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PNW: October 2013

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PNW: October 2013

Post  gwennifer on 10/6/2013, 11:21 am

We've reached the Autumn Equinox and fall is officially here. Fall gardening should be well under way, but I know there are still things that can be planted now so let's here what you all have been up to!

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/6/2013, 7:45 pm

Spent most of the day cleaning the gutters and spraying the moss on top of the roof, maintaining the lawn, and sweeping and raking leaves around.

Checked under my row cover over the containers I have out back. Some tiny flies in there, and some normal sized ones. I don't know if they zipped in when I took off the row covers or were already there. No damage yet. No way to seal everything off completely, I guess. Sad Hope like heck they aren't cabbage flies. But at least there were no moths inside.

This is my first time using row covers. Brussels sprouts, peas, kale, mezclun (sp?) mix, lettuce, and basil are under there.

The salad greens look like they're doing well. Honestly, I don't know what mezclun is supposed to look like, so I wonder if I'll be eating whatever might have come from wind-blown weed seeds.

I've got spinach in vertical pop-bottle planters filled with MM. It took a really long time to sprout, but finally there's a little something there. Also some in a hanging basket that's starting to look at least a bit like a real plant instead of a little green hair.

There are still some tiny bugs flitting about. None of the stuff I'm growing back there needs pollination, and I see very few bees back there now anyway, so I think it may be time for some BT spray. I don't want bugs taking up lodging under my row cover.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  sanderson on 10/6/2013, 9:06 pm

Marc, BT or Neem for insects? I use BT for cabbage green worms and tomato horn worms. And Sluggo Plus (with BT) for snails, slugs, sow bugs and earwigs.

Neem for insects and PM.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  boffer on 10/6/2013, 11:56 pm

My gardening friends in town got frost several days last week, but none here yet.  I'm still harvesting green beans, cukes, yellow summer squash, and bell peppers.  

I lost all my fall-planted turnips and bok choy to bugs.  As usual, my fall broccoli is much better than my spring broccoli, and my fall cauliflower pales to my spring cauliflower.  For the first time in several years, I'm getting harvestable brussel sprouts.  cheers 



Winter squash did well for me this year; this is half of my harvest.



I planted garlic and potatoes today.   What else can we be planting now?

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/7/2013, 1:03 am

The charts I read have it as too late to plant anything but garlic, but there are specifically overwintering types of carrots(according to Territorial Seed, anyway). And nurseries are still selling a variety of fall veggies around here. I guess it's hyper location-specific. And if you have row-covers or a greenhouse, you have more latitude that way too, so I'm trying that (row cover).

Another thing I'm doing is starting to scatter the seeds I've accumulated from deadheading marigolds and nasturtiums. I've also cut back my lavender, and the nursery said I should do the same with my veronicas -- which I found out some people also call "speedwell."

Love your sprouts, boffer. What kind are they? And would you plant those again, or recommend them?




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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  sanderson on 10/7/2013, 2:41 am

Boffer, Am I losing it or do you have 3 different avatars right now?? I thought once it was changed, it showed up in all replies, even past ones.

Well, I think those squashes are so colorful. I hope I get spagetti and butternut this winter! The flowers are forming.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  sanderson on 10/7/2013, 2:42 am

I know I bought seeds for Veronica but I can't find them!! They are a definite yes for next year.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  boffer on 10/8/2013, 12:37 am

Marc, the BS pictured are Franklin Hybrid from TSC.  I've grown them before, and like them.  

In the same box, I'm also growing Long Island Improved.  I'm getting a lot of blow outs from them, and don't think I'll plant them again.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/8/2013, 1:23 am

Hmm, that's not encouraging. I think Long Island Improved are the seeds I planted. But on the plus side, they never germinated! Very Happy

I do have four Rubine (red/purple) sprout transplants planted, though. Gophers ate one out of the six-pack I bought, and so much of another little plant that I don't really count it. I do love rooting for the underdog, though.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/8/2013, 1:26 am

