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PNW: April 2014

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/27/2014, 9:41 pm

FamilyGardening -- with squash, at least according to my luck, well, too much luck is involved! I've had butternut squash that I never planted there growing out of the rocks laid out in our enclosed back yard that thrived and grew explosively, and I've had carefully fed and tended squash in raised beds produce nothing.

One nice thing surprised me last year -- after my zucchini and butternut squash gave me two zucchini and zero BN squash all season, my patty pans came through very well toward the end of the season. I don't know if planting them late helped; they never had to endure cold nights until they were fully grown, but they did have to bear up under 100 degree heat for a month. Maybe you might want to plant some rapidly-growing small squash as back-up, in case your big ones don't have time to mature? If I plant any squash this year, it will be patty pan.

What I've got going so far:

RAISED BEDS:

Two kinds of red onions, a yellow onion, and a giant yellow onion (about 40 sq feet total); strawberries(one full bed), brussels sprouts x 3; already-bolted daikon, Veronica/speedwell, oregano x 2

POTS (permanent):

Lamb's Lettuce/Mache, Horseradish(one), brussels sprouts x 2, peas (4 sq. foot), elephant garlic x 6, red roma lettuce x4, mesclun mix lettuce x 3, spinach x 10, lobelia x 3, pansies x 3, chocolate mint x 2, apple mint x 1, peppermint x 3, oregano x 2, sage x 1

POTS (to be transplanted):

tomatoes (Better Bush x 4, Beefsteak x 1, Juliet X 3), Perennial Swiss Chard x 10, Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard x 6, Borage x 1,

POTS (germinating):

Marvel of Four Seasons lettuce x 4, snap peas, toy choi x 4

COMING SOON:

going to try to germinate more MO4S lettuce and toy choi











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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  boffer on 4/27/2014, 10:56 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:...been thinking about direct sowing winter squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and summer squash.....what do you guys think? do you think they will grow from direct seed here in the PNW and have time to mature to harvest?

will be direct sowing beans and corn.....not sure when though......Im not sitting on the ground to check to see if its warm enough....... rofl will let Boffer take the lead and plant when he does  sunny 

happy gardening
rose

Cukes and summer squashes generally need less time to mature, so they shouldn't be a problem.  I direct seeded cukes last year on 7/2, and they did fine.  But, we did have better than average weather last summer.

We have a warm spell coming up, and it should be a good time to direct seed winter squashes.  The top of the soil should be warm enough for their liking.  I have squash volunteers in my compost pile that are about 6 inches tall, so I guess it's warm enough for them.  (it's not a hot pile)

Indian braves didn't have a choice but to sit on the ground.  Fortunately, I have soil thermometers!  I've been watching the soil temp in my corn hoop houses, and I'm going to plant one box of corn on Monday or Tuesday.  It's way earlier than I usually start planting corn, but I think it will do OK in the up-coming sunny week.

It's still a bit early for me to plant beans, but the sunshine might influence me to  plant a few squares this week, just for the heck of it.

It's hard to believe, but we've had a warmer year so far compared to last year.  It must be the excessive rain that makes it seem colder.

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/27/2014, 11:48 pm

This up coming week looks good don't it  Very Happy maybe I will be brave and put in our beans & winter squash......their squares are empty right now anyways...so it wont hurt....we can always replant them if they fail.....( I hate having empty squares!)

Just looked over last years notes and we planted our sweet corn the end of April and they came up the 1st of May......so....maybe we can get some corn in this week as well in the back garden and start some of our Indian corn for our three sisters bed as it has radishes, lettuce and spinach in it right now.....but....I could direct sow in with the lettuce and spinach.....hmm.....decisions....decisions....

see what a little bit of sunshine and warm weather does to a farm girl  carrot

happy gardening
rose.....whose gardens were hailed on today  Shocked


Last edited by FamilyGardening on 4/28/2014, 12:17 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/27/2014, 11:54 pm

Marc that's a good idea about the Patti pan, thank you for sharing that with me.....we do have plenty of room out in our front garden area, that we can plant some even though I wasn't planning on in it this year....I can get seeds for it  Very Happy does Patti pan grow on a trellis like a runner or does it like to sprawl on the ground like a bush? and does it matter what color?

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  GWN on 4/28/2014, 10:58 am

What I have been doing with things I am direct seeding is to pre sprout them.
It seems as though optimal germinating temps are higher than optimal growing temps.
So I put my seeds on wet paper towel and then in baggies on top of hot water tank
Then as soon as they have sprouted I plant the little sproutlings in the ground.

