Garden Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
enigmaT120
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Re: Garden Log

Post by enigmaT120 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:07 pm

So how do you keep gophers from eating all your root vegies?

Those look great.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:14 pm

Don't think we have any gophers. Moles, mice, & kangaroo rats leave the carrots alone. Slugs and a few other minor pests take small bites.

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:01 pm

They're here ...

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It's the one all year when I'm not particularly frugal. I always order too many seeds.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:51 pm

Yup, got my catalogs, too! I don't think I'll be getting anything new this year. Mainly need to refine the amounts now that I've gotten results for this locale. Oh, wait, I may try a potato tower using an indeterminate/late potato variety.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:44 pm

Started a beef stew today... no, that doesn't sound like gardening, however it involves garden produce. So:
1) Potatoes fetched from the garage. They're storing well and the supply is adequate.
2) Carrots. Had some in the fridge, but needed more from the garden. Oops, should have thought ahead because it's 26F outside this morning and the top few inches of soil are frozen solid. Forking them up wasn't going to work! Classic garden spade plunged through the frost layer about a foot behind the row, then levering up managed to work without snapping the carrots. Overall, they're wintering over quite nicely in the garden, so it seems that is a reasonable storage option here.
3) Onions... well, they haven't stored very well and it is partly my fault. They needed more drying and/or more space between them during storage. Unfortunatley it is time to add them to the compost pile.

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cmonkey
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Re: Garden Log

Post by cmonkey » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:51 pm

Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, IA has a program where they send you a collection of seeds (70+ packets), a book and information on starting a seed sharing program. They do this for people in clubs or those wanting to start a club.

It's all completely free.

Being co-presidents of your local garden club has it's perks. We are planning a seed swap in March and this is a great way to give it a boost. We get to keep the book as a 'fee'. :D


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George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:15 pm

Sunny, dry January day... so instead of fishing, I decided it was time to dig into the garden work (literally!). A bit of weeding and a whole bunch of rock removal from the area I expanded into last year.

The rock removal is slow. This particular section is a slurry of sandy clay and rocks, probably from a landslide during a flood. The rocks are annoyingly large (up to bowling ball size) and kind of jammed tight. Last year I had only removed rocks in the rototiller layer, the first 6" maybe, so I could quickly plant corn. Now I'm going down to my usual depth, a bit over a shovel depth, so I won't be striking rocks with tools in the future.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:10 pm

I'm staring at big fluffy snowflakes falling from the sky. They've been falling since before dawn, instead of the forecast rain transition to snow this evening, because the surrounding hills trip up the clouds. Also trying to reconcile the snow with 'Gee, in 2-4 weeks I'll be planting peas & onions & beginning assorted greens & firing up the greenhouse'.

Looking ahead on the potato supply, it appears we have enough so I won't be ordering potato starts for this spring. The early red norlands have been sprouting, so they don't store quite as well as the gold yukons. This only really matters if you're trying to stretch storage of the reds... next fall I'll freeze some before they sprout and possibly switch to a different red variety in future years. Planting time for potatoes is April-ish for me.

enigmaT120
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Location: Falls City, OR

Re: Garden Log

Post by enigmaT120 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:04 pm

No snow at my place. I had my Toyota pickup in the garage expecting to have to drive it to work today, and instead spent time scraping ice off my car's windshield. Weird. I'm going up to Chehalis, WA for work later this afternoon. They have about 7" of snow.

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:16 pm

I've been planning this year's garden. We removed some bushes and the swing set so I have room to expand. I'm hoping to make a space for melons and more potatoes away from the main garden (I like to keep the plants I tend to pick daily near the house for convenience). My main focus will be expanding the herb garden. I want to include more medicinal herbs since our pharma needs around here are significant and not very ERE-like. When we lived in Philadelphia we had a large herb garden that people still talk about. I'd like to recreate that in Stepford.

Another goal is to tour more gardens from the 18th and 19th centuries for old school ideas on growing herbs and other heirloom plants. Here's a video tour of Williamsburg's garden. It's been years since I've been there so I might try to visit again. I'm hoping to visit several gardens like this over the spring and summer.

