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

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Northern California & Costal Vallys - What are You doing this month?

Post  newbeone on 4/29/2017, 3:39 pm

Wow sorry to here You're having so much trouble with Your tomatoes Last year no water this year no sun, What's Up with Sunny California? as far as the carrots I saw it somewhere they took a paper towel placed dots of Elmer's glue then placed the seeds in the dots then placed the towel on the square a little mix on the towel to hold it in place add water and watch them grow. again apologize for using someone else's idea but I thought it was a good one and I will try it for my fall garden it's to hot now I'm showing 93* at the surface
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 4/30/2017, 4:01 am

The wind has stopped so I should be able to sow carrots and lettuce without losing them. :-) Today I did what I have been procrastinating - rebuilt and started the compost pile. What a Face It was filled with ants and their nurseries, worms, and grubs. I combined the fizzled hot pile and the cold pile (seeds were sprouting in it), the mowed alfalfa hay and some blood meal. Watered well as I built it. Tomorrow I should be sore as I haven't been active for almost 4 months. I hope to have it finished before the end of May and top dress all the beds, then add some straw mulch. The emergency bagged compost was better than nothing but I love my chunky Berkeley hot compost. And the Red Wigglers love it, also.

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

Post  trolleydriver on 4/30/2017, 8:44 am

@sanderson wrote:.. Today I did what I have been procrastinating - rebuilt and started the compost pile. What a Face  ...  Tomorrow I should be sore ...
I emptied my plastic compost bin and my hardware cloth (hwc) bin. I relocated the contents onto a tarp and have a pile over 3 feet high. A lot of what I took out of the hwc bin was very wet. Anyway it's all fluffed up now.  And I woke up this morning feeling very sore.

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

Post  countrynaturals on 4/30/2017, 10:41 am

@sanderson wrote:Tomorrow I should be sore as I haven't been active for almost 4 months.  
I have been filling, moving, dumping, and spreading wheelbarrow loads of wood chips for a couple of weeks. At first I could only do 3 a day and it just about did me in. Now I can do 5-6 with ease. 

Yesterday, with help from Hubby and son-in-law, I got my asparagus bed and strawberry patch set up in the BTE. Whew! Pics, later. Today I'm just going to piddle around and take a light duty day (Yeah, well I'm probably lying about that part -- we'll see how it goes.) Rolling Eyes
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 5/13/2017, 3:12 am

It's been almost 2 weeks since I have posted here.  The cool weather has been a boon to my tomatoes.  Who knows, this Californian may actually have tomatoes this year. Razz  Here are 2 photos, one of 7 indeterminate in the 2x7 TT, and the other in my son's 2 x 4 rolling bed that I am baby sitting.  Do you think a few years of homemade compost, red wigglers, crab and kelp meal in the 2 x 7 TT makes a difference?  I'm really going to work on his 2 beds and see if I can improve it.


Tomato wise, the ones in the TTs are the best, followed by the 7 in buckets, followed by the 9 in the BTE strip and in last place, my son's rooling box.  Today, I tied the tall ones up with overhead gardener's tape.  Some of the suckers were starting to get flowers but I had to remove anything over 2 suckers per plant.  There are little green petite pea-size tomatoes!

The winter squash and cantaloupe that I had to direct sow because I forgot to start the seedlings?  Well, they are doing well.  7 winter squash and lower left is a watermelon.  I think I will move the 2 inner trellises over the inner plants.  First time there will be 4 trellises on both the winter squash and the melon beds. A photo of the melon bed to follow soon.

Five okra, both corns and most of the sorghum are up. Now the watch for the pesky squirrels.

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

Post  sanderson on 5/15/2017, 5:20 pm

I had a nightmare last night that the grasshoppers were back!  What a Face  Nope, just a dream, but I will have to watch for their arrival.

BTE strip May 15.  South end with 9 tomatoes plus 5 in buckets waiting for their cages.


Close up of cage with Jerry-rigged overhead supports.

