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Farm, Garden and The Land => Gardening and Agriculture => Show Us Your Garden => Topic started by: endurance on March 11, 2014, 09:56:10 PM

Title: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on March 11, 2014, 09:56:10 PM
Well, it's 24F outside right now and it snowed five inches, but I decided to get my order in on some plants to be delivered May 21 (last frost date).

(http://i.imgur.com/SiGJ0pk.png)

The variety of peach is a late blooming cold hardy one that might prevent losing the harvest like last year to a late frost.  I'm finally dialing in the needs of the All Field Berries over the last two years and know that they need to get in some of my moister/shadier spots to thrive.  I wanted to try some yellow raspberries this year since I have had a lot of bird loss in years past and I've heard the birds aren't as keen on the yellow ones.  I love currants, they're nitrogen fixers, too, and have done really well on my property so far.  And Salmonberry is new.  Anyone who's grown them before, please let me know if you have any recommendations on where to plant them.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on March 11, 2014, 10:24:38 PM
.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on March 11, 2014, 11:23:09 PM
And Salmonberry is new.  Anyone who's grown them before, please let me know if you have any recommendations on where to plant them.

They grow all over the Pacific NW. We have hundreds of them here on the farm. They seem to like moist and semi-shaded.

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on March 12, 2014, 04:44:48 AM
Thanks. I have one area that will work well for that, albeit, it's getting a bit crowded. I need my fruit trees to grow so I have more shade!
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on March 12, 2014, 10:11:06 AM
What colour are they? We have three colors up here, but usually you see the orange ones.

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on March 12, 2014, 12:51:48 PM
What colour are they? We have three colors up here, but usually you see the orange ones.

Cedar
http://www.raintreenursery.com/Salmonberry_E310.html (http://www.raintreenursery.com/Salmonberry_E310.html)

Looks like red. Looks yummy!
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on March 12, 2014, 01:24:31 PM
They can be pucker tart  ;D Make them into something *LOL*

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on March 13, 2014, 06:35:00 PM
I just bought a masticating juicer, so random berries are very welcome.  It also accounts for some of the things on this list ordered today:

(http://i.imgur.com/b2mrDZo.png)
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on March 24, 2014, 08:35:54 PM
another seed order in:

(http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/539/2664.png)

I worked on expanding one bed and adding a new bed last weekend.  Great progress, but still a lot of work to go and I need to get probably two yards of dirt to complete the project.  Still, it was good to take advantage of the one decent weather day we had that I wasn't busy and make some headway.  Two or three more good days and I should be ready to start planting the cold-tolerant stuff.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Morgan96 on March 25, 2014, 04:31:34 AM
They can be pucker tart  ;D Make them into something *LOL*

Cedar

I have some Aronia out at the "farm".  Talk about pucker-worthy!  But it only takes a few to give zing and color to a nice smoothie.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: cohutt on March 27, 2014, 04:55:17 AM
When spring arrives up there please give us some panoramic pics- I've enjoyed seeing how your gardenscape has filled out over the last couple years
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on March 31, 2014, 01:25:08 PM
Here's your Pano, Cohutt:  Clicky (https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2890/13497926114_e8a1677279_h.jpg) (too wide to post as a picture here or I have to shrink it to the point of losing too much detail)

The new bed is the rock wall on the right in the foreground ending at the phone pole.  I finished the wall this weekend with about eight hours of rock stacking into it and by the end of the weekend I had the first 3' behind it dug to bedrock, laid in 4" of manure/pine chip mulch, 6-12" of wood (hugelbed), 6" of manure/pine chip mulch on that, then about 6" of native soil that I removed.  Next I'll do the next 3' to the north (top of photo), and the next 3' after that with the same or similar treatment, with less hugelbed as I go up.  There will probably be a 6-12" terrace within the terrace leading up to the next bed above this one.  After that I'll add 3-4" of manure/pine chip and blend it into the native soil and top with 6-8" of Gardener's Mix from my local nursery.  The lowest part of the bed will have about 3' of good soil and hugelbed, the top end might only have 6" of good soil above the bedrock, so trees and shrubs low, herbs and annuals in the upper part of the bed.  Obviously my shallow soils affect everything, but you take what you're given and do the best you can.

My baby girl coming to check out the new digs:
(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5156/13544195904_b798b8b45b_z.jpg)

If it didn't fit through the chipper last year and was too crooked or small to use as firewood, it's hugelbed material this year:
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7327/13544207414_88a1f99dc5_z.jpg)

Dressed with 6" of aged horse manure and wood chips that have been through my shredder:
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7238/13544212484_d51fb78675_z.jpg)

