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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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California - What are you doing this month?

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 8/2/2016, 11:13 pm

audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:I have 5 or 6 55 gallon drums.  I'm thinking of making one of them for potatoes.  I'm sure someone has done it and put a video online so I can figure out how to do it.  I'm wanting to make strawberry towers out of a couple of them and saw videos on how to to that a couple years ago.  Anybody know what else you can do with the drums?

Composter: http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Tumbling-Composter
Tabletop beds: http://gardensall.com/garden-projects-for-55-gallon-barrel-drums/

I've also seen smokers, if the barrels are metal.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/3/2016, 12:57 pm

Mine are food grade plastic that had molasses for baking in them.  I spent last night researching online and will likely do a couple of towers for strawberries.  Perhaps another tower for lettuce - if it's on wheels I can put it in the best place in the yard based on the time of the year.  The rest I'll do in wicking barrels.

I'm having a rough time keeping the critters away from any type of melons, so if I bring them closer to the back yard and fence them in I might actually get to eat one or two, lol!  Also the vols do not like to run across any open territory over 4 feet wide so if I were to space the barrels well apart and let the vines roam I should end up with more finished produce.   They end up being similar to whiskey barrel size, and about 12" deep with a 5-6" water storage compartment.  That's plenty large enough for a good healthy root system and thick mulch layer.

http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/build-self-watering-container-garden-55-gallon-barrel-video.html
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Post  countrynaturals 8/3/2016, 7:04 pm

106.3!! It wasn't supposed to get nearly this hot. I'm going to brave the heat and water right now. Poor garden. Poor chickens.  Evil or Very Mad No Mad
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Post  sanderson 8/4/2016, 1:17 pm

Still waiting for that cooling trend.  Meanwhile, something ate one of the cantaloupes. Sad  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 Pest_c10

The sunflowers are doing good along the east side fence: California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 Sunflo12

Someone (probably a teen of the male gender) jumped up and pulled over the tallest in this cluster, broke the stalk and snapped off the big flower.  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 Sunflo13

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 8/4/2016, 2:17 pm

Ugh. Vandals. Two AND four legged. Evil or Very Mad
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Post  countrynaturals 8/4/2016, 4:18 pm

Sanderson: I love the sunflowers peeking over the fence. They're such happy plants. I don't think it's possible to look at them without smiling. Note to self: Plant more sunflowers next year. Wink
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Post  Scorpio Rising 8/5/2016, 12:15 am

Beautiful, Sanderson!  Yes, sounds exactly like a teen male thing to do, jerks.  (I gave birth to 2 of them, but they were pretty cultured when it came to the amount of work that goes into a garden...forced labor!)

My daughter and I were on the road today on an errand, and took a little detour to avoid road maintenance, and saw this alongside the road.  It was a little general store back in the day, before I remember it being a going concern, it has fallen into ruin, I glanced over and spied this beauty!  

Out of decay, there is beauty!

California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 Image62
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Post  sanderson 8/5/2016, 2:08 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:Out of decay, there is beauty! California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 Image62
Very Happy

They are rather happy looking flowers.  My fave are zinnias but they wouldn't be tall enough to showcase.  I know, next year hemp plants!  That should get the neighbors' attentions. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 Hemp10

Meanwhile, I walk outside and something is dreadfully wrong with one of the bucket tomatoes!  Black droppings on the ground! California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 Tomato21
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 Tomato20
Found the culprit!  And a grasshopper down in the straw mulch. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 Tomato22

I really didn't want to can tomatoes this year. . . sobbing Let's see, 2-legged, 4-legged, and 6-legged pests! Bought covers it. Oh, and we had rats in the attic all week. Set rat traps and got 4 of them. Haven't heard any more scratching in the attic, which is good, but we haven't figured out how they got in there. We have got to find the entrance or it will just repeat. I can't describe how funny it was to watch us set those rat snap traps with slices of apple! A video would have gone viral within hours.

