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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  sanderson on 3/1/2014, 1:04 am

Last thing I need is more seeds!! But thanks for letting us know about the event. I think I will go. Audrey?

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

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/1/2014, 1:45 am

If we're back that would be great fun but i have a sneaking suspicion that's not going to happen. We WILL get together when I get back  Laughing 

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

Post  keepercjr on 3/2/2014, 1:46 pm

I got all my tomatoes and my cucumbers in the ground yesterday.  I found a few tomato volunteers along the way.  I still have my squash and pumpkins to do but I ran out of screened homemade compost. I have a pile that needs screened (or not - we'll see how much work I want to do).  I plan to finish planting on Tuesday.  Oh and I side dressed my garlic with worm castings.  We are headed up into the snow today and the kids are going to ski tomorrow.  The 10 day forecast here in the valley calls for 70s the entire time except monday!  I had a dream last night that we had a freeze that I wasn't prepared for and was panicking about the tomatoes I planted.  Thank goodness it was only a dream.

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

Post  sanderson on 3/2/2014, 3:04 pm

I contacted Wayne regarding a 5-gallon bucket of worm castings.  He may screen next week or the following week.  I'm hoping to buy a hand full of worms for 4 worm tubes, 1/4-1/2 pounds.  He said he doesn't have enough to sell but we will see.   Very Happy 

Only a gardener would have a nightmare about a freeze!

Last year I considered everything I did as an experiment, just to see if I could garden.  This year I want everything to work so I am nervous about planting the seedlings.  Half are in the green house and half, including new vermiculite seedlings, are in the house.  I planted half the bean and corn seeds in the boxes and half the seeds in the indoor seedling pots.

So, can I now plant the following seedlings in the boxes (or pots)?  tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, summer squash, cantaloupes, winter squash?


Last edited by sanderson on 3/2/2014, 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added more seedlings)

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

Post  keepercjr on 3/4/2014, 12:39 am

I wonder how long it takes him to screen the castings.  I think you are safe to plant -I did.  Normally I would probably wait till the middle or end of March but I just can't see it going that low.  The 10 day forecast has stayed steadily in the upper 60s and 70s.  I have my squash outside fully hardened off but not in the ground.  They will hopefully go in tomorrow.  Tomatoes and cukes are in the ground.  I didn't successfully sprout my peppers so I will buy some seedlings - maybe at the fresno state sale.

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

Post  sanderson on 3/4/2014, 3:28 am

I had trouble sprouting peppers. I finally have some but they are small. One of the free cubanelle pepper seeds sprouted and is doing good. All are still being babied inside until I can up-pot them.

I managed to get 7 varieties of tomatoes, the kale and chard, and 4 varieties of cucumbers planted today. Tomorrow the squashes. I'm short on compost so I will need to build a hot pile real soon. I need more boxes!

I'll call Wayne on Thursday and see how he is doing. Boy, he likes to chat!

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our current harvest

Post  kauairosina on 3/4/2014, 11:26 am

We have just picked 5 little okra and there are three baby zukes on two plants.  Just a little soon for the fruit flies and the dreaded fungus.  Wish us more before the nasties arrive.

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

Post  Yardslave on 3/5/2014, 11:55 am

I got tired of nursing my peppers and tomato seedlings under lights in my garage and decided to liberate them. Now that there was a break in the rain, I set out my jalapeno, eggplant, and tomato starts. As expected, they just sit there (apparently non the worse) waiting for the soil temperature to raise. I'm wondering if I should tent them, or just give them some "tough love" and let them fend for themselves out in the cold. Any thoughts- please let me know!

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

Post  sanderson on 3/5/2014, 1:16 pm

Yardslave, I don't know how big of an area you are talking about. Any chance you could make a 3-sided, with top, plastic frame? The air inside will heat up during the day even with one side open.

Maybe others will have ideas. I have a baby green house, 4' x 4' 4 1/2' to transition to the outside and wait out the last frost.

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

Post  keepercjr on 3/5/2014, 1:43 pm

Yardslave - you could cover them a bit if you want but don't forget that even if you don't see a whole lot going on above ground they are almost surely building up their roots.  How have the temps been?  How long have they been outside?  Did you harden them off before planting them?

I got all but 4 pumpkin plants planted yesterday.  I have to weed the last bed and cut back the thyme and oregano before those can go in.  Hopefully that should happen today.  I had to screen some almost finished compost and there were SO many worms.  It was slow going because I didn't want to damage any of them.  Plus I think my compost screen is a little small so it takes more work.  For each bed I have been adding a lot of homemade compost, a generous dose of worm castings and a bit of mushroom compost that I found in my garage from last year.  

