Posts Tagged ‘garden 2019’

Green Thumb Up My Nose

September 28, 2019

Garden Report for 190930

Can you say unseasonably cold? The week started out mild but windy, and it went downhill from there. By Wednesday night they were including windchills in the forecast. By Saturday night, it was chance of 2″ of snow. Highs started at 70 and ended up in the 40’s. Lows in the 40’s became lows around 31. Time to close out the garden.

Total of 7.6kg of tomatoes for the week, plus an additional 2.3kg of the cherry-sized yellow pears that I don’t post to the scoreboard (and which cooked down into 700g of tart sauce with too many seeds).

Speaking of which, here’s the final scoreboard.

Week
Ending
09/30
Vegetable
  (bold = final)
Count Weight g Unit
Weight g
Total
Count
Total
Weight kg
  EG Garden 56 4.72
2 plants EGContainer 40 3710 93 139 11.53
EG Bag 23 2186 95 84 5.86
EG Deck 30 1.77
OtherTomato 27 1724 64 235 17.82
Summer Squash 13 2.56
Zucchini 1 140 140 25 7.89
Spaghetti
squash
2 2480 1240 4 4.97
Winter Squash 5 5.78
Pumpkin 1 980 980 2 1.74
Carrots 1.28
Kohlrabi 2 0.90
Grand Total 66.82

So, 42kg of tomatoes, 23kg of squash, 2kg of other, for a total of 67kg of produce. For the traditionalists amongst the readers, that’s just shy of 150lb, and a new record. Surprisingly, it wasn’t because of lots of heavy squashes.

The results of my Early Girl experiment are shown below.

Early Girl Results Location
Available Sunlight Available Soil Volume per plant Unit
Weight g
Total
Count per plant
Total
Weight kg per plant
Garden Medium 200L 73 56 4.72
House Container High 50L 83 70 5.76
House Planter Bag High 75L 70 84 5.86
Deck Container
Medium 50L 60 30 1.77

So, the smaller containers along the house produced larger but fewer tomatoes, while the larger planter bag produced more, but smaller. Total harvested mass was about equal, and the differences might just be statistical variability. The small container on the deck produced a third the volume, while the Early Girl in the garden —  fighting with the other tomatoes for both sun and  root space — produced 25% less harvested mass.

Sun seems to be the main driver here, with the higher yields going to plants that have more direct sun, plus reflected light off the house and the lawn. Plants in the garden not only have a shade problem (and no, I’m not going to cut down the 60-year-old spruce), but also have to fight for sunlight with plants further south in the section.

I’ll save the policy conclusions for a later post.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

September 23, 2019

Garden Report for 190923

This week was cool and sometimes wet, with lows in the mid- to upper 40’s, and highs in the mid- to upper-60’s. More cool and showeryness in the offing, becoming downright cold (lows in the 30’s) at the end of next week.

So, here we are at the equinox and the garden has pretty well played out. Quite different from previous years, where things kept happening well into October. This despite the lack of early frosts or similar infelicities. About the only things left are 60 or so late-ripening tomatoes and the squashes. I’ve cleaned up and dug over Section 3, and will do the same for Section 4 Real Soon Now.

Harvested the last of the Buttercups (1.2kg, 900g). Summer squash are done. The remaining Zucchinis are all the Genovese variety, looking almost like European cucumbers. Since I’ve culled most of the squash, I can whack away the leaves, and pull up the carrots I planted in Section 1 — half a kilosworth, making just under 1.3kg for the year. Used my now-standard approach of planting them via SeedsOnTape underneath the wire shelving frames. The wiring keeps off the varmints and the green bits grow up between the stiff wires. When time comes to harvest, I just lift the shelf, and it pulls up all the greens, and the carrots come along for the ride.

Here’s the scoreboard.

Week
Ending
09/23
Vegetable
  (bold = final)
Count Weight g Unit
Weight g
Total
Count
Total
Weight kg
  EG Garden 56 4.72
EG Container (2) 6 275 46 99 7.82
EG Bag 3 150 50 61 3.67
EG Deck 30 1.77
Other tomato 9 1032 115 208 16.1
Summer Squash 13 2.56
Zucchini 2 375 187 24 7.75
Spaghetti
squash
1 1150 1150 2 2.49
Winter Squash 2 1940 970 5 5.78
Pumpkin 1 0.76
Carrots 580 1.28
Kohlrabi 2 0.90
Grand Total 55.6

Not quite a record year, we’re still 10kg behind 2012 on tomatoes, but we might yet make it. With the weather forecast the way it is, and the highs at the end of the week coming in lower than what we keep our house at, I’ll probably harvest all remaining, and let it ripen indoors.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

September 15, 2019

Garden Report for 1900916

Mid-September is mild and showery. Highs in the mid 70’s, lows around 50. Next week is scheduled to be equally cool and wet.

