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Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting.

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Post  mollyhespra on 5/3/2020, 7:40 pm

Thanks, everyone. There's still so much to do, but it's coming along nicely.

Here's where I'm at today:
Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200513
Three beds under clear plastic to try to knock off those pesky weeds. The uncovered bed has some perennial "Queen of the Prairie" and some asiatic lillies I'm working on transplanting to a more suitable location. Lesson learned: never use the SFG as a temporary home for any plants I don't intend to keep there permanently. Period.


Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200511
Closeup of the bed along the fence in the far right of the first picture. This one is infested with leafy spurge, but I've got tulips in there so I don't want to solarize the whole thing. Maybe I'll wait for the tulips to go dormant, lift them and *then* solarize.

Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200510
What the 18 gal. totes look like before getting filled with MM. I put punk wood in the bottom 8" to act as a sponge (modified hugelkulture), then top off with MM and finally crown with straw. I took Plantoid's advice and drilled the holes a couple of inches up the sides instead of in the bottom. Those 3 buckets are going to house the 3 varieties of tomatillos I've got under grow lights.
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Post  countrynaturals on 5/3/2020, 9:14 pm

YEE-HAH! I can see the pics for the first time in days! Nice job, Molly. Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 3170584802
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Post  mollyhespra on 5/4/2020, 8:55 pm

Thanks, Suz!

I was able to get outside for an hour or so, long enough to get this done:

Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200514

That's 18 half dead walla-walla starts I bought from a local farmer.

Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200516

And that's 55? each of generic white, red, and yellow onion bulbs in the first three super-sized squares plus on the far right there's some 20 Yellow Cipollini bulbs I found at the grocery store that I thought I'd try planting. The generic bulbs I got from a local farm supply store so I hope they'll have enough time to bulb up in our short season. No idea about the Cipollinis. I suppose I should have looked it up before planting. Too late now, lol.

We're expecting some snow tonight, but the onions won't mind.
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Post  mollyhespra on 5/20/2020, 9:53 pm

Oh, wow. It's been a while since I updated.

Current news is that about 90% of my seeds germinated and they were happily growing under lights until this week. Now they're not so happy.

When I up-potted the seedlings into quart sized pots, I used straight compost. Normally I just grab some MM from the outside beds, add a little fresh compost and good to go, right?

Well, I thought I'd avoid using the old MM because of my weed problem, and just used straight compost. At first everything seemed ok... and then I noticed a leaf curling. I thought it looked droopy so what did I do?

I watered, because the top of the soil seemed a bit dry.

THEN I noticed some funky bumpy spots on the stems and spots on the curling leaves of that one plant. I thought maybe I was looking at a disease hitherto unknown to me, so I went online to research it.

Turns out what my poor little tom had was EDEMA. I was drowning it.

Unfortunately my ignorant cure was more water. I should have researched first. So now ALL of the toms are showing signs of edema. The paste tomatoes and the russian varieties in particular have been severely affected, and it looks like a few of those aren't going to make it.

The straight compost must have globbed around the roots preventing air from getting to them.

I haven't watered them now for about a week. I picked up materials to make a fresh batch of MM today so that tomorrow I hope to re-pot, bury deeper, and pray that they can send out good roots above the damaged areas.

In other news, the solarization of my weedy beds has done a good job of encouraging the weeds to sprout. I'm going to leave the plastic in place for a while yet in the hopes that they'll start to die off soon.

I'll post some pictures tomorrow.
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Post  plantoid on 5/22/2020, 9:08 am

Hi Molly are you still fighting the jungle ? 
 I'm afraid I resorted to these. 
AaCheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 71mPdGeftZL._SL1500_

A pair of long handled banch loppers , a two stroke weed wacker with brush cutter blade 
 several gallons of round up out of a pump up sprayer 
 and a lot of time to get things done .
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/22/2020, 3:21 pm

I’ve never heard of that, CK?!!!!  Fingers crossed the MM can work its magic!
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Post  plantoid on 5/22/2020, 7:03 pm

The post should have read  long handled branch loppers … sourced from  Wolf , CK and all manner of decent gardening tool makers .
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Post  mollyhespra on 5/22/2020, 9:10 pm

