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N & C Midwest: February Promise

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  CitizenKate on 2/20/2016, 11:30 pm

Been running around in shorts this weekend!  Can't believe it.  Got out and got one of my SFG beds ready for some seedlings I'm starting this week.  Picked up some seed taters and onion sets to also put out in a couple of weeks.  I suspect I may be jumping the gun, but I'm prepared to cover things up if we get something more like normal weather for late Feb.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/20/2016, 11:38 pm

Kate, I was near Columbus inthe middle of the state today,and it was 70 degrees!  Windy, but still, no coat, walked the dog, it was just so nice and got a bit of spring fever!  I have not started any seeds, I have a bit of stage fright, I think, not sure.  

I am committed to getting out early in the beds and doing the early sowing that I couldn't do last year because I wasn't up and running.  THAT is a big step for me.  

I would like to transform my yard into a habitat and place where food occurs.  I like the idea of the foraging yard thing.  Eat Your Yard by Nan somebody.....


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 2/20/2016, 11:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Forgot something)

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  CitizenKate on 2/21/2016, 12:12 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
I am committed to getting out early in the beds and doing the early sowing that I couldn't do last year because I wasn't up and running.  THAT is a big step for me.  
I know, same here.  I had beds set up, but I hadn't completely thought through things like frost protection, or irrigation, and still had way too much to figure out when growing season started.  Now I've got a few things sorted out, got my SFG a little more tricked-out, and I'm hoping this year gardening will be a little more routine.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  CitizenKate on 2/21/2016, 12:15 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I would like to transform my yard into a habitat and place where food occurs.  I like the idea of the foraging yard thing.  Eat Your Yard by Nan somebody.....
That sounds interesting, I'll have to look that up.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/21/2016, 8:12 am

Eat Your Yard is a great book!

When we moved into our house, we decided that we didn't want to grow anything that couldn't be eaten. Our hedges are blueberries, we have peach, apple, & pear trees, and the garden. (We lost the pecan tree last fall...)

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/21/2016, 10:59 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Eat Your Yard is a great book!

When we moved into our house, we decided that we didn't want to grow anything that couldn't be eaten.  Our hedges are blueberries, we have peach, apple, & pear trees, and the garden.  (We lost the pecan tree last fall...)

I love the idea! Nan K Chase is the author. If you can get it from the library, it is worth it. Very much an outline format based on your basic climate (tropical, non-tropical, etc.).

Right now, other than my garden, the only edible thing I have in my yard is an old pear tree. I really want to get strawberries going this year, and possibly some asparagus.

Marie, how much tweaking do you have to do with your soil's pH for the blueberries? I know they prefer acidic soils. Do you have it tested? If so, how often? I love blueberries, actually, all berries! I have an acre, minus my house and driveway's footprint. And have room for trees and bushes.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/21/2016, 3:40 pm

For the blueberries, all we do is put down new pine mulch every few years. Last year I DID give them some azalea food that they seemed to like.

We've done no testing at all. And it's not SFG, so they're in our GA clay...

We made sure to get a few different varieties, including adding in a couple of wild NH blueberry bushes about 3 years ago. IF I can partially keep the birds out, I get about 3-4 gallons from 6 bushes.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/21/2016, 6:37 pm

I have clay soil here as well. Am glad to hear you aren't testing and tweaking constantly. In "Eat Your Yard", author recommends highbush varieties for our climate here in Ohio. Nice yields!

Am super excited to learn more about my berry options!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/22/2016, 8:28 am

Just remember that they're cousins to azaleas & like acid. They should do fine. And, oh, so yummy...

Oh, the mulch is pine bark NUGGETS - the small ones...

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  herblover on 2/22/2016, 10:52 am

Not done much yet; I don't start seeds due to cats and time constraints.  According to my schedule, weather permitting, I will be sowing the first salad greens in a couple of weeks!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/22/2016, 6:41 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Just remember that they're cousins to azaleas & like acid.  They should do fine.  And, oh, so yummy...

Oh, the mulch is pine bark NUGGETS - the small ones...

Pine bark nuggets....need to look into those. Pine bark helps with pH as well as just mulching?

Me either, herblover. Just waiting for the timetable....

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/23/2016, 8:57 am

Yes, they do. And look nice as well...

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/26/2016, 12:35 pm

I am going to give a few a try here, maybe 3? And I will mulch using the pine bark nuggets, just have to decide on location in my yard. I don't have any shrubs or bushes other than a few forsythia in the front perennial bed. I like the idea of plants that feed us and look pretty at the same time! And I love blueberries!

Cold here, snowy yesterday, just cold today, and windy. My daughter and I are in Canton for the State Swim Championships, so maybe I can get some seeds going inside this weekend, as we are done by tomorrow! I would like to try that technique with spinach seeds....


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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/26/2016, 8:46 pm

Just be sure to get different varieties. That's important with blueberries - get at least 2. Makes bigger, tastier berries, IMOH.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/26/2016, 11:14 pm

OK, will try to do that, Marie!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/28/2016, 11:13 am

Windy and warm here, up to 60 degrees according to Weather Underground! Will give me a chance to get out and mess with my compost piles a bit. Other than that, need to figure out how to tell the temperature of the soil. Don't want to ruin my Pampered Chef probe thermometer.

