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Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

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Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  peanut0915 on 5/15/2011, 12:35 am

It doesn't seem like this part of the forum is getting much action, so I thought I would ask what all you have planted? I am hoping I haven't jumped the gun, but I put my tomatoes and peppers in the ground this weekend as our temps have been warm for the Salt Lake Valley of Utah (high 70's to 80). We are supposed to get cooler temps in the 60's next week and rain. My plants should be okay, right?

So, anybody else in this region taking a gamble like I am?
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  ModernDayBetty on 5/15/2011, 12:43 am

We are all so different throughout this region. Summer is finally in full swing here in central Washington. We had a slow start, much later than normal. Now that it's finally warm thing are coming along nicely. I have pea's, beans, carrots, onions, pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, watermelon, muskmelon.... And a few herbs. I started late so I don't have any think close to ready to pick but It's just now starting to fill in nicely.
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  peanut0915 on 5/15/2011, 12:52 am

I suppose I should mention what I have in the ground, since I asked everyone else Wink

I did staggered plantings (mid March and mid April) of peas, carrots, green onions, spinach, bibb lettuce, a gourmet lettuce blend, beets, and swiss chard. We have had a very cool and wet spring so my earlier plantings have been really slow to start. My second plantings are quickly catching up. Nothing is even near being ready to harvest yet. I only hope that summer doesn't come hot and fast and kill all my cool weather crops before I can get anything out of them.

This weekend, as I mentioned, we transplanted 8 tomato plants, several types of hot peppers and three different types of bell peppers. I also put in a square of bush bean seeds. My husband also built some boxes for our deck railing where we planted strawberries and herbs from seed (except rosemary, which I transplanted).

I figure that I won't have 100% success, especially considering this is my first year with SFG. But then again, who really does? Would love to hear from others!
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  ModernDayBetty on 5/15/2011, 1:26 am

I forgot my peppers! oops, they'd be so mad ;o) I have two sweet peppers and one hot pepper.
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  middlemamma on 5/15/2011, 2:33 am

I am in your region...Smile And no, we don't get a whole lot of action here.
I planted potato onions and garlic last fall and all of it is coming a long nicely in 2 beds. I have snap peas, radishes (several kinds) lettuce (several kinds) spinach, green onions, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi and cabbage all coming up nicely. I have sown recently but no sprouts yet, celriac, rutabaga, swiss chard, and a second planting of lettuces and radishes. I planted half of my sunflowers and some scarlet runner beans but no sprouts on those yet either.

I have many tomato and pepper starts that need hardening off but the wind here has been insane and I can't set them out in it. Tomorrow hubby and I are gonna try and make a windbreak or else my maters will never get in the ground. I have one more box to fill with MM and I need the wind to die down in order to mix it up.

I still have loads of things here to plant...things are just starting up for me here in the Idaho panhandle.
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  Kelejan on 5/15/2011, 10:11 am

I am in Southern British Columbia Interior and I have just finished filling my third 4x4 yesterday. Each bed was filled with a week in between so the third bed has my tomatoes etc.

My tally includes radish, onions, scarlet runner beans (my favourite veggie), kale, lettuce, swiss chard, snow peas, potatoes, strawberries, marigold and tomatoes.

Oh heck! Just realized I have no carrots and all my squares are full.

I wonder if I can tuck some seed in somewhere? All my radishes are tucked in with slower growing plants.

Now of course when summer comes it will be hot even if some if our friends south of the boarder think we live in igloos. On some days here we can be the hottest place in Canada, especially the region next door to me, the Okanagan, Canada's only desert.

So we have a fairly short growing season with quite extreme weather at times. But May is my favourite month of the year and I savour every day of it. Now we are getting the long days of summer. Further north the growing season gets shorter and shorter. so I am happy to live where I do.

My first square is filling in nicely with all the seeds now sprouting and the transplants making new growth. A few more warm days and the all the surface will be covered to help keep down the weeding. Most of the seeded stuff in the second bed are showing and the transplants are looking good. The third bed was planted yesterday, just a few more seeds to go in on the back row where the trellis is.

Off to water everything now. Rain is forecast later today, but I had better water now just in case. Yesterday rain was forecast and it turned out to be a lovely sunny day so I would have kicked myself if I had not watered.

Now I have run out of squares, Mel's Mix, and money. Very Happy I meant to say, the money I budgeted for this year.

Kelejan
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  peanut0915 on 5/15/2011, 11:32 am

@Kelejan wrote:Now of course when summer comes it will be hot even if some if our friends south of the boarder think we live in igloos.

