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California - What are you doing this month?

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Post  newbeone on 4/29/2017, 3:39 pm

Wow sorry to here You're having so much trouble with Your tomatoes Last year no water this year no sun, What's Up with Sunny California? as far as the carrots I saw it somewhere they took a paper towel placed dots of Elmer's glue then placed the seeds in the dots then placed the towel on the square a little mix on the towel to hold it in place add water and watch them grow. again apologize for using someone else's idea but I thought it was a good one and I will try it for my fall garden it's to hot now I'm showing 93* at the surface
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Post  sanderson on 4/30/2017, 4:01 am

The wind has stopped so I should be able to sow carrots and lettuce without losing them. :-) Today I did what I have been procrastinating - rebuilt and started the compost pile. What a Face It was filled with ants and their nurseries, worms, and grubs. I combined the fizzled hot pile and the cold pile (seeds were sprouting in it), the mowed alfalfa hay and some blood meal. Watered well as I built it. Tomorrow I should be sore as I haven't been active for almost 4 months. I hope to have it finished before the end of May and top dress all the beds, then add some straw mulch. The emergency bagged compost was better than nothing but I love my chunky Berkeley hot compost. And the Red Wigglers love it, also.

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Post  trolleydriver on 4/30/2017, 8:44 am

@sanderson wrote:.. Today I did what I have been procrastinating - rebuilt and started the compost pile. What a Face  ...  Tomorrow I should be sore ...
I emptied my plastic compost bin and my hardware cloth (hwc) bin. I relocated the contents onto a tarp and have a pile over 3 feet high. A lot of what I took out of the hwc bin was very wet. Anyway it's all fluffed up now.  And I woke up this morning feeling very sore.

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Post  countrynaturals on 4/30/2017, 10:41 am

@sanderson wrote:Tomorrow I should be sore as I haven't been active for almost 4 months.  
I have been filling, moving, dumping, and spreading wheelbarrow loads of wood chips for a couple of weeks. At first I could only do 3 a day and it just about did me in. Now I can do 5-6 with ease. 

Yesterday, with help from Hubby and son-in-law, I got my asparagus bed and strawberry patch set up in the BTE. Whew! Pics, later. Today I'm just going to piddle around and take a light duty day (Yeah, well I'm probably lying about that part -- we'll see how it goes.) Rolling Eyes
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Post  sanderson on 5/13/2017, 3:12 am

It's been almost 2 weeks since I have posted here.  The cool weather has been a boon to my tomatoes.  Who knows, this Californian may actually have tomatoes this year. Razz  Here are 2 photos, one of 7 indeterminate in the 2x7 TT, and the other in my son's 2 x 4 rolling bed that I am baby sitting.  Do you think a few years of homemade compost, red wigglers, crab and kelp meal in the 2 x 7 TT makes a difference?  I'm really going to work on his 2 beds and see if I can improve it. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Tomato19
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Rob_s_14

Tomato wise, the ones in the TTs are the best, followed by the 7 in buckets, followed by the 9 in the BTE strip and in last place, my son's rooling box.  Today, I tied the tall ones up with overhead gardener's tape.  Some of the suckers were starting to get flowers but I had to remove anything over 2 suckers per plant.  There are little green petite pea-size tomatoes!

The winter squash and cantaloupe that I had to direct sow because I forgot to start the seedlings?  Well, they are doing well.  7 winter squash and lower left is a watermelon.  I think I will move the 2 inner trellises over the inner plants.  First time there will be 4 trellises on both the winter squash and the melon beds. A photo of the melon bed to follow soon. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Winter24

Five okra, both corns and most of the sorghum are up. Now the watch for the pesky squirrels.

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Post  sanderson on 5/15/2017, 5:20 pm

I had a nightmare last night that the grasshoppers were back!  What a Face  Nope, just a dream, but I will have to watch for their arrival.

BTE strip May 15.  South end with 9 tomatoes plus 5 in buckets waiting for their cages.
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Bte_to12

Close up of cage with Jerry-rigged overhead supports. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Bte_to11

North end with SQ corn, sorghum, Gem corn, okra and a few sunflowers interspersed. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Bte_sq10

Longer view facing North.  I copied Yolos and added second trellises on the 2 bean boxes so that they are trellised in a sandwich manner.  They are grabbing and climbing so, so much better!
  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Bte_5-10

First baby tomatoes, Black Vernissage. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Tomato20

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Post  trolleydriver on 5/15/2017, 5:39 pm

I'm always amazed at how well you use the available space. Lookin' real good.

