Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Diary 5/31/11

Rain, rain go away. Come again some other day, like around the end of July.  Can even walk off the path in the garden for fear I will sink knee-deep in mud.  Strawberries look good since Alan cleaned them up. Lots of berries set on them. They are netted so that the foxes won't eat them when they ripen. Corn I started in trays is coming up, and yet I still can't imagine putting it out into the very wet, cold soil. Patience is virtue...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Diary 5/30/11

Got a few more onions in the ground.  The afternoon was unusually nice!  Don't worry, it didn't last long, raining again now.  I did have some help today.  The picture was of a happy moment pouring dirt into a planter.  Moments later, she pulled a wheelbarrow full of rain water over on herself.  The wheelbarrow wasn't a heavy one, but the shock of the cold water was indeed enough to cry about.  Jumped in the golf cart to go change clothes and the crying stopped.  Too bad, nap came next and we never did get out to pick strawberries  :(.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Diary 5/28/11

Transplanted lots of things out of their plastic planters in which they are NOT happy anymore.  Cleaned up grape area and disturbed this guy(or girl). Not moving very swiftly as it is very cold.  We call this a Racer snake or a Rosy Boa.  It is a constrictor and works on rodents mostly.  Saw a skunk hauling off an alligator lizard this morning-no camera. It was dragging it carefully, no doubt to a waiting group of babies.  Hmmmm?!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Diary 5/27

12 bags today.  The mystery is what will there be in the bags next week?  The weather has not been cooperating. I have teenie weenie zucchinis on my plants in the upper greenhouse, and more strawberries everyday, so if the sun would come out, I know things would respond, but~no sun, or at least not much.  Lots of wind and we are finding a few bird nests on the ground.  This one was hanging by a hair. from this wild plum tree.  It has a small gray and yellow feather incorporated in the rim.  This may indicate the previous owner or maybe just a lucky find for the nest builder.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Diary 5/26/11


The fields look so perfectly inviting, but I don't dare walk out there or I will sink above my shoes i mud.  The rain of the last two days has saturated everything.  The soil is way too cold to think about planting in and the forecast for the next 6 days has showers in everyday except one.  This has got to stop sometime, but when?  Inside the greenhouses, things are showing improvement, but even there it is very slow.  Can hardly believe we are just days away from June and I haven't felt warm yet.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Diary 5/25/11

Happy onions

Hail storm

Poppy lover
Hard rain today.  Good day to do inside stuff and get to town for this and that.  Had a heck of a hail storm this evening that lasted about 20 minutes piling up on the rocks across the canyon like snow pack. The onions I planted yesterday are very happy, so is everything, though it is still very cold. I wanted to reiterate how east drip line systems are to put together, once you have done it a time or two.  In the time it takes standing there watering once, you can put together a drip system for the entire season. Have courage, give it a try. Low, but effective, water use, no watering where there is nothing planted, less weeds because you are not spraying water outside of beds, parts are easily recycled year to year. Glad I took pictures of the poppies because they are wiped out by the hail...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Diary 5/24/11

Transplanted another two beds of onions, one Walla Walla and one Red Bull.  Repotted some plants I traded at out local plant exchange last Sunday.  I took some tomatoes, peppers, and a few zinnias, and came home with lilac bushes, a variegated mint and a miniature variegated ivy, some violas and amaranth. Deb's yard is always a treat, but especially lush this year.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Diary 5/23/11

Relaxing after a busy busy day!  Planted green beans in top greenhouse, that is the third succession.  Planted corn to transplant out into the field when the weather does settle, Supersweet Jubilee, a yellow corn, and How Sweet It is, white one.  Transplanted more Candy onions, finishing the bed of them.  Need to make one more, and another of the Walla Walla Sweets.  Then I can plant the red onions and the very few white onions I started. Worked on drip line systems, getting more of the beds watered and some ready for planting along the drip lines.  I also ran sprinklers in the greenhouses to wet the interior area.  The trails were so dry and not storing heat or moisture. Phew!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Diary 5/22/11

The Flower Moon of May is working.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Diary 5/21/11

Worked on irrigation lines.  In the time it takes me to water all the beds by hand one time, I can lay out the old systems and then adjust, as each year's garden is just a little different than the year before.  Sometimes even the best of recycling still requires new lines once in awhile.  The old drip lines become plugged with dirt, algae, or develop too many holes. Felt good to get water on some seedlings and know they are set togo.  Mulched the potatoes that are peeking up out of the upper bed.  All that and family and visitors, too.

