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PNW: Winter 2014

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 12/13/2013, 6:08 pm

Uh-oh. Sediment coming out in the water. Most likely a(n expensive) busted pipe. *sigh* But maybe not? It was clear enough yesterday. Today is above freezing most all day. Maybe there was a crack in the pipe that had been sealed by ice up till now?

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  Goosegirl on 12/13/2013, 7:09 pm

Does it look like earthy sediment or is it maybe just crud from inside the pipes?

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  sanderson on 12/13/2013, 8:25 pm

Marc, Are you on a septic tank? Just make sure you run an outside hose bibb and not an inside faucet!! We have run a hose when it got down to 20*. And covered the other bibbs and the outside supply line to the house with towels.

As far as the sediment right now in your water, it could be the residue breaking free inside the water line and it should clear up. If you need to flush your house lines: Again, run an outside line until free of sediment. Drain the hot water heater and refill. Remove the screens from the inside faucets and run each cold and hot water line until clear. Clean the screens and replace the faucets.

PS When ever the well or supply line has work done on it, it's a good thing to flush the lines. Biofilms grow on the rough corroded areas inside pipes. When these break off, you can get a biological growth on the faucet screens or low-use water lines. Respectfully yours, retired health inspector.

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  boffer on 12/13/2013, 8:30 pm

Too many variables to say for sure: pump type, pipe type, depth, water quality, etc.

But whenever I've messed with my well system (pipe feeds, pressure tank, etc.) I stir up a lot of sediment that takes at least a week to flush out of the system and to settle down below the pump intake.

I know I would've been beating the crap out of the pipes trying to dislodge the ice as it was thawing!  Twisted Evil  That, and the unusual gushing of the water as it flowed to push the air pockets in the pipes out of the way would have disturbed a lot of sediment.

Fingers crossed for ya!    

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  Goosegirl on 12/13/2013, 9:07 pm

What Sanderson and Boffer said!  They actually gave you an explanation for the pipe 'crud'!  I just know that I have been bleeding the air bubbles out of our boiler system and my fingers are always black and cruddy when I am done - it has been popping loose the stuff in the pipes that just sits there when it is not used for 6 months!

Tomorrow's project (among others) is to clean out the Taco Scoop valve which is clogged with said crud, causing ME to have to bleed the system rather than it being done automatically by the Scoop.

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  GWN on 12/14/2013, 10:56 pm

MANOMAN….. so glad to be up here in the great white north where it is WARM. We had it down to -20 celcius (-4 F) for a few days, and that is pretty much as cold as it ever gets here…
But to hear how cold it has been in Oregon is a bit mind boggling, having lived there for 15 years. (not that we have not had our share of frozen pipes, but it was not in Oregon. SHEESH
Stay warm all of you …whatever happened to the snowy emoticon?   

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 12/15/2013, 12:02 am

Thanks everyone for ideas and feedback. sanderson, we have a septic tank. Operating normally, when we can get water to fill the toilet's containment tank.

Water starting to trickle from the kitchen faucet, but it's still going, and the toilet in the mudroom never stops hissing. The other taps are fine, though. Weird. Wondering if some stretches of pipe are starting to partially freeze through or something.

Highs today were almost exactly freezing, but some of the road de-iced. Helps to be black, I guess. Snow is thinning in some places because the high got around high 30's, maybe.

Sediment doesn't seem to be a problem in most of the taps now. Keeping them flowing for days even at a trickle helped, I guess. We still have potentially many months of snow, though. Other winters have not been difficult at all, outside of a sometimes perilously ice-slicked steep driveway, so I'm pretty surprised by this one.

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Christmas Ship Parade

Post  gwennifer on 12/16/2013, 2:44 pm

Huh, you're right - can't find the snowy emoticon either.  Here it's warmed up and we've been getting rain.  

For those in the Portland Metro area, if you're looking for something fun and festive and free to do with the family, you could go to the riverfront and watch the Christmas Ship Parade. It's a volunteer fleet of boats that the owners have decked out with light displays and they gather nightly through the 21st in different parts of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Click on the link for the schedule and maps for each night.

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  gwennifer on 12/25/2013, 3:34 pm


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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  sanderson on 12/25/2013, 4:13 pm

Neat!

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 12/26/2013, 8:09 pm

All the snow's gone, and the drivin' is easy. I'm as stuffed as Richie Rich's birthday pinata from all this holiday food, and there's still more to come. Veggies aren't doing anything much, but some onions have started to come up, says a friend who looked into my main garden the other day. Myself, I've been ignoring it for a while, as the hard freeze shut everything down for a good while and I'm not yet back to the habit of paying any attention. Corn salad has started to sprout, though. Not thrive, just sprout.

