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PNW First of April updates

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  camprn on 4/14/2012, 8:43 pm

The H3 really do look like a huge advantage!

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Daniel9999 on 4/15/2012, 6:20 pm

Those H3's really do look nice.....

Well the Shallots sprouted....and I took a trip today to Wilco and once again ended up with a empty wallet....its really bad having a garden center with in walking distance of me! My poor finances!

Anyway I was pleasantly surprised when I found this at my Oregon small town garden center...

[img][/img]

Epazote!

I am hoping this means that the increasing popularity of Mexican food in the area means that even more interesting Mexican herbs and vegetables end up in nurseries here...I love Mexican food and am a huge fan of Rick Bayless cook books and some of the ingredients called for in his recipes like Epazote can be hard to find here.

I also picked up some Orange Mint and a Pineapple Mint to replace the one growing in a container that my no good thieving neighbor stole right from under my apartment window!

Boy was I really mad about that.....I even called the police to report a case of grand theft pineapple mint .......it was not the only time some one had swiped a plant from me and I was getting really fed up.....I think the police officer thought I was a bit crazy ......but gosh darn it you don't mess with a gardeners plants!

I spent a lot of money buying that pineapple mint a fancy pot and planting it in expensive premium potting soil mix and I invested quite a bit of time and care nurturing it.

I think I might install some security cameras this year....I hear people use those game scouting cameras that hunters use as cost effective security cams......gotta look into it

I also notice they are selling Mason bees....any one here raise them? I keep hearing about how much trouble honey bees are in and I think it would be a good idea to raise some extra pollinators to help take over for the local honey bees.

I am also thinking about planting some interesting Blueberries I saw there....Pink Lemonade.....I would have to grow them in containers....I anyone here grow blueberries in containers? I would be interested in hearing how this is accomplished.

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  boffer on 4/15/2012, 10:22 pm

An H3 with a heat lamp. I planted the local nursery's starts on 3/27. Early Girl on the right, and Beef Master on the left.


Both types have buds on 4/15.


Outside temp was 52° and partly sunny, but it was toasty on the inside. Since these were planted, I've had 6 mornings with ice in our the animals' water buckets.


I don't have much successful tomato growing experience. Can I expect to get fruit from these first blossoms?

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Daniel9999 on 4/16/2012, 12:18 am

You should be able to get fruit from them.

However seeing as you got your tomatoes so protected from the wind and your average outside temps are a little low for bees to be very active you might wanna to gently shake your blossoming plants a bit to ensure that the all flowers get pollinated and you have a good yield.

Hand Pollinating Tomatos WSU Extension

I have even known people to use carefully hand pollinate tomatoes with electric toothbrushes....

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/16/2012, 10:14 am

Beautiful Boffer! You will be eating produce WAY before me.

I have been reading that El N (nina or neno, never sure which) is breaking up and we might (MIGHT) get a real summer this year.

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Daniel9999 on 4/16/2012, 8:46 pm

I sure hope so.

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  gwennifer on 4/18/2012, 11:24 am

Hey all, real life has been busy and I haven't checked in for a bit. Everyone's gardens still growing? We've had a lot of rain, but a lot of sun breaks too so I think all in all it's been a nice spring. It's funny how one day I'll send the kids out in shorts and t-shirts, to play with sidewalk chalk and squirt guns, and the next day we're putting our coats on just to run to the mailbox.

My garlic and onions are still growing well. My radishes are growing very, very slowly. I've had a heck of a time getting spinach to sprout - tried a third sowing yesterday, along with some lettuces. The peas are starting to grow more quickly, and the ones I started inside on the heat mat to fill in the holes sprouted yesterday so I took them right outside and planted them. They seem to have survived the night; we'll see. One potato sprout made it's way to the surface yesterday, so that's encouraging. Still waiting on 14 others to show up.

Inside, my tomatoes and bell peppers are growing well. The tomatoes needed up-potting more often then I got around to it. I've got the brandywines in 6" pots now and I hope they can be content until it's time to more them outside, since any bigger and they won't fit up in my windowsill and out of reach of my destructive toddler. I up-potted the pepper plants for a second time; they are starting to fill out nicely.

Sad news: I am officially out of Mel's Mix. This last weekend would have been the perfect time to make more weather-wise, but my daughter's b-day was Sunday so that day was out, and any spare time on Saturday was spent on the cake and party preparations. Plus, I was unable to get a fifth source of compost in time. So it looks unlikely that I'll be able to fill in my carrot high rise in time for carrot week.

