Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

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Comment by Daniel W on March 8, 2017 at 11:01am

Randy, things like french fries are not so great, but I think of potatoes as being pretty nutritious.   Livescience.com  Lots of phytonutrients.fiber potassium.  Minerals, especially potassium.  Fat free until fried or other fats added.  Only about 110 calories in a potato, granted it's starchy.  Considering how many calories we eat in a day, 110 isn't a lot.  I have about one per day.

I don't remove the skin, that has a lot of nutrients.  Since I keep that on, I like to raise my own to avoid pesticides and herbicides that are used in nonorganic farming.

I've been using wood cut from our scrubby woodlot for the woodstove.  It's mostly hardwood, mostly hawthorne, which is like fruitwood, and hazelnut, with fir and cypress thrown in if I have it.  My big ornamental cherry is dying, so that will provide a few weeks heating next year.

Comment by Thomas Murray on March 8, 2017 at 10:18am


Thank you very mulch..er much for the wood chip article.

Randall, is your wood burner furnace the only source of heat for your home? Several winters ago and for one winter my family went on a heating diet and used only the fireplace as the source of heat. We've use pine, oak and poplar. Poplar is terrible for home heating firewood. I used pine first to start the fire quickly and heap the oak into the fire for the rest of the day. There are pros and cons between conventional heating and fireplace heating. However, what my family fondly remembers is the get together in the same fire place room doing family stuff.

Comment by Randall Smith on March 8, 2017 at 7:26am

Daniel, I had to LOL when I read your "Randy is wise" comment! I'm definitely NOT. I do know what kinds of wood make best and worst firewood since I've burning for 45 years. By the way, Tom, I have a wood burner furnace in my basement.

I will be planting fewer potatoes this year after reading that eating them isn't the best thing for one's good health. More sweet, less white (potatoes).

Envy no more, Daniel. My 30+ year old apricot trees have seldom produced any edible fruits. It blooms, but that's about it. Every year, hope springs eternal. Temps this weekend are supposed to be in the teens. That'll be the the death of early blossoms. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on March 7, 2017 at 11:30am

Daniel, thanks for the Wood Chip mulch article.  I've read similar before, but like the reminder of some things I've forgotten.  I plan on asking the tree pruners I spot this year for their chips.

Comment by Daniel W on March 7, 2017 at 11:04am

Thomas, wood chips are considered one of the best mulches for trees, bushes...

I can't speak to the wood stove creosote issue but Randy is wise, I believe him.  The fire pit sounds great.  The only trees that I know of that might have toxic oils for plants, would be walnut.  It would be unusual to have walnut trees in the chips.  I have used tree chips a lot, mainly evergreen but also hardwood.  I've even stopped by arborists grinding up someone's tree and asked them to dump the chips on my driveway.   Saves them the disposal fee.

Randy, I envy you able to grow apricots.  I've had about 5 trees, always come out of dormancy early, bloom, then get hit by killing frost and die.  Gave up.

My earliest plums have swelling buds now.  I've been out grafting different varieties on my pear, plum, and apple trees.  I read that pears can be grafted onto hawthorn, so I did an experiment grafting pear scion onto some scrub hawthorn to see what happens.

Planted more potatoes yesterday.  That's it for the boiling potatoes, reds and yellows.  The Russets seem to be slower sprouting so they are still in the window sill.  If I'm up to it today, will plant onion seedlings.  Bought some.  The seeds I planted are behind.  Still haven't given up on them, just planting later.

Comment by Thomas Murray on March 7, 2017 at 10:24am


I was debating myself whether should I use pine for firewood in the house. So I don't think we will use pine for our house firewood. I agree about the creosote gums messing up the updraft. We will use the pine firewood for our outside fire pit. The previous house owners left a huge fire-pit in our back yard.

The pit is huge. Last year, during a friendly chat with our next door neighbor, he told me that the original owner of our house used to burn, are you ready?, yea he used to burn rubber tires in the pit!. Unbelievable! When I started cleaning up the back lot of junk pile I recovered 23 tires, some of it were from bobcat loader. It cost me 45 dollars to properly disposed them.

Comment by Randall Smith on March 7, 2017 at 7:07am
Daniel should answer your question(s), Tom. As for using pine for firewood, hmmm. They say that the creosote gums up the flue and is hard to remove. I don't know about the wood chips.

On another note, looking out my window this morning, I just noticed blooms on my apricot trees! And it's only March 7. They're a month early. They'll surely be nipped by cold weather coming this weekend. No big deal--I never get any apricots anyway. Pretty blossoms, however.
Comment by Thomas Murray on March 6, 2017 at 1:25pm

To Green Thumbers,

There is a tree service company that gives away tree logs, rounds and wood chips by the truckful and also delivers them free to your property if their job site is nearby.  I have gotton a truck full pine logs already waiting for me to cut them up for firewood.

So the question I have, what can the wood chips be used for? I know that some species of trees have toxic oils that can kill plants so could be good for killing weeds too.

But what else?

Comment by Idaho Spud on March 6, 2017 at 10:32am

When the black walnuts are ripe, I'll probably ask my neighbor if I can try some.  See if it's worth the effort to get the meat out.  I like them much more than english walnuts.

Comment by Randall Smith on March 6, 2017 at 7:21am

Hey Spud, it doesn't hurt to ask your neighbor about her walnuts. I have two "neighbors" that I've asked and received permission for their English walnuts. I'm still thinking about planting one myself. Unlike black walnuts, English are very easy to crack and extract. It's a night and day difference.


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