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: yesterday

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 Randall Smith on November 18, 2015 at 7:20am

Yes, Daniel, experience is the best teacher. And experimenting is the only way to go. I always enjoy reading about what you're doing next. Very admirable. Relax now for several weeks.

As far as my garden soil (and I'm repeating myself), I've been told a barn once occupied the very spot the garden sits. To this day, I still pull up stones, rocks, concrete, nails, etc. When I first gardened, nearly 40 years ago, the soil was basically clay. I added a dumptruck full of sand and have enriched the soil with all sorts of organic matter. I finally have about 5-6" of good topsoil. However, it remains alkaline according to Purdue's soil testing (currently, checked by self soil testing). Besides pine needles, I also add sulfur.  The good news is, my garden is fairly productive. Only a few plants don't survive--blueberries, for example.

Comment by Daniel W on November 17, 2015 at 9:52am

Randy, if I had any energy, I would be collecting the neighbors' leaves right now for compost!  Leaves are my favorite source.

How did your soil wind up alkaline?  Was there a woodfire there, or a lot of lime?  Somehow, I thought Indiana soils would be acidic, but I don't know why I thought that.

Joan, I imagine you puttering in your greenhouse.  The idea makes me happy.

After overdoing it last week with clearing a small area of brush, I'm still tired and aching a week later.  So none of that until I'm off work for a week in early December.

All rainy and chilly now.  We might have had a little frost, but not a big one.  Things are looking goopy and rotten from all of the rain.  It feels overdue for first frost. 

I ordered some new bare-root fruit trees for February planting.  Not necessary to order now, but planning keeps me going.  There is a near-black plum-cherry hybrid (Nadia), a pear that is a hybrid between red Bartlett Pear and an Asian pear (Maxie), an apple from the Purdue-Rutgers-Illinois (PRI) disease-resistant apple breeding program (Winecrisp).   I have their summer apple, Pristine, and the first apples were wonderful.  Most PRI Apples have PRI in their name, Pristine, Priscilla, etc - also in winecRIsP. 

I added another Pawpaw, this one develped by a devoted horticulturalist who specialized in them for decades (Allegheney).  They take 3 or 4 years to fruit, and I think one of my first ones was inappropriate for  this area, too small and late for maritime summers.  Hopeful 2 of the first pawpaw trrees will fruit 2016.

Some replace dead or nonproductive fruit trees from my orchard / food forest.   Two trees were lost to voles eating off all of the bark below ground.  One peach has not fruited in the 7 years I've had it, time to cull.  One or two trees might die due to canker.  Some fruit trees don't live long or are not adapted here, only way to know is to try.  The minidwarf apples turned out to be a bust, nonpruductive, poor quality apples, plus their roots are too shallow for the dry and expected to be dryer summers.    Always learning, and it feels like half of what I thought a couple of years ago seems wrong now.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 17, 2015 at 7:23am
I now have 3 piles of leaves and pine needles in my garden near my compost pile. Come Spring, I'll alternate them with grass clippings and soil. That usually works to make good compost. My garden soil is very alkaline and needs acidic pine needles to lower the pH.
Comment by Joan Denoo on November 15, 2015 at 1:42am

Having a beautiful weekend. I replanted some more lettuce and kale to replace things that are not developing properly in the greenhouse ... too cold, not enough sunlight. The leafy things perform far beyond my expectations.

A very light rain fell today with individual drops that looked like crystals.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 13, 2015 at 7:02am

Always good to hear from you, Spud. How's your health doing nowadays?

With all this wind we've been having, my pears and persimmons are on the ground. That means I'll have to do something with them--sauce and pulp mostly.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 12, 2015 at 2:15am

Spud, I bet your backyard is beautiful with all those  yellow Amish pie squash growing. I like the name.

 yellow Amish pie squash also

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 11, 2015 at 1:30pm

Joan, I don't yet know how my sweet potatoes did because I haven't dug any yet, but there were lots of leaves.  I'll try to remember to take a picture when I dig some.

I'll try to remember to take a picture of my yellow Amish pie squash also.   Some of them grew huge.  The vines & leaves covered my back yard.

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 11, 2015 at 1:20pm

Daniel, I also like your atheist ginko story.

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 11, 2015 at 1:17pm

Kathy, muskmelon and cantaloupe are the same thing.  Wikipedia says "Cantaloupe (also cantelope, cantaloup, muskmelon (India and the United States), mushmelon, rockmelon, sweet melon, honeydew, Persian melon, or spanspek (South Africa)) refers to a variety of Cucumis melo, a species in the family Cucurbitaceae.

Cantaloupes range in weight from 0.5 to 5 kilograms (1.1 to 11.0 lb). Originally, cantaloupe referred only to the non-netted, orange-fleshed melons of Europe.[citation needed] However, in more recent US usage, it has come to mean any orange-fleshed melon (C. melo). Cantaloupe is the most popular variety of melon in the United States.[2]"

Most people around here call them cantaloupe, but I've started calling them muskmelon because I like the sound of that word, and I can remember it easier than cantaloupe.

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 11, 2015 at 1:04pm

Daniel, when do you retire?  Just about a month isn't it? 

If I get the chance, I'll plant some tasty brambles like you have in the part of my yard that gets the least sun.  Sounds like they grow so tall, they will find the sun.  This year, I purchased a thorny blackberry because I understand they taste better.  It took a while to grow much, but it's doing well now, and I should be able to see how it tastes next year. 

I often also would like to see people plant things to eat and ornamentals instead of leaving the ground weedy or bare, or covered with grass.  From what I here, there are more fruit trees in this town that many other towns, but still not many.


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