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February Gardening

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February Gardening

Post  Old Hippie on 2/6/2011, 3:09 pm

Let's see if I can get this done before my internet connection drops out again. Third time lucky perhaps?

Gardening in Zone 3b has it's challenges. So far the snow is still much to deep to even see anything out there. Right now almost all I can do is look at seed catalogues and dream. It is always so easy for me to get carried away by all the lovely pictures in the seed catalogues and go really nuts. BUT I have set myself a goal to stick to as many heirloom varieties as I possibly can as well as to deal with companies that promote saving your own seeds. Some companies have patented their seeds and actually have printed on their seed packages that it is illegal for you to save seed to use the following year. I am not in favour of any company having a patent on our food source so these are seed companies I am using.

www.westcoastseeds.com
www.saltspringseeds.com (this one only ships in Canada)
www.heritageharvestseed.com

To relieve the itch to grow SOMETHING, I have some herbs indoors in small pots in the kitchen. They have started to grow in the past couple of weeks since the daylight hours have increased. It shouldn't be too long before I can start snipping bits of them for cooking. There is nothing like fresh herbs for cooking. Our final frost date here is about June 12 so it is still a bit early to start tomatoes, etc. indoor but
some plants that I put in the basement for the winter are showing signs of growth so it won't be long now.

Late in the fall I planted some things in the cold frame to give them an earlier start in the spring. I haven't tried that before. Once the snow has melted enough for me to get to it, I will check and see what things are like inside it.

I am excited about the plan for everyone to start a square or two of carrots on April 15. What a lovely idea. Hopefully, we can all take part in this as it should be fun to compare results. I usually still have a frozen garden at that point but have decided to start mine in 5-gal pails filled with MM. I don't see why it shouldn't work as a book I have on potager gardens recommends growing carrots in buckets of sand if your soil is mostly heavy clay. I have never tried it so this will be a fun experiment.

What is everyone else doing while waiting for the snow to melt and the ground to thaw? Have you all started things in doors yet? What are your favourite seed companies?

Hope this finds you all dreaming of SFG.

Gwynn
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Re: February Gardening

Post  Blackrose on 2/6/2011, 5:53 pm

I have planted herbs indoors as well. My lovely Mother lent me her baker's rack to use for my seedlings. I hung a grow light from the shelf above, plugged it into a timer and put my herbs in soil blocks underneath. I'm liking this setup much better! I can adjust the height as needed and am able to get the light much closer to my seedlings to combat legginess.

Middlemamma sent me some artichoke seeds thanks , so I'm going to start those either tonight or tomorrow. I bought a heat mat to place them on so I can regulate the temperature to try and got the highest germination rate possible. I hope it works!

My last frost date here in 5a is around May 15th. I created a Seed Starting Chart so I know when to start certain seeds indoors. After the artichokes, my next starts will be peas and peppers on February 20th. bounce

I'm itching for !!!
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Re: February Gardening

Post  Old Hippie on 2/6/2011, 7:13 pm

@Blackrose wrote:
My last frost date here in 5a is around May 15th. I created a Seed Starting Chart so I know when to start certain seeds indoors. After the artichokes, my next starts will be peas and peppers on February 20th. bounce

Ohhhhh a last frost date of May 15th. That is a whole month more than I have. I can only dream.

I would love to try growing artichokes but since I am the only one that eats them it doesn't seem like a good use of space. However they are such a unique plant that I may try growing one in a pot just for the novelty.

The seed starting chart sounds like a great idea. How are you setting it up? Are you doing it one computer and how do you figure it all out?

Here's what winter gardening looks like in Zone 3b



The garden is under there somewhere in front of the apple tree. Back against the garage to the right of the apple tree is where we plan to put the greenhouse.

Gwynn
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Re: February Gardening

Post  Blackrose on 2/6/2011, 7:23 pm

@Old Hippie wrote:
I would love to try growing artichokes but since I am the only one that eats them it doesn't seem like a good use of space. However they are such a unique plant that I may try growing one in a pot just for the novelty.

To be quite honest with you, I'm not sure if you would get any artichokes from it in your zone. I could be wrong, so please don't quote me, but I'm under the understanding that even I am pushing it in 5a. As it is, I won't be able to save the plant as a perennial and will have to start new ones each year as it won't survive our harsh winters. Can anyone else with more knowledge on growing artichokes pipe up on this one?

@Old Hippie wrote:
The seed starting chart sounds like a great idea. How are you setting it up? Are you doing it one computer and how do you figure it all out?

Actually, Camprn posted a link to a spreadsheet in this post (on page 3): http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4913p30-seed-starting-and-spacing-indoors

I downloaded the spreadsheet to my computer and modified for my garden. It seems to be the perfect thing to keep track of when to plant what.

@Old Hippie wrote:
Here's what winter gardening looks like in Zone 3b



The garden is under there somewhere in front of the apple tree. Back against the garage to the right of the apple tree is where we plan to put the greenhouse.

Gwynn

That's about what my backyard looks like right now. We've had so much snow lately!
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Re: February Gardening

Post  Goosegirl on 2/20/2011, 5:52 pm

I have 2 baker's racks and had already decided to hang my lights on one of them and set it up as a plant nursery. I'm glad to hear that someone else is already trying it and likes it!
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