Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Newbie Intro & Question

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Newbie Intro & Question

Post  nyrsimon on 2/25/2012, 1:56 pm

Firstly wanted to say Hi. Am a newbie to SFG, tried a little last year and liked it so am seeing how it goes this year. I'm in Monmouth County NJ (originally form England and boy is it a different growing climate!!!)

I was hoping somebody could tell me I am reading Mels book correctly! My last frost is around Apr 15 here (according to a couple of websites). So looking at Mel's book, lettuces can be started indoors as much as 7 weeks before the last spring frost, which is right around now according to my calendar. I know it's a stupid question - so I apologize in advance - but have I got that right????

I'm planning some lettuce, sugar-snap peas, Tom's, peppers & strawbs for now and I'll see how I go from there!

Any advice is very much welcome!

Looking fwd to sharing some pics as they come up!

Simon
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Re: Newbie Intro & Question

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/25/2012, 8:12 pm

nyrsimon, so glad you are starting your second year of SFG.

I was hoping somebody could tell me I am reading Mels book correctly! My last frost is around Apr 15 here (according to a couple of websites). So looking at Mel's book, lettuces can be started indoors as much as 7 weeks before the last spring frost, which is right around now according to my calendar. I know it's a stupid question - so I apologize in advance - but have I got that right????

You've got it right! 7 weeks before your last frost date of 4/15 is tomorrow! And, this is a very good question, not stupid at all. We are glad to answer questions as they come up, don't hesitate to ask.

I'm planning some lettuce, sugar-snap peas, Tom's, peppers & strawbs for now and I'll see how I go from there!
What a nice selection for a fairly new SFGner. Those Sugar Snaps can go into the Mel's Mix "as soon as the ground can be worked" (now) or 5 weeks before your last frost, which is about 2 weeks. You do want your "soil" temperature to be about 50 degrees to expect germination in about 14 days. Cooler soil temperatures will delay germination.

If you decide to start Tomatoes and Peppers indoors, they can be started this coming week too.

Looking forward to hearing about your progress.
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Re: Newbie Intro & Question

Post  quiltbea on 2/25/2012, 11:41 pm

Welcome from another Northeast gardener. Your 2nd year should be easier than the first and next year even better. It just keeps getting better.
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Re: Newbie Intro & Question

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/26/2012, 12:05 am

Hello Simon, and to the forum.
Paraphrasing an old saw, " The only stupid question is the one never asked!"
You'll love it here, it's a friendly and informative forum.
Lee
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Re: Newbie Intro & Question

Post  nyrsimon on 2/26/2012, 10:56 am

Thank you to all for the welcome & advice.

So I have some jobs to get done today. The lettuce, toms & peppers are going to be started today - it's fun to finally be doing something after the winter!! I'll put a note on the cal to put the sugar snaps in outside in two weeks

I just have one more question - anybody have any advice on when to start the strawberries? The seed packet indicates starting 6-8 weeks before transplanting which puts them outside right around the last frost if I start now. Is that too early? I didn't see them on Mel's chart...

Again thanks for the help here - it i much appreciated!

Simon
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Re: Newbie Intro & Question

Post  bakermtb on 2/26/2012, 9:12 pm

One thing I did was to take a large yearly calendar(the ones you get in the mail that you never use) and use it to list your planting schedule. How did I do it?

Identify your last frost date for your area. Use the charts in Mel's Book (page 256-257)

Identify the veggie you want to grow and count back the number of weeks you should start to plant from seeds or outdoors. Write the veggie on the calendar and that gives you your planting schedule based on your calendar dates. You can do this for spring and fall.

I wrote the veggies I plant from seeds in one color and seeds going directly in the ground in another color. This keeps me on schedule and I know what to plant.

I usually do this on a snowy day in Jan. when I am sitting next to the wood stove thinking about my garden.
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Re: Newbie Intro & Question

Post  sfg4uKim on 2/26/2012, 10:20 pm

Hi Simon & welcome to the Forum.

I'm the Regional Host for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Forum. I'm glad to see everyone's already helping you.

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I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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