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Blackrose's 2011 SFG

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  quiltbea on 2/21/2011, 12:16 pm

Blackrose,
Are you sowing too deeply? Some seeds just won't struggle thru the soil.

I lay my seeds in the hollow of a soil block, press a bit for soil contact, and cover with vermiculite, then spritz with a sprayer bottle, lightly, to not dislodge the vermiculite. It prevents damping off, I'm sure, and its light enuf the seeds can germinate.

Love the picture. Its a beauty. Doesn't that make your heart swell with pride and accomplishment to see the green? I know mine does.

I've got to get out to the garage and find my vermiculite. I brought my blockers in the other day. I want to start some broccoli, cabbage, parsley and a couple of herbs that I want to pot for the summer.
We're both in Zone 5a and my calendar tells me to get started.

Good luck,

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/21/2011, 12:20 pm

1st I need to say that this is my first year starting artichokes from seed. I think FBmom has done it before and can probably give you a better answer. I got a start from the nursery last year and am waiting to see if that one comes back this spring.

This pot was started January 25 (5 seeds). The large one came up within a week. I thought that might be all I get. A 2nd sprout came up late last week. I almost snipped it off but decided to wait and see which sprout was actually stronger. Then this AM there were these other 2 sprouts coming up.

Every day that the temp gets above 45 F I set the pot outside until the temp again drops in an attempt to prevent it from getting too leggy. (Worked for tomatoes last year). Tomorrow (Washington's B-day) I will plant the rest of the seed that I was unable to give away.

Whatever you decide, you probably should set your soil block into a pot fairly soon don't ya think? (I'd go with a 10" rubber type)

Debs....cheering for your baby!

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 2/21/2011, 12:50 pm

@quiltbea wrote:Blackrose,
Are you sowing too deeply? Some seeds just won't struggle thru the soil.

I lay my seeds in the hollow of a soil block, press a bit for soil contact, and cover with vermiculite, then spritz with a sprayer bottle, lightly, to not dislodge the vermiculite. It prevents damping off, I'm sure, and its light enuf the seeds can germinate.
I was wondering that too, but that one came up just fine and they really weren't planted that deep. I didn't have vermiculite at the time that I planted these. I have bought some since and will use it for the rest of my plantings.

@quiltbea wrote:Love the picture. Its a beauty. Doesn't that make your heart swell with pride and accomplishment to see the green? I know mine does.
It sure does!! It will even more when I eat my first artichoke from this plant. Very Happy

@quiltbea wrote:I've got to get out to the garage and find my vermiculite. I brought my blockers in the other day. I want to start some broccoli, cabbage, parsley and a couple of herbs that I want to pot for the summer.
We're both in Zone 5a and my calendar tells me to get started.
Can I plant broccoli and cabbage now? I guess with your method of using the coat hangers and plastic to cover them, they can go outside earlier. Hmmm.. something to think about.

@Lavender Debs wrote:1st I need to say that this is my first year starting artichokes from seed. I think FBmom has done it before and can probably give you a better answer. I got a start from the nursery last year and am waiting to see if that one comes back this spring.

This pot was started January 25 (5 seeds). The large one came up within a week. I thought that might be all I get. A 2nd sprout came up late last week. I almost snipped it off but decided to wait and see which sprout was actually stronger. Then this AM there were these other 2 sprouts coming up.

That's excellent Debs! I may just leave mine for a few days or maybe pull back a little soil to see if I can see anything happening under there.

@quiltbea wrote:Every day that the temp gets above 45 F I set the pot outside until the temp again drops in an attempt to prevent it from getting too leggy. (Worked for tomatoes last year). Tomorrow (Washington's B-day) I will plant the rest of the seed that I was unable to give away.

I never thought of doing that. I guess I'm just scared of losing my seedlings. Mind you we haven't had temperatures stay that high consistently here yet.

@quiltbea wrote:Whatever you decide, you probably should set your soil block into a pot fairly soon don't ya think? (I'd go with a 10" rubber type)

Debs....cheering for your baby!

I was thinking that too. I'll have to head out to the store one day this week and pick some up. Or use one of my Tim Horton's cups! Laughing

Thanks for the cheer! cheers

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/21/2011, 1:40 pm

Not sure what a Tim H cup is, but if it is about the size of a quart of yoghurt than it will probably be fine. The seedling I got from the nursery last year was huge ...at least as veggie seedlings go.

