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: 6 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 Sentient Biped on June 28, 2014 at 12:53pm

Spud, I really like your melon hills.  They are like a work of art.  Please keep us posted on your progress.

I imagine the black fabric does give beneficial warming, plus the fact they are in hills.  Very creative.

Comment by Idaho Spud on June 28, 2014 at 12:41pm

Here's the same melons showing the hills I planted them on:

Comment by Idaho Spud on June 28, 2014 at 12:37pm

Joan, that article had some good ideas.  

The 5 new soaker hoses I bought last year, all came with those little plastic pressure regulators in them, but I removed them because I was doing a lot of watering from rain barrels with a pump that doesn't put-out much pressure, so I wanted as little resistance to the water flow as possible.

It took hours to water that way, so this year I will only use the pump for rain water.  If the dryness continues, I may not get much.

Last year, I filled the barrels with city water and let them sit several days until the chlorine evaporated.  I though my plants might appreciate de-chlorinated water.

However, I've since read that the chlorine is eliminated in the top couple of inches of soil, so the plants aren't affected.  That should save me a lot of unnecessary work.

I still may use the de-chlorinated water for a week or two until the watermelon soil is warm.  I sit the barrels on the south side of the house and the sun heats the water nicely.

Two or 3 people have said my watermelons were probably picked too late last year, because the hollow places inside are what happens when harvested too late.  That would also explain the watery taste.  This year, I'll start trying them earlier.

Here's a birds-eye view of 4 of my watermelon and one muskmelon ready to be watered:

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 28, 2014 at 8:23am

The garden is a great teacher. Randall, Your hunch that it is a pollinator problem sounds very possible. One year I planted a row of seeds and labelled them. When they grew, they were not what I had named them. Seems odd to me because when I majored in horticulture at WSU, one of our freshman classes was seed identification. Dr. Kalin gave us a cup of seeds, an assortment of all kinds. Our task was to identify each seed, plant it and see if we got what we identified. Our grade depended on how well we did correctly distinguishing seeds.  I did very well. 

I look forward to learning of your harvest, especially the ones that hybridized. 

Spud, I just bought new soaker hoses for my raised beds. The old ones are 18 years old with lots of repairs. In fact, when we pull them all out this fall, we'll be able to see just how many patches there are. I also bought those little pressure regulators. I bury all my hoses to keep them from getting the leaves and stems damp, and to get every drop of water into the soil. 

How to build a spot-watering system for berries, bushes, and trees 

Comment by Randall Smith on June 28, 2014 at 7:27am

Joan, I'd forgotten how well melons grow in my compost pile! I think you're on to something. However, this year, the plants seem to be thriving. I suspect it's a pollination problem--few honeybees. Fingers crossed.

I have vines spreading out everywhere. These include melons, squash, and pumpkins. Most are in rows or hills, but some are "volunteers". It'll be like a scavenger hunt this autumn. What's fun is to plant hybrid squash seeds to see what varieties show up. Ah the joys of godless gardening (thanks, Daniel).

Comment by Idaho Spud on June 28, 2014 at 6:25am

"Seven thirty O'clocks". Cute Daniel.  

Sorry about your melons Randall.

Joan, I don't have room either, but I'm trying a muskmelon and 6 kinds of watermelon this year, hoping they don't get in each others way too much.  

Over the last 10 days, I transplanted them all, put black fabric around them for warmth, and put soaker hoses on top of the fabric, but under the melons.  Today, I finish up with I soaker hoses under the last two.  Then I'll hook all the hoses to the water supply with a pressure reducer, so the soaker hoses get only 25 PSI instead of 110, which I've determined blows them out after a few years (I remember Ruth complaining about that).  The lower pressure also just lets them weep instead of making little sprays that wet the leaves (a no-no, especially for watermelon).  

Pictures to follow.  Right now, I'm going out to the garden before the sun fries my brain more than it already is.

Comment by Plinius on June 28, 2014 at 1:53am

They're lovely flowers, Daniel!

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 28, 2014 at 1:40am

Randall, I don't grow vine crops because I don't have room, but I remember as a child coming from farming families, that my grandmothers and aunts grew them near the barns where the manure was shovel out in a mighty heap. They had all kinds of squash, summer and winter, and melons of all kinds.

You might try bringing in a bag of composted steer manure and plant your seeds in hills of manure. No guarantee that my memory has any wisdom attached to it, but what the heck, nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

Comment by Sentient Biped on June 28, 2014 at 12:13am

Some of the blossoms on my Four O'Clocks.  This is the first time I've grown them.  An old fashioned flower that I've never seen in the stores, probably because they don't bloom during the main part of the sales day.  In my yard they don't bloom until evening, so should be called "Seven thirty O'clocks".

Comment by Randall Smith on June 26, 2014 at 7:32am

I haven't had much luck with melons (cant. & water) in recent years. For one, seeds haven't germinated very well, and second, I get few melons, and third, the melons I do get are tiny. But, I keep trying. This year's plants look healthy and blooming like crazy. Come on bees, do your thing!

 

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