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What can I start indoors?

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What can I start indoors?

Post  Countryprepper on 1/1/2013, 9:09 am

I'm just wonder what should I start indoors?
I have broccoli,cauliflower,cabbage,lettuce,tomotoes...
Can I start theses indoors to plant outside in the spring?
Thanks

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Re: What can I start indoors?

Post  camprn on 1/1/2013, 9:28 am

Yes, you can start these plants inside, but you need to consider the timing. You can use the guide on the back of the seed packet or a variety of online sources will give you guidance, based on your last spring frost date. I like to use the guidelines here at Folia or here at the Old Farmer's Almanac Best planting dates.

Setting up can be a challenge if you've not done it before. Some things are started so early that in our northern climes we have to provide additional light hours. There are numerous previous threads from the past several years about starting seeds indoors and setting up a growing station.


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Re: What can I start indoors?

Post  quiltbea on 1/1/2013, 12:45 pm

Countryprepper.....Camprn gives solid advice. It depends on when you can put the transplants outdoors in your particular area. That depends on your last frost date.
Some things, the cool weather crops, like your broccoli and cabbage can be started the earliest since they can be transplanted outdoors even before the last spring frost.
I suggest printing off a yearly calendar, if you can, and finding the last spring frost dates. Then count back from that each week, from 1 thru 12. Twelve wks before the last frost date you can sow broccoli and cabbage seeds and then grow them under lights til they have to be transplanted.
A cheap way to go is to get one or two track lights from Home Depot or Lowe's with daylight bulbs. One 4' system should run you around $22 or so. You can grow several starts under one light system.

I can't hang my lights from the ceiling in our furnace room, so I prop them up on both ends with old VHS tapes or whatever is handy. You can lift one side higher than the other for taller plants.

I have to admit that my first year, I bought my transplants from local big box stores, like Lowe's or Walmart, and transplanted them. It worked out great and they did all the work.

Do more reading on the subject and click on the search boxes to your left. They'll help, I'm sure. Try to get Mel Bartholomew's All New Square Foot Gardening book and take our a few books from the library and do some winter reading. Good luck.

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Re: What can I start indoors?

Post  Pepper on 1/1/2013, 2:24 pm

Here is a link to a Julian calendar
I don't know if you have heard about a Julian calendar; every day of the year is sequentialy numbered; it will help you calculate harvest dates. Just find the number for the planted on date add the matures in days number convert back into normal calendar date . Most seed and plant providers give you the days to maturity/harvest info. You will find two different calendars one is for leap years. Get you one here:
http://gapsmallfarmsnc.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/julian-calendar.pdf

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Re: What can I start indoors?

Post  camprn on 1/1/2013, 3:17 pm

This is a bit off topic of starting seeds early indoors, but as with gardening in general, many things are connected.

Another piece of information that farmers take into consideration in recent years are Growing Degree Days Particularly when calculating growing crops and pest emergence.

In this thread Boffer makes an effort to explain Growing Degree Days, or GDD. <~~click

____________________________

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: What can I start indoors?

Post  plantoid on 1/1/2013, 4:51 pm

O ff on a tangent..
Most UK arable farmers are signed up to big company computer forcasted sowing harvesting and protection programmes ..it's big BIG business and very very critical in timings .

We have weather stations all over the UK and we use satellite technology as well as aircraft data collecting to gather data to feed to the forcasters computers.

Like has been said the seed labels are usually reasonable for a set weather in the region of the packer .

Some companies are now including a colour coded map on the packs to show colour coded plantings

When you buy some seeds sometimes it is a good idea to contact the company or look on their websites to see what info you can get for free.

Many yearsa go I wanted to purchase some rather expensive geranium seed at £14 for 10 seeds so I wrote ( yes some folks actually wrote letters in those far distant years Wink ) to the seedsman and asked for more info.

I found out that they would not grow in my garden ....too wet ... too much clay and not warm enough , they were for 200 miles south or a glasshouse crop only but the info on the seed packet didn't tell me that.

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Re: What can I start indoors?

Post  SQFTBIX on 1/3/2013, 12:59 pm

I figured (I'm in 7A in the US) that around Jan 15th is the time to start my cold plants. Problem is, last year it turned very hot way too soon and my cabbage plants suffered immensely. I now have an abundance of cloth to cover them if I so choose to grow them thei year.
Given the state of the economy and our first paychecks with reality staring us in the face, I am really looking at the garden with a different perspective. I want plants that we can eat and supplement our dinners. My wife and son don't eat tomatos so I won't be growing 14 of them this year. But my quandry is what to plant that can help offset the rise in food prices we all know are coming. More beans for sure and definitely more peppers too. I have 6 4X4 plots plus a plastic greenhouse that is 6X6 and 2 hydroponic systems. Anyone have any ideas on what has helped them? sunny

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Re: What can I start indoors?