This was last Mothers Day (2nd Sunday in May). This artichoke seedling was a gift from Ray. The box it is in is about 18" square. Those are snapdragon seedlings and sweet from a 4" pot in the box with it. Look at the size of the 1st leaves. Your babies leaves will get a whole lot bigger.

I wouldn't go picking in the soil. Just wait (if you are able). The harder the seedling has to work, the stronger it should be.

Bringing seedlings in and out can get to be a hassle. I'm just weird that way. You could loose everything if you forget just one time.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  quiltbea on 2/21/2011, 2:18 pm

Blackrose,
Broccoli and Cabbage can be started 12 wks before last frost and they go in the ground 5 weeks before last frost. They can take some cold.
Parsley 10-12 wks before last frost.
Cauliflower I'll start in another couple weeks. They start 10 weeks before and go outdoors 4 wks before.

I made myself a notebook, according to Mel's charts on what crops get started when, transplant dates and the potential harvest dates.

I take a sheet of notebook paper and put the week's dates on it, like Feb 20-26 and mark 12 Wks at the top so I know how many weeks it is before frost.
Underneath I list:
--------------------
Start seeds:
Broccoli
Cabbage
Parsley

Get 6' pole at Lowe's
Get vermiculite if they have it or go to Blue Seal feed
--------------------

As I start or transplant things, I fill in what variety and how many seeds, etc beside the crop name, what date they begin to germinate.
I have a notebook sheet for each week so I can plan ahead what I'm going to do.
I can also add anything to that week as well, such as the herbs I want to start this week since I've got a few from swaps that I'd like to try in containers.

The next notebook sheets reads "Feb 27-Mar 5 (11 wks)" as the heading.
If I don't get to Lowe's this week, I cross out the note and write it in the following week. That way I don't forget something entirely. Its always in front of my nose that something has to be done.

I did this last year with great success. I also have a typed instruction sheet on every crop I plant in alpha order in the same notebook so I can take a look to make sure I don't forget about special watering or fish emulsion needs or whether I transplant at the same level or deeper when outside. It all helps keep me on track. I just can't seem to remember every little thing these days, so this helps.

At the front of my notebook I have a plan of each raised bed where I will add what variety was planted outside and what date so I can keep track of it.

I'm off to water my starting mix. Have a good day.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 3/7/2011, 9:35 am

It's March! Which means is almost here!!! I can't wait. This is the time of year I have been waiting all cold, snowy winter for.

My Grandmother seems to be on the mend after her stroke last week. It will be a long road to recovery for her, but we're hopeful.

I lost a basil plant last week. It was always smaller and kind of misshapen. I'm wondering if it was a bad seed or something. Oh well, I still have 8 others. Smile I always start more than I need in case some don't make it. If I have too many once it's time to plant them outside, I guess I'll just have to build another box! Twisted Evil

Speaking of the basil, some of them are looking a little leggy. Can I plant these deeper to combat some of the legginess? Or will the stems rot?


The one basil plant on the right in the back looks great. It's not leggy at all. I had put that one in the window since it was quite small. The others were under the lights until I put them in the windowsill for about a week. That's when those ones got leggy. They really didn't seem to like the windowsill either. Maybe it was too chilly there. So, I put them back under the lights.


These are my broccoli, cabbage and kohlrabi seedlings. They all got really leggy, so I planted them deeper in coffee cups and they seem to have perked up a bit.


Cabbage


One of my lovely artichokes! The artichokes are doing great. I have 2 seedlings out of the 6 seeds that I planted. That's enough for me. These will take up a lot of space in my perennial gardens, but I'm looking forward to harvesting the globes. Yum!

I'm coming up on 8 weeks until my last frost date, so I'm starting to think about getting my tomatoes and peppers started. My mother is going to lend me her Aero Garden. I'm not sure that I will actually plant anything in it, but I will definitely use it for the light. I can just place a tray of planted soil blocks on it under the light.


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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/7/2011, 3:26 pm

@BlackRose wrote:My Grandmother seems to be on the mend after her stroke last week. It will be a long road to recovery for her, but we're hopeful
So glad Grandmother is doing better.


