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Hello Guest!
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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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California - What are you doing this month?

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Post  sanderson 7/27/2014, 1:52 pm

Congrats on the lady bugs, aphid reduction, syphid/hover flies in the greenhouse, and your SIL at least growing fruits. I got up at 5:40 AM to prune nasty, dusty star jasmine before the sun came over the houses. Then I tackled the worm box with the gillion black soldier fly larvae. I am so proud of my clever food trap for them. I put avocado, cantaloupe and tomatoes in one corner where all the stipped fruit pits were. They larvae stampeded over there so all I had to do this morning was don some rubber gloves and lift the whole mass out. Then I picked out most of the pits, which the larvae scattered everywhere! I screened a lot of the remaining material and got over a quart bag of worm/larvae castings. Then fed them, and recovered. Any remaining larvae should be in the food this evening. At least I evened the odds for the remaining worms.

I got the Silver Queen, Dragon Tongues and soy beans sowed 2 days ago. I covered between the strips with tullke and piled rows of wood chips on them. I can't believe we bought a half cubic yard of playground chips last summer and I have only a 5-gallon bucket left.

Looking forward to September, also!  Very Happy 
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 7/27/2014, 5:32 pm

I'm tired just reading your list!!!!  I'm so ready for the fall to get here.
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Post  sanderson 7/30/2014, 12:18 am

Only in the 70's in Pismo.  I think there is a fog bank out there in the distance:
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The West side of the valley was barren.  Not even enough grass to keep the dust devils from forming.
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Post  Yardslave 7/30/2014, 11:36 am

Ahhhhh Pismo; Home of the Pismo clam! Sunny beach, hot sand, and dodging ORV's in the dunes, life is good Cool Years ago, I lived not far from there, in Arroyo Grande. It gets pretty hot in that area, but unlike the Central Valley, the beaches are a great escape from the heat- the wines in that region are worth looking into while you're there. Have a good time!
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Post  sanderson 7/30/2014, 3:15 pm

And home of the Valley vacationers at this time of the summer!!   Very Happy   It's amazing how many wineries have started up in the Paso Robles area, and I can't drink!!  I love wine and have maybe one glass of Merlot a year under perfect conditions.

That sunset was so pretty I had to try to take a photo.  DH rode the dunes on his ATV all morning.  He said lots of campers on the beach but hardly anyone on the dunes.
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Post  sanderson 8/1/2014, 3:15 am

I'm back after 3 days.  The SQ corn and DT beans all germinated, and some of the soybeans.  More Chinese Red Noodle beans on the vines.  Kentucky and Missouri wonders are reaching the tellises.  And another lemon cuke and cantaloupe appeared.  I say, I need to leave more often!

Pelican Guano:
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Westside drought:
Signs:
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California - What are you doing this month? - Page 15 Drough12
Abandoned young orchard and huge fallow field.  It's hard to see the small trees in the nearer field:
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Abandoned fields:
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Canal full of water but not for the farmers; they got 0% of their allotment this year.
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 15 Drough15
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/1/2014, 12:06 pm

It's criminal what they have done to the farmers...  They have legal water rights tied to their land and they've simply stripped it from them  Evil or Very Mad 

They (the EPA) are also working on controlling all water via the "Inland Waterways Act." They determine what are inland waterways, i.e. puddles, ponds, creeks and WELLS.  The inland waterway act was for navigable rivers.
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Post  sanderson 8/1/2014, 2:20 pm

+1
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Post  sanderson 8/2/2014, 3:13 am

109*F today! 107*F Sat, with cooling trend down to 100* on Sunday.
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Post  sanderson 8/3/2014, 3:06 pm

Audrey, any rain up there? The plants and I are enjoying this "cool" cloudy day.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/4/2014, 12:10 pm

No rain just heavy clouds that have cooled us off quite a bit from last week's miserable highs.  I haven't looked at the August forecast but I certainly hope we start our long cooling trend toward fall.
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Post  Yardslave 8/4/2014, 8:59 pm

"Hope for the best, but plan for the worst"  If the politician's pockets get get any deeper, the farmers are gong to be  watering their crops with tears.
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Post  sanderson 8/8/2014, 9:47 pm

What happened to the forecast of temps in the 90's for a few days?  I just took off the sun shades and now I have to put them back on!  I could have predicted temps in the 100's because I am going to start a new Berkeley pile tomorrow.  It's like washing my car and it rains.  That actually just happened last week.  We washed my car but left it outside of the garage while we were out of town for three days.  You know, to fool the burglars!  Well, it rained briefly and all the dust and crud from the photinia bush/tree got all over it.   Shocked
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Post  sanderson 8/9/2014, 9:15 am

My score from the Farmers Market last night:
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Four 5-gallon plus extra bags.  One man dumped a box of nice looking tomatoes into a new garbage bag and told me to enjoy any goods ones in there!
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 15 Tomato13

I took a baggie worth of the compost I started 6-29-14 (now rested and ready) to show the donating vendors what happened to their past donations.  That really impressed then, especially when I told them that that is what I grow my backyard veggies in (plus vermiculite and fluffed peat moss.  And in only 6"
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Post  68carguy 8/9/2014, 10:52 am

I took a baggie worth of the compost I started 6-29-14 (now rested and ready) to show the donating vendors what happened to their past donations.  That really impressed then, especially when I told them that that is what I grow my backyard veggies in (plus vermiculite and fluffed peat moss.  And in only 6"
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Got any pictures of your compost? I love pictures of different types. I am working on my compost today.
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Post  camprn 8/9/2014, 10:56 am

sanderson wrote:My score from the Farmers Market last night.

