Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 181
Latest Activity: 1 hour ago

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Comment by Idaho Spud on July 17, 2015 at 2:22pm

After the warm May, and hot June, July is disappointing me.  My Watermelon are probably not liking 80˚ F highs and 55˚ F lows, with dark clouds part of the day.

Comment by Randall Smith on July 17, 2015 at 10:05am

Looks like we're all experiencing extra heat. It really is too hot to be working in the garden  But if not, the weeds will take over.

Everything is coming on fast and strong, vegetable wise. Asparagus season is over, just in time for green beans, sweet corn, cabbage, new potatoes, summer squash, and oh, tomatoes!  Bring them on!

Comment by Barbara Livingston on July 17, 2015 at 8:58am

Wow, inspirational cabbage. :) 

Comment by Plinius on July 17, 2015 at 6:59am

Beautiful cabbage! I've messed up my plans for 50/50 vegetable/flower garden. On the market I bought cheese, fruit and fish and stopped  to smell the phloxes at the flower stall... So I came home with three big phloxes! The fragrance makes me happy.

Comment by Idaho Spud on July 17, 2015 at 5:38am

Wow!  What a cabbage.

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 17, 2015 at 1:44am

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. 


Comment by Daniel W on July 16, 2015 at 9:54pm

Ning picked his first cabbage today.  He was quite pleased with his success.

Joan, I know your experience and education will bring your new garden into optimum fertility.  It will just take applying what you know. 

Are there farms in your area?  My corner of the county has a number of chicken / egg farms.  We can get truckloads of chicken manure, and straw.  Together I think those are a good soil builder.

On milkweed, this year I started a number of Asclepias syriaca seeds.  They needed to be stratified in the refrigerator for a month or two, then sprouted in my seed starting stand.  A lot of effort for something that is a weed in the Midwest.  The flower balls are very pretty, I think, and the plants look kind of like a rubber tree plant.  I wanted to grow them for bees and butterflies.  I saved one in a container, that I fed with miracle grow, very diluted but frequent - 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water, weekly.  The others just went between the corn and squash and fig trees.   The one in the container grew much faster, thicker leaves, and taller.  It's now in the ground too.  Too much to water in containers.  I doubt any will bloom this year, but making a good start to next year.

I did the same thing with Eupatorium purpureum, but managed to kill all but one of the sprouts.  Joe pye weed, also for the bees and butterflies.  That one is growing robustly, now, and I planted into the ground too.  That one, too, probably wont bloom until next year.

Barbara, I've read a lot about comfrey - sounds interesting.  I would also try Texas milkweed, but I wonder if they would survive here.

Spud, I've eaten grocery store figs too.  They aren't even similar in flavor to a fully ripe, fresh fig off the tree. 

Comment by Barbara Livingston on July 16, 2015 at 8:30am

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. 

Comment by Barbara Livingston on July 16, 2015 at 8:17am

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. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 16, 2015 at 2:34am

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. 


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