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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Diary 7/30/11

Two days off to attend a reunion of my son-in-law's family to which they graciously invite us.  We have enjoyed getting to know more of the family this year including two of my blog followers!  They must have had at least 40 folks at the family potluck, a good turn out, I say.  Nearby was the ocean with a calm bay, perfect for children. We took the road past the Sunset Bay campground to Shore Acres, an old estate of a timber baron, long ago burned down, leaving beautiful formal gardens.  There was a rose garden of the All American winners and a lovely pond, though at first the grandson was frightened of the bird statues.  The view along the road looked down on a stretch of the Pacific where marine mammals galore were barking and basking, although we were hoping to see the Humpback whale calf that had been spotted on Saturday morning. On the trip home, we visited a logging museum in Myrtle Point-great old photos of local Coast Range history and some crazy old chain saws.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Diary 7/29/11

Peaceful end to a long day.  Lots of produce coming on now that the weather is cooperating.  I see plenty of color changes in the tomato frames.  Many raspberries and the boysenberries are starting to ripen-our best crop of them ever! Getting as many things mulched as possible to help hold water in sandy soil and in the areas where the soil has become compacted like under the raspberries. I think the garden though smaller this year is well in hand due to some good help and the right size for me to maintain. The pumpkin patch is starting expand...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Diary 7/28/11

With the help of 3 wwoofers and one neighbor, I cleaned up the strawberry patch and put old rotting straw mulch down between the rows, hoping that it will limit anymore weeding this year, ha-ha.  Planted the rest of the cover crop seed I had left.  We also weeded and mulched the watermelons. The neighbor cleaned up around the transplanted blueberry bushes, leaving the area looking very tidy. The day was finished with watering the orchard and attacking blackberry vines in the yard.  All in all, a productive day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Diary 7/27/11

Squash Blossom
Only delivered a half roster of bags today as there was a gap in products.  It all went well as there are starting to be quite a few berries.  Another helper has arrived today, so it will be a whirlwind of activity over the next few weeks until they all disappear on August 12th or so.  I think by then the garden should be in great shape, several crops such as potatoes and garlic and some onions will be harvested, and I will coast into late summer and early fall looking good. Hope to attack blackberries all around the edges here with any spare time or energy.  Hot weather ahead, so hope those darn tomatoes ripen!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Diary 7/26/11

I am looking hard for red on the tomatoes.  This weekend is supposed to be hot and the evenings in the 60's. Just what the gardener ordered for ripening. The plants and fruit are good looking, but green.  New crop of cucumbers look so lush compared to the worn vines I have been picking from (not pictured here, too sad). Weeds are gone, the cover crop is planted with a seeder row by row..  Good thing for wwoofers!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Diary 7/25/11

Worked on old blueberries.  They are not doing well.  Part of the problem is the deer continue to nip at them every time they pass by.  Thus, they have small foliage here and there.  That, and the nutrient level is still not quite right.  So, after adding acid mulch like crazy, I gave them Liquid Fish fertilizer to try to urge them out of their chartreuse green to emerald. Then covered them with netting-which I could use a few more feet of.  Anyway, they looked greener before I was done!  I have high hopes for these 20 year old, 2 foot tall blueberry bushes.  On the other hand, the table grapes are looking good after a cleaning and mulch a few weeks ago.  They have set a huge amount to grapes.  It is amazing how much comes off this small patch of vines. Once harvested, the grapes hold when cool and dry for at least three weeks. Then, they turn to raisins! I am not good about spraying, so all the grapes get is fresh mulch and water. Easy keepers.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Diary 7/24/11

Try to avoid the garden on Sundays, but because we went to wedding yesterday, we needed to get some work done today.  Weeded the rest of the corn and tilled the open areas where weeds were giving the buckwheat a run for its money.  Now to plant the next cover crop, Sudan grass. Field trip in the afternoon to "the big tree".  Just past the old fir tree which I have posted pictures of before, there are these maples, equally lovely and cool on a hot afternoon.

Diary 7/23/11

Double wedding for friend's daughters. Very hot and sunny, but otherwise a nice event and with special meaning for a family dealing with cancer.  The girls were beautiful and the flowers looked nice.  All is well.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Diary 7/22/11

12 bags out today with the first red raspberries in them.  Not enough for all, but soon!  Also filled the bags with a Nappa cabbage and peas mix, green beans, squash, cucumbers, some basil, a couple folks received cherry tomatoes, and raspberries or strawberries.  Spent the afternoon turning buckets of flowers into wedding bouquets for a double wedding tomorrow afternoon. Busy day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Diary 7/21/11