The seeds-on-tape container lettuce has run into problems.  Wednesday, I found that something was eating them and that one of the containers has been stripped bare. I spent some time with a flashlight on successive nights, trying to find the culprit, to no avail. I need to knit some sort of mesh cover to keep the bugs out.

Winter squash are starting to come in. Three Buttercup (1.4kg, 1.2kg, 1.2kg), a spaghetti squash (1.3kg) and a pie pumpkin (800g). Plus, there’s a very pale acorn squash, that might or might not be edible. A rather nice acorn squash sat on the wet ground too long and was et up by bugs. Meanwhile, the summer squash plants are at EOL. Leaves turning yellow and remaining fruit coming out misshapen.

It’s squash time!

Coming up are a whole bunch of Early Girls, plus an assortment of tomatoes in the main garden. For winter squash, there’s two more Buttercups hanging around, three more spaghetti squash, two things that might be spaghetti squash*, and a probable pumpkin.

I cooked up another batch of tomato sauce. That’s about ten liters so far. Had to do it, because all the tomatoes on the kitchen counter are going soft. And of course, now I’ve got another 32kg to deal with.

Here’s the scoreboard.

Week
Ending
09/16
Vegetable

(bold = final)

Count Total

Weight
g

Unit

Weight
g

Grand

Total

Total
Weight
kg
  EG Garden 3 250 83 56 4.72
EG Container (2) 27 2380 88 93 7.55
EG Bag 8 600 75 58 3.52
EG Deck 30 1.77
Other tomato 17 1890 111 199 15.1
Summer Squash 13 2.56
Zucchini 2 1075 537 22 7.37
Spaghetti
squash
1 1340 1 1.34
Winter Squash 4 4600 1150 4 4.60
Carrots 0.70
Kohlrabi 2 0.90
Grand Total 49.7

This looks to be a record year, with close to 50kg already, and four biggish squash still to come.

*On the one hand, they have a mottled, melon-like, surface. On the other hand, the vine traces back to a “Spaghetti Squash” tag.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

September 8, 2019

Garden Report for 1900909

Here we are into September already. Warm and dry to start. Warm and wet to end.

Midweek sweep got one zucchini and 14 garden tomatoes. Some of them may be Early Girls, but the plants are now so intertwined I can’t tell. End of the week picked up two small summer squash and 17 more tomatoes, some were EGs.

There’s more to come

The 60 House Container tomatoes are working on the ripening thing.

Here’s the scoreboard.

Week
Ending
09/09
Vegetable

(bold = final)

Count Total

Weight
g

Unit

Weight
g

Grand

Total

Total
Weight
kg
  EG Garden 12 830 69 53 4.47
EG Container (2) 66 5.17
EG Bag 50 2.92
EG Deck 30 1.77
Other tomato 31 3030 98 182 13.2
Summer Squash 2 274 137 13 2.56
Zucchini 1 240 240 20 6.3
Spaghetti
squash
Winter Squash
Carrots 0.70
Kohlrabi 2 0.90
Grand Total 38.0

 

Green Thumb Up My Nose

September 1, 2019

Garden Report for 1900902

The end of August usually presents the best weather of the year. In this case, dry, with highs in the 80’s (low to upper) and lows in the 50’s (low to upper). Dry enough that the mosquitoes are no longer a problem, the way they are during the nice weather of Spring. Next week is to be more of the same, and then we’re into proper Autumnals.

Closing out Sections 3 and 4. Mostly failures. Leeks, peas, beans and bok choy don’t grow. Does you or I or anyone know, why leeks, peas, beans and bok choy don’t grow? Harvested a (small) basketload of carrots — 700g worth. Good crop of weeds.

Only one zucchini plant still producing, otherwise, we’re waiting on the winter squashes.

Tomato plants are still cranking out tomatoes, mostly the big ones now. House Containers showed a flash of Champions. Main Garden gave us Beefsteak, Goliath, and Whoppers. That last is a bit of a whopper, because they aren’t much bigger than supermarket tomatoes. Early Girls are regrouping, preparing for one last surge next month sometime. Made two more quarts of tomato sauce, and gave away a mixed bag of mostly Early Girls, but also the last of our Cherokee Purples.

