Finally

Just about O dark thirty we gratefully received about half an inch of rain in less than an hour. Weather folk keep saying more is coming but I haven't seen anymore.
It's amazing how much the plants perked up with just that much rain. Temperatures dropped rapidly from 104F to the mid-nineties, making it much better here and the AC isn't running as much as it was.
Naturally there aren't many plants left in the gardens. We still have the sweet chiles and the eggplant plus the two new yellow squash but all the others are now mowed and in the composter. We need some cool weather to get out there and add our amendments to the raised beds and stir them into the whole bed. I'm putting in a goodly amount of peat moss again in hopes it will help to hold the water for the plants to use. That and some really good compost is about all that we need to replenish the beds.
We seeded some earth worms from Territorial back in the spring just as the soil was warming up. Pulling the lima beans yesterday exposed some nice sized earth worms who immediately dove back under the planting medium. Hopefully they will colonize the whole property eventually.
Nothing much going on here but hiding from the high heat levels.
George
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On 08/11/2015 05:11 PM, George Shirley wrote:

Hi George,
Where do you hail from?
We got a thunderstorm here on Sunday in Northern Nevada that was something to behold. Plants loved it. You could almost see them grow. (They love the nitrogen in the rain water.) Very loud on the roof! But, no hail fortunately.
-T
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On 8/11/2015 10:29 PM, T wrote:

Northern Harris Cty, Texas, think Houston as we are in their extraterritorial area. Lots of houses and people where there used to be lots of woods, grasslands, and cows. I hunted on the land our subdivision is on now back in the early sixties and there used to be lots of "pick your own" farms with berries and fruit. Only a few of those remain but there are two large dairies nearby with lots of milk cows. Makes me feel good driving to the stupor market and see all those cows grazing. Unfortunately the dairy farmers have rye grass sprayed from the air every spring and then we have to pull it out of our gardens.
We're living on the smallest plot of land in all the 55 years of or marriage, 6500 square feet with a 1960 square foot house on it. The only reason we're here is that all of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are within a thirty minute drive versus the former 3 hour drive. Family trumps all.
A little history, I'm retired oil field trash and proud of it, third generation at that. We've lived in a few states and a few more countries, some of which were nice and some that we left pretty quick. <G>
I'm a U. S. Navy veteran, 1957-1963, former scoutmaster, former gunsmith, you name it, I've tried to make some money from it to feed the family. Life is still a wonderful thing.
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George Shirley wrote: ...

:) i'm glad they've managed to stick around even through the heat.

good time for reading and siestas. :)
songbird
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Once upon a time on usenet George Shirley wrote:

Speaking of amendments I have a suggestion that may or may not help. At the least it's food for thought.
Background; I'm an invalid with spinal problems and I take morphine several times a day to ease the pain enough so that I can care for myself (and my garden - somewhat). A nasty side-effect of morphine is constipation and, for a few years I had a prescription for psyillium husk powder (Metamucil) to mix with water and glug down several times a day. It helped but didn't completely fix the problem - it took a total diet change to do that, making my own extremely high fibre bread etc.
So I didn't cancell my prescription of psyillium until I was sure I had the problem sorted. Then I found myself with about a dozen 750g packets of the stuff. I don't know if you've seen or used it but it absorbs many times its weight in water. When I was wondering what to do with it all I was reminded of that water retaining gel that was all the rage here a couple decades ago - 'add some to potting mix and reduce frequency of watering plants' sort of stuff.
I hate throwing things away so did some Googling and it seems that it's been used in trials in India as a soil amendment with great success. (Psyillium grows in India and of course large parts of the country are arid.) I did a few of my own experiments too. You don't need a lot - a couple teaspoons to a bucket of soil is plenty. Mix it in well and it really helps the soil to retain water for quite long periods. I was amazed how well it worked for me, experimenting on some 'soil' I had in a raised bed that was too free draining.
I read that, being organic it will break down over time but apparently no moreso than peat and you need far less psyillium per square foot than you do peat and it's *much* cheaper per square foot too. I've read where you've mentioned how poor your soil is and just thought I'd throw this out there. It may be worth buying a packet or two from the drug store (get the unflavoured 'natural' stuff) and doing a trial plot? I still have a few kilos of it here (did I mention that I hate throwing things away?) but it would cost too much to make it worth sending to you, it's quite cheap to buy. :)
Best,
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy
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On 8/12/2015 6:56 PM, ~misfit~ wrote:

Thanks for the advice, just happened that one of the ladies at our church lost her husband and then moved in with her brother, also widowed. She gave us all her stored food and in the batch was a huge container of psyillium. Will give it a try. We shared most of the food with other church folk.
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Once upon a time on usenet George Shirley wrote:

Good that you've got some already, it can't hurt to try. One thing - make sure it's mixed in well before wetting or it'll clump together. Experiment with some soil in a bucket, that's what I did. :)
Cheers,
--
Shaun.

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