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N&C Midwest March 2015

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N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  Goosegirl on 3/1/2015, 1:58 pm

Well fellow lots o 's, in spite of the winter temps, Spring really IS on the way, so it is time to start thinking about starting seeds if you are so inclined, start counting down the days until the ground will thaw, or if you are far enough south in our region, maybe even put some pea seeds in the ground!

Do you have enough compost lined up to get your boxes ready for planting? Are you planning new boxes that will need all components of MM rounded up? Need to build new trellises? Everything we have been dreaming about for the last few months will need to become reality faster than any of us may realize!

Personally, I destroyed my seed-starting station by cutting it in half, setting the pieces side-by-side, and covering with plywood to make a work bench. Unfortunately, it is currently covered with boxes of basement 'stuff' that I need to sort ASAP so I can build my new grow-light platform and have it ready in the next week or so to start some seeds. Anyone else suddenly feeling the time crunch?!
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  Windsor.Parker on 3/2/2015, 8:22 pm

GG,
That "crunch time" feeling hit us a couple weeks ago, and we gave in with glee!
you rock
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  slimbolen99 on 3/3/2015, 7:26 am

Spring can't come soon enough here in Kansas, where we've been dealing with brutal cold, teased by a nice day, and followed by snow or ice...repeated over and over.  Haven't been able to get into the garden to work (play) much at all.  Will hopefully be able to make it back to the family farm this month to bring back some composted horse and cow manure.  Don't think the wife and kids are looking forward to a two hour drive with poop in storage tubs in the back of the "man van", but they'll cope.

I've started just about everything in the basement greenhouse as I'm going to, including:
36 tomatoes (six varieties)
72 peppers (six varieties)
72 broccoli (two varieties)
and several new perennial  flowers for a new project in the front yard (that 4'x 32' section of grass between the street and the sidewalk), including prairie and button blazing star, two kinds of lavender, bee balm, anise hyssop, thyme, and violets.

Here's a few pics of the basement setup...








Hope everyone warms up soon.  Looking forward to seeing progress in everyone's gardens this spring!
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  Goosegirl on 3/3/2015, 8:20 am

SaaWEEEEEEET setup & gorgeous greens Slim! My only green right now is my envy!

We are currently in a Blizzard Warning and the dental clinic I work in is closed, so after a more relaxed wake-up session, I may just have to dig in and start on my new light set-up and get my new workbench cleaned up.

But first, another cup of coffee and start a new batch of yogurt in the crock pot.
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  Goosegirl on 3/3/2015, 8:36 am

@Windsor.Parker wrote:GG,
That "crunch time" feeling hit us a couple weeks ago, and we gave in with glee!
you rock

okay okay okay
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  yolos on 3/3/2015, 9:58 am

Slim, I love your light set up.  I have run out of room on mine and need to expand.  I currently have a 4 foot long 4 bulb shop light.  I don't like it because it is too heavy and can't adjust it easily.  I want to get some easier to maneuver lights.  Are your lights two bulb or one bulb each.  Also, what kind of bulbs are you using.
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  Goosegirl on 3/3/2015, 6:20 pm

Well, work was closed today due to a Blizzard Warning, so I used the day productively by cleaning off my newly made workbench (which was built, then piled upon instantaneously a month ago) and got my lights set up so I now have a place to start my seeds. There is even room for Hubby to get to it to turn the lights on and off if I choose to start seeds before I head to NM for my work training at the end of the month. Do I chance it?
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  slimbolen99 on 3/4/2015, 7:06 am

@yolos wrote:Slim, I love your light set up.  I have run out of room on mine and need to expand.  I currently have a 4 foot long 4 bulb shop light.  I don't like it because it is too heavy and can't adjust it easily.  I want to get some easier to maneuver lights.  Are your lights two bulb or one bulb each.  Also, what kind of bulbs are you using.

Thanks.  They are twin tube 48" T-8 shop lights from Home Depot (Lithonia brand). The bulbs are a mixture of 5000k and 6500k 32 watt bulbs. The fixtures are about $20 each, and the bulbs I buy in the 10 packs for about $35 - $45.  I buy additional chain so I can raise and lower more than the 12 or so inches they give you. They are sort of a pain to move, but luckily, you don't have to move them too often.
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  jimmy cee on 3/4/2015, 7:35 am

Slimbolen
Your light setup belongs in the Smithsonian....very nicely done.
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  yolos on 3/4/2015, 9:10 am

@slimbolen99 wrote:
@yolos wrote:Slim, I love your light set up.  I have run out of room on mine and need to expand.  I currently have a 4 foot long 4 bulb shop light.  I don't like it because it is too heavy and can't adjust it easily.  I want to get some easier to maneuver lights.  Are your lights two bulb or one bulb each.  Also, what kind of bulbs are you using.

Thanks.  They are twin tube 48" T-8 shop lights from Home Depot (Lithonia brand). The bulbs are a mixture of 5000k and 6500k 32 watt bulbs. The fixtures are about $20 each, and the bulbs I buy in the 10 packs for about $35 - $45.  I buy additional chain so I can raise and lower more than the 12 or so inches they give you. They are sort of a pain to move, but luckily, you don't have to move them too often.