That just cracks me up! When you said "south of border", I wondered why you were talking about Mexico, and then I realized that we are your south of the border, haha!! rofl

Thanks all for your responses. You can see my beds over in the "show off" forum, although I don't know how to link you there. I haven't updated pics since we put in a few more transplants, but you can at least see our progress so far.

Looking forward to sharing in our experiences in our shared region! Happy planting!
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  Kelejan on 5/15/2011, 11:43 am

Peanut, it is funny how we always talk from our own perspective and assume that everyone knows that South of the Border is the USA. I will have to I remember that song, "South of the Border, down Mexico way." (Probably before your time?)

Finished my watering and was alerted by my small dog to see a black bear running away. I am wondering how close he/she was from me. The bear ran up the neighbour's pathway at the back of their house so I will alert them. They are still in bed so no panic at the moment. They have a little two-year old boy who plays on their new decking. I must make sure that it is safe for him.

When I am watering I get lost in my own dreams so just wasn't aware of this animal close by.
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Working on my second box

Post  MSJ on 5/15/2011, 4:53 pm

I planted my first box Saturday, May 7. By Thursday there were green things poking through. My radishes are at least 1/2". I was amazed and excited and ready to post about it until I realized there are plenty of old pros out there who are used to this kind of thing. I planted two kinds of peas, radishes, beets, Romaine, Spinach, Micro-greens and leaf lettuce.

Yesterday we went to IFA for Mel's Mix for the second box. They have a container gardening mix that is $3.00 cheaper that is similar to Mel's mix and I was sorely tempted but I decided to stick with the original recipe. While we were there it started to get cold and started to rain pretty hard so we decided to plant Monday night. I need to get more netting to cover my beds so it's probably a good thing.

A friend down the street brought me 6 pepper plants she had planted from seed and said to come get some tomatoes later in the day. I brought home 18 tomato plants! She had already planted 69 in her row garden. And I'm not the first person she has shared with. She still had a couple of dozen little plants to find a home for. That is just crazy! She started all of these in the window of her sliding glass door which gets sun from the West all afternoon.

She gave me 4 Cherry, 2 Jubilee, 2 Early Girl, 4 Cherokee purple, 2 Big Boy and 4 yellow pear. I looked them up on the link from an earlier post and they are all indeterminate. I'm not sure where I am going to put them all. I guess I'll head back to the store for more T-posts and a trellis kit. I may do an experimental garden in plain old dirt and compare the results. I have plenty of beds that are not landscaped yet. At least it will keep the weeds down. Another possibility is a community garden she told me about. I'm sure there are those who would welcome donations and the plants would go to those who really need the help putting food on the table.

She does something interesting with her tomatoes to help them adjust to life in the ground. She has been saving plastic milk jugs since January. She cuts the bottoms off and sets one over each transplant to protect them from extreme weather. She cuts a slit around the top about where the handle is to let air circulate. They are like mini-green houses. As they grow she cuts the top off the jug but leaves the plastic circular part in the dirt to protect the roots and frustrate the snails. I thought that was a pretty clever use of recycled materials. She will be busy canning this fall that's for sure.

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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  WendySue67 on 5/17/2011, 12:33 pm

I love this thread because I have really been wondering what is going on in my area! This is my first year with SFG and I am very apprehensive.

I have broccoli (very perky and probably loving the rain and cold weather but not growing much), onions, carrots, garlic are growing fairly well. The lettuce is sprouted but growing really slow--probably also due to the weather I assume. When it got nice and warm last week I planted my tomatoes, jalapenos and sweet peppers but now they are being tortured by the wind and cold Sad

I built a self-irrigating planter box (instructions I found on this forum) and planted 2 of the tomatoes in it. I'm excited to see how they will do in this box so I sure wish the weather would start cooperating! My other tomatoes are in one of the boxes so it will be fun to compare how they perform. I have been covering the tomatoes and peppers at night with plastic and today I am leaving it on since it's cold and cloudy--just lifted a corner to vent it a little.

I also have a box dedicated to potatoes. The potato seeds have been in for about 2 1/2 weeks and I haven't seen anything yet. I also put out my herb seeds, cucumber seeds, and cantaloupe seeds. The cucumber is just barely peeking out as of 2 days ago but nothing from any other seeds yet.

A question about the milk jugs... I have been saving them because I hear these work well and it would be nice to target only the plants that need protecting instead of covering the whole box. Are these a problem in the wind or is there some way to make them stay in place? And is it best to remove the lids to vent the plants or leave them on?

