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May in New England

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Re: May in New England

Post  Lolamama on 5/24/2012, 8:20 pm

I may be fighting a loosing battle with these darn pests. Something is eating my sunflowers, radish tops, mesclun, spinach, chard, mizuna, broccoli leaves, kale & marigolds...despite having them all covered Mad So frustrated....has anyone used Neem Oil? I also have bees so I'm a little concerned that it could effect them

Letttuce, carrots, cucumbers, peas all look good. We've been having lots of salads Very Happy

Found some volunteer plants today...I think they may be cukes or possible squash..I can't tell. I was able to give away 40 tomato plants...phew. Now I have 24 of my own..... Rolling Eyes I ended up potting most of them & only putting 1 in each of my 8 boxes, since last year they sucked every vital nutrient out of the soil (I had WAY too many in each box).

What's everyong planting this weekend? I still have some space & need some ideas.

@quiltbea...i think I read another post where you use cheesecloth as a cover. Where do you find it? Thanks!

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Re: May in New England

Post  littlesapphire on 5/24/2012, 9:07 pm

Lolamama, I'm having your same problem with the pests. But I KNOW what's eating my plants; SLUGS. And I'm even sprinkling sluggo to get rid of them. Those things are impossible to get rid of, I swear!

I'm so excited! I have little baby corn sprouts today! And the first signs that my bush and pole beans are coming up. Woo! On Monday I'm planting my cucumbers, water and musk melons, peppers, eggplant and winter squash. Probably will also plant some more carrots, since not all the seeds I planted last month came up

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Re: May in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/24/2012, 9:31 pm

Wow Lolamama, you had to give away that many tomato plants? I'm in the market for transplants, been researching lately where to go: price vs. distance vs. organic. Tomorrow or Saturday.

Next year I'm going full force on the indoor grow system. This year I bought the lamps but just never got to putting them up.

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cheesecloth sources

Post  hruten on 5/25/2012, 5:18 am

Hi lolamama

I found cheesecloth available at amazon for a decent price. Some of the descriptions even tell you the light transmission percentage. You can also get it at fabric stores.

As for planting, most of my stuff is raised so I planted early. However, I did plant potatoes this past week and replanted some pole beans that i think the chipmunks ate. I'll direct sow some more cukes too so hopefully my harvest will be staggered. It's so nice to be back to summer!

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Re: May in New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/25/2012, 8:13 am

If pests are arriving in your garden, I recommend light-weight row cover. You can cover anything in the garden with this. In most cases you can just lay it over the crops without any supports. Its that light. Tuck it into the soil around the edges to keep everything out, except those burrowing from below ground. It allows in 90% sunlight and rain. You only have to remove it when crops are blossoming so they can get pollinated and then cover them again. It deters bugs and birds. The only drawback is you can't see your lovely garden growing nor the weeds unless you flip it aside, but that's easily done.



above: In the foreground is my strawberry bed covered with light row cover. In the beds I've covered the broccoli, brussels and cabbages in the center rear and the cauliflower squares on the left.

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Re: May in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/25/2012, 8:56 am

quiltbea - where do you get that lightweight row cover, and is that its official name?

It keeps out slugs?

Doesn't beer in shallow lids help deter slugs?

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Re: May in New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/25/2012, 10:24 am

@NHGardener.......I got mine from www.johnnyseeds.com and its called Agribon. There are other sources and name brands but Johnny's is a favorite shopping place for me in Maine. They have them from light weight insect barrier to heavy to protect against frosty nites. The heavier the cover, the less light it transmits. The lightweight lets thru 90% sunlight while the extra heavy only transmits 30% light but protects to about 26-28* when frost threatens.

As for slugs, if they come from underground, it can't help.

I heard beer in shallow cans lures and kills slugs but never tried it myself.

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Re: May in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/25/2012, 12:05 pm

Thanks quiltbea, I'll look it up. Need to order some new trellis net anyway.

This morning I finished the job of adding 3 new boxes, mixing MM together (always tough for me - that bagged compost is wet and heavy), and wheelbarrowing it to the boxes. Enough for the 3 new boxes plus filler for one box from last year that got very low for some reason.

I'm thinking every year I may have to put a light layer of MM on the tops of my boxes, they seem to sink into the ground some after a year.

