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New England March 2017

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New England March 2017

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/1/2017, 2:58 pm

Very foggy drizzly day here on ol' Cape Cod.

Two pots of onions - Stuttgarder and Gladstone - have sprouted and are in the window.

Today I brought up 6 empty six-packs and the bucket of used MM from the basement to warm up, so let the seed sowing begin. I figure if I do one or two veggies every day during lunch they can start germinating sooner than if I wait until this weekend. First up: Red Baltic Kale
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  quiltbea on 3/2/2017, 12:49 pm

Hooray, its good to see someone starting their spring sowing.  Let's wish for no more snow.
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  Ginger Blue on 3/2/2017, 4:30 pm

Earlier this week I winter-sowed several cold weather crops: cabbage; cauliflower; 13 varieties of lettuce; 2 types each of mache, kale, spinach, chives, and oregano; 3 kinds of parsley; celery; cilantro; sage and thyme.

Next in queue are several types of peppers and tomato seeds, which I hope to plant before the weekend.  I'm going to experiment with identical plantings of these, winter-sowing half and sowing the other half indoors (on heat mats, under lights), to compare how they progress. I've heard good reports on the "cold treatment" of indoor grown seedlings, which I thought of trying this season, but I may put it off until next year, after I see how the winter-sown babies do.

Applying lessons learned from last year, I've put together a timeline of when to start this year's crops, to include succession plantings into the fall. So far the plan "looks great on paper;" we'll see how reality goes - I'm already two weeks behind on my winter-sowing efforts.

In anticipation of a move (sometime this year, fingers crossed), everything will be planted in containers. I've put off growing large, sprawling, vines this season.  Hubs and I are looking forward to establishing a beautiful SFG, with trellises, hoops and cold frames, at our next location.
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/2/2017, 6:24 pm

@Ginger Blue wrote:Earlier this week I winter-sowed several cold weather crops: cabbage; cauliflower; 13 varieties of lettuce; 2 types each of mache, kale, spinach, chives, and oregano; 3 kinds of parsley; celery; cilantro; sage and thyme.

Next in queue are several types of peppers and tomato seeds, which I hope to plant before the weekend.  I'm going to experiment with identical plantings of these, winter-sowing half and sowing the other half indoors (on heat mats, under lights), to compare how they progress. I've heard good reports on the "cold treatment" of indoor grown seedlings, which I thought of trying this season, but I may put it off until next year, after I see how the winter-sown babies do.

Applying lessons learned from last year, I've put together a timeline of when to start this year's crops, to include succession plantings into the fall. So far the plan "looks great on paper;" we'll see how reality goes - I'm already two weeks behind on my winter-sowing efforts.

In anticipation of a move (sometime this year, fingers crossed), everything will be planted in containers. I've put off growing large, sprawling, vines this season.  Hubs and I are looking forward to establishing a beautiful SFG, with trellises, hoops and cold frames, at our next location.
I put seeds in the mail for you yesterday - sorry for the delay! (PM if there are any problems with them.) My timeline says I should start my cauliflower today, too, but I'll procrastinate until tomorrow. Good idea with including the succession plantings on your timeline. I didn't do well with that last year, partly due to not having a good timeline, partly due to vegetables not 'finishing' on time.
 A move? A new roll sign slow SFG? How exciting! bounce Still in NH zone 5, or...?
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  trolleydriver on 3/2/2017, 7:25 pm

Ginger-blue ... What is your last frost date (LFD)?  I need to get more winter sowing underway adn wonder if we have similar LFDs.  Mine is around May 11. Like you I am doing indoor sowing in parallel with winter sowing sine the latter is an experiment for me.

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Re: New England March 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/2/2017, 10:03 pm

GB, did you direct sow them?  Covered?
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  Ginger Blue on 3/3/2017, 9:13 pm

Thanks Beetles!  The seeds arrived today, in great shape.  Clever gal, you - making a cardboard enclosure - I was very impressed!  I love you

We would like to stay in New Hampshire, if we can find the right place for the right price. "The right place," of course, includes prime space for a garden (and maybe a greenhouse). I'll adjust to whatever zone it's in. Wink

TD, I've seen conflicting information about the LFD for my current location, but the various dates range from mid-to-late May.

