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New England, March 2016

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New England, March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/2/2016, 10:15 am

OK, color me crazy...again...but I just had to garden this morning.  The energy outside was so strong that it was motivating.  

Got all my beds composted for spring:
You can see last years chard still growing in the trellised bed on the left.  Also, some onions & garlic here and there throughout.

Even composted the garlic bed, but only a sprinkling as I didn't want to damage the new growth:
Speaking of garlic, all the bulbs I planted mid winter have sprouted.   Shocked   Wasn't expecting that.

Then I just HAD to plant these seeds - I have so many that if this experiment fails it doesn't matter.  Spinach Mustard, last years Giant Spinach, sugar snap peas:

THEN I just HAD to plant some Champion collard green seedlings:
They were going to be cut out anyway so why not give it a try, says I.

THEN...IT STARTED RAINING!!!
cheers

This afternoon at lunch the rain is supposed to be over and the sun is coming out.   I'll cover the planted beds with windows since it's turning cold and supposed to snow Friday night - up to 12 inches!
affraid

Gardening makes me so high!
golly gee whiz
alrighta

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  quiltbea on 3/2/2016, 11:35 am

It almost looks like spring at your house.  Good for you.

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/2/2016, 8:51 pm

CC, you are kilin' me gf!

I love you sunny rock on

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/4/2016, 10:52 am

It's been snowing all morning and should go on into the night.  I check on my 5 collard transplants before it started and they are still alive out there that under that window!
cheers
They were planted on a whim and were never even hardened off.  If they make it through the night I'll water them with some Neptune over the weekend, for the cold & transplant shock.

Good thing I work full time or I'd be such a helicopter mom.
Embarassed
CC

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/4/2016, 3:59 pm

Lettuce wants to go out and play.  I've been petting them, and the window is really cold at night, so I'm hoping that's enough to harden them off.  I'll plant them out this weekend and we'll see what happens:  
bottom to top: Marvel of the Four Seasons, Grand Rapids, slow starting Lolla Rosa

Also, I've been eating off these baby spinach mustards for about a week now.  YUM!

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 3/4/2016, 4:15 pm

Fantastic CC. I hope they survive the early planting out.

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  sanderson on 3/4/2016, 6:19 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:Fantastic CC. I hope they survive the early planting out.
+1

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/4/2016, 6:54 pm

What is mustard spinach.

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/5/2016, 8:30 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:What is mustard spinach.

aka Tendergreens, Komatsuna and spinach mustard (poor confused li'l plants) it's the easiest and fastest grower in my garden. I eat them raw in salads or right off the plant, and add them to soups. Not smoothies though since they taste like cabbage to me and have a subtle bite when larger. I harvest seeds every year and store them in the original packet.

Here's a great link that explains it better than I could:
http://www.cooksinfo.com/japanese-mustard-spinach

CC

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/5/2016, 1:07 pm

Interesting, thanks, CC!

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/6/2016, 11:03 am

A trip to Home Depot this morning yielded 4 grey conduits, clamps, seed potatoes, seed onions and two blueberry bushes. 


Yup, I'm jumping in and trying the blueberry bushes yet again! And it's all SR's fault. I'm hoping that the eighth and ninth time are the charms. I don't know why I'm having so much trouble with them since my property is loaded with hydrangeas, rhodies and azalea bushes, which love the same conditions that blueberries love. It should be a snap.

Of course I want to plant all these things today, along with my veggie starts' but at the moment it's snowing to beat the band. Totally uncalled for! *grumble grumble*
Mad

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  quiltbea on 3/6/2016, 11:43 am

CapeC.....Maybe, like me, you have rock or granite not too far below in your ground.  I put in 5 blueberry bushes and tho they are still small and producing after being in 4 or 5 years, they aren't growing as they should.  Come to find out that their roots can't grow thru rock and I planted them over a bed of granite which is the same for the rest of my raised beds.  So I had to be happy to get any blueberries at all every year.  Stunted their growth a lot.
I wish you better luck that I had with mine.  I love fresh blueberries.

