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SPRING 2011

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SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/21/2011, 8:41 am

What's going on in everyone's garden in the Lower South Reigin?

I wish I could post pictures, maybe I'll figure out how on this computer this week. I've got broccoli about 3" accross, cabbage that looks good, and califlower starting to perk up, no heads yet. The radish seeds Kimbertangleknot sent are doing great, I planted them to help keep the squash bugs at bay, but no one here likes them however, I did find out my grandson loves them, so he should have plenty AND to spare. Carrots and beets are peeking out, not happy with the germination rate of beets, less than half, but it was old seed (no idea how old) and I just needed to finsih the packet off so any that come up will be used. Hubby still wonders why I don't just do a whole box of beets, but then he still rows and has not yet figured out the stagger planting method yet. Romaine and Black Seeded Leaf are looking good, so is the spinach, but the heat is wilting the broccoli, califlower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage during the heat of the day, and it's still March, so I'm not sure how much spinach we will get. The Malibar Spinach QuiltBea sent is peeking up as is the swiss chard.

We still have 1 8x4, 6x4, and 5 4x4's waiting on dirt and trelis' for winter squash and other things. I just realized I have run out of room for all the tomato seedlings, but then hubby wanted all these varieties and exotics, I am to the point I just want to grow what we eat and nothing else. I'm all for trying new things, but really need the space first. I loved acara's tomato collars http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5396-and-so-it-begins#48988
and the smaller beds for maters, may throw one together for hubby's exotics, or better yet, have the 14yo human garbage disposal do it for me, I don't know how we could feed him if we did not grow our own......

That's about it here in NE TX, temps have hit the 80's, allergies are acting very bad, everthing, including the cars are green.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  elliephant on 3/21/2011, 2:03 pm

Thanks for sending the link to those "collars." That was a timely reminder for me as it ties into an idea I had while falling asleep last night. Yes, I think about gardening as I fall asleep now...much less stressful than when I was getting into extreme couponing and would try to put together "deals" in my sleep!

I hope you figure out how to post pics soon!

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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/21/2011, 2:18 pm

It's not so much a matter of posting as it is downloading the pictures to the tower, my laptop is "sick" and I don't want to load anything on this computer yet.

I too dream of gardening, I thought I heard rain the first night I allowed my seedlings to spend the night outdoors unattended, I was wide awake at 3 or 4 AM, and I'm at the stage in life where when I wake up, I'm up, also naps now make me cranky. It was too dark to go outside, and I don't have night vision goggles, so I just layed there and plotted my squares.....
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/23/2011, 11:33 am

Well, I got to go out and harvest some broccoli this morning. I only grabbed 5 small heads, about the size of the palm of my hand (still on tower computer and not sure about uploading pitcures yet), but oh so good. They were starting to open up, and the plants had tiny side shoots, so it was time. I left 3 out there in that box, they were still tight, and still have 8 in another.

I also grabbed a spinach leaf, a leaf lettuce leaf, and a romaine leaf, all of which were not bigger than a quarter, but I wanted to "test" them, and as that tv chef guy says "MMMMMM It's SSSOOOOOOO good".

I realized yesterday I have too many tomatoes for the space I have, so I'll be out there today making some 1x however long I can find a board boxes, to put all of hubbys "exotic" tomatoes in, and in a year or two, use those for raspberries and blueberries.

On a lighter note, the keeper of the checkbook (hubby-yes he knows, & he thinks its funny) was in a good mood yesterday when we went to Lowe's. I picked up 2 packages of 3" peat pots for $2 ea with 22 pots in a package. He asked how much- as always-I explained, he commented that the newspaper pots I was making were free. I graciously explained that yes, but it takes me 1 hour to make 10 pots, & I went into great detail on how it's done. When he figured out excitedly that those peat pots were a nickle each, I asked if I could get a couple more, he sent me back for some.... It's all in the math of it I guess, but that's what I get for marrying someone with a genius IQ.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  ashort on 3/23/2011, 11:39 am

I am afraid my broccoli is going to end up being harvested while it is still small too. If I can just make it past the 86 deg day coming on Friday, then it cools back to the 70's for the next week....
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ha

Post  yosoypanadero on 3/23/2011, 11:40 am

It must be so terrible to have these problems in March.... I am still waiting for the last frost!
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/23/2011, 11:48 am

We may have more outside growing time, BUT as Boffer pointed out on another thread, our bugs are straight out of a Sci-Fi movie, and are already here. We've been killing squash bugs who are out there waiting on me to get my squash out. And the mesquitos here, lets just say small children and small animals are not safe, they could be carried away. Count your blessings, name them one by one, and you'll see bugs the size of VW Beetles are not on that list.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  ashort on 3/23/2011, 12:09 pm

yosoypanadero wrote:It must be so terrible to have these problems in March.... I am still waiting for the last frost!

