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Click here for the 2020 Gardening topic with hints, experiments,
results, and just plain what's happening in our gardens this year

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Mar 2, 2018 1:24 pm 
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kmsunday wrote:
I am a pinecam voyeur

:coffee screen:

Welcome kmsunday and thanks for posting.

Yep soil is the most important aspect to a good healthy garden.
It is expensive to buy good garden soil so just keep amending what you have until it is wonderful. Compost, compost, compost... make your own and/or buy it.
Llama poo makes awesome compost! Lucky you!

Each time you prep your soil, gather and toss out the rocks that come to the surface. (A never ending task, I know).

To increase the moisture retention, consider adding peat moss or coco coir. I personally prefer peat moss as it helps lower the pH. My well water is super alkaline and so peat moss is essential in my garden.

To lighten the soil (reduce hard compaction) consider adding perlite. But the compost, peat moss or coco coir will help with that too.

And don't forget worms ... super food for the garden soil! In June I typically add some worms. I have a spot in my yard where I can dig them up, but sometimes I buy them.

Thanks for posting and of course we expect to see photos at some point! ;) (Please!)


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Mar 2, 2018 2:43 pm 
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Hi, CooknThyme!

You actually where of great help to me, a few years back, when I first got my greenhouse -- it was all private messages! You were incredibly helpful!

We have lots of worms, and add more each year. NEVER thought of the coco coir or the peat moss, to be honest! We always toss the rocks, which, I swear, just reproduce!

I would love to post pix from last year -- we are pretty proud of that crop -- we always have been rather successful, even with the crappy dirt, but last year was exceptional! It was the first year we planted in April, and it just seemed like the broccoli and such had more time to adjust and grow. I just don't know how to post!


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Mar 2, 2018 3:10 pm 
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You are quite welcome. I enjoy helping out where I can.
I thought "kmsunday" looked familiar, but my senior brain cells did not pull up the connection (sorry about that).

Posting pictures are easy as long as they are on your computer. Just scroll down a bit on a new post and you will see "Upload Image". You click that, then browse for your photo, select it, then hit upload. Once it has uploaded you copy the img address and paste it onto your post.

You repeat the process for each photo that you wish to post. To see what it looks like before you submit the post, you can select "preview"


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Mar 2, 2018 9:32 pm 
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Hermits Greenhouse will be up and running again this year, I have already planted my first wave of seeds. I posted on the gardening 2018 thread about what I am planing to have, more info coming as I see how well everything grows. So far it’s looking good. I have been checking the greenhouse over and it’s pretty much ready to go.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again this year.
Steve / Mr Hermit


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Mar 2, 2018 9:42 pm 
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:applause: :applause: :applause:
I can't wait to get some of your maters and peppers.
I've got a box of pots for you.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Apr 8, 2018 2:28 pm 
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Finally got out to the garden and started turning beds and adding compost. It felt good to go out and play in the dirt!

Thought I would share something I came up with a couple of years ago to remove stones, sticks, etc. from compost. I use horse bedding/manure from a neighbor and let it compost for a couple a years before using it in the garden. Invariably there is baling twine, rocks and other stuff I don't want in my vegetable beds. So I made a wooden frame and attached 1/2 inch hardware mesh to it. I lay it over the bed, throw some compost on it and then (wearing leather gloves) work it through the mesh and discard what does not go through. I use the same process for compost from my tumblers, generally throwing the big stuff (avocado shells etc.) back into the tumbler to continue composting. The photo below shows the setup, cleaning horse compost. As you can see, the frames fits over the 4ft wide bed, and I just slide it along the length of the bed as I work the compost through the mesh. After getting a good layer of compost on the bed, I turn the bed.

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Apr 8, 2018 2:38 pm 
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My husband made me a soil screen using hardware cloth (or wire mesh). Here's pages from my website on how he made the screen and I show how I use it. It's very similar to your setup, conifer4.

He's working on putting in a new kitchen floor. The YouTube videos make it look sooo easy but in reality, cutting the tiles results in occasional bad language. So I went out side and cleaned up my small perenial bed in my vegi garden and moved some stuff around. It sure was great to get out and get my hands in soil again. Stuff is starting to show some growth. Finally.