That baby artichoke is lovely.
I started artichokes on 2/15 and transplanted 2 into to 3 inch pots on 2/20 (they took only 5 days to germinate cheers ). They are now getting their second set of leaves. I probably stressed them by transplanting the seedlings at such an early date, but they seem do be doing fine now. One more came up on 3/4 (17 days) and has been transplanted to a 3 inch pot. That was three out of about 15 seeds, so only 20% germination. Mine were seeds packaged for 2010. All of my seeds for this year are "Violetto" which has a purplish globe.

I started 5 more seeds on 2/24 on damp paper towels and all five sprouted (100% germination) and they have since been planted in 3 inch pots. If I need more plants next year, I will use the paper towel method. I probably will not need more, as they are perrennials here and my two artichokes from last year's garden, Green Globe and Imperial Star, are both looking good today.

Artichokes take about 3 ft by 3 ft so mine will be in the old amended soil garden. I don't want to use up my new Table Top SFG beds with Mel's mix for such ground hogs.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 3/7/2011, 4:13 pm

Thank you Furbalsmom!

My artichokes are Imperial Star, donated kindly by middlemamma. They definitely will not be going into my SFG either. I'm saving space for other stuff. Artichokes are annuals here in zone 5a, so I will have to start new ones every season. We'll see how they fare this year and if I can force them to bulb for me.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 3/16/2011, 1:52 pm

We have been having some decent weather the last few days. Over the next few days, we're expected to get sunny highs of 11C!! And to top it off, the lows are above freezing as well. The windows in my kitchen have been open a bit for a few days now. I'm itching to let all that fresh air into the house. I hate how stuffy the house gets in the winter. Yeah Spring!!!

My artichokes have been moved to one of my kitchen windowsills. They don't seem to mind the cool fresh air that's coming in.

Check out the thermometer! Woohoo!!

I've moved most of my herbs on top of my microwave with a couple of lights to keep them happy. I borrowed my Mother's AeroGarden and placed a tray of herbs on it. I'm not using the pod system, but it can't run dry, so I do have water in the base. Unfortunately, there is no way to run it with just the light. I also setup an OTT Light that I had around the house for the basil. We'll see how this setup works for them.


In trying to combat some of the legginess in my basil, I decided to harvest some for my spaghetti sauce last night. I hope it works. My first harvest of 2011!!!


I would like to thank middlemamma for the idea to use an emergency blanket to reflect the light back to my seedlings. Awesome!!


That little blue tray you see on the shelf has my leaf lettuce babies in it. I'm trying to get a bit of a head start by staggering my plantings. I'll plant more directly in the SFG once I have it setup in the next week or so.

Here is a closeup:


My brassicas are starting to get a little leggy again. I planted them deeper to try and combat that, but it just seems that I cannot get the light close enough to them to make them happy. I'm hoping the new emergency blanket reflecting more light on them from almost all the way around will help.


I planted my tomatoes, peppers and eggplants!! I'm so excited that it's late enough in the season that I was able to plant these. They're not much to look at now, because they haven't germinated yet, but here they are on my heat mat:


Again, not much to look at now, but here are the yellow wonder wild strawberries I planted the other day on the heat mat. No germination yet, but I'm eagerly waiting. Thank you Megan for the seeds!


It always amazes me how much can happen in a week. I love that I have accomplished so much in the last week, but it didn't feel like "work" at all! I love you I love you I love you

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  quiltbea on 3/16/2011, 3:03 pm

I'm surprised you're already starting eggplant. I can't start eggplant and peppers until around the 25th of this month and tomatoes the week after and that's with me being ready with blankets and covers since we can expect a bit of frost when they are ready to put outdoors.

I like that idea of the aluminum foil surface bouncing light onto the plants. I'll have to try that.

Its snowing here again but I don't expect it to accumulate. The temp is 42F so it won't last. I just wish the other foot or more on my gardens would melt faster so I can get outside and amend my beds and cover a few with plastic to warm up quicker. I also have to get my A-frame back up and my son has to make my coldframe for this year. Lots to do and snow inhibits the whole process.

Your seedlings are looking good. Keep up the good work.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 3/16/2011, 5:11 pm

@quiltbea wrote:I'm surprised you're already starting eggplant. I can't start eggplant and peppers until around the 25th of this month and tomatoes the week after and that's with me being ready with blankets and covers since we can expect a bit of frost when they are ready to put outdoors.

