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: 19 minutes 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!

Comment Wall


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Comment by Daniel W on December 9, 2014 at 9:34am

Me too!  :-)

Comment by Randall Smith on December 9, 2014 at 7:23am

Barbara, I tried your link, but it was a no go.

Comment by Barbara Livingston on December 8, 2014 at 10:12pm

I recognize most of you already understand the need to "feed" the soil.  However, think you might enjoy this.  You can watch for free until Dec 12th.  

Randall, I have days when I think about trading my car for a small pickup. 

Comment by Randall Smith on December 8, 2014 at 7:38am

Impressive, Daniel. Cold composting takes a long time. It tests ones patience!  I'll soon be getting my fertilizer from the local fairgrounds where they pile up horse manure free for the taking. Another reason for owning a pickup truck.

Comment by Daniel W on December 7, 2014 at 6:48pm

Here is the effect of 2 1/2 years of composting on local soil.  The dark area came from the same yard  - my yard - but has been enriched for 2 1/2 years with leaf compost, yard waste, chicken house compost, kitchen scrap compost...   I had cleaned out the other half of the bed and used the soil to top dress my other raised beds that settled.  So I re-filled it with yard soil.  That's the lighter brown, clumpy, gloppy soil

After taking the photo, I mixed in chicken house cleanings (my holiday gift, separate topic post), and will let it settle and age a few months. If I can get a supply of leaves, that will go there too. I also added a cup of lime, due to my acidic, calcium deficient soil. With some TLC, that half of the bed will become crumbly and dark and full of earthworms, like what it replaced.

Comment by Randall Smith on December 2, 2014 at 7:29am

My garden supplied me with most of what went on my post Thanksgiving, "Thanksgiving" plate last night (see Food group). I was proud of myself. I did feel guilty about using canned cranberry sauce, but I mixed it with home grown apple sauce to top my scone.

Comment by Barbara Livingston on December 1, 2014 at 10:07am

Randall, the book inspired me too and as I said I chose one of the small simple designs. Then as time went on and I read more about permaculture I learned about key-hole beds. Added to that the fact that all my straight lines would have to go - voila! a simple, but yet attractive key-hole bed with soft lines. I've been frustrated that I haven't been able to just simply go off to my garden center and buy whatever I wanted and plant it.  Now I realize in a way that I needed time to read and learn the proper way to do things instead of just plunking the plants in the ground. Amazing concept, eh? doing things right the first time and saving a bit of money. lol 

The pinwheel design sounds great - fun to put in. I'll be interested in your choice of veggies to go in it - and really would like to see progression pictures. 

Joan, Talk about making things simple, thanks for the playlist link.

I have so far only worked on adding compost and leaves to my very clay soil. I'm definitely not clever enough to work with different soil types yet. 

I read somewhere that if you have used treated lumber you should not plant edible food within 18" of the lumber.  So I'm assuming that would be the same for pesticide/herbicide use. Although I understand they can saturate the ground via rain runoff.  My neighbor on one side uses both and her bed backs up to the fence.  Given this condition I decided to plant non-edibles, Mexican Sage, Fire Weed, and a similar plants as a 3' buffer. The ones I've planted are thriving, but then I think Mexican Sage would grow in concrete. :)  Do you have any suggestions about this?  

Daniel, Simply love your description of mistakes, "little branches on a growing tree". I can apply that to all aspects of my life!  

Your experience growing fruit trees reads like a primer for me. And you are so right about our different climate challenges.  I was all set to purchase mine and plant ... well life took a turn and my refrigerator died. However, I'm lucky that my climate allows me to plant in January so I'm looking forward to it. The delay as I mentioned above really did help me learn more about which fruit trees I really want to plant.

I've been busily gathering seeds and taking cuttings where I can get them.  Since I eat sweet potatoes on a regular basis I'm cutting a piece off each potato I eat - one section for me now and one section to sprout for my garden in Spring. :)  Ditto with seeds of most things I eat such as squash. I discovered Walmart has upright rosemary growing in their shrubbery surrounding the parking lot!  snip, snip, snip. :)

Have a great week everyone!

Comment by Randall Smith on December 1, 2014 at 7:45am

Barbara, I'm impressed! 

We had a 60 degree weekend, so I was busy cleaning up the garden. I'm trying not to think about plans for next spring, but they automatically pop up in my head. I'd like to have a plot dramatically different from the normal rows and blocks. Like a giant pinwheel! I'll soon start tinkering with ideas. That book I mentioned awhile back inspired me.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 30, 2014 at 11:16pm

Barbara, I just read your posts and I am so excited for you. You find wonderful resources to help you build your skills and sensitivity. Seeing and hearing "plant talk" takes time, and it seems your little dog helps in that domain.

I am so pleased you are doing hugelkultur and learning how to do it early on. Better to learn now than a year or two from mistakes. Please keep us posted on your progress. 

I have many playlists in my file and I think you can access them if you want to. Gardeners are welcome to use them. Here is the address:


I agree with you about how beautiful curved lines are. There are few things in nature that have straight lines and right angles. Visualization comes with practice. One of my methods is to focus on one section of the garden and imagine what I want to feel when I look or work there. Because I have my garden divided into acidic and alkaline beds, I can choose from plants for those areas. Amount of sun and moisture factors in, as well.

My west garden is acidic and growing there now: Mountain Ash Sorbus, Mugho Pine Pinus mugo, Rhododendron, Blueberries Vaccinium, Coral Bells Heuchera and some others. This is where I hope to create a water feature and bog garden.  

My alkaline soil has: boxwood Buxus, Burning Bush Euonymus, Lilacs Syringa, Clematis, Mullein Verbascum. 

I'm glad you know "The principle that 'Nature hates bare ground'"

Looking forward to more photos as you have time. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 30, 2014 at 8:19pm

Randy, I am passing along your experience with "put capsaicin cream on my thumb joints as a relief for my osteo-arthritis. It really works.  Get it on your lips, however, and ZOWIE!"

My son-in-law, Larry, might find that useful. I'm passing it on. 


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