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N & C Midwest: April 2016

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  sanderson on 4/26/2016, 3:11 am

Kate, I'm glad the tulle worked with the hail. I was wondering about the snap clamps. I almost bought some but then decided to try large binder clips for tulle and heavy plastic. I think the binder clips are easier on the materials.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/26/2016, 9:10 am

I took a closer look at what happened there, and it was a sharp edge on the snap clamp that caused the tear. There was a slight burr there where I cut it, that gouged into the fabric. So I just took some sandpaper and smoothed the edges a bit, and now they clamp down on the tulle without tearing it.

I also got the idea to cover the fabric with clear packing tape where it gets clamped to the pipe. That worked, too.

I did find a hole in the fabric as I was working in that bed that was caused by the hail. Must have been a pretty big stone, because there was a big divot in the bed directly below it. Missed the plant. I just patched it with a piece of clear packing tape.

Now I've got wheels turning in my head about how I can provide the same protection for my other beds. Those poor onions really got hammered, and I'm putting in more tomatoes today. Tall order for the tomatoes - they will need insects to have access to them for pollination, and they're (literally) tall... hmmm...

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  yolos on 4/26/2016, 9:44 am

Tomatoes don't need insects to pollinate them.  Flick them with your finger, shake the branch, use an electric toothbrush to vibrate them, wind will also do it.

Of course that takes human intervention and removing the tulle temporarily for you to do the pollination.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  herblover on 4/26/2016, 10:17 am

Finally had a day in the garden!  Sunday I planted 6 squares of 'Stuttgarter' onions, 1 square each of 'Early Red Globe' and 'Round Black Spanish' radishes, 1 square of 'Scarlet Nantes' carrots, 'Red Russian' kale, 'Fordhook Giant' chard, 'Early Mesclun' lettuce and tried spinach again.  I also cleaned up all my flower beds, except for pulling the invasive grass from one of them.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/26/2016, 10:29 am

@yolos wrote:Tomatoes don't need insects to pollinate them.  Flick them with your finger, shake the branch, use an electric toothbrush to vibrate them, wind will also do it.

Of course that takes human intervention and removing the tulle temporarily for you to do the pollination.
I've tried that, and it definitely does work. I'd rather let Mother Nature do most of the work, though. I'm one of those "lazy" gardeners. Smile

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/26/2016, 10:30 am

@herblover wrote:Finally had a day in the garden!  Sunday I planted 6 squares of 'Stuttgarter' onions, 1 square each of 'Early Red Globe' and 'Round Black Spanish' radishes, 1 square of 'Scarlet Nantes' carrots, 'Red Russian' kale, 'Fordhook Giant' chard, 'Early Mesclun' lettuce and tried spinach again.  I also cleaned up all my flower beds, except for pulling the invasive grass from one of them.

rock on

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/26/2016, 9:01 pm

Yay, herblover, Sunday was beautiful! Last night had a really big light and sound show, T storm moving fast. Just rain as far as I know. I need to go down and check on my heat lovers, germinating I hope! Temp dropped 20 degrees between lunch and me leaving work...72 to 52 in a few hours...Spring I love you

My next project is the new 4x4....thinking. And planning for a cold frame is in the works....saw an abandoned window by the road today and went by it cause I was late for work...GONE when I went home Mad Opportunity lost. Thought hard.

And the blueberries.....

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/26/2016, 11:15 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
My next project is the new 4x4....thinking.  And planning for a cold frame is in the works....saw an abandoned window by the road today and went by it cause I was late for work...GONE when I went home Mad Opportunity lost.  Thought hard.
Drat! Might check craigslist for curb alerts, or just for-sale (cheap).

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  landarch on 4/26/2016, 11:16 pm

heavy hail...larger than pea size...rain blowing sideways.  ugh

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/26/2016, 11:42 pm

Oh boy... rough night at KC. I thought those storm cells would fizzle out by the time they got there. Hoping for the best for your beautiful garden, landarch. (We got off easy this time, with just heavy rain and a false tornado alert.) You've given your plants a good strong start. You may be surprised to see how well they endure this. My plants that got hail damage the other day are recovering amazingly well.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/27/2016, 7:25 am

I saw that you guys were getting hit with storms. Hang in there!

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Still so cold....

Post  Suzy on 4/27/2016, 11:22 am

I am SO itching to get my garden growing! I see so many of you have things in the ground, but it's still so cold here I haven't planted anything. Outside, anyway. I have hot peppers and cabbages and tomatoes under grow lights... I think I was a bit hasty with the tomatoes, they are over a foot tall under the lights and some are starting to put out flower buds!  Shocked I will probably pinch those off until I can get them outside. But that looks to be two weeks away! On the other hand, the rhubarb and asparagus are both beautiful - I think the first dinner with 'gus will be Friday. Yummm! 