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  boffer on 12/30/2013, 8:26 pm

The freezing spell we had earlier this month killed all the leaves on my chard, but the plants survived and are starting to grow again.  I had picked all my broccoli before the freeze, but some of the plants are putting side shoots out now.  The cauliflower plants look the worse for wear, but it looks like they're trying to get started again.  

I've got a bunch of chard seedlings in the 4-6 inch range that I'll try transplanting outdoors in a couple weeks.  I'm not sure if my late fall bok choy plants are going to survive the freeze, so I got a bunch of them started indoors too.  This past January, I direct seeded them towards the end of the month, and they grew fabulously.

My goal this past year was to eat my own veggies year round.  So far, so good, but the variety is diminishing.  

The last couple winters I've experimented with indoor growing under lights.  I've tried lettuce, spinach, chard, and beets.  Beets take too long.  Chard does good, but I need to plant more.  Spinach is disappointing because no matter what type of light I use, it wants to bolt.  I guess I should look for a bolt-resistant type.  Lettuce is best.  I can get harvest-able cut and come again lettuce in 4 weeks.  

I read the other day that a commercial greenhouse in Alaska grows their lettuce under lights that are on 24 hours a day.  I'm going to try that just for grins; I've been using a 16 on/8 off cycle.

It's almost time for a new season; are you ready for some gardening?

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 12/30/2013, 9:41 pm

were ready for spring  bounce 

we have been seed shopping online here and there when we see a sale or free shipping....found a new online website from seattle.....Seattle seed company http://www.seattleseed.com/ .... I liked how you can look up different months and see what you could be sowing at that time and what you can purchase from them that grows well for our area......if you purchase 20 dollars or more you get free shipping....they also had some seeds marked down too...

 we also purchased a nice little grow chart for about 3 dollars that slides back and forth according to your frost dates ....spring/summer planting on one side and fall/winter on the other....I know Mels book has grow charts in the back of the book to use.....but this little guide seems easier for me to use  tongue it would be an attractive addition to SFG book  sunny 

we pretty much have the garden beds planned out for spring/summer/fall/winter

one thing we are going to do this year is change a few beds into just root crop beds.....SFG 1x8 and 3 3x5 beds in the back garden.....

these beds we want deeper and looser ...we are thinking of adding some sand to the back garden beds as they are made up of compost on top of clay soil......our SFG 1x8 bed is MM......for that bed we are going to sift our compost before adding it.....hoping this will give our root crops a better chance as we struggle to grow carrots and carrots is one veggie our family wants!....so this year we will be growing potatoes first in spring and then carrots, radish, turnips, beets and parsnips for a fall/winter harvest.....I read that planting carrots after potatoes is a good idea as when you are harvesting the potatoes the soil gets loosen up for the carrots  albino 

I also read that potatoes and corn grow good together  thinking 

happy gardening
rose who has lots of projects on her hunny2do list....that includes lots of ideas for our new composter, egg laying working girls that are due in april  happy dance

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  boffer on 12/30/2013, 11:57 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:....hoping this will give our root crops a better chance as we struggle to grow carrots and carrots is one veggie our family wants!....

Rose, we gotta figure out what you're doing differently than me. Carrots have been one of my most dependable crops for six years straight. Are yours just not growing, or are they all distorted into shapes suitable for a Rorschach test?

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 12/31/2013, 2:51 am

HI Boffer  Very Happy 

we have had all kinds of problems with carrots.....germination, birds, and I think cutworms along with other critters  annoying bug ...so we covered the square with netting until they get a few inch high  so critters don't get to them ....they all seemed to have nice healthy tops but will be small pale skinny carrots that are bitter....  

some have round orange thick looking bum's and you pull it and its a nice bum but its only like an inch down and then all crazy skinny looking.....in the same batches of failed carrots we might get one or two that seem to be....just ok....nothing fancy....on the small side but much better then the others in the same batch....

we have pulled up a few squares that ....again....are ok...but they are only about 4 inch's long....I think we have only pulled up maybe 2 carrots that might be about 6 inchs....and our son was thrilled because they looked and tasted like a carrot should.....

this will be our 6th year of gardening......so we are frustrated that we only have gotten 2 decent size carrots......LOL....we still eat the small ones if they are not bitter and the fall/winter ones really get sweeter.....even if small.....the taste is good  Razz 

we were able to eat some of those small carrots over this winter...before some kind of critter....tipped our container over and dug them out!  Shocked first time that has happened.....it must be the same critter that ate ALL of our winter cole crops!  What a Face 2 6x8 beds worth  pale 

so in my conclusion and re-thinking how to grow better carrots this year....and we welcome ANY feed back.....

