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Toy Box 3 (the charm)

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Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/20/2012, 8:44 pm

Third times a charm. Isn't that what you have been told? This is my third square foot garden. Every year it starts with pea planting. I usually do not use inoulant on peas but last year I had a very rough time getting any peas so this year I decided to try inoulant. Inoculation really is not to get peas to sprout but ding-dang-dong, this year I want peas and am ready to do any crazy ol' thing to make sure they know they are welcome.



If you managed to watch the whole video, you might have noticed that Ray built two new boxes for me. Our chicken tractor fits inside the 4x8 foot garden. The vermiculite is in the garage. We still need to pick up some peat. There is so much straw in our compost, I am probably going to have to buy a few bags of compost to extend what I have. I hope not, but maybe.

Those peas I planted, a French heirloom, went in where the tomatoes were last year. They grow 6 to 8 feet tall. I still have Golden Sweet Snow Peas (5 to 6 feet tall), Maestro (shelly peas, 3 to 4 feet), and Cascadia snap peas (not sure how tall). While I still have lots of room I'll add spring sown fava beans, more kale and boc-choi, maybe some lettuce and spring onions.

Thompsons broccoli, multi-colored cauliflower and a yellow cauliflower are all waiting for me to start them in a tray so that they are ready to plant out in April.

Debs.....who had to quit when it started raining (didn't want to get my camera wet.....ya, right)

Chunky rain, that is what we are calling the stuff splatting on the windshield. It is a rain-snow mix that stopped long enough for me to get out and get dirty! Hey! there was 10 hours and 30 minutes of daylight today. That is worth celebrating!

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/20/2012, 9:01 pm

Thanks for the great video LD I enjoyed watching, but brrrrr that wind sounded cold Shocked
...and of course I loved the chickens.

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  FamilyGardening on 2/20/2012, 10:54 pm

Deb everything looks so good!!

its kinda neat to find things that over winter Very Happy

we planted collard greens last year for the first time we left it in the garden and it over wintered and its huge!....carrots, spinch and our kale all over wintered Very Happy we left stuff and havent cleaned out our box's yet....LOL....the last couple of days we have wanted to .....made plans....just to have heavy rain.....hubby said he may have to go and buy a rain jacket.....ha ha ha ha

thank you so much for sharing your video's!

cant wait to get out and get dirty Very Happy our baby seedlings inside are a growin!

hugs

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  quiltbea on 2/21/2012, 1:16 pm

Debs......I love seeing your garden progress. Keep the videos coming!

I like your method but I've been doing mine a little differently. I poke my finger in 8 places where I plan to put the peas, and then sprinkle a dab of innoculant in the holes. I like to soak my peas for an hour before planting anyway so they are wet going in the holes. A pea is placed in each hole and with a finger I push them down an inch deep. That's enough innoculant. They only need a little. Just pull the soil over the seed tops and water in.

By the way, is there a reason you plant 16 seeds in a square? The usual is only 8 in two side-by-side rows within the square.

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/21/2012, 3:20 pm

Thanks for all comments!

@nked ...you are kind! Thank you SO much. I like the nuggets too!

@Rose ...hugs back to you! I tried growing collards last year. Thinking that they are a southern plant I put them in during the heat of summer. Mine sprouted and grew a couple of leaves but then wilted back. Since nothing was eating the leaves I can only assume that it was too hot or cold (did not really act like that) -or- that something was eating the root (that IS what it acted like though it could be disease) -or- like cucumbers, they did not like being planted next to my peppers (they wilted just like the cucumber planted in the pepper pot). I've never eaten a collard but would like to. Got any tips for me?

@Bea ...You grow such beautiful gardens! I am honored that you share your tips with me. It seems like it is always windy when I plant peas. Putting my inoculant directly on the wet peas prevents me from going crazy as I watch all that expensive black powder blow away in the wind. If I could be sure of a still day I wouldn't go to all the trouble. Truth is it has been a long time since using inoculant. Last year was so bad for peas here in western Washington that I thought I might hedge my bets and use every trick and help that I could. I think a little sluggo might solve the problem. ((Told Ray I was going to buy ducklings this spring for slug control ...low and behold he spent big money on a little canister of sluggo ....how about that?)) Pea spacing. It sounds like you space your peas a lot like I did in my row garden. I think that is a great way to do it! Before starting my SFG I had a French intensive garden. I also grew in tubs while we were fixen to move. One inch apart in all directions works for me. Because of the kind of trellis I use (sort of a ladder) I copy Camprn and run string or twine from the lattice to the rungs and back down for both peas and beans. This actually works better for beans that will climb a string. Peas seem to like horizontal threads but I make due.

