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Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48 Empty Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48

Post  markqz on 9/2/2019, 8:37 pm

Hi!

My name is Mark and I'm about as South/West as you can be in the U.S. without leaving the country. I think Zone 10b/11a? I planted my first SFG two weeks ago. See below. You might wonder why anyone would start this time of the year. Well, depending on the year, we may actually have some of our hottest weather in November. So there's some hope that some of the plants will make it to harvest before the end of the year. In any event, my other conventionally grown plants have been singularly ungrateful for the buckets of expensive water I've been giving them every day. By contrast, the squash below have grown almost more in two weeks then some of my other (regular gardening) squash have in two months.

You may also wonder why I planted so many squash-like plants. Well, I was expecting that most of them wouldn't germinate. Instead, they almost all germinated. It's the small stuff that has been growing slowly. Only the arugula (row 3, col 1 from UPLHC) and the radishes (Lower right hand corner) have done well. Actually, I over-planted the radishes a week ago since they had only 50% germination.

I'm not sure about the spinach I planted. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable could tell me if the plant in the close-up could be spinach? I've never had much luck with spinach, but am hoping this time it will be different.

I'm sure I'll have lots of questions over time about SGF, esp about compost, flowers, and pest deterrents.

Thanks for reading!

Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48 Sfg-2010


Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48 Sfg-sp10
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/2/2019, 9:41 pm

Welcome!  And nice 4x4!  I love mine....

You will do well, as far as what you are growing.I have zero knowledge about your climate....

But glad you are here!
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Post  countrynaturals on 9/2/2019, 10:36 pm

Hi, Mark. Welcome from Redding, CA. Looks like you're off to a great start. good job!
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Post  sanderson on 9/3/2019, 3:52 am

Hi, Mark, Welcome to the Forum from Fresno, CA! glad you\'re here You must be in the San Diego area. We hear you on the precious water.

You have a beautiful SFG bed. You may be able to grow a variety of plants year around, but I don't know about squash. A lot has to do with how many sunlight hours plus the climate. Spinach is a cool weather plant and takes a while to germinate. New Zealand spinach, while not a true spinach, has a similar taste and nutrients as real spinach and can be a perennial plant for year around harvesting.

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Post  markqz on 9/3/2019, 10:47 am

Hi sanderson -- thanks for the welcome!

@sanderson wrote:New Zealand spinach, while not a true spinach, has a similar taste and nutrients as real spinach and can be a perennial plant for year around harvesting.
Oh, I've got that in the backyard, from the original owner of my place ... 19 years ago or more. Self-seeding when and where it feels like it. The problem is, you have to parboil it to use it. Not as excited about soggy veggies ;-) . As a ground cover it's useful to add some greenery, and it's easy to pull up when you need to.

One of my problems with my new SFG is compost. Mel recommended using your own compost, but I don't have enough organic material to make a hot pile. At best, my barrel of compost got to about 95F. So there's some seeds still lurking.

Is there any possibility that the plant in the photo is spinach?

Thanks!
Mark
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Post  sanderson on 9/3/2019, 5:27 pm

I will have to leave other folks to answer the question as to whether it is spinach as I don't grow it. I add NZ spinach to stir fry, soups and smoothies/juices. In lieu of spinach.

Finding bagged composts can be hard. I have made my own compost since late 2013. I'm almost 71 and I will no longer be making it so I am searching and storing up on composts as I find them. Gardner's composted chicken manure and Nature's Care Really Good Compost from Home Depot. Gardner and Bloome Purely Compost from a nursery. Ecoscraps Compost was carried by Lowes. A decent substitute is Ecoscraps Garden Soil if you can't find the Ecoscraps Compost. The only difference is the amount of veggies used in making the Compost and the Garden Soil. Mushroom compost. A little bit of worm castings (use as less than 10% of compost volume).

Check with hydroponics and "specialty crop" Wink stores. You never know. Read the ingredients and buy only those free of peat, coir, perlite, and fertilizer.

There is a compost out of Sacramento that I really liked but is no longer shipped to the Fresno area. It was made from tomato processing waste, rice hulls and sawdust (?). I'll try to get the name.


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Post  markqz on 9/3/2019, 6:17 pm

@sanderson wrote:I will have to leave other folks to answer the question as to whether it is spinach as I don't grow it.  I add NZ spinach to stir fry, soups and smoothies/juices.  In lieu of spinach.

Do you add it directly to stir fry, without par-boiling?  Maybe I'll have to give it another go.

Thanks!
Mark
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/3/2019, 6:35 pm

Yes, I do think that could be a spinach sprout.  It will surprise me if it does anything in the heat...I have had them bolt int he starter cell in OHIO!  

Lee[ us posted!
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Post  sanderson on 9/4/2019, 12:08 am

@markqz wrote:
@sanderson wrote:I will have to leave other folks to answer the question as to whether it is spinach as I don't grow it.  I add NZ spinach to stir fry, soups and smoothies/juices.  In lieu of spinach.

Do you add it directly to stir fry, without par-boiling?  Maybe I'll have to give it another go.

