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February 1, 2011 in the PNW

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February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/1/2011, 9:51 pm

February 1, 2011 in the Pacific NorthWest

How is everyone doing? Are you able to start seeds yet? Are your planting designs completed?
Sorry, but I am certainly not where I thought I would be. In my little microclimate, the average (50% chance that I will still get a frost) last frost date is March 1.
I did plant some Frizzy Headed Drunken Woman lettuce seeds in my Round Foot Garden (bowl shaped pots) on my semi enclosed porch last week. The radishes I planted on November 14, have small leaves and still haven’t bulbed up, but they seem to be growing. I currently have some nice swiss chard in another pot. My herbs, a bay laurel, rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic chives and oregano are doing nicely in various pots on the same porch.

Indoors
I should already have my cauliflower, broccoli and cabbages, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers started indoors. I will be lucky if I get them done this week.
Cucumber seedlings, as well as summer and winter squash should be started by Feb 15.

Outdoors
Spinach, peas and carrots should be in the ground now. I hope to get them in no later than the first two weeks of February.
Beets, onion sets and radishes also go in during the first two weeks of February.

Happily, my husband and I (I helped a little) completed building my first Table Top SFG. Only need to add the weed barrier, Mel’s Mix and grids and then I will be official.

Using found materials, the frame and tenon legs are complete. 2 X 10 inch boards and used 4 X 4 sign posts


The supports, hardware cloth are all installed and the outside of the table is painted with recycled latex exterior paint, created by mixing leftover paints and comming up with light grey. The recycled paint was provided free. Much neater that the multicolored table we originally had.


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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  miinva on 2/1/2011, 10:01 pm

That looks great! I can't wait to see it fully grown Very Happy

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  boffer on 2/1/2011, 10:03 pm

You are sooooo gonna love your TT. My first thought was carrots and lettuce/greens.

But I should ask you! What cha gonna plant in it?!

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/2/2011, 12:01 am

@boffer wrote:You are sooooo gonna love your TT. My first thought was carrots and lettuce/greens.

But I should ask you! What cha gonna plant in it?!

This first TT will have my peas, spinach, carrots, beets, and radishes, along with Drunken Woman-Frizzy Headed Lettuce, Prizehead Lettuce- Bronze Leaf, and Parris Island Coos - Romaine Lettuce. Some will be planted this week and all planted by Feb 22.


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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/2/2011, 9:37 am

@Furbalsmom wrote:February 1, 2011 in the Pacific NorthWest

How is everyone doing? Are you able to start seeds yet? Are your planting designs completed?
seeds: Purple Artichokes that are oh-so-slow and a container of winter sown herbs (chamomile, Echinacea and Italian parsley), nothing showing yet.

Planting designs: completed and redone about three times. Just changed my mind AGAIN about my new boxes so the story has changed once more BUT I am ready for Lincolns birthday, I know where the 1st peas and Fava beans will go.
Outdoors
Carrots and leeks, a few shallots and a few tiny Cipollini onions coming up in the square they were planted in last year. They should all be moved to new, freshly composted squares.

snip....completed building my first Table Top SFG. ....used 4 X 4 sign posts
So you are the one who keeps taking those. Good job.

Non-SFG stuff: Probably today (Ground Hog's Day) I'll mix up some lovejoy for my potted trees and blueberries. Went 2nd hand-store shopping last weekend and scored a couple more sieves for micro greens. Hope to start mixed lettuce and peas for something fresh to add to my dinner plate. Still eating the mild mix (beets, chard, pak choi, red cabbage and kohlrabi) If my hands do not freeze I will finish cleaning out the asparagus bed. There is a portion of the bed I left for later (later being today) that is full of strawberries. No idea what kind they are, the seed was in the compost I spread last spring. The plan is to transfer them to a hanging strawberry container, the same mat container that I tried to grow topsy-turvy tomatoes in last year. I have a bucket of mm that has been sitting since last year that I'll use for the strawberries, poking plants through the sides of the container to make a living ball of berries come July.
The outdoor herb and lavender gardens are still sleeping, no fresh tea yet. Two of my rosemarys do not look like they will come back but one that was embraced by a sage plant is looking ok so far. Now if it will just refrain from putting out new growth until the last April snow is done, there could be a survivor.

It is too early to tell if the artichoke survived the winter or not.

Deborah….just spent some of the car fund (still no car) on a new stove (part of it went to a new washer and dryer before Christmas (they died within a day of each other) and a transmission for the truck in November). The oven on the old stove died, new elements and thermostat did not improve the lame baking. Going to pull those carrots and make cake as soon as the new stove is delivered and set up… cause I need those squares!