Diary 5/20/11

It is hard to blog when your lovely assistant either doesn't want to or wants to help too much, like now!  When asked about blowing on the dandelion and making a wish, she ate it.  Maybe the first and last time she will be doing that.  The mouthful of dandelion fluff and seeds was a bit much.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Diary 5/19/11

The orchard is in full bloom.  Looks like it is going to be a good fruit year. It cleared off last night and there was a full moon.  Usually that might be a certain combination for a hard freeze, but it didn't do it last night so I am thinking that maybe we are done with all that.  So, in that spirit, I planted peppers outside today.  I also planted a bed and a half of onions, but they don't care if it freezes or not. If it stays dry over the weekend, we should be able to till beds for corn, the biggest space consumer of all the produce on the farm.  Corn is also a hog when it comes to using nutrients from the soil and water, too.  It almost doesn't pencil out except it is soooo good! I have melons and pumpkins up in planters, but they can wait at least another week before they need to go into the ground.  Then the only other plants I have to transplant are a few leeks and some flowers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Diary 5/18/11

I feel like I am in the starting blocks ready for a race which is about to run as soon as the gun goes off.  The beds are ready, the starts are up and growing, the days are getting longer, the sun is coming out.  On your mark, get set, GROW!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More 5/17/11


I am opening and closing doors on greenhouses again today.  One minute it is bright and sunny.  Then in just minutes it changes as another storm cell comes through.  Soee shower, some rain hard, some have hail and beat things up a bit.  Luckily there isn't much out there to beat up, yet.  Birds are everywhere and even the eagles were out soaring between cells enjoying the thermal lofts coming from the ground.  Great Spring Day!

Diary 5/17/11

I fell asleep before I blogged yesterday!  That is how hard I worked.  I shaped two beds in the top greenhouse and planted 16 Costa Rican sweet red peppers in the one bed, and 21 SuperTasty tomatoes in another after adding 2 wheelbarrows of compost and turning the holes.  I even stuck a few basil plants in a third bed.  I have 12 more to plant, but want to see if the first 4 take off or if I should keep them in their planters for another week or so.  After harvesting 8 pounds of asparagus, we decided to check out a morel spot we picked a few in last year and they were there!  Then just to top off the day, took an optional 1/2 mile hike back to the truck. No insomnia for this kid last night...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Diary 5/15/11

April showers brought May flowers

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Diary 5/14/11

Gloomy all day.  Finished planting the potatoes and we did fill the new beds and had to make another one!  Looks like we are going long on potatoes.  They are finished fairly early, August, so their care fits in around other vegetables somehow.  Mulch made from rotten logs, a little sand and a little compost is our top dressing and the layer in the trench into which we poked the potatoes.  Planted Russets, Katahdins, and Red Norlands today.  There is the layer of leaves and compost down below and we will mulch them as they grow up out of the soil, promoting stronger tubers. There were 4 and 1/2 planters.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Diary 5/13/11

Between my being out of town and Blogger being down for a day, it has been a hit and miss blog this week.  Slowing planting tomatoes into the lower greenhouse and will start on top greenhouse this coming week.  Slowly, but syrely.  What is not coming together is the outdoor beds.  Though the soil is drying and maybe we can turn a couple more beds tomorrow. Many years we have planted corn by now, but not this year.  Everything seems behind schedule and slow to get going, but I see progress.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Diary 5/12/11

It is moist outside which is nice.  In just the few days of drier weather, the soil everywhere around the garden had seized up and formed an inch thick crust.  The hard rains we had all winter and until very lately slapped the soil into a tough pancake.  Under that, the dirt is noticeably moist and "arable" I think the term is.  Even the tilled areas within the garden had dried with a fine surface crust, but very easy to work through. I planted carrots, Scarlet Nantes, I am hung up on, beets, and spinach, Tyee, a Territorial seed.  I transplanted more Big Beef tomatoes in the lower greenhouse, a late season variety that will stagger with the earlier SuperTasty tomatoes, our favorite, a Burpee seed.  I am growing some 5th generation seed from various SuperTasty fruits we have saved seed from~a shallow gene pool, but ours. Photo shows new ginormous potato beds in on the right. Notice the old school raspberries(on falling fence) have not been pruned, poor things. They have been shunned for other raspberries elsewhere. We have lots more potatoes to plant, maybe this many, not sure.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Diary 5/10/11

