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What's Up for April in 4a?

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What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  mckr3441 on 4/1/2010, 4:19 pm

Since I'm a 5b SFGer I guess I'm not allowed to post here . However, I want to get this topic started for you and I hope you will all chime in and be specific. Such as, planted peas; last year's lettuce make a comeback; peas froze!! Temp irradic.

Mine would looks something like this:
"Bought wood for new box today. Turned compost. Cleaned old growth out of last year's pots and replenished soil with a handful of Mel's Mix. Tossed old growth into compost bin to start new pile."

You get the idea. Let's help the local newcomers know where we are with our gardens.

Have fun. Post updates regularly. Thanks.

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Post  Jami on 4/4/2010, 4:30 pm

Well, I made my boxes but I can't seem to get the soil into them! It's been too windy and I'm nervous that everything will blow away as I am trying to mix it. I have all of my seeds and tomato and pepper plants that I started in my basement (way too early I might add), but no soil in my boxes. I really want to get some peas in the ground and maybe some lettuce???? Any advice on what else I might be able to stick in the ground right now...average last frost (50/50 chance) is May 10. I'm going to start some cucumbers inside here pretty soon. Radishes maybe??? We'll see!

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Still soil preppeing, and seed starting.

Post  Jim G. on 4/4/2010, 4:38 pm

Well, I live in Bothell WA. This is Zone 7B...FWIW.

April is still a strange month for bizzare weather here. Yes we get snow in April, but it's few and far between, really. Mostly rain and some crazy wind.

Here in Bothell WA weve had some crazy wind
storms Thursday and Friday of last week. As I type this (Sunday 4-4-10
at 1:20 PM ) the wind is picking up again.
A few hours
ago I had my vegetable starts in a small greenhouse w/ the clear plastic
flaps open - just in order to harden these lil' guys off a bit before I
try to plant them (possibly) next weekend. At that point their was some
small breezes and lots of sunshine. A very nice late morning for them!

I
have just now brought them inside the house - back to the light room -
and will give them a light fish/ kelp emulsion drink later. I need their
cell walls to thicken up - if I want them to survive and NOT go into
shock when they do get planted.
I recognize Ive jumped
the gun w/ this whole seed starting schedule in '10, but, really, this
winter was SO mild that I couldn't help myself. This was the wimpiest
winter I remember in the last 15 years of living in WA state.
My
question to all of you - cold cloche, greenhouse, direct planters out
there - is do you have any methods you use to get ready for the growing
season?

Jim G.

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  Jami on 4/5/2010, 10:15 pm

I wish I had more to offer...all I can say is that I also jumped the gun on seed starting and have some pretty big tomato plants under a grow light in my basement! The one tip I did receive from my local garden center is to put a fan on the plants ( or, Jim, in your case you could just put them out in the wind!) for a short period of time to help strengthen their stems and prepare them for outdoor breeze. As for hardening the plants off, I just don't know!
I did in fact get my soil mixed and in my boxes yesterday despite the windy day. It didn't even blow all over the place so maybe it wasn't as windy as I thought. As soon as I get the grids in (probably this weekend) I'm putting peas and lettuce in the ground no matter what!!!

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  shocks20 on 4/5/2010, 10:23 pm

Way to go Jami!! This is my second year doing SFGs. I had two 4x4 boxes last year that did well, so I decided to make two more this year! I haven't gotten very far though. Bought the wood, have all of my seeds and stuff to start them in, but that's it. Last year I started stuff later, so I'm not too worried. I don't have a place to put a light for seeds, just a big glass patio door. The thing I'm most concerned about is making a small fence around all four boxes so my dog doesn't dig/bury in them this summer! I did add compost to the two existing boxes yesterday and mixed them up. There are already a few pawprints in them!

I'm excited to see someone else from the Twin Cities on here! I'm down in Hastings.

Jenny

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  mckr3441 on 4/6/2010, 8:53 am

@Jim G. wrote:I recognize Ive jumped
the gun w/ this whole seed starting schedule in '10, but, really, this
winter was SO mild that I couldn't help myself. This was the wimpiest
winter I remember in the last 15 years of living in WA state.
My
question to all of you - cold cloche, greenhouse, direct planters out
there - is do you have any methods you use to get ready for the growing
season?

Hi Jim, Welcome to the Forums . Glad to hear that your seedlings are doing well so far. I get eager too and probably start mine too early. I hope you will get lots of feedback. May I suggest that you post your question in the General Forum also? You may get many more responses there as folks from all regions check in there too. Also you may want to copy your post to the Pacific Northwest Forum as your weather may be significantly different from what the folks in this region experience.

I've started broccoli inside plus a lot of flowers. I've not put anything out yet but will this week. I'll use gallon milk jugs as little greenhouses to keep them cozy until I'm sure the weather is ok.

You might want to do a search for posts by SFGer Happyfrog. She is setting many things out.

Good luck to you and keep us posted on your progress.

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  mckr3441 on 4/6/2010, 9:14 am

Welcome to the Forums Jami and Jenni ,

We're happy you are here. And that you two MNs have found each other! I'm sure you will have many stories to share. More 4a folks will be joining and there will be a good exchange of information.

