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Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  keepercjr on 2/19/2014, 9:51 pm

I am keeping my seedlings outside now in a little green house from big lots.  The reviews I read aren't the best but I think I have it worked out and hope to have it last a few seasons with good care.  I only need it for a few weeks each winter to give my seedlings a few weeks of sunshine (and hardening off) before they can go in the ground.  I was tired of trucking them in each night and out each morning.  I open the flap in the morning and close it at night.  I anchored it down with 2 bricks on the bottom as well as 2 1 gallon jugs of water from the dollar store.  My idea with the jugs is that they will heat up during the day with the sun shining on them and then when I zip up the front of the greenhouse in the evening the heat from the jugs will keep the plants warmer than the outside air.  So far so good.  It didn't blow anywhere in the wind today.  

Sanderson I would be hesitant to plant out just yet but you could just pay close attention and do the jugs like you thought.  I have planted tomatoes early and they just sat there till it warmed up a few weeks later (but the unusually warm winter may change things).  I was planning on the middle of march or so to put in the ground.   I think I started my tomatoes a little too early but we shall see.  Maybe I will  plant earlier.  I think they have a few weeks of root room in the solo cups.  

Also my 5yo saw the big carrot and wanted me to put it in my message:
 


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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 2/19/2014, 9:58 pm

I'm going.
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what is syo?

Post  kauairosina on 2/19/2014, 10:15 pm

SYO?
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sorry my mistake

Post  kauairosina on 2/19/2014, 10:16 pm

I see you must have meant five year old.  Dumb me.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  keepercjr on 2/19/2014, 10:34 pm

Yes my 5 year old daughter  Wink 
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  paul_vanderwerf on 2/20/2014, 12:32 am

Look at the last freeze date for your area before you feel comfortable with putting warm season vegetables in the ground... so far, everything looks like it's going to be warm - my tomatoes are already flowering !!! However, I wouldn't be surprised if we get snow here in April... you never know...
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 2/21/2014, 1:53 am

keepercjr wrote:Anyone going to the Smart Gardening Conference on Saturday?  ucanr.org/sgc
I decided to attend with my friend.  If you register by tonight it is $40 instead of $50.

Audrey, are you also going?
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/21/2014, 2:14 am

I didn't know about the event and now I have an unexpected and urgent deadline to meet for my artwork. Darn! Sounds like it would have been fun.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 2/21/2014, 2:28 am

Dang, it would have been fun meeting for the 3 of us to meet. I'm still going to come up there, some day.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 2/25/2014, 1:59 pm

The conference was nice.  I got to meet Keeper and her friend.  The SFG session was good but I still have an issue that the book wasn't highlighted and that at one point one of them mentioned they only use compost.  One photo in the PowerPoint was of Camp's lush garden!  I answered a question correctly and won a cute package with a trowel, pencil and pair of gardening scissors, plus some seeds!

We are supposed to have rain later this week.  bounce  I'm putting the leafy greens in their boxes today.  When are you guys planting your tomato, etc. seedlings?  I've got a lot of the seedlings up-potted and in the green house. Some herbs and flowers, and re-seedings are still inside under lights. The potatoes are looking beautiful in their white buckets, but I have a feeling I need to wrap the outsides to keep the sunlight from the MM??  Something about green potatoes?
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potatoes

Post  kauairosina on 2/25/2014, 2:33 pm

Yep, the green on the potatoes is poisonous so cover those puppies.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 2/25/2014, 6:23 pm

Wrap cardboard around the outside of the buckets? Cover with a bit of mulch?
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potatoes

Post  kauairosina on 2/25/2014, 6:46 pm

are the buckets transparent? or opaque?  Opaque no problem.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  camprn on 2/25/2014, 6:51 pm

They used a pic of my garden? What? Shocked
That's cool. What a Face 

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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/25/2014, 10:10 pm

So... we're in the presence of a celebrity (Camprn)! That's so cool  Laughing 

I'm just going ahead and planting out doors. The last frost last year for me was March 5th and it was a much colder winter. I have planted my first squash seedlings and I have a tomato that I planted 2 weeks ago. The tomato is in a cage and I can drape it with a blanket if I need to. Actually, I can cover and protect anything should I need to, but it's been over a month since the last frost up here.

Glad you guys had fun, I wouldn't have been able to go if I had planned to - my father had an emergency quadruple bypass today and we're connecting up with family to make sure his needs are being met.

He doesn't eat his veggies...  tongue 
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  keepercjr on 2/25/2014, 11:18 pm

Audrey best wishes to your father!!!  How scary.

The conference was a nice day.  It was so neat to meet Sanderson!    I didn't go to the SFG seminar since I figured it would be more geared to those new at it.  But I was jealous of Sanderson's prize!  I went to the blueberry class, the class we thought was about chickens but wasn't, the attracting pollinators class and the soil class. 

My tomato seedlings are huge and I want to get them planted soon.  A few have flower buds on them.  I guess the bagged mels mix I up potted to is working just fine for them.  I think my best day for planting will be next tuesday if I can get the beds done.  Between the rain and busy schedule it will be next to impossible before then.  Maybe I can get the beds ready on thursday afternoon if there is no rain then.  