Good job Furbalsmom!


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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  miinva on 2/2/2011, 11:26 am

Forgive my ignorance, but why do you need a sieve for microgreens? Inquiring minds want to know Smile

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/2/2011, 11:54 am

Did I maybe spell that wrong miin? They are just one of the many good containers for these greens that are just a step past sprouts. I learned to use these last year. They drain so well when I'm still at the "water the heck" outta them stage. Blogging friends and facebook farmers have all suggested other ways to do this. The dirt and the true leaves bring these from sprouts to microgreens (duh, I know you already know)


The pictures are from the class I took, but I have been using rescued, homeless sieves, pasta pot parts, steamers and BBQ woks ever since.

Deborah….who wonders, How are you growing them miin?

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  boffer on 2/2/2011, 12:07 pm

It's new to me. How many containers do you have going, Deb?

My SFG instinct kicked in: awfully deep containers and wasted soil for baby plants with practically no roots! But I'm sure drainage is good!

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/2/2011, 12:50 pm

@boffer wrote:snip...My SFG instinct kicked in: awfully deep containers and wasted soil for baby plants with practically no roots!...snip

It’s all good b. I'm fairly sure that 98% of the gardening world can do it better than me; the other 2% have better luck. If it works for you, and usually it does, share with the SGFers, you'll get all kinds of kudos cause you always do it so well AND with style!

As of this afternoon, I should have 3 going. They still need light to do what they are supposed to do and I don't really have much in the house. (Extra rooms and garage are full of OPS so no room for lights) I'm using a BBQ wok lined with cheesecloth for a mild mix. The two containers I'll start today are about 3 inches deep and maybe 4 1/2 inches deep for mixed lettuce and peas for early stir-fry clippings.

Without enough light they get crazy leggy this time of year. The following was snapped on January 8. The little bit that is left is top heavy and has sort of a braded look to it from falling over than standing up to find the sun. There should be enough light to have shorter stems and more leaf.

Debs....who needs to get back to school now


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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  miinva on 2/2/2011, 3:40 pm

What a great idea! I find sprouting seeds in a mason jar pretty frustrating because there's a short window where they're eating size before then get slimy silly me Thank you so much for explaining, I'm going to comb the Goodwill's around here and see what I can dig up! I love to eat sprouts (and actually I didn't know the difference between a sprout and a microgreen, so thank you for telling me), so I'm really excited about giving this a try! hyper

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/2/2011, 6:06 pm

I am new to the sprouts experience. I ordered and now have sprouts---mixed --cabbage, broccoli, radish, etc.....
Someone is getting me a sprouter for my birthday so i ordered seeds in advance.

Am i catching on right?= That you are sprouting these type seeds in soil and letting them grow to young seedlings for stir frys or sandwhiches, etc.....?

I never thought to do that. But I don't understand why the containers need holes. Can you explain this to me in detail? It takes me a while to catch on.


I am off to Home Depot to buy wood for TTs.

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/3/2011, 8:55 am

@CarolynPhillips wrote:snip... Can you explain this to me in detail? .....
I don't know why. It must have been somebody’s whim. I do not know anyone else who grows micros this way. Most of the systems that I see are expensive, custom for micro greens setups. My guess is that these started as useless doo-dahs that caught someone’s eye on a day they were looking for something to start seed in when everything else was already dedicated to long term garden use.

They drain well, too well; I needed to line those with large holes to keep the soil in. They can set inside or out. They store quite well. Maybe they also air prune roots but I cannot imagine that is a problem when they are eaten quicker than radishes. They sure are yummy in winter and less fussy than sprouts. (in my seldom humble opinion)

Debs....who has a picture of the first strawberry ball (a baby one at least) on "Rainsong" (link in sig line)

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  boffer on 2/3/2011, 10:10 am

Not much to show this time of year.

I planted my heated soil box on Jan 15 and 30. Some lettuces, spinach, bok choy, turnips, and 30+ Packman broccoli seeds. The plan is to transplant the broccoli to other boxes in 6-8 weeks. I did it last year on a smaller scale, and it worked out great.

I usually plant one cold frame on VDay and one at month's end. Carrots, rads, lettuce, spinach, and beets. I'll plant peas too, but I don't why. They won't mature any faster than the ones I'll be planting on the Ides.



This was the very last picture I took before my camera broke Sad (the dreaded E45 error code) Guess it's time to go shopping, bleh!