It's time to start cleaning the debris out of my rock garden beds and steps. I always am amazed at how many pine needles can collect in an area in just one winter.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Apr 8, 2018 4:04 pm 
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That's awesome Conifer4 that it fits so nicely over your beds like that!

But seems to me that you are using it upside down??? :lol:

I used mine more like TillerBee does hers. But maybe we are the ones who are upside down!

I had a small one that fit awkwardly over my wheel barrel. But it died. I did not store it in a good location and the wood rotted. So I need to build a new one. My next one will have much deeper sides as I was always making a big mess. ;)

TillerBee wrote:
I always am amazed at how many pine needles can collect in an area in just one winter.

No kidding! I have several places where they really like to collect. My trees can't be shedding that much so the wind must be clearing out my neighbors' properties and depositing the needles on my property. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Apr 8, 2018 4:38 pm 
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Upside down? It depends on the perspective.

I started with it screen side down. Since it sits on the walls of the bed, the screen was only a couple of inches above the soil and I was having to lift it and move the compost out from under it all the time. I flipped it and it works much better. It not only it allows a 5-6 inch pile of compost build up so I don't have to move the compost until I am done, but it also raises it so I can sit in a chair when I use it instead of bending over. This one is not well made, scrap wood, scrap mesh, scrap roofing nails.

From the engineering point of view, screen side up creates a shear load on the nails holding the mesh instead of a normal stress, so the mesh will not detach as easily.

Ultimately the right way to use it is the way that works best for you!


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Apr 8, 2018 5:10 pm 
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conifer4 wrote:
From the engineering point of view, screen side up creates a shear load on the nails holding the mesh instead of a normal stress, so the mesh will not detach as easily.

Ultimately the right way to use it is the way that works best for you!


;) Yep whatever works best!

Mine was made of 2x4s then the hardware cloth then 1x2s to prevent the mesh from coming off and to prevent me from getting poked. It was a decent design. It was just too small and/or not deep enough.

Now that I am thinking about it more. The depth probably would have been okay if it was just bigger. I'll probably make it the same way again, but more sq footage.

Having the extra height above the beds makes tons of sense. I never came across that issue screening the compost into the wheel barrel as it is deep enough.

And working from a chair is ALWAYS better than bending over. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Apr 21, 2018 7:11 am 
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Jo H wrote:
Wow. That is much later than I expected for planting. How long is the growing season?


You can expect your first frost in early Sept (altho it can frost on any night through the season).
In general, our growing season is mid June to early Sept so 75-80 days
I highly recommend buying only "early" variety or "cool season" variety vegetables for things like tomatoes, peppers, zukes & other squash, etc.

I highly recommend some type of season extender for those things like a plastic hoop house or a heavy floating row cover. If you do them right you can add a couple of weeks at the beginning of the season and 2-4 weeks at the end of the season.

I cover outdoor tomatoes, zukes & such every night for the entire month of June and then in September as needed.

Cukes are difficult even in a greenhouse. Try growing a small pickling variety. They will need a blanket for nights that drops below 55 degrees. For me that is every night of the year.

If this is your first year gardening up here, then I recommend growing only those things that thrive in our climate then trying a few of the harder stuff next year (or if you must 1 zuke, 1 tomato and hand pollinate them - but don't expect them to produce until you know what they need up here).

Things that do well up here include:
All types of leafy greens (most can be direct seeded but kale a starter plant)
Root vegetables (except sweet potato)- direct seeded
Most herbs(most as starter plants)
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi (most as starter plants)
Peas and some beans (can be direct seeded)
Quinoa (direct seeded)

I probably forgot something...

Gardening up here is very challenging and rather complicated. But once you understand what each plant likes & dislikes you'll get the hang of it.

Scroll through the threads for the previous years (see first post in this thread) and you'll get a better idea.
Good Luck!


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Apr 21, 2018 10:30 am 
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BTW the list above can all be started outside in mid May if you have a way to keep the snow off of them (some can even handle a few inches of late-May snow).

Mid-June is only for plants that can not take a frost like zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, cukes, etc.


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