Later Girls at dawn

A quick count shows there’s at least another 60 tomatoes that we can expect to ripen before the frosts come.

Here’s the scoreboard.

Week
Ending
09/02
Vegetable

(bold = final)

Count Total

Weight
g

Unit

Weight
g

Grand

Total

Total
Weight
kg
  EG Garden 41 3.64
EG Container (2) 66 5.17
EG Bag 50 2.92
EG Deck 30 1.77
Other tomato 16 2200 138 151 12.88
Summer Squash 11 2.29
Zucchini 20 6.3
Spaghetti
squash
Winter Squash
Carrots 700 0.70
Kohlrabi 2 0.90
Grand Total 36.6

We remain in the top three years for midsommer yields, and the others had things like pumpkins to plump them up. Only halfway to the 50kg tomato harvest from 2012.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

August 25, 2019

Garden Report for 190826

The week kicked off with the hottest days of the month — 91F on Tuesday — then settled down to merely warm — upper 70s/low 80s, with the lows in the low 50’s.

I tried an experiment with the soaker hoses. Previously, I’d been soaking every day, for 20-30minutes, and the bigger tomatoes were tasting a little mushy. I cut back to every other day in the main garden, and daily for 20min on the containers. That seems to be enough water, since nothing is wilting. Preliminary tests look good.

We used the Early Girls from last week and the start of this week (about 3KG of each, plus all our cherry tomatoes) to make tomato sauce, and then MJ made fresh tomato soup. Very good. Six KG or so made a gallon of sauce. We found that a tomato juicer is an important kitchen accessory for this sort of thing. It does a good job of separating out the seeds and skin and stuff, and it means you don’t have to keep washing your feet. I hasten to add that it’s not a unitasker, because once the whortleberry crop starts coming in, we can use it for that.

First quart is already gone

OTOH, the long beans over-ripened, and so we only got about 48″ worth, plus another 56″ of yellow and brown. MJ says they taste metallic, but that may be the Zicam talking.

Closed out the cucumbers. Two containers, one on the deck and one on the east side of the house. Deck produced one 80g. House produced none (well, a couple of cocktail-sized). Also closed out all the other deck containers, since everything in them was dead due to our trip. Got a quart of cherry tomatoes out of it. Only thing left on the deck is two freshly planted lettuce and one spinach on the railing (plus the hanging basket).

Garden tomatoes are doing well fabulously. Cherokee Purples have given us 13 fruit at 1247g.  Total tomatoes this week are over 150 at almost 14kg. One of the Big Beeves weighed in at 470g.

Summertime squashes are not doing as well. They are either not producing, or are turning out misshapen semi-obscene shapes, like poorly inflated balloon animals. For other squash-like things, still unharvested are three probable spaghetti squash, one possible pumpkin, and three buttercups, plus whatever is hidden down amongst the burdock.

This, on top of the ones from last week.

 

Here’s the scoreboard.

Week
Ending
08/26
Vegetable

(bold = final)

Count Total

Weight
g

Unit

Weight
g

Grand

Total

Total
Weight
kg
  EG Garden 15 1130 75 41 3.64
EG Container (2) 26 1450 56 66 5.17
EG Bag 11 666 60 50 2.92
EG Deck 30 1.77
Other tomato 105 10676 101 135 10.68
Summer Squash 11 2.29
Zucchini 1 530 530 20 6.3
Spaghetti
squash
Winter Squash
Cucumber 1 80 80 1 0.08
Kohlrabi 2 0.90
Grand Total 34.4

This puts us in the top three years for midsommer yields, and the others had things like pumpkins to plump them up. Not yet challenging the 50kg tomato harvest from 2012.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

August 18, 2019

Garden Report for 190819

We were gone all week, on our second cruise to Alaska (coming soon to a sidebar near you). That soaker hose I rigged across all the containers seemed to work OK.

The containers along the east side of the house continue to produce. The Early Girl House Bag generated 20 tomatoes, and the two EG Containers generated 18. Also got 10 Champion VFNT (900g). The hanging tomato survived the trip from deck to planter, but might not have survived the trip back. In any event, all of its tomatoes are still greenies.

There were lots of tomatoes from the garden as well.  Garden EG produced only 17 tomatoes, but with a total weight of 1.6kg. Rutgers gave up 10 (1280g), and Big Beef had a kilogramsworth of meat in 4 tomatoes (finally, a tomato worthy of the name — we cooked hamburger tonight just to celebrate), and one lonely Bush Beefsteak at 140g.

