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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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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Toplef10California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 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.

California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 I22gcj10California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 14dhcg10

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California - What are you doing this month?

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California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Empty beets

Post  kauairosina 4/6/2014, 6:41 pm

Probably would cook faster cut into pieces.  Of course.  More juice comes out however.  Be interesting to know how these come out, taste wise.  Please let us know.
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Post  sanderson 4/6/2014, 6:49 pm

My one experience cooking beets turned out to be the last one. I simply don't like the taste. I cut them in quarters and baked them at 425*. Tossed with oil, salt and pepper, thinking they would be as delicious as the rest of the baked veggies.
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California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Empty try beets again sometime

Post  kauairosina 4/6/2014, 7:06 pm

things don't always turn out right the first time. Our current favorite way of cooking beets is to put them on top a steamer and put tops on top and steam.  Turn off after 30 minutes and let sit.  Tops keep the heat in.  They are really, really good.
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Post  sanderson 4/8/2014, 3:39 pm

The tops on one bucket of red potatoes were looking sickly so I dumped it this morning.  9 oz. of little red potatoes!

I moved my full narration and started a new topic.

California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Potato14
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Post  Yardslave 4/8/2014, 9:50 pm

Boil those little ones up and pass me the sour cream!
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Post  sanderson 4/8/2014, 11:18 pm

Too late. Micro with butter, salt and pepper.  Very Happy 
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Post  sanderson 4/21/2014, 5:34 am

After losing all my tomatoes and all but one tomatillo, one cantaloupe and one cucumber, the boxes have been looking empty.  I started planting the replacements this evening to feel better about the garden.  This bed of greens has been doing great. I cut and grow them.  3 squares of greens with (or was with) 3 alternating tomatoes:
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Greens11

New West side winter/summer squash beds:  PS  the blue bag of Kellogg's was used as fancy mulch in the front flower beds.
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 West_s25

West side 1 x 3 with onions and lemon squash:
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 West_110
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Post  AtlantaMarie 4/21/2014, 8:47 am

Looks really nice, Sanderson!
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/21/2014, 10:37 am

If we gardeners are anything - we're resilient!  If it dies, plant again  Laughing 

We take Churchill's advice to heart:

"Never, never, never give up!"
aj
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Post  Yardslave 4/21/2014, 12:49 pm

Looks like the White Crowned Sparrows are following Churchill's advice too; they just invaded my beds again and stripped all  the fillet beans,snap beans, and squash leaves. Just left the stems for me to water. I hate these birds- they come in hoards and strip anything green-My fruit trees have been stripped- even the lawn Evil or Very Mad  They also get inside the caged beds if I happen to leave them enough room to fit through.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 4/21/2014, 1:18 pm

Oh, Yardslave.... YUCK!

Have you tried plastic snakes from the dollar store?  I used them in the blueberries last year and they worked like charm as long as I moved them around every day.
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Post  sanderson 4/21/2014, 3:17 pm

If NOAA is correct, the water will be welcomed in CA.  Get out the sand bags, straw tube barriers, board games and candles!!  DH and I seem to get black outs when it rains heavily. Very Happy

The sad thing is that certain crops are lost/reduced with constant winter rain.  I'm not sure the BLM or EPA will allow farmers to pond the water.  Sad
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Post  sanderson 4/25/2014, 8:05 pm

Light rain! It's been sprinkling and lightly raining today. Now there's thunder  Shocked 

OM goodness! hard rain with bouncing hail! Nothing to show on the ground.  cloudy-bummer 
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/25/2014, 9:25 pm

It's been pouring most of the afternoon around here. Much needed so I don't mind at all.

My dogs are so funny, they think thunder is a "Big Dog in the Sky" so they go off barking at "him!"
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California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Empty New to SFG...Wondering about supplies/season limitations

Post  Rosbelle 4/25/2014, 9:29 pm

Hi all,

I'm new to SFG as of this past week.  I've read Mel's entire All New Square Foot Gardening book and am convinced this is the way to go.  However, I have a couple limitations and am looking for suggestions.

#1 I have a small 1st floor back patio so I am only able to do 1x4 or 2x4 sizes max along the patio walls.
My patio faces direct south with full sun all day, no shade from large trees, and 5ft concrete walls with a one foot wooden extension above the concrete. The patio has brick bottom with access to a hose but not much working space.

