Thursday, December 23, 2010

Weather data

Rainfall totals (inches) for this season, from Livermore Airport: Oct 0.75, Nov 1.66, Dec (thru 23rd) 2.93.
Mean temps: Aug 69.3, Sep 70.8, Oct 63.6, Nov 53.1, Dec (thru 23rd) 52.3.
Days below freezing: Nov, 6; Dec, 2.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Salad Greens/Chard planted beds B1 & B3

On 19Nov10, Bruce and Mark planted all of the lettuces and salad mix greens that had been previously seeded in late October, and grown under lights in Mark's garage.  In bed B1, we put in approximately 33 rows of 4, oriented N-S.  These plants were placed to the south of the peas in that bed.  The lettuces were planted on the W side of the bed, and the salad mix greens in the center, and arugula (12 plants) on the E side.  In bed B3, which had previously been direct seeded with Little Marvel peas (which did not germinate save one plant), Mark derocked and reformed the bed, then planted out about 6 additional salad mix greens, 12 pak choi, 36 chard (Bright Light, Italian Silver Rib, and Large White ribbed), and 7 spinach (6 Catalina and 1 Summer Perfection).  In total, approximately 200 transplants were put in this day.  On bed B3, only half of the bed is used.  All lettuces and salad greens were spaced about 6 inches all around, and the chard/spinach were in 5 E-W rows, alternating plant spacing, with about 8 inches between plants in the rows.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

11/17/10 GOG work

Bruce double-dug the second half or the South 3/4 of Bed B1 and Jennifer weeded bed B2 and helped Bruce broadcast and turn in compost in the top 2 to 4 inches of bed B1. Jennifer also hand-watered beds B2, B3, B4 and B5.  Bruce hand watered peas on Northern 1/4 of B1.  Only a few fava beans have germinated in Bed B2 and very few peas have germinated in bed B3. Collard transplants in B4 are established but not growing vigorously. Newly transplanted Swiss chard (dug from volunteers in untilled portion of garden) appear to all be surviving and taking root. The transplants suffered considerable root damage when they were dug from the untilled soil.

Bed B1 is ready to be planted with lettuce seedings. A5 also needs to be composted (where Turnips and radishes were harvested and where beets have not germinated) and prepared for lettuce seedlings

Weed growth is heavy in untilled area to the East of the B-beds. Need to till the remaining portion of the garden.

Pallet compost buns need to be finished. Abdul will bring another 7 pallets (this week?) to finish bins. 

Black-eyed pea plants need to be pulled and chopped for compost so that the area can be tilled for new beds (A 6 through A10). The adjacent area needs to be tilled for beds B7 through B10 and the remaining Eastern part of the plot needs to be tilled for Beds C1 through C10. Abdul will ask about availability of his friends tiller for this weekend or next week if ir rains this weekend.

11/16/10, GOG harvest for Open Heart Kitchen

Bruce Mark and Maya harvested the following vegetables: 1) 80 radishes, 2) 6.4 lbs of Goliath broccoli (primary heads from 11 plants), 3) 6.2 lbs of collard greens, and 4.2 lbs of Swiss chard. Bruce rinsed the radish roots and delivered the produce to Holy Cross Lutheran (Open Heart Kitchen Location ) with his bicycle and bike trailer.

11/15/10, GOG work

Bruce: Double Dug roughly 1/2 of southern 3/4 of Bed B1.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chard and peas, compost bin

On 12Nov10, Ron and Bruce worked on the pallet compost container.  Ruth and Jennifer dug up about a dozen of the chards that were growing in open ground to the E of the B beds, and moved them into bed B4 (with the collards, chard on the S edge).  Ruth, Jennifer and Mark then planted out about 44 pea transplants (Mr. Big, Alderman, and Sugar Snap) into bed B1, along with the 21 others that were planted yesterday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More peas

Mark and Bruce double-dug a 12 inch-wide strip 20-ft long along the northern side of Bed B1. The soil was a little dry and extremely compacted. Loosened soil depth was about 8 to 10 inches. 1/2 cf of Home Depot Steer manure compost blend was added and mixed into the freshly double dug row and an additional 1 cf of the same compost will be added to the top layer of soil in the 1 ft wide strip. A remaining flat of 16 Sugar Snap and 5 - Mr. Big peas were planted in two rows alternating on 4-inch centers. Another flat of 48 pea seedlings will be transplanted Friday , 11/12/10. Note: need to add compost first!  Also sprayed Safer soap on bed A2 (coles, which have cabbage aphid).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More winter greens photos

On 10Nov10, Mark took several new photos of the winter greens growing indoors.