Thanks!
Mark
Yes, rinse off the leaves you harvest and saute with olive oil or coconut oil and S/P.  Or crisp up some bacon and saute in bacon fat with crumbles.  Here are some of my toy bok choy, 2 varieties, with my "granddaughter". Nov 25. Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48 Winter23

Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48 Bok_ch13

Feb 2, the bok choys bolted and the bees/pollinators loved it.  Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48 Bees_o10

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Post  markqz on 9/4/2019, 11:49 am

@sanderson wrote:
Yes, rinse off the leaves you harvest and saute with olive oil or coconut oil and S/P.  

Leaves. Maybe that was part of my mistake. At one time I was taking stems too, which have seed/flower pods.

Is the plant with the yellow chard? Maybe I should aim for that instead of spinach. And harvest it in a timely manner.

One of my problems down here is deciding when to take plants out. Kale, for instance, will over-winter and get as tall as a small tree. Looks like something out of Dr. Seuss.

Your grand-daughter is lovely ;-)

Mark
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Post  mollyhespra on 9/4/2019, 11:09 pm

Hello, Mark. Welcome to the forum!

Can't say if it's spinach. Why not take a little nibble and see, although like others have said if it is spinach, it'll probably bolt soon enough.
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Post  markqz on 9/5/2019, 12:02 am

@mollyhespra wrote:Hello, Mark.  Welcome to the forum!

Can't say if it's spinach. Why not take a little nibble and see, although like others have said if it is spinach, it'll probably bolt soon enough.  

Actually, now that it's bigger, it's looking suspiciously like the arugula. Probably I dropped a seed. Oh well, arugula is good.

Thanks!
Mark
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Post  sanderson on 9/5/2019, 2:42 pm

Mark, Regarding the bok choy, I just pluck 2 or 3 outer leaves off each plant and let them grow more.  Around February, they start to bolt (go to flower) and the taste changes.  I leave the choy, broccoli, cauliflower to flower for the pollinators until it is time to prep for summer crops.

Food for early pollinators Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48 Bok_ch14

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Post  markqz on 9/6/2019, 12:24 pm

I don't know if this will keep up, but it's been pretty amazing this week. I realize I should have annotated the
photos better. That's 9/1 on the left, and 9/6 on the right. There are definitely different choices I should have made. I should have
put all the squash family next to the trellis. Then the peas (which all claim they don't need staking ... hmm) and corn.

In the first row, 3rd square, I believe a little volunteer New Zealand spinach is coming up (that box is supposed to have salad
mix).

Mark

Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48 2019-010
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Post  countrynaturals on 9/6/2019, 12:28 pm

Nice, Mark! Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48 3170584802  When the weather is mild, we can almost see things grow. For me, that's what makes it worth all the work. I love you
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Post  sanderson on 9/6/2019, 2:56 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:Nice, Mark! Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48 3170584802  When the weather is mild, we can almost see things grow. For me, that's what makes it worth all the work. I love you
+1

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Post  No_Such_Reality on 9/6/2019, 11:53 pm

Keep an eye out though, as this current heat wave winds down, if humidity stays high, powdery mildew strikes with a vengence.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 9/7/2019, 10:04 am

Hi Mark. Welcome also from Atlanta, GA. VERY nice set-up...
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Post  markqz on 9/7/2019, 2:11 pm

@No_Such_Reality wrote:Keep an eye out though, as this current heat wave winds down, if humidity stays high, powdery mildew strikes with a vengence.

Yes, with my traditional squash-growing the mildew often grows faster than the plants. Amazing they could still sometimes produce.

The humidity is pretty much always 40% or above here, with the exception of late Autumn Santa Ana winds. Do people recommend Neem oil, or some other treatment?

Thanks!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/7/2019, 2:52 pm

I use a milk spray, about 1/2 water and 1/2 milk.  You can use cheap reconstituted powdered milk for this, and I think some people use it full strength.  Weirdly, it really works, but you have to reapply often...got that from here.  

If you use the search bar in the upper left corner, you can check it out!  Plus it’s harmless to beneficials.  And builds strong bones and teeth, lol!
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Post  No_Such_Reality on 9/7/2019, 10:04 pm

The milk spray defers it out here.  Since I'm near the house of the mouse we get similar weather.  PM is really about overnight temp and humidity.
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Post  sanderson on 9/8/2019, 3:17 pm

@No_Such_Reality wrote:. . .   Since I'm near the house of the mouse . . .
Razz

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Post  RJARPCGP on 9/8/2019, 8:15 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@No_Such_Reality wrote:. . .   Since I'm near the house of the mouse . . .
Razz
The woods? Like a section I know too well in Claremont, New Hampshire, where their Walmart is!

Just by opening a vehicle door, you can hear a chipmunk! Laughing 

But that area is known for deer mouse problems! Evil or Very Mad

In broad daylight, during what was likely 2018, I saw a deer mouse running across the parking lot near our vehicle! Shocked
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Post  markqz on 9/11/2019, 3:46 pm

Here's one of the squash starting to climb the trellis. This is the first time I've used a trellis other than a short little wooden thing. If it works, the plant should be getting more sunlight throughout the day, as the shorter days lead to longer shadows from the surrounding neighborhood.

Hello from the Southest-Westest of the contig. 48 20190910
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Post  sanderson on 9/12/2019, 2:53 pm

House of the Mouse = Disneyland ?? Just clarifying.

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