#2 I have kiln heated redwood boxes with wooden trellis already used for flowers in previous seasons and am hoping to repurpose for vegetable planting.  Are they acceptable to use for SF gardening? If they are, I may just use the top 6 inches as discussed in the book.

#3 I live in Silicon Valley and moved here from Michigan so I'm not sure of the normal planting/seasonal schedule here near the San Jose area.

#4 I have called around to several nurseries and am having a hard time locating coarse Vermiculite and more than 2 types of compost.  I especially would like to get some organic mushroom compost and organic vegetable compost in addition to organic peat moss.  Any suggestions on where to buy them near San Jose/bay area? 

#5 Are there any established SFGers in Silicon Valley? If so, what advice do you have about planting in this desert-like region.

Thanks!
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Post  sanderson 4/26/2014, 3:16 am

Rosbelle,  Welcome to the Forum!   glad you\'re here   

1.  It sounds like you live in an apartment with a south facing patio that currently receives full sunshine.  Have you lived there a full year to see how much sun it receives May-July when the sun is slightly north of straight up?  Great that you have a hose there.
2.  Yes, you can use the redwood boxes.  You can use a cheap filler in the bottoms, leaving 7" of head room for 6" of Mel's Mix and 1" of mulch.
3.  You should be able to grow just about anything you want right now.  The Gardenate web site is a useful guideline.  This is for Zone 8B:
http://www.gardenate.com/zones/USA%2B-%2BZone%2B9a?month=1
4.  Home Depot carries medium vermiculite, which can be used instead of coarse.  HD also carries Ecoscraps Compost which is a veggie-based compost and Lowes and HD carry composted cow and chicken manure (complete with some wood pieces :-( and even a few rocks in cow manure.  I just screen out the large pieces. Whole Foods should be carrying their veggie-based compost at this time.  Let your fingers and phone do the walking in locating 4 more sources of compost, including mushroom compost. Hydroponic stores (they often carry unusual growing medium for pot plants).  Craig's list for worm castings and in you area, maybe composted horse/cow/chicken manures. eBay for kelp meal. Some municipality public works may have composted trim and grass trimmings.
5. Hopefully some one in your area will chime in. Otherwise, Keeper, Audrey and I live in hot zones in the Fresno - foothill area. Yardslave is in Carmel Valley (?).

I hope this helps, and again welcome to the Forum.
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Post  Rosbelle 4/26/2014, 4:03 am

Thanks for all the suggestions Sanderson!
I've briefly looked at the Gardenate website it should help quite a bit. Smile
I've lived in my condo for almost 1 year now. This past year I was mostly focussed on interior improvements to my place. I'll try some hydroponic stores as well as HD and WF for supplies.
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Post  Goosegirl 4/26/2014, 7:24 am

welcome Rosbelle!

The coastal area just to your west has a few mushroom farms, at least one really good tomato farm, and lots of other cool weather crop farms. You may be able to head that direction and get some tips for your area, or look them up and call for info. It may feel like a desert after Michigan, but you are actually in a really nice area for weather and gardening. For the heat issue with the concrete and all-day sun, you may be able to get some tips from posts by Brainchasm, his issues with SFG in Las Vegas will give you some good ideas. Again, WELCOME! and Happy Gardening!

GG - who moved the other direction, from CA to SD!
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Post  AtlantaMarie 4/26/2014, 8:08 am

Hi Rosbelle.  Welcome to the party!
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Post  Yardslave 4/26/2014, 4:14 pm

Welcome to SFG forum Rosabelle,
You can get a pre-blended soil from Evergreen Supply in San Jose, Ca. Try this link:

http://www.evergreensupplyonline.com/

Be specific about having a mix that will hold a maximum of water, because the beds facing the south will dry out pretty fast come late July-to-mid-September. They offer free delivery in your area! The garden centers in your area are now offering bags of horse/cow manure from Point Reyes in foofie  $8 bags that attracts city folk just by the being 7-8 times what a normal bag of manure would cost. Jeeze folks, I'd like to see the sacred cows and thoroughbreds that passed those golden nuggets rock on  The marketers are probably laughing their behinds off as the product rolls off the shelf.
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Post  boffer 4/26/2014, 4:26 pm

California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Donald11


I think that way about a lot of garden products on the shelves!
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Post  sanderson 5/2/2014, 4:34 pm

I've been busy cleaning and painting a 4/2 rental that we want to sell. I've only been doing the bare minimum on the Forum.

