Vegetables and Fruit forum: What's going on in our Spring Vegetable Gardens?

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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Mar 19, 2014 9:11 PM CST
Hurray, the Calendar tells us it is Spring! Maybe the weather will soon turn warmer and spring like so we can get out and plant veggies in the garden. So we should have lots to talk about.

Everyone come join us!
Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Mar 19, 2014 10:33 PM CST
: Hey Rocky, wanna see me pull a rabbit outta my hat?

: You don't have a hat Bullwinkle. That's a box.

Thumb of 2014-03-20/saltmarsh/2f0e63

: Oh, well wanna see me pull a rabbit outta my box?

Thumb of 2014-03-20/saltmarsh/b9aaf2

: There's nothing in that box.

: TADA.

Thumb of 2014-03-20/saltmarsh/2477ac

: That's not a rabbit. That's a tomato.

: Well, just wait it's rabbit bait. He'll be back.

Thumb of 2014-03-20/saltmarsh/6e8684

Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Mar 20, 2014 4:12 AM CST
Well hey, Saltmarsh!
I like your setup!

Me, after a great deal of planning and anticipation for spring, I've had a setback....
Had things gone as planned, I'd have gotten my hay bales home and my raised bed all set up and waiting to be planted by now - even some seeds winter sown under milk jug cloches. Sadly, My truck died in January and I have done none of that..... I am trying to secure rental priviledges from Zipcar so I can at least use one once a month. April 3 will be my first shot at it though....

SO what I have is a lasagna pan atop my stove (always warmish from the pilot lights) and covered with a clear plastic file box (cats). I had 20 tiny peat pots to work with so have sown 4 seeds in each - 1 in each corner. I started lavendar, salvia appiana, "smoke signals" corn, cilantro, some asian greens, red celery and red basil. The rest will have to wait until April....

(edited for typo)
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
[Last edited by crittergarden - Mar 20, 2014 5:29 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #574268 (3)
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Mar 20, 2014 5:27 AM CST
Very nice, Claud. The entire area looks good.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Mar 20, 2014 8:23 AM CST
Sorry for your setback Critter, life does happen. Just do what you can and then try to do some more.

Thanks Tee. Just wait 2 weeks. The grass and weeds are growing as we speak. But that's a good thing. I don't use any commercial fertilizer. I let the beds overgrow then mow and till it in for green manure. The grass and weeds in the middle are allowed to grow making a trap crop for insects. When I mow the middles it kills a lot of insects and the clippings stay in place to feed the plants on the beds. Rinse and repeat.

I planted this row of tomatoes a month early, trying to get seed from them for a second crop in the middle of summer.

Last year I had a somatic mutation in a Ramapo F9 stem. All the clusters of tomatoes on one stem looked like this (I prune to two stems):

http://t.tatianastomatobase.com:88/wiki/Ramapo

Thumb of 2014-03-20/saltmarsh/65d8ea

and all the clusters of tomatoes on the other stem of the same plant looked like this:

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Cherokee Purple')

Thumb of 2014-03-20/saltmarsh/e52e9a

Carolyn Male (who dehybridized Ramapo several years ago) was kind enough to explain what had happened. A natural mutation. I saved all the seed from the tomatoes on that stem and the plant in the photo of the previous post is part of the first generation from that mutation. All the fruit should look like the Cherokee Purple fruit seen above and be stable as it isn't a hybrid. 38 of the plants are Ramapo Mu.

Six of the plants are Better Boy F4. The F3 parent won 2 double blind taste tests against other F1 Better Boys grown by others last year. The seeds from these plants will be F5 and if I can get a second crop grown this year from the F5 seeds I'll have F6 seeds for next year.

Two of the plants are (not) Sophie's Choice from Tomatofest (one from them in 2012 and one from them in 2014) Sophie's Choice is a determinate tomato (the plant to about 18" to 24" in height.) These seeds produce a plant which is indeterminate and grow 4' to 5' in height. But the tomatoes are red, taste good, and the plants are productive and trouble free. The vendor has been unhelpful (They claim it is Sophie's Choice). So I'm growing them out so I can save seeds and see if it's a hybrid (unstable) or something I want to continue to grow.

After danger of frost is over I'll plant a second row identical to the first row. The seeds were started at the same time for both rows so the later plantout will be quite leggy. I'll trench plant them and see if they start fruiting at the same time as the earlier planting.

The only difference between the 2 rows will be the first row will be interplanted with this variety of Nasturtium:

http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/014267.2.10715...

Thumb of 2014-03-20/saltmarsh/936233

And the second row will be interplanted with this Nasturtium:

http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/014267.2.11359...

Thumb of 2014-03-20/saltmarsh/62824a

I'm trying Nasturtiums, Marigolds and Old Fashioned Petunias for insect control this year. A different variety on each row to see if one is more effective than another.

The Coffee cans are holding the wood chips back and warming the soil for the Nasturtiums (Nasturtiums have to be direct seeded).

Thumb of 2014-03-20/saltmarsh/4a3e88

We'll see how it goes. Claud
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Mar 20, 2014 8:49 AM CST
Interesting. Good upcycling of the old coffee cans. I generally plant marigolds for insect control. I have grown nasturtiums but didn't pay attention to their insect-repellent qualities. I should have. I grow a lot of my plants in containers but am trying to get more lasagna/sheet mulch type beds going for veggies. My original two are full of flowers. Shrug! It's all these seeds. I think I have enough to last for at least 10 years. Hilarious!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Mar 20, 2014 8:51 AM CST
saltmarsh said:Just do what you can and then try to do some more.


That's my plan!

