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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 8/21/2015, 4:36 am

We got home Wednesday and picked up Cat.  She's a mix of needy and turning her back to us.  The garden was fairly decent.  The cucumbers and half the cantaloup died before we left, the winter squash was thick with red spider mites when we got home.  there  was only one yellow spaghetti squash so I was don't with them anyway.  The malabar spinach is doing great.  Am I supposed to stake it up?  There are 2 main stems.  I don't taste any sliminess.

After I take out the dead plants I will have 22 squares.  What should I plant at at this time?  Carrots, radishes, parsnips, cumin, cilantro??  There are other beds for the kale, chard, cabbage and bok choy in October.

The Berkeley compost was 130*F when we got home Wed. Today it was down to 125*f. I will turn, and water if needed, tomorrow.

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

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/21/2015, 5:09 pm

Show us pictures of your malabar spinach, sanderson? Mine last year was so different from every picture I've seen. What are you going to do with it and how do you like the taste?

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

Post  sanderson on 8/21/2015, 9:03 pm

Malabar spinach, seed from Audrey.  Tastes like a good green.

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

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 8/21/2015, 9:36 pm

Malabar just rambles all over.  I chop it back and leave the greens I'm not going to eat right on top of the soil.  It breaks down quickly and works for green mulching. 

Glad your garden survived!

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

Post  sanderson on 8/21/2015, 10:01 pm

So, which is it? The Malabar or New Zealand? See the "Malabar Spinach" topic.

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

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/21/2015, 10:47 pm

That looks like the pictures of NZ spinach I've seen. Doesn't look anything like either the malabar I grew or the still different looking malabar I've seen pictures of, which is more of a climbing vine than a bush.

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

Post  sanderson on 8/22/2015, 2:39 am

This one trails, so I suppose it could be staked??

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

Post  sanderson on 8/22/2015, 1:35 pm

The color spot out front is looking a little ragged, but the volunteer celosia are attracting pollinators.  In past years I planted the vinca in a shady area not knowing that they can withstand direct sun in the hot summer. I've been working on building the soil with compost so pulling the dead dianthus and invasive grass is easy.

Marc asked to see my white flower accents among the pinks and purples.  This is my BTE flower bed in the front flower bed.  I did lose some flowers along the front because I set them out the day before it reached the 100s.  Those that were successful in getting their roots down have survived this drought summer. The blue salvia are 2X - 3X the size in past years.

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

Post  sanderson on 8/23/2015, 1:36 am

The compost is back up to 120*F from a turned base of 80*F. Today is Day #22 so that's not bad after being left for several days. The temp was 99*F and there are 100+*F days ahead.

I have a throbbing upper molar so I'm taking some codeine-Tylenol pills just to survive until Monday. Why do things break down late on Fridays?? No gardening for now.

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

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/23/2015, 4:07 am

The salvia look nice. I wish they were taller. I have some too and though they are beautiful (for a while), they put up so few stems and they're so short that they barely make a dent in my brown/gray backgroiund.

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

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 8/23/2015, 5:44 pm

Your garden looks lovely, mine flower garden is ready for a clean up but that isn't happening until this heat is gone for the summer!

I haven't built a single compost pile this summer.  I have to start gathering stuff soon and get one or two done before winter sets in.  I do have a large cold composting pile that will be done this spring though, so I'm not without resources for my MM

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

Post  sanderson on 8/24/2015, 12:16 am

Marc, The salvia are further down the flower bed in photo #2 with the sunshine on them. I thought these were tall by comparison. No??

Audrey, This is the time of the summer when we sing 'Should they stay or should they go?" Every time I tend the compost cage I think of you. If I had 4' piles, they would defeat me. I really, really recommend that your DH make a series of 3'X cages for you so that you are only turning 27 cu ft instead of 64 cu ft. A 3rd cage can be for the finished product. Psychologically it's easier to face.

