Re: [gardeners] milk warning

George Shirley (
Tue, 03 Jul 2001 09:50:47 -0500 wrote:
> I raise dairy goats and therefore usually toss out more milk than we
> could ever use in cheese and soapmaking projects. (And we do
> drink a lot of it too.) HOWEVER, beware using too much milk. I
> use it as a weed killer along fencerows!
> In small amounts it's probably great, (or your roses would have told
> you by now). But the fats in it must be what break down and kill
> plant roots. Also, (voice of experience here), I'd occasionally give
> my peach trees and other yard plants a 'glug' of milk along the root
> zone. Fine on occasion, but the one time I (wasn't thinking), had
> made a quick set cheese (vinegar curd), and dumped the whey
> around a group of antique Sweet Olive bushes, within 3 days they
> all died.
> Apparently a 1/4 cup of vinegar goes a long way when it's put in
> milk.

How many goat people do you have? Miz Anne and I had a couple of milking Nubians
back in the Sixties and got more goat milk than we could drink. I sold it to
folks who couldn't handle cow milk and those with ulcers (pre-antibiotic
treatment for ulcers). Also made cheese and, with the help of a cream separator,
butter. Still got the separator somewhere up in the attic.
> And George, thanks for the Ponderosa hints. Don't know why mine
> are dry, maybe I'm too stingy with the waterhose. Will see if more
> deep soakings result in better (juicier) fruit. How tall will these guys
> get? I have to whack the top out of mine because it's direct planted
> in a covered grow area (uncovered all spring/summer, greenhouse
> in winter) and it will get 15' overnight it seems. Oh, and it never
> quits fruiting! Not seasonal at all, it might have clusters of flowers
> all over it and the limbs bent double with big lemons at the same
> time. Do I need to pluck the small ones to give it an occasional
> rest?

I prune mine back about every two years to 12 feet and about 6 feet in diameter.
It's planted out on the south side of the house. Gets plenty of water most years
and I have a soaker hose on it for those years we have a drought. I have never
pulled any fruit off to give others a chance to grow. It normally has 40 to 50
fruit at the fall season and does flower and set fruit year around but more
sparsely than the spring crop.

> And 'football sized' was the Florida nursery boast I got it from. This
> one usually produces fruit about the size of acorn squash. We also
> bought a kumquat that probably hasn't grown 1/2 inch in 6 years! It
> bears fruit so I haven't had the courage to move it. What growing
> conditions do kumquats like?

Mine two kumquats, a sweet (round fruit), and a tart (oblong fruit) are both
planted on the south side of the house. The tart one is 4 or 5 years old and
will be pruned this winter as it has topped seven feet in height and about 3
feet in diameter. The sweet one has been in the ground two years and is about 3
feet tall and 2 feet in diameter. Most of us around here keep them cut to 6 feet
by 4 feet so we can cover them in the odd winter that we get freezes. They
evidently like my loamy soil and a good bit of rainfall. Dad had one but don't
ever remember him fertilizing it. Mine get 8-8-8 at first show of blossoms and
about midway through the bearing season. About a quarter lb per inch of trunk

> Martha, (Texas)
> Visit our Paso Fino Club:
> Visit our

My Uncle, A.C. Shirley, lived up near Austin and raised Paso Fino's the last
couple of years of his life. Think my Aunt sold them when he died. Prior to that
they raised registered Paints for about 25 years.