Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Castles and Spuds

IMG_0310Here is another photo of the blueberry castle all finished. The last post had a photo taken before it was done.

Also I’ve attached a photo of my wee potato box. My brother gave me two potatoes from his kitchen that had sprouted. One is a sweet potato and one is a russet. I planted the sprouted eyes in one of the garden boxes. Today I created a small box so I could build up the soil around the sprouts. As they grow up I have another bottomless box that will go on top to deepen the growing area. Maybe I will get a couple spuds!

IMG_0308I cut the grass and watered today. It is hot today (89F) and muggy. It was so muggy I retreated indoors. I hate the heat and hate muggy heat all the more. I could never live in a humid climate.

We are usually spared excessive humidity here but when it comes it saps all my energy.

Happy Gardening,

Dan Murphy

Fall Musings

fallFall has set in here in the Willamette Valley. Yesterday it was a comfortable 70 degrees and sunny. Today we have wind and cooler temperature – we also have some rain. That wind, incidentally, is making good work of scattering about the fallen leaves I spent two hours raking up yesterday. Mother Nature has such a sense of humor.

Vegetable Garden is put to Bed

The vegetable garden is put to bed now. The only thing not cut down and removed are the asparagus tops. I am waiting for them to turn brown. All the other boxes have been cleaned up and I’ve planted a cover crop of crimson clover which is just now sprouting.

The garden boxes are built of wooden 2 x 6s which have been out in the weather now for about 8 years. Some are starting to rot and so I will have to replace parts of them next spring. I use untreated wood because I am not satisfied that treated wood is wise to use around edible plants. Replacing the boxes once a decade is an acceptable cost to me.

The other box that is not cleaned out is the blueberry box. I still need to dress the top with a good rotted sawdust mixture that is locally available to maintain soil acidity.

The Green House

I did not use the green house much this year. It needs some upgrading. I need to run electrical power to it so I can have a fan going which I’ve learned is essential. It also requires automatic vents. I do have a good shade cloth cover for it for when the weather gets too warm. I hope to use it next spring through fall to start plants and grow a few that will tolerate the heat in summer.

Rain Water Storage

I hoped to rebuild my rain storage system this summer but did not get to it. I spent a lot of time on some home remodeling projects this fall and did not have time. Next spring I hope to rebuild the platform that holds the storage tanks (50 gallon plastic garbage cans) and double the total capacity to 200 gallons.

For the next couple of months raking up the leaves dropped by the neighbor’s sweet gum tree and our two maples in the front will be the major outdoor chore. With the coming of rain there will also be weeds to battle.

Meanwhile I continue on the remodel project for two rooms which takes a lot of time. Both rooms have been repainted and when done will have new floors – oak Pergo flooring replaces the old carpet. In the guest room I am building face frames to put doors on the storage area.

So there is plenty to do and I look forward to these projects and more for the coming year.

Happy Gardening,
Dan Murphy

Weather – Fall through Winter

fallAnyone who seriously predicts the weather for the long term, perhaps outside San Diego, is probably delusional. Every year the Farmer’s Almanac and the United States Weather Service makes their predictions. They get some right, some almost right and some totally wrong.

I do not have a Farmer’s Almanac yet so cannot say what they are predicting. I will address that in a later post. The Weather Service is predicting a warmer than average and drier than average fall/winter for the Pacific Northwest. This is apparently based on the El Nino pattern that has developed and other data they use to predict these things. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/fxus05.html

Keeping in mind they could be wrong on all or part of that, it seems likely that we will continue with drier and warmer weather. That is not to say it will be summer all year long. These are predictions over average conditions. So for example on January 3rd if the average low here is 39 it may actually be 42. Or something like that.

I think we will most likely have a warmer and drier fall than usual. We shall see. I shall revisit that at the end of the calendar year to see what will have actually happened.

I have a lot of projects to attend to this fall/winter and so won’t have a winter garden. I may plant some cover crops to enrich and protect the soil. More on that later.

For now of course it is just very warm or just plain hot. Our highs still vary from the 80s to the 90s and it would not surprise me to see at least a couple triple digit highs yet before it is over. It means I’ve had to water more than usual and some plants have not tolerated the sustained heat so well. We have not had measurable precipitation since June 4, soon to be three full months without rain.

It would seem that I will need to water things later this year than average. It also seems that we may need to re-evaluate what average is for us.

Happy Gardening,

Dan Murphy