Yeah, that's the best part of living in NE Tx. 50% probability of last frost was March 18 ( less than a week ago) and 90% probability of last frost is not until April 6 which is still like two weeks away.... So techinically it could still freeze and kill some of my veggies. I have been waiting to really put out peppers and tomatoes and eggplants as I don't want to spend $50 on transplants just to have them all die in a freak cold front...
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/23/2011, 12:19 pm

I am so on the same page as you ashort, April 1 is my stick out the plants date, my back is telling me one more nasy cold, and March came in like a lamb, and with all the wind we are having and the storms on the way this weekend, I'm not sitcking 2 months worth of seedling work out just yet.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  ashort on 3/23/2011, 12:29 pm

FarmerValerie wrote:I am so on the same page as you ashort, April 1 is my stick out the plants date, my back is telling me one more nasy cold, and March came in like a lamb, and with all the wind we are having and the storms on the way this weekend, I'm not sitcking 2 months worth of seedling work out just yet.

I am going to have to try starting my own seeds for the fall garden... with the money spent on transplants, I could probably just buy the dang veggies all full grown at the supermarket....
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/23/2011, 12:59 pm

cheers If I remember I'll try to post dates to start fall crops when I am starting them, if I forget (or lose my sticky note) please remind me!!!
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/24/2011, 4:49 pm

I've noticed some of our neighbors to the North East have frost warnings for tonight. Although it's only going to drop to the mid 50's here in NE TX, we are expecting some scattered storms and temps in the mid to low 40's over the next 10 days. Take care of your babies and cover them.

Here in the Lower South we should be out of danger of freeze, however stranger things have happened, like 49 out of 50 states having snow earlier this year-way to go FL. Simply covering with plastic should be enough to protect from a light frost, but keep an eye on the weather just in case, my back, my son, and some older people here in my local area say we are not done with old man winter just yet, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I get my detailed weather from weather.com, I can check rain chance, dryness maps, pollen count, watering need, and UV count all in one site.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  ashort on 3/24/2011, 4:59 pm

Looks to be a bit warmer for us city folk... low of 49 is what I see on the forecast... 2 days of mid 80's and then back to low to mid 70's...

C'mon little broccoli's you can hold out two more days w/o flowering....
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/24/2011, 5:03 pm

Yep, I got some broccolli that do not yet have heads, they wilt during the day, and perk back up at night. To many days of this heat and I will have to wait until fall for any more broccolli.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/27/2011, 1:52 pm

I just heard something that I thought was very interesting, on Living Natural First (if you are in TX listen online or through their phone APP, they are out of Dallas, WBAP, airs on Sundays right after Neil Sperry's show).

If you are seeing June bugs (they showed up here the other day) you probably will see grubs too, and I did in my strawberry patch the other day. Now is the time to spray beneficial nemotodes on your lawn and garden. Chances are they will not migrate to your SFG, but if you see them, you can use these beneficial nematodes to get rid of them naturally.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  Old Hippie on 3/27/2011, 2:04 pm

FarmerValerie wrote:
On a lighter note, the keeper of the checkbook (hubby-yes he knows, & he thinks its funny) was in a good mood yesterday when we went to Lowe's. I picked up 2 packages of 3" peat pots for $2 ea with 22 pots in a package. He asked how much- as always-I explained, he commented that the newspaper pots I was making were free. I graciously explained that yes, but it takes me 1 hour to make 10 pots, & I went into great detail on how it's done. When he figured out excitedly that those peat pots were a nickle each, I asked if I could get a couple more, he sent me back for some.... It's all in the math of it I guess, but that's what I get for marrying someone with a genius IQ.

Oh I hear you! Doesn't it get a bit tiresome be married to someone with a genius IQ? I definitely lowered the gene pool in our family.

