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Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Keith Elliott, May 4, 2021.
Val is a Trojan to be sure. Trying to get her to do a little less work is an exercise in futility.
But so good for you. One of the very best excercise for keeping one young.
I'm really not quite sure what we expected out of the raised beds, but everything is really going to town. Val planted way more Cosmos than we could ever possibly use, so we will take some over to the plant exchange for giveaways. And these don't include the others still in the greenhouse.
Veggies are doing equally well. Didn't get photos of the onions, carrots, parsnips, strawberries and so on.
Down in the lower bed, I will be needing to get some stakes cut tomorrow for the runner beans and peas.
And one box of the potatoes will be getting partially filled tomorrow with a mix of compost and topsoil. For some reason #3 is ahead of the other two.
As you can see, we have too many tomato plants. These are in 1 gallon pots - so I have a question for anyone here - what size pots do we need to successfully grow these on in? We can give some away to the young fellow who is interested in gardening, and I think there is a lady just up the road we can give some to as well.
Tomorrow I'm going to rig some skyhooks to hang some string from that we will try and coax the tomatoes to grow up on.
@Keith Elliott, I expect you will read this later today, but can I say that you and Val are doing brilliantly. Self sufficiency at it's best and enough for plant swops. Amazing.
Good morning D. It looks like we will have more than enough extra plants to give to our young friend just as soon as his dad builds him a greenhouse! Can you imagine...12 years old and he wants his own greenhouse! I think that's wonderful.
You said it Keith, 'Wonderful'. I'm sure you are giving him every encouragement as well. Well done.
Yesterday when our neighbours were visiting, Val took them down to the raised beds. She was pushing the radish plants back into the ground, when she realized that they were actually ready for harvest! So she gave some to the neighbours, along with some of the spinach - which is also definitely ready - and we all had the makings of salad for dinner.
Early morning photos of the beds. Lettuce looking nice, kale which Val loves and we can't seem to give away, onions, carrots, cosmos by the dozen - they seem to love it here - lots of beets. Really looking forward to the first fresh beets!
The first flowers on the runner beans.
Peas with their first flowers....
Peppers, not sure which kind, Val has a few different ones on the go.
No more supermarket shopping for you and Val anymore. Wonderful crops Keith.
We are being forced to harvest much of the spinach and the same with the radishes. I think Val has given them far too much kindness and they have responded with big crops.
As for the potatoes, I'm happy to say that most of them have managed to survive after their ordeal. Tomorrow I will add more mix and re-apply the mulch. I don't plan on going any higher than the second boxes, which are in place. Might experiment differently next year after we see the results of our first efforts.
This afternoon, Val started moving the tomatoes from the 1 gallon pots into 2 gallon pots. Room for everything is now at an extreme premium. Val gave some tomato plants to the neighbour across the road, and an hour later the neighbour returned with a tray full of lupins in pots. Apparently she has them running wild.
Tomorrow the supports for the tomatoes will get installed, all the wood was finally cut today. Here's the first few, but there's another 35 in the greenhouse. Somehow I think we may have been a trifle enthusiastic with the tomato seeds.
We have mentioned our little "friend", Gordie the gopher before. Now he or she has taken a liking to the lettuce and beet tops in the ground level raised bed. So we picked up a live trap and set it out where he was originally cleaning off the tops of all the fresh growth. No luck on the first night.
Yesterday evening we moved it down close to the bed with the veggies in, haven't checked this morning to see if we got him or not.
If nothing else, what it looks like I might need to do is to make some benches to sit the potted plants on, as Val takes them out of the greenhouse in the daytime.
Here's the penthouse where Val spotted the gopher yesterday. It was sunny much of the day, so he was outside sunning himself.
There has to be something very tempting inside the trap to entice him away from all those lovely lettuce and beet crops Keith.
What has been mentioned is lettuce, peanut butter and cashews. Next thing you know they will expect us to feed the little so and so New York steak!
Lol and there's that old English sense of humor still coming through.
The gopher is obviously much smarter than we are. No success thus far, but for the last two days we haven't seen evidence of his presence. Yesterday evening we added some chicken wire, about 15" high around part of the bed. We'll try to finish it tomorrow as today was taken up with other projects.
Everything in the beds is doing extremely well, and we continue to give away fresh leaf veggies to our friends. Just look at the kale!
And the chives are looking very good also Keith.
Hi Keith - I am SO impressed with your raised beds!
Coincidentally, my husband and I visited Taliesen West many years ago and loved it. You probably know of Arthur Erikson, the well-known Vancouver architect who shared a similar vision as FLW. https://www.arthurerickson.com/ We had a young architect friend in the 1970s who designed a FLW influenced house for us - trouble was (as we were told is true of many avant-garde designs), it leaked in several places. Beautiful though.
I believe that Arthur did the museum of anthropology did he not? The roof on that place is something special, and a quote that he was known for went something like... "It's going to take the builder a couple of years to figure out how to stop the leaks".
A little known fact is that the majority of architects only know how to make the building look good, then leave the hard part up to the contractor.
When I went to Taliesin West, I remembered to take my video camera. The only place they wouldn't let me shoot was in the church.
As for the raised beds, Val has already sowed a second crop of a number of plants. We cannot believe how quickly and how lush the plants are.
I continue to be surprised every day as to how quickly everything is growing in the elevated beds.
We may have to start putting some of these Cosmos into big pots as there isn't any room left in the flower beds. Gave some away but still dozens in this bed and the greenhouse.
For the past few days we have noticed that some thoughtless creature has been nibbling at some of the plants in the elevated beds. It's not the gopher or the deer. I think it is very likely crows, as the parts of the plants that have been taken off are right alongside the edges of the beds. We do see our overfed crows here every day lately.
Last night, I started to build a netting enclosure and we had just enough netting left to cover the beds. But it was getting pretty dark by the time we got done. I haven't got anywhere near finishing, just enough wood attached to keep the netting off the plants. Ran out of two different sizes of screws, and still need to cut at least another couple of hundred feet of 1 x 1 in order to complete the lightweight frame.
Expecting showers on and off all day today, so may not be able to finish the job. Besides we have visitors coming over for an extended lunch today.
Next year we may make some sort of higher netting structure to cover the whole area, something to think about. Photos as I make more progress.
No work on the netting enclosures today, but plenty of rain. We did head down to the greenhouse, everything in there still needs watering daily. No fresh evidence of further damage today. Still more rain in the offing along with thundershowers tomorrow afternoon and early evening. Looks like I get a day off!