Post  johnsonjlj on 1/4/2013, 6:02 am

Sqftbix, I live in zone 8b and have to deal with virtually no spring, but 80 degree days in May (I live in north Florida), so I feel your pain when it comes to cool weather crops and their reaction to heat. I transplanted cabbages and cauliflower mid-February last year and wound up using a pvc frame and covering it with shade cloth until we harvested everything in May, which worked out well. Even had success with the cauliflower, which surprised me since I found out after planting it that it is one of the fussier vegetables for the home gardener to grow. Last year I resorted to putting that cloth over my bell peppers to keep them from being sunburned and wound up keeping them until the end of October/mid-November.

During this winter we covered our beds (two 4'x16' and a 4'x12') with a frost blanket using hoops made of pvc and grew all winter- collard greens, carrots, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, beets & broccoli. Last year I bought transplants, but will be starting my own seed this year after bringing something home with me that would up costing me all of my tomato, melon and cucumber plants. Purchasing grow lights and reusable 2" pots this week to start our seeds inside. I plan on starting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and cantaloupe inside. We also plant zipper peas, lima beans, corn, and okra, but those will all be direct-seeded. We'll be adding herbs this year that we use to cook with (basil, parsley, oregano, sage, marjoram & thyme) and drying those.

The economy has definitely made a difference in how large our garden beds are and our future plans with our garden. We will be adding two 4'x12' and a 1'x12' bed this spring, along with some type of drip irrigation system to keep it all watered in our oppressive heat. We have a fairly large garden, but wind up sharing with my husband's parents and grandmother who live next door. When planning our garden, we just look at what we like to eat!

Judi

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Re: What can I start indoors?

Post  czechens on 1/4/2013, 7:21 am

Love this thread! The seed catalogs are drifting in, and I'm getting really excited to go play in the dirt. (Unfortunately, it's 17 degrees right now in Missouri.)

This will be my first year of SFG after several years of trying to coax some edibles out of the Missouri clay. (Pretty much grew a deer buffet - lucky to grab a couple of smallish tomatoes.) Knee problems have prompted really raised (30" high) 4 x 8 beds, of which I have four--I guess that's eight blocks in SBG terms. This will also be my first adventure in seed starting, so I'll be coming back to this thread often. Steep learning curve!

Camprn - Thanks for the link to the OFA chart. I love it that you can localize it right to your zip code. It doesn't have absolutely everything I want to grow, but it's a great start. I'm also planning to use the great charts in the first edition of Mel Bartholomew's book.

Quiltbea - Great set-up! What an excellent use for old videotapes!

Sqftbix - I'm totally in sync with your concerns about the economy as it relates to my garden. I'll be taking food production much more seriously this year. None for the deer if I can help it!

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Re: What can I start indoors?

Post  plantoid on 1/4/2013, 3:30 pm

@SQFTBIX wrote:I figured (I'm in 7A in the US) that around Jan 15th is the time to start my cold plants. Problem is, last year it turned very hot way too soon and my cabbage plants suffered immensely. I now have an abundance of cloth to cover them if I so choose to grow them thei year.
Given the state of the economy and our first paychecks with reality staring us in the face, I am really looking at the garden with a different perspective. I want plants that we can eat and supplement our dinners. My wife and son don't eat tomatos so I won't be growing 14 of them this year. But my quandry is what to plant that can help offset the rise in food prices we all know are coming. More beans for sure and definitely more peppers too. I have 6 4X4 plots plus a plastic greenhouse that is 6X6 and 2 hydroponic systems. Anyone have any ideas on what has helped them? sunny

I've been disabled for more years than I care to count .
So on a reduced income things wrt garden took on a greater value.

For me it was and still is :- Root crops loads of carrots, rutabaga, parsnip, turnip , red beet roots , chinese long radishes aka Mooli
Legumes peas & climbing bean and broad beans hartbest as soon as they are big enough for a very very long season .. because they climb you get more use of your garden .. blanche & freeze or dry .
Ddwarf bush beans here are only 12 inches tall and take up a lot of space but they do give a long season if often harvested . Remember soak over night change water & to boil for 10 min and discard the water if reconstituing dried beans of all kinds or you'll end up with some form of nasty posioning.

