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: 168
Latest Activity: yesterday

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.
Frugal gardening.
Backyard Chickens here. here. here. here.
Growing Fruits
Why buy locally-grown plants?
Cheap gardening.

Scientific Gardening.   The Informed Gardener.  The truth about garden remedies.
Buy locally grown plants to prevent blight transmission here.
Grow lots of fruits in a small space, by backyard orchard culture.

Discussion Forum

Permaculture, Bill Mollison

Started by Joan Denoo Nov 16. 0 Replies

Plant Labels

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Joan Denoo Nov 8. 21 Replies

Design with Nature

Started by Joan Denoo Nov 6. 0 Replies

Sepp Holzer´s Permaculture

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Barbara Livingston Nov 6. 1 Reply

Permaculture, John D. Liu

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Nov 3. 8 Replies


Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Daniel W Nov 3. 2 Replies

Permaculture Transformation In 90 Days

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Nov 2. 4 Replies

A texas garden I never thought I would see!

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Barbara Livingston Oct 30. 4 Replies

Backyard Organic Garden

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Barbara Livingston Oct 29. 10 Replies

What the heck is hugelkultur? How does it save water?

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Barbara Livingston Oct 29. 8 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Joan Denoo on September 15, 2012 at 11:22pm

Sentient,I like your idea of planting from previously harvested garlic. I planted some in too wet soil this year and they turned out mushy. Dry soil late in the season resulted in better garlic quality. I do fertilize heavily with high nitrogen fertilizer. None of my head are nearly as large as your. I'll plant in tubs this month and get better control over water and keep track of varieties this time. A good source of information is :

The Egyptian Walking Onion

from a grower in Garfield, WA, just south of Spokane. She describes how to use them in cooking. 

Your raised bed looks perfect for effective and efficient working.  

I have never heard of "potato onions"; do you recommend them? Your plant sources from your parents' garden provides a nice memory. 

Planting your onions on 9/11 makes a nice memorial. Some may not see the value of onions, but after a season or two of growing your own leaves gentle memories of days gone by. 

Comment by Daniel W on September 15, 2012 at 6:19pm

iSpud, Great to try different kinds.  I've finally settled on the one, which grows very well in this climate and tastes great, Inchellium Red.  Too much effort now for me to grow other types, and this one has done well for me for 10 years.   I read somewhere that garlic adapts to your local conditions if you save the biggest heads to plant the next year, so I do. Just planted 35 jumbo cloves, which if they all grow will give 35 jumbo heads of garlic, which is plenty for me to eat plus have more for next year.  


The first raised bed is filled and planted.  Looking around the web, this is a fairly standard design. I have to agree with the afficionados of raised beds. Once the hard work of putting it together and filling with soil/compost mix is done, raking and planting it was easy.


My hands are fairly big.  These are big garlic heads.

Here is the first raised bed, filled, about to be planted with alliums (garlic, multiplier onions, and garlic chives) arranged to be planted. In addition to the garlic cloves, there are 35 "potato onions" (strange name, they are all onion, no potato), plus sets for scallions from Egyptian walking onions (not from Egypt and they don't walk, in 3 narrowly spaced rows of about 10 sets each), plus one row of starts from garlic chives. That last is a mix of roughly 4th generation seed saving from a northern Chinese variety, and some clusters that I rescued a few years ago from my late parents yard. They had grown there as a "weed" for over 40 years, but I recalled I had planted them from seed as a boy, thinking they were nice to look at.  They had self seeded for decades, annoying my parents but I was glad to have the memory.  The leaves are finer and more tender than the Chinese variety, but quite a bit smaller.  Planting them together, I imagine they will informally hybridize, and maybe something in between will result.


All of the alliums should be deer resistant.  They do well for me when planted in the fall.  I usually plant multiplier onions on 9/11.  I remember to do that because I was planting them that day when the attack occurred.  Planting should be OK until late October, here.

The beds have a dose of compost from my kitchen waste composter, which has lots of red wiggler worms. No table with built-in composter though.

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 14, 2012 at 8:33am

Sentient, your raised beds sound great.  Maybe I'll get the ambition to make one.  You and Joan talk about them enough to give me the desire.  Thanks.

Your talk about garlic gave me the reminder to go to the Farmers Market tomorrow and buy 10 or more varieties to try.  I'm going to keep much better track of what I plant from now on, so I can make good judgments about what I like and what does well here.

Joan, that's interesting.  I don't think watching worms would bother me, but it seems like extra work, because I'd want a larger one outside as well.  Right now I have a small container in the kitchen that I empty on the large compost pile outside every day.  That table does give me an idea though.  I wonder if a large bag, or several smaller ones, outside would work.  I'm thinking it would give my pile more oxygen than it gets now, because I'm lazy about turning it.

The temperature here for the last week has been in the 70s, and 40s at night, with 40 degrees being the lowest it reached so far.  The forecast for next week is 80s and 50s.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 13, 2012 at 9:44pm

Digestive Table

I have never seen an idea like this before and I am not sure I would want to eat as I watch worms. However, the concept intrigues me. 

Comment by Daniel W on September 13, 2012 at 9:00pm

Got up to 100 here today.  I expect it Fall to arrive like gangbusters any day.  Thought it was here last week.


