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Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

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Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  NHGardener on 3/6/2011, 5:55 pm

According to what I've been able to gather, from the New England Region (5a), I'm supposed to start these indoors (on various dates):

cucumber
broccoli
eggplant
lettuce
yellow squash (summer)
zucchini (summer)
bell pepper
pumpkin
tomato (6 types)
herbs (basil, oregano, parsley)

And these directly to the garden when it's time:

corn
peas
pole bean

Does that sound right? That's a lot of indoor plantings - I think I'm going to have to go with the 20" x 20" heat mat instead of the smaller one.

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  lisaphoto on 3/6/2011, 9:11 pm

I would say some of them you could direct plant if you needed to, especially the lettuce, basil, cucumber, and squashes, as they all grow fairly quickly.

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  camprn on 3/6/2011, 9:19 pm

@NHGardener wrote:According to what I've been able to gather, from the New England Region (5a), I'm supposed to start these indoors (on various dates):

cucumber

broccoli
eggplant
lettuce
yellow squash (summer)
zucchini (summer)

bell pepper
pumpkin
tomato (6 types)
herbs (basil, oregano, parsley)

And these directly to the garden when it's time:

corn
peas
pole bean


Does that sound right? That's a lot of indoor plantings - I think I'm going to have to go with the 20" x 20" heat mat instead of the smaller one.

Everything that is orange I will be direct seeding into the garden. Except for the corn. I wont be growing corn.

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  quiltbea on 3/6/2011, 10:13 pm

I agree with camprn.

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  NHGardener on 3/6/2011, 10:39 pm

THANK YOU!!!

That just made my life a whole lot easier.

The charts from the Almanac and Johnny's had indoor seeding dates for those plants (as well as outdoor seeding dates), but I guess that doesn't mean you need to indoor seed them.

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direct-seeding

Post  ander217 on 3/7/2011, 9:43 am

I always direct-seed my basil and parsley, too. Parsley takes forever to germinate, but I am patient. It can be started with the cool-weather crops, but basil goes in with the heat-lovers.

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  walshevak on 3/7/2011, 10:03 am

I gave up on parsley from seed and now just buy the plants. Here is my parsley/greek oregano pot making a comback from the winter. Pic on 16 Feb. and all looks much better now. Oregano is a perennial and will keep coming back. Parsley is a biennial so guess I may just get through till summer when it will probably bolt and have to be torn out and replaced.




Dill reseeded itself in the top and is now about 2" high. I just pulled some seed off the plant one day and threw it into the top of the pot.

Sure wish I could get another pot like this one. Bought it in England in 2001 and have never found another plastic one like it.

Kay

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  camprn on 3/7/2011, 11:04 am

@ander217 wrote:I always direct-seed my basil and parsley, too. Parsley takes forever to germinate, but I am patient. It can be started with the cool-weather crops, but basil goes in with the heat-lovers.
I just sowed my basil seed indoors here in zone 5A. cyclops

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Oops

Post  ander217 on 3/7/2011, 3:12 pm

Oops, I didn't realize this was the New England regional forum. What works here may not work there.

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  acara on 3/7/2011, 8:05 pm

@walshevak wrote:



Sure wish I could get another pot like this one. Bought it in England in 2001 and have never found another plastic one like it.

Kay

Kay ... I walk by them almost every day at Home Depot. That's a little bigger than I usually see them, but they are typically called "strawberry pots" down here & they are usually in the terracotta section with the round pots.
It may just be a Florida thing, but I've never seen a Home Depot down here without a least a dozen of them in stock. II'm pretty sure I've seen them in fiberglass and/or plastic too.

I'll do some digging around for ya

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  Megan on 3/7/2011, 8:08 pm

I have two of those, one plastic and one terra cotta. They are "strawberry pots" here, too. I haven't seen them in the big box stores, but our feed supply place (Southern States) has many in terra cotta, in all different sizes. The plastic one was a gift from my mother-in-law; she took a class and planted it with lots of different herbs last year. Not sure where it came from but, obviously available.

I do prefer the terra cotta one. You have to be careful to keep it damp, but I think the trade-off is that it breathes, while the plastic one does not. If you get a new terra cotta one, I suggest submerging it in a big bucket of water and let it sit overnight, or at least until the "singing" stops. (Lots of little air bubbles come out.) And get a terra cotta saucer to go under it and keep it full. That's what I did, anyway, and my strawberries grown from seed did very well in it last year.



Last edited by Megan on 3/7/2011, 8:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add picture)

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  quiltbea on 3/7/2011, 8:15 pm

And don't forget to put terra cotta pots in a bucket or child's pool of water and let it soak til it no longer soaks up water. That initial soaking works wonders for the water needs by the pot later.

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  NHGardener on 3/7/2011, 9:23 pm

Are those pots really better than rectangular regular planting boxes for herbs? If they are, I think I'll find one. (It looks like it might take up a little too much soil and space for the # of herbs you get sticking thru?)

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  Megan on 3/7/2011, 9:32 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Are those pots really better than rectangular regular planting boxes for herbs? If they are, I think I'll find one. (It looks like it might take up a little too much soil and space for the # of herbs you get sticking thru?)