Gwynn
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/27/2011, 2:11 pm

LLLLLLLOOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGG on intelligence, short on common sense, give me common sense ANY DAY. Makes for some interesting date nights though.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  ashort on 3/27/2011, 6:59 pm

Stupid hot weather blew up my broccoli - apparently they have lovely yellow flowers.. this happened in like 8 hours. It was fine on Friday morning before work and when I came home it was like 85 and broccoli bloomed....




And today the high is not going to get into the 60's....


Last edited by ashort on 3/27/2011, 7:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/27/2011, 7:07 pm

Hot? It has yet to get above 50 today, and yes broccoli has pretty yellow flowers, I let some go once just for fun.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/27/2011, 8:38 pm

Okay, here comes the cold, and a misty rain. I pulled in everything that was not planted in the ground (box), just brought the whole shelf in. It's colder than a ______________ (fill in the blank-not really just kidding).
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  CarolynPhillips on 4/1/2011, 9:29 am

I can grow broccoli and cauliflower in the Spring down here but it never produces like it should
and it does bolt sooner than it should. Most of the time it is a waste of my effort and money to
grow either one of those in the Spring. Cabbage does great in the Spring down here.
I rather grow broccoli and cauliflower in the Fall on into the winter. I am going to try setting out a second crop about 3 wks after the first one this fall and see what happens. Plus , someone suggested that I plant out the broccoli and the caulifflower 3 weeks sooner in the spring and see if that helps prevent bolting. Thats the great thing about having any type of small greenhouse= such as a an old swing set frame with poly thrown over it.(gotta love those old swing frames)

Anyway= I did not grow cole crops this Spring. Had other things to tend to. I have planted many many tomato plants in the greenhouse garden. But I did that differently too. Not the average gardening method. My method would probably cause a riot. I don't have the time to put in the other sfg beds that I wanted to this year. Might get around to it this fall. Many of my plants are growing in pots this year. Including the squash. I put two squash plants and two calendula plants in a 25 gallon pot. (4 of them so far) Need to do a few more. The pots already had soil in them from growing corn back in the fall that never made corn big enough to eat. I could actually get away with growing 3 squash per pot. Still pondering on that one.
And so far I have 18 pepper plants growing in 10 gallon pots. and 4 Better bush toms in 10 gallon pots.
I am saving my sfg beds for stuff like bush beans, cucumbers, cantaloupes, melons, okra, lettuce, carrots, beets, spinach vine, radish, potatoes , corn, onions, garlic, herbs, flowers and a few more tomato vines.
Plus I am growing 64 tomato plants the old fashion gardening way. In a giant Cage. Just simpler that way. One tomato plant will fill up a 3ft x3 ft plot and can produce around 200 pounds of tomatoes or more if it stays healthy long enough. I have it all growing all over the place in all sorts of ways.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/1/2011, 9:33 am

cheers

YOU GROW GIRL!!!

Keep us posted as you can, I know you have a lot going on, and add to it all this tending and care taking, and I'm am in awe.

Sending you a wishing you success and peace of mind.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  ashort on 4/1/2011, 2:23 pm

Beans and cucumbers went in yesterday. Going to plant some peppers and onions tonight and then start building the next box tomorrow...
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/1/2011, 3:10 pm

Watch out, we are supposed to have lows dipping into the 40's in our neck of the woods the next week or two. I was preparing to put things out tonight and hubby suggested I wait due to the lows. Translation, I am not getting more dirt this weekend, we are not getting more 1x10's built for his tomatoes, and we are not going to get covers up for "just in case". I'm tired of waiting, and I really should change my name to "The Little Red Hen", cuz I'm the one actually getting dirity, but then if we do lose some I get to hear "I told you so". UUGHGGHH. I'm running out of room on my outdoor shelves.
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Re: SPRING 2011

Post  CarolynPhillips on 4/1/2011, 3:15 pm

I think we will have a night down to 40 degrees next week. Other than that= it all looks above 40. Thats a little nippie for the cucumbers but I have to set mine out now too. I started them in 2inch size pots and they are ready to go out. I started all my vining plants already and they are all ready to go out. The mini cantaloupes, small melons, cukes, spinach, beans. I even started the okra already but its too soon to set them out. Gotta wait for it to warm up more for those. There is one bed that I do have to make which I have already made the frame 4x4 and its for a square of corn and I started those plants too. I just have to set it and prepare the soil.
I was just on lunch break and wanted to communicate. Have fun gardening.
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