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California - What are you doing this month?

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Post  sanderson 12/15/2016, 6:24 pm

I started this reply last night and saved to draft.

Here it is Wednesday night, and I finally have something to write.  Tuesday, Ken helped me gather more leaves by mowing leaves in one neighbor's backyard and 2 other neighbors' front yards.  The man with the back yard had been saving the leaves in the back yard by locking the side gate so the lawn service couldn't mow them!  Two wire cages now filled with mulched leaves plus 33 gallon rolling bin and some in the flower (junk) compost pile and on the BTE strip.

Today, Ken picked up a cubic yard of playground wood chips (pine/fir) and we got all but 2 buckets spread.  It is supposed to rain for 2 days (maybe up to 1" of rain) and I wanted everything in place before it starts.

So, my heart is getting back into gardening.

Here is the little BTE strip with mulched leaves and topped with new chips.  This area has been under going amendment for 2 years.  Bagged compost covered with our ramial chips 2 years ago, topped this November with horse manure, and now shredded leaves and wood chips.  I hope to grow some tomatoes and peppers, and the Glass Gem corn and sorghum in this strip.  That will increase my SFG and 5-gal buckets and pots an effective 40 linear feet!

Horse manure in Nov.  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 31 Bte_ho10

Shredded leaves today.
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 31 Bte_le12

Topped with wood chips.  Let it rain!
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 31 Bte_ne12

One thing that just amazed me today were the number of worms I saw while cleaning up certain areas in the "flower" beds covered with wood chips and leaves.  Sweetie and the neighbor cat had used these 2 areas.  Am I nuts or what, carefully picking out the worms with vinyl gloves to put them back in the flower beds?

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Post  countrynaturals 12/15/2016, 9:24 pm

sanderson wrote:When I right clicked on the photo in My Photos, it offered "rotate clockwise"   Very Happy  
Kewl! Cool Learn something new every day. geek
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Post  countrynaturals 12/15/2016, 9:28 pm

Sanderson wrote:Am I nuts or what, carefully picking out the worms with vinyl gloves to put them back in the flower beds?

Sounds like something I might do.  rofl
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Post  AtlantaMarie 12/16/2016, 7:37 am

+1, lol!

Looks like that's going to be a great area this next year!
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Post  trolleydriver 12/16/2016, 8:26 am

AtlantaMarie wrote:+1, lol!

Looks like that's going to be a great area this next year!

+2

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/16/2016, 12:30 pm

Looks BEAUTIFUL!  My friend the "worm protector!"  

MY WINTER TO DO LIST:

I need to be gathering cow manure and soiled hay enough to create 2 or 3 more compost piles for feeding my massive garden next year.  It will have to wait until January after my art deadline though.  Unless I need some exercise, then I'll do it a little at a time.

I also need to cover my strawberries on my hillside with wood chips - that can't wait.  I didn't do it last year and they are overcrowded.  The chips will "weed out" the weak and old plants as they won't be able to fight back through the chips.

Have a great day!
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Post  countrynaturals 12/16/2016, 2:58 pm

Picked the last of the bell peppers. As usual, I waited too late to do my research. I should have picked them before the bad weather and let them ripen in the house. I lost several that were too weather damaged and could have been saved if I knew what I was doing. (Just wait until next year, Charlie Brown. Rolling Eyes)
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Post  sanderson 12/17/2016, 5:10 pm

It's chilly today. My shrunken, little junk compost cage, 125*F.  We added some grass clipping, little bit of dry horse manure and shredded leaves this week and the rain soaked it!  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 31 Compos11

Broccoli - 3 green and 1 purple. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 31 Brocco10

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Post  AtlantaMarie 12/18/2016, 6:06 am

Junk compost, lol? I thought compost was never junk... It's black gold!

Broccoli looks great!
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Post  trolleydriver 12/18/2016, 7:47 am

sanderson ... I'll be looking for you to post a temperature graph of that compost.  Very Happy

I agree with AM ... your broccoli looks great.
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Post  countrynaturals 12/18/2016, 1:04 pm

AtlantaMarie wrote:Junk compost, lol?  I thought compost was never junk...  It's black gold!

Broccoli looks great!
Broccoli Envy, here! Mad Mine is still all leaves, but it's lookin' good, so there's still hope.
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Post  sanderson 12/18/2016, 1:59 pm

The "junk" compost needs a better name. "Non-pasteurized or cold" compost for flower beds. Last year, I dumped it and mixed up contents, watering when needed, maybe 4 times.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 12/18/2016, 5:35 pm

sanderson wrote:The "junk" compost needs a better name.  "Non-pasteurized or cold" compost for flower beds.  Last year, I dumped it and mixed up contents, watering when needed, maybe 4 times.  
THe only kind I have!  Old school Rodale....

