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Re: Garden Log

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:45 pm
by George the original one
Surprisingly, I was able to harvest a few more tomatoes this morning despite last weekend's frost and this weekend's heavy rain! Nights have usually been in the mid-40s.

Carrots planted Jun 27 have bulked up compared to last check on Sep 18, so looking good for the winter harvest. They're about 6"-7" long now and the diameter of a quarter; or half the size of the mature carrots.

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:03 pm
by George the original one
Forgot to mention that the garlic sprouted about a week after planting.

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:52 pm
by jacob
DW took out all our of green/non-ripe tomatoes about a month ago and placed them inside brown paper bags. They've ripened slowly over time. Over few days I check all the (8-10) bags to see if some have turned red. I then use those. As long as the red ones are used, nothing has gone bad yet.

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:35 pm
by George the original one
Johnny's Seeds catalog arrived yesterday, so I spent an hour marking the pages of interest. Will go through the seed drawer in the fridge to see what I need. Waiting for the Territorial Seeds catalog before making any seed orders though.

In terms of trees & vines, however, I leaped out onto the internet on an impulse and ordered a bundle of 100 red alder (distant future firewood) and 5 noble fir (near term Christmas trees) from http://www.burntridgenursery.com . Shipping ended up being a bit on the spendy side, but not so bad to dissuade me. Ironically, I was searching to see who I'd order Columbia Star thornless blackberry plants from, this was one of the links, and then I noticed their native tree selection. Otherwise, the Raintree catalog, when it arrives, will suffice for pear trees.

All this planning activity is making me feel behind in the garden prep, so I went outside to work in the garden because the fishing isn't so hot and the weather is cooperative today. Glad I did because I discovered the most prolific Honeycrisp apple tree had snapped off at the graft after high winds this week. Wouldn't expect this to happen, but it appears the wind got some help from a section of black plastic I'd left draped over the espalier trellis to kill weeds around a stump where the pear trees are going in.

Re-deployed various sections of black plastic to kill weeds in the not yet mulched section of the orchard, pulled up a patch of creeping buttercup (cute, but it's an invasive species here), piled up grubs for the stellar bluejays, and turned the slow compost pile. While doing those little bits, the resident eagle made a showy display with lots of chatter which I was pleased to see because I've noticed it's not been appearing much this fall with the dreadful meager salmon run. I was beginning to think we'd lost the eagle to hunger!

Besides the pear trees & Columbia Star thornless blackberries, I'll be trying pole beans and a new radish variety that resists becoming pithy. In general, seed quantities ordered will be 1 or 2 sizes larger than the standard packet to cut per seed costs & have resilience in case of supply disruptions (noted several varieties were not available this year due to crop failures). Not all seeds are good to do this with as they don't store well (e.g. sweet corn), but where I can get away with it, that's the plan.

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:46 am
by George the original one
A different spinach variety I'll try is Seaside. The leaf stays small for longer, thus better as "baby spinach". And I forgot to mention that I'll make an attempt to grow cilantro. The new radish variety is called Crunchy King.

After checking the green bean varieties I prefer, I realized they came from Victory Seeds (https://www.victoryseeds.com/). They specialize in non-hybrid, non-GMO varieties and these days I order more from them than I realized. Their quality is high, often packing the seeds in a tiny zip lock inside the packet, with germination rates that match other quality seed sources, and prices are hard to beat because they're not paying royalties. Non-hybrid seeds are perfect if you have any intention of becoming a seed-saver. Seeds of Change (https://www.seedsofchange.com/) is another non-hybrid seed source, but I don't order often from them because their test gardens are in a dry sunny climate.

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:10 am
by jennypenny
I've had good luck with High Mowing Organic Seeds.

I haven't received a single seed catalog yet. :(

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:28 pm
by George the original one
WORMS HATE MY GARDEN
And why I'm okay with that

Shovel over a load of dirt from my garden and you'll find a worm maybe every three or four shovelfuls. That's pretty dang barren compared to a shovelful of dirt from outside the garden, which will usually have a couple worms every time!

