fruit cakes come. Be sure to wash and dry the tin and lid thoroughly or you will open the tin to mold.  

Comment by Idaho Spud on January 22, 2017 at 3:36pm

I've also not stored my seeds properly.

Comment by Idaho Spud on January 22, 2017 at 3:35pm

All of my seeds are 2 or more years old, so I've taken the advice of that article and have ordered all new seeds for spring planting.  

Comment by Idaho Spud on January 22, 2017 at 3:16pm

Seeds: How long do they last?   http://awaytogarden.com/estimating-viability-how-long-do-seeds-last/

I just read this article, and learned a couple of new things.  

I don't remember hearing about viability before.  It says that just because your seeds will sprout, does not mean they will grow well.

I may have, but don't remember reading how to store them before.  They say they should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer, that moisture is their biggest enemy.

Comment by Daniel W on January 20, 2017 at 10:05am

Thomas, thanks for the reference.  I like wrens for their insectivorous ways.  It's a cool birdhouse.

Randy, my garden is bleak too.  Yesterday I went out and did some chores, moved garden blackberries to a new bed that is protected from deer.  These are horticultural varieties that are supposed to taste better, stay smaller, and not be thorny, compared to the wild blackberries, but unfortunately deer eat the plants.  I also did maintenance on deer fencing around several trees in my orchard.  The goal is eventually, many of the trees will be too tall for deer to browse, and not need fencing.  But for the time being, without protection those trees would be eaten to nothingness. 

It was nice to be outside. 

Comment by Thomas Murray on January 19, 2017 at 1:19pm

Thanks to all for the nice comments of our birdhouse.

I must point out that the design is not ours but from a bird house book I bought. I made a few modifications to it and this book didn't spell out all the measurements. We had to do some guesses of length and widths. We did follow recommended hole size for a particular bird and in this case the hole size is 1 inch for Wrens. This birdhouse is our third one. Our first two bird houses were ordinary houses, but this one we decided to explore our creativeness.

For all the size and design recommendations for any particular bird, I follow" Audubon Birdhouse Book" by Margaret A. Barker & Ellissa Wolfson and "The Birdhouse Book" by Don McNeil.

Randall: I'll ask my son if he is for hire.

We"ll be making more soon. Spring will be upon us soon and I plan to take full advantage of it.

Comment by Randall Smith on January 19, 2017 at 7:14am
Very nice birdhouse, Thomas. My bluebird houses are in need of repair/replacing. Is your son for hire?!
My garden looks so bleak right now, except for a few cilantro sprigs. I haven't even thought about my plans yet.

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