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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  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/30/2014, 6:01 pm


Heavy Freeze warning for tonight in many parts of the valley. Make sure you check your local forecast!
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Post  sanderson 12/30/2014, 8:02 pm

I looks like the freeze will last until Sunday. Do I need to cover my kale/chard/cabbage? What a Face
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/30/2014, 9:41 pm

Not sure what the temps are on kale, mine went down to the low 20s last year uncovered as did regular cabbage and did fine. All of my lettuce likewise. My broccoli is doing fine. Chinese cabbage is only good down to around 28 degrees. I've been covering a big section of it and left a smaller, separate section uncovered so I'll be able to see if there is a temp where I lose them for future reference (there's only 3 plants in that section).
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Post  sanderson 12/31/2014, 12:58 am

I put a bedroom lamp under the plastic covered picnic table. Hope it works well enough.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/31/2014, 2:49 am

sanderson wrote:I put a bedroom lamp under the plastic covered picnic table.  Hope it works well enough.
I never uncovered my greenhouse today - the problem with doing that is the survival blankets completely cover the sun.  I'm sure a single day will be fine, but they need the sun's energy (BAD mama!)
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Post  sanderson 12/31/2014, 1:54 pm

Bad Mamas, I did that several times last winter. I'm going to put the lamp on a timer as I am a night owl.

Snow in Murrietta, southern CA. First time ever??
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Post  Yardslave 12/31/2014, 7:51 pm

All my Brussel Sprouts, cabbage, Kale, and carrots don't seem to be phased by the cold snap, so I don't fuss with covering them. The citrus leaves that were in contact with my bed sheet frost blankets are frost burned, but the rest of the trees are OK so far. I'm hoping things go well for all of our SFG's. Sunday's when this is supposed to pass. It can't happen soon enough. Even the worms in my outdoor bins have tucked in to keep warm, and they aren't eating like hogs now that the cold has set in.
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Post  sanderson 1/1/2015, 3:44 am

YS, Thanks. The kales, etc. are on their own in this snap, and so far, they seem okay. We picked a lot of oranges from our one tree to give to my kids when we saw them Christmas. I hope the rest survive for us! How many trees do you have?

Happy New Year!
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Post  sanderson 1/1/2015, 4:47 pm

The neighbor to the west said she is removing her Pistachio tree next to our common fence.  She is tired of raking the leaves.  More sunshine for me!!!!!!!!!!  A miracle!  bounce rock on California - What are you doing this month? - Page 25 370856013 hyper clap

I don't ask for her leaves on her side of the fence because they land on her dog's bathroom patch. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 25 3555472862
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 1/1/2015, 10:16 pm

YAY! That's a big deal! And what a great surprise too.

Leaves over the fence made me think of my grandmother, who got a little nutty in her old age. The neighbor behind her had a huge eucalyptus tree. Nanny would rake up the leaves muttering loudly under her breath and throw them over the fence. After she passed away the neighbor came and talked to my mom and apologized, mentioning she had tried really hard to be a good neighbor but my grandmother wouldn't have any of it and she HATED her tree with a passion. She couldn't afford to remove it our she would have.
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Post  Yardslave 1/2/2015, 7:38 pm

My neighbors cut their black walnut tree down 8 years ago, leaving a 1' tall stump. The tree stump sent up spring shoots the next season that weren't cut down, and the neighbors lost interest in gardening. Now the tree has a 30' canopy and sheds leaves onto my garden beds. I have to keep them raked up as they contain a growth inhibitor that suppresses growth in other plants( meaning my veggie beds). If I let the leaves pile up they act like a natural Roundup. It's a shame I can't compost them, so they go into the garden waste bin for composting at the local landfill. The first batch of landfill compost I ever used was a blend that killed off all my veggie plot. It must of had lawn clippings and garden trimmings (or some black walnut leaves) that had a lot of herbicide residual- not going to repeat that again; nor am I going to use horse manure that came from de-wormed horses- that stuff passes through the horse and was active enough to keep on killing worms in my beds and my worm bins.
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Post  sanderson 1/2/2015, 8:13 pm

YS, What a bummer regarding the neighbor's black walnut tree. At least with the dewormed horse manure you have control. I probably shouldn't get all excited until I see the tree trimmers next door.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 1/3/2015, 2:13 am