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Post  countrynaturals 8/5/2016, 6:21 pm

My squash babies didn't mind the heatwave at all. My banana squash is getting ready to bloom, already. I didn't expect that for another month. It's not even a foot tall, yet.
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 Banana10

My delicata squash plants are well on their way, too, and they're only a couple of weeks old.
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 Delica10
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Post  CapeCoddess 8/6/2016, 4:45 pm

My 2 Bush delicatas that I started recently have true leaves on them now, too. Not nearly as big as yours but I started a bit later. Got my fingers crossed for success. Thank you so much!
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Post  Scorpio Rising 8/6/2016, 5:55 pm

What is that thing, Sanderson?  Hornworm?
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Post  countrynaturals 8/6/2016, 6:06 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:My 2 Bush delicatas that I started recently have true leaves on them now, too. Not nearly as big as yours but I started a bit later. Got my fingers crossed for success. Thank you so much!
They really are hardy little rascals. I started mine in the house and they got weak and leggy before I got them outside. One of them even fell over with a bent stem. It survived and they both look happy and healthy. Fingers crossed for both of us.  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 21 3170584802
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Post  sanderson 8/7/2016, 1:25 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:What is that thing, Sanderson?  Hornworm?
Yep. I saw frass today under another tomato but no worm. I think the mocking bird was able to see it and grab it for dinner. Wink

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Post  countrynaturals 8/7/2016, 11:10 am

sanderson wrote:
Scorpio Rising wrote:What is that thing, Sanderson?  Hornworm?
Yep.  I saw frass today under another tomato but no worm.  I think the mocking bird was able to see it and grab it for dinner. Wink
Yum, yum! Rolling Eyes

My turnips are up already. YEE-HAH!  cheers

I raked another 3 bushels of leaves this morning, and the trees are still thick with them. I should have enough compost for anything I want to do. LIFE IS GOOD!  sunny

62 degrees this morning. I haven't had this much energy in months. Can you tell I was born in Buffalo, NY? What is a die-hard yankee like me doing in this climate? Suffering most of the summer, that's what. tongue
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Post  sanderson 8/7/2016, 1:03 pm

The 90s are down right refreshing after that heat wave.  Wink  I'm actually starting my fall seedlings.  This will be the first time trying seeds for the kale, broccoli, purple cauliflower, chard, and bok choy.

I am going to OSH to buy some Dr. Earth liquid kelp and some bagged manure.  Trying to give the beds a boost after the surprising lab results.

I guess no one bought the idea that I plan to grow hemp next year to stir up the neighborhood. Razz I wonder if it stinks, or has the tell-tale smell, like MJ plants do??

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Post  sanderson 8/9/2016, 2:12 am

This is the email Yardslave sent to me this evening. I knew he was near the Carmel Valley Fire and hadn't posted in a couple weeks, so I emailed him. Yep, up to his nose in alligators . . . and burning embers! affraid Spoiler alert: his SFG is doing good.

Hi S,
Last two weeks have been pretty wild in my neighborhood, so please forgive me for not keeping in touch. The fire is 45% contained at this time, but continues to flare up close to me. Despite reports that it is heading south and eastward, areas 2 miles east of me have been under mandatory evacuation orders twice this week as backfires set to head off the fire have blown back on the firefighters and caused the fires to head back in our direction. All last week we residents of the Carmel Valley Village have been put on alert by Calfire. We were told to be ready for an evacuation order if the fire blew over the ridge to our south. Fire crews canvassed the neighborhoods and posted signs on everybody's mailboxes informing fire crews the defensibly of the structures- a real eye opener, as most places were firetraps! My luck, there's a fire hydrant across the road from my house, and I have 2" lines for hoses and irrigation with an insane GPH rating for all the outlets around my gardens, so my house was rated "defensible". The other thing is that the 33 acre field in front of my property is now a staging/ landing zone for 8-10 helicopters that use the field as a refueling and support. Crews are stationed 24/7 out there. They eve set up an mobile air traffic control center to keep the choppers from piling up in the air. My front yard reminds me of the chopper LZ scene from "Apocalypse Now". Air quality is so bad that I have been forced to stay inside as much as possible- had to get a rescue inhaler, it got so bad! The visibility's been less than a mile at times most morning since the fire started and ash rains down everywhere. I've found burned lichens as big as my fist on my driveway, and pieced of burnt pine bark the size of quarters and as thick as a nickle drop out of the sky. My SF gardens are doing well, and I'm sure the ash will do it some good, but the smoke is Blotting out the sun enough to fool the fruit trees and their leaves are going into Fall mode. Once the fire's over 50% contained, I'll get back to posting on the Forum, so please, if you can, post this up for me, and thank you for you concern- bless you

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Post  AtlantaMarie 8/9/2016, 7:51 am

Oh, my..... At least the house is defense-able! That's great news!
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Post  countrynaturals 8/9/2016, 10:52 am

YIKES! That is scary stuff!  Shocked Sad
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/9/2016, 9:00 pm

Oh man!  Reading that I had flash backs to the Paradise fire in 2003 (San Diego) that came up to across the street from us and changed direction.  I woke up to two walls of flame 50 feet high closing in on us.  Scary stuff!!!!  Take care YS and leave when they tell you - nothing is worth getting caught in a fire storm.  Firefighters are amazing.  Praying for you.