Sorry, took a blog break.  I meant to post on Mother's Day and didn't get it done.  Hope it was as nice for you and yours as it was for me. Took a quick trip to Eugene to see grandson before serious surgery. Eugene was in full bloom with gorgeous rhododendrons and azaleas everywhere.  I saw a pink dogwood that could not have been fuller of blooms. Beautiful day today.  Watered and made big plans for tomorrow!  Put netting on strawberries so that we are not providing delicious berries to every critter on the hill.  When I went out to close doors and turn off waters there were three does munching this and that.  I have started chasing them off as I don't want them comfy and thinking they might stay for the summer.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Diary 5/7/11


Found three morel mushrooms while gathering firewood on our property.  It has to be just the right combination of moisture and warmth. I wasn't really looking for them, but I have developed an eye for seeing these "gnome's caps" rising above the forest floor.  Just three, but still fun. We ate some a couple weeks ago from forest fire area.  That is the best place to look; where a fire was the year before.  It sterilizes the ground and eliminates the competition so that the tender morels can come up. It is best to soak them in a little salt water to get rid of any mites.  The three I picked today are super fresh, but I will still soak them ~

Friday, May 6, 2011

Diary 5/6/11


After three busy days of trying to catch up, I can say I appreciate the break the rain is going to give for a couple of days.  We did get the soil opened up initially with the disk yesterday. The soil was on the edge of too sticky and was caught in between the disks, a bit, but we had to start somewhere.  I don't think it was too wet.  Too wet makes clods that it take a full season to break up. The driest beds got tilled today, so I have someplace to plant.  Yea!  The top greenhouse is tall enough that the roll bar on the blue tractor just fits under it.  So, the bottom row in that greenhouse got tilled by Mr. Tiller, also. I will have to amend the beds with compost and reshape, but it if fresh soil and that is exciting to a gardener, huh? Planted Medford and SuperTasty tomatoes in the upper greenhouse.  The plants are ready to get out of their 3 5/8 inch planters.  I think we are past the coldest nights.  I started pumpkins, Delicata winter squash, watermelons, and cantaloupes with my friend, Cheryl's, help.  She also helped get 8 bags together, nine total this week.  Alan helped get the strawberries cleaned up with another friend who stopped by.  It is turning into a community garden all by itself!  Time to hit the hay. Zzzzzzzzz...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Diary 5/4/11


Turned a bed that had over-wintered broccoli in it to make a place for the second succession of beans.  Kinda makes me nervous not to have any broccoli for a few weeks.  Boy, is there asparagus, though.  It has been waiting under the surface for some dryer, warmer weather.  It arrived yesterday and today, so it is coming up with gusto. The orchard is in bloom.  The plums and cherries are full on.  The apples are just starting.  The flowering quince is just on the brink.  Last year, I actually got some quince despite neglect.  I am going to pay better attention to it this year.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Diary 5/3/11

Perfect day, perfect weather.  Not too hot, but nice and sunny.  Getting lots done.  Cleaned up one of the five strawberry beds and shoveled a skiff of mulch onto it.  Planted tomatoes in the lower greenhouse, looks like warmer nights ahead, so I got brave.  Gopher ate one of the early tomato plants.  That and a delphinium have been victims.  I have a plan.  I will let you know if I have any success.  For now, I have put the hose down the hole and yelled.  Not sure the gopher cares, but it worries Garden Dog and makes me feel better. I also yelled at Gopher Getter as he was thinking a swallow would make a good breakfast... Yoga tonight, ahhhhh!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Diary 5/2/11

Deb's garden
Suffice to say it was a weird day.  Was supposed to help my friend with her flower plants and ended up in hospital ICU working on saying good-bye to a dying friend.  Lesson of the day: Don't waste any time in anger that you could spend with the ones you love.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Diary 5/1/11


Wildflower Show went well, though less money for fire department than last year, but every bit is better than nothing.