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: 179
Latest Activity: yesterday

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 Steph S. on April 14, 2015 at 8:51pm

Wow Daniel pollinating your own plants remind me of Gregor Mendel and his research on pea plants. His research really helped with the genetics field.

Comment by Daniel W on April 14, 2015 at 8:43pm
Barbara, The fact that I pollinate my plants shows how obsessive I am. However, for insect pollinated fruits, the chilly wet springs here can mean poor blossom set. Insects are not active in this weather. On warm dry days it's not likely to be needed. Some varieties require pollen from a different variety. In that case they need to be close together or have active insects around. So I play the insect.

Fruits that do not need a separate variety to pollinate include most peaches, nectarines, apricots, tart cherries. Most plums, apples, pears, sweet cherries, do need a separate variety. Hollywood plum is self- pollinating. A few others are too.

Some plants are really strange. Most horticultural figs do not get pollinated. A few do. Ancient figs had separate male and female trees, and a special tiny wasp that pollinated them. Some still do, but the ones we grow are mutants that do wonderfully without male figs or wasps. These mutant figs are all female, and the fruits are seedless. These mutants have been around for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years.

Pawpaws are even more weird. The flowers start female, and later the male parts mature. The female part is not receptive then. Plus, they are self sterile. So 2 varieties are needed. Plus, the flowers emit a foul smell, not sweet. So bees are not interested. Pawpaws evolved before bees, and depended on carrion flies to pollenize them. They also depended on now extinct megafauna to distribute them, which is why they have become more rare.

Not wanting to drone on. I'll save persimmons for later. Tomatoes, peppers, beans, do fine with no assistance at all. I never bother to pollenize cucumbers, but sonetimes I give squashes and melons an assist.
Comment by k.h. ky on April 14, 2015 at 5:18pm
I got two peaches off a two year old tree last year. Actually the tree may have been three years old . Kentucky grows excellent peaches and there's an orchard less than twenty miles of us. Since we eat so many l have lots of seedlings come up in, and around, the compost heaps.
Comment by Idaho Spud on April 14, 2015 at 7:25am

I'm sure Daniel knows more about it Barbara, but from growing watermelon, I've learned that they have both male and female flowers, with only the female flowers producing fruit.  The male flowers are the first to show.

I've read that squash and cucumbers are the same, but not tomato.  I'm not sure about cantaloupe.

One interesting thing that Wikipedia said is "Experiments have shown that when more pollen is applied to the stigma, as well as the fruit containing more seeds and being larger (the xenia effect mentioned above), the germination of the seeds is also faster and more likely, and the seedlings are larger.[34]"  

Comment by Idaho Spud on April 14, 2015 at 7:16am

Ouch!  Sorry Joan.  That's going to take a long time to heal.  Thanks for the information Patricia.

Comment by Daniel W on April 13, 2015 at 5:03pm
Patricia thank you very much!
Well that's bad. But ribs snd arms heal. I hope for Joan all the best and a speedy recovery.
Comment by Barbara Livingston on April 13, 2015 at 4:06pm

Chris, definitely a easy way to save water - I made pots for my patio using almost the same method, capturing water in the bottom and letting the plants self-water. Your method seems a whole lot simpler and easier than the way I did it.

Daniel, thanks about the tip that Iris don't like alot of water - they will be perfect for my very hot So Tx back yard.

If something has a blosom on it, does it mean fruit will appear? i.e., tomato, squash, cucumbers, and cantaloupe plants.  I ask because Daniel you tell us about using paint brush to pollinate your trees. Surely that isn't necessary with veggies?

Comment by Barbara Livingston on April 13, 2015 at 3:57pm

Patricia, thank you so much for letting us know. Will you please pass to her my "Hope you are better soon - we will miss you and your comments until you are healed and back at the computer."

Comment by Daniel W on April 13, 2015 at 2:16pm
Barbara, bearded irises are usually very tough and can take almost any kind of abuse and neglect, except overwatering or constant rain. My neglected ones are happy and healthy. I have some that I pampered, which are quite unhealthy. So now I decided to stop pampering them, and just see what happens. My constaint winter and spring rain, can be a problem for bearded irises. The experts say not to mulch them. My irises did not read that book, and the mulched ones did much better than the unmulched ones. My mulch is a truckload of chopped fir branches and fir needles from the arborist, dumped into my driveway for free.

We use that cardboard method too. It really works well! Much less labor than digging sod manually, and no chemicals. The cardboard eventually composts itself, leaving behind a nice mulched bed,

Kathy, I read that peaches can bear fruit in 3 or 4 years from seeds. I am hoping yours are quick and delicious. Peaches dont like the maritime northwest. I have one I dug out last fall, pruned back the top and roots, planted in container, kept sheltered for the winter, then moved to the deck. There are around 30 peaches set now - Im very pleased with that.
Comment by Idaho Spud on April 13, 2015 at 2:15pm

Hope those peach trees give you good fruit Kathy.

I finally got myself outside today and pulled-up some of the black fabric & soaker hoses where the watermelons were last year.  Also, leveled the soil.  Some raspberries were sprouting under the black fabric, and some of the blackberries had rooted themselves through the fabric.


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