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New England April 2014

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  mollyhespra on 4/23/2014, 8:57 pm

Blooms?  My crocuses haven't even poked out of the ground yet.  Last time I checked a few days ago the bed they're in was still frozen.  

BUT I was able to get the sprouted peas into the SFG today during lunch.  My hands were pretty cold after doing 48 squares in 3 varieties today.  DH helped out, so it got done much quicker.  He doesn't mind the cold.  It was pretty raw up my way today and the forecast says maybe it'll snow some overnight.

How's your garden after that hail, CC?

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  NHGardener on 4/23/2014, 9:17 pm

Wow, my daffodils have been up for several days.

CC, sorry about the hail! Nothing like that where I am, except for high winds through tomorrow.

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/23/2014, 9:28 pm

CC hope your garden is OK!!!

Made two batches of MM today, despite the rain and wind. Topped off my SFG and built up one of the 4 x 4 beds for root veggies. Also turned over and added compost and peat moss to my two traditional soil garden beds. Ibuprofen and a hot pack are my best friends at the moment. It's worth every bit of the backache because now the gardens are ready to go. Hope the weather is cooperative tomorrow  .......I want to PLANT!

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  RJARPCGP on 4/23/2014, 11:36 pm

@mollyhespra wrote:Blooms?  My crocuses haven't even poked out of the ground yet.  Last time I checked a few days ago the bed they're in was still frozen.  

BUT I was able to get the sprouted peas into the SFG today during lunch.  My hands were pretty cold after doing 48 squares in 3 varieties today.  DH helped out, so it got done much quicker.  He doesn't mind the cold.  It was pretty raw up my way today and the forecast says maybe it'll snow some overnight.
Snow? If that happened down here, it would crush the 2007 record for snow so late. (April 16th in 2007) 

Down here, usually get 60s by now and forsythiae blooming Wink

And most of New England is fortunate to not have the temps swing as much as Colorado and the Dakotas, where it seems to snow on the flowers often... LOL...

If that happened here, I think my hibiscus would have a heart attack...  What a Face

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/24/2014, 2:03 am

Sounds like here. We got near 80's the other day -- 78 -- but are forecast for 32 degrees Friday night. We get 60's by now all the time, but it doesn't mean winter is over ...

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/24/2014, 11:29 am

@Marc Iverson wrote:LOL butt.crunch.  
I know...makes me laugh every time I see the marker.  But that's all I could fit when I made it.

It may be too early to tell how the lettuce fared in the hail, but it looks fine today, not broken or crushed.  That's globs of seaweed & last years chard coming up between it:

I forgot that these 6 pks of Bright Lights chard I started were out there.  They look pretty sad today:

Potato onions as well as spanish onions from last years seeded sets have pretty much all sprouted and are lookin' good! They must have enjoyed all that rain:

Garlic looks fine:

Meanwhile the wind is howling today.  The pond across the road is covered in white caps.  The tulle on this bed actually came lose:
I figured out why this never happened in previous years - this year I'm using clamps for the first time instead of clothes pins.  I'll have to break out the pins as we have frost in the forecast for tonight. geeze... Rolling Eyes 

Well, at least it's sunny.  Tomorrow should be a perfect day to be outside so I'm going to play hookie from work. Among other things, I need to turn the compost pile. Seems I'm only able to do about a foot at a time this year due to all the fibrous cana plants from a neighbor.  I won't use them again.
 
 sunny 
CC


Last edited by CapeCoddess on 4/24/2014, 11:44 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  NHGardener on 4/24/2014, 11:38 am

Cana lilies? Ooh, I want some of those. Smile Someone gave me a couple bulbs but I think the chipmunks or something must've eaten them. BUT, I hear cana bulbs are edible, a kind of tuber, if they are the same cana as what I'm thinking about. So think of them as perennial edibles.

And whaa, I want to plant my potato onions! I am still stuck inside on crutches. Boo.

Your garlic looks really health, CC. What additives have you put in your garlic bed? Are those woodchips?

(Did your soil "sink" in your garlic bed like mine did? I'm noticing a lot of "sinking" in my beds. I have to fill them back up with mulch on top I think)

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/24/2014, 12:07 pm

Yes, cana lilies.  My neighbor also gave me some tubers to plant this year.  I didn't know there were edible.  But they DO multiply so there may be sauteed cana (or however you cook them) in my future.  If I have extras after planting this year I'll send you a couple.

Most of the beds have already been composted so aren't 'settled'.  I keep them low so the sides will protect the young seedlings from the winds we always have here on the SW side of the lake.  It seems to work. 

