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April 2013 New England

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  Nicola on 4/6/2013, 3:47 am

@quiltbea wrote:I had covered my A-frame a few days ago and today took the soil temp. It was 45F about 5 inches deep. Tomorrow I'm going to transplant some greens out there so I can make room inside under my lights. I've noticed some of my beds are pulling apart on the ends. Depending on whether we move south next year or not, I'll think of replacing with cement blocks if we stay.

...I think my gardening season is about to begin.
I had that, too. Had to move my beds, because the landlord is adding more parking space, right where my 2 SFG beds (and the herb garden) are/were. I dug out most of the Mel's Mix closest to the wood, put it into the 3 former recycle bins (Our city went to the big roly carts a few years ago, and we got to keep those.) Not only has the weed cloth ripped in places (oh, horrors! there is soil in my MM!) but when I removed one frame, then tried to move it again, it fell, smashing and separating 2 corners.
Now I have 2 8"x8' boards out back, waiting for me to figure out how to weather-proof them, then cut and assemble them, put the rest of the MM in...

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 4/6/2013, 5:53 am

@Nicola wrote:I dug out most of the Mel's Mix closest to the wood, put it into the 3 former recycle bins (Our city went to the big roly carts a few years ago, and we got to keep those.) Not only has the weed cloth ripped in places (oh, horrors! there is soil in my MM!)
A bit of dirt in aged MM is perfectly fine. As long as the growing medium has good tilth, no worries. Very Happy

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  Nicola on 4/6/2013, 11:40 pm

I know, camprn, but thanks.

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/7/2013, 8:34 am

Woke up to frost this morning, dadgumit! Sunny, 40 & windy out now - hi today is suppose to be 47, tonite 43. I just came in from removing the plastic covers and I was hoping to put them away this afternoon til fall, but I noticed some wind burn on some of the babies so I may need the plastic still to use as wind breakers. I need to water everything but all the buckets of water are frozen at the moment. Evil or Very Mad

On a good note, my maters are looking good & strong since being potted up, and the peppers are sprouting their true leaves now despite the green bubbles.

I'm supposed to start cuc and squash seeds indoors today but I seem to remember that neither did well from transplants last year, but do fine when direct sowed. Is that your experience or is there a secret to starting them?

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Growing Potatoes in the Northern States.

Post  camprn on 4/7/2013, 10:06 am

Tips on growing potatoes from Margaret Roach and her A Way to Garden blog.
When to plant and how to grow potatoes

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on 4/7/2013, 11:13 am

Cape....I've started some of the tender seeds indoors before but only a few weeks before they went outside. If you use soil blocks, as I do, sow them right into a 2" block and place it right under the lights. Keep the blocks separated a bit so the roots can't tangle. Root disturbance is the biggest problem for those crops. Keep the soil moist.
When its time to transplant outdoors, just pop the whole block into a hole and you're good to go.
Make sure all danger of frost has passed before you transplant them out.
or.....You could sow them outside instead and cover the spots with milk jugs to keep the heat around the area. That will protect from cold and give an early start to them.

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/7/2013, 12:06 pm

@quiltbea wrote:
When its time to transplant outdoors, just pop the whole block into a hole and you're good to go.

So the secret to healthy cuc and squash transplants is not to disturb the roots. Hmm...that makes sense.

I just finished watching GYG Johns tour of his winter garden. http://www.youtube.com/user/growingyourgreens
Jiminy crickets that guy grows ALOT! And juices ALOT. So I went out and planted more seeds - lots of radishes, daikon and lettuce. Now I'm looking for a place to plant all my leftover seedlings plus some more beet seeds. rock on

Hey, guess what? My outdoor lettuce seeds, Grand Rapids, have sprouted!

Even tho the seeds are older, I should have known better than to sow them so thickly. Grand Rapids is like iron for me...and late bolting. I'll lift and move what I can.

So growing outside right now I have: spinach, 3 types of peas, 3 types of lettuce, chard of all colors, kale, collards, all the different onions, garlic, cabbage, strawberries, kohlrabi/kale from last year...and I think that's it.

Outside seeds not yet sprouted are: beets (2 types), daikon, carrots (3 kinds) and 2 different radishes.

