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Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

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Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Turan on 4/23/2014, 11:28 am

Any of my zones fellow gardeners coming out of hibernation yet?

I have some daffodils blooming against the protected house wall. The garlic has sprouted through its mulch layer. Rhubarb is up. No sign of asparagus yet, still hoping it survived.
Easter weekend I spent digging and fluffing and planting. I moved the strawberries to border what I hope is the asparagus bed. If the asparagus failed it will be a fine strawberry bed.
I planted 3 types of peas~ snow peas and tall sugar snaps and short sugar snaps (Anna, I think). The two sugar snaps were planted together. And I planted raab and radishes and cilantro (just in case none self seeded, HAH) and 3 types of carrots. I covered the carrots with weed cloth as a warmer and protector.
SO on Monday I went to check the garden before going to work and found that some one-who-is-returning-this-weekend-with-flowers had left the gate open. The sheep mowed all the tulip buds, scilla, crocus, green onions, strawberries, etc. The chickens dug up the peas. I was a bit distraught.

Next up is to make the second bed in the greenhouse so the tomatoes have some place to rotate too this year!

How is YOUR garden doing?

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Western Mountain and Highplains, Spring is here

Post  Boz on 4/23/2014, 1:13 pm

I have planted onions, shallots and kale plants, radish, carrots, beet, and pea seeds. The peas and radish have sprouted. Two tomatoes in Wall of Water, 7 tomatoes in buckets. The buckets will come into the garage if the weather turns bad. Lettuce, spinach and peppers are in mixing tubs awaiting transplant.
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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Turan on 4/23/2014, 1:16 pm

cheers 
Sounds like salad is a coming!

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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/23/2014, 9:36 pm

Turan - the babies in your avatar are really cute!
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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/23/2014, 9:43 pm

@Boz wrote:I have planted onions, shallots and kale plants, radish, carrots, beet, and pea seeds. The peas and radish have sprouted. Two tomatoes in Wall of Water, 7 tomatoes in buckets. The buckets will come into the garage if the weather turns bad. Lettuce, spinach and peppers are in mixing tubs awaiting transplant.

Let us know how the Wall O'Waters work out. Those seem like a great idea, if a little pricey per plant.
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Western Mountain and Highplains, Spring is here

Post  Boz on 4/23/2014, 11:01 pm

I have used the Wall of Water before. These are probably ten years old, not used every year. They work pretty well but the plants can get leggy, from lack of sun and when the the WOW is removed the plant must be reacclimated to the sun. I intend using the internet weather channel to determine when they need to be used. Hopefully not having them on all the time will make them work even better.
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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Turan on 4/23/2014, 11:58 pm

I find wall o waters essential, even in a greenhouse. They work very well. The first stage when first transplanted is to pull the top closed like a tipi. Then as they grow and the weather calms down the top is opened to let in more light. If a cold snap hits I stuff a bit of sheet in the top. My tomatoes have survived with out trouble cold snaps into the low 20s in the spring with them. Eventually I pull them off the plants and just use them in the corners of the greenhouse to help hold the heat. Some of mine are at least 10 years old.

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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Turan on 4/24/2014, 12:52 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Turan - the babies in your avatar are really cute!

Thanks. THey are full of bounce right now and playing king of the hill all the time. I thought this picture with them running through mud was especially apt.

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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/24/2014, 1:59 am

@Turan wrote:My tomatoes have survived with out trouble cold snaps into the low 20s in the spring with them.

Wow now that is one heck of a ringing endorsement! I guess I'm sold on the idea now for sure. Thanks for the feedback on what a difference they make.

Re using them with tomatoes, I figure that's one of the plants in which legginess can be easily corrected by burying them deeper. I was thinking the WOW's would be good on a one-gallon plant till it's time to plant out into the raised bed. Sound reasonable? That's as big as I get before putting them in the soil directly.
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re: western mountains and highplains, SPRING is here

Post  Boz on 4/24/2014, 8:51 am

I use the WOW on the plants after they are planted. Those in pots and buckets I move into my garage when the weather threatens.
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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Turan on 4/24/2014, 11:42 am

I also have only used them on plants in the ground.

They protect the plant within them until the water freezes (which will also break the WoW tubes). SO they are helping with cold snaps, not prolonged deep cold.

You can improvize WoW with plastic milk jugs filled with water and good row covering. Any thing to give a temperature fly wheel right next to the plant and some way to contain that heat near the plant.