Uh oh! I was going by the planting guide on growveg.com and it told me I needed to start my tomatoes, eggplant and peppers the middle of this month. I hope they turn out okay and do not get too leggy. I suppose that wouldn't make too much of a difference with the tomatoes as I can always plant them deep.

A though just occurred to me and I think I know why mine are earlier than yours even though we're in the same zone. I set my frost date on their site to a couple of weeks earlier because it seems to warm up faster in my backyard. Maybe I have a warm spot here or something, but it seems like everything comes up faster than others in my zone and doesn't get as frosty. Smile

Of course, I will have warm blankets and cloches ready to keep everything happy if we do get a cold snap.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 3/26/2011, 5:19 pm

No pictures today, but I feel like I got a lot accomplished. Finally starting to collect my Mel's Mix ingredients and other supplies to get my boxes ready for planting. Today DH and I picked up two 3.8CF compressed bales of Peat Moss and a 3'x50' roll of 20 year landscape fabric. We also found out that the store will be receiving a truckload of bags of compost on Monday. So, we'll be back there during the week to get our compost. They sell shrimp, cattle, sheep and one called Organic Compost which is made from Peat Humus, Veggie Compost, Horse Manure and "may contain cattle manure". I'm not counting on the Organic Compost actually containing the cattle manure, so I will buy some to add to the mix.

I'm a little confused about composts that contain peat already and what exactly Peat Humus is, but I'll post that question separately in the Compost forum.

The store we're getting all of our ingredients from is also going to order 4 bags of vermiculite for me. That will be here on Friday. I guess DH and I will be doing lots of mixing next weekend! cheers

I'm so happy to get started. Some of my brassicas are getting big and I want to get them in the ground under cover. That will clear out some space on my shelf for more babies. Very Happy

I spent about 20 minutes today making 5 air pruning pots out of 2 litre soda bottles. I'm going to pot up some of my tomatoes after the kiddos are in bed tonight. They have their true leaves and are outgrowing their 2 inch soil cubes (the tomatoes, not the kiddos Wink ). They're a little leggy too, so could do with being buried up to the first set of leaves.

rahrah

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  quiltbea on 3/26/2011, 10:14 pm

It sounds like you're going to have a great garden this year.

Have a grand time this weekend getting up-potted and mixing those ingredients.

I hope to find some Mel's Mix in the building supply stores here this spring.

Good luck and have fun.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 3/26/2011, 10:18 pm

Thanks quiltbea! I thought last year was fun.... This year is turning out to be much more so! I hope I enjoy gardening at least as much as this every year.

Pics to come in the next couple of days. Charging my camera battery. Smile

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Old Hippie on 3/27/2011, 4:58 pm

Oh wow, you have a lot done. Way to go girl.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 3/27/2011, 11:59 pm

Thanks Gwynn! It amazes me that I can get so much done and it doesn't feel like work. I guess I may have a green thumb after all!

Unfortunately, I didn't get my tomatoes potted up this weekend. The days just got away from me. We went to Casino Rama tonight and saw Jeff Foxworthy. It was good to get out of the house without the kiddos for a few hours.

The tomatoes will get done another day. Maybe tomorrow during nap time. Smile

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I'm So Excited!!!

Post  Blackrose on 4/1/2011, 1:39 pm

I am on Cloud 9! I bought all of my compost and most of my vermiculite today. Add that to the Peat Moss and Landscape Fabric I bought last week and I am almost ready to mix my Mel's Mix. And this year is going to be sooooooo much better than last!

Isn't this pile just beautiful???



Organic Compost:

This is comprised of Peat Humus, Vegetable Compost and Composted Horse Manure (also may contain composted cattle manure). In another thread it was determined that there is either 2 or 3 types of compost in here depending on if you believe that Peat Humus is a type of compost. To err on the side of caution, I will count it as 2.

Shrimp Compost:

Shrimp and Peat in here. I'll adjust the Peat Moss I add to my mix to compensate for the peat that's already in this compost. I count this as 1 compost for obvious reasons. Smile

Leaf & Yard with Sheep Manure Compost:

I got so excited when I saw this one. It has composted grass clippings, leaves and sheep manure in it. I'll count it as 2!