Bring on the dirt next:
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7121/13544221464_34c1c654c0_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: cohutt on March 31, 2014, 08:13:19 PM
I thought I was handy with a shovel, but you are a manual digging machine.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: cohutt on March 31, 2014, 08:15:45 PM
Nice panorama too- it makes a huge difference in the perspective after following your progress via tighter shots over the years. 
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on March 31, 2014, 09:05:11 PM
I had a bit of an off year last year, so I didn't put much energy into my photography.  I'm hoping to do a few videos as things green up and I'll probably also do a pano or two from different angles once I've done some clean up.  I'm in need of hauling away a truck load of old hose, tubing, and other planting materials before I feel like showing off the garden's darker recesses. 
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: riverbend_rich on March 31, 2014, 09:41:30 PM
I just put in a raised hugelbed this year too. It looks very similar to this. That is great it makes me feel like I'm doing something right! I'll try to post pictures if I can. I had some eastern red cedar logs laying out in the pasture so they are now the border. I think they will be a good choice since cedar is supposed to resist rot. ( and they were available and free)
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on March 31, 2014, 09:55:49 PM
I just put in a raised hugelbed this year too. It looks very similar to this. That is great it makes me feel like I'm doing something right! I'll try to post pictures if I can. I had some eastern red cedar logs laying out in the pasture so they are now the border. I think they will be a good choice since cedar is supposed to resist rot. ( and they were available and free)
I put in my first similar bed in 2011 and while it took a bit of time to get established, the results have been excellent, weathering two years of back to back drought as well as the wettest September in the state's history last year.  I don't think you'll be disappointed in the long run, just be patient for natural processes to take place (roots to get deep enough, the wood to break down enough, the microbes to come into balance, etc.).  And odd things happen that are unpredictable.  A full 20' below my swale I had a black water spring emerge last year.  What water was soaking in was being filtered by the layers of manure and coming to the surface after being pushed up by bedrock laden with nutrients, so I build another bed there.  Adapt and overcome. ;D
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: riverbend_rich on March 31, 2014, 10:06:17 PM
So how do you post pics from an iPhone so I can show off my handiwork?
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on March 31, 2014, 10:10:51 PM
So how do you post pics from an iPhone so I can show off my handiwork?
I suggest you start your own thread so we can all track your project and progress throughout the season.

Here's a thread on how to post photos:  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=21040.msg0#new (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=21040.msg0#new)
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 11, 2014, 07:51:58 PM
After getting snowed out of working in the garden last weekend (6" of wet spring snow on Thursday and then cold temperatures holding it until Sunday, but then everything was too muddy), I finally got some progress today in the garden.  I completed the bed I started last summer but never planted or finished and then I quickly got my cold weather crops planted in it since another 6-15" is forecast for Sunday.  I'll do my best to get my new bed at least partially finished tomorrow so I can get planting, but I'll need at least another two trips to the nursery for soil. 

Here's today's completion of my lower bed. 

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2926/13789186793_377caf8888_b.jpg)

The steps are new and this is the first time I've run a terrace all the way to the fence.  I found that by not doing that I was getting water running down my path and this way it won't go to waste.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on April 11, 2014, 08:00:40 PM
Where are you getting all these rocks?

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 11, 2014, 08:05:03 PM
Where are you getting all these rocks?

Cedar
Dig down about 6".  I have about a foot to 18" of rocky soil before I hit bedrock.  That accounted for about 30-40% just digging the bed.  The remainder are gathered from the surface on the rest of the property.  Thus, my need to import top soil or make my own with manure and wood chips.

Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Nicodemus on April 12, 2014, 08:06:16 PM
You're a powerhouse, endurance.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 12, 2014, 08:46:11 PM
Today was ridiculous.  I was shoveling and hauling dirt by 9:00am, worked until 4:10 when I got paged to a vehicle over the edge and had to take five trips up and down that godforsaken hill, the last one hauling the patient.  After the call I had to go back out to the garden to finish planting before the 6-15" of snow arrives overnight.  I hurt all over.  Just popped some aspirin and about to pop open a cold one as soon as my wife gets home with dinner.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7171/13810901783_6fa73aab7a_c.jpg)
That's the first load (1 yard).

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3768/13810927465_8f7941676d_c.jpg)
Second load raked in.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7005/13810895875_79e3324ccc_b.jpg)
Ready for planting.

(https://scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.0-9/1239634_862253130466911_8140111809806558228_n.jpg)
My unplanned interruption.  There's no way to share just how steep that hill was.  Gawd, just looking at it makes me hurt...and I hurt pretty bad right now.

Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on April 12, 2014, 08:52:25 PM
I have a pretty good idea how steep that hill is from taking lots of pics and the hill not looking as steep in the pic as it does in person. Newbie UHaul driver? At least it didn't roll. That snow on the treeline?

Think of it as PT!!!
And your garden is looking lovely. Are you reusing the raised beds?

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 12, 2014, 09:27:10 PM
I have a pretty good idea how steep that hill is from taking lots of pics and the hill not looking as steep in the pic as it does in person. Newbie UHaul driver? At least it didn't roll. That snow on the treeline?

Think of it as PT!!!
And your garden is looking lovely. Are you reusing the raised beds?

Cedar
Amazed it didn't roll. We had to stabilize before we could remove the patient.  Probably fell asleep at the wheel and somehow split the gap between the guard rail and the hillside.  And yes, that's snow.  Our last snow was a week ago last Thursday, but big snow is on its way.

The boxes are for potatoes, which must go in next.  I still need to clear a spot for them and get some dirt... maybe.  What do you think about trying to grow them in just wood chips (1/4") and aged (two seasons old) horse manure?  I thought about doing one box as an experiment this year.  I have more of those two things than I have dirt around here and while $35 a yard for planter mix is reasonable, it's not free.  The boxes use around a half yard and last year I had them where the new bed I just built is. 

Gawd I'm tired... but have a pretty nice little buzz going now, so complaints.  I think the aspirin is starting to kick in, too.  I have an offer to go jeeping tomorrow, something I love doing, but I just might be too tired to join them.  We shall see.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on April 12, 2014, 09:30:59 PM
Can you get straw? Do you have a high amount of rodents? And I have grown spuds in 6" dirt below the seed potatoes, then 6' dirt over the top, then the rest of the 3 feet in pine or fir shavings. Nice clean potatoes.

