Sign in or Join FriendFeed
FriendFeed is the easiest way to share online. Learn more »


all things gardening
Spidra Webster
UC conservation ag specialist is no-till farming's 'Johnny Appleseed' - ANR News Blog - ANR Blogs -
UC conservation ag specialist is no-till farming's 'Johnny Appleseed' - ANR News Blog - ANR Blogs
"The untiring leader of the UC Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center, Jeff Mitchell, was compared to the legendary American farming pioneer Johnny Appleseed by the author of The Grist's Thought for Food blog, Nathanael Johnson. Mitchell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, took Johnson to research fields and farms to show progress being made toward more sustainable production practices in California row-crop farming. Johnson turned the visit into a 1,300-word feature that included links to conservation agriculture research Mitchell has published in California Agriculture journal. "There's a soil scientist at Berkeley, Garrison Sposito, who says it may be just once or twice in a century that agriculture has an opportunity to re-create itself in a revolutionary way," Mitchell said. "... I think that's what's happening with conservation agriculture. It's energizing for me to wake up to that every day.” Mitchell and his... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
The Plant Health Family of Apps from APS: Turf MD and Tomato MD Now available for Apple AND Android devices! -
The Plant Health Family of Apps from APS:
Turf MD and Tomato MD

Now available for Apple AND Android devices!
"“Plant Health” is a portal to APS’s new app collection, which includes Turf MD and Tomato MD. These apps offer high-quality, peer-reviewed images, diagnostic keys, tools, tips, and recommendations for the identification and management of various turf and tomato diseases. Turf MD and Tomato MD are available separately for purchase in iPhone/iPad, and Android formats. Just download the Plant Health app for free then purchase access to Turf MD and Tomato MD. Turf MD ($4.99) is an interactive reference tool for the identification and management of turfgrass diseases. Turf MD was designed for golf course superintendents, sports turf managers, turf scientists, extension professionals, and anyone responsible for turfgrass health. It includes a photo gallery, identification tools, decision support tools, an index of turfgrass diseases, and recommendations to help users identify and treat diseases. Specific features include: Peer-reviewed image collections broken into three sections:... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Korea, Germany cooperate on organic farming -
Korea, Germany cooperate on organic farming
Korea, Germany cooperate on organic farming
"Two research organizations in Korea and Germany have joined hands to co-develop organic farming projects. The National Academy of Agricultural Science (NAAS), part of the Rural Development Administration (RDA), and the Thünen Institut (TI), a federal research institute in Germany, have signed an MOU on November 14 to cooperate on organic farming. Being under the auspices of the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the TI is dedicated to studying the scientific development of organic farming. It is comprised of 14 departments, including those focused on species diversity, the climatization of crops and other fields." - Anika from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
North Forty News • Wellington Weekly • Timnath News | USDA designates Fort Collins as climate hub -
"Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Feb. 5 the creation of the first ever Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change at seven locations around the country, including the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Fort Collins. “Climate Hubs” will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods and crippling droughts on a regional basis, aiming to translate science and research into information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners on ways to adapt and adjust their resource management. “For generations, America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges. Today, they face a new and more complex threat in the form of a changing and shifting climate, which impacts both our nation’s forests and our farmers’ bottom lines,” said Vilsack. “USDA’s Climate Hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
ACP continues to spread across California | Orchard Crops content from Western Farm Press -
ACP continues to spread across California | Orchard Crops content from Western Farm Press
"Probably of keener interest is the “breeding population” discovery of psyllids at two locations in the Bay Area city of San Jose. The San Jose find is far-removed from the rest of the psyllid discoveries in California, which thus far has only been seen in counties several hundred miles south of the Bay Area. The closest discovery of psyllids to San Jose remains San Luis Obispo County on the Central Coast. “The San Jose find may be an introduction through an airport or a hitchhiker that manifested itself into a large population,” said Joel Nelsen, president of the California Citrus Mutual, a commercial trade association. “We just don’t know.” While citrus industry officials concede that southern California psyllid populations are well-established in counties from Los Angeles, southward, it’s the single finds in the southern San Joaquin Valley that raise more questions than answers. “You can make the argument that the Ventura and San Luis Obispo discoveries show a northward progression... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Is that a type of tree hopper? - Halil
Not sure. It sucks the sap of the leaves. The problem is that it is also a host for a bacteria that is killing citrus all over the world. - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
Monty Don on Twitter: "Topiary at Levens Hall this morning as seen from Hot air Balloon." -
Monty Don on Twitter: "Topiary at Levens Hall this morning as seen from Hot air Balloon."
"Topiary at Levens Hall this morning as seen from Hot air Balloon." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
High hopes for remedy for oak processionary moth and other tree pests - "We will also investigate its usefulness as a control for Asian longhorn beetle and emerald ash borer." -
High hopes for remedy for oak processionary moth and other tree pests - "We will also investigate its usefulness as a control for Asian longhorn beetle and emerald ash borer."
