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

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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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Garlic Chives

Post  countrynaturals on 5/22/2017, 6:55 pm

Look what I found!  Very Happy

Last year, Katie brought home some planters that were part of a donation. One of them was small (6") and half-dead. I thought it was chives, so I put it in with my other chives plant. A few days later, Hubby found it and announced it was not chives. I took a closer look, discovered the "leaves" were not hollow, but flat. I thought it was just grass and transplanted it to the "chicken garden" -- an area down by the compost where I plant things our chickens might like but we don't care about. Someone here said it might be garlic chives -- it was. I forgot all about it after that. 

Yesterday, Hubby was pulling 3' weeds out of that area and discovered this 4' tall garlic chives plant. Can you believe it? The stuff I ignore does better than the stuff I nurture. Rolling Eyes

Now the burning question is what do I do with them. They're basically tasteless, so for now they'll just be ornamental unless someone here can enlighten me on their uses. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 5/23/2017, 3:35 am

I looks like the walking onion Audrey gave me. Same alien bulb within the leaves. ??

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

Post  countrynaturals on 5/23/2017, 11:06 am

@sanderson wrote:I looks like the walking onion Audrey gave me.  Same alien bulb within the leaves.  ??
I thought those "bulbs" were blossom buds. I was expecting those huge flowers. If they're onion bulbs, that would explain a lot. Rolling Eyes I just looked at some pics and they do look more like walking onions than garlic chives. Gardening is definitely an adventure with lots of surprises. geek
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  Turan on 5/23/2017, 12:33 pm

It will be interesting to see what develops. My walking onions have hollow circular leaves, like onions. These seem more like leeks or garlic. In fact is it possible it is an elephant garlic (which is more closely related to a leek and very mild flavored)?

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

Post  countrynaturals on 5/23/2017, 3:43 pm

@Turan wrote:It will be interesting to see what develops. My walking onions have hollow circular leaves, like onions.  These seem more like leeks or garlic.  In fact is it possible it is an elephant garlic (which is more closely related to a leek and very mild flavored)?
These leaves are definitely flat. I looked up elephant garlic and leeks and they look more disciplined. This plant is definitely unruly and out of control. I will keep you posted as the season progresses.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 5/25/2017, 2:46 am

I have some baby tomatoes!  Those set before the heat wave when a lot of new blooms fell off.  One Roma had a little BER but that seems to be the norm for me. Embarassed   A few beans and peppers are flowering, and the 3 cucumbers that were started indoors and survived   Embarassed   are really blooming.  Two partially, naturally pollinated Munchers are growing.  The direct-sowed melons, winter squash, and the one watermelon, are doing great so far.

I started a small pile (about 1/3 full) in the new tumbler, using left-over horse manure, alfalfa hay and last summer's straw mulch.  The bar inside seems to mix up the contents pretty good when I turn it slow.  Now it's watch, wait and learn.  The heat wave is breaking for a few days so I feel a little better working out side.  I still have more sun shades to install before the 100*F weather returns.  Company is coming in June and I want to at least clean up supplies and hose everything down.  They have a professionally designed landscape and I don't think they would under stand like you guys would.

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

Post  sanderson on 5/31/2017, 3:26 am

The weather has been warm but not a killer, so I have made a little more progress.  I added more leaves and a big bag of Starbucks to the tumbler so I had to push the "start" date to the 28th.  It's over 48 hours now, 125*F and covered with fuzzy white!  I think I like the design but will write a conclusion on the other thread.