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 12, 2014, 09:43:52 PM
Can you get straw? Do you have a high amount of rodents? And I have grown spuds in 6" dirt below the seed potatoes, then 6' dirt over the top, then the rest of the 3 feet in pine or fir shavings. Nice clean potatoes.

Cedar
I definitely have a vole problem I'm working on getting under control, so yes, I have a problem.  The last time I used just the garden mix it was a little clay-y for the potatoes and while I still got good production, I think I'll mix in some mulch just to keep things a little looser for harvest time.  I'm hoping to help my neighbor with the rough cut wood with one of his projects soon so I can get more wood for more boxes.  I'm hoping to barter some of my taters this year for eggs, so I need more surplus than the last two years.
Title: April 19, 2014
Post by: endurance on April 19, 2014, 05:31:33 PM
Just a little bit of work in the last few days.  I was making mulch today for top dressing my annuals I planted in the last couple weeks when I got rained out.  I'm not complaining one bit, I'll always take the moisture.  I did notice the valve on one of my IBC totes is shot and leaking a steady drip, so that's something I'll have to get fixed asap or I risk losing the 150 gallons (just from the loafing shed alone) I've already collected off the last two snow storms.

My new Director of Insect Management was on the clock Friday:
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7275/13917764326_cf819416c7_c.jpg)

I'm not certain, but I'm thinking this is quinoa:
(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2910/13917746662_229e8d8594_c.jpg)
(on the left, obviously everything else in the picture is strawberry plants)

Working on the irrigation for my new bed.  The first 20' were through an established bed and went so easy, the last 10' was through enough rock to build another 5' long rock wall. ::)  The joys of my property.
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7020/13917730732_b6c145593c_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on April 19, 2014, 06:15:19 PM
What is your little reptilian friend.

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 19, 2014, 06:36:49 PM
What is your little reptilian friend.

Cedar
I don't really know.  This was his first appearance and I haven't had a chance to look him up.  I had three large garter-like snakes in the garden this morning.  Unfortunately the dogs got to one of them before I had the chance to shoo them away.  One is getting large enough that it might have an impact on my mouse and vole population, too.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on April 19, 2014, 06:48:02 PM
impact on my mouse and vole population, too.

King Rat Snakes!!! You got any there? Harmess to people, but scary looking.. and eats alot of rodents.

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 19, 2014, 06:52:25 PM
King Rat Snakes!!! You got any there? Harmess to people, but scary looking.. and eats alot of rodents.

Cedar
Not currently, but given enough time I'm sure some will move into the area.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 21, 2014, 01:51:38 PM
What is your little reptilian friend.

Cedar
Near as I can figure, it's an Ornate Tree Lizard.  However, it would appear to be outside its range if it is, but that's the only critter native to Colorado that looks remotely close.  http://www.reptilesofcolorado.com/lizards-of-colorado.html (http://www.reptilesofcolorado.com/lizards-of-colorado.html)

It should be a western slope critter and I'm on the Front Range, so it's not that far out of range.  It's honestly the first lizard I can recall seeing on the Front Range, but that doesn't mean much.  My memory isn't what it used to be. ;)
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: David in MN on April 21, 2014, 02:55:10 PM
I love your use of rock. Elegant and functional. My former mason buddies would call me a "woodpecker" now but as a guy who has put in fountains, facades, and Lord knows how many foundations, nice work. Something to aspire to.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 21, 2014, 03:31:07 PM
I love your use of rock. Elegant and functional. My former mason buddies would call me a "woodpecker" now but as a guy who has put in fountains, facades, and Lord knows how many foundations, nice work. Something to aspire to.
My inspiration came from riding in the Peak District in the UK and seeing miles and miles of stone walls to delineate property lines and pastures for as far as the eye could see.  Over the centuries, the local farmers would clean up their fields and pile rocks along their property lines and eventually it would create these formidable fences. 

(http://www.natcoalson.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Nat-Coalson-Peak-District-130615-244-350px.jpg)

Of course my handy work pales in comparison to their craftsmanship, but it really is just a utilitarian solution to a real-world pair of problems.  Too much rock for a garden and the need for retaining wall material to build terraces.  If I had abundant logs, I'd make them out of wood.  The fact that I've dry-stacked the walls gives me the flexibility to change them, run water lines under them, and repair them without machinery or expense.  Sure, once in a while a dog will jump onto the edge and I'll get a minor rock slide, but in five minute's time I have it all fixed up and no harm, no foul.  It also provides a home for snakes, lizards, and other critters along with serving to act as a thermal sink, absorbing the heat of the day and radiating it at night.

Would I rather have 36" deep rich, black topsoil with 30-40" of precipitation a year?  Sure, but every area has its benefits and pitfalls.  For me, having the ability to grow lettuce throughout the summer without it bolting is a serious plus.  Growing potatoes by the bushel is another plus.  Living in a place that has 300+ sunny days a year is a huge plus.  Never getting over 85F or below -18F in an average year is nice, too.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: cohutt on April 21, 2014, 07:06:41 PM
What is your little reptilian friend.

Cedar

A young male plateau lizard <<< my guess

Since i put in the pond and was careful to keep a lot of cover around the garden, my lizard and frog population has exploded.  Lots of anole and skinks plus an actively and noisily breeding tree frog and toad population.  They are out there raising the roof as I type this.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on April 21, 2014, 07:56:03 PM
I like Blue Tongued Skinks.. never seen another kind, but me and SP would probably like them too.