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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Kelejan on 4/24/2014, 12:04 pm

Turan: so sorry to hear of that person who left the gate open and allowed your work to be destroyed.  Perhaps you could have a gate that swings and clicks shut?

I thought I was in the PNW for a long time but  now realise I really belong to the Western Mountains and High Plains.  The PNW to me included British Columbia but I am too far inland and better under the WM&HP umbrella.

My garlic, shallots and strawberries are poking through the mulch and looking good. Radishes, the first seeds I plant each year, are just showing through the chips. Seeds planted included snow peas, several beans, Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, etc.  Seedling toms and a couple of peppers are waiting for the right time. I would have to look on my charts to see what else I have done.

I am doing a few more flowers this year as I am starting Back to Eden and Hugelkulture style gardening due to having my large birch trees felled as they were dead and dying and dangerous. I did not want the wood carted away (saved myself $600) soI  am incorpating it into my land.

Have planted four blueberry bushes (four different) as I so enjoyed the ones I purchased from the Farmers' Market last year.  I will be buying transplant veggies as I have only limited capacity for indoor seed starting. That's next on my wish list for the end of this year, an indoor seed planting station, a proper one, not just an AreoGarden that I have had for a couple of years when I wanted some living green stuff for our long winter.
My indoor seeds are getting leggy and it seems to be forever before they can go outside.

Interesting to hear how others are progressing.
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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Turan on 5/5/2014, 12:55 pm

Kelejan, I think the regions are a bit squishy any ways, but welcome to the inland  Laughing   You sure have been doing massive work in your yard this spring.  I moved one bed and that was enough for me.

I used to use a spring on that gate but the sheep and chickens figured out how to slide in any ways.  So now it is kept tied shut top and bottom so they can not slide in on the bottom etc.  It is just a piece of cattle panel.  Some day maybe I will have a fancy gate set in an arch covered with clematis.......

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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/5/2014, 2:11 pm

How fun Turan to have farm animals.  That must be so fun!

All of my beds are 4'x6'.  On April 3 I planted peas, different types of lettuce, spinach, carrots, green onions, cabbage, two different types of radishes, beets and dill.  Almost everything in doing well.  The carrots and green onions took the longest to sprout.  Some of my carrots are finally getting their second leaves.

On April 7 I bought 20 broccoli seedlings and planted those in another bed. I bought four more to finish filling the bed and also bought some lettuce starts since I couldn't resist! I planted the lettuce in the same bed in-between the broccoli since there was room. The broccoli will shade the lettuce as I cut off leaves to use and let it keep growing.

About April 20 I bought a flat of strawberries and three of my grandkids helped plant them, which filled the middle 8 squares of another bed. It is so nice to have the grandkids to be so eager to learn, get excited with me and of course to help! I planted spinach a few days later and then some peas in that bed. Eventually I want the strawberries to fill in the entire bed permanently.

I bought 8 tomato plants.  Several had two plants per pot and one had three in that pot.  I separated them so there was only one per pot and now have four extra tomato plants.  The roots were quite entwined and I had to cut some of the root bunch to separate them, but every plant survived.
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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Turan on 5/5/2014, 2:23 pm

Today when I checked the peas and radishes are up but no sign pf carrots. 
This weekend we moved the U shaped bed from what had been a hoop house.  O my the quake grass we got dug out from right under the board edges!  It is now ready for broccoli and potatoes to be planted in a couple weeks.  Or earlier if I break down and buy plants.  It is supposed to snow tomorrow though so I might be patient in letting the plants on the window sill mature (they have 2 baby leaves right now, I was late in seeding them).

Next up is to get that second bed built in the greenhouse.  The spinach is up I planted in the first bed where tomatoes were last year.  With the tomatos on the window sill constantly needing hteir light raised I can see that the greenhouse bed needs high priority.

     

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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/5/2014, 2:33 pm

Hopefully this will be your last chance of frost!  We have a 20% chance of rain tomorrow.
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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Turan on 5/5/2014, 3:19 pm

Tricia, that rain will be nice.   Very Happy   We have a month yet till no frost here, but the snows are very wet now and the peas and radishes love it.
I don't have grandkids yet to help in the garden but one of my sons is showing a lot of interest now, which is very pleasing to me.