Weeded and transplanted peas

Bruce and Jennifer weeded about 60% of bed B4 and transplanted 6-sugar snap seedlings into bed A1 in locations where direct-sown sprouted peas had failed. We now have a complete row of climbing peas germinated and growing on 8 inch centers in two rows in bed A1. A cover frame was removed from bed A1 and placed on B5 to make space to install the trellis for bed A1 peas. 21 - pea plants from the flat (16 Sugar Snap and 5 - Mr. Big remain to be transplanted to Bed B1.

Monday, November 8, 2010

11/8/10 Summary

Bruce spoke with Wendy Weathers, Open Heart Kitchen Operations (OHK) Manager and asked when and at what location GOG can make deliveries of produce. She said that deliveries can be made to the Holy Cross Lutheran Church on Mocho Drive in Livermore on Tuesdays after 9:30 AM. since meals are cooked there Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Wendy said that they could completely utilize a delivery of 100 or even 200 radishes in salads in Livermore and Pleasanton during the week. Wendy was very enthused to hear that we would be making deliveries of radishes, collard greens and swiss chard. Bruce will make a bicycle cart delivery of produce to Holy Cross OHK. (organically grown and transported without petroleum :-)  In January, Asbury UMC will restart OHK operation in their new Fellowship Hall and deliveries will be carried from the garden of Grace to the to the Asbury kitchen!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Garlic planted

On 5Nov2010, Jennifer, Ruth, and Mark prepared bed B5 and planted CA Early white soft-neck garlic, Spanish Red hard-neck garlic, and a few Danish Yellow shallots.  Source of plants was Lockhart Seed, Stockton.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New photos posted

On 3Nov2010, photos were taken of the germinating winter greens and posted on Google photos.

Met with Monty

On 3Nov2010, Bruce and Mark met with Monty to discuss soil quality and general ideas about the back 5 acres, and also about potential crops for the beds now in place.

Planted Collards and Cabbage

On 3Nov2010, Bruce and Mark planted out 12 Flash hybrid collard transplants and 2 January King Cabbage transplants in bed B4, on the northern edge in a single row, spaced about 14 inches apart.  These plants had been started from seed at the same time as the other collards and broccoli now in bed A2.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sprayed weeds

On 1 Nov 2010, sprayed young weeds on beds B1, B4-6 with 30% acetic acid.  Sprayed some cheeseweed and pigweed with the acetic acid also.  Also sprayed a patch of filaree seedlings in the rocky parking area with 1:3 household ammonia:water.  Also used that mixture to soak a few yellow starthistles and cheeseweeds.  The ammonia will either help them or hurt them...not sure which.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Seed planting for winter greens

On 24 Oct 2010, Bruce and Mark planted seeds largely donated by Paula Glogovac (Renee's Seeds).  Seeding medium was Miracle Grow seed starting mix.  All varieties were planted into 2 6-packs except where noted.  All packs were bottom watered and placed under cool white fluorescent lights (about 4 inches above soil), and kept in an unheated garage.  Bruce and Mark thinned the seedlings on 29 Oct 2010.  Mark noticed germination within two days for some varieties.  Germination was checked on 30 Oct 2010, and the rate given is for cells of the packs that contained at least one seedling.

