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New England, April 2015

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/23/2015, 9:58 pm

I planted my sprouted peas today, better late than never. When I saw how well they pre-sprouted, I put the rest of my 2011 stash of peas in a wet paper towel to sprout, and started on the 2012 pack. Somehow I ended up with a lot of pea seeds. I'm wondering whether to put even more in to sprout, and just have a ton of peas this year. I never end up with many to freeze. The only problem is coming up with trellises. 

This year I'm not using the SFG metal trellises because they're not that attractive, and they aren't tall enough for the peas. So I'm planting my peas along the inside edge of my garden fence, and then I guess I'll have to find some tall saplings and use those as poles, and string string from there. 

Which makes me want to plant bamboo so I have more stakes material.

Gack, this will never end...

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  sanderson on 4/24/2015, 12:04 am

Laughing

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  quiltbea on 4/24/2015, 8:50 pm

I got out between rain showers and finally sowed more sugar snap peas and the greens in a row beside the lettuces and more radishes.
Everything is finally peeping over the tops of the soil after 9 days from sowing so I'm happy about that.



Above: Can you see the green tops of the sugar peas popping up?



Above: Here's the radishes popping.  I know you need a magnifying glass to find them in the photo, but honest, they are there.



And this was a nice surprise:

Above: My strawberries are pushing up thru the layer of fall leaves already.
Our forecast features rain showers every day for the next several but sunshine in between so that's good news.  And its going to warm up to the 50s daytimes but a few freezing nites at the 31*F mark expected.  My lettuces, greens and rads are in the covered greenhouse bed so they'll be safe.  I close it up at nite.
I think maybe spring has finally arrived at my house.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  quiltbea on 4/24/2015, 9:01 pm

And these are still waiting to be transplanted so they have been getting lots of time hardening off outdoors tho I bring them inside at nite..

Here I've got broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Basils, Sage, Stevia,  Pansies and a Better Boy tomato......just waiting.

In this tray I have Rosemary, Red Sails lettuce, arugula, parsleys, more Brussels sprouts and Winterbor Kale.   Some things I could put out if it would stay dry enuf for me to prep the beds for them, like broccs, Brussels, kale.
But seeing them every day keeps me hoping soon my gardens will be growing.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/24/2015, 9:13 pm

Looks great QB! I thought you said you were slowing down? LOL.

Doesn't basil wait until it's warm out?

Anyone planting salvia (flower)? I've heard good things about it.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  quiltbea on 4/24/2015, 10:16 pm

Yes, NHGardener, I am slowing down.  My list is very mild this year.  The Back 40 is mainly new perennial flower bushes in the raised beds but with some peas, broccs and Brussel sprouts since they won't need me to baby them.  The covered greenhouse bed will be the only one that needs more attention.  I will also have about 6 tomato plants strung to the poles of my raised beds.  So you see, I'm cutting back a lot.   The perennial Asparagus and strawberries will continue as they have been as well as the blueberries bushes along the garden's edge.
Everything else will grow out of my flower beds right outside my kitchen door so I can tend them easily, including herbs mostly, along with tomatoes and peppers and a couple of cukes.  That's it for me this year.   This old lady isn't pushing herself to the limits any longer.  Just taking it slow and easy these days.
But darn it, I want to get started if the weather will co-operate soon.

These onion chives above are in one of the raised beds and continue to come back every year and doing well already.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  sanderson on 4/25/2015, 2:01 am

QB, When I started in March of 2013, I was 64, and I figured 10 years of gardening. I'm glad I have a small back hard so everything is right out the back door! But, preparing for the future, I am also so glad I have the Table Tops on the flat ground. I could get around them with a wheel chair if need be.

It still sounds like you out-garden most of us, even though you have cut back. Very Happy

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/25/2015, 7:21 am

Wow, QB...lots going on up there in ME! Nice plants! QB, where did you get the Winterbor kale? Did you buy starts or seeds? I noticed that Johnny's is out of stock and I've been looking for them.

Meanwhile, I've been eating fresh baby kale from last year's plants.
They aren't Winterbor, but Ripbor and Dwarf Blue Curled. The Ripbor have flower buds on them already. I'll be saving seeds from both varieties if anyone wants some.

