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California - What are you doing this month?

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Post  sanderson 1/22/2017, 3:21 am

Stop talking about dandelions!  Suddenly, they showed up and are flowering!  Wink

Expecting rain and strong winds tonight and tomorrow, so I harvested some regular bok choy, lettuces, Russian kale and purple cauliflower and what I think are 2 broccoli today to make things lighter to survive the wind.  The oranges are for the salad tomorrow. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Harves13

Underneath the orange tree canopy, looking up. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Orange10

The parsley, right, and cilantro I dried yesterday.  I turned the dehydrator temp up and they did wonderfully.  Last night I ordered 8 oz. herb jars for bulk herbs like the parsley.  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Herbs_10

The newest table top, 3.5' x 3.5', that I think will be a salad box.  Definitely need more lettuce plants for cut and grow harvesting. Bok choy, garlic, carrots, radishes and lettuces.  This was taken after I harvested. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Salad_10

More photos of the winter crops in table tops.  Love those table tops!  First, the keyhole setup with the salad bed on the left.  Parsley, cilantro and 2 "poppy seed" poppies I'm experimenting with on the right.  The backyard is so small that I can't always back up far enough for a good shot. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Keyhol10

California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Winter31

Muddy walk way/isle.  This will be the next project, covering isles with commercial weed fabric and wood chips. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Winter30

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 1/22/2017, 8:30 am

Beautiful, Sanderson! Those bok choy look delicious. I still can't wrap my head around oranges in the backyard because I've lived in the northeast/northern-mid-Atlantic my whole life. (Yes, Cajun Cappy's nanners blow my mind, too.)
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Post  countrynaturals 1/22/2017, 1:02 pm

WOW, Sanderdon! Your winter garden puts my winter garden to shame. cheers
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Post  trolleydriver 1/22/2017, 3:14 pm

sanderson ... you've got to be kidding me!!!   Your garden is amazing. You have so much growing.  So much green.  I look out into my yard and all I see is an expanse of white.


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Post  yolos 1/22/2017, 3:33 pm

Wow, you have a lot of nice veggies growing in your garden.  Congrats.
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Post  sanderson 1/22/2017, 5:30 pm

Thanks, everyone. This is my 4th winter (started spring of 2013) and I think I finally have enough sunny table tops for what I want to grow in the winter. Some of the other beds don't receive any sunshine at all until end of March, close to 6 months. One-third of the back lawn is in table tops. Very Happy

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Post  sanderson 1/25/2017, 3:31 pm

I think my experimental project has fizzled.  I wanted to improve the city-maintained tree island at the entrance to the neighborhood by asking the City to leave the fallen leaves instead of having them raked.  I was willing to buy and add mulch to try and save the failing trees.  (Forget trying to save the plants, they are cheaper and easy to replace in time.)  The City rep told me that before adding shredded tree waste from their tree service, the irrigation needs to be checked.  So, yesterday, I staked out every sprinkler head that I could locate.  Some were buried by the hard pan dirt, a couple were broken, and a handful have been engulfed by the growing trees.  The broken ones are probably a result of being stepped on when the inmates rake up the leaves.  I located 86 heads in total.  Then, online late last night, I did more research and found the city "green spots" have not been watered since June 2015.  Shocked  No wonder why 2 trees and most of the bushes have died and been removed.  Need more research and phone calls.

California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Island12

California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Island13

California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Island11

We received 2" (or 2.2" depending on which rain gauge I look at) making a total of 5" (or 5.5") this month.  As a reference, that is half of an average annual rainfall.  Another 2-3 weeks before I start the seedlings.  Better get the plot plan penciled in so I know what to start.

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Post  countrynaturals 1/27/2017, 11:38 am

sanderson wrote:January 18 and still on garden vacation.  Cut some parsley and cilantro for drying, Russian kale because it was over-grown, and mixed lettuce for a salad tonight.  Oh, and fed the worm tubes.  We should be having rain off and on for a week.  They only thing started for this summer are sweet potato slips as they take a while to sprout and get roots.  I'll plan on starting the seedlings for everything else around Valentine's Day.
You definitely have the right idea, Sanderson. I won't start seeds in January anymore (except sugar snap peas). All the others I planted are weak and leggy. My artificial light system keeps established plants alive and growing slowly, but isn't good enough to start most seeds without help from Mother Nature. My south-facing windows don't mean much when the sun doesn't come out for days at a time. Sad
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Post  sanderson 2/8/2017, 2:07 pm

yolos wrote:Sanderson - your New Zealand spinach looks very green and happy.  I tried to grow some this year but couldn't get a single one to germinate.  I will try again next year after seeing how yours is doing in your heat.
Yolos, will you be trying NZ spinach this year? My single plant from a seed Audrey seed me is about 21 months old now and still vigorous. That's 2 summers and 2 winters.

