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PNW: 2015 June

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  boffer on 6/22/2015, 10:10 pm

Hi Rose, we've been wondering how you are doing.  Are you pre-op or post-op?

The last time we had a summer like this, I hadn't yet tried fall planting so I don't have any experience with this hot weather either.  The only thing I know for certain is that if I don't plant anything, I won't be harvesting anything! Rolling Eyes  

So, I decided to take the shotgun approach.  Every couple days I plant a box with most everything that I would plant in the spring.  The only thing I'm not planting right now is spinach and carrots.  In a normal year, it's too late for me to get decent size carrots by winter, but this year, who knows.  I might plant some more beans and cukes just for the heck of it.

I'm going to try two things for my cool crops.  I don't seem to have a problem when our highs are in the eighties, but I'm leery about the days ahead in the nineties.   I picked up a large roll of thin synthetic cloth at a garage sale that I'll use as shade cover for my cool crops.  From a distance, the boxes look like they're covered with white bed sheets.  

I've read several places online, anecdotally, that cool crops are affected more by soil temps than air temps, and that has been my experience too.  When I'm home on the real hot days, I water my MM later in the afternoon to cool it down.  For me, it seems to help.

I'm sure a heavy mulch would help too, but I'm just not prepared to mulch that many boxes.

Fall planting is iffy in a normal year; this year it's a real crap shoot!   Razz

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/23/2015, 12:23 am

Predictions keep going up ... now we're supposedly going to get to 109 by Saturday. Ugh!

I planted a few scarlet runner beans this year. The bugs really like those leaves. Better than any of my other bean types.

Had my first banana peppers yesterday. Some were only half-yellow; I picked those ones early because they were on my half-wilted new plants and I wanted the plant to put energy elsewhere than into one Hail Mary play on a single fruit.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/23/2015, 12:46 am

Marc we have small Banana peppers already too! so early for them! sounds like you are still getting high temps too! hang in there Very Happy

Boffer.....Im still pre-op.....ugg!....Im ready to get this over with already!...I have cervical spine stenosis Sad...3 disc's that are touching my spinal cord....*ouch*...Im terrified of the surgery Shocked I was suppose to have the surgery last Friday...but need one more test done..... Rolling Eyes

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  sanderson on 6/23/2015, 3:21 am

@FamilyGardening wrote:I have cervical spine stenosis Sad...3 disc's that are touching my spinal cord....*ouch*
Ouch indeed! Please let us know when you go in for surgery.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/23/2015, 11:10 am

Hey, Rose!

I supposedly have a similar, but much less severe problem in my back.

A former chiropractor, who had to have back surgery (!), once told me that it's best to have a neurosurgeon perform such procedures.  Just a thought.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/23/2015, 1:05 pm

Crud, you guys. I hope your heat wave isn't a prediction of what's to come on the east coast. Shocked
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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  boffer on 6/23/2015, 5:05 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:...And those temps boffer showed...is a 40 diff between night and day a norm?  wow!

CC

Yep

On a hot day in a typical summer, through the end of July  the highs will be in the eighties and lows in the forties.  

That's why a summer greenhouse is so helpful for my tomatoes, and planting a long season corn is never a sure bet.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/23/2015, 5:25 pm

The story that I think sanderson linked to showed a cooling trend over the same period for the east coast.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/23/2015, 5:52 pm

Once our West Coast heat wave ends, mostly likely the associated high will meander eastward,  although the jet stream might take a loop northward along the way and spare some areas.

Here in Central Oregon, we frequently see temperature swings of more than 50F!

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  sanderson on 6/24/2015, 2:56 am

@Marc Iverson wrote:The story that I think sanderson linked to showed a cooling trend over the same period for the east coast.

Yes.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/24/2015, 12:00 pm

Generally, when it's hot on the West Coast, it's cooler on the East Coast, and vice-versa.  I believe this pattern is caused by the meanderings of the jet stream.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/25/2015, 2:10 am

Ever misplace your seeds? I couldn't find some scarlet runner beans I harvested for seed from the school garden last year, so bought a new packet and planted some of those ... and of course immediately found the ones I had misplaced.

