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May Day in the PNW

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May Day in the PNW

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/1/2011, 10:28 pm

Today is absolutely gorgeous on the southern Coast of Oregon.

Local forecast is for 61*, however it is already 69* at 1:00PM, the sun is shining and the skies are blue with a bit of haze.

I could not stand it and decided to check the soil temperature using my meat thermometer. Yes, it will be thoroughly cleaned prior to using it in any cooking. Three inches into the MM in my Table Top SFG, it is 59*. Not really that bad, considering the fact that I have not used any plastic on this bed or over the hoops.

Brassicas are coming along pretty well now. They did not grow much at all the first three weeks, it was just too cool. One of the broccoflower plants has already started to grow a head, too soon, but we will just see how he does. The broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower all look better this last week.



The sugar snap peas took almost two weeks to germinate, but now are ready for their strings to train them from the bed to the trellis so they won’t wrap around the grids.



Lettuces again took about 2 weeks to germinate, now are looking better, ready to thin them a bit. The beets have germinated, but boy are they slow still.



My Round Foot Garden (24 inch bowl) on the semi enclosed porch has now provided us with three dinner salads. The Parris Island Coos Romaine is crisp and tasty. The Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed lettuce is very soft and sweet. Radishes don’t seem to be developing a bulb, one more week and they will be history. The Revolution Lettuce is an amazing deep red with frilly leaves. I will be able to pick a few leaves in a day or two.



Swiss Chard, started last year and harvested all winter, are starting to bolt. Sad Must get new ones planted soon. We love tiny leaves in salad and larger leaves in soups, or cooked in olive oil with garlic as a side dish. Soon we will have our first fresh spinach.



The Montmorency cherry blossoms are starting to open. Silly me, I never grew a fruit tree before and a month ago I was bragging about the buds swelling Rolling Eyes , it was the first leaves. So far, just a few blossoms, but I have hopes of a cherry pie this June or July.



How about everyone else?

Successes?

Failures?

Seeing improvement?I can’t wait till until I can plant my warm weather crops, how about you?

Furbalsmom

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Re: May Day in the PNW

Post  middlemamma on 5/2/2011, 1:57 am

It was beautiful here today as well FB!!!
I think we got up to 59? That's HOT!
All your green things look lovely! I was gonna ask about your peas...
I planted similar to how you did....Trellis on the box and peas in the squares next to the trellis. Mine are all up as well....how will you get the far ones over to the trellis? I have never grown them before and I was looking at them tonight thinking...HOW IN THE HECK AM I GONNA DO THAT? affraid

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Re: May Day in the PNW

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/2/2011, 4:31 am

I will tie 15 inch strings to the bottom row of the trellis netting, several on each square, then lay the string over the square foot that is filled with peas.

I am hoping this will give the pea tendrils something to attach to (other than my grid) and ease them over toward the trellis netting.

They probably will still need to be trained to get going in the right direction.

I will try to add a photo Monday afternoon if the weather co-operates. sunny (sure!)

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Re: May Day in the PNW

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/2/2011, 11:56 am

Maybe you should plan on a cherry tart this summer FBmom, or a cherry-peach pie. Buy a net ASAP. If Oregon birds are at all like Washington birds, they love pie cherries more than sweet. I had my mouth all set for a sweet treat, went our with my bowl to pick from my first tree and found nothing but pits the first year I grew pie cherries. You will not need the net until the swollen green fruit starts to lighten up, even getting pink shoulders, but once they start to look like deep pink ornaments hanging on a summer tree, you can be sure the birds have also started watching. Tithing to creation is good, but the birds think 100% of the cherries ARE their 10%.

Your broccoli looks GREAT! Is that an itty bitty head I see tucked inside? Way kewl. The beets (or is it chard?) are pretty. I can see why they are in a pot worthy of the deck.

The great 2011 battle of the slug is still in progress here in Everett. I've lost most of my peas (DRAT, I love peas) but the Golden Sweet Snow Peas, always so pretty, seem to be coming out ahead. I put a few squares of soil blocks of lettuce into box 3, gone out each evening with a flash light on search and destroy missions. It is too early to be shaking up dressing but I just might get salad! I was clipping my first salad this time last year. But, according to the pictures I was looking at for May Day 2010 my Lilac was in full purple bloom. It has not even made noticeable (from the driveway) budds for 2011. I did not have much for the May Basket.

One largish Strawberry Blossom, growing where it should not. If this early unknown makes sisters this year I am going to save them to plant under my espaliered apple tree.

Last year they seemed early, this year the Chive Blossoms seem late. Everything balances itself and comes to center eventually.