This is my second year winter-sowing. I got a late start last year (April), so most of my "winter/spring" sown stuff sprouted and grew, but didn't have time to produce crops before bolting. Based on those results, I determined that February would be a better time for me to winter-sow cool crops, followed by summer crops in March.

Is this your first attempt at winter-sowing?  What are you hoping to grow?

SR, I'm making "mini-greenhouses" from gallon-sized water bottles and planting in those.  I'll transplant the seedlings to their permanent containers in late May or June.

I just love this stuff! bounce

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Re: New England March 2017

Post  trolleydriver on 3/3/2017, 9:40 pm

GB - last year I tried winter sowing broccoli and kohlrabi but started late ... sometime in April. They grew well. So far this year I have broccoli, kohlrabi, swiss chard, onion and purple conefower outside in their mini greenhouses.  I've still got a lot of containers to prepare and will try a wide variety of veggies and flowers, if I ever get my act together. I'll post what I do in the Third Year SFG in Canada thread.

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Re: New England March 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/4/2017, 6:26 pm

I think gallon size is better, I used 20 oz pop bottles, and they cookie cutter pulled each plant out when I removed them.....roots be damned, I guess.  The plants survived, but the spinach was stunted and bolted before a full maturation.
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  bigdogrock on 3/5/2017, 12:10 pm

Hey ginger, can you snap a pic of your mini green houses out of a gallon sized water bottle? I have never winter sowed or even early planted much here in New Hampster (New Hampshire) and the thought is interesting to me. Thanks! I hope you don't move away form NH.
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/5/2017, 1:58 pm

Rock, I think Trolleydriver has photos of his winter garden in the 2nd or 3rd year SFG in Canada thread.  

OK, so I got my seeds planted...finally.  I'm a bit behind but at least it's done.  My neighbor asked me to do side by side planting experiment using he sons new mix invention, PowerGrow, along with what I normally use which is spent MM from the SFGs.  So there is 1 'greenhouse' with the greens in PowerGrow and 1 with the lettuces.  The remaining 2 greenhouses have the same but in the MM.

This is what I sowed today -
Top row:12 each of lettuces - Butt Crunch, Little Ceasar, Grand Rapids, Lolla Rosa, Marvel of the 4 Seasons, Rouge d' Hiver and Red Velvet.
Bottom: 12 Dwarf kale, 12 collard greens


They all have to go into the sun to warm up because SOMEbody is hogging the heating pad:



Second planting of onions - Gladstone:


The collards and kale greenhouses get the lids on to warm up, but lettuces like light to germinate. Their lids will go on later to keep them a bit warm for the night.
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/5/2017, 5:06 pm

Nice, CC!
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  Ginger Blue on 3/5/2017, 5:12 pm

@bigdogrock wrote:Hey ginger, can you snap a pic of your mini green houses out of a gallon sized water bottle? I have never winter sowed or even early planted much here in New Hampster (New Hampshire) and the thought is interesting to me. Thanks! I hope you don't move away form NH.

Sure!

Here's how the bottles are prepped:



Add the seeds, then tape the bottled closed and label with the contents and date:



Then put them outside, where they can get sunshine, rain, and snow:



There are a couple of threads on this site about winter-sowing; it's well documented online, to the point of having dedicated FB groups.

It's a great way to get your hands in the dirt, long before the ground thaws!
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/5/2017, 5:17 pm

Nice! Ginger, do they sprout earlier than usual? If so, by how much?
CC
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/5/2017, 5:21 pm

I am greatly interested in this!
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  Ginger Blue on 3/5/2017, 5:48 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Nice! Ginger, do they sprout earlier than usual?  If so, by how much?  
CC

Thanks CC.

The seeds germinate when the temperature of the soil (inside the bottle), is appropriate for the crop. I don't know if that's earlier than they would if planted directly in the garden - the ground is still frozen here and I've never tried direct sowing this early.

Sure, there's some up front work in prepping the bottles - but not much more, really, than trying to start seeds indoors.  In my mind, there are several significant benefits to the winter-sowing process:
- The seeds germinate in a more natural setting than if started indoors.
- The seedlings are naturally hardened and can be transplanted to their permanent locations without a lot of fuss.
- And, this is HUGE, I don't have to store seedlings indoors and have them get leggy or damp off, while waiting for the weather to cooperate.

