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new from Long Island with questions

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new from Long Island with questions

Post  hookilau on Thu 3 Jun 2010 - 15:11

Hey everyone

I'm brand new to this method of gardening as well as to veggie gardening and totally stoked!!

My interest is in being able to meet (as closely as I can) our family's produce needs and to attempt 4 season gardening in Long Island.

I'm wondering if I'm too late for potatoes in my neck of the woods...anyone know?
As near as I can tell (through endless google searches) is that the beginning of May was the time to do it...but I've also read somewhere that potatoes should be planted in October-November. Since I don't see them available in the garden centers anymore, I'm guessing waaay early springtime. I'd sure like to hear of anyone else's experience on the subject.

I'm finding it a wee bit confusing trying to figure out what to plant when. Is it fair to just plant what's available at my local garden center?

hookilau

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Re: new from Long Island with questions

Post  Wyldflower on Thu 3 Jun 2010 - 15:24

Hi Hookilau and welcome!

I'm in Colorado now, but I grew up on LI, so I'm VERY familiar with your climate. (You'd be in zone 7 or maybe even 8 if I'm not mistaken) I think you'd be okay with planting potatoes now - even if it's supermarket sprouted spuds. If you can get some from a farmer's market it would be great! LI is famous for potatoes!

If you're sure about the reliability of the garden center, then talk with someone there, and ask what you could be planting now. You have a nice long growing season, so I'm pretty sure you'll do well with tomatoes and other warm weather crops.

Where on LI are you? I grew up in Farmingdale. Do you have a garden center that you feel confident with? If not, let me know, and I'll find out where my Mom and sisters go.

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Re: new from Long Island with questions

Post  Wyldflower on Thu 3 Jun 2010 - 15:59

oops... I just checked, and Farmingdale is zone 6b...
You can double-check your zone at the National Gardening Association website

Wyldflower

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Re: new from Long Island with questions

Post  Chopper on Thu 3 Jun 2010 - 16:04

I agree with Wyldflower. You should be able to plant potatoes now. I planted some on March 25th and have already had a small harvest.

The trick for me was to do the research and then make a monthly grid of what can be planted each month. Mine is very simple but you could include days to harvest info too.

Good luck!

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Re: new from Long Island with questions

Post  camprn on Thu 3 Jun 2010 - 16:34

I just planted my potatoes last week & I am in NH in zone 5a. I am sure you have time for a good growing season & harvest! Now for me this is late, I was not sure where I was going to be able to grow the potatoes and my time was getting so short that in the end I planted them in large burlap coffee bean sacks. They seem quite happy there.
Good luck with your garden!! flower

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sorry it's so long

Post  hookilau on Fri 4 Jun 2010 - 5:48

O boy O boy!

Thanks everyone for all your responses. Thank you Wyld for the tip about the NGA website. I forget where but a couple of years ago I looked my zone up and thought it was 8...then I looked it up about a wk ago when my brain started whirring with sfg'ing and thought it was 7....but happily 6b too! This is all so exciting!

I'm in Elmont, Farmingdale is about 20-ish minutes (as the crow flies) from here. I troll several garden centers, mainly because I can be a serial plant killer due to my getting used to the idea of there's not a whole lot to do once it's planted, and settled. I'm working on my patience, I can be a bit short on that sometimes.

I usually go to Hick's, there's a Garden World about 2 minutes away from me, then of course, there's Home Depot, Lowes and a host of other small nurseries I frequent, just to see.

I saw seed potatoes at Hick's quite awhile ago but thanks for the advice....and I'll also chat them up the next time I go. I feel kinda silly cause I hadn't thought of that...duh camprn; thanks for the encouragement, I'm gonna get crackin' locating some seed potatoes on line or on the ground!

I've started composting with a wee bucket, shredded newspaper, veggie scraps and coffee grounds (thank you Starbucks and your 'Grounds for your Garden' program!) I'm thrilled to death because the the first 2 days it kinda smelled like garbage so I added more shredded paper and today it didn't have any odor. I kick my bucket up and down my driveway every morning and again at night for good measure.

I'm also in the process of charting what to plant when...it's a little disheartening cause I've missed out on early spring thinking rows and only of tomatoes and peppers

Thanks everyone for responding. It's almost as though there's TOO much information on the internet and I was getting turned around quite a bit.

One more question though....leaf lettuce....I've got some spinach seeds (space hybrid) royal red lettuce and some green oak leaf lettuce. I understand the heat and sun of the summer to come, will encourage bolting but I'd like to try anyhow.

