FINALLY! A sunny day in the Seattle area!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of Yoshino Cherry tree

After many months of below-average temperatures combined well well-above average rainfall, the sun appeared for a few hours today! My first instinct was to scurry into the greenhouse to get away from it but I figured some limited exposure might be good for me. After a winter like this one, people in the Pacific Northwest can sunburn in five minutes, so one must be careful... ;)

It's almost beekeeping season again!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of two beehives

I lost a hive last year and it was a crushing loss. I was doing everything right - so far as I know, but then there was a slow die-off. Something happened to my queen and the bees couldn't replace her in time.

This year, I will maintain two hives. I set them up today, to give them time to air out and acclimate. There is drawn comb in both hives, so I think the new bees will take right to them.

Deer-proofing the raised beds!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of Jim W. Coleman stringing piano wire around the raised beds

It was a picture-perfect day in the Seattle area ... lots of sunshine, then dark clouds, a bit of rain and hail, then sunshine ... and a repeat of that about twenty-two times.

During the dry parts of the day, it was a good day to get out and string the wire around the raised beds. I maintain a solar-powered electric fence around all the gardens during the gardening season and as this raised bed garden is brand new, I've been looking forward to wiring it.

Main garden is coming along...

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Here is a look at the main garden ... the Roma tomatoes are doing very well, as are the Juane Flammes and Black Cherry tomatoes. My Scarlett Red Runner beans are generating bean pods a foot long, and the regular green beans are coming on, too. Lemon cucumbers are flowering, Easypick Golden Hybrid squash are producing ... no complaints. Everything is on schedule and doing well. I'm not in the mood to start canning yet, anyway. :)

Swingset teepee now ready for green beans in the main garden!

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Here’s an idea I came up with about ten years ago that’s now been pinned throughout Pinterest and back. Take an old swingset and make it into a “teepee” for your green beans to climb. When harvesting green beans, simply walk down the middle and pull them off – sort of like milking a cow! Or use that inside area for squash or other spreading plants. I often plant birdhouse gourds in the middle. You will get hundreds of green beans in a very small area. Today, I got it all assembled and ready to go! The beans will be planted in three weeks.

Scarlet Red Runner Beans and Roma tomatoes

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Here's a harvest of red runner beans and roma tomatoes. The red runners fill up a 6-gallon bucket. The Romas (actually, Territorial Seed's "Plum Dandy" hybrids) grew much smaller this year than last. Could also be the sheer number of fruit on each plant. This is my second year in a row to grow this variety as my main tomato crop. If I grow them again, I will be thinning the blossoms as they appear on the plant. 

Main garden rototilled!

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Ooooooooooooh, I live for the day! And it came today! Great weather and a good day to rototill the main garden. I hope to till the crop circle tomorrow. Nothing like fresh dirt at the beginning of the growing season!

And I have the observatory open for some calibration and possible viewing tonight!

Fetal tomato??

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Ah yes, it's one of those fun "title this photo" kind of days! Here is yet another oddly-shaped item from the garden to add to my collection. I'm not sure what to make of this one ... it looks almost fetal. But it looks like a boxing glove. It looks like other things I probably shouldn't mention... This is a "Mortgage Lifter" tomato and as you can see, it's a mightly hefty fruit!