Here it is, May 2. I can't believe the 90*F "heat wave." Everything on drip lines with mulch is doing fine. The pots and two beds without drippers have to be watered daily, especially those without mulch yet. I've been doing the bare minimum in the garden, also. Since I have to hand pollinate, that's a priority. The 2nd zucchini is almost ready to pick. Found a whole bunch of big Dragon Tongues yesterday! All of the replacement tomatoes (leaf hopper caused curly leaf on the seedlings) are doing fine; the Box car Willie even has 2 fruits. The re-sprouted cucumbers and replacement cucs I had to buy are surviving., except for 2 that died. Cantaloupes re-sprouted are growing fine. Powdery mildew on a couple winter squashes but they are still growing tall up the trellises, 2 baby green hubbard fruits thriving (hand pollinated). Replacement tomatillos getting huge. No time to hand pollinate. :-( Silver Queen (those that Sweetie didn't fell!) are getting tall. Some peppers have fruits!

You 'Northern Californians,' please let me live through your gardens. What's growing? What are you eating? A photo or two would be appreciated.

PS the one thing I'm happy with is the "Berkeley" compost pile I started April 6. I've only turned it 4 times, but the last time, 3 days ago, the horse poop and bedding hay don't smell like themselves anymore. It's still hot (150*F today) but the consistency is changing. I've made mistakes (probably too much blood meal and didn't break up the clusters of horse poop apples), but I will end up with shy of 18 cubic feet of compost! I hope to make a second compost, this summer, with produce culls, sea weed, Starbuck's and leaves, maybe some more bedding. Between the 2 piles, there should be a different amounts of nutrients.
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Post  Yardslave 5/2/2014, 6:58 pm

We've had 3 days of 90-plus degree weather that's frying my strawberries. So far, I've draped row cover material above them to drop the sun's temp a bit. As for the lettuce, they are under the shade of an old sheet and I'm crossing my fingers that they don't bolt, like the Bok Choi, and Kale did. It's starting to feel a lot like August is here- better check the calendar Evil or Very Mad The bad part of this all is that I leave for 2 weeks real soon and I have to turn my garden over to someone I don't quite trust to keep an eye on things.

 I bumped up my vacation schedule to earlier in the year so I could be around in late summer and early fall. So I could keep things in rotation and minimize the chance of the fall plantings going south from neglect. It happened to me last year; went on vacation, and came back to half-dead citrus trees and scorched beds from lack of watering.  Thinking that by late April I'd have my summer crops started and the weather wouldn't present any challenges to the newly planted veggies, I could go off an play.  I just don't want to see another setback season. When things go right I have a four  season garden. Last year turned out to be a 2 season year. I have my fingers crossed that things cool down and the house sitter pays more attention to those funny green things outside that look like the green things in the supermarket- only they are attached to the ground (don't they get dirty doing that? affraid )
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Post  CapeCoddess 5/2/2014, 8:28 pm

90s?? What's going on out there? Is this normal? it sounds like you guys are in the midst of our summer. I won't see that kind of weather for months!

Sanderson, your greens are gorgeous. When you get a chance show us some updated photos, would you please? Like zucchini! I can't grow zucchini. Is yours covered? Do you get the squash vine borer out there?

CC
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Post  sanderson 5/3/2014, 3:13 am

CC,  Here are some photos I took Just for you!   Very Happy The whole back yard is a mess and very few things are where they will or should be.

Second zucchini in 12" pot.  Puny leaves for such a nice, hand pollinated squash!
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Zucchi11
Baby Green Hubbard, hand pollinated:
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Squash10
Purple Japanese Millionaire eggplant:
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Eggpla12
Yellow bells:
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Pepper17
Replacement Arkansas Traveler:
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Tomato12
Tomatillos in a 14" pot: Salvaged strawberries in the background. I still need to paint the Gwennifer TT before I put the pan in it.
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 8 Tomati14

Not exactly a screaming success, but I have been tied up at a rental house and am waiting on some new compost to finish.  Those are my excuses and I'm sticking with them   Embarassed
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