Thank you for that information.  I will stop by Home Depot today on my way home from work.
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  sanderson on 3/4/2015, 2:32 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:Slimbolen
Your light setup belongs in the Smithsonian....very nicely done.
+1

Slimbolen, Can you also post the photos and info in this thread? They will get lost in the N & C Midwest March 2015 topic.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t9532p32-stands-for-grow-lights?highlight=grow+lights

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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  slimbolen99 on 3/4/2015, 4:05 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@jimmy cee wrote:Slimbolen
Your light setup belongs in the Smithsonian....very nicely done.
+1

Slimbolen,  Can you also post the photos and info in this thread?  They will get lost in the N & C Midwest March 2015 topic.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t9532p32-stands-for-grow-lights?highlight=grow+lights

I'll work up something a little more comprehensive and post it over there. Smile Thanks Jimmy Cee for the compliment -- I'm a big aquarium guy too (although nothing up an running right now), and learned very quickly about proper lighting for growing aquarium plants without spending big $$$.
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/5/2015, 4:25 pm

Looks GREAT, Slim!  Now I've got something to show DH on how I want stuff for seedlings.  Once we finish some work projects and get room in the garage again...

You're so far ahead of me w/ your seedlings...
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  R&R 1011 on 3/6/2015, 1:18 am

Ive started most my seeds, up-potted a lot of them today.  I keep killing my jalapenos and keep having to start more. Embarassed

I dont plan on adding more beds this year, we'll see.  I do need to finish fencing in my garden.  Mr groundhog has been eating more than his share in the garden the past 2 years.  My crazy self might make him his own little SFG.

Ive been doing projects indoors to pass the time.
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  Goosegirl on 3/7/2015, 12:00 pm

Well, I am taking the chance that Hubby will take care of my seedlings.  Today I started my seeds for tomatoes, peppers, and broccoli.

Tomatoes:

Brandy Sweet Plum (cherry - cross between Brandywine and Sweet 100)
White Bush
Couilles de Taureau (Bulls Balls)
Amish Paste
Purple Russian
Russian Big Roma

Peppers:

King of the North
Tam Jalapeno

Broccoli:

De Cicco

PS: Today's forecast high was 31, it hit 46. The end of the week is now forecast at 57. Maybe it will hit the 60's? (a girl can dream, can't she?) Razz
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  slimbolen99 on 3/10/2015, 1:49 pm

Okay, so my peppers are blooming -- and I'm still about two months away before I'll feel confident to put them in the ground.  Should I pinch the flowers off? The plants are getting close to 18" tall and very bushy...so their growth is great -- I'm just not ready for fruit yet!
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  sanderson on 3/10/2015, 1:59 pm

@slimbolen99 wrote:
@sanderson wrote:
@jimmy cee wrote:Slimbolen
Your light setup belongs in the Smithsonian....very nicely done.
+1

Slimbolen,  Can you also post the photos and info in this thread?  They will get lost in the N & C Midwest March 2015 topic.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t9532p32-stands-for-grow-lights?highlight=grow+lights

I'll work up something a little more comprehensive and post it over there. Smile Thanks Jimmy Cee for the compliment -- I'm a big aquarium guy too (although nothing up an running right now), and learned very quickly about proper lighting for growing aquarium plants without spending big $$$.

Bump Very Happy

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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  jimmy cee on 3/10/2015, 9:37 pm

Remember, peppers do not like soil temps below 70 deg F.
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  Goosegirl on 3/10/2015, 10:49 pm

My broccoli has sprouted! veggie fun I have moved them under the lights. Peppers and tomatoes are still sitting on top of the nice warm furnace.
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  sanderson on 3/11/2015, 1:12 am

Jimmy, 60*F is close to 70*F, isn't it?

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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/11/2015, 7:14 am

@Goosegirl wrote:My broccoli has sprouted! veggie fun   I have moved them under the lights.  Peppers and tomatoes are still sitting on top of the nice warm furnace.  

Woo-Hoo, GG!
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  jimmy cee on 3/11/2015, 8:27 am

@sanderson wrote:Jimmy, 60*F is close to 70*F, isn't it?

NOPE !!   This year I am not rushing my warm weather plantings, I have in the past.
Still had ok stuff, but I want to see the difference in watching recommended temp's.
I will carefully watch the time for cucumber planting as I always have problems with beetles.
A farmer I know tells me time to plants Cuke's is June 21st, his are so great and he's a ROW gardener...LOL
I won't be able to do anything till the end of March, no seedlings, etc...
May not be bad anyway, everything is still frozen and snowed under..
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  slimbolen99 on 3/11/2015, 4:21 pm

Jimmy - they're still in pots inside.  Well, except for this week; I'm taking advantage of this warm weather (it's 75*F right now!) and letting them harden off a little outside.

So the question still remains -- should I pinch those flowers off?  I don't think I want them bearing fruit quite yet, but I don't want to do harm to the plant either.

Sanderson -- I'm working on it... Smile
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  herblover on 3/13/2015, 8:02 am

My boxes have finally lost their insulating layer of snow!!!!  i will walk out to check to see if they are still frozen.  If not, I will pull the overwintered carrots (any thoughts on whether those will be good?), and if not too wet; do the first planting of lettuces!!!!  I have discovered I dislike grocery store salad greens even more than grocery store tomatoes.
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Re: N&C Midwest March 2015

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/13/2015, 8:41 am

Yea!  Glad to hear it, Herblover!

If the carrots aren't cracked, they SHOULD be okay.  Cracked ones are usually woody...
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