I'm afraid you're a bit behind the times, Dave. The jungle has been tamed! I did resort to using the lopers while in the taming process last summer, and if truth be told, the thought of just nuking everything did flit through my mind, but I'm adamantly opposed to using Roundup. I just can't. So it was hand-pulling weeds all the way, but the results have been well worth it.
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Post  mollyhespra on 5/25/2020, 9:30 pm

Busy weekend in the jungle! Not much growing right now except some Roveja dry peas and some Golden Sweet snow peas under the mulch. The new asparagus I planted a month or so ago haven't made an appearance yet.

Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200520

The big project this weekend was remaking the compost pile from 3 cold areas to one large hot one. Still not done moving the bottommost layer in the last cold pile. I ran out of greens. It's ok. I'll fluff it up good when the grass grows a bit and then start moving the new pile back on top of it.

Here's a panoramic of the new large compost pile to the left, remnants of what was finished compost in the middle that the raspberries took over these past 3 years, and then a few more beds. Those have onions and fingering potatoes and will probably get some tomato plants also if I end up with too many for the fenced in area.

Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200521

And a better shot of just the compost pile:

Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200522

Yes, it really is that crooked. I pounded some rebar into the holes in the blocks so it's not going anywhere. I'm going to take down what's left of the divider next time I'm working outside.
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Post  mollyhespra on 5/31/2020, 9:56 pm

Updated picture from this weekend's labor of love:

Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200523

The weeds were trying to reclaim the jungle, so it was mostly weeding today.

Hard to see but we weeded all the beds as well as the lanes, and then plopped on some fresh compost in preparation for planting in the next few weeks.

My poor nightshades are really suffering under the grow lights but it was spitting snow today so *I* know they're happier inside; *they* just don't know it.

I also put in the trellis for the golden snow peas but I think I should have centered it more over the middle of the end squares. Too late now.

There's a tool in the picture above that's awesome at weeding the lanes. It's shaped like an L and does quick work of uprooting all the little weedlings that have been popping up everywhere. It just needs a longer handle, IMHO.

Oh! And the newly planted asparagus plants are starting to peek out of the MM!!!
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Post  OldCrow on 6/1/2020, 6:15 am

@mollyhespra wrote:
My poor nightshades are really suffering under the grow lights but it was spitting snow today so *I* know they're happier inside; *they* just don't know it.
I spoke too soon yesterday, thinking we were safe from frost. Last night my cucumber seedlings in the elevated bed succumb, 25F Sad at 6inch off the ground where my trail cam is located. But the micro climate at my in ground bed near the house looks like my cucumber MAY be good.
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Post  mollyhespra on 6/1/2020, 8:59 am

I dont think it dipped below the low 30s here, but that's cold enough. LF isn't for another week yet.  I'm glad I waited. 

There's only peas and asparagus in the garden right now apart from the perennial ornamentals and herbs next to the house and like you said, those get a little more protection because of their location.

Your poor little cukes didn't have a chance at 25.  pale

When is your LF?
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Post  OldCrow on 6/1/2020, 9:27 am

Hi Molly, from local lore "don't plant until Memorial Day". From the interweb I've seen dates ranging from May 11 to May 30  Shocked. I've never paid attention in the past, but I've begun recording our temps, rain, and wind. The item that really shocked me was how much wind we have. We have 5kts and above nearly every single day. 

I believe our home is in Zone 5a, we are just west of Belfast ME, but we are on a hill about 750ft above sea level. Plenty of times we have snow, rain, fog when Belfast is clear. I should have paid attention yesterday, but been a bit distracted, last night with the cool we had clear sky and for once the wind calmed. 


Additional casualties were some Marigold and Zinnia in our south flower planting area but the east area is fine. Strange since the east is further from the heat source of the house??
OC
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Post  mollyhespra on 6/7/2020, 8:26 pm

Busy day today. It was supposed to be cloudy and then sunny. Turned out mostly cloudy but that's ok.