Your beds look awesome, sanderson! Nice plans!
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Post  sanderson 12/19/2016, 2:46 am

Tonight as I was cutting up an orange from our back yard, I thought of the use of orange and avocado peels as super-absorbent polymers (SAP) to hold water in the soil.  http://www.upworthy.com/this-science-fair-winner-is-taking-on-global-drought-using-oranges-and-avocados?c=sr1&s=p&sr_source=lift_facebook

So, I'm thinking, how do we as home gardeners grind up the peels?  Then I remembered the comments in "I have two questions" thread about pesticides used around commercial oranges.  Here are some used in just CA.  It is so nice to have my own zero-pesticide orange tree!  http://www.pesticideinfo.org/DS.jsp?sk=2006

Tonight may get to 30*F. lots o

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Post  Turan 12/19/2016, 12:07 pm

How will the ripe oranges handle the freeze?
What I miss the most from my garden in SoCal is picking an orange or pomegranate from our trees and eating it warm from the sun.

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Post  sanderson 12/19/2016, 12:40 pm

The freeze this morning (6-7 AM) was pretty cold.  At 9 am, the sheets of ice are 3/8" thick and the surfaces of the MM in the boxes are still frozen.  I don't know how well the oranges survived, but the orange growers were watering and preparing the smudge pots.  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 31 Freeze11
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 31 Freeze10

The cold compost pile is down to 124*F.  Not bad. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 31 Compos12

Turan, Nothing better than a sun-warmed orange (and tomato). Very Happy

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Post  trolleydriver 12/19/2016, 1:51 pm

sanderson ... for some reason I never pictured the weather getting that cold in your area.
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Post  sanderson 12/20/2016, 12:48 am

We get down to <32*F but only for a few days.  Last night was a cold snap but not a hard freeze in the 20s.

I turned (dumped) the cage compost today and added more horse pucks, dry leaves and a gallon of Starbuck's to bring the level back up.  I watered heavily as I built it.  Rebuilt residual temp = 65, tonight 70*F.  I also removed the last of the finished Berkeley compost from the bin (five 5-gal buckets) to get ready for a new pile.  Oh, joy.  At least it will not be hot weather when I turn it 7 times.  I will be putting the buckets of finished compost in the occupied beds to bring the levels back up and give the worms high spots during the winter rains.

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Post  sanderson 12/21/2016, 4:39 am

The dentist had a cancellation so I had a crown prep instead of working outside. The junk/cold compost cage is up to 120*F! It is supposed to rain Friday so I better make hay before then.

I forgot to mention that I called the City last week regarding leaving the leaves in the street center island at the entry to our neighborhood. Last year I swept up the fallen leaves and put them in the island. A few days later the jail crew came along and raked them all off!! tongue I also asked if I could top it off with wood chips to save the remaining 3 of 5 trees. The woman in charge said the City could put wood chips down but first the maintenance crew needs to check the irrigation. There's hope for the trees, after all. Very Happy

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Post  trolleydriver 12/21/2016, 8:25 am

Lots of things on your "to do list", sanderson.  Very Happy

Hope the crown thing goes well.

My compost bins are sleeping.
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Post  sanderson 12/28/2016, 4:53 am

Who felt the earthquakes? three 5.6 and 5.7 in the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Everything on the desk was jittering.

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Post  Mellen 12/28/2016, 8:42 am

sanderson wrote:Who felt the earthquakes?  three 5.6 and 5.7 in the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Everything on the desk was jittering.
I was asleep & missed it.  News said they were centered around Hawthorne, NV (28-30 miles from there).
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Post  countrynaturals 12/28/2016, 10:29 am

sanderson wrote:Who felt the earthquakes?  three 5.6 and 5.7 in the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Everything on the desk was jittering.
affraid We never had a clue -- slept right through it -- but maybe we were just too far away.
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Post  sanderson 12/28/2016, 3:23 pm

Normally they feel like a fun house with swaying. These (5.5 and 5.7s) felt like jittering up and down. There were more after I went to bed, in Alaska, Hilo, HI and Idaho. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/

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Post  countrynaturals 12/28/2016, 3:56 pm

sanderson wrote:Normally they feel like a fun house with swaying.  These (5.5 and 5.7s) felt like jittering up and down.  There were more after I went to bed, in Alaska, Hilo, HI and Idaho.   http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/
I remember one we had in Orange County. The water in the swimming pool was going back and forth like a big wave. It was SPOOKY! affraid
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