I ordered my onion sets yesterday as well as a slew of seeds to round out my garden for the spring. I had ordered some seeds late summer for the fall that never made it in the ground, so those will be planted this coming spring. I should be off in a couple of weeks, so I'm going to sow my maters and peppers then. I plan on using my roaster oven to germinate my seeds in. That will be a fun experience! LOL
Here's a list of what I ordered yesterday:
Onions--1 bunch each of the short day sampler and Texas Legend
Pepper, Red Bullnose (very tasty!)
Watermelon, Royal Golden (this is an experiment)
Borage (to plant with my maters)
Parsley Giant of Italy (for the butterflies)
Muskmelon Honey Rock (cantaloupe)
Tomato-Homestead 24, Rutgers, Beefsteak
Morado Tomatillo (purple)
Cucumber-Ashley, National Pickling, and Muncher
I grew National Pickling Cucumbers years ago , That was in a major city ,lots of concrete around and it was very hot. Those did well , good production, a little wilt from time to time, they got a little tough but still tasted good with later fruit. I always looked forward to growing them.
I never seem to have much luck with Rutgers or Beefsteak , I hear some have great results growing them.
I just started a couple of Pantano Romanesco under lights ,trying them for the first time myself, I hope they are as good as the reviews about them..( and all the time I will be cultivating them)
As for me ,never have been all that good with melons ,so I will pass about my efforts and spare you from stories..
Good luck with those and will look forward to hearing about your garden results . Talk some then, see ya
I've still got plants that have been in nursery pots since last spring.lol peppers and tomatoes. The peppers are producing and I'm planing on making them perennial container plants. Im going to put the tomato plants in the ground just as an experiment. Haven't even begun to make an official list. I love reading everybody elses.
the aforementioned and
2 Burpees super beefsteak
Broad ripple currant
Ester Hess That is all I can handle as it is . Possibly there will be a couple of more of Roma or Super sauce
For spring (whoa, 6 weeks away!), I have:
Turnip - Hakeuri, White Ohno
Spinach - America
Lettuce - Green Romaine, Iceberg
Carrot - Danvers 126, Little Finger
Beet - Cylindra, Bull's Blood
Broccoli - Rapini, Early Green
Radish - Early Scarlet Globe, Saxa II, Cherry Belle
Mustard - Southern Giant Curled, Yukina Savoy
Peas - Amish Snap
Herbs - Parsley
Plus a new strawberry bed and I have already direct seeded one bed of asparagus. I'll plant crowns in the other planned asparagus bed if I can find any decent ones. The crowns I planted last year and the year before never came up. Grrr.
I also planted jerusalem artichokes and ground nuts in the tree line where I hope they will naturalize.
Like it is , changes from year to year everything from the gardener to the weather , lol (a little humor). I really enjoy the Rutgers when they do well, that and Marglobe were old time garden market tomatoes , Their productivity has long been surpassed ,only for those of us that enjoy them their taste has not.
I am going to try to fit a Gardener's Delight in there someplace , it didn't produce well last season but did produce in the 100 degree "cook me raw" temperatures with little care, along with drought.(fun season?)
If the weather permits after all that, I will try to go back to growing them for taste!LOL
I can grow tomato plants and weeds and that seems to be about it...
Y'all are getting me excited. I just renewed my Dave's subscription yesterday, cleared old vines out of the garden the day before and have received 3 or 4 seed catalogs in the last week -- let the new garden planning BEGIN! I will post my plans a bit later (just starting that phase at the moment). For right now, I'm sure enjoying reading all the lists and plans of others. Keep it up, you guys are giving me ideas.
I bought everything from Southern Exposure Seeds, which I just found out about, and am very happy that they grow the seeds right down the road from me! They are mostly organic as well.
Here's what's going into my vegetable garden this year:
Crosby Egyptian Beet
Green Arrow Pea
Forest Green Parsley
Brandywine YELLOW Tomato
Sugar Cherry Tomato
Pablo Batavian Lettuce
Red Wethersfield Dry Bunching Onion
Deep Purple Bunching Onio
Costata Romanesca Zucchini (noticed that NicoleC is growing this as well)
Long Standing Bloomsdale Spinach
Bolloso Napoletano Basil
Ginseng Sweet Potato
Chataney Red Core Carrots
Well, that the start of it, anyhow...decided to try the Yellow Brandywine, although at this minute I am going to the SES website and ordering my favorite Abraham Lincoln tomato seeds and some other stuff...LOL!