The tomatoes in the beds are having a hard time keeping hydrated.  Even though I amended with homemade compost before I planted them, I'm having trouble keeping up with their water needs.  Warm breezes through the plants aren't helping.  Tonight I bit the bullet and top dressed all of the bed and bucket tomatoes with the weird compost pile I started in Feb and re-made in April.  It actually looks pretty good and had a lot of worms.  Normally, a finished and rested Berkeley batch goes directly into the beds and has very few worms except at the bottom.  This one has them everywhere except the inner warm core (120*F)

I finished setting up trellises for the melons and winter squash.  It's kind of hard to tell but there are 4 trellises, 2 feet wide, on both beds.  This is the west side yard and I'm still hemming last year's shade cloth that goes over the wood frame.  Embarassed Foreground, direct sowed 7 winter squash and 1 sugar watermelon.  Background at the turn is the cantaloupe bed.


Cantaloupe bed with one successful start and 7 direct sowed.

Side view of the newest trellis of 1" PVC pipe and 3-way fittings, strapped to the horizontal board overhead.

Now, the remaining lawn is another story. Mainly dead grass. :-( I don't know what to do with it. thinking

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

Post  trolleydriver on 5/31/2017, 8:57 am

Nice sanderson.  Can you ship a couple of your trellises to me?  Very Happy

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

Post  Yardslave on 5/31/2017, 11:18 am

Outstanding! Those look great- I'm using some old 4X4 welded wire fencing that's a bear to set up, but lasts a long time.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  countrynaturals on 5/31/2017, 1:29 pm

Surprise! Wonderful gentle rain all night. I love you Today it's too wet to work outside, so I'm spending a much-needed inside catch-up day to do laundry, pay bills, and do some general housekeeping. Day before yesterday I finished the BTE (except for the irrigation system that should be arriving any day from Home Depot). Yesterday, I almost finished up the Salad Bar (sfg) but now that will have to wait another day. I'm moving wood chips in to cover the nasty, lumpy ground to make it nice in there. When it's done I'll post the "before" pics so you can see how badly it was needed. That garden suffered a huge setback when I realized the slugs and rollies had taken over and munched every seedling I had direct-sown.  Mad I had to start over in Jiffy Pellets, and lost almost a month, but now the daikons and asparagus beans are sprouting again, so they'll go in tomorrow or the next day. I still have to replant corn salad FOR THE 4TH TIME! Evil or Very Mad I still don't know if we're going to like it or not. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  Yardslave on 5/31/2017, 3:35 pm

My garden didn't get much rain- just enough to keep the dust down. I managed to catch 8 gophers this week that have been trenching around and under my boxes trying to find a way in. I also trapped a Cottontail rabbit that chewed his way through 3 squares of Italian parsley plants. I have one bunny down, and around three more to go. I take them to a Little League baseball park that's covered in grass and has a stream that runs along the edge. I figure he'll be far happier there since the rabbits have decimated all that is green in my garden, and are now targeting my veggies. My dog gave up trying to chase them off the property, so it's either trapping or resorting to using the Pellet gun to try to get rid of them. I'm pretty worried as they pop out another batch of baby bunnies every 6 weeks- hope I can get them moved before they start courting on my lawn again. Anyone have a falcon I can borrow (not a Ford Falcon!)?
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/31/2017, 3:50 pm

I hate to say this but my cat has a particular fondness for bunny brains for breakfast.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 5/31/2017, 5:33 pm

CC, What a Face

YS, Every 6 weeks? No wonder there are so many expressions about rabbits, you know what I mean. I feel like the more I garden, and add beds, the more I'm creating a mini-ecosystem here. Build it and they will come.

CN, yes, before and after photos.

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

Post  countrynaturals on 5/31/2017, 6:18 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:I hate to say this but my cat has a particular fondness for bunny brains for breakfast.
Eww! Sad We have a jackrabbit that's more than twice the size of any of our cats, so no problem here. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  Yardslave on 6/1/2017, 11:33 am

I borrowed a "Have-a-heart" trap from a friend and trapped 2 in less than 12 hours! I hope I'm not just catching all the dumb ones- I hope I get them all. I think that the largest one was a female, so I probably reduced the bunny population exponentially in my yard.
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Re: Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?

Post  sanderson on 6/1/2017, 1:20 pm

So, 3 down, one to go? Dumb bunnies.


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