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all things gardening
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.
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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
Spidra Webster
Fuchsias 101 – How to Eat Fuchsia Berries | PowellsWood Garden -
Fuchsias 101 – How to Eat Fuchsia Berries | PowellsWood Garden
"What?! Did that say eat fuchsia berries?! Yes! It did! It does not seem to be commonly known to folks who are growing fuchsias in their gardens that they are growing berries. Usually people think of those dark squishy things as a menace and a mess in their yards. But they are actually very tasty berries that can be used in many ways, including salads, muffins, tarts, garnishes, jams, jellies, even pies (although you really have to collect a lot to make pie!), and the berries are also just great to pick and eat all by themselves. And the flowers are edible too. All fuchsias produce berries, although some varieties have much better tasting fruit than others. The berries are produced as the flowers on the plants mature and fall off. What is left behind is either a round or elliptical-shaped berry. The berries can grow to almost an inch long on some hybrids and species fuchsias, or to just 1/2-inch on the miniature Encliandra-type fuchsias. Single-bloom fuchsias produce more fruit than... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
See how my garden grows!
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1) Lizard (one of 3) I found in my artichoke. 2) Cilantro 3) Sunflower 4) Artichoke bud (finally!) - Anika
The sunflower is amusing me. It's a volunteer and was growing inside my onion/dill box. I left it alone, but then realized that 1) it was much bigger than I thought and 2) it was growing sideways. A couple of days ago, I fixed it by tying it to the fence. It's nearly 5' tall, which meant I let it go longer than I probably should've. When I tied it up, there was no indication that flower buds would start. Am I blind? - Anika
Spidra Webster
"Is there any other democracy so adept at editing its history? Even Spain, for years notoriously reluctant to get to grips with the legacy of Franco, has begun to acknowledge the past, as the success of Guillermo del Torro’s masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth shows. The French are aware of every sordid detail of the excesses of both monarchs and revolutionaries. The Germans are pricked by their past every day. In the United States everyone knows about slavery, the civil war and segregation. But in Britain our collective memory has been wiped clean. Despite the efforts of authors such as Mike Davis, John Newsinger, Mark Curtis, Caroline Elkins and David Anderson(1,2,3,4,5,6), our colonial atrocities still leave the national conscience untroubled. We appear to be even less aware of what happened at home. Last week the National Trust, which is Britain’s biggest private landowner and biggest NGO, announced that it is creating 1000 allotments – small patches which local people can rent for... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Harrogate Flower Show judge Jim Buttress prepares for the Big Allotment Challenge - Food & drink - Yorkshire -
Harrogate Flower Show judge Jim Buttress prepares for the Big Allotment Challenge - Food & drink - Yorkshire
Harrogate Flower Show judge Jim Buttress prepares for the Big Allotment Challenge - Food & drink - Yorkshire
"Jim Buttress has been dubbed the ‘Judge Dread’ of horticulture, sending a tingle of fear down the spine of competitors hoping to bag a rosette, trophy, medal or cup for their home-grown goodies. As a senior judge at Harrogate Spring Flower Show – where this year he’s giving a talk on the 175th anniversary of Perennial (the gardener’s charity of which he’s chairman designate) – as well as top judge for the RHS’s Britain in Bloom, his decisions can mean the difference between a coveted gold and a disappointing ‘commended’. ‘I got the Judge Dread title a few years ago at Harrogate when there was a bit of tension because I’d awarded a silver gilt and not a gold in the Britain in Bloom competition – and they still remember it,’ says Jim. ‘For me, Harrogate has always been one of the most stunning examples of how communities can transform open spaces.’ The dreaded judge looks set to soon become a familiar face in living rooms up and down the country as one of the judges on new BBC... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
I'm watching it now... not sure it 'works' as a format. But I'm intrigued nonetheless ;-) - Marina's Godmother :-)
I think the vegetable judging stuff would drive me nuts as it all seems to be based on looks rather than taste and nutritional content. - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
Home | The Blue Finger AllianceThe Blue Finger Alliance -
Home | The Blue Finger AllianceThe Blue Finger Alliance
"Imagine a city fed from surrounding countryside, so nearly all its food was fresh, local and delicious… A city in which everyone could learn how to grow their own food, on land that they could walk or cycle to… A ‘green capital’ that led by example, showing the world what a green city could look like! That city could be Bristol. We have some amazing agricultural land on the fringes of our city, producing some of the best fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products in the world. And we have The Blue Finger – a strip of the highest quality food-growing land so rare that JUST 3% of ALL UK soil falls into that category. And yet, the council are planning to tarmac it! The Blue Finger Alliance formed to protect this precious resource by letting people know just how important this land is, how it affects you and why we all need to work together to persuade the council to urgently rethink their plans." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Katy S
I just heard about my dad's garden plans. Four 4x4 raised beds completely enclosed in a very tall chicken wire fence structure to keep out deer and raccoons. Wow!
