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: 165
Latest Activity: 8 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 BarbaraSATX on May 7, 2014 at 9:21pm

It's hard to imagine being in a home as long as you and Randall have.  I just purchased my home in January 2013. Some friends thought I was crazy to buy at my age, but I decided it was my last hurrah and I wanted to have a garden and space for my little dog to run and play. Now to just get some flowers and perennials to grow!

Comment by BarbaraSATX on May 7, 2014 at 9:18pm

I guess I'm lucky that the shrubs and tree I planted were able to take hold.  I wanted color and am on a limited budget so I purchased crape myrtles, added amendment, food and watered every week and voila, they are growing.  My house is on a zero lot line and the lot is very small, 40' wide so I needed things that didn't have invasive roots. I bought small 6' dwarf trees, and a 25' tree. They should flower by the end of the season and next year should make my back yard look a little more alive. I have space for another small tree and I would definitely like to add some kind of fruit or citrus tree. And the best part was I was able to do it myself. :)

Comment by BarbaraSATX on May 7, 2014 at 9:12pm

Joan, I guess I'm lucky that I don't have to deal with caliche in my yard.  It's around the foundation of the house and that's all. The rest of my yard is clay. As most of the houses in my area I deal with cracks in the walls due to the contracting of the clay as it absorbs moisture and then dries out. Mostly drying out during the past few years.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 7, 2014 at 8:54pm

Still looking for the common name of the caliche mud, unsuccessfully. Found this description of it, but no other name. 

"It is the most exasperating glop you can imagine, and just a few steps will add pounds to your shoes, making them look like platform snowshoes. And trying to get it off is reminiscent of the Uncle Remus tale of Brer Rabbit and the tar baby. Each attempt finds you yet more inextricably affixed to this whitish supermuck and is sure to leave you with a story to tell."

A mud like no other …caliche 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 7, 2014 at 8:43pm

Barbara, I just ran across this article while trying to find the common name for caliche. I didn' find it, but found this instead: 

Caliche CO2 Feldspar And Climate Dust

We had a layer of hardpan, another name for the rock layer of caliche, that was about 3 feet below soil level. We drilled holes with a power drill to install some sports equipment in our back yard. When the drill hit the hardpan, we, on the other side of the yard, cold feel the drill. After we broke through, we planted a tree over the hole hoping to get some shade on the house. It seems that even roots can't break through hardpan and do poorly. It took all day to drill the holes for the tree and sports equipment. Really hard work. 

Comment by BarbaraSATX on May 7, 2014 at 8:17pm

It is suppose to rain here tomorrow!  Yeahhh, and maybe Friday. Perhaps it will give all my growing things a shot in the arm, err stem. :)

Randall, believe it or not I really never stopped mowing my lawn during the past year.  After the leaves fell from the trees in the fall I simply mulched them with mower onto my lawn, and just kept on mowing, albeit every two weeks during the cold months.

Sentient I'm a tad jealous that you have so many veggies growing in pots and seem to be successful.  Last year I used mostly plastic pots with a few clay.  It was simply too hot and everything cooked as I mentioned in previous post.  So this year I bought "smart pots', a fabric pot that allows air to circulate around the roots and is also self-pruning of the roots.  They have a website if you are interested in learning more about them.  You can grow everything from the smallest flowers up to trees and shrubs as they come in many sizes. I also rigged up sub-irrigation system in each pot using plastic soda bottles and pvc pipe to fill them. I have a thing about zinnias and dahlias so I've committed quite a bit of space to them.  Sedums work too and I may add a few of them. 

I have a Confederate Jasmine which limped through last summer and was beautiful up until I watered it last week. Now the little flowers are brownish and some of the leaves look a little yellow - obviously too much water. Have decided to ignore it for a couple of weeks and see if it recovers.  The smell is heavenly as I step out onto my patio. 

Joan you are sooooo right about the clay soil.  I've amended it and I'll learn in a while whether I did a good enough job.  I have some salvia greggi and salvia leucantha planted in the amended soil.  Some seem to be doing okay and other just look sad.

Next year it will be all cactus if things don't grow this year. I even passed on growing tomatoes this year as I was such a dismal failure at it last year.  I mean, how can you fail at growing tomatoes?  Really. 

Comment by king on May 7, 2014 at 12:40pm
And sorry about the misspell in your name
Comment by king on May 7, 2014 at 12:34pm
Randell what all did you plant in your garden
Comment by king on May 7, 2014 at 9:12am
Randell I agree we need rain here in indiana
Comment by Randall Smith on May 7, 2014 at 7:02am

Welcome Barbara. We're having a drought here in Indiana, too. At least I don't have to mow the lawn yet!

Joan, I, too, have lived in my home for a long time--37 years. A barn once stood where my garden is. I'm still finding concrete pieces, nails, and many pebbles. The soil is clay based and very alkaline. Perhaps in another 37 years of nurturing, it'll be what I want it to be. Love your "then and now" photos!

 

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