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N & C Midwest: February Promise

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N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/1/2016, 8:13 am

OK, SFGers, it is February! Time to plan in earnest, if you are starting seeds indoors, brush off those lights and find that old heating pad...and all those saved to rolls, lol! Dreary here, but a good day to charge up my new power drill driver and figure out how to use it!

What is everyone else up to?

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  CitizenKate on 2/3/2016, 10:30 am

I'm probably going to spend the rest of this month planning and finishing up construction on all my new contraptions I plan to use this year.  Oh - and on top of everything else, there's a new garden shed in my future!   bounce

One thing I want to do differently this year with my planting map is to be able to show planned rotations a little better.  For example, what to put in the squares where I had spinach growing after it's done for the season.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Kate888 on 2/3/2016, 1:48 pm

I haven't got out  my book and started planning yet, but I've been trying to decide about broccoli and cabbage, since I'd have to start them in the next couple of weeks.  It's really pleased me the last three years to have beautiful little starts during the cold and snowy months - kind of a reminder of the spring to come.  And they have always done well for me inside, but once outside, they haven't always done as well as I'd like.  and the one year they did, it didn't really taste any better than store bought.  If I had a few more beds I would have plenty of space, but we won't be adding any beds this year, SO I have to figure out whether there are more productive plants I would rather grow in that space.

But I do so love the planning of the garden.  I've got most of it on the computer now, where I can just look at last year's plan and type in the new stuff.

Happy planning to you!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/3/2016, 7:52 pm

CK, I didn't do a good job of succession cropping either.  Ran out of Summer.  I just need to get early stuff in earlier, to get the ball rolling, I think.

Kate888--Hi!  Great to "meet" you! I am struggling with the same things...I have limited SF, and then got free non-GMO cabbage seeds from Baker's...I really don't eat a lot of cabbage.  Buuuuut, if I grew it, would I be making Cole slaw, kraut, etc?  IDK.  And broccoli I have never grown, but I know it is one of the most contaminated veggies encouraging organic broccoli...which I would grow, and I do like it a lot, especially raw.  It comes down to what I like to eat and square footage.  

I love love love the traditional hotties:  tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans.  And potatoes which aren't really hotties.  Trade-offs in the making!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 2/3/2016, 7:54 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Boo boos)

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/7/2016, 10:04 am

Going to be in the upper 40s today according to Weather Underground.  Then snow.  Go figure!  This winter has been a roller coaster thus far.  Going to try to mount my new lights today.  

Nice that you can really tell the days are getting longer finally!  Gotta make a Walmart run later.  Will make a side trip into the seeds but vow not to buy any moo until I see what I am going to have room for!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  vortex on 2/8/2016, 10:44 am

After working on getting my seedling rack cleaned up, set up and ready to go over the past week, Saturday I put in pepper seeds to start sprouting. 42 plants is the end goal, planting two seeds for each plant I want to put out. Of those 42 plants, 34 are chile pepper and 8 are sweet pepper.

Two of the sweet peppers seem really interesting. Can't wait to see the result.

First is one called Sweet Savour:





The second is Tangerine Dream:





They look like hot peppers, but they're super sweet.

I'll be growing two of each in containers on my deck. These will be in lieu of the annual flower pots, which these look like they will be nice to look at as well as functionally tasty.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/8/2016, 6:08 pm

Vortex, those plants will be lovely on your deck! Have you seen those bags of small snack type sweet peppers in the produce section? Red, yellow and orange assortment, they are really good! Very few seeds, a few bites and yum! Hope yours are similar, they look like it. Thanks for the pics!

I need to get a few started this weekend, but think I an starting with lettuce and salad leaves. Spinach maybe.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Goosegirl on 2/8/2016, 9:09 pm

We have had lots of melt in the past week, and yesterday I saw several garlic sprouts about an inch tall.  We are now about to plunge back to winter, so they will shrivel for another month or so, but it was nice to see some signs of life!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/9/2016, 6:56 am

I agree, GG, it is reassuring to see some green peek through. Cold front here as well.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  vortex on 2/10/2016, 4:09 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Vortex, those plants will be lovely on your deck!  Have you seen those bags of small snack type sweet peppers in the produce section?  Red, yellow and orange assortment, they are really good!  Very few seeds, a few bites and yum!  Hope yours are similar, they look like it.  Thanks for the pics!

I need to get a few started this weekend, but think I an starting with lettuce and salad leaves.  Spinach maybe.  


I'm pretty excited about them. I have no idea what all I'm going to use them for yet, but fajitas and salads are at the top of the list. Maybe work them into some tuna salad, pico, or something as well. Maybe on a pizza? Tons of possibilities.

Maybe they end up as a snack while sitting on the deck. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/10/2016, 6:55 pm

All of the above! hungry

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  sanderson on 2/11/2016, 3:39 am

The little snack bells are fun to eat right out there in the garden!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/12/2016, 7:41 pm

I would like to try them, don't have room this year though! Maybe in a container or 2 in the future?

The big chill has arrived today, windy and bitter cold all weekend. My planner says start onions from seed this weekend. Not sure that I am inclined to start onions from seed at all! Maybe the green onions, not sure. Might just put out sets early and see how that goes, I have never grown onions before.

