Gardening, the new year

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Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:04 am

I am starting the gardening, mostly planning at this time. I did plant garlic on March 17th, hopefully it will grow. Also signed up for two lots at the community garden.

Also trying a cold frame this year. I know it is a little late, but I devised on using a plastic container (holes in the bottom for drainage) and put a plate glass on top with spinach and lettuce. Yesterday, even tho it was only 30 degrees, it was nearly 70 degrees inside.

One other vegetable I would like to try is arugula. Has anyone tried it?

New vegetables this year will be horseradish (1 plant) and sweet potatoes. The challenge is the availability of the gardens with wanting to plant early for cold weather vegetables. Trying to negotiate to get in early with the community garden.

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby investingdad » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:26 am

I have a raspberry / vegetable garden in the backyard. We built a new home in 2010 and it's just now getting established. The first summer was really dry and the plants struggled. Last year they made some headway but I didn't have them properly protected from wildlife. This year I intend to drape netting over everything and I have a lot of plants that over-wintered well.

I need to order fresh mulch to put down sometime in the next few weeks if it warms up. I have two little raised beds and the rest is trellis for berries plus some blueberries. At some point I may remove some of the fence and make it bigger, then re-do the fencing.
Last edited by investingdad on Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby likegarden » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:15 am

Gardening is my main hobby. On my 0.45 acre I grow 60 conifers, mostly dwarf, in the front and about 300 hostas in the back. I am actually gardening over winter in my zone 5 - I grow hosta seedlings under 24 hr light in my basement since November, so have spring already for a while inside even when we just got 10 inches of snow yesterday outside. My little vegetable garden was taken over by my 9 year old grandson 4 years ago, it is never too early to hook a kid into gardening, it is good for everyone's health.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby wingnutty » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:47 am

I'm in a zone 6 in Montana (yes, Montana has a small banana belt believe it or not :D ).

I've got a big garden/orchard area and this year I'm running a high fence, 7' tall woven wire, around the entire perimeter, which is 150' x 60'. We have a big spot for vegetables, and my wife manages that end of things. I'm into the fruits and berries. Last year I put in a 6' x 12' raised bed of blueberries and another of strawberries, also 25' rows of blackberries and another of raspberries. This year I'm replanting most of the orchards with 3 types of pears, 3 types of apples, 2 apricots, 2 plums, 3 peaches and a nectarine. We have 4 young kids so the garden will be a good source of food for the family as well as something we can all do together. My wife also cans and does a lot of jellies/syrups, etc.

Can't wait for it to warm up a bit more here so I can get started with it this spring!
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby barnaclebob » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:42 am

Where do you live? In the PNW weve started lettuce, spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic from last fall, and peppers and tomatoes. All were started inside and moved outside by now except the peppers and tomatoes
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:59 am

I am in Northwest Indiana, 10 miles from Lake Michigan.

Last year I planted lettuce, spinach, and peas on March17th...not this year.

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby TnGuy » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:56 am

MP173 wrote:I did plant garlic on March 17th, hopefully it will grow.


Garlic does best when planted in the fall. It has plenty of time to get established and then throws much of it's energy into the bulb below ground. That being said, your spring-planted garlic should do just fine. Be sure to pinch off the flower heads as soon as they emerge - once again to place more of the plant's energies into the bulb. You can use the new flower shoots to cook with, too. They (and the leaves of the plant) give a nice garlic flavor to any cooked meal.

MP173 wrote:Also trying a cold frame this year. I know it is a little late, but I devised on using a plastic container (holes in the bottom for drainage) and put a plate glass on top with spinach and lettuce. Yesterday, even tho it was only 30 degrees, it was nearly 70 degrees inside.


Yes, it is late to be setting up a cold frame. The best time to get one going is in the late fall. Set it out by itself for a few days to warm up the soil a bit, then plant your seeds. Always be careful to keep an eye on the inside temperature when there are mature plants in it. Consider venting the cold frame anytime it reaches 60 or above when you do have plants inside. Other greens that do well in a cold frame setting are: claytonia, mache, cold-hardy asian greens and arugula. Also, always consider the height that the mature plant will reach, since the cold frame only offers very limited growing space.

MP173 wrote:One other vegetable I would like to try is arugula. Has anyone tried it?


Arugula is wonderful. It adds delicious spiciness and flavor to any salad/green mixture. It does have a tendency to get even more pungent as it matures, though.