Derived from a naturally occurring insecticide, emamectin benzoate (EMB), and its means of deployment, known as tree micro-injection, it is currently being assessed by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate. - Halil from Bookmarklet
He said: "We tested for wound closure as well as leaf chlorophyll content and fluorescence - these weren't affected. We can inject it at quite high levels without burning the tree." O'Callaghan added: "One application lasts two years, with signs of effect in three-to-four weeks." - Halil
Spidra Webster
Ladybird developer awarded researcher of the year - News and Events - University of Sydney -
Ladybird developer awarded researcher of the year - News and Events - University of Sydney
"University of Sydney robotics expert Professor Salah Sukkarieh has been awarded "Researcher of the Year " by the Australian Vegetable Industry 's peak body Ausveg for his work on intelligent farm robots, in particular the"Ladybird". The "Ladybird " was designed and built specifically for the vegetable industry with the aim of creating a ground robot with supporting intelligent software and the capability to conduct autonomous farm surveillance, mapping, classification, and detection for a variety of different vegetables. Professor Sukkarieh who leads a research team dedicated to the advancement of agricultural robotics says his group aims to redefine key areas of field robotics such as sensory technology, materials development and complex autonomous mechanisms. He says the automation of on-farm processes is poised to play a decisive role in minimising input and maximising output of future agriculture. Automation can help to increase efficiency and yield, by having many of the manual... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
All sizes | Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing! -
All sizes | Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
ID please, I thought it was a sweetpea, but she said it's not although the same family, check out actual link:> - Halil from Bookmarklet
Likely in Fabaceaeae. There's a group on Flickr called "ID Please!" that I go to to ID unknown plants. Join the group, read their rules, and submit the photo to their pool. You'll probably have an answer within 24 hr. - Spidra Webster
It's not mine, but thanks, I'll pass that info on. - Halil
Spidra Webster
"Bompas & Parr is set to present a series of workshops at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, exploring psychoactive plants, stimulating botanicals and other mind-altering magic. As part of Kew’s Intoxication Season from 20th September until 12th October, we’re taking over the Secluded Glasshouse on weekends, creating an immersive, theatrical locale for budding plant connoisseurs to expand their minds by learning about other cultures’ perspectives on natural-born plant intoxicants. Against a historical context, and with the guidance of ethnobotanists, toxicologists, drugs historians and medics, we’ll be examining our collective attitude to drugs and contrasting our own socially acceptable substances - tobacco, alcohol and caffeine - with other less familiar stimulants and sedatives. Best of all, adventurous types can also seek spiritual enlightenment with our Grand Master host, by directly sampling a small amount of one of four plant-products that are widely consumed on a global basis,... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
A garden centre which featured on business troubleshooter Alex Polizzi's TV series last year is up for sale after closing | Horticulture Week -
A garden centre which featured on business troubleshooter Alex Polizzi's TV series last year is up for sale after closing | Horticulture Week
The White family ran the centre. Having gone into liquidation the owners' sons took it over but were "under capitalised and following the cold 2013 season, the garden centre finally closed in October 2013". - Halil from Bookmarklet
Agent Quinton Edwards says there is likely to be a development of 1,000 houses built near the centre. - Halil
Thompson & Morgan (T&M) is marking its 160th anniversary by making the fuchsia its plant of 2015. -
"We're launching stunning modern fuchsias that will drive the genus forward and change the way people think about using these plants in the garden." - Halil from Bookmarklet
I wonder if they were influenced by Bob Flowerdew's request for fuschia breeding that works on better-tasting berries... - Spidra Webster
Do you have any links, can't find anything from searching, was it mentioned in one of his blogs? - Halil
No, he mentioned it on the ep of GQT that they recorded in East Malling. - Spidra Webster
Mr. The Jason Fleming
What are these grub looking things under a decomposing log?
