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New England, April 2015

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/4/2015, 8:58 am

Sounds like the perfect birthday, QB! Good for you! Wonderful way to start your next year.

I need to get my basil started right now! Thanks for the reminder. I have a purple one this year.  I forget the name of it, but it's very pretty!

@NHGardener wrote:We've been thrown back to about March 5th I'd say, with our week ahead of chilly and rainy/snowy days. We had a nice day of spring tho yesterday.

Been hearing a lot about swiss chard lately, it seems to be the "in" vegetable right now. So what is it good for, and when do you plant it? Now I'll have to get more seeds....

I see you can blanch & freeze it too!
yes! If you can grow enough and have some left over you can Blanch and freeze chard. In my house it takes the place of spinach once spinach is out of season. For me it does not transplant well so I usually directs seed it.

I'm back on the voice feature of the tablet with its crazy misspellings, capitalizations, and non capitalizations. So weird.

I just finished planting out sugar snap peas...barefoot and in the rain of course. I'm doing an experiment. One batch was soaked and one batch was not soaked. I want to see if it makes a difference in germination time.

ok, off to start some basil and plant some of these seedlings outside. If I put basil seeds outside now will they grow or is it too cold? I don't think the Cape will see 50 until May.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/4/2015, 10:17 am

CC, every place I look says to start basil indoors and transplant when the soil is warm, so I don't know if I'd try direct seeding that outdoors. It's also very frost sensitive. It likes warmth.

Glad to hear chard is a direct seed. So much easier than indoor seeding.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  yolos on 4/4/2015, 10:43 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:
ok, off to start some basil and plant some of these seedlings outside. If I put basil seeds outside now will they grow or is it too cold? I don't think the Cape will see 50 until May.
Basil takes forever to grow.  This is my first year trying to grow basil from seed.  I planted it inside on March 6 and it has been growing under T-8 lights since it germinated.  It is only 1-1/2 inches tall now.  My notes now say to start from seed at the same time I start Tomatoes and peppers, if not before.  Maybe it needs more liquid fertilizer earlier than other plants or more often. ?????????????

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  camprn on 4/4/2015, 10:44 am

Basil likes it WARM and takes a while to get large enough to transplant.

Chard is like beets, cold tolerant. Typically I will sow it early in the season directly into the garden. As the seedlings get larger, I will lift them and rearrange their placement in the garden. This way I don't have issues with hardening off and transplant shock.
Also, to give this plant a boost to produce more foliage I sprinkle dried blood (nitrogen)around the bed plants about once a monthly through the growing season. Very Happy

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/4/2015, 11:47 am

Whew, I need a break. All that winter laziness has left me unable to garden for more than a couple of hours. Just finished planting out the rest of the borage seeds along with some more chard, beets, spinach, etcetera. I potted up the basil for indoor growing, are they able to withstand separating later? Because I put them all into one pot. Its called Purple Petra.

Check this out you guys!  there's a few of them growing out in the kitchen garden.
I haven't even cleared the leaves and debris off yet. Isn't Mother Nature amazing?!

PS to self and anyone else next year: in the fall put some compost into buckets and put them in the garage for spreading in the early spring. The usable compost pile is under about 3 feet of snow right now. Useless.
Evil or Very Mad

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/4/2015, 12:09 pm

CC - Is that a kale plant, and did it re-emerge after being under snow all winter? If so, wow! I hope that happens to mine!

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/4/2015, 12:50 pm

hi RJ! Welcome happy hi back. Have you got anything started yet?

@NHGardener wrote:CC - Is that a kale plant, and did it re-emerge after being under snow all winter? If so, wow! I hope that happens to mine!

YES!, this kale was under a ton of snow. And there's some collards coming back out in the front that were under even more snow. This year both will give me some leaves while I'm waiting for the new ones to grow big enough to harvest, then these will go to seed.  I will harvest the seeds for next year. And on and on it goes...
I love you
I'm just so amazed they came back after that ridiculous winter we just had. the SFG ones that I left in did not come back but that's probably because they were eaten down to the nubbins by bunny. At least I have the bunny poops throughout the whole bed.  Not a bad trade I say.

oh, and let me tell you, there's nothing more fun than throwing slugs onto a snow pile.
What a Face

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/4/2015, 1:00 pm

@camprn wrote:Last year my basil got the blight
sobbing

Hmm..maybe I'll throw a baby aspirin in the hole when I plant mine out, like I do with the tomatoes.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  quiltbea on 4/4/2015, 2:21 pm

I keep a garden journal and notes for all my crops with jottings on what works, when to start, etc and its concise and it works.

