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Just Moved back to the NW!

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Just Moved back to the NW!

Post  spinwind on 8/10/2012, 9:29 pm

Hello everyone,

I have suffered the past 13 years in Minnesota. The last 4 I did small SFG's with mixed results depending on how busy I was and how insane the weather was.

I am SO EXCITED to be back in the northwest and have a ton of goals.

We are living in southern WA, right on the coast, so it's cool and mild year round with fog and marine air. Our yard is very sheltered from the ocean wind, and has a great spot with sunshine year round. We fenced in the area, and I have been building raised beds with wood that the former owners left. These are old fir fence boards. Due to their size, and my previous experience with 4 foot beds being too wide, I am making these beds 3X6. I am planning 12 of them, which I can rotate through with produce. 2 beds will be devoted to strawberries (we eat a lot of strawberries), and I am planning a separate area for potatoes and asparagus, along with perennial herbs.

I am also thinking of a greenhouse, but that'll have to wait for a bit.

My original plans was to wait till next year to start really planting, but now I'm wondering if it might still be possible to get a small fall crop in. This is new territory, but something I am really interested in. We are vegans, and eat a ton of veggies, so the more I can produce, the less we will have to buy Smile.

Any advice is appreciated Smile
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Re: Just Moved back to the NW!

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/10/2012, 9:43 pm

YES! You CAN plant for some fall produce. First to mind is kale, Swiss chard, quick-maturing cabbage, carrots, broccoli (and over-wintering broccoli like purple sprouting broccoli). Of course, you should plan a section of a bed for fall planted garlic. Look at Territorial Seed Co. :
http://www.territorialseed.com/category/fall_Winter_seed?gclid=CMq8-Y-43rECFSUbQgodcBQA0A for the chart of what to plant for a fall/winter garden. (One of our favorites this past spring was the purple-sprouting broccoli, which gave us regular servings of delicious raab-like shoots over a 2.5 month period.) If you hurry, there's a very good chance you can get some snow peas to flower and set pods before a killing frost. The Pacific Northwest, because of the warming effect of the Japanese current, allows us to have a fine fall/winter garden. Best wishes, and good eating. Nonna

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Re: Just Moved back to the NW!

Post  gwennifer on 8/10/2012, 10:23 pm

Hi spinwind and glad you\'re here to the forum and back to the PNW!

Your location and your plans sound wonderful! And yes, there are still things you can plant for fall, I would add leaf lettuce to the things Nonna.PapaVino suggested. Look up your first expected frost date this fall and work backwards from there. Check your local nurseries for transplants of things that it's too late to start from seed. Let us know how it goes... We love pictures!

Click here -----> Frost/Freeze Dates
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Re: Just Moved back to the NW!

Post  Goosegirl on 8/10/2012, 10:34 pm

Welcome Spinwind! welcome

What part of MN did you leave behind? I am a CA girl working with the short growing season here in NE SD! Your plans are awesome! Have LOTS of fun!

GG
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Re: Just Moved back to the NW!

Post  Lavender Debs on 8/11/2012, 10:50 am

Good by tomatoes, hello kale!
Welcome home.

Fava beans are my new favorite home grown protein. I put mine in on Halloween when I also put in garlic and shallots. All are harvested the following June and July.

Mustards, arugula, spinach and winter greens can go in now. If you have a poly cover you can eat your greens until the new year if you are gentle with them.

It might not be too late to start scallions and carrots. I put mine in a couple of weeks ago and they are only just starting.

We love our Walla walla onions, they go in now for summer harvest BUT you get to eat the thinnings.

For everything else we have excellent farmers markets.
Keep in touch!! You will be ready to go a little crazy in the spring.
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Thanks for all the hints :)

Post  spinwind on 8/11/2012, 10:43 pm

I will post photos, I have to get some taken Smile. Yesterday I finished 2 more raised beds, so I am halfway done(!) with them. I'm hoping to finish building beds by September so I can start to fill them. But this week hopefully I will get a few more filled up. I need to make a run to the horse farm down the road, they have free aged manure there, and I have to make time to get some rubbermaids filled with it. Right now I am doing lasagna gardening (layer composting) in 2 of the beds, and the others will be filled traditionally. One of the first things I did was buy some bunnies so I have rabbit manure and shavings to put into the boxes. I might get a couple chickens and ducks as well, but first I have to get an area setup for them - one thing at a time Smile.

I am really excited to get some things planted now though.

I moved from the Minneapolis area, the biggest issue is how short the growing season is there. And the frost dates really don't give you an idea of how COLD the ground is. The first year I chilled several plants, the 2nd I did a lot better, but anything has to grow fast, and if you miss your planting window, there is no going back!

How many people grow tomatoes and such in a hoop house? I am thinking of hooping 3 of my beds and placing my basil, tomatoes and peppers in there. I am not hung up on growing tomatoes and such but it's nice for a change. I am super excited about being able to grow lettuce without it bolting!

I have never, ever thought of growing fava beans, that is really interesting. And we eat garlic in everything! Does anyone grow elephant garlic?
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Re: Just Moved back to the NW!

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/12/2012, 1:12 am

Re: "Does everyone grow elephant garlic?" For us, No, we don't do elephant garlic. I do, however, grow leeks, and I do grow garlic; but "elephant garlic" isn't either a true leek NOR a true garlic, but somewhere in between...and never the twain shall meet. Having said that, years ago, we did put in some elephant garlic, and it is okay as an addition to things like stew (but turnips are better), but by itself, it's not all that flavorful. Gimme a true garlic anytime, and the more pungent, the better. The best part of an elephant garlic is the truly beautiful flowering head that comes up late spring. Huge, round purple balls of tiny flowers! No true garlic gives you that (their "flowering heads" are composed of tiny garlic bulbs, or bulbils). So, choose your poison: garlic for cooking; elephant garlic for flowers. YMMV, Nonna.PapaVino

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Re: Just Moved back to the NW!

Post  spinwind on 8/13/2012, 12:02 am

I got the wood for the rest of my gardens cut out today, and then spent the rest of the afternoon working on my flower beds. Now I'll start assembling the rest over the next couple days, and start hauling compost Smile. I'm going to need to haul a lot of compost here, the ground is pure sand, and the previous homeowners planted a ton of rhodies in the sand. I need to move 20 of them out farther on the property, and will have to backfill all the holes with compost. Somehow the SFGs sound a lot more fun. Rolling Eyes

I love roasted elephant garlic on sourdough bread, so it's on my list to grow Wink. Something we could not get in the midwest for some reason. Hopefully with any luck next week I can get a few more things planted for a fall garden. Maybe with some extra luck I'll have all the beds made Smile

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Re: Just Moved back to the NW!

Post  spinwind on 8/20/2012, 1:24 am



All 14 beds finished, and in the process of being filled. 4 are filled, and I make another run for more compost tomorrow Smile.



And my clearance roses planted late June are blooming flower
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Re: Just Moved back to the NW!

Post  Goosegirl on 8/20/2012, 8:57 am

Looks amazing! You have been working hard! I know what you mean about how cold the ground gets out here in the midwest - growing up in Northern California I had never heard of a frost heave until I moved to South Dakota.

Love your box set-up. You are going to have SO MUCH FUN getting them filled with greenies! Sorry you have so many rhodies to move - wish you could move some of them to my yard, but we know how they would fare at -30!

GG
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Re: Just Moved back to the NW!

Post  gwennifer on 8/20/2012, 1:35 pm

Wow what an amazing piece of property you have! Thanks for the picture. Beautiful.
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