Also - my daughter spilled some carrot seeds in her bed when she was planting carrots and now they have all come up in a huge mass - like 20-30 of them!  Should I try to separate them and replant them somewhere?  Anyone have any ideas?

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

Post  sanderson on 3/5/2014, 2:27 pm

Keeper, What do you have to lose? See if you can tease a few carrot seedling out and re-plant using Mel's pencil.

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

Post  Yardslave on 3/7/2014, 1:23 pm

I decided to improvise and use some 1 gallon clear plastic fruit juice jugs to shelter my tomatoes. I just cut the bottoms, left the screw cap off, and set them over the plants. It's been 2 days now and I can see them perking up already! I don't know if it's the plastic cloches or the seedlings getting their feet in some good soil, but so far, so good. The black aphids are back again; time to get after them Twisted Evil  I missed them after last season, when I stopped planting their favorite snack(fava beans) but they now are showing an affinity for my parsnips and beets. I'm going to have to evict them before they really get out of hand. It's been hard to the upper hand with the rains cutting into my insecticidal soap spraying program.

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

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/7/2014, 5:26 pm

Hi y'all. I am really missing my garden. We're settled in and my Dad is home from the hospital. When you talk about the aphids, my heart races a bit knowing that my neighbor isn't that careful and I'll have a mess on my hands. I would love to be wrong - but that would be a really nice surprise... Oh well!

How's the weather been? I weeded some of my dad's yard for him. It's always funny when you have to ask what a weed is and what is a flower seedling, LOL!

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

Post  sanderson on 3/7/2014, 5:38 pm

Audrey, so nice to hear from you. Light mist this morning and now sun shine. Sounds like your Dad is progressing.

YS, I wrote a reply and thought I sent it. It's not here?? I think the one-gallon protectors sounds perfect.

Keeper, Did the transplant work?

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

Post  keepercjr on 3/7/2014, 8:10 pm

I spent a few hours this afternoon out in the garden transplanting carrots.  Oh my I way underestimated how many seeds she spilled.  I think I transplanted between 50 and 60 seedlings.  SO. MUCH. WORK.  It isn't hard work, just very very tedious.  I'm crossing my fingers that they work out.   I just couldn't pull them all out and get rid of them.  We should have a bumper crop of carrots in a few months!

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

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/8/2014, 11:37 am

Sometimes our "helpers" aren't quite as "helpful" as we could wish for, LOL! However, the memories are priceless  Very Happy 

I paid $2.99 a pound for tomatoes at the store yesterday - only you guys can imagine how hard that was to do!!!! I'm so used to just going out to my greenhouse and picking the next ripe one.

All the trees are starting to bloom out here in Arizona. It's WAY early for them as my dad's a gardener too and his last frost date is May 15.

I found a rhubarb start at their hardware store yesterday so I grabbed it. I bought seeds but they didn't start for me last year. I tried direct sowing them. I had forgotten about those seeds so I'll try to start some more this spring.

Off to take care of Dad. See you guys later!
Audrey

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

Post  keepercjr on 3/9/2014, 9:20 pm

Here are some pictures of my garden that I snapped today.  The sugar snap peas started blooming about a week - 10 days ago or so. 

All 9 beds and a 5 month old helper  Very Happy :



Garlic and cherry tomatoes:


cheddar cauliflower and cucumbers (and volunteer red oak leaf lettuce from some that went to seed last year):



Some lettuce from the farmer's market and tomatoes:



pumpkins on one side of the cattle pannel.  The other side has spaghetti squash and some carnation plants that are planted WAY too close but I had no idea as I have never grown them before.  They didn't flower last year but they look great this year and I'm hoping for flowers soon.  The red cups are to deter my cat from digging in the bed since I don't have a cover for those squares.


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

Post  sanderson on 3/10/2014, 4:55 am

Keeper, I like the chicken wire cages. Have you grown pumpkins and squash on the cattle panel before this year? You should take a photo to post when they get up there. There was a roll of hog wire for sale on Craig's List but try as I may, I can't fit in any panel trellises.

I finally got the rest of my squares prepped for planting. Got the seedlings for 4 kinds "green" beans planted. Red Noodle, Rattlesnake, Dragon Tongue and Purple Podded. I'm so low on compost that I bought a bag of Ecoscraps to supplement. It actually looks pretty good, at least 100 times better than Kellogg's. The label says vegetables and forest products and there were NO wood chips in it. Time to build a compost pile.

