2020 Garden Thread

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
805
Vancouver Island
@begreen , think I can see your plume from here! ;lol
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
'Bout time. I'm getting tired of sending all those smoke signals with no response.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
518
Texas
We had a little bit of rain on Monday, but the temperatures have been pretty warm. The plants seem to be enjoying it, though I’m thankful it’s going to get a little cooler in coming days. I just planted out more lettuce as well as some cauliflower and cabbage. I was late starting those as I needed to get seeds.

The asparagus is coming up nicely.
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We’ve had spring break this week, so the kids and I had time to paint the lids for the blueberry ollas. I had rearranged the plants when they moved back to the cube so that the smaller ones got a bit more sun exposure, and I thought it would be helpful not to get the varieties mixed up to have the names on the olla lids. Having them painted also helps water not to evaporate through the lid, I understand, but mostly I just wanted to let my seven year old label them for me. (Her older sister helped.)
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I’ve also had time just to walk around and look at buds on trees. The mandarin orange is loaded, and the lime and lemons are also showing new growth. The extended forecast isn’t showing any more cold (lowest temp at 54), so I’m hopeful we won’t have to do any more protecting or lose any more fruit to cold. (We did lose peaches or cherries with our dip into the twenties a couple of weeks ago.)

I’m even debating setting out my tomatoes, but I haven’t committed yet. They’re hardened off, but they’ve still got some room to grow as I hadn’t expected it to be quite so warm in March. I’m also thinking of starting some cucumbers.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,281
Schenectady, NY
Finally got my seeds in. Will start them tomorrow. Also have to trim the peach tree.


Noticed last Monday that the rabbits girdled the apple trees. Sigh.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
We're going to be chilled for the next week. May put the peas out, they are getting big.
 

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
805
Vancouver Island
Seventeen of the last 31 days saw freezing overnight temperatures, which is unusual for us - headed for -4 again tonight, and -4 to -2 for the next four days.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
Seventeen of the last 31 days saw freezing overnight temperatures, which is unusual for us - headed for -4 again tonight, and -4 to -2 for the next four days.
Yeah. High temp today of 37º and below freezing expected tonight.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,281
Schenectady, NY
Got seeds started. I usually plant cold stuff mid April. Warm stuff later April.

I'm going to do something different this year. I've never gotten a good snap pea crop. We go from too cold to too hot for them too quickly. I started 36 plants today in a tray. They'll get a good jump on my regular in ground planting.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,281
Schenectady, NY
Got the old and dead brambles taken out. They're ready to go when they decide to. Half the peach tree was pruned. Every year I feel like I chop too much off of it, but it seems to thrive with abuse.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
I got a second batch of seeds started today. Mostly tomatoes and peppers. Will need to transplant the peas, spinach and lettuce as soon as this cold wave passes.
 
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AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
805
Vancouver Island
Change is around the corner, highs of 7 to 13C next week.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
518
Texas
Begreen and AlbergSteve must have sent the cold my way. I planted out some tomatoes and peppers last week when the extended forecast looked warm. I knew it was a risk, but I figured I could protect them if the forecast changed. Sure enough, all of a sudden a forecast for temperatures in the 40s appeared for Friday night. I started saving milk jugs in case I needed them.

We had thunderstorms and rain last night, and I woke up this morning to the temperatures at 55. That’s the air temperature where I start to be concerned. I know they’ll live, but the heat down in here in the summer means that you have to get tomatoes started early, in the ground early, and protect if temperatures get too cold. They’ll live but apparently too low of temperatures can have an effect on the plants’ ability to photosynthesize even after the cold has passed.

I debated whether to use full-on frost cloth over wires or just the milk jugs I’d been saving. I decided milk jugs would be easier, and the other plants in the bed could stay fully exposed to what rain we get. I went down to the kitchen and discovered that my ten-year-old son had decided the recycling needed to be compressed and had smashed my milk jugs. Thankfully he hadn’t done it very completely, and he restored them for me by blowing them up like balloons. I ended up only using a few jugs and one empty coffee jar and a collection of pots, all of which I weighted down with limestone that sits around my garden in piles. They’ll stay on tonight, through the day tomorrow (I don’t expect enough sun to cause problems with heat), and on for Saturday night as well. After that temperatures warm back up again, even into the eighties during the day later in the week. The plants will be happy. (Well, the tomatoes and peppers will be happy. The lettuce will put up with it.)