Still hardening off the nightshades. They're sheltering under the makeshift tunnel greenhouse on the right. Supposed to go down to the low 40s tonight. They'll be happier under cover.

Also (re)laid out the soaker hose which I had to patch in a number of places because they got mangled when we were ripping out the weeds last summer. Still have 2 more to go, the one under the asparagus and the one where the tunnel currently resides.

Oh, yes. And that was *after* DH shovelled all that unfinished compost I got from the farmer back into the pile to cook some more.

Now I've got to move the zucchinis over to the next bed. (I just threw them in there because the 4 pack I bought was really root bound, knowing I'd need to move them.)

That is, I can move them after I throw some cardboard over the soaker hosed beds, wet it down, and then put some fresh MM on top, and a heavy straw mulch on top of that. The perennial weeds are putting up a fight.

Oh yes, and then the grid has to go back on the beds. It just never ends, does it.

Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200612
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Post  mollyhespra on 6/8/2020, 8:36 pm

Another busy day.

Patched up the mangled hoses and installed one in the hoop house.

Started the process of covering the beds in cardboard with some fresh MM on top. The one inside the hoop house is done, the one to the right of it only has cardboard.

The horseradish has come back for round two. I pulled about 3 more feet of roots and sprouts that got left behind, even though I carefully "weeded" that bed a few months ago.

Some of the roots go waaaaay down past the hardware cloth bottom so I'm going to be pulling out horseradish for years. I gave some to a neighbor and replanted the rest in an out of the way part of the yard. There may it thrive.

Lesson learned.

Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200615
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Post  mollyhespra on 6/14/2020, 6:36 pm

Ok, so the eggplants are in. 6 different varieties in the last bed to the right.

Peppers are sorta situated where I plan to plant them in the second to last bed to the right. I hope to get them in tomorrow.

Tomatoes are waiting their turn next.

Cheerleaders needed, please. This is daunting. - Page 5 20200616
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/15/2020, 8:06 pm

Six varieties of eggplant?
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Post  mollyhespra on 6/15/2020, 8:50 pm

Lol, yes. My plan a couple of months ago was to determine how many of my very old seeds were still viable, so I started 2-3 of each, figuring if 20% sprouted I'd be happy.

Well, germination was something like 98% for the toms, peppers and eggplants, so now I have lots of varieties to compare. I have a suspicion one of the eggplants isn't going to mature in time, but you never know.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/15/2020, 9:24 pm

@mollyhespra wrote:Lol, yes.  My plan a couple of months ago was to determine how many of my very old seeds were still viable,  so I started 2-3 of each,  figuring if 20% sprouted I'd be happy.  

Well, germination was something like 98% for the toms, peppers and eggplants, so now I have lots of varieties to compare.   I have a suspicion one of the eggplants isn't going to mature in time, but you never know.

That is a great experiment!!!  Love it!  Some things seem to just go on forever, but some are just dead end:  lettuce is a dead end for me...some stuff is just not very hardy that way.  But I have successfully started some sunflowers from 10 years ago?
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Post  mollyhespra on 8/2/2020, 12:36 pm

Waaah!  I just lost a very long update post just as I was finishing it!!! Crybaby

Ok, so here's the summary:

We bought a new house and have been busy moving.  Location is further North and at a much higher altitude which means an even shorter growing season, lucky me.

No existing garden in the new place, but OG's metal garden beds have arrived and are being assembled for use next Spring hopefully. I have a nice place planned for them.

We're going to be renting out the old place but I'm keeping my garden. At least until I know if the tenants can be trusted to use it.

And here are some update pictures:

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Post  sanderson on 8/3/2020, 4:34 am

You did some amazing work on rehabing the garden. It looks wonderful. I sure hope the tenants appreciate and use the garden.

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Post  sanderson on 8/3/2020, 4:35 am

You did some amazing work on rehabing the garden. It looks wonderful. I sure hope the tenants appreciate and use the garden.

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Post  mollyhespra on 8/4/2020, 2:19 pm

Thanks, Sanderson! 

Current plan is to rent the rooms out individually as living space or office space, so the garden is not included.  

It's more stressful to think of renting out the garden than the house, lol.
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