I like to start a few Swiss chard under the lights to get an earlier harvest in spring.  I also sow a few seeds after the last frost.
You can space them 4-5" apart if you plan to cut off the whole plant an inch from soil level to harvest them.  In that case plant 4 per square.  The nubbins will grow new leaves.
If you plan to just harvest the outer leaves thru the summer, plant them 8-10" apart.  Maintain a thin layer of mulch over the bed at all times.
It survives severe frost right up til about Xmas.
Cook the leaves like spinach and the stems like asparagus.

I sow direct in the garden for Kale.  One plant per square.
Sow a few seeds, keep moist, thin to 2" apart at first and then to a single healthy plant.  You can harvest those other youngsters for a meal of baby kale.
Tastes best when it grows fast so enrich soil with compost at least a month before sowing.
Needs cool, moist soil from germination thru growing season.  Fertilize plants every 2-3 wks with liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion and keep weeded.
For Fall crops:  sow seeds or set out transplants 6 weeks before the first fall/winter frost
Stop watering after first frost for best flavor.
For a Kale salad:  Pull leaves from stems.  Massage well with hands to tenderize and sweeten the leaves.  Break up in bite-size pieces.  Add salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. 

Basil notes:  Sow seeds outdrs  after all danger of frost has passed and nites are 65*F.
When 6" tall pinch off flowers to keep leaf production going.  Leave a few flowers to feed the bees.
Basil loves heat and needs cutting often to prevent going to seed.
Pinch off tops at intersections.
If leaves start to pale, add liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  camprn on 4/4/2015, 5:23 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@camprn wrote:Last year my basil got the blight
sobbing

Hmm..maybe I'll throw a baby aspirin in the hole when I plant mine out, like I do with the tomatoes.
lol, it didn't have a headache.
http://www.longislandhort.cornell.edu/vegpath/photos/downymildew_basil.htm

Cc do you know anything about ASA in foliar spray?https://greenbeanconnection.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/understanding-plant-diseases-what’s-fixable-and-what’s-not/

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/4/2015, 7:35 pm

Nope. What is ASA? If it means aspirin I had read about using it as a foliar spray but never tried it. I found that if I throw a baby aspirin in the planting hole and then also water with 1 asprin halfway through the season I don't seem to get blight anymore. Or any tomato worms for that matter. I only had the one last year that's so kindly hosted the beneficial wasps.

but last year I did get that weird disease that made the tomato plants turn white, remember? I can't remember the name of it that but it took down about 3 of my plants. And they weren't even in the same beds. I believe it was an airborne disease also.

That part of the article in you link that talked about spraying bleach on the plant was really scary. I could never do that.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  camprn on 4/4/2015, 8:23 pm

I know that whitening foliage is called chlorosis, but it could be caused by a variety of things, but most notable mineral deficiencies.

Thanks for the info and you are correct, ASA is aspirin. What a Face

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  quiltbea on 4/6/2015, 1:44 pm

My indoor sprouts are doing well.  I took some pix but maybe not close enuf.

These are the Kalettes sprouting after 9 days and doing well.

Some of my tomatoes after 10 days under lights 24/7.  Tonite I'll shut the lights so they are on a normal schedule of 16 on and 8 off.

And outdoors my first true harbinger of spring, my Glory of the Snow.  I always check this little patch of ground to see if spring is around the corner, and today they are tossing their pretty little heads in the breeze.

My dooryard is seeing more and more lawn space cleared.  I think maybe next week I can get out into my veggie patch out back.  The beds themselves are pretty well cleared of snow but its the getting there that is still covered in piles of white stuff.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/6/2015, 5:02 pm

Looking good, QB! 

Interesting how my broccoli and kale seedlings look identical.

More ground is showing outside, more beds are getting uncovered, and I'm checking my asparagus patch, but nothing so far (yes, it's a little early...).

It's going to be around 40 until Friday, but starting Friday it looks like it's into the 50s! So start your engines, the race is about to begin... Can't wait to get my hands in the dirt!

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/7/2015, 12:20 pm

Hi everyone! I'm finally out of hibernation and ready for Spring!

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/7/2015, 12:28 pm

Yay lindeeloo!

Yesterday I received 2 pawpaw trees (only about a foot high), and a sea kale that I ordered. Since I'm still 75% covered in snow, I potted up the sea kale (which is just a 6" root segment at this point) and I'm leaving the pawpaws sit in their tree planter things until I can plant them... A Fedco tree order should be coming in the next couple weeks and then I'll have another cherry, another peach (Madison), a companion planting assortment for my fruit trees (just one to try it out), a linden tree and 2 chestnut trees.