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

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/24/2015, 4:40 am

sanderson, I was talking about how short my own salvia are. I just wish that salvia in general were taller. Mine, at any rate, are pretty short.

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

Post  sanderson on 8/24/2015, 10:14 am

I think mine are as big as they are this summer because of the 2" of wood chips on top of 2" of compost.

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

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/24/2015, 5:50 pm

I wouldn't be surprised. Everything I read about mulching, and everything I try, makes me like it more and want to do it more.

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

Post  sanderson on 9/4/2015, 12:57 am

Friday and Saturday are supposed to be in the 80s, then back up to the high 90s for a week. With this forecast, I'm a little hesitant to start the fall/winter garden. I'm right on the cusp of pulling out some plants or letting them try for one more round of produce. There are some kind of dark aphid-looking insects on the stalks of the Rattlesnake beans. I will use the loupe to look at them closer tomorrow.

I have 13 cu ft of new compost but will need to make one more batch in order to start spring planting. But, where to store the finished 13 cu ft in this small back yard is a problem. I would love to have a new 3' x 6' table top bed for some of the tomatoes but do I dare ask hubby? I'm also tired of bending over to tend the pepper pots. Maybe a 4' x 4' platform in one of the flower beds??

As you can tell, the excitement of summer gardening is waning but I'm not quite excited about winter crops. Just enjoying reading about everyone else and what you are harvesting, planting, and putting up.

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

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/5/2015, 4:36 pm

I often feel the same way come fall. I keep hoping for rain so I can skip a day of watering!

Re another table top -- that's never a waste of time, labor or resources! It's exactly the kind of pleasant convenience they create that makes a person want to keep gardening, come whatever season, mood, or shape one's back is in. I know I've delayed watering all day today because my back is sore!

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

Post  Yardslave on 9/6/2015, 8:08 pm

Only risk I've taken was to plant a late plot of pole beans.It's so hot the tomatoes are taking a siesta and aren't putting out many new blossoms. I just hope I can keep the soil damp enough for the beans to germinate. I tried 3 weeks ago, but those were toast in the 95-97 deg. heat wave we had. The nights are getting colder, but lately the noon heat is suitable only for Camel husbandry, or air-drying laundry.

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table tops

Post  kauairosina on 9/6/2015, 9:29 pm

I have two 4 x 8 raised beds, waist high, that I had made 14 years ago.  I congratulate myself almost every day for my foresight.  At 80 I truly appreciate not having to bend over to garden.

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

Post  sanderson on 9/6/2015, 9:41 pm

@Yardslave wrote:The nights are getting colder, but lately the noon heat is suitable only for Camel husbandry, or air-drying laundry.
That describes our weather perfectly! Very Happy

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

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 9/6/2015, 9:55 pm

I have so much I should have been planting but have had company for a week and barely got the garden watered and harvested let alone replanted *deep sigh*

But the company was grandsons (and their parents came along with them, LOL!)  Soooo, it's okay if I'm a little late on planting for the fall.
Audrey

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

Post  Kelejan on 9/6/2015, 11:44 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:I have so much I should have been planting but have had company for a week and barely got the garden watered and harvested let alone replanted *deep sigh*

But the company was grandsons (and their parents came along with them, LOL!)  Soooo, it's okay if I'm a little late on planting for the fall.
Audrey

I am sure Mother Nature will play catch-up.  She is quite good at it.

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

Post  sanderson on 9/7/2015, 2:40 am

Grandkids are worth planting late. Very Happy

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

Post  sanderson on 9/8/2015, 2:39 am

Gardening at a stand still. The air was yellow with smoke from the Rough Fire at Kings Canyon National Park. Audrey, how are you guys doing?

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

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 9/8/2015, 8:34 am

The air has been utterly horrid the last two days.  I have really strong lungs and it's getting to me.  Our daughter has chronic bronchitis and she's struggling a lot with this.  She has another week before heading back to LA for college.  Who would have thought the air here would be 10 times worse than LA's?!

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