All in all, we got something over 80 tomatoes at something over 7kg — this week. Too bad the lettuce has petered out.

Lots of salad in our future

Squash stayed reasonably sane. Two summer squash, one Cocozelle Zucchini, and two Genovese Zucchini, one of which was a two pound monster. I suspect it hid behind a leaf when I did my pre-trip purge. In any event, it was given to a friend before I could photograph it.

 

Here’s the scoreboard.

Week
Ending
08/19
Vegetable

(bold = final)

Count Total

Weight
g

Unit

Weight
g

Grand

Total

Total
Weight
kg
  EG Garden 17 1580 93 26 2.51
EG Container (2) 18 1380 77 40 3.72
EG Bag 20 1180 59 39 2.25
EG Deck 30 1.77
Other tomato 25 3325 30 3.96
Summer Squash 2 490 245 11 2.29
Zucchini 3 2330 1870 19 5.8
Spaghetti
squash
Winter Squash
Cucumber
Kohlrabi 2 0.90
Grand Total 23.2

This puts us in the top three years for midsommer yields, and the others had things like pumpkins to plump them up.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

August 12, 2019

Garden Report for 190812

The weather had the hots this week, with highs topping out at 97, with lots of haze and smoke from the WA wildfires.

The Early Girls in containers along the east side of the house continue to produce. Starting to get some non-EG tomatoes — five Champions from the House Bag.

Squash seems to be taking a breather; fine with me.

Only the top right corner are not Early Girls

We were to be away for the weekend, and the EG Deck Container cannot survive unless it’s watered at least once a day, so I harvested everything (including greenies), and I’ll let them ripen in the house. Total for that plant for the season was 25@1.8kg.

While I was at it, I decided that I’d try harvesting all the tomatoes with any color at all and bring them into the house as well. We’re in the high heat of summer, and they will ripen more slowly indoors. The goal is to have less of a crimson tide at the end of the month. That’s why the totals have jumped up so high.

 

Here’s the scoreboard.

Week
Ending
08/12
Vegetable

(bold = final)

Count Total

Weight
g

Unit

Weight
g

Grand

Total

Total
Weight
kg
  EG Garden 5 430 86 9 0.93
EG Container (2) 16 740 46 22 2.34
EG Bag 13 600 46 19 1.07
EG Deck 25 1500 60 30 1.77
Other tomato 5 640 120 5 0.64
Summer Squash 7 1.80
Zucchini 1 240 16 3.50
Spaghetti
squash
Winter Squash
Cucumber
Kohlrabi 2 0.90
Grand Total 12.5

We’re ahead of where we were last year (12.0kg) and 2017 (9.5kg), so this may end up being the best harvest since I started keeping records, in 2011.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

August 5, 2019

Garden Report for 190805

The weather continued warm, with highs mostly in the mid to upper 80s.

The Early Girls in containers along the east side of the house are just producing their little hearts out. Plus, we’re getting some Early Girl tomatoes that aren’t from the House Containers. Six so far from the House Bag. It’s about 50% bigger than the hard plastic containers, and so are the tomatoes. One was 100g and another was 140. Main garden actually produced some tomatoes this week — four Early Girls. Squash continues to squash.

Here’s the scoreboard.

Week
Ending
08/05
Vegetable Count Total

Weight
g

Unit

Weight
g

Grand

Total

Total
Weight
kg
  EG Garden 4 500 125 4 0.50
EG Container 24 1050 44 36 1.60
EG Bag 6 470 78 6 0.47
EG Deck 5 269 54 5 0.27
Other tomato
Summer Squash 2 400 200 7 1.80
Zucchini 6 1270 212 16 3.50
Spaghetti
squash
Winter Squash
Cucumber
Kohlrabi 2 0.90
Grand Total 9.0

You know that railing container of radishes I talked about earlier? Well, they’re actually lettuce. Boy is my face as red as a … as a red thing. But at least we’ll have lettuce until the next batch in the main garden shows up. Meanwhile, I have no idea where the radishes are.

Planted a railing container of spinach. All the garden spinach I’ve ever planted has been ravaged by leaf miners, so we’ll see.

Lettuce on the left, Spinach on the right.
I think.

Out front, the pepper-inna-tub has given us four banana peppers.

We’re well ahead of where we were this time last year (1.7kg), except that last year we were already getting big red tomatoes. Also ahead of 2017 (2.7kg). This doesn’t count the half-kilogram of greenies what have fallen off of various plants. They are off by themselves, quietly thinking about ripening.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

July 29, 2019

Garden Report for 190729

The weather continued warm, with highs mostly in the mid to upper 80s, but just touching 94F on Tuesday. Breezy Really windy at the end of the week. Forecast for pretty much the same for next week, only without the wind.