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Wreanne05 on 2/3/2011, 12:15 pm

Hello everyone, please allow me to introduce myself. I am a fairly new gardener in Washington. Long ago I gardened in California but I moved back to Washington and it's a whole new thing here. I haven't gardened in years and then last year I had to get back to it. I got Mel's book and did just a little bit and had mixed results, mostly due to planting late and as you know a very cool and wet spring and summer. I am hoping to do better this year.

I haven't started any seeds but I am finalizing my plan right now and my son is building my new boxes in the next couple of weeks. Last year I went with a lot of information online and planted very late, now I am trying to connect with other gardeners more experienced in this area for more accurate timing. I have never started seeds indoors or early before. Due to the long growing season in Cali I always planted seeds in the ground.

I just wanted to check in so I could follow the experts this year. Looking forward to learning a lot here and sharing!

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/3/2011, 12:37 pm

Oh my goodness, what a year to move back to Washington! Welcome home!

Follow closley the good information that Furbalsmom and boffer give for PNW gardens. Both are very experienced and worth reading whenever they post.

So glad you checked in!

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Welcome Wreanne05

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/3/2011, 3:02 pm

@Wreanne05 wrote:Hello everyone, please allow me to introduce myself. I am a fairly new gardener in Washington. Long ago I gardened in California but I moved back to Washington and it's a whole new thing here. I haven't gardened in years and then last year I had to get back to it. I got Mel's book and did just a little bit and had mixed results, mostly due to planting late and as you know a very cool and wet spring and summer. I am hoping to do better this year.

I haven't started any seeds but I am finalizing my plan right now and my son is building my new boxes in the next couple of weeks. Last year I went with a lot of information online and planted very late, now I am trying to connect with other gardeners more experienced in this area for more accurate timing. I have never started seeds indoors or early before. Due to the long growing season in Cali I always planted seeds in the ground.

I just wanted to check in so I could follow the experts this year. Looking forward to learning a lot here and sharing!

glad you\'re here Wreanne05
So nice to have you join us. You have seen the problems with a cold, wet, windy growing season in the PNW. We are really hoping for a better season this year. If you can take the time to go thru some of the older threads, you can find information on just about anything.

We welcome questions and would love your input. Please don't be shy. We LOVE pictures!

We have lots of members who are willing to share information and make suggestions. Even if someone is in another region, their experience could well be applicable to us too.

@Lavender Debs wrote: Follow closely the good information that Furbalsmom and boffer give for PNW gardens. Both are very experienced and worth reading whenever they post
Embarassed

Don't let Lavender Debs fool you. She has been gardening in the PNW for a bit and has experience growing herbs as well as veggies. She has even started a mini orchard in her yard.

Boffer is an absolute fount of information. He tries all kinds of different ways to make SFG easier for himself and others. He is also great at sharing this information.

I am in the process of changing over from Mel's orginal SFG to the ALL NEW SFG. It has been an adventure.

Again, glad you\'re here




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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  boffer on 2/3/2011, 8:13 pm

Hi Wreanne05 and welcome.

Last year was a bad summer for most everyone. This summer has to be better!

Now then, let me tell you the way it really is around here. Lavender Deb and Furbalsmom are real gardeners. They're in to it! Have been most of their lives, and they know a lot.

My gardening is basic, boring, and I grow mostly the easy stuff. I have a lazy streak, and I'm not really in to gardening. That's why SFG is perfect for me: I don't have to know much or work too hard! But I love eating fresh veggies and making things to use in the garden. So it all works out!

I hope you have a great season!

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Wreanne05 on 2/8/2011, 4:16 pm

Thank you everyone for your warm welcome. I have actually been lurking for about 7 months. I happen to think you are all quite experienced and knowledgeable and your attempts to downplay yourselves are somewhat amusing. I really do look forward to gaining a lot of information from all of you and hopefully share some successes of my own. I love pictures and believe me you will be seeing some of mine.

So question one, when is the best time to plant strawberry plants?

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/8/2011, 5:27 pm

I've planted them as late as "almost May". I JUST finished planting strawberry bio-balls (hanging baskets that have plants growing in soil held in place with matting or sphagnum moss, plants growing out the sides of the basket in a strawberry pot style). My not so humble opinion is that they should go into their bed as soon as they come to your house.

What kind did you get?

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/8/2011, 5:39 pm

The link below gives info on the three types of strawberries, Everbearing, Day Neutral, and June bearing and how to grow them.