The garlic is in MM.   The leaves & pine needles that fall into the bed in the fall after planting are left on over the winter.  A couple weeks ago I started cleaning them off and noticed what a beautiful leaf mold it was so, as an experiment, I'm leaving them on half the bed.  The cleaned half was topped with compost.  This composted side is making beautiful leaves but that's not exactly what I'm after.  I'm wondering if the leaf molded uncomposted side will make a bigger bulb this year.  We'll see come summer.

Can't you get out there while on crutches?  Or is it too goopy...

CC

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  NHGardener on 4/24/2014, 12:21 pm

The ground is uneven, I don't want to walk that far yet for fear it will be a setback... Plus it's super windy. Tomorrow it's supposed to be nice.

I didn't realize the canna lilies grew so large. Here's a clip about their edibility, altho it doesn't explain it in much detail. I'd like to actually see someone cooking one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fuvphl9dsQ

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/25/2014, 2:38 pm

I lopped all the pepper heads off at the V. It was not easy.

I also snipped out the extra ground cherry seedlings to leave one seedling per cell.

My question now is can both still go outside in the sun as they have been or do they need to have a shock day off?

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  NHGardener on 4/25/2014, 3:15 pm

Ooh. I don't think I could lop a pepper head.

Got the potato onions planted. Ended up with an extra pound with no where to put it - there are more to those onions than meets the eye, 1 per square. I'll use them for spares if these don't come up for some reason. I'm hoping I never have to buy onions or seed onions again. I also have some walking onions that have been in the ground all winter and have shot up.

Also dug up a young apple tree that we planted in the fall, and moved it. For some reason, the spouse thought 6' was plenty between semi-dwarf apple trees, and that's been bothering me for months, so I just dug a hole, then dug up the little thing, and transplanted it. I hope it survives, it's just starting to bud...

Plants have been outside today, half the day in sun and half in shade. They're getting so big! C'mon May 15... or so...

By the way, I have had the plants under fluorescent lights for weeks, but some of them have also gotten light thru the sliding glass doors. Those plants that got sunlight are way bigger than the ones that just got fluorescent, so that's interesting. Nothing like the real thing.

More rain tomorrow? Hope so.

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/25/2014, 3:31 pm

Holy cow, NHG! You must be feeling so much better!

I put eight feet between my two dwarf pear trees and its been bugging me, too. But I read that that was the right distance. Maybe they're supposed to intermingle when they get bigger. I have no idea...

You guys off Cape have it a lot warmer than I do, but still, what a beautiful day! And yes, I don't know about you folks but there's rain in my forecast for about the next 10 days.
 pale 

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  quiltbea on 4/25/2014, 3:46 pm

Folks often get confused thinking semi-dwarf are smaller than dwarf.  Its the opposite.  Semi-dwarf are in between dwarf and regular trees so they need more growing room between them.  That's was smart of you to move that tree NHG.  I think I'd give a semi-dwarf about 12 feet between.
I like to put about 9 feet between my dwarf trees.

If, in the future, they seem too close to each other, you can always lop off the extending branches when you prune in the spring to give more space.

We had such a wind yesterday, it was unbelievable.  I went outside and hurried back indoors again.  It was freezing cold in that wind.  Today is sunny and lovely but we're going to get rain on Sat and Sunday this weekend.  I hope not too much.

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  NHGardener on 4/25/2014, 3:58 pm

It doesn't look like an early summer this year...

I'm tiptoeing, but so far so good. I stayed in the house for 4 days and it about drove me crazy.

Yeah, I'd like a little more space between trees. We planted some plums and asian pears 10 feet apart, but after that I looked at the directions, and they said to ideally plant them 20' apart, but then some places said you could do 10' if you wanted... 

I've been reading the Back to Eden thread here, and watched the movie, and now I'm kind of hyped on covering the boxes with woodchips. Looks like a great idea.

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  RJARPCGP on 4/25/2014, 6:54 pm

Tomorrow's supposed to feel like Cape Cod!
I can see it getting green like Ireland easily!

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/25/2014, 9:22 pm

Finally, I planted something in the garden today. It was wonderful! Put in 4 sq of red onions, 4 sq of yellow onions, a few broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and swiss chard plants from HD. My strawberry plants are looking happy and healthy, I hope it will be a good year for them. My potato experiment is going along nicely. I planted them outside in plastic whiskey barrels and covered them over with soil and after a week they popped up through. Wow, Do they grow quickly. At this rate I will be covering them with soil again in a week or so. My indoor sprouts are looking good, I just need to practice patience. I want to plant so bad, but I know they are not ready yet. bounce  bounce  bounce Grow up little sprouts!!!

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/26/2014, 8:15 am

alrighta   Lyndeeloo!  Congrats!

