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: 4 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!

Discussion Forum

DIY Green House and a Chicken Coop?

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Idaho Spud yesterday. 2 Replies

Cover crops: Gabe Brown

Started by Joan Denoo on Wednesday. 0 Replies

Geodesic Dome Greenhouses

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Joan Denoo on Monday. 1 Reply

Comment Wall

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Comment by Daniel W on November 12, 2016 at 9:38am

Yesterday, I spent about 8 hours clearing Himalayan blackberry brambles.  I did not measure the area, but I think I cleared around 500 square feet.  Last winter I cleared about twice that, and this fall another 500 or so sq feet.  These areas are like a small park for me now.

The solitude of this work, the rhythm, physicality, fresh air, and bird song, are as spiritual as I can claim without spirits. Today I am so sore I can hardly move.  That's fine as well.

There might be another work day or two, to clear out the remainder, leaving a few more days to cut the fallen and dead trees into next year's firewood.    I'll rake the clear soil and broadcast grass and clover seeds.   At the edges of the standing Douglas Hawthornes, I've been planting daffodils, rudbeckias, snd crocosimia.  Home depot had more daffodils for 50% off, so I bought 2 more packages of 20.

There is room for a nice, big tree.  Next week I want to see if I can find a fossil tree, such as a monkey puzzle or dawn redwood.  Metasequoia are rapid growers, but I dont know if deer eat them.  They would not touch a monkey puzzle, but those are hard to find.

Im leaning towards the monkey puzzle if I can find a nice one.

Monkey Puzzle Tree  forestry about.com

Dawn Redwood  dawnredwood.org

Comment by Daniel W on November 11, 2016 at 8:45am

Randy, they are reslly good, too.  Like a very juicy candy. 

After persimmons, and a few remaing Liberty apples, no more fresh garden fruit until next year.  There are still some root crops, especially turnips and chinese radishes, and scallions.

It's been a very good gardening year.  Im happy with it.

Now organizing seeds and looking at online seed catalogs. 

Comment by Randall Smith on November 11, 2016 at 7:04am

Wow, Daniel! Those are some big persimmons! I'm glad you're finally enjoying the fruits of your labor--literally!

Comment by Daniel W on November 10, 2016 at 10:40am

Joan, that makes sense I guess.  It's an important issue to Laura, in her area.  Maybe it's the fallen leaves that burn so easily and start the conflagration. Maybe a deciduous tree with small leaves would be less concerning because they don't collect as much, but I don't know.

Here is another type of persimmon from my orchard.  They are big, a Japanese variety called "Saijo".   The nursery websites claim that means, "The very best" in Japanese.  Always being the skeptic, I looked that up on Google Translate, and it comes back as "Talented Woman".  Regardless, it's delicious.  I think the NIkita's Gift Asian/American hybrid has a more complex flavor, but both are delicious.

The photo is Saijo, with a couple of Nikita's Gift for comparison.  The NG are more squat and red, Saijo more oblong and orange.  The original Saijo tree is supposedly still alive in Japan, something like 600 years old.  NG was developed in Yalta in the Ukraine as an attempt to grow persimmons in the colder Russian climate, by crossing the larger Asian persimmons Diospyros kaki,  with smaller, hardier American persimmon Diospyros virgiana.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 9, 2016 at 10:28am

A deciduous tree catches sparks, leaps into flame and starts the conifers like a hot ember, especially during drought. The conifers burn the oils and pith and creating massive torches.

I could be wrong. 

Comment by Daniel W on November 9, 2016 at 10:03am

You're right, Randy.  When I am out puttering around my garden and fruit trees, I pretty much escape in a meditation-like state.  That's where I need to be.

Joan, Im surprised that deciduous trees would increase fire risk.  All of my mental images of forest fires, are of Western firs and pines.  But what do I know?

I dont know about ginkgo dry tolerance.  The leaves are quite waxy.  They tolerate pollution better than most.  The most complete compilation of ginkgo information is on a website created by a teacher - I think - in The Netherlands.  The Ginkgo Pages

My hobby orchard is a very peaceful place.  I nurture and guide the trees via pruning, grafting, mulch, fencing to protect the trees.  They respond by growing, and blooming, and producing the most delicious and often interesting fruits.  Much better than I can buy.  It is a refuge and a bit of an adventure.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 9, 2016 at 7:09am

The one good thing about a garden, food, the weather, nature, golf, my bowel movements, etc., etc., is: they are nonpolitical. "What, me worry?"

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 8, 2016 at 4:09pm

Wouldn't you know it, people get dramatic about the littlest things! I wish I had room here at my Spokane home; Laura doesn't want deciduous trees planted because of the fire risks. The forest isn't drying out now, however, we are making a lot of room for the fire barrier. They have no springs on their property or streams. The water comes from wells and it takes every bit of well water to service their two homes that draw from it. 

I understand Ginkgos tolerate dry as well as wet. Is that your experience? There is a piece of property lower than their place that has lots of springs, streams, and a high water table. I sure would like to own that piece of group for an orchard.  

Comment by Daniel W on November 8, 2016 at 2:56pm

Joan, I don't thinkg the ginko seeds are that bad.  Nature can have some stinky things.  I think the smell is butyric acid, which also flavors some fermented foods.    People like to be dramatic.

I collected another bag of seeds over the past couple of weeks.  Why?  I don't know.  I would not have places to plant the trees if they all grow.  There is a method that Chinese cooks use to make the seeds into a nut, but I don't know it and neither does Ning.

My largest and oldest ginkgo tree is definitely a male.  It bloomed last year with male catkins.  I was happy about that, because that makes it much less likely for someone to get irritated about the stinky seeds and cut it down.  I used that as a source of scion, and grafted onto three seedling trees that I started 2 or 3 years ago.  Two grafts took.  We'll see how they do next year.

I don't know how close a male tree needs to be for the females to produce seeds.  I know several trees within 2 miles of my house, each producing seeds with no other gingko tree within a few blocks.

Taking a break today, election day.  Yesterday hauled another truckload of tree leaves for my orchard mulch.  Fifteen fruit trees are now tucked in for the winter, about ten more to go.  One of the neighbors called me "The leaf angel" because I cleaned up his yard for a truckload of leaves.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 7, 2016 at 10:39pm

Daniel, I enjoyed the avocado & ghosts of evolution videos and story of the female Gingko biloba 

Ginkgo Trees Stink Up Cities When Seeds Fall

"[T]he seeds smell something like a mix of vomit and putrid cheese."

"When young, female ginkgos—the seed-producing kind—are impossible to tell apart from male trees. It takes a female at least 25 years to produce its first seeds, and even then, only females planted within close vicinity of a male end up doing so."

"Ginkgo seeds smell horrible, and their toxic flesh may cause rashes. But every fall, they are at the center of a citywide scavenger hunt.

“We eat them,” Wang Tong said as she looked for fallen seeds under several ginkgo trees."

"At over 200 million years old, they survived whatever killed the dinosaurs, and some of them withstood the atomic bomb blast that struck Hiroshima in 1945.

“They leafed out again the following spring,” said Peter Crane, dean of Yale University’s school of forestry and author of a recent book on the ginkgo tree"

This is, indeed, a remarkable tree. I tried repeatedly to get one started in my west garden and they just did not like the soil or the air or the neighbors. Happily, you were able to get them to grow, Daniel. Have any of them turned out to be female?

The photo of your Persimmons look so festive. 

 

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