I'm thinking I can start harvesting baby lettuce leaves today. Maybe I won't have to buy a box of spring mix until next winter. I love when that happens.
I love you

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/25/2015, 7:39 am

I've mentioned before, but this is one of the reasons I want to move more into perennial fruits and vegetables. It's hard work! The only clinch is will I be here 10 yrs. down the road, and one never knows. But I'm planting for the future anyway. Yesterday I transplanted raspberries to my fenced garden, along the fence. I want to plant some blueberries in there too. 

Perennially, right now I have strawberries, asparagus, walking onions (like you, QB). The sea kale I planted will be a perennial if it grows - it is almost like small broccolis I hear. 

There are a lot of fruits that make typical perennials - peaches, apples (I hear apples are really hard because of pests & diseases tho), pears, plums, cherries, berries, even hardy kiwi and maybe even hardy fig. The perennial vegetables for the most part look "weird" - as in, I have never seen those things, heard of them before, and how would you even cook/eat them? But I have books here listing perennial vegetables, which for the most part look fairly leafy, so it's just a matter of learning about them, finding them, and then learning how to harvest them. Kind of a change in thinking.

And among the perennials, you plant companion flowers and herbs that bring pollinators or fix nitrogen, etc. That also makes less work on the gardener. 

Without SFG, I never could have planted a single thing, and didn't for a while, because of the waterlogged downslope soil. Planting up from the soil was a game changer.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/25/2015, 7:42 am

Beautiful kale, CC! Mine did not come thru the winter, but maybe another variety would. I hear this time of year is perfect for kale to get a running start, because it's productive before the heat of the summer sets in.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  quiltbea on 4/25/2015, 11:24 am

CapeC....I bought my winterbor kale at Walmart.  I was going to start a couple types (Scarlet and Dwarf Siberian) and never got around to it.  I wanted to save my lighting space for mostly tomatoes and peppers.  So I bought a started cellpack.  I'll sow seeds for the others for fall growing instead.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/26/2015, 7:00 am

Thanks, QB. No Walmart here. Come to think of it, the very first time I ever bought kale it was a 6pk of Wintebor from Home Depot. I have to go there next weekend so maybe they'll have some left.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking I'd like to grow some raspberries since I can't seem to grow blueberries, which is silly since they grow wild on the Cape. Rolling Eyes . I picked up a berry book at the library and they had some nifty lists called Recommended Cultivars by Region. Here's ours:
Northeast


If I remember correctly raspberries can get rather unruly in these parts so I think I'll grow them in a box, 1 x 4 or so.
Anyone have any raspberry seeds to trade? Otherwise, I guess I'll just pick up a pint of the fruit at the grocery store and try those.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/26/2015, 7:56 am

Nice chart CC!

I never thought about growing raspberries from seeds. They're so easy to transplant, and I believe most nurseries sell them as seedlings.

I'd like to get Anne sometime - I believe those are the golden. They're said to be sweet. 

The raspberries grow tall and lean over, like spindly bushes. I like them leaning up against fences, where I can actually tie a string from one end of the fence to the other and keep them from hanging over too much. They also spread! It looks like by root runners. They're a great perennial fruit, easy.

The local blueberry farm here sells blueberry plants in the spring. She was telling me they take years to produce. Once again, years..... Wouldn't it be great to get a property where someone has already done all this work. Smile  It would be a gold mine.

Yesterday I planted the rest of the peas, along the fence. There were so many worms in the soil, and I haven't used that area for growing before. I started a new bed, and have to work on that today. I also saw creeping phlox at the grocery store and picked some up. Smile For the rock wall at the house. I planted out kale and lettuce yesterday too. Have to plant out the onions.

I was surprised yesterday at how little the mulch I put on in the fall has decomposed - chicken shavings, leaves, straw, even my compost pile - still almost as I left it! I hope as it warms up things will decompose really quickly. I wonder if the soil has stayed colder longer this spring. Under that mulch layer it probably has anyway.

I've gotten most of the blackberry (or black raspberry, not sure) bramble out of the house rock garden, and am looking for perennial pollinator friendly plants that are colorful and aromatic to go in there. A garden workshop I went to said to look at the nursery for plants during different seasons, so that your garden will have blooms and color all seasons long. I have bee balm seedlings that I'll transplant in the back when it's warmer, and I'll scatter some borage seed in front of that I think. A blue sage would look nice in there too. I've never planted flowers before, believe it or not. I was strictly an edible grower, but now I'm beginning to realize the value of the floral world.