Well, that's how my garden is growing! Hope all is well with everyone.

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/18/2012, 1:06 pm

A few potato sprouts have broken out and are growing...slowly. Peas started in greenhouse are doing well, direct-planted peas just breaking ground. Still harvesting kale bloom spikes (raabs), but the few asparagus spears coming on make the raabs less exciting. Garlic has put on a growth spurt since side dressing with bone meal at end of March. A dozen tomato plants still under glass, alas not big enough to pot up yet. Cauliflower sprouted, but slugs noticed first. Eating some of the wild miner's lettuce that were carefully marked and tended when they appeared in garden. One of the largest plants is being cosseted so I can get seed from it and try to get it to grow in a dersignated square. PapaVino is helping me build 4 new 4x4x9 beds with hardware cloth on bottom. Now if it would just stop raining so I can set them up, fill with mix and plant!

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some pics :)

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/18/2012, 5:17 pm

finally was able to take some pics today and post them Very Happy the gardens seem to be really enjoying the rain/sun that has been going on...

sfg box #1....mr. collard green in the back with some onions, garlic, carrots, bok choi, kale, brossel sprout and swiss chard



sfg box #2....has differnt lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, sugar snap peas and radishes.......



sfg #3....with fava beans and sugar snap peas

our new raised beds with hoops Very Happy with broc's, cauli's, cabbage, brossel sprouts, carrots, onions and kholarobi (sp?)



our new raised beds for corn



one of our new potato boxs with a new tater green sticking out



carrots that over wintered



a few of our baby tomatoes growing under lights



our artichoke



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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/18/2012, 6:35 pm

Rose, beautiful garden! cheers Will the artichoke be transferred to a perennial bed, or live in the pot? I'm wondering because we put three in the 'forever' bed where the asparagus and fig tree is planted. Who else on the forum has grown artichokes successfully? How did you keep them when the occasional winter is too cold? Best we've done in keeping them is 3 years, then they froze out.

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/18/2012, 10:04 pm

thank you nonna!!

we plan on keeping the artichokes in their pots.....this is the first time ever trying to grow them......we will put them in our small green house to over winter in hopes we can keep them going Very Happy if they act like they dont like to be in pots then we will find them a forever home in ground some place......( running out of area that has enough sun Shocked )

no sign of our new asparagus yet.....Shocked

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Daniel9999 on 4/18/2012, 10:28 pm

That looks lovely Family Gardening....

I plan on posting pics of my bed as soon as the seedlings are big enough to show up well on camera.

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/18/2012, 11:23 pm

Thanks, Rose, now I wish I'd kept at least one artichoke in a pot, so it could be moved if temps plummet like they did in 2010-2011. Perhaps a small hoop house and straw mulch over our three 'chokes can help them survive. BTW, I do plan on covering each budding fruit with a cheesecloth bag to keep aphids from them. Makes it easier to prepare them for cooking.

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/19/2012, 12:14 am

looking forward to seeing your sprouts dan Very Happy

nonna......i have seen hoop type plastic that can fit over a tomato cage at the garden store....i dont see why it wouldnt work for artichokes too....you could even make one your self Very Happy

something is already eating holes in our leaves of the artichokes Shocked and they are sitting up on a table next to the house.....What a Face ....im thinking we may need to make some kind of telle hoop to put over them......i looked but couldnt find the critter that is doing it.....i read cabage moths like them.....eek!.....

do you think we should be seeing our asparagus already?...they went into the ground about two weeks ago......hubby dug a trench.....made mounds....put the crowns ontop of the mounds...then covered up to 2 inch past the crowns.....we are waiting to see them come up to add more soil/compost to them.....to fill the box

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/19/2012, 12:29 am

Yep, Rose, I'll add a reminder to myself to build a small hoop house this fall. BTW, you might examine your artichokes after dark to be sure there are no slugs snacking on the leaves. I know they've hit ours.

Your asparagus, like ours, is probably just hunkered down under the soil industriously building a new, improved root system and will send up spears when said roots are providing more nutrients. Our old bed is just now pushing up the tips of new spears, but the new bed planted late March has yet to do so.

