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January 2013: Pacific Northwest Toplef10January 2013: Pacific Northwest 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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January 2013: Pacific Northwest

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Kelejan
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Post  gwennifer 1/1/2013, 2:05 pm

Welcome to a New Year of gardening the SFG way! So thrilled to see so many of my PNW'ers continuing their gardening efforts throughout the winter months.

Have your seed catalogs started piling up yet? My gardening calendar says it's time to start planting indoors and out. Have a look:

January
Seed Indoors Seed Outdoors Under Cover Seed Outdoors
Artichoke Radish Onion Sets
Endive
Leeks
Lettuce
Parsley
Arugula
Green Onions
Onions

I'm getting a laugh out of the parsley, since until the frost yesterday morning and then the snow I had a pot full of thriving parsley. I used some for both my Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

My goal this week will be to set up my seed starting table with heat mat. What are you all going to be up to this month?
gwennifer
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Post  FamilyGardening 1/3/2013, 3:26 pm

was curious if anyone from the pnw has ever tried to grow sweet potatoes?......i know our weather is not warm enough and a bit on the wet side....but was wondering if it would work growing them in a small green house?

Very Happy happy gardening
rose
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Post  Triciasgarden 1/3/2013, 4:46 pm

I have never grown them but from some of the reading I did, it's important for the soil to be warm and they do not like cool nights. Here is a discussion some members had about sweet potatoes. I didn't read all of it but it may be helpful! https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t13461-sweet-potatoes?highlight=growing+sweet+potatoes
Triciasgarden
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Post  FamilyGardening 1/3/2013, 5:37 pm

thank you Triciasgarden i did read that thread already Very Happy

for some reason while waiting for spring i keep looking into growing stuff that i havent tried yet because of our cooler wet temps here in the pnw.....maybe im a rebel rofl

happy gardening
rose
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Post  Triciasgarden 1/4/2013, 11:05 am

I totally understand! I would love to grow citrus trees here in Utah and even tried to think of a way! I grew up in California but have lived in Utah for about 23 years now and I keep forgetting that I am in the Western Plains and High Mountains area but I keep looking when someone posts for what they are doing in their gardens today in the Pacific Northwest and I'm sure I post sometimes as if I am in your group's area saying what I am doing that day, lol! I don't know if we can grow sweet potatoes here very well either! Sweet potatoes are such beautiful plants, and to me they are almost worth growing just for their foliage! I guess I am a rebel too!
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Post  Triciasgarden 1/4/2013, 11:19 am

I did a search to see if I could grow sweet potatoes here in Northern Utah and this seems to be a good article.

http://local.garden.org/Sweet_Potato_Roy_UT-r1216496-Roy_UT.html
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Post  FamilyGardening 1/4/2013, 1:09 pm

thanks for the link!

lots a good info and hubby said lets give it a try Very Happy we are going to grow them in the green house....now i just need to remember to buy an organic sweet potato 8wks before our last frost date and get it to sprout a couple of slits Very Happy

oh this is fun....so far the rebel in me is going to grow ginger and sweet potatoes.....and last year before hubby surprised me with the small green house my daughter and i found a really small lemon bush/tree at one of the big box stores....it was so cute...and if they get them in again this year....i think we may just have to get it too.....our daughter really, really wants to get it... Very Happy

happy gardening
rose
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Post  gwennifer 1/4/2013, 1:56 pm

Rose,

The dwarf citrus trees are very easy to find. Definitely saw them at Lowe's this past summer - Improved Meyer Lemon and Washington Navel Orange - both on dwarf rootstock. Also saw them for sale at two different home and garden shows I went to. Doesn't mean they are easy to grow in our climate, but they are certainly easy to buy!

My oldest daughter wanted the orange one so bad because the blooms were so wonderfully fragrant. I bought an Improved Meyer once after sending one to my dad and he loved it. But ours didn't turn out to be fragrant and quickly succumbed to scale bug. Tempting to try again but I don't have the time/space/inclination to do the indoor/outdoor transition every spring and fall. I'm a pretty lazy gardener - but that's why I SFG!

One Green World is a great resource. You can mail order, they are at the big garden shows, and they have a "Plant Mobile" that they drive to different locations during the year and you can have your order sent out on that if they are going to be nearby. Also lots of information on their website for how to grow.
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Post  gwennifer 1/4/2013, 2:16 pm

Regarding sweet potatoes... Rose you are a rebel! But if you are going to try growing them in your greenhouse, perhaps it's time for another gadget. Remember boffer and his T3's? He had soil heating cables in the bottom of his boxes.
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Post  FamilyGardening 1/4/2013, 2:35 pm

We miss Boffer!!!

great idea!.....thanks for the link to TT....it would work really well for the planting box we have in the green house now..... cheers

this is the wooden box...the back three sq's are about 12 in's deep and the front sq's are about 6 in's or so....do you think we could plant the lemon bush/tree in the 12in soil?.....then over winter it in the green house with the heating cables?....the heated cables from TT had a built in thermastat that keep the soil at 74 Very Happy

January 2013: Pacific Northwest Dscf0010

happy gardening
rose

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January 2013: Pacific Northwest Empty seedling starting under hoops in green house

Post  FamilyGardening 1/8/2013, 4:29 pm

not sure if i should start a new topic thread for this or not....

wanted to ask of those who start seedlings under hoops or in green house how much earlier can things be started?...do we take measure of how warm the soil is and then go by what the package of seeds say?....how do you all determine when to sow?

if you start indoors first and then move out to hoops or green house how much earlier do you start?

