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Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/10/2016, 6:40 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:
@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:I need to figure out the covering issue....for extended season and protection from  the white butterflies!
 Before you build cold frames, read this!:
   http://www.motherofahubbard.com/10-reasons-low-tunnels-are-better-than-cold-frames/

Very interesting article!  And I've got everything except the Agribon.  Just haven't installed it yet...  

I had also looked at cold frames, but just haven't been thrilled with them.  So this definitely helped set my mind.
Agribon30 is just one of the options. Deerfield Supplies sells Gro-Guard. GG34 is equivalent to AG30. Specs are here, but I don't see online ordering:  http://www.gintec-shade.com/grow_guard.html
(My understanding is that Deerfield supplies also does not have online ordering, one requests a catalog.)
I also found Gardenquilt, which I think is also equivalent or a little thicker=a little less light transmittance:
http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/row-covers/5111.html
I don't know the price comparison between them, or what other important factors vary - but it's probably worth trying to look into.
---
Perhaps foolishly, I dragged my sick(cold?/flu?) self out to the garden for a short time during the "heat of the day." The fresh air and brief sunlight was nice, but I'm beat.

I finished covering the wire cages, plus I put a clear plastic tub over a young broccoli and a fridge drawer over the sad-looking curly parsley. On Thursday I moved the surviving potted plants (mint, lemon balm, mache) off the deck and under the wagon-hoop houses. The top (at least) of the MM is frozen but the already covered plants look pretty good. However, I hate having them scattered all over the garden. Must plan better!

I put open-ended cardboard boxes over the leeks and filled them with leaves. The other day I learned that there are two different kinds of leeks: winter leeks and summer/fall leeks. My American Flag leeks are winter leeks. They grow more slowly but are more-cold hardy. The King Richard leeks I have seeds for are the summer/fall kind. They will grow faster, but I won't want to try to overwinter them.

The uncovered collards are ok so far and they might have to cope; I'm out of stuff to cover with. There is already a difference between the uncovered cold-hardiness of the two kale varieties I planted this year: Siberian and White Russian, but I don't know which is which, the labels are long gone. I can also tell that they aren't doing as well as the Winterbor kale I had last year. 

I put some homemade hay (long grass clipped before it went to seed, and dried well) over my walking onions. The tops look pretty bad, but they are apparently quite hardy: http://www.egyptianwalkingonion.com

Someone (I presume it was the landlord based on timing) ran over end of my strawberry bed. The plants were unharmed but the box is ruined, part of the wood is even missing. So I couldn't really slip a cardboard box along the inner edges to hold straw in. I put some of the fluffy homemade hay over them, topped it with doubled-over Agribon15 and weighed it down with some short wire fence pieces. Hopefully it will help them, and won't turn into a cozy vole bed&breakfast.

The predicted 17*F didn't happen - I think it only got down to 24*F. Tonight might be 21*F, which is I think the coldest so far here.  The prediction for Thursday has been ranging from 4-7*F.
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/10/2016, 8:24 pm

K, so on the low hoops, plastic and Agribon?  Both?  Or just that one product GG.
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/10/2016, 8:47 pm

I looked at some pricing on the Agribon. BOY, these companies are proud of that stuff!!! Any suggestions on where to find it cheaper? I have not looked at anything else yet...
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/10/2016, 9:03 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:K, so on the low hoops, plastic and Agribon?  Both?  Or just that one product GG.
I'm still trying to figure this all out, but I think it's like this:
One layer of 'fabric' (AG30 or GG34 or gardenquilt) until it gets down to ... one notation said "15*F" and a different one said "the teens."
  Then add a second layer, either of fabric, or plastic.
But, once it gets back up to 40*F the plastic has to come off or you cook the plants. And just leaving two layers on fabric the whole cold season is undesirable due to the amount of light blocking.
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/10/2016, 10:05 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:I looked at some pricing on the Agribon.  BOY, these companies are proud of that stuff!!!  Any suggestions on where to find it cheaper?  I have not looked at anything else yet...
Yeah, it's a little pricey. You can see why I'm using free zebra grass stems even though PVC isn't that expensive. Scrimp here, spend there.

I bought the shortest piece I could find at Johnny's: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/tools-supplies/row-covers-and-accessories/row-cover/agribon%2B-ag-30-row-cover---83%22-x-50-7365.html
Since it's not particularly wide, it's definitely more suited for low tunnels than hoop houses made from 10ft PVC.
A 10ft long piece of the 83" wide AG30 went almost 6ft on my 3ft wide bed - I think a board to clip to at the end instead of needing extra to put weights on would get it to 6ft - for 18 squares. I guess that means the tops of my hoops are around 2ft high and the zebra grass stems I used must be around 7ft long.