Finally got some tomatoes. Over the course of the week there were 12 small (~45g each) Early Girls, all from the house east side containers. Three afflicted with blossom end rot. They all were good, but had thick skins. I suspect this is the result of our exceedingly dry air. On the other hand, I note that it says here that Early Girls should run up to 250g. Not even a smidgen of red elsewhere. Picked the second kohlrabi, and about 24″ of yard long beans. Squash are churning out squash.

It’s a start

Here’s the scoreboard.

Week
Ending
07/29
Vegetable Count Total

Weight
g

Unit

Weight
g

Grand

Total

Total
Weight
kg
  EG Garden
EG Container 12 540 45 12 0.54
EG Bag
EG Deck
Other tomato
Summer Squash 1 200 200 5 1.4
Zucchini 4 930 230 10 2.2
Spaghetti
squash
Winter Squash
Cucumber
Kohlrabi 1 320 320 2 0.9
Grand Total 5.0

I am trying something new on the watering front. I threaded a soaker hose around the house containers — it’s long enough to go both ways — and I’m hooking it up to the timer. We’ll see if and how much watering will take the place of me standing there with a hose. Not that there’s anything wrong with standing.

The hose is there, it’s just hard to see.
Click to embiggen.

We’re ahead of where we were this time last year (1.7kg), except that last year we were already getting big red tomatoes. Also ahead of 2017 (2.7kg)

Green Thumb Up My Nose

July 21, 2019

Garden Report for 190722

The weather was surprisingly pleasant, with highs in the upper 70’s, not warming to the 80’s until the weekend. The whole NW is having an unseasonable extension of June Gloom, becoming subject to JAWS — July Abnormally Wet Systems. On Monday, Spokane had the second highest rainfall for that date since record keeping started in 1881.  True, it was only 0.29in, but still. In the past 138 years, it’s rained on the 16th only 21 times. Forecast for next week is more normal — upper 80s/low 90s, no rain except in occasional T-storms. This forecast expected to hold through … August.

Not really seeing much production yet, other than the squash (one Summer, one Genovese, one Cocozelle). Some remaining lettuce. A couple of tomatoes are turning red, but nothing harvestable. Meanwhile, the Bok Choy all bolted.

Here’s the scoreboard. This week’s take includes harvests from previous weeks.

Week
Ending
07/22
Vegetable  

Count

 

Total

Weight
g

Unit

Weight
g

Grand

Total

Total
Weight
kg
  EG Garden
EG Container
EG Bag
EG Deck
Other tomato
Summer Squash 4 1210 302 4 1.2
Zucchini 6 1948 325 6 1.9
Spaghetti
squash
Winter Squash
Cucumber
Kohlrabi 1 580 580 1 0.6
Grand Total 3.7

I tried using a no-till approach to the garden this year, but it’s not working. Sometimes I have trouble finding the garden plants.

Peas and Carrots and Weeds, Oh My.

There’s actually some radishes in there, also.

We’re ahead of where we were this time last year, except that last year we were already getting big red tomatoes.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

July 14, 2019

Garden Report for 190715

Hot and dry all week, with temperatures averaging in the mid 80’s F.

Harvested the first kholrabi. Softball sized and 520g. The second one is more hardball sized, and I’ll wait a bit on that one. Also harvested a 400g summer squash. There’s one Delicata and about four more summer squash (hey, the name says Early Prolific) coming along, so next week I’ll start the scoreboard. Later this summer, I’ll harvest the spaghetti squash.

Planted one row each of my seeds-on-tape lettuce: Butterchrunch, EZ Harvest, Krucha, Lento. Harvest time 45-75 days (early to late September). This will give us a chance to see which variety we like more.

Tomatoes are coming along. Time for a first look at my Early Girl experiment. Each of the four have produced ~20 tomatoes of a size worth mentioning (say, plum or larger), but the small container on the deck is producing smaller fruits. (click to embiggen)

Note that the various containers were watered about 20hrs prior to the photos, and we’ve had some warm, windy conditions. That (and the container size) may be why the deck container is looking so puny. On the other hand, the east-facing house tomatoes get more sun (including reflection) than does the garden plant.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

July 8, 2019

Garden Report for 190708

Warm and dry all week, with temperatures averaging around 80F.