North end with SQ corn, sorghum, Gem corn, okra and a few sunflowers interspersed.

Longer view facing North.  I copied Yolos and added second trellises on the 2 bean boxes so that they are trellised in a sandwich manner.  They are grabbing and climbing so, so much better!
 

First baby tomatoes, Black Vernissage.

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

Post  trolleydriver on 5/15/2017, 5:39 pm

I'm always amazed at how well you use the available space. Lookin' real good.

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

Post  sanderson on 5/15/2017, 9:47 pm

Thank you. But, didn't Pharaoh have 7 dreams, flying grasshoppers being one? Wink They are coming.

The darker black hose down the middle of the strip is a new 1/2 drip line with 9" space for the holes. I put a Y fitting on the hose bib and a female tube-to-hose fitting on the tube, connecting them with a short hose. It's manually watered but with clay underneath the organic layers, a good watering lasts for a few days. So, I can leave for a few days without worrying about this strip. The rest of the plants are on auto drip lines.

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

Post  yolos on 5/16/2017, 12:33 am

Everything looks good and healthy so far.  I like your corn rows but with only two rows you may have to hand pollinate.  Have you ever grown corn before.???
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 5/16/2017, 2:56 am

Yolos, yes I have. Nothing to write home about. Sweetie, dear cat, used to chew on the stalks until they fell over! The next year I planted them in a table top and surrounded with chicken wire.

The 2 corn, and other tall plants, planted along the strip are just for neighborhood entertainment. They loved the sunflowers and Sun Gold tomatoes that grew over the fence last summer.

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

Post  Turan on 5/16/2017, 12:00 pm

I was thinking the same thing, wondering about pollination of the corn. If a breeze flows down that passage it should work. Heck, just walking down that path will rustle the corn enough to cause pollen to fly. DHs grandparents in Madera (just up the road from Sanderson) would plant a double row of pretty tightly spaced corn down their side yard and get very good pollination.

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

Post  countrynaturals on 5/16/2017, 12:55 pm

@Turan wrote:I was thinking the same thing, wondering about pollination of the corn.  If a breeze flows down that passage it should work.  Heck, just walking down that path will rustle the corn enough to cause pollen to fly. DHs grandparents in Madera (just up the road from Sanderson) would plant a double row of pretty tightly spaced corn down their side yard and get very good pollination.
I will have 2 rows set up like this, about 3' apart. Will that be close enough for pollination? I haven't planted the 2 row yet, so I could close it in and not have a path between. Should I do that?
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  Turan on 5/16/2017, 1:45 pm

@countrynaturals wrote: I will have 2 rows set up like this, about 3' apart. Will that be close enough for pollination? I haven't planted the 2 row yet, so I could close it in and not have a path between. Should I do that?

I am guessing you have a 5 foot wide strip to plant? Can you walk along each side of the strip or is it along a fence like Sanderson's? I would plant them about 6-12 inches apart in a double or triple row or quadruple row depending on if you can walk along the both sides or not. Closer for early varieties (they are smaller usually) and further for late varieties (being larger they take up more room per plant).
I hope that helps.

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

Post  countrynaturals on 5/16/2017, 2:09 pm

@Turan wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote: I will have 2 rows set up like this, about 3' apart. Will that be close enough for pollination? I haven't planted the 2 row yet, so I could close it in and not have a path between. Should I do that?

I am guessing you have a 5 foot wide strip to plant? Can you walk along each side of the strip or is it along a fence like Sanderson's? I would plant them about 6-12 inches apart in a double or triple row or quadruple row depending on if you can walk along the both sides or not.  Closer for early varieties (they are smaller usually) and further for late varieties (being larger they take up more room per plant).  
I hope that helps.
I'm so glad this came up today. I would have done it all wrong. Yes, I can walk along both sides, so I will set up the other double row right next to the first one. At least I spaced the plants right -- about 12" apart. Thx, Turan.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  countrynaturals on 5/16/2017, 8:31 pm

Rained all day, today. Wasn't supposed to, but I'm glad. Could be the last rain we'll see until October. Fire in the woodstove. Probably the last one of those until October, too. Could hit triple-digits next week. AARRGGHH!!!!! I'm not ready for that! Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  yolos on 5/16/2017, 9:38 pm

@sanderson wrote:Yolos, yes I have.   Nothing to write home about.  Sweetie, dear cat, used to chew on the stalks until they fell over!  The next year I planted them in a table top and surrounded with chicken wire.

The 2 corn, and other tall plants, planted along the strip are just for neighborhood entertainment.  They loved the sunflowers and Sun Gold tomatoes that grew over the fence last summer.
I was out in the garden today hand pollinating a few ears of corn.  I cut the top tassle off and rubbed it on the silks.  I have 4 rows in a 3 x 8 bed so I decided to help them along.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/16/2017, 10:33 pm

Just curious, because we have Amish Old Order here.  I am intrigued about growing sweet corn?  No local sources? 

I don't burden my SFG with corn.  

Just not cost effective.  Amish are organic.  Truly.  Corn is great.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 5/18/2017, 4:05 pm

Yes, we have local sources, but this is a dirt strip that has been amended and put to use. Point of interest for the neighborhood when everything peaks over the fence top. :-)

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

Post  sanderson on 5/18/2017, 4:08 pm

Knock on wood, it seems the viruses of 2014 and 2016 haven't attacked the tomatoes so far. Off to install the shade cloths or at least the rope supports for them.

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

Post  sanderson on 5/19/2017, 5:07 pm

Putting up the shade cloth! I finished putting up the paracord yesterday. Everything is still growing.

I posted this under another thread but I saw this on Craig's List last night and it was still available this morning! I have been waiting for this style to pop up! bounce

Just bought a used toy off Craig's List for $60, a Lifetime 80 gallon composter. It looks like the one that JohnKat83 has. There is an interior bar to help break up and aerate the material. The second photo is where it will be set. It will replace the wire cage. This is a heavily wood chipped area between the Big compost bin and crepe myrtle tree on the left and the Dwarf orange tree on the right. A nice shady place.

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

Post  Turan on 5/19/2017, 5:25 pm

NIce score! Keep us updated. I wonder if can take the back break out of your Berkley fast compost system.

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

Post  trolleydriver on 5/19/2017, 5:30 pm

@Turan wrote:NIce score!  Keep us updated.  I wonder if can take the back break out of your Berkley fast compost system.  
+1

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

Post  sanderson on 5/19/2017, 6:27 pm

I will still have the 3x3x3 bin. I need to make at least 3 Berkeley batches a year for the beds. The wire cage was for remnant material such as the bag of horse manure and the bag of mowed alfalfa hay seen in the photo, some grass clippings, misc leaves and extra kitchen scraps. This will replace the crumbled wire cage. Ken said the woman selling it had "dirt" hands and feet. Just like me! She has 2 children, raised beds and 2.5 acres.

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

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 5/19/2017, 6:49 pm

That tumbler looks great.  I have a small tumbler that I don't even use any more - it's too small to function well and once we built a spot that the dogs couldn't get into I didn't have to put our kitchen waste in there to hold it anymore.  

I should find someone at my church to donate it to, I have one single mom that wants to get started growing her own veggies :-)

Had to water the hillsides for the first time today.  I almost lost a new rhubarb plant because the ground had gotten hard and dry.  finger's crossed it will come back.

Squash are growing like crazy and I have my first zucchini ripening - there's nothing like that first and the last zucchini to start and end the gardening season  Smile
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  trolleydriver on 5/19/2017, 6:51 pm

My little plastic bin is not a tumbler but it makes nice compost if I give it time. This will be my first summer with a 3x3x3 compost bin so the jury is still out on that one. I like the looks of that tumbler sanderson and a good price on it as well.

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