Friday, January 28, 2011

I'll be in the Garden

Hi All! I just updated the Haven Garden Blog. Go have a look and post a comment. If you have not yet signed up to be a follower be sure to do that as well. I'll be out there tomorrow morning and then in my garden in the afternoon. So much to do! Looks like we are in for a little rain on Sunday... yay! I need some more rain water for my seedlings... I just ran out today.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


And just when you thought there is no possible way this girl can fit one more thing into that garden of hers....

On my way home from work yesterday I stopped at Common Ground Organic Garden Supply and Education Center to pick up two blueberry bushes. I will be growing two low chill varieties, one called Southmoon and the other Misty. They will be grown in containers. For more info on how to grow blueberries in containers check out Dave Wilson Nursery.

MistySouthern Highbush — Early. In the west, Misty is quite vigorous, growing very well both on the coast and in the inland heat. This excellent fruit does well in areas with chilling as low as 150 hours and all areas with mild winters and hot summers.

Southmoon: Southern Highbush — Exceptional berries with superb flavor. Florida native with vigorous, upright character. Performs well in California both inland and coastal. Prefers light sandy soils. Chilling requirements are estimated to be between 200 and 300 hours.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Day Off

I had the day off from work today and was looking forward to working in the garden. So up and out of bed by 7:00 and this is what I saw.... Fog... very dense fog...

What happened to the sunny day that was forecast?

The sun did finally burn off the fog about 1:00 this afternoon and guess what I did after lunch?  

Bed 1 was my focus today. I finished setting up the water line.

Overhead sprinklers to start with. Once the seedlings are a little bigger I will add soaker hoses .
The sprinklers have an on and off switch so I can control what area of the bed is watered.
After making sure everything was in working order it was time to do some transplanting.

Testing the watering system.

I planted the carrots, the bok and pak choy.

Pak Choy and Bok Choy
I hope the carrots don't go into shock from transplanting the seedlings I started in the greenhouse. This is the first time I'm trying this method.

I also completed the water lines in bed 3. Now beds 2, 3 and 4 are all ready to be set on the timer.

In other gardening news the lettuce seeds I planted in bed 2 are starting to sprout. In the greenhouse all the tomatoes have sprouted. I'm still waiting for the peppers. I know most of you are thinking it's way too early to start pepper seeds. In our area it is time to indoor sow peppers and in a few weeks or so it will be time for the tomatoes. Yes I did get a jump on the tomatoes but I have never had a problem starting this early and the plants are nice and big by the time I plant them in the garden. I will also be starting my cucumbers and squash seeds next weekend. I picked up my red onion sets today and will plant them next weekend as well. I also need to get started on my sweet potato slips. I have a few sweet potatoes in the pantry that have started to sprout so I just need to put them in a glass of water.

For more information on starting peppers here in the Bay Area check out this weeks Love Apple Farm newsletter "Tip of the Week".

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Playing in the Garden

Very productive day in the garden today. I started by re-potting the raspberry canes. The soil line had dropped by about 4 inches in the pot. I also cut the old canes off and cut back the weaker ones. I think it will be much happier this growing season.

In the green house I planted tomato seeds for both my garden and the Haven garden as well as hot peppers and sweet peppers.

Tomatoes and Peppers

Most of the carrot seeds have sprouted. I pulled them off the heat mat and will give them a few more days in the green house before I move them to bed 2.

I also pulled the bok choy, pak choy, onions and dill off the heat mat. The choy was starting to get leggy. Removing it from the heat it should slow their growth down a bit.

Bok and Pak Choy, Onions and Dill
I'm trying a Winter sowing experiment in part of bed two. I planted cilantro, lettuce and spinach seeds in the back half of the bed. I did not water them since we will get some rain this week. I'm going to let nature do it's thing and keep notes on when the seeds sprout. Bed 2 is only getting about three hours of sun so it will be interesting to see how they do.

Bed 2
I really miss my Square Foot grid. I had to lay some stakes down and used the planting template I bought from Ribbit over at The Corner Yard. I need to come up with a removable grid.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weekend Project Part 2

All done with the garden chores. Below are the "after" photos. See my first post today for the "before" photos.

Bed 2 on the left. Bed 5 on the right next to the strawberries.
 I will be planting some vining  Summer squash on the arch
 (in the two little black patches).

View from the back of the garden next to the potato bins.

View from the compost bin.  
Bed 3. I still need to get the water line put in.
Bed 4 next to the compost area.
So tell me, what is your favorite mulch to use in your vegetable garden around your plants to keep in the moisture?

Weekend Project

Checking the weather looks like we will be in for some more rain next week. That makes this weekend the perfect time to get some work done around the yard. This morning we went to Lyngso our local garden supply yard and pickup a few things...

1 yard of  Lyngso Vegetable blend
3 bags of Diestel Structured Compost (Turkey poo)
3 bags of Vermi Green Compost (lots of good stuff)
8 bags Wood Chips

Bed 2 will get most of the Lyngso Vegetable Blend and a top dressing of the compost.

Bed 2 before
Beds 3 and 4 will also get a top dressing of compost. I won't need to add much to these beds. I had already added home made compost to them two weeks ago.

All of the pathways will get a new layer of wood chips. Bed 2 may get some pak choy and carrots planted in them this weekend as well. My seeds have started to sprout and since they are both cool weather crops no harm in getting them into the garden from the cold frame.

I'll post after photos so you can see the results.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Non Garden Post

I just finished watching the Prophets of Doom on the History Channel.



Today's world has troubles unique to its time in history, from the global financial crisis to technological meltdowns to full scale, computerized global war. Observing the convergence of such events, contemporary prophets have begun to emerge from obscurity to suggest that these conditions might be signs of the demise of the modern world. These men are historians as well, using all manner of information and patterns from the past to provide context for where we are going. Their predictions interpret the current state of affairs in our world as evidence that the America we know may come to an end. The men proposing these ideas are not crackpots living on the streets of New York; they are intelligent, learned men who come armed with the evidence to back up their claims.

I now return you back to your local programing garden.....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We Have Sprouts

When I got home from work today I made my way out to the greenhouse to check on things and guess what sprouted out of the carrots, onions, pak choy, bok choy, chamomile, stevia and dill seeds I planted on Jan 1st

I'll wait.......

If you guessed the pak choy and the bok choy then you would be correct. This is the first time I'm growing both of these greens and I'm very excited to see how they do.

This coming weekend I need to fill bed 2 with soil and get it ready for lettuce and carrot seeds. I have about three hours of sun in that bed with a little more each day as we move toward Spring... which is only 12 weeks away. Think about it most of you (living outside of Calif.) are just weeks way from staring some of your Spring crop seeds (indoors) and Summer crops are just around the corner. By the time you get your seed order placed and delivered it will be time :-)

Happy Dreaming of your 2011 Garden

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone

Happy New Year Everyone!

I spent some time in the greenhouse today planting some carrot, onion, pak choy, bok choy, chamomile, stevia and dill seeds.

Sweet Husband sneaking a photo of me in the greenhouse

Seed starting trays

Below is a photo of the January garden from the roof. In just a few months these beds will be full of color.

View from the roof
If you have been following my blog for the past two years you know I always come up with some kind of a big project for the season. When the new fence was installed over the summer we had to take down the shades. We are not planning on putting them back up because we don't think the new fence can handle it. So I will need to come up with something to shade the beds when the summer temps get too hot for the garden. I know what you are thinking as you look at the photo above... just put shade cloth over the hoops. Yes I could do that but I'm not going to. I think I have a better idea that will make it easier for me to get into the beds without having to remove the shade cloth every time I need to harvest.