Another overcast, raw day in the 50s, 30s again tonight... Probably good for transplanting, no sun shock.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/26/2015, 9:45 am

Uh oh, raccoon! So far not much damage and he seems to be turning over all soil/compost/old mulch in the perennial beds nicely.  I don't dare plant anything new until I get the beneficial nematodes in to get rid of the grubs that he's probably foraging for.

Also ...*drumroll here*...got one!

The whole bed was turned over by Mr. Coon so I don't know if there were more and he ate them or not. Do they eat asparagus? Another weird thing, he didn't get into my compost pile. Maybe they don't like earth worms or citrus or something else in there? That would be nice.  Any ideas on what the compost repellent could be?

NHG, gaura blooms all summer and fall and the bees LOVE them.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/26/2015, 10:15 am

CC - You win The First Spear award! Woohoo!  rahrah

I hate raccoons! They really are masked thieves. I hope it didn't get your asparagus. I didn't know they even went after garden goods, I thought they were only interested in dragging the chicken carcasses out of my garbage can.

http://www.almanac.com/content/raccoons

Thanks for the Gaura tip, CC! I'll have to look around for that.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  ImperfectPotager on 4/27/2015, 9:20 am

We didn't get much done in the garden beds this weekend... it was the Littlest Helper's 6th birthday, so all gardening was put on hold to celebrate. I do think his birthday present means he'll be even more excited to help us in the yard! (he spent the better part of 2 mornings hauling leaves out to the compost pile!)



When he wasn't hauling leaves, he was checking to see if the fairies made it back to the gardens yet....Knock! Knock!



While he was "helping" to clean the yard of winter debris, I was able to take the hoop off one of the beds that we planted and water the hearty greens... So far everything is still alive and slightly larger than last week!




Next weekend we'll be sowing the rest of the spring crops, bringing in more compost, and raking out the perennial beds. I also still need to get to the local greenhouse to get my annual herb plugs and some heirloom seedlings (they have a HUGE selection and all seedlings are just $.55... boy does that get me in trouble each year!!!)

I haven't seen ANY sign of my asparagus yet... starting to worry it won't come back this year!

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/27/2015, 9:46 am

IP - That tractor and helper are adorable!!! Smile Wish I had me one of those.

About the .55 seedlings, where is that? If I found a place for .55/ea. I would probably buy them out. Smile 

Your greens look beautiful! And don't worry about your asparagus, at least I don't think so, last year I noted here I saw my spears around the end of April, and so far I'm not seeing any yet, I'm thinking it will be another week. It hasn't exactly been warm and sunny...

Another cloudy, gray day in the 50s... It's a relief compared to what we faced in winter, but I'm still impatient to get going here... Seems like we've been stuck in this weather pattern a really long time.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  ImperfectPotager on 4/27/2015, 9:51 am

@NHGardener wrote:IP - That tractor and helper are adorable!!! Smile Wish I had me one of those.

About the .55 seedlings, where is that? If I found a place for .55/ea. I would probably buy them out. Smile 

Your greens look beautiful! And don't worry about your asparagus, at least I don't think so, last year I noted here I saw my spears around the end of April, and so far I'm not seeing any yet, I'm thinking it will be another week. It hasn't exactly been warm and sunny...

Another cloudy, gray day in the 50s... It's a relief compared to what we faced in winter, but I'm still impatient to get going here... Seems like we've been stuck in this weather pattern a really long time.

The seedlings are at our local Agway... it is run by a wonderful couple and has 3 huge greenhouses that are SUCH fun to explore!!  That's usually what gets me in trouble... I start with a cup of coffee and a quiet morning to explore by myself and before I know it I've bought one of everything and I'm begging the husband to build more raised beds!

Thanks for the advice on the asparagus... I worry every year that this will be the year it decides to not return and I SO look forward to it's deliciousness!

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  quiltbea on 4/27/2015, 11:10 am

IP....I checked my garden journal from last year.  My 1st 3 asparagus spears were harvested on May 10th about 8" tall.  None of mine are poking thru yet either this year.
I'd love having a little helper like yours.  His BD gifts are just perfect for his being a little gardener.  I know he'll have lots of fun and get lots done with those.
I've planned to get my brocc, Kale, and Brussels sprouts transplanted before the rain this afternoon.  Got to get my body in gear.
Talk to you later.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  quiltbea on 4/27/2015, 2:54 pm

It doesn't know if it wants to rain or not.  Cloudy, then a few raindrops, then cloudy again, then more raindrops.  Rain expected this afternoon but I got out and transplanted 6 broccoli plants to the Back 40.