I would guess beetle larvae, but it's hard to tell. A lot of beetle species spend their larval stage in decomposing wood. - John (bird whisperer)
I think beetle larva is right. I've seen some of the big black ones around - Mr. The Jason Fleming from Android
Does grafting affect flavor? - Citrus -
A: No, each variety will always have the same basic flavor, regardless of rootstock. But the rootstock chosen will affect the intensity of the flavor, as well as the sweetness-to-sourness ratio. Generally, less vigorous rootstocks (Poncirus trifoliata, Sour orange, citrumelo) stocks give a richer-flavored fruit. Very vigorous stocks (rough lemon, volkameriana, Rangpur) give a more bland, diluted-tasting fruit. In the questioner�s example, grapefruit roots will cause the orange scion to produce bland-flavored fruit. - Halil from Bookmarklet
I guess that's a universal answer for any grafted tree? - Halil
Spidra Webster
Tracking potato famine pathogen to its home may aid $6 billion global fight |Oregon State University -
Tracking potato famine pathogen to its home may aid $6 billion global fight |Oregon State University
"CORVALLIS, Ore. – The cause of potato late blight and the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s has been tracked to a pretty, alpine valley in central Mexico, which is ringed by mountains and now known to be the ancestral home of one of the most costly and deadly plant diseases in human history. Research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by researchers from Oregon State University, the USDA Agricultural Research Service and five other institutions, concludes that Phytophthora infestans originated in this valley and co-evolved with potatoes over hundreds or maybe a few thousand years, and later spread repeatedly to much of the world. Knowing the origin of the pathogen does more than just fill in a few facts in agricultural history, the scientists say. It provides new avenues to discover resistance genes, and helps explain the mechanisms of repeated emergence of this disease, which to this day is still the most costly potato pathogen in the world. Potato... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
USGS Mineral Resources Program Continent Wide Soil Survey -
USGS Mineral Resources Program Continent Wide Soil Survey
"The U.S. Geological Survey has released the Geochemical and Mineralogical Maps for Soils in the Conterminous United States (Open-File Report 2014-1082). The maps provide a visual representation of the national-scale geochemical, and mineralogical variation in soils. In 2007, the U.S. Geological Survey initiated a low-density (1 site per 1,600 square kilometers, 4,857 total sites) survey of soils of the conterminous United States. Three samples were collected at each site from the surface down to approximately 1 meter. In total, more than 14,400 soil samples were analyzed for 45 elements and 9,575 samples were analyzed for major minerals. The maps released today were created using datasets from the survey. The datasets, which were released in October 2013 by USGS, provide a baseline for the abundance and spatial distribution of chemical elements and minerals against which future changes may be recognized and quantified." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Katy S
The raised beds have been planted. I'm tired now.
By the way, that frame is for the wire fencing my dad is putting up to keep the critters out of his produce. He's taking this very seriously. - Katy S from iPhone
I should post a pic of the "enclosures" my husband made. Overkill! - Christina Pikas from iPhone
My dad claims he's going to put wire fencing across the top of this, too. I don't think it's necessary, but it could happen. If he does, I'm going to suggest things he can grow in those upside down planter setups. - Katy S from iPhone
Spidra Webster
My community garden plot is less than it could be. Part of the problem is the soil. I topped it off with city compost and I wanted to mix it with the existing potting soil as I went but my dad (who was helping me with the lifting) was hurried & impatient. So instead I have a bit of a cake layer of fine compost on top of a better mix below.
The top bit has formed a crust and pulled away from the sides a bit. Not remotely as bad as clay but it does tend to clump because it's all about the same grain size. I don't have the physical strength to try to blend those layers now that they're on top of each other. Maybe I should get a shitload of worms to do the work for me. I should be able to get some bigger grain size mulch soon and maybe that'll help. - Spidra Webster
But then there's how busy school is keeping me so that I don't devote as much time to gardening. I started the season with arugula and snowpeas and a rhubarb start between them. Then I added strawberries. Now the arugula is finished and I finally pulled it out. The rhubarb shot up once it wasn't shaded by the arugula. It now takes up a large part of the center right of the bed. - Spidra Webster
I put in two tomato starts someone gave me and it turns out they're determinate so that's good but I didn't get them staked before they grew large so they're unruly. The strawberries have runners although they weren't supposed to. No big deal because I like strawberries and don't mind having more plants. I'll need to cut them up to keep them from suppressing floral reproduction, though.... more... - Spidra Webster
I'm really bad with planting things at exactly the right time of year. Luckily, that's a little less important in CA. I could try filet beans and sweet peppers, I guess. What would be really challenging is trying to control a passionfruit start I have. See, that's my problem! I can think of tons of things I'd like to plant but they aren't allowed because of height. I wanna grow more fruit trees. - Spidra Webster
Today I'll be emptying the wormery of all its scrumptious compost and liquid goodness, which will use as a natural plant feed! I bet you wish you were joining me too! ;-)
Just made Blakes 7 my default ring tone! #YouKnowYoureJealous :D
Update: Darth Vader's theme tune now! :D - Halil
Avon blasts Blake point-blank and then stands over his corpse protectively... - Big Joe Silence
these are truly wonderful daisies, they have succulent like hairy foliage, a wonderful shade of pale blue/green and the flowers are positively screaming with colour. - Halil from Bookmarklet
A mushroom found growing in the log shed and some irises, I think the pale lilac ones are bearded irises.