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/6/2016, 12:35 pm

Bitten by the blueberry bug eh? Muahahahaha! Nice that you got one of each of a couple different varieties!

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  NHGardener on 3/7/2016, 11:58 am

Hi guys! Sorry for the long-time-no-visit, I've been redirected into other things for a while (main emphasis on the bees this year). 

No snow on the ground which is unusual for this time of year. I put a lot of leaves, shavings from the chicken coop, cardboard for weed suppression, and various compost piles out in the garden and I'm not seeing a lot of decomposition at this point, naturally, but as soon as it warms up, I imagine the worms/microbes will get busy. 

We're supposed to be 65F on Weds., so wow. Time to get busy! I haven't indoor seeded, but I did take some cuttings off the grape vine (bluebell) in order to get more grapevines going (I started with only 1). First time doing grape cuttings, we'll see how that goes. I watched some youtube videos (which is probably where all my time is going these days!) and have them in potting soil indoors, hoping they grow roots.

Since I kind of missed the best onion indoor seeding timeframe, I'm thinking of direct seeding and then stapling clear plastic to the onion bed. The packet says you can plant as soon as you can work the soil.

I decided I might let the strawberries take over wherever they want in the garden, and maybe sell some this summer. We'll see how they do. Why fight something that wants to grow, instead of struggling with things that don't want to grow?

Most of the fruit trees I've planted have been girdled by voles. Bleh. Lesson to that is don't bother planting trees if you're not going to encircle their trunks with wire mesh. It will be interesting to see what happens with those this spring - will they leaf out? 2 apple trees still look good, and one peach tree which is meshed.

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/7/2016, 12:16 pm

happy hi NHG!  Glad you're back for another gardening year!  Keep us updated on the grape cuttings please?  Are you going to grow celery this year?  What variety do you grow?  Any luck with them?

That rots about the voles and the fruit trees.  Sad  

Do you have blueberry bushes?  Do you know the variety?
I ended up getting 2 bareroots - Bluecrop and Blue Ray - from Home Depot, and hope to plant them this week.

CC

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  NHGardener on 3/7/2016, 12:39 pm

Hi, CC!

I want to plant celery but I might be too late. Oh, fine. I'll indoor seed those today. Smile (Thx for the unintended push)

A fun project tho might be to try that method where you grow celery from an old stalk: http://www.17apart.com/2012/02/growing-celery-indoors-never-buy-celery.html You could just keep that indoors year-round, it looks like. Start it in water for a week and then plant in a pot.

I'm not sure which varieties of celery I've grown - two summers ago I was really happy with my celery, I think those seeds may have come from either Fedco or Johnnys. Last summer I used generic packets and the celery was spindly, not good big stalks like I like to use in soups. Since celery is one of those plants that they say are the worst for pesticides, I like to grow them. 

Not going to grow kale anymore, no one likes kale here (I had the most beautiful big bushy kale plants last summer!) and now reports that they attract heavy metals. Altho it looks like many of the brassicas do, so what are you going to do.

Okay, blueberries: Last summer I bought 3 plants at a local place: northland, and earliblue, and I'm not sure of the 3rd but I think the tag is in the garden so I'll check it next time. They did produce (a few) last year after I planted them, it will be interesting to see how they do this year. Other than those, we have a few bushes that we got from the local blueberry farm, they sell some of their plants every year (a bit expensive tho). Those are still growing, it takes several years for blueberries! - but darn if the birds and the chickens don't get those mostly. (My new ones are in my protected garden along the fence.) ALSO, we found some wild blueberries growing here and are nurturing those, but again, away from the garden they do get ransacked by birds. But all to say, so far everything is still alive. I hope you have success with your latest blueberries. If the Home Depot plants aren't working well, you might try a local blueberry farm if you have one. They might sell quality plants, or have tips on growing them. Do raspberries/blackberries grow well for you? I'm thinking they might have similar soil needs?

Fedco is still my favorite place to order, but I see their "tree" deadline just passed. I didn't do any ordering this year from anywhere - have to get control over what I already have first.

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/7/2016, 1:19 pm

I have wonderful raspberries growing in a box w/ MM and extra compost. I don't want to have to build another box for the blueberries but if these 2 don't work I may do that.