@sanderson wrote:I know I bought seeds for Veronica but I can't find them!! They are a definite yes for next year.
They're so pretty! And bee friendly! None of my three grew a single flower this year, though. We've had very hot weather. We've had temps in the 30's. Hmm. I think it was the partial shade. Next year, they get as sunny a place as I can find them.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  sanderson on 10/8/2013, 3:20 am

The veronicas will have to be in pots for me.  But veronicas, mint lemon, purple zinnias, and I know there was another purple flower we talked (typed) about.  The Mexican sage is in bloom and the purple clusters are so pretty.  Hummingbirds like them.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 10/8/2013, 11:21 am

Marc, Fall of 2012 we planted over-wintering carrots.  We harvested quite a few this spring, but the flavor was not as good as summer carrots.  Some left in the bed until June had turned woody.  So, advice: sure, if you have an extra spot, plant over-wintering carrots, but make sure to harvest them young.  Good growing to you.  Nonna

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/8/2013, 6:22 pm

@sanderson wrote:The veronicas will have to be in pots for me.  But veronicas, mint lemon, purple zinnias, and I know there was another purple flower we talked (typed) about.  The Mexican sage is in bloom and the purple clusters are so pretty.  Hummingbirds like them.
Probably lavender. Salvia is another pretty purple one.

Hummingbirds are cool. We have a little feeder right outside the window, and can watch what looks like a mated pair come feed at it. I hope next year I'll have lots of nectar-producing flowers to feed them. And they eat insects sometimes too, so if we can attract a decent number of them, perhaps some will try to munch on our thrips or Japanese beetles.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/8/2013, 6:24 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Marc, Fall of 2012 we planted over-wintering carrots.  We harvested quite a few this spring, but the flavor was not as good as summer carrots.  Some left in the bed until June had turned woody.  So, advice: sure, if you have an extra spot, plant over-wintering carrots, but make sure to harvest them young.  Good growing to you.  Nonna
Thanks Nonna. I got some black dragon carrots, but decided to wait till spring to plant. Most of my space is already taken or else going to lie fallow under horse poop through the winter.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 10/8/2013, 6:50 pm

Now that's a big failure for us, the black dragon carrots.  I planted just a few, not knowing what to expect, in a bed against the south fence.  They grew, looked like they were ready to pick, so I pulled on what appeared to be the biggest one, and got the top and just a half inch of carrot.  Same with the rest in the row.  Some varmint had tunneled under and had eaten every one of them almost to the green tops!   My bet is: voles using mole-dug tunnels.  Nonna

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  sanderson on 10/8/2013, 9:07 pm

Marc,  Salvia was what I was trying to remember.  We have them in the front yard, plus lavendar and rosemary in pots in a dry area.

I also have a hummingbird feeder on the fence by the Mexican sage.  Some relax, sit on the perches and feed.  Then fly over and look me in the face.  Rather trusting.  Others, that I assume are new to the backyard, keep their wings going and keep backing up to look at me.  No trust.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  gwennifer on 10/11/2013, 1:06 pm

@boffer wrote:What else can we be planting now?
Unfortunately I was unable to attend that fall gardening seminar I'd registered for at the local nursery (hubby had to work).  I was really curious what they had to say about fall gardening in October.  Seemed to me too late to talk about anything other than overwintering garlic and onions.  Anybody out here happen to attend and want to share what they learned?

So boffer you planted potatoes now?   When do you plan to harvest?

Is anybody still planting radishes?  

Here's the "What to Plant Now" chart from Mother Earth News for the PNW:


I included the cover crops because maybe someone wants to actually try growing some rye or wheat for eating, not just for plowing under to enrich the soil, which we don't do in SFGing.  I have a bunch of wheat - I hadn't ever thought about why it was called winter wheat.  I'll have to look into that.  Maybe it would be fun to grow a box of wheat.  idk 

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/11/2013, 3:02 pm

Boy that must have been disappointing. Good reminder to me, though, that I can't assume my crops will be safe.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/11/2013, 3:06 pm

@sanderson wrote:Marc,  Salvia was what I was trying to remember.  We have them in the front yard, plus lavendar and rosemary in pots in a dry area.
I've got one lavender plant, but lavender seems so robust to be in a pot. Are you having year-to-year success with potted lavender? And what kind do you have? I have English lavender, and a packet of seeds to start next year, also English.


