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New England, April 2015

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/14/2015, 2:23 pm

"If the yellow kale leaves are the lowest ones, that's normal and you can take them off or they will fall off by themselves."

Thanks CC! I didn't know that. 

I don't know which I hate worse: squash vine borers, or cabbage loopers. Grr. Slugs are on that list too.

About the lack of moisture issues, I've been reading a lot lately about methods for growing in arid areas, which is really important now since the west is having so much trouble with lack of precipitation. The most important thing, of course, is mulch mulch mulch. When rain does come, it acts like a sponge and soaks it all up, then it releases it really slowly. The other thing that seems to work is having more of a "forest garden" with differing heights of plants, different shade plants, etc., so that the ground stays more shaded and cool, like a forest does. One thing I'm going to do this summer along those lines is plant a peach tree is the north corner of my garden area, plus plant some perennials like the sea kale I put out there, which bushes. Having more of the ground covered with plants instead of leaving bare spots seems to help protect against too much sun and evaporation.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/15/2015, 1:16 pm

I like to use mulch.  Mostly it's pine needles.  I tried wood chips but I don't want to do that again.  I already have too much wood pcs in my SFG's from not screening the compost lately.

Watered the SFG this morning.  It was heck toting those buckets back and forth from the filtered bathroom shower to the SFG.  I'm taking tomorrow off work so I can get the hose out and hooked up, start corn in egg cartons (experiment), plant carrots and baking potatoes, maybe up pot the tomatoes & clean up the strawberry bed and my yard.  Whatta mess!

I figured out how to get that just-too-small piece of tulle to fit the bed - I cut about 6 inches off the hoops:
Perfect fit. 
rock on 

Also, I noticed this morning that the chard, beets, shallots & more peas and spinach have broken ground.    And there are oodles of lettuce volunteers from last years plants in this box.  See them along the left and bottom?:
They are all over this box.

Lunch time!  Beautiful day here today and I'm heading out into it!

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/15/2015, 2:10 pm

Hmm. Lettuce volunteers. Does that make them a perennial? Maybe!

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/15/2015, 3:08 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Hmm. Lettuce volunteers. Does that make them a perennial? Maybe!

I read an article a couple years ago about a guy that had his lettuce garden in the corner of his yard.  He only planted them once and they reseeded every year.  So last year, once my lettuce box bolted, I let the seeds drop and voila!  Lots of babies.  I really didn't think it would be that easy so I grew 80 starts this year.
Rolling Eyes
I'm a believer!  The only problem I had was composting that box in the fall & spring.  I was afraid they wouldn't come thru...and probably alot haven't yet.

What else can we use that method with...carrots maybe?  And probably all the green leafies....

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/15/2015, 4:15 pm

Your zone may do perennial lettuce better than my zone tho... Altho maybe not, I had a plant come up last summer that I suspected was lettuce but I wasn't sure so I pulled it. 

The more perennials the better! The less seeding the better! I am all for not going thru this hassle every spring...

Still waiting for the first asparagus spear... But I tell you what, there are some weeds already growing between my beds. Before anything else! They don't waste any time. Time to plaster the cardboard on top of them.

Edit: My tree order came today! I have a Madison Peach, 2 American Chestnuts, a Linden, and a sweet cherry (Black Gold). Now hmm, where to put them...

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/15/2015, 4:37 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Edit: My tree order came today! I have a Madison Peach, 2 American Chestnuts, a Linden, and a sweet cherry (Black Gold). Now hmm, where to put them...
Yippee!!  I forget, where did you order them?  Another peach??? Doesn't that make 3?  I'd love a cherry but don't want to have to net it against birds.  Do you have to do that?

I want a honeycrisp and a gala.  They have both at the nursery the next town over but I  don't know where to put them.  They are both semi-dwarf.  I think I'll hold out for dwarves.