My property here is in for a big surprise this spring. It has met its match.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/7/2015, 12:57 pm

Hi NHGardener!  Sounds like you will have a very busy spring planting trees! 
I spent the winter learning to make soft and hard cheeses, butter, yogurt and sour cream. I was also the lucky recipient of some sourdough starter and have been baking bread and all sorts of goodies with it. Needless to say I put on some winter weight, its time to get back in the garden and work it off!! Also time to get back to reading the sfg forum regularly. 
Spent yesterday and this morning cleaning up the gardens and lawn. I raked the covering of leaves from the gardens and found my parsley had come back beautifully. The strawberry plants look good and the rhubarb is started. The raspberries are also getting started. Can't wait to get things growing!

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/7/2015, 1:16 pm

Wow!  Lot of interesting news in these 2 posts.  Sea kale???   Never heard of it.
"Sea kale is nearly the perfect primitive food. It’s difficult to imagine it not being on primitive man’s menu."
rofl
It's a perennial so color me primitive!!! Hoping you'll save some seeds from it, NHG, so we can trade?

And Lyndeeloo, you're back!  happy hi
I can't believe your parsley is still there.  That's amazing.  Was it under a ton of leaves?  Mine was but I don't think it's back.  The kale next to it is though.

Great photos, QB.  I thought your last one was a photo of my back yard that I couldn't remember posting.  Then I saw the dog and looked at the rest of the post.  I don't have snow drops but I have crocus and they are blooming now. Smile


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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/7/2015, 2:46 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Wow!  Lot of interesting news in these 2 posts.  Sea kale???   Never heard of it.
"Sea kale is nearly the perfect primitive food. It’s difficult to imagine it not being on primitive man’s menu."
rofl 
Laughing  Well, I never said I was fancy.

Sea kale is a perennial that almost resembles small broccolis. I've never tried it, but I hear good things about it. I assume it's just a matter of planting this root into the soil and seeing what happens. It's supposed to get to be kind of a bush, then in winter it dies back to a root. The place where I got this from is a perennial garden on 1/10 acre lot in Massachusetts, you may have heard of it, the book is Paradise Lot, and the website is: Food Forest Farm

I'd love to get all their stuff, but I had to stick to a budget, so I only got 2 pawpaws and the sea kale. But wow would I have loved that perennial leak.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  sanderson on 4/7/2015, 2:57 pm

lyndeeloo, good to see you back.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/7/2015, 4:23 pm

As much as I've threatened to plant these babies out, I'm still square inch gardening here:

This weekend fer sure. It's just been too windy to put up hoop protection of any kind.

At lunch today I divided up the tomatoes and pepper babies and was able to give a 6 pack each to 2 of my co-workers. So different from last year when I supplied the whole office with their complete veggie gardens. I'm learning.
rock on

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/7/2015, 5:46 pm

Wow CC, those look so healthy! What are they?

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/8/2015, 7:23 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:And Lyndeeloo, you're back!  happy hi
I can't believe your parsley is still there.  That's amazing.  Was it under a ton of leaves?  Mine was but I don't think it's back.  The kale next to it is though.
CC
Hi CC
They were only under an inch or so of leaves but the garden they are in is near the house in a protected spot. They were still going strong at the end of the season so I didn't have the heart to pull them out. I was very surprised and pleased to see them. I thought parsley was a tender plant and never expected it to winter over. Boy do your seedlings look great!!!! I'm running behind this year and have just started my seeds.

Hi Sanderson!  Glad to be back!

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/8/2015, 11:07 am

@NHGardener wrote:Wow CC, those look so healthy! What are they?

Those are the 80 seeds I planted way back when.  30 collards, 30 kale & 80 lettuces.  Hmm...bad math.
If you can, read the labels for the varieties.

Calling for sleet here in the next couple days. Then come Friday it's all over, I hope.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/8/2015, 11:49 am

CC wrote:Calling for sleet here in the next couple days. Then come Friday it's all over, I hope.

I'm holding on for that! We're supposed to get 1-3" of snow tonight, but by Friday we're going into the 50s and then 60s!!!!! I feel like I'm at the starting line of the mad dash, waiting for the start signal.

Snow - melt - snow - melt - wait - wait - wait - 

OKAY, GO!!!

I'm also holding on for the first asparagus sprout. You will hear when it shows. Smile

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Re: New England, April 2015

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