We have an idea when to start our toms and peppers....we are thinking starting indoors the first of april.....

we are looking for what others do under hoops or in a un heated green house for seedling starting....of...

spinach
lettuce
cole crops
carrots
green onions
leeks

sugar snap peas we direct sow
potatoes we direct sow

happy gardening
rose
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Post  camprn 1/8/2013, 6:22 pm

Rose, I just posted a temperature chart for germination in the Seed Starting thread (page 2). This should give you a bit of good information.
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t9734p15-seed-starting

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January 2013: Pacific Northwest WxBanner?bannertype=wu_clean2day_cond&airportcode=KEEN&ForcedCity=Keene&ForcedState=NH&zipcode=03431&language=EN
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Post  gwennifer 1/8/2013, 7:32 pm

Well if soil temp is all that matters, that's easy then! So things will germinate if the soil temp is right, but will simply grow more slowly this time of year because the plants will accumulate far less GDD's than they will later in the year. Easy-peasy.

Don't forget pg. 252 of the ANSFG book has a germination time and temperature chart of 17 common crops for reference! I used it for a few things last year and found it to be 100% accurate.
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January 2013: Pacific Northwest Empty scarlet runner beans

Post  FamilyGardening 1/17/2013, 5:50 pm

I just found out that scarlet runner beans can be a perennial.. Shocked

has anyone here in the PNW grown them and had them come back again?

it would be awesome if that is true.....as we only cut off the vines and left the roots in the MM as we wanted to have them break down over winter....i would love it if they came back and had a perm spot in our SFG.....it would change our lay out for this year...but we can deal with that Very Happy

happy gardening
rose

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Post  camprn 1/17/2013, 6:06 pm

Such a beautiful flower, but I have no answer to the question.

January 2013: Pacific Northwest Illustration_Phaseolus_coccineus0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaseolus_coccineus

____________________________

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https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  happycamper 1/17/2013, 8:22 pm

I tried this in 2011/2012. I planted in April 2011, harvested my crop in Spring and the second growth in the fall. I cut the vines and left them in the ground throughout the winter of 2011/2012. When April 2012 came, since I didn't see any growth, I pulled them and the roots were alive but I didn't leave any in the ground and replanted another crop.
I planted fresh seed in spring 2012, cut them in the fall again, and they are still in the ground now for a second attempt.
I don't know if it will work but if I don't get over anxious to plant and pull them again I will see if they regrow.
The only thing that I know, is that they didn't compost over the winter here. I would be very interested to see if yours regrow. Please keep us posted!
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Post  GWN 1/17/2013, 9:54 pm

In my severe stage of cabin fever, I have planted the celery base, as has been talked about here a lot. This year I have a plethora of worm castings, so I put the celery in worm castings and just for fun I threw in a scarlet runner.
Well as far as winter thrills, the scarlet runner is enough to keep me content for awhile. It grows several inches up my kitchen window every day, despite the cold and 3 ft snow outside.
I worked so hard in my garden last year and it is frustrating/exciting to know that I have 100 new raspberry bushes hibernating, and several squares of garlic growing (right now as we speak). SO much to be excited about.
I knew that artichokes would not survive in my area over winter, so I grew many of the last year and dug them all up in the fall and have them in large buckets of peat moss, they are all in my greenhouse which I am keeping just above freezing.
I have my asparagus to wait for and found out that there are many areas of wild asparagus and once I learned EXACTLY what it looks like in the fall, I located many great sources of asparagus for the spring. So MUCH to look forward to for the spring, just a few more months till it gets here...
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Post  gwennifer 1/18/2013, 11:31 am

Hi HappyCamper and GWN! Lovely to hear from you again. Sounds like you've all been keeping gardening alive through the winter doldrums, along with Rose, our resident experimenter! Laughing I've been experimenting with baking over the winter but still enjoy my daily salads (even Kale now) and am looking forward to this being the year I master the radishes and salad greens.