The citrus is all blossoming, and the peach tree has a good number of peaches set. We lost some in a freeze, but thankfully it wasn’t the whole crop. We may well lose any that do start ripening to squirrels as we did our first year here. We have new neighbors with some outdoor cats that visit, though. I’ve seen one cat in one tree where squirrels have been known to nest. I wonder if it will make any difference. Probably not.

Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, so I doubt there will be gardening. I need to add more compost to beds that haven’t been planted. Meanwhile, my cucumbers inside are getting some tiny true leaves. I’m also sprouting a couple of pimiento peppers with the thought that I might keep them indoors all summer. They won’t mature before the real heat comes, and it will be an interesting experiment.
 
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AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
805
Vancouver Island
We had another hard frost this morning... <>
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
My day at the office in self-quarantine. Getting there. I put the peas and some of the spinach in the ground outside on Wed. So far it looks happy.

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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
518
Texas
@AlbergSteve, I guess you didn’t send all the cold my way then. Do you have more seed starting adventures to share?

@begreen, that’s a great way to spend self-quarantine. Can you share more photos of that greenhouse, please?

@BKVP, I read in another thread that you are starting a garden while quarantined at home. Please come join us here.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
@AlbergSteve, I guess you didn’t send all the cold my way then. Do you have more seed starting adventures to share?

@begreen, that’s a great way to spend self-quarantine. Can you share more photos of that greenhouse, please?

@BKVP, I read in another thread that you are starting a garden while quarantined at home. Please come join us here.
Well...I'm fairly certain that my expenditures for a raised garden could have fed us veggies for a decade....but I've never been good at investing! This measures 40' x 30'.
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks for posting, Our major investment for raised beds was about $2500 8 yrs ago. They are cement, no rotting.
Your soil looks nice. How does one manage beds that deep?
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
Thanks for posting, Our major investment for raised beds was about $2500 8 yrs ago. They are cement, no rotting.
How does one manage beds that deep?
Not certain. We planted asparagus seeds last year...the grew into little spears popping up this year. We have a friend with a huge greenhouse that wants to give us more stuff.

So how do we grow blue agave plants?
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
We do have, for past 10 years, 33 blueberry plants. We harvest close to 50 gallons a year....in fact, I smell blueberry banana bread coming out of the oven.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
Not certain. We planted asparagus seeds last year...the grew into little spears popping up this year. We have a friend with a huge greenhouse that wants to give us more stuff.

So how do we grow blue agave plants?
We used to harvest asparagus plants by the bag full growing wild along the roadside in some areas of Walla Walla.

Not sure how well blue agave plants will grow up here, but corn, rye, hops, grapes and barley do well.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
We used to harvest asparagus plants by the bag full growing wild along the roadside in some areas of Walla Walla.

Not sure how well blue agave plants will grow up here, but corn, rye, hops, grapes and barley do well.
All good options for another consumable fluid.
 

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
805
Vancouver Island
@AlbergSteve, I guess you didn’t send all the cold my way then. Do you have more seed starting adventures to share?

@begreen, that’s a great way to spend self-quarantine. Can you share more photos of that greenhouse, please?

@BKVP, I read in another thread that you are starting a garden while quarantined at home. Please come join us here.
Well, what we have started looks good. Peas went in the ground today. Was hoping to hit the garden hard this week but the forecast looks like showers all week, possible snow on Wednesday.
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Might have to start another shelf.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,281
Schenectady, NY
All seeds to be started early have been introduced to soil inside.

Then we got something like 7" of wet snow today.

Sigh.
 

MTY

Feeling the Heat
Jan 9, 2019
299
Idaho
We have seeds started, but need to come up with a battle plan before they go in the ground. Rabbits, turkeys, deer and the occasional bear and elk have to be dealt with. This will be our first year planting at the new place and since we are not there full time the fencing will have to be top notch. We will freeze overnight for at least another month.