Hardening off today are: tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, parsley, 7 celery stumplings & tomatillos, along with all the left over seedlings that need new homes.

And I wonder why my house is such a mess.

I NEED MORE BOXES! hyper

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 4/10/2013, 5:35 pm


____________________________

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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: April 2013 New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/10/2013, 6:13 pm

@camprn wrote:

Seriously??? I know this isn't April fools day again...
Isn't that an iris?

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 4/10/2013, 6:49 pm

Yes! miniature iris, it's only about 4 inches tall. It was a very late autumn planting. I bought a bunch of bulbs from a 6th grader and his fundraising efforts. I am surprised and quite pleased that they grew. Spring is finally here!


I have garlic!


One of the flower gardens, the pulmonaria (lungwort) will probably start blooming in a few weeks.


The seedlings are coming along!


The tomatoes clearly need to be potted up!


And then there's the winter compost area than needs tending and the monster pile that needs turning.


I MUST plant peas this weekend but the entire veggie garden needs a bit of rearranging. Blargh!!
On Monday afternoon I managed to set up a new hive stand.

____________________________

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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: April 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on 4/10/2013, 11:42 pm

I transplanted some Brussels sprouts and lettuce today.

This is my brassica bed this year. So far only 3 Brussels are in the plot with room for cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower and the north side (far left) will be my later snap peas after I put up the trellis.

In the coldframe went 4 Romaine and 4 Red Sails lettuces so I can cover with my glass when we get a frosty nite. I think I'll plant radishes as my grid lines in the c'frame this year. It'll be a good place to gain some crop space for something very small.

These snap peas were transplanted yesterday. They were the 2nd set of peas I started indoors. To the left of these I sowed 3 squares of peas directly in the soil 2 days ago.
It really feels good that spring might actually be here for me in zone 5a Maine. I don't see any sprouts in the garlic squares from last October yet.

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on 4/11/2013, 7:57 am

Yesterday I planted 25 asparagus crowns. Glad it rained last night. They're in an experimental hugelkultur bed so we'll see how that goes.

My strawberry plants are looking great and can't wait until June! They're Sprarkle (June bearing) and after they're done I guess you cut all their leaves off for next year. There are 2 1/2 4x4 boxes of those.

The garlics are all sprouting (2x8 bed), the shoots are maybe 3" now, so yay.

The transplanted pea vines did not take, not surprisingly, but I have a duplicate set sprouting in the house, so far about half of them are sprouted.

Tomato and pepper sprouts are mostly but not all germinated, but some have 2 sprouts, so I'll have to separate those and up-pot soon. Onion has been ready to go out, spinach and lettuce ready to go maybe next week. Then broccoli goes out. Eggplants and celery have a while to go yet.

Lots of seedlings indoors.

Learned 2 lessons so far: peas get started much later than the chart says because it only takes them maybe a week with heat mats and good starter soil to get going. And don't use plain flats, use individual plant cup flats, for ease of transplant and to prevent root entanglement. They had trays of the 40 individual seed planters for $1 at the feed store.

Have a large family gathering here this weekend that I'm trying to get ready for, so gardening may have to get put on hold till next week. All I really want to do right now is garden... Smile

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  mollyhespra on 4/11/2013, 8:47 am

My garlic is sprouting!!!

I just went outside to check how far down the ground is frozen (2-4" down still rock solid) and I was amazed to see little garlic shoots poking out of the ground!

I was really worried because I'd soaked and stripped them of their skin last Fall as a precaution against mites, but so far the ones that are coming up look like they've re-acquired some skin and are well on their way to becoming nice, tasty bulbs.

WHOO-HOO!!!

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on 4/11/2013, 9:05 am

I'm really liking the plants that come up without spring labor - like garlic, strawberries, and asparagus. Wish there were more like them.

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  littlesapphire on 4/11/2013, 9:35 am

Quiltbea, I had no idea you could transplant peas! How do you do it? I would love to get a head start on my pea squares.

Even though I'm technically in the Mid-Atlantic region, I like talking with you guys in New England because my planting schedule is so much similar to yours. So I hope you'll put up with a girl from NY Smile

Things are going slowly in my garden. The crocuses just came out this week, and I think they were done in yesterday by all the hard rain we had. The daffodils and the tulips are starting to bud, so we'll probably see their pretty faces in the next couple of weeks.





