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March 2013, New England

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  Nicola on 3/8/2013, 7:02 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Oh yippeee....a 'new' gardening book! The Crocketts Victory Garden that we have here in our home library goes month by month also. We use it a couple of weeks in advance of what they post as the Cape is so much milder than the interior of MA. It'll be interesting to see if the 2 books are the same since they are from the same PBS show.
CC
('thanks')
And, I put a hold on Jim Crockett's version now, too. So now I can compare for myself. study (I make no promise to report back, as I'm often forgetful, but we'll see )

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  quiltbea on 3/8/2013, 7:48 pm

NHGardener.....Use whatever you have handy to start seeds. I find that starting greens in flats or margarine tubs works well. They are thin-rooted and can be easily lifted when you need to transplant them. New onion seedlings are the same.
I love my soil blocks, but for things that are easily transplanted in just a few weeks, I use tubs or flats.

If I can ever get out into my snowy garden, these arugula can be easily lifted and transplanted outdoors in another couple weeks. In the meantime, a margarine tub works well.

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  NHGardener on 3/8/2013, 8:16 pm

Thanks quiltbea!

You're a storehouse of gardening info. Smile

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  Nicola on 3/8/2013, 8:17 pm

Well, after seeing the discussion above about individual or group seeding, I just spent an hour trying to find a cool idea I saw recently somewhere online--thought it was one of the garden-type emails I get, or on a facebook feed. I found the image, but not the same exact article or post. Anyway, this is the idea: use old toilet paper rolls to make your own seed starters:

During my search, I did find one website/blog that explains it, (http://www.yougrowgirl.com/2007/04/13/toilet-roll-seed-starter/)
but basically, just put your seed starting medium/Mel's Mix into the cup you make by cutting and folding the tube, plant the seed(s) and you're good to go! Or, I guess that is, "good to grow." Laughing

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  NHGardener on 3/8/2013, 9:20 pm

Those look pretty biodegradable for transplanting too, maybe even unfold the bottom.

The Martha Stewart of transplanting. Smile

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  quiltbea on 3/8/2013, 9:31 pm

I had to go hunting for this video. I know I posted it somewhere before but not here.
If you just fold the tube twice you'll get a square.
Nonetheless, here's Eric Rochow's video on starting seeds. For the tissue tubes, go to about 6:30 minutes into the video for instructions. He's funny as well as informative. With a toilet roll, just cut it in half.

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  Dunkinjean on 3/8/2013, 10:18 pm

Great video.
I had also read about using toilet paper rolls for cucumber, squash and zucchini plants. You put the rolls around the plant stem and plant into the ground. It is suppose to help keep vine borers and such from invading the plants. I am going to try this.

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/10/2013, 7:14 pm

Thanks to Storm Saturn, I was able to get gobs of seaweed today - 3 large laundry baskets full. A silver lining, fersure. cheers

This is one happy compost pile!


AND, dare I say it, after a week of none, I think I see hints of sunny

Guess I'll mosey on outside and search for missing windows...
carrot

CC

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  NHGardener on 3/10/2013, 7:48 pm

Wow! Look at that beautiful seaweed!!!

I'm so looking forward to total melt when I can get the station wagon out of the snow and inspected and off to the coast to get more seaweed. I think it's one of the reasons I hang on to that older car. Laughing (That, and it fits the 8' boards for making SFG boxes)

for seaweed!

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  camprn on 3/11/2013, 3:26 am

Wish I lived closer to the sea. Also wish I had a truck.

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/11/2013, 5:22 pm

Wish I could send you some, Camp, but it's so friggen heavy the cost of gas for a road trip to the shore would be less than the postage I'm afraid. Rolling Eyes Wonder if it would be as good once dried? That would cost next to nothing.

Wish I had a truck...but this li'l hatchback is proving to be very adequate. I likey.