So far I have done that with RAAB and Broccoli and they seem to be doing really well.
MUCH better in fact then anything else I have planted as seeds.

My peas I did plant a month ago from seed and they are up 6 inches now.
My average last frost is May 1st.

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  gwennifer on 4/28/2014, 11:24 am

Morning everyone.

I ate a few radishes from my garden over the weekend. Saw they'd popped out of the ground when I was putting my trellises in for the peas. Should have done the trellises a couple of weeks ago but managed to get them in without too much trouble. Was pleased that the garden fencing I bought was just the right size to fit across the cement tubs once I took the sections apart and overlapped the connecting arms.

I don't think I complain much about the weather, but ugh, it's just been so yucky out there! Been shivering at the bus stop with my kindergarten kiddo each day. Not thrilled that the wind and rain stole the pleasure I take in spring time temps and we're heading right into 80+ degrees already. Hard to believe that it's been warmer this year than last. Haven't wanted to go out and re-try my lettuce. Maybe I'll give up on them again this year and put beans in. But then again, seems I should be able to get a nice harvest of baby lettuce by the end of the month and still have time for beans.

No other squares left. Need to prepare my barrels for corn. Forgot I had tulip bulbs down in there until they started popping up this spring. Alas, no blooms.

My broccoli is crawling along. Thinned the green onions. And that's it for me. Enjoyed reading your updates everyone. Happy gardening.  Smile 

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/28/2014, 7:22 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:Marc that's a good idea about the Patti pan, thank you for sharing that with me.....we do have plenty of room out in our front garden area, that we can plant some even though I wasn't planning on in it this year....I can get seeds for it  Very Happy does Patti pan grow on a trellis like a runner or does it like to sprawl on the ground like a bush? and does it matter what color?

happy gardening
rose

Last year I grew yellow, white, and green patty pan squashes. All grew well toward the end of the season, but the yellow ones did especially well. They came mixed together in a single seed packet, and all turned out to be bush-types. They didn't really sprawl on the ground as much as I thought they would; they were fairly upright bushes. I think maybe because the squashes were small enough that they didn't instantly weigh the stems down? But still, they used up and shaded more than a square foot.

gwennifer -- corn in barrels? That sounds interesting. Pics?

Moved the stuff I was overnighting in the garage back outside. 90 degrees predicted Weds. and Thursday. Holy cow! This is still possible snow season for us. These are some wild swings lately.

I've had the building of a couple of 4x4 tabletops on the back burner for a while now. Maybe I can get that done this week.

Last week I brought the planter I built to the elementary school I'm volunteering at as part of my master gardening hours. Planted four tomatoes in it; it's lookin' good! We'll see, come Wednesday, how they weathered our cold nights this last week. At least they get plenty of sun there.

Happy to see my second planting of peas germinated, and also my toy choi and marvel of four seasons lettuce germinated. I haven't had such great success with greens yet, so I'd love to see if the MO4S lettuce, especially, turns into a reliable crop. We can go from freezing to hot enough to turn lettuce bitter in almost no time, and my spinach hardly ever seems to do anything; my kale did nothing all winter and now it bolted. So I'm hoping I can find at least a few reliable leaf crops. Also experimenting this year with borage and malabar spinach in hopes of finding reliable leaf crops. Chard seedlings look great and germinated very well, but the cold nights slowed them down a bit. Crossing my fingers!

The lamb's lettuce/mache/corn salad is now doing really well, but it took half a year to do it, which is just too long. And now that we've hit 70 degrees, some of it is already starting to bolt.

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  Goosegirl on 4/30/2014, 7:59 am

Marc - thanks for the reminder! I need to get my lettuce seeds in the ground. I am turning the north side of my house into the 'Salad Garden' because it gets only partial sun and stays much cooler than the South Side Sun Garden. If this works, I may just be able to harvest salad greens most of the summer!

GG

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/30/2014, 7:41 pm

That's a great goal, Goosegirl, and I have the same one. I can eat fistfuls of lettuce no problem -- they're hardly anything but water, after all -- and love to eat as many salads as possible in the spring and summer. So good and so good for you! Cliche sure, but true.

Are you planting any particular type of lettuce? Getting all the way through summer with lettuce sounds tricky to me, and like it wouldn't work with most of them. At least not around here.

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  Goosegirl on 4/30/2014, 8:58 pm

I have some Jericho seeds for mid-summer, and the rest of the season I have Frizzy-Haired Drunken Woman, Deer's Tongue, Mesclun Mix, and not sure what else.