NH - your time's coming!  Just don't push it too hard and mess yourself up....

It's supposed to hit 80 down here in GA today.  I think we're going to once again skip spring and go straight to summer.

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/26/2014, 9:19 am

80 degrees...BIG SIGH.   Cool sunny   Cool 

 Rainy and 45 here.

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  NHGardener on 4/26/2014, 9:29 am

Well, at least we've had nice days interspersed, so we've been able to get things ready. 

Today I'm indoor seeding the vines - pie pumpkin, butternut squash, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumber, maybe watermelon if it's not too late (I've never had luck with watermelon).

All four of my 4' fluorescents are taken up with plants now, by the time the vines sprout on the heat mat, hopefully I'll be able to start sticking things outside more.

BTW, I used the biodegradable pots for the science fair tomato project, and I don't think I like those. I think they tend to attract mold, hold too much moisture. I never have enough seedling pots, if I find a good sale on plastic ones, I might invest. I know you can poke holes into old containers, but I kind of like the planters better...

Also BTW, having all these fluorescent lights around is kind of mish mosh. I'm starting to wonder how hard and how effective some sort of outdoor greenhouse structure might be. Maybe it's too cold in April to use an outdoor facility for our heat loving plants, the nights might get too cool. I confess I really don't know how greenhouses work, it seems mysterious.

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  boffer on 4/26/2014, 10:37 am

@NHGardener wrote:...I confess I really don't know how greenhouses work, it seems mysterious.

Greenhouses work just like the interior of a car. When the sun isn't shining, the interior temperature becomes the same as outside. But with a little sun, they quickly warm up, even on cold, snowy days. How long the greenhouse interior stays warm after the sun disappears is determined by the mass inside, which warms up in the sun and then radiates the heat as the temperature decreases.

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  68carguy on 4/26/2014, 11:07 am

I never have enough seedling pots, if I find a god sale on plastic ones, I might invest.




I bought some like this used on Ebay got them real cheap, may have to give them a good washing but it is worth the effort if you can get them cheap.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/105-Misc-4-square-Flower-Plant-Plastic-Nursery-Pots-/251502111341?pt=Planters_Pots&hash=item3a8eb1aa6d#ht_126wt_1255


http://www.ebay.com/itm/85-Qty-Seed-Starting-2-1-4-square-x-3-1-4-Deep-Rose-Pots-Durable-reusable-/141241995144?pt=Planters_Pots&hash=item20e2adcf88#ht_830wt_1018

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/26/2014, 11:35 am

NHGardener I agree with you.  I find those type of pots to be a problem too. I have asked all my friends to save me their pots after they buy their annuals from a nursery. I also have made some contacts at local garden centers and nurseries to get the pots they throw away when they have dead plants. Last year I got a big tray of 3/4 × 3/4 inch cells from a nursery and I started my seeds in it this year. Wow does that work nicely. Hope you can find some freebies!

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  NHGardener on 4/26/2014, 12:15 pm

Ooohhhhh... nice eBay find! I hadn't thought of that. You don't need a pot until you need one, and then you really need one. I've let pots go to ruin in previous seasons before I realized how valuable they are. Now I'm going to take better care of my supplies and clear out a shelf in the shed for them.

About the greenhouse, one thing I can't really wrap around is how you know when to ventilate them. I guess a thermostat is the answer, but it seems like you'd have to be checking it all the time. And then there's airflow, like one area where air comes in at ground level, and then exits on the other end towards the top...

And then of course the whole construction of greenhouse issue. A nice smallish one with maybe pvc pipe and clearish greenhouse plastic seems like it should be doable... 

QB has a nice one to put over a 4x4 bed, and I've seen similar ones that would fit right over our SFGs, they look nice too, if they hold up in the wind, etc.

Lotsa greenhouse thoughts just mulling around. In our cold climate, they sure would come in handy.

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  boffer on 4/26/2014, 12:50 pm

If the sun is shining, ventilate. If there's condensation inside, ventilate. Not sure what to do, ventilate!

They make temperature switches to turn fans on and off. I believe it was Has who used mechanical self-opening/closing foundation vents to ventilate his hoop houses.

As you noted, a hoop house over a 4x4 box is a small greenhouse. I put soil heating cables in a few and used them to start my seedlings for a couple years. It worked great.

What kind of greenhouse to make? Start small and dream big!

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Re: New England April 2014

Post  NHGardener on 4/26/2014, 1:03 pm

Thanks boffer! I tend to get so over-contemplative about it that I never start, but your approach of starting small and going from there makes sense. 

Altho it does sound like seedlings without a heat source would still need to be brought in at night.

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Re: New England April 2014

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