Blueberrie blossoms were my favorite May Day flower. These pink beauties are from Earliblue.

I was starting to get worried about the bees. I had not noticed any this spring. But as the clouds parted I noticed a fat bumble bee doing his impossible flight across the garden. I spotted at least two honey bees (they could have been yellow jackets, but I am hopeful) sunning themselves for just a moment on the boxes. The blossoms of this Seckel Pear are not quite ready for the ministry of bees. The pollen is still solid rather than powdery, but they are getting close. In the background is the (sub)urban chicken house Jason is building for the nuggets. We are calling it the Easter Basket.

These are my earliest Cherry blossoms. They are Van's from the new multi tree. What will they cross with? I hope my neighbor has blossoms on his tree that will do the job. The rest of the cherry blossoms on my little tree are shut tight.

Deborah.....who could make a lovely bouquet of dandelions.

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Re: May Day in the PNW

Post  Hoggar on 5/2/2011, 12:49 pm

Hi Furbalsmom.
Your garden looks great cant wait till its time to put up my trellises.

Lavender Deb.
Get some shallow bowls or dishes like old chip dip containers about 1½ inch deep and buy some cheep beer, bury the bowls up to the rim and fill ½ full of beer in the morning go out and dump the drowned slugs in to the garbage can and refill your bowls with beer for the next night. Repeat until your slug population is acceptable.

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Re: May Day in the PNW

Post  boffer on 5/2/2011, 12:53 pm

Everybody in the PNW needs a hoop house or two! They're inexpensive, keep the rain off, act as a cold frame or hot house, can support bug or shade cloth, and this year I'm trying the ribs as the verticals in a Florida weave type trellis.


Some of my unprotected, transplanted broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussel sprouts. Last week, I had five nights in a row that got down to 28°. I just watched. Everything survived and is showing signs of growing again. I guess cool crops in the spring are hardier than I gave them credit for.


But the cauliflower and broccoli with warm feet are really happy.


I still have a couple traditional cold frames. I planted one in mid-Feb, and nothing grew. This one I planted the first week of March. It's coming along, but I haven't eaten from it yet. In my heated hoop houses, I'm doing second plantings already.


On the bottom left, you can see some small lettuce plants that were planted around Presidents' Day. Each plant marker represents one additional week since. The middle third of the bottom gutter (March plantings) has very small lettuce barely sticking their heads out. This was not a good year to plant seeds outside unprotected.


I have summer and winter squashes sprouting in my heated hoop house. I have half a dozen purchased tomato plants that I'm keeping warm. Other than that, I don't have anything going on with warm crops. For me, I'm guessing it will be another 3-4 weeks before I start planting warm crops outside, unprotected. Bummer! The trade-off though, is that I'll never have to look a tomato hornworm in the eye, and that's a wonderful thing!

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Re: May Day in the PNW

Post  Hoggar on 5/2/2011, 3:18 pm

Hi Boffer.

How do you heat your hoop house?
And how is it setup?

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Re: May Day in the PNW

Post  staf74 on 5/2/2011, 3:48 pm

Furbals, Debs and Boffer .......... Sensational !!!!!

Love the blossom pics......

That cold frame has me drooling !!!!

That aerial pic Boffer is to die for......quite literally..... did you almost die climbing a tree taking it? Wink

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Re: May Day in the PNW

Post  boffer on 5/2/2011, 9:28 pm

@Hoggar wrote:Hi Boffer.

How do you heat your hoop house?
And how is it setup?

Soil heating cable. In the land of 'sun don't shine in the winter', we need supplemental heat. I just made another heated hoop house and took pictures. I'll get a thread posted this week.

Staf, I was just standing on top of my wood shed. It's no big deal as long as I pay attention to where I'm walking!

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Re: May Day in the PNW

Post  Goosegirl on 5/3/2011, 8:21 am

Lavender Debs - your blossoms give me hope! The grass is green here, but the trees have not even started to bud and we had snow this past weekend. HOWEVER, today is gorgeous!

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Re: May Day in the PNW

Post  Hoggar on 5/3/2011, 10:30 am

Thanks Boffer can't wait to see it!

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@ Boffer...

Post  MCard on 5/6/2011, 10:45 pm

Lettuce in the gutters is ingenious! Do you use Mel's Mix there too, then?

What a great layout in your garden. I wish you great weather so you can enjoy it even more!

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Re: May Day in the PNW

Post  boffer on 5/7/2011, 9:21 am

@MCard wrote:Lettuce in the gutters is ingenious! Do you use Mel's Mix there too, then?...

Each gutter holds one 5 gallon bucket worth of MM.


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Re: May Day in the PNW

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