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Discussing all aspect of gardening.
Location: Planet Earth
Latest Activity: Feb 28
Yamamoto Dendrobium nobile in Bloom. 3.20.18
Ning has every right to be pleased wth his success. That is a marvelous head. Nice and firm, good color, and I suspect the flavor will be nice and sprightly.
Yes, we have many farms nearby and many of the firefighters in Dist 8 are farmers. They all offer to deliver the nice rich stuff of cow, horse, goat, rabbit and chicken poop. They also offer their years of experience raising gardens on this sand. Some have not realized how their farming techniques have depleted the soils and others of the group realize that the only way they can grow is to pour on chemical fertilizers. They are becoming acquainted with permaculture and Hugelkultur. We feel like pioneers of a new technology that is as old as humans.
Joan, I've come to the conclusion that milkweed does not like to be fussed over. Just a little water, and since I didn't add anything but mushroom compost I can't say whether fertilizer or a different kind of compost would be a benefit. Maybe the plant survived in spite of me. I can't say.
I planted six Russian Comfrey on a very cold day in December and it is growing nicely. According to the instructions you don't harvest any leaves the first year. However, I think given my climate it is growing happily and I intend to trim off some of the leaves today, chop them up a little and begin put them around my beds as a source of nitrogen. They have an interesting purple flower that looks a bit like borage.
Your efforts to improve your sandy soil is great. I decided to grow the Comfrey as an inexpensive way to add nutrients.The jury is still out on whether it will work.
Kathy, I bought one asclepias curassavic, Tropical Milkweed last year from local nursery. It struggled through its first season as I had to learn NOT to water it, just occasionally and not much when I do. It flowered and produced the seed pods which I saved. I kept in fridge for a couple months and then planted. Poof! lotsa milkweed. And the plant did help too as I have found other plants throughout my other beds. :)
What kind of soil. Well, my soil is heavy clayish and the area was filled with grass. After removing the grass I added a great deal of mushroom compost and keep it mulched with fine mulch from my local recycling center. That's about it. This year the original plant is doing much better. I didn't think it would survive do to the tremendous amount of rain we had for a couple of months. In the long run I think it helped and also allowed for germination of all the seeds I planted.
While gathering rocks in the country I found some asclepias virdis, Green Milkweed, a Texas native. For whatever reason, they did not come up. I still have some seeds left and I'm going to try and germinate them this winter and try again in the Spring.
We too are in the 90's with humidity. I understand completely how working outside is difficult after 10 a.m. I mowed the lawn yesterday and 1.5 hours later I was dripping wet.
I am doing an experiment with different fertilizers trying to revive the poor performance of those I planted and that survived. They have not grown at all, have no pods, and have lots of yellow color ... a sign of not enough nitrogren. I spread composted manure on part of them, some I mulched heavily, and the last group I am going to use Kelp meal and foliar spray on them. I'll let you know if I kill them all with my experimentations. I definitely have to mulch heavily and I chose a steer manure and compost mix.
We have huge piles of slash turned into chipped wood. Because it is conifer slash, we will creat a mineral imbalance that I will correct, or try to correct next spring. The problem now is just to get a lot of manure, compost and wood chips worked into the ground. Turning sand into soil is like turning straw into gold. There is a certain amount of alchemy taking place, sadly not chemisry.
Barbara, Rats as a garden pest is a new on on me! I assume your neighbor has a snake to eat the rats.
On second thought, years ago I saw a program on TV that talked about the rat problem in India. Every 50 years, the Bamboo flowers and goes to seed. Due to this great food supply, the rat population increases to the tens of millions. After they've consumed all the Bamboo seeds, they start on the native's crops. Huge problem.
Daniel, and Randy, I've eaten figs from the supermarket that were not dried, and was not impressed, but figs ripe off the tree a probably delicious, the same as most fruit. And, thanks for the congrats Randy.
Joan, I enjoy your stories. The wild Turkeys caught my imagination this time.
Randall, finally! I saw one! A vole that is. I was watering yesterday morning and the little bugger appeared from under a plant. I have to admit he was cute in spite of the damage I know he can do. My immediate thought was to buy a trap - but then what do I do with him if I catch him - I can't put in my trash bin.
Joan, kelp fertilizer? Do you use it for everything?
Joan, I'm looking forward to seeing pics of your greenhouse. As I begin planning for my fall garden, I'm also thinking about some way of starting plants for next spring. Spud's cold frame seems a good way to go, and of course a greenhouse would be wonderful.
My foray into growing cucumbers brought much excitement over the number of blossoms, but, like you many of mine didn't develop into actual cucumbers. Today I'm harvesting the last of my butternut squash and I'm looking forward to a nice bowl of butternut soup!
Hurray for you, Spud! Keep up the good work, both in dieting and gardening.
Joan, I hope you'll snap a few pictures showing progress of your greenhouse. It might inspire me to build one. I need a wintertime activity.
Barbara, of all things--rats! Mercy. I had 4 nectarines on my tree before I pruned it and accidentally knocked them off. I was so disgusted with myself. I pruned my two apricot trees, too. I refuse to prune my apple trees, and they are loaded. My yellow transparents are just about ripe. I make lots of apple sauce.
Daniel, I don't think I've ever had a "real" fig. Curious how different they are from dried. I enjoy your photos and try not to become envious. Thanks for the tip on tying up sweet corn. I've tried sprinkling them with pepper, but to no avail. I think having the dog outside is the secret.
Happy gardening, all!
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