General Discussions - 2011 - Chapter 34

Wake Forest, NC

Got my Totally Tomatoes catalog in the mail and I'm officially ready to start thinking about gardening again!!

LOL

http://www.totallytomato.com/

So, let's start a new chapter.

Dahlonega, GA

Thanks , Kent . I hope it's a good year for everone .

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

I am past ready but the weather isn't. I hope it is a great year for everyone too

Connie

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Hi Guys,
Thought of you Kent when I saw in one of the catalogs, the Ghost peppers. Are you going to grow any of them this year?

Wake Forest, NC

digger: I certainly hope it's a better year than last!!! Worst year ever in 52 years.

Jeanette: Funny you mention the Ghost Peppers. I have a local source that's going to start some from seed this year. Told him I definitely want some to try out just to see if they are really as hot as their reputation.

Holly Ridge, NC(Zone 8a)

As I'll be going across the pond this summer, I started my tomatoes and peppers yesterday in hopes that I'll have everything in place for my wife and daughter before I head out. I'm not doing as many as I did last year and forgot to get the darn Cherokee purple.... Going to box in my bales this year too.

Kent, Hopefully I'll see my catalog today...

Mike

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

Ghost peppers? Let us know if you can eat one of those, Kent. Our Habaneros are plenty hot LOL!! Maybe we will get our T.T. catalog too. I have been searching for Cherokee Purple also.

Connie

Wake Forest, NC

Mike & Connie: the Cherokee Purples I had for the 1st time last year were awesome!!! Can't wait to grow more this year.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Well here it is Feb. 2nd, groundhog day, some of us are getting excited about getting the garden ready. Not here yet, my brain is froze in place, stay inside, maybe go out to get the mail, later, much later. It's -2 degrees out there, wind blowing, a layer of ice under the snow. 15 minutes outside and it feels like your face is stiff. Nope those tomatoes won't sprout today. I ain't even going to shovel the walk, nobody coming anyway. They said Phil didn't see his shadow, It was a little overcast here early but the sun is shining now, so I guess that means spring will come when it's darn good and ready.
I do have an order started though, I might finish filling it out later. That is once I feel like taking my feet off of the heating pad. I did venture out for a short time and I'm trying to warm up.
Maybe make some chili with those ghost peppers would do it, whew, don't know about that.
Hey it'll warm up soon and we will all be out there tending those little green babys, anxiously telling them to grow up and produce.
R

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Gosh you guys, I have had my TT catalog for a long time now. Wonder why yours are just starting to arrive. Maybe they had to go print some more. Or, maybe they needed money from us to print yours. LOL

I'm with you Russ. It is too darned cold to even think about preparing the pots and soil to plant. 2 feet of snow on the ground and 11 degrees here and it is 9:30 in the a.m. I am just glad we are not getting the wind. Your wind chill must be -50 Russ. THAT is cold.

Think we're going to have to sit on that Connie to get her to slow down or she is going to be eating tomatoes before we even get ours planted. LOL

That's ok Connie, have a great day.

Wake Forest, NC

Russ: I see that storm system is really doing a number on you folks north of me.

Hope you don't lose electricity.

It's 66 at my place, but not for long. A couple days in the 40's and then back to the 50's again.

Last time I was in conditions like yours was 1981, Omaha NE, about this same time, at SAC HQ for a 10 wk Intel school. I then headed to Pearl Harbor, HI! Man, I was so glad to get away from NE. and into some tropic sunshine/temps.

Jeanette: I want to place an order from TT in the next few days.

This message was edited Feb 2, 2011 5:24 PM

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Yeah Kent, it's hard to believe but Omaha has more snow and bad storms than we have for the last 2 years. But then the weather has got really messed up lately.
I think the weather will start to straighten up in the next couple days. Until then I'm just going to sit tight. Kind of just grin an bear it.

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

We must have gotten your weather, Russ!!! We got 2-3 ft. depending on where you stand....UGH!!! Half of the car is dug out. Got another half to go.

Jeanette, go ahead and sit on me. Hee, hee, hee...a few of the tomato seeds are potted up!!!