Growing Starwberries in Oregon

According to the Oregon State Extension Service, where I get a lot of my information for growing things specific to my area, Strawberry Plants should be planted as soon as you can work the area where you will growing them.

I agree with Lavender Debs, just as soon as you obtain the plants.


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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Wreanne05 on 2/8/2011, 6:44 pm

Ok, I have to go to the local nurseries to see what is available. My son is building my planter and I won't have it until February 20th. I will be ready.

Thanks for the help and the link!

Oh what if I do two kinds. We are doing a pyramid planter can I do one side June bearing and the other side everbearing?

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Megan on 2/8/2011, 7:39 pm

Hi there, Wreanne05, (belated) welcome to the forum! glad you\'re here

I don't see why you couldn't plant June-bearing and ever bearing strawberries in the same pyramid. Once they get to the point where they start sending out runners, though, you may have to work a little at keeping each of the kids on their own side of the table, though.

I planted (wild) strawberries from seed in late April last year (zone 7a), and got some fruit before the season ended. I tried starting seed indoors and seeding in-place in an outdoors planter. Only the ones seeded in-place survived. Not sure if this means they hate being transplated or that I stink at starting seed indoors Laughing quite possibly the latter. They liked to be kept damp, though. I kept the tray under the strawberry jar full of water and that seemed to help. The sprouts are absolutely tiny and I suppose are vulnerable to drying out. I have not tried to plant big starts of strawberries (the kind where you buy a box a little smaller than a shoebox and pull them apart and plant them) in many years, so no info there.

Not sure if that is what you're looking for, but I hope it helps in some small way. Looking forward to hearing more about your garden! Smile

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/8/2011, 7:52 pm

Wreanne,

OSU Extension Service suggests growing all three varieties, June Bearing, Everbearing and Day Neutral at the same time so that you can have ripe strawberries from June to Frost.

I grew a few June bearing back in Virginia. I have only grown Everbearing here, and I don't have personal experience in growing the Day Neutrals.

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Re: February 1, 2011 in the PNW

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/9/2011, 7:51 am

@Wreanne05 wrote:snip ....My son is building my planter and I won't have it until February 20th. I will be ready. .... Oh what if I do two kinds. We are doing a pyramid planter can I do one side June bearing and the other side everbearing?
The end of February is not too late to still get a taste of berries this summer. (at least it wouldn't be in NW Washington...I'm about 25 miles north of Seattle) Strawberries don’t care who their neighbors are. They just care that they have rich soil for their own roots and do not get too much shade from what is planted next to them so that their energy can go into fruit instead of long stems to reach the light.

THE REST OF THIS IS UN ASKED FOR EXTRA, YOU MISS NOTHING BY SKIPPING IT
Some people will tell you that you should not let the plants bloom their first year, but I respectfully disagree. The only difference I have noticed in strawberry plants that have had first year flowers pinched and those that have been allowed to make fruit is that there is no fruit to taste on first year plants. Second and third year production it equal as far as I can tell. You should know that my experience is limited to small gardens, so take or reject my voice with that in mind.

Have you grown strawberries before? When the plants are young two things are important, (1) lots of good compost and PLEANTY of soil in you pyramid. The mix has a tendency to compact and look like you were stingy with soil by fall when you clean up the beds. The other thing to be careful of is (2) spacing. Those tiny little two leaf babies will look like they have been spread out too far if spaced correctly but you need to trust that by June they will be all filled in. Maybe a 3rd thing is being careful to spread the roots over a cone of compost and to not cover the crown when you fill in with soil, but those directions always come with new plants.

Keep a collection of rocks at the base of the pyramid. In late summer your plants will produce sisters who will be attracted to gravity and light. By your third summer both the top and the shady side of your pyramid will start to look sparse unless your take charge of a few sisters and force them to put down roots where you want them instead of where gravity and light directs them. I refresh my bed with lovejoy (As in Anne Lovejoy) mix. In a bucket you mix up 2 parts (by volume...a cup is as good as a gallon) pure alfalfa meal or pellets (no animal medication please), 1 part bagged steer manure and 1 part compost (wormy home grown is good). Spread it like mulch on the berry bed; take one of your rocks, put the rock on the thread that holds the new plant (sister) and force a few sisters to grow where you want them to (does that make sense?) There are more sophisticated ways of doing this. Just make sure you get a few sisters on the top and shady side.

Deborah....thinking a nice California strawberry and chocolate sounds worth the price (think local, think local, think local....wish I liked the taste of Strawberry Leaf Tea as much as the fruit so that I could think local)

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