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N & C Midwest: March 2016

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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/20/2016, 7:45 pm

Sweet! Head, heart, hands and health...well indoctrinated rural kid....lol
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 3/20/2016, 10:28 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Forgive me if I already asked you this, is your working mix homemade?  I got a bag of organic starter mix in a yellow bag at Walmart, and most things have done fine.  Will start tomatoes this week, as I need to figure out how many squares I am going to need.  
My working mix is just some regular potting mix.  I've used Miracle Gro Potting Mix with great results, and more recently Master Garden Premium Garden Soil (which is not soil at all, but just a peat-based growing mix) - I get this from Menard's, I think it's their store brand of this product.

What I do for most of the plants I start indoors, is germinate the seeds in wet paper towels, then sow the already-germinated seeds into the mix.  In typically 2-4 days, I've got sprouts coming up out of the mix, and just about every single one of them comes up.

This year, I decided I wanted to start my seeds using an organic mix of some kind.  The first one I tried was a home-made mix, made from peat, vermiculite, and a very small amount of GardenTone organic fertilizer.  I had two whole flats of germinated pepper seeds that I put in that mix, and more than a week later - nothing.

Then I tried two other commercial organic growing mixes, with some carrot seeds, lettuce, cabbage, and kale.  The carrots and kale liked them, but hardly any of the lettuce came up, and when it did, it grew very, very slowly.  Got no peppers.  Again.

I get having to add some fertilizer once they come up and reach a certain point of development, but these just weren't even emerging from the mix, and these were seeds I knew had already germinated.

Then, I finally caved and went back to my old working mix, and planted tomatoes, more lettuce, and all that came up in 2-3 days, just like I expected.  And it's all growing like crazy.  The peppers are still taking a little longer than everything else, but a couple of them are showing up, finally.

Meanwhile, the same night I started my tomatoes (the 14th), I also tried some peat pellets and put some dry tomato seeds into them.  The tomatoes I started the way I normally do started coming up by the 16th, and are now starting to get their true leaves on them.  The ones I put into the peat pellets are just now beginning to emerge as of this morning.

My conclusion so far is that seed starting mixes don't work very well.  After CC's comment, I'm not sure why it never occurred to me to just try some MM.  I'm probably just over-analyzing this as usual.  geek
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/21/2016, 7:45 am

I gotcha! Used MM IS A GREAT IDEA, thanks, CC! And Kate, it is really weird, those germinated seeds should come up in anything! At least you have some cookie' now!
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 3/21/2016, 9:39 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I gotcha!  Used MM IS A GREAT IDEA, thanks, CC! And Kate, it is really weird, those germinated seeds should come up in anything!  At least you have some cookie' now!

Yep, not just another pretty face! Wink
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/21/2016, 7:56 pm

Should I bring up my marigolds to be in the window? I have an east facing window....not sure if the grow lights or the indirect sun is best?
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/21/2016, 8:11 pm




Marigolds on the right. Peppers on the left. Random onions pointing skyward, also a mesclun that apparently included spinach and some red lettuces thing. A Black seeded Simpson is off to the right, they are the bomb.


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 3/21/2016, 8:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Don't know what I am doing yet with the new photos thingy)
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/21/2016, 8:16 pm

Think maybe I should up pot the marigolds...they will be growing for a while.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 3/21/2016, 11:40 pm

I'd say the Marigolds and peppers definitely need to be potted up for more time indoors, and all the light they can get. The lettuce is ready to go outside if you have frost protection.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 3/21/2016, 11:44 pm

Is it warm enough during the day for them all to be set outside for a while? They will LOVE that.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/21/2016, 11:58 pm

Yeah, I think I will pot the peppers and marigolds up! We are in the midst of a mini cold snap, so earliest for set out is next week. As for the lettuce, it could go out any time, my mini cloches have been an absolute WIN!

Do you leave your indoor light on 24/7? I do. Just wondering.....someone somewhere on here made mention of the Kreb's cycle of plants and needing darkness.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 3/22/2016, 12:13 am

We just had our cold snap and are just now coming out of it. Tomorrow it will be your turn. Smile

Glad to hear your cloches did their job! (I thought they would.)

