Tuesday, July 7

Summer Guerilla Garden Update, year two-Portland, OR


Last year I took over some land at the back of my rental property that I call "railroad land". Truth be said, I am not sure who the land belongs to, but it it acres of wild land that serves at a buffer between the railroad and the highway. If you are interested on how this garden got started here is one of my earlier posts. Check out last years garden


What is new this year is that I am letting the squash climb. I am using several large tomato
cages that I have attached with twine to the fence to secure them. As you can see, I also have chicken wire on the back of this fence. Usually I let my squash sprawl on the ground and I must say that I love letting them climb way better. They seem more controlled and definitely take up less space.

Rhubarb and Bush Beans:

The beans are excellent this year. Probably due to our unusually hot weather. It had been in the mid 90's for the past two weeks. It seems to be the only vegetable I have harvested this summer that is producing normal yields. Up to this point my harvest had looked great, but did not produced the massive quantities I am used to. I am positive it is due to the hot weather that started in spring. It feels and looks like the last week of August here and the fourth of July just passed.

New drawers:

The old ones were great, but did not survive the winter rains. I spotted these in the trash early this spring. They are drawers from an office file and seem to be a little more sturdy that the ones I had last year. If you want to try using drawers as mini beds, I suggest that you seal them before putting them out. I am trying to think how to have these drawers survive another growing season. So far my thoughts are to store them, or cover the whole area with a thick sheet of plastic. Any suggestions?


They are growing quite well due to the heat, and have just started to bear fruit. I have been continuing to use epsom salts as fertilizer and it seems to be working! This year I am letting them do their own thing. No trimming of the branches, etc. They seem to be dong just fine.

More Squash:

I love the silver leaves of this variety. Caroline is testing it in her garden too. I will need to check with her what the variety is called. I do remember that it is a winter squash. as I am not crazy about summer squash myself. The plant is almost pretty enough to include in a regular flower border.

Saturday, June 27

Greenhouse Advantages

I've enjoyed having a little greenhouse this past year. It's made a great difference in my gardening. For one, it extends my growing season considerably.  Also, I successfully started many plants from seed. I've been particularly happy with my petunias. I collected seed pods from last year's petunias and have had great success. They don't necessarily breed true to original color, but I enjoy seeing what nature comes up with. I've also had success with tomatoes. Never before have I had much success at all growing anything from seed.

 I was recently gifted the big tent like greenhouse you see in the photo above. You can see the comparison in size and shape with the smaller greenhouse next to it. I have both. The smaller is easier to assemble but the large one has much more space to move around as well as windows for ventilation.

You can see how the shelves are designed to fit nicely into the round shape of the greenhouse. I assembled mine the other day and will do a post on that soon. These were quite simple to assemble.

A variety of pink petunias I grew from seed in my greenhouse this spring.

Here are two good YouTube videos showing better than I the advantages of having your own greenhouse.

Wednesday, June 24

Potato harvest in June-Portland, OR

Another early harvest due to the heat. We are expecting 100 degree weather this weekend. Yikes! Last week I pulled out all my pea plants because they were dying due to the heat. Tomorrow I am planning to harvest my lettuce. I am just doubtful lettuce will survive that kind of heat. I know many of you are having the same problems with heat in the West and Pacific Northwest.

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