Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 181
Latest Activity: 8 hours ago

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Comment by Daniel W on May 14, 2017 at 11:26am

Thanks for the permaculture information, Joan.


I am not a purist about permaculture, but I do incorporate permaculture concepts into my life and garden and I like the philosophy.  I think permaculture might be more work in some ways, which I have to consider for the future.In other ways, it is less work. 

That reminds me, the chestnut trees that I planted have leafed out and are growing nicely.

Slugs took a liking to my re-purposed cement block raised beds.  I have paving stones on top of the blocks, and slugs congregate on the undersides of the paving stones. These slugs are monstrous, thicker than my thumb and longer than my index finger.  It turns out that ducks love eating slugs, so I go on slug hunts now, and feed them to the ducks.  Permaculture?

I think the first corn seeds I planted will be a no-go.  The 80s days were followed by several rainy days and soil temp dropped to 50.  It's just a partial packet of seeds, not much loss.

I don't rototill but I do turn over the top layer of soil, using a shovel, and break it up using a garden rake.   I don't mulch in spring, due to chill and those slugs which destroy all seedlings.  I lay boards under plants, and collect slug form under the boards,, but that's not sufficient to save little seedlings.  By cultivating, the soil is warmer.

Looks like most of us are not tilling.

Spud, I'm confident you will get those mice!

Randy, How are your new trees doing?  My persimmons are so close to blooming.  I check every day.

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 14, 2017 at 8:02am

I just put down 5 fresh glue boards to see if that will catch it.

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 14, 2017 at 8:01am

Ugh!  I think I have another mouse loose in the house.  I heard the radar dog I've got outside my bedroom bark several times last night and this morning I found a little peanut butter missing from a trap although it was not triggered.  Another trap was triggered, but no mouse was in it.

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 14, 2017 at 7:48am

I try not to root-till my garden anymore either randy.  I've also concluded that it probably does more damage than good.

Comment by Randall Smith on May 14, 2017 at 7:08am

All good information. Thanks.

I don't roto-till my garden before planting. So the plot doesn't look all clean and fluffy. I read where tilling does more damage than good. And I usually have decent results. When weeds get out of control, I may run the tiller through the rows. That is, if I can get it started!

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 13, 2017 at 11:50pm

Permaculture is a style of life.

"Permaculture is a system of design for sustainable and ecological living by integrating plants, animals, buildings, people, and communities."

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 13, 2017 at 11:42pm

Daniel, I agree that gardening depends on so many variables, one has to be responsive to whatever element presents. I, too, had a year and half of horticulture at a Land Grant College and had to learn a very different form of gardening when I discoveed Permaculture and the use of nature and natural processes to get the kind of results I wanted. I learned a great deal by gardening with my Dad and both grandmothers. They used a lot of folk methods that seemed to work. When I have a problem with a plant, I often sit down and remember what they did. That is a great way to learn. 

Over the years, I forget what I learned at college, unless it is so deeply engrained in my mind I don't realize it. But I remember, vividly, what I learned from my elders. 

In some ways I wish we had life after death so that I could tell them how valuable they are to me today and how grateful I am for having them as family. I also wish I could tell them how hurtful the interpersonal relations were for me and that families can live without violence. 

Communication between and within the family members now are much healthier. We manage conflict and problems much better than the previous generation. 

Growing a garden using no-till methods and growing a family using interpersonal skill, result in different outcomes than using tilling methods of farming and authoritarian methods of child rearing.

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Comment by kathy: ky on May 13, 2017 at 11:32pm
Joan I only have one four year old Boston terrier now. The best thing she has learned is to stay out of the flower beds :) She's always with me and gives a very soft 'woof' if something is around that shouldn't be. If people show up unexpectedly she acts like a big dog barking and growling. She sounds like a big dog too. But with stray snakes, turtles, racoons, etc she just calls my attention to it and waits for me. I love animals. Especially dogs. Boston's are very good natured and love children.
My oldest gdaughter (14) happily helps with weeding, planting, and other yard chores. She always has. The younger one (12) only likes tending to the chickens and dog. So they balance each other out. But they both like the compost and are willing to help out with it. They have since they were toddlers. I've promised the 14 year old a small compost bin to work cold compost at her house. Just a simple wooden frame about 2ftx2ft with a depth of about two feet.
My daughter uses chemicals and is not into flowers or gardens at all. It's just more work for her. Her job is swing shift with a two day turn around, and three hour drive round trip. With two in school she doesn't really have time.
I just realized today that I don't have tomato plants out. With my husband undergoing treatment, the cold temps, and the rain, I hadn't given it a thought. They are usually in the ground for already for a couple of weeks. I plan on picking up a couple tomorrow.
Most of the shrubs have been pruned, flower beds mostly weeded, and sunflowers I sewed in the hugelkulture beds during the fall are already about two feet tall. I have some bare spots I need to reseed and that's all I'll have time for this year.
Doctors appointments and cold weather have brought gardening to a slow crawl this season.
I've got to agree that Daniel puts a lot of time in the yard and garden. The growing season is much shorter where you two live.
Here we usually start the first week of May, earlier some years, and garden as late as mid to late October. I've had green peppers and tomatoes ripening as late as mid November before. But by then they are getting tough.
Comment by Daniel W on May 13, 2017 at 10:40pm

Joan, there is so much uncertainty, we can only do what we think is best.  I have less faith in Land Grant College extension services than you might, but at least they are a start.  My PhD work was sponsored by an Ag department at a land grant institution.  They were very pro industry, pro chemical company, and pro chemical.  They were anti organic and anti vegetarian.  Their grant moneys came from ag industry corporations, and I bet that is true more now than then.  But I imagine they are more reliable than many sources.

If you can get your hands on some, I imagine the starter mix is better than compost for starting seeds.  Also, what is the temperature?  A lot of them like it warm.  I know you are very experienced in that, so I doubt I'm saying anything new.

You are right I work hard in the garden.  I don't know why I do that.  When I was a little boy, I was gardening when other kids were playing.  My first grade school science fair project was plant propagation.  I remember blushing when I put on my poster that plants could be propagated sexually and asexually, because I was Baptist and the word "sexual" was verboten. 

It could be the old seeds.  I had some that didn't come up well.  Peppers and Tomatoes all germinated nicely.  Only about 10% of the four o'clocks seeds germinated.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 13, 2017 at 9:39pm

Kathy, having grown children presents blessings and curses! Even though my twins were born 7 minutes apart, it as though they are 7 years. My daughter takes after her Dad, my son after me, and my adopted son had a stubborn streak like no one I know. All three gardened with me and didn't like it; too much hard work. Now that I am older, it is too hard for me, as well. I want every seed to count and grow to its full potential, whether child or plant. 

Daniel amazes me with all the hard gardening he does. His photos jump right off the page as a plant nurtured by him. 

Do you have any pets? Do they "Help" you garden? 


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