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N & C Midwest: April 2016

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/15/2016, 7:16 pm

Finally gorgeous here! I think it was in the 70s today! Will put my seedlings outside tomorrow for some full spectrum therapy! 3 out of 4 cukes germinated, one has only 1 cotyledon leaf....mutant! LOL. I so missed cucumbers last year.

Need to pot up some tomato seedlings this weekend. And figure out the right time to pinch my marigolds so they are less leggy and more bushy!

What is everybody else got going on this weekend? Supposed to be nice, dry out a bit too!

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/15/2016, 10:49 pm

So glad to hear you finally got a break in the weather!  

We're in LA this week until Sunday, so I won't get to do much in the garden this weekend.  :-/  (Little anxious about all my tomato seedlings, which are in the care of our pet sitter this week.)

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/17/2016, 10:23 am

Enjoy your trip, CK, your seedlings are far enough along that I am sure they will be fine. Today according to Skippy's I can plant beets, carrots and turnips in the garden. Also need to thin my radish seedlings and put my late germinating Matchless lettuce out there as well. Trying to get 4 more Ruby Crunch to germinate.....dang it again!

I also need to pot up my tomatoes, and put the cukes in peat pots (I hear they don't like getting transplanted). They are all basking in the sunshine as the moment.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/17/2016, 6:18 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Trying to get 4 more Ruby Crunch to germinate.....dang it again!
Lettuce is usually pretty easy to germinate, but my first year growing it, I had lots of problems. Tell us a little about the process you use to germinate them.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/17/2016, 7:55 pm

Lettuce: On heating pad, brand new seeds. Everything BUT Ruby Crunch did fine, although, the Matchless took a literal month?! Then all 4 came up.... 2nd round with RC. Had 'em on the heating pad with lights on. Today, brought them outside because it was 78F here.

Potted up some tomatoes that were big, all 3 cukes (cotyledon leaves got some sunscald Sad but real leaves coming on. Put the cukes in peat pots. Pinched back marigolds.

Out in the beds, weirdness abounds....spinach is barely up and some of it is bolting? Little seed heads forming in the little tiny plants....will extreme stress (cold) then warmth cause this? Thinned radishes. All good there. Peas barely happening. Black Seeded Simpson actually looked decent. Kales are good. Will plant out the Matchless this week.

And carrots, turnips, beets!

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/17/2016, 11:25 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Lettuce:  On heating pad, brand new seeds.  Everything BUT Ruby Crunch did fine, although, the Matchless took a literal month?!  Then all 4 came up....  2nd round with RC. Had 'em on the heating pad with lights on.  Today, brought them outside because it was 78F here.
Is it possible they could be too warm?  With lettuce, germination rates drop drastically as temperatures go much above 77deg.F, but they still have good (and fast) germination rates at temps as low as the upper 50's.  Try soaking them in water at room temperature where there is light for 24 hours before planting.  If that doesn't give you sprouts within 5 days, try roughing a few of them up on some medium-grit sandpaper before soaking.  When I do that, I often have seeds germinating the next day in the water.

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
Out in the beds, weirdness abounds....spinach is barely up and some of it is bolting?  Little seed heads forming in the little tiny plants....will extreme stress (cold) then warmth cause this?
I wouldn't be surprised.  I guess now we all know what their limit for cold tolerance is.  Maybe this would be a good time to start a new batch of seeds, and by the time they're ready, your bi-polar Mother Nature will be back on her meds!  geek

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/17/2016, 11:36 pm

Kate, I will scarify some Ruby crunch tomorrow. They are too pretty to not see this year, plus my spinach is schizophrenic! Need to lean on my lettuces, which I grew none last year! I was happy to see good survival of the black seeded Simpson, despite 2 of them with hail damage did live on. Albeit very small. Room for Matchless!

Thanks for the advice!

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/18/2016, 9:14 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Need to lean on my lettuces, which I grew none last year!  I was happy to see good survival of the black seeded Simpson, despite 2 of them with hail damage did live on.  Albeit very small.  Room for Matchless!
I agree, it's probably better to focus on giving your lettuce a good start. I went through two years of "the spinach is just not meant to be" before I decided to try other leafy plants, and wish now I had started with lettuce.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/18/2016, 6:33 pm

What variety of spinach do you plant? I have Bloomsdale Longstanding, but it has not impressed me with the longstanding part Rolling Eyes

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/18/2016, 10:17 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:What variety of spinach do you plant?  I have Bloomsdale Longstanding, but it has not impressed me with the longstanding part Rolling Eyes
That is understandable, but it sounds like your spinach was subjected to some pretty rough conditions.