Much cooler today than had been predicted. Only in the high 80's. Saturday still threatens nasty temps, though ...

Transplants are recovering from the recent heat blast a little bit more every day. Some of the lobellia look perky! Hope they get their act together before the weekend comes and starts whompin' on 'em.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/25/2015, 2:29 am

@boffer wrote:I think I'm done planting summer crops, unless I can find some space for a few more beans.  Today, I prepped some empty squares for fall crops.  In a week or two, it will already be time to start planting for fall!

I've been looking through the TSC fall catalog, and thinking about trying some new varieties  that will over winter and begin growing in early spring next year.  So far, I've chosen Purple Sprouting broccoli and January King cabbage.

Any other suggestions?

Well, speaking of beans and overwintering at the same time ... do you like fava beans? Great overwintering crop, and will give you a ton of extra greenery for the compost pile. A successful crop yields a big return on the space.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/25/2015, 2:36 pm

Ugh saw my first cucumber beetles today. They are going to town on my lovely bean leaves and as usual carrying bacterial wilt with them. It completely devastates cucumbers, and it makes what's left of my bean leaves crumple and gnarl up and grow into deformed shapes.

I've never been able to keep ahead of the cucumber beetle, and it usually has several waves of reproduction and attack throughout the summer and fall. It looks like it may already be too much for some of my barely-established bean plants out back. And I've got spider mites and flea beetles and usually get whiteflies too, so it isn't the only thing I have to worry about. I just hope the majority of my plants can survive long enough to have normal lifespans and decent crop yields.

Thank goodness for redundancy. By usually planting more than I need of a certain crop, I'm likely to be able to harvest at least a little something even if things go pretty sour. But sometimes it has to be ... vastly more!

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  boffer on 6/25/2015, 3:35 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:.. do you like fava beans? ..

I've been following discussions about them, but still haven't gotten around to trying them.

Re: flea beetles and spider mites, it's interesting how they will gang up on a plant or two and leave the rest alone. I figure that planting a few extra plants is easy pest management!

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  boffer on 6/26/2015, 2:05 am

Well shoot...

Just as I was sitting down to tell about a record day in the garden, I realized it was pretty warm in here...my A/C died.  Sad Sad Sad   It's been so long since most of the windows were open, they were a battle to get open.  grrrrrr  Anybody want to place bets how long the waiting list for service will be when I call tomorrow?!  

I ate my first red tomatoes of the season today.  I've never had toms this early.  They were cherry tomatoes; this is the first time I've tried growing them.  They're not my favorite, but anything beats store bought.

For the first time ever, I have enough snow peas to freeze some.  Every year I kept increasing the number of peas I plant, but never had a surplus.  I was beginning to wonder if it was even possible to grow a surplus!  I think I ended up planting about 250 peas.  The first two plantings are petering out, but the later plantings are coming on strong at the finish, despite the heat.

Is blanching/freezing the best way to store peas?

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  sanderson on 6/26/2015, 3:27 am

Dang, no bets here. I'm guessing a week just to see what part needs replacing. Just checked your weather and it looks just tolerable, especially with the cool nights for sleeping.

I blanched the spring crop of snow peas with 1 min times and I think they turned out good. Still bright green and tasty.

I also had a tailed tool failure today. The clothes dryer heating unit went out. Thank goodness we had an old pair of Cal Kings for the bed tonight. I braved the heat today and made a trip to Joann's for 10 yards of 110" white 100% cotton muslin to make 2 shade sails for the open hottest area of the garden. I was going to wash and preshrink before hemming. Well, I can still wash but I will have to drive 4 miles to a laundromat for hot drying. Not many laundromats left any more. None in the newer area where I live.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  boffer on 6/26/2015, 12:01 pm

Somebody will be here after lunch!  I expected it to be days. Thank goodness gambling is one bad habit I've never had.

