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February 2013 New England

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  donnainzone5 on 2/11/2013, 10:12 am

Cape Coddess,

Glad you came throught the storm okay!

There IS a bonus: You can use some of that seaweed as a compost ingredient!

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on 2/11/2013, 10:25 am

Wow 44 degrees... No, I think my blood would have coagulated in that, even under covers. Glad you got your power back CC, nothing beats good ol' electricity.

camprn, I got a message from Fedco - they suggest planting potato onions in the spring and that's the only time they sell them, which they are already out of. Note for next year: order them by January....

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 2/11/2013, 11:05 am

Oh I guess I have good instincts then (spring planting)... Thanks for the info NHG.... Well done!

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 2/11/2013, 11:07 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:. 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!
CC

Naw... you just need a lift kit for the Prius. 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: February 2013 New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/11/2013, 11:14 am

*LOL* Or giant tires!

Rainin' like a bastahd here now...snow snow go away. I have a mystery 40' fallen pine tree to find. The trunk is laying in the yard across the street, the head is in my front yard, so I need to find the middle.

I know you're out there somewhere...
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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/12/2013, 4:38 pm

I got my free seeds from Ray today!!! wooohooo! Can't wait to dig in...especially the tomatillo!
Thanks for the tip, QB!

Here's a photo of the seedlings that are up so far. On the left I have 18 cells of collards (every seed sprouted so will need serious thinning); the middle is 7 of onions, 9 of broccoli, & 2 mysteries; the right side top to bottom is 1 cabbage (so far - 5 to go I hope), 6 of pak choi that needs thinning, and the 6 different tomatoes.
I love you

I've never watered from the bottom before but want to now. Am I supposed to put in an inch of water and leave it, or dump it after a bit? Also, which one's should I pot up, besides toms, and which one's can stay in the cells til transplanting outside?

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on 2/13/2013, 10:52 pm

I can't tell you too much about seedlings CC because I'm just basically starting on them myself. But the seedling lecture I went to recently said to bottom water, maybe spritz on top, but don't let the top get wet - if the top of the soil is wet, it's too wet (after they sprout, not before).

Other than that, I think every topic ever considered by man or animal is posted on youtube anymore.

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I got my seeds!

Post  NHGardener on 2/14/2013, 11:30 am

Woohoo - Fedco's order came in and I got a bunch of seed packets and for some strange reason it is super exciting! My husband frankly doesn't want to hear about it anymore. That's a puzzler.

Still waiting for the asparagus crowns and the grapevine to come, small potato order (since I still have my 10 lb. bag of sprouted potatoes in the pantry - hope they last), and I still need to order the agribon and maybe black solar mulch and definitely bee seed mix from Johnnys.

Now I need about twice my garden size. Hmm.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 2/17/2013, 9:59 am

On my local AM radio station we have a new New England garden radio show on Sunday mornings. You can stream the broadcast, find a local station and listen over the air or listen to pod casts.
http://www.paulparent.com/

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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: February 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on 2/17/2013, 10:55 am

CapeCoddess.....I pour an inch or so of water into the bottom tray and forget it until the tops of the plantings start to get dry, then I add more water. The seedlings need to breath so allowing the soil to dry a little does that.

It all depends on how big are the plants in their current homes. If they aren't yet root bound, they don't need larger quarters. If they are, then they have to be potted up to larger pots or cells. The idea is to keep them happy til they are outdoors. You have to use your best judgement.

Special note: If you are germinating seeds, the soil needs to be kept moist at all times, but not soaking wet. Its after germination that they need to dry a bit now and then.

Personally, I use soil blocks so all the 3/4" blocks have to be transplanted to 2" blocks but from there it depends. If they need more room, I go to either 16-oz air-pruning soda cups or 2- or 3-liter air-pruning soda bottle bottoms. If I am starting something for only a couple weeks, like early peas, corn, lettuces, spinach, herbs, or greens, they go directly from the 2" blocks into the garden after hardening off.