Anyway, even my wrists are sore. And the humidity is 87% this morning. Good thing it's only in the 60s - feels like the 80s.

Can't imagine I'll need any more boxes now than what I have. Altho an extra strawberry box next spring might be great..........

(does it ever end?)

So next on list: get transplants and straw, and 16' of trellis materials, including rebar...

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Re: May in New England

Post  camprn on 5/25/2012, 1:38 pm

@NHGardener wrote:I'm thinking every year I may have to put a light layer of MM on the tops of my boxes, they seem to sink into the ground some after a year.
All you need to add is compost. Adding more peat doesn't add nutrition to the mix.

@NHGardener wrote:(does it ever end?)

So next on list: get transplants and straw, and 16' of trellis materials, including rebar...
Right now it is just busy, busy, busy...It will end in December; a short respite until March. Wink

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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

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Re: May in New England

Post  Lolamama on 5/25/2012, 2:04 pm

NHGardener...I had NO idea that 98% of my tomato seedling would survive when I planted them in March. This was my very 1st time trying seeds indoors & obviously my tomatoes were a HUGE success. Towards the end it was hard to get rid of some. I guess not everyone likes tomatoes.I just set up shop lights on a metal shelf in my bedroom.



Quiltbea...I have floating row covers that I have secured with rocks & bricks. Actually a few of them even have the metal pegs to sink into the ground & things are still getting eaten. I removed them all this weekend & shook them off. In my mesclun/mizuna bed I found 2 huge caterpillars...yuck! Not sure if they are the cause or not.

The soil in my beds seems to shrink as well, so I just top dress it with manure & compost in the Spring & I'm good to go!

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Re: May in New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/26/2012, 8:16 pm

I'm so excited! Got some wood today from the guys doing construction on the house across the street so I can make a new box. Then I bought some seeds - pak choi, daikon, Ruby lettuce, White Lisbon Bunching onions and buttercrunch. BF and I are going into town tomorrow to look at circular saws among other things. Looks like Memorial Day will be spend building and planting...I hope! Or maybe I can start tomorrow early before we go shopping. *big dreamy sigh* I'm such an addict... What a Face

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Re: May in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/26/2012, 8:21 pm

Okay guys, I worked all day on the garden. Trips to the nursery for transplants, farm store for straw (and found a bag of worm castings!), made grids on new beds, planted everything, mulched the strawberries and potatoes with straw, and then got carried away and mulched *everything* - ha! I hope that's okay. It looks pretty.

In a couple weeks I'm going to make worm casting compost tea - directions are on the bag - and water the plants with that. I also put a couple spoonfuls of kelp meal in with each transplant.

I mean, I am composted to the hilt this year. I ought to have a jungle out there.

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Re: May in New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/27/2012, 7:31 am

Yesterday I checked soil temps and sowed my sweet corn and cukes in the community garden beds here is zone 5a. I think they'll make it. At home in the raised beds, I'll do those two today. I'm using a different corn variety, Golden Bantam seed for the raised beds, 2 per square. I'm also really anxious to see how stringing cucumbers works in an SFG. Another experiment. I love experimenting. For us in the northeast, I think this will be a great gardening weekend for the Holiday.

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Re: May in New England

Post  camprn on 5/27/2012, 9:30 am

NHG, how are your bees?
Have you seen this forum BeeSource?

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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

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Re: May in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/27/2012, 11:01 am

Ooh! A new forum - thank you! Very Happy

My bee buddy came and helped me with the bees, i never could have done it myself. We opened them up, saw a lot of burr comb, cleaned up what we could and left some there (moved horizontally or whatever so they'll eventually abandon it) for them to clean up enough so I can get in there again. It was full of brood, capped pollen, syrup.

Now it's time for Round 2. I'm really not looking forward to this, but it's the best day all week to do this I'm sure. I have to get back in there today and remove what I can of the leftover burr comb, and hope nothing new terrible is going on in there.

Saw the queen in one hive last time, I quickly replaced that frame so as not to lose her. I can tell I'll be the type to always fret that I squashed or otherwise chased away queens.

I felt a lot better about going into the hives after doing it with my bee buddy, but I still feel really nervous about it.

