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New Gardener in the PNW

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/5/2013, 3:05 pm

The herbs


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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/5/2013, 3:07 pm

The strawberries



Last edited by nurzemjd on 6/5/2013, 3:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fix)

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/5/2013, 3:12 pm

I moved 2 of the tomatoes over to the apple tree to spread them out.




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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/5/2013, 3:15 pm

The veggie trio




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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/5/2013, 3:17 pm

The small box


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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/5/2013, 3:21 pm

The medium box




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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/5/2013, 3:30 pm

And the big box












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Phew!

Post  nurzemjd on 6/5/2013, 3:50 pm

And that folks completes our photo history of the gardens here.

I have some issues to work out yet ...

1) Have to read to book. They have it in stock at the Southcenter Mall Barnes & Noble, so I think I will go tomorrow to see about that. Don't care to much for eBooks; what can I say, lol, I'm old!

2) Note to self...next year don't plant thing that will tower over the carrots and hide the sun!

3) Pulled out all but one cabbage as the butterflies ate most of them, and they were not forming heads (maybe I am too impatient). Left one to see what happens.

4) Planted Swiss chard, acorn squash, pineapple sage, fennel, hot peppers, and beets in the empty squares in the big box. Waiting to see how that works out.

5) As you can see in the pics of the big box this morning, I am having trouble with the yellow squash. The leaves are yellow! The spray bottle hanging on the side of the box is a mixture of water, baking soda and dish soap; I spray it on the squash leaves to prevent the powdery mildew stuff. It has worked well with the zucchini, but I don't know what is going on with the yellow squash.

6) Watering - when is too much or not enough! This seems to be my biggest issue with gardening, I am either at one extreme or the other. Now that I have seen how others have built their boxes, it seems that the recommended dimensions are 4'x4'x6"; my boxes are about twice that deep. The water/pH/light meter gadget my hubby got me registers different levels of moisture depending on how deep you poke it in the soil, of course it does. I can now see the merits of not have boxes so deep; all of the water is on the bottom and most of the roots are within the 6 inches, lol.

Off to web land to study some more. TTFN, good neighbors!

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/5/2013, 4:02 pm

@quiltbea wrote:Welcome to the forum. As long as you've got beds going, you are on the right track. If you make a mistake, you can fix it next year or in the fall. We all have learned from some whoppers ourselves.

That price for topsy turvy planters is a good one. I got my 2 when they first came out and they were costly. I also didn't get many tomatoes. My plants kept trying to grow "up" toward the sunlight so they were in a hooked shape and struggled. I learned later that cherry tomatoes grow better in them than indeterminates (long, vining types). If yours works for you, that's wonderful. If it doesn't, don't worry about it.

Good luck with your new garden.

Hmmm ... yes my tomato plants are growing "up" too! I saw my first bloom this morning on one of the cherries, and the roma's have some buds coming. I will keep my fingers crossed. I have been wondering about the growing "up" bit for a few weeks now, lol. I have been trimming off the leaves that try to grow back up into the planters.

Thanks for the warm welcome!

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  mschaef on 6/6/2013, 12:01 am

Looking great! It weird that your squash leaves are yellowing, never had that happen before. Going to need to google that one but first needed to say it looks lovely!!!

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  gwennifer on 6/6/2013, 12:04 pm

@nurzemjd wrote:I have some issues to work out yet ...

1) Have to read to book. They have it in stock at the Southcenter Mall Barnes & Noble, so I think I will go tomorrow to see about that. Don't care to much for eBooks; what can I say, lol, I'm old!
I don't consider myself old, and this is one book that I want a hard copy of. I prefer hard copies of books that have reference charts.

@nurzemjd wrote:
2) Note to self...next year don't plant thing that will tower over the carrots and hide the sun!
Laughing Yep, tall things go on the North side of your beds as the summer sun will shine in from the South.

@nurzemjd wrote:
3) Pulled out all but one cabbage as the butterflies ate most of them, and they were not forming heads (maybe I am too impatient). Left one to see what happens.
You can spray with BT to take care of existing cabbage loopers, and then cover with tulle to prevent the cabbage moths from laying more eggs. Any crop that doesn't need to be pollinated can be covered with tulle right from the start - the sun still gets through and you can water right through it.

@nurzemjd wrote:
4) Planted Swiss chard, acorn squash, pineapple sage, fennel, hot peppers, and beets in the empty squares in the big box. Waiting to see how that works out.
What a wonderful variety - can't wait to see what you manage to harvest. Be sure to take notes so you'll know what to try next year!

@nurzemjd wrote:
5) As you can see in the pics of the big box this morning, I am having trouble with the yellow squash. The leaves are yellow! The spray bottle hanging on the side of the box is a mixture of water, baking soda and dish soap; I spray it on the squash leaves to prevent the powdery mildew stuff. It has worked well with the zucchini, but I don't know what is going on with the yellow squash.
Looks like a classic nitrogen deficiency to me. Squash is among the list of heavy nitrogen users.