I also have a hummingbird feeder on the fence by the Mexican sage.  Some relax, sit on the perches and feed.  Then fly over and look me in the face.  Rather trusting.  Others, that I assume are new to the backyard, keep their wings going and keep backing up to look at me.  No trust.
Kinda cute when the local creatures seem to trust you, isn't it?

That reminds me, I have to refill the feeder today. Once you commit to feeding them during the winter, you have to keep it up, I hear, or they'll die over the winter because they don't have other food sources.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  sanderson on 10/11/2013, 3:22 pm

Marc, I found a good style hummingbird feeder at OSH that is easy to clean and holds enough for a week. Yes, once you start feeding, you can't just stop during the winter.

The 2 lavender (French?) and 1 prostrate/creeping rosemary have been in red pottery pots with dirt and Kellogg for a few years. They are survivors. I prune maybe twice a year and haven't really fertilized with regularity. I've been thinking of replanting with MM. ?? But, may be too much of a shock for them!!

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/11/2013, 3:32 pm

I'd like lavender everywhere, so I think I will sow it very widely next year. We back up against a big hill, mostly wooded and understory dappled by the occasional unclaimed shaft of light. Maybe I can claim some of those shafts of light for the bees. Go bees! Smile I'll plant lavender where I'll never see it, but that's okay if it benefits some wildlife.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  sanderson on 10/12/2013, 2:27 am

Once they are established, they are hardy but will still need occasional watering. Will you be able to do that, especially in the heat of the summer?? It smells so good.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/12/2013, 12:54 pm

Hmm, good point! This part of Southern Oregon is famous for NO rain all summer. Guess I'll have to keep the lavender in the yard, then, and find tougher plants for the back hills.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/17/2013, 12:02 am

Pulled every bigger-than-cherry tomato plant up today, and all the green tomatoes on them. Got two buckets full. Also the last of my squash plants.

Kinda sad to say good bye to them. But it's time to take out some of the old tired dirt and put horse poop on it for it to mellow out all winter. And all the brandywines were starting to split anyway. I threw away most of the late crop because they split so bad bugs were in them. I grew lots of brandywines but didn't eat many, as bugs and birds got most of them and most of the rest split. But I do have some greenies to fry up as-is or let ripen.

Plucked lots of tomatillos off the "trees." I haven't seen any of them split, but they don't seem to ripen either, and we're always getting frost or freeze alerts lately. Pulled up a couple pepper plants. They're really thriving and throwing out fruit in this cool temperature, and did next to nothing all summer. That's something I definitely didn't expect. The peppers are all still green, but I like them green or ripe, either way.

Looked under the row cover. I watered once in the last two or three weeks, and everything still looks great under there. Very slow growing, though. No blossoms on the peas. I may put a second layer of row cover over them to keep them extra warm.

Bought a bag of red onion starters. I'll put them in one of the beds I plucked the tomatoes out of.

Think I'm going to order some vermiculite online for filling more pots and containers next year.

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Re: PNW: October 2013

Post  sanderson on 10/17/2013, 2:36 am

Marc,  I sense a bit of sadness there.  With winter approaching, we have to say goodbye to the summer plants.  very sad  I've had such an exciting year and this Forum and the folks have help make it that way.  Where else can we share our excitement over the smallest successes?  Thank goodness there are a few "down unders" to keep us in the growing spirit.  Now, I'm counting on you to remind me to start seeds for veronica, salvia and the other purple flower we discussed so I can entice the bees.

Today I picked and ate my one and only tomatillo.  Kind of a cross between a green tomato and sweet fruit.  If my two plants survive winter, I am going to use the paint brush faithfully!

One of our favorite winter dinners is roasted veggies.  I added some of my green and red tomatoes to the mix last week and they were both good.  I usually make two 9 x 13 casseroles worth.  Quarter or cube any and all veggies and potatoes you like.  Toss in oil with ground sea salt and black pepper and place in casseroles.  Cover with foil and bake 425* for 45-60 minutes.

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