That's bad news about the brassicas. I don't know where heavy metals would come from, other than when I used to use Milorganite on the lawn here many moons ago, so maybe I don't have any.
Rolling Eyes

Were your blueberries in pots when you bought them?

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  NHGardener on 3/7/2016, 1:53 pm

Yup, my blueberries were in pots. Altho I think Fedco's are just bare roots.

Don't blueberries like boggy areas? I'm wondering if they like their soil a bit on the wet side.

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/9/2016, 11:09 am

Don't ever ask ME what blueberries like.  I've already killed 7 of them.
Sad
I got a free soil test at Agway yesterday.  The pH at the blueberry site is 5.8 and my compost is 7.2.   I'll add a pinch of sulfur when I plant them today but no compost.  

I started more seeds this morning & they are now on the heating pad:
Tomatoes: Sungold, Black Cherry, Sweeties and Gilberties
Peppers: Banana and Pepperoncini
Brussel sprouts
Pink Malllow

55 degrees and sunny!  Heading out to plant starts in the SFG:
collards
kale
broccoli
lettuce  

Then I plan on direct seeding beets, radishes, daikon, pak choi, spinach, chard and more peas.
I'll also get covers ready just in case the next 10 day weather forecast is completely off its rocker...
Wink

Is it too early to plant seed potatoes and onion sets?

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  NHGardener on 3/9/2016, 4:42 pm

My guess is it's too early for seed potatoes and onion sets, but then again, your climate may be different. I get updates from Farmer's Almanac, and the last I got a few days ago, it said sow onion seeds indoors or under cover. I decided to go ahead and try indoors. The seeds are from last year tho so I don't know if they'll germinate. If not, I'll pick up a package.

Wunderground says we reached 76F here today! Hard to believe. The bees were active. Pretty much 50s the rest of the week tho.

I wonder if it's worth it to plant peppers this year, they don't do so well, maybe critters get them. I'm trying to scale back my projects and get them a little better under control.

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/9/2016, 5:02 pm

Well, I went ahead and planted the onions out there but when I dug down 6" for the potato bed, the MM was COLD!  So I stuck a window over the trench and will wait for it to warm up.  

Got the entire 3 x 6 brassica bed planted.  Threw in some romaine between the bigger kales for fun.  

NHG, I'm only growing Banana peppers and Pepperoncini peppers this year.  Nothing else has been worth the bother.  

Super happy but super exhausted now.  I always do too much for too long on the first day.  Rolling Eyes  But it's so much fun!  Back to the office tomorrow where I can rest up in prep for the weekend!!!
What a Face

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  NHGardener on 3/9/2016, 5:10 pm

Good for you, CC! Gardening is good for the body and good for the soul. Especially when you've been cooped indoors over winter!

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 3/9/2016, 5:43 pm

Seems like a lot of people are having trouble growing peppers. Last year I had the same problem. In previous years I was able to grow bell peppers but last year they did not do well. I was speaking to someone earlier this week and she said they have given up trying to grow bell peppers and now they only grow hot peppers. Maybe I will have to go that route as well and throw in some sweet banana peppers as well.

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  NHGardener on 3/9/2016, 6:12 pm

Do peppers need a hotter/longer growing season? I plant peppers every year, both from seeds and then usually, when they die, from store seedlings, and they usually die too. Could be slugs, could be cutworms, could be voles, could be something in the soil they don't like, I don't know. Tomatoes do fairly well, but not peppers. And you can never have too many peppers. Smile

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Re: New England, March 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/9/2016, 6:31 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Do peppers need a hotter/longer growing season? I plant peppers every year, both from seeds and then usually, when they die, from store seedlings, and they usually die too. Could be slugs, could be cutworms, could be voles, could be something in the soil they don't like, I don't know. Tomatoes do fairly well, but not peppers. And you can never have too many peppers. Smile

I wanna say yes to this, because you start pepper seeds earlier indoors, and plant out a bit after tomatoes and other hotties. I lost mine last year, one to a critter, and the replacements ran out of time.

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Re: New England, March 2016

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