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Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

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Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  prvrbs31gal on 1/13/2012, 8:23 pm

I am a Navy wife, and we just bought our first house in August... it came with a gorgeous fenced garden with raised beds, and I had a ton of fun getting my feet wet with the fall planting. (I'm a New England girl at heart, so planting anything in the fall was foreign to me!) I still have carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and lots of herbs out there. (I've been told it's been a warm winter so far.)

I already have cabbage and broccoli seeds sprouting, as I decided to try the 'winter-sowing' method of starting seeds (no room to do it inside, no place to store lights, etc in the off season, and no desire to spend the money on all the paraphernalia). I *might* have gone a little crazy ordering seeds from Baker Creek, Southern Exposure, Territorial, and Seed Savers (along with fruits from Stark!) I am bound and determined to grow as much of our produce as I can.

I look forward to spending more time on the forum and getting to know y'all (which is a word we don't say in New England!!!!)
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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  walshevak on 1/13/2012, 8:44 pm

Welcome neighbor, i'm just below the NC-VA line. My son is a retire Navy Chief. Have you read the All New Square Garden book? Do you know if any of your beds are Mel's Mix? All of us love the method and a lot of folks are converting old beds to Mel's Mix.

Kay

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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  Rhianna78 on 1/13/2012, 10:05 pm

Welcome! I'm in Poquoson so NE Hampton Roads. It has indeed been a warm winter, at least from our experience. Last year we had quite a bit of snow but that was a freak storm as well.

Glad to see another HRer on the board, so far I can say folks are really helpful & there is a ton of knowledge so use it, use it, use it!
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howdy, neighbor

Post  luvdlilies on 1/13/2012, 10:39 pm

My first post. I just had to say hello to someone from my home town!! We've probably rubbed elbows in the Farm Fresh!! I've lived here (Poquoson) all my life and we are definitely having a warm winter, but it really isn't that unusual. Just wait a bit, it will probably sleet next week, be in the 80s the following week and then snow in April. Such is the weather in our coastal area. I am in the process of converting some of my garden to the square foot method. I got/read the first book years ago when I could watch Mel's show on public (?) TV, I think? I've been planting intensively ever since, but in the last 2 years, some sort of wilt or virus has done my tomatoes in. I'm going to try Mel's mix this year and hope I don't get contamination from my soil. I miss my tomatoes!! My husband helped me make a hoop tunnel during the Christmas break and I have started broccoli seeds. I have never had a crop of broccoli make it in the spring--always get some crazy 90 degree weather that messes it up. That's why I'm trying the hoop tunnel this year--if I can get it in early, maybe I'll actually get some to eat!! I also have spinach, lettuce, and beets, but didn't know about starting them now. I've been gardening forever. It isn't always pretty, but I always have fun and try to do something new every year.

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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  miinva on 1/13/2012, 10:53 pm

Welcome to the forum. Smile I'm in central Virginia, Orange to be exact, and I know what you mean about tomato blight/wilt/whatever-keeps-killing-my-tomatoes. I'm going to try rotation and see if that helps, as well as worm compost tea. There's a local guy who sells awesome worm compost and he swears by worm compost tea. We'll see if it helps!

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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  Rhianna78 on 1/13/2012, 10:56 pm

Howdy back to you. Not a native, we're "move ins". Laughing

What type of broccoli are you growing? Mine has come in fine but I use some European & Early Sprouting types. I've never sprouted seeds, I always direct sew (old school, I know). The tunnel sounds cool & useful though.

The crop I can't seem to get to finish up is corn. Come July it just ... stops. It doesn't die, the plants are still green & alive but the corn just quits developing. Drives me nuts. One of my neighbors says that happens a lot to corn around here. Can't figure out why though. No
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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  luvdlilies on 1/13/2012, 11:17 pm

Hi, miinva!! I have always rotated and really never had any problem growing 'em until summer before last. I'm going to try some new ones that I got from Totally Tomatoes--supposed to be super disease resistant. We'll see. Last year, bought some Cristas when visiting my bro down in NC. Beautiful plant--dark green, 6 feet tall, then wilted to a pitiful heap nearly overnight. My bro got some off his plants, but was very disappointed in the taste. We don't recommend. pale Rhianna--I don't remember exactly which ones I've tried over the years. I can get most anything to grow in the Fall. Right now I have Green Goliath started. Have never tried the varieties you mention. Did you order, or can you purchase locally? I grew corn a couple of times--got a few ears once, raccoons got all the ears another time. I decided that it was easier to let someone else grow the corn. Razz I prefer to give a whole bed to sweet potatoes. They take a long time, but the plants look great right through the fall and the taters are oh so yummy!! I'm hoping to get starts from my own potatoes this year. Would be glad to share some if you're interested in the last part of May.

