Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

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Comment by Thomas Murray on October 28, 2017 at 5:38pm

Kathy& Daniel,

  I wonder if the sour smell had something to do with deer poop. We have deer in our yard just about every day early mornings and evenings around 4 am and 5-6 p.m. The deer traverse to and from the lake along our stream and often stop in our yard to nibble on the sweet grass and drop poop. So when I rake up grass clippings I also rake in the deer poops. Our two small dogs go crazy in the deer poops as if it were perfume. The dogs stinks horribly! It takes a couple of shampoos and rinses to remove the stench.


Thats a pretty big hole you dug... big enough for a duck pond. You could get a kio pond going quite easily....

Comment by kathy: ky on October 28, 2017 at 5:18pm
The first tree I planted was a blue spruce. There's not much need to plant trees in ky.
Anyway, I didn't know anything about planting​ trees so I planted the spruce straight out of the container into the ground. It was completely gurgled with roots. Three years later it hadn't grown an inch so I dug it up to transplant to another spot. The roots looked exactly like they had when I had planted it the first time. It was on clearance for two bucks and had sat in the same gallon pot that it had came in all summer. When I saw the root system hadn't spread any I just threw it away. There are plenty of trees here and I didn't need it but for $2. I couldn't pass it up.
I've learned a LOT since then :)
Comment by Daniel W on October 28, 2017 at 10:22am

Thomas, I agree with Kathy that having wonderful earthy smelling earth is favorable.  Even so, I don't think you hurt anything, and you returned the minerals and decomposed vegetative matter to the soil, so I think it will still make your garden grow better.  Grass clippings rot fast, unless it's midsummer in a dry climate.  Some people do swear by "compost tea" which maybe is what you made? 

I make compost piles with whatever is available - plant clippings, grass clippings, leaves, vegetable matter from the kitchen. 

Yesterday, I dug up a fig tree that I planted in 2001.   It was a slower growing variety, and very bushy,  but still about 8 feet tall, spread about 8 feet, and trunk as thick as my arm.  Fig trees are very resilient, but this is pushing it - might not survive.  Could not keep it in this spot, and I do want to keep it.  Didn't mean to do it in one afternoon.  Lost track of time.  After, I felt sick, wanted to roll over and die LOL.  This am, after some coffee, feeling better.  Now get it into the pickup, haul to its new home, and re-plant.  Fall is a good time for that.  Can't believe I dug it up.  The hole was about 5 feet in diameter and 3 feet deep, and I cut some big roots.  If it doesn't survive, I do have a start from a branch that had touched the soil and grew roots.

Comment by kathy: ky on October 27, 2017 at 9:22pm
Thomas, if it smelled bad it may have been a sour mess that had all the good things ruined. I've only had one compost bin go sour on me because my spouse had thrown cooked green beans in it. The good stuff should have the wonderful earthy smell like good earth. I'll be interested in learning how it turns out.
Comment by Thomas Murray on October 27, 2017 at 1:59pm

 Last month I was doing final work of raking up some grass and put a large pile of it in the wheel barrow. I forgot about after a beer break. The wheel barrow sat outside in the rain and sun for about two weeks. When it came to getting the wheel barrow again there was awful smell and looking inside the bin the grass turned into swamp. The grass decomposed completely in the water and it was black gold. I dumped it in the flower garden and tilled it into the soil. I have not seen the results yet and have to wait until Spring.

  So it seems like a good idea to do this again and wondered if anyone had similar experience with this, mixing grass with water and let it sit for a couple of weeks.

Comment by Daniel W on October 27, 2017 at 11:01am

There's a crazy guy in my neighborhood, raking up neighbors leaves and hauling them away for free.  Oh, that crazy guy is me :-)  Lots of mulch and, if there are too many for that, compost for the fruit trees and vegetables.

Still eating potatoes, squashes, and onions from this year's kitchen garden.  Nice feeling with that.  There are very few tomatoes now, and chili peppers still ripening.

Comment by Daniel W on October 25, 2017 at 8:12pm

Thomas, I'm thinking that is mycorrhizal fungi, which is beneficial.  At least, the tree did great other than deer eating some branches.

Comment by Thomas Murray on October 25, 2017 at 1:42pm

....So that last apple tree that was save did not have the rounding roots I planted survived. I guess the tree and I were lucky to have met each other.  I do remember reading that it was advised not to put fertilizer around the roots so as to force the roots to grow outward in search of nutrients thus to anchor the tree solidly into the ground.

   Ok so, if the trees I buy has rounding roots, then I do what WA State Horticulturist recommends.

  I looked at your cool site and one picture showed the rounding roots. What are those white fuzzy spots?... are those molds or mildews?

Comment by Daniel W on October 25, 2017 at 11:09am

Thomas, in most climates, fall planting is better for trees than spring planting.  For marketing and management reasons, nurseries usually ship and sell mostly in Spring.  As a rule of thumb, if there is a month before a hard freeze, I think fall planting is better.

Most of the local nursery and big box store stock around here is either bare root or ball and burlap tree, that is placed in larger containers filled with compost, for holding and sale.  During the summer, the roots wind around and around in the container,  and if just planted directly like that, they don't grow out into the local soil well, and the tree often does not thrive, and may die.  I do what WA State Horticulturist recommends, and use a hose to wash off all of the soil, cut off damaged or girdling roots, and plant in native soil only.  I put the compost into the vegetable garden or use it to mulch the tree.

Last year, I bare rooted a Gravenstein apple, see this link.  And a Dawn Redwood, see this link.  The apple was fully leafed, and did not drop a leaf until normal leaf fall.  The redwood was already dormant.  Both survived and thrived this winter.  I was really surprised about the Dawn Redwood, which had so few roots I wondered how it would survive.  This spring, I bare rooted a containerized Golden Chain Tree, also was root-bound, pruned off bad and girdling roots, and planted in native spoil.  It was fully leafed out, and did not drop a leaf either.  It survived and did well all summer, although no new growth developed.

Bare Rooted Apple from a container, Oct 2016

Bare rooted Dawn Redwood, Nov 2016.  New nursery stock, not root-bound.

Comment by Thomas Murray on October 24, 2017 at 10:15pm


Is it too late to transplant fruit trees from a pot to the ground? Some stores have half off on fruit trees.


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