MP173 wrote:New vegetables this year will be horseradish (1 plant) and sweet potatoes. The challenge is the availability of the gardens with wanting to plant early for cold weather vegetables.


Some other early-season vegetables to consider putting in the ground now are: Swiss Chard, radishes, carrots, potatoes, peas and mustard greens (I enjoy broccoli raab).



Congratulations on your gardening! There is nothing quite like being able to work and improve the soil - and eventually see food reach your plate that you have started from seed!


David
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby bungalow10 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:22 am

We garden quite a bit in our short growing season (WI, still snow on the ground and about 10F). We have four apple trees, three cherry trees, and a pear tree (which needs a companion). We want to put some type of berry bush in this year (currants or service berries maybe?).

We have a u-pick near us that has lots of potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, etc, so we don't plant those (with the exception of tomatoes - I can about 48 quarts of sauce and 36 quarts of tomatoes each year). I want to focus on our greens (kale, chard, and spinach are our favorites), and herbs. We also grow garlic. We usually have some squash and potatoes that volunteer in our compost bins each year and we can get a wheelbarrow full of various varieties of potatoes with little effort.

I need to completely re-do my herb beds this year. They have been neglected. I want to put in some herbs for tea - mainly chamomile, but would like some other ideas since I've never grown tea herbs before.

We are also in the process of refreshing our backyard chicken flock. Our current layers are two years old and we have some baby chicks that are living in our house, waiting for it to get warm enough that they can go to the garage, and eventually to the coop.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby peppers » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:23 pm

Started a small hydroponic garden two weeks ago and the chives are sprouting up nicely. Will start the pepper seeds in the house this weekend. We still have snow on the ground. But, it will happen. :)
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby ryuns » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:50 pm

Whoo! Exciting about spring time, which is already definitely sprung out here. The whole experience is just so enjoyable. Mostly because we don't have to rely on our brown thumbs for food. But we've only been gardening for about one full year, and we've troubleshot a lot of our problems:
-Original soil we picked up to fill the beds wasn't particularly fertile and had far too much clay. We added some perlite and some horse manure/bedding from a local stable, along with our own compost, and things are doing much better.
-Squirrels aren't interested in eating anything, but they'd dig in the beds and keep probably half to 2/3 of the seed/seedlings from maturing. We found a simple fencing solution to that.

So we're still finishing harvesting our 2 winter beds, which are producing lettuce, beets, collards, and carrots like crazy right now, along with some sugar snap and shelling peas. (The peas put on tons of leaves and looked beautiful all through the winter, even through an uncharacteristically long frost, but they never bothered producing much until the weather warmed up.) We've planted a "February/March" garden, with a mix of things we hope will survive work well in spring, and will plan to replant with warm weather crops in our other two beds in April.

Other highlight:
Our drawf pomegranate looks amazing.
We built our own bench from some simple plans, and the girlfriend is painting some stylized poppies on it. Looks pretty good.
Buds are breaking on our one year old table grape vines. Super fun to see.
We're bound and determined to get some hops grown this year. Massive failure last year, but it was amateur hour on the farm, and we'll do better this time.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Flobes » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:54 pm

Snowing here today!

Town's irrigation water system slated to be turned on April 15.

Between now and then, major garden and yard clean-up on dry days.

I no longer take down the garden in the fall, instead leaving all the vegies and herbs and berries and flowers as deer food, which they seem to prefer over eating the fruit trees.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby kitteh » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:06 pm

ryuns wrote:We're bound and determined to get some hops grown this year. Massive failure last year, but it was amateur hour on the farm, and we'll do better this time.


My brother grows hops. They train them up the side of the house (not too close to the wood).
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby bhead33 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:20 pm

I just ordered a grow light system [expensive] to start my tomato plants from seeds inside this year. I hope my wife likes eating $20 tomatoes :oops:

I will be growing tomatoes, eggplants, shishito and hot peppers, okra and some lettuce in my earthboxes this year. It is lovely to stand in the street and see my 20+ story high balcony be all green and lush with foliage in downtown Chicago.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby bungalow10 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:40 pm

bhead33 wrote:I just ordered a grow light system [expensive] to start my tomato plants from seeds inside this year. I hope my wife likes eating $20 tomatoes :oops:

I will be growing tomatoes, eggplants, shishito and hot peppers, okra and some lettuce in my earthboxes this year. It is lovely to stand in the street and see my 20+ story high balcony be all green and lush with foliage in downtown Chicago.


