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N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

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N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/1/2017, 8:19 pm

Wow!  Here we are!  I am entering a cold and wet pattern, but no matter, none of my tenders are out yet.  

What is going on in the Midwest!???

Tell and show if you have pictures!!!!flower
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  CitizenKate on 5/1/2017, 11:03 pm

Wow, I don't even know where to start.  Still getting my last 3 SFG beds ready for planting tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, and cucumbers.... building 2 more irrigation contraptions, setting up a new Florida weave trellis framework for the bed where the toe-maters will be, and still got a crap-ton of new containers to build for peppers and more toe-maters.

Last weekend came and went with almost no progress because of the chilly, rainy weather all weekend... today we got some sunshine, just in time to head back to work. Just when we need it most, right?

Just another manic May!  geek
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  llama momma on 5/2/2017, 11:54 am

My spring interest went into chickens this year instead of spring gardening.  But I do have 2 beds of immature green strawberries, young onions, young garlic, been eating lots of asparagus.  Better than nothing I suppose. But less than other years at this point.
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  herblover on 5/2/2017, 1:24 pm

Ready to do the first pickings of arugula and mizuna if I can get out between the rain and wind!  Still want to get another square each of chard and kale in this week also.
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/2/2017, 10:22 pm

I really need the lesson that tells me how to do stuff quoting your posts....

CK, your weather is now blessing (?) us here, and I am sure CC and Rocke et al will be feeling this soon!  Not a fan.  My heat is on!  It is MAY!!!!!!  

The only things I have had the guts to put out after last year are leaves.  2 Kale, many lettuces, and a few spinaches.  I did plant radishes, beets, turnips and carrots last weekend but that won't bother them.

LM; I am soooo waiting to see pics of your ladies!  I love chickens.....and wish I had a strawberry and asparagus bed...Boppity Boola, bippity boola bippity bobbity boo....FAiry Godmother?

herblover, same here. My box is in the wet area.  Yeah, really great planning.  I think I coul d have some leaves from the lettuces and maybe spinaches...but it is sloppy and cold and windy!!!!  Might venture out tomorrow....will see

Plans for weekend are umm,  zero.  Moving kid home from college.  Need to get squash, cukes, melons and sunflowers going...it will happen, but not in the next few days!
sunny
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/3/2017, 8:21 pm

Just mowed...Brrrr!  Wow.  Still really wet out back.  Put the potted p peppers and maters outside for a couple hours for some sun while mowing...but they are in now.  

We are getting rain again here.
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/5/2017, 7:09 am

Still raining and cold.  I think I can pluck a few leaves this weekend for a salad!  Need to get the kale under tulle or something....but figure the torrential downpour will buy me some time to get some.  

Looked like radishes, and other roots and peas were up out there....yay!  I am really behind this year! Oh well, last year I jumped the gun, so I guess I overcompensated!
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  CitizenKate on 5/5/2017, 11:26 pm

All the chilly, rainy weather has finally moved past us now, and I feel a major gardening weekend coming on! Them toe-maters are ready to go out already!

Relief is coming soon for the east!
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Robbomb116 on 5/6/2017, 12:00 am

My wintersown containers for summer plants have done fiddly.  I'll be buying local transplants for tomatoes, peppers,  and eggplants I think.  How do you guys judge when the weather is ready for that?  And milestones you watch for?
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/6/2017, 10:05 am

@CitizenKate wrote:All the chilly, rainy weather has finally moved past us now, and I feel a major gardening weekend coming on!  Them toe-maters are ready to go out already!

Relief is coming soon for the east!
Yes!  Woke up to a strange bright glow outside.... sunny Oh yeah, it's the Sun!  Chance of rain here, but I will take it.  Babies outside getting some full spectrum energy...will get my tender tender stuff seeded this weekend and some sunflowers and nasturtiums.
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/6/2017, 10:07 am

@Robbomb116 wrote:My wintersown containers for summer plants have done fiddly.  I'll be buying local transplants for tomatoes, peppers,  and eggplants I think.  How do you guys judge when the weather is ready for that?  And milestones you watch for?
I was curious about that Rob....I go whole hog after my typical last Frost Free Date, for here it is May 15th.  Also I kinda watch the local forecast to see it it is on-schedule.  Skippy's Garden app is pretty darn accurate for me, it is free.  You put in your location and choose your plants...it has been spot-on for me.
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  nrstooge on 5/6/2017, 2:12 pm

Potted up some herbs on the patio - tomatos are out getting used to being outside.  Where do you get the garden app?  Sounds like it is a good thing.   Also potted up a few flowers and planted marigold seeds, etc.  Lettuce just up and peas and spinach are starting to really take off now.
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/6/2017, 11:38 pm

@nrstooge wrote:Potted up some herbs on the patio - tomatos are out getting used to being outside.  Where do you get the garden app?  Sounds like it is a good thing.   Also potted up a few flowers and planted marigold seeds, etc.  Lettuce just up and peas and spinach are starting to really take off now.
In the App Store is where I got Skippy's Garden.  I have an iPad, but I know it is available to many operating systems!