Everyone in the Midwest staying warm?

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/12/2016, 8:00 pm

SR, I've got onions started from seeds right now. Out of 24, I've had 3 pop up so far....... But hope springs eternal!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/12/2016, 8:03 pm

Bulb or the green onions, Marie? Are they hard to germinate?

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/13/2016, 8:27 am

Bulbs. Walla-Walla sweet onions. About 1-2 lbs each.

Yes, I've been warned about that on various websites I've looked at... But I would rather try the seeds than spend $ on the starts.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  landarch on 2/13/2016, 1:16 pm

Here are some things I have either been doing...or sitting around to maybe doing.

1.  I was at Menards last weekend and found a hidden stash of old stock in their gardening area outside.  I found a heated garden system for $9...the heat pad along is maybe $25.  I bought three.

2. I also found some seed starting cells with tray for $0.49...just saw them at a garden center yesterday fro $4.95.

3.  I have two full compost piles I've been feeding with kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, chopped leaf litter, cow manure, horse manure, horse bedding, and rabbit manure.  We haven't been super cold but the top layers are so frozen I won't be able to turn for a month or so.

4.  I've started cole crop seeds indoors...cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage.  I've even started some butter lettuce that will need early protection.

5.  Been ancy to start pepper seeds indoors...however, I like to set them out around Mother's Day when I know soil temps are warm enough to do any good...10 weeks prior would be  in early March.  Tomatoes maybe mid-March.  Babysitting seedlings started too early is a lot of work.

6.  Trying to find special crates that are perfect for holding seed trays...sometimes landscape contractors have these from tulip bulb orders...they are like a milk crate, a bit shorter, with enough room to hold a flat/tray with 6-7 additional 4" pots down the side.  They can also be stacked when carrying.

7.  Trying to plan for seeding past favorites as well as some new things.  For tomatoes I'll do Anna Russian, Carbon, Krim, Black Cherry, Health Kick, San Marzano, Brandywine Sudduth, and Rutgers...new ones may be Break O Day, Marianna's Peace, Granny Cantrell, Vorlon. 

8.  didn't do as much garlic as last year...it tied up too many squares.

9.  Looking forward to sugar snap peas...last year I planted them at the base of all my cucumber and tomato trellises...picked tons before tomatoes and cuckes went in.

10.  Had problems with voles in my raised beds at the community garden last year...beets were growing in soil with a layer of air underneath.  I may take the Mels Mix out and do a permeable weed barrier in the bottom and wrap up the sides (this may push the voles to someone else's spot in the garden).

11.  Trying to find a way to do sweet potatoes in limited space.

12.  Gardening should be fun...not work.  When it feels like a chore I shut it down.  I saw too many older gardeners in the community garden last year get too tired with the old methods...mainly trying to stay on top of weeds, made even worse when they till all the time just disturbing more weed seeds...not to mention the summertime heat.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/13/2016, 5:04 pm

I agree. I have enough chores, gardening needs to be therapeutic! Nice plan!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  sanderson on 2/14/2016, 3:09 am

Landach, I read this earlier today, but this is the first chance to get back to the computer.
1 & 2 - Good reminder for watching for out-of-season or close-out specials.
5 - such good restraint on waiting to start the tomatoes!
10 - What about 1/4" hardware cloth down first with the weed fabric on top of that?
11 - I have 2 large storage totes for SP
12 - Well, If they would only try SFG!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/14/2016, 8:45 am

Landarch, your list was very helpful for me, as this is the first time in decades I am going to try to start seeds indoors.  I have nothing going yet.  But your comments about timing are super good pointers.  I remember having leggy spindly starts when I did it before, too early and not enough light in combination.

I put my garlic in a big plastic planter on clearance this past fall, and a row in at the back of one of my flower boxes, we'll see!  Hopefully the petunias will camo the growing garlic scapes!

I bought sugar snaps for the first time, I love them, hope I have success as you did.  So were they basically done by the time you were ready to put your tomatoes in?  If so, I might let them use the supports as well.


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 2/14/2016, 8:46 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typo)

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Kelejan on 2/14/2016, 1:05 pm

landarch: re No. 10. I suffer from voles and have no trouble in my SFG beds that have been lined with 1/4 inch hardcloth.  

Now the lawn (grass patch) is another problem.  Last year they were strewn with hillocks.  These voles were a long way down the road when we first moved here, but over the years I have watched them migrate up the road as far as my yard. I am hoping that in another year or two they will have passed me by.  I don't know where they will go after they have gone through the rest of the road that contain about 15 houses to the main road.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  landarch on 2/14/2016, 10:27 pm

Will hard cloth rust away if buried?  The voles tunneled under my raised beds at the community garden so much I think I lost a lot of Mels Mix down their tunnels every time I watered.  This year it will be war.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  sanderson on 2/15/2016, 4:49 am

The hardware cloth shouldn't rust being away buried. There won't be a lot of oxygen down there.

Any one else?

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/16/2016, 9:10 pm

Not as much, but depends on how permeable the soil is and how porous, I think. It would be good for a good long time I would certainly think?!!

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TGIF!

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/19/2016, 8:30 am

Windy and warming here. The goldfinches are yellowing up a bit, harbingers of Spring! What are the Midwesterners and others doing this weekend?

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

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