Barbara Kochan

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since Dec 19, 2016
Restoring 10 acres of pasture into open space. gardening mostly for food. Slowly building tiny (8x12') house.
Southwest Washington 98612
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Recent posts by Barbara Kochan

I used Solexx on my little greenhouse. Haven't had it long enough to speak to longevity, but installation was mostly easy. I did find sealing the open-channel edges a bit tedious, and I was not wholly successful. I used caulk and it was hard to get in solidly. Will make another attempt at sealing this spring when it is warm enough. I know they sell edges, but I carefully manage my budget, and the addition of edging didn't fit my price point for the greenhouse.
2 weeks ago
Welcome, Dan. I like to use a greenhouse for starting my annual veggies, but am reluctant to use a greenhouse to keep plants in: seems like they are much more susceptible to pests and other health issues. Does your new book address minimizing greenhouse environmental health issues?
2 weeks ago
Thank you one and all for these many helpful ideas. I've a good start with much more to go. Does anyone have favorite asparagus variety for coastal Pscific NW?
3 months ago
Welcome back Acadia. I'm really looking forward to your help growing my perennial patch.
3 months ago
I am grateful for the freebies systems. It's fun to receive a gift. I do find the time limit frustrating, tho, as I have limited, sketchy internet and no cell signal, so I've missed out on some things I'm most interested in.

Thank you!

Daron Williams wrote:

Kc Simmons wrote:

Barbara Kochan wrote:I thought Orach is supposed to be easy to grow but I'm having trouble starting it. Any suggestions?

Mine started out strong this spring, but it only maxed out at about a foot tall before bolting. I thought it was supposed to be much bigger and longer lasting in the summer.
The few leaves I was able to harvest were good enough for me to try again for the fall garden, but I didn't get the results I hear about others getting.

Sometimes orach does struggle depending on the soil. But I've found it responds well to saving seeds from the ones that at least do okay. Last year I started some in a new garden and the best capped out at about 2 feet before going to seed. I saved seeds from the best ones and sowed them this year in the same garden. This time they're around 6 feet tall! The soil is improving and has a lot more soil life but is still not great. You could try saving seeds to see if that would help get more harvests in the future. I've also noticed that sometimes it can be slow to get going and then take off. I had some new orach seeds (green--my other ones are red) that didn't look like they were going to do anything but in the last few weeks they took off and caught up to the ones I grew from the seeds I saved. The green ones were in a separate new garden.

Daron, I too am in the PacNW; what time of year did you sow your seeds? I had some luck last year until my neighbor's wandering steers tromped on them. This year they just didn't come up at all. My soil is quite good here, so I'm pretty sure that's not the issue. I also had put slug protection around them, cause those buggers mow down seedlings in a heartbeat.
I thought Orach is supposed to be easy to grow but I'm having trouble starting it. Any suggestions?
Thank you Lina. They are larger trees, several in a line running east to west. I like the idea of currents/gooseberries. Could be they did not get enough water after the first summer; lost track of them. I will try to start with seeds/berries late this fall.
5 months ago
I have several old Hawthorn trees (Common Hawthorn, I'm pretty sure) and they are the only trees on my 10+ acres of flat, former dairy/pasture land. I would really like to start a forest guild in/by them. I tried, 10 years ago, to start some Oregon Grape, knowing of it's great medicinal properties. Unfortunately they did not make it, and that seems very strange, because Oregon Grape loves the Pacific Northwest. I wonder if there is something about Hawthorn that limit what will grow under them? I have some primroses doing well, and a volunteer alder, and of course Evergreen and Himalayan blackberries do well also (on the southern exposure). Any thoughts about whether I should try Oregon Grape again? How about what else I might try.  Thank you
5 months ago
I'd suggest adding some jugs of water as a heat sink: keeps your babies warmer at night. Best of luck.
6 months ago