  • Renee’s, Arugula, "Italian" (no days given, in herb category): ½ germinated
  • Stokes, Chard, Large White Ribbed (58 days): ½ germinated
  • Renee’s, Chard, Heirloom, "Italian Silver Rib" (50 days): all germinated
  • Renee’s, Chard, Rainbow, "Bright Lights" (50 days): ¼ germinated
  • Renee’s, Greens, "California Spicy Salad" (40 days): all germinated
  • Renee’s, Greens, "Renee's (Pacific Greens) Stir-fry Mix" (45 days): all germinated
  • Renee’s, Lettuce, "Sea of Red" (40 days): all germinated (4 6-packs)
  • Renee’s, Lettuce, Baby Mesclun, "Cut and Come Again" (35 days): ¼ germinated
  • Renee’s, Lettuce, Mesclun, "Monet's Garden Mesclun" (35 days): all germinated
  • Renee’s, Lettuce, Mesclun Salad, "Paris Market Mix" (40 days):
  • Renee’s, Lettuce, Gourmet Mesclun Salad, "Asian Baby Leaf Mix" (40 days): all germinated
  • Renee’s, Lettuce, Heirloom, "Merveille De Quatre Saisons" (58 days): only 1 germinated
  • Renee’s, Lettuce, Baby Mesclun Salad (can’t find days): all germinated
  • Renee’s, Lettuce, Baby Leaf Lettuce (can’t find days): all germinated
  • Renee’s, Lettuce, Sweet Greens and Reds (can’t find days): all germinated
  • Burpee, Lettuce, Salad Bowl (45 days): all germinated
  • Burpee, Lettuce, Royal (Green) Oakleaf (50 days): all germinated
  • Renee’s, Pak Choi, Baby, "Green Fortune" (45 days): all germinated (4 6-packs)
  • Burpee, Parsley, Green Pearl (90 days? Info hard to find): no germination (4 6-packs)
  • Renee’s, Spinach, Baby Leaf, "Catalina" (40 days): only 1 germinated
  • Renee’s, Spinach, "Summer Perfection" (40 days): no germination
  • Stover, Sweet Pea, Bijou: 1/8 germinated
Also, several 6-packs of pregerminated peas were potted-up for future use.  This was done at the time of the initial seed planting.  As of 31 Oct 2010, none of these have emerged from the soil. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fava bean and pea planting

On 27Oct10, Bruce, Mark, Jennifer and Ruth planted Fava Beans (bed B2) and Little Marvel Peas (bed B3) in the new beds.  Compost blend was added to these beds.  We also replanted the peas that did not germinate previously (bed A1, Mammoth Melting Sugar and Sugar Snap).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Turnip and collard harvest, aphids, updates

25Oct10 (day 298):
Mark sprayed spinosad and bt, and Safer soap on the entire GOG…

Bed A5: harvested two purple top turnips today (298-244=54 days).  They were large and nice, however one had depressions on the surface, probably due to rocks. The other was flawless.

Bed A2: there were cabbage aphids starting on the broccoli.  All of the Goliath, and a few of the Diplomat broccoli have tiny heads now, maybe 1 inch across. Two days ago Bruce and Mark harvested a few large collard leaves and cooked them up.

Bed A3: Many more of the soft neck garlic are now sprouting.

Bed A1: Spinach is very slow to germinate.

Bruce and Mark planted many seeds yesterday in the garage…mostly lettuce, but also chard, spinach, parsley, etc.  I also started pregermination of peas (Little Marvel, Mr. Big, Alderman, Sugar Snap, and Mammoth Melting Sugar). Put them in quart mason jars with cheesecloth lids, with paper towel inside.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Beds B1 - 6 formed, updates

21Oct10 (day 294):
Bed A1: peas have been very slow to germinate (planted day 273, 21 days ago). Only a few of the Mammoth Melting Sugar have germinated, and none of the Sugar Snap.  Spinach is also slow, maybe 8 seedlings at this point.  All radishes, pok choi, and arugula is doing very well.

Bed A5: yesterday harvested one of the Cherry Belle radishes (294-269=25 days)…it was about 1 inch in diameter and perfect. Turnips are very large now, maybe 4 inches across at top, and should be pulled soon. They germinated around day 246 (48 days ago).  Carrots are doing well, but the beets continue to be slow and spotty.