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bryan
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Location: mostly Bay Area

Re: Garden Log

Post by bryan » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:43 pm

This thread, some journals, and some youtube videos have really gotten me in the mood to do some garden-related (mostly software) projects.

For now I don't have a garden of any sort at my SO's place in the Bay Area. We do have a compost pile going though and I look forward to the weekly dumping of the scrap bin to it and turning it over a little to check out all the critters. It started out hosting an ant bed, but after a while pillbugs and earthworms have taken over. I saw an albino pillbug today!

Since we don't have chickens or fish or anything.. I feel like it's slightly inefficient to let those little buggers to live out long lives only to die of old age (the compost bin is covered to prevent birds from feasting). So does anyone have any experience with eating these two species? :lol: I've been reading the how-tos online the last 30m or so..

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:27 pm

I could have planted peas today, but will wait until tomorrow. The incoming rainstorm shouldn't hit us until afternoon, so I should have time. Forking the bed, removing more rocks & grass, and safekeeping the occasional found potato has taken 6 hours, split between yesterday and today.

This bed is 30 ft long and 4 ft wide. The grass strip between the bed and the greenhouse on the right is slated for conversion into garden bed this year.
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These are the potatoes found in the bed yesterday. Another batch, just as large, was found today.
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And here's one of my rockpiles, about half of which came from this bed.
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George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:18 pm

First round of peas were planted. Three different varieties from seed leftover from 2016 & 2014 (oops!), occupying about 25 row feet. I filled out the row with spinach (old seed from 2016) because my planting calendar reminded me that spinach can go in now... checking germination rate with a few seeds between moist paper towels in the house.

And then, just because I've not tried it before, I planted potatoes in containers. They'll have to be brought in whenever it frosts. If all goes well, grows well, I should have a nice extra early crop in May. 4 went into the biggest pot, 3 into a plastic tub with rope handles, and then another 2 into a Styrofoam pot (probably should only have 1 potato). Wife mentioned that we have a few trees sitting in containers, so once we plant those I'll get to use them for potatoes, also!

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******
The weather last week:
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******
Bonus pictures of January 12 visiting elk:
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enigmaT120
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Re: Garden Log

Post by enigmaT120 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:43 pm

Pretty place. I love elk.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:28 pm

Rain stopped. Thought it would taper into a light drizzle, but no, complete stop after accumulating 4+" in the last 36 hrs. River is still a little high and colored to go steelhead fishing right now, so back into the garden. Collected all the rocks weathered out of the recent diggings; looking good as most of it was gravel-sized.

Recently planted pea plantings were not eroded away or exposed, so that was good. Went over to the untended, unthinned carrot patch planted with old (very old!) seed and dug up 6 lbs of ugly edible carrots. There were only a few that went straight to the compost pile, including two that reverted to white with many branches (they weren't the native wild carrot because the diameter was massive). Makes me wonder what it would take to keep them from getting so ugly... maybe a little rain protection & frost/freeze protection?

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CECTPA
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Re: Garden Log

Post by CECTPA » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:42 pm

Zone 2 garden update. I guess it's too early to plant anything, eh? :)
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Hubby is making me grow lights from scratch. For legal stuff! :)
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George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:12 pm

George the original one wrote:I filled out the row with spinach (old seed from 2016) because my planting calendar reminded me that spinach can go in now... checking germination rate with a few seeds between moist paper towels in the house.
The spinach seed in the house germinated very well, maybe 90% sprouted. So spinach seed life is very good when stored in the meat drawer of the fridge.

In other signs of spring, the blueberry bushes are budding out now. It will still be awhile until the leaves pop out.

It's going to frost tonight, probably do so for the rest of the week, so the potato planter tubs are moving into the garage.

