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February 2013 New England

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 13:18

Its Sat Feb 9th and blizzard Nemo has passed after dropping us 19 plus inches of snow. We were lucky and suffered no power outages. I'm thankful that the snow was very light this time.

Here's my SFG under all that fresh snow. Poor man's fertilizer.
At least the forecast is for above-freezing days this week, which will be most welcome.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  dvelten on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 14:22

Not too bad here in Central MA, just 20 inches at my place, no wind, so we still have power! The ladies of the household are excited. After I got them to shovel the front walk and rear deck, they are in the kitchen celebrating by baking cookies and a pumpkin roll. We are blessed to be safe and warm. Back to planning the 2013 garden!


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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 16:57

Carrot planning question: I see Mel says 16 per square, but I'm thinking if you want them fatter, it would probably be better to space them out more. I'm thinking of planning 9 per square. Is that a waste of space?

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 17:01

@NHGardener wrote:Carrot planning question: I see Mel says 16 per square, but I'm thinking if you want them fatter, it would probably be better to space them out more. I'm thinking of planning 9 per square. Is that a waste of space?
Yes. I sow thickly and thin the plants. This gives me baby carrots through a longer season and eventually the ones left in the bed have enough room to get good sized. In a good year. Some years my carrots do not do well.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 17:05

Aha! Thank you, I'll go ahead and plan on 16.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 17:22

This is what I mean by sowing thickly. In the foreground carrots in the middle of the box. The bed behind has beets and spinach and peas.


Last edited by camprn on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 17:28; edited 1 time in total

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 17:28

Beautiful camprn. Your garden is always so neat and organized, and those carrots are in such nice rows.

I was looking back at last summer and noticed that your growth is so lush and green. I'm wondering the difference between your soil and mine. But I've been adding many things to my boxes this year, so I'm hoping to beef up my nutrient levels.

Also planning on turning one 4x4 into a compost box for the summer, double high, with air between the 2 levels. This way the box gets a break, and maybe I'll rotate every summer, and keep my compost right in the beds.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 17:30

Thanks for the compliment NHG! I usually add about a wheel barrow full of homemade compost each year to each 4x4 bed. I think that makes a huge difference.

OH! I also like to add a bag of the lobster compost to each bed as well. What a Face

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 17:38

A wheelbarrow of compost for each bed is a WHOLE lotta compost. Wow.

Along the lines of the carrots, I think I remember reading here that onions would probably do better at 9 per square than 16. Do you do that?

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 17:42

Yeah that's what I did with my onions. But I am giving up on regular onions, I just have not had good success with them. I am growing a lot of shallots. And I am looking for some multiplier onions but I think most seed houses sell those in the fall.

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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: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on Sat 9 Feb 2013 - 19:27

This type of onion, camprn?

http://www.localharvest.org/egyptian-walking-onion-sets-C10875

I believe this was the kind I heard great things about - they just keep replanting themselves. Sounds like a good way to go.

I do like the bulb onions tho. Last year I happened on some sets at the grocery and store and they actually grew pretty well.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on Sun 10 Feb 2013 - 3:54

I am looking for the potato onions. I have a few of the walking onions that are renegades in the flower beds. They are very small bulbs.

-8*F this morning. affraid

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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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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  dvelten on Sun 10 Feb 2013 - 4:14

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange has the yellow potato onion, but as you say, they ship in the fall, starting in September for northern areas. I got my red shallots from them last year and they also have the grey shallot. If my reds do well, I may try a few of the grey shallots this fall. Pricey at $8.50 for 4 ounces.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on Sun 10 Feb 2013 - 4:41

Thanks DV, I was hoping to find some for this spring for planting.
I started with my shallots a few years back with about 4 OZ. Last year was the first year I actually had some good size ones for seed and enough for eating fir the year, all from 4 oz (roughly).


I cannot remember exactly, but I think I put aside 80 of the largest shallots for seed. I held back that many in the event some of them didn't make it until spring.

This is the first winter for my greys. Fingers crossed all is well and they produce with vigor.

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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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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on Sun 10 Feb 2013 - 5:05

Ugh, just lost my reply. Let me try this again.

camprn, you sold me on the potato onions - looks like you harvest the cluster in July and then turn around and replant individually in maybe September? Don't have to worry about storing the seed onions over the winter, and never have to plant onion seeds again!

I see Fedco is out of them, but I'm hoping maybe towards late summer they'll be available again - I put in an email. I believe it was $13+/lb. I wonder if local farmer's markets might have the clusters as well. That would be another option.