It does take a fair amount of mix, and you do have to keep it damp if it's terra cotta. My jury is still out in terms of use for herbs. The herb planter I was given (about same size as the strawberry one I pictured) was fantastic for what it was, but I am not sure how it overwintered. (My own fault, I should have protected it better.) Some of the chives are coming back, anyway. If you want small amounts of a lot of different herbs, not much space, and don't mind replanting at least some of them each year, it is worth a try.

The clay ones, at least, are pretty expensive, though. The ones I found were all hand-thrown. Forget what I paid for mine but it was more than I expected or wanted to spend, $30+ range I think? Next time I am out that way I will check prices. For a less costly alternative, check out Josh's flower wall. He did a great job making ad-hoc flower planters with 2-liter soda bottles and attaching them to a fence.

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  acara on 3/7/2011, 9:49 pm

They make glazed ceramic versions of those too, in pretty colors ..... but yr talking some serious coin for those (seen $300+ versions)

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  walshevak on 3/7/2011, 10:07 pm

It is called a strawberry pot in England too. I don't really think this is a "better" way to grow herbs, but I just liked the look of it. The reason I like this plastic pot is because I was able to cut open the "holes" for a better fit to the plants. Can't cut terra cotta. I've toted this thing around with me from England to Chicago, to Azerbaijan and back to the US. It was something I could put on any yard, deck or balcony where I lived and gave me a place to grow something. It's had a variety of herbs and flowers over the years. I also have a glazed terra cotta one that has been filled with chives for the last 4 years, but the holes are not well placed and everything falls out so I just use the top. Don't like it at all.

I've checked at HD, Lowes, and gardening shops in IL, VA, and NC and nobody has ever seen one like it. One shop even got her professional catalogues out to see if she could find one. I got it in the gardening shop of one of the castles I toured in England. That may be another reason why I like it. It brings back memories.

Kay

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  camprn on 3/8/2011, 10:09 am

So NH Gardener, did you plant anything yet?
Very Happy

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  NHGardener on 3/8/2011, 12:05 pm

Well, camprn, it's like this....

First I have to order the soil blocker from Johnny's because no one can possibly have a successful garden without it. And I need the heating mat too. Because even though plants have grown for centuries without a heating mat, apparently they have changed their minds and now insist on one...

But before I can order those, I really wanted to know how many of which plants I need to seed indoors. I got my list of indoors with your help, but now I have to graph my four 4x4 gardens (which are as yet unbuilt but I did get the lumber - YAY) to figure out where I will plant everything, and how many of each I will be planting.

And of course, in order to do that, I also have to figure out companion planting, so my babies will have the benefits of sitting next to their best friends.

And so I am here in a twisted heap trying to figure out how to stick a tiny seed in a little bit of dirt and watch it grow.

haha

Step one - today I will order the heating mat and seed blocker from Johnnys. And I think the 20 quart soil starter. And I'll figure out the rest later. After a snack.

affraid

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  Megan on 3/8/2011, 6:09 pm

@NHGardener wrote:And so I am here in a twisted heap trying to figure out how to stick a tiny seed in a little bit of dirt and watch it grow.

rofl

Laughing with you, not at you.... I know what you mean. Here's a few nutshell things I learned last year:

Most importantly, HAVE FUN WITH IT! Very Happy Stick some seeds in the MM outside... seriously. At least a few of them. You might be surprised at the results. (But I am still jealous of your soil blocker!)

Don't worry too much over companion planting. I worried myself sick and re-drew my beds I don't know how many times over the course of two weeks. The rule of thumb I finally worked out for myself is, "If it goes well in spaghetti sauce, it probably grows well together...and spaghetti sauce isn't wild about brassicas or curcurbits." I'm trying to follow that this year, mostly.

On the other hand, DO spend some time thinking about water and how you're going to get it on your plants. You may want to think about it now before your boxes are built, because it may change some of your construction plans.

Access is important. A plant that will grow really large may be hard to reach past to get to an interior square. On the other hand, if it's something fast-growing like radishes or lettuce, or an early spring plant, you can probably sneak in a crop before the other plant gets to full size. Also, height access... I'm quite tall and was still playing reach/hop-on-tippy-toe trying to get at pole beans on a trellis in the middle of a 4-foot-wide bed, because I didn't plan that right. (Imagine 6' tall person, feet on landscape timbers 4 feet apart, reaching and hopping up and down trying to get at beans 7 feet in the air and trying to land back again on the timbers, NOT on the MM.... not one of my more graceful moments. Rolling Eyes )

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  NHGardener on 3/8/2011, 7:48 pm

Thank you for your kind response, Megan! Smile

Wow, the spaghetti sauce method is neat. I've heard of the lasagna method of gardening that talks about layering organic material to get the best soil - now there's the spaghetti sauce planting method too. That should be easy to remember.

Pole beans grow to 7'??? And you had that high of a trellis? Wow. Did you use one of those pipe trellises and hang the string down?