So I just checked online to make sure I have my dates in order:

02645 Gardening
Hardiness Zone Zone 7a: 0F to 5F
Ecoregion 84a - Cape Cod and Islands (whatever the frack THAT means)
Average First Frost November 1 - 10
Average Last Frost April 11 - 20

I gotta get crankin'! Even tho the spring seedlings are outside hardening off, I'm so not feeling moved yet to do much else. Need sun for some energy...we only got about 10 minutes yesterday.

BUT...I have a plan ( rofl ):



The red checks mean 'planted already'. But, the REAL plan is to see how close I come to the plan. rock on

OK, another cup of joe and maybe I'll get up the gumption to turn the compost pile. :fall:

CC



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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  quiltbea on 3/11/2013, 7:18 pm

Yippee, I can't believe it. I've got some tyee spinach germinated which I tucked under the lights this morning.

On the left are cabbages and kale in 2 inchers. The Super Red cabbage are soooo tiny, and red, you can barely see them. The black tray of the right holds the new Tyee just germianted and now under lights.

This is the celery stalk from my fridge, transplanted to soil and under the lights until I can plant it outdoors in many weeks from now.

Here are sugar snaps at the top left, growing so fast I really need to get those outside soon. Please, snow, melt. The tomatoes on the right are doing well. These are my extra early experiment toms. And front left is Arugula doing well in its margarine tub.
I'm thinking spring, tho early, but still, I need to think spring.



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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/11/2013, 8:07 pm

Oh QB, how excellent! Keep us updated on how those spinach babies do. I've got my fingers crossed for ya.

I've been looking for Tyee seeds but so far there are none to be had around here. So I've planted Bloomsdale & Big Ruffles outside and there's one Melody growing inside but she looks pretty bad. No

Guess what? 50 degrees and the sun is out! I just popped in for a break. Got alot done - topped off all my beds with MM and/or compost, depending on what was needed, separated my baby strawberries from their mommas and composted that bed, put windows on the greens boxes to warm up the soil for transplants next week, cleaned up the old SFG squash beds, and turned about 1/4 of my compost pile.

I have a couple questions if anyone wants to tackle them:
1) should I re-cover the strawberry bed with leaves against cold?
2) I'd like to mix some fresh seaweed into the compost pile that I'm using now. It'll be a while before I need any again. Does anyone know why I shouldn't?

OK, back into the sun! What a Face
CC

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  NHGardener on 3/11/2013, 8:27 pm

CC, I read your post as I look out at our snow still........ pale

What did you do with your baby strawberries? I have a lot of runners under the snow that I know I'm going to have to detach. I would have done it in the fall, but couldn't decide on what to do with them. Hate to waste them.

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  quiltbea on 3/11/2013, 8:36 pm

CapeCoddess....The seaweed may be too salty to use before its composted. I'm not sure but it seems logical. I believe you are supposed to wash the seaweed, or hose it off well, before composting it.

NH.....Strawberry plants can be placed around trees. They have shallow roots and can grow inside the tree line of smaller fruit and ornamental trees so they can still get sunshine. I'm going to transplant a few this year around my dwarf trees. I've seen it on a couple of utube videos before.

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/11/2013, 8:38 pm

CapeCodess,

I'd certainly rinse out the seaweed before composting it to rid it of excess salt.

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/11/2013, 8:48 pm

@NHGardener wrote:
What did you do with your baby strawberries?

I just left the 3 babies where they were but cut the 'cord'. I never planned on having strawberries so it's a surprise how well these 2 little plants I picked up on a whim are doing:

Our forecast is for 25 degrees on Thur and Fri nite. Do you think I should I recover them? Or do they do OK with frost? I have no idea.

CC

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/11/2013, 8:56 pm

QB and donnainzone10, I hear ya about the salt! Altho I've never been concerned about the saltiness as I only gather seaweed after it's washed up and then been rained on.

But I'm wondering if adding it to the finished compost with the possibility of it not being completely broken down upon use would be considered wrong for the MM?

CC

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  cpl100 on 3/11/2013, 9:06 pm

Hello everyone! As a newbie, I am surprised to see how much people are actually doing in the winter.

I see mention of planting spinach outside already. Is that seeds or seedlings?