And the piece du resistance.... Mushroom Compost!!:

I have been searching for this stuff! Lo and behold I walk into the Farm Supply store today to get my compost and there is a huge pallet of Mushroom Compost. cheers

Now for the Vermiculite:

Here's the deal with the vermiculite. I've only got 3 bags right now. I need 4. However, these 3 bags have small tears in them and the vermiculite is wet. From what I can tell, there is very little, if any, vermiculite missing from the bags and I'm going to wet it anyway. Well worth the $10 I paid for ALL 3 bags. NOT $10 each! $10 for all 3!

So, let's count the composts and see how many I have in my mix this year = 6! Much better than the 3 I had last year. I'm hoping my SFG will be at least twice as good this year. Wink

Excuse me while I do a little dance now...
rahrah smiles boogie woogie happy turtle happy dance yahoo veggie fun fun veggie weeee :dancingpepper: chicken dance hb rock on

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/1/2011, 2:49 pm

What a score on the vermiculite!!!! I would be dancing, too. The stuff I bought this year was still a bit frozen. Talk about a pain to mix. I wish they had discounted mine.

Your indoor stuff looks great so far, imo.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Chopper on 4/1/2011, 3:03 pm

I must say that last year basil was my one super producer. I still have some pesto in the freezer.

Where else would you post pictures of compost and then have people look on in envy?! LOL.

And BackYardBirdGardener: Love the avatar!

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  dizzygardener on 4/1/2011, 3:08 pm

affraid $10 for 3 bags of Vermiculite?!

The word jealous does not even begin to describe how I am feeling right now!

Congrats!

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 4/10/2011, 12:03 am

The boxes are built!!! And filled!!! I'm so happy. My DH spent the whole day with a rented cement mixer and mixed the MM for all of my boxes. He even took the MM out of my boxes from last year and re-mixed it with more compost. I only had 3 kinds of compost last year and that did not go well.

Here are some pics of the building and filling:


Box one almost filled:


Just about to start filling box two:


Yeah!!! They're all done:


Just needs a grid and I'm ready to plant!


Once I can scrounge up some more $$, I'm going to lay down mulch in between the beds to use as a path and keep the weeds/grass down.

My two table tops are all filled and ready to go. DH placed them behind the boxes, but by the time he was done it was getting dark. Pics to come once I get my grids on. I bought some nylon twine in HOT PINK to use for my grid. Can't help it.. I'm a girly girl. Very Happy

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  middlemamma on 4/10/2011, 12:09 am

AWESOME!!!! So exciting!!!

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  quiltbea on 4/10/2011, 10:55 am

Great. Doesn't it feel good to be ready for planting? That mixer was a terrific idea. Your hubby is a keeper.

Have you started hardening off your seedlings yet? I put out my broccoli and cabbage seedlings an hour yesterday. I'm sooooo eager, just like you.


Good luck and have fun.

quiltbea

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 4/10/2011, 3:09 pm

Yes I have started hardening off my seedlings. We've been getting some nice weather here lately. Above freezing most days (and nights too). So, the babies have been going outside to play.

I'm going to plant my Carrot Week carrots in a few days and today I'm going to put some MM in a square foot pot and plant my peas. A little late, I know, but better late than never!

I picked up a frost blanket yesterday so once I plant out my cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, peas, carrots and lettuce I am ready for a frost! Which I'm sure we will get again before the middle of May.

rock on

Blackrose

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Ready to go!

Post  Blackrose on 4/19/2011, 11:18 am

The Mel's Mix is in and the grids are on! cheers

Here's my 2011 SFG ready to go (except for trellises):


How do you like that HOT PINK grid? I'm such a girl! Very Happy

Here is box 1 with the 2x3 top hat to grow the carrots in. I finally got my Nantes Carrots planted for Carrot Week.


I used the "make your own seed tape with paper towel" method. The kids and I made a few the other day for Craft Time. I'll help them plant theirs out in the next day or two.

Last but not least our my Pea pots:

I think I may have to move them. They are in the shade first thing in the morning and I noticed that the top of the MM is a little frozen. I know the peas can take it, so I'm not too worried. The only thing I wonder is if it will slow down their germination and growing.

That's it for today. I've got some of my seedling babies outside hardening off. I'm hoping the weather will be nice enough over the next few days to a week to get them in the SFG.

Blackrose

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

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