Above:  My six broccoli plants.
I wanted to get out my Brussels sprouts and kale as well, but rain started driving me indoors.  Maybe tomorrow.
The onion chives I started last year outside my kitchen door are back and thriving as you can see.

Four separate groups of them.  They are doing much better than they ever did last year.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/27/2015, 3:23 pm

I'm have the same experience with my garlic chives.  They look just like yours and are the best yet. Altho mine don't have a white part at the base and my coworker is telling me they should.  Does yours have a white part?  I can't see it in the photo.

So you made it out to the back 40, eh?  Good for you!  Will you cover those broccolis?


Last edited by CapeCoddess on 4/27/2015, 3:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/27/2015, 3:23 pm

Beautiful QB! I need to get outside with my camera. The other day instead of transplanting my kale and lettuce into beds, I tucked them into different spots here and there, to see how that works out.

Today I bought a Salvia at Home Depot with beautiful purple/blue blossoms, supposedly a hummingbird and butterfly plant, a perennial. I think I might divide it before I plant it to get 3 spots going, I believe they spread somewhat.

Still have to get the onions out there... yikes.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/27/2015, 3:29 pm

NHG, I had 2 May Nights salvia plants once, but one died after about 2 yrs and I don't see any sign of the other yet but I haven't really looked.  I have some others that keep coming back but forget the name.  What's the name of yours?

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/27/2015, 3:33 pm

http://www.perennials.com/plants/salvia-nemorosa-caradonna.html

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  mollyhespra on 4/27/2015, 6:03 pm

Oh!  I'm away for a week or so and a couple of new New Engladers have joined!  YAY!!!  Welcome to Wolfferine & ImperfectPotager!!! glad you\'re here

It's wonderful to see everyone's efforts in the garden.  It's been very bleak and cold (snowed on Thurs & Friday last) and now rainy up my way.  I'm sure as soon as we see some sun things will really get going.


In the meantime, here's my garden update:  

Got the garden picked up a bit today, the beds topped & leveled.  Have to make new grids, the old ones are so brittle, I broke about half while trying to get new soil under them.  Also have to get more mulch down between the beds and do some weeding of the walkways.  

Got the peas in today with DH's help.  Am trying a few new varieties: "Roveja di Casteluccio" and Desiree Dwarf Blauwschokkers (both dry soup peas), and Golden Sweet (a snow type pea).  Also giving "Green Arrow" a second chance, as it did very poorly for me two years ago.  I think it was really my bad, though.  I've got a better way of pre-sprouting now; I just use DH's sprouting jars and pretend like I'm making eating-sprouts.  Works like a charm, just have to keep the jars organized so we don't eat what's supposed to go in the garden.  Rolling Eyes

Am also trying a new variety of chickpea:  'Kabouli Black Garbanzo' it's supposed to go in with the peas but I just started the soaking today, so that one will have to wait a few days to get planted.  Has anyone grown this variety?  I'm confused as to it's growth habit.  I've read that it's a 2' ish tall bush but that it has a bit of a spread, so I'm concerned about spacing in the SFG.  I may just try 1-2 per square to see what happens.

OH!  And another new thing in my garden: 'Borbor Giant Mediterranean Lupine' which has edible lupine-seeds, though it requires quite a bit of work to get them to the edible stage.  I'm just growing them as a curiosity.  I have no idea how big the plant itself gets.  I also pre-sprouted those seeds, and they went in the foundation non-SFG bed between the daylillies.  I hope the 'Borbor' plays nice with its neighbors.  It's a tight squeeze in there.

Let's see, what else?  The French Tarragon is showing signs of life, as is the bee balm.  Some of my garlic is 3" tall!  Nothing yet on the Sage or Lemon Balm.  No signs of the asparagus, though it's usually not until the first week of May that I start to see some action in that bed.

The onion babies are still under grow-lights.  I should think of hardening them off soon, but they can bide a little longer while I get other things going.

So after all that, I still haven't even started the tender seeds: my toms, peppers, etc. are still in their little seed packages, patiently waiting their turn.  I've really got to get a move on with them.

Happy gardening, everyone!

flower

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Re: New England, April 2015

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