I guess I should have started some seeds and am behind the schedule already (even before I knew the season started). Not a good way to begin the year I guess.

In fact, I haven't even gone over to my square box to see how the garlic is faring. I planted 6 squares and am hopeful to get a lot of garlic as we use a lot. That leaves only 10 squares left for other things. I want to put in some peas (one or two squares I think), green beans, carrots and beets. I had absolutely no luck with lettuce last year but perhaps that is because I did not start until July. I tried planting seedlings several times, though. Maybe that can go in a square prior to planting something else. Will put two pots of tomatoes again, though last year we got the blight and not too many fruit.

Another issue this year is that we will be away for three weeks in May and will have to plant at the very beginning or very end of the month. (Will have someone come by to water 2 - 3 times per week, though, for the garlic and whatever else is planted.)

Looking for some start up advice and hoping everyone survived the winter well!

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/11/2013, 9:17 pm

CPL, I have planted probably 100's of spinach seeds outside. It doesn't grow for me so I'm hedging my bets this way. Laughing

Out of about 2 dzn spinach seeds started indoors, I have one little plant nubbin. But Quiltbea just had some sprout for her! cyclops It's exciting times in New England, fersure!

I'm a little early here in the Cape with outdoor planting and hardening off, since it's a bit milder here. But plug your last frost date onto the indoor seed starting and outdoor planting pages in the ANSFG and you'll know exactly what to do. That's what I'm doing right now.

CC

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  mollyhespra on 3/11/2013, 10:57 pm

It's amazing how different our planting zones are in this small region.

I'm looking at (still) about a foot of snow in the yard, and that's after 4-5 days of above-freezing temps...which means the rest of what's not covered in snow is buried in MUD.

Ah, well...soon enough it'll be so hot I'll be grumbling about working in the sun...just gotta keep reminding myself about that...

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  cpl100 on 3/12/2013, 12:37 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:CPL, I have planted probably 100's of spinach seeds outside. It doesn't grow for me so I'm hedging my bets this way. Laughing

Out of about 2 dzn spinach seeds started indoors, I have one little plant nubbin. But Quiltbea just had some sprout for her! cyclops It's exciting times in New England, fersure!

I'm a little early here in the Cape with outdoor planting and hardening off, since it's a bit milder here. But plug your last frost date onto the indoor seed starting and outdoor planting pages in the ANSFG and you'll know exactly what to do. That's what I'm doing right now.

CC

I just spent a long time looking on this website for where to plug in my date and then re-read your post and now understand that you mean I should look it up in the book. I guess I will have to travel to the library and hope it is in stock! Thanks for the direction. I believe my last frost date is either somewhere between May 5 - 8 according to the websites I found online. (I am thinking we use the 50% date, not the 90% date, right/?)

Thanks.

Edit: I just remembered I wanted to post that I took a look at my box and do not see anything sprouting up between the straw I put over the garlic. I am not supposed to remove the straw yet, correct? (Here March can be a cruel and finicky month!) Thanks.

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  camprn on 3/12/2013, 1:15 am

cpl, try this calculator at the Old Farmer's Almanac.

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  cpl100 on 3/12/2013, 2:55 am

@camprn wrote:cpl, try this calculator at the Old Farmer's Almanac.

Thanks. It does not indicate starting spinach inside, though. But it does say I can plant it outside as early as March 23 and my lettuce inside on that same date. I don't have grow lights so does that prevent me from starting inside?

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Re: March 2013, New England

Post  camprn on 3/12/2013, 3:00 am

@cpl100 wrote:
@camprn wrote:cpl, try this calculator at the Old Farmer's Almanac.

Thanks. It does not indicate starting spinach inside, though. But it does say I can plant it outside as early as March 23 and my lettuce inside on that same date. I don't have grow lights so does that prevent me from starting inside?
Spinach is a cool weather crop and I have found no particular advantage to planting it early inside then transplanting it out of doors. However, considering your location, if you want to give the transplants a try, plant in the next few days because you will want to harden them off and plant them out within the month.

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: March 2013, New England

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