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Late March update

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Late March update

Post  jerzyjen on 3/28/2011, 12:13 pm

Here's my update from a very very cold South Jersey (we have managed to miss the snow lately, but just barely).

Outside this weekend, I have peas popping up, planted back on March 1st. I don't have them covered at all, so they probably are growing a bit slower with the on again, off again cold weather.



My table tops, with hoop house plastic covers, water bottles and frost protective fabric.
I've got really nice lettuce and spinach greens coming up.



I've done my planting layout in a row style (because I like that look), but still holding the SFG spacing. It takes a bit more thought but I'm still basically planting in invisible SFG blocks. Some blocks just have 2 different types of veggies in them. This is just for my table tops and trellis box, the tomato boxes will still be in blocks (although I'm not putting down grids).

And Indoors...space at the growing station is at a premium, so unfortunately I can't get any flower starts just yet.



Various Tomato starts & parsley


Mostly pepper starts. A couple tomatos, eggplant, & chives in the cool whip bucket.


You know I was really hoping March would hold true with its "out like a lamb", but that doesn't seem to be the case this year. Sad

HURRY UP SPRING!!
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Re: Late March update

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/28/2011, 3:30 pm

Wow, this looks so awesome! And, it looks like the hoops have helped?

Another thing: Why no grid? Personal preference, space constraints, ripping up the plastic with nails? I am just curious because I really like the looks of the grid in there with mine.
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Re: Late March update

Post  jerzyjen on 3/28/2011, 9:12 pm

Just an aestetic choice. I really like the look of the row garden, like those french kitchen garden beds (potager garden). I used the grids the first 2 years and had no problems. I know some people have reported critters hiding underneath, but I didn't have that problem, just not a fan of the look.

I think this means it's not truly sfg... i dunno.
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Re: Late March update

Post  Megan on 3/28/2011, 9:18 pm

One advantage I found to squares last year was that the plants helped to reinforce each other, as the same plants (with same spacing, height, and width) were all together and they seemed to support each other against wind and rain. It was also much easier to harvest it, too, since I planted them in staggered plantings and could just kneel in place and harvest what I wanted rather than try to shuffle off down the row, harvesting as I went.
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Re: Late March update

Post  jerzyjen on 3/30/2011, 11:00 am

I can see that would be a major advantage in a larger garden. The box is only 6' long, so not a huge deal lol. I did succession plant every 24" going from left to right, so the spinach & lettuce on the left will be ready to havest together, moving on down the line. I may end up hating this and moving back to true squares next year, just something to try different this year.

I definatly don't think this will work with all veggies, but i think it will be ok for the greens. It would be like, instead of planting 4 lettuce in one square, its 2 lettuce in the bottom half of the square and 2 spinach in the top half of the square. Since i like to harvest at baby size, I'm hoping they will all live happily together.
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Re: Late March update

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/30/2011, 2:29 pm

jerzyjen wrote:I think this means it's not truly sfg... i dunno.

Here's the thing, imo. You have done this for several years. You made your choice. Fine. Not ever gonna hear anything from me.

While there are some things around here that are fundamental, like the grid, I can also see people being able to still use a grid-like system called experience. I think the newer people should use a grid. For me, it's like training wheels. I am learning to visualize my garden and the space within. I can't guarantee I will still be using a grid when I'm 99 years old. But, for now, I still need it.

Question: Since you can space spinach closer than lettuce supposedly, do you run 3 spincach in the top row for every 2 lettuce in the bottom. You mentioned going 2 and 2 if you were using a grid.....I would probably do more. And, I think it would look kind of cool, too.

Again, it's visual. For now, I am keeping all varieties of the same veggie in the same square. I have 4 different carrots in one square, for instance......one row of 4 for each variety. I could also do four lettuce varieties in the same box and have my "salad a day" box right there. I can't visualize carrots and spinach sharing a box....well, not before you got me thinking.

Again, that's not "Mel's way," but if the MM is the same, the bed is raised, and the gridwork and plantings are spaced correctly, it's the same imo. That is an area open for debate for sure. So, while some would tell me it's not technically SFG, I would beg them to point out where I violated a principle with 4 carrots, a black simspon lettuce, and a vivian romaine lettuce in the same square? But, no doubt that would take massive experience to pull off......something I don't have yet.
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Re: Late March update

Post  walshevak on 3/30/2011, 2:52 pm

Somewhere in a thread somebody jokingly mentioned using carrots as the grid. Carrots, radishes, onions any tall slender plant could look interesting used that way. Has anybody ever actually tried it?

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Re: Late March update

Post  Blackrose on 3/30/2011, 4:17 pm

walshevak wrote:Somewhere in a thread somebody jokingly mentioned using carrots as the grid. Carrots, radishes, onions any tall slender plant could look interesting used that way. Has anybody ever actually tried it?

I have it in my plan to use radishes as a grid in my salad box.

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Re: Late March update

Post  walshevak on 3/30/2011, 5:23 pm

Love the plan and can't wait to see a pic of the finished product.

Kay

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Re: Late March update

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/30/2011, 5:25 pm

Now, see? I have been telling people that we have some amazing creativity around here. Case and point....very cool idea.
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Re: Late March update

Post  Blackrose on 3/30/2011, 5:52 pm

BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Now, see? I have been telling people that we have some amazing creativity around here. Case and point....very cool idea.

Well thank you BBG, but I can't take credit for it. Boffer mentioned last season or during the winter some time that he wanted to try planting carrots as a grid. I just decided to try it using radishes. It should be fun to see how it turns out though. Very Happy
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Re: Late March update

Post  jerzyjen on 4/7/2011, 1:04 pm

I put in my little chard this weekend and while I was out there a i took a pic in case my explanation of my "rows" was hard to follow.

If I had a grid on, it would have looked like this


It definately takes alot more thought, I wouldn't recommend doing it this way, ESPECIALLY when you first start.
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Re: Late March update

Post  Dunkinjean on 4/13/2011, 11:00 pm

Jen,

Your garden of boxes looks great!

I was too nervous to start anything until the end of March with the snow and cold. pale

But now I have planted my peas and potatoes. Also some carrots, radishes and lettuce.

Tomorrow I am planting some more carrots for the forum carrots - finally to stop raining tom for one day....I hope.

I like to use grids as a guide since keeps me focused..LOL

Anyway, to each his own and do whatever works for you. There is no wrong only right! bounce

Dunkinjean in Central NJ
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Re: Late March update

Post  middlemamma on 4/13/2011, 11:02 pm

So glad folks are seeing the green in their boxes! Can't wait to say the same!
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