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Post  CapeCoddess 2/8/2017, 2:55 pm

sanderson wrote:Stop talking about dandelions!  Suddenly, they showed up and are flowering!  Wink

Expecting rain and strong winds tonight and tomorrow, so I harvested some regular bok choy, lettuces, Russian kale and purple cauliflower and what I think are 2 broccoli today to make things lighter to survive the wind.  The oranges are for the salad tomorrow. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Harves13

Underneath the orange tree canopy, looking up. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Orange10

The parsley, right, and cilantro I dried yesterday.  I turned the dehydrator temp up and they did wonderfully.  Last night I ordered 8 oz. herb jars for bulk herbs like the parsley.  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Herbs_10

The newest table top, 3.5' x 3.5', that I think will be a salad box.  Definitely need more lettuce plants for cut and grow harvesting.  Bok choy, garlic, carrots, radishes and lettuces.  This was taken after I harvested. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Salad_10

More photos of the winter crops in table tops.  Love those table tops!  First, the keyhole setup with the salad bed on the left.  Parsley, cilantro and 2 "poppy seed" poppies I'm experimenting with on the right.  The backyard is so small that I can't always back up far enough for a good shot. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Keyhol10

California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Winter31

Muddy walk way/isle.  This will be the next project, covering isles with commercial weed fabric and wood chips. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Winter30

Sanderson, this is mind blowing!  So beautiful!  You've come a long way, baby. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 3170584802
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Post  countrynaturals 2/8/2017, 3:15 pm

WOW! Sanerson! California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 3170584802 Gonna go back and "thank" you for the inspiration. Cool
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Post  sanderson 2/9/2017, 2:35 pm

Thanks CC and CN.

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Post  countrynaturals 2/9/2017, 4:25 pm

It's official -- no early spring, here. It's warm enough, but we have yet another 4 days of rain coming at the end of the 10-day, and the 5 beautiful days of spring in the middle have gone down to 4, with the last 2 cloudy. I may still throw a few parsnips in, just to keep from going insane, but 2017 is NOT getting off to a very good start for gardening (or much of anything else for that matter).  Sad
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Post  Yardslave 2/9/2017, 5:38 pm

The rains have really put a damper on my gardening. Every time I get a break in the weather, the lunar planting calendar says NO!!- so does the Farmer's almanac. I used to po-hoo them, but after multiple planting failures, I'm a believer. I managed to prune a few fruit trees when the clouds parted, but nothing new in the beds yet. I had some volunteer kale, carrot, and parsnip seedlings sprout, but what wasn't wiped out by hard frosts were decimated by grazing flocks of sparrows that always precede new weather fronts. I've got fertilizers and compost standing by, and when I get a break in the weather, I'll start prepping the beds- I wish I got a jump on planting, but being sceptical I feel I may have waited too long.( I know- don't say it- if wishes were fishes, we'd all swim in riches.)
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Post  sanderson 2/10/2017, 3:58 am

Tonight, the rain finally started up again in the Fresno area.  Sat and Sun are supposed to be clear, just in time for the first turn of the pile!  With husband's help, we built the cage in one hour.  It would have taken 2-4 hours to build it by myself and that may be conservative.  The ingredients were limited to horse manure, mowed leaves, 6 garbage bags of Starbucks, and misc. dry pantry products.

Tomorrow I will start baking/sterilizing the old MM for the seed pots.  I won't plant until late in the week, around Valentine's Day.  I better get the plot plans firmed so I know what to seed.  The beans, Little Gem corn and sunflowers will be direct seeded later.  The first bolting started today, one broccoli and one large variety bok choy.  The cilantro looks like it is getting to that point, also.  The pollinators love the brassica and cilantro flowers.
This is for TD, me dancing on the Starbuck's bags of coffee in my penguin flannels.  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Compos13

PS  I've been out of town for the last 2 weekends.  Spent 3 hours with kiddies in IKEA on Super Bowl Sunday and the place was half empty, and Sundays are usually packed.  I gave up trying to eat healthy and just ordered the Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy.  Bought 2 jars of lingonberry jam!  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Ikea10

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Post  trolleydriver 2/10/2017, 8:14 am

sanderson wrote:...
This is for TD, me dancing on the Starbuck's bags of coffee in my penguin flannels.  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Compos13


Love it!   Laughing
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Post  sanderson 2/11/2017, 3:57 pm

New compost pile 110*F at 36 hours, rain gauge at 0.8" and the smell of steamy, baked seedling MM in the morning.  Doesn't get much better.  California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Seedli13

This morning I have harvested the last of the bok choy for blanching, have the parsley and cilantro drying in the dehydrator, lettuce picked, washed and in the frig.  What else is there to do at this point on a cold, cloudy day?  study

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Post  Kelejan 2/13/2017, 5:02 am

I have just seen a headline stating that the Oroville Dam in Northern California is overflowing and it risk.

