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New England Jan 2015

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New England Jan 2015

Post  quiltbea on 1/1/2015, 3:36 pm

Happy New Year friends.  Hope this year is productive and wonderful for all of you.

I made a big decision today.  No grow room for me this year.  I have more and more trouble with my thumbs, especially the right one.  I can't see me struggling with plant pots and lighting and this and that for starting seeds.  This year I'll be ordering most of mine from Territorial Seed.  They sell live started plants, a variety to meet most needs of home gardeners.
I'll also buy some perennial herbs and get those established in my flower garden.
I also want peppers and tomatoes I don't have to fiddle with.  They have a good variety this year.  I've bought some in the past my first year gardening when I was too late to start my own seeds.  Had great results so I'll do it again this year.
You know, it feels good to know I have an easier way to go this year.

I hope everyone is planning a nice garden and trying new varieties.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/2/2015, 10:26 am

Sounds like a great plan, QB... especially since it's tried and true.

This is my last harvest of lettuces and collards from the bay window.
I'm giving it up due to aphids. I'm tired of fighting them. They don't seem to bother the herbs so those will stay, but the rest needs cleaning up before February seed starting begins.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  NHGardener on 1/2/2015, 1:38 pm

QB, I'll be anxious to know how buying plants compares to starting seeds for you. It could be that when you factor in all the expense of seed starting, and then the effort involved, it makes more sense to buy plants.... Or at least not that far apart.

When you start indoors from seed, you have seed cost, soil cost, lighting cost, electricity cost, space issues to worry about, watering issues, some don't germinate, some are timed less well than you'd like, etc. etc.

I didn't know you could mail order plants. I'm going to have to look at Territorial's website. Just for curiosity's sake, because I'm well stocked with seeds so for now at least, I'll still be struggling with indoor seeding. Altho one of the local libraries has a seed exchange, so if I stopped indoor seeding, I could donate the seeds, that's always an option.

BTW, I made ham and bean soup from my entire stock of dried beans I grew this summer. Next summer I have to multiply the dried bean plants by infinity to get enough beans to last.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/2/2015, 2:21 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Next summer I have to multiply the dried bean plants by infinity to get enough beans to last.

lol!
I totally understand that since I'm in the same boat with my leafy greens.

hey guys, check this out... All the seaweed I have spread has turned white.

Asparagus bed

How weird is that...?  guess I've never seen it do that before since I've always turned it into the compost pile.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  sanderson on 1/2/2015, 2:41 pm

mold/fungus? Very Happy

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/2/2015, 5:23 pm

@sanderson wrote:mold/fungus?  Very Happy

Nope, just the seaweed. Last month when I was trying to find the name of it and learn more about it, I found two answers. One types definition said that it turns white as it dries. So now I know which  seaweed I harvest.  I tell ya the name but then I'd have to k...no, wait a minute, wrong forum.  Wink The name is in my notes and Lord only knows where they are.

Aha, found it in the NE Nov thread -Corium fragile
Uses
Codium fragile is used for skin care and anti-aging products.  Codium fragile is reported to be a regenerating and anti-free radical ingredient, and have rebalancing and energizing properties.  Its wealth of macro-elements gives it a remineralizing property.  One seller claims that Codium fragile is the ideal ingredient to boost tired and mature skin.  Codium fragile is also used as food in eastern Asia. Often, the surface of the plant may be covered by small epiphytic algae, such as the filamentous red seaweed Ceramium virgatum,


Last edited by CapeCoddess on 1/2/2015, 5:53 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  NHGardener on 1/2/2015, 5:38 pm

CC, were your boxes more full than that when you put the seaweed in them?

Jeesh my boxes are about half full - AGAIN. I have some sawdust and leaves in the yard from recent woodcutting, but it's too cold to feel like moving them to the compost heap right now. 

I'm trying a new method starting this spring. I'm trying to reuse and recycle the brush piles before they get burned (which seems a waste to me) so I'm going to spread all my paths deeply with brush, and cover them with leaves, and let that be my weed suppression method. They'll end up decomposing, not as quickly as woodchips, but eventually. My goal is to get the entire fenced in garden area 6" high, and then the raised beds will actually be level with everything else. The entire area will be a raised bed. And I'm also going to throw some rocks in between the raised beds, maybe they'll leach some minerals in there.