1. make permanent beds for the carrots so that they don't receive to much nitrogen from the soil around them where a nitrogen loving plants maybe growing....

2. construct these beds higher and deeper so that carrots have more room to grow

3. make the soil/MM more of a sandy loam...making sure there are not larger size pieces of compost, rocks, sticks and such that could make it into the beds from unfinished store bought compost.....we will sift our own homemade compost from now on....we read from gardenguides.com to make a sandy loam that carrots love to grow in 10-50 % of organic matter or silt, 50-70% sand and 20% or less of clay soil

4. bought a bunch of verities of carrot seeds paying attention of *early* for spring planting, and bought other ones that will over winter and others that will store well....along with some rainbow ones for fun   carrot 

we also bought some that are in pellet form to see if that will help with thinning....because maybe when we thin we are disturbing the other carrots and messing them up some how.....

5. construct a better cover over the carrots so critter cant get in

6. work on the amount of each N.P.K. that benefits growing root veggies...lesser amount of N and more of the P & K

wow....that's a long reply...... waste of time yikes..... hyper 

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 12/31/2013, 3:00 am

@boffer wrote:

 Rorschach test?


 lol! ha ha ha.....had to go look that up and Im now taking a test   What a Face

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  boffer on 12/31/2013, 11:13 am

@FamilyGardening wrote:
@boffer wrote:
Rorschach test?
lol! ha ha ha.....had to go look that up and Im now taking a test   What a Face
(Do you dare to share the results with us?)  Wink 

I grow my carrots in a TT, so I haven't had pest issues.  I have joked that since the box is 40" tall, they're at more than twice the maximum flight altitude of the carrot fly, so no worries about them.  (I don't know if we have carrot flies here.)

I have one deep box, two 2x6's stacked, filled with MM, that I grow the majority of my carrots in.  This box has seen only carrots for 6 years; no crop rotation in this box.   I haven't done any amending other than compost.

MM is by the book.  I add about 1 quart (a yogurt or cottage cheese container)  of compost per square when all the carrots have been harvested, typically in Feb.  ALL the compost for this box gets screened to ¼ inch.  When prepping any box for a new season, it's become my habit to reach to the bottom and fluff up the MM.  I've always said that I do it just because I enjoy it, but I tend to think that it helps the carrots grow straighter.

I get consistently good results with varieties of Nantes and Danvers.  I haven't been able to grow big Imperators.   I plant Little Fingers in other boxes when there's an extra square or two.  They're fast growing, and I usually eat them as snacks in the garden.  

I make 4 'furrows' in a square with my fingers, about ¼" deep.  (Is that even possible?!  OK then, just slightly deeper than lettuce seeds.) I try to put a seed every one inch, then lightly cover.  I wait to thin until the seedlings are about 2 inches tall.  At that size they are distinguishable from each other, and any weeds.  I use scissors to snip them off, and aim for about 2" spacing.

I use a misting wand to water the seeds in order to avoid dislodging them or pushing them deeper.  I keep the box covered with plastic (hoop house) until the seeds are established to avoid heavy rain moving the seeds around.  In my experience, keeping seeds consistently damp reduces germination time, so I'm careful about not letting the top surface dry out.

I've created my own planting schedule that works for me.  I plant all my carrots for the year, Mar 15 through May 1; May 15 at the latest.  Whenever I've planted after that, they don't develop fast enough before winter.  I've left some to over-winter  to start growing again in spring, but they don't taste good because the plant is putting all its effort into creating flowers.  I stagger plant every week or two, but not for a staggered harvest.  It's partly superstition based on experience: I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket  by planting them all at once.  Once in a while, I'll plant a couple squares, and they just don't grow.  Same seeds, same box, etc., but for some unknown reason, they just don't germinate normally.  Who knows, maybe I got distracted and forgot to put the seeds in!   Razz 

Once the green tops get over 6", they begin to provide a canopy that protects the MM from direct sun.  My carrot box doesn't need watered as often as other boxes.  I try to keep the MM consistently on the damp side.

I store my carrots right in the box; no cover mulch, but under a hoop house that is open on the ends to protect the box from the rain.  I still have a couple squares of carrots ready to harvest that I planted in March.  They survived the freeze a couple weeks ago OK.  My stored carrots turned soft only one winter when we had a series of freezes and thaws.  They seem to handle one or two freezes OK.

That's how I do it. Hopefully there's an idea or two there for you to try.