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 21, 2014, 08:10:23 PM
A young male plateau lizard <<< my guess

...
That was my original thought, but that means he's even further out of his range by many hundreds of miles.  I think I'll send the pic to my ex.  She was a wildlife biologist and might have a better clue than me.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: cohutt on April 21, 2014, 08:17:06 PM
We all get lost once in every once in a while ;)

Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 21, 2014, 08:28:42 PM
We all get lost once in every once in a while ;)
and we're both wrong!  According to my ex-pert it's a Western Fence Lizard.  Right range, right pattern, right size.  Yay!
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 26, 2014, 07:28:49 PM
Finished off the new bed today, watering hydrant installed in the bed, used the soaker hoses for about a half hour, and gave away about 40 strawberry plants to friends and neighbors trying to re-establish my walkways in some of my older beds.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5327/14042278543_537a533399_c.jpg)

I still need to get out there with a tape measure and officially measure my new bed space.  I'm curious how many square feet I have under cultivation now. 

I also chipped/shredded up over a half yard of aged manure and wood chips for soil amendments, mulch and for use in my potato boxes.  After watching a Charles Dowding video on No Dig gardening, I'm going to use straight manure and wood chips to grow my potatoes in.  I'm hoping I can avoid buying any more garden mix soil this year.  While it's great for getting a weed-free start, it's also time consuming to drive the 25 miles round-trip to the garden center and back.  Personally, I'd rather run my chipper for a couple hours getting rid of yard waste and horse manure than burning up time, gas and money driving.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on April 28, 2014, 08:30:50 PM
At second glance, while doing a little light watering tonight I noticed that my peach tree that lost its top last fall when an early wet, heavy snow broke it, I noticed that it's probably dead.  No sign of any buds and the branches look rather desiccated and brittle.  While it is a loss, I have several trees already ordered from earlier this winter that will arrive in a few weeks and rather than putting them in the new beds, I'll just stick with keeping the new beds in veggies and shrubs and replace what I lost.  So far it's looking like I'll be replacing a plum that died last summer due to vole issues (which appear to be gone so far.  Thank you Mr. snake), a hawthorne that struggled last summer, a filbert (one of seven planted), and a the plum.  Considering how much is doing well, I have little to complain about. 
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: cohutt on April 30, 2014, 04:24:53 AM
You never know until mid spring do you?
I've lost some random things due to the freeze here. It is hard to tell until things should be "awake" with the spring, but even then some I thought gone have put out new growth just in last few days.  It was so much colder here this past winter vs the previous 2 years it is easy to get impatient and not give the wounded enough chance to come back.
Some things that are apparently never going to wake up include a few herbs mainly: the row of ginger lily that was off to such a good start last year, one of my rosemary bushes, a nice clump of lavender, one of 3 Russian sage plants plus scattered perennials. 
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Morgan96 on April 30, 2014, 04:51:08 AM
You never know until mid spring do you?
I've lost some random things due to the freeze here. It is hard to tell until things should be "awake" with the spring, but even then some I thought gone have put out new growth just in last few days.  It was so much colder here this past winter vs the previous 2 years it is easy to get impatient and not give the wounded enough chance to come back.
Some things that are apparently never going to wake up include a few herbs mainly: the row of ginger lily that was off to such a good start last year, one of my rosemary bushes, a nice clump of lavender, one of 3 Russian sage plants plus scattered perennials.

We count ourselves lucky that the Russian sage made it through.  Great plants for summertime blooms and resulting bee visitors.   
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: busymomx3 on May 05, 2014, 03:30:01 PM
Wow that is a lot of impressive work. 
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on May 05, 2014, 04:11:46 PM
Wow that is a lot of impressive work.
It's a labor of love.  I flattened out a spot for my 'tater boxes and started filling the boxes with manure and wood, but ran out of what I'd cached, so I couldn't get everything planted over the weekend.  I started making more but didn't have the time to finish the fill.  Pics to follow when completed.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on May 11, 2014, 10:56:15 AM
I'm writing this after a busy week in the garden knowing that today's snow was coming.  The forecast says 10-20 inches, but I'll believe it when I see it.  Since so far the only stuff I've put in is cold hardy stuff like lettuce, kale, spinach, beets, carrots, and peas, I think the moisture will do more good than harm.

I finished my potato beds on Thursday.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7455/14148537664_64ac2f4474_c.jpg)
laid down about 4-6" of aged manure and wood chips run through my chipper/shredder, put in the potatoes, tossed on a bunch of comfrey (eventually all beds were covered completely), and put in the leaky hose. 

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2916/13961735498_14e3f64763_c.jpg)
after that I tossed on about 6-8" of loose manure and wood chips. 

Why did I do what I did?  Potatoes are an experiment every year for me.  I'm always looking for ways to get good production with minimal expense in my dry climate with very little soil.  My first year I grew them in a bed that was filled with local soils mixed with gardener's mix from my local nursery.  The next year I used these same boxes with nothing but gardener's mix and had great production, but buying $35 worth of soil and burning up 40 minutes of gas for my truck to get 70 pounds of potatoes isn't exactly cost effective.  The next year I dug more traditional rows, but they were hard to keep wet and my production was about a third of the previous year despite having more yard space consumed by them.  So this year I'm using a soil-medium that took me about two gallons of gasoline running my chipper/shredder for about 2-3 hours. 

I also didn't want to water the surface where I get a ton of evaporation, I'm short on wood to mulch this year, but long on manure, so why not just mulch with what is effectively, two to three shovel loads of 18-24 month old manure to one shovel load of course wood chips (made into fine wood chips after doing through my machine).  The ratio was dictated by how wet my manure was.  It was wet enough to pack up like clay in the discharge screen, so without running some course woodchips through to beat the screen into submission it would inevitably clog up and seize the drive belt.  I abuse the hell out of my chipper, but it's my only way to make soil cheaply and on season four, it's doing alright.