Those are really good tips. For water, there's no water out there, but I figured I can hook together as many garden hoses as it takes to get out there - I'll probably have the longest garden hose in the state. Guess I better splurge for the no-kink hoses.

Big plants in the back, small plants in the front. I think I may leave companion planting issues to Season Two. I should probably leave the blockers to season two also, but I'm dying to make those cool looking squares. And then you stack one inside the other... fun.

I hope you post pictures of your garden this summer - Virginia must be one of the best places to garden - not too hot, not too cold.

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  Megan on 3/8/2011, 8:34 pm

LOL... I came up with the spaghetti sauce thing because it helped me remember it. I am dyslexic and anything that helps me out is a good thing. Smile

Pole beans can easily go over 7 foot if given a support tall enough. They would probably go 10 feet, no problem. Actually, come to think of it, they can go past that, because they broke off the tassel on my corn and that was at LEAST 11 feet.

Electrical conduit comes in 10 foot lengths. I cut my trellises to 6'-6", on the theory that being 6 feet tall myself and that plants would probably go a little higher than the trellis, I should still be able to reach them. (I can just barely reach 8-ft if I really stretch.) That actually worked out really well, though the conduit sank down on the rebar a bit and shrank the height down a little, I kept pulling it back up again. This year I'm going to try to figure out some kind of "washer" to prevent that from happening.

As for your other question, I made the typical U-shape trellis with the conduit and some joining hardware, then strung it with nylon trellis netting. (The whole thing was anchored with rebar.) I may try the pole beans with actual poles this year, but I think the advantage of the trellis is that the vines spread out. I've read a lot about the pole "teepees" and what it does is concentrate the vines right at the top... and that is where the vines bunch up because they can't go any higher. That happened even on my trellis. Makes it hard to get in there and pick the beans. Pole beans (at least the ones I grew last year) bear all season, so you have to keep an eye on them if you want "string beans"....and it's like a treasure hunt to find them in a big clump of vines and leaves. (If you want dry beans, it doesn't matter.)

Water: My story last year was that I started out trying to use the dipper method, and while it worked out great for a little while, I rapidly ran into a time wall. Then I tried to use the hose....and how my beds were laid out and where the hose was, the hose kept trying to raise up and scrape across the top of my beds (and my poor plants!) even after I bought some hose guides. After that, I tossed in the towel and went to actual irrigation. It was another expense, but at the time I could afford it, and I'm glad I did it. There are a lot of people here on the forum who speak very fondly of wand-watering, though, so maybe something like that will work for you. (And I definitely suggest the no-kink hoses, if you're going to go that route.)

Thanks, I hope to post a lot of pictures...and I hope you do, too! Very Happy Can't wait to see how it all works out for you. (I try to post pictures of my failures, too, in hopes it might help someone else.)


Last edited by Megan on 3/8/2011, 8:40 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  acara on 3/8/2011, 8:36 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Those are really good tips. For water, there's no water out there, but I figured I can hook together as many garden hoses as it takes to get out there - I'll probably have the longest garden hose in the state. Guess I better splurge for the no-kink hoses.


If you have that long of a run & can get away with it, I'd hard-line it with something like 1/2" pvc & use a 1/2" -> 3/4" hose adaptor, with a jumper hose or tygon-tube on each end. You''ll save yourself a whole lot of money that way (commercial grade no-kink hose is EXPENSIVE and hard to repair if you get a leak somewhere in the run ...... PVC not so much Very Happy ). Plus the PVC can be buried, so it's not a trip hazard ...... or lawnmower food (ask me how I know that one Rolling Eyes )

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  Megan on 3/8/2011, 8:41 pm

+1!

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  NHGardener on 3/8/2011, 9:22 pm

Nylon trellis netting - great idea! Not expensive either, and neither is the electrical conduit (both of which I just looked up). Does the trellis netting work with tomatoes too, or peppers?

And the PVC instead of hose sounds like a great idea too - only it'd have to be pretty long, maybe it connects with those connector things, I've never looked into that. Can't I just hook the final hose length onto an oscillating sprinkler?

Looking forward to seeing everyone's photos as this summer goes on, and I will post mine, hopefully there will be more to post than several 4' lengths of cedar - ha.

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Re: Question about my 17 indoor plantings planning

Post  Megan on 3/8/2011, 9:52 pm

You can get the trellis netting at big box stores for about $3-$4 per net (which is enough for one trellis about 4' x 8', if I remember right...but check dimensions before you buy.) Mel's book has great instructions for tying the netting onto the trellis frame. Trim the net down to fit your frame, but whatever you do, leave the strings long as possible, so you have something to work with when you're tying it off on the frame. Sounds complicated, but it's not, you'll see once you start, if you try it.

Trellising works for tomatoes, if they are indeterminate. Vining squash can also be trellised, though if the fruit are very large, you will need to pay close attention and maybe reinforce the trellis. I never thought of trying to trellis peppers... imho, they are better off with cages, but if you didn't have anything else and there is a trellis nearby you could probably tie it off to help hold the weight. Peppers don't really lend themselves to trellising, though, at least not the ones I've seen so far. I'd stake before I'd trellis.

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