And I like the way you plan!
Love the weed leavings.
You know WAY more than I do about tomatoes!
I'm seeding marigolds all over my veggie bed, in between everything.
Deer like nasturtiums so no, not here.

I don't remember running into you here before but I certainly look forward to reading you again!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Mar 21, 2014 5:55 AM CST
Sprouts already!
Mostly my Smoke Signals corn, but a couple of the asian greens, too.

two days!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Mar 21, 2014 5:56 AM CST
Nice.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
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abhege
Mar 21, 2014 6:26 PM CST
I finally got my stakes and netting up for the peas and planted a few more peas. I also put a few radishes in front of them. Mostly I finished up what I had started with the broccoli and lettuce and things. Got them mulched and hoops set for the row covers. We had quite a bit of rain last week and it washed a gully through my rows. I think I only lost one broccoli but it's so aggravating! We tried to trench out the path to guide the water to the center aisle but I guess it was coming down too fast. I just got some of those lawn edging pieces and put some everywhere it washed out and dug out a bit more. We'll see. The garden slopes north and then back up just before the orchard.

The ground is still really wet, especially where I had planned on planting my root veggies so I have to do a change of rotation. Shouldn't be a problem but I was trying to do corn before potatoes with soy bean underplanting to help prevent scab on potatoes. It's not a problem so I'll keep my fingers crossed with the new rotation. Besides, if my potato tower works I'll be doing two of them and none in rows anyway.

I saw a few blossoms on the strawberries and some glads are about 2" tall already. Now I'll have to work like crazy to get the weeding, preening and mulching done. It's a losing battle for me since I just don't have the time like I did before. Oh well, I'll still do the best I can.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Mar 21, 2014 6:38 PM CST
Arlene, you did so much. It sounds like your garden is really coming along. So different from here where it is still too cold.
Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Mar 21, 2014 7:32 PM CST
I can sympathize Arlene. This will be the third year gardening in this location. It floods twice a year without fail. It's surrounded on three sides by hills so when it comes a downpour it floods everytime. It had high noles and low swales. The clay noles dried out too quickly and the swales held water so nothing would grow there.

Most of the first year was spent with an 8" flat shovel and a line level. The raised beds were put in by hand, wheelbarrowing dirt from the high ground to the low spots. The beds are 100' long and 4' wide with 3' middles (I may have the only handicap accessible garden in the county.). They run North and South and have an inch of fall in 10'. During a normal rain the grass in the middle slows down the runoff so more soaks in and when there's a downpour now the water just floods over the grass in the middle and runs off without flooding the raised beds. Works great and was the only practical way to make a garden there. Did I mention shoveling is good exercise?

From 2012 when we started.

Thumb of 2014-03-22/saltmarsh/cecee7

Also from 2012.

Thumb of 2014-03-22/saltmarsh/0bf0b2

From 2013

Thumb of 2014-03-22/saltmarsh/39b208

Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Mar 21, 2014 8:58 PM CST
I saw your earlier post on the Winter garden and am impressed with your set up! Thumbs up

I have done my share of shoveling too. We have been at this location since 2010 and it was all bermuda. We have been planting cover crops since and amending with composted manure. It is red clay. Some improvement in some rows but still has a ways to go.

I tried raising my beds by digging out the paths but since we're constantly doing cover, every time we turn it I was having to dig it again and I have time constraints that seem to be getting tighter, plus I am just getting too old! Hilarious! I'd like to be at the point of no till and just broadfork but that is several years away.

My beds are 50' long by 3 1/2' wide with only an 18" aisle. I do find the aisle to be a bit tight. We have 20 rows on each side of a center aisle that is wide enough to drive equipment through. The center aisle is grass but the others are weed barrier and straw. The rows run east to west. I don't know how much of a drop I have per foot but it seems to be quite a bit. I try to berm the rows to level but even that doesn't seem to work, hence the wash out. It gets to be a bit frustrating.

I'm going to reread your other post about your method because it would seem that if i could incorporate some of what you do it may help. But then again, we are probably only doing market gardening one more year so after that, I would be using less than half the space. I've had lots of thoughts this year of not marketing but Then I don't know what I would do with all the tomatoes and peppers I have already started! Hilarious!
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Mar 21, 2014 9:28 PM CST
Arlene, you could just go in the spring to market and sell the seedlings that you started, And only plant enough for you own family.
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Mar 22, 2014 5:58 AM CST
abhege said: I don't know what I would do with all the tomatoes and peppers I have already started! Hilarious!


I can't get enough tomatoes and peppers! Drooling
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
Image
Newyorkrita
Mar 22, 2014 10:46 AM CST
If I had land and room I would be totally out of control. As it is I ended up with about 60 tomato plants last year. I just love to plant tomatoes and I want to try just about any type I see. Whistling Hilarious!
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Mar 22, 2014 10:52 AM CST
Me too!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
Image
Newyorkrita
Mar 22, 2014 11:25 AM CST
Big Grin nodding
Name: Terri Hamilton
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
Butterflies Organic Gardener Composter Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Level 1
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holity
Mar 22, 2014 12:35 PM CST
I just planted peas outside.

Under a grow light indoors I have parsley, onions, asparagus, and catnip Big Grin going so far.

Also this morning I put four bags of mushroom compost on top of the hugelkultur bed I built last year. I really need to come up with a bunch of SOIL to put on the very top, but not sure where. I want organic.
My blog, which occasionally talks about gardening: http://holity.blogspot.com/
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
Image
Newyorkrita
Mar 22, 2014 12:48 PM CST
Terri, you are doing much better than I am. I still have not planted my peas.

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