Connie

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

OH MY, Good grief Connie!!! No way!! When do you plant them out? In which snowbank, hmmm, let me see now.

You are so right Russ. We are suppose to be almost 40 within 4 or 5 days. Not bad after 1 degree!! Problem is that the nights don't get above freezing. Even they are getting into the high 20s tho.

You mean to tell me you have your garden planned already Kent? You know which tomatoes you are going to plant? I have to keep reminding myself that you guys are a lot earlier than we are up here.

Covington, LA(Zone 8b)

Hi y'all. This year I'm finally going to do a haybale garden. Last year my garden drowned because it sits too low in the yard so I figure this method was just made for me. February will be a rainy month here and then by the first of March, I can start planting some things. What I was wondering was if it would be ok to go ahead and put my bales out to get rained on for this month? They will pretty much stay wet and may lightly freeze a time or two. And, if I do put them out now, should I still do the 6 days of ammonium nitrate (or bloodmeal) before I plant in them?

I'm excited! I'm planting a bunch of stuff and everything but the okra is going in the bales. I learned last year that okra doesn't much care if it has soggy feet.

Dahlonega, GA

Farm center here in Tex says I can't buy A. nitrate in this state . I'll bring some with me next year to break down compost for the yard .
Kent , looks like it's colder here than where you are . I lost some more tropical plants I'd been babying . Might get a little snow .Water is frozen up next door and across the road at my boy's .Oh well , I can think of a tiny garden when I get back to the mountains in late March .
I'm feeling for you Jnette and Russ , I can get out , at least and it'll be over in a coupla days .

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Yes, Sally, it is finally starting to warm up here so it is on your way. 17 degrees now. At 9 a.m. Suppose to be up to 41 in a couple days.

Wake Forest, NC

Jeanette: yep, planning and dreaming. Got 12 yards of 50/50 top soil/compost delivered today. Been mixing that up in my straw beds 1 wheel barrow full at at time. I'm T I R E D!!

Sally: definitely better here than folks under that winter storm. Cool day here, but great when you're shoveling!!

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Kent, how would you like some snow to mix in with that? Ships easy. Free too.

Wake Forest, NC

No snow for me!!! :-)

Covington, LA(Zone 8b)

Message received. Thanks.

Wake Forest, NC

Got my grow light in today!!

http://www.amazon.com/Hydrofarm-2-Foot-Start-Light-System/dp/B0006856EQ

Tomato seeds should be here next day or so, but won't seed them until 1st week in March or so.

Getting more excited.

Got my Totally Tomatoes catalog by my bed next to my Bible! LOL

Kent

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

See these are coming down. Used to be $90!! I paid $5 at a garage sale for one.

Where do you have a set up for this Kent?

Wake Forest, NC

Jeanette: I like the $5 version!!

I'm just going to put the 1 flat of seedlings on a table in our den until they are ready to transplant.

Then, I'll have them all over the floor in 4 inch pots on some plastic until time to harden them off and finally in the beds.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Kent, keep a journal of when you plant, when they sprout, when they need to be repotted, in what you plant them, and when you plant them out. Also, make a note of the weather temps etc. along the way.

Especially since this is your first year of growing seedlings, you will find it especially useful in the future years.

BTW, remember when you have them "all over the floor in 4" pots" that they will still need light.

Wake Forest, NC

10-4..... good tips.....

Wake Forest, NC

Got 6 bags of Fafard 3B seeding/transplanting mix today.

Tomato seeds should be here 1st part of the week.

Plenty of time, but I just like having things ready to go.

Here's some of the tomatoes I'm going to plant this year.

This list has 1 pepper - Ghost Peppers. Looking forward to that one, too.

Thumbnail by KentNC
Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

Well, You'll have enough different tomatoes to wash down a bite of that pepper LOL!! We are gathering our list to order also. Hubby has already put down some seed of Roma, Beefsteak, Heinz and some cherry tomatoes. Also planted a few Habanero, jalapeno and banana pepper seeds. The plants will probably be half grown (or better) by the time we can get them into the bales but DARN...we are going through withdrawal LOL!!!

