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N & C Midwest: April 2016

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N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/1/2016, 2:12 pm

I posted this morning, and didn't realize until I got to work that is was APRIL!  At last!  Entering into a cold spell, but at least I have a bit of a start!

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/1/2016, 8:58 pm

Spinach, lettuces, radish sprouts and peas sprouting....32 to 34 tonight, I don't think I should have to cover, right?

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/1/2016, 11:52 pm

Inside, the toe-maters and a few peppers (bless their hearts) are percolating for a mid-April to early-May debut.  I have a couple of cabbage sprouts that just blasted off after being up-potted, and I hope will be ready to put out, say... next weekend?  I like to have them larger before transplanting after last year's disaster with them.  Also, a couple more squares of carrots if I can get them going in time.

Outside:  spinach, lettuce, onions, and carrots.


The two kales in the boxes are struggling a bit.  I discovered that they do okay with colder air temperatures, but chilly watering really shuts them down fast!  Warmer watering for them from now on!  They are recovering, but I have a few more if they don't make it.  If they do make it, the extras will go in containers on the patio.



In the second over from the top and left, you can't make out much at this resolution, but there are a few newer carrot shoots that have begun to emerge from the mix.  I didn't know if they would make it after some of the crazy weather we've had, but these are promising signs.

The carrot stalks you see in the upper-left were started indoors and transplanted sometime last week.  Looks like they've made it over the transplanting hump.

You may notice that some of my onions are planted 9 to a square, and some 16.  The 16's are set deeper, and harvested earlier as green onions.  The 9's are planted shallower, and left in the bed until the stalks start to dry up and die, and by then there are larger yellow onions emerging from the surface.

bounce   Me love springtime.

That is all.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/2/2016, 9:40 pm




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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/2/2016, 9:43 pm





Previous above post: 2 small kales, hail damaged spinach and radish seedlings coming up. This post, Black Seeded Simpson, 2 of which are hail damaged, and the peppers and marigolds that I spared the torrential winds of today inside.

I am rethinking my start dates. Too early. Too cold, nothing growing, just getting damaged and having to be covered up all the time. Only 2 peas up. Out of like 16.


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 4/2/2016, 9:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Can't figure out how to do pictures and text in the same thing.)

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/3/2016, 1:05 am

Oh ouch! The cold seems to be hanging on here, too, just when I thought all spring was about to bust loose. Last night was the last night in our forecast for freezing lows at night for at least the next week. Hopefully, that is coming your way!

I think your lettuce and I think most of your spinach will recover from the hail damage, from what I can tell from your photos.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  sanderson on 4/3/2016, 2:09 am

SR, Jot that down in your journal. That will help you judge when to start your seed pots next spring.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/3/2016, 9:29 am

I hope so too, Kate. The plants and temps! 2 of the spinaches are gone, I will pre sprout and direct seed replacements.

I am keeping detailed notes, sanderson.

Once I get my real 4x4, I can build a cover for it, and getting the plants some protection will help immensely on the cusp of the seasons I would think. I like the PVC one that you put together, Kate, because it is moveable. Or wood.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/3/2016, 11:10 am

I think for once I started everything (except the peppers) at about the right time. But we always have wild swings in the weather this time of year, so we always have some acrobatics to perform to keep the plants protected and have them ready to go in the beds when the frosts are finally done for the year.

That last cage I built definitely made frost (or other weather) protection a snap. No more hassles with getting plastic sheet arranged just right over the box, and getting it anchored down. Just pick up the cage and set it on the box - done.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/3/2016, 6:05 pm

Yeah, my plants are alive....lettuce actually looks ok, spinach must be way more tender...lookin weenie. Kale too. Weenie

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/3/2016, 11:15 pm

For spinach, I make new sprouts throughout the season to replace plants that bolt or get damaged.  Last time I had hail damage to my lettuce, it was quite a bit larger, and it was hardly fazed at all, other than having to chuck the damaged leaves into the compost bin.

Today I finally got all the tomato plants topped up with growing mix.  They are looking fabulous, I think my best ever, so far.  And they got some serious sunshine time this weekend, both yesterday and today - finally!  But wow, the wind!  It was beating the crap out of them when I set them out Friday morning, so I brought them back in to sit under the grow lights before I headed to work.  (I start work at noon, usually.)  It was windy yesterday and today, too, but I set them closer to the fence to keep some of the wind off, which helped.  Whew!

Oh - and I had this very welcome visitor today, coming to scout out sources of water...

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/4/2016, 7:41 am

Awwwww, hi little fella! We are supposed to be low 20s here tonight, so will cover again later. Rolling Eyes At some point after next weekend I think we get a break temperature wise.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/4/2016, 10:51 am

I haven't had to cover anything for the last couple of nights, SR, and there's nothing in our forecast for the coming week, so I'm sure your last night of covering plants is coming.  However, it's still early April, and there are almost always are a few more frosts coming until the end of the month.  I think we've finally reached the point where they won't be, like, every other night or so.

I saw a meme on Facebook that said, "Winter, you had six months to show up, and you didn't.  So BUG OFF!"  Laughing

Got my toe-maters out again today soaking up some sunshine and breezes, and finally got some shots of them to share, both here and on craigslist.  (Hopefully I can sell a few and make back some of what I spend doing this.)






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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/4/2016, 6:29 pm

Dang, girl! That is a bunch of 'maters! They look great!

