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PNW: June 2014

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/15/2014, 6:29 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@Marc Iverson wrote:
Some folks swear the top of the fridge is just as effective as a heat mat.

You know, I read that here, and it sounds like a great idea for a frugal gardener like me, but neither of our fridge tops gets noticeably warm.  When I tried it, unfortunately I didn't see any difference.

I use a drugstore heating pad. You know, the kind you use on your back after you turn your compost pile? The low setting works perfectly and everything germinates before the package says it will.

CC

Hmm, that's interesting. Thanks for the idea!

I'm watering more than I'd like, as most of the soil I'm working with is not MM and summer is coming on. Even though we're in a cool spell, I think the day length might be enough of a signal to the cool-weather crops that the party is over. All my lettuce and chard is bitter, including the Marvel of Four Seasons and the Perpetual Chard. Bah! Got bad leaf miners too, and they're after every leaf, so there's no outgrowing them, I don't think, unless I remove every last leaf, which can't be good for plants only a few inches high. Another part of the garden has a ton of whiteflies.

Strangely enough, my peas have sustained minimal insect damage. It seems usually if I get any pests at all, I get overwhelmed by it and the plants get severely injured, if not killed, and if not that, then I at least lose most of the fruits and other edible parts. Neem must have worked.

Dragon Tongue beans just beginning to sprout in my sprouts jar/contraption. Down at the garden, a whole bunch more sprouted too. I suppose I have about 20 planted out and another dozen in the sprouts jar, and a half-dozen that seem to be refusing to germinate in starter pots. Hope the critters can leave these guys alone, as a lot of my summer isn't turning out too well. Some late blight is apparently still in the soil and coming out plenty early, stunting many of my tomatoes and other crops. Many look just terrible.

Thank goodness for the new bed that another neighbor told me I was welcome to use in his garden. He always gets great soil, has few or no pests, and gets sun in that spot all day. The tomatoes and peppers and basil in there, anyway, should do very well.



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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/16/2014, 12:35 am

Marc sorry to hear about late blight, pests and bitter lettuce...blah!

Its only June and we have powdery Mildew on the back yard squash.....eek!....we have been cutting off the bad leaves, but im starting to think we should start spraying....but its raining......

zucchini has a nice size fruit  Very Happy we picked another gal of strawberries...this make 3 gals so far in the freezer!

potatoes are flowering and falling over.....I want to dig down so bad, but hubby wants to wait until the dry up.....we shall see who wins on this one..... Razz 

early planting of tomatoes are hanging in there....a few even have green fruits.....the 3 cuttings we took and rooted are looking sad in the green house since we planted them yesterday.....one cutting is doing well that we planted last week and is resting next to our plum tree out back as it didn't like the hot sun at first....as soon as the weather warms up we will find it a good place in the sun......

our Kandy sweet corn and painted mountain corn is all looking great and have recovered well from that bit of wind we had.......

cabbage is forming heads, we have a few broccoli that the rat didn't get that look as though they too are forming heads, cauliflower too  Very Happy 

celery are starting to grow stalks, been harvesting some green onions, have some lettuce and kale that is ready to eat....hoping its not bitter

had our first taste of ripe raspberries of the year and boy are they sweet!!....there is a ton of fruit on them this year  Shocked so exciting!

grape vines looking good too with loads of small little bunches of grapes growing.....they are so cute!

our herb bed is hanging in there....haven't added any more to it....

harvested a gal or so of sugar snap peas, and they are still going....

green, and soup beans are moving up the trellis and the yellow wax beans are coming up....they seem to be getting eaten by something....most likely slugs....eerr...hoping a few will survive.....

cucumbers are doing well so far this year....very happy about it, as the last 2 years we hardly got any cucumbers.....

took a peak under the soil in the green house to check to see what the carrots were doing and it seems they are starting to fill out...and look to be orange  Very Happy its hard to wait on carrots to pull as well.....I want to pull some up...but they still look to be the size of a pencil and we want bigger carrots then that....LOL

well that's the update on our familygardens.....I want to hear more about other PNW gardens here in our neck of the woods......anyone starting fall crops yet?...thinking about starting our fall cole crops next week and direct sowing some leeks and green onions.....