I took a baggie worth of the compost I started 6-29-14 (now rested and ready) to show the donating vendors what happened to their past donations.  That really impressed then, especially when I told them that that is what I grow my backyard veggies in (plus vermiculite and fluffed peat moss.  And in only 6"
very nice!

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Post  sanderson 8/11/2014, 5:09 pm

I finished building compost pile #6 last night, about 10 PM.  A new pile takes about 2 days to collect and/or prep all the ingredients and then assemble.  The kitchen looked like a produce slaughter house from the red strawberries and tomatoes.  In this heat, the buckets of spoiling produce have to stay in the house from Friday night until I'm ready to build the pile.  Finally got that cleaned up and today I'm gathering the strength to make salsa with the gifted tomatoes one vender gave me.  In the cool of the evening I will clean up the outside back yard around the pile.  Straw and hay everywhere.  There's a hay trail from the front yard, down the side of the house where DH wrestled it to the back yard.

I think I need to cut back on something when building the pile.  Last night at midnight, after resting for 2 hours, it was 90*F.  At 9 am this morning it was 120*F, at noon 128*F and now 140*F.  I did add 1/2 cup of blood meal at the 1' and 2' levels.  Maybe with horse manure I don't even need the blood meal.

The fleshy fruit pits went into the open-bottomed worm box.  The uninvited black soldier fly larvae are the noisiest and rudest dinner guests.  It sounds like rice krispies in a bowl of milk, snap, crackle and pop!  And the fruit is moving around.  Disgusting but amazing to watch.

[Audrey, I picked out and set clean stalks of hay to try as mulch.  The light color should help keep the MM cool.]

The corn and beans in the table top are looking good.  Unfortunately, Sweetie managed to stand on her hind legs and chew 3 corn stalks.  Sob!  I though this tulle would protect them/deter her but she just pushed against the tulle until she had her jaws around the stalks!
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There is one little green tomato a pea size bud on one of the volunteer tomato plants!   bounce Maybe with the slightly cooler weather [ha] I will get some home grown tomatoes.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/12/2014, 11:25 am

WOW! Everything is looking so beautiful - you are Wonder Woman you know :-)

I'm giving my garden minimal attention right now, it's just too darn hot to hang out there very long. I found squash the last few days so I spent yesterday morning picking all of them off the vine that I could find. I put wood pieces out under the plant but only sow bugs collected on them last night and I only found 3 bugs this morning. Fingers crossed I got them early enough.

Anyone else have experience with them? Suggestions, tips, sure fired ways to deal with them? My "pet" garden lizard was hanging around right near where I was picking them so I think he/she has been enjoying the free meal they have provided, lol! I felt a little bad taking them away from him.
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Post  sanderson 8/12/2014, 8:59 pm

Your poor little lizard may have been too stuffed to eat right then. The only control I know for sow bugs/rolly poly is Sluggo Plus.

Audrey, I am not WW! But, thanks. I have a new 2' roll of chicken wire to make a fence around the corn. I didn't get the hay field cleaned up until today. And I still haven't made the salsa I keep blabbering about. The red spider mites ruined one of the squashes to the point I removed it. I can't get everything done that needs to get done. Just. Too. Hot
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/12/2014, 11:10 pm

No one can fault you for not trying. Building your compost piles till late at night, turning them Berkeley-style, always building or stringing or wiring or fencing or planting something new -- you've gotten a lot done this summer!
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/12/2014, 11:55 pm

Not sure how my "Squash bugs" ended up being just "Squash" in my post, but that's the bugs I'm experiencing right now.  The sow bugs are a continual but with sluggo plus they're in check.
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Post  sanderson 8/13/2014, 2:02 am

Thanks, Marc.

Audrey, squash bugs?   What a Face
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Post  sanderson 8/14/2014, 12:31 pm

I'm turning the hot compost this morning.  I took a break and this is what I saw!  Total innocence. What??  Shocked 
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I was hoping with the table tops, cage and tulle, I would get some unmolested corn and beans.  Here it is before I added the cage 2 nights ago! She managed to eat some outside corn stalks standing on her hind legs.
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Post  CapeCoddess 8/14/2014, 1:09 pm

Kitty is inside the tulle???  Oh the little dickens!  That is so funny.  How could you possibly get made at that face...  I love you 

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Post  sanderson 8/14/2014, 1:52 pm

I know, I can't. She is an unusual cat, half dog, half cat. She says the Devil made her do it. . . again, and again, and . . .
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