Jami, your suggestion about the fan is excellent! I'm going to try it. I'll put it on very low and not too close just enough to get the seedlings waving a bit. What I have been doing is brushing their tops every time I pass them so they get some movement, but a few minutes with a fan every so often would even be better.

Jenni, let us know how you solve the dog-in-the-garden problem . I've seen pictures of some pretty elaborate solutions (translated: expensive). Cost-conscious solutions are always being sought. If you come up with one please post pics. I wonder if anyone has ever put one of those electronic dog fences around their gardens? I would say that would be in the elaborate category

Again, to both of you.

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  shocks20 on 4/6/2010, 11:57 am

Claire-
I plan on putting a 3-foot high rolled bamboo fence up around the four boxes. I had purchased a roll of it a couple of years ago (6-foot high) and it is weathered, but definitely still usable. I cut that roll in half, now just need to buy another roll ($24 at Home D.) I'm hoping to find some shorter posts or stakes to put in the ground as I don't want it to be permanent (cement & posts). I should hopefully have it done this weekend at the lastest and will definitely post pics then!

Jenny

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  mckr3441 on 4/6/2010, 4:51 pm

Shocks, that's a great idea ! I've seen that bamboo fencing and always wished I had a place to use it. Maybe someday . I think it is so decorative too.

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  chocolatepop on 4/6/2010, 9:15 pm

@shocks20 wrote:Claire-
I plan on putting a 3-foot high rolled bamboo fence up around the four boxes. I had purchased a roll of it a couple of years ago (6-foot high) and it is weathered, but definitely still usable. I cut that roll in half, now just need to buy another roll ($24 at Home D.) I'm hoping to find some shorter posts or stakes to put in the ground as I don't want it to be permanent (cement & posts). I should hopefully have it done this weekend at the lastest and will definitely post pics then!

Jenny
awesome idea! I saw this stuff at the Depot today and was like humm... would it work? But now that you think it would also I'm not so skeptical!

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  shocks20 on 4/7/2010, 10:40 pm

I bought my second roll of the bamboo rolled fence (actually, it's reed, not bamboo--oh well!) today. It's 16 ft long, so with two of them, I have 64 ft of fencing!! I bought some 4' green metal T-posts and some green zip ties. Not the prettiest, but they'll be on the inside of the fence! I was gonna put my other two boxes together, but my my darn drill needed to be charged!
I know it's only the beginning of April, but I am soooo antsy to have a garden already!!

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  new2this on 4/8/2010, 8:32 am

Hi there....another 4a here.

This is my first yr of gardening.
So far, I have 2 boxes ready to be filled.
I have the peat, vermic, adn most of the compost. I think this weekend (maybe even tomorrow) I'll mix and fill, add my grids, put up the trellis (minus the netting) and be ready to plant.
My neighbor is filling up an unused sandbox....he just added regular old soil. He thinks I'm being too "persnickety" by making up this mix. Oh man; i sure hope my gardens do well this yr just to prove him wrong! ( is that bad?!?)

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  mckr3441 on 4/8/2010, 9:49 am

No New, THAT IS NOT BAD.

You just wait and see. He will be drooling with envy (and you better watch out that he doesn't sneak over and take a closer look at what's making you the veggie winner and maybe even snitch a little soil!)

Happy gardening. Post pictures of yours and his. We'll all be rooting for you!

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  shocks20 on 4/10/2010, 9:48 pm

How's everyone doing in 4a?? I have a question...Is it too late to start my seeds indoors?? I keep procrastinating with it and/or find other things that need to get done! I don't have heat mats or grow lights that a lot of people talk about on here, hopefully that's okay!

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  Amy in Idaho on 4/10/2010, 10:08 pm

I can only speak from experience, I usually buy my plants from the store or plant directly in the ground. This year I decided to save money. My broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts popped right up in two days! Basil did well too, it took about a week. Tomatoes took 9 days. Just make sure, as I learned the last time, to harden them off. I killed the ones I did one year by just planting them. Oops! I plant my peas, beans, carrots, radishes, lettuce and spinach directly in the garden. They've done well so far, six years and counting. I may start my zucchini and squash early, but still have lots of time. And as for grow lights, my sister in Alaska uses regular florecent.

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  new2this on 4/11/2010, 9:00 am

Amy -
so you've already planted some things this yr? Brussel sprouts are AWESOME, but I'm scared to plant them...not sure why? You planted yours from seed? How long ago?

Also.... zone 4 gardeners, we can start planting peas and spinach now? My neighbors say it's too cold, but the package info says 4-5 weeks before last spring frost. In my area - that's NOW, but I'm a little hesitant. I do not have any seeds started - I would be sowing directly into the garden.