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/16/2014, 2:25 am

You've got a lot of action going on there, Rose, and are growing a ton of stuff. Good luck on your cucumbers -- it's so nice to have a better year with a crop than you had just the year before. I'm hoping for the same with my cukes too.

I'm strongly thinking about fall, since I've had so many failures to germinate that it's closing in on too late to sprout some summer seeds.

I'm going to let some of each type of my onions go to seed and self-sow, I think. Many did not form bulbs, but I'd like to keep at growing onions until I get good at them. They're such an important staple in my cooking -- the most common ingredient I use, probably.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/16/2014, 6:04 pm

Marc..... onion, leeks and garlic are staples for our cooking as well  Very Happy they are the veggies that we can count on all year long.....I love being able to have something fresh to put in our meals  Laughing

Im a bit nervous, as the bulb onions & leeks we planted this spring are not looking as good as I would like them too....the green onions have done great though......with patients and time the others should improve, I keep telling my self that even the sad looking ones recover over time....we have been cleaning up an area to plant more leeks for the fall....and.....we have empty containers that I think we should sow seeds in there too....I hate having empty squares, pots and containers  Shocked 

we also need to plant more kale.....I have been waiting for our huge plant out front as we let it go to seed and we really want to replant those, as that plant did so well  Laughing 

its crazy that its only June and the beginning of our summer and Im stressing already about fall crops..... Razz 

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/17/2014, 2:01 am

Yeah, weird, huh? Very Happy

Went digging through the front yard, general maintenance and uprooting/chopping duty in our effort to simplify our front yard down from its overwhelming "jungle aesthetic" where nothing is a highlight because absolutely everything is. Way too much maintenance on all that too, so I'm happy to get to simplifying. Anyway, turned up lots of nice fat worms which I brought back to the area in the back yard, up behind the retaining wall, where I've dug a hole and keep putting our kitchen scraps and bits of newspaper into, to see if I can get that area rehabilitated from being all decomposed granite to something worth having and growing in. Nice to have all those new workers on the job!

It was a cool day, so I didn't water anything but a few seedlings today. I want my plants to send out roots nice and deep rather than being so shallow-rooted that any hot day, or any day I miss watering, puts them in peril for their very lives.

We got a new 8-week-old puppy on Saturday, and luckily she was around in the front yard to supervise me. She also did some very helpful napping and bit my ear whenever she felt it was necessary. Sometimes it hurt like heck, but I defer to her judgment on these matters.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/19/2014, 6:03 am

Smile Marc how fun a new puppy!

sort of talked hubby into taking a peak at some of the potatoes and oh my do we have taters!!....just in a very small area we dug up 12lbs worth  Shocked that's about how much we planted....cant wait to dig up more!...if this continues we may end up with a 100 pounds of tatters....oh my

we also harvested a small cabbage head and a few carrots that seem to be growing well in the green house.....we keep saying from now on we are growing our carrots in the green house.... Razz 

was able to transplant more leek seedlings and sow more green onions....

the tomatoes are really starting to come on.....ya!....not sure when to harvest the Indigo rose??

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/19/2014, 3:26 pm

Hope those home-grown taters are as good as everyone says they are. Hard for me to picture a potato being all that good, but so many people swear by home-grown that I must really be missing something.

Went to a class on pollinators yesterday. Interesting stuff, but once again I failed to share the love for some of the moths I knew were destructive in the garden. Just can't get into loving what starts off as a horn worm or cabbage worm, sorry. Interestingly, she said Russian sage was tested to be one of the two plants that attracted the widest variety of pollinators, from bees to butterflies to moths. I saw some at a nursery, and it was a pretty plant with purple flowers whose leaves gave a wonderful smell when rubbed. I think I'll get some, sometime.

Met a lady the other day who offered me one of her dormant mason bee ... umm, not hives ... nesting boxes I guess they'd be called? Cool; they could help out a bit I'm sure, and even if they don't spend much time helping me, it's great just to be able to help them survive, if I can. I'm thinking of simply drilling some of our own logs to create bee homes, too. We have plenty, and it doesn't sound too complicated. Fixing them into a structure would, but I think I might be able to get away with not doing that. The pollination lecturer said that mason bees prefer homes in the sun, and I could also just go behind our property and drill a buncha holes in fallen logs and branches.