If I ever have to move from here, it's going to be like leaving a limb here, all the work I've put into building this soil up...

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/2/2015, 5:55 pm

@NHGardener wrote:CC, were your boxes more full than that when you put the seaweed in them?


Nah, I don't ever fill my boxes all the way up. I like to have a lip as a barrier for the transplants and seedlings against the high winds if possible.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  camprn on 1/2/2015, 6:51 pm

I bet the white on the seaweed tastes salty.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  quiltbea on 1/2/2015, 11:39 pm

For those waiting for Ray's new seed giveaway for Jan 2015, go here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrHHtYWjigc

and follow instructions.
Be patient.  He mails out thousands each year and sometimes it takes up to 6 weeks before you'll get yours.

I started a new thread for this under the general Seeds area.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/3/2015, 8:46 am

@camprn wrote:I bet the white on the seaweed tastes salty.

You mean like a pretzel? Wink I'll try some after the storm finishes tomorrow...could be the latest new snacking rave.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  camprn on 1/3/2015, 10:31 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@camprn wrote:I bet the white on the seaweed tastes salty.

You mean like a pretzel?  Wink  I'll try some after the storm finishes tomorrow...could be the latest new snacking rave.
if it is salt, I would take it all out of the bed until spring and rinse the salt off the seaweed before putting it back in the gerden bed.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/3/2015, 1:46 pm

@camprn wrote:
@CapeCoddess wrote:
@camprn wrote:I bet the white on the seaweed tastes salty.

You mean like a pretzel?  Wink  I'll try some after the storm finishes tomorrow...could be the latest new snacking rave.
if it is salt, I would take it all out of the bed until spring and rinse the salt off the seaweed before putting it back in the gerden bed.

I know you would. We go round with this every year and I have never rinsed it in all the years I've used it. But, rest assured it's not salt. The seaweed has the flavor and consistency of yarn. Actually I think white yarn would have more flavor than this has.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  NHGardener on 1/3/2015, 3:03 pm

Certainly, salt from seaweed is an ongoing controversy in the gardening world. The organic growers I know are not hesitant to find benefits in seaweed salt.

Here's one article I found from the Rutgers Ag Station:

http://www.njfarmfresh.rutgers.edu/documents/CanSoilFertilityImproveTomatoFlavor.pdf

"In 2000, my lab conducted a small trial where the objective was to evaluate the effect of amending soil with natural sea salt on the flavor of tomato. We drove to the Jersey shore and collected a barrel of sea water from the Atlantic Ocean and used this water to treat one group of tomato plants growing at Rutgers University Vegetable Research Farm in New Brunswick. The sea water treatment consisted of a one time over the top drench of the plants during early bloom. A control group was drenched with regular tap water. Although the sea water caused some burn to foliage, the plants soon recovered. Once the tomatoes were vine ripe the students working in my lab preformed a blind taste. The results, in terms of taste preference, were clearly in favor of the fruit produced by the sea water treated plants."

Maybe we could set up some of our own experiments? Those of us close to the ocean could try a bed watered well with seawater, and a bed without, with the same plants, and see what happens.

I don't know if I could carry enough water tho, or if it's legal to grab ocean water? I'd like to try it. Maybe I could do it with just a couple jugs of seawater, if it's legal.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  sanderson on 1/3/2015, 3:23 pm

It seems to this novice that a little sea water, composted sea weed, or composted soft sea shells from crab, shrimp or lobster would all provide trace elements. I 2X rinsed the large Pacific sea weed I collected in 2013 for composting to get rid of as much sand, salt and 'snot' as I could.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/3/2015, 4:36 pm

Count me out on the sea water experiment,  NHG. I'm a little leary of that much salt.

There's a gal that pops into the forum every once in awhile, SFGHealthCoach.  Her name is Amy and I think she's from New York or New Jersey or somewhere around there. Anyway, she was on the Cape one time and came over. One of the things we discussed was how she had seen seawater being used on vegetable plants and the great results. Can't remember if she'd actually tried it herself or not. But anyway I tried it on 1 box of my leafy greens.  Soon afterward they started turning yellow in the veins and I thought they might die. I flushed them a few times with fresh water and they recovered.
Maybe tomato plants are different, and I know they like a bit more salt than other plants, but I just feel that watering them with sea water is too excessive. The seaweed is fine. Actually I even give my tomato plants a bit more seaweed than what's in the compost.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  NHGardener on 1/3/2015, 9:37 pm

The article mentioned that at first, the tomato plants got foliage burn, but they recovered and ended up better than the regularly watered plants. Altho they were only soaked once with sea water, during bloom time.

