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Blue Heron

Northwest Vegetable Gardening

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My advice is to get your kids and yourself involved in the local 4H ..that is a great start ...and then just start ...here are a couple of links that have a ton of info but the best thing is to talk to people at farmers markets, fairs ect...see what folks in your area are doing and just go for it! Sounds like you already have a great start! ..I would before I grew anything take some soil samples in for testing ..call the health dept and just ask where and how to do it

good luck!

click here

WA COOP EXT


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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and just a thought (because of course you have to factor in what sells & grows well etc) but you might consider growing one or two things that not everyone else is growing on top of your main crops. I always gravitate to the stalls with something different & there's a good chance I'll grab my carrots from the same person who sells me cardoons or purple orache. Whenever I go to the U-district market I still buy a lot of my fruit from the folks who brought me gooseberries back when no-body else was selling gooseberries yet. :smile:


Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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There is a process including inspection that you go through to become certified organic--info from the WA Dept. of Agriculture here.

I'd highly recommend "Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades" by Steve Soloman.

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Just checking how everyone's garden is growing ..the weather was so nice I moved bark and a little gravel (that job sucks) and thinned the carrots ...

time moves differently when you are gardening that is for sure ...when I look ahead I am overwhelmed with work .. ..when I look behind me ..I am kind of proud of what I have accomplished ...

in a couple of weeks we should be able to start putting tomato plants in the ground you think?

I took my peanut plants outside to let them enjoy the sunlight


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Yesterday's activities resulted in three IBUs last evening.

Transplanted about 80 tomatoes into some coconut mat pots I am trying this year. Plants are little bedraggled from just sitting with two leaves and long roots from all the cold.

Sewed more arugula and other greens, transplanted a Meyer lemon that was pot bound into a bigger non-clay pot from Costco. (Think that this is what drove me to IBU bottle.)

Also moved some thyme seedings into herb beds. Have never had much luck starting thyme and will be interested in seeing how these survive. Dill is coming up in beds as is fennel and flat parsley.

Put in scarlet runner bean seeds; hope the Stellar jays leave them, unlike the peas, alone.

We're eating some spinach, sorrel, lovage, tarragon and sweet sicily from the garden.

Dave

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We're eating some spinach, sorrel, lovage, tarragon and sweet sicily from the garden.
sounds like my shopping list for the Tilth sale this weekend :biggrin:
Edited by Eden (log)

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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Well, finally a nice spring weekend. Got out to the p-patch and planted the mache, peas, fava beans, potatoes, fennel, shallots, and spinach. I'm jealous of those already harvesting, but usually everything amazes me with how quickly they grow. The seasonal p-patches actually were open on the 18th, but with the SNOW!, I wasn't in the mood to go work the soil. From the looks of it, not many others were, either.

It is hard to believe those bare patches of ground will be bursting with plants in a couple months. I can't wait!

The blueberries at home are in bloom, as are the columnar apples. I was peeking at the fig and maybe see the start of a few figs--hopefully this year there will actually be some figs. I'm scared to prune it, although I'm worried about the length of some of the branches, but I want to have some chance of getting some fruit.

Let's hope this cold spring means we're in for a warm summer!


"Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." -- Hippocrates

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"Let's hope this cold spring means we're in for a warm summer!"

I so agree with you

I am very worried about my figs I pruned them (as I probably mentioned) last fall ..I had to the branches were out of control and getting dangerous to the eyes! but I only see two tiny buds on the branches ..

it was a prune back to where they had fruits last year ..I almost wish I had left it one more year ...danger or not

those figs are so beautiful and taste just wonderful

I am bummed at how it looks for fruit this year


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Wasn't someone asking about where to get Isis Candy? I just saw it on the list of plants that will be at the Tilth sale this weekend.

Tilth sale

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Wasn't someone asking about where to get Isis Candy? I just saw it on the list of plants that will be at the Tilth sale this weekend.

Tilth sale

That was me & I brought a haul back from the Tilth Sale yesterday including 2 Isis Candy, a borage (it's supposed to be good to grow borage near your tomatos) sweet cicely, winter savory, rose cented geraniums (fabulous in Peach sorbet) salad burnet, sorell, lovage, celeriac, spinach etc...

FYI the line looked like it went forever but I was through in 30 minutes, so don't be intimidated by it, just take a book or a friend & it's totally worth it. plus some of the plant vendors outside the tilth sale have cool stuff too. I grabbed an evergreen huckleberry from the NW Natives guy.


Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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There was no line when I went yesterday--I figured the rain kept a lot of people away. I found "Homemade Pickles" pickling cukes which I really wanted! Tomatoes, too. But I wished I'd seen the youth garden stand before I went in-their tomatoes were so much bigger!

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darn I should have risked it and gone ..sigh I am jealous of your scores! good for you guys.. ...I did find some sesame leaf plants at the Korean market for a buck each so that was cool ...I planted more seeds and thinned some things ....everything is growing like crazy..now I am holding out on tomatoes and looking for the Isis Candy for sure ..I will plant those around the 15th or later..

..I have been pulling rhubarb all week still loaded with parsley and chives ..all the hardy herbs are either starting to bloom or sending new shoots

lots of flowers now that part is wonderful I think

careful with borage it can and will escape and run wild!!!


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I was also going to warn about the invasiveness of borage.

Loveage, while a wonderful perinneal in that it dies all the way back only to come back year after year, is an interesting plant. It grows 5 or 6 feet tall, so watch what is shades. It can easily spread, or be contained. Dividing and passing it along is easy as well. As an herb, a little goes a very long way. I had trouble with black mold or fungus, year after year, but I just kept cutting it out and the plant was fine. The flowers attract wasps like crazy, so I kept it deadheaded.

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Thanks for the warnings re the lovage! I will deadhead conscientiously...

I have had a stunning lack of success with borage thus far, so I'm worried more about it surviving than it taking over...


Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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Thanks for the warnings re the lovage!  I will deadhead conscientiously...

I have had a stunning lack of success with borage thus far, so I'm worried more about it surviving than it taking over...

that is funny we are not that far away and here it is runaway and in all the woods! I just go pick it if I need it ..have never planted it as it just comes up everywhere!

that and comfry are all over the place!


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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and just a thought (because of course you have to factor in what sells & grows well etc)  but you might consider growing one or two things that not everyone else is growing on top of your main crops.  I always gravitate to the stalls with something different & there's a good chance I'll grab my carrots from the same person who sells me cardoons or purple orache.  Whenever I go to the U-district market I still buy a lot of my fruit from the folks who brought me gooseberries back when no-body else was selling gooseberries yet.  :smile:

Hello. I spent a great deal of time with a walk-behind tiller and turned over an area about 50' x 20' but it's not productive because the grass on top is only going under a relatively small depth, and just that took about 6 hours but it was done fairly well. Since I have at least 30,000 more sq ft pasture that need to be tilled up I have to find someone locally who will come bring equipment to deep-till it with those big circular rings, so the top layer is turned 12" under. The soil is just perfect for growing, no question about that. Lots of sun too. If someone can recommend a service that will do that I would really appreciate it. Perhaps Snohomish or Enumclaw areas. Our bee colonies are thriving by the way, producing tons of honey already. Not sure if bees can help root vegetables. Thanks.

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Import I wish I could direct you I am sorry .....

maybe in the local hardware store/feed store/plant nursery on the bulletin board

I want to rant

I curse whomever brought morning glory, buttercup and scotts broom to Western WA ...unbelievable what damage they can do in a yard! pulling them out ruins my babies I am trying to nurture ...and leaving them chokes everything to death ..there is no medium with these horrible plants!

ok done ranting

I love the smell of my sesame leaf plants I hope they take off anyone grown these any advice appreciated! ...I am so excited I found them ..there are some at HMart in Federal Way now and they also have some korean peppers (I have sworn off ever planting peppers ever ever again) ...set out by the door last time I looked...

lots of Asian Markets have potted plants for sale right now ...in fact if you are really lucky you can find a keffir lime ..(I killed mine last year and am on the hunt for another) ..it is all hit and miss but fun looking for them anyway

I am trying to get star anise to sprout has anyone ever done that?

peanuts are doing amazingly well I hope I get a pot full

ok the potatoes I cut up from the grocery store are growing so fast I can watch them ..the seed potatoes are way behind but doing well ...

I went to the The Portland Ave Nursery today and was very much in control ...it is such a nice place and quite reasonable in the big picture since the plants are so healthy ... so I ended up wiht all kinds of tomatoes including the isis candy (thanks!)

black cherry tomatoes (just sounded good) , early girls, Ukrainian black Roma (they sounded awesome blackish romas that grow up to 6 oz in 70 days I am being positive here) I hope they grow well..I am thinking to go back and get some more actually....somehow a big red something (can not remember the name and lost the stick) snuck in my box .... so it will be a surprise ...I guess someone wanted it so it might just be a score and they put it in the wrong basket? ..

even though it is early and I am taking a chance ..they were tall so I went ahead and planted them ..I will cover them at night and think they will be fine ..unless we get more hail :sad:

how are you guys doing?

please share ? :wub:


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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The beds all needed thinning, so we had our first salad from the garden today!!! arugula, mache & baby lettuce. I am thinking of putting in second crops of each of them so I will continue to have more later in the season.