Also, Mother Earth News has a free email alert for planting.  They also have a pretty pricey garden planner....be wary!
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  CitizenKate on 5/6/2017, 11:41 pm

@Robbomb116 wrote:My wintersown containers for summer plants have done fiddly.  I'll be buying local transplants for tomatoes, peppers,  and eggplants I think.  How do you guys judge when the weather is ready for that?  And milestones you watch for?
For tomatoes and peppers, the last frost date for your area is the milestone.  In our area, that's usually right around the first of May, but in your area (Bismark, ND), it's a bit later.
http://www.almanac.com/gardening/frostdates/ND/Bismarck

There are other factors to consider.  As we approach that date, I may plant earlier or later, depending on how the weather forecasts look.  And that's not to say there can't be some surprises.  I had one year when I put out my tomatoes on the last day of April, with no frost or unusually foul weather in the forecast, and the next day we were served with high winds, plummeting temperatures, and hail, no less.  All the money they spend on sophisticated weather analysis gear and software, and they still do no better than they did 30 years ago.  Tsk.


Last edited by CitizenKate on 5/6/2017, 11:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  CitizenKate on 5/6/2017, 11:57 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
Yes!  Woke up to a strange bright glow outside.... sunny Oh yeah, it's the Sun!  Chance of rain here, but I will take it.  Babies outside getting some full spectrum energy...will get my tender tender stuff seeded this weekend and some sunflowers and nasturtiums.
I know, I still remember that little rush of joy at seeing some blue sky on Thursday. My plants were inside for a good week or so. Some of my late sown tomato plants were a little wimpy after that, but just one day in some good sunshine and breezes turned them into something almost unrecognizable from the day before.
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/7/2017, 10:33 am

Same here, except the wind must have knocked a couple of my tomatoes sideways....I will add some mix to deepen it and see if that helps prop them up!  They really did perk up.
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  llama momma on 5/7/2017, 3:15 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
LM; I am soooo waiting to see pics of your ladies!  I love chickens.....
Their pictures are over in the, who has chickens thread.  Put new ones up a minute ago. There are younger pics there also.
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/7/2017, 9:28 pm

@llama momma wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:
LM; I am soooo waiting to see pics of your ladies!  I love chickens.....
Their pictures are over in the, who has chickens thread.  Put new ones up a minute ago. There are younger pics there also.
OK, thanks!
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  CitizenKate on 5/7/2017, 10:33 pm

Got my tomato box in operation today... long weekend of projects to get it ready, mixing compost to add, and finally got them planted this evening.



It's a somewhat non-standard 3x3 configuration.  I just wanted to give my 'maters a little more space on top, and was willing to have a box with a few less plants in it.

The trellis framework is the beginning of a Florida weave support system.  The risers are anchored with rebar driven in about 12 inches, and I added conduit straps for extra support.  I may add additional straps, but those things are so solid now that I think, if anything can blow them down, I do believe it would probably take the box apart along with it.  And these are 6 feet high, instead of the recommended 5.  Last year, my indeterminates got up to 7 feet and would have kept going if I hadn't topped them.

I also have an equal number of tomato plants that I'll be raising in containers.  Yesterday, I brought one of my new sub-irrigating containers to a friend of mine who lives in an apartment.  She's been showing it off on Facebook.



Last year, she had one of my bucket containers.  Her patio faces south, and there is nothing out there but an open field.  She gets some horrific wind compression in that spot, so her bucket - even with all that weight in the bottom from the water - kept blowing over.  I didn't see that problem with mine, because mine are in an area more protected from wind and other elements of nature.  If this one can stay standing on Julie's patio, I'll consider my new design tip-proof.
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/7/2017, 11:20 pm

Wow, CK, nice!  Lots of work!  But you have a great setup for tomatoes.  I too feel they are super crowded in a 4x4.  I am going to put them for the first time since the first year back in the old window boxes, which are falling apart, but are about 18" instead of a straight foot.  