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Post  sanderson on 5/15/2017, 9:47 pm

Thank you. But, didn't Pharaoh have 7 dreams, flying grasshoppers being one? Wink They are coming.

The darker black hose down the middle of the strip is a new 1/2 drip line with 9" space for the holes. I put a Y fitting on the hose bib and a female tube-to-hose fitting on the tube, connecting them with a short hose. It's manually watered but with clay underneath the organic layers, a good watering lasts for a few days. So, I can leave for a few days without worrying about this strip. The rest of the plants are on auto drip lines.

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Post  yolos on 5/16/2017, 12:33 am

Everything looks good and healthy so far.  I like your corn rows but with only two rows you may have to hand pollinate.  Have you ever grown corn before.???
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Post  sanderson on 5/16/2017, 2:56 am

Yolos, yes I have. Nothing to write home about. Sweetie, dear cat, used to chew on the stalks until they fell over! The next year I planted them in a table top and surrounded with chicken wire.

The 2 corn, and other tall plants, planted along the strip are just for neighborhood entertainment. They loved the sunflowers and Sun Gold tomatoes that grew over the fence last summer.

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Post  Turan on 5/16/2017, 12:00 pm

I was thinking the same thing, wondering about pollination of the corn. If a breeze flows down that passage it should work. Heck, just walking down that path will rustle the corn enough to cause pollen to fly. DHs grandparents in Madera (just up the road from Sanderson) would plant a double row of pretty tightly spaced corn down their side yard and get very good pollination.

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Post  countrynaturals on 5/16/2017, 12:55 pm

@Turan wrote:I was thinking the same thing, wondering about pollination of the corn.  If a breeze flows down that passage it should work.  Heck, just walking down that path will rustle the corn enough to cause pollen to fly. DHs grandparents in Madera (just up the road from Sanderson) would plant a double row of pretty tightly spaced corn down their side yard and get very good pollination.
I will have 2 rows set up like this, about 3' apart. Will that be close enough for pollination? I haven't planted the 2 row yet, so I could close it in and not have a path between. Should I do that?
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Post  Turan on 5/16/2017, 1:45 pm

@countrynaturals wrote: I will have 2 rows set up like this, about 3' apart. Will that be close enough for pollination? I haven't planted the 2 row yet, so I could close it in and not have a path between. Should I do that?

I am guessing you have a 5 foot wide strip to plant? Can you walk along each side of the strip or is it along a fence like Sanderson's? I would plant them about 6-12 inches apart in a double or triple row or quadruple row depending on if you can walk along the both sides or not. Closer for early varieties (they are smaller usually) and further for late varieties (being larger they take up more room per plant).
I hope that helps.

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Post  countrynaturals on 5/16/2017, 2:09 pm

@Turan wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote: I will have 2 rows set up like this, about 3' apart. Will that be close enough for pollination? I haven't planted the 2 row yet, so I could close it in and not have a path between. Should I do that?

I am guessing you have a 5 foot wide strip to plant? Can you walk along each side of the strip or is it along a fence like Sanderson's? I would plant them about 6-12 inches apart in a double or triple row or quadruple row depending on if you can walk along the both sides or not.  Closer for early varieties (they are smaller usually) and further for late varieties (being larger they take up more room per plant).  
I hope that helps.
I'm so glad this came up today. I would have done it all wrong. Yes, I can walk along both sides, so I will set up the other double row right next to the first one. At least I spaced the plants right -- about 12" apart. Thx, Turan. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 3170584802
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Post  countrynaturals on 5/16/2017, 8:31 pm

Rained all day, today. Wasn't supposed to, but I'm glad. Could be the last rain we'll see until October. Fire in the woodstove. Probably the last one of those until October, too. Could hit triple-digits next week. AARRGGHH!!!!! I'm not ready for that! Evil or Very Mad
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Post  yolos on 5/16/2017, 9:38 pm

@sanderson wrote:Yolos, yes I have.   Nothing to write home about.  Sweetie, dear cat, used to chew on the stalks until they fell over!  The next year I planted them in a table top and surrounded with chicken wire.

The 2 corn, and other tall plants, planted along the strip are just for neighborhood entertainment.  They loved the sunflowers and Sun Gold tomatoes that grew over the fence last summer.
I was out in the garden today hand pollinating a few ears of corn.  I cut the top tassle off and rubbed it on the silks.  I have 4 rows in a 3 x 8 bed so I decided to help them along.