Small world though.  The first service company in the phone book that I called is being run by the guy who installed my A/C 10 years ago.  When he lost his business in his divorce, I lost track of him.  He did right by me 10 years ago, so my fingers are crossed that I'll be sleeping in a cool bed tonight!

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  sanderson on 6/26/2015, 1:21 pm

Here's hoping.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/26/2015, 2:07 pm

@boffer wrote:
Re: flea beetles and spider mites, it's interesting how they will gang up on a plant or two and leave the rest alone. I figure that planting a few extra plants is easy pest management!

I'm still on the fence about that. Am I saving plants by planting other plants that attract pests? Or am I just nurturing more pests and keeping their eggs nice and close?

Last year the dino kale attracted almost all of the aphids, leaving my winter kale almost completely alone. This year I wonder if I'd make things better or worse by planting dino kale again.

And on the temperature front: temps at 108 today supposedly. *sigh* Half of my most recent pepper transplants don't look so good, and I wonder if this latest blast will finish them off or just stunt them for good.

On the positive front, last year I made a self-watering bucket and put a tomato in it that didn't do anything to speak of. It grew okay-ish but had very little production. This year I put a brandywine in there and it is doing the best of all my tomatoes, including ones in a big, deep, rich bed. Encourages me to make more like that.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/26/2015, 2:15 pm

@boffer wrote:

I ate my first red tomatoes of the season today.  I've never had toms this early.  They were cherry tomatoes; this is the first time I've tried growing them.  They're not my favorite, but anything beats store bought.

It always surprises me when some people don't like cherry tomatoes, but I'd guess many have just not found the right kind of cherry tomato yet. And tomatoes taste so dramatically different depending on the soil they're grown in. I hope you keep at it until you find one or two that you like -- there are so so many!!! -- because cherries are so incredibly easy to grow and productive. When every other tomato plant doesn't live up to expectations or can't outrace bugs and disease, the cherries will keep on going ... And good ones are so great and refreshing to eat while out doing gardening chores.


For the first time ever, I have enough snow peas to freeze some.  Every year I kept increasing the number of peas I plant, but never had a surplus.  I was beginning to wonder if it was even possible to grow a surplus!  I think I ended up planting about 250 peas.  The first two plantings are petering out, but the later plantings are coming on strong at the finish, despite the heat.

Grats on having the good sense to plant so many! They really are fantastic, and if there ever becomes such a thing as too many fresh snow peas to eat, the neighbors would be thrilled to have them. Plus if you want to save seed, it can take quite a few pods to get enough seeds to cover a substantial area and account for bird-thievery and uneven germination.

Glad you're having them do well in the heat. Mine did too, last year, to my great surprise. They're tougher and more productive than I'd read they were, once well-established anyway.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  boffer on 6/26/2015, 2:55 pm

You're right that I should try more varieties of cherry tomatoes.  I didn't know they would come in so soon ahead of my favorite slicers.  That's a plus.  

I'll have to look for a variety that is sweeter than what I'm used to in a cherry.

Last but not least, I swear that every time I eat one, it squirts down the front of the white shirt I'm wearing!  Razz  (It has happened several times.)

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/26/2015, 2:56 pm

Sounds like my luck with ties. They last about a week with me; something always snags them and pulls a thread. They need to sell ones made out of canvas.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  boffer on 6/26/2015, 2:59 pm

Do you have what it takes to pull off wearing a bow tie? Some guys do, and some don't. I'm in the latter.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/26/2015, 10:03 pm

I'm not sure I want to be one of the guys who can pull off wearing a bow tie. I find them vaguely terrifying.

In another win for non-sequiturs, 15 out of the next 16 days here are supposed to be over 100 degrees. Today we got to 109.

Sunday I'll be vaccuuming out our pond and shoveling out the huge amount of sunken dead algae and other scum in it. If I don't start very early in the morning when it's still cool, there's no way I'll be able to be shoveling anything in this kind of heat.

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Re: PNW: 2015 June

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