@nurzemjd wrote:
6) Watering - when is too much or not enough! This seems to be my biggest issue with gardening, I am either at one extreme or the other. Now that I have seen how others have built their boxes, it seems that the recommended dimensions are 4'x4'x6"; my boxes are about twice that deep. The water/pH/light meter gadget my hubby got me registers different levels of moisture depending on how deep you poke it in the soil, of course it does. I can now see the merits of not have boxes so deep; all of the water is on the bottom and most of the roots are within the 6 inches, lol.
It kinda is too bad you didn't read the book first - you could have had twice as many beds with that much lumber if you'd gone with the shallower depth! There are many people here who have deeper beds though, and enjoy them. Your plants can certainly grow deeper roots and find that moisture at the bottom. I would suggest trying to come up with a consistent watering schedule as many crops will act up with inconsistent watering. For instance, try watering your garden thoroughly and then don't water again, in spite of how dry the soil looks or measures, until you start to see signs of distress (wilting leaves). Be sure to count the number of days that took. If it took four days, then you'll know watering every three days is probably sufficient. Obviously weather will influence this but I hope you see the idea.

You may find that your big box is going to be difficult to garden in as you really can't reach that far across to tend to the middle squares. The point of the max 4' width in SFGing is that Mel discovered a 2' reach was the most comfortable for people and he doesn't want us walking in our gardens and compacting the growing medium.

Congrats on a wonderful garden and thank you for sharing all of your beautiful pictures with us! cheers

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  sanderson on 6/6/2013, 12:08 pm

I found a nice, used copy of Mel's book on eBay. Another option.

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/8/2013, 5:24 pm

Thanks for the comments and suggestions!!

I will look for a used copy of the "answer" book, sanderson.

It is weird, mschaef, two different squashes side-by-side, one with nice green leaves and the other yellow!

Oh, gwennifer, so many great comments! You are so right!! I would have had quite a few more beds, if I had read the book first! Sad
We have gotten about half way through the book and I have everything wrong, but the squares, lol. Now the big debate is whether to dismantle the current boxes and rebuild or to just make some new ones and use the current ones until they decay, after this growing season of course.

I have also been looking into the vermiculite situation. There is a wholesaler in Sumner that has 6 cu.ft. bags for about $48. I am not too sure what I am going to do, I cannot afford that big expense again! The soil in the current boxes was about $150 worth of Tagro potting soil (5 cubic yards). It took me quite a while to save up that bit, lol. From what I understand the recommended MM will be far more than that.

Thank you so much for the watering suggestion too, now that you said that, it seems so obvious; yet it never occurred to me, lol. I will do that and see what happens. Looks like the rain is coming back this week too.

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  boffer on 6/8/2013, 5:51 pm

@nurzemjd wrote:There is a wholesaler in Sumner that has 6 cu.ft. bags for about $48.

For planning and budgeting purposes:

I've been buying vermiculite from McConkeys for six years, and every year the price goes up.

I can help you out with 5 way compost, but it's FOB my house in Yelm! Rolling Eyes

If you make a new box the same depth as what you have now, you can take the top 1/2 of soil out of an existing box, and use it as filler in the bottom 1/2 of the new box. Then put 6 inches of MM on top in each box.

If you find that the 5 foot box width is difficult to work in, plant some flowers that don't need attention down the middle row .

Don't forget to amortize the upfront expenses over the period of time you expect to be gardening. (the numbers aren't as intimidating!)

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/11/2013, 3:14 pm

boffer, you are too kind! I may just have to take you up on that offer, if for nothing else but to see your garden first hand, lol.

I understand that over the long haul, it really doesn't cost that much for the vermiculite, it just trying to come up with the initial outlay of cash, lol.

I think I have enough room in the existing boxes to put the top 6" layer of MM, without having to remove any of the dirt in them (from the soil settling in). Great idea, you had there. Think that debate is now settled, leave these boxes and make some more!

Thankfully, my hubby has extra long arms, so I make him reach for those 2 middle sections on the big box, but perhaps I will put in some flowers or some herbs that I won't necessarily be using as companions. Yet another good idea you had!


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Ugh!!!

Post  nurzemjd on 6/19/2013, 4:59 pm

Just spent an hour updating and uploading pics, only to lose my connection before posting! Crud!! I'll try again.

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June 19 updates and questions.

Post  nurzemjd on 6/19/2013, 5:08 pm

Flowers  ...

Big box out front.  My free gladiolas, that turned out to be bearded irises seem to have some lilies mixed in, lol.



Wildflower boxes (2) need to be thinned out again!



I lost the tag for this flower.  Do you know what it is?


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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/19/2013, 5:14 pm

Strawberry Pool. Picked a couple of handfuls. Great on my cornflakes!



Blueberries - I have 5 now that were planted this year; 2 Bluecrop, 1 Legacy, and 2 Earlyblue


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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/19/2013, 5:19 pm

Tomato - I have blooms, but no tomatoes yet Sad There is a closeup of one of the leaves. What am I doing wrong?