We also cooked our first batch of chard up with keilbasa & pasta.

The strawberries are sending out a ton of shooters (I'm thinking I may need to relocate some of the other plants in that bed!) and there are buds here & there (yay!)

One of the raspberries has really started to take off, it's time to start teaching it restraint :biggrin: likewise the thornless blackberry seems to be recovering nicely after the destruction workers trampled it last Fall, and has lots of little buds peeking out.

I was right, there is indeed a cardoon coming back. It looks strong & healthy & is shooting up right in the middle of my arugula - good thing I'm not a control-freak as a gardener. We're more "survival of the fittest" gardeners :laugh:

I scored a ton of used bricks from some neighbors (yay!!!) and have mapped out new planting beds that I thought I was going to have to wait at least a couple of months on. We had talked about putting flowers in them when we first invisioned these beds a while back, but now I'm thinking maybe tomatos instead - or both :)

I know some of y'all think it's a weed, but if you notice borage at any of the local nurseries please give a shout out. I want to put one next to each tomato plant. It's supposed to make the tomato plants happier...


Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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Oof! The gardener & I spent the morning working in the yard; her digging new beds, & me planting watering etc. It was fine earlier on, but we got pretty warm as the day progressed.

We put in a lovely Salmonberry, and built a trellised bed around the black currant, as well as finally getting the replacement huckleberry into the ground. Also planted a couple herbs I picked up at the Tilth sale & of course a ton of flowers to fill in the bare spots while we wait for the larger plants to establish...

It's too hot for my taste but the plants are loving this weather - the second row of carrots we planted, and which i had given up on, are finally popping their ferny little heads up & there are flowers on the fava beans!

How go other folks gardens?


Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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everything is doing great ..Eden I would love to see your garden do you have some pictures?

salmon berry is a brilliant idea what a beautiful berry to put in the garden ..did you put it in a shaded area ? when I see them in the woods they are always deeply shaded and wondered if you could grow them in the sun as well?

I need a gardener I feel ilke the more I work the more there is to do ..but then this garden gives a sense of purpose and keeps me pushing forward because the reward is so wonderful

I almost adopted a goat .....I had this very fluffy vision of the goat only eating the weeds and grass ...then I was reminded that while they will not only eat you out of house and home they will eat your house as well ...

so I am going to get some chickens instead and my husband offered to make a portable coup so we could just move them around the yard where we wanted them to scratch ..poop and eat ...

maybe just another dog the one I have is very much into gardening and sometimes I find her toys and stuffed animals neaty planted in my raised beds

I put all my strawberry thinnings in the stone walls of the tiers and they are filling in nicely ...

the deer are starting to wander up my hill (please see my picture link below) that buck found his way into the yard later that evening I was sitting eating dinner and all of a sudden my husband yelled the "F" word and went running out the door just as I saw the deer taking one huge branch off my baby 5 way cherry

we are working on building the gate over our driveway but it is a decorative wrought iron one that my husband is making himself ...he has made four already this is the last, largest and aboslutely most complicated one of them all!!! and I wanted him to work trilliums into the metal work ...so that further complicates this ..I can understand his frustrations! ...there is a strange shape of this entry way ..it needs to keep dogs in and keep deer out ..open and close easily ...not be foreboding to visiter but keep anyone who does not want to open a gate to help me find my true religion out.....the problme ..the entry is on a slope..not bad if you want it to open in the downward direction ..and we don't ....both sides are about a foot off the other ..it is not insurmountable I keep telling him!!!

so we put a wire fence with strips of ripped cloth on it and hope he does not just jump over and feast away ..

we have a couple of bunnies setting up house in the blackberries but there are tons of dandilions and other things for them to eat so they have been good and not found the raised beds yet ...we did fine with them last year ...I make a pile of trimmings for them far away from the garden and they seem to fill up on that and not venture farther into the yard....

no slugs yet but they have not been a huge problem for me

we have a lot of wildlife up here and I am grateful for it ..and don't mind sharing some stuff ..but damn that beautiful deer managed to eat a whole branch in two seconds and I imagine it would have been a stump if we had not noticed...we have so many other options on this vegetable buffet I want my trees to grow to adulthood!!!