CC


Last edited by CapeCoddess on 4/15/2015, 4:45 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  quiltbea on 4/15/2015, 4:42 pm

I stopped in at Home Depot after picking up a big bag of dog food today and was very glad I did.  Their last weekend sale is continuing, probably because then they had only about 5 varieties of crops.  Today, after a shipment, there's all kinds of herbs and more crops like rhubarb, strawberries, lavender, cauliflower, arugula, assorted lettuces and many herbs.   I was able to pick up my rosemary and parsleys for 5 for $10 sale.
In the morning I was out getting my greenhouse bed sown.  Assorted lettuces and radishes so far and next week I'll put in the Greens mix beside them.  I only want this patch for the next 4 -6 wks til I transplant my tiny tomatoes and my peppers into that bed.
Learned my lesson tho.  No more pushing myself and not doing too much.  I was so lame from Monday I couldn't even bend over yesterday.  So today, worked it slow and worked it with rest in between.  Then I went shopping.  I don't think I'll be lame tomorrow.  I also should remember that gardeners need to warm up before getting out there and weeding.  A few stretches, knee bends and the like would help keep one from feeling every aching pain the next day.  If I only rake out one or two raised beds a day I'll be in good shape in a week so that's the plan so they'll be ready for the perennial flowers and the few crops I plan for them.
My main beds will now be in my flower beds by the kitchen door to save walking up and down a pretty steep hill.  The 'back 40' will be set up with perennial bushes/flowers plus my asparagus, strawberry bed, lavender, onion chives, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and sugar snap peas mostly except for the greenhouse bed that changes with the 3 seasons.  Now its lettuces and radishes with greens going in next week. 
Nothing is popping yet so no pix.  Just the lettuce in my kitchen pot.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  quiltbea on 4/15/2015, 4:44 pm

CapeC....I have a dwarf peach tree and birds don't seem to bother it at all.  They never give me any of my cherries, that's for sure.  They always get there first.
I have a dwarf apple named Honey Crisp and one named Fuji that also are safe from the birds.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/15/2015, 4:51 pm

It's smart of you to go slow when gearing up for the season, QB.  I didn't do that the first day out and my back was so tired by the end and I slept like the dead that night.  Ater that, I've been setting a timer and every half hour I get up and do something on my list.  Then sit again after setting the timer again.

I have an Elberta peach that I got last year and that gave me the best peaches I've ever put in my mouth!  My 2 pear trees did nothing.  Maybe this year.

But I DO want a dwarf Honey Crisp and a Gala.  I hear you need 2 trees.  Where did you get your Honey Crisp?

CC

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/15/2015, 6:08 pm

CC - I ordered from Fedco. Yup, that makes 3 different peach trees, all different varieties. I can't believe you got peaches from the tree you planted last year! That's amazing. There were a couple peaches on one of my trees but they never matured.

QB, good for the gardening to get us up and stretching! So important to keep moving as we get older. I was pooped the first day, but have had indoor stuff to do since then, hopefully tomorrow I can get back out there. Today was windy! And tonight in the 20s! So tomorrow I'll try to plant my trees, which includes the 2 pawpaws I got last week.

It'll be a long time until cherries actually grow here, so I'm not too worried about birds yet. Probably a few more years anyway.

I think I'm going to put the peach tree inside the north corner of my garden, the 2 pawpaws inside the northwest side, the cherry tree I may put in the chicken yard so they can eat them as they fall (IF), the linden tree in the rocky area next to the beehives, and I'm not sure about the 2 chestnuts yet - somewhere where I can collect the nuts (10 YEARS FROM NOW) (ha) but let them grow to the 100' or whatever they grow to.

It's not like you can move trees around very easily. It's kind of like making a drawing with a Sharpie. Hopefully you get it right the first time. Smile

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/16/2015, 10:19 am

Saw some garlic shoots today! Some have come up and some haven't. So far.

No asparagus yet. Looking back at least year, it was the end of April when I saw those. Keeping an eye out.

Strawberry leaves look nice and green.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  camprn on 4/16/2015, 10:50 am

I notice a few garlic shoots poking up yesterday as well. What a Face

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/16/2015, 4:01 pm

yay! Yes, Virginia, there really was garlic under all that snow!

I'm exhausted! Did too much and I ate poorly today. But I got some carrots planted - Danvers 126 - and here they are under their little " greenhouse".

Camp, did you ever get your strawberry bed going again after losing most of them last year?

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/16/2015, 5:53 pm

I planted 7 trees today. Totally pooped. Tomorrow I'll try to get to planting peas, etc....

