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: 1 hour ago

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 Daniel W on November 14, 2016 at 10:23am

Joan, or Randy or anyone else - do you know any good ways to cook turnips?  They are in season now.

Ning says there are some Korean methods.  There are lots of turnips.  I'm leaving them in the ground for a while.  I hope the slugs don't eat them.

Maybe just roast with other root crops, and some onions?

I went beyond my experience with late summer seed planting, which is good.  My mother used to cook turnips like mashed potatoes.  I didn't like them then, probably would now.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2016 at 9:01pm

Randy, your style of composting matches mine. I have done that for more years than I want to admit. I did an experiment years ago when I cut down corn stocks, piled them up and then started throwing other trimmings on top. I checked the corn stocks a year later and they were almost composted. I left them another year and couldn't tell the corn stocks from the zucchini and squash vines, all turned to black gold.. 

Any squash I don't eat, I cut open for the birds to feed on at the bird feeder station. By spring, there is nothing identifiable left. 

Comment by Daniel W on November 13, 2016 at 9:22am

Joan, having strong young people do the work does more than help you.  It teaches them how to do something valuable that they did not already know.  I know lots of people who send their leaves and trimmings to the recycle center, and buy compost made from trimmings and leaves.

Randy, I'm just as random as you are about it.  It's kind of a mess.  I have room for the mess.  I piled up blackberrry prunings into stacks as high as I am tall, in a hidden edge of my property.  They will need 2 years of rain to decompose, but then will be nice compost.

Kathy, Joan is right about the lilacs.  I prune them after they bloom, or if I can't wait I try to just prune half of the excess stems, then do the other half after they bloom.

Stubborn Belgian :-)  My mom called my dad a stubborn bullheaded German.  There is someone who I sometimes call a stubborn bullheaded Chinese guy :-)

Comment by Randall Smith on November 13, 2016 at 7:14am

Speaking of composting: I have 3 piles in different locations. Unfortunately, I don't leave any one pile alone to do its thing. I keep tossing leaves, grass clippings, etc. on top of each because of convenience, depending on where I am in the yard. I need to remove the top uncomposted layers and shovel out the bottom and spread on the garden. Sounds like a good thing to do today! That and remove tomato plants that died two nights ago in our first freeze of the season.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2016 at 1:24am

Kathy, just a note about pruning lilacs, They set bud immediately after the flower hits peak. If you cut the bushes back at this time of year you lose a year of blossoms. You can cut out the dead seed head at anytime. But look at the place where last year's bloom was and you can see next year's blossom. 

My Dad used to trim the shrubs in the fall, including the lilacs. I told him about the loss of next year's blossom, and stubborn Belgian that he was, he trimmed all the lilacs back and we had no blooms the following spring. 

I know from where I get my stubborn streak! Laura's too. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 12, 2016 at 10:00pm

I had a crew come this week to machete out my garden. It grows so profusely, we couldn't get through the jungle-like growth. Two of the men are from San Salvadore and they said my garden felt like home, except colder. 

I asked them to save the clippings and pile them up for a compost pile. They had not heard of Permaculture and had never piled the trimmings for any other customer. Now all I need is a couple of 5 gal buckets of chicken manure to toss on top and then a layer of dirt. It doesn't take long for that stuff to become black gold. 

I have an old pile in another part of the garden and it is as nice as anything one can buy in an expensive nursery. I can no longer do the work, but I will have some younger folks in the family spread it around in my boxes and borders. 

This autumn's colors looked like jewels hanging off branches. Less sunlight turned the leaves all shades of reds, yellows, and bronze, and the weather didn't freeze them. We had an extended autumn. 

So very beautiful!

Comment by Daniel W on November 12, 2016 at 8:14pm

Katht, I didn't prune my butterfly bushes, and now they are about 15 feet tall monsters.  I regret not being more aggressive.  They are a nice wind breakfor my orchard, but crowding the trees.  This winter, I want to cut them down to about one foot tall.

Chinese radish and sunchokes I dug up today.  I didn't even plant the sunchokes, they grew from plants I abandoned to the rabbits or deer in 2014.

Comment by kathy: ky on November 12, 2016 at 1:49pm
I started pruning the butterfly bushes. But we're still having such warm days they've not died totally back. In our area they need to be pruned back to ground level every fall. Otherwise they split and die out in the center. I left most of the green branches standing because they are still trying to bloom.
I pruned the wisteria. I still have three lilacs that need to be cut back to about three ft. And I haven't even started on the grasses!
Comment by Plinius on November 12, 2016 at 12:54pm

Good work, very calming and strengthening for your system! Even the muscle pain can be a good feeling.

Comment by Daniel W on November 12, 2016 at 9:38am

Yesterday, I spent about 8 hours clearing Himalayan blackberry brambles.  I did not measure the area, but I think I cleared around 500 square feet.  Last winter I cleared about twice that, and this fall another 500 or so sq feet.  These areas are like a small park for me now.

The solitude of this work, the rhythm, physicality, fresh air, and bird song, are as spiritual as I can claim without spirits. Today I am so sore I can hardly move.  That's fine as well.

There might be another work day or two, to clear out the remainder, leaving a few more days to cut the fallen and dead trees into next year's firewood.    I'll rake the clear soil and broadcast grass and clover seeds.   At the edges of the standing Douglas Hawthornes, I've been planting daffodils, rudbeckias, snd crocosimia.  Home depot had more daffodils for 50% off, so I bought 2 more packages of 20.

There is room for a nice, big tree.  Next week I want to see if I can find a fossil tree, such as a monkey puzzle or dawn redwood.  Metasequoia are rapid growers, but I dont know if deer eat them.  They would not touch a monkey puzzle, but those are hard to find.

Im leaning towards the monkey puzzle if I can find a nice one.

Monkey Puzzle Tree  forestry about.com

Dawn Redwood  dawnredwood.org


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