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New England MARCH 2015

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/7/2015, 2:23 pm

I hear ya, Donna.  And this silly time change that I started last night to get a jump on it isn't helping matters at all.  

@sanderson wrote:
@CapeCoddess wrote: 
All I wanna do is reading   bottoms up  sawing logs
idk
CC
Sounds like winter activities to me. Very Happy
darn funny

Oh yeah!  clap Like a bear hibernating silly me   We'll 'awaken' and snap out of it at some point.
What a Face

Meanwhile, I think I'll go grab another tofu pup...

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  NHGardener on 3/7/2015, 5:07 pm

CC - LOLOL! Alaskachusetts. That's great. And the abominable snow monster...

But today was dreamy! Got up to I believe 36F and I was laying out there on a snowbank catching rays! In between chipping ice from the roof with the roof rake so the shingles can absorb the sun and melt the roof.... which is still covered above rake-line in 1-2' snow...

Like I said, I got my potting soil. And there it sits. Thawed out. Lights are in storage under my bed. I'd have to bend over to get them out. Then I'd have to drag them 10' to plug them in. Find substitute planters because all my planting supplies are on the deck under 3 feet of frozen snow. And then I'd have to actually decide what to plant. So yeah. I hear you CC. Too exhausting to think about right now.

Molly! Where did you get your green mountain/potato onions? 

I've heard onion seeds don't last long too. I was thinking of just using my walking onions as onions from now on. They are so good at multiplying and being perennial, it's hard to think about trying to grow and transplant the real thing. Can you use walking onions as substitutes for real? Or maybe you need too many.... Hmm. 

The good news is, I can see outlines of mounds under the snow now where my raised beds are! Very faintly. But it's going to be above freezing for the next several days, so that's great. Maybe CC, when the sun shines more and it warms up, our blood will start moving again. Maybe we're reptiles?

P.S. I did snowshoe to my compost pile. But then I got too lazy for that and just used the same footprints in the deep snow.

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/7/2015, 7:05 pm

Laying in a snowbank catching rays??? Shocked  Gruesome. Honestly, I don't know how you folks live every winter with these massive amounts of snow.  If I had a new photo of my SFG, there aren't any outlines now.  I don't know where they are or when I'll ever see them again.
Sad

Guess what? This afternoon I PLANTED!!!  30 kales, 30 collards and 80 lettuces - 10 each of a different variety of all of them in little one inch cells. After which I realized that I used my water spritzer to make Molly's shower cleaner in. Rolling Eyes So I sprinkled them with water from my fingers. They are now in a Marshalls bag on the heating pad.  Still have tomatoes and peppers to go and then I'm done.

But now it's Downton Abbey time so everything's on hold ...bye bye.
CC

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/7/2015, 7:52 pm

You're further ahead than I am, CC!  I've only got 12 tomatoes & 4 mini-bells going so far...

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  mollyhespra on 3/7/2015, 11:32 pm

NHG, I got the original bulbs from Kelly Winterton.  You can go to his website and read all about his adventures in "bringing back" the potato onion.  

I started with 10 bulbs in 2013, the clones of which I was able to plant in 2014, and now I have maybe 5-6 dozen that might make it to May without breaking dormancy, and they will go in the ground this Spring. The potato onions weren't as productive in terms of numbers of clones per bulb last year for some reason, but the bulbs I did get were bigger than the first year ones.  Go figure.

We typically buy 3 lbs of onions a week, so I'm hoping that I can grow at least 100 lbs for consumption at some future point, between this & the other varieties I'm growing out this year.


Last edited by mollyhespra on 3/7/2015, 11:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  NHGardener on 3/7/2015, 11:41 pm

That's about the size I found my potato onions ended up last summer (in his photo), and I thought - hmm. The walking onions aren't much smaller than that. So I'm skipping potato onions this year, altho I really like the history and the concept...

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  mollyhespra on 3/7/2015, 11:46 pm

Your bulbs were on the small side the first year you planted them? Because I got larger (but fewer) bulbs on the second year. Maybe you shouldn't give up on them yet. What variety do you have?

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  NHGardener on 3/8/2015, 7:08 am

I'm not sure the variety, I think they were plain ol' potato onions (and one green mtn bulb). I bought them from the west coast, a grower on eBay. I also had potato onion bulbs from Fedco in Maine. Several of them also got fairly soft, I may have harvested too late so probably my fault, but there weren't that many usable onions so I don't have any left from last summer. Also, I had volunteer tomatoes in that bed that may have stolen nutrients from them, so maybe I can't totally blame the onions. Still, I'm wondering whether walking onions would suffice, because they are just so easy and perennial. Last year I didn't harvest any walking onions because I wanted them to fill the bed, this year I'll use them and see how far they go.

Growing onions takes effort - seeding them so early, then transplanting, if I can find an easier way to onion, I'm there.

But, this morning I'm going to a perennial flower workshop and they sell Johnny's seeds there. Maybe I'll pick up a pack of regular onion seeds and still give it the ol college try.

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  mollyhespra on 3/8/2015, 4:59 pm

@NHGardener wrote:(snip)

Growing onions takes effort - seeding them so early, then transplanting, if I can find an easier way to onion, I'm there.