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Milk Jugs

Post  MSJ on 5/17/2011, 6:02 pm

She cuts off the bottom and just fits them right down into the dirt. She takes the lid off and cuts a slit around the jug for circulation. Later on she finishes cutting off the top but leaves the base for support right up until it is time to harvest. I was planning on letting my tomatoes climb posts but I'm not sure how that will work if I decide to use milk jugs. It's all an experiment for me at this point.

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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  efirvin on 1/8/2012, 3:51 pm

I'm late in replying to your post but am planning now for my 2012 garden. I live in Casper WY so I think some of the posters herehave a warmer growing climate than we do.

I haven't done any sfg yet but am seriously looking into it! Also, I have used plastic milk jugs in my row garden and they do work well. I think they would be better in a sfg because of the ease in working with them.

Hope to learn lots here and look forward to the sharing of secrets of growing in our region. bounce
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  ModernDayBetty on 1/8/2012, 4:19 pm

@efirvin wrote:I'm late in replying to your post but am planning now for my 2012 garden. I live in Casper WY so I think some of the posters herehave a warmer growing climate than we do.

I haven't done any sfg yet but am seriously looking into it! Also, I have used plastic milk jugs in my row garden and they do work well. I think they would be better in a sfg because of the ease in working with them.

Hope to learn lots here and look forward to the sharing of secrets of growing in our region. bounce

Welcome!! I think you'll love SFG! It's so much easier in the end. Unfortunately, it's addicting! If you haven't read the book yet I highly recommend it. It's an easy quick read but full of a lot of helpful and important information specific to SFG.

I loved using plastic jugs last year. It worked out so wonderfully! I'm thinking about doing it again this year and trying to start extra early. Our winter has been so warm so far, just freezing at night.

Best of luck to you!! Nice to "meet" you.
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  efirvin on 1/8/2012, 5:29 pm

Thanks for your welcome! Yes, I have the new edition of the sfg book and now my imagination is running wild! We are definitely winter here so its just wishful thinking so far but I can use this idle time to get my frames build and ready to place in my existing garden site. Very Happy
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Denver area here...new to SFG

Post  heather.moore.wine on 4/2/2012, 12:14 pm

Hi everyone...I'm brand new to the forum and hoping for lots of tips!! I live in the northern burbs of the Denver metro area and this is my second year for our backyard vegetable. Last year we just tried what we thought we knew or could figure out from books, family advice and websites. We build 4 raised beds. Two are 2 ft wide X 16ft long, one is 4ft wide X 16ft long and the fourth is 4ft wide X 12 ft long. These weren't built with SFG in mind but I think I can apply the theories given those dimensions. ??? Does that sound true to all you experts?

We did have some great successes last year (squash, beets, radishes, carrots, lettuce, spinach) some decent successes with a few challenges (tomatoes, herbs, bush beans) and some complete failures (cucumbers, peas, pole beans, eggplants, peppers). I'm really hoping to have less failures this year. Maybe SFG is the key.

I don't have any equipment or space in my house to start seeds inside so I will be relying completely on direct sow seeds and nursery plants.

I have a copy of the older SFG book on reserve at our library to pick up this afternoon and plan on starting my reading tonight. Any advance tips?

With it being 80 degrees here yesterday, I am ready to start the planting NOW!!! Smile

Heather
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/2/2012, 12:25 pm

Welcome Heather -

We are so glad to have you here and yes those beds sound lovely...it would be nice if one of the long sides was north so you could put a long trellis for your vining veggies... Smile

One word of initial advice - Try with ALL YOUR MIGHT to get hold of Mel's new book - All New Square Foot Gardening (2006). It's quite different from the old book and much less work! He really changed up the way he did some things. The old book is still a valuable reference, but the method is greatly improved in the new book! okay

One major difference is the Mel's Mix we put in the beds. It's a mixture of 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat and 1/3 blended compost (made up of at least 5 different sources). Then every time you plant a new crop in the square, you add a trowelful of blended compost. If you know what you put in your beds last year, then we have a couple of experienced members who gradually converted from the old method to the new method who could probably offer you some pointers...

I'm glad you had such great raised bed success last year! I don't think there is any forum member who hasn't had some of their plants produce less than desired each year for a zillion different reasons.

Check out your regional forum and other threads from the homepage and use the search tool in the upper left for information on specific topics, such as Mel's Mix... Smile Please keep us posted on your progress...

Again, glad you\'re here
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  GWN on 4/2/2012, 1:05 pm

Hi there and welcome
Much the same as you I had raised beds yesterday that I planted with roughly the square foot method, this year I have taken the top 6 inches out of the beds and am trying the mels mix in them, well at least some of them, I might not get them all changed over this year, but at least it will provide a great comparison

I have been using mels mix in my greenhouse and have NEVER had such incredibly healthy seedlings, I have not really had to use the lights at all.
So I am looking for similar results in the garden glad you\'re here
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Welcome Heather!