Bloomsdale Longstanding is what I'm growing, also, and so far, nearly all the plants I started in late February are still producing.  The few that didn't make it have already been replaced with new plants.  There are a couple of them starting to show early signs of bolting.  (The leaves start getting pointy on the end, then you see points coming out the sides of the leaves - when you see the side points, that's when the leaves start to not taste so great.)  But I've got newly-started plants ready to take their place as soon as they do.

I expect them to keep going in this manner (re-planting to replace bolting plants) until around late June or mid-July.  After that, it gets too hot for them.  I'm thinking of trying to keep them going longer by caging the box with some shade cloth.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/19/2016, 7:32 am

OK. I think I will direct seed some replacements for the hail losses and early bolters. Tonight I am starting my melon seeds on the heating pad. And patty pan squash. And some sunflowers! And this weekend will be carrots, beets, turnips and taters in the garden!

And my new box is on the way!

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  landarch on 4/19/2016, 11:44 am

I have some spinach bolting as well...always wondered about pointy spinach leaves.  I have many baby seedlings ready to go back in...maybe in a container so I can move to a shady spot later on.

I was disappointed to have buttercrunch lettuce bolting already as well...heads not yet fully formed.  I'll have to pick others soon.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/19/2016, 11:55 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Out in the beds, weirdness abounds....spinach is barely up and some of it is bolting?  Little seed heads forming in the little tiny plants....will extreme stress (cold) then warmth cause this? 
Spinach is so fussy. Rolling Eyes   It took me years to figure out that mine want morning sun and after noon shade.  They get seeded in boxes that have full sun in early spring, then as the tree leaves come out, they get afternoon shade.  Once they bolt in whichever box, I don't plant them again in that box.  The one box that does best with spinach is  in the mid to late day shade of another box, even in early spring.  And I agree, the Long Standing don't stand so long. grrrr.  But there's one variety that I seem to do OK with here, Monstrueux De Viroflay.  Once it bolts I let some carry on to save the seeds.

Same thing with lettuces but they are a bit more forgiving, especially the romaines.  And in last years garden the first time Marvel of the Four Seasons still tasted great once bolted.  Shocked  I was so surprised.  This year I've planted it everywhere just to see if it was a fluke or for real.  Got my fingers crossed.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/19/2016, 7:24 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Out in the beds, weirdness abounds....spinach is barely up and some of it is bolting?  Little seed heads forming in the little tiny plants....will extreme stress (cold) then warmth cause this? 
Spinach is so fussy. Rolling Eyes   It took me years to figure out that mine want morning sun and after noon shade.  They get seeded in boxes that have full sun in early spring, then as the tree leaves come out, they get afternoon shade.  Once they bolt in whichever box, I don't plant them again in that box.  The one box that does best with spinach is  in the mid to late day shade of another box, even in early spring.  And I agree, the Long Standing don't stand so long. grrrr.  But there's one variety that I seem to do OK with here, Monstrueux De Viroflay.  Once it bolts I let some carry on to save the seeds.

Same thing with lettuces but they are a bit more forgiving, especially the romaines.  And in last years garden the first time Marvel of the Four Seasons still tasted great once bolted.  Shocked  I was so surprised.  This year I've planted it everywhere just to see if it was a fluke or for real.  Got my fingers crossed.

CC

Very interesting. And timely. I haven't committed to the position of the 4x4 I have coming in the next week or 2....I have a fence around the pool/patio, that would provide some shade (picket fence) in the afternoon. And that is near where I am contemplating putting 3 blueberry bushes. thinking

CC, anything else that you can think of that seems to like afternoon shadiness? I don't think relocating an entire 4x4 for spinach's sake is cost effective. But maybe a 2x2? Of spinach? Or lettuce and spinach?

Thoughts anyone?

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/19/2016, 11:41 pm

Where I have my spinach now does get morning sun and afternoon shade, and is doing very well. I think CapeCoddess is onto something.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/19/2016, 11:52 pm

Here's how my beds are looking today...

My leafy bed... everything growing like crazy now... I still need to plant my two cabbage plants. That's what the two empty squares are reserved for.