Camprn....that's a good site you posted but I'm not sure about using podcasts since I've never done it Are they like viewing utube channels?

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 2/17/2013, 11:04 am

@quiltbea wrote:

Camprn....that's a good site you posted but I'm not sure about using podcasts since I've never done it Are they like viewing utube channels?
Podcast is a special prerecording or recorded broadcast available for listening later.

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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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Transplanted Southerner Needs Help!

Post  MAdeupagin on 2/17/2013, 11:06 am

Hello, y'all. That will be the last time I y'all you guys, as far as I know. I may slip. If I do, I apologize in advance. Twisted Evil

I currently live in a 3-family home with a very small yard. Since the storm of 10/31 took down a few trees around us, we don't yet know our sun sitch. Because of our small yard, this Square Foot sounds better here than in Florida, where we're from. I know, I know, we ALWAYS do things backwards. All we REALLY know is that we do want to have a salsa garden, at least, because that's what we always planted in North Florida. We'd have it in the ground and probably at least one harvest by now. Here, we're at a loss.

We are not allowed, by terms of our lease, to have a compost anything. We have a trash can with just good old DIRT and our landlord (who is really a nice guy, he just doesn't want any complaining by anyone of any smell from compost, which all of US know doesn't happen with a proper compost pile, but we cannot convince him of that) actually LOOKED INSIDE and gave us a "first warning" even though it was just dirt.

The first thing we have done is NOT salted anything; that's what the dirt is for. It works as well as salt except it won't kill anything this spring.

I'm starting my first garden chores list, ordered a ton of catalogs for a New England garden, and well, where do we go from here? We ARE allowed a garden, that's in our lease too. Laughing We do want, as I said, a salsa garden, and maybe an Italian garden, too. Flowers for sure on our porch, which seems to get a lot of sun during this winter. Again, trees gone makes it hard to know what we're doing.

Hubby (of almost 25 years) and I live in West Springfield, and WE got 25", more than that stupid city across the river, which only got 21". We kept our power. But THEY had a city block blow up. That was in December, but you'd think it just happened because nothing is really fixed (Columbia Gas has admitted responsibility, you'd think they'd get that neighborhood fixed but not yet), except one car repair place which just re-opened on Friday.

We don't really have a place to put lights for seeds, and our sole window, where DH tried to germinate some seeds, became of increasing interest to one of our cats, who has promptly eaten everything that's come up. So, he will have rye grass planted for him next . . . catnip is a nononono for him, because he just gets too excited. LOL

Am I in the right place for help?

And, how do you get the temperature thingy on your sigs? I love that!

Tere
West Springfield, MA

P.S.: I know about that city block because I am a full time student at well, somewhere around the mid-century mark, and have to go down it every day on the shuttle to school. DH and I are both disabled, so we don't have a lot of ability to do heavy chores anymore. Another reason for 1^2 gardening.





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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 2/17/2013, 11:15 am

Hi Madeupagin, welcome to the SFG Forum. I would be happy to help you, but you have not asked any specific SFG question.

The instructions for adding the weather sticker to your signature can be found in the subforum 'How to do things on this forum', just click here

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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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Transplanted Southerner Needs Help!

Post  MAdeupagin on 2/17/2013, 12:14 pm

Actually, I did ask. What should I be doing this month? I looked at RGN (regional gardening news), and it said I should be planting onions, which I will as soon as I get the seeds. Also to prune grape vines -- which we have, oddly. But not in a SFG, LOL. They are over our back fence and no one ever wants them, so we make wine. Razz I did also determine I'm in zone 5a.

I had figured out how to put the weather on my sig -- but I can't for the first 7 days of my membership.

SO, DH and I are considering our containers for the garden -- I looked at my SF 6" garden, and that was an eye opener! We have considered, today (he's playing Farmville and I'm planning a garden, so we're working together), that we can actually use our mudroom for seeds.

