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2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  countrynaturals on 5/4/2016, 10:19 pm

yolos wrote:
ralitaco wrote:
CapeCoddess wrote:So you guys in NC can put your tomatoes out already, eh? How exciting!
Ummmm????? I did...they are selling them everywhere so I figured it was ok. Hope I'm right.
Not always right.  Keep an eye on the forecast and make sure you know what low air temps and soil temps the plants like.  Here is a short article talking about temps that a few plants like.

http://articles.extension.org/pages/36890/what-ground-temperature-is-best-for-planting-tomatoes-beans-and-marigolds

And here is a map showing soil temps.  Click on the "East" and you will see that your soil temps are between 55 - 60*F.  I do not know if that is your actual temps but I do know this map is accurate for my soil temps.  Between 60-65*F.  Tonight is the last night that the air temps will be below 50*F so I will plant another round of tomatoes and my first round of pole beans tomorrow.

http://www.greencastonline.com/tools/SoilTempMaps.aspx
Well, Duh! I could have read this sooner and saved myself from learning yet another lesson the hard way. Embarassed
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  ralitaco on 5/5/2016, 11:35 pm

countrynaturals wrote:Well, Duh! I could have read this sooner and saved myself from learning yet another lesson the hard way. Embarassed
Everyone of us has said that for one reason or another and most if not all of us has said that after reading the ANSFG book.
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Adventures in Composting

Post  ralitaco on 5/5/2016, 11:55 pm

Well, I have been focussing my efforts as of late on building compost bins and starting a hot berkeley compost pile. I have finished my bins for the most part, I need to make some lids and figure out how to attach my sifter but for all intents and purposes, they are done. AND I have built a pile by mistake, sort of.
As I stated in the compost-berkeley-18-day-hot-method thread, I went out to see how much manure was in each bucket on average and ended up building my pile. You can see what all I layered on the thread I linked to above.

Here are some photos of what I did:
6" of leaves followed by 3" of horse manure


added more leaves to get to 12"


Repeated the process until it was full


Checked the temp and it was 73.3 right after building. Then tonight it was 87.3

Here is what I learned:
1. Each 5 gallon bucket of material equates to approximately 1" of depth in a 3'x3'x3' bin. However, the lower layers get compacted from the weight so this pile ended up taking about 50 - 5 gallon buckets of material. So I guess it works out to each 5 gallon bucket ends up adding .75" of depth.
2. The 2"x4" fencing works ok to hold the material in place, but balls of manure and leaves, etc tend to fall out through the openings so I may be adding hardware cloth or weed cloth to the sides or a combination of the 2.
3. I don't like the taste of coffee, but I sure do like the smell of the grounds
4. 10 buckets of manure, 1.5 buckets of coffee is NOT enough greens to get to the magic 30:1 ratio
5. I need a compost thermometer and a pitchfork.
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  sanderson on 5/6/2016, 4:01 am

When you do your first turn, you can line the bin t that time. I don't know how much compost I lost through 2" x 4", then chicken wore, even fly screening, before I lined with commercial weed fabric.

Home Depot horse manure fork:

I bought a 20" dial compost thermometer off eBay.

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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  ralitaco on 5/12/2016, 12:32 am

Thanks Sanderson.

I have been working on my compost pile and posting a bunch in Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method
It has been a bit more complicated than I thought it would be, but I am guessing that is because I am trying to do the Hot/Fast method.
I will say that I really like that I made my removable front in 1' sections. I also made 2 more, so when I start turning the pile, there is a front on the bottom of the empty bin and fronts all the way to the top of the full pile, which prevents a lot of material from falling out.
I will also say that I would not use the 2"x4" fencing again. The reason being - horse manure can roll out of the openings. On the 2 new fronts I made, I used 1/4" hardware cloth and I like that a lot better.