And yet I'm okay with gardening in this barren wasteland because the compost pile is full of earthworms and the compost, with its fertility, is spread on top of the garden after the worms are done. The environment here fosters decay and harbors all sorts of things that are unfriendly to the garden. Plus I need to cultivate the soil a couple times over the winter to kill off the unfriendlies, like grubs, which probably disturbs the worms.

Even where I've tried trench composting(*), the worms do not take up residence. They seem to prefer having permanent plants to cover their surface movements (or maybe the birds pick off the worms not covered by plants?) and the undigested compost has to be above-ground or in the top 1".


(*) I was disappointed by trench composting. It rotted into a nice layer of organic material, but didn't look anything like real compost that worms have gone through. There were plenty of worms only a foot away, where the weeds had invaded, but none working the trenched material.

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:19 am
by 7Wannabe5
@Georgetoo:

I’ve had good luck with trench and sandwich composting at my urban project site. Climate makes such a huge difference. Moderate precipitation year round and very hard freeze limits the problems heavy mulch can develop in your neck of the woods. We have spread truckloads of wood chips and they are practically vaporized into the soil as with the help of the worms they convert compressed urban core into beds you can easily sink a shovel into.

I am hoping to be back on site for spring planting.

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:17 pm
by enigmaT120
In the book 1491 the author (sorry don't remember his name) says that there weren't earth worms in the Americas until Europeans brought them. That sounds weird to me and I didn't check his sources.

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:17 pm
by 7Wannabe5
I believe the species that is currently prevalent in North America is not native. There are some concerns about its influence as it makes its way into the northern woodlands where the trees have complex relationship with other decomposers.

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:43 pm
by George the original one
enigmaT120 wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:17 pm
In the book 1491 the author (sorry don't remember his name) says that there weren't earth worms in the Americas until Europeans brought them.
The author obviously didn't know about the giant Palouse earthworms (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Palouse_earthworm)!

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:59 pm
by George the original one
And not to be outdone by Washington, apparently there's an Oregon Giant earthworm: http://people.oregonstate.edu/~rosenbed/earthworm.html

I also see we've recently got invasive species from asia: https://www.opb.org/news/article/crazy- ... ping-worm/

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:06 pm
by George the original one
A writer based in the NE USA, however, could be heavily influenced by local knowledge and believe it applies across the whole continent: "Although native earthworms are found in some regions of the US, a large area of North America (NE US and Canada) had no native earthworms at all since the last period of glaciation over 10,000 years ago (and perhaps not before), until their introduction by early European colonists." (from https://www.pacifichorticulture.org/art ... arthworms/)

Okay, that's enough of this rabbithole for me!

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:15 pm
by George the original one
Territorial Seeds catalog arrived today. Guess I now know with greater certainty what I'll be doing after dark tonight unless my wife has other plans...

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:57 pm
by enigmaT120
George I was thinking about those bigguns when I wrote my post. I wish I could find one without harming it. Like many historians he wrote with more certainty than was probably warranted. He thought the natives had extensively managed the coast range forests with fire like they did the Willamette Valley and I really doubt that.

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:10 pm
by Kriegsspiel
I'm pretty sure he (Mann) also said in 1491 that the grass on most every lawn in America was a Columbian Exchange as well.

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:30 pm
by C40
MORE PICTURES.

I've started working on taking cacti cuttings to propagate, and relocating entire plants from desert to my house/yard. These will both mostly be coming from BLM land, except that if I want spine-less cacti, those will have to come from other cacti in town.

Pictures will be coming..

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:24 am
by 7Wannabe5
Does anybody know anything about the likelihood that a self-fertile Italian Prune plum tree could fertilize a wild American plum?

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:44 am
by George the original one
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:24 am
Does anybody know anything about the likelihood that a self-fertile Italian Prune plum tree could fertilize a wild American plum?
https://raintreenursery.com/european_plum_pollination

Seems the only kink is when they flower?

Re: Garden Log

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:24 pm
by 7Wannabe5
Thanks. I will give it a whirl. Worst case scenario has me buying more trees next year :lol: