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Early Winter??

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Early Winter??

Post  High Desert on 9/16/2016, 12:35 pm

Not too sure how much more of our garden we will get this season. We had freezing in June, knocked back all of plants by a month or more and killed the tops of most.  Now we are back to days of morning temps at, or below freezing.  The next 4 days are supposed to be warmer nights, then back to below freezing again.  Been covering plants but still losing some of the tender tops.  Maybe I should start looking at recipes for fried green tomatoes?
At least my Eggplant has done well this year and I have enjoyed those, but after going through all the effort of different plants, I have made some real decisions as to what I would not plant again for central Oregon gardens, especially since our season does not really start until after Memorial Day.  Live and learn.....
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Re: Early Winter??

Post  sanderson on 9/16/2016, 3:46 pm

HD, What have you decided to grow and what not to grow? This may help others with short growing seasons. Are you considering a green house to extend the season? Photos?

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Re: Early Winter??

Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/16/2016, 7:38 pm

Tough climate, HD.  Check out this thread here for some similar thoughts.  Every growing season is so different....

Some stuff is good to start indoors, but you need really good lights or a south facing window/room.  I use my basement and flourescent lights with a heating pad.  That gets stuff germinated.  Then by early spring, I can up plant to plastic containers or peat pots, depending on tolerance for transplanting.  

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t20942-what-won-t-you-grow-next-year-or-are-still-trying-to-grow?highlight=Grow

Keep us posted!  Can you post a picture?  And all of us who deep freeze get annoying with seed talk starting around January....lol.  While hearing our 4 season folks talk about their salads, maters, lol!
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Re: Early Winter??

Post  donnainzone5 on 9/17/2016, 12:06 pm

HD,

I can sympathize!  It's been much the same here in Bend.  If I remember correctly, you're somewhere northeast of here?

Meanwhile, I've hauled out all my old blankets, sheets, tarps, and frost cloth to try to protect my beans and tomatoes.  I'm afraid the cukes won't make it.  Well, they never do around here!

I've lost part of the bean crop, but the tomatoes are (literally) hanging in there--so far.

And yes, I fear an early and severe winter.
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Next year crops??

Post  High Desert on 9/17/2016, 1:01 pm

To Donna, from Bend, I am in Powell Butte, so we share pretty much the same weather pattern.  Unfortunately, I have no basement and no south facing windows, so will have to deal with plants that can go through short seasons and get fruit.  My wife and I have been frustrated by what we have lost and are looking at easier crops.  To me, this means things like your standard cool season crops - lettuces, beets, radishes, carrots, spinach, other leafy veggies.  Will still do tomato, but will look for a shorter season variety.  Regular cukes have not done well, although I am starting to get lemon cakes now, and some mini melons.  Our squashes have been fighting blossom end rot all season regardless of what we do and feeding of plants.  Frustrating to say the least.  Kohlrabi did not do well either.  But, my swiss chard took off like a bandit!
So, next season will be short, cool season crops and the rest will be organics from local farmers or the store.  Live and learn...
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Re: Early Winter??

Post  donnainzone5 on 9/17/2016, 1:11 pm

HD,

You should do well with those cool-weather crops.

However, I hope you don't totally give up on your favorite summer crops!

It may take some devious planning and extra work, but I believe it CAN be done.

Yes, consider trying early tomato varieties, and/or mid-season varieties, purchasing smaller plants (if you don't start them from seed), and covering them whenever necessary. 

I have nine interesting plastic covers that anchor to the ground and allow watering and ventilation.  They're just the right size for a small rose bush, shrub, or tomato plant.  Old pillowcases can be used over small plants, too, and anchored with our omnipresent river rock.  Think ingenuity!

If you like potatoes, you should be able to grow reasonable crops here. 

We should compare notes in more detail sometime.
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Re: Early Winter??

Post  High Desert on 9/17/2016, 2:23 pm

Yep - grew potatoes and they did not get very large-  Out of 5 buckets, I got a handful of blue potatoes after 65 days.  My tomatoes are all from transplants and the only seed starts I will do are early growers.  I have the frost covers and plastic to cover for freezes, but, often, that is not enough for vegetation on the edges and new growth.  Vegetable gardens here are not for the weak hearted:D
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Re: Early Winter??

Post  Robbomb116 on 9/17/2016, 2:33 pm

If you can't start seeds inside due to lack of light, you could try winter sowing.

http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2012/11/winter-sowing-101-6/

I can't start anything inside either for the same reasons, I do potentially have room in my basement but I don't have the money to spend on grow lights and a heating pad at the moment.  It's my first year but I plan on trying to winter sow in milk jugs like that link saying.  If I can't get it to work the first year, I will just buy transplants.  I just know that locally I do not have much for to chose from variety wise for transplants.  

We also have a pretty short growing season here in ND, but no freezes yet this year.  

Best of luck!
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Re: Early Winter??

Post  sanderson on 9/17/2016, 3:15 pm

High Desert,  There are several threads on "grow lights, grow stands, start seedlings, etc." showing the many different ways folks get a jump on spring.  Plain shops lights are fine for seedlings (I think mine are T8) and there are many creative ways to hang the lights over the seedlings, raising them as the seedlings grow taller.  Here is a photo of mine in Feb set up in the dining room.

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Re: Early Winter??

Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/17/2016, 6:47 pm

I have less than $50 for my grow situation in the basement.  I am using a literal person heating pad,  and 2 T8 flourescent light units from Amazon.  I have them suspended from dowels on the shelves that the kids got me for Christmas.  

It can be done, but the lights are on 24/7 for weeks, so has to be secluded.
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Re: Early Winter??

Post  Turan on 12/17/2016, 2:26 pm

When I grow warm season crops not in the greenhouse I maximize their early season growth, when they are small and easier to cover. I use wall-o-waters and find I can put tomatoes and tomatillos out 4 weeks earlier in them. I also put new winter squashes in WoW. I cover the beds with corn and beans with floating row covers as long as possible. I keep broccoli covered with a light blanket for most of May. Often the cool nights of my summers slow the growth of warm season crops, so anything I can do to help their areas to store heat for the night is good; like jugs of water. I also have invested over time in a cold frame. That is a big help. I usually grow peppers in it and when the plants are too tall for it the weather is warm and I store the top in the garage. The walls act as a heat well all summer long.
Good luck with next year!
I have no idea if this is a cold winter to be or not, my fall started hard and then was warm and delightful until October, much as normal

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Re: Early Winter??

Post  Browndog on 8/15/2017, 12:48 pm

I've talked with old timers around here. Also in Montana. They always told me: What happens now doesn't mean what's going to happen. Anything can happen. Weather will do all sorts of things in this part of the country. 

Heck... The Indian Chief; Red Cloud. He died in a late May snow storm here. 
Our worst winter storm in 50 years was in October of 2013. 
I've seen 70's in January... as well as 30 below zero. 
Woke up one morning to 30 below. Next morning was 30 above. 
One thing is guaranteed around The Hills. It never stays the same for long. If it's below zero. People just smile and say; 'wait a few days'. 

To the OP. I would definitely have a green house of sorts if I were you. Even if it's just loops of pvc with plastic over it.

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Re: Early Winter??

Post  sanderson on 10/11/2017, 2:43 am

Snow in Colorado and Wyoming? Seems so early for winter. But, I'm from California, so what do I know about snow . . . Wink

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Re: Early Winter??

Post  AtlantaMarie on 10/12/2017, 7:56 am

I know MT got something like 17 inches a few days ago. And the weather people have been saying for months that it was going to be a bad winter...
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Re: Early Winter??

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/12/2017, 11:50 am

There's a winter storm watch for some areas about 20 miles southwest of Bend.
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Re: Early Winter??

Post  Turan on 10/12/2017, 1:03 pm

It snowed this morning.  So far this fall seems pretty ordinary.  We usually get an equinox storm and that was the end of the garden.  In its aftermath it got down to 18, too cold for the greenhouse.  First frost was almost 2 weeks late.

Last winter was a pretty steady cold and snow winter, felt almost a normal winter.  It never got as cold as we expect, so it did not slow the bark beetles in the forests enough, nor the mint in my garden.  I used to not be able to over winter mint outside, now I can not get rid of it. Rolling Eyes

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