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New England ~ February 2014

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  sanderson on 2/22/2014, 10:27 am

NHG,  Yes, we are dry here.  About 9-10" average rainfall and this year something like 2-3".  So, we are in a drought mode, which is impacting the commercial operations, which in turn feed the population and provide jobs.  Some towns have up to 30% unemployment.

It you made a cross section of the long Valley, you would see a big bowl of soil runoff from the Coastal Mtns. on one side and the Sierra Mnts. on the other sides.  In the by-gone years, a family or farmer would have a hand dug well.  The water table was so high that tall grasses grew and we had elk and other game.  Over the years, the water table dropped, and deeper drilling with casing was required to reach the water table.  Fresno City added a water treatment system for canal surface water runoff from the Sierras to supplement the wells.  For irrigation, we have a system of irrigation ditches but we don't get to keep all our water in this area.  Sore subject for our Ag-based valley.

I'm the only one in the neighborhood who has a vegetable garden.  I have noticed tomatoes, chilis and cilantro in pots.but not in this area.  Some of my neighbors have a planted fruit tree but no gardening.  The native soil is a turn-off.  Well, ours isn't because we rototilled 13 cu. yards of compost in the flower bed areas our first spring.  I had gone out with a trowel and it went "chunk" from the hard pan, building materials and rocks.  I stepped on the rain wet red dirt and sank 3" inches into red mush sitting on top of 3' of hard pan.  My husband drilled and/or trenched through the 3 feet to allow percolation.  Our water is metered.  But the SFG doesn't impact my water bill!

PS I just noticed your Mother's painting. Pretty.

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/22/2014, 10:46 am

@camprn wrote:I'm not counting on impatiens being viable this summer. I am looking at planting some tuberous begonias instead.

In other news we still have plenty of wet heavy snow and the rain is moving in. Spring is on the way!


Last frost date is in 83 days!
we planted a lot of begonias last summer, they did very well. I brought a bunch in the house and they are blooming now. 


We also planted New Guinea impatiens as well as something called Sunpatience I believe. They did very very well!  No disease!

CC

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  NHGardener on 2/22/2014, 2:04 pm

Sanderson - I did not realize the Valley there had such poor soil. I was thinking it was fertile. Not that I know much about California. I have caught snippets about the water issue being intermingled with politics. Hard to conceive, because here it's so soggy.

CC - beautiful painting! The colors are so vibrant. It caught my eye.

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  quiltbea on 2/22/2014, 3:10 pm

I just placed my order with Johnny's for greens (arugula, mizuna, bekana, cress, claytonia), bolt-resistant Tyee spinach, sugar snap peas and inoculant (it doesn't keep another year), some lunchbox peppers (small and sweet and snack size) and the new red romaine lettuce, Truchas. 
I've been working on my new garden plan all day practically.  I'll have to do it over in pen when I've got it set as wanted.  I'm still going to have lots of flowers in the veggie beds (the next row from the northernmost ones).  I've got pansies, petunias, impatiens, cosmos, and zinnia along with marigolds and nasturtiums to put in a couple of pots in corners

And yes, I'll still have veggies among the flower bed and the herbs, too.  It worked for me last year so I'll increase the veggies this year.

We're having a nice sunny day, in the 40s today so I'm hoping for snowmelt.  Even with all the snow outside, I feel that spring is coming soon.  I'll have to get my furnace room tables and lights ready for seed starting next week.  This time of year sure does perk me up.  I hope other New Englanders are feeling the tug of spring.

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  camprn on 2/22/2014, 3:15 pm

Very Happy good going QB!

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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: New England ~ February 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/22/2014, 4:25 pm

Gosh QB, I was just reading last Feb's New England thread from 2012 and you & I not only had our greens growing by now, but our tomatoes had sprouted already.  You were experimenting with early ones.  I'm late and didn't realize how far behind I am til now.  oiy...

Oh...forgot to tell you folks that I lost power for 12 hours with that last blizzard.  It came back & as I was typing a post to you all it shut down again for a while.   Mad  Fortunately it only got down to 51 inside this year.  I just read that last year I was living in the lower 40's for days!  Crazy girl.  Rolling Eyes 

Time for planting.  Last fall I put MM in the wheel barrow & rolled it into the garage so I guess the best place to start is to pull out the seed packets from the back of the fridge and see what moves me.  

(huh...the L on my keyboard just decided to start sticking...I think there's a Frito stuck down in there...)

Who's got what planted so far...or will I be first???

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  camprn on 2/22/2014, 5:26 pm

CC, I thought you decided that you sowed seeds too early last year. You are not late at all.