I am thinking I might go ahead and try to start some spinach seeds like Kate described. And maybe a couple other salad leaves; kale, lettuces and chard. I have never started those indoors before.

Won't be long before sugar snaps can go in! What about everybody else? Getting the fever bad!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  CitizenKate on 2/29/2016, 12:42 am

Yes, also starting lettuce now, too.  I started mine indoors last year, and that went very well, only this year, I'm not waiting so long, now that I know they hold up in a little cold.

And believe it or not, I started some peppers yesterday, too.  I've always started them at the same time I start tomatoes, but they always seem to take much longer to mature than the tomatoes.  Then I read the seed packages a little closer - go figure - and they actually recommend starting them 6 - 8 weeks before the last frost, rather than the 4-6 weeks you normally allow for tomatoes.  So, our average last frost here is mid-April... I count back 6 weeks...  affraid  that's this week!  No wonder my peppers have always been Johnny-come-lately.

So I put a bunch of nipped seeds in water to soak yesterday evening and set them on a warm spot, and two hours later, they were already starting to sprout.  Time to get busy!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/29/2016, 7:45 am

Kate are you scarifying all your seeds this year? I have never done it until yesterday on the spinach seeds.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Goosegirl on 2/29/2016, 7:47 am

My garlic is still surviving!  We are supposed to be getting a little more snow this week, but back up into the 50's by the weekend.  Almost 

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  CitizenKate on 2/29/2016, 10:45 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Kate are you scarifying all your seeds this year?  I have never done it until yesterday on the spinach seeds.  
Some seeds I don't bother with, like tomato seeds or lettuce, since they usually sprout pretty fast and get good germination rates either way.  (But I do soak and pre-sprout just abotu all of them in wet paper towels.)

I tried scarification for the first time last year, and it really does speed up the germination process on some of them, especially seeds with really hard and moisture-resistant coats.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  CitizenKate on 2/29/2016, 10:49 am

@Goosegirl wrote:My garlic is still surviving!  We are supposed to be getting a little more snow this week, but back up into the 50's by the weekend.  Almost 
When did you plant it?  I'm thinking about trying some to go with my basil to make totally home-grown pesto.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  landarch on 2/29/2016, 2:05 pm

Kate, I started tons of seeds yesterday. 

1.  one flat Corvair spinach
2.  one flat Catalina spinach
3.  four flats Sugar Ann peas
4.  one flat Yolo Wonder bell pepper
5.  one flat King Arthur bell pepper
6.  1/4 flat Rosa Bianca eggplant
7.  1/4 flat Black Beauty eggplant

I used some cell plug flats as well as a new soil blocker from Johnny's Seed.


I went to a friend's house over the weekend and his sweet peas were already 6-8" high in the garden (he started them inside a few weeks ago).  That inspired me to not wait any longer on plants that can go in early.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/29/2016, 6:49 pm

Kate, I planted my garlic in early November, when I saw some garlic sets at the hardware store...impulse buy! They came up last fall, it was such a long and warm fall, and then I heavily mulched with leaves when the freeze hit. Fingers crossed! I love garlic, and would like to have organic all the time.

I think it is pretty forgiving as far as growing though. I put the best cloves in a clearanced plastic planter with MM, and the rest in one of my dirt flower boxes.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/29/2016, 6:50 pm

@landarch wrote:Kate, I started tons of seeds yesterday. 

1.  one flat Corvair spinach
2.  one flat Catalina spinach
3.  four flats Sugar Ann peas
4.  one flat Yolo Wonder bell pepper
5.  one flat King Arthur bell pepper
6.  1/4 flat Rosa Bianca eggplant
7.  1/4 flat Black Beauty eggplant

I used some cell plug flats as well as a new soil blocker from Johnny's Seed.

I went to a friend's house over the weekend and his sweet peas were already 6-8" high in the garden (he started them inside a few weeks ago).  That inspired me to not wait any longer on plants that can go in early.

Nice landarch!

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

Post  CitizenKate on 2/29/2016, 11:00 pm

@landarch wrote:Kate, I started tons of seeds yesterday. 

1.  one flat Corvair spinach
2.  one flat Catalina spinach
3.  four flats Sugar Ann peas
4.  one flat Yolo Wonder bell pepper
5.  one flat King Arthur bell pepper
6.  1/4 flat Rosa Bianca eggplant
7.  1/4 flat Black Beauty eggplant
You don't mess around, do you?  You may not remember this from last year, but you're the one who convinced me I needed to plant my spinach and lettuce sooner.

So far, I've got 2 flats of Bloomsdale spinach (enough to fill 8 squares) that are now about 3 inches high, 1 flat of various lettuce varieties, 1 flat of jalapeno peppers, and 1 flat of Keystone Giant bell peppers.  Looks like I'll have enough seed for another flat of Keystones.  I've also got seed potatoes that'll be ready by St. Patty's Day (or earlier), and onion sets ready to go in about the same time.

And I still have a few more construction projects to do before all my beds are fully equipped for the season.  I hope there's an end to that part in sight, those projects always make the season more rushed, and I'm looking forward to the first season when I can just focus on the plants.

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Re: N & C Midwest: February Promise

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