The new bed is looking good.  About half is planted in early season stuff, the rest will wait until my last frost, May 21 or so.
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7430/13961711489_3e128bf5e7_c.jpg)

Otherwise, things are greening up nicely and at the moment are actually covered in white.
(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2904/13961737730_875b696485_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: David in MN on May 11, 2014, 11:14:10 AM
I can't look at strawberry plants without salivating. Mine are just starting to perk up. Good luck with the snow!
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on May 11, 2014, 02:07:41 PM
I cannot imagine snow this time of the year. Even in Canada where I was, it did not generally snow now.

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Chemsoldier on May 11, 2014, 02:31:09 PM
I cannot imagine snow this time of the year. Even in Canada where I was, it did not generally snow now.

Cedar
It doesnt generally, though it is not unknown apparently.  It reached 80 a few days ago in the Springs.  Stupid snow.  On mother's day no less.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on May 11, 2014, 03:26:55 PM
I cannot imagine snow this time of the year. Even in Canada where I was, it did not generally snow now.

Cedar
Somewhere in an old photo album I have a picture of me with a hand-written sign that says, May 22, 197? standing on the porch with 6" of snow around me.  My dad took the picture to show my mom every time she said it never snowed this late... every single year.

It's not the latitude, it's the altitude.  What everyone else gets as spring showers, we get as snow when the conditions line up just right.  ...which seems to be about 4-5 times after the first rains start in April.  Usually by June 6 or so we're completely safe from snow where I'm at, but another 2,000' higher things are very different.  I've seen 4-6" of snow on the 4th of July in Summit County, CO.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: David in MN on May 11, 2014, 04:14:18 PM
I joke with my wife that the only months we're pretty sure won't have snow are June, July, and August. Snow in May isn't really that rare.

I've been begging my wife to move south for years. For those that don't know, Minneapolis is considerably colder than Moscow. Most Canadians live in a warmer climate than Minnesota (coasts).
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on May 12, 2014, 04:19:22 PM
Woke up this morning to 12" of wet, heavy snow.  I've very grateful nothing was fully leafed out yet our I would have certainly have some branch breakage.  Of course the worst comes tonight.  The forecast is for temperatures in the upper-teens tonight and then warming into the 70s by this weekend.  There's buds on all my trees and I have no real way to keep them warm, so I'm hoping I don't lose any budding blossoms (and thus my fruit production for the year). 
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on May 19, 2014, 09:41:22 AM
I just can't believe how we the soil is right now and how deep that moisture goes.  This is awesome!  I did some more mulching in various spots around the garden, ordered another 25 asparagus crowns, planted my Raintree Nursery order that finally came it.  I can't recall the exact count, but it included two late-blooming peach trees, yellow raspberries, salmonberries, and some all-field berries.  Given the moisture in the ground, they should do great!

Looking at the forecast for the next week it looks like we're past our last frost, so next up, getting the non-frost tolerant stuff in the ground.  Looks like it's time for another trip to harbor freight for leaky hose.  I also need to make some more short sections of hose to connect the leaky hose.  I bought a bunch of hose ends last year and I have a couple hoses that have bad spots in them, so it'll just take some time to put them together this week.  The good news is there's a good chance of rain mid-week, so there's no rush to get it done ASAP.

I put in a small bed (about 2'x3') along the fence just for snap peas.  It's a spot that gets good morning sun, but almost no sun after 1pm, so I should get a good, long production cycle out of the bed.  It wasn't the easiest digging and took bringing in lots of soil mix and dirt from other areas of the garden, but if you ever wanted to see where all my rock for my walls comes from, here's a hint:

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5273/14035893659_8cf1899c86_c.jpg)
One pile of rocks...

For one little bed (dug to about 12-18"):

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2922/14035942730_a35dd82d2a_c.jpg)

In any case, peas planted, but I still need to set up drip watering for them.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on May 27, 2014, 02:20:40 PM
It's been a very wet week.  About 2.5" of rain in six days at my place.  This follows over 1 1/4" of moisture from the snow the preceding week.  The garden is thriving right now with all sorts of things popping up.

I made it out to Krendl's place with ChemSoldier over the weekend and really enjoyed the tour.  He has a fantastic piece of land to play with and has done a lot of really cool things.  It's like a giant laboratory.  His timing couldn't be better given how wet we've been so far this spring and with the forecast for an El Nino cycle starting in the fall (which means lots of snow for us for a while).  I'm also very grateful as Krendl was kind enough to give me a few bare root hazelnut and seaberries to put in the ground.  I came straight home and put them in the ground already.

I broke ground on another climber bed for peas Monday, but due to other pressing projects (new railing on the deck), I wasn't able to get it completed.  I should be able to finish it by Thursday, which is kind of my self-imposed deadline with the heat and dryness of summer right around the corner.  It's an afternoon shaded spot so it should be ok, but I think any later and I just won't have a chance with peas.