I went and picked up worm castings from the guy advertising on craigslist.  There are actually 2 people advertising - one in Sanger and one in Fresno.  I have gone to the sanger guy before but the fresno guy is cheaper and so much closer to me (he lives by Fashion Fair).  They both have huge worm setups in their backyards. $20 for a cubic foot.

per my daughter's request:  
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 2/26/2014, 2:43 am

Audrey, I hope your father has a speedy and smooth recovery. It's amazing what medical advancements can do.

Camp, The photo was one where everything is lush. Looks like it was taken from the house because you can see the house across the street. If I remember, it was part of the progress of setting up the beds, early growth, lush growth, etc

Keeper, do you have the phone # for the Fashion Fair guy? Or will I be able to tell by the Craig's List posting? I should be ready next week after it dries up a bit. If you have a tomato flowering, when did you start the seeds? Now that I have the lights, and the new order of seed pots and labels, I can start when ever you advise.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  keepercjr on 2/26/2014, 9:59 pm

Sanderson you can tell by the posting but here it is anyway : 824-3012  Nice guy.  We chatted for a while about gardening and chickens.  

I started my tomato seeds on Jan 11th (thank you garden journal!).  I think next year I will do it 2 weeks later.  I spent an hour this afternoon before the rain started weeding one of my 4x2 beds.  I had let it go other than 1 square of super healthy lettuce.  I amended it with compost for a winter garden but only planted 1 square because I realized it was basically in full shade due to a fence and the low angle of a sun.  BUT the lettuce loved it and the lettuce in the one square is way bigger than the same kind of lettuce planted at the same time in a full sun square.  Go figure.   Next year I will plant the lettuce over there and see what happens.  All my other beds except 1 are weed free and only need some compost when I plant in them.  So maybe tomorrow afternoon I can plant some plants where I was weeding today.  I was hoping to wait till the 8th (due to the moon dates in the almanac) but these plants are just crazy.  I have been reading and I am going to pinch off the flower buds that are appearing right now so the plant can focus on root growth when it is planted.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/26/2014, 10:09 pm

You can also pick off the lower branches and either plant the entire tomato deeper or literally lay it in a trough sideways, gently bending the top up and out of the trough and cover it with soil.  Your tomato plant will produce a much more full root system.  They will set out roots from each of those branch spots you broke off.

Have fun!
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  keepercjr on 2/26/2014, 10:13 pm

Audrey that is exactly what I do.  I plant in a trech / trough method and only leave a little bit above the soil.  they are already planted deeper when I potted up.  But those suckers are growing inches every week.  The trench method worked really well for me last year and those tomato plants were SO healthy and had huge root systems due to rooting along the whole lower part that I planted in the trench.  They not only root where you broke off but all along the stem.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 2/27/2014, 2:03 am

Keeper, thanks for the number.

I planted a tomato horizontally after reading about it on the Forum.  I laid the solo cup on its side and the plant turned upward.  Then I planted in a trench.  I can't believe you guys have large tomato seedlings.  Mine are 6" max.

I got the leafy-greens seedlings planted in the mini boxes yesterday.  

Anything else that is ready will have to wait until next week after the Mix dries up a bit after this glorious rain.
Due to the powdery mildew on the fence side, I removed these gorgeous snow peas and sprayed the nets, frames and box with rubbing alcohol.  This area is designated for cucumbers, 4 varieties, I think.  I'll remove and toss the


Audrey, How is your father doing?
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 2/27/2014, 3:18 pm

Good grief! Fresno just made Fox News, Shepard Smith Reporting. Not only is most of California classified as Extreme Drought, but Fresno is within the Exceptional Drought. First time since such records were recorded.
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drought

Post  kauairosina on 2/27/2014, 4:00 pm

It is really scary.  I have seen the photos of almond trees being pulled out, whole fields that once grew broccoli, strawberries, and all the other produce we get from California dried out and fallow.  This is not looking good.  All the more reason to grow as much for ourselves and our friends as we are able.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  PNG_Grandma on 2/27/2014, 6:34 pm

sanderson wrote:Not only is most of California classified as Extreme Drought, but Fresno is within the Exceptional Drought.  First time since such records were recorded.
My family has lived in the Firebaugh area of west Fresno County since 1874 and I'm so worried about my distant relatives. The drought has caused so many businesses to close, or be closing soon. Without water there are no crops to plant, to maintain throughout the growing season, to harvest, ship to other parts of this country and around the world. That means no jobs for the planting workers, the companies that supply and maintain the tools, no jobs for harvesting, no trucking jobs for shipping, no food for CA, the rest of the country, and so many other parts of the world. Most folks don't realize that the areas hardest hit by the drought right now normally produce 50% of the food for all the other States.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  keepercjr on 2/28/2014, 10:27 pm

Fresno State is having its 2nd annual Vegetable Extravaganza on March 15th from 9-1 at the Farm Market. 
https://www.facebook.com/events/575870835837108/?previousaction=join&source=1

They will have lots of veggie seedlings for sale.  They have had this for years but usually at the greenhouses, not at the farm market.  Good prices if I remember correctly as well as good variety.
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