More weeding today.  Slowly, but surely the beds are coming together and plants are filling in.  I think we may not have to mow the edges again, they have successfully dried down at last.  With the unusual rains came regrowth that we have never dealt with before.  Usually a brown-out occurs and only in the shade or where plants receive water is there any green. Delightful temperatures to work in. For now, no big change in the forecast.  New helpers settling in.  Four helpers with bags and wedding flower order in the morning.  Should be busy! Glad I took a picture of these dahlias before they tipped over.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Diary 7/20/11

The potatoes' blossoms are so beautiful.  The whole patch looks verdant.  Can hardly wait to dig the potatoes hiding under all that mulch.  May have to check the older bed for a few new potatoes to sneak out around the edges.  Warm weather over the weekend will give way to more clouds and cooler after the weekend, hmmm.  I heard today that the La Nina effect is already set-up in the lower latitudes for another whole year of this cooler moist weather.  Not so bad for us.  Not good news for the part of the country already parched, and the areas that flooded this year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Diary 7/19/11

Busy day weeding, mowing, and transplanting a few lettuce and cabbage with the help of new wwoofers.  The fields are slowly drying and by the weekend, they will be hoeable. Dry enough to till will take awhile longer. Meanwhile, I will deny water to one row of tomatoes to encourage turning red.  The onions are growing quickly and the garlic is probably a dry down away from harvest. The swallows are raising their second brood.  16 bags out tomorrow with broccoli or cabbage, beans, cucumbers, squash, a green of some sort and ?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Diary 7/18/11

After 16 months of blogging, I now have adjusted the settings so that everyone can comment.  If you have ever tried unsuccessfully to comment, here is your big chance!  Worked in greenhouses, weeding, harvesting, checking for bugs, dead-heading flowers.  It drizzled and rained all day so that now there is .3 of an inch in the rain gauge.  It is a muddy mess out in the fields, and the weeds are loving it.  Hot soon, I hear, so I'm coming weeds. I let one parsnip go to seed and as usual will have enough parsnip seed for the rest of my gardening life from this one plant.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Diary 7/16/11

Clouds built up through the day and now it is raining.  No lightning which is good, so no new fires.  We mow and weed and it rains again, and we mow and weed some more.  This is not how it usually goes.  By now, the grass should all be dry and golden.  The areas we mowed would now grow back until the fall rains came and we would have dryer and dryer air and hotter and hotter days.  Instead we are only going to see mid 80's this week with a chance of rain the next three days. It is nice, just unexpected. An extreme La Nina?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Diary 7/15/11

nipping the ends of the Basil to make it bushy
Weeding and watering. Took the day off from bags to let things catch up a bit.  Helpers coming in over the next couple days, so not fretting too much.  Very busy week ahead with 28 bags and a wedding flower order at the end of the week.  That and out of town guests to visit with, hmmm. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Diary 7/14/11

It is not easy to blog when you have an almost 2 year old around.  Wait, it is not easy to do much of anything when an almost 2 year old is around.  I was able to change waters, harvest some broccoli, and of course pick berries.  More than once a basket was filled with berries, cherries, and cherry tomatoes under the auspices of "picking some for Grampa" that Grampa never saw. Ah well. How often do you get to lift a child up into a cherry tree to select their own almost ripe cherry?  How often can you show a child a grasshopper and have them watch the insect closely as it considers its next jump while you are both on all fours in the dirt?  Good things all of it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Diary 7/12/11

Scary paper plate

One potato, two potato
The unusual weather continues with a cooler cloudy week and even a cloud burst this afternoon.  So much weeding to do, and now a little more as the rain will sprout more weeds along the edges. Potato patch is looking really good.  Hope there are nice potatoes hiding under all that mulch.  It is quite the treasure hunt when we get to dig them out- one of the best jobs of the garden season.  The cherry tree scare tactics seem to be working.  The area where I hung the faces has been left to ripen, as have the adjoining branches of the next tree over.  It is messy looking, but I am in it for the cherries, yum!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Diary 7/11/11

I think I put in six hours of weeding today. It is the nature of the beast called gardening.  The rains sprouted miscellaneous everywhere.  Hope to till and plant Sudan grass cover crop within the week...Raspberries are on the brink, as are Sun Gold cherry tomatoes.  Ate a 4th of July tomato tonight.  Nothing to blog about, but our first for 2011.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Diary 7/10/11

Can hardly wait until this guy is a mature teenager(oxymoron) and comes to mow Ol' Grama's yard. For now he is making bubbles and imitating Dad. He is now terribly two, and don't he "no" it!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Diary 7/9/11

Taking a day off.  Just have to turn our backs on all this and RUN!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Diary 7/8/11

I know, it just looks like a big bird nest!