Any advice?...my choices are a spot with the first 6ish hours of sun and then shade all the rest of the day. Inside a cool basement with a grow light. In full afternoon sun 8+ hrs a day under shade cloth.

hookilau

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Re: new from Long Island with questions

Post  Wyldflower on Fri 4 Jun 2010 - 8:19

I'm so glad that I could be a teeny bit of help...

I was thinking about Hick's nursery when I said to find a reputable garden center. I used to shop there all the time! (Didn't know where on the Island you were and didn't want to recommend them if you were way out east!) And if they don't have what you want - ask! They're very helpful.

The whole charting thing takes a lot of time and research. I'm a gardening/SFG newbie, and 'flying by the seat of my pants' this year. I've learned a lot from the people here. I'm planning to do my real "PLANNING" over the winter.

My gut feeling about your lettuce/spinach question is to use the area with morning sun and then shaded the rest of the day. I would defer, of course, to more experienced gardeners.

Good luck... happy gardening... and when you can, post pictures!

Wyldflower

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Re: new from Long Island with questions

Post  martha on Sun 6 Jun 2010 - 11:46

Hello, Hookilau! May I recommend Eliot Coleman's book "Four Season Gardening" - or perhaps you have already found it. But he does it in Maine !

I am planning on trying this winter - I was going to last winter, but decided to spend the winter reading and organizing instead. I would love company!

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Re: new from Long Island with questions

Post  Megan on Sun 6 Jun 2010 - 16:39

Hookilau, if you have the space and the seed, I would try a few squares of spinach and lettuce outdoors wherever you can. The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't come up or it bolts early, right?

I am a bit south of you and my lettuce is still going strong, though a few plants are trying to bolt. When it is done, I'm going to replant in hopes of having lettuce through the summer. May not work, but, worth trying.

Best wishes! Very Happy

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Re: new from Long Island with questions

Post  hookilau on Mon 7 Jun 2010 - 5:14

Thanks for the additional input, you guys are a wealth of information. Just this morning I decided to go ahead and start some leaf lettuce and spinach I'm glad to hear the thought is not so 'off'.

I have the space and time and you're right, why not try? Seeds are inexpensive enough, so what am I waiting for? ha ha.

I'm going to try some indoors and some outdoors, I'm trying to remember that there's no wrong or right and nothing will go to waste. If my experiments don't work, they're just fodder for my new compost pile

Thanks also for the book recommendation, I'll have to check into that title....how'd you KNOW I'm a how-to book nerd?? My hubby just built me a larger sfg to play in so I'm going to just have at it for the next few seasons. Thanks again!!

hookilau

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Re: new from Long Island with questions

Post  readingnut on Mon 7 Jun 2010 - 8:10

Welcome,
I'm across the Sound in SE CT (almost on RI border) and am trying a few new things in the SFG this year - leeks and spring onions. So far so good. Don't know if you want to give the leeks a try, they seem to be doing well so far and I don't plan on harvesting until fall....
What others have been saying about finding a good plant place is so true! I use a non-chain garden place near me and have had wonderful luck. I tried spinach seeds this year, marked "slow to bolt" which have bolted but the small plants I got from plant farm are growing beautifully - no bolt!
Enjoy the garden!
Anne

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Re: new from Long Island with questions

Post  WardinWake on Mon 7 Jun 2010 - 8:30

Hookilau:

One suggestion on lettuce at this time of the year is to plant in full or dappled shade. We have one table top garden that is mounted on wheels so we can move it under our shade tree when the heat and sun of summer would otherwise cause the lettuce to bolt. So far it is working for me. It is also a good use for areas of your yard that cannot be used for other crops that need full sun.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.

WardinWake

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Re: new from Long Island with questions

Post  hookilau on Wed 9 Jun 2010 - 4:44

Great tips guys!...I'm so excited!...I'm going to have to post pics soon. I only have half of the new box filled with MM and hope to finish today so I can fill it. With encouragement from you all and additional studying, I've enough courage to try add carrots to my plan.

I bought 2 kinds, a 'short and sweet' and a 'Nantes' type. So far, my onions and garlic are coming up well, and my row garden is going to be transplanted into the new box this weekend....maybe even today if it stays overcast.

The tomatoes are under 12" tall and have 2 or 3 flowers each...peppers too. I'm hoping it's early enough in the season to be able to move them and they'll still recover well.

Great idea about the wheels! My husband laughs at me....'you want legs AND wheels....scandalous?!!' he's such a joker

hookilau

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