Godless in the garden

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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: 2 hours 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!

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Comment by Randall Smith on December 14, 2014 at 8:16am

I think half the fun of gardening is experimenting. One certainly learns by doing, which includes making mistakes.

Barbara, with my leaves, I simply put them in a big pile next to my compost bin(s). Then, in the spring and summer, I alternate them with grass clippings and soil or my horse manure. I think only twice did the pile ever get hot. I accept cold composting over a longer period of time.

Amy, welcome to the group. A couple of words about squash: I save and plant many seeds, Delicata being my fave. And I enjoy the variety of hybrids that result. Some offspring are really bizarre!

Comment by Barbara Livingston on December 14, 2014 at 8:07am

Joan,

Wouldn't it be fun to hear Mr. Nichol talking about being a tree nurseryman? My brain finally was able to convert the "f" to a "s" as I read. Composting was a "rot heap". :)  Did you notice he talks of the American Ash? It's funny how in my subdivision the developer planted one ash tree in front of every house - and people complain about them. As the book was written in 1812 it makes me wonder where the tree originated and why it was grown in Scotland. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 14, 2014 at 2:10am

Amy, I like your idea of the kiddos jump on bags of leaves. That should do the trick. 

There is another method that is common with old timers. It is called "block and chop". It involves a wood stump about knee high. The women would grab a handful of leaves of branches or whatever, and chop, chop, chop. 

Mr Nicol's Gardener Kalendar, Planter's and Nurferyman's Kalendar

published in Edinburgh, (sic)

I can't find the date. 


Comment by Joan Denoo on December 14, 2014 at 1:50am

Barbara, You may have been ok to have left th leaves on the bare ground. As You so well know, nature loves to fill in bar spots with seeds that like to travel. I agree with Daniel, with your soil and air temperatures will work quickly to compost leaves. I wouldn't put leaves around perennial or annual plants, shrubs or trees. I suspect the blower/vac/mulcher will cut the leaves fine enough to start the decomposing process. I had huge composts when I lived in El Paso and Fort Hood. I just tossed leaves and kitchen vegetables and fruit trimmings in without cutting them up. I was able to build the soils in both places to produce beautiful soil. 

You are too hard on yourself, Barbara. Take a deep breath, get into a Zen mood, walk through the yard picking up things and pulling weeds as you go and empty your bucket or basket of stuff in the compost, then go have a nice glass of iced tea. Your garden will grow if you stick to the basics. 

I have to admit, Central Texas soil is a real challenge. I think I told we went out to the open range and gathered a pickup full of cow pies. I had the most beautiful crop of Buffalo gourds, with bitter fruit and very deep roots systems. They are perennial, so I had to get them out as soon as they sprouted. I did have beautiful soil at Ft. Hood. 

Comment by Amy on December 13, 2014 at 9:04pm
I use leaves in my compost pile often, and I never get mold. But my mom bags here's up for me and I let's my boys jump on them to break them up first lol they break down quickly for me after being pulverized
Comment by Daniel W on December 13, 2014 at 8:04pm
Barbara I'm just guessing but I think in your hot climate, the leaves will compost very fast. Also, I think after running them through your mulcher, they are at least crinkled up so wont make soggy flat layers. They dont have to be ground up fine, just rough chop and crinkly.

My climate is so wet, one would think leaves would pack down and be soggy. But they really made a nice mulch, and are already breaking down. I figure if the forest does well with leaves left in place, so will my yard.

Butternut is my favorite squash. I want to plant some of those, and some summer squash, then various types just for novelty. Like Joan, we still have a bunch waiting to be cooked.

I dont know what will happen with the squash seeds from grocery store. I think they should grow OK. If they were not grown in isolation from other squashes, you might get a weird hybrid. Also if they are a hybrid variety, they may not come true. I think most betternut and most acorn squash are not hybrids, but Im not certain.
Comment by Barbara Livingston on December 13, 2014 at 5:41pm

I love squash and that is what I plan to grow in both of my hugelkultur beds - butternut and acorn.  I've been saving the seeds from the ones I buy at grocery store. I keep reading that if you expect them to grow you should buy organic otherwise they have been treated and won't grown.  Anyone had luck with grocery store seeds?

Joan, my gosh, too big to fit in oven?  I had no idea squash got that large. 

Comment by Barbara Livingston on December 13, 2014 at 5:34pm

Amy, "not as good as I'd like to be" - oh, girl,  I know how that feels. You are among some very good gardeners on here and they will sure be able to give you ideas and help.  I'm just starting out and I've made so many mistakes its laughable.  For example ...

I created two beds and planted them in the Spring, and didn't have money to buy plants, etc.for any other beds this year.  However, I figured I could get the other beds ready. So I bought a rototiller and proceeded to remove the grass and till the soil. Done!  Just had to wait for spring. Sadly, about a week later I learned nature doesn't wait and it proceeded to plant a whole bunch of new weeds for me in the new beds.

Then the leaves began to fall and I knew leaves were wonderful mulch and because of my clay soil it would help feed and lighten it.  So I promptly put all my neighbor's leaves and mine on my beds. It looked really nice. :) 

What I didn't know and found out quite by accident,  that it takes 2 - 3 years for leaves to break down and a heavy layer of leaves can cause fungus.  Yikes!  It had rained and all the leaves were wet ... jeezus ... so I raked them onto the lawn to dry out. Today I ran over them with mulching lawn mower, pulverizing them, and then put them back onto the beds.

Funny? !  I think so, and trust me that is only one of my goof ups. The experienced gardeners on here are probably just shaking their heads.  So, Amy, you came to the right place - Daniel is knowledgeable and empathetic as are the other members - so welcome!

Comment by Amy on December 13, 2014 at 4:55pm
Barbara, I put seeds in their original envelopes in the zip lock bags lol if I have seeds, I throughly dry them before freezingg. I've never had mold issues. I do love gardening, but I'm not as good at it as I'd like to be! Joan, I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
Comment by Joan Denoo on December 13, 2014 at 3:40pm

Daniel, I am thinking about more squashes, as well. My neighbor supplied me with some beauties. I ate the patty pans at once and now have a bushel of winter squash left. One is too big to go in my oven, so the old ax will have to come out. 

Well, the December thaw is here. We've had a week of thawing weather. I hope trees and shrubs don't break dormancy. 

 

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