Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
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Comment by Joan Denoo on June 11, 2017 at 10:06pm

I just received a soil thermometer through Amazon. It seems like a good expense, given the strange weather patterns. Thanks for the information on soil temperatures. 

Daniel, did you have a cold spell come through your area? We still have to wear sweaters outside. I wish Cary were here to read the weather maps for me. Guess I will have to learn how. 

The forest is as green as the hills of Ireland. It makes the fire district nervous seeing all the growing grasses and wild plant life. More green in spring foretells more fires in autumn.

Comment by Daniel W on June 11, 2017 at 8:56pm

Joan, one of these days, you'll figure out the photos!  Meanwhile, words sometimes speak more than pictures do. 

Randy that's great news from TyTy!  I wish you good luck with your tree planting!  Be sure to give them a good soak in a bucket for a few hours before planting.  They might be stressed from storage.

Definitely if the soil is cold and wet, then warm weather plants like corn and bean seeds won't grow.  Optimum soil temperature for germinating beans is 70F to 80F.  Below that, they take much longer and below 60F they might rot.  Soil temp should be 65F to 85F for sweet corn, and it will not germinate below 55F. 

I use a soil thermometer.  I think I buried the last one while digging, so I bought a new one via Amazon. 

Another factor is birds.  Birds dig up and eat, corn seeds and bean seeds.  They view your planting practices as a special bird "easter egg" hunt.  I cover the seed area with chicken wire or plastic netting that they can't dig through, until the seedlings emerge.  The old saying recommends planting 4 seeds for each one that you want:  "Four seeds in a row, one for the rook, one for the crow, one will wither and one will grow."    There is a similar saying about growing tobacco:  "Some for you, some for I, some for the devil, some for the fly."

Another saying about corn, I don't think it's true, at least around here:  "Corn should be planted when the dogwoods are in bloom and the poplar leaves are as big as squirrel ears."

Sweet corn seeds only keep a year or two.  That is because the newer varieties of sweet corn keep their sugar longer, instead of turning it into storage starches.  That's why the seeds are so wrinkly.  I decided not to keep my corn seeds more than a year.  Bean seeds last many years.

I just planted some sweet corn today, variety "Bodaceous", which I bought last winter on close out.  I realize I just said that it's better to use new seeds, but I'm learning.  I intend to plant a final crop of sweet corn in another week, a later maturing variety.

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 11, 2017 at 6:45pm

I am unable to send a photo showing the progress of the greenhouse. I would pull my hair out if it would help! Frustration! Guess I will go play in the greenhouse, take another photo, and see if I can send it. 

Daniel, I love your story of the Linden tree!  You deserve to be very proud. Tender, loving, caring, energies heal many things. 

Randy, replanting seems to be the new normal. I've planted and replanted, and still the cold weather leaves rotted corn and bean seeds. I can get both to grow in the greenhouse. 

Comment by Randall Smith on June 11, 2017 at 12:48pm

I was shocked to get an email from the Georgia nursery (TyTy) where I bought some trees saying they're going out of business! They're offering 75% off, so I ordered 13 nut trees for $60.44 (plus shipping), just barely over the $60 minimum purchase necessary. Wow! That more than makes up for my dead pecan tree (stick in the ground), plus two others that didn't make it (two years ago).

Even if some of the 13 don't survive, it's still worth it. I'll soon find out. I bought more pecans (2 varieties), a couple of English walnuts, and a filbert.

Either rabbits or high wind knocked over one of my nightly plant cover cans and ate another canteloupe. That makes 3. Aggravating. 

I'm planting more sweet corn today--my 4th attempt. I'm not sure why they're not germinating. I do know farmers have had to replant field corn this spring. Must be the crazy weather. We need rain!!

Comment by Daniel W on June 10, 2017 at 11:27pm

Randy, some of my bad luck with strawberries is, I let the bed go weedy and haven't watered or fertilized it in a year.

Still raining every day. 

Today I dug up a viburnum (snowball bush) offset that grew from a much larger snowball bush that I planted in summer 2012.  Even this start is bigger than the bush I started out with.  The new start was given a home along the property edge, and given plenty of water.

I cut down 2 dead and trees.  Not huge, about 1 foot diameter trunks and maybe 30 feet tall.  I cut them into firewood and stacked them.  They probably didn't have to be cut right now, but I was concerned they might fall down on their own, and damage the chestnut trees that I planted last winter.  Or injure someone.

With all of the rain, it was time for a slug hunt.  The ducks got about 20 big juicy slugs.

Here is a  European linden tree that I planted Sept 2012.  It was a close-out at Home Depot, dried out and rootbound.  I removed as much of the container soil as I could, untangled or cut off tangled roots, soaked in water and planted in the native soil.  With frequent watering that summer and fall, and minimal watering and fertilizer in subsequent years, it has grown into a nice specimen.   Amazing it can go from a stick in a pot, to a nice tree, in a few years.

Some of the tomato plants that I started from seeds in mid April.

Comment by Randall Smith on June 9, 2017 at 6:54am

Daniel, your bad luck with strawberries is like mine with blueberries. Two more plants have "bit the dust"--one died and the other eaten by rabbit(s). I have one left. Over the years I've probably planted more than 20. And I replaced two eaten cantaloupe plants. That's another fruit I seldom have luck with.

I, too, watered. But it didn't rain. My raspberries--red and black--are beginning to ripen. Blackberries are later. I'm ignoring Mulberries.

Comment by Daniel W on June 8, 2017 at 11:02am

Yesterday I went to a local nursery and bought another blackberry plant.  It's not the right season for planting them, but I thought maybe being in a container it would adjust OK.  The variety is called "Triple Crown".  I was reading ratings of blackberry varieties, and this one sounds very productive, upright canes, controllable size, big good tasting berries, disease resistant, and thornless.   Strawberries don't do so great for me, so maybe blackberries are a good option.  It will probably take at least a year to get a taste, and 2 or 3 years to get a good crop, but that's OK.  Actually, there are flower on the little plant.  So maybe there will be a taste this year.

Surprise!  It rained last night.  Naturally, I watered yesterday :-)

Comment by Daniel W on June 6, 2017 at 11:33am

Randy, I hooe you contact the nursery and ask for your money back.  Some will, some wont but nothing lost if you try.

My 3 chestnuts survived, one has a foot of growth, one with about 6 inches, and the tiny one with about 3 inches.  That tiny one was also way overpriced.

We are now completely in dry season.  My area flips from soggy to arid, seemingly overnight, about June 1.  I started watering yesterday.  Our water has a lot of iron sediment, and we go througn filters often.  For the vegetable garden, I bypass the filter.  I also have a 300 liter rain tank, which is about half gone now. 

Tomatoes, sweet corn, beans - all thirsty crops!

Comment by Idaho Spud on June 6, 2017 at 7:45am

Randy, too bad about your pecan tree.  

It's the dry time of year here.  We had a downburst a few day ago, but only got 0.09 inch.

Comment by Randall Smith on June 6, 2017 at 6:47am

Spud, trying something new is always adventurous. I watch my goji bush daily. And I've about given up on my $75 pecan tree I planted 2 months ago. Not a sign of life--just a stick in the ground.

I've had a "weather rock" for over 30 years, thanks to my mom. It hangs in my bathroom, however. Not too useful there!

I received only a quarter inch of rain in a downburst, but it helped. Made weeding a bit easier.


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