What else do you start indoors? Cucumbers? Zucchini? Broccoli? Just curious....

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  countrynaturals on 4/27/2016, 11:49 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I saw that you guys were getting hit with storms.  Hang in there!  
News wasn't good this morning at it looks like you've got even more coming. Fingers crossed for all of you.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  countrynaturals on 4/27/2016, 11:56 am

@Suzy wrote:I am SO itching to get my garden growing! I see so many of you have things in the ground, but it's still so cold here I haven't planted anything. Outside, anyway. I have hot peppers and cabbages and tomatoes under grow lights... I think I was a bit hasty with the tomatoes, they are over a foot tall under the lights and some are starting to put out flower buds!  Shocked I will probably pinch those off until I can get them outside. But that looks to be two weeks away! On the other hand, the rhubarb and asparagus are both beautiful - I think the first dinner with 'gus will be Friday. Yummm! 

What else do you start indoors? Cucumbers? Zucchini? Broccoli? Just curious....
I've had okay luck with tomatoes in the house. I use an electric toothbrush to pollinate them. I've grown bush cukes inside, but zukes are so big I never tried them. 

This summer I'm going to try reversing the process. I'm going to plant romaine, Parisian carrots, and cherry tomatoes in containers and bring them inside during the heat of the day. Who knows? It might just work? Rolling Eyes

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  landarch on 4/27/2016, 2:10 pm

@Suzy...tomatoes can get a little leggy under the lights as they can be planted deeper...have you been hardening off outside (wind, natural sunlight, etc.)?  You could start broccoli indoors...consider direct seeding cukes and squash.

@country...yes, hail and heavy rain for hours last night...I think KCI had around 4"...soil was already saturated.  Some sources say 60% chance of rain today, and then again on Fri/Sat.

@Kate...Plants in my home SFG survived the hail fairly well.  A little damage to carrot seedlings and large, leafy greens (lettuce and Chinese cabbage).  Looks like all will survive. Not sure about the community garden (15 minutes west) in Shawnee.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  herblover on 4/27/2016, 4:49 pm

We had some rain yesterday; not much.  The first picking of arugula and mizuna will happen this weekend as well as another planting of kale and chard.  it is cool and cloudy here today.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/27/2016, 6:35 pm

happy hi Suzy! I know how you feel! I on the other hand put stuff out WAYYY too early. Lost about 1/3 of the spinach and black seeded Simpson to hail/freezes. Radishes up. Cabbage nearly froze as did kale. Peas did not germinate....live and learn? Hoping so....Your day will come very soon! What is your general last frost free date?

Landarch, you guys just have a little repeating yucky pattern goin' on... No Glad your plants did OK!

Herblover, same here. I will probably direct seed a few chard and maybe another kale. I am surprised that I like the Blue Vates Dwarf kale that (who?) suggested on here as being very mild...it is! Some of that really big leaved kale is straight up cabbagey. Which is OK if you want cabbage!

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Suzy on 4/27/2016, 10:36 pm

The earliest I can think about putting plants in the ground is Mother's Day... but it's really early this year. I'm shooting for May 15. I may put some seeds in before that, but it takes longer to germinate when the soil is so cold. Then I get frustrated and think the seeds were old and I replant only to have them all come up together....  Shocked Patience, patience, patience!  Shocked  At least there should not be any more snow!

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/28/2016, 7:44 pm

@Suzy wrote:The earliest I can think about putting plants in the ground is Mother's Day... but it's really early this year. I'm shooting for May 15. I may put some seeds in before that, but it takes longer to germinate when the soil is so cold. Then I get frustrated and think the seeds were old and I replant only to have them all come up together....  Shocked Patience, patience, patience!  Shocked  At least there should not be any more snow!

Suzy, that is my 90% frost free date here. Or something like that. I put everything out on that date last year, and with mixed results. We had RAIN here last spring, like for a month. And all the cool temp stuff quickly bolted, and the other things did fine. And I forgot how to do a fall garden, soooo.

Here is has been cold this week. I haven't had my seedlings outside at all. They are leaning towards the east facing window! Very Happy At least you haven't had any of the severe weather pattern that has been troubling the mid-section of our region! Hate that! Keep us posted!? happy hi

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/29/2016, 12:26 am

Meanwhile, back in Kansas...  