You can get grow bulbs at any hardware store, they fit in standard fluorescent light fixtures.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:51 pm

bungalow10 wrote:We garden quite a bit in our short growing season (WI, still snow on the ground and about 10F). We have four apple trees, three cherry trees, and a pear tree (which needs a companion). We want to put some type of berry bush in this year (currants or service berries maybe?).

I need to completely re-do my herb beds this year. They have been neglected. I want to put in some herbs for tea - mainly chamomile, but would like some other ideas since I've never grown tea herbs before.



Try peppermint and/or spearmint. The only caveat, is those things grow like wildfire....you plant in one place and a few years from now, you'll find them growing there and in other places too.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Default User BR » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:03 pm

bungalow10 wrote:You can get grow bulbs at any hardware store, they fit in standard fluorescent light fixtures.

Apparently they make CFL grow bulbs as well.


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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Trev H » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:24 pm

Community Garden ???

Must be a city slicker thing... :-)

We live on 30 acres out in the country and I own another 200 acres that I grow mostly timber on, some food plots for the wild game, but also lots of deer, turkey, squirrel, etc..

I grow tomatoes.. my favorite big tomato is burpee's brandy boy and old fashoned brandywine, favorite cherrys are black cherry and sungold.

Also grow sweet corn, potatoes, squash (yellow and green), okra, cukes, lettuce, carrots, onions, watermelons, cantelope, snap peas, etc..

Also have plum trees, peach trees, apple trees, pear trees, grape vines, tame and wild blackberries, muscadine vines.

I think that's about it..

All I have planted so far this spring is potato's but plan to plant lettuce, carrots and onions this weekend if the rain holds off, or when it does dry up enough.

I have been an organic gardner for many years (since the 90's), make my own compost, fertilize with mostly that + some bone meal, blood meal, epson salt, gypsum.

I break my garden (raised) beds with a broadfork... hard work, but good exercise.

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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Puakinekine » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:59 pm

I saw this article in the NYTimes yesterday about growing vegetables in fertilizer (organic or inorganic) soaked straw. I'd like one of you to try it, please, it and tell us how it goes. :happy
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/garde ... -plot.html
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:36 pm

Here is an update...

The cold frame is registering temps in the 70s-80s during the day as we have had considerable sun this week. However, here in NW Indiana it has been very cold with lows in the teens and highs in the mid 30s. Tomorrow and Monday we are to have snow, possibly up to 4 inches.

So, I have planted nothing outside other than the cold frame lettuce/spinach and radishes and the garlic outside. I am going to wait at least another week and hope for 40 degree temps on a regular basis. I did pickup another lot at the community garden, so I will have 2 - 12x12 plots, a 14 x 18 plot plus the backyard square foot 4 x 8 raised garden and containers.

The indoor seeds have yet to sprout (tomato and peppers), but it has only been 6 days. I should be seeing some sort of green within the next few days.

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby bhead33 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:59 am

MP173 wrote:Here is an update...

The cold frame is registering temps in the 70s-80s during the day as we have had considerable sun this week. However, here in NW Indiana it has been very cold with lows in the teens and highs in the mid 30s. Tomorrow and Monday we are to have snow, possibly up to 4 inches.

So, I have planted nothing outside other than the cold frame lettuce/spinach and radishes and the garlic outside. I am going to wait at least another week and hope for 40 degree temps on a regular basis. I did pickup another lot at the community garden, so I will have 2 - 12x12 plots, a 14 x 18 plot plus the backyard square foot 4 x 8 raised garden and containers.

The indoor seeds have yet to sprout (tomato and peppers), but it has only been 6 days. I should be seeing some sort of green within the next few days.

Ed


Where did you get the cold frame from ?
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:57 pm

Well, I improvised.

Our town had old recycling bins about 24" x 18" x 15" tall. I added soil/compost and had an old piece of glass which I place over the top. The bins have holes in the bottom so water can drain out.

Let's see if this works. Today the temp was 80 degrees in it. Next fall I might either build one or buy one.

Will keep in touch as to the success.

