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: 181
Latest Activity: on Sunday

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 19, 2016 at 7:56am

Getting my garden "winterized" by spreading compost, pine needles, and leaves all over. Since the soil is highly alkaline, needles add acid. Little wonder I can't seem to grow blueberry bushes. I don't really have an erosion problem, but the leaf covering does protect the soil. Earthworms like it, too.

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 18, 2016 at 12:19pm

Daniel, reading your Growing Greener blog encouraged me to try that method of planting trees, the next time.

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 18, 2016 at 11:40am

When I had a little more land (one-ninth of an acre), I planted some bamboo that was supposed to be tolerant to -30° F, which was the low temperatures some years.  

I was going to use it for garden stakes, building material, and food, but it never grew.

If I get a place with a little more land again, I'll try it again.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 18, 2016 at 2:30am
Comment by Daniel W on November 18, 2016 at 12:22am

Joan, I feel that way too.  The elms and chestnuts are past, so I wonder what kinds of big trees we can grow for a changing world?  Maybe we will wind up with forests of eucalyptus in warmed areas, and ginkgos or metasequoias in temperate zones.  Each yard can be an experiment for the future.  Down the road, a family grows hardy bananas.  They dont fruit, but how odd looking here.  maybe we'll see bamboo forests.  It grows well here too, and windmill palms.  The world is full of species to try and play with.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 17, 2016 at 11:42pm

Dawn Redwood, Metasequoia glipistroboides is a beautiful tree. It should do well in your climate. The tree trunks develop interesting patterns if not limbed up while they are young. At least that is my understanding. Thought extinct, the Dawn Redwood has a long history that stretches back into the Age of Dinosaurs. The last Ice Age wiped out all known groves. A small grove was found in China during WW II and then after the war, seeds were distributed worldwide  There is an extraordinary specimen in front of Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

The favorite picture I have of that ancient species is 

It will be a good companion with your ginkgo biloba tree that was also thought extinct. Ginkgo is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. 

You will have an ancient grove of splendid trees. What a great legacy you leave. 

Comment by Daniel W on November 17, 2016 at 8:06pm

Spud, with 3 inches of concrete, you have a great start at a heat sink for your plants!  Or a passive solar collector for a greenhouse!  My figs are against a south wall, but it's wooden so not much heat retention.

Sometimes I channel my emotions by planting a tree.  I've been struggling with my elderly doggies' struggles, but they remain comfortable and happy - looking.  I decided to plant a tree as their memorial, as well as because I love planting trees, it makes me feel better.

This was the choice, which I mentioned before.  Dawn Redwood, Metasequoia glipistroboides.  By coincidence, Portland Nursery got in a shipment of conifers last week.  I used the method detailed by Linda Chalker-Scott, washed off all of the existing soil, pruned off potentially girdling roots - minimal but not zero.  If it grows, which I think it should, it could become a very beautiful tree.  They grow fast, 3 feet a year once established.

It's hard to see, but the tree is about 8 feet tall, to near the top of the pic.  Ning is 5'10.

I still find it incredible that a tree can have so few roots and survive, let alone thrive.  But this is how most of them start out from the nursery, and so far I've only lost one, a madrone.  Which are notorious for being killed by transplanting.

Some trees can be grown from root cuttings.  I don't know about Dawn Redwoods.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  I planted the prunings in a garden bed, next to gingko seeds planted last week.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 17, 2016 at 4:55pm

Spud, your plan sounds like a delicious one, especially with you south facing wall of concrete. I look forward to learning about its progress!

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 17, 2016 at 2:31pm

Daneil, thanks much for the article on fruit walls.  I'm definitely going to use those ideas to grow my favorite warm weather fruits.

I'm thinking pomegranate, watermelon, muskmelon, grape, and maybe even pistachio & banana.

The south side of my house will be a good start because the wall is about 3 inches of concrete.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 16, 2016 at 8:34pm

Daniel, your article on the development of greenhouse fascinates me,  especially with the note :

"The greenhouse was invented by the Romans in the second century AD. Unfortunately, the technology disappeared when the Western Roman Empire collapsed. The Romans could produce large glass plates, and built greenhouses against brick walls.

"Their technology was only surpassed by the Dutch in the 1800s. However, the Roman greenhouse remained a toy for the rich and never became an important food supply."

An interesting history of the greenhouse. Thanks. 


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