I am really liking this new style of gardening, with the older techniques and varieties...most of the above is new to me but I do have experience in vegetable gardening.
Best of luck to all of you!
Costata Romanesca Zucchini (noticed that NicoleC is growing this as well)
It's my first year for this variety. A couple of years ago I decided I wanted something not quite so huge and prolific as Black Beauty. I tried Cocozelle last year (meh), and since the Costata Romanesca goes so highly recommended I figured I'd try that this year.
Oh you poor thing - huge and prolific zucchinis! I just ordered Romanesca (I'm hoping it's the same as Costata Romanesca) because Darius says that and the lemon squash seem somewhat resistant to the squash bugs that have decimated my zucchini for the past few years. I'd love to get even a few!
I ordered online from Baker Creek and Gourmet Seeds International; Johnny's seems to run heavily to hybrids which I don't care for since I like to save seed sometimes. Still haven't gotten those catalogues or Pinetree's yet, though. I really like sitting by the fire leafing through seed catalogues. Computers aren't the same...
I feel good -- got the bulk of my seed ordering done. This year I am ordering mostly from Baker Seeds (for the first time).
Basil - Dark Opal and Emily
Beans - Old Homestead (Kentucky Wonder)
Broccoli - Calabrese Green Sprouting
Cabbage - Early Jersey Wakefield
Canteloupe - Charentais Melon
Cauliflower - Snowball Self-blanching
Cucumber - Marketmore 76
Eggplant - Black Beauty, and Fengyuan Purple
Peppers, sweet -Patio Red Marconi, Thai Long Sweet, Tequila Sunrise
Squash - Costata Romanesco, Early Golden Summer yellow crookneck
Tomato - Pink Oxheart (love these), Beefsteak, A Grappoli D'Inverno (grape tomato)
Onions - from Dixondale, a sampler pack of 3 varieties.
My current supply of 2011 seeds (a mix of Ferry-Morris, Burpee, Johnny's Select Seeds and some guy off ebay, lol):
Beets: Cylindra (few), Dark Red (few)
Broccoli: Green Magic (few), Barbados Hybrid (few)
Carrots: Danvers 126
Contender Bush Bean from this past fall (pods were hidden and dried on the vine),
and leftovers of the following seeds from 2011 packets -
Bok Choy/Pack Choi - white-stemmed
Cucumber - Diva, Tendergreen Burpless
Dill - Mammoth
Kale - Vates Blue Curled, Vates Dwarf Blue Curled
Lettuce Prizehead, Red Lollo, Red Grand Rapids, Black-Seeded Simpson
Oregano - Mediterranean, standard
Parsley - Flat Italian, Single/Standard, Triple-curled
Pumpkin - Jack O'Lantern
Radish - Cherry Belle, Icicle, French Breakfast
Spinach - Bloomsdale Longstanding
Squash - Patty Pan or Scallop
Zucchini - Partenon F1
As you see, I have plenty to play with -- too much -- but I would still like to find the following:
A watermelon that grows a few small melons instead of one big one, lol.
and I probably want to do something about potatoes (red or purple or gold) and sweet potatoes.
Lastly, maybe sunflowers again, in an unused corner of the yard. (They seemed to attract bugs and didn't produce anything edible last year, but I so love sunflower seeds, I'd like to try again.)
Did I mention I just have a small suburban yard? LOL
kittriana wrote:Thats what sunflowers are for- the bugs prefer them to your veggies! I am lookin at sweet taters- Beauregards-
I bought a big box of Beauregards a few weeks ago and boy are they good!! They made some wonderful sweet potato pies for Christmas. I plan on using one of those to start my slips. Probably do the toothpick in water thing. I don't need too many slips, since my bed is only 4x8. This will be my first time with SPs, so I've been reading all I can about them.
I also plant black oil sunflowers for the chickens. I just toss in some seeds from a purchased bag and they grow fine.
Few small melons, try a bush variety. Lots of choices if you want more small melons per vine. Micky Lee and Wilson Sweet are my favorites but they grow multiple melons per vine. By the way I tried Royal Golden back in the 70's. Looked like a pumpkin and did not taste much better.
Hmmm. I don't seem to have a problem with sunflowers attracting bugs. What kind of bugs? Bees and birds, yes! This year I plan to cover a few heads so I can get some for myself. The goldfinches check constantly for any sign of a seed ripening, but they are fun to watch.
