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January 2013: New England

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January 2013: New England

Post  camprn on 1/1/2013, 9:50 am

Happy New Year everyone! Winter has finally arrived for all of us in this region. The short daylight hours are getting longer but the temperature is often frigid. In regards to the garden it is a time for rest and instead concentrate on keeping the home fires burning. The seed catalogs are adding up and the seed list is getting longer. For me I am also ogling the beekeeping catalogs. My mantra right now is 'I will make the list smaller'. I have to do a seed inventory and send out some seeds to folks who have requested them.

Here is Margaret Roach's January garden chore list for the North East.


A way to Garden: January Chores

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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/1/2013, 11:49 am

Lesson learned! Next winter I heed everyone's advise and pull ALL the veggies before freeze occurs. I had no idea how hard the ground gets. Just about made my fingers bleed trying to get at my carrots from the exposed carrot bed earlier today:

Fortunately the 3 squares of carrots under windows in the beet bed aren't as frozen yet, so I could pull a bunch of those:
They are smaller than the carrot bed carrots but they were fine for soup.

Also next winter, IF I do windows again, I'll not be so lazy. Embarassed I'll scrape off the snow while it's fresh and not let it freeze into a thick sheet of ice. Temps are supposed to go to hi 30's w/ sun today. Hopefully that will soften that ice so I can get it off. I'll check it this afternoon.

CC
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  camprn on 1/1/2013, 12:05 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Lesson learned! Next winter I heed everyone's advise and pull ALL the veggies before freeze occurs. I had no idea how hard the ground gets. Just about made my fingers bleed trying to get at my carrots from the exposed carrot bed earlier today.
CC

Oooh, it was a good lesson, no? One you will most certainly not forget. You may be able to get the rest of them out today if you use a shovel or some other tool, otherwise the frozen ground wont give them up until spring.

I have to say you had a good long stretch of last of the season veggies, thus it was a success. cheers

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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  quiltbea on 1/1/2013, 1:10 pm

In my garden, all is under a blanket of snow.

I'm just grateful that I still have some herb pots indoors that are still producing, tho many have seen their last fullness.

I can still cut off fresh rosemary, parsley, thyme, lemon balm and tarragon but the chives are about done. And of course, there's still my fresh lettuce.

Here's some Thom thumb and the tall stuff is still some Romaine in that pot. I'm going to sow a few more seeds to take me thru a couple more months of green.
Now its just a matter of choosing seeds and cutting back because like many of you, my wish lists are just too long and my garden too small.
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  camprn on 1/4/2013, 10:49 pm

I am going to try melons again this year.
http://awaytogarden.com/giveaway-high-mowing-seeds-can-do-creed-and-how-to-grow-better-melons-healthier-tomatoes

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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: January 2013: New England

Post  camprn on 1/5/2013, 10:19 am

Busted out the (snow)rake this morning, now off to the dump since we have this brief thaw. Maybe later I will do a seed inventory and get ready to SWAP SEEDS! Very Happy

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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  quiltbea on 1/5/2013, 11:30 am

camprn.....I was thinking about doing a seed inventory of all my seeds, too, this weekend. I checked thru many of my tomatoes and peppers already, but there are all the other crops. I don't know how much I have left of those. Thanks for the nudge. Then I can post on the seed exchange if I have others available to swap.

I even went to Staples yesterday and bought more of their 2 x 3 zip lock poly bags for seeds. They are so darn handy and the seeds keep dry in the crisper in these bags. Very handy for mailing out to others.

Have a fun weekend and keep your pencil sharpened.
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/6/2013, 2:03 pm

Seed inventory, eh? Hmm. Toward the end there I was lucky that the seed packets made it back into the fridge, let alone in any kind of order. Guess it's gotta be done tho. Rolling Eyes

So last week I was able to get the snow off the windows once the temp hit 37. I didn't dig out any more veggies except for a few prized hard to get at carrots on New Years day. I figured I'd pull everything else up in spring and just leave it all where it was till then:

It's been freezing ever since and the snow that fell just after Christmas is still hanging around:

But today I want to make soup. While the collected peelings were simmering to make broth, I looked outside at the temp and it was 40, sunny & drippy! thinking Hmm, says I. So I headed out to the garden (treacherous as that was due to so much ice everywhere), pulled back the windows and ta daaa:



So I ended up with soup fixin's of chard, beet greens, scallions, garlic greens (from cloves mistakenly planted early summer), broccoli leaves, kale & a carrot w/ greens:
What a Face

Try as I might I could not get another carrot out as that bed isn't covered. Next year I'll cover it.

