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Hello for MD/PA/DE corner

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Hello for MD/PA/DE corner

Post  ddpaints on 3/4/2017, 7:56 am

Good morning,
Let me introduce myself, I am on my second year of SFG with a backyard plot made with cinder block that consists of 6 -4x4 plots , 4- 2x4 plots, 1- 2x5 plot and 4- 2x8 plots. I also have a 10 x 2 asparagus plot and a 2x15 strawberry plot. 
Last year , because I was just setting up, I only was able to fill my 6 -4x4 plots, the strawberries and asparagus. This year I plan on filling a few more boxes and each year until I have a full garden. 
I am happy I found this site because I could use all the advice anyone has to offer. 
I had a somewhat successful first year except for the squash bugs that came and destroyed our pumpkins and some other squash plants. Since I have chosen never to use chemicals, I'm hoping to find some alternatives to just letting them eat things. This year I think I will start everything from seed so any advice on when I should start planting those would also be appreciated. 

I can't wait to read all the things you experts have learned.
Donella
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Re: Hello for MD/PA/DE corner

Post  trolleydriver on 3/4/2017, 8:48 am

ddpaints ... welcome to the forum from Ottawa, Canada. 

  glad you\'re here


Sounds like you are off to a very good start.  Concerning planting dates there are several resources including the charts at the back of the All New Square Foot Gardening book. You will need to know your Last Frost Date. 

I also refer to the Farmer's Almanac which has a calculator for start/planting dates. Just plug in your location in the location field and let it recalculate for that location.

There are two formats ...

http://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-dates/ON/Ottawa

http://www.almanac.com/gardening/seed-starting-dates/ON/Ottawa

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Re: Hello for MD/PA/DE corner

Post  ralitaco on 3/4/2017, 9:20 am

Welcome from Coastal NC.

I think you will find lots of information here to help you along the way. Many, if not most of the people here are trying to grow organic, chemical free...I am not one of them, but I have tried many of their ideas for pest control with varied success. With that said, be sure to use the search box and you should find all sorts of answers to your chem-free pest control.

another resource for planting dates is http://www.gardenate.com/
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Re: Hello for MD/PA/DE corner

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/4/2017, 10:09 am

Welcome to the forum Donella! glad you\'re here

I prefer to not use pesticides in my garden. The trade-off is time. I hand pick my squash bugs (and my cucumber beetles - you can grow a LOT of those per sq ft!) every morning, and sometimes in the evening: I use a plastic take-out soup container filled about 1/3 with soapy water, carefully place it under where the squash bug is by a few inches, and reach for the squash bug - and it will try to evade me and drop into the soapy water and drown. (Don't leave the container out, so you don't accidentally drown other curious or thirsty, good bugs.)  I also look for eggs every morning and squash them or flick them into the soapy water, too (some use duck tape to remove them.) They seem pretty obvious when I find them (you can find photos online), but I missed at least two batches last year. I grow my squash vertically, so it's easier to look at/under the leaves than with sprawled vines.
Here's a thread on how some other people deal with them:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t19718-oh-poo-those-stinkin-squash-bugs?highlight=squash+bugs

What plants are you looking to start from seed? TD's suggestion to find your last frost date and use the charts in the back of the ANSFG book is a good one. Most of the common vegetables are in there. At this point I have a personalized version of that chart on my computer because I find it so useful for planning. I also have a timeline document based on that so I know what to do when - and a journal so I can look back and adjust next year's timeline.

We look forward to watching your garden grow!
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Re: Hello for MD/PA/DE corner

Post  countrynaturals on 3/4/2017, 11:23 am

happy hi from Redding, CA. We would love to see "before" pics of your setup, then follow your adventures until you have all your beds full to overflowing with an abundance of yummy produce.  flower
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Re: Hello for MD/PA/DE corner

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/4/2017, 11:49 am

Welcome,  ddpaints!  I am organic as well, and for me the trade off is some productivity.  I use a soap mixture that is on here in the archives a lot, and also hand pick some too.  Just depends.  Some varietals are just more Hardy and less attractive, for example I grew pole beans both years, first year, my go to standard, Kentucky Wonder.  A.  I could not see them to harvest them when smallish, and B. Japanese Beetles devoured them....

Last year, I grew a purple pole bean, Blauhilde, from Bakers seeds.  Easy to see, and not as attractive to the JBs.  And more tender, delish, and beautiful purple flowers...

Anyways, lots of info on here, glad you found us!  

PS, we really dig pictures!
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Re: Hello for MD/PA/DE corner

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/5/2017, 6:15 am

Hi DDPaints. Welcome from Atlanta, GA! We're glad you found us too...

Lots of good advice here. And I'm sure we'll learn from you as well.
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Re: Hello for MD/PA/DE corner

Post  sanderson on 3/5/2017, 3:56 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:happy hi from Redding, CA. We would love to see "before" pics of your setup, then follow your adventures until you have all your beds full to overflowing with an abundance of yummy produce.  flower
+1

DDPaints,  Welcome to the Forum from California!! glad you\'re here  I'm late to welcoming you, but others have already welcomed you and provided some good advice.  I use milk/water or Dr. Bronner's liquid peppermint soap/water solutions for many pests.  I have also used Neem oil when desperate.  I also use mechanical control when I cover the brassicas/cole crops with bridal tulle.  Grasshoppers, "mechanical dispatching" is the only thing 100% successful.  The Search box is a valuable tool.

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Re: Hello for MD/PA/DE corner

Post  sfg4uKim on 3/6/2017, 9:06 pm

Welcome!

I'm your neighbor just south of Baltimore.

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Re: Hello for MD/PA/DE corner

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