So, who else has that spring fever?

Connie

Wake Forest, NC

Connie: I am SO READY for Spring, warm weather, hot weather, any thing but COLD weather!! lol

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

You are both way ahead of me. I look out there at the white stuff and can't even get in the mood to plant anything. But that is quite a list you have there Kent. How many of each one are you going to plant? In the bales? How many seeds of each are you planting?

In other words, are you going to figure 100% will germinate and grow? Or are you planting for fallout?

Jeanette

Wake Forest, NC

Jeanette: I'm still debating on how many I'm going to initially seed. I'll transplant about 120 +- in my garden, give away some and sell some.

I had 12 yards of 50/50 compost/top soil delivered recently to mix in with my old bales.

No new bales for me this year. 1st time in 7 years.

Kent

Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

Kent, you are growing some varieties I have grown and liked and some I am growing for the first time this year. The tomato plants I grow in straw always out perform any others I grow. Folks that see my tomatoes growing in straw bales stare in awe as though it is some complicated or magic system when in reality it is the easiest thing I do in my garden.

I potted up 43 tomato plants yesterday. Tomorrow I will start shuttling them in and outdoors. This is about two weeks late due to all the bad weather this year.

I ordered 4 Bhut Jolokia pepper plants from http://www.selectedplants.com/ a company recommended over on the Tomato Forum by I believe Carolyn Maye. I have some Bhut seeds but I read on the Internet it can take up to 4 weeks for germination. I got impatient so I ordered a few plants online due in sometime next week.

Good luck on your straw bale endeavors this year.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

If it took 4 weeks for tomatoes to peppers to germinate I would throw them out thinking they were not going to. Never heard of 4 weeks for them.

Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

Jnette, http://www.sandiaseed.com/superhot.html scroll to the bottom of the page. This is the site where I read what I thought I remembered 4 weeks but it is actually 35 days or 5 weeks.

Last year some of the pepper seeds I planted did not germinate right away so I ended up putting the seed starting tray out under a shade tree. I kept them watered along with the trays that had baby pepper plants. Later after I planted the plants into the garden I continued to water the trays that had not germinated being sure not to let them dry out. I don't remember how many days it was before they germinated but by early summer they were finally up.

Wake Forest, NC

TXRockGrdn: One of the new tomatoes I'm trying is Old Brooks!! Who can resist trying a name like that.

Glad you mentioned the long germination rate for the Ghost Peppers. I'll have to read some more about that.

Kent

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Just read this one Rocky:

Peppers love heat and seem to germinate best at around 80 degrees. Most pepper seeds will still germinate at cooler temperatures, but they'll take longer. The first year I used a seedling heat mat, I was amazed when habanero seedlings were ready to transplant twelve days after sowing, less time than they'd taken just to germinate in the past.

I would throw them out before 5 weeks. Even 3. Maybe you need to try a little heat. Heat mats work wonders.

Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

Jnette, I always use a heat mat. Doesn't everyone?

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

"I am SO READY for Spring, warm weather, hot weather, any thing but COLD weather!! lol"

Now, hold on, Kent! Knock the "HOT" out of there, please?? I really would like to have a Spring this year. I don't like jumping from summer to winter, and I don't want to go from winter directly to summer again. Please, pretty please with tomatoes on top?

I'm glad to see that you are planting in old bales. I just asked for advice on that, should have read here first. Still, I'll take all the advice I can get.
Do you just mix dirt into the old ones? Do you break them up a lot, or just kinds poke them around? How much dirt/old straw? Since my bales were hay, I suspect they're more decomposed, but your experience will be very helpful.

margo

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

We don't use a heat mat (pouting). I am hoping to take some of last years bales, stick it into plastic crates and grow some taters in them. Think it will work?

Connie

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Connie there are places you can put your planted seeds for heat. Such as on top of the hot water heater, I have my computer in a cupboard type that gets warm. etc. Low watt bulbs in the "trouble light" reflectors give off heat. Just have to be inventive. That is how we all started.

You do not have to be fancy or professional.

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