Post  efirvin on 4/2/2012, 2:52 pm

Hi neighbor!

I live in Casper, WY, just a few hundred miles north of you. Sounds like you have some great raised beds and good successes in your garden. I'm new to SFG too and am trying to follow Mel's directions as closely as possible because so many people have had such great success with it! I do recommend you look for the New SFG book. It is so clear and instructive, it has really helped me. I know Amazon.com has it available a lot cheaper than bookstores so that may be an option for you.

Good luck with SFG! I think we both will be happy with the results!

Happy gardening!Very Happy
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Pixs

Post  efirvin on 4/2/2012, 4:24 pm

Gonna try again!


Yea! It worked! This is my raised bed garden area. I have 3 4x4 and 2 2x6 beds. Since this pix we have finished making the beds and have started filling them.


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From northeast Montana

Post  nanapatti on 4/14/2012, 12:07 pm

This region is huge!! I live next to the Canadian border as well as the North Dakota border in northeastern Montana. Is there anyone on the forum living close by? I am so anxious to get started planting outside but our last frost is the end of May and the 1st freeze is usually the 1st part of September. I'm going to try a cold frame this year. I read that someone used rope lights to warm the frame. Anyone know how that works?
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  Turan on 4/14/2012, 1:24 pm

@nanapatti wrote:This region is huge!! I live next to the Canadian border as well as the North Dakota border in northeastern Montana. Is there anyone on the forum living close by? I am so anxious to get started planting outside but our last frost is the end of May and the 1st freeze is usually the 1st part of September. I'm going to try a cold frame this year. I read that someone used rope lights to warm the frame. Anyone know how that works?
Hello and Welcome to here!
I live sort of kittycorner from you over near Bozeman, but our frost dates are similar. Generally I keep an eye out for what is starting to sprout to tell me soil temperature. So when the garlic I planted last fall sprouts I know I can put out onion sets. When the orach sprouts I can plant lettuce/greens and peas. When wild mustard sprouts I cna put out broccoli and cabbage. When sunflowers sprout I can plant my warm weather things like squash and corn.
So right now that means I have onions planted and lettuce, spinach, beets, radishes, and peas all seeded outside. I have to make a new bed so there will be room for carrots, but I could do a first planting of them now too.
I am making a cold frame, but intend to use it for growing peppers and eggplant. I know people use them to grow greens very early. I bet they would make my spinach i just seeded pop fast...... I should try that.
I keep being told to go read Eliot Coleman's book on 4 Season gardening. I have read some of his articles and they were very good. SO is the advice I keep getting that friends ascribe to him.

cheers

O ye, I use old tires as small heat wells and protection from the wind. Especially for squash. And black plastic over the soil heats it up for planting and growing warm weather crops.


Last edited by Turan on 4/14/2012, 1:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : PS)
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  elysia on 4/14/2012, 1:40 pm

[/quote]

Hi - This may be a stupid question but are those cement blocks? The reason I am asking is that I read in a post labeled "strawberry pyramid - opinions/help" on this site where someone posted a concern about using cement blocks for growing things to eat due to fly ash/heavy metals they can leech... just wanted to mention it...
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  nanapatti on 4/17/2012, 2:45 pm

Turan, I appreciate your suggestions for planting/seeding times! It will be very helpful. This is my 2nd year of square foot gardening. Last year I had many successes, but need to make some changes. My winter squash didnt ripen before the first hard freeze and the cucumbers were sparse. I'm going to try to get a head start with the squash by starting it in a cold frame. I think I'll start it the middle of May and that will give it a 2 week head start. Hope it works!
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

Post  mschaef on 5/13/2013, 12:13 am

Hello all,
I live in Great Falls, MT and our last frost isn't until later this month and since I have a plot in the community garden I have to wait until they are officially open. I did get approval to start this week but I'm pretty sure other who have plots will get grumpy if I get to start early and they don't. I will spend this week getting my plot rock, weeds, and grass free. Hoping that they finish tilling it up this week too. So I'm not going to get to plant anything till this weekend. flower I can't wait I'm so excited, my hubby and kids got me plants for the garden for mother's day today!!
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SW Montana in the Bitterroot Valley

Post  Stoney65 on 6/1/2014, 1:15 am

Anything that isn't in will be in by Monday, but any post-frost plants weren't put in here until after Memorial Day weekend.  That's just my annual target start day, and I've only been caught once with a snow after that in many years.  Smile
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Re: Where is everyone in the Western Mountains/High Plains? What do you have in the ground?

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