Bed A3: Garlic, as before, the Spanish Rojo is about 12 inches tall now, but only about 3 of the softneck have even poked out leaves.  Yesterday the first leaves of two shallots poking up.

Bed A2: Coles/chard, all are huge now, with the collards needing more room already.  No signs of pests other than turkeys.

New beds: Last Saturday, day 289, Bruce and Mark rototilled the land to the east of the GOG, making room for about 6 more beds (B1 - 6).  As of this writing, Bruce was laying out the beds and also got a load of horse manure donated.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Garlic in A3, Peas spinach arugula pak choi radishes bed A1

On 30Sept10 (day 273), Bruce, Ruth and Dean Burnett planted 3 rows each of California Early White soft neck garlic and Spanish rojo red hardneck garlic, plus one row of Danish Yellow shallots (all from Lockhart Seed in Stockton), in bed A3 (this bed was not double-dug).  They planted one clove at each t-tape emitter, so 8 inch spacing.  About 6 days after this planting, the Spanish Rojo garlic has leaves poking up about 1 inch, nothing from the shallots or soft neck garlic.

Bed A5: The beets that Bruce had planted have not worked out for some reason…they just don’t thrive.  The turnips have done very well and are now large plants with leaves spreading out a foot or more in diameter (well shading the weeds).  The rutas are much slower and less vigorous, and many have died.  The radishes are thriving and are getting their first leaves.  The carrots are doing very well, however the Nantes are the least vital.

Bed A2: Turkeys had severely crushed and eaten the plants in bed A2, but now they have largely bounced back, although some collards need to be replaced with transplants.  The chard is doing very well, with leaf miner on one leaf.  Some of the broccoli is very robust now, especially the Goliath.

Bed A1: planted the Mammoth Melting Sugar and the Sugar Snap (Burpee) peas today.  For the peas, planted the MMS on the E half of the bed, along the N edge, in a double staggered row spaced at 4 inches (back row on T-tape emitters and front row between them), and did the same for the Sugar Snap peas on the W half.  Planted seeds from Burpee: spinach Giant 157 hybrid (50 days), arugula (35 days), Pak Choi, Toy Choi Hybrid (30 days), Cherry Bomb II hybrid radishes (25 days), and Giant German radishes (29 days).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Radishes in bed A5, germination update

On 25Sept10 (day 268), Bruce and Mark planted Cherry Belle radishes (Burpee) in the root bed, around the rutabagas.  Days to maturity is 22 days.  Many of the rutas died…not sure why…turnips did better.  Beets that were replanted by Bruce, with potting soil as mulch, have not germinated.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

T-tape installation beds A5 and A2, germination update

On 18Sept 10 (day 261), Bruce and Mark installed t-tape on beds A5 and A2.  Six tape lines per bed. Weeded the collard bed (A2) again. All plants doing nicely. Root veg bed A5 doing OK.  The carrots are largely germinated now, with the Nantes by far the slowest to germinate.  Magnum was first, Royal Chantenay second.  The carrots have now been thinned twice.  Beets had very spotted germination, so Bruce replanted a bunch of them today (lots of golden beets and some others).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Root vegetable bed A5 update, A1 double-digging

10Sept10 (day 253): bed A5, Magnum carrots (Stokes) started germinating (253-244=9 days), and now are mostly up and thinned. The Royal Chantenay carrots (Stokes) are also up but slower, and the Nantes (Territorial) are just barely starting. Beets are very spotty but there are about 20 or so up with cotyledons.
The turnips are going fast with true leaves already, and the rutabagas are slower but most are doing OK…just cotyledons at this point.

Water has a lot of trouble penetrating that crusted soil and it dries out fast.  Bruce is constructing the drip system tomorrow.

Also cultivated the weeds in the cole bed (A2).  Plants are looking strong.  Some of the chard have been stressed by dryness it appears, and Mark replaced two plants on this day.