We've been gone since Thursday AM.  I lost another yellow crookneck squash to a voracious vole but everything else looks good.
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Post  countrynaturals 8/10/2016, 10:36 am

Just as my poor garden was starting to recover from a brutal July, the weatherman is predicting another mini heatwave.  Mad Sad This one shouldn't be as bad or last as long, but it is still frustrating. Next year I'll know better than to expect anything good to happen outdoors in July and August. Between now and then I'll figure out a plan to garden inside for these 2 yukky months. geek
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Post  sanderson 8/10/2016, 3:11 pm

It looks like this area will only get up to 105*F max.  Just in time for all the new tomato flowers to get slammed again.  The Sun Golds have some set fruit but they are not large enough for canning.  It's the other varieties I was counting on for canning volume.

Tuesday I mixed and added some Dr. Earth Liquid Seaweed for micro-nutrients.  Looks like it is also supposed to be good for flowering and setting.  I considered fish emulsion for nitrogen (of which my Mix was also tested low) but I didn't know if it would smell too much.  The seaweed smells like beach sand, not bad.  I emailed Dr. Eart for application rate for SFG.  One cup per square.  100 squares plus pots plus BTE plants.   Shocked

So, Orchard Supply Hardware had a composted manure called Double Doody, a cow and horse manure compost.  Normally, it's close to $8 / cu. ft, and was on sale for $1.75.  So we bought 5 bags to try.  Well, we found out one reason it was on sale.  The plastic bags were deteriorating, so the guys had to put each bag in new plastic bags.  (slow seller?)  When we got home, Husband found that the compost was soaking wet!  So now the stuff is spread out to dry on a tarp.  It doesn't smell bad, though, thank goodness.

I finally got around to starting the winter seedlings: broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, chard and kales.  I also am trying to grow some more herb before winter.  They will be for drying.  The dill reseeded itself so I don't have to do that one.

Agribon.  Well I bought some Agribon-30 for shade cloth but all that happened was the bean and cucumber growth fried from the extra heat!  Shocked  So I removed them and will replace today with the 75% Home Depot sun shade.  I couldn't get the sticky, dried leaves off the Agribon, but I'm happy to say that they washed up nicely in the washer with some light drying in the dryer.  I'll save them for winter covers.

I'll sign off with a pest update.   Very few sightings of grasshoppers.  I'm pretty good at dispatching them. Twisted Evil   A noisy critter was in one of the gutters.  I had husband climb up the ladder to investigate (after having rats in the attic I was concerned).  Turns out it was an iridescent C-130 on its back!  He set it free and it's been lumbering around the back yard ever since.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/10/2016, 3:25 pm

Good luck with the compost etc. Sanderson.  If you're low on nitrogen, the "urine" thread has some suggestions Wink

My fall seedlings are up already and doing well.  I was concerned they would not sprout with the high temps but we've got Italian Kale, Broccoli Raab, Cauliflower and Kohlrabi going strong. 

I'm pulling old squash to make room for them once they're large enough to transplant.  I haven't planted a large enough fall garden the past couple years because I didn't start soon enough.  Hopefully we'll remedy that situation this year Smile
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Post  countrynaturals 8/12/2016, 12:49 pm

I planted 3 varieties of carrots on Aug. 1. "Ya-Ya hybrid" is up with enthusiasm this morning. "Little Sister" is showing a couple of sprouts. No action from the "Parisian" yet. 

Most of my ripe tomatoes are rotten on the bottoms.  Mad Gotta research that. Blossom end rot?

I'm going to wait a week to plant the daikons. Hopefully, by then we'll be finished with this 2nd (last of the season?) heatwave. Rolling Eyes
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Post  CapeCoddess 8/12/2016, 1:01 pm

countrynaturals wrote:
Most of my ripe tomatoes are rotten on the bottoms.  Mad Gotta research that. Blossom end rot?


Sounds like it.  My Gilberties all have BER but none of the others do.  I just cut it off and then eat or process them a usual.  It doesn't affect the flavor.
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Post  countrynaturals 8/12/2016, 1:35 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:
countrynaturals wrote:
Most of my ripe tomatoes are rotten on the bottoms.  Mad Gotta research that. Blossom end rot?


Sounds like it.  My Gilberties all have BER but none of the others do.  I just cut it off and then eat or process them a usual.  It doesn't affect the flavor.
CC
WAAA! I didn't know that and I threw them all away. Sad  Thanks for the heads-up, CC. thanks
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