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:53 pm

Update on the garden:

1. The temporary cold frame is seeing signs of life two weeks after planting. Radish plants are pushing up as are the lettuce and spinach plants. It took a weekend of 50 - 60 degree temps plus good sunshine to see plants. Friday there were 2 radish plants showing, yesterday there were a total of 27 plants and today 46 plants popping up. Outside temp was 38 degrees so I kept the glass on.

2. I planted peas, onion sets, lettuce, spinach, and arugula on March 29th.

3. Indoor seeds - peas are about 5 inches tall (should have planted directly to soil) and tomatoes are up. No peppers showing tho.

4. Planted indoor seeds - 2 celery and 3 cabbage.

5. Read "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" by Edward C. Smith.

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby peppers » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:23 pm

peppers wrote:Started a small hydroponic garden two weeks ago and the chives are sprouting up nicely. Will start the pepper seeds in the house this weekend. We still have snow on the ground. But, it will happen. :)


The pepper seeds sprouted this weekend, hot banana and jalapenos.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:57 am

I am a little concerned about my pepper seeds. It has been over 2 weeks and still nothing has spouted. I put them in the sun (inside) but no luck.

Any suggestions?

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby peppers » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:14 pm

The seeds that I am using are from smaller peppers that were harvested late in the fall before the first frost. I let them dry out over the winter, and in the spring I just split open the peppers to see what I've got. Nothing really scientific going on here. I had a bag of topsoil that was left over from last year that I didn't use and filled up a few plastic containers. Placed the seeds about 1/4 to 1/2 inch down and watered gently. They sit by the windows that get sunshine, and at night I put them next to the hydroponic for extra light. I gave them a very light sprinkle of some Scott's water soluble fertilizer. I have 6 plants that have sprouted but I know I put in a lot more seeds than that. So, it's going, but slowly going. Keep the faith, It will happen. :)
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:20 am

Thanks peppers...I needed internet encouragement!

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:13 pm

Peppers seedlings update...

Today two popped up. Yesterday I placed a plastic cover over the trays and left them in the sun. Heat works for peppers.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby kitteh » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:55 am

I've used Osmocote in the past with no problems. Last Fall the Lowe's near me was closing and had a half price sale. I went crazy and stocked up on a lot of gardening stuff, including 5-6 of the three lb. containers of Osmocote vegetable and flower granules. I went to use them yesterday, and about half of each container has solidified into a rocklike mass. (None of them had been opened before then.)

I tried thumping the containers against planter boxes, jabbing the contents with a screwdriver, and then adding water and letting them sit overnight.

Zilch. Does anyone have any ideas?

This water making no difference now makes me wonder if this stuff actually slowly dissolves when it's in the soil.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby zaplunken » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:21 pm

I have grown agrula, it bolts fast in hot weather.

Peppers as you found are slow to germinate! You should start them a month before tomatoes.

Start onions from seed, sets are crap.

Shop lights with cheap tubes are good for starting indoors, I have 4 shop lights and can pm you a simple design for a grow light stand I built.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:54 pm

A little update...

Garlic - I am the proud gardener of 20 garlic shoots which popped thru the ground last Saturday. This is year 3 for garlic and my first level of success.

Cold frame boxes are growing quite well. Spinach plants are probably 1.5" tall. Lettuce and radishes are growing. The plate glass broke. I replaced it today with plexiglass, which will not allow UV rays thru. Will this be a factor? We are almost past the point of using the glass on top during the day, so it might not matter.

Onions - a few are coming up.

Peas and spinach in raised garden - just coming up after 11 days.

I am holding off on the other plots and vegetables...still wet and cold.

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby peppers » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:50 am

Update

Jalapeno and banana pepper plants are going good, branching up and out. The coriander is coming up too. Still inside tho. Weather is iffy. This weekend looks good but 7 day outlook says we might have another wet and wild weekend May 4-5. Really don't want another 6 - 8 inches of rain like last week. Can't control the weather so we will see.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby ndchamp » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:32 am

No digging, no weeding. :D
Earthboxes on my patio, easy gardening. Better Bush Improved, Husky Red Cherry, and Cherokee Purple tomatoes in 3 boxes. Sweet Slice and Sweet Success cucumbers in another 2 boxes. Ambrosia Melons in another 2 boxes.
Still room for another Earthbox or 2, if I want to experiment.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Birdie55 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:46 pm

