coastal california

Member Since: 01/19/2011

recent comments

Re: Scarecrows

Japanese gardeners make an traditional and very simple swinging scarecrow:

Take a short colorful dress or man's large long sleeved shirt with long sleeves and run a long stick through both armholes. Tie a length of string to the ends of the stick, then hang the sting off a longer pole inserted into the ground at an angle; or from a tall post. The slightest breeze will cause the scarecrow to swing and sway. Move around the garden every day.

Re: Low-Cost Deer Defense

be careful with Milorganite around edibles. It was found about 30 years ago to contain lots of lead and other heavy metals. Think about it: sewage contains pharmaceuticals from humans. Some are hormones, others endocrine interrupters and many are antibiotics.

NOT good for the soil.

Re: How to Plant by Color

have you planted the Ruby Streaks--how do you like it as an ornamental? I love the regular red mustard--like a stained glass window when the morning sun shines through!

I love the purple carrots, too, beautiful grated in slaw and sliced in stirfry with the outer red rind and the inner orange. I like to use a sharp veg peeler and make thin slices on the katty-whompus for a veg tray.

How do you find the flavor of purple beans? Are they sweet to you?

Re: Planting Pricey Produce

One of the best, and least-available of the Brassicas (cabbage family members) is Romanesco Broccoli.The head is comprised of tightly bunched spiraling cones of bright chartreuse green buds. Very nutty and slightly sweet in flavor, very tender also. Around here in broccoli country (cool enough to grow year-round) Romanesco appears at Farmer's Markets for a short period in both spring and fall, at about $3.50 a pound. It's easy to grow from seed, is a fairly heavy feeder, and freezes well when blanched properly.

Just a note: all bell peppers ripen to a color: red, yellow, orange, purple, "chocolate" etc. Green bells are just unripe peppers. There are lots of bell shapes besides the blocky grocery store variety. If you mostly chop them to cook, as I do, try some of the wedge or cone-shaped ones. They ripen faster than the big blocky ones. Nice and sweet, too.

Re: Seed Starting Strategies

for plant labels, I find soft pencil on matte plastic works better than sharpies--it doesn't fade.
Instead of writing down the side of the label, mark across the top, date first, then variety underneath. That way you don't bury vital info.

A top seed company will trial and sell seed to grow well in all parts of the country. As seed companies buy their seed grown all over the country, it's best to find one that stands behind their seed by testing and retesting for germination before packing, and which clearly labels the seed as to batch and pull date. Seed companies that service their racks on a regular basis will have fresher seed in the racks.

It's best to buy seed where the display room temperature is even, and not humid. Don't buy seed at a store where it's been in a sunny window (faded packets) or near humidity (the paper feels limp)--germination will be half that of properly merchandised seed. Store seed at home in a cool dark room, never the refrigerator--too damp! A hall closet works fine. Generally, it's best to buy freshly dated seed at the start of the seedling season. Better to use it up for fall gardens or trade it, than to store it.

Re: DIY PVC Grow Light Stand

What is the advantage to having the legs height adjustable as opposed to adjusting the hanging chain? Seems like it would be very cumbersome to have to move the pegs and light, when you could just move the chain placement, using a hook in place of the eye bolt on top. Must be something I'm not seeing... thanks