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/16/2015, 5:56 pm

Gadz! You win, girlfriend! We may as well do it while we're young. Then when we're too old to plant them we can reap the benefits!

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  camprn on 4/16/2015, 8:44 pm

As things continue to thaw out here, I have put my pea seed to soak. What a Face

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/17/2015, 7:18 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:We may as well do it while we're young.
rofl

camprn - Yay, we'll plant our peas together. So wet out there this morning they could probably soak themselves.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  camprn on 4/17/2015, 8:33 am

I'll be getting them in tomorrow sometime.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/18/2015, 9:41 am

Lots of experimenting going on here. I decided to start some indoor seeds in egg cartons. The Victory Garden guy does it in peat pots but I've never had any luck with peat pots. Anyway, I'm starting all the squashes in one egg carton and another egg carton has 12 corn.


Also, in one of my old school in ground SFGs, I'm starting a three sisters. I dug a few rows out of the mulch this morning to let the Sun warm up the soil and will try planting the corn today. I know its early but the corn I have, Butter and Sugar I think its called, is older and may not be viable, so it doesn't matter if they come up or not. the Kentucky Wonder pole beans and Trombocini & Butternut squash will be planted amongst the corn when the weather warms up a bit.

Got my order of beneficial nematodes yesterday and stuck them in the fridge. I'll prepare them and spread them out on Monday. Hopefully they can do away with the SVB, maybe some slugs, fleas, grubs, etcetera. I have high hopes!
That's all I got so far. What an excellent day!

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/18/2015, 12:43 pm

Looking forward to hearing your results, CC! That egg carton idea seems really neat. 

Bonus day here, we were supposed to be cloud covered by now but it's largely sunny, a bit breezy, a little cool, but that's okay.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/18/2015, 4:57 pm

What a gorgeous day! I can see everybody has been hard at work on their gardens already!
Saw my first cabbage moth this morning, so I got the brassica bed started today. Planted red and green cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli and broccoli rabe. Got the netting over the bed and then sat in the sun, enjoyed the breeze and admired the little plants. Started all the plants myself this year. Hope they do well, I would like to not have to buy plants this year.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/18/2015, 5:02 pm

@NHGardener wrote:I planted 7 trees today. Totally pooped. Tomorrow I'll try to get to planting peas, etc....
Yahoo NHG! Love the fruit trees!  Put in 2 dwarf apples last week. Can't get enough, but no space left in the yard. I'm squeezing them in wherever I can.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  NHGardener on 4/18/2015, 5:29 pm

Don't forget the nut trees, Lyndeeloo! 2 of mine were American chestnuts. You're going to need protein.

Today I transplanted some raspberries to the inside fence of my garden area. I want a little of everything in there to make sure it doesn't get mowed over or weed whacked, etc. It's kind of like the gardener's version of the Man Cave. I call it my Eden Vault. 

It's raining now, supposed to be highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s for several days out, so it's not getting hot here anytime soon.

I still haven't planted my peas and other colds. I cut a couple sprigs off the elderberry and put them in potting soil to root, tho. I want to try planting some peas around my fruit trees, as nitrogen fixer for them, and they'll be a trellis for the peas, and see how that works out. Supposedly it's a symbiotic relationship.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/18/2015, 6:03 pm

Hmmm nut trees. ......will have to look into that.
I fussed with my raspberries today too. My niece just bought a piece of land and I have been thinning my berries and herbs to bring to her for her garden. The foundation isn't dug yet but the garden is ready. LOL. She takes after her aunt and loves to garden.

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Re: New England, April 2015

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/18/2015, 6:05 pm

I never heard of putting peas around the fruit trees. But I did put garlic around my pears this spring. I heard it was supposed to keep the pests from getting on them. and hopefully the beneficial nematodes will eat those pests first.

Had to water the SFG again today and then got 9 parsnip holes made and planted.
QB, I dug the hole with a pry bar like Victory Garden guy says to do. It was hard work. Why do we do that? Is it to shape the parsnip?

Still cleaning up the yard and trimming lots of crushed perennials from the gargantuan amounts of snow we had. It must have been so heavy it just smashed everything. What a mess.
No
CC

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Re: New England, April 2015

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