So who's started what so far?
I think I'm gonna go for it......(peas, spinach, onions?, lettuce)

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  Amy in Idaho on 4/11/2010, 11:22 pm

I haven't been able to get brussels sprouts to grow yet, probably because the soil is too dense here for them. I figured with Mel's mix I might be able to get them to go. They came up just as the broccoli and cauliflower did, in 3 days. Everything I have read about them say they only need about twelve inches, so one per square. I love to eat them, so why not try to grow them? Peas and spinach can definately go in the ground, 5 weeks before last frost. I usually feel really safe counting memorial day as our last frost here in Idaho 4a/4b. According to most sources and Mel's book at 4 weeks before, lettuce, 3 weeks before root veggies and swiss chard. Beans and squash right after last frost and once it gets for sure warm cucumbers and winter squash.

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SE MN/4a/4b

Post  auntiemommy on 4/12/2010, 1:19 pm

I will post here too, as the 4b group isn't going anywhere. I am on the border of 4a/4b, depending on which map you look at. I am at about 3 weeks, maybe 4 tops to avg. last frost date.
I already put peas in and some lettuce seed, broccoli plants went in last night. I got my grids on one of the boxes and am still building the ones for the other ones. I plan to put in spinach, cauliflower, lettuce and cabbage soon. Well as soon as I can find some started plants at the garden center that is for some of them.
I am also in MN, SE part.
I am going to build the trellis's this week and have ordered my netting from the SFG site as I could not find it locally anywhere. I know I have seen it in past years, maybe no one has it in yet is all.

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  shocks20 on 4/12/2010, 9:17 pm

Welcome auntiemommy! Glad you found SFGing!! Aren't you just gettin' antsy with all the nice weather we've had?! I'm super excited to really get everything growing, but the best part is eating it!

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  nancy on 4/13/2010, 8:44 am

new2this: I planted peas, onions, spinach, and lettuce back on March 16 (I'm in 6a). At the time, I was 5 or 6 weeks from my last frost date, so I would think you're safe to try them. My peas are gorgeous, the onions are happy, the spinach is slow, and the lettuce is yummy! My vote is go for it and keep us posted!

n.

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  shocks20 on 4/14/2010, 12:15 am

I finally planted most of my seeds indoors! I really hope I'm not too far behind. I'm pretty sure I started my seeds much later last year. Can't wait to get the rest outside! Smile How's everyone else doing?

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  new2this on 4/14/2010, 8:20 am

Auntiemommy-- I found trellis netting at Home Depot. It is 5' x 8' nylon netting - nice stuff, but hard for my big "man hands" to tie into little knots along the poles. But I got it on there and it looks great!

I decided to plant my peas and onions and some spinach yesterday! I got all excited and planted all of my designated squares instead of waiting a week in between to extend my harvest...ooops. I have 4 squares set aside for peas and I did stop at 3...I was gonna do 2 now and 2 next week..ah well.

I am so excited to see growth I can hardly wait! This MN weather is weird though....I keep thinking something is gonna happen. For the first time ever we had NO snow in March - weird! Now we've had an unusually warm spring already! Hmmmmm.......calm before the storm - I hope not.

good luck to all.

keep us posted!

Tonya


Last edited by new2this on 4/14/2010, 8:21 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Very weird weather.

Post  auntiemommy on 4/14/2010, 1:37 pm

I agree, this year the weather has been very weird for MN. I keep thinking we will get a big snowfall, but nothing yet, heck it is going to be 80 today! That is July weather! Insane.
I am going to try and get some seeds in the beds today, and possibly get my trellis frames put together. I had them cut the pieces of conduit for me at Home Depot so I just have to assemble them.
Home Depot didn't have any netting here, just really tiny bedding cover type net. I have it on order with the SFG foundation so when it gets here I will put it on.

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

Post  mckr3441 on 4/14/2010, 10:52 pm

Welcome to the North and Central Midwest 4a Forum, Auntiemommy. I'm glad you decided to come here. I don't know why there isn't much activity in the 4b section but you are certainly welcome here! Maybe I'll have to shake the bushes to get those guys to come out .

I'm in Ohio and am just really getting out to the garden this week. Our weather is like a roller coaster -- a couple of 70 degree days; a few 40 degree. Up and down. Up and down! I just got my peas in on Monday.

Enjoy your gardens and the Forum. There are lots of people here who can answer questions and it is a good place to commiserate with others when things don't go just as planned.


Claire

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Taking a risk

Post  auntiemommy on 4/15/2010, 3:53 pm

Wonder if my risk taking will pay off or if I will just have to reseed in a couple weeks? I planted a couple things that should be after the last frost date, which is about 2-2 1/2 weeks away for me still. I figure with the abnormally warm spring we have had it was worth the risk, plus the most I would be out are a few seeds, plenty more in the package to replant. So I planted one square of pole beans and 3 squares of sweet corn. I seriously considered putting in a melon or cucumber square as well. *giggle* But then the rain came and stopped me. It was 80 yesterday, mid 70's today. In April!

So far I have spinach, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, radishes, peas, beans, corn, broccoli (plants), cabbage, some flower my kiddo picked out, carrots and some herb seeds in.


I am horrible at seed starting in the house, too many kids, stuff gets knocked over, overwatered ect... So I just buy my seedlings at the greenhouse. Which is conveniently located 2 blocks from my house. Makes for a great quick field trip for the kids and I.

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Re: What's Up for April in 4a?

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