Here's my main garden as seen through my upstairs window. Not much going on out there. I do have teeny tiny garlic sprouts, some Egyptian onion sprouts, and of course my strawberries are green and getting leafy.



I have some things growing in my basement, too! Lots of brassica; green and red cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.





I also have some heirloom petunias growing that I'm going to give my mom and MIL for mother's day. I wanted to try these out because I've heard that they have a pretty smell to them that's been bred out of modern petunias.



Some dwarf tomatoes called Red Robin that I had a lot of success with last year. They only get to about 12 inches tall, but they're very productive. My MIL actually brought hers inside and had tomatoes until Christmas!



I'm also attempting onions from seeds. They didn't germinate very well, though. Just a few around the outside of the container. I'm disappointed, but it looks like there's at least a few seedings there so I can try this variety and see if I like it. I think I planted the seeds too deep. How deep are you supposed to plant onion seeds?



I also have some tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce seeds planted, but they haven't germinated yet so I didn't bother taking pictures of them!

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  NHGardener on 4/11/2013, 10:22 am

It looks to me like your onions are still coming up, so maybe give them some more time. General rule of thumb for seed planting is to plant them about as deep as the seed is big, so barely with onions. Also, a heat mat underneath helps with germination. But I find onions can be hard to germinate completely. One type of mine did really well, the other 3 types have scattered germination rates.

Your setup and stages of growth looks a lot like mine! My crocuses are starting to bloom.

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on 4/11/2013, 10:55 am

littlesapphire..... glad you\'re here No, we don't mind company from other areas. The more the merrier. Everyone is welcome.

I got a couple of jiffy-type pot sets with domes for my BD last year. They came back-ordered so too late to use last year. I felt I should use them so tried peas for the heck of it. They are the kind you soak and they swell up. Put one pea in the center of each and was surprised they all sprouted. This is a first for me so don't know if they will thrive, but its an experiment so that's OK. Germinated fast on the heat mat.


I love your crocus plants. So pretty. The only thing up in my flower bed are the Snowdrops.

I'm still waiting for the other spring flowers.

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/11/2013, 12:36 pm

QB, will you be putting your toms out tomorrow to harden even tho it'll be in the 30's? I'm not putting mine out today or tomorrow while it's in the 40's...how low do you go?

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on 4/11/2013, 12:45 pm

CC.....I nixed the idea of putting out those big tomatoes today. I don't want to slow them down at this point before they get wrapped in plastic. Only 45*F and the wind is blowing too, making it feel much colder today.
I just put out the cabbages, kale and the pansies today.
Tonite expecting high 20s so the 'frames will be closed later this afternoon, also, and I will toss a towel over the newly-planted peas and Brussels sprouts, too.
I'm hoping next week will bring much more tolerant temps here.

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 4/11/2013, 9:34 pm

I have gobs of extra tomato seedlings to give away to anyone in the neighborhood.

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  mollyhespra on 4/11/2013, 9:57 pm

Ugh. Who else is supposed to get this latest batch of bad weather? It looks like it's going to blow through here tomorrow. 4" of heavy wet stuff or sleet or freezing rain...or all of the above. Oy. And here I was, thinking the worse was behind us. Rolling Eyes

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 4/11/2013, 10:05 pm

We are in the winter zone too. affraid

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  quiltbea on 4/12/2013, 10:47 am

Me, too, darn it. Sad

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/12/2013, 11:12 am

Storm Walda is here and not as bad as predicted....yet. The Cape is to get low 40's, rain and gale warnings.

I didn't cover the SFG's since the Cape always gets hi winds and I figure my babies may as well get use to it. What doesn't kill them should make them stronger, right?

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Re: April 2013 New England

Post  camprn on 4/13/2013, 11:01 am

Ok, all you New England folk, I am jumping on the Spring is LATE bandwagon. Clearly there was not a window for early sowing outside, which is totally disappointing.

My miserable garden!



On the bright side, I can clearly see nearly all of the garlic is up, but the grey shallots have yet to make a showing.


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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: April 2013 New England

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