Hard ball cabbages give more cabbage than a big floppy lose leafed one .
green brassica of all kind can be eaten raw , scalded with a bit of butter & black ground pepper mixed in . you can also give a two or three of hardballs a "hair cut " & relieve them of a couple of leaves to use for apart of a meal , they'll soon regrow to normal from the inside .
Brussels sprouts are also good to have they grow up and can give 3 or more pounds of sprouts per plant . You can eat them raw fresh boiled or blanched & frozen and also eat the sprout tops in spring , microwave them back to edibility to keep them crunchy .

Potatoes or tubers of all kinds edible .
A belly filler if meat and other veg are scarce yet in moderation unfried they don't slap the weight on you like pasta or rice dishes as they are a simple carb unless heavily processed.

I have sucessfully grown shop celery this year gone, I've had 14 new hands out of this idea ..
Cut off the bottom two inches off a hand of shop brought celery ( put the washed stalks into a freezer bag in the fridge @ 3 o C with a couple of teaspoons of water and they'll stay fresh for a week or more ) .

Carefully trim a champher and a very thin slice off the scarred over cut end on the bottom of the stump . Then put the stump in a glass of water correct way up , put 1/2" of cold water in the glass and over the next few days the stump will start to regrow .
Once it is 2 inches tall plant out into MM so the MM is just below the top of the stump , cover with a cloche /big jar etc if it is cold and sleeve it up with carboard or newspaper etc after each 6 inches of growth for a nice white flesh & strong flavour. Keep sleeving them to 18 inches tall

Because you can store root crops in straw or sand as well as drying freezing or canning they are a very versitile crop.



Grow salad stuff all over the place but do the lettuces & leaf stuff as cut & come again .
Courgettes left to grow to marrows .. we've had a bumper year the bigger ones were left to become marrows of two feet lo[ng or so , then cut and carefuly stored in a cool dry place . We ate the last store marrow just before christmas as part of a medly of oven baked oiled up veg.

Onions of all persuasions are a long term crop that needs lots of sun to ripen them once they are well into their mid growth stage . They can be plaited on to string and hung up somewhere frost free. My biggest moan is that we never seem to have enough onions or garlics and have had to buy more than we have grown .

It has been nice to grow our own bell peppers and aubergines as they are quite expensive in the shops even more so when they are out of season .

Leeks are also another versatile long term veg that can be harvested for around 8 months of the year here in the UK . They don't store in the fridge for much more than a week but they can be dug and " heeled" in in 15 inches of clean sand near to the house once harvested before the hard frosts come to give you easy access and some fresh veg over winter. They do freeze but tend to be a bit wet when thawed but with some whitee or cheese sauce over them boiled up and put under the grill they are a tasty part of a cold weather meal .

Some of our friends had a 14 acre smallholding with farmed pigs ,goats, rabbits , ducks , geese chickens and horses .
They ate the pigs , goats ,ducks ,geese , chickens & rabbits and only ever ate what crop was in season as well as their own stored or preserved root & beans .
Drank their own home made beers and wines but not to excess .
Ate their own plums pears and apples plus top and soft fruits .

They never ate stodgy puddings/ desserts and were some of the fittest & heathiiest people I've ever known .

Looking at things slightly obliquely , there is an excellent book called " Swimming with the Pirahana makes you hungry " or a very similar title ... it's about reducing your debts & keeping expenditure down to real essentials .
We read it 17 yrs ago when this second disability problem came along and hit us very hard indeed.

Now we almost mortgage free having sold up twice and moved on to better more suitable housing for me , we have no other debts and instead of having to pay credit card interest etc. have that money in our pockets for things like our ANSFG's .

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Re: What can I start indoors?

Post  CharlesB on 1/4/2013, 4:59 pm

A few items you can grow continuously indoors so the plant out data isn't as important. Your cole crops are not one of them. Hot peppers and the rest of the solanacea family are. I just started my hot peppers. They won't be planted out for over 4-5 months. Doesn't matter, you can just keep trimming them back strengthening the root system and stems.

Cole crops have all worked good for me in flats. Where I just plant lines of them and prick out the little seedlings for transplant. This needs to be timed well though. Remember indoors if you want to slow something down you can keep it somewhere cool and if you want to speed it up keep it 80-90 degrees Smile .

This is fantastic indoor growing advice:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=olxw2JWHEPk

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