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CECTPA
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Re: Garden Log

Post by CECTPA » Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:35 pm

DIY grow lights! The light is actually almost white, but the camera goes crazy in this spectrum.
Will start planting starters next week, when the potting soil thaws :-D

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George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:11 pm

An inch of snow fell this morning. Fortunately it melted off the garden by 1p, so I ventured out to plant the onion starts which arrived in the mail yesterday. Was driven back indoors by rain after planting half a row. Then 15 minutes later I the sun broke through and I finished planting everything...

I could swear I ordered bundles of 50 plants, but each bundle contained over 100 plants. Dang, extra planting. Yay, extra plants! Varieties: redwing & walla walla ordered through Johnny's, just like last year, only 1 bundle of each instead of 3.

The green onions (scallions) have sprouted indoors. Still debating how I'm going to handle this batch, whether to leave them in the pots when I transfer them to the greenhouse or to replant them. Or maybe "both" as an experiment.

Potatoes in the containers have been hiding in the garage this week because we keep getting snow showers. Expect to drag them back out into the rain on Tues. A couple of them have poked sprouts up out of the compost already, so I really don't want to kill those off.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:35 pm

From the preface to "Play and Profit in My Garden", Rev. E.P. Roe, 1873
I know that I shall be met at the outset by that inevitable Yankee question, "Does a garden pay?"

I might answer indignantly, does it pay to kiss your wife, to dandle your baby, or to go back to the past, to look at the choir, or do anything else agreeable to human nature?

Is the gain in health, strength, and happiness, which this Eden form of recreation secures, to be gauged by the dollar symbol?
If this forum ever forms a softball team, maybe we should call ourselves the Inevitable Yankees.

My fig survived the winter without protection. Thunderstorms in February. I am in quite the muddle, literally and figuratively, trying to figure out what to do about spring planting. "As soon as the ground can be worked"...has always struck me as overly vague instruction, since I would likely be creating something more like an impenetrable clay-lined coffin than a fluffy bed, if I were to set shovel to soil at this juncture in my region.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:41 pm

The 20+ elk herd came & partied Monday night or Tuesday morning. Didn't even know they were there, despite them being right at the back door & patio!

One went up and raided the compost pile. Kale and carrots were the favorites. And it left free fertilizer right in front of the garden gate, which is how I discovered we'd been visited...

halfmoon
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Re: Garden Log

Post by halfmoon » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:07 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote: My fig survived the winter without protection. Thunderstorms in February. I am in quite the muddle, literally and figuratively, trying to figure out what to do about spring planting. "As soon as the ground can be worked"...has always struck me as overly vague instruction, since I would likely be creating something more like an impenetrable clay-lined coffin than a fluffy bed, if I were to set shovel to soil at this juncture in my region.
Totally agree about the spring planting confusion. Aside from estimating when the ground can be worked, it's all about the crystal ball. Even if you magically create a fluffy bed instead of a clay-lined coffin, the ensuing weather can either smack you upside the head for excessive optimism or laugh maniacally at your hesitation. ;)

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:07 pm

Snow has repeatedly fallen here in the past few weeks and, if it wasn't snow, then we had very cold rain which hampered seed germination. Fortunately the peas and spinach I planted back on Feb 14 have finally sprouted! The green onion starts, in the house, are getting leggy, so I've pushed the smallest pot outdoors to see if it does better there.

Planted the first batch of radishes today and I also started another pot of potatoes, a pair gold yukons this time instead of the early red norland.

On the way into Seaside this morning, saw a herd of 10+ elk and then a few more miles down the road there was a herd of 32 elk. That may be the first time I've seen two herds in one day.

enigmaT120
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Re: Garden Log

Post by enigmaT120 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:43 pm

Don't worry George, I finally got my new cross country ski boots so we're probably done with snow for the winter. Rain? I wish.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:46 pm

Progress in pictures...

Potatoes after 1 month, on & off in the garage to keep from freezing:
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Peas after 1 month, mostly spent being too cold before finally sprouting:
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Onion plants after 2.5 weeks, they haven't really changed:
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And one of the pots of green onions started indoors about 3 weeks ago:
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