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About DoubleD

  • Birthday 10/27/1962

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    Pacific Northwest

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  1. Miss your posts. Hope all is well .

  2. Joined August of 2006. Rarely visit now but occassionally stop by.
  3. I have LOTS in the garden and more in the wings (seedlings) that will be going in over the next few weeks. Our weather is a LOT different than yours though. Were it as warm here as you are obviously experiencing - I would be pacing myself much differently as well. We did a major expansion of the garden this past fall/winter and so I am doing double duty this spring - in that I have a bunch of new beds that I am double digging to prep for this year's planting up. Once double dug, I never do that again, but the first year is a ton of work to get a bed ready. And I have LOTS of them! LOL! Definitely getting my work outs this spring.
  4. You are doing very well Lynn. Starting small, making a plan, and then working your plan. Each year you will get new skills, more confidence, and learn from trial and error. The plot size you have set up is ideal for starting out. Too many people go crazy with big patches when they are new to gardening and end up with problems and are overwhelmed. This one will whet your appetite, feed your appetitite!, and you will have fun with it. Good work.
  5. That was a good find Cat. Amazing what useful and straightforward info was produced encouraging food production and self sufficiency. There is still really good information available through County Extension offices - but alot of it is catered to ornamental planting and they down play serious food production gardening info - in an attempt to stay "main stream". If you know what you are seeking you can find good info though and specific to your region's growing conditions.
  6. Well done! My first asparagus spear for 2009 just poked through this weekend. We will be enjoying the asparagus harvest season shortly.
  7. I did not recognize this as an old post (2 years old in fact!) until I ran into my own post and realized this was my planting plans from several years ago! LOL! Here's what's in the works for my 2009 tomato planting season: 24 plants in total comprised of 2 - "Stupice", 8 - "Siletz", 6- 'Legend", and 8 - "Viva Italia" sauce tomatoes. They are going into a 4'X24' bed planted 1 per 2 square feet (2 rows of 12 spaced 2 feet apart. The bed will have a soaker hose laid out on it going up one side and down the other so that each plant is next to the hose. This is then covered by the red plastic mullch and the tomatoes then planted in squares cut into the plastic. Cages (and for the indeterminates cages plus a ladder) put in place and they are good to go. I use plastic sheeting over the lot of them until our weather warms up and stabilizes. When planting I use a 1/2 cup of good organic all purpose fertilizer (5-5-5) and a couple TBS of epsom salts and mix that into the planting hole dirt at the bottom. The bed will have been previously prepped with compost and rock minerals (rock phosphate, dolomitic lime, and greensand). I used the red plastic last year for the first time and was impressed with it. I intend to keep using it from here on out.
  8. Well the weather has been very cold for the past few days - but it appears we are turning the tide in the other direction because it warmed up considerably today (still cool but not frigid!). Yesterday, I bottom watered all the flats of seedlings. Carted them all out of the shop and took them out back by the rain barrels so I could easily fill the trays with rainwater for the bottom watering process. I let them sit out there for about a half hour to soak up the water while I did some other garden chores. However, I quickly whisked them back inside to the safety and warmth of the grow lights and heat mat because the temperature was around 30 and dropping fast. Here's a picture of some of the tomato seedlings that I took while they were "soaking". They were planted on February 14th - so they are not quite 4 weeks old. While the seedlings were soaking up rainwater, I harvested some baby spinach from the large overwintered spinach patch. Which once I got the seedlings safely put back into the shop... were transformed into salads with a topping of glazed walnuts for the evening meal. Spring IS coming - just not fast enough for my tastes!
  9. Check out the link in my signature. The victory garden was an effort to reduce the demands on food production for homeland needs - so that agriculture and industry could be focussed on supporting the troops. Today's Victory Garden has a different focus - but has many of the same qualities as the predecessor.
  10. My overwintered bed of spinach is really coming alive now and producing regular harvests. Combined with the young lettuces in the unheated greenhouse - we have some lovely spring mixed green salads. I am working on a big garden expansion project over the winter and I am in the final big push of constructing beds and will soon be double digging them. Amazingly enough, I am actually on schedule with that project and should have the beds ready when the plants need to go into them. Like you Homemaker, I am marveling out how out of shape I have gotten over the winter. I am really huffing and puffing with the heavy lifting work and I know the double digs are going to wipe me out.