I was going to do more potatoes but I think I'm out of time with them.  Instead, now I'm thinking about starting a new diversion ditch to pull storm water into the garden and possibly build a new water retention area (300 gallon horse trough I might sink into the ground that I could pump out of).  Other projects on my radar include adding a high pressure water line for the garden so I can run more circuits at one time and maintain pressure, putting in the new Harbor Freight 920GPH pump so I can draw water out of my underground IBC Totes and send it out to the garden (my current pump is going bad and only rated at 4.9GPM), and getting another two IBC totes for water storage on the property.  That would bring me up to 1650 gallons, which is approaching a month's worth of watering based on last year's calculations during the early (dry) summer.  Additionally, I have at least three drip irrigation projects that need completion... if/when I get around to them.  They save a ton of work in the long run, but they take a lot of time to set up in the first place.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on May 29, 2014, 09:45:49 PM
Things are definitely greening up around here.  My asparagus has shot up over three feet in a couple weeks with the recent moisture.

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3693/14292041361_e0d6125235_c.jpg)

My rhubarb is out of control!

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3705/14272248846_cbbff3b85e_c.jpg)

My greens are just starting to be identifiable, my potatoes are just breaking through, and my first bed of peas is starting to show up.  It won't be long now until things really start thriving.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on May 29, 2014, 09:47:01 PM
Your rhubarb and borage are nuts. I STILL don't have anything in the ground yet.

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: David in MN on May 30, 2014, 06:17:26 AM
I feel the pain too. Gardening forums are like spurs sometimes. Maybe everything goes in today.

Nice stuff, Endurance. Good inspiration.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on June 05, 2014, 06:02:58 PM
Oh hail no.

Yep, some pretty big stuff hit today, about 1/2-3/4" at largest but it could have been a lot worse.  It was a very fast moving storm and we were on the very edge, so we didn't take the worst of it. 

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5194/14354645154_cf9f589836_c.jpg)

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3901/14332408146_c16f31d895_c.jpg)
My potatoes hardly noticed at all.  Of course they've only started to come up in the last week or so, so they make small targets at this time of year.

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2920/14168893868_960f96da5b_c.jpg)
The veggie bed looks pretty bad from this angle, but again, the short duration of the storm and the small size of the plants might have saved the day.

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3903/14375721563_ac99358951_c.jpg)
Most of the greens that are coming up don't look very beat up at all.  Whew!

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3855/14168909268_53ee227957_c.jpg)
Some holes in some leaves, some of my asparagus was broken off, but overall, it could have been a lot worse.

I was feeding the horses about five minutes before the storm and heard a very odd noise coming through the trees.  Like approaching wind, but different enough to key me in to something unusual happening.  After feeding, I went out to the garden and within a couple minutes the wind picked up and I heard a loud report from the neighbor's steel roof.  A few seconds later I heard a similar sound come from another neighbor's roof.  At that point I'd figured out that it was large hail and ran for the cars so I could get them in the garage.  As I got out of the second car I got zinged by a hail stone between the shoulder blades and decided that staying in the garage rather than going out and around the house to get inside was probably the best move.  I waited it out, only about 7-8 minutes and returned to two dogs cowering under the kitchen table.

All's well now.  The horses went a bit wild, but from what I can tell, no injuries and no shoes thrown.  The smart one hunkered in his shelter most of the time.  The other one was vying for a darwin award. ::)
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on June 05, 2014, 06:15:46 PM
It could have been A Lot worse.  This is about seven miles from my house.

(http://media.thedenverchannel.com/photo/2014/06/05/EvergreenHail2_1402013036183_5970590_ver1.0_640_480.jpg)
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: AvenueQ on June 06, 2014, 06:44:23 AM
Jeez, like my garden needs any more hail this year! Not sure if it got hit, might've missed it since we only got rain at the house. It's been a hell of a spring for hail along the front range.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on June 09, 2014, 10:44:32 AM
You can't be serious...

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3916/14381150034_11c380c6eb_c.jpg)

Yep, that's ice on my rear window this morning.  After getting a half inch of rain last night, we woke to ice on the deck and car windshields.  Yay! 

I went out to the garden this morning and it didn't look like anything had frost on it.  The ground might have held enough warmth to prevent actual freezing.  We shall see.  When I get home tonight I'll see how things look.  With all the rain we've received in the last week, I'm hoping I'll see a thriving garden and now frost-borne devastation. 
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: cohutt on June 14, 2014, 07:20:19 AM
lol. Hailstorms sound like a herd of 100,000 squirrels racing towards you through the woods.

Same sort of damage here in the last one to roll through. all the large leafed plants were unfazed except for a clean hole punched through multiple leaves. 
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on June 19, 2014, 01:16:01 PM
My perennials are thriving, my veggies are getting by, my taters are underway.

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2910/14456703281_55fee3660e_c.jpg)
In the foreground, Valerian (three plants), Thin-leaf Huckleberry, HoneyCrisp Apple, and as you go to the right there's a Red Delicious Apple

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5474/14273712817_e65086e395_h.jpg)
Viewed from below, potato boxes on the right, SunChokes just below the first wall, my veggie garden in the near bed to the right.

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2923/14437070806_396f1a8385_c.jpg)
Thriving Arnica, Red Currants, Strawberries, Comfrey, Bugleweed, Siberian Pea Shrub, Pear tree...

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3900/14273472489_f8350a13fb_c.jpg)
Sugar Snap Peas getting underway with a struggling All Field Berry and new raspberry getting started.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5499/14273525078_328c3a5dde_c.jpg)
One of my new cold-hardy peach trees just starting to leaf out with my struggling veggies in the background.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: d3nni5 on June 20, 2014, 03:22:04 PM
I like the peach tree.   Been thinking about getting one of those myself.   You have a great looking garden!
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on June 24, 2014, 04:51:18 PM
I like the peach tree.   Been thinking about getting one of those myself.   You have a great looking garden!
Mine are from Raintree Nursery, but I hear there's a place in Maine that specializes in cold weather, late budding varieties of fruit trees.  I haven't located them yet, but I plan on finding them by next ordering season (March-April).  One of the two peaches I planted this year still hasn't put out leaves.  I'm starting to get a bit worried about it.  The soil and location I have it in is one of the best places in the garden, so I'm not sure why it's not thriving.

