Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
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Comment by Barbara Livingston on June 1, 2015 at 9:57am

I too get excited when I "unearth" worms as it gives me hope for my soil. 

I have itchy fire ant bites this morning - but, I also found one small butternut squash!  Yeahhhh!  There is so much truth in Gertrude Jekyll's statement. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on June 1, 2015 at 7:58am

He counted them?

I love finding earthworms when gardening.  I was very happy to see the large number of earthworms in the soil when I planted my asparagus roots. 

I planted them in the area that I modified 2 years ago to plant watermelon in.  I killed a large number of worms when I did that, but the ones that survived have multiplied & replenished the earth. : )

Comment by Randall Smith on June 1, 2015 at 7:30am
Just finished "The Monk in the Garden", the story of Gregor Mendel (and his rediscovery 30 years later). Talk about your dedicated gardener! He didn't eat his peas--he counted them.
"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust." Gertrude Jekyll, 1843-1932
Comment by Idaho Spud on June 1, 2015 at 7:12am

After updating my operating system, some things didn't work including getting images from my camera to the computer, but I finally got that working, so here's something I thought was neat.

It's the longest earthworm I ever remember seeing.  It was 10 inches or more when I fist saw it, with who knows how much still in its burrow.  By the time I got my camera, it had started to retract into the burrow.

Comment by Barbara Livingston on May 31, 2015 at 1:30pm

Daniel, I think my main problem is I planted too many squash seeds and once they started growing I was loathe to pull any out.  :) Then I thought tall tomato cages would work to support them. Both errors in judgement. I can see how although I'm getting the small pickling cucumbers I would probably get more given how many vines I have, if they all had equal access to sun - then the rain, cloudy days, and need I mention ants,  etc. Well.  I decided to simply trim everything back and see what continues to grow. (Oh yes, discovered I really should have worn gloves while doing it.)  So I now have severely trimmed back vines growing in main beds, and really long - 10' vines growing along ground at front of perennial beds. Will see which setting they prefer.

Next year I'm going to try sweet corn, it stays where it is planted.

I too planted marigolds from seed - I have never seen marigolds as tall as mine are, about 18" so far - just now begining to put out blossoms. 

Joan, living in a subdivision with privacy fence has its own rules - i.e. don't plant large things, shrubs, etc. closer than 3' to fence, don't hang things from fence, and for heavens sake don't grow anything on the fence. :)  Everything I have planted is a perennial that I can trim back to ground level and will still survive in the event work has to be done on fence.  I have one antique rose bush that the previous owner planted - I keep it trimmed so it doesn't touch the fence. 

Everytime I hear the rumble of thunder, see the flash of lightening and then hear the downpour of rain ... I think "nitrogen for my plants" - and yep, large leafy radish tops!  :) 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 31, 2015 at 11:23am

Ian, thanks for the video! I shared it with my family team. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 31, 2015 at 11:05am

Barbara, I love your comments, so full of information and an inspiration for me. 

Yes, I hope the swales will hold moisture in the ground. Michelle took photos and with her five kids, an active member of the Fir District, and a very good gardener, she may delay posting the photos. I will post them here as soon as she sends them to me.

It is amazing to learn of all your water. Living at Ft. Hood and trying to garden was a real challenge because of lack of water. I wonder if that area will become more tropical? My patch of Earth in Spokane is trending toward USDA Zone 6 from zone 5. I continue to select plants for Zone 5 because of the freak cold spells that surprise us all who garden there.

I wonder if using your fence for support of your vining vegetables will provide space in your hugelkultur bed? The disadvantage is the plants may not have full sun. If you put some kind of netting or wire support on the fence the vining plants could grow to 10 feet. This design would require managing the vines because the fence is probably only six feet high. 

The video of 6,000 lbs. of food on a small city lot amazed me, too. It is an extreme design and doable. I saved the video to get some ideas. I don't want to garden in that extreme way, however, I do not like grass. I have not one blade of grass in my Spokane garden. The garden at Newport can be huge. We cleared a space for a new greenhouse, and there are about a dozen raised bed boxes that I plan to use after we put up deer fencing. 

The vigorous growth of greens with little development of radishes may indicate too much nitrogen. 

"Overcrowded plants produce small, misshapen roots. Hot, pithy radishes may be the result of hot weather or harvesting too late. Excessive nitrogen, the rapid onset of hot weather, or overcrowding may produce plants that are all tops (lush foliage, little or no root development)."

Growing Radishes in the Home Garden

Oh! Yes! powdery mildew and damp weather. I know it well! This video describes the process of prevention and treatment. Please forgive the LDS comment. This is the best video I quickly found. 
Powdery Mildew Treatment: How To Kill Powdery Mildew Fast

I agree! "Gardeners are the most optimistic people on earth! "

hugelkultur bed

Comment by Barbara Livingston on May 31, 2015 at 9:52am

Randall, with all the standing water and soggy ground in my small space and all the mosquito potential I can't begin to imagine what the farmers must be going through.

Joan, with your water drainage, swales are perfect to slow the water down. I hope you are able to take pictures of your efforts as I would like to see them. 

Don, you said it was okay to cut the vines - article Spud suggested said each plant needed 10 feet to support actual fruit. I was standing in garden with scissors prepared to start cutting and realized they still hadn't reached 10' although they have grown outside my actual garden area - ditto with everything I planted in my small hugelkultur bed. With all the rain we've had I envision them growing across the lawn, up the privacy fence and over into my neighbor's yard!

I realize I simply don't have the room to grow vining veggies, squash, melons, cucumbers unless I put in heavy metal upright supports such as cattle grating.  I put in a wooden trellis, and several large tomato cages for the cucumbers and with all the rain I can't even see the supports - the fvines completely cover them.  This year has definitely been a learning experience. 

Back to the drawing board.  I'm amazed that someone could produce 6,000 lbs. of food on the same amount of space that I have.  

Chris, my radish tops grew like crazy, the actual radish not so much.  The ground was actually muddy around them.  However, bunnies love the tops! :) 

Clearing weather with sunshine is forecast for this week and just in time for all my drought tolerant plants that are all gasping from too much water - a new salvia that I was excited about growing simply died after a great start. Today is treatment day for the powdery mildew rearing its ugly head. 

I can't believe I've just said anything about too much rain.  The good thing is more sunshine is on the way - and my rain barrels are full.  

AND - next week I attend a seminar on Fall Planting. 

Gardeners are the most optimistic people on earth! 

Comment by Randall Smith on May 31, 2015 at 7:31am

We also got deluged with over 2" of rain yest. My yard and garden drains well, but surrounding farm fields have standing water in every ponding area. I feel sorry for the farmers--crops ruined. We have (and I pay dearly for) extensive tile drainage networks, but they can't handle so much water is such little time. 3 days under water kills corn and beans.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 30, 2015 at 11:10am

Looks like our work day is rained out. (See Hang with Friends, "Today is a big day of the family joining together to clear out the underbrush of the forest, ")

An extremely heavy rain burst out. The soil here is very sandy with only little patches of clay. The ground percolates water as fast as it comes down. We created flow patterns to the rain-run-off, keeping it as high on the hill and flowing for as long as possible before it leaves the property. 

Today is a big day of the family joining together to clear out the underbrush of the forest, 


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