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  • Disjointed Ramblings: An Open Letter to the Seattle Mariners - The Westside Gardener
    Bradley and his chronically unreliable legs in the outfield most games which means he will almost certainly miss time with injuries Additionally it means there are fewer options available on the bench when a player gets hurt gets ejected or if we need a pinch runner Plus if that wasn t enough it exacerbates the situation created by filling some positions shortstop catcher where we ve decided it made sense to trade offensive ability for defensive prowess we re giving up offensive production from the DH for what exactly Tickling skills And as if you wanted to explicitly disprove the notion that it couldn t get worse you guys moved the Doublemint Twins into the 4 5 slot in the batting order Our top three batters Ichiro Figgins Guti are doing their job They keep getting on base but then Junior or Sweeney or Lopez pull the old GIDP routine over and over and over Junior simply looks done while Sweeney is swinging at just about every pitch thrown to him I ll cut Lopez a little slack since he s relatively young and occasionally shows some pop but as a fan I ve grown weary of this So I ve resolved until I read that Bradley s playing DH most of the time until I read that we ve got a bench that is made up of guys other than Tui and Eric suicide squeeze Byrnes until I read that Wak s finally realized a sub 600 OPS tandem doesn t really belong anywhere near the cleanup slot I m not buying tickets I m not watching on TV and I m not listening to the game on the radio It s too frustrating because I know Z has to be smarter than this it s like Bavasi suddenly

    Original URL path: http://westsidegardener.com/articles/2010/ramblings_mariners.html (2016-04-27)
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  • From the Mailbag: A question about fertilizer - The Westside Gardener
    from Territorial Seed Company back when Steve Solomon founded it The exact NPK rating will vary somewhat depending on the components Digging through my old copy of Steve Solomon s Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades I find his statement that the fertilizer is probably about 1 1 5 1 but I don t buy that Seed meal is the largest component and while the ones I ve purchased do vary somewhat they are generally labeled somewhat higher than that 4 2 2 or thereabouts The bag of bone meal I just finished off was labeled 0 10 0 and the kelp I ve bought usually lists some rather high potassium numbers so I have a hard time believing the entire combination to be as low as he guesses I do however think he has the relative percentages about right my guesstimate is the fertilizer would test out to around 3 4 3 if I cared enough to get it measured But in the end I just go by the amounts of fertilizer I ve found works in my garden Regarding how I adjust to the differing needs of different plants I just use more or less of the mixed fertilizer without varying the component amounts except in a couple cases where I just use one single component by itself When I m planting a leafy green like lettuce for example sometimes I ll just use cottonseed meal since those plants mainly want nitrogen If I fertilize my peas or beans normally I do not I ll just use bone meal Over time I ve learned and continue to adjust what works best for me in my garden That info grouped by plant families is what I list in my FAQ on Vegetable Culture I think it s important to

    Original URL path: http://westsidegardener.com/articles/2010/mailbag_fertilizer.html (2016-04-27)
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  • FAQ on Vegetable Culture, with Notes on Transplants - The Westside Gardener
    bed Start with the lower amount and if that doesn t give you good results increase it the next time All greens respond well to a side dressing of blood meal especially in spring Arugula and mache corn salad grows fine without fertilizer unless your soil is poor However they do respond to fertilizer by making larger more succulent leaves Root Crops read related articles Many of these carrots celery parsley parsnips are umbellifers and form taproots Any vegetable that develops a taproot is going to be difficult to transplant Commercial celery growers direct seed their crops Transplanted celery as anyone who s grown it knows just needs amazing amounts of water to do anything at all When I ve direct seeded it celery seemed to get by in my silty clay soil with just regular garden irrigation But if you direct seed it before the daytime temps are consistently above 50F or so it often will bolt on you If you have trouble direct seeding things like carrots or celery try covering the seed with seed starting mix instead of soil It won t crust they way clay soils do This is a good trick borrowed from Roger Swain for any not too vigorous seeds such as spinach or parsnip Beets are not umbellifers and transplant reasonably well Since they germinate in fairly cool soil there isn t usually much reason to raise them as transplants Fertilizer recommendations Beets do well on some soils without any fertilizer Something must be missing from mine though I find it necessary to give them about 1 2 cup per 5 row feet Celery is unlike the other umbellifers requiring lots of feeding Give it 1 cup of fertilizer per plant Also plan on banding 2 tablespoons of blood meal around each plant every month after it has started to really grow Carrots parsnips and parsley both root or leaf varieties grow well without fertilizer If you fertilize them the roots may be prone to hairyness and forking Cucurbits read related articles Cucumber melons squash You have probably read that these plants are very touchy about transplanting After trying several growing techniques I have decided this mainly applies if you are trying to dig them out of a seedling flat I ve had good success transplanting cucurbits as long as I sow them in either large peat pots or plastic pots Sow 4 5 seeds in a pot and thin out all but the two strongest plants as soon as the first true leaf starts to form please see the next paragraph as well They should only get transplanted once meaning when you move them to the garden Don t let them get rootbound Squash will be ready to transplant in about 21 days from sowing in a 3 inch pot Although most references say to start two seeds or plants in each planting hole I have been experimenting with only growing one plant per spot for two years The initial appearance is