Can't wait!
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/8/2017, 8:10 pm

Went out to see if the freeze had any casualties in the beds--looks like we are good!  Nibbled on a few leaves while out and about!  Radishes, beets, peas, turnips up.  Maybe carrots.  

Looks like a gradual warming trend on the way here....thanks, guys!  LOL!
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  CitizenKate on 5/8/2017, 10:09 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Wow, CK, nice!  Lots of work!  But you have a great setup for tomatoes.  I too feel they are super crowded in a 4x4.  I am going to put them for the first time since the first year back in the old window boxes, which are falling apart, but are about 18" instead of a straight foot.  

Can't wait!
I couldn't wait, either, it drove me crazy to have to wait another weekend past our "last frost date" to plant because of rain (all. weekend.), even though we haven't had a freeze for almost a month, now. It's no fun planting tomatoes in the rain. 2014... been there done that.

It was a lot of work, but if all this works as well as I think it will, it will be years before that work needs to be done again. Now comes the easy/fun part of caring for those plants.

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Went out to see if the freeze had any casualties in the beds--looks like we are good!  Nibbled on a few leaves while out and about!  Radishes, beets, peas, turnips up.  Maybe carrots.  

Looks like a gradual warming trend on the way here....thanks, guys!  LOL!

WHEW! Dodged another bullet from Mother Nature. Carry on, fellow crewmate!
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/8/2017, 11:02 pm

YES!!!!!

I know it, I totally dodged it.  I did not cover any of it...It was unscathed.cheers

Oh yeah...Our first year...2014.  The Year of the Floods.  I literally cannot go there.

So, yes, much better!  flower


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 5/8/2017, 11:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  CitizenKate on 5/9/2017, 11:12 pm

@CitizenKate wrote:
It was a lot of work, but if all this works as well as I think it will, it will be years before that work needs to be done again.  Now comes the easy/fun part of caring for those plants.
I may have spoken too soon... just one day after transplanting, I come home to find one Rutgers tomato crashing (severely wilting), and the one Early Girl I purchased (as a starter plant) showing signs of Septoria.

One. day.  Mad

Rescue mode... it appears I probably over-watered the Rutgers.  The mix seems a bit heavier now since I topped it up with my compost mix, and doesn't seem to drain quite as readily as it used to.  I may add in a bit more peat and vermiculite at the end of the season to fluff it up again.

Plus, I think that was the plant I inadvertently made 3 passes with the watering bottle at transplant time, instead of just my usual 2.  (I'm a little ADD, if you know what I mean.  I was probably carrying on some conversation in my head as I was doing the planting.)

Note to self: be present.

I just waited that out, and when I checked on it the next morning, it had recovered completely.  *WHEW*

The EG got some leaves cut off, and all the plants in the bed got their first treatment of copper fungicide.  I'll remove that plant and get it the [bleep] out of there if I see another sign of it.

Note to self: get any starter plants you buy from a local nursery from now on (not from the big box stores).

All is well now.  For now.  That is all.
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Re: N&C Midwest: May is here! 2017

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/10/2017, 9:55 pm

@CitizenKate wrote:
@CitizenKate wrote:
It was a lot of work, but if all this works as well as I think it will, it will be years before that work needs to be done again.  Now comes the easy/fun part of caring for those plants.
I may have spoken too soon... just one day after transplanting, I come home to find one Rutgers tomato crashing (severely wilting), and the one Early Girl I purchased (as a starter plant) showing signs of Septoria.

One. day.  Mad

Rescue mode... it appears I probably over-watered the Rutgers.  The mix seems a bit heavier now since I topped it up with my compost mix, and doesn't seem to drain quite as readily as it used to.  I may add in a bit more peat and vermiculite at the end of the season to fluff it up again.

Plus, I think that was the plant I inadvertently made 3 passes with the watering bottle at transplant time, instead of just my usual 2.  (I'm a little ADD, if you know what I mean.  I was probably carrying on some conversation in my head as I was doing the planting.)

Note to self: be present.

I just waited that out, and when I checked on it the next morning, it had recovered completely.  *WHEW*

The EG got some leaves cut off, and all the plants in the bed got their first treatment of copper fungicide.  I'll remove that plant and get it the [bleep] out of there if I see another sign of it.

Note to self: get any starter plants you buy from a local nursery from now on (not from the big box stores).

All is well now.  For now.  That is all.
Well, to start out, just gonna say YAY!  Sounds like it is one the mend.  So...me too.  I haven't planted out yet..but due this weekend.  My plants look good.  Zpeppers and maters and a few herbs.

I think you averted tons of problems with your quick action...

Like you said...be present.
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