My Valerian is flowering.  A subtle scent, but very pleasant.

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2919/14518228403_05cef1f191_c.jpg)
As mentioned in another thread, I planted four Valerians, one in 2012 and three last year.  They're all thriving, even in my worst soil with way too much competition around it.  It seems to be relatively drought tolerant (survived last summer), full sun tolerant, and shade tolerant.  I'm actually thinking of harvesting some roots next spring to plant more (never got any seed to take in 2011 or 2012 when I planted) and putting it in areas where I want to create more shade for my plants that can't take full sun, but won't have tree cover for years.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: AvenueQ on June 24, 2014, 07:02:26 PM
My Valerian is flowering.  A subtle scent, but very pleasant.

Really? 'Cause the scent that comes out of the bottle of valerian pills I have is definitely not subtle :o
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on June 24, 2014, 07:12:18 PM
How did I miss you had snow?!?!? Yikes! Other than that, it is looking nice in the other photos.

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on June 24, 2014, 10:04:36 PM
Really? 'Cause the scent that comes out of the bottle of valerian pills I have is definitely not subtle :o
The valerian pills are made from the roots, not the flowers. ;)

And that's not snow, Cedar, it's hail on the roads and ice scraped off my car window. 
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on June 24, 2014, 10:24:34 PM
And that's not snow, Cedar, it's hail on the roads and ice scraped off my car window.

That is even worse. I have braved a hail storm in Canada to put umbrellas over my MUST SURVIVE tomato plants.

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: annmedford on June 25, 2014, 06:32:14 AM
Well, it's 24F outside right now and it snowed five inches, but I decided to get my order in on some plants to be delivered May 21 (last frost date).

(http://i.imgur.com/SiGJ0pk.png)

The variety of peach is a late blooming cold hardy one that might prevent losing the harvest like last year to a late frost.  I'm finally dialing in the needs of the All Field Berries over the last two years and know that they need to get in some of my moister/shadier spots to thrive.  I wanted to try some yellow raspberries this year since I have had a lot of bird loss in years past and I've heard the birds aren't as keen on the yellow ones.  I love currants, they're nitrogen fixers, too, and have done really well on my property so far.  And Salmonberry is new.  Anyone who's grown them before, please let me know if you have any recommendations on where to plant them.
We have a contender peach and it does great for us. We are homesteading in North central Maine cool side of zone 5, we have it planted so that it has good sun exposure but some protection from the cold west winter winds. Nothing like a sun ripened peach warm off the tree. I think I've never had a real peach until off our tree. yum. Currants do reat for us too also gooseberries.
Currants and especially gooseberries can fruit with some shade but perfer sun.
anything I can do to help.. let me know!
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: annmedford on June 25, 2014, 06:41:18 AM
The boxes are for potatoes, which must go in next.  I still need to clear a spot for them and get some dirt... maybe.  What do you think about trying to grow them in just wood chips (1/4") and aged (two seasons old) horse manure?  I thought about doing one box as an experiment this year.  I have more of those two things than I have dirt around here and while $35 a yard for planter mix is reasonable, it's not free.  The boxes use around a half yard and last year I had them where the new bed I just built is. 

We've put soil at he bottom of the box for potatoes, plopped the seed potatoes down and uses sawdust/composted critter manure-bedding for the filling, works a treat and the mix becomes even better for next year.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: annmedford on June 25, 2014, 06:51:14 AM
Mine are from Raintree Nursery, but  . (hear there's a place in Maine that specializes in cold weather, late budding varieties of fruit trees.  I haven't located them yet, but I plan on finding them by next ordering season (March-April

I believe you mean FEDCO seeds, they are localish to me in Maine...(80 miles)
They are fabulous, reasonable, dependable, and are very useful to the cooler climate permaculturist (no affiliation, just a lond time customer)
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on June 29, 2014, 02:15:15 PM
Thanks, Ann for the information and support.  It's been a great year so far with amazing moisture. 

I didn't start watering until just a few weeks ago and even now it's far less than years past.  My perennial beds are doing well without much water at all (mainly just need water on the echinecea and strawberries near the edges, everything else seems do be doing well), but the veggies are needing more and more water as the summer gets hotter.  I need to get some more mulch down around my veggies soon.  I mulched my potatoes last night with about 6" of mostly horse manure that had run through my chipper/shredder (some wood chips, too).

I'm essentially out of storage rain water and hoping watering restrictions don't kick in anytime soon.  We could use some more significant rainfall.  The storms we've been getting lately moisten the very top layer of mulch or soil, but generally do nothing to contribute to my water storage (1/10th inch that pretty much gets absorbed or evaporates off the shingles).  We could use a good soaking rain before the 4th so fires won't become a problem.

Thanks to Angus's post on mapping, I finally got the chance to calculate the square footage I actually have under cultivation.  I eyeballed it at about 2,000 square feet this year, but based on this, I was off significantly.  Looks like right around 1,400.

(http://i.imgur.com/kjjFS8d.png)
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Chemsoldier on June 29, 2014, 02:36:27 PM
Sorry you are not getting more rain up your way Endurance.   We got a decent soaker around Cheyenne Mountain Thursday or so, but on my side of the springs it just sprinkled.  Schizophrenic weather..

