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: 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!

Discussion Forum

How to Store Nuts

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Idaho Spud Feb 23. 3 Replies

Himalayan rhododendrons blooming 3 months early

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jan 22. 4 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by k.h. ky on January 22, 2015 at 10:52pm
I've planted in the same condition. On to go back two years later and dig it out. The tree that I put in was still alive but it had never broken by the original clay. There was simply no place for it to go. The soil within this two acres ranges from the worst clay one can image to the richest, most organic that can be found. It's always entertaining.
Comment by Barbara Livingston on January 22, 2015 at 10:32pm

Bucket effect - that's when excavating the hole for the tree in heavy soils such as clay you compact it and the roots can't grow through it. At least that's the way I understand it. I created a 'bucket' when I dug hole with my shovel. I didn't go back and use my fork and rough up the edges, thus water couldn't drain out of it.  

Good thing I didn't plant the tree, its roots would have grown to diameter of hole and then died. So tomorrow I'm going to take fork and poke holes around edges and bottom and see if it drains. Then according to online 'experts' I get to choose what I think is best - no amendments, or 2 to 3 shovels of compost mixed with original soil. This gardening stuff boggles my mind every so often. :)  Thanks Joan for offering a hand, appreciate it.  Before I do anything I'll take your advice and call the ag extension office and see what they say. Can never have to much info and I want my tree to live. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 22, 2015 at 10:10pm

Daniel, Randy and Barbara, thank you for your birthday greeting and helping celebrate my 79th birthday. I had a wonderful day with some phone calls from my son and his family in Littleton, Colorado, and from my daughter north of here in a little lumbering town of Newport, WA. 

Cary fixed me a delicious dinner as only he can create. He served pork chops perfectly browned and still nice and tender. I love mashed potatoes and gravy the way he fixes them, with just a little bit of chunks of potatoes in otherwise smooth whipped. His gravy is just perfect, with just the right amount of thickening to make it stay in the dollop of potatoes. The salad was outstanding with everything in the crisper.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 22, 2015 at 9:56pm

Barbara, I don't know the answer to your question. This is a guess, If you plant it without getting through the clay soil, the roots will probably/ possibly get root bound if they are not able to break through the surrounding soil. I would not put in a soil mix because every time it rains, the hole with lighter soil will become a bucket and the roots could drown and/or get root bound. You have to solve the drainage problem before you plant the tree. 

I do know that you have to solve the drainage problem before you plant the tree. 

When I lived at Ft. Hood, Tx, we had hard pan that sealed off all the water from soaking into the clay; rainwater ran over the top of the ground into the gutter. I guessed it was a shallow hardpan because of the way the ground sounded and acted when we put in a fence. We had a post hole digger and when Don used it, I could feel the ground shake 50 feet away. I guessed that the hard pan was shallow, so we dig until we broke through the hardpan. We hit a loose layer of gravel underneath and then another hardpan. 

Here is my guess, if you can break through any hardpan into a gravel layer, you will be ok to plant, and I would use a mixture of clay and a lighter soil to get the tree started. If there is a gravel layer underneath, the water will have a place to drain away. 

Because I am just guessing, if I were you, I would contact the county extension agent and see what they advise. Or if you have neighbors who have planted trees successfully, they can offer idea from experience. Of course, there is the option of finding a garden club that may be able to advise; or a Master Gardeners group. 

I lived in San Antonio, but only had a porch garden there. I do know the layers of limestone, clay and hardpan exist there. Just go to any creek or the San Antonio River to look at the banks of the river cuts. You can see the layers of hardpan and limestone exposed. Also know that San Antonio is in karst country, meaning there are shafts, tunnels and caves underlying the surface ground. If you can break through the limestone or hardpan, and get good drainage, you will be ok. ... unless you find a sink hole. You probably know about that.

Comment by Barbara Livingston on January 22, 2015 at 7:22pm

I have a question: My growing space soil is heavy clay. I did not realize just how non-draining it can be. We had above average rainfall within the past 24 hours. I had dug a 12" hole in which to plant a fruit tree, got sidetracked and didn't get it planted, then came the rain.  The hole filled with water and has remained full for the past 8 hours. More rain expected tonight. The question is, assuming the hole finally does drain would you refill the hole with the original clay-ey soil, mix in some compost with original soil, or put completely new garden soil in the hole and then plant tree? 

Comment by Barbara Livingston on January 22, 2015 at 8:23am

Belated Happy Birthday Joan!  and mannnnnny more!!!!!!

Comment by Randall Smith on January 22, 2015 at 8:07am

Daniel, interesting.

Joan, Birthday Girl? How were we to know? When mine comes around, I'll be sure to let everybody know! 

Comment by Daniel W on January 21, 2015 at 9:49pm

Just an article I found interesting.  "Anachronistic Fruits and The Ghosts who Haunt Them"

Some fruits evolved to attract megafauna that have been extinct for centuries.  The fruits persist, gradually fading away as their partner in reproduction and dispersal is gone.  In North America, plants that evolved with megafauna include persimmons, pawpaw, honey locust, and osage orange.  Avocados, from the Americas, have been planted for agriculture in Africa, and are now dispersed by elephants - they got a megafauna partner once again. Osage oranges may have found a new megafauna partner in wild horses. 

For most, the main megafauna partner now is Homo sapiens.  It's interesting to think about these plants when we think about what is native to an area.  It's possible that the native is without it's main source for survival and is, very slowly, petering out to extinction.

Comment by Daniel W on January 21, 2015 at 9:34pm

Joan, it's your birthday?  I hope it was wonderful!

Comment by Idaho Spud on January 21, 2015 at 5:15pm



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