The 50ft piece would have 4 more 10ft pieces on it, and you could either use that for four more 3x5-6ft rows, or save some for doubling up on two, and the odd piece out could get plastic as its second layer during any colder periods, for comparison. 

Next year for me, dwarf kale (the tall kale and collards are why I put my AG30 on the tall hoops,) more concentrated planting for plants needing covers, and better follow through starting seedlings on time.
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/11/2016, 12:35 am

OK, glad I am not the only one confused!  

Would like to do this better tho...
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  sanderson on 12/12/2016, 2:41 am


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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/12/2016, 10:34 am

Re-located the 'teens' reference, and it was "the low teens and below" - so approximately the same as 15*F.
The 40*F reference explicitly mentioned 'sunny,' but I don't have a "and #*F if partly cloudy" nor an "or #*F overnight"
Reading so much stuff and trying to sort which of it is important... 
--
Low Saturday night ended up being 16*F.
Thursday night-Friday morning's predicted low has dropped to negative *F, with evenings in the low teens on either sides, so it's time for me to add a second layer. I don't have more AG30, but I have plastic drop-cloths in the basement. I should be able to cover the low greens tunnel easily, but I don't know if there's stuff big enough for the wagon hoop houses. I'm leaning towards harvesting my radishes and turnip because they are in planters -- more exposure than something in the ground, and not much mass to hold heat.
---
Three more options for 'fabric':
https://www.harrisseeds.com/storefront/p-9919-row-cover-pt-bonded-125oz-6-x-50.aspx
https://www.amazon.com/Agfabric-Insects-Barrier-Extension-Protection/dp/B00ICZ80FW
http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/product/megagrow-medium-weight-row-cover-1-5-oz/plant-protection-fabric < This one only transmits 50% of light
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 1/23/2017, 6:34 pm

I did the first part of my seed ordering because I needed long day onion seeds after growing mostly the wrong ones last year because I incorrectly assumed the local home stores would carry the right ones for the region. rofl

From Baker Creek:
Bean, Galopka (yellow, bush, Polish heirloom)
Lettuce, Lunix (red oakleaf, both slow to bolt & recommend for "out-of-season low-tunnel production" Perfect!)
Onion, Stuttgarter (storage onion, one of my dad's guesses for what he used to grow)
Orach, Aurora mixed
Pepper, Ghost -- for a friend. I'll keep some, but I'm scared to grow them.
Radicchio, Castelfranco (variegated!)
Squash, Hidatsa (C. maxima, 2-10lb, winter hubbard type, from a tribe who came from what is now N.Dakota)
Herb -- Balangu Lallemantia Royleana Mountain Balm

From Adaptive Seeds:
Eggplant, Astrakom (suitable for short season climates and container growing)
Fava, Ianto's Return (very cold hardy)
Kale, Baltic Red (a cold hardy kale, probably one of the parents of the hybrid variety Redbor)
Lettuce, Hyper Red Rumple Waved (red wrinkly leaf lettuce, resistant to cold/wet weather)
Lettuce, Hungarian Winter Pink (quick to bolt, but winter hardy "Interior leaves maintain quality down to 20°F")
Mustard, Green in Snow ("Shi-LiHon", copes handily with lows of 8°F!)
Onion (red), Rossa di Toscana (good for storage, pungent, and with high levels of healthful pigments)


Last edited by BeetlesPerSqFt on 1/23/2017, 6:35 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo resulting in the incorrect tense)
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  Mellen on 1/23/2017, 11:43 pm

We are out of control.  All of us.  From Maine to California.  Totally.

My last count of seeds is at 81.  This does not include those I have in long term storage for an emergency situation.  It also doesn't include the 27 I WANT that I haven't ordered because....I HAVE NO WHERE TO PUT THEM!  (But it doesn't stop me from yearning)

My daughter thinks I'm nuts.  Do you think maybe she's right?   thinking
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  trolleydriver on 1/23/2017, 11:47 pm

@Mellen wrote:We are out of control.  All of us.  From Maine to California.  Totally.

My last count of seeds is at 81.  This does not include those I have in long term storage for an emergency situation.  It also doesn't include the 27 I WANT that I haven't ordered because....I HAVE NO WHERE TO PUT THEM!  (But it doesn't stop me from yearning)

My daughter thinks I'm nuts.  Do you think maybe she's right?   thinking

I am out of control up here in Canada as well.   Shocked

And yes you are nuts along with the rest of us seed collectors/hoarders.