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

Post  keepercjr on 3/10/2014, 11:03 am

Sanderson - yes I have grown them on the cattle pannel arch before.  I will post pictures of the progress and end result.

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

Post  sanderson on 3/14/2014, 2:32 am

The weather has been so warm that my little green house reached 100+ degrees even with the flap open.  I broke it down for storage today.  It worked so well.  A (+) note in my journal.  I started breaking down some of the box cover PVC frames.  I had to cannibalize a couple sets to build protective frames for my corn and Dragon Tongue beans.  I caught cat snacking on them.  That and the borage!  I Jerry-rigged some bird netting and plastic to protect the corn and beans tonight.  Tomorrow I will have to properly wrap the perimeter of the frames to keep her out.

I visited Wayne, the Worm man, and got a 5 gallon bucket of castings.  He was also so nice to sell me 1/2 lb. of worms, something he normally doesn't do.  What an interesting garden he has.  (And cat, the official greeter!)  I had no idea that there were thornless blackberries and raspberries!  He uses bio-char.  I couldn't help but think how much better his plants would be if he used MM.  That's tacky of me, I know, but his soil was a dirt mix, and looked dry and kind of, well, less fluffy than MM.  He had some seedling experiments going and had just finished building a pole with spiraling pots.  He seems to love his garden.

I still have a lot of seedlings that need homes.  I could try Craig's list, I suppose, but I would have to charge something because of the seedling cups I bought.  I offered to give some to Wayne but he didn't have any more room.  Like a dummy, I planted some tomatoes up to the first set of leaves!   dangit   I have the remaining three on their sides to turn the stems so I can plant them in a trough.  Dumb, dumb.  Some are starting flowers but I think I am suppose to remove those so they can concentrate on growth.

Can't wait for an update from Audrey this weekend.

YS, What have you been up to?  Have you posted any photos?  I would love to set your garden.

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

Post  Yardslave on 3/15/2014, 7:30 pm

Weather's has been pretty hot in my neighborhood. My cabbage and kale are bolting as I write! If this keeps up, I'm going to have to shade what's left to try to save a season's work.

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

Post  keepercjr on 3/15/2014, 8:23 pm

Sanderson I am glad you were able to get the worms and the castings!  I have one tomato seedling that I am trying to give away but the lady who wants it has been a big flake!  I think I will take it with me on Monday to school with the kids and hopefully find a home for it there.  If you were referring to pictures from my garden I posted them above!

I went to the seedling sale at fresno state today.  They knocked the prices down and had a great selection of tomato and other seedlings.  I got 1 tomato (I was saving a space for a different variety), basil and a purple jalapeno. I don't like peppers but I give them to my husband's dad and grandma.

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

Post  sanderson on 3/16/2014, 3:03 am

Keeper, I intended to go today but the front flower spot was calling me. I have flower seedlings to plant and this was a good spot to start. I weeded, added peat moss, a little cow manure compost, vermiculite and 2 bags of Ecoscraps and troweled it in. Anything, and I mean anything will be a big help in enriching the dirt. DH had just sprayed with pre-emergent so I had to wash all the tools afterwards. Slowly, slowly, I will change him to think "organic." Yes, I saw your photos above. I still have spare veggie seedlings.

Audrey, Can't wait to get an update on your garden after your absence.

Yardslave, I was referring to photos of your garden!!  Very Happy 

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

Post  sanderson on 3/25/2014, 1:20 am

I can't find the post where I wrote about my cucumbers failing, so I'm using our Regional one.  I had Crystal Apple, Lemon, 8's and Marketmore cucumbers planted and have lost all but one 8, even the replacements.
I've got to try more seedlings now that the soil is a little warmer.  One of the shaded cantaloupes also shriveled.  


This is the only survivor.

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away for a long weekend

Post  kauairosina on 3/25/2014, 2:59 am

and the consequences were that our current house sitter is not at all "akamai" (smart) about gardening.  Anyway our seed flat was traumatized as well as the cilantro we had just planted and the ancho peppers and two cukes in earthboxes. Since this person isn't really into the watering I'm going to try to find some one else to pay attention. 

My grandson got one 4 by 4 bed fixed up with irrigation and we are going to make it a point to put drip irrigation in everything else with timers for when we are away, as we are often.  Maybe we can find a way to have everything be on automatic timers.  That could solve a lot of problems.

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