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Post  sanderson on 1/12/2020, 5:39 pm

January is the month to go through the catalogs and order seeds.  Next month is when seedlings are started indoors.  So, this is a peaceful time in the garden for most of California.

Last night I took these photos of the active part of the SFG by the light of the perennial white Christmas lights.  I had to harvest some herbs for the minestrone soup and it was so beautiful. For you observant folks, yes I have to replace one string of light. Embarassed

Sweet potato totes, October-planted garlic and Strike Bush Beans.
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Garden70

Artichoke plant left background, salad bed and a bush pea in the right background that I won't plant again.  Small pot of spearmint I trimmed back yesterday and the 12" pot where the ginger grew.
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Garden71

Mulched walkway!  Another view of the peas I won't grow again, the long  bed of cool weather veggies, and another view of the salad bed on the right.
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Garden72

Square salad bed on the left, the square perennial herb bed on the right and the back side of the cool weather crops in the center.  The tall plant is cilantro.  It bolted because the fall/winter was so warm until recently.  Well, at least the early pollinators will like it.  Shocked
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Garden73

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Post  yolos on 1/13/2020, 12:08 am

Why are you not planting peas again.  What is the variety you are not planting.  My fall planted English peas were planted so late due to the heat in September.  They did not become harvest-able.  We have had two - three nights of freezing weather over the last month or so.  The freezes damaged the pods and the flowers.  They do much better in the early spring due to the fact that they will not flower or set pods until after the last freeze.

PS - you have a lot growing in there.
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Post  countrynaturals on 1/13/2020, 10:53 am

I'm hibernating. Next Sunday, when we get another turn with the sun, I'll take the camera out and post an update. Rolling Eyes
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Post  Yardslave on 1/13/2020, 1:37 pm

I'm clearing out my zucchini, onion, and bean beds. Will be prepping one bed for onion seedlings that volunteered, and thinning the chive patch. I have a few tomatoes and peppers that are surviving the cold, damp weather, and don't know if I should let them overwinter or just yank them and start with new seedlings. I'm inclined to yank them out so I can thoroughly refresh the MM rather than try to get by with a side dressing. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Post  sanderson on 1/13/2020, 3:01 pm

@yolos wrote:Why are you not planting peas again.  What is the variety you are not planting. 
Oh, no.  I WILL plant Strike peas again (first photo), but not the other variety.  Snappy? I bought Snappy off the shelf as a whim.

Thank you for introducing me to Strike peas.

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Post  sanderson on 1/13/2020, 3:10 pm

@Yardslave wrote:I'm clearing out my zucchini, onion, and bean beds. . . I have a few tomatoes and peppers that are surviving the cold, damp weather, and don't know if I should let them overwinter or just yank them and start with new seedlings. I'm inclined to yank them out so I can thoroughly refresh the MM rather than try to get by with a side dressing. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
When you say, "refresh", do you mean just top off with more compost or mix it in?

I like to rough-mix-in the compost to get some new compost throughout the MM. Dump buckets of mixed compost over the whole bed and just crudely turn over a deep trowel full here and there.

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Post  countrynaturals on 1/14/2020, 12:52 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:I'm hibernating. Next Sunday, when we get another turn with the sun, I'll take the camera out and post an update. Rolling Eyes
Sun came out for a few minutes this morning, so here's mine:

Here are the cherry toms, still hanging from dead vines. If we hadn't had that hard frost in November, I think they'd still be alive. I snacked on one of these and it was fine. (The green is volunteer catnip.)
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Jantom10

Here are my potato onions. I bought 3, but one had a baby. I planted sugar snap peas all the way around, but only 1 sprouted. The healthy green plant is some kind of lettuce?
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 40 Janpot10
Everything else is even more boring. Embarassed
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Post  Yardslave on 1/14/2020, 1:06 pm

sanderson: wrote:When you say, "refresh", do you mean just top off with more compost or mix it in?

I like to rough-mix-in the compost to get some new compost throughout the MM.  Dump buckets of mixed compost over the whole bed and just crudely turn over a deep trowel full here and there.
Do you leave any plants still in the beds? If so, do you work the compost in around them, or lift them out, trim the roots a bit (like one does when re-potting a plant) to freshen the mix.
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