Enough about that "crap" Razz

Now onto the plants:
Arugula - never grew it or ate it before - it was very bitter (maybe it was about to bolt)

Cilantro - it is bolting already - I read that transplants bolt early.
So how do I get the seeds from the cilantro so I can plant them. I know it is a silly question, but I've never harvested the seeds from anything before

Cucumbers - I am hoping they do better this year, I think they are b/c they have been flowering and growing really well

Lettuce - growing well and being eaten regularly
Eggplant (in the corner) & Peppers (in the middle squares) - growing steadily but not rapidly

Catnip and Pineapple Sage

Pole Beans - I had to replant several seeds b/c the scarification experiment I tried failed

Tomato plants - Growing very well. I have decided to thin to a couple of stems on the slicing tomatoes, not sure if I should do that with the cherry also or let all the stems grow
Celery - the 2 plants that survived are doing well - I have not grown it before so I am curious how it will do

Yellow Squash - LOTS of little squash - I recently learned that this plant is NOT a vine and that it grows like the zucchini - UGH, when will I learn

Zucchini - Lots of "baby zukes"
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Flowers on the Veggies

Post  ralitaco on 5/12/2016, 12:36 am

Here are some pics of the beauty of a vegetable garden:

Tomato:

Zucchini:

Pineapple Sage:

Arugula:

Cucumber:
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  ralitaco on 5/12/2016, 12:40 am

Here are a couple of pics of our yard/garden/grilling area at night with the globe lights:



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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  sanderson on 5/12/2016, 4:34 am

Great photos. Reminds me that I need to replace my white Christmas lights, I miss them. Cilantro, just let it bolt. Pollinators love the flowers. When the seeds are hard, you can cut and finish drying. Meanwhile, stick some more seeds in that square. I have a life-time supply of coriander from 2 plants last year! Love Pineapple sage. It overwinters here so I consider it a potted flower. At least the squash is at the end of the bed so it can fall over the sides. I just now planted the Rattlesnake pole beans. While I'm prepping the bed, I soak the beans. 30-60 minutes.

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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  ralitaco on 5/12/2016, 7:04 am

Thanks sanderson
sanderson wrote:Cilantro, just let it bolt.  Pollinators love the flowers.  When the seeds are hard, you can cut and finish drying.  
Is this to use as Coriander or for replanting or both?

sanderson wrote:Meanwhile, stick some more seeds in that square.  I have a life-time supply of coriander from 2 plants last year!
Can I use the seeds on the plant or do I need to buy a packet?

Sorry, these are basic questions I'm sure but I am new to this seed harvesting thing What a Face
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  yolos on 5/12/2016, 8:38 am

Really looks nice and things appear to be growing exceptionally well.  Congrats.  Hope all those flowers attract bees to pollinate those flowers to make babies.
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  Windmere on 5/12/2016, 10:17 am

Ralitaco, I'm loving those lights.  My wife enjoys those kind and she would love to put some up too.  Your photos of your plants are beautiful.  All very nice!
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  sanderson on 5/12/2016, 2:09 pm

Ralitaco, I would go ahead and buy cilantro seeds for right now. I have 2 packets of seeds. One for cilantro (store) and one for coriander (Baker Creek) . The only difference is that the coriander produces bigger seeds for use as coriander. But both will produce seeds that can be used as coriander. And for replanting.

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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/12/2016, 3:01 pm

Do the hummingbirds love that pineapple sage?

CC
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  trolleydriver on 5/12/2016, 3:14 pm

sanderson wrote:Ralitaco, I would go ahead and buy cilantro seeds for right now.  I have 2 packets of seeds.  One for cilantro (store) and one for coriander (Baker Creek) .  The only difference is that the coriander produces bigger seeds for use as coriander.  But both will produce seeds that can be used as coriander.  And for replanting.

Last year I grew one SFG square of Cilantro which I allowed to go to seed (Coriander).  Now this year I see that the same square and those next to it have a lot of small volunteers. I think some of the Coriander seeds from last year are sprouting in the SFG. Does that make sense?

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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  Kelejan on 5/12/2016, 3:38 pm

It makes sense to me, TD.  Volunteers are usually good plants to have, being hardened off etc.
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  sanderson on 5/13/2016, 1:24 pm

CC, I can't remember if they liked the Pineapple Sage. I say that because they have a feeder and really like the Mexican Sage purple flowers nearby.