  11. First, if this is relatively new to you - don't make it harder by trying to incorporate succession planting at this time. Go with the more traditional cropping time frames and build up your skills. You will get plenty of produce and develop your knowledge and experience. Each year thereafter try another production improvement technique....i.e. succession plantings, season extending etc. You are in a different region and planting zone than I am - so I cannot give you positive advice for your area. They really are very different depending on your location. However, if you are getting a late start for your area ... just dive in and get them in now. If you really are too late for your area - all you are out is some seeds and some time. If not, you will get the production you are seeking. The approximate dates for starting crops do matter. There is a window of time that they have sufficient sunlight, heat, and time to grow to maturity. Some crops (such as tomatoes) take a long time to get to production stage and then produce abundantly from that time until the frosts/cold weather and reduced sunlight take them down. There is no reason to succession plant such items - because they will keep producing once mature. The only beneficial strategy with such items is to use varieites that mature more quickly plus some later maturing items to hurry up the beginning of the production season. Lots of folks do this with corn too. Planting an early, mid season, and late season all at the same time - so that they spread the harvest period over a longer window of time. Some crops (such as lettuce, and carrots) have a short enough growing period and do not "keep producing" once mature - that it makes sense to plant your first crop at the earliest time, then follow up with later succession plantings to ensure you have mature crops to eat as long as possible - maximizing the production. Just as there is a point where it is safe to begin planting - there is also a point where you can no longer put more succession in for these crops - because they just will no longer have time to mature and you are wasting seed. That is why there are "dates" for starting seeds.
  12. I started my onions and some more lettuces on mid January. I started the spring cabbages, kohlrabi, and broccoli on January 31st. The germination on the broccoli was not as good as I would have hoped - so I am going to reseed a few cells today. Next weekend (2/14) I will be starting the tomatoes, and celery. I have a pretty steady rhythm of seed starting once the year get's underway - designed to have crops ready to go when I need them to be and also ensures I am not overloaded with seedlings under the lights at the same time. By moving through this rotation I have older plantst that move out to the unheated greenhouse to grow on and begin hardening off - which makes room for the newest plantings to go under the grow lights.
  13. Originally Posted By: Frugal Cook If you put them near a window, do you still need the florescent light? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Remember, you are starting these seeds during the winter/early spring months - when the sun strength is at it's lowest. A super sunny window location will sometimes work for low demand crops (lettuce for example) but items like tomatoes, etc need a higher level of light intensity to grow properly. Weak spindly plants result from lack of adequate light and they are extremely susceptible to damping off disease etc. If you are waiting until April and May to start plants - then a really sunny window may be okay as the sun strength is significantly increasing then - but honestly most of the seed starting is in February and March to be ready for April and May planting.
  14. Seed starting does take a few things to do successfully - but it need not be a big expensive adventure. You will need some flourescent lights that can be placed just a few inches above the seedlings for about 12 to 15 hours each day (yes they need "dark" time too to really grow well). A $20 shop light fixture from homedepot, combined with your existing shelving will do the trick just fine. As for soil - buy a bay of germinating soil mix - it is finer and more sterile than potting soil or garden dirt. If you do not have a heat mat, try starting the trays of seedlings up on top of the fridge until they emerge (the seeds need the heat to germinate - not the plants once they emerge) and then move them immediately under your lights. Here is a great website on the basics of seed starting. I think it is the best resource available for those that are interested in doing this. http://www.sherrysgreenhouse.com/pages/see...ting/index.html In addition, I have some photos on seed starting on my web page - under the photo gallery. Good luck and happy gardening.
  15. - 2008 - - Significantly increased our financial savings - Added a new vertical grow bed to the garden - Grew all of our vegetables and approximately 40% of our fruit - Added more rainwater collection barrels - Established a new website - "The Modern Victory Garden" - 2009 - - Increase the financial savings again - by at least the same amount as last year - Expand the garden (already underway) - Increase our fruit production to 50% of our needs - Remain incredibly valuable to my employer. The most important objective for 2009 is to hang on to our cash and my job.
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