Debs.... starting trays of seeds after school work is done (cause it is too wet to kneel in the garden)

Flood warning! Even though winter was late, the snow is still melting right on time in the epic rainfall. The good news is the longer day. The dreary news is the shroud of weeping gray clouds. Gonna have to wear puddle-jumpers to splash out for eggs. 54/46 SE wind gusting to 30mph. Light rain? Light? They must mean day-light cause it is pounding too hard to qualify as "light".

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George Washington's Birthday ?!?

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/22/2012, 6:37 pm



There must be a hole in the clouds. It turned out to be a beautiful day. I thought I would just get out and get a few more peas into the ground but I ended up doing more. The compost heap that Ray so sweetly turned for me had a sloppy looking lean to it. The darn thing was right in my view. Any reasonable passive aggressive would do what I did. Drop everything and go turn that compost.



Poor Ray, there he is, trimming my apple tree and I choose this shot to show how the compost is falling over. Yeish, who does that (grin). HE TURNED THE COMPOST. That is something he never did when we were both young. Give a willing rookie a break Deb. Notice that I did not take a shot of the upright cylinder after I turned it to a different spot. It is true, I am very bad.



After the nuggets and I thoroughly turned that yummy pile, we did a little house keeping. Suddenly it made sense that one of the bins should be moved next to the Easter basket where it is convenient to deposit soiled straw right into it. The other one is sitting by the strawberries. Don't know if it will live there or not. Over the winter the little green bins got way too full. I shoveled out lots of straw and maple leaves to the cylinder I was forking. At first it seemed like they had been stuffed so full that nothing was happening in there. I soon found that the centers were all perfect and steamy with that sweet scent of finished compost. The outer straw and leaves were acting like insulation for the worm population in the center. Under these little bins is a multipurpose roller-compost tea holder. I dumped out the old tea in favor of some new. YUCK! That stank! Bad, bad, bad. I'll finish the job another day because Yuck! My neighbors will think someone’s septic tank is leaking (we are on sewer lines.)



Some of my fruit trees (these are pears) and pots of blueberries that I had to move when Ray put the new 4x8 where they used to live. Maybe these can go live along the fence where the compost once sagged ...errrr, I mean stood.

Besides the peas, I started a tray that includes four colors of cauliflower, Thompson's broccoli, Peacock broccoli, the classic Italian leaf kale and a blend of mustards. Since there is still a little time left to do winter sowing, I started two kinds of parsley in their own clear holders. I keep all my winter sown trays (they are not really trays) in the cold frame where the parsley in now tucked away. I already have chamomile growing in its tray. Yey! Bible study tonight should top off my day.....if my body survives that long.

Debs...... Happy birthday GW! (George Washington, not President Bush, I don't think it is his birthday today.)

Out for Valentines Day brunch. He is so good to me (I got the better deal) This is Wednesday the 22 of February, right? Weather Underground was saying 80% chance of rain, 48/37 with west wind at 10 to 15mph. Blue sky at my house with a high that went to 59. I'll take it! 10 hours and 38 minutes of day light.... most of which was nice and bright.

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  nancy on 2/22/2012, 7:37 pm

Hurray! I love reading about the Toy Box!

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/22/2012, 8:33 pm

Love the pictures LD. Especially the one of your pooch following your husband with his little jacket on

I would like to know more about your pear trees!!

