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Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

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Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/4/2012, 6:16 pm

Began planning my gardens for the spring! Midway through an extremely snowless mild winter.

I have 48 squares available for planting. All squares have drip irrigation system already in place from last season.

Box #1 will have my cold frame for April.
The cold frame will then be moved to Box #2 for March.

Tentative planting schedule:

  • February - 10 SQUARE

    • Carrots
      (2X16)

      • Feb
        15-Mar

        • 85-95
          days


    • Lettuce
      head (1X4)

      • 70-85
        days

    • Spinach
      (2X4)

      • Feb
        15-Mar. 15

        • 50-60
          days


    • Onion
      Seed (1X16)

      • 130-150
        days

    • Radishes
      (2X16)

      • Feb
        1-Apr 1

    • Peas
      (2X8)

      • 60-70
        days




  • March - 8square

    • Onion
      sets (2X9)

      • 60-80
        days

    • Broccoli
      (2X1)

      • March
        15-31 &

    • Lettuce
      (2X4)

      • 40-50
        days

    • Peas
      (2X8)

      • 40

    • Potatoes
      (2X4)

      • 95-120
        days




  • April - 11
    square {40-50 Degrees out}


    • Tomatoes
      (2X1)

      • Apr.
        20-July 15

    • Cucumbers
      (2X2)

      • April
        through May

        • 40-50
          days



    • Beans,
      Pole (2X8)

      • Apr.
        15-July 1

        • 65-70
          days



    • Beans,
      Snap (2X8)

      • Apr.
        15-July15;

        • 50-55
          days



    • Cantaloupe
      (1X2)

      • Apr.
        20-June 1

        • 85-99



    • Squash
      (2X2)

      • Apr.
        15- May 15

        • 50-60
          days





  • May -
    6 square

    • Eggplant
      (1X1)

      • 80-85
        days

    • Peppers

      • Hot
        (2X1)

        • 75-80
          days

      • Sweet
        (2X1)

        • 75-80
          days



    • Watermellon
      (1X2)

      • Apr.
        15- June 1




  • June -
    2 squares

    • Tomatoes
      (2X1)


Apr.
20-July 15




Go Pats!

BackRiver_SFG

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My gardens (photo from last spring)

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/4/2012, 6:32 pm


BackRiver_SFG

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  snowjay on 2/6/2012, 12:19 pm

Joe...

These are beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing!!

~~Laurie

Very Happy

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  quiltbea on 2/6/2012, 12:25 pm

Your crop list was too stretched out and confusing to me to figure out but your garden beds are great. Love the hothouse/coldframe with its glass top. That will be a great place to start early crops and start seeds for later transplanting.

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/8/2012, 4:08 pm

Thanks for taking a look people!

The crop list is a "cut and paste" I couldn't compact the text.

Each Month has a planning chart.
Here is the format.

Month Name
Crop Type
How many squares I'm using and how many per square Ex. (2 squares X 4 plants per square)
Earliest sowing date
How many days until maturation. (I put the target harvest dates on a calendar)

I got a lot of my planning ideas from here.


BackRiver_SFG

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/8/2012, 4:34 pm


BackRiver_SFG

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New zone designation -6B

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/11/2012, 11:34 am

I heard about the new USDA zone map and discovered that I am now in zone 6b. How does this affect my growing season and planning?

BackRiver_SFG

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  jpatti on 2/11/2012, 11:45 am

It will only effect perrenial plants.

For SFG, we go based on average last spring frost and first fall frost. Because these values are averages, they do change a bit, and you can get the most accurate dates from your county extension service.

But realistically, they don't change MUCH, maybe a day or two. Since my planting is not THAT exact anyways, it isn't going to make a difference.

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/11/2012, 12:43 pm

joe

the USDA Zones are used more for perennials like asparagus, artichokes and strawberries, it can help you determine if those plants will overwinter. Otherwise, as jpatti said, the first and last frost dates are more useful to determine planting dates.

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  Luci Dawson on 2/11/2012, 3:15 pm

Joe: Did you notice any growth/harvest differences based on the different drip heads you used? thinking

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Drip irrigation

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/11/2012, 5:17 pm

@Luci Dawson wrote:Joe: Did you notice any growth/harvest differences based on the different drip heads you used?

Simple answer: No.

I installed either 1/2 gal/hour drip heads or the adjustable 360 degree sprinkler heads based on what was growing in the square at the time. The system was added in late May early June. I am going to move several crops sites this season and if a sprinkler attachment is preferable I'll just unplug it from where it was and put it where it's needed. (Installation is too fancy a word by the way. Installation is literally sticking the male end plug into the 1/4" tubing.)

The 1/2 gal/hr drip emitters were all placed about a 1/2" away from plants such as peppers, squash, cucumbers, watermellons etc. Sprinklers by the peas, and snap pea plants, radishes, carrots, potatoes.