GG

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/30/2014, 10:22 pm

Went to the school garden today. Subject: Worms! The kids got to handle them and write down their observations to show their teachers. Fun and hands on. They were all really into it. One classroom has its own worm farm, the children told me, and some of them knew more about worms than I did. Very nice!

The tomato plants I planted there got no water all week, but neither that nor the cold night temps killed them. I count that as a huge success. So far.

The area I usually garden in is mostly at my neighbor's place, which is not well fenced and doesn't have hardware cloth in the bottoms of the raised beds. So greens and cole crops get readily eaten by critters, leaving me with a diminished variety of things I can plant. So today I bought some dragon tongue beans and think I will plant a whole box full of them. The packet says they're almost foolproof (We'll just see about that!), and everyone here on the forum who mentions them loves them.

Gonna hope some of the other leaf crops I intend to plant, malabar spinach and borage, aren't critter favorites.

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  sanderson on 4/30/2014, 11:58 pm

Marc, The worm day sounds refreshingly fun. Dragon tongues and borage. Cat likes the leaves of both of them! Best of luck with the other critters. One of my borage is blooming the most intense purple and there are at least 3 DT beans ready to harvest! DTs are just plain fun.

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/22/2015, 7:35 am

@gwennifer wrote:
@Marc Iverson wrote:...The other day it rained and washed all the ink off my plant tags so now I don't know what a lot of my little seedlings are anymore.  LOL  Sheesh, I thought ink from a sharpie could take a little rain, but I guess not...

...Few days ago I chopped the bottoms off some green onions I bought at the supermarket and stuck them, in small groups, into four-inch (approx.) round pots, and they're growing new tops again very quickly...
I've been saving the bottoms of my green onions for replanting, keeping them in a ziploc bag in the fridge until I get around to it.  I've noticed they are regrowing even where they are in the crisper drawer.   Laughing 

I bought a grease pen from Territorial Seed Co for marking plant tags.  That withstands the rain quite well.
April 22, 2015

A year ago today, the topic was permanent tags and recycled green onions. The solution seemed to be a wash between grease pens and industrial sharpies (check page 3 for a link to industrial sharpies)

Every school day I've been bringing sharp, nutty salads of greenhouse spinach, last year's kale and this season's micro greens with perfect radishes. At first I amused my students with tiny, immature roots. I thought they were cute, they thought I got ripped off. They were sufficiently impressed when I finally brought in a full size radish but had no clue why it would be purple. Today I'll bring a red "sora" radish for each of them. I can hardly get enough! such a treat after a long winter of produce aisle food. Colorful but now that I have home-grown anything, the produce isle is bland! Spoiler alert: the micro-greens are actually thinnings from my salad box.

Debs.... whose craft sticks and fine point black sharpie seems to hold up.

Everett, WA Just when I thought I would need to start watering a few boxes, a soaking rain came. JOY But with the rain comes cooler days. Today's high should be about 57, the low they are guessing at 43. No rain today so if you have to get something done, get-er-done, we have a weeks worth of April showers on the way. Sunrise 6:06, Sunset at 8:09 for 14 hours and 3 minutes of daylight. I'm loven it!

Yep, I saw my error, but I'm blaming it on not having any AM coffee yet.

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/22/2015, 11:47 am

Marc,

I've used laundry markers on my plant label stakes, and they haven't faded.

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/24/2015, 5:40 am

April 23, 2015
About those micro greens aka thinnings

Every day I make a bento for lunch. It is something to look forward to when it is full of living food that adds beauty to my moment. This one, made fresh in the morning, is full of baby kale leaves and buds, fordhook spinach, red spinach, the last of January's mesclun mix and the tiny asian greens mix that I favor in spring. The Johnny jump-ups were just too pretty to leave for the slugs. OH! Toy Box radishes, I'v been eating so many of those for lunch that I almost forgot to mention them. Yum!

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  sanderson on 4/24/2015, 12:02 pm

Pretty! It looks so good that even a fussy child might try it. What is in the little container. PS I had to search for "bento."

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Re: PNW: April 2014

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/24/2015, 9:20 pm

@sanderson wrote:Pretty!  ...snip...  What is in the little container....snip  
Pretty? Thanks, I was going for yummy!

The little container has a balsamic dressing.

Today's bento in a two tier box...

Left-over taco potatoes, banana+blueberry yogurt and micro-greens

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Re: PNW: April 2014

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