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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  miinva on 1/13/2012, 11:55 pm

My red currant tomatoes didn't flinch at the blight and they're delicious little bursts of flavor, so I'll be growing them this year, and possibly only them in the tomato department. My favorite tomato flavor-wise is Flamme, hands-down, and I may try to grow some of them in fresh soil in the hopes of getting even a few of those yummy treasures. Smile

Have you tried tomatillos or southern peas (cowpeas)? {Funny story about cowpeas... when I started out I planted them with my peas, not realizing that they were actually beans. *giggle*} I've had amazing yields with those two crops, although I learned the hard way that no matter what some websites say, tomatillos prefer to have two plants for pollination. Malibar spinach grows great guns for me too. Are there any crops that do especially for you?

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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  prvrbs31gal on 1/14/2012, 8:06 am

Glad to see so many 'locals' :-) My beds aren't MM, although I *DID* buy the book even before we moved here, because I knew I wanted a garden. However, the guy we bought the house from had great compost and the neighbors have told me he took great care of his soil, so I'm not going to bother switching it out (yet... we'll see how it goes.) I'm just going to add some compost to it.

Good to know about having problems with broccoli in the spring... I've got Calabrese and DiCiccio sprouting out in milk jugs now. Supposedly the Calabrese is great for spring because it's so fast, but I won't take it personally if it doesn't work. I'm thinking of starting lettuce in a patio container since it's been so mild... I figure I can always take it inside if it gets real cold.

I also took the jalapeno and bell pepper plants in (the prior owner planted them and they were amazing.) The Jalapeno is covered in blossoms and I have some baby peppers growing, so I'm excited about that. I think the Alma Paprika I want to start will also go in a container so I can overwinter it next year.

So far, I'm a big fan of zone 8! :-)
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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  camprn on 1/14/2012, 8:44 am

prvrbs31gal wrote:I also took the jalapeno and bell pepper plants in (the prior owner planted them and they were amazing.) The Jalapeno is covered in blossoms and I have some baby peppers growing, so I'm excited about that. I think the Alma Paprika I want to start will also go in a container so I can overwinter it next year. So far, I'm a big fan of zone 8! :-)
I too brought in a pepper plant last fall, my one and only serrano which is now about 2.5' tall. I will cut it back to promote new growth before I put it back into the garden in late May.
By the way, to the SFG Forum. Did you say you were originally from New England? Where from?

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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  sfg4uKim on 1/14/2012, 9:04 am

Welcome!

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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  Ha-v-v on 1/14/2012, 9:34 am

Welcome !! How fun to have things started for you! I bet when the folks selling the house worried if someone would take up the baton with their garden. I know I would hope for that if we sold our place.

Cant wait to see your set up Smile
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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  Rhianna78 on 1/14/2012, 10:31 am

luvdlilies several of my seeds came from Europe (like Fractal Broccoli - sold here, when you can find it, as Romano Broccoli). I do have a few that came in from heirloom seed companies as well. I'm quite fond of the Baker Creek seed company & Comstock Ferre and Company. I prefer heirlooms to most of what Burpee sells and the Romano Broccoli has been grown since the 1500s, at least that's what Italians say. There's an early purple variety of broccoli, name escapes me, that's an heirloom and that does well. You might try Taylor's, they get some heirloom stuff, they usually sell it as "decorative" seeds but they're perfectly edible.

The only thing I've ever brought in is my Heliotrope. I didn't bring it in until the 20's earlier this month. Its sitting in my sun room right now loving in the warmth and diggin' all the sun available to it. It's even started sprouting some need flowers and growth, after I dead-headed it. Of course its the only thing I'm really worried about keeping. Embarassed

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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  prvrbs31gal on 1/14/2012, 12:13 pm

Camprn, I'm from MA, near Sturbridge. Fell in love with a Navy Boy when he was stationed in Newport, RI and that was the end of New England for me. I miss my family and friends terribly, but I do not miss the snow!
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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

Post  staf74 on 1/14/2012, 12:22 pm

Hi Prvrbs31gal,

Looks like you fall into our region here so let me give you a nice warm welcome. I am a transplant from England but my wife was a lifelong New-Englander. We moved here in 07 to escape the brutal winters. Check out our regional sub-forum when you get a chance, it has "sticky" topics located at the top that refer to vital info / planting dates etc.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/f9-middle-south

I have some videos of my garden posted too for you to peruse, should you need to see a basic SFG layout. You'll find many a friendly folk here and we have some very active members scattered all around where you live.

Going with the soil in your beds and what you have in place certainly makes sense for now and clearly you know from reading the book, that we are all pretty much devotees here on the SFG method with MM as the planting medium. People still put things in the ground of course....sure! but as the season progresses we might find it a little harder to help you out if you don't have your garden converted to MM and drainage problems etc arise (which we never get in MM for example). As time goes on, perhaps experiment with a small area of MM and compare it to what you have in place. However, you do seem to have some compost in place and that's a great start, so pls don't read into me trying to deter you in any way. Go for it !

Again, welcome and hope to see you posting again soon Very Happy
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Re: Hello from Southern Hampton Roads

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