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Newbie/convert in Merced

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Newbie/convert in Merced

Post  PeonyLover on 1/5/2012, 7:32 pm

Hello. I'm in the process of converting my traditional garden to a SFG in the long narrow strip of land on the side of my house. Last year after buying this (our first-yeah!) house I decided I wanted a garden. Always had one growing up and now wished I paid more attention. It did pretty well-living here in the central vally helps. Had some great tomatoes and I still have one die hard strawberry plant still producing-despite obvious frost damage. Guess there is always one over achiever in the bunch. I'm coverting to a SFG. I just placed an order for seeds from Baker for tomatoes & melons. I have a few questions.

1. When do you all start your tomato seeds?

2. Where is a good place to get starts for onions, leeks and garlic? Seeds? Slips? grocery store?

3. Any advice on growing onions, leeks, garlic.

4. Is an 18" raised box deep enough carrots or potato?

Any advice greatly appriciated and I'll post some pics when I figure out how.

PeonyLover

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Re: Newbie/convert in Merced

Post  sfg4uKim on 1/5/2012, 9:44 pm

Welcome to the Forum.

Have you had a chance to read the All New Square Foot Gardening book yet? If not, I highly recommend it. It will give you info on when to start tomatoes and depth of boxes.

I'm not too familiar with onions, leeks and garlic, but I think you'll have success by doing a search of each of these one at a time in the area to the upper left.

Can't wait to see pictures. How to Post a Picture

____________________________

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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sfg4uKim

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Re: Newbie/convert in Merced

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/5/2012, 10:04 pm

Can't help with the climatology over there. I just wanted to pop in and say..

Welcome to the forum!

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Re: Newbie/convert in Merced

Post  PNG_Grandma on 1/6/2012, 12:30 am

@PeonyLover wrote:
1. When do you all start your tomato seeds?
2. Where is a good place to get starts for onions, leeks and garlic? Seeds? Slips? grocery store?
3. Any advice on growing onions, leeks, garlic.
4. Is an 18" raised box deep enough carrots or potato?
Hey there, and welcome! You're only about 30+ miles south of us...still pretty much the same weather. Right now we're having such gorgeous weather...unfortunately! We should be having RAIN...lots of RAIN...maybe next week. Sad

Here's the link to my post on What to plant in January for our region. Great info from this particular site...I use this each month to send to the Apollo Gardeners here in Modesto.

For some answers to your questions...
1. ...we are getting seeds ready for sprouting now. Tomato seeds will be started this next week under the warming lights in shallow trays. You might have a favorite way, this is what we do and it seems to work OK.
2. ...I just asked Al where he got our onions and garlic last year. Garlic was actually from the grocery store (!) and the onions were from OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware). Many of the other gardeners here in the Apollo Garden did the same thing with fantastic results!
3. ...not too much advice because we all just stuck them down in that great MM and let 'em do their thing! We made a big mistake of letting the onions go to seed and lost some that would have been better if harvested earlier.
4. ...You Bet!! All of our Apollo Garden boxes are 18" deep and nearly everyone had great carrot crops, some of the best I've seen! One of our gardeners planted purple potatoes last season with OK results, but she planted late. She planted sweet potatoes at the end of summer and had an amazing crop...she thought she only had a few until she began carefully digging with a pitchfork. HUGE crate of yummy goodies...she shared some with us and I can tell you, those were the best I've ever eaten!

Good Luck...I'm anxious to see your pics too!
happy hi

PNG_Grandma

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Thanks!

Post  PeonyLover on 1/11/2012, 11:19 pm

Thank you for the invite. I may have make a run up there soon. My seeds from Baker Creek arrived today! So excited and they threw in a free gift, so I'll be trying even more tomatoes. I also got Charentais & Melon Piel de Sapo (toad skin melon). Getting really excited-now everyone outside for a little rain dance. LOL
Linda

PeonyLover

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Making progress!

Post  PeonyLover on 2/11/2012, 12:13 am

OK. I'm making progress. I got a bunch of free reclaimed boards to build my boxes with and they should be done this weekend if the rain holds off. I finished my DIY compost tumbler (yeah!) and got the bags of stuff to make my Mel's mix. All but two of my seeds germinated and are happily under their new grow light ($10 @ Wally World). And finally decided to build another box 2x4 for more tomatoes. I'll post some pictures when I'm on my computer-can't post from my iPad (boo). Now off for a hot bath and a good nights sleep.

PeonyLover

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Re: Newbie/convert in Merced

Post  PNG_Grandma on 2/11/2012, 12:40 am

Yay!! I'm looking forward to seeing the pics of your work!

PNG_Grandma

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Thanks...and a question

Post  PeonyLover on 2/11/2012, 3:24 pm

PNG-Grandma, what date do you use for last frost? I was thinking of shooting for March 1st with hoop houses on standby just in case. I'm wanting (really who isn't-lol) tomatoes ASAP.

PeonyLover

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Re: Newbie/convert in Merced

Post  PNG_Grandma on 2/11/2012, 4:20 pm

@PeonyLover wrote:I was thinking of shooting for March 1st with hoop houses on standby just in case.
I agree, March 1st is probably a really safe bet...here is a link to an interactive map.

Fresno shows a day or so earlier for your last frost, and up here in Modesto we're about a week earlier. Still, I think March 1st is a good date!

I started some Sweet 100s seeds a day or so ago on a damp paper towel, on a plate, inside a gallon zip-type clear plastic bag. I wanted it on some source of warmth without real heat, so I placed it on the box for my satellite tv connection! Just enough warmth to cause the condensation inside the bag to keep the little guys from drying out.

I did this last year with great success for my broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage seeds. Hope it works for these little guys! Al gave the rest of his tomato seeds to a neighbor with a growlight set-up. Hope my system works as well! Laughing

PNG_Grandma

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Re: Newbie/convert in Merced

Post  Luci Dawson on 2/11/2012, 4:56 pm

Great site, PNG_Grandma!

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Photos-I hope

Post  PeonyLover on 2/12/2012, 4:03 pm

This is my DIY compost tumbler. It was almost free I had to buy a 4' threaded conduit with two caps and 4 5' lag bolts. The wood was free reclaimed and the barrel was free from the Pepsi bottler (syrup come in them so they are food safe) here in town. I actually got two barrels and one will be used for storing the finished compost. I painted it black (left over from some other project) to help keep it warmer in the cooler months.




Last edited by PeonyLover on 2/12/2012, 4:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : wrong photo)

PeonyLover

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Tumbler

Post  PeonyLover on 2/12/2012, 4:10 pm

We named the tumbler R2D2(we proudly fly the geek flag in our house). It's fun-my 4yo son is eager to "feed" R2D2 daily. Who says science isn't fun.

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Re: Newbie/convert in Merced

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