2014-05-14 10.48.47.jpg
2014-05-14 14.05.22.jpg
There's an artichoke in the background too! - Halil
Spidra Webster
"Our online soil survey can be used to access USDA-NCSS 1:24,000 scale detailed soil survey data (SSURGO) in many parts of the lower 48 states. Where this data is not yet available, 1:250,000 scale generalized soils data (STATSGO) can be accessed instead. An interactive map interface allows for panning and zooming, with highways, streets, and aerial photos to assist navigation (Figure 1). Soil polygons become visible near a scale of 1:30,000. Alternatively, a GPS point, CA Zip code, or a street address can be used to zoom in on a specific location. General usage notes and information on how our online soil survey work can be found here. Statistics on who is using our online soil survey can be found here. Technical details on SoilWeb can be found in this publication. Please note that we are currently transitioning to a new server, and planning to have our local copy of the SSURGO, STATSGO, and OSD databases updated in the coming months. The SoilWeb app is a portable version of the UC... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Can anyone give me some helpful tips on does/don'ts with a graft apple tree please? The only thing I know for sure is to keep the main stock plant pruned so it doesn't take over the graft, other than that I know nothing. Do/should you prune the apple graft as you would a non-graft apple tree? Many thanks.
Just prune it as is indicated for the type of apple tree it is (tip-bearing, spur-bearing, etc). Any apple tree you buy at a nursery has been grafted so it's nothing special. I'm going to bed right now, but I'm quite certain you can google apple pruning info on the net and find reasonable advice. If not, the RHS and others have published pruning books and I'm sure apple pruning info... more... - Spidra Webster
Thanks Spidra. - Halil
Spidra Webster
It may end tomorrow, but right now the Kindle editions of "Teaming with Nutrients" and "Teaming with Microbes" are on deep sale at Amazon.
A new heavy cropping variety with large, very juicy fruits with an attractive red flush which are delicious straight from the tree in early September. A beautiful apple with the appearance of handpainted red stripes over a yellow background. Inside is a crisp creamy flesh with a mixture of flavours, a honey-like sweetness with a hint of aniseed. Excellent variety for juice making. Pollination group 2. - Halil from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
App brings wildflower identification to your fingertips -
App brings wildflower identification to your fingertips
App brings wildflower identification to your fingertips
"Information about the Pacific Northwest's wide array of wildflowers is just a swipe away with a new mobile app designed in part by botanists at Oregon State University. Available for iOS and Android devices, the Oregon Wildflowers app provides multimedia and information on nearly 1,000 wildflowers, shrubs and vines common in Oregon and adjacent areas in Idaho, Washington and California. For each plant, the app offers photographs, natural history, range maps and more. It works without an Internet connection once downloaded. "You can use the app no matter how remote your wanderings may take you," said Linda Hardison, the director of the Oregon Flora Project, an OSU effort to develop resources, like the new app, to help people learn about plants in Oregon. "It's designed for both budding wildflower enthusiasts and experienced botanists to learn about plant communities and ecology throughout the Pacific Northwest," added Hardison, a botanist in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences. The... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
second plant is lungwort! - Halil from fftogo
first plant is called Honesty (Lunaria annua). - Halil
Spidra Webster
"Plant-lore Archive has grown from the Folklore Society’s ‘Survey of Unlucky Flowers’ which was conducted in the early 1980s. It now holds over 6,700 items of information from approximately 1,650 contributors, and a large number of press-cuttings, off-prints, photographs and other material. The Archive covers all aspects of the folklore and traditional uses of plants, and although previously published material is of interest, the emphasis is on contemporary (i.e. current and remembered) beliefs and practices. Therefore information is sought concerning: Traditional beliefs concerning plants (for example, the belief that certain flowers cause bad luck if taken indoors) Local names of plants Plants and plant materials used in traditional customs and religious festivals Herbal remedies Sayings, riddles, tales and legends concerning plants Traditional times for sowing and harvesting crops, and practices associated with the cultivation of plants Plants used for foretelling the future... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Gardens: If you know what you’re looking for there’s free food everywhere – even for the urban forager - The Scotsman -
"WHAT do mahonias, fuchsias and violets have in common? They all have edible parts. So while you may have chosen garden plants because of their form, scent or colour, with a little knowhow some of them could start contributing towards your dinner plate. The tasty secrets of garden and wild plants are revealed in a new book by gardener and author Alys Fowler. In The Thrifty Forager, Fowler points out that foraging can be practised in the city as well as the countryside – as long as you’re prepared to invest time in getting to know your local plants. “Urban areas are just as good as rural, sometimes better as a lot of ornamental plants like Japanese flowering quince are planted in urban areas and you’d be hard pressed to find one growing wild,” she says. “Parks, around the back of allotments (not the allotments themselves as that’d be stealing) and those weird bits of no-man’s land are all great places to forage. Even street trees can offer up a bounty. I know a street in London lined... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Other ways to read this feed:Feed readerFacebook