This one needs pruning
Eleven bags today.  Everyone received a small bouquet of flowers which made their tops very pretty.  Also inside was green beans, snap peas, cabbage or asparagus, lettuce, and squash.  Going to stagger some days off and let the produce catch up.  Need to keep planting for fall; the days are already getting shorter. A past wwoofer and friend of ours got us twinning bushes and trees around here to form sculptures and furniture.  I have started a couple around the yard.  It is going to take awhile to build something strong enough to hold the weight of a human, but given time, they may be useful, comfortable, and cozy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Diary 7/7/11

Weeding, weeding, weeding.  With the rain last week, all the beds received enough water to sprout any and all weeds in them, so I have been working on rows before they get too big. Allen, Mel, Butch,Cheryl(tomorrow, but don't tell her) and anyone else who is foolish enough to stop by have been helping get a handle on it, too. Lucky to have pretty good soil most places, so weeds come out readily.  The places where the soil is tighter like in the raspberries, I water the night before to make it much, much easier to clean up.  The birds are getting the cherries.  There are a couple of trees just getting ripe and the birds are picking the fruit already.  I am going to make some scary faces on paper plates and add some shiny tape for hair and hang them here and there in the trees that are left.  I will let you see how that goes soon.  For now, I have a dots of somewhat wild sweet peas here and there, I think from homesteaders.  Simple surprises.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Diary 7/6/11

The potatoes are blooming.  Each flower cluster is a potato, each flower is an eye on that potato.  Did we talk about this before.  Michael Poulan has lots to say about potatoes in his book, Botany of Desire.  The Irish famine happened because everyone grew the very same potato that became susceptible to blight.  If they had only grown some red potatoes also, they might have fared better. Anyway, we have quite a few growing this year, lots of varieties, so far so good with them.  I see the garlic is slowly turning yellow.  Maybe you can spot the tinge of yellow to the downhill row in the picture. I will check tomorrow whether it gets another shot of water or if it is done. Half of my garlic patch was eaten by squirrels, so hoping the rest is of a good size.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Diary 7/5/11

Trying hard to stay up with the weeding.  Have tackled the raspberry rows again and the asparagus needs help soon.  Mel, where are you? I see things changing daily.  The tomatoes are gaining on sizing up.  I ate a couple more cherry tomatoes today.  Pretty soon it will be handfuls and then basket fulls and then more than one can imagine coming off of 6 plants! Strawberries are blooming with gusto and the few green berries are much larger than the first crop.  I think they will come on at the same time as the raspberries, should be interesting.  The boysenberries are way behind.  They are often ready for 4th of July-not this year. Several families of wrens learning to fly in the greenhouses.  I haven't been encouraging you know who to come to the garden until flight lessons are over.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Diary 7/4/11

Happy 4th of July!  My 4th of July tomatoes are not ready today.  They are sized up and I may have to deny them water and kinda force a ripening.  If tomatoes are happy, they will just grow along, staying green, and not thinking about turning red.  If they feel a little stressed, they start wondering if they should make seeds, and thus they ripen.  When you have tomatoes that are big enough, try withholding water to encourage ripening.  You are not going to eat the leaves, after all, so the pretty plant part of the tomato season switches to making fruit. Neighbor get togethers the last two nights.  Last night I took cucumbers and a cream cheese and nasturtium dip. I ground a handful of flowers and then added cream cheese and oregano, garlic salt, and a little hot sauce.  Today I took this fruit salad.  Be safe!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Diary 7/3/11

                                                                   ZOWIE ZINNIA!

Diary 7/2/11

Mulched the potatoes for the last time.  It took quite a bit of forest rotten logs, compost, and sand mix to make enough to cover sides of plants the last time.  The top row is blooming and so far not much bug action, knock on wood.  I think maybe the cold rainy weather we had pulled a fast one on many bugs.  So far it has been mellow.  I know with the hot weather later this next week, so new insects will hatch, so I am on guard with hand picking any I see at first and then Neem and Pyganic. Plants in the greenhouse seem pretty happy.  Opened the sides of the two upper greenhouses to let more air flow.  The lower greenhouse has so many plants and flowers in there it has more moisture and less intense sun, so may be able to just put some shade cloth on part of it and be fine.  The upper of the two greenhouses will need a complete shade cloth as usual.  I don't want to put it on until necessary as it will lessen the sunlight by 30%.  The top greenhouse is so tall and open on the ends, that it doesn't need a shade cloth at all.  Good air flows help it to stay cool enough.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Diary 7/1/11

JULY! I can hardly believe it.  The slow start with the cold weather makes it seem like June is just getting here, not over.  Speaking of cool, this guy is totally cool. Hot weather ahead over the next week.  Should be good to ripen up some tomatoes in not too long...