But - both hives were doing great. A lot of well formed brood, a lot of capped pollen, a lot of frames starting out (but not enough to add another box yet). Meanwhile my bee buddy lost her new packaged hive - Russians - due to the bees turning on the queen I guess. She's got plenty more hives, but just goes to show, it can happen anytime, to anyone.

How are yours doing, and your venture to I believe split your hive?

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Re: May in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/27/2012, 11:07 am

@quiltbea wrote:Another experiment. I love experimenting.

This is why I laugh when Mel advises to use the MM and nothing else, no tinkering, it has everything it needs (basically).

I don't know about everyone, but I think it's humanly impossible for me to leave everything well enough alone. Laughing

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Re: May in New England

Post  Yus on 5/27/2012, 12:14 pm

@NHGardener wrote:
@quiltbea wrote:Another experiment. I love experimenting.

This is why I laugh when Mel advises to use the MM and nothing else, no tinkering, it has everything it needs (basically).

I don't know about everyone, but I think it's humanly impossible for me to leave everything well enough alone. Laughing

Reading old posts from Administrator Alan, I get the impression that the Foundation would love it if someone improved on MM. But without a baseline (doing it the way Mel teaches) there is no way to know if your experiments are an improvement.

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Re: May in New England

Post  dvelten on 5/27/2012, 9:19 pm

My new beds are now filled with Mel's Mix, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend planting frenzy. It has certainly been warm enough as well as humid. The beds were filled last week and watered as I added layers of mix but the peat was very dry. Fortunately we had a few days of rain so the mix was thoroughly moistened by this weekend. Here's a picture of the two 4x6x8" beds in the community garden sitting on blocks to get them above the occasional flooding we get.



I had a lot of tomato, eggplant and pepper transplants to put in. Here is my variation of Mel's technique of planting the tomatoes horizontally. I used a trowel to create a sloping hole, deeper on the inside of the square.



Next I added a couple of scoops of Dr. Earth compost, which has beneficial organisms as well as the usual composty things. Then I added some Tomato-tone, which also has beneficial microbes. I figured with the Mel's Mix being new, it would be a good idea to seed it with microbes.



The transplant was then laid in the sloping hole with the top toward the edge of the box.



The transplant was then covered with Mel's Mix and watered in.



I finished planting the beds Saturday and my son helped me erect the seven foot trellises today. The bed in the foreground has an L-shaped trellis on the side and end, allowing that box to host 8 tomatoes.



Besides these two beds, I managed to get pole beans (Fortex), cucumbers (Diva, Summer Dance, Jackson Classic), and summer squash (zucchini Dunja, patty pan Sunburst, Costata Romanesco) planted, and all the beds mulched with chopped straw.

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Re: May in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/27/2012, 10:17 pm

Gorgeous!

Great idea on slanting the tomatoes - I had forgotten about that.

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Re: May in New England

Post  camprn on 5/29/2012, 8:35 pm

OMG! at least 8 inches of rain in 90 minutes... Shocked Hail, moth to golf ball size up the road... gutter failure, only a half barrel full of rainwater. Shocked
My farmer friends ...

My boxes are soaked but not floating! Very Happy

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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

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Re: May in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/29/2012, 10:26 pm

camprn, do we live in the same state?

WOW - and here we only got some showers, not incredibly much either.

8 inches? Really?

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Re: May in New England

Post  camprn on 5/29/2012, 10:38 pm

Yup really, according to WMUR... Shocked

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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: May in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/29/2012, 10:42 pm

Wow. Like I said, over here on the seacoast edge pretty much, we got almost nothing. But I've been worried about hail forecasts. I think it must have passed by now tho.

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We got the hail!!

Post  hruten on 5/30/2012, 6:00 am

Hi everyone,

I didn't measure the rain (we were still in the basement for the tornado warning), but I did get to watch my plants being pummelled by the hail stones. I wish I had before and after pictures. My tomatoes look like they have been striped and my beautiful squash and melon plants have holes ripped through the leaves.Sad

I'll recover, but I'm not sure my plants will. My tomatoes almost all had blossoms already. "sigh"

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Re: May in New England

Post  camprn on 5/30/2012, 7:01 am

HR, they will be fine despite not looking great; they will bounce back. Confidence is high. Very Happy

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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: May in New England

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