In the future, cover the seeds with fine vermiculite or seed starter mix for prevent crusting and hold the moisture.

Bruce and Mark are 2/3 finished with double-digging bed A1.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bed A5 maintenance and flame weeding

On 6Sept10 (day 249), Mark did more flame weeding on the root seed bed.  Update on root vegetable seed planted on day 244: not a single carrot has appeared, and the beets are just starting.  The rutas are about half germinated.  Thinned some of the rutas.

Flame weeding observations: close vegetable spacing makes flaming much harder once the veggies start germinating because telling which is a weed and which will stay is very difficult if the seedlings look similar.  Since beets and pigweed are in the same family, their seedlings look very much alike.  New weeds have germinated in the previously flamed spots.  In the future, water new beds well before seeding, then flame, water, flame, etc. to knock down the weed population.  If doing transplants, the weeding is not an issue – you know where your plants are, and you can cultivate around them easily.

Root crops are proving to be a challenge, since direct seeding is required, and you get weed problems, and you must remove stones, and you must have the beds ready early.

In the root bed A5, soil crusting seems to be a problem for the emerging seedlings.  Perhaps mulch with compost in the future.

Both bed A5 and A2 were covered with Agribon 19 floating row cover.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chard, Collards, Broccoli in bed A2

On 5Sept10 (day 248), Bruce and Mark planted Swiss Chard, Collards, and Broccoli in bed A2.  For Broccoli, we planted Diplomat and Goliath.  These were all from seed that were started on day 206, and all Stokes.  Flame weeded bed A5 with the root vegetables.  The Purple top Turnip was the first to germinate, carrots not yet up, beets just poking up.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beets, Carrots, Turnip, Rutabaga in bed A5

On 1Sept10 (Julian day 244), Bruce and Mark direct seeded the southern-most bed (A5) with beets (4 varieties), carrots (3 varieties) and turnips/rutabaga (three varieties).  To prepare the bed, rocks were sieved out (1/2 inch mesh), and then it was double-dug.  Another sieving, ¼ inch mesh, was done on some soil to use as a top dressing for the seeds.  This bed had a thick layer of compost added (on 21Aug) before working, and we achieved about one foot of friable soil.  Prior to planting the soil had been well watered.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

First beds established

Abdul rototilled garden area, then Bruce established 5 4-foot wide by 20 foot long beds running east-west.  The soil was weeded and tilled to about 8 inches or so.  Prior to tilling we added 1 cu yd of compost from Cochrans ($27 per cu yd).  There was a great deal of rock in the soil.  Bruce and Mark picked stones from a few beds (southern end of garden), and capped three with another 1 cu yd of compost from Cochrans.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Seed Selection for Fall Crop

Seed were selected for the fall planting.

  • Broccoli: Goliath (76 days) & Diplomat (100 days), purchased from Stokes.
  • Carrots: Magnum (58 days) & Royal Chantenay (60 days), purchased from Stokes.  Also got a packet of Nantes from Territorial Seed Co.
  • Turnip: Purple Top White Globe (57 days), Cornucopia Seed Co.
  • Swiss Chard: Large White Ribbed (58 days), Stokes.
  • Beets: Cylindria (55 - 60 days), Early Wonder (50 - 55 days), Ruby Queen (55 days), Cornucopia.  Golden Beet (55 days), Renee's.
  • Rutabaga: American Purple Top (90 days), Reimer Seed Co.  The Laurentian (90 days), Stokes.
  • Radish: Cherry Belle (22 days), Cherry Bomb II hybrid (25 days), German Giant (29 days), Burpee.
  • Chard: Flash Hybrid (78 days), Stokes.
  • Spinach: Giant 157 hybrids (50 days), Burpee.
  • Arugula: Rocket (35 days), Burpee.
  • Pak Choi: Toi Choi hybrid (30 days), Burpee.
  • Peas: Mammoth Melting Sugar (68 days), Sugar Snap (70 days), Burpee.  Little Marvel (61 days), Cornucopia.
  • Fava Bean: Long Pod (85 days), Lockhart Seed.