Harvested the first Genovese (yet another type of Zucchini) squash on the 4th, only about 300g. MJ took it to her Girls Night Out party, where they watched 1776, the musical and ate Pasta Salad a la Genovese. Also harvested a 160g Summer Squash. It was small, but there’s four more coming right behind it.

First Genovese

Tomatoes are coming along. Latest count shows 60-70 plum size or larger. Nothing really large, nothing to see but green. Meanwhile, back in Ohio.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

July 1, 2019

Garden Report for 190701

Cool and rainy at the start, then steadily increasing temperatures, topping out at 81F on Sunday, with warmer in the forecast.

Harvested the first summer squash on Thursday, and of course I didn’t weigh it or photo it. That’s because it went from happy garden plant to dinner salad in about fifteen minutes. Main body was softball sized, so probably half a kilo or so.

The plants are so dense in Section 1 that it was hard to see if there’s any more of them, so it took me another day to find our second harvest, a 477g Cocozelle squash. A what? Italian striped Zucchini.

Fancy Italian Zucchini

Tomatoes are coming along. Lots of small greenies visible. Nothing large or ripe yet.

Harvested all the lettuce in the hanging container. That should give the tomato a chance to grow. Right now it has zero fruit or flowers. Also harvested most of the main garden lettuce a week or ten days earlier than my prediction, because it was really big, and when it gets really hot, it might really bolt. I figure it’s a tossup: we lose it to heat or it rots in the fridge.

Squirrels dug over the Section 3 area I’d just planted peas in. They’ve ignored the garden so far, but I guess the fresh soil was too much for them. Put one of the wire shelf racks over that spot, and planted Amaranth in the freshly exposed soil in Section 4. Should be harvestable in mid-August, assuming the squirrels don’t trash them all.

 

Green Thumb Up My Nose

June 23, 2019

Garden Report for 190624

Weather continues its roller-coaster ride. Hot at the beginning of the period, and now forecasting highs in the middle 70s with lows around 50. Typical NENW springtime. We’ve been known to have frost in early July.

Nothing of import happened last week, but this week was Litha and the Midsummer festivities. Here’s what the gardens look like right now. The tomatoes are doing well all over, as are the weeds ground cover plants. Click to embiggen.

Things continued to grow. This week we got our first pea harvest and planted a new batch. Due out the end of August. The Bok Choy in Section 3 has finally raised its head above the …surroundings.

The lettuce in the hanging planter is doing well. The tomato plant is big enough I moved the underchard over to the south railing. Planted a container of radishes for MJ, and another container of lettuce.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

June 9, 2019

Garden Report for 190610

Well, that was fast. Temps plunged into the 50’s, with rain at the end of the week, and now we are forecast to be 89F by the end of this coming week. Typical NENW springtime.

Things continue to grow. Garden lettuce is finally distinguishable from the weeds. Bought a new railing planter and put in another tranche of lettuce. As soon as the wind dies down (tomorrow?) I’ll dig up a small section of the main garden and put in some radishes-on-tape for MJ.

The hanging planter is doing well. This time last week the lettuce was barely up to the edge of the container. Meanwhile, the Underchard is also doing well.

What a difference a week makes

Probably should start thinning soon.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

June 2, 2019

Garden Report for 190603

Warming trend continues. End of the week was in the mid 80’s. Only rain is in the T-storms. It is supposed to cool off by the end of the week.

Things continue to grow. I should be weeding more, but the mosquitoes are a problem. The deck lettuce is coming along nicely, but it seems to have had an attack of leaf miners or something. Merciless pruning seems to have worked. We had our first full salad from garden greens only.

The local hardware store has stopped carrying hanging planters, so I had to order one from the ‘Zon. I have a Patio tomato hanging out the bottom, and a circle of seeds-on-tape lettuce on the top. Underneath is one of the small railing containers, with some up-and-coming chard.

A whole salad in one container
(click to embiggen)

Green Thumb Up My Nose

May 19, 2019

Garden Report for 190520

Looks like summer only lasted a few days. Then we had a couple days of torrential rain. How torrential? Inch and a half in 24hrs. Not much for Kalaloch, but way more than this semi-arid steppeland usually sees. Now we are back to highs in the 60’s and lows around 50, with winds gusting to 25kts.

The rain filled up my two deck railing planters so that the seedlings were floating like they were water hyacinths or something. Had to drill a hole near the bottom.

No planting this week. Nothing much to plant anyway. The hardware store has one partial rack of squash. I’ll see how my squash field does this week, and buy some if necessary next weekend.