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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/19/2013, 5:32 pm

Small box - Randy didn't believe me when I said the Walla Walla's weren't ready yet, he picked one and ate it! Small, but tasty Smile



Medium box - Trimmed some of the leaves (okay, alot) off of the broccoli and cauliflower. The cauliflower are starting to form heads. Cut 2 heads of broccoli on Monday. Randy ate some just plain steamed broccoli and liked it (he hates broccoli)!! Very Happy Traded my neighbor some fresh spinach and lettuce for some fresh caught halibut. It was great; marinaded with lemon, garlic and EVOO, pan seared with lemon-dill butter and that broccoli!!


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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/19/2013, 5:49 pm

And the big box - Green beans and peas are blooming. Pepper are liking the warmer weather. Swiss chard has gotten over the transplant shock and are starting to grow. All six of the asparagus have popped up. All 9 artichoke plants are coming along, but I think will have to be moved soon (don't know where). Cabbage, uh well, it's still alive. Beets, eh, we'll see. Happy to report that the summer (yellow) squash is doing much better, I think it wasn't getting enough water. The zucchini is having issues now, though. There is a closeup of one of the leaves. Too much sun, maybe??










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So .... what's new?

Post  nurzemjd on 6/19/2013, 6:15 pm

All 3 veggie boxes and all 4 tomatoes got Osmocote mixed into the top of the soil yesterday.

All 3 veggie boxes and the big flower box now have drip irrigation installed. I used the drip line with the emitters already in it (every 9 inches) in the big box, the two smaller ones have 1/2 inch soaker hose instead. I think I like the soaker hoses better, the emitters get clogged in the other one. The lines go down the center of each square.

Although it may have been too late in the season, we now have a potato garbage can; per Randy's request. Using the technique suggested by Ciscoe Morris, we have the first layer planted and all are sprouting. I put plastic wrap over the top of the can to help it along.

Was following along with the plastic container thread Gwennifer, the kiddo's boxes look lovely!! I got all excited about trying those out, but Lowe's doesn't sell them anymore. Going to look at HD to see if they have the right kind in stock, but I don't know.

In case you had not noticed, lol, I get pretty overenthusiastic sometimes; guess it must be the Texan in me, that has to do everything in a big way!! All or nothin', that's me all the way Very Happy I hope that hasn't turned any of you off. Don't worry, lol, something else will come along eventually that will avert my attention. Then I will still garden, but I won't be so pushy about it. If I get to be too much, I can be knocked down a peg or two, but not always too good at noticing subtlety; unless I'm a workin'! So I guess what I am trying to say is that if you send me a kind PM I will settle down. Smile

Hope everyone is enjoying the weather and their garden!! I am sitting out back with my tea and my books and my laptop enjoying mine.

As always, all comments, constructive criticisms, and suggestions welcome!!SOS

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  nurzemjd on 6/19/2013, 6:59 pm

I need to start composting, but Randy is being a pain (well, you know where)!  He is paranoid about the neighbors complaining about odors.  I have tried to explain and show him online.  As I understand it, if done right, there isn't that much of a problem.  We do, however, live in the city, in fairly close quarters.  This is what I would like to start with,  wormbin .  Hopefully soon, a compost bin for lawn clippings and such.  Any suggestions on how I can get him on-board with this?

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  boffer on 6/19/2013, 7:55 pm

@nurzemjd wrote: Any suggestions on how I can get him on-board with this?

Start a pile on the ground in an out of the way location.  Add veggie material and other items that you know won't smell, like shredded newspaper.  When you get a few cubic feet piled up, add some fresh cut grass (but not a lot) and mix it in.  As the pile gets bigger, you can add in more and more grass.  

If at any time, he thinks the smell is objectionable (it really shouldn't be), the pile will be small enough to bag up and dispose of, or it could be buried in a flower bed or empty garden space.

Seeing Smelling is believing!

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

Post  LittleGardener on 6/19/2013, 8:10 pm

@nurzemjd wrote:I need to start composting, but Randy is paranoid about the neighbors complaining about odors.  As I understand it, if done right, there isn't that much of a problem.  We do, however, live in the city, in fairly close quarters.
Hi there Smile
re neighbors complaining re odors: the nearest, her house is a mere 10 feet away here, just on the other side of the fence where I have all 3 Smile piles, & there's been no complaints ever. They barbeque really close on their porch, and no problems.
Tho no expert, I think stinkies are caused when Compost piles are huge! & no AIR circulates thru them.
So I'm purposefully keeping mine small (2x2 ft wide), so I have easy access with a shovel, plus no need to build an enclosure. Also no critters have gotten in, because what I compost (grass, leaves, paper, produce-scraps, coffee-grounds, some pooh, etc) animals wouldn't want. Give this a go! Smile Hubby can't argue with success, lol

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Re: New Gardener in the PNW

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