Last year, I concentrated my ws efforts on cool weather crops, but I'm planning ws warm weather crops this month. I want to grow as many things outside as I possibly can!  What a Face
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/5/2017, 6:12 pm

For me the challenge would be finding all those bottles! The only bottles I use are glass quarts & cardboard half gallons. I love how you put them in the pool. Do they have holes in the bottom? And where do you store them off season?
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  trolleydriver on 3/5/2017, 6:27 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:For me the challenge would be finding all those bottles!  The only bottles I use are glass quarts & cardboard half gallons.  I love how you put them in the pool.  Do they have holes in the bottom?  And where do you store them off season?
I can't get those beautiful one gallon bottles here in Canada. I have to settle for small 2 litre soda and juice bottles plus a few other oddball containers. I may have to go dumpster diving or troll the neighborhood on recycling days for more containers. 

CC it is necessary to put drainage holes in the bottom.

Good instructions at these sites (and many more):

- http://www.wintersown.org/ 

- http://www.bachmans.com/files/GardenGuide/WinterSowingGuide.pdf

- http://getbusygardening.com/winter-sowing-seeds/

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Re: New England March 2017

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/6/2017, 11:27 am

@trolleydriver wrote: I may have to go dumpster diving or troll the neighborhood on recycling days for more containers. 


darn funny This cracked me up, TD.  Only because I used to do it back in the day.
I could probably find gal water bottles at the dump recycles.

Thanks for the links. I'll check them out later.
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  sanderson on 3/7/2017, 3:18 pm

All of this interesting information will get lost. Isn't there a separate thread on this topic?

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Re: New England March 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/7/2017, 8:47 pm

@sanderson wrote:All of this interesting information will get lost.  Isn't there a separate thread on this topic?
Recycled containers?  No, I don't think so....for cloches?
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/9/2017, 1:20 pm

Ruh roh Cape Cod...snow and deep freeze a'comin for this weekend.   Sad  Guess I'll get to try out my new SnowJoe, and then can some beans.

My kales and collards that were seeded indoors on Sunday all sprouted on Tuesday.
Today they are over 1" tall and so I clipped the extras back leaving one per cell.

The lettuces are bit slower and about half are up as of yesterday.  Neither the used MM from garden nor the Power Grow beat out the other as far as germination speed or rate.  

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
@sanderson wrote:All of this interesting information will get lost.  Isn't there a separate thread on this topic?
Recycled containers?  No, I don't think so....for cloches?

SR, I think she means a thread on winter-sowing.

I don't know, Sanderson.  I think I've read about it in different threads but can't remember one main one.  Good idea though.
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/10/2017, 1:37 pm

It's that time again, New England! What a Face
Vegetable Notes Newsletter
http://extension.umass.edu/vegetable/publications/vegetable-notes-newsletter/archives


All the lettuces planted last Sunday has sprouted by the time I got home from work yesterday! cheers
Tray with MM (identical tray with Power Grow not shown):


The only diff I've found so far between the Power Grow and the spent MM is that the PG trays have roots growing out of the bottom and the MM trays don't.
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/11/2017, 3:16 pm

The experiment between Mel's mix and Power Grow continues. Today I started early green broccoli, ground cherries, Fort Hook Giant chard and Italian parsley - half each in MM and PG. They are now on the heating pad which I wrestled away from Miss Lilly.

Now if a spot would open up to direct seed radishes, spinach and peas, I'd be all set.
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Re: New England March 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/11/2017, 10:12 pm

Frozen solid here, but no snow at present.  Do you see an advantage to the power grow?  Will you need to wait and see? Are you going to use it in beds too?  

I need to start herbs tomorrow, and that Romanesco Cauliflower.  Most lettuce is up, some spinach is.  Will try to succession plant.

Will you go out there when it is hugely cold and put in seeds?  I know it says "as soon as soil can be worked", but really?  I have never done that.

But I think I should?  I mean that is what it says!
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Re: New England March 2017

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