The weeds are doing well.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

May 13, 2019

Garden Report for 190513

This is my 200th Green Thumb report. Considering that they’re only once a week, and only during gardening season, that’s eight years worth. Who’da thought?

And so bang, and we’re into summer. Highs in the 80’s. Lows, right now, in the 50’s. Cliff Mass says this is only temporary, a false summer as it were, and indeed, the forecast now is for temps in the 60’s, with rain by the end of the week.

Fixed the hose in Section 04. Planted asparagus. Again.

Planted my last three tomatoes: Champion VNFT in the second planter bag, Cherokee Purple and Yellow Pear in Section 2. So far, we haven’t found an other-than-red variety that we like, but I keep trying.

I had intended to fill out Section 3 with various hardware store seedlings, but the hardware store has nothing but tomatoes. And citronella plants. Maybe I’ll put a bunch of citronellas in pots on the deck, and drive all the mosquitoes into the house.

Planted more plants-on-tape. Three five-foot runs of carrots, one run each of bok choy, leeks, and bunching onions. I had intended to plant the carrots all together, but confused the tapes and so what I ended up with was one group that was carrots/carrots/bok choy, and another that was leeks/onions/carrots.

Wire shelving covers the seeds-on-tape

The wire shelving that I bought at a going-out-of-business sale some years ago looks to be a really effective gardening tool. The spacing between the wires is big enough for lettuce and chard and carrots to grow up between them, but not so wide that squirrels can reach through to dig. The baked-on enamel paint has proven highly rust resistant.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

May 6, 2019

Garden Report for 190506

Finally, the weather gets warm and the wind dies down. Forecast is for warm and dry, with temps low-50’s to mid-70’s.

This was my busy weekend. All of the seedlings got planted, and the greenhouse (outdoors) and the potting table (indoors) were cleared away. Right now, the new plantings look like this:

Room for three or four more tomatoes

 Section 02

Early Girl, Parks Whopper, Rutgers, Goliath, Bush Beefsteak

Room for one more something

House

Early Girl (2),

Yard Long Beans, Cucumber, Kholrabi

No more room

Deck

Early Girl, Grape, Patio (hanging)

Cucumber, Sugar Pea (2)

Plus lettuce and chard in small planters. You can see one on the railing. That’s an old belt what I have outgrown holding it on.

 

The Early Girls are part of an experiment. I put one each in the main garden, on the deck, and in one of the planting bags, plus two in front of the house — one with normal potting soil and the other a 50/50 mix of recycled soil. We’ll see which one produces the most.

Planted out the Snap Peas into Section 3. Plan calls for more carrots and lettuce and chard (oh my). I have some leeks-on-tape that I’ll probably put there also.

I haven’t properly repaired the hose for Section 4 yet, so nothing’s there. I plan Asparagus, Amaranth, and maybe more peas.

Wind finally died down enough to plant the tapes (they are as light and fragile as toilet paper and they don’t do well in a breeze). Section 1 got five feet each of carrots, Lento lettuce, and Krucha lettuce. They’re all from Poland, for some reason, but the pictures look buttercrunchlike. In Section 2 I put six feet of bunching onions and six feet of real buttercrunch. More stuff will go in Section 3 this week, but I’ma gonna hold off on any more lettuce so’s we don’t have to eat monster salads all through July.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

April 30, 2019

Garden Report for 190430

So, immediately after I planted out the seedlings and my newly-purchased Japanese Maple, we had two days of high winds, and two days of frost.

The winds were Friday and Saturday, and ran 30mph with gusts to 40mph. The frosts were Sunday and Monday nights, with lows of 30F.

Ten degrees warmer than outside in the daytime, maybe a degree at night

I did my best to prep. Bought a big wardrobe moving box for the maple, wrapped a car tarp around the base, and dropped in one of those back-warmer chemical packs.

I also ran the dripper overnight

In back, I laid a big tarp over the garden, and set the soaker hose to run for a couple of hours after midnight. The aluminum gutter guards I had put out earlier, to discourage the squirrels held it off the plants. Theoretically.

It seems to have worked (click to embiggen).