I just checked my tomato seeds: one German Green and one Cherokee purple germinated; both Sungold (cherry), one Oxheart (thanks, Little Sapphire!). Neither peacevine germinated, and neither Great White. Replanted those. 3 out of 4 groundcherries germinated! (Thanks, CC!). Still on heating pad and under lights.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  herblover on 4/5/2016, 9:33 am

It is outright COLD here in OH!  Tucked my 4 squares of salad greens under their blankies last night again.  I want to get more planting done but this cold weather is holding me up.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  landarch on 4/5/2016, 1:32 pm

I've had my tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings outside 24/7 for about a week covered with an Agribon fabric...temps in the 30's, then near 80, and wind that won't stop...the fabric lets sun through but cuts down on wind and watering.

I potted up 5 more flats of tomato and pepper seedlings late last night and will start to harden off outside later this week.

One idea I have this year is to take a few of my largest, healthiest tomato plants, pinch off a few suckers, dip stem in rooting compound, and start new plants from cuttings.  These make good replacements for any plants that may go down with early blight without having to start from seed with little time left.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/5/2016, 6:39 pm

@herblover wrote:It is outright COLD here in OH!  Tucked my 4 squares of salad greens under their blankies last night again.  I want to get more planting done but this cold weather is holding me up.

I am with you, herblover.  Standstill until we get some decent nighttime temps.  I covered last night, it was 23* here...brrr.  High, 41 (yay?).  Low 30s tonight....may cover again!  And supposed to hold this way until next week..... rendeer

Landarch, I would be interested in how your experiment goes!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 4/5/2016, 6:40 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Forgot stuff)

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/6/2016, 12:01 am

@landarch wrote:I've had my tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings outside 24/7 for about a week covered with an Agribon fabric...temps in the 30's, then near 80, and wind that won't stop...the fabric lets sun through but cuts down on wind and watering.
Oooo... Agribon.   What a Face  That looks perfect.  I'd love to stop having to haul flats inside/outside almost every day.

"She's learning... she's definitely learning."

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  landarch on 4/6/2016, 11:01 am

I've learned about Agribon from another raised bed gardener here in KC.  He recommends getting an early start in February by covering low tunnel hoops with Agribon 19 for wind and frost protection.  As the plants grow, especially broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc., go to a larger 4' hoop (pvc or metal conduit) and switch to Agribon 15...it's a lightweight cover which acts as insect protection. 

I am trying this for the SFG beds at my community garden spot because I can't get there every day and check for cabbage moth caterpillars...and Dipel did not work well last year (too much rain). 

Since I keep my warm season seedlings at home in plastic crates, I found that lining them up in the yard an covering with a 20' long piece of Agribon works well...protection from wind, frost...lets plenty of light and rain through...enough protection from light to not sunburn new seedlings.  Last week the air temp was in the 50's and I stuck my compost thermometer inside the fabric covered environment and got a reading of 77 degrees.  Seedlings look fine through a low of 34 degrees a few nights ago.

These row covers are really designed to cover long rows.  My space in the community garden is 25' long so I cover multiple beds with one cover.  Fairly adaptable to 4x4 beds.  This is why I tend to keep the variety down within boxes...when it comes to covering and protecting it makes sense to group like plants together.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/6/2016, 8:07 pm

I have heard of this Argribon. How does Agribon come, and where would you get it? I would really like to see about getting some. I don't need much, however. Maybe we can do an Agribon Co-op? Lol. Sounds like great stuff. I think I would need both (what, thicknesses?) versions.

Thanks, landarch!

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/7/2016, 9:30 pm

OK, I have my lettuce, spinach, radish sprouts, and kale covered yet again. With my old towels/rags. And it looks like I am nowhere near done doing this! I think I planted out too early without real protection, like a row cover or Agribon...if I ever figure out where to get me some!? Cold and wet here. Really wet. And really cold. YUCK No

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  yolos on 4/7/2016, 10:16 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:OK, I have my lettuce, spinach, radish sprouts, and kale covered yet again.  With my old towels/rags.  And it looks like I am nowhere near done doing this!  I think I planted out too early without real protection, like a row cover or Agribon...if I ever figure out where to get me some!?  Cold and wet here.  Really wet.  And really cold.  YUCK No
Most any online seed company has the Agribon.  I bought mine from Johnny's Seeds.  They also sell it on Amazon in smaller quantities.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  sanderson on 4/8/2016, 3:04 am

Just Bing or Google Agribon. Several specifications from which to choose.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/8/2016, 9:24 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:OK, I have my lettuce, spinach, radish sprouts, and kale covered yet again.  With my old towels/rags.  And it looks like I am nowhere near done doing this!  I think I planted out too early without real protection, like a row cover or Agribon...if I ever figure out where to get me some!?  Cold and wet here.  Really wet.  And really cold.  YUCK No
We're still getting colder nights here, too, which really is not that unusual in April.

Last night, the forecast low was low 40's. I get up this morning, and it's about 28. Yep, yet another blown forecast.

But as long as the covers do their job, there's no better time to have some of those plants out there, like spinach and lettuce. The kale, not so much. I still have a few kale starts that I potted up and allowed to continue inside under the lights, and those are doing much better than the ones I planted outside 2 or 3 weeks ago.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  landarch on 4/8/2016, 2:24 pm

Kate, the weatherman didn't do me any favors last night...woke up this morning to check on tomato seedlings in the front yard.

Pulled the Agribon off to check and things looked good.


Cursed the weatherman...little balls of ice on the leaves of my Carbon seedlings, under the cover...ugh.  Hopefully they will be ok.  Didn't notice any ice formed on any plants in other crates.

peppers



tomatoes hardening off to temps and sunshine


catalina spinach, toy choy


this is what it looks like when I have to carry seedlings into the house during cold snaps...wife not thrilled.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

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