I did get a few of the tomato plants out that I had planned to put in grow bags, but ended up holding off putting in the ones I had planned for the SFG till today, not because of severe weather this time, but because it came very close to another freeze last night.  Sheesh!  I think Mother Nature needs a new therapist.

So today, we finally got a pretty nice day, and I finally(!) got the 8 tomato plants into the SFG.  This is my first year to try growing tomatoes in my raised beds.  I've always grown them in sub-irrigating containers, but I wanted to see how they would do in one of the boxes.  I've still got containers this year, and trying a few different things in grow bags.  The containers do great with most determinates, and some indeterminates, but some indeterminates don't do so well in them.  So I'm going more towards using the containers for mostly determinates, and the SFG for indeterminates.

I'm following Mel's recommended spacing of one (indeterminate) plant per square, but I looked at that after I was done planting them and thought, wow, they look so close together!  I've always tried to keep them at least 18 inches apart, and the containers are getting spaced farther apart this year, because of the problems I've had with spider mites and how quickly they spread from one plant to another.  I know some of you have been growing tomatoes this way for years, so I'm sure it'll be alright, but I guess I just need a reality check.

Today (like I do just about every year at planting time), I was starting to think, "What have I gotten myself into???"  Once again, I got a little too carried away, but it will be fun again when all the plants are in and I don't have to babysit them constantly any more.

Then it'll be time for green beans!

Thanks for letting me prattle on about this.  And my family thanks you for the free group therapy.   Laughing

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/29/2016, 11:43 am

@CitizenKate wrote:Meanwhile, back in Kansas...  

Today (like I do just about every year at planting time), I was starting to think, "What have I gotten myself into???"  Once again, I got a little too carried away, but it will be fun again when all the plants are in and I don't have to babysit them constantly any more.

Then it'll be time for green beans!

Thanks for letting me prattle on about this.  And my family thanks you for the free group therapy.   Laughing
Ha! Yup, babysitting plants. "I need more light, the eggplant is hogging it all!" "I'm hungry can I have some fertilizer?" *wiggles roots through a drainage hole* "I'm out growing my pot." "Look at me, I'm growing into the light fixture and frying my leaves!" Ugh, can't you plants go outside to play? "No... it's too cold and we're too little. And can we have a drink of water? We're thirsty." *overly-dramatic leaf flopping* Rolling Eyes They'll grow up soon.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/29/2016, 12:16 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
Ha! Yup, babysitting plants. "I need more light, the eggplant is hogging it all!" "I'm hungry can I have some fertilizer?" *wiggles roots through a drainage hole* "I'm out growing my pot." "Look at me, I'm growing into the light fixture and frying my leaves!" Ugh, can't you plants go outside to play? "No... it's too cold and we're too little. And can we have a drink of water? We're thirsty." *overly-dramatic leaf flopping* Rolling Eyes They'll grow up soon.
I couldn't have said it better - ha!

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/29/2016, 12:40 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Ha! Yup, babysitting plants. "I need more light, the eggplant is hogging it all!" "I'm hungry can I have some fertilizer?" *wiggles roots through a drainage hole* "I'm out growing my pot." "Look at me, I'm growing into the light fixture and frying my leaves!" Ugh, can't you plants go outside to play? "No... it's too cold and we're too little. And can we have a drink of water? We're thirsty." *overly-dramatic leaf flopping* Rolling Eyes They'll grow up soon.

Excellent!  I needed that laugh.  Thanks.
CC

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  sanderson on 4/29/2016, 2:14 pm

"Free therapy" and Babysitting the plants! Very Happy

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/29/2016, 9:15 pm

funny post
@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
@CitizenKate wrote:Meanwhile, back in Kansas...  

Today (like I do just about every year at planting time), I was starting to think, "What have I gotten myself into???"  Once again, I got a little too carried away, but it will be fun again when all the plants are in and I don't have to babysit them constantly any more.

Then it'll be time for green beans!

Thanks for letting me prattle on about this.  And my family thanks you for the free group therapy.   Laughing
Ha! Yup, babysitting plants. "I need more light, the eggplant is hogging it all!" "I'm hungry can I have some fertilizer?" *wiggles roots through a drainage hole* "I'm out growing my pot." "Look at me, I'm growing into the light fixture and frying my leaves!" Ugh, can't you plants go outside to play? "No... it's too cold and we're too little. And can we have a drink of water? We're thirsty." *overly-dramatic leaf flopping* Rolling Eyes They'll grow up soon.

funny post truth on so many levels!


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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

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