other than that everything is doing great ..

eating fresh salads of baby greens with radishes and baby onion thinnings every day ...along with something made with rhubarb daily as well

my potatoes need another level added to the box they are shooting up as fast as I can pile the straw on top

has anyone used straw to grow potatoes? this is my frist time trying this and it almost seems to cheap ..neat and easy!!!

lots of pears on the 5 way Asian pear tree ..the pruned fig is finally starting to show its buds so I may yet get some figs ..I was so worried about that

today is going to be much cooler and I have a section of the garden mapped out to work on when I finish this coffee ...right now the view is beautiful and rest feels good

I am so looking forward if anyone else wants to share pictures ...the best ideas come from sharing I think already I have learned so much from you guys!


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Our friends were selling the healthiest happiest most interesting kinds of starts at the local plant sale last weekend, and even though we were not going to, we couldn't help ourselves. The plants were started with love back in January so they are in very good shape. So now we have our first baby veg garden.

We built a raised bed on top of an existing south facing terrace. Filled with a mix of soil, worm compost from our bin, and leaf compost. We have a black plum tomato, a cherry tomato, a Japanese eggplant and another eggplant that I already forgot the details of, three kinds of basil, and some winter savory that we hope to save b/c it was unhappy in a pot. The tomatoes have baby fruit and lots of flowers and the eggplants have some baby fruits with more showing up even though they've only been here a week.

It isn't as ambitious as some other posters, but we love our little mini-farm.

We also have our first problem. Something is eating one of the eggplants. After some investigation, I learned that it is a hornworm larva (looks like a gray-green caterpillar, comes out at night, and eats an alarming amount of leaf).


Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther

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Hi Hummingbirdkiss,

I just had to let you know how absolutely wonderful your photos of your garden are, not to mention the garden itself! I don't post much -- but read a lot -- and saw your latest message of your gardening progress (and deer taking a limb off your tree) and decided to check out your photos. What an amazing job you have done. I am a very slow gardener, and very lazy, too, I think, but if I ever grow up I want to be a gardener like you!! And your photos are SO beautiful. Thank you so much for posting.

SusieQ

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Our friends were selling the healthiest happiest most interesting kinds of starts at

We also have our first problem.  Something is eating one of the eggplants.  After some investigation, I learned that it is a hornworm larva (looks like a gray-green caterpillar, comes out at night, and eats an alarming amount of leaf).

I haven't seen hornworms in Seattle - probably cutworms - voracious!

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Hi Hummingbirdkiss,

I just had to let you know how absolutely wonderful your photos of your garden are, not to mention the garden itself! I don't post much -- but read a lot -- and saw your latest message of your gardening progress (and deer taking a limb off your tree) and decided to check out your photos. What an amazing job you have done. I am a very slow gardener, and very lazy, too, I think, but if I ever grow up I want to be a gardener like you!! And your photos are SO beautiful. Thank you so much for posting.

SusieQ

:wub: thank you so much for saying that I did not come like this ..it is an evolution on my part that is for sure ..and also a very cheap form of therapy!

I have always wanted a beautiful garden from the time I was a little girl ...I wanted to grown flowers and vegetable ..having a place to wander and fuss over .....it is coming along and I love sharing it with you

tamiam I am curious how your eggplants come out I have not thought of planting those!

does anyone grow okra

I resisted peppers again ..I want to ..I yearn to but I have wasted so much time and space to grow the worst peppers imaginable ..

I will just wait for the ones from Eastern WA they are doing great with chiles the past few years!


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I haven't seen hornworms in Seattle - probably cutworms - voracious!

After that, I did a bit more research on range and life cycles. Even though the larval stages look similar, it doesn't seem to be cutworms. Thank goodness b/c those bastards cut the plant right down at the base! My guys just eat most of a huge 4-5" leaf in one night, but they dont totally kill the plant dead (Whoo-hoo).

Based on advice from some organic farmer friends I bought some BT today and will give it a try. It would likely work on cutworms and slugs too. It looks like green goo and cost $15 for a quart of concentrate that is probably more than I will ever want or need.

And Hummingbird, I would have thought eggplants needed to be in Italy or something, but my friends who farm here in town tell me they should do great. I already have about 7-9 fruits on each plant, so they are off to a good start. Plus their new home gets sun most of the day, though it can be a little wind exposed when it gets rough outside. So if we survive the evil bugs, then we should be grilling some serious eggplant in a month or so.


Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther

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