Dragon tongue bean sprouts coming up nicely. They sprout quite slowly compared to mung beans, but sprouting they are. The malabar spinach, which I had pinned a lot of hope on this season for summer greens, is still barely responsive, I'm almost out of seed, and the packets are sold out in our town. Ugh. However, lettuce sprinkled over a tray of vermiculite has sprouted nicely. Hope it doesn't get bitter or bolt in our 100 degree summers.

I've had such poor germination with various plants that I think I'm going to grow an awful lot of beans this year, as they grow quickly and won't need the full length of the season to give a good crop. So I bought a couple more packets of bush bean seeds from Territorial. "Speedy" is a 50-day and Royal Burgundy is a 60-day bean. Love the idea of having a purple bean, and doubt I would ever cook it, as I'd rather not see it turn back to green and look ordinary. They must be so easy to spot amid leaves, too!


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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/28/2014, 2:14 am

is this the year of berries or what?...has anyone else noticed that?

we have strawberries and raspberries that keep on giving, and giving, and giving to the point no one wants to go and harvest more  Shocked eek!!...blueberries are up next!

it was a cooler and wetter day today out in the family gardens....only took a quick peek to make sure everything looked ok..... Very Happy 

kind of funny.....I really have been ignoring our tomato plants....only giving them some trims here and there....but no compost tea, no babying them....and you know....they are doing really well....im a bit surprised  Razz they all have fruit on them....some curling of leaves that IM starting to think could just be from wind because the new top growth looks great  Very Happy 

we have just about finished off eating and enjoying the 12 pounds of taters we harvested and most of the plants out in the garden are starting to laydown.....time to harvest more! ......and YES marc home grown taters are way better then store bought and so worth the space in the garden and they really are easy to grow and we haven't had any pest with them either....just plant and wait to harvest is all they need!

beans have all reached the tops of the trellis and are starting to flower...

sugar snap peas are going to get one more harvest and they are coming out and replanting with a bush type for a fall harvest as soon as the weather is better....

so happy to report this has been a great year for spinach!!....we just harvested a large bowel a few days ago from the north side of the house that we planted in the repurposed dog kennel.....the replanting of lettuce is showing up too  Very Happy so thrilled to learn that we can grow in this much shaded area!!

still waiting for the rest of the cole crops to get big enough to harvest so we can replant.....

the rest of the plants in the gardens are all looking good....corn, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, herbs, celery, green onions, (carrots in pots) lettuce, sunflowers, (peppers small but giving fruit & lots of flowers) artichokes, (watermelon slowly) and a new cantaloupe that went into the extra three sisters bed...

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/28/2014, 2:55 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:is this the year of berries or what?...has anyone else noticed that?

Not me, but it's my first year growing strawberries, they're of indecipherable origin, and I'm growing them in the neighbor's poor soil.

we have strawberries and raspberries that keep on giving, and giving, and giving to the point no one wants to go and harvest more

I have lost all respect for the possibility that you might not be insane. Too many berries???!?!?!!!? Not possible! And who is this no one you speak of? He's nuts too!


sugar snap peas are going to get one more harvest and they are coming out and replanting with a bush type for a fall harvest as soon as the weather is better....

What triggers that decision for you? Mine are still producing, but some more slowly and some slower still. I love them so much I'm reluctant to pull them, but want to maximize my space productivity if I can.

And in relation to that, you find planting peas in July works for you? I've seen that recommended elsewhere, but I'm kinda scared of doing that, what with their being a cool weather crop and our days of July and August 100-degree days still to come ... it's my first year (successfully) growing peas ... was thinking of planting bush beans in their place, but I like peas much much better ...

so happy to report this has been a great year for spinach!!....we just harvested a large bowel a few days ago

ewwww, gross!

from the north side of the house that we planted in the repurposed dog kennel

GMTA. That's where I'm growing almost everything I can in my small garden at home, too! (one of the four places I grow) I like it! The gate keeps the dogs out of it and the chain link fencing all around, and the metal support bars overhead, makes for easy trellising possiblities, and it's so easy to keep clean.

the rest of the plants in the gardens are all looking good....corn, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, herbs, celery, green onions, (carrots in pots) lettuce, sunflowers, (peppers small but giving fruit & lots of flowers) artichokes, (watermelon slowly) and a new cantaloupe that went into the extra three sisters bed...