I have my grow lights on a timer, and they're on for 18 hours per day, off for 6. I think what is optimal will depend on what kind and how many lights you have shining on the plants, though. I've seen where others have kept their grow lights on 24 hours, and gotten great results. If you have less light, leave them on longer.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/22/2016, 12:18 am

Yay! My daughter and I again were in canton this past weekend and were dismayed to wake up Sunday to snow...but all things come to an end. Yeah, my free cloches are a keeper for sure!

I am turning the lights off right now, gonna give everybody a dark night!

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Cloche Call...

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/22/2016, 2:58 pm

OK, so it is 60 here today, so I go out this morning to remove the cloches, and just like that, each spinach plant is neatly lifted from the dirt like cookie dough stuck in a cookie cutter!   Mad  I shoved 'em back in, hoping for the best.....dang it   Kale looked pretty frost bitten.  

Put the marigolds in my east window.  Will pot some stuff up tonight, peppers and marigolds.  Maybe start some tomatoes this weekend.


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 3/22/2016, 3:00 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added info)
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/22/2016, 3:29 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:OK, so it is 60 here today, so I go out this morning to remove the cloches, and just like that, each spinach plant is neatly lifted from the dirt like cookie dough stuck in a cookie cutter!   Mad  I shoved 'em back in, hoping for the best.....dang it   Kale looked pretty frost bitten.  


SO funny, same thing happened to me when I lifted off some windows...except it was a bunch of MM with a couple of red onion babies hanging in it. What's with THAT???  I laid the windows in an empty box to thaw so I wouldn't lose any MM, then I, too, shoved the onions back in.

Best guess is we pulled them up too soon.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/22/2016, 6:34 pm

I know....hoping they get their feet back in gear.....dang it. The MM is so loose and wonderful, just pulls right out albino
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 3/22/2016, 11:34 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:OK, so it is 60 here today, so I go out this morning to remove the cloches, and just like that, each spinach plant is neatly lifted from the dirt like cookie dough stuck in a cookie cutter!   Mad  I shoved 'em back in, hoping for the best.....dang it
Ooops!  Doh! (And that's the best use of the "bad boffer" smiley I've seen yet! Ha!)  They may be okay, though.  Their roots were contained by the cloches, so other than some slight movement, they probably weren't disturbed much.  We are finding the limits of what they can withstand, though, aren't we?  Let us know how they do.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  herblover on 3/23/2016, 12:04 pm

I have 4 squares of greens planted; 1 each of 'Mizuna', arugula, 'Black Seeded Simpson', and 'Gourmet Blend' lettuces.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/23/2016, 9:17 pm

Yep, will do. I will monitor the success rate for these 18 plants, hopefully they will grab down and grow.

Black Seeded Sompson is a WORKHORSE! It is up, sturdy, ready to be lettuce. RubY crunch , nothing....
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 3/24/2016, 9:28 am

I had a lot of Black Seeded Simpson last year - it's a very reliable producer, and very tasty. Another favorite lettuce of mine is Buttercrunch. Gives you nice beefy leaves that are great for sandwiches and wraps, and wonderful mild, sweet flavor.

Well, guess what I woke up to this morning, that the weather folks failed to mention in last night's forecast... Last night, the forecast said it would get down to the upper 40's with possibility of rain, so I didn't bother covering my boxes.





I had just set out some of my lettuce and kale two days ago. Guess we'll see what happens when it all melts later on...
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/24/2016, 11:07 am

Argh...I hate when that happens! We even had hail once that wasn't forecast.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  landarch on 3/24/2016, 12:11 pm

70 degrees yesterday, then hail in the evening, snow this morning, freezing temps in the near future...if my plants make it through the weekend they should be tough enough to handle just about anything else.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  sanderson on 3/24/2016, 5:42 pm

Some crazy weather you guys are having. Hope everything survives.

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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/24/2016, 6:58 pm

Oh my gosh, Kate and Landarch! Crazy!
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 3/24/2016, 7:00 pm

Yikes!!!

affraid

 And I thought my weather was crazy.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 3/24/2016, 10:20 pm

Well, I'm not quite believing this, but when I checked on my plants after the snow melted, they didn't seem fazed in the least. In fact, it seems to have given them a boost, everything out there - the spinach, carrots, lettuce, kale, and onions - is looking really good, and continuing to grow.
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Re: N & C Midwest: March 2016

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