So yet another successful harvest from that crazy SFG. Amazing!
Off to finish the soup.

CC



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Hello fellow NE gardeners!

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 1/7/2013, 6:11 am


Cape Goddess: What a great little harvest! Brilliant colors and homegrown freshness from the SFG.

I've started my initial plans for the 2013 grow season. Goals are bigger snap pea trellaces, and to grow enough butternut squash to last through nest winter. I lost out on a big harvest to white powdery mildew last season. Going to rotate my crops a bit this season and try again.

My wife gave me the new SFG answer book for Christmas. What do you guys think of it so far?

think green!
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/13/2013, 3:37 pm

Hi BackRiver! Do you have any photos of your set up you could post? Do you start seeds? If so, when and how?

Haven't read the new answer book...our library doesn't have it in yet. Someday...

Today I got nervous that everything would freeze up on me soon so I pulled a bunch more beet greens and carrots for snacking and the salad bowl:

Meanwhile, the chards continue to grow after being harvested to within a quarter inch of their lives last week. And I transplanted some indoor pak choi & kale into the chard box:
I'll put the windows back on tomorrow afternoon. I know I'm taking a chance on pak choi and kale transplants, but didn't want to throw them out when I threw out my indoor salad garden box (due to bolting and bitterness). Didn't want to be bothered transplanting them into pots either. We'll chalk it up as an experiment, either way.

On a different note, the Christmas Rose (hellebore) has been in bloom since Dec 18th, and seems to go on and on and on no matter what the weather throws at it:

It was great fun getting my hands dirty today. Hope you all got to enjoy this warm weather, too. Heading to the sofa with tea, carrots & dip, and a good book. Happy Sunday, All!

CC
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  camprn on 1/16/2013, 8:28 am

I love the hellebore. I think I need me one or more of those. Today is a snow day... trying to develop curriculum for beginning beekeepers...... and maybe seed shop. What a Face

In thinking about this coming growing season I need to get more bang for my buck; planting for the pantry. I am going back to planting my tomatoes every other square and will probably be adding more plants. For canning, I think I will be planting 8-10 San marzanos (determinate) and 16-20 gilberties (indeterminate). If there are no plant failures, I should get get more than enough for year's worth of tomatoes. Cutting back to 8 cherry type tomatoes. I use these for fresh eating and dehydrated tomatoes for the winter soups. I plan on 8-10 aubergine plants and 10 poblano chili plants and sticking with the one serranno chili for a little more heat. I want a few more sweet peppers too. Again, I dehydrate all extra fruits for the off seasons. I must give some attention to the raspberry and strawberry patch and learn best management practices for the different varieties.
Will try with the Brussel's sprouts again, but cabbage is usually so cheap I will not devote 12 squares to them.

I am expanding my wee apiary to hopefully 4-5 hives and try my hand at queen rearing and try to build some summer nucs for overwintering, insurance.

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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



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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  quiltbea on 1/16/2013, 12:22 pm

Camprn.....Yours sounds like a good plan. I seems you've thought things thru very well.
I love that you have bees. It was a dream of mine some years ago but I'm not willing to take on more tasks as I get older. I get my 'honey' fix by reading your posts. I hope to see many more this year.

I, too, am giving more air circulation space to my tomatoes this year, so instead of 4 across the north side of six of my 4x4 beds, I'll tuck in 3 and hope that gives them better air circulation since I string mine and remove suckers.
I'll keep my determinates in pots again this year. It worked well for me in the past.
I'm a freezer-type person so even the cherry types are frozen and make good additions to sauces, I've found. Adds great flavor. For the most part, tho, I'm eating them fresh from the garden while doing chores. Mmmmm good.

This year I'm trying Sweet Million again. I tried two a couple years ago but the hornworm got them both before I could enjoy a harvest. At the time I thought it was deer because I never saw the creature, just plants looking like skeletons. Found out too late that hornwrom were enjoying my tomatoes much more than me. I've become an avid hunter since then.