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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/24/2017, 8:31 am

LOL! Mellen, you've seen my spreadsheet. And I've got a few things that aren't in there.

My catalogs are filled of marks of other things I want. And I doubt I have room either. But it doesn't stop me from yearning. :-)
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  Zmoore on 1/24/2017, 11:06 am

Little off topic,

This thread and another one were lined up under the "latest topics" tab with Atlanta Marie posting replies.  My brain kind of blurred them together and I got:
"3rd world Country Gardening in Central Pennsylvania"

Wait, what?
Little "double take", thought it was funny.
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 1/24/2017, 3:54 pm

@Zmoore wrote:Little off topic,

This thread and another one were lined up under the "latest topics" tab with Atlanta Marie posting replies.  My brain kind of blurred them together and I got:
"3rd world Country Gardening in Central Pennsylvania"

Wait, what?
Little "double take", thought it was funny.
I misread a LOT. It makes my life very interesting. What a Face
Nah, rural or maybe subrural? Tractors and other mysterious farm equipment like the hay pronghorns* periodically cause traffic slowdowns, occasionally the domestic geese try to play chicken with the cars Laughing , and there are cows in the yard behind mine...so it's not quite suburbia --definitely not third world though. Today I learned, through wikipedia, that the phrase "third world" has an interesting history and different original meaning that today's usual usage.
*this piece of equipment with a single prong on an attachment at the front, that pierces the center hole of the round bales of plant matter, and tilts up to carry it away. I'm sure they have a real name.
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 1/24/2017, 7:41 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:
@Mellen wrote:We are out of control.  All of us.  From Maine to California.  Totally.

My last count of seeds is at 81.  This does not include those I have in long term storage for an emergency situation.  It also doesn't include the 27 I WANT that I haven't ordered because....I HAVE NO WHERE TO PUT THEM!  (But it doesn't stop me from yearning)

My daughter thinks I'm nuts.  Do you think maybe she's right?   thinking

I am out of control up here in Canada as well.   Shocked

And yes you are nuts along with the rest of us seed collectors/hoarders.
Do you buy seeds when you are disappointed, stressed or have had a fight with someone?
Can you plant more seeds now than when you first started to garden?
Are you more in a hurry to plant your first seeds of the year than you used to be?
When gardening with other people, do you try to plant a few extra seeds when others won't know about it?
Have you tried switching seed companies or vegetables, or following different plans to control your seed collecting?
Has a family member or close friend expressed concern or complained about your seed hoard?
After large seed purchases do you sometimes see or hear things that aren't there?

I don't think I could stop, I like how gardening makes me feel. So I'm more likely to be an enabler of seed collecting by others; I'll be making a trading post sometime soon. I'll admit I even ...make my own seeds... in my back yard.
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  sanderson on 1/24/2017, 9:49 pm

Zmoore, that is funny!

BPSF, Great definition of seedolics and their enablers. Razz

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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  Mellen on 1/26/2017, 3:18 pm

OH MY GOODNESS!  BPSF!  I was rolling on the ground.  My daughter says What in the WORLD?  I read what you posted to her.  She just rolled her eyes.

I guess you have to be one to appreciate another.  She isn't & doesn't.

Thanks for the laughs everyone....!
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  Mellen on 1/26/2017, 8:23 pm

Oh My Gosh!  They heard us!  Spring Fever Seed Sale:  https://outlook.live.com/owa/?path=/mail/inbox/rp
Edit:  Add "This is Seed Savers Exchange"
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/26/2017, 9:12 pm

I
@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:

Do you buy seeds when you are disappointed, stressed or have had a fight with someone?
Can you plant more seeds now than when you first started to garden?
Are you more in a hurry to plant your first seeds of the year than you used to be?
When gardening with other people, do you try to plant a few extra seeds when others won't know about it?
Have you tried switching seed companies or vegetables, or following different plans to control your seed collecting?
Has a family member or close friend expressed concern or complained about your seed hoard?
After large seed purchases do you sometimes see or hear things that aren't there?

I don't think I could stop, I like how gardening makes me feel. So I'm more likely to be an enabler of seed collecting by others; I'll be making a trading post sometime soon. I'll admit I even ...make my own seeds... in my back yard.
YES!  YES, I do!  

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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/27/2017, 6:54 am

BLAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahha! ZMoore & BPSF, y'all are TOO funny!

And, yes, my name is Marie & I'm an addict!
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Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

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