Next time I get seaweed, I'm going to get some ocean water and try it out on some control plants.

There should be more studies on this somewhere.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  camprn on 1/3/2015, 9:45 pm

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tomato/msg0117112923410.html

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  NHGardener on 1/3/2015, 9:58 pm

Interesting, camprn. They say to use diluted sea water, which I hadn't thought of. That might be a good point.

The thing they also mentioned is the rich mineral content in sea water. With our soils wearing thin in the mineral department, I think that's probably key.

But yes - probably diluted is best. Especially if there isn't a lot of rain.

Jeesh, we'll have to do an all out study - a control plot, differing concentrations of sea water, amount applied, and number of times applied...

Can we get a grant from USDA for this?

Actually, I did hear about grants available for home garden studies - I forget which organization tho. It may well have been USDA. (unless that was money available for backyard beehive studies... it may have been)

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  camprn on 1/3/2015, 10:03 pm

You could get the minerals with out all the salt by adding rinsed seaweed to the compost  pile.




http://12.000.scripts.mit.edu/mission2014/solutions/seawater-farming

http://blogs.extension.org/gardenprofessors/2011/03/16/a-salt-bath-for-your-tomatoes/

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  NHGardener on 1/3/2015, 10:39 pm

The difference in those 2 linked articles shows the degree of disagreement about using seawater!

The first link, seawater farming, looks like they have some long-range research projects going.

Makes me wonder about California with their terrible drought of fresh water, but right on the coast there with sea water. There must be some projects going to farm with sea water.

I believe Mark Fulford in Maine has done positive experimenting with sea water, but I can't find anything about it online.

You could rinse seaweed but that would probably wash many of those minerals off. I'm thinking the minerals and the saltiness go hand in hand. But that's just assumption.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  sanderson on 1/4/2015, 3:57 am

I haven't researched this recently, but this is how it used to be on the west side of the Central Valley. Salts (not just NaCl) built up on the top soil to the point it was near barren. The farmers had to heavily water to flush to salts down. Of course, now there isn't a drop of deep well water to spare for flushing. The wells are terribly expensive to deep drill and seal. I'll have to read up on it and see how things are now. (Besides dry and barren)

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  NHGardener on 1/4/2015, 8:19 am

Sanderson - where did the salts come from? Was that from fertilizers or from seawater? Because I THINK salt from fertilizers is a killer, but I THINK salt from seawater is a different story. I could be wrong.

Someone needs to develop a gardening Siri app.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/4/2015, 8:49 am

okay I'm back in, not being able to refuse a good experiment. if you guys want to work up some ideas and give them to me, since I'm right next to the ocean, I can carry them out and document them.

I do remember that, after talking to Amy, I did use diluted seawater on the greens. It's interesting that the 1 to 10 sea water ratio is the same as the urine ratio. One of the articles in a link posted above mentioned that sea water with added nitrogen is the perfect fertilizer. Looks like I've got it. Anyway I don't have time to read all the other links right now because today is my monthly trip to the big city but do any of the links contain anything about adding sea water to plants other than tomatoes?

gotta dash-... Bjs, Home depot and traders awaits.

pS I also use straight pond water sometimes. I'm sure that must have lots of minerals in it also. But I'm a little leary of using it often due to run off from the homes and roads all around the pond. What a Face

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Re: New England Jan 2015

Post  Kelejan on 1/4/2015, 10:28 am

@NHGardener wrote:Sanderson - where did the salts come from? Was that from fertilizers or from seawater? Because I THINK salt from fertilizers is a killer, but I THINK salt from seawater is a different story. I could be wrong.

Someone needs to develop a gardening Siri app.
I wonder how much salt is in the seaweed itself?
After all, we humans have salt in our blood, sweat  and tears.

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Re: New England Jan 2015

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