The seed catalogues have been coming for some time now. The
gardening column in our paper said it is time to start onions, leeks,
broccoli, etc. inside. I bought fresh onion seed and need to get the
planting trays out and cleaned up.
My garlic is still standing up despite 20° F weather. If it gets warm
enough one afternoon soon I will get out and prune off all of the dead
branches on the herbs. Maybe I will keep some of the leaves. Should
be the same as drying them.
I have a program that tracks my seeds and keeps records like where did
I buy them, when did I start them (in the greenhouse or in the
garden), when did I set them out and when did they start producing. My
biggest problem is that the company went out of business a few years
ago and every time I change computers I have to go through and fix a
bunch of stuff. Seems to be working now. Fortunately it is not an
installed program. Too bad Win 7 wants to do too much for you and it
is not always what you want.
Here the day time temps are in the high 60s F to low 70s F. Night time
temps running around 27 to 31 F. We have had 2" of rain to date. Last
year it was 22". Presently, there is no rain in sight.
Looking like it will be near impossible to grow a garden this year, if
we don't get some rain soon.
where do you get your liquid gold (water)?
i thought that things were getting better this year,
but it looks like most of the rains/flooding and heavy
snows have been in the Rockies. indirectly this
benefits where you are at via the Colorado River feed
to California. not as dire as it could be, but i do
think it a very responsible move for the govenor to
declare the water emergency.
i've not seen any actual updates on the affects of
the floods yet on the resevoirs. i do recall a bit
ago asking my sister (who is out in NM and southern CO)
if things were ok for water this year with their
resevoirs and she said they were doing ok as compared
to last year. when she visited this past fall for a
bit we did talk about water out there and she said that
there were ponds/lakes in places that she had never
seen before because of that big storm they had that
caused those floods. a help to recharge the ground
water/aquifers. she's been out there a long time
(30yrs at least).
Unfortunately, the Colorado River water is partitioned between 8 states.
Usually none of it reaches Mexico to quench the thirst of Mexicans, or
to flush out the Gulf of California.
About 60% of the water in the lower Colorado (7.5 million acreft/year)
water goes to California for agriculture in the Mojave Desert, and for
tap water for the inhabitants of Southern California. I'm unaware of any
of it finding its way to Northern California, or California's Central
The Central Valley, and Northern California rely on a melting snow pack
to feed our rivers which provide our water. Water diverted from the Eel
River for hydro-electric power provides most of the water in the Russian
Rivers, which in turn services the coastal counties of Mendocino,
Sonoma, and Marin (North Bay). San Francisco receives its water from The
Hetch Hetchy Project which transports Tuolumne River water 156 miles
from the Central Sierra to San Francisco and peninsula cities (South
Local cities are taking up the question of water rationing, which was on
the to do list at the Healdsburg City council tonight.
At present, there is no rain in our future. February and March are
usually our wettest months (but not last year).
The silver-lining is that there should be fewer mosquitos this year.
Global population growth has shot up precipitously in the past 200
years. In 1800, around one billion people lived on the planet.
Currently, Earth is populated by seven billion people, with that number
expected to rise to nine billion by 2050. All of those people have to be
fed, which confronts society with major policy problems. Already, 850
million people worldwide suffer from hunger and two billion are
seems like a wise thing to do, along with many other
things to reduce water consumption and encourage
:) never free of them here once the season warms
up. i found one inside a few days ago. and yesterday
a lady bug which i moved to one of the few houseplants
(which hasn't started regrowing again yet for the
today it is windy and blowing snow around. i was
surprised to see a squirrel out in the wind picking
and eating berries off one of the bushes in the
north hedge/treeline. it would sit with it's tail
up to the wind using it to protect the rest of it's
body from the cold. i'd not seen one do that before
here. with these really cold temperatures for this
long it must be a challenge even if you hibernate
part of the season... no fresh bunny tracks seen
yesterday or today, they're hunkered down, like us...
I'm not sure what's on our squirrels menu, but with 70 F days they are
acting as if it were spring, when a young squirrels fancy turns to,
well, you know. We are on the side of a hill, with our bedroom window
looking int the canopy of an oak forest. Seems there is always a
squirrel in pursuit of another squirrel, ah, to be young again.
Sadly our library doesn't have the Firefox book on distilling. If you
can make booze, everything else will flow to you.
Some of the herbs are pushing already. THe "mothers wort" is up. I
wouldn't be surprised to see bud break on the grape vines in February.
There are still a lot of unpruned vineyards waiting for the shears.
The big news is that there is a 50% chance of showers on thur. Keeping
my fingers crossed. I'd like one more garden from here. I think by Fall
we will have moved on.
You heard of grafted tomatoes?
ntio.html> Unveiled last year in limited release by Log House Plants in Cottage
Grove, the first crop of grafted tomatoes took off like a caped
crusader. Portland Nursery, one of only four garden centers in the
country to carry them, sold out quickly. As soon
agraftcloseup.jpgView full sizeCourtesy of Greg Lee/Log House Plants Log
House Plants did extensive research in the exacting art of grafting
vegetables such as tomato, pepper and eggplant. The scion (the top part
of the plant) must be the same size as the rootstock (the bottom part of
the plant) and the two stems must meet perfectly.
as people hear about the altogether-different tomatoes, they line up at
the checkout counter. Who doesn't want the promise of a plant that
produces more fruit for a longer season on a disease- and
pest-resistant, vigorous plant that needs less water and fertilizer and
adapts to poor soils?
Garden centers throughout the Northwest supplied by Log House Plants.
Store locator on website.