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  gwennifer on 1/4/2014, 2:18 pm

Welcome to the first weekend of 2014. I've spent some time outdoors already this year. I took down all the lights and decor (house and yard restored to pre-holiday mania, but now my garage looks like Christmas threw up in there). The kids and I headed outside on New Year's Eve for a silly string battle. From the looks of the yard in the daylight, that may not have been the brightest decision (does that stuff decompose eventually?). And I've restocked the suet in the bird feeder because the squirrels managed to raid it again.

As far as the SFG goes, nothing going on with that unless you count cleaning off yards of silly string. I can see I missed a potato or two when I harvested my barrels. A glance at the What to Plant Now chart on Mother Earth News has us still in the winter holding pattern. My chart of unknown source from a class at the local nursery is more ambitious, allowing onion sets to be sown outside this month, and radish outdoors under cover. Indoors they suggest it's okay to start artichoke, endive, leeks, lettuce, parsley, arugula, green onions, and onions.

Seed catalogs have been coming in the mail. I got my Territorial Seed Company catalog yesterday. Personally I'm browsing only for the information, not seeking any new seeds as I have quite an inventory leftover from last year that should still be viable. Before you toss or purchase, don't forget to utilize the forum's Seed Traders Corner, located on the home page.

Happy New Year everyone!

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 1/6/2014, 4:03 am

Boffer THANK YOU so much for all the info on planting carrots!!!! I will keep you posted on how it goes this year.....a lot of what you suggested sounds like a go for us  Very Happy 

Gwen.....sounds like your family is having a blast!.....why is silly string so fun....one of my older boys loves to buy it and bring to his younger brother....it makes a huge mess with lasting memories of giggles  Very Happy 

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  camprn on 1/11/2014, 6:36 pm

Hang onto your hats folks.  

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  donnainzone5 on 1/11/2014, 6:50 pm

Camp,

Here in Central Oregon, we've been having wind gusts, but nothing TOO bad, as well as snow showers. It's nearing sunset now, which means that temps will start dropping. I do hope that we get a few inches of snow tonight!

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 1/21/2014, 2:15 pm

what\'s up, dude  whatcha all up too??

the sun is out here and our onion and leek seedlings are doing good....happy under lights.... Very Happy ....I read that germination for these seeds are not the greatest...not sure I agree with that....I used the entire package of kandy onions, green bunching onions, globe onions and leeks  Shocked 

glad we love leeks & onions  Razz 

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 1/21/2014, 3:14 pm

No snow since mid-December, and almost no rain either. What dry, dry, dry year! As often as not, there's fog and dew around, though. I've got a lot of stuff under hoops and row cover, and have only watered once since our first snow.

Night-time temps have been locked at freezing for a couple of weeks, and our daylight temps have been almost exactly at freezing for a week or more. I figure the best thing I can do now is leave well enough alone.

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 1/28/2014, 11:15 am

Green onions, globe onions, candy onions and leeks sown indoors on Jan 3 2014
got their first hair cuts this morning  Very Happy 

our weather has turned cold once more, with a bit of misty fog

yesterday we purchased some chicken brooder supplies.....hubby is going to make a homemade brooder from a clear plastic container....we are all getting very excited about our new chicks....wish they were coming sooner then April,  but would of had to order a min15 of them instead of 5  Shocked 

took a peak at our new fruit trees purchased last year and the buds are swelling....think that's a good sign!

squirrels are happy digging in our compost we top off some of our containers with LOL.....this year we are seeing a LOT more birds, and different varieties as well....we read that if your yard and gardens are organic you will see more wildlife, and I have to say that's so true and each year it keeps increasing  Very Happy 

last week what seem to be hundreds of birds out in our front yard, scratching and digging for bugs and worms was truly amazing...birds of all sizes foraging....hubby said maybe they were migrating and decided to have a stop at our place  Razz it was cool and a bit creepy all at the same time  Shocked 

how is everyone doing in our PNW?

hugs
rose who is playing with *organizing* her new packages of seeds

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

Post  Lavender Debs on 1/28/2014, 5:38 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:Green onions, globe onions, candy onions and leeks sown indoors on Jan 3 2014
got their first hair cuts this morning  Very Happy 
Yea you! I was thinking I should plant mine today or tomorrow. You grow girl! I'm thinking I may take a chance and start a clam-shell (the containers berries come in from Costco and TJ's) of lettuce, mustards and spinach. I should get parsley and artichokes winter sown before I run out of winter to sow.

Deb...who got her x-mass potatoes planted way late...but is still happy to see they are coming up now!

Lavender Debs

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Re: PNW: Winter 2014

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