(snip)

I'm totally with you on that point, which is why I'm hoping that even if I end up with only 12 onions from each of the 6 seed varieties I've started, and I can keep them through the winter to see how well they store, then I can re-plant the stored bulbs that keep well next Spring (2016) and I'll never have to start another onion from seed if i can just keep cloning the good keepers.  

(I hope that made sense... cyclops )

THEN, once I have a good store of "seed" onion bulbs, I can risk leaving some in the ground over-winter to see how they manage outside.  Eventually, I'm hoping that I'll be able to select for hardiness and just plant my onions in the fall along with my garlic.  

The Green Mountain variety over-winters in Kelly's garden, and he's in zone 5 IIRC.  Maybe I'll get lucky and find that they easily over-winter up my way... lots o

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/10/2015, 11:11 am

I have lots of potato onions from last year.  They were too small to eat, almost like pearl onions, so I thought I'd replant them as soon as a box emerges out from all that snow, and we'll see what happens.

My kale, collard & lettuce seed sprouted and were placed in the window this morning:

Then I planted these:
Camp, any helpful hints with these would be greatly appreciated. Smile From what I've read they seem a little fussy.

Probably at lunch today these tomatoes will get started:
I'm thinking 2 or 3 of each.

Same with these peppers:
I'm still on the fence about the chard.  The seedlings don't seem to transplant well for me but if I start them in a big pot and leave them until they are large, they will transplant just fine mid summer.  But by then the direct seeded chard are up and running.  

Do you folks start chard from seed?  Any success the young seedling transplanting?

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  NHGardener on 3/10/2015, 11:58 am

What's chard?  Laughing

Looking good, CC! Thanks for the photos. Inspiring!

I dug my trays out of the snow yesterday, thank goodness they're black, they melted the snow around them enough to be able to get them out.

The trays are now warm in the house, the potting soil is warm, and that's as far as I've gotten so far.

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  sanderson on 3/10/2015, 1:15 pm

CC, Last October, I bought Rainbow Chard (looks like your Bright Lights) in pony packs and they were a complete success all winter. I've also started seeds in cups and direct sown with success. But, our weather is so mild compared to yours so that chard is a perennial here.

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/10/2015, 1:20 pm

What's a pony pack?  Is that like a six celled pack?

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  llama momma on 3/10/2015, 1:28 pm

Sanderson and CC

I've grown chard every year not from transplants.  It seems to grow well directly sown and has been quite vigorous. That's it in the left corner square.  I know the book says 4 to a square but it seemed too crowded to me.  You can see where I peeled off the outer leaves.


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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  sanderson on 3/10/2015, 1:55 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:What's a pony pack?  Is that like a six celled pack?
Yes

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/10/2015, 3:14 pm

That's a beauty, LM.  What variety is that?  Looks like Fordhook from here.

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  llama momma on 3/10/2015, 4:18 pm

Fordhook Giant

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  mollyhespra on 3/10/2015, 10:53 pm

Onion babies!







Brunswick appears to belaying behind, but otherwise the germination rate has been fantastic!

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  sanderson on 3/11/2015, 1:13 am

Babies! Very Happy

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/11/2015, 7:15 am

Molly, they're so CUTE!  Congratulations on a full nursery...! Razz

(We get excited by the funniest things....)

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  NHGardener on 3/11/2015, 7:25 am

Molly - woohoo!

That's a lot of onions! How many plants are you planning for?

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  mollyhespra on 3/11/2015, 7:46 am

Thank you, everyone!

NHG, I thought the germination rate was going to be poor, so I over-planted and now I have too many, but since I never met an onion I didn't like, it's all good!

I would have been happy with 12 of each variety but I have a whole 4x8 that I can devote to just onions, so I think it will be OK.

to ONIONS!!!

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  NHGardener on 3/11/2015, 7:53 am

Could it be that it's not really true that onion seeds are really only good for one year???

I broke down and bought red (larger) onion seeds last weekend. I'll be seeding those any day now.

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/11/2015, 10:24 am

@NHGardener wrote:Could it be that it's not really true that onion seeds are really only good for one year???

Perfect timing.  I was wondering the same thing yesterday when I planted a few leeks & there were so many left. Then I eyeballed a scallion packet from last year and wondered what to do about them.

Molly, how old are your onion packets?

My boxes have emerged from the snow!!!  cheers  Can't get to any yet to cover with plastic for a warm up but soon, baby, soon...

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

Post  mollyhespra on 3/11/2015, 6:46 pm

CC, my "youngest" seeds say "packaged for 2013", which would be two growing seasons ago, now. (North Holland Blood Red & Jaune Paille Des Vertus)

My "oldest" seeds were packaged for 2009 (Utah Sweet Spanish).

Then the rest are for 2012, of which one was the first to germinate (Southport White Globe) and one was the last (Brunswick). The other variety from that year is somewhere towards the latter/midddle (Red Cipollini) That being said, Brunswick had just as poor a germination rate when they were "fresh" two seasons ago as they do this time around. I remember having to sow them twice that year.

My conclusion: the seed marketing gurus are just trying to scare us into buying new seeds.

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Re: New England MARCH 2015

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