I planted my vegetable garden 2 weeks ago. I have 7 varieties of tomatoes, butternut and buttercup winter squash, zucchini and 6 varieties of melons. Oh, 3 different peppers too. I have 4 raised beds, 4 x 8 and they are full.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Mudpuppy » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:42 pm

The snails... oh my the snails this year... the toads that eat the snails must not be coming out of hibernation as they normally do to take care of the problem. The snails have eaten the beans right down to a tiny stalk and tried to make a dent into the tomatoes. They've also striped all the leaves off a new daisy plant I just got. Looks like I'll need to go out at dusk for some snail picking the next week and try to make a dent in the population.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Sidney » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:06 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:The snails... oh my the snails this year... the toads that eat the snails must not be coming out of hibernation as they normally do to take care of the problem. The snails have eaten the beans right down to a tiny stalk and tried to make a dent into the tomatoes. They've also striped all the leaves off a new daisy plant I just got. Looks like I'll need to go out at dusk for some snail picking the next week and try to make a dent in the population.

Have you tried diatomaceous earth? We used to have good results with it. Non toxic.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Birdie55 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:43 pm

Sluggo, or the generic Iron phosphate can be used safely and is considered organic by the OMRI as long as it is used correctly.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Mudpuppy » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:52 pm

Funny thing is, I'm actually more concerned about what happened to the toads than by the snail explosion. There's plenty of ways to deal with the snails before I set out the main summer veggies. But the toads have been a part of my backyard ecosystem for years and I'm wondering where they are. I found one dead one during the winter and I haven't seen any others (although my parents said one was on my doorstep when they came to visit a couple of weekends ago). I'm hoping that the new neighbors aren't getting rid of them, not realizing how beneficial they are to snail control.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby wingnutty » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:04 pm

I'm still a few weeks away from planting any veggies, as we have late may frosts frequently. But I'll be putting in 3 more varieties of strawberries, as well as all my new fruit frees when the arrive next week. I do have a cover crop of winter rye and clover that is growing nicely though until I decide to plant the vegetables.

I've spent the last 2 weeks building a BIG, bulletproof deer fence. 50'x200', woven wire and 12' treated posts. It's been a lot of work and I've done all the work by my lonesome...digging 5' deep holes for the posts, setting the posts (those 12' x 5" posts are HEAVY!) and stringing the woven wire and building the braces. Wow, I'll be happy when this is done! I'll probably post some pics one it's all done in a few weeks.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:41 am

I had a pretty busy week with the following activity:
1. Transplanted broccoli and cauliflower and kale (purchased plants).
2. Planted pototoes - red and Yukon gold.
3. Planted spinach, lettuce, carrots, leeks, mustard, Swiss Chard, scallions from seeds.
4. Onion sets

I have two more plots to plant and plan on planting the next 2 weekends.

Question:
I purchased asparagus crowns a month ago and they finally arrived and I realize there is no really good spot available to plant these. I have an area which has onions (about 5 inches tall) that would work. Can the onions be transplanted? I realize the value of the onions is very small, but hate the idea of destroying a growing plant. But...I need a permanent spot for the asparagus.

Anyone have an suggestions for asparagus?

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby likegarden » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:14 pm

I am growing perennial seedlings (hostas) since November under 24 hrs/day light. Light is from a simple shop light with white fluorescent lights. No problems. I fertilize them with 1/3 strength tomato fertilizer, and they flourish. There is no reason to devise complicated growing schemes. Important is that plants have sun, water and a soil amended with compost, such as composted shredded leaves. Good luck!
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby snyder66 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:55 am

Does anyone here have raised beds? I have one, but I would like to expand my garden this year. I was told it is better to plot out smaller areas, so I'm not walking all over the ground and compacting. I'm guess you could also separate with stepping stones or something else.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:08 am

Update on the asparagus...

I trenched out a row about 12 ft long by 12" deep and 18" wide. Went all the way down to the clay, then "double dug" by inserting the spade about every 6 inches, but not breaking up the clay. I then placed about 2 inches of compost mixed with bagged manure and tomato fertilizer (Dr. Earth). I planted the crowns about every 12 inches and covered with about 2 inches of soil. I will keep covering as the asparagus grows. These are second year crowns, so hopefully next summer we will have a harvest.

