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The PNW: A review of 2010

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The PNW: A review of 2010

Post  Lavender Debs on 12/31/2010, 11:42 am

I am just going to put up a link to my blog. This was a tedious job. Most of pictures are of my SFG, with just a couple of exceptions, the rest is the garden in general. There were those two months I disappeared.... I was not abducted by aliens, just the call of the wild.

Looking forward to reviewing your year too.
Deborah....still hopeful that the sun will come out in 2011
One year in a PNW Garden
Lavender Debs

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My first SFG

Post  fredbarr on 1/3/2011, 2:00 pm

I purchased a Bothell house in June of 2010.

I found a railroad tie raised bed on the property and after reading Mel's book and conferring with boffer and a few of you, developed a plan by June 24, lined the planter with weed control cloth, added the growing mix, set up the square foot guides and planted in July.

Here is my layout:

I planted:
Bon Vivant (Ed Hume) Lettuce (Huge)
Baby Romaine Lettuce (Good)
Royal Chantenay Carrots (Tiny)
Hollow Crown Parsnips (Tiny)
Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach (Tiny)
Bush beans (Nothing)
Italian Large Leaf Basil (Nothing)
Walla Walla Onion (Nothing)
Red Globe Onion (Nothing)
Copenhagen Market Cabbage (Nothing)
Calabrese Broccoli (Nothing)
Waltham Butternut Squash (Great plant lost all blossoms)
Golden Scalloped Squash (Great plant lost all blossoms)

I think I needed another couple of inches of growing mix (add it in 2011).

I think having the squash be low in the box raised havoc with the hairy stems. Had great plants, lost all the blossoms.

I think I needed to thin out the carrots and more growing mix would have helped.

I was baffled by the basil doing nothing but probably the few 80 and 90 degree days we had stunted them. I installed sunscreens and the lettuce really thrived under them during the hot days.

All in all a pretty disappointing effort but I know I started late.

For 2011 I need to add more growing mix, plant earlier and thin more.

The planter gets awesome sunlight (maybe too much) but the sunscreen was effective on the really hot days.

The awesome leaf lettuce output alone made it worth it and I'm looking forward to 2011.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


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Re: The PNW: A review of 2010

Post  Furbalsmom on 1/3/2011, 6:26 pm

Considering the "summer" we had with rain and cool weather until late June, sounds like you didn't do too bad.
I like what you did with your existing railroad tie raised bed. Your plan gave you some nice growing squares and still gave you access.

How deep was your Mel's Mix? Were you able to maintain 6 inches? More mix certainly won't hurt. The carrots certainly need to be properly spaced or they just don't form nice roots.

On the Oregon Coast, tomatoes were pretty bad, much too cool.
Carrots took until fall to attain any real size, but they were so, so sweet.
Broccoli did better as a fall crop than a summer crop. Still pretty small and the cabbage worms were awful.
My summer squash never thrived.
My lettuce did better late summer and fall, I picked the last of it for Christmas Dinner (the last crop was on my partialy closed in porch, so was protected from wind, heavy rain and cold.)
Spinach bolted
Sugar Snap Peas did really well even until September or October.
Bush and pole beans rotted in the ground three times, before they finally came up. Small but tasty harvests.
Basil and Italian Parsley did very well, but took a long time to get started. Thyme and Oregano also did well.

Of course in 2010, I was using Mel's OLD book, growing in amended soil and battling weeds (they won)

We are all hoping for a better season in 2011, with warm summer days and lots of sun. sunny

This year, I will have at least 3 Table Top 4X4s using straight Mel's Mix and know that things will be better.

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Re: The PNW: A review of 2010

Post  boffer on 1/3/2011, 7:38 pm

Hiya Fred,

Well, you got started and got your hands dirty; that's the important part. Planting in July: way late for spring/early summer planting and a bit early for fall planting! Besides, it was just an all around crummy weather for gardening summer. Rolling Eyes

Did you find a good home for those concrete deer that were in the middle of your bed? If not, it may have been their spirits that ate your squash blossoms! (deer do like blossoms) Or maybe they fell off because they didn't get pollinated by the bees. I had to plant my winter squash 3 times before it grew (due to the cold, wet weather) and then none of the fruit got as big as we're used to.

There just wasn't enough time for your carrots, parsnips, and onions. I'm surprised your broccoli didn't do much. I planted my fall broccoli the first week of August, from seed, and got a decent crop. July and August are usually too hot for spinach, even if shaded.

No matter how careful you are when planting, carrots need thinning. I wait till they're nearly 2 inches tall; it makes it easier to distinguish individual plants.

If you have an honest 4-5 inches of MM, that's all you need for everything except carrots and parsnips.

My only advice is to get started earlier. I usually do my first planting of lettuce, spinach, carrots, and radishes in Feb.

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