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/19/2012, 12:51 am

thank you nonna....hubby said thank you too!....relief to know about your asparagus Very Happy acting like ours.....

we were tempted to dig down in and take a peak....Shocked

we are finding it so exciting in the garden again this year to plan, build and plant....the waiting for signs of life is driving us crazy!....along with counting down to harvest.....Razz .....this is our third year of gardening...you would think we would have grown some patients by now..........Embarassed

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/19/2012, 10:09 am

Rose didn't I read that you have potato sprouts?? None of mine have sprouted yet...keep going and looking at those, the asparagus will come on a day when you are in need of a surprise.

My little winter sown artichokes look so pathetic. After seeing yours I put one of them (growing in a 1 gallon pot) under the rain bonnet that covers the new garden where it gets very warm to see if heat is the missing happy artichoke factor.



Night before last I accidently left my babies outside (it only got down to about 47 so my fingers are interlaced in hope that everyone will stay healthy, God is kind to fools like me). Up front in the peat pot is a representative of about a dozen or so winter sown purple artichokes. They have not grown at all since transplanting to these peat pots a couple of weeks ago. The tomatoes in the background were transplanted (from soil blocks so not as much root disturbance) the same week. Samples in larger pots are about this same size. They just seem too small ??? Last time I grew an artichoke it was a seedling I got for Mothers Day (which is still about a month out) but it was huge! Even the baby leaves were huge. These have been in an unheated green closet (with a ripped zipper). Think they need heat? Time? Some kind of plant food?

BTW Rose, Nonna is right, slugs LOVE artichoke. I bet if you put on a headlamp and go out after dark you will find a fat boy looking for a little salt-rub. 2010-11 my artichoke survived the winter because of a deep shredded paper mulch that Ray put around it but we still lost it to spring slugs.

Debs ....who had her first salad for lunch

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  gwennifer on 4/19/2012, 4:07 pm

Daniel, I feel the same way you do. The sprouts are there, but hardly seem worth photographing yet.

FamilyGardening, your boxes are looking so great! Thanks for sharing all the pics.

I've had a cat use my SFG as a litter box twice in the past couple of weeks now. All winter long my SFG sat unused and no cat ever touched it, though I certainly spied them in my yard plenty of times. Now that there are seedlings to damage, someone's decided they like to dig around in there and leave nasty little presents for me. I hope the fork thing will work.

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/19/2012, 4:22 pm

@gwennifer wrote:...snip....All winter long my SFG sat unused and no cat ever touched it, though I certainly spied them in my yard plenty of times. Now that there are seedlings to damage, someone's decided they like to dig around in there and leave nasty little presents for me. I hope the fork thing will work.



I feel your pain gwennifer! In two and a half years I've been able to keep the puppes out, but saw this the other day. I think Bomber is trying to grow a bone vine. (looks like too much dammage for a cat)

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Daniel9999 on 4/19/2012, 11:09 pm

Definitely can sympathize with cat issues....I certainly have them here...however on the plus side alteast the cats keep the voles, squirrels, and other rodents out of the garden!

I am planning a big trip trip to the around to all local Salem Nurseries and Hydroponic shops this weekend to see what I will find.

Also this Saturday is Earth Day and The Oregon Garden is throwing a festival of sorts with free admission.... gonna check that out too.

Oregon Garden

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  gwennifer on 4/20/2012, 9:51 pm

Gah! Free admission to The Oregon Garden? I've always wanted to visit there... And tomorrow is supposed to be soooo nice.

I made a spontaneous stop into a little store on Stark Street today called "American Agriculture" because I spied huge bags of vermiculite and perlite in the window. (I suspect the type of agriculture they are referring to in their name has nothing to do with raising livestock or cultivating any land). $64.95 for a 6 c.f. bag of coarse vermiculite! I'll go ahead and put them in the database, but what a ripoff. Concentrates still sells the 4 c.f. bags, but they've raised the price to $28.

Got more potatoes coming up; now the German Butterballs have made an appearance too. I was lazy and planted the whole potato since I didn't have anywhere to put the extra's if I cut them up anyway. Should I cut off the extra sprouts that come up from each potato so there is just one growing?

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Daniel9999 on 4/21/2012, 12:08 am

Well at the last minute I decided to visit Woodburn Oregon instead of Salem as I haven't seen much of that city....

I poked around Al's Garden Center in Woodburn and found some interesting things there....

This display they had made made me wish I had a greenhouse and could grow orchids...

[img][/img]

That is such a lovely shade of blue!

To my surprise they also they had espaliered pears.....

[img][/img]

and apples....

[img][/img]

I remember reading somewhere on the thread here that some one from the PWN was interested in getting some espaliered fruit trees.....was it Debs? I forget and can't find the thread......