The plants that were still in the greenhouse (everything that wasn’t a squash or a melon) I pulled back into the house. Those will go back at the end of the week, when we finally enter a prolonged warming phase, and I’ve found time to prep Section 3. We won’t be totally out of the woods for a while (it has been known to snow during the first week of May), but I’m willing to chance it. Forecast for the rest of the week is lows near 40 and highs in the mid-60’s.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

April 25, 2019

Garden Report for 190425

The weather is warm (lows in the mid-40’s, highs in the mid-60’s) and it’s time to (trans-) plant. Added a couple cuft of potting soil to Section 1. Moved all ten squash/melon seedlings there. Squirrels immediately made it look like a recreation of the Battle of the Somme. I have ordered some gutter guards to protect the plants. Once the wind dies down and the air warms up, I’ll put in some seeds-on-tape: lettuce and carrots.

Section 1. Grid is covering the area where I’ll put some taped seeds

I planned to put the beans and peas and cucumbers in Section 3 (Section 2 is for tomatoes), but the forecast suddenly turned to lows in the low 30’s this weekend, including frost on Sunday night. I’ll leave them in the greenhouse for now.

That’s not trash in the bottom. It’s old icepacks for thermal balance

Meanwhile, I got a new Japanese Maple for the hole out front what was left from taking out the weeping birch.

Only another six feet of growth and it will be useful

With any luck, the cold snap won’t kill the leaves.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

April 3, 2019

Garden Report for 190403

Meteorological Spring seems to have arrived. The snow has melted, and I can dig in the garden again, but it will be at least a month before the soil warms up enough to plant stuff in.

Only two thirds of my seeds have germinated and been repotted, but that turns out to be a good thing, since I don’t have room for any more pots. All of the melons and about half of the peas failed. I might try again when the weather warms enough to transplant the existing pots and free up some room. Of course, by that time the garden centers might be getting in their plants.

Bought a couple of small planters (24x6x4″) to grow greens in. Once they germinate I’ll put them on the back deck. Meant to plant them to different kinds of lettuce but I grabbed the wrong packet and planted one with chard. This is my first test of seed tapes. Should have something to eat by the end of May.

Once the rain stops I’ll put down some fertilizer in the garden and give it a couple of weeks to work in. I’d been feeding each section through the compost well, but I think I need to do more.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

March 21, 2019

Garden Report for 190321

It is officially Spring, and the season begins.

The seeds are started!
In the background, the garden awaits!

Seeds planted include: pie pumpkin, five kinds of squash (acorn, delicata, spaghetti, summer, buttercup, plus three kinds of Zucchini), cucumber, three kinds of melon (crenshaw, honeydew, canaloupe), peas (snap and sugar), kohlrabi, and yard long beans.

I also have tapes for radish, pak choi, leeks, onion, chard, carrots, and lettuce. Interestingly, most of the lettuce tapes (ordered off Amazon) come from Poland.

It will be another four weeks before the seedlings are ready for transplant, and maybe another six before I can get a pick into the soil.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

March 1, 2019

Garden Report for 190301

My Spokane area garden guide says I should direct-seed peas today.

… as soon as the soil can be worked …

Green Thumb Up My Nose: Lessons Learned and Plans for 2019

January 29, 2019

Lessons Learned from 2018 and plans for 2019

Lessons Learned:

1. Don’t plant: Carolina Gold, any purple tomato

2. Some versions of Champion and Big Boy and Brandywine are determinates. Try staggering the planting. Not sure if staggering the seedling purchase will work.

3. Process the dirt —  turn over the fallow, fertilize early.

4. Until you’ve done (3), don’t use the fallow dirt.

5. Try using seed tapes on the carrots and lettuce, et al.

6. Be sure you check your plan so you don’t use last year’s planting pattern.

7. Don’t bother trying to grow plants indoors next winter. Soil temps in the so-called Sun Room never got over 58F, and three months after planting my indoor cabbage had six leaves.

8. However, here’s some hints on starting seeds indoors

Here’s the preliminary 2019 planting pattern:*

Section 1
Peas, squash, melons. Plant the peas early, so they gain some height over the squash.

Section 2
Tomatoes. Start seeds indoors early March, transplant early May. Depending on what’s at the nursery, put out seedlings in early May.

Section 3
Peas, chard, lettuce, carrots maybe cabbage. Start planting chard, lettuce, and carrots in early April. Plant more every three weeks.

Section 4
Asparagus, maybe amaranth. Looking for something permanent, that can take a fair amount of shade.

Deck Containers
The usual tomatoes. Early peas. Maybe try some shallow container lettuce and radish

House Containers (Eastside)
Tomatoes, cucumbers.

Southside
Try some container tomatoes with new dirt. Plant more Boston Ivy.

*which is mostly the 2018 plan, because I didn’t do (6.)

This is looking to be an El Nino year, so I think I can get started early on the planting.

Gantt Chart for 2019