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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Kelejan on 5/5/2014, 9:09 pm

Three days ago we had summer. 26C.  Far too hot for me, I am a cool weather type of person.  After that one day the temperture dropped 10 degrees down to 16C and it felt downright chilly again. Then followed two days of intermittent heavy rain.
My radishes are showing: I overplanted them where the carrots are as the carrots are slow to start.  Snow peas are just poking through, along with the sweet peas (flowers). Garlic, shallots and strawberries have survived the winter and look really good.  This year I did some seed starts for the first time and have a few tomatoes, a couple of peppers, and marigolds.
I gave the lawn its first light mowing and I expect that after these two days of rain it will really start to grow and we get into the routine of at least two cuts per week until the middle of June. Thats one of the reasons I am going in for woodchips, to cut down on the lawn mowing and to increase the health of my soil. 
Today I ordered a supply of "EcoVie", a mineral supplement to bring back the health of the soil with microbes and all that sort of thing. The pictures showing the progress made are very convincing. The firm is Eco Organics, www.ecoorganics.com   I will probably do some comparison planting and will report my progress.
I planted some milkweed seeds to supply food for bees, and I will be building a home for mason bees when I find my drill; I have a suitable piece of wood ready.
The clouds have finally allowed the sun to  shine and I am off to see if anything else new is poking above ground. I am expecting lettuce, and beans etc.
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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  yolos on 5/5/2014, 9:47 pm

@Turan wrote:Tricia, that rain will be nice.   Very Happy   We have a month yet till no frost here, but the snows are very wet now and the peas and radishes love it.

I have a question about growing garden shell peas that maybe you cool weather folks will be able to answer.  I planted my peas on 3/2/14 which is about 6 weeks before my last frost date.  They started blooming about a week ago but they are not setting on yet.  All this week the high temps will be in the high 80's F.  I don't know if they will continue to produce in this heat.  So my question is, could I plant them earlier in the spring so they will be ready to harvest before the heat sets in.  How cold can it get and have them survive without having to cover and uncover them all the time????
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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Turan on 5/5/2014, 11:44 pm

Yolo, I would use as parameters; soil temperature, last frost date and the days until maturity.  Peas can sprout at 40*F if not too wet or too dry.  You want them to start flowering near last frost date.  Most peas mature in roughly 60 days so I plant about 8-10 weeks before last frost.  I can not recall ever covering pea plants or them having frost damage until fall hard freezes.  I can not recall how well the flowers handle frost, probably do ok with light frost.

I hope that helps.....

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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  yolos on 5/6/2014, 1:11 pm

Thank you Turan, that helps a lot.  I will try to plant them 2 to 4 weeks earlier than I planted them this year.  If the ground is too cold, I can always sprout them indoors and transplant outside.  I did buy a few sugar snap pea transplants this year and planted them at the same time that I direct sowed my shelling peas and I have been harvesting the sugar snap peas for at least the last 2 - 3 weeks.
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Missed the boat...

Post  Windmere on 5/6/2014, 3:51 pm

@yolos wrote:Thank you Turan, that helps a lot.  I will try to plant them 2 to 4 weeks earlier than I planted them this year.  If the ground is too cold, I can always sprout them indoors and transplant outside.  I did buy a few sugar snap pea transplants this year and planted them at the same time that I direct sowed my shelling peas and I have been harvesting the sugar snap peas for at least the last 2 - 3 weeks.
Based on this, it is too late to plant my Kentucky Wonder Bush beans seeds?   Drat if that is the case!
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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  yolos on 5/6/2014, 4:31 pm

No Windmere, the Kentucky Wonders are a warm weather bean.  I have specifically been talking about a cool weather sweet pea (shelling) and sugar snap pea.  There are many types of peas and beans that are warm weather crops also - pink eye purple hull, black eye peas, pinto beans, edamame, etc.
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Yay

Post  Windmere on 5/6/2014, 4:33 pm

@yolos wrote:No Windmere, the Kentucky Wonders are a warm weather bean.  I have specifically been talking about a cool weather sweet pea (shelling) and sugar snap pea.  There are many types of peas and beans that are warm weather crops also - pink eye purple hull, black eye peas, pinto beans, edamame, etc.
Thanks very much for that info yolos.  I was hoping for that since it is called "Kentucky" after all.  My daughter will be very happy (she loves to eat them raw... as does the rest of the family).
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Re: Western mountains and highplains, SPRING is HERE! 2014

Post  Turan on 5/31/2014, 4:51 pm

Been meaning to post a picture of my greenhouse with the tomatoes and wall o waters.  Because the greenhouse is pretty protective its self I only put the WoW between plants (and I have more tomatoes then WoW)  I did put a pepper and a cuke inside for extra protection.  This picture is from 2 weeks ago.  I now need to get the soaker hose in there and cover with mulch and that means empty the WoWs.


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