I like fall planting because it's a quieter time to get things done, not in the mad rush of spring. I'm loving the idea of strawberries coming in June with no trouble on my end, garlic coming in August without any more work (until October planting), and after I plant my asparagus this spring, in a couple years that will happen all by itself too. Onions taking care of themselves over the spring until harvest would really be nice.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  mollyhespra on Sun 10 Feb 2013 - 6:44

(Interrupting interesting conversation with many apologies...) Has anyone heard from CC? I saw in the news that the Cape got hit pretty hard...come to think of it, I don't think Quiltbea has posted either...hope you're all ok.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on Sun 10 Feb 2013 - 6:58

I am guessing they are still out of electricity and still shoveling.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on Sun 10 Feb 2013 - 8:09

North East Garden Chores for February 2013, from Margaret Roach and her fabulous garden blog...
http://awaytogarden.com/the-february-garden-chores-2013

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on Sun 10 Feb 2013 - 8:26

molly....I've posted. See my snowed-in garden above? We didn't lose power at all tho thousands in Maine did.
A friend on the Cape lost her power for 12 hrs and said many more are still without it. They had freezing rain first, many cars are frozen shut under the snow. No cars allowed on the roads at all as of early last evening. I'm sure CC will post when she gets her power back.

edited to add: Camprn....I envy you your shallots. I can't grow them. Tried once. Maybe I should try again. Onions did fine but they are so cheap to buy I hate wasting the space for onions again.
Please check your PMs.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on Sun 10 Feb 2013 - 11:59

Okay guys, what are you seeding now?

Just went to an indoor seeding lecture, so let's get started.

First up: onions. I need 288 onion plants. I only have one heat mat tho. Maybe I should plant them in 2 different stages: Stage 1, first tray of onions, maybe 5 to a small cup, then when they sprout stick them under the fluorescent light and use the heat mat for tray #2.

Will that work? They said I should start seeding onions indoors now.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on Sun 10 Feb 2013 - 12:38

In this photo below you can see how I handle sprouting seeds and transferring them when they get big enough to handle. My transplanting tools are a sharp paring knife and a pencil.In the foreground in the yellow tray are tomato seedlings ready for transplanting. There is a tray of transplanted seedlings on the left. In the background you can see (sort of) the tray of onion seedlings looks like grass. I think the year this photo was taken I used a plastic tray that came with a store bought cooked chicken. I seed thickly, let them grow to about 3 inches and trim the top 1/2" off and let them grow some more. When the onion seedlings get transplanted they must be strong enough to take the handling required to separate the roots.



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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on Sun 10 Feb 2013 - 12:53

Beautiful camprn! And that's how the demonstrator did the seeding today - just in flats. I was thinking individual cups in flats, etc., and she actually did recommend the planter setup on the left side of your photo with all the little cups there, for onions. That's a neat gizmo, which I don't have.

But, and I just remembered, she said if you only have one heat mat, you can stack two flats on top of each other (with the greenhouse lids) because heat rises, and then just swap them around. So I think I'll do that.

She showed how she transplants tomato seedlings from a plain flat to individual planters, and it was surprisingly easy with the seed starter, soil-less mix, they come right out in strands and you just pop them into their new homes.

It's quite an art, seed starting.

She also mentioned you need to feed your plants once they get past the initial seedling stage and into the fluorescent light stage. I don't like to use "additives", but even making a worm compost tea and dousing them with that would work.

I would not have known the seedlings need food at a certain stage, but as she pointed out, the seed starter, soil-less mixes do not have nutrients.

(Oh, and she suggested a plastic fork would work with transplanting)

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  CapeCoddess on Mon 11 Feb 2013 - 5:47

OK, the blizzard lasted into Sat nite here. The power went out Friday nite and came back on sometime before this morning. *whew* It's so nice to have really hot coffee and a shower again. It got down to 44 inside but I found that if one dresses like an Eskimo & hides under blankets, it's bearable. I shoveled out the driveway yesterday, and the roads are clear enough considering that the bottom 4-6 inches of all outside surfaces is ice.

Suppose to storm again tonight but should be all rain here with a bit of a warm up coming with it. *crossing fingers* Meanwhile, my collards and pak choi sprouted during all this. Rolling Eyes As well as one saved Sungold tomato, with other tomato types breaking thru now, don't know how with it being so cold inside.

My 12" cupboards and 10" wood boxes are about a buried as I hope to ever see them:


And my recently turned and huge compost pile is that little bump on the far right:

Fortunately I have today off, coz it looks like I have lots of forum reading to catch up on. Better get to it.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  RoOsTeR on Mon 11 Feb 2013 - 6:15

Happy to see you are alright and back up with power. Look at all that snow Shocked

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  CapeCoddess on Mon 11 Feb 2013 - 6:48

Thanks, folks, for all the well wishes for the wimpy Cape Codder. We are so spoiled here that ice and snow over 6" is actually a shock. Laughing That photo I posted of the shovel in the snow is showing where the ice starts...that's as far down as the shovel would go. I had to burm that ice bank to get my 4" clearance Prius out of the garage. I don't know why they make those cars like that...so crazy. I need a pick up! Especially since these storms should bring in a ton of seaweed. cyclops

@camprn wrote:Thanks for the compliment NHG! I usually add about a wheel barrow full of homemade compost each year to each 4x4 bed. I think that makes a huge difference.

OH! I also like to add a bag of the lobster compost to each bed as well. What a Face

Camp, your gardens DO always look great and now we know why. Very Happy I've never forgotten the vid you made that time of your garden tour. Wish I could find it again. Do you have the link?

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Re: February 2013 New England

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