Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees!  


Welcome  backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, beekeepers & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 165
Latest Activity: 37 minutes ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, plant & prune, grow food & flowers, or sit and watch as someone else does your landscaping, you'll find something here to discuss!

Selected topics, in no particular order:
Moon Phase Widget here. Moon phase topic here.
What's your gardening style?
Frugal gardening.
Backyard Chickens here. here. here. here.
Growing Fruits
Wild Parsnip - It can burn skin.
Why buy locally-grown plants?
Cheap gardening.
Buy locally grown plants to prevent blight transmission here.
Grow lots of fruits in a small space, by backyard orchard culture.

Discussion Forum

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Comment by Joan Denoo on May 24, 2013 at 8:47pm

Annie, I forgot to mention give them a spray with water from a hose, and keep them washed off. That doesn't get rid of them but it does get them away from the leaves and buds until they climb back on. The trick is to get those sucking bugs to stop laying eggs.  Washing won't do that job. 

I am so happy to learn you have a gardening friend close by and you will have all these tricks figured out in no time. 

Your memories of your great aunt with kitchen garden and chicken coop, her canning and storing crops for winter and a hand pump for water and corn cob stove delight me. Those memories are so different from the memories modern children learn. A wallpapered outhouse says a lot about her character and values. It is not possible to get fried chicken to taste as good on electric or gas, they are different, good, but different. 

What a pleasure to have you on this site. 

Comment by Annie Thomas on May 24, 2013 at 7:27pm

Thanks Joan.  I appreciate the suggestions.  I am enjoying the process of learning how to deal with all of the problems.  I tried to purchase lady bugs, but there was no place in town and the aphid eruption was so pressing that I couldn't wait.  The product I used (organocide) did not bother the few ladybugs that naturally found the bounty of aphids on my tomatoes.  My friend who writes a local gardening column in the paper also recommended I be proactive next year.

My best memories of gardening was going to my great Aunt Vic's farm in Illinois.  She grew corn mostly, but also had a kitchen garden and chicken coop.  The canned all of her own vegetables for the winter and kept them in the storm cellar underneath the pump house.  Yes, she used a pump in and out of the house for water, had an outhouse that she wallpapered inside (!) and cooked the best fried chicken on a corn cob stove.  She lived to be 97, even though she served iced tea in those colorful aluminum glasses. ;-) 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 24, 2013 at 5:29pm

Annie, gardening is hard work and it is so much easier to go to the market and get fresh fruits and veggies off the cool green grocer's racks. I can remember my grandmothers and all the hard work they put into their gardens. My mother was the first generation to not grow a garden, although she did for the first 15 years or so of her married life. 

First off, stay away from chemicals that kill off lady bugs and lacewings, and other beneficial. They do a lot of work without you even knowing it. I buy both for my garden every couple of years because they clean up my garden and go next door where they get killed by chemicals. 

Second, There are products available that target the sucking and munching crowd, a good organic catalog will help you find them. If I can't control the evil ones and they kill a tree, shrub or plant, I find a different plant that is not so sensitive to their mischief. So many of my things die, and that is part of being a gardener. Choose your battles.    

As to fungus and powdery mildew ... a miserable beast ... many beasts, prevention is the best procedure. Get the sensitive things early before they take over. I prespray plants before they emerge and if I see any signs of trouble.  

Powdery Mildew Controlling and Preventing Powdery Mildew on Plants

Gardens Alive is my go-to reference for diseases and pests and how to control them naturally. It puts out a big catalog every year with lots of photos and descriptions. I prefer the on-line catalog because I hate to use up all the paper and they accommodate that request. They suggest living Earth plants that are the easiest plants to grow organically, chemicals and how to use them as safely as possible, and natural remedies, such as interplanting with bug chasers.  They are pricey, and you can find the information and go to a good insecticide store and may find cheaper alternatives. 

I use their rose spray, and Plant Guardian Biofungicide, Soap Shield Liquid Copper Fungicide, Pyola Insect Spray and keep these on hand at all times. There are other products from which to choose. Again, find out the ingredient and if you look you can probably find the chemical at a good hardware store. 

By all means, stay away from Ortho. It is a killer of all things beneficial. 

Gardens Alive

Safer Brand Organic Pesticides

Rodale puts out great books, one had formulas to create your own sprays. I couldn't find it in the book section just now, but I suspect you will be able to find one by writing them, or used book stores. Mine is worn out. 

Gardening Featured Titles

Gardening is a good exercise in problem solving. There is always something to learn and do. Happy Gardening. 

Comment by Annie Thomas on May 24, 2013 at 4:33pm

Gorgeous irises! 