I'm a little surprised this venture passed the internal zoning board otherwise known as my mother. - Katy S
Let me know if this works. Husband will be retired in two weeks and gardening is a joke with all the wildlife. - Janet
I'm jealous! My uncle just put a cyclone fence around his garden. I'd love to be able to keep everything out, especially all the feral cats around here. - Trish R from iPhone
He got the idea from this book which shows how to make metal mesh tops for raised beds to keep critters out. He just decided to up the ante. - Katy S
Oooh, thanks for the link! - Janet
Spidra Webster
"Along with bridge and lawn bowls, gardening is an activity often portrayed as being a gentle and undemanding pursuit that is predominantly the preserve of those of advancing years. But Alan Titchmarsh has become so angered by this depiction that he has spoken out, criticising “apparently bright” celebrities such as Jeremy Clarkson and Mary Beard who he blames for propagating it. In a staunch defence of gardening he attacked the view of horticulture as a simply “sedentary” activity, and said it was “vital”, “energising” and every bit as “thrilling” as the roar of a Ferrari sports car. The 64-year-old makes the outspoken comments in his column in the Sunday Telegraph’s Life section this weekend, having been stung into action by recent remarks on the subject by leading personalities. He cites an article written on “grey power” by Michael Buerk in last week’s Radio Times, in which Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of television, raises the suggestion that viewers might become particularly... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Climate Change Cuisine? | Ensia -
Climate Change Cuisine? | Ensia
Climate Change Cuisine? | Ensia
"Living in Ames, Iowa, Steven Cannon is no stranger to the Midwestern potluck. Instead of a potato-chip-capped casserole, however, Cannon serves up “potato beans” fried in duck fat or simmered in south Indian spices. Either way, he says the smooth-textured starch, hinting of boiled peanut flavor, is always a hit. The potato bean, also called groundnut, is one of 20,000 wild legumes that go uncultivated. That doesn’t stop Cannon, a research geneticist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Ames, and colleagues from trying to secure these high-protein tubers a spot on dinner tables. Cannon has grown almost 60 wild varieties of the plant in the experimental fields near his office, identifying a handful that yield as well as sweet potatoes — even during last summer’s notorious heat wave. Most people would consider them weeds. But the cold, harsh reality is that in a hotter, drier climate, today’s weeds may be tomorrow’s dinner. From potato beans to lupine,... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
This sounds great. I totally want to try growing it now. Plus that flower pic looks great. - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
Groundnut – Apios americana – Added to USWildflowers’ Database | Journal -
Groundnut – Apios americana – Added to USWildflowers’ Database | Journal
"Groundnut, a native species, has been added to the USWildflowers database (08/22/2013.) Scientific name is Apios americana. Photo below was taken in Walker County, GA on Aug 13, 2013. Go to the Groundnut detail page for more photos and information." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
BBC News - Trees: A personal and national legacy of Evelyn's Sylva -
BBC News - Trees: A personal and national legacy of Evelyn's Sylva
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"If you take a stroll through one of the nation's long-established woodlands, there is a good chance its management was inspired, influenced or even instructed by John Evelyn's Sylva. Widely recognised as the first comprehensive study of UK trees, Sylva, or - to give its full title - A Discourse of Forest Trees, and the Propagation of Timber in his Majesty's Dominions, made its first public appearance in 1662 as a paper submitted to the newly formed Royal Society. Two years later, it was published as the Royal Society's first book and went on to not only shape people's knowledge but the landscape itself. And it was an instant success, proving popular beyond its intended audience of wealthy aristocratic landowners, who were urged by Evelyn to plant trees in order to replenish the nation's depleted timber stock. Four editions were produced during Evelyn's lifetime, and the book is still widely quoted and remains in print and freely available online 350 years after its first publication.... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Original book available in digital format on Project Gutenberg - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
Book Discussion Founding Gardeners | Video | -
"Andrea Wulf explores the Founding Father’s interests in botany and agriculture. Ms. Wulf focuses on the first four presidents and their fondness for gardening from Washington’s vigilant oversight of his Mount Vernon estate to Jefferson and Adams' study of agricultural design and Madison’s understandings of conservation. Andrea Wulf spoke at the home of 18th century botanist, John Bartram, whose garden was visited by many delegates of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. She showed slides throughout her presentation and afterward responded to questions from members of the audience." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Twitter / PurbeckPlants: Hungry? Did you know #hostas ... -
Twitter / PurbeckPlants: Hungry? Did you know #hostas ...
"Hungry? Did you know #hostas are edible? Eaten, usually, in Asia. Excellent in stir fries. #SecretSundays @The_RHS" - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
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