Godless in the garden

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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: 166
Latest Activity: 9 hours 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?
Squirrels.
bees.
Cheap gardening.
Buy locally grown plants to prevent blight transmission here.
Grow lots of fruits in a small space, by backyard orchard culture.

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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.

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 20, 2013 at 8:02am

Sentient, thanks for the description of the strawberry cage construction.  I'm saving it in case I need to build some this year. 

In the town where I'm at, there are no rabbits, large or small.  But there are squirrels that sometimes eat strawberries, and robins always do if they can see them.

At least those large rabbits don't burrow under the cage.  I hear small rabbits do.

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 20, 2013 at 7:51am

I've always liked bumblebees because I knew they were mellow.  Regular bees made me a little nervous, but I knew they were almost as mellow as bumblebees, and knew they were valuable, so I let them go about their business.  

I mentioned before that I was going to let the relatively mellow paper hornets alone this year after reading your posts about how beneficial they are.

My first opportunity came a week ago when I put some LED lights under the eves.  There were a couple building nests under there.  They kept their eyes on me, but didn't fly, so we got along nicely.  Of course, the temperature that morning was about 60 degrees, so that keeps them inactive unless disturbed.

I've forgotten to put wooden floats in my rain-barrels so they have a place to land and drink, but I'll do that today, as well as creating a permanent small container in the garden for them.

Comment by Sentient Biped on May 19, 2013 at 11:30am

Chilly wet morning here.  I've been concerned about the dry spring, then we had a week of rain.  I put in another raised bed and planted tomatoes.

Pic below is a bumblebee (Bombus species) - not a honey bee.  It's from  public domain wikimedia commons.   They don't look at all aerodynamic.  I'm surprised they can fly.  This morning, there were so many in the buckeye tree, Aesculus × carnea, they could be heard humming before they could be seen.

File:Bumblebee heuchera.jpg

In Darwin's day, bumblebees were known as humblebees.  From Charles Darwin:

 From experiments which I have tried, I have found that the visits of bees, if not indispensable, are at least highly beneficial to the fertilisation of our clovers; but humble-bees alone visit the common red clover (Trifolium pratense), as other bees cannot reach the nectar. Hence I have very little doubt, that if the whole genus of humble-bees became extinct or very rare in England, the heartsease and red clover would become very rare, or wholly disappear.

Comment by Sentient Biped on May 19, 2013 at 12:18am

Joan, you are probably the smartest person on here.  My sense of humor is just strange. 

Spud, the cages are made by attaching short lengths of rebar to the sides of the raised bed.  The pvc is slid over the rebar, as seen in the photo.  Then I attach the chicken wire using baling string.  The ends are chicken wire, attached using clothes pins.  That's because I don't have the ambition to make a gate.  It's all fairly cheap and the complete cover also keeps birds off the strawberries.  Chicken wire is not fun to work with, but I hope it keeps out both rabbits and deer, as well as birds. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 18, 2013 at 11:13pm

Dallas, those succulents are stunning. Such wide varieties of shapes, textures and colors. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 18, 2013 at 11:12pm

Daniel, I am so stupid, I didn't catch your joke when you wrote:

"Biggest damn rabbits I've ever seen."

Dah! Wake up, Joan. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 18, 2013 at 8:40am

I like the Saguaro with the starry sky.

Comment by A Former Member on May 18, 2013 at 8:07am

Stunning Succulents (a must see)

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 17, 2013 at 12:05pm

Sentient, I also am curious about your chicken wire design.  Are those cloths pins holding it together?

 

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