So, is there anything other than onions I should be looking into starting?





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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/17/2013, 12:46 pm

Hi Madeupagin! I'm a FL transplant, too. Miami. I went back and forth for years until my dad got alzheimers in 2005 so I stayed here...for now. Btw, y'all can y'all us all y'all want. Wink

If you can buy it or have a library near by, I highly suggest you get Mels book "All New Square Foot Gardening". In the back are all the seeds you should be starting listed by the weeks before/after your last frost date, which you would plug in yourself.

I'm in zone 6/7 here so I can probably start earlier than you would I think. I currently have seedlings of onions, broccoli, collards, pak choi, cabbage and spinach (not up yet and which for some reason I can't seem to grow). I also have tomatoes but it's still too early for them - it was an experiment and now I don't have the heart to get rid of them. I love you I'm planting some kale and maybe dividing the tomatoes as soon as this latest nor'easter is finished. If I lose power it'll be too cold for that.

Too bad about your compost clause. The book also tells you how to make compost if you don't have access to your own.

The search at the top left will give you lots of ideas and answers. Sounds like it could be a busy mud room. Have fun & glad you\'re here !

CC


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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on 2/17/2013, 12:49 pm

Welcome MAdeupagin, to our forum. I'm in Maine but I, too, am in 5a.

Because we've had earlier last frosts the last few years than normal, my garden plan is to start things indoors earlier this year. I'm thinking my last frost might be around May 12th. I don't do onions, so I'll pass on that.

I bought a few container seeds types this year; cukes, zukes, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. You can grow just about anything in a container if you have pots enuf.

This week I'll be starting seeds indoors for Corn salad/mache (a green), leeks, early peas, spinach, and some pansies. I know I'm taking a chance, but its only a few seeds I've lost if it doesn't work out. Note: I have a coldframe and an A-frame to plant earlier crops than outdoors directly. With only a raised bed, you can cover it with plastic to keep it warmer. You'll learn that northern gardeners have to take short cuts to getting earlier crops. You could stick a trellis in a pot and grow snap peas. I'm also going to try 4 potatoes in a bucket like Mel's video suggests from utube. Great idea. Those I'll plant wk of March 10th.

Next week I'll be starting seeds indoors for more greens; Mizuna, Tokyo bekana, arugula and Pak choi. I have a special plan to get the earliest tomatoes this year so I'm going to also start a few early variety tomato seeds; New Girl and Taxi. I have a special plan for those (enclosing in vinyl plastic outdoors til warmer).

You know you can grow determinate tomatoes in containers, either staked or in cages. They do well here. I usually put in a half dozen tomatoes that way. I never have enuf tomatoes.

Do you have a place to start seeds? A heat mat? If you do, and then a place to put the germinated seeds, under lights or in a south-facing window, you're good to go. You'll learn to grow in the north.....it just takes time.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 2/17/2013, 1:07 pm

February Garden Chores from Margaret Roach is a good place to start. Secondly, if you have not yet read the All New Square Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew, I highly recommend it. Thirdly, see this LINK, plug in your own zip code and it will give you best planting dates for your town based on historical weather data.

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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: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on 2/17/2013, 4:47 pm

I spent 6th - 12th grade in Ft. Lauderdale, CC.

I have bleached my trays (tip from the seeding workshop), rinsed and let them air dry, and either later today or tomorrow I'll fill one or 2 with onion seeds, I need 288 onion plants, so I think that will be 2 trays.

I've been doing a germination test and at first I didn't think everything would come up, but as more time passes, more things are coming up, even the celery seed from summer before last (or no, maybe it was last summer, but I never used it) that I was sure wasn't sprouting has decided to sprout. Everything except my cuke seeds, which I carefully saved but oh well, and green pepper, which is a puzzler, I'm not giving up on those but will try again. Other peppers have sprouted.