    Original URL path: http://westsidegardener.com/guides/faq_culture.html (2016-04-27)
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  • From the Mailbag: Gardening Beginner! - The Westside Gardener
    State University makes available to gardeners They have a dedicated website called Gardening in Western Washington it can be found here http gardening wsu edu In addition to all the resources on their website they offer master gardener clinics at various places These gives you the chance to talk face to face with an experienced gardener about most any gardening question you might have I used to recommend that you

    Original URL path: http://westsidegardener.com/articles/2010/mailbag_new_gardener.html (2016-04-27)
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  • From the Mailbag: I started my squash too early! - The Westside Gardener
    at least with the cucumbers and squash These plants are very touchy about transplanting plus they are very vigorous growers you re just not going to be able to keep them in those pots for very long When I start squash in 4 pots I only plan on them being there for maybe two weeks Cucumbers are not quite as fast but still in a 4 pot you re looking at less than a month probably more like three weeks What you re asking about is just not going to work and unless you have an honest to goodness greenhouse there s just no way to successfully keep them alive and thriving outside right now either The basil is another matter As long as you meet its light requirements it will grow happily in a pot that can be kept indoors say a 6 or 8 pot A shop light with a couple of bright tubes I recommend one gro lux type tube and one high output household fluorescent both 40 watts will do the trick However I still recommend you plan a second sowing at a later date for summer Some years I do start cukes and squash indoors

    Original URL path: http://westsidegardener.com/articles/2010/mailbag_squash.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Experiences with Territorial's Live Plants - The Westside Gardener
    varieties well adapted to our cool summers is difficult at best I m sure most of the companies involved are doing their utmost to offer the best plants they can but you simply can t grow a handful of varieties and expect them to be the optimal choices for the entire United States So while you can have a good experience with plants purchased from these retailers I would describe this as a sub optimal choice Local growers can be a better option The good ones being familiar with our climate take care to raise their transplants under relatively cool conditions so their plants can better handle our cool summer nights And because they re catering to a much smaller market local growers usually offer varieties that are reasonably well adapted to our region The plants I purchased from local growers were healthy grew well and produced tomatoes fairly early in the summer usually starting to ripen around mid July Really the only complaint I ve got against local growers is they don t often offer a very wide selection If you want a popular cherry tomato like Sun Gold you ll almost certainly find it but you can have a harder time locating paste tomatoes or other specialties Then last year I decided to try Territorial s seedlings They offer an astounding number of choices since if they carry the tomato or pepper as seed they also make it available as a plant Given their dedication to selling only seeds that are well adapted to our maritime climate their plants being well adapted to my garden was pretty much a given The main thing that needed to be investigated was the quality of the plants how they were raised and how they would be shipped Based on when I

    Original URL path: http://westsidegardener.com/articles/2010/territorial_plants.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Overwintering Carrots - The Westside Gardener
    severe cold like we experienced back in December can quickly wipe out most winter greens if a gardener isn t careful Rabbits deer and other pests can make short work of cabbage and Brussels sprouts But carrots just chug along safely nestled in the ground Generally I ll lose a few to mice but somehow discovering one or two carrots doesn t seem to lead them to the rest of the crop Plus you have to love a crop that can grow well on whatever leftover nutrients are in the soil from the past year There s another root crop that shares all of these traits of course Parsnips may even be a bit hardier than carrots and I can t remember the last time a mouse ate even one of my parsnips But parsnips are significantly more work than carrots to get going They germinate significantly slower than carrots which means more care must be taken by the gardener since these root crops are being sown during the longest days of the year Parsnips also tend to be slower growing so they tie up your garden bed for a longer period of time With carrots I know I can sow anytime in July and end up with plenty of carrots to eat through the winter The main problem some people run into around here is with carrot rust fly maggots If these are an issue in your garden you ll need to grow your crop under a floating row cover In that case sow your seeds a week or two earlier and space the plants out slightly more this is necessarly to compensate for the small drop in light intensity the plants will receive under the fabric In my garden carrot rust flies are only an occasional nuisance Grown

    Original URL path: http://westsidegardener.com/articles/2010/overwintering_carrots.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Drumheller Fountain - The Westside Gardener
    pleased with this photo The original image shown below was shot in color I personally think the high contrast just screams monochrome but a lot of people have been telling me they prefer the color version So take a look at both versions and please let me know what you think Nikon D70 w Tokina 12 24mm lens plus ND filter 20mm at f 13 exposure 1 3 sec manual

    Original URL path: http://westsidegardener.com/photos/drumheller.html (2016-04-27)
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