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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  ralitaco on 5/14/2016, 11:01 am

yolos wrote:Really looks nice and things appear to be growing exceptionally well.  Congrats.  Hope all those flowers attract bees to pollinate those flowers to make babies.
Thanks Yolos, that was the same thought I had about attracting the bees. I do have lots of cucumber flowers now and some baby squash, cukes and tomatoes
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  ralitaco on 5/14/2016, 11:02 am

Windmere wrote:Ralitaco, I'm loving those lights.  My wife enjoys those kind and she would love to put some up too.  Your photos of your plants are beautiful.  All very nice!
Windmere, those lights were from Target. I liked them because they are actual bulbs with filaments as opposed to the ones at Big Lots which were Christmas tree lights with plastic bulbs over them. There are plusses and minuses to each type. The ones I got put out a lot of light but the bulbs do break if you drop them while on the ladder. (I ended up buying an extra string to use for spare bulbs).
If you decide (or in my case, my wife decided) to hang some lights, I can take some photos of what I did/used to string mine if you would like.
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  ralitaco on 5/14/2016, 11:02 am

sanderson wrote:Ralitaco, I would go ahead and buy cilantro seeds for right now.  I have 2 packets of seeds.  One for cilantro (store) and one for coriander (Baker Creek) .  The only difference is that the coriander produces bigger seeds for use as coriander.  But both will produce seeds that can be used as coriander.  And for replanting.
Sanderson, Adding to my to-do list: Buy Cilantro Seeds. Thanks for explaining the difference b/n the cilantro and coriander seeds. I wondered why they would come up separately. Just curious, do the Coriander specific seeds result in anything unique with the cilantro? (e.g. - smaller leaves, quicker to bolt, etc)
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  ralitaco on 5/14/2016, 11:02 am

CapeCoddess wrote:Do the hummingbirds love that pineapple sage?

CC
Cape Coddess, I have not seen any hummingbirds this year at all. It would be great if that pineapple sage did attract them.
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  ralitaco on 5/14/2016, 11:04 am

trolleydriver wrote:Last year I grew one SFG square of Cilantro which I allowed to go to seed (Coriander).  Now this year I see that the same square and those next to it have a lot of small volunteers. I think some of the Coriander seeds from last year are sprouting in the SFG. Does that make sense?
Trolley Driver, That made perfect sense.

Kelejan wrote:It makes sense to me, TD.  Volunteers are usually good plants to have, being hardened off etc.

I do have one question for you and Kelejan...how do you know they little sprouts were cilantro and not weeds? I mean, if I see something where I did not plant...out it goes.
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  trolleydriver on 5/14/2016, 11:08 am

ralitaco wrote:
trolleydriver wrote:Last year I grew one SFG square of Cilantro which I allowed to go to seed (Coriander).  Now this year I see that the same square and those next to it have a lot of small volunteers. I think some of the Coriander seeds from last year are sprouting in the SFG. Does that make sense?
Trolley Driver, That made perfect sense.

Kelejan wrote:It makes sense to me, TD.  Volunteers are usually good plants to have, being hardened off etc.

I do have one question for you and Kelejan...how do you know they little sprouts were cilantro and not weeds? I mean, if I see something where I did not plant...out it goes.

I'm pretty sure they are not weeds. The little seedlings are most abundant in the square where I grew the Cilantro/Coriander. There are fewer of these seedlings in the adjacent squares and there are none in the other squares in either of the two boxes.

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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  countrynaturals on 5/14/2016, 11:37 am

ralitaco wrote:
I do have one question for you and Kelejan...how do you know they little sprouts were cilantro and not weeds? I mean, if I see something where I did not plant...out it goes.
 I'm just the opposite. If I don't recognize it as one of our usual weeds, I let it grow until I can figure out what it is. Gotta solve all those little garden mysteries.  Rolling Eyes
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Re: 2016 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC

Post  ralitaco on 5/14/2016, 12:24 pm

Thank you both for your answers. I guess if I only get sprouts of a certain kind in one box, it may be a volunteer, but if they are all over the bed, I will presume a weed.
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Tomato suckering questions

Post  ralitaco on 5/14/2016, 12:31 pm

I understand about suckering the tomato plants...well I understand how to sucker the tomato plants. I even understand doing it on slicing tomato plants so its energy can go to making bigger tomatoes and not growing more branches; but...
Should you / Do you sucker Cherry tomato plants. I am thinking that since the cherry toms don't get very big, you would want more stems producing more fruit. What say you?

Also, How do you root your tomato plant cuttings? I had some plants that had 3 or 4 stems coming out of the soil so I cut off the extras. I read online (so it has to be true) that I could root them by putting the cuttings in water...end result - mush for a stem. I also read online that they can just be planted in soil in the garden and they will grow -
What say you?

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