Let us know how increasing growing space helps your tomatoes this year. Good luck.
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  NHGardener on 1/16/2013, 11:59 pm

Quiltbea, did you ever receive your seeds from Ray? I had sent an email like he said on 12/30 and I just wonder if he got it. I didn't get a confirmation, I know you had mentioned you did. I do see the sent email in my email folder.

About to place a Fedco order.
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  quiltbea on 1/17/2013, 12:27 pm

NHGardener......No seeds from Ray at Praxxus for me yet. He must have hundreds asking for seeds. He's very popular. I was hoping to get them this month. I'll let you know if and when I get them.
It wouldn't hurt to send the email again. He just won't send out a 2nd order if he's already got it. I got an acknowledgement that my order was rec'd after I sent in my order.
I havo to order seeds from 3 catalogs but I'm still adding and subtracting seeds so until I make my final decisions, they're waiting. I know I can't wait too long or they'll sell out.
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  camprn on 1/19/2013, 5:21 pm

My estimated last frost day is around May 20. Here is what Johnny's says about that.
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/e-PDGSeedStart.aspx

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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/19/2013, 5:26 pm

Oh My GOSH! That is an amazing chart, camp...thank you so much! LFD here is 4/19.

CC
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/20/2013, 1:28 pm

I was able to pick the usual carrots and beet greens today. The chards are not large enough yet. I may be at the end of the sizeable, carrots unless the thread carrots are are actually growing.

But I did see a weird thing going on with my kohlrabi that I haven't pulled for the compost yet. I planted them in either late Aug or early Sept and they've been skinny stems with leaves for so long that I figured I couldn't grow them here. But now they seem to be 'heading up', if that's even the phrase one uses for kohlrabi. Some of the stems are getting thicker and rounder. Here's a photo of one of each:

These are in a box that is not covered. Is kohlrabi winter hardy?

CC
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  camprn on 1/20/2013, 2:10 pm

Those babies keep on truckin'! No rush to toss em into the compost pile, they may yet end up on your table.

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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/21/2013, 4:05 pm

Wonder if those kohlrabi will survive all this snow that's a-comin tonight and Friday. Wonder if ANYthing will. I know *I* won't. Evil or Very Mad

Yesterday I planted potatoes in a 5 gal bucket, and some seeds in a 1 lb spring mix container with a lid. Yukon gold, cabbage, broccoli and round onions.



Hope it works.

CC
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  mollyhespra on 1/24/2013, 11:22 am

I just wanted to say...

BRRRRR!!!

-24 at my house this morning. At least we have some snow, too...
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/24/2013, 12:11 pm

Jiminy! And I thought we had it bad with 5. No

Broccoli & onions seeds are sprouting now. I need to get them off the heating pad so I'll transplant them tonight I think, and get them into the bay window. That way I can leave the cabbage seeds on the pad.

CC
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  camprn on 1/26/2013, 12:14 am

Well, I think I have had enough of this. Bring on .Next week is Groundhog Day... only 8 more weeks of winter!
http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/26/2013, 12:45 pm

My calendar is telling me to plant indoor sugar snap pea & spinach seeds today. Looking outside, it just seems crazy. So I went back to Johnny's LFD chart to check this and sure enough, it's correct. But the peas have an * next to them and I can't find the legend that explains what the * means. Any ideas anyone?

CC
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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  camprn on 1/26/2013, 12:46 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:My calendar is telling me to plant indoor sugar snap pea & spinach seeds today. Looking outside, it just seems crazy. So I went back to Johnny's LFD chart to check this and sure enough, it's correct. But the peas have an * next to them and I can't find the legend that explains what the * means. Any ideas anyone?

CC
CC, please post a link to the site you are using.

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Re: January 2013: New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/26/2013, 12:51 pm

Sorry, Camp...I found the answer. It was right there on the bottom of the chart.
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/e-PDGSeedStart.aspx

I was confused since Mel says in his book that peas don't transplant well, but I guess I'll try anyway since Johnny's says to do it now. If it doesn't work, in a few weeks I'll direct plant like last year which worked famously! Can't hurt to do both and have succession planting. YUM!

Wonder if I'll get any spinach this year...

thanks
CC
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Re: January 2013: New England

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