YS yikes, what a disaster, it's amazing you kept gardening!  my horse and cow manure is out in our front pasture and it produces phenomenal worms, so I'm guessing they don't deworm the horses.  I hadn't thought about it being a problem.  I have masses of giant muck worms in my cold composting pile right now.  Probably a dozen per hand full and dozens per shovel full.
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Post  sanderson 1/3/2015, 3:01 am

Audrey, What are muck worms? I have big earthworms and little red wigglers in the tubes. Can you post a photo?
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 1/3/2015, 3:13 pm

Just another name for large, basic earthworms.  They love "muck" aka horsey poo, cow poo etc. hence the name.  Could be a colloquialism  I picked up somewhere.   Very Happy
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Post  sanderson 1/3/2015, 3:16 pm

I binged it and all I could find was political references!
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 1/3/2015, 6:39 pm

I was in the pile a little while ago and they have buried themselves at least 18 inches deep - methinks they are not very happy with our cold weather, LOL!  Once I got down that far they were everywhere though.
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Post  sanderson 1/4/2015, 4:10 am

Looks like the freeze is over for a few days. Forecast looks like 40*F at night, 60+*F in the day. I did a little pruning, cleaning and organizing today but it was a little painful, even with the sun and double pant layers and triple top layers.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 1/5/2015, 4:43 pm

Still freezing up here, but that's normal until march for us.  Warmer in the day means the delicate balance of when to uncover the interior green houses inside my main green house.
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Post  Yardslave 1/6/2015, 6:35 pm

The frost let up this morning. I went out and inspected the peppers I was trying to over-winter and pronounced them dead on arrival. Their fruit looks OK, but the leaves and stalks look like they've been blow torched. I guess I'll just have to pay tribute to the dead with a fresh salsa, since I don't have enough to can.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 1/6/2015, 8:31 pm

We were downright hot today!  A little frost on the hill in the morning, but obviously much less.  

I'm running a fan in the greenhouse all day now as I'm starting to get some mold issues from having things so closed up.  

We picked up red onion sets yesterday, since our soil doesn't freeze I'm thinking I can plant them now?  What are your thoughts.  I want to plant at several different intervals and then harvest over the course of the summer as we just don't use that many onions. Also, if I leave some of them will they multiply in place?
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Post  sanderson 1/7/2015, 1:43 am

ys, My peppers are also DOA. However, I'm wondering if the future buds in the stems may still grow come spring? To pull up and toss, or leave for a couple months? That is my question?

Audrey, Yes, nice day to work out side. I deep mulched the orange tree, or rather, picked up what I started a few days ago and made in better. I raked all the pistachio leaves in that corner and spread out to the drip line. Added some of the hybrid ramial compost, left over bagged chicken manure, and wood chips. I'll take a photo tomorrow if I remember. On December 21, I planted the last of the White Spanish onion seedlings (starts?) and they are doing good. The first batch was planted about 6-8 weeks earlier. Both survived the freeze. DH said the rains we were hoping/praying for will not materialize this spring. I sure hope his source is wrong. Now a question back to you. I cut two small sweet potatoes in half and put them in 4 Solo cups with toothpicks. When do you normally plant your slips?
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 1/7/2015, 2:01 am

I didn't plant slips last year, I had a sweet potato go bad in my pantry and threw it under a thick layer of straw before we headed out to AZ last spring for my dad's heart procedure.  It didn't seem to grow for a while, and then suddenly took off and that's the plant we had the massive amount of potatoes off of.  

I would leave the pepper and see what happens.  Mine are looking rather ratty right now in my greenhouse but they're still hanging in there.  I'm going to pull them in late spring.  They've produced for almost 2 years and the fruit is getting smaller and smaller though profuse.  They're mini bell peppers to start with and it's too much work to clean the tiny peppers.
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Post  sanderson 1/7/2015, 3:16 am

I'm going to grow some of the mini bell seeds you sent me last summer. Also, your winter tomato seeds. No real greenhouse this winter (so far, at least) Just one gifted pepper is under the picnic table green house for over wintering. Plus 2 buckets of red potatoes, an early girl and herbs.
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Post  Turan 1/7/2015, 12:34 pm

I am spending the weekend in Santa Rosa with family.  I never know what to expect growing wise.  It must be very green with annual grasses?

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