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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: New England ~ February 2014

Post  NHGardener on 2/22/2014, 5:40 pm

QB - Thanks for listing your varieties. It helps me making decisions. If I put in a Seed Savers Exchange or Johnny's order with the local greenhouse by March 17, there is no shipping charge, I just have to pick up at the greenhouse.

CC, I have to pull my seeds out from the back of the fridge too. I think I have most of them, but know I need carrots, peas, green beans, maybe squash..... This year I'm covering  my squash beds with agrabon (row cover) to try to keep those squash vine borers away, last year they devastated my stuff, but I also grew the vines in a new part of the yard that was way too soggy.

Oh, also can't forget to plant the seeds from Ron Praxxus - Tokyo green onion, little gem lettuce, cubanelle sweet pepper, tendersweet carrot, and beefsteak tomato.

CC, how many times I've gotten those canned air compressors things to get the accumulation out of my keyboard... 

Today bought Coast of Maine potting soil.

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/22/2014, 6:13 pm

@camprn wrote:CC, I thought you decided that you sowed seeds too early last year. You are not late at all.
Could have been true about some things...I don't remember.  But my ANSFG book says I should have started the cabbage, kale & collards on 1/22, the onions & chard on 2/2 and the peppers & lettuces today.  Aha...last years tomatoes were planted early...they get started next week.

I didn't start yet.  After posting about it, I looked over at my planting table, saw it was heaped with stuff and made soup instead.  Laughing  No motivation whatsoever.  OH...I DID order some Monstrueux de Viroflay spinach seeds today.  I can plant those as soon as the MM in the SFG thaws.  I planted some spinach seeds last fall but I don't see anything yet.  But I do see last years kale, chard & spinach putting out new baby leaves:

.. and the garlic leaves are up but looking pretty sad:

I have about 3 sqs of carrots left over but not sure if they will come back...they look kinda smashed:

...and then there are the daffies! 
 What a Face 

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  camprn on 2/22/2014, 6:27 pm

Oooh, thanks for sharing the nice piccys!  Very Happy  sunny 
CC, when is your last frost date? thinking

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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: New England ~ February 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/22/2014, 6:28 pm

LFD = April 19th   Shocked   I'm late...

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/22/2014, 6:33 pm

I just looked it up on our town's website:
Average Last FrostApril 11 - 20

I guess I chose the 19th as it's so much freakin' colder here on the SW side of the pond.  One block over could use the 11th.  Rolling Eyes

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  NHGardener on 2/22/2014, 8:04 pm

Wow CC, you must've had quite the melt.

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  quiltbea on 2/22/2014, 11:26 pm

My last frost should be around 5/15 so I have lots of time to start my seeds.  I think I'll try for a couple extra early tomatoes this year but only as in starting them sooner and letting them grow, grow, grow indoors and putting them out normal time.  Like last year, I hope their size gets them making a few early toms.  I just don't feel like fooling around with cages and plastic wrapped around them to keep out the cold this year.  Too much work.  The bigger seedling transplanted the same time as others came thru for me last year.

My first New Girl tomatoes on June 17th last year.  They were delish.

I forgot to list Hungarian Hot Wax pepper seeds I also ordered from Johnny's.

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  sanderson on 2/23/2014, 2:54 am

NHG, I see that how I wrote it gave the wrong impression. The valley is wonderful for farming. Eons of mountain erosion, water runoff filling the sandy aquifer, and thick layers of organic grasses and wildlife. Think of a salad bowl. In the middle it is deep and that is where the ag soil and water aquifer is. But, I am only 8 minutes from the foothills so I am technically out of the Ag area. I am near the rim of the bowl so the soil isn't deep, hasn't been covered with thick vegetation, and the rock of the sloping mountain side is not far underneath me. This is the direction Fresno has expanded, towards the foothill and mountains.

As with all geology, there are exceptions here and there, but basically the Valley is bountiful.

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/23/2014, 4:08 pm

I got my seeds planted! Pot, Ford chard, small Cape Cod collards, champion collards, dwarf kale, Tuscan kale, Little Caesars lettuce, butter crunch lettuce, Grand Rapids lettuce, basil and early Anna cabbage. honestly I did not plant pot! I'll type it in...pak choi.  And Earliana cabbage!  this tablet is making me nuts! Wink  They all got planted into one of those big black  200 one inch squared section trays.  It was very intimidating. Then I stuck the whole thing into a big plastic bag and plopped it on the heating pad. I'll check it in a few days.

What a Face Next time the spirit moves me, it's on to tomatoes, peppers and who knows what else.

time to go get my thermals out of the laundry. I'm preparing for the week a head!

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Re: New England ~ February 2014

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