Territorial Seed Co., 2 1/2-inch plants for $6.95
GardenLife, 4-inch plants for $11.95
TIme to go toes up now. Gotta get up early. I don't quite understand it,
but when we should be winding down the lab work, I find myself doing 40
hour weeks. What's up with that?
:) the same squirrel was back the next day
going after those berries again. no running
around with the others yet, i think it is still
survival times, and hard pressed with this
cold being so prolonged and the snows being
or you will be so pickled you won't care.
hope the rains come through for you there.
any plants you'll take with you as favorites
or are things generally native and best left
... yeah, we'll see what they do, perhaps
they'll endrun the GMO debate and then
become popular and common enough to be
cost effective. i suspect anything that
does not get the beefsteak type name Ma
will ignore. she's kinda stuck on them.
i should have a good population of feral
tomato plants next year. we'll see what
happens. that's pretty much going to be
my motto for the next 30-40 yrs.
you've become useful and dependable. poor sod. :)
cheers and happy snoozing,
i'm always interested in what you are planting,
methods, etc. especially when it comes to onions.
this past season i harvested several hundred
onion seeds and so have them on hand for planting,
but my results so far for onions have been mixed.
mostly i think because the weather last year was
poor during prime bulbing time, but also because
the starts were not very good, the soil is gradually
improving, but perhaps not enough.
garlic here is under 1ft of snow/ice. the bunnies are
running around making tracks in the snow. i have yet to
see any sign that the owls/hawks are doing the honors for
me so i may have to hunt them come spring.
it depends upon the herb, but some will not have
nearly the same flavor when left on the plant and
out in the elements as compared to harvested and
i took a look on the web for open source seed saving
software of any kind. found a few, but nothing that
made me think it would be fitting for what you seem to
be indicating. the name of the old program would be
helpful so i can see if i can find a description of
it and what it does.
seed of a variety suitable to your tastes and to your latitude (probably
"long day")IME, local vendors rarely know either. Start fresh in "rich"
soil with a boost of phosphate; a fungal inoculate wouldn't hurt, too.
. I often save seeds from the generic "green" onions that we grow only
for their tops but always buy fresh seed for the Red Creole "cooking"
onions grown for their bulbs.
i'm hoping it will start happening soon as the
management is agitating to get me to shoot them
every time she sees one (and we have at least four
of them around, probably more than six or eight).
the general problem with our site is that it is
too busy (obstacles) for flying predators to get
an easy strike and the only other predators than
the hawks/owls/eagles is likely to be the semi-
feral cats from the neighbors place. far enough
away from there that the cats do not make regular
appearances (but they do come through once in a
while during the warmer weather as i see them and
their tracks and sometimes i even see them hunting
chipmunks or ...). there are tracks out there now
in the snow from cat too, but nothing that looks
like they actually made rabbit dinner.
i was really hoping the red tail hawk that
visited last summer would become a regular. since
then i've only seen a bird that might have been it
once in the north hedge/treeline.
there are coyotes that run along the river but
i've never seen them here. also there are red fox
about, but i've never seen them here. the surrounding
farm fields isolate us somewhat from the woods down
the road and the road itself takes a toll on many
wild life critters (free fertilizer if i notice them
before the turkey vultures or crows get them).
we'll see what happens...
reached. Consider, too, that equilibrium may not include a useful
quantity of the desired veggies. Bunnies and deer are (so far) not a
serious hazard to my garden but grasshoppers, in seemingly infinite
variety and number, are pure evil incarnate and are present during all
save the coldest periods. Tried "nolo" without significant success and
won't use poisoned baits for obvious reasons. Have learned the hard way
that "equilibrium", in my garden, does not include baby lima beans (the
hoppers eat blossoms off the racemes as if they were corn on-the-cob) or
speckled butter beans. Damage to other crops is bearableI just accept
it as a tax for invading the hoppers' spaceso I just settle for
non-migratory population. One contributing factor is that two near
"back fence" neighbors, adjacent to each other, have taken steps over
the past thirty-or-so years to greatly increase grasshopper habitat and
breeding area while also providing winged adults a virtually unimpeded
path to within just a couple of hundred feet of the garden. I'm fairly
sure that's why the "nolo" results were not what I'd hoped. Oh, well; I
was warned, albeit indirectly, by another NG member that my effort might
be futile. There seems little point to trying to control the population
locally when adults can just fly in willy-nilly. Adult grasshoppers
travel great distances during the hot season and they are prolific. It
never stays cold enough for long enough to reduce their number
they are good eating. :) we have a steady population
of nice sized ones by the end of the summer here. i'm
always glad to see the birds wrestling them in the
gravel, but to me they are also a back up food source if
times get tough. they are big enough it wouldn't take
many to make a nice side-dish.
I buy seed for Granex and Red Burgundy onions. I managed to get 144
seeds planted in the plastic trays in the greenhouse yesterday. I
also got the dead material off of the herbs. it is going into one of
the compost boxes. Yesterday it was almost 60°F so I did what really
needed to be done. Cold today and they are predictions 12°F tomorrow
morning and maybe some snow tonight.
The program is Seed Planner. If it looks interesting, email me. This
is a workable address.
ah, that's too general of a name for me to work
with, i'm getting all sorts of stuff. i was hoping
something a little less generic that would let me
find the company that used to sell it.
looks like there are all sorts of web apps and
on-line planners out there, but as of yet i'm only
finding a few more specialised programs.
what i'm beginning to think is that a small
business inventory control program should have
all the functions needed for tracking and
expiring seeds and some small business accounting
programs even let you schedule, produce and adjust
still that's much more than most people would
want to get into.
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