Anyway at $150 each I really could not afford them.

Another interesting thing I saw there were Venus Fly Traps and some other carnivorous plants like Octopus Plant they had for sale ...talk about your "trap" plants for problem bugs Camprn... Laughing

[img][/img]

In the end I walked out of Al's Garden Center with even with even more variates of scented herbs....Tangerine Sage, Hilary's Sweet Lemon Mint, Berries and Cream Mint and a Lemon Variegated Thyme.

Along with some "regular" herbs like French Sorrel and Vietnamese Coriander.

After Al's I hopped over to Coastal Farm and Ranch and found seed packets of Lemon Scented Catnip, Pennyroyal, Anise Basil, Lemon Basil and Horehound.

All the scented varieties will all eventually join the other scented herbs I already have on the front porch and side...(Licorice Basil, Cinnamon Basil, Orange Mint, Pineapple Mint, Lime Thyme, Pineapple Sage, Chocolate Mint, and Corsican Mint... so far).

The Sorrel and Coriander will go in the Culinary herb garden I am planning on working on soon...

Since FamilyGardening is so eager to see some pics I will throw in some pics of my SFG bed sprouting....its hard to see the sprouts under the hardware cloth I have protecting them from the birds and cats (Its tied down at the momment to keep the wind from blowing it around so I cant not easily take it for better pictures at the moment).......

[img][/img]

Its not much to see right now but pretty much everything has sprouted including the Yukon Golds and Shallots.

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/21/2012, 9:10 am

It isn't that difficult to see your sprouts Daniel, very pretty. I always want to be embarrassed for posting what amounts to a box of dirt, but I keep doing it. I've even posted photos that I had to first use my paint program to add a bright circle around the sprout so that potential readers (and the future me) could find the actual sprout in all that dirt. We food gardeners are a crazy lot.

I HAVE an espaliered apple tree and am considering an espaliered Pear for my front fence. $150 is WAY too expensive. Three years ago my apple tree was $39. They have probably gone up but that tree you saw will go on sale or be bought by someone who is still making money at microsoft (or whatever big industry they have in Woodburn). You do not have to go to costco to get an inexpensive, well grafted tree. (DO NOT BUY YOUR TREE FROM COSTCO nothing wrong with costco, they demand the best for their store, but it is too hot and dry in the store to keep a tree healthy AND they come from a central location rather than locally)

My peanut potato sprouted!

Debs......loved the tour of Woodburn and beyond!

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  gwennifer on 4/21/2012, 9:41 am

Daniel, loved the pictures. Do you suppose those orchids were dyed? I can see your sprouts- a few of those squares look really nice and full! Better than mine. I got my fifth compost yesterday and I WILL make more Mel's Mix today if it's the last thing I do!

I was commenting on Deb's espaliered apple tree that she's posted pictures of because I had seen one at Lowe's that I wanted. I finally just bought it and posted the picture of mine in her toybox thread. It was $39.99 and has six different apple varieties. My "real" garden center (Shorty's) had plenty of forty dollar espalier's too, but with four varieties instead of six. Only way those should be $150 is if they were not grafted trees, but single varieties that were mature enough to be trained into a nice espalier tree already. But I can see from the tags that isn't the case. *shrug*. Am I correct in remembering that you only own a motorbike and live in an apartment? Do you have a space you'd be allowed to plant a fruit tree? I'd be happy to deliver one to you. Have you seen the columnar apples from One Green World? They are also forty bucks and you can grow them in containers.

Debs, that looks like the box with your rain bonnet that Bomber got into? How did that happen? I was surprised how much damage the cat did, but there was no mistaking the evidence. Then I realized my soft and friable Mel's Mix is what made the damage so easy. Boffer gave me a great idea for how to cover just a couple of rows on my garden, so I hope I can get to that soon before the cat strikes, err, digs, again.

Oh and about Costco. They always brag about having local sources for things - are you sure their fruit trees come from a central local? I was told at a community garden class that our local Costco's fruit buyer is excellent. But I never have bought any fruit trees/shrubs from them or thought to look at the originating nursery before when I was looking at them. So now I'm curious.

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Re: PNW First of April updates

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/21/2012, 9:56 am

Not positive about costco's local connection, Good point gwennifer. Their usual practice is to get the best price for the best product from a single producer. I actually like costco, I'll have a closer look at where the fruit trees come from next time I'm there.....but it is still too hot and dry in the store for healthy trees. (In my seldom humble opinion).

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