Glad everything is going so well for you. The peppers I have that are in in decent soil are growing well and fruiting too, but are still small, as I put them in only recently. We've had really strong winds here coming almost randomly in the last two weeks, so I had to stake mine in the hopes that would keep them from being broken or bent way over by the wind. Am about to go check on them now.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/28/2014, 3:45 pm

lol!  BOWL....BOWL.....BOWL....of spinach!
thanks for pointing that out marc!....that's what happens when I count on auto spelling..... rock on 

the dog kennel, is a large old tote that I repurposed to grow in.....



the spinach vines are fading to a light color and there is no sign of any more flowering......

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/28/2014, 6:11 pm

NEVER rely upon spell-check!  It's almost always wrong.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/28/2014, 10:08 pm

Did lots of work out there today. Single-strung my bucketed tomatoes and tomatillos. Wow are the bucket tomatillos doing fantastic, even better than last year. I guess that's because this year they aren't in mediocre soil, but in MM. They are producing multiple very strong branches and lots of fruit, but getting ready to fall out of the buckets without strong support. I used clothesline on the main stem and on one or two huge side branches.

Also transplanted lots of patty pan squashes and bush beans that I sprouted in my sprouting container, some out back on the hill in the wild, and some in a neighbor's garden plot. More than a dozen patty pans and about a dozen bush beans.

The rest of the bush beans direct sown in waves a few days apart have all germinated and are growing nicely, but not explosively. We're due for 90 degrees on Monday and 101 on Tuesday, though (!!!) so a real summer is upon us, with no more nights in the 40's, and I expect good growth soon out of most of my crops.

And, miracle of miracles, some of my malabar spinach finally germinated, after all this time. I sure hope nothing goes wrong. One of them is big enough to transplant into a three-gallon bucket tomorrow.

About a half dozen tomatoes still to transplant tomorrow. Lots of MM to mix. All told, and not counting three failures I'm going to pull, I have 17 tomatoes planted now, and that will take me into the low 20's.

It was so hot I was shirtless all day, and now I can feel the sunburn on my winter-white skin.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/28/2014, 10:10 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:lol!  BOWL....BOWL.....BOWL....of spinach!
thanks for pointing that out marc!....that's what happens when I count on auto spelling..... rock on 

It had never even occurred to me to plant them there. Some people are so creative!

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  sanderson on 6/29/2014, 1:38 am

Marc, I'm happy for everyone who has tomatoes.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/29/2014, 2:05 am

@FamilyGardening wrote:lol!  BOWL....BOWL.....BOWL....of spinach!
thanks for pointing that out marc!....that's what happens when I count on auto spelling..... rock on 

the dog kennel, is a large old tote that I repurposed to grow in.....



the spinach sugar snap pea vines are fading to a light color and there is no sign of any more flowering......

happy gardening
rose

what a day of misspelling eek!  Embarassed 

the above was suppose to say our *sugar snap peas* are fading and showing now sign of flowering....so its time to pull them out and replant....

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/29/2014, 4:27 pm

Wow, the weather forecast for the next 10 days has been increasing by a few degrees a day until now all of it is in the 90's, and this Tuesday is at 102. No fruit set under those conditions. Sad

I'm tired from yesterday and don't really feel like gardening today. Razz

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/30/2014, 1:59 am

I went out and did some gardening anyway. Planted two malabar spinach in frosting buckets and another tomato in a 5-gallon. Watered and maintained a buncha stuff.

Visited my neighbor. His two-year-old lavender plants are doing spectacularly well, and he has several large clumps of them planted with just a little walking space between them. The bees on them were amazing! Looking from one bush to the other behind it and behind that, there were bees bees bees on every flower. Pretty darn glorious.

I had some walnuts that had gone a little stale, and I offered them to him for his chickens or horses. The chickens didn't know what to do at first, but they pecked gamely. The walnut halves were just too big to swallow, though, and puzzled them. Some gave up. Then one or two pecked them apart and ate the pieces. They seemed to like them! I'm sure the rest will learn. I wonder if walnuts are good for them? They're high in proteins and very good fats.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/30/2014, 8:03 pm

98 degrees. The flowers are starting to drop off the tomatillos and tomatoes.

103 tomorrow and 59 at night, a 44 degree difference. The plants must find those temperature shifts very hard to cope with. I think this probably means my peas are gonna poop out completely.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

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