I'm not planning anything earlier than recommended because it's arctic out there and I don't trust this winter to end early, no matter what Puxatawney Phil says.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on 2/19/2013, 5:57 pm

I feel full-spectrum's not necessary unless you are growing plants under lights all the time. Since I just start mine and need light for 3-6 weeks or so, I just use Daylight bulbs. I always have healthy crops to transplant.

Today, Feb 19th, I started some seeds in soil blocks. I found some deep-lidded plastic containers at Dollar Tree which work great. Turned upside down, the lid is deep enough that you can water if you like.

I started leeks, spinach, Corn mache, and 3 types of tomatoes. Yes, tomatoes. I'm going to try Bob Thomsen's (Victory Garden former host) early method to get his first toms on July 1st in Mass. I thought I'd try it myself with 3 different varieties. Its another of my experiments. I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, some plants will go in the new greenhouse cover early this year. I ordered one for a 4 x 4 bed this spring for early and fall crops.

If you want to pick up a single seed to plant, use a sharp pencil that has been dipped in water. Put the seeds in a dry lid of some kind. Just touch the dry seed with the wet tip and it will adhere nicely. I have no trouble sowing one seed at a time this way. For pelleted seeds I use a tweezer.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on 2/19/2013, 6:39 pm

Quiltbea - is it already time for the spinach? If so, I need to do that. I'm letting the soil in the tray warm up a little on the heat mat before I plant all the onion seeds, got that tip from the seeding workshop: don't plant your seeds in cold soil (according to "cold" for that plant).

I just looked at this site to try and get spinach planting times: http://veggieharvest.com/calendars/zone-5.html and it told me I'm in Zone 6 instead of 5a!

Do you think zones have changed due to warming weather?

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on 2/19/2013, 6:53 pm

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (thru Johnnys) says I'm in Zone 5b, which still is different from the 5a I used to be.

So how about that.

Maybe we won't need greenhouses before long...

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on 2/19/2013, 6:55 pm

Oh, the link for the USDA is http://www.johnnyseeds.com/t-HardinessZoneMap.aspx

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on 2/19/2013, 7:00 pm

NHGardener.....I'm in 5a but you know us SFGrs. We try to get a jump start since our sowing isn't too many seeds at a time. I plan my growing season a little longer this year because the last two years the last freeze was more than 2 weeks before the charts. I'm using May 12 instead of May 30th this year as Last Frost Date.

I also have a small 'greenhouse' cover for a 4 x 4 bed arriving soon and I want to get some things in ultra early under that cover this year, hence the spinach being started today. I was supposed to start the ultra early tomato experiment next week, but I got the dates wrong. Error on my part, but a few seeds lost won't hurt, if I lose them. Most spinach I'll sow directly in the garden but I want to start some early for that 'greenhouse.' Next week I'll start some of my greens really early, too (for my A-frame); mizuna, Tokyo bekana, arugula and Bok Choi.

So really, you can't go by my starting plan unless you can transplant crops under cover like I can or your last frost is around May 12th.

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on 2/19/2013, 7:14 pm

Johnnys has a good planting date guide too. I put my frost free as May 13, because supposedly that's the 50% frost free date for my area, according to camprn's link upthread - I hope 50% is a good date to use.

I have to print this out and study it and get all my ducks in a row here.

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/e-PDGSeedStart.aspx?source=GrowersLibrary

(edit: I see you need to change the frost date when you open this)

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Re: February 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on 2/19/2013, 7:42 pm

NHGardener......We can always be ready with extra covers; frost cover, blankets, sheets, old beach towels, etc if we're getting a light frost. I always keep those handy in the workshp nearby just for that purpose. I check the expected evening temps and if its listed at 38 or less, I drape my plants. I want to be sure my area doesn't dip unexpectedly lower than normal so I don't wait for it to hit 32.

quiltbea

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Re: February 2013 New England

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