Raised beds...I am a big fan, this is out fourth year with a 4x8 raised bed at our home, plus I have two community garden plots that I use that method. Keep the sizes manageable so you do not have to walk thru the area. In our 12 x 12 community garden, we break that in to 4 sections (about 4.5 x 4.5) and use pavers to walk thru the middle. I only use 1x6 boards on the outside edges...some people in our garden will construct 4 smaller beds.

I highly recommend the website My Square Foot Garden for reference, including how many plants/seeds can be planted for each square foot. In the past we have used twine to mark off the square foot sections, but probably will not this year.

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Mudpuppy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:45 pm

snyder66 wrote:Does anyone here have raised beds? I have one, but I would like to expand my garden this year. I was told it is better to plot out smaller areas, so I'm not walking all over the ground and compacting. I'm guess you could also separate with stepping stones or something else.

I have 4'x4' and 4'x8' raised beds in my veggie area. I leave a 2' walkway between each bed and find that the 4' depth means I never actually have to step in the raised bed to do anything. I might have to walk around to the other side, but I can reach in and take care of weeds, harvesting, and so on.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Birdie55 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:38 pm

I also have raised beds which are 4 x 8 and 12 inches high. That seems to be the most standard size from the people I speak to about home gardening. We use 12 foot redwood boards and cut 4 feet off the ends, to make the end of the beds. I leave enough room between the beds to get a wheelbarrow through.

The point about keeping a bed wide enough to reach across, but not so wide that you step into the bed is very valid. Stepping on the soil will compact it down about 12 inches. And after spending time adding compost and fertilizer and fluffing the soil with a spading fork, I am very careful not to compact my beds. Straw make good easy mulch which will help retain the moisture in the soil. We buy it at feed stores for about $8 a bale.

Happy gardening.
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Wed May 01, 2013 9:13 am

Planted Yukon Gold potatoes last night in a raised bed (12 x 12). I spaced the seed potatoes about 12 inches apart and the rows 12 inches apart, using recommendations from My Square Foot Garden on line. This is the same as last year and we had great production.

Temps were up in the low 80s yesterday and will be at that level again today.

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby Default User BR » Wed May 01, 2013 10:55 am

Birdie55 wrote: Straw make good easy mulch which will help retain the moisture in the soil. We buy it at feed stores for about $8 a bale.

A good free mulch is cut grass. As long as you're not using products on the lawn, of course.


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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:15 pm

Just a quick update.

We are attempting to grow sweet potatoes this year. The Home Depot had sp last night and I picked up a box of 9. These are plants that are about five inches tall.

Planted 4 Roma Tomato plants this morning in addition to the sp. Our 2 12 x 12 plots are now filled. Awaiting the church community garden next.

On a related note, we had spinach from the cold frame box for dinner last night. It was planted on March 17th and has grown quite well. My April 1 planting of spinach outside did not grow. Something stunted it after it was about 1 inch tall.

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Tue May 14, 2013 4:57 pm

Well, the "heavy frost" Monday morning nailed the sweet potatoes, tomatos, and pepper plants. I covered the plants (tarp) but the plants are brown and drooping. I gambled with the early planting and lost.

The 10 day forecast looks pretty good and we are past the "average last frost date", so perhaps I will replace just a few of the pepper plants tonight.

Ed
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby peppers » Tue May 14, 2013 8:44 pm

It's only May 14th...lotta season left.
All of my pepper plants are still inside and being pampered. :)
The 10 day for us looks relatively good, so I am hoping to get everything in the ground May 18- 19.
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."
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Re: Gardening, the new year

Postby MP173 » Wed May 15, 2013 8:20 am

I learned my lesson peppers. This is my fourth year at this and the last three have been mild and I have been able to plant peppers in early to mid May. "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."

On a positive note, the hardy plants are really looking great. The broccoli is growing well as are the brussel sprouts. I am concerned about the cauliflower tho. This is our first year with it and the leaves do not look good at all.

Another disappointment is arugula. It has been in the ground since April 1 and is not even 1/2 inch tall. Further, my spinach from that date hasnt grown at all, so it might be the time I planted rather than the arugula. Other spinach has grown.

We are eating spinach. I planted seeds in a modified cold frame box (recyling bin) on March 17th and used a glass cover during the cold days. It has grown quite well. Of concern are radishes. The plants have grown, but without radish bulbs. Only a 2" root.

Potatoes are up thru the ground. So, if nothing else, we will have mashed potatoes this fall.

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