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/23/2012, 9:39 am

Thank you Nancy, that means so much. I try to tell myself that I do this for me, but I do love to read that someone likes the toy box besides me and my hungry crew. Hugs (as Rose has me saying, sweetie that she is)

I'd like to know more about pear trees too nked. I have not got a pear yet (they are only 3 years old this year) but I've got apples and lots of cherries grown the same way. I'm not sure what you want to know so I'll just ramble a bit. I have two pear trees. The first is an Orcas Pear. This is an heirloom tree "discovered" at a homestead on Orcus Island (Part of the San Juan archipelago off of the Washington St coast). The other is a 5-type multi pear. I'm not sure how many gallons the thick ceramic pots they are in hold, they are knee-high and filled with MM. Each fall all my potted trees get a shovel or two of home-grown compost as top dressing. We chose spendy, heavy ceramic pots because we do not heel in (is that the right word? it is the practice of setting pots into an hole in the ground to protect them in winter). To keep the soil mix nice I have a colony of earth worms in the pot. I feed them cornmeal, alfalfa meal and compost in the spring. If nothing else, the trees are beautiful accent trees. Maybe someday I'll get pears.

This year I had planned to take them out of their pots, give them a root trim and pot them back up with fresh MM BUT we went to a fruit tree class where the "expert" told us that palm fruit trees (apples/pears) are not like citrus trees. All my experience is with potted citrus. Potted palm fruit can (and should) go 10 years before they get a root trim (to encourage feeder roots instead of anchor roots). That was a relief.

They probably should be in the ground. However the first year we got them we were not sure where we wanted them to live and already had the pots and MM. The 2nd year we started hearing rumors that my husband’s plant would be shut down so we left them in pots (BTW all of them are on dwarf root-stock) in case we had to move. News of less than a year of work came at the same time as the implosion of Wall Street, the year of upside-down mortgages. We did not exactly go upside-down but came close.... $1.00 to the good. We are thinking about putting them into the ground this year but are glad to know we still have 6 to 7 years before we have to do something. Stay tuned, this could be the year of a pear....I forgot to ask, are you doing potted trees?

Debs....feeling remarkably good after turning the compost yesterday.

Did you hear the frogs last night? Spring shouldn't be too far away. I could hear the birds singing in the brambles when I was outside yesterday. I saw stars at night (burrrr). Doesn't look like there was frost but daylight will tell. for today, my nephews birthday, the best guess says that even with a drop in barometric pressure there is only a 20% chance of rain. The ground is still squishy. 46/39, partly cloudy.

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seedlings

Post  curio on 2/23/2012, 9:46 am

You mention that you have started (or moved) some of your cole crop. onion and leek seedlings and parsley to a greenhouse/cold frame. I'm at the southern end of the Sound, and have an unheated greenhouse. I have young cole crop seedlings that were started inside under lights that I've been putting outside in the daytime (except yesterday when they would have blown to Portland). Do you think it would be safe for them to stay in the greenhouse now? They all have the second set of leaves well established on the cole crops and the alliums are about 3-4" tall now.

I can't wait to get my second bed filled with MM so I can plant my peas... Hopefully this weekend. Your video was great Smile I hope you get your peas this year. Interestingly enough, our peas went gangbusters last year.

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/23/2012, 9:52 am

Debs, right now I'm not doing potted fruit trees, but would really like to! Thanks for the great info. I had some mini apple trees previously that were self pollenating. I had them planted in the ground, and was never blessed with much in the way of apples. A neighbor had pear trees, and while I'm not a huge pear fan, I loved the trees. Guess I'm kinda funny, sometimes I grow things more to grow it than to reep the harvest Very Happy Like beets, I've tried them every way possible and just cannot stand them hard as I try, (I love the greens from them though) but I can grow them. The plants appeal to me, so I take the greens and give the beets to grandma.

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/23/2012, 10:19 am

@curio wrote: ...snip... I have young cole crop seedlings that were started inside under lights that I've been putting outside in the daytime (except yesterday when they would have blown to Portland). ...snip...


Thats funny! Seems like everyone wants to fly to Oregon.

If I read you correctly, you have been gardening long enough to know that you just have to watch the night-time temps and protect them if it falls below 40*F. In my Everett garden, if the temp drops below 40 at night there is some kind of evil spell on the land that seems to make frost in the morning even if it does not get down to 32*F. But if your babies are already hardened against dehydrating winds, you should be good to go. As for me, I just started a small selection of coles to plant out in April. They have not even arched up yet. You are way ahead of me.

