Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 1, 2008

Well, today was a traditional fall day.  Off and on rain, overcast skies, and tons of wind.  Of course we were moving most of the day.  Didn't get as much done as I'd hoped, but all of us were exhausted afterwards, so it was all good. 

When I got home, I watered the garden.  I didn't see too much to do out there so all I really did was take update pictures from under my hoop covers.

I'll start with my lettuce.  The squares that just aren't growing nearly fast enough.  Next year I definitely plant more than one square per variety.  Who knew.  Still, they look good, if not a bit stingy on their growth.

You can see the leaves look tasty.  If I harvested them now I'm sure they'd taste awesome.  Unfortunately I could really only get one meal out of them.  And then I'm not sure they'd have enough left to grow again.  Even if they did, how long would it take?  So I am going to wait longer.

Thankfully, I may not have to wait until next fall to plant more squares of lettuce.  As you can see, the October succession plantings are sprouting now.

I've got tons of viable lettuce seedlings of each variety.  I'm going to wait until they grow their first true leaves before I pull them and replant them in adjacent squares.  I've definitely got the room.  That way, if Steve Solomon is right, come December and January, I'll have decent lettuce.  Just later than I'd hoped.  Keep your fingers crossed that they transplant well and grow like the book said.  Hehe.

Speaking of slow growth, but growth of some kind, here are the very last plantings of carrots way back when.  Oh my goodness they've taken a while.  But contrary to what I've since read, they are actually growing in this fall weather, rather than not at all.

When I last lookd at them a week ago, they just had their firs leaves, now they've almost all got their first true leaves.  I'm so proud of the little guys, hehe.  The rest of my carrots are doing very well. I'm still excited to see just how the ones I thinned/transplanted do.  I may very we have stubby carrots since I broke the root vs. pulling the long thin one that grows into a carrot.  We'll see.  I've got nothing to lose.

The middle bed (#2) is doing far better I'd say.  The spinach is doing as well as ever.  Boy does it like this weather.  Unfortunately so do the leaf miners.  No biggie.  So far at least they haven't infested too badly and I can cut away what they've eaten. 

I'm happy that even the succession plantings (replants of bare spots) are doing well.  They're a big winner this season despite the continued bug problems.  I don't know if you can pic it out, but on the far left, there's actually a pea plant growing.  I must have dropped a seed when I was planting the trellis line.  Why THAT seed decided to grow when dozens of his compatriots didn't, I'll never know. I don't think I'll risk transplanting it since the rest of the trellis squares are pretty full.  Or full enough.

While they're only a foot tall, I found my first flower today!  Of course I want to see dozens and dozens of flowers, but at least I know they're growing in this climate.  Sure I should have planted sooner.  Next year I'll do that.  But for now I'm just hoping for the best.

What you don't see really is all the mushrooms that continue to grow like crazy.  I swear I didn't plant them. hehe.  I understand they're not bad for the garden, so I just dead head them whenever I can reach them.  Ah, the joys of PNW gardening.

Well, tomorrow was initially going to be another moving day, but my folks aren't ready for us to move more stuff, so my brother called it a family day.  Not sure what we'll do. I really want to spend some time with my wife and kids.  You know, let them know that daddy is still alive.  Although theres a 70% chance of rain tomorrow.  I might consider trying for a fall hike.  I'm sure my wife will think I'm crazy, but I really want to keep my kids liking to hike.  Probably won't, but we'll do something fun.

Maybe I'll get a chance to clean out my SWCs.  The dirt will go nicely into the compost bin.  Speaking of that. My aunt has a yard waste container full of leaves for me.  The fall colors are so beautiful these days, but all I can think of is how beautiful they'd look in my compost bin.  Hehe EG and others have me salivating over loading the open bin full of leaves, a little compost and tons of coffee grounds.  Maybe I'll spend some time doing that tomorrow.  We'll see.

Lastly, I can't believe I haven't mentioned this.  At work we've always had a recycling container for glass and cans, and of course for paper.  But about a year ago, our building has decided to be "green".  I know, it's the "in" thing to do, but for those of us serious about it, we'll take anything we can get.  So about a month ago, these showed up in the break rooms.

Seems even the bags are compostable.  They even posted these signs telling you just what you can put in there and what you can't.  Now I wouldn't compost bones and pizza boxes and the like, but Cedar Grove (if it is going there) is more set up to compost anything and everything.  Around our shop, paper towels are a big thing.  They're used for everything, and thrown away.  They're also clearly compostable.  So some of us made a sign to remind folks that paper towels are not garbage, and to compost them.  Unfortunately people are stubborn.  So the latest manuver in the battle is to move the compost bin closer to the door than the garbage can.  Men tend to use a paper towel to open the bathoom door on the way out, and then toss the towel in the trash in this break room.  Now the closest recepticle is the compost bin.  So far it's working.  Not perfectly, but it's better than it was, and that's all I can ask.  Hehe.  Some people.

Well that's it for me.  Time to hit the sack to get up with the kids and plan a fun day.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. It is nice to see compost bin springing up. A few cities around use have started handing out compost bins to residences and then they have a separate truck to pick them up.

    It is good not only for the environment but to help with the fact that we are running out of landfill space. I agree that people are stubborn, especially the ones that don't even recycle. I think to solve our waste problems it is going to have to have a cost associated with it. One thing everyone can understand is money, if a free compost and recycle bin is provided and then there is a 5 dollars levy per garbage back

  2. *oops, hit submit by accident

    5 dollar levy per garbage bag things will change fast!

    If compost & recycling is collected at the street almost all waste can be diverted from the landfill.

  3. Hi Rich,

    Any tips for dealing w/ the leaf miners? I've got some causing problems in the greenhouse.

    Also, have you considered trying the lettuce beds I've written about? I do cut and come again planting in these so don't feel bad about cutting down the young leaves. You could even move them indoors if it became too cold, but of course you'd need a spot for them.

    Also, glad to see the pea plant flower. I've got a planting of pea plants growing great in the greenhouse, but haven't spotted a flower yet. I've been worrying that they might not do anything.


  4. The garden crops look good Sinfonian! The lettuce and spinach are particularly nice looking.

  5. Dan: We've had curbside recycling and yard waste for years. What I found amazing was to have compost recycling in a commercial setting. It's cool! Now to convert others to use it.

    Sandy: Unfortunately nothing I've done kills the leaf miners. They are INSIDE the leaf so it's tough to get to them. The best thing I've found is to harvest the infected leaves first, and cut away the bad parts. Try not to leave any damaged leaves on the plants. It's not a great solution, but it's the best I can find. Good luck!

    DoubleD: Thanks! If only the lettuce would grow faster, hehe. Live and learn!

  6. I have never seen compost collection in a commerical setting before so yes it is good to see. The closest thing I have seen is in Algonquin they had bear proof bins for compostables at most stops in the park.

    We have yard waste collection as well but a few communities around use have green bins and they will literally pick up anything that will decompose. You can even put soiled diapers in the bin and then any plastic is screened out in the end product.

  7. I'm thrilled to see you have composting at work! We have it around here at the Redmond Software Giant too. I saw a stat that in the first month of campuswide composting, the amonth of trash (by weight) had been reduced in half. With the campus as huge as it is, that's a lot kept out of the landfill! Woot! We aren't allowed to compost bathroom papertowels, though, due to health concerns. However, the very same towels stock the kitchenettes, though, and those are fine to toss in the green bin. Go figure. Our biggest issue here is getting people to NOT toss recyclables in the composting bin. Blue bin for cans and glass, people! The composting microbes aren't that strong! ;)