"At least 130,000 people in northern California have been told to evacuate their homes after the tallest dam in the US was weakened by heavy rainfall.
Officials warned on Sunday that the emergency spillway of the Oroville Dam could collapse at any moment.
Water levels in the reservoir have increased because of heavy rain and snow.
It is the first time that Lake Oroville has experienced such an emergency in the dam's near 50-year history."    from BBC

Are any of our forum members nearby?
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Post  countrynaturals 2/13/2017, 11:49 am

Kelejan wrote:I have just seen a headline stating that the Oroville Dam in Northern California is overflowing and it risk.

"At least 130,000 people in northern California have been told to evacuate their homes after the tallest dam in the US was weakened by heavy rainfall.
Officials warned on Sunday that the emergency spillway of the Oroville Dam could collapse at any moment.
Water levels in the reservoir have increased because of heavy rain and snow.
It is the first time that Lake Oroville has experienced such an emergency in the dam's near 50-year history."    from BBC

Are any of our forum members nearby?
Yes, we are very close but in no danger at all. I'm posting about it in the weather thread.
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Post  sanderson 2/13/2017, 12:48 pm

Suz is north of the flood zone so she is safe.

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Post  countrynaturals 2/13/2017, 3:04 pm

sanderson wrote:Suz is north of the flood zone so she is safe.
We're over 100 miles from Oroville, but only 10 miles from the Sacramento River. We are in no danger there either, since we're up and away, but our son and his in-laws are right on the river, downstream from both dams (Shasta & Keswick). Worse case scenario we can put them up, but their magnificent home could be at risk if a catastrophic release comes from those dams. Their home is still another 25' up, so if disaster strikes, hundreds of others will have it much worse, but we never underestimate the power of Nature. Evil or Very Mad
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Post  sanderson 2/13/2017, 3:19 pm

countrynaturals wrote:we never underestimate the power of Nature. Evil or Very Mad
+1

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Post  Yardslave 2/13/2017, 6:51 pm

"Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst." I hope the next front due in later this week doesn't impact the Dam. Last time I saw a newscast the lake looked like it was literally brimming with water. In my area the ground is so saturated that daily reports of landslides have become commonplace, but just South of Big Sur, on Highway 1, The Pfeiffer creek bridge looks like It's going to crumble. The center abutment has been eroded enough to shift and cracks are developing as the bridge begins to slowly cant to the side. I don't know when they'll decide to close it off completely, but the sooner the better. Can't mess with Mother Nature!
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Post  countrynaturals 2/13/2017, 9:24 pm

Yardslave wrote:"Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst." I hope the next front due in later this week doesn't impact the Dam. Last time I saw a newscast the lake looked like it was literally brimming with water. 
Our entire area -- including Lake Oroville -- could get up to 8" from Wed. to Mon. Releases from Shasta Dam and Keswick Dam that impacts the in-laws will continue for at least a week or 2, which won't be pleasant, but the evacuees from Oroville are really stuck. They don't dare let them come back with that much rain in the forecast and the dam still in that much trouble. Not only is it an old dam, it's also an earthen dam. They swear the dam itself is okay, but that emergency spillway is a real threat to give way. It has never been used before. Sad
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Post  sanderson 2/14/2017, 5:23 am

It's hard to find photos that show the structures of the Oroville Dam making the news.  The first two, show the tall dam (tallest in the US at 770' tall) on the right with the electrical power plant at the bottom of the dam on the right side shore.  It's hard to see it clearly without Google earth.  The Feather River spills out of the power plant and continues downstream at a relatively steady rate each day.

To the left of the dam proper, is the concrete emergency spillway, a little bit lower than the Dam, has a breach (3rd photo).  The spillway has jumped its wall on the right and caused some erosion.  There is still a mass of earth between the breach and the dam proper.  The spill way also pours into the feather River a little bit down stream.

The third, a "super" emergency spill way looks like a concrete wall to the left of the concrete spillway.  It is even lower that the concrete spill way.  When the water in the lake reaches the top of this wall, water just pours over it and runs wild down the hill.  This has never happened since the Dam was built 50 years ago.  Without a concrete ramp, the powerful water has caused erosion, washing away the dirt and leaving boulders and rock.  This water also dumps into the Feather River close the the concrete spill way.  While water spill can be controlled at the dam and concrete spillway ramp, the wall is like the top of the bathtub with water spilling over.  The volume of water can flood the feather river.  I don't think there will be a dam failure, or that the concrete shoot will fail, but the overflowing bathtub can be a flood danger itself.

California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Orovil11
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Orovil13
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 34 Orovil12

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