I've only put winter sown items into my cold-frame (a whole weird thing that is not SFG; so I only mention it in passing). I LOVE reading about what you have done. I have not even started onions yet (but garlic and shallots are coming up that were planted in fall and I'm still harvesting last year’s leeks)

Debs.....thanks for the kind comments about my homespun video!

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/23/2012, 10:26 am

nKedrOoStEr wrote: ...snip....Guess I'm kinda funny, sometimes I grow things more to grow it than to reep the harvest Very Happy Like beets, I've tried them every way possible and just cannot stand them hard as I try, (I love the greens from them though) but I can grow them. The plants appeal to me, so I take the greens and give the beets to grandma.

I wonder if we are related? I could have written that. I did discover that in small amounts, like marble size on the end of the greens, I sort of like golden beets....but I do not get cravings.

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  walshevak on 2/23/2012, 10:31 am

Count me in on that beet group. Like the greens don't like beet roots unless pickled. But my daughter gave me a pack of golden beet seed in my Christmas stocking, so this year I grow beets.

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thanks for the information

Post  curio on 2/23/2012, 10:48 am

I thought that was the rule of thumb, but this is the first time in many years that we haven't simply bought transplants. I know I've been very anxious for the weather to get nice enough to really start doing more than simply doing clean up and prep work, so was a bit worried that I was trying to jump the gun. I have been known to get a little over-zealous.

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/23/2012, 10:54 am

@curio wrote: ...snip.... I have been known to get a little over-zealous.


One of my all time favorite characteristics of gardeners.

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  gwennifer on 2/23/2012, 11:38 am

Okay, I KNEW that apple tree your Ray was pruning was espaliered. Your latest pic of it just confirmed it for me. So now I need to know, why bother with an espaliered tree that's not against the side of a fence or a building? Aren't they usually espaliered to save space? (I'm truly just asking - not criticizing!) I saw the ones just this week with the six different types of apples grafted on and espaliered at Lowes for $39.99. But then Costco had grafted apple trees for less than twenty that weren't espaliered...

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/24/2012, 9:00 am

@gwennifer That tree does save me space. There are six different varieties grafted to the dwarf rootstock. I doubt I will ever see a Yellow Delicious, they like the high desert winters of central Washington better than my maritime climate. But from one root I am getting Yellow Transparent (which is why I chose this tree, that old heirloom tree that my grandma made summer pie from is hard to find, seems like the rest of the apple growing world grows the newer Lodi for an early pie) Gravenstein is another western Washington apple that I LOVE and is grafted on this tree. After those I'm not really sure what else there is. Two with Japanese names, Fuji and Gala (why am I thinking Gala is Japanese?) I think the last one is a Macintosh but cannot remember, like the yellow delicious, that branch has not made fruit yet. Even if I only grew the three that I favor (Yellow Transparent, Gravenstein and another that is not on this tree) it would take up a lot more room in my postage stamp farm as well as cause too much shade.

Most of my fence line is already used for other things. Along the house is a deck that runs the length of the building. We are still trying to figure out where we will put a green house for Ray’s aquaponics. If I wanted to grow a peach or nectarine I would want those up against the house for the heat and reflected light. (I kinda do want a small specimen but it is so wet in my town that leaf curl is a regular battle for which many growers get only a handful of fruit.)

This apple tree is really less work than a single stem tomato, I wish my multi pear was also espaliered. If I choose to bring in another apple I don’t need to worry about a pollinator.

Debs.....likes that Kay is part of the "beets are for greens" sisterhood (did I just call nked a sister?)

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  gwennifer on 2/24/2012, 12:19 pm

Funny thing about the tag for the multi-speciman tree at Lowes: the tree had six different varieties grafted on, but the tag said "4-in-1" and then said "This tree needs a pollinator"!

Well, I appreciate your response but I'm still confused. Yes, one tree with lots of specimens grafted on is less space than lots of trees. But why espalier? You say it makes less shade that way? That makes sense. And I imagine it also keeps the branches down where you can reach them too? I spent a couple of summers (before my 2nd child was born) mowing lawns in the neighborhood to earn some spending money. One house had an espaliered tree just like that in the middle of their back lawn. I thought it was so strange but they were renters who hadn't placed it there so I never asked them about it. (It really messed with my pretty mowing patterns!). I appreciate your sharing with me. Didn't mean to interrupt your Toy Box musings!