I made a marinade for some shrimp when I had company the other day (boffer's lovely wife!) that included parsley and garlic from my garden. That was the best I could do with my homegrown offerings. She brought me a load of boffer's homemade compost! Gardener's are really the most friendly and generous folks. cheers
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Post  Kelejan 1/18/2013, 2:14 pm

@GWN wrote:In my severe stage of cabin fever, I have planted the celery base, as has been talked about here a lot. This year I have a plethora of worm castings, so I put the celery in worm castings and just for fun I threw in a scarlet runner.
Well as far as winter thrills, the scarlet runner is enough to keep me content for awhile. It grows several inches up my kitchen window every day, despite the cold and 3 ft snow outside.
. . . .
You inspired me to have a look at my seeds, and I have planted 6 chard in an AeroGarden. They are sprouting and I can just see the first two green leaves on one of them. I have also prepared a pot with some worm castings added to MM for peas and a couple of runner beans and a small quantity of worm tea for the AeroGarden.I figure I can get some nibbles from them in a bit, as well as seeing a bit of living greenery in the house.
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Post  walshevak 1/18/2013, 3:06 pm

@gwennifer wrote:Hi HappyCamper and GWN! Lovely to hear from you again. Sounds like you've all been keeping gardening alive through the winter doldrums, along with Rose, our resident experimenter! Laughing I've been experimenting with baking over the winter but still enjoy my daily salads (even Kale now) and am looking forward to this being the year I master the radishes and salad greens.

I made a marinade for some shrimp when I had company the other day (boffer's lovely wife!) that included parsley and garlic from my garden. That was the best I could do with my homegrown offerings. She brought me a load of boffer's homemade compost! Gardener's are really the most friendly and generous folks. cheers

Glad to hear that Boffer is still active. I miss his wit on the forum.

Kay

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Post  FamilyGardening 1/18/2013, 4:44 pm

GWEN how neat you were able to have lunch with Boffers wife!...pretty awesome cheers she brought you some of Boffers compost!

you all have inspired me to plant something in our kitchen window ceil....hmmm....be kinda cool to grow a sugar snap pea and a runner bean.....they could trail up the blinds.... Very Happy

happy gardening
rose.....
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Post  spinwind 1/30/2013, 6:10 pm

Is anyone else just dying to start planting? I keep going outside and poking around in my gardens. It's not dead out there, actually far from it considering it's January. I still have leaf lettuce growing, beets that I left in all winter, are going strong. I also overwintered some walla walla onions. They're still green. Then there is the elephant garlic, which has grown all winter long like a champ.

I am waiting with baited breath to plant potatoes, debating whether to plant some I have growing from the store out of a bag of mixed red white and blues from Costco. They're sprouting away, and I haven't tossed them out, for that very reason. I am thinking about hilling the potatoes this year with alfalfa hay, I have almost an entire bale I purchased that wasn't cured correctly, and it molded. I am thinking it would make excellent compost though.

Right now though, I am contenting myself with the rabbits, and their compost-making tendencies. All winter I've been spreading their bunny berries on the beds. At least that makes bunny cage cleaning fun! I figure between the 10 rabbits, I get the equivalent of 4 bags of compost a month. That pays for their food Smile.

And before the week is out, I'm going to build another new bed, along the cedar fence that faces south. I am hoping this will be perfect for tomatoes, to get them a little extra sunshine and heat.

Spring is almost here!
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Post  GWN 1/30/2013, 9:29 pm

WELL
I have found SEVERAL things to keep me busy this past week.
I have discovered that for hardwood cuttings, this is the time of year to take them. I have gone around my yard, and neighbourhood, looking for stuff I wanted... FOR INSTANCE

The one established plant that was growing on our property when we bought it was a grape plant...(green), that was somehow kept alive because the neighbour waters he lawn so much.
Anyhow, turns out that the grapes this plant grows are by far the very best grapes I have ever had.
I have taken several cuttings from this one
Also deep in the forest behind my place is a great apple tree that the deer desimate every year (except for the high up branches), and this year the snow is so high that I can reach up to those branches and get some cuttings.
A cherry tree of ours fell over this year with the weight of the snow, so I took a few cuttings from that in case the tree does not survive.
I have also learned that you can take cuttings from Basil plants and the basil plant I had in the garden last summer and brought in is starting to look a little bit old, so I took several cuttings from that. (these I just put in water) All the hardwood cuttings I just dipped in root hormone and wrapped in a mixture of vermiculite and peat moss.
I am experimenting. Some I have placed in the furnace room, some in the greenhouse where it is cooler, some just in the office.
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Post  Goosegirl 1/31/2013, 8:09 am

GWN - please keep us updated as to how the hardwood cuttings do. I am very interested to hear what works!

GG
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Post  plantoid 1/31/2013, 9:00 am

GWN,
Don't be in a rush to replant what you think has been a successful cutting exercise Hard won experience made me realize that there was greater success in a two yr old hard wood cutting than one of a year old for lots of times the roots hadn't developed enough for the cutting to survive a hot or dry summer .

I also discoverd that whilst my fruit tree cuttings ( sicons ) would often flower at the same time as the tree they had come from ,there was very little root development this was for our plums , apples and pears .

Sicons grafted onto root stock cuttings also need similar treatment.
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