Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

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Comment by Joan Denoo on September 21, 2012 at 7:57pm

Nerdless, If you keep the water fresh, you might be able to get some roots started. I don't know, I have never tried stevia. If you want to dry it, put it on a clean cotton towel and set it out of the way. In a few days, the leaves should become crumbly; I am not sure about the stalks. I dry almost all my herbs this way and it depends on the plant if it works. For example, I dry parsley, oregano, sage, basil, and they do fine drying this way. I don't dry chives, they lose too much of their flavor. 

I bought a simple kitchen wire rack with short drawers at one of the building stores. I bought seven drawers: 
Stor-Drawer One-Runner Basket - Series 16. Item No: 046964160114 St...
and organizeit: 

Hobby Room Storage, Wire Basket Image Office Storage organizeit.com

This system is easy to move indoors and out, and I do the trimming and lay out my herbs in the garden. If I need to move them to the basement, it is light weight and easy to do by myself. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 21, 2012 at 7:28pm

How to Make Compost

I have gardened and made composts in Spokane, Tacoma, Kenai Alaska, El Paso, San Antonio, Ft. Hood, Washington, D.C., and again in Spokane. I have used every style of composting, from piles, to trenches, to homemade bins, to fancy revolving ones. Each one has pros and cons so I cannot say which is best. It depends on your budget, available space, and access to material. The only thing I think you must have is WORMS; preferably worms that survive your coldest weather. 


Comment by Nerdlass on September 21, 2012 at 8:13am

My vice principal gave me a clipping of Stevia from his garden the other day and I'd like to dry it, but it's humid right now... any suggestions? I'd rather not leave it to chance to mold... been changing the water out...

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 21, 2012 at 12:12am

Chicken Tractors & Mobile Coops

My goodness, there are all kinds of coops for the urban farmer. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 20, 2012 at 11:41pm

Backyard Homesteads: Honey, I Shrunk the Farm

More people find ways to incorporate farm animals, even chickens and goats. Just think of the fine compost these critters can make!

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 16, 2012 at 9:30pm

Sentient, I would love one potato onion and give it a try. I usually start with one of something and see if I can get going. 

Egyptian onions, I have lots. If anyone wants any, just say the word. More than happy to share. 

Thanks for all the great information and referrals to articles. 

For mulch, I prefer pine needles to leaves because of the packing down and molding of leaves. But then, I live in pine country and have lots. 

I also keep mulch away from trees because of the mice problem. I've lost some really nice trees because I mulch very heavily, too much so, too close, it seems. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 15, 2012 at 11:42pm

Idaho Spud, I was really intrigued by that table compost. It wouldn't hold even my kitchen waste because we eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. I have two garden bins and a huge pile that is about 15 feet long and 2 feet tall. All my garden stuff goes in there. I lay cut flowers on top so the birds have access to flower seeds through the winter. Every year or so, I scratch out part of it, screen it, and put it in my garden beds. Great compost and billions and billions of worms (I exaggerate). 

I just finished emptying and sieving my two compost bins and piled the worm castings around plants I want to give an extra zip. I won't spread the piles until after the ground freezes. There are lots of broken egg shells, and everything else is worm castings. Truly black gold. It took about 3 or 4 days per pin to empty, but it is worth the sweat and sore muscles. 

I don't deadhead after Labor Day because I want the birds to have seeds for winter. A very large bed of phlox will last a month or so and birds swarm in there up until Thanksgiving. I don't cut back my roses until the ground gets its first frost, then I deadhead and mulch. 

I deadhead Monarda along the edges of the beds leaving seed heads down the center of the beds for birds. I am getting a second blossoming of Monarda where I dead headed about a month ago. 

The kind of gardening I do is not suitable for people who work full time and have families to consider. My dear neighbor has two elementary age children and with sports and extra school activities, they barely have time to tend to a tomato plant. They come over frequently and enjoy eating right out of my garden.  The sugar peas were so good, right off the vine ... alas, only a few peas appear infrequently now. Vines turn brown, the pea season ends. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 15, 2012 at 11:22pm

Sentient,I like your idea of planting from previously harvested garlic. I planted some in too wet soil this year and they turned out mushy. Dry soil late in the season resulted in better garlic quality. I do fertilize heavily with high nitrogen fertilizer. None of my head are nearly as large as your. I'll plant in tubs this month and get better control over water and keep track of varieties this time. A good source of information is :

The Egyptian Walking Onion

from a grower in Garfield, WA, just south of Spokane. She describes how to use them in cooking. 

Your raised bed looks perfect for effective and efficient working.  

I have never heard of "potato onions"; do you recommend them? Your plant sources from your parents' garden provides a nice memory. 

Planting your onions on 9/11 makes a nice memorial. Some may not see the value of onions, but after a season or two of growing your own leaves gentle memories of days gone by. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 14, 2012 at 8:33am

Sentient, your raised beds sound great.  Maybe I'll get the ambition to make one.  You and Joan talk about them enough to give me the desire.  Thanks.

Your talk about garlic gave me the reminder to go to the Farmers Market tomorrow and buy 10 or more varieties to try.  I'm going to keep much better track of what I plant from now on, so I can make good judgments about what I like and what does well here.

Joan, that's interesting.  I don't think watching worms would bother me, but it seems like extra work, because I'd want a larger one outside as well.  Right now I have a small container in the kitchen that I empty on the large compost pile outside every day.  That table does give me an idea though.  I wonder if a large bag, or several smaller ones, outside would work.  I'm thinking it would give my pile more oxygen than it gets now, because I'm lazy about turning it.

The temperature here for the last week has been in the 70s, and 40s at night, with 40 degrees being the lowest it reached so far.  The forecast for next week is 80s and 50s.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 13, 2012 at 9:44pm

Digestive Table

I have never seen an idea like this before and I am not sure I would want to eat as I watch worms. However, the concept intrigues me. 


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