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my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

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my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  GWN on 3/12/2012, 12:11 pm

This weekend I have made my first SFG. I have been using mels mix in the greenhouse transplanting seedings, but this was my first large mix.
I used the 5 gallon bucket as a measure of a cubic foot (I found that measurement somewhere here) and mixed up with I calculated was 8 cubic feet, but in the end had to do it twice to get the MM up to the top of the wood
My bed is 4x4 made with Port Orford cedar.(when we built our house in Oregon, we had to cut down some trees and had them milled) Oddly enough, we were allowed to bring them when we moved to Canada. So we have lots of cheap/free cedar.
Last year, our first year here, we made many raised beds 12 inches to 2 feet high, and filled them with soil we had delivered, and mixed in guano and horse manure.
I did very well, however in wondering what to do this year, I read about SFG and have decided to go that route. My plan is to dig down in my current raised beds to allow for the 6 inches place cardboard down and then add mels mix

The ground here is still pretty hard and since I plant to have many many more raised beds, I decided to start making new beds and filling them with mels mix. So I have my first, alongside all the others.
I really cannot dig in the others yet, since the ground is still somewhat frozen, but the new bed is nice and soft.
I am going to plant 10 kale plants, one per square foot, and some spinach I have been growing in the greenhouse.

my KALE

My other goal this year is to grow TONS of artichokes. They are very hard to find here, and Wink a challenge.
Since artichokes only produce in their second year, and I am a climate too cold to overwinter, you would think I was OUT OF LUCK.
However i am trying two things. I have several plants I have started from seed and am currently getting them used to the cold weather and apparently if they experience temperatures in the 0-10 degrees celcius they can be tricked into thinking it is their second year..... thinking (Now is this 2011, 0r 2012).
these are the artichoke seedlings Imperial.


The OTHER thing I am doing is that I have the plants from last year that I grew, that were green globe artichokes that I covered with cardboard and then straw and then made a hoop over them and added a tarp. These ones I went looking for last week, and found 6 of the 7 of them.
The tops were kind of mushy, but the very extravagant roots appeared intact, and so I dug them up and put them in large pots snugly bugly in mels mix, and they are in the greenhouse now. I figured that the mels mix with the vermiculite with keep them from being too soggy. And so I am going out every day checking for signs of sprouts.....
I think with this new crop I am going to plant them next to my house on the south side and perhaps even cover with just straw. I also have some large insulation pieces from the fixtures in our house, and thought I might make a bit of a house around them. thinking
The south side of the house is also where the septic tank is, likely adding little warmth to the soil.
WIll keep you posted as to anything that might come up.
As you can see from the first photo, I also have a hoop house over one of the raised beds, and I am warming the soil, and hope to plant some more tender plants here, hopefully a month before the last frost.

I was just so excited about my first SFG I had to send photos
janet
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  quiltbea on 3/12/2012, 1:38 pm

GWN.....You certainly think big. Lookin' good. I hope it all works out for you as you plan. You will have lots of growing room, that's for sure. Good luck.
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  GWN on 3/12/2012, 2:27 pm

Thanks quilt bea
I just have this dream of growing everything I eat. Sort of get off the grid, I know it is not likely realistic, but even if I could do a percentage.
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  GWN on 3/12/2012, 8:37 pm



What a difference a day makes. It is supposed to snow here all week Sad
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  quiltbea on 3/12/2012, 8:48 pm

I know the feeling. You just start to feel spring is in the air and snow falls. We, too, get snow oftentimes in early April.



my garden last April 6th.
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  GWN on 3/13/2012, 11:06 am

So quilt bea, the one in the left foreground appears to be covered with plastic.
Were you growing something in there?
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  quiltbea on 3/13/2012, 12:57 pm

GWN.....No, I was warming up the soil for my early crops after I cleared off the snow.
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  GWN on 3/13/2012, 11:27 pm

so this is an area of concern for me, I wonder what you were warming the soil for?
Transplants or seeds, and what seeds.
I know I planted my spinach pretty close to April 25th last year and had bumper crop by the end of May, however I am wondering if I could perhaps push..... the envelope a little.

Janet
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  quiltbea on 3/14/2012, 10:38 am

Cool-weather seeds can be sown outside depending on the soil temps. Some do ok in the 40s (beets, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard), some I'll wait til its 60s but with the plastic covering, it warms up my soil pretty well and in the 60s (carrots, turnip and lots more) I can plant just about anything. Then I just keep the old towels, heavy row cover and such ready against frosty nites.

In fact, I'm making out my list of soil temps this morning so I can have it handy when I'm outside with my thermometer and my seeds this spring.
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  GWN on 3/14/2012, 11:47 am

Well I am off to get a ground thermometer this am
Last year mine broke..... ground too hard,
Not an issue with mels mix...
Do you keep a log of ground temps?
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  llama momma on 3/14/2012, 12:25 pm

Mel's mix morning temperatures the past 2 days have been 42. By late afternoon 60 degrees. Air temps are going to be mid 70's the rest of the week. I'm still too much of a newbie to make a confident decision to plant anything yet. It seems to be such a wild swing in temperatures. Any advice??
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  quiltbea on 3/14/2012, 3:45 pm

I think one has to take all considerations into the plan. When the last frost date is expected, air temps certainly, but most importantly soil temps. You can always cover plants if a frosty nite is expected, but not if you're going to get several days of below feezing temps. The other thing is that waiting a bit is usually better for warm-weather crops. Things planted a week or 2 later always catch up to those that are planted when its a little too cool. Cold slows down growth.

I'm in 5a and I know that I'm starting my cool crops a little sooner this year due to how warm it got early last year. If the snow keeps away, I think it will work. Its always the luck of the toss when starting crops early.
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  llama momma on 3/14/2012, 3:58 pm

Ok. It would be more frustrating to have something start growing and then have to struggle to keep it alive in the cold and still lose it. I'm going to wait then. Thanks!
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  GWN on 3/14/2012, 6:32 pm

I went and got a "compost thermometer" they did not have a ground thermometer, but I really could not see what the difference would be.
The ground inside my hoop house is 42 and and the rest of the ground is frozen solid, thermometer will not go through Wink
So I could consider transplanting some of my cold weather plants soon, such as Kale, and spinach. :scratch:
They are growing so nicely in the greenhouse, I might just wait a week or two. lots o snowing again
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Re: my 5a garden, SFG and season extenders.

Post  llama momma on 3/14/2012, 6:44 pm

I'm using the compost thermometer as a soil thermometer. Just making sure the entire length of the probe is completely under mel's mix. If that's incorrect I hope someone will inform us.
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