Overall I am very happy with my irrigation system.
Nealr 100% of water used goes to the target. I no longer water the grass around my beds like year 1 with the sprinkler (which required constant adjustments) and I loose a lot less to evaporation. I put an analog timer on the faucet hookup and set it to 1 hour about every other day.

Thanks and let me know if you have any other questions.

Joe

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Thanks Furbalsmom and jpatti

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/11/2012, 5:19 pm

I appreciate the feedback on the rezoning.

I was just digging through my copy of Crocket's Victory garden (which I'm in the same area as) and noticed that at the time of publication Jim Crocket had me labeled as a 3! Must be a different system than the USDA used.

Thank you though.

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  camprn on 2/19/2012, 8:08 am

Hey Joe, do you have any more photos that you could post of your nice cold frame? Is there a pdf of the design somewhere?I would like to make one like yours. What a Face

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/20/2012, 7:47 am

@camprn wrote:Hey Joe, do you have any more photos that you could post of your nice cold frame? Is there a pdf of the design somewhere?I would like to make one like yours. What a Face

Morning,
Glad you like the cold frame. It has worked well so far. I might gamble and set it up this week. This has been the 2nd warmest winter on record here in Mass.
We’ve had no more than 6” of snow since November 1st. -Highly abnormal- We got pounded
last winter with snow! As I set it
up again this year, I will take pictures to show you the details.My cold-frame was inspired by the cold frame pencil drawing
in Crockett’s Victotry garden.
I looked at the picture and made my own design from there.

Materials list
: (from memory, but I’ll try my best)2 – 2’x4’ Plywood sheets. 2 large sheets of plexi-glass. (most expensive part of the cold frame1”x3” boards
for the 2 lids that the plexi glass sits in.-4 hinges-wood screws.-Old recycled kitchen drawer handles were attached on the
sides for easy lifting with another person. My wife and I picked up the cold frame from plot one and
walked forward 10 steps or so and lowered it onto another plot. Simplicity!-hook and eye locks to keep the cold frame closed when
needed.-I applied 2 coats of poly to try and make the structure
last for several seasons.


Reflection on materials:
2 – 2’ X 4’ plywood sheets. (I used 1/2” but being near 100% humidity inside the box the
wood bowed a bit as the season progressed) I suggest using 3/4” OR attaching 2x4s to prevent
bowing – I later added 2x4s to reverse the bowing)Rough directions:Using the first single 2’x 4’ plywood sheet I cut at an
angle from the top of the rectangular board 6” down to the far end of the board
6” up from the bottom. These
made my sides.

The 2nd plywood sheet made the front and back
portions. I measured
6” up on both sides and drew a straight line across the long way. This made the front of the
cold frame. The remaining piece
was a perfect match for the back of the cold frame and lined up perfectly with
the previously cut angled sides.See pictures for corner assembly. I attached 2”x 2” posts in the corners. Holes were drilled in so that
bolts could be put in and taken back out when disassembled.

For the lids:I used the kreg tool
(amazing tool in my opinion) to make 2 - 2’ x4’ rectangle frames. Before assembling them into a
rectangle I used a router to cut away the lip (1/4”) that the plexi-glass sits
on. I used a
waterproof silicone adhesive to hold the plexi-glass in place. (Because of the high temps and
high humidity inside the cold frame, the silicone didn’t always do the job
advertised. It seemed to
un-cure. It never fell out though.
I wrote the company but oddly they never responded to my story).

The structure without the lids could be used as critter
protection and perhaps for blancing celery. I have never tried though.I placed a HOBO data logger inside to track humidity temps
(high and low) by day and light intensity.I also put an Oregon scientific satellite unit inside so I
could monitor temperature and humidity from inside my house. At random times
during the day. Feel free to message me with any questions along the way.

Take care, Joe

BackRiver_SFG

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  camprn on 2/20/2012, 7:55 am

Absolutely Fabulous! Thanks for taking the time to spell it all out, I sure 'preciate it! I am looking forward to your photos! What a Face

We, here in NH, have had similar winter as yours, but our season accumulated snowfall has been about 28" due to that freak Halloween snow storm. We got hammered with that one.

I am setting up my hoop (like in the book) probably today and try to thaw out the ground a bit. I will be placing 8 milk jugs, painted black and full of water into the bed to help retain some heat. Once I can get the ground workable I will be planting spinach. It is ridiculously early, but I am going to give it a try. Very Happy

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Additional Cold Frame pictures

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/20/2012, 7:58 am







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Early start

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/20/2012, 8:19 am

I'm thinking the same as you. It's a small gamble but I am going to put some seed in the ground this week if the cold frame goes up. I have never tried the water jugs before but am going to give it a shoot to retain some thermal energy. I've been saving milk jugs from the recycling bin for the past week. I will spray paint them black too, that will certainly help.

