Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 182
Latest Activity: Jan 16

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Comment by Randall Smith on April 22, 2014 at 8:19am

That is so cool, Joan! I never thought of doing a generational garden. Around here, honeysuckle is considered an invasive. Perhaps it's a different species.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 21, 2014 at 9:32am

Randy, you are so productive, so much done and so early. 
I spent about an hour in the garden trimming the honeysuckle. If I try earlier, I can't tell living from dead wood, if I wait too long, it is difficult to separate the vines. I tie them up on the fence so they hang above the compost bins. 

Laura and Larry took me out for dinner with a lot of stimulating conversation to conquer the problems of the world. Returned for coffee and sweet treats and a tour of my garden. Larry built raised bed for a garden on their property in the forest. They have the usual forest folks who like to nibble dig, and pull things out. In addition to wonderful dogs and cats that keep wildlife away from the garden and buildings, he has fenced the vegetable garden. 

They created a "Generation Garden" where they have plants from my garden; I took root cuttings from both my grandmothers' gardens and my great-grandmothers grave. My great-grandchildren have this garden from six generations. 

Comment by Randall Smith on April 21, 2014 at 6:44am

"Godless Progress" in the garden! I finally got the rototiller started (new gas helps!). Over the weekend, I planted many seeds--(can't wait for those edible pod peas) and some hardy greenhouse transplants (broc, cab, caul). Potatoes were already in. I put up a 2' chicken wire fence to discourage the rabbits and my new dog from entering a section. Although, since I've had the dog (Molly, the mastiff, for two weeks now), I haven't seen a rabbit. I may try an early corn planting, taking a chance on a late frost. I never plant corn all at once anyway. Now, sit back and watch nature do its thing! 

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 20, 2014 at 10:46am

Isn't it fun, Spud, to learn as you garden? You become your own best authority. Your watermelons from last year were glorious and interesting to follow their development. 

I choose plants that are short season as well. I grew Brandywine tomatoes in Texas and they were delicious. I tried them in Spokane and got 15 bushels of green tomatoes. I went outside on the first freeze of the season and picked them in the dark, hands freezing, and I remember that night very well. Obviously, we had lots of fried green tomatoes, green tomato pies (tasted a bit like apple pie) and green tomato sauce.  

Comment by Idaho Spud on April 20, 2014 at 9:28am

Yes, Joan, there are a lot of superstitions about gardening (and most things).  I'm sure I still have some, but I think I'm doing a reasonable job of getting rid of them one by one.  

There are a lot of things I don't know for sure, so I go along with the most reasonable ideas I can find, but don't dogmatically say they are correct or incorrect until I can find good evidence to support or dismiss them.

Those two watermelon varieties are both short season. Blacktail Mountain is 70 days, and Cream of Saskatchewan (an Heirloom) is 80 days.

The assistant extension agent plants nothing but short season varieties.  He didn't say anything when I said I planted 110 day moon & stars late & got several up to 50 pounds.  He may not have believed me.  I wouldn't have believed it before it happened.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 19, 2014 at 5:02pm

Spud, Your time was well spent at the  2014 Portneuf Valley Environmental Fair. I love to find someone to ask about gardening and finding those who have ideas and principles to follow. There are a lot of superstitions about gardening and I suppose I pass on as many as anyone. However, I have a lifelong love of plants and one can't help but learn with experience. 

Thanks for the names of the watermelon varieties, Blacktail Mountain and Cream of Saskatchewan. 

I forgot and left my grow lights on my violets last night. I don't do that very often, and I am sure your consultant gave the correct information. I do know that candlepower is the thing to watch for. I can't remember now what the overheads are, but I place the plants so they almost touch the lights. I use risers for the plants that are shorter than others, that way they get right up close and personal to the light. On sunny days, I raise the light so the ambient sun reaches them. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on April 19, 2014 at 4:12pm

I spent 2 hours at the 2014 Portneuf Valley Environmental Fair today (4/19/14), and besides getting some free food, I ask the County Extension Agent about my fruit & vegetable garden.  He had me talk to his assistant who knew more about fruits & vegetables.

I said I knew that some things needed quite a few hours of darkness to produce well, and couldn't find much information about it on the internet.  I ask him what crops would be negatively affected by my porch light and lights I have in my windows to discourage burglars and other nefarious creatures.

He said no plants would be negatively affected.  

He read a study that concluded the light has to be very strong, even stronger than normal street lights before it will bother any plants.

Good news!  Now I don't have to worry about it as much.  There's always the chance that the study wasn't well done, but until I hear something different from a reliable source, I won't worry about it much.

Some things I had read on the internet indicated that even weak light would hurt some plants, so last year (or the year before), I finally turned-off the lights in my windows near my plants, and strung green LED xmas lights under my eves.  I figured all those dim lights would produce a more even light, and not bother the plants near windows that used to have just one stronger light in them.  I also thought that green light may bother plants less because most sources say plants only use red and blue light, not green, at least not as much as the other colors.  Now I will go back to using the regular 40 watt equivalent white LED bulbs in the windows and on the porch.

When I mentioned using red & blue LED grow lights to the extension agent, he said he read another study that found that a combination of less expensive cool white and warm white fluorescent lights did just as good a job as the expensive grow lights.

He also said that grow lights can be left on 16 hours a day, leaving only 8 hours of darkness, and the plants will grow faster.  Eight hours of darkness is enough even for those plants that need a darkness period.

He also grows watermelon and gave me the names of two he was impressed with.  He loves the taste of Blacktail Mountain and said others swear by Cream of Saskatchewan.

When I mentioned mixing lots of sand into my soil for drainage, he said watermelon do well in any soil, even poor.

I have a hard time believing they will do as well as they could in soil that is not well drained because other watermelon growers say they need good drainage, plus, I think the instructions on every plant I grow say to plant in well-drained soil.

Comment by Idaho Spud on April 19, 2014 at 2:41pm

I think I commented on the Okra flower before, but I want to say again how interesting and beautiful it is.

Comment by Idaho Spud on April 19, 2014 at 10:23am

Joan, I've not before heard of Orach or Mizuna.

I said ISU, but it looks like, as you wrote, it's now called U of I.  When I went there many years ago it was called Idaho State College.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 19, 2014 at 10:06am

Spud, great article from U of I, an excellent source of information.I have never heard of orach. 



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