The root crops - onions, carrots, and potatoes.  Potatoes coming up now - I put them in a little later than I intended, but we'll see how they do in July.  You can definitely see a difference between the carrots I started indoors and the ones I direct-sowed.  I have in my notes to start indoors from now on.


Spaces around the beds need some attention!  Ugh!

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/20/2016, 11:36 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
CC, anything else that you can think of that seems to like afternoon shadiness? 
Hmm...maybe pak choi or other cabbages and greens?  Not sure...but it seems that anything that bolts in heat could use shade successfully.

These don't need it but I have successfully grown collards, kale, radishes, daikon, chives, garlic, sugar snap peas, carrots and beets in my part shade boxes.

For the first time this year I'm growing red onions, potatoes and mustard greens in part shade so I don't know about those yet.  But the others do very well. 

Beautiful boxes, Kate!  I've never heard of anyone starting carrots inside and transplanting them.  I think Boffer used to start his in a small box and carry it out later.  Did you use peat pots?

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/20/2016, 10:22 pm

@CitizenKate wrote:Here's how my beds are looking today...

My leafy bed... everything growing like crazy now...  I still need to plant my two cabbage plants.  That's what the two empty squares are reserved for.



The root crops - onions, carrots, and potatoes.  Potatoes coming up now - I put them in a little later than I intended, but we'll see how they do in July.  You can definitely see a difference between the carrots I started indoors and the ones I direct-sowed.  I have in my notes to start indoors from now on.





Spaces around the beds need some attention!  Ugh!

No rest for the wicked? Right? LOL! Looks great cheers Your plants are very happy! And beds are gorgeous.

I am so looking forward to having an actual 4x4 with grid....never did the grid, even when I did the original SFG Method, using (toxic) railroad ties! Yikes!

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/21/2016, 12:34 am

Yeah... every time I taste something delightful from the garden, I can't seem to stop. It's too wonderful.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  sanderson on 4/21/2016, 3:56 am

The grden looks great. The babysitter did a good job.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/21/2016, 10:45 am

She did a very good job, and even was willing to lug the seedlings in and out to keep them in the sun as much as possible, and out of the cold. Hopefully, next spring that will no longer be necessary, since I'm going to do something similar to what landarch is doing with the Agribon.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  landarch on 4/21/2016, 1:43 pm

I'm starting to see cabbage moths fluttering around...need to get the light-weight Agribon-15 up for insect protection...and it's easier to get the conduit hoops in the ground while the soil is still wet from the rain.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/21/2016, 6:26 pm

We have rain today, and they even said a chance of Tstorms, so my plants stayed inside...no Tstorms....oh well, no real sun either. Need to get down to the basement and get my squash & melon seeds started...on the heating pad, right?

Need to get my Annex (falling apart bed on the south side of my house up against a red brick wall--hot and sunny) ready for the melon/squash eventually! I think they will like the heat over there.

Thoughts? I will get picks when it stops raining...thinking some rhubarb over there too since mine kept drowning out back Sad

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/21/2016, 11:22 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:We have rain today, and they even said a chance of Tstorms, so my plants stayed inside...no Tstorms....oh well, no real sun either.  Need to get down to the basement and get my squash & melon seeds started...on the heating pad, right?

Need to get my Annex (falling apart bed on the south side of my house up against a red brick wall--hot and sunny) ready for the melon/squash eventually!  I think they will like the heat over there.  

Thoughts?  I will get picks when it stops raining...thinking some rhubarb over there too since mine kept drowning out back Sad

Yes on the heating pad to germinate squash and melons.

Yes on putting a bed on the south side of the house, that's prime real estate for growing stuff. I would put about 2-4 feet of space between it and the brick wall, if there is room. The warmth is nice during the cooler part of the growing season, but when it gets to the hottest part of the season, that wall will make the area right next to the house super hot. I learned that lesson with my patio containers. Everything I had closest to the house really started to struggle in late July. So I give the containers on the south side some breathing room between them and the back wall of the house.

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/21/2016, 11:25 pm

@landarch wrote:I'm starting to see cabbage moths fluttering around...need to get the light-weight Agribon-15 up for insect protection...and it's easier to get the conduit hoops in the ground while the soil is still wet from the rain.
Ruh-roh... I haven't seen any yet, but if you're seeing them, it's just a matter of time.

How much shade does Agribon cast?

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Re: N & C Midwest: April 2016

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