I sure hope this early prep will give me a month or more boost from my growing timeline of last season. I didn't really start gardening until May last year (what was I thinking!) and learned that I got root bound in most of my peat cups that I put in the ground last season. Going back and looking at pictures, I didn't complete my other 2 gardens until April 26th!

I have sure learned a lot in the previous 2 years of SFGing.

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/20/2012, 8:35 am

Hey Joe +1
Thanks for the details and pics of your cold frame. Cool

Our winter here in Colorado has been really sporadic. Even more so than usual for this area. We have had some really nice upper 40's and 50's and even some 60's here and there. Then we get just bitterly cold and dumped on with snow. I still have some drifts that are over a couple of feet deep from snow we got at least 2 weeks ago Shocked
Good luck on your early plantings!!
You too camp Like a Star @ heaven

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  quiltbea on 2/20/2012, 12:20 pm

Joe....That's a great visual on making your cold frame. I'm sure others will be able to make their own now.

Have you read Bob Thomson's "The New Victory Garden Book" for growing in the Mass area? Its very informative and I've learned a few things from him. He has month-by-month chapters for the season.

I'm in 5b now and I started some seeds in soil blocks on Sat and today I'm seeing sprouts already germinating. I've got to get my lights up in a hurry today. I'm trying things a little early this year as well. If this spring is anything like last, the early start won't be wasted and my cool crops can get going before any heatwave like last year. I plan to get some plezi-glas for my own coldframe (haven't yet found an old storm window anywhere) since the vinyl plastic on the wooden frame drooped inward when it rained.

I wish you a great spring this year.

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Seedlings started

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/22/2012, 6:26 pm

 



Indoor seed starting 2/13/12
Broccoli Raab Organic Heirloom Seed February
Spinach February
Leeks February
Lettuce; Arugula February
Lettuce; Romain February
Lettuce; Caesar February
Lettuce; Head February
Lettuce; Ragged Jack Kale February
Lettuce; Trout February


The spinach hasn't shown as well as the other seeds so far. Three of 8 spots have begun to grow. All other seeds have sprouted and I have since had to remove the Burpee seed tray cover.

My new heirloom seeds arrived yesterday. Yahoo!

Planting plan for March:

Species/Sowing or transplant dates/ Squares to be used & how many seedlings per sqare




Spinach Late March- Direct seeding/transplant 2 x 6
Radishes Late March- Direct seeding 2 x 16
Lettuce; Arugula Late March- Direct seeding/transplant 2 x 4
Lettuce; Romain Late March- Direct seeding/transplant 2 x 4
Lettuce; Caesar Late March- Direct seeding/transplant 2 x 4
Lettuce; Head Late March- Direct seeding/transplant 2 x 4
Lettuce; Kale Late March- Direct seeding/transplant 2 x 4
Lettuce; Trout Late March- Direct seeding/transplant 2 x 4
Pea; Snap Cascadia Late March- Direct seeding 2 x 9
Pea; Snap, Super sugar snap Late March- Direct seeding 2 x 9
Broccoli Raab Organic Heirloom Seed Late March- Direct seeding/transplant 2 x 1
Broccoli #2
Late March- Direct seeding/transplant 2 x 1
Onion Sets Late March- Direct seeding 2 x 9
Leeks Late March- Direct seeding/transplant 2 x 4

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/22/2012, 6:49 pm

Wow! Joe, that is beautiful (what Bea said +1)

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  Chopper on 2/22/2012, 11:11 pm

If I lived in MA I would want a greenhouse for sure. I would probably just rip out a south wall and replace it with glass. And boy would I be sorry in August. Barring that, I love your cold frame. Very nice.

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 3/10/2012, 5:20 pm

joe.patmos wrote:

Indoor seed starting 2/13/12
Broccoli Raab Organic Heirloom Seed February
Spinach February
Leeks February
Lettuce; Arugula February
Lettuce; Romain February
Lettuce; Caesar February
Lettuce; Head February
Lettuce; Ragged Jack Kale February
Lettuce; Trout February

















As of 3/10/2012 here are my seedlings!





" border="0" />




















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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  quiltbea on 3/10/2012, 5:56 pm

Lookin' good. I'm surprised at how fast Arugula sprouts and grows. Mine will need the cold frame pretty quickly now, they are getting so big.

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

Post  Krez on 3/15/2012, 9:50 am

It was really neat to see this, as we are just a couple towns away in Medway, and I was confused about the zone designation being different as well!
We're breaking ground on our new property here and plan on using SFG as well as Biointensive and comparing our results!
I have six 4x12 beds and four 4x4 beds. and I absolutely love your cold frame! I will be making one of those this week so I can get my early spring crops into the ground!

Thanks for the inspiration!
Tina

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Re: Zone 5b - South Shore Mass - Planning my 3rd season SFG

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