~Gwennifer, who is supposed to use the free time I have on here to collect pictures for the forum project, but keeps getting sidetracked by all the new topics and posts!

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/24/2012, 12:26 pm

@gwennifer wrote:....snip.... I spent a couple of summers (before my 2nd child was born) mowing lawns in the neighborhood to earn some spending money. One house had an espaliered tree just like that in the middle of their back lawn. I thought it was so strange but they were renters who hadn't placed it there so I never asked them about it. (It really messed with my pretty mowing patterns!). ...snip...

My son tells me the same thing (except for the pretty part)

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/26/2012, 12:09 pm

Why is there perlite in my boxes? Oh, wait, it isn't perlite.



It is starting to feel like the lion of March is asserting herself. Get it over with, spit weird weather until you are ready to welcome spring dear cloud cover. Get-er-done while the buds are still just swelling on the branch.

Now that my coles are all sprouting in the window I really wish it was just a bit warmer so they don't get all stretched out looking for sun.

Debs...... Who absolutely does not feel like my musings are interrupted by fellow gardeners! They are enriched.

Bring your sunglasses. That's what the State Patrol is advising. Snow, Rain, Hail, Sunshine. The worry is the glare of sun on wet roads is blinding. Does that happen anywhere but the PNW? A chilly 41*F later today but all the way down to 27 tonight. 50/50 chance of chunky rain or sunshine. Wind gusting to 15 from the NNW. The barometer is back up.

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/27/2012, 11:24 am

I'm joining the 52 week salad challenge (minus January and most of February)



All right, it is true. The baby lettuce in this picture is not ready for my salad bowl. They would make lovely micro greens, but then what would I have to plant out on St Patrick’s Day? The idea of the challenge is to include ingredients that I have grown or forged near my home and then blog about it on Fridays. Seems like a kewl introduction to eating local.



If I can find nothing else, I at least have some frost kissed Kale to put into my salad. There is also some Chard, parsley, celeriac and chives. Humm, I think a potato salad counts as a salad.

Debs.... loving the bird song on this cold, cold morning.

It looks like it should be a good day to get out and get dirty but it is OH SO COLD. Never mind, beautiful days are to rare to shun because of frost. Upper 20's F at sunrise (6:54 AM btw) Highs only into the low 40's. More chunky rain tomorrow (snow level coming down to 500 feet) Just shy of 11 hours of daylight!

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/1/2012, 1:09 pm

Saint Patrick’s day is one of my favorite celebrations! I'm not Irish. Both my Swedish mother and my Scottish husband have an anti Irish celebration that involves the wearing of orange instead of green and a shot of either Scotch or Aquavit. I've never understood it. Then again, I do not understand the disharmony between the Huskies and the Cougars. After spring potato planting, I like to bake on the 17th. I'm not making soda bread. It will be cake that is cooling on the rack so I don't end up with a Costco Cake.....nothing wrong with Costco cake, I love um, but there is so much cake that become so much of me.

Anyhow, if I was going to put up a Saint Patrick's Day Avatar it would look like this (except that you would be able to read the text in small print).



Debs .....who just blogged 20 days to spring 2012

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/4/2012, 10:54 pm

One last Celeriac from the winter garden. You can bet you booty that I will be planting a whole lot more of these this year! Yum


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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/4/2012, 11:47 pm

um.....YUMMY!!!

Debs thank you so much for sharing again another wonderful video!!....I enjoy them so much....you inspired us to try and grow Fava beans this year .....we planted them today....we were hoping to get them in sooner....but with the way the weather has been and were still recovering from that awful snow storm....im finding it hard to get out and get dirty....im a bit over whelmed with the way the gardens and yard look right now....we did get the SFG box's all cleaned out and planted our peas too....we have lots of babies indoors that are doing really well....so we are moving forward....just not sure how to fill the squares.....

anyway.....just really wanted to say that soup sounds so yummy...i thought i could almost smell it cooking my son loved the barking dogs....he jumped out of the bath tub and ran right over to the computer to check them out

hugs

rose who is off to check out Celeriac....never had it before.......

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Re: Toy Box 3 (the charm)

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