Now we are dry as a bone and windy. Red Flag warning at mid-day today.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on June 29, 2014, 03:47:19 PM
Sorry you are not getting more rain up your way Endurance.   We got a decent soaker around Cheyenne Mountain Thursday or so, but on my side of the springs it just sprinkled.  Schizophrenic weather..

Now we are dry as a bone and windy. Red Flag warning at mid-day today.
Our 4th plans are contingent on things staying pretty ideal.  Fireworks just might be cancelled.  Fortunately we're staying in reasonable relative humidities, but this wind isn't helping one bit.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on June 30, 2014, 12:24:03 AM
Crummy on the fire watch guys.. if I could have sent you some rain I would have.

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on July 08, 2014, 03:29:45 PM
Crummy on the fire watch guys.. if I could have sent you some rain I would have.

Cedar
We got super lucky and got dumped on for about an hour before we lit off the fireworks.  5/8" of rain in just over an hour.  Everything was soaked when the first fuse was lit.  It saved our bacon!  As it was, I was serving as a division supervisor with two brush trucks and five person hand crew and the 11 of us were running our butts off just putting out smoldering embers.  Had it been dry, well, I don't want to talk about it.

Oh, and after the big rain my other new peach tree finally started leafing out!  I really thought it was dead for a while, but apparently it's just a very late bloomer.  Hopefully there's enough summer remaining to build up the energy it'll need to make it through the winter.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: d3nni5 on July 08, 2014, 04:46:40 PM
Oh, and after the big rain my other new peach tree finally started leafing out!  I really thought it was dead for a while, but apparently it's just a very late bloomer.  Hopefully there's enough summer remaining to build up the energy it'll need to make it through the winter.

Cool, I dunno if i can grow one here in WV, but I'm going to try next year i think.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on July 13, 2014, 10:26:22 AM
RAIN!!!

Ok, as if the 4th of July 5/8" wasn't great, this week is incredible for rain, albeit some has come too much all at once. 

For instance, this:

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3908/14444812990_4b03ea7f3e.jpg)

All that came in 45 minutes!  I was away on a call (standing outside in a t-shirt, of course) and came home to a swale that overflowed for the first time ever.

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3908/14444812990_4b03ea7f3e.jpg)
 
No harm done, as it drained into another terrace, which filled, then spilled over the rock wall with no damage.  No, this wasn't by design.  It was designed to spill out the ends, but as I've tweaked some things (cinderblocks to keep rabbits from getting under the fence, added a water diversion ditch to collect more water) I've made the ends a bit too high.  I'll see what I can come up with for a solution, but given this is the first time I've had a spill over, I'm not that concerned.  It only spilled over for a few minutes before the rain subsided and a storm like this only comes once every few years. 

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3895/14445076277_011923cdcf_c.jpg)
As the water soaks in...

I'm also collecting soil in the swale

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3853/14444823810_ee5aa0d497_z.jpg)
My dog ball pass-thru has filled with soil.  Guess that's just more for the next bed. :D
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on July 13, 2014, 10:38:25 AM
Were you able to catch and storewater? And you might move your chair to higher ground... just sayin.  ;)

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on July 13, 2014, 12:53:00 PM
Were you able to catch and storewater? And you might move your chair to higher ground... just sayin.  ;)

Cedar
I captured about 400 gallons this week.  As always, it's a matter of capacity and how much gutter I have.  I was watching it just pour off one of my eaves and shaking my head.  One 30' gutter would have added probably 200 gallons on that storm.  That said, it probably would have maxed out every tank I have.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Nicodemus on July 14, 2014, 04:13:51 PM
And you might move your chair to higher ground... just sayin.  ;)

He got confused. He figured if a Hugel Bed did so well in his area that a Hugel Chair would work as well.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on July 14, 2014, 04:17:03 PM
He got confused. He figured if a Hugel Bed did so well in his area that a Hugel Chair would work as well.
Actually, I'd just sprinkled chia seeds on the chair in my effort to create the first-ever Chia Pet Chair. ;D

It's the one spot in my garden that's always shaded after work, so that's where I unwind in the evening.

Oh, and I've received 7/8" of rain in the last two days, so the monsoon continues.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: Cedar on July 14, 2014, 07:05:11 PM
Actually, I'd just sprinkled chia seeds on the chair in my effort to create the first-ever Chia Pet Chair. ;D

Not seriously?  :rofl:

Cedar
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on August 26, 2014, 02:19:56 PM
It's been a good year, but it sounds like it's all ending right now.  My wife just called and we're getting hammered with 3/4"-1" hail and it's been going on for at least 10 minutes. 

Such is life.  All I can do is hope the roof is undamaged and there's no real damage to the homestead.
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: d3nni5 on August 27, 2014, 03:22:12 PM
It's been a good year, but it sounds like it's all ending right now.  My wife just called and we're getting hammered with 3/4"-1" hail and it's been going on for at least 10 minutes. 

Such is life.  All I can do is hope the roof is undamaged and there's no real damage to the homestead.

How did this turn out?   Any hail damage?  Garden make it through?
Title: Re: Endurance Garden 2014
Post by: endurance on August 27, 2014, 03:41:52 PM
How did this turn out?   Any hail damage?  Garden make it through?
Actually, I was surprised at how well things 'endured' the storm.  Yes, my comfrey is shredded and so is my Rhubarb, but pretty much everything else looks like it should make it.  The zucchini might struggle with some torn leaves, but I was getting sick of it anyway.   ;)

I have pics to post as soon as I get a chance to upload.

Overall, not bad.