Randall- Everything is trial and error for me in the garden.  Even with the bumps in the road, I still find it so rewarding.  What new plants did you purchase today?

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 24, 2013 at 11:01am

Sentient, me too. Kind of a no ambition day and thankfully I can. Are you able to slow down when you have this kind of day? 

Your iris photos cheer me; I will take a walk in the garden after breakfast and that should put a bit of sparkle back in me.

Comment by Randall Smith on May 24, 2013 at 7:27am

To all: I enjoy reading your comments. Makes me feel somewhat better to hear others have similar gardening problems (critters, diseases, weather, etc.). I just returned to my greenhouse people for more plantings (thanks to rabbits and wind). Frustrating, eh?!!

Comment by Sentient Biped on May 22, 2013 at 9:36pm

Rainy for several days now.  Down into the 40s.  Not much ambition.

Some of the irises look nice, anyway.

Comment by Plinius on May 21, 2013 at 7:48am

And here we have the coldest and wettest spring I've ever seen. I had to save the seedlings from drowning!

Comment by Sentient Biped on May 20, 2013 at 9:27pm

Annie, it's all an adventure!  The only reason I have success is I have so many failures.  This year, late frost destroyed the growing leaves of my new place fig trees.  They have only a few distorted leaves now.  The frost also semi-killed one new kiwi vine, and something ate the other.  Deer or rabbits ate off one small fig tree, a small paw paw, and a tomato plant.  The late frost took all but 3 cherries one tree, all but 2 plums on one tree, and all plums on another tree.  The animals also ate most of the leaves off the newly transplanted strawberry plants.  One of the peach leaf curl resistant peaches is completely covered with peach leaf curl.

But, with new screening in place, the strawberries are recovering, the eaten paw paw stub has little buds.  The newest buds on the figs are swelling.  Tomatoes are planted in a newly fenced bed - a tomato plant was eaten off too.  And the mulberry tree, which was also touched by frost, has the most berries I've ever seen on it, green and starting to plump.  

Plus my iris bed is so filled with grass, I've decided it is a miniature prairie, dotted with irises.

I won't say I don't get frustrated, but there are so many trees, shrubs, vegetables, and flowers growing, I have the successes to focus on.

Good luck with the squashes and tomatoes and corn!  I use neem  oil on my insect and mildew problems, seems to work well except the case of peach leaf curl.

Comment by Annie Thomas on May 20, 2013 at 3:48pm

Well it has been a humbling past week in the world of organic gardening for me.  I thought I'd share in case more seasoned members have any advice, or simply want to commiserate with me.

I check the garden at least twice daily.  I usually take my morning coffee out to the plot with me before work, and I check on things at least once in the evening.  Up until this point, things have been going swimmingly.  The heirloom seeds I carefully chose and planted had all grown and developed faster than my expectations, and we have already enjoyed many wonderful meals from the garden.

Last week, during one of my twice daily inspections, I noticed little green insects all over my tomatoes!  These aphids were different than the yellow ones I have had on the past on butterfly weed, but it was still fairly easy to identify the problem.  I took turns googling and rummaging in the shed to see how I could attack this problem.  I ended up spraying with organocide, which seemed to be a good choice.  Almost a week later, there are still some aphids, but the organocide certainly made a huge dent in the population.  The plants however, once robust and covered with blooms and small green tomatoes, are looking a bit ragged.  I will wait out the two weeks as per instructions before spraying again.

Two days ago, when I went out to manually pollinate the crook-neck squash, I noticed several fruits that were covered in black mold and shriveled.  Also, there were little white patches on all of the leaves.  The plants themselves looked a little ragged, but still stood about two feet high and overflowed far past the mounds they were planted in.  After a little research, I learned I had two separate problems, BER (bloom end rot) and powdery mildew.  I quickly removed the moldy fruit and discarded it.  I also checked growing fruit for blooms still attached and removed ones that appeared to have been pollinated.  We had some rain last night, so this evening I will attack the powdery mildew.  I've decided to first try a mixture of 10% milk with water.  We have already harvested loads of squash, so I think this is a good time to experiment with this (according to articles I've read) promising treatment. 

I am now moving on to pollinating my glass gem corn.  Some days it feels more like I have a menagerie than a garden, as these little guys take far more care than I ever imagined.  Luckily, I am not discouraged by these little bumps, but rather excited that I am learning new ways to handle problems.  I am also learning that perhaps I need to plant even more variety, as my patient family is tiring of squash and beans!  My apologies for being so long-winded.  If anyone has any advice to share, I would certainly appreciate it.  I hope you are all having a better garden week.


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