Joan I couldn't handle a frost in August.  It would really get to me!   I would need a greenhouse!  You are made of tougher stuff than I am.  :)


iSpud your temp sounds like mine right now, except still a bit warmer here.  No rain yet.  That's not unusual in my area.  Last rain was.... June?  Will be glad when the rains start.  Watered all of the newly planted trees, after applying a thick compost mulch.  Labor of love, and maybe a new generation will benefit from the oxygen, shade, and beauty, some day, so a little water invested now is a good thing.

Today I built a raised bed.  For engineering simplicity, I used 2X6s that were 8 feet long.  Cut some in half, so the beds are 4ft by 8ft.  They are 2 timbers high, which makes them a foot deep.  On the bottom, I screwed on chicken wire.  That's to keep moles from tunneling upward and disrupting the plants.  Then  bottom liner of cardboard and old cotton factory-made quilt that was about to disintegrate.  That's to keep perennial weeds and thistle from growing up through the new soil.  Eventually the bottom will degrade, so the beds will be connected to the underlying soil structure, which is good.  I think.  I filled it half full today.  Then wore out.  The filler is about 3/4 topsoil and 1/4 yard debris compost.  Roughly.  I get the compost at a composting center locally, $25 per cubic yard, which is what my truck holds.  The dry soil is too hard to dig.  I made use of mole hills, filling my wheelbarrow with the tops of mole hills.  There are many, many, many, many of those.  The moles make the topsoil nice and granular and loose in their hills.  I figure they are bringing up minerals too, from the lower layer of soil.  Thank you moles.  We also had a fence put in, and the post holes were surrounded by the finely ground 'waste' soil, so I used that too.  Watered it in, mixed together, watered in, mixed, and raked.


Plan on filling the rest of the bed on Sat or Sun.  Honor the Sabbath, not.  Then I can plant garlic and heritage onions - white multiplier onions, my favorite.  I've been growing the multipliers from just a couple, to now a few dozen.  Now there are enough that if next year's crop is generous, I will finally have a lot to eat.  So far just eating a rare few, to save and expand the "seed" crop.  Sticking mainly with Inchelium Red garlic, which grows so well here I find it hard to believe.  Love that garlic.  Last year I grew them in barrels which worked great, but the raised beds have more room, and with the larger amount of soil should need less watering.  Plus, it's in the countryside and the sun is really brighter there - I hope that makes for bigger and tastier crop.


The only fall planted veg's this time, for me, are the onions and garlic.  So that is the only bed that needed "urgent"  preparation.  The others can be built through the winter.  Maybe set one or two up as cold frames?


I'm exhausted and my back hurts.  And my knees.  All of which is good.  There was much to get out of my system.


Peace and love to my fellow godless gardeners.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 12, 2012 at 11:13am

 Idaho Spud, Historically, my first killer frost was 8/11/2011. I keep track of the earliest. I haven't kept tract of first frost ... I shall start this year. Thanks for the question. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 12, 2012 at 7:11am

Joan, is the cold weather at your place normal for this time of year?

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 11, 2012 at 11:10pm

I like my seedy Concords better than seedless as well. By the way, frost is getting closer. My tomatoes stopped blooming and I eat the Sun Gold faster than they can ripen. They are so good. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 11, 2012 at 3:36pm

Thank you very much for the compliments Joan.

The temperature here hasn't fallen below 50 deg yet.  It's predicted to reach a low of 45 this week, but it's usually warmer at my place.

My cabbage and cauliflower are taking-off like gangbusters now the temperatures have dropped from the daytime highs of around 98 to 78.

Sentient, YES!  I would love some cuttings!  I'll give you my address in a private message.

I planted an Edelweiss white grape a year ago.  It had two shoots this spring, but one of them broke-off when they reached about 1.5 feet.  I think the wind did it because it's shoots are unusually brittle.  After it reached 4 feet, the top 2 feet of leaves turned yellow.  Don't know why, but the main vine is now at 9 feet and the leaves on the top 5 feet are green.

I keep my garden log on my computer.  I only started this year and don't remember to write as much as I want to, but I'll get better!  It just dawned on me that some of the things I write here can be copied and pasted into that log.

Comment by Daniel W on September 11, 2012 at 9:59am

Mostly I use the grapes for fresh eating.  I usually share a lot of them. Grew up eating fresh grapes.  People are surprised at the flavor, not like the California and Chile - shipped grocery grapes.  I have made raisins - use a food dehydrator.  They are good that way.

I. Spud, the blog is my garden log, although a very public one.  I use it for reference to see what happened, what I thought, what worked or didn't work.  I used to do it on paper, but blog is better.

If you want some grape cuttings I'd be happy to mail you some.  That way no cost if they don't grow.  I use Pacific-NW-adapted varieties that bear with the shorter season - Price, Canadice, Interlaken, Venus.  I once chopped up grape prunings and used them for much.  Many sprouted and there were little grape vines all over the place!

Joan, that's too cold too soon!  I was looking forward to fall, so I could plant and move more fruit trees / vines / shrubs in the cooler weather.  Now I don't know!  OK, fall, here we come!


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