Regarding the acorn squash, I was fairly pleased with "Sweet Reba," if only because the plants managed to produce one squash each before the SVB got them. I'm giving up on C. pepo, though.
Ah, well, I couldn't possibly have any more squash bugs than I do already. I do some egg squishing plus I have some help from the assassin bugs and a few of the birds eat them. Other than that, the plants just have to deal with it or outgrow it. :p
I see a few leaf-footed bugs each year but they never seem to do any damage.
You cannot imagine how good this thread sounds , store vegies? I am thankful for the food, all the work that goes into the food, but this time of year I am already tired of green beans and peas that taste like wet grass and carrots that taste like dirty feet smell .. Were not even going to go into hard steamed Broccoli for a hay substitute!!!
I miss the garden vegies ,, I really miss the garden vegies!!!!
Well it is 2013 not spring yet though.. My first post of the the new year!!!!
No winter garden ,, if I did have it would be under 20 inches of snow right about now..lol
Only it is a new year and time to plan..lol
I know Indiana is bitter windy and cold, but greens and lettuce ought to grow there- snow insulates plants under it, onions, collards, leeks should grow...turnips, beets, at least, we have 45 minutes to go, and Happy New Year Juhur!
I have leeks garlic onion and radish plants that grow wild now all year (the radishes) I keep trying turnips, and must have been fed too many beets as a youngster or something , never did develop a taste for those, I hear they are one of the healthiest foods ..
Who knows one these days I may be digging frozen carrots and such.. About all I have planned is turnips and Brussel sprouts as soon as weather allows..
Drought this past summer and I did not get much, I miss them dry beans from the garden , did not even make it to amount to beans , That's bad!!!! Worst garden I had ever grown in 50 years , really...
I will not say any more at risk of teasing fate and mother nature!!lol
These little guys saved it all..
Melon ended up with a hole chewed through it if it enlarges notice the radish seed pod laying on the ground to the right...
Should be about close? to return your Happy New Year , Maybe the squash bugs will move away,,,
I remembered eating Turnips raw right out of the garden as a kid back in the 1930's, so i planted some, but found out i have lost my taste for them, too.
You did not mention Kohlrabi in your post, and i suggest you try some of those, as they taste like a turnip should. They are one of my favorites, so no more turnips, but lots of Kohlrabi is going to grow here.
juhur7 wrote: You cannot imagine how good this thread sounds , store vegies? I am thankful for the food, all the work that goes into the food, but this time of year I am already tired of green beans and peas that taste like wet grass and carrots that taste like dirty feet smell .. Were not even going to go into hard steamed Broccoli for a hay substitute!!!
I miss the garden vegies ,, I really miss the garden vegies!!!!
I had frozen broccoli out of a bag last night. Ewww. No wonder so many kids think they hate vegetables!
Yesterday, I sowed seeds for 24 bell peppers and 84 tomato plants:
Eva Purple Ball
New Big Dwarf
A NOID from my saved seeds
California Wonder Bell
Early Sunsation Bell
Emerald Giant Bell
Roumanian Rainbow Bell
Hardening off target date is 02/11/13
Plant out target date is 02/16/13
I'm prepared to protect the transplants from frost between mid-February and late-March, with hoops, frost cloth, and perforated plastic sheeting. I'm also toying with the idea of a portable cold frame over the seedlings, once they're in place in the RB.
In any case, the lion's share of my sowing is done!
I am still a little envious of the southern length of growing season ,not of the summer temps .Sounds of good size gardens here..
I Put some good canteloupe on the greens it improved the taste considerably . Only still miss a green flavor , started some leaf lettuce in a container because of that , Lettuce is good from the market so it is not as worth doing as much as it might be.
I used 4" square pots for the seedlings. I sowed the Kimberly cherries in 6-8 oz. Yogurt cups.
I sowed the seeds in 100% Roots Organic Potting Soil because I need them beefed up and growing fast in the next 6 weeks. My past observations have shown me they should be ready by my target dates.
My method was to moisten batches of recycled RO and run through my Potting mix microwave for 20 minutes to sterilize and heat it up. I let it steam a bit in the bowl to cool down just enough to handle it. Then, playing "beat the heat," I filled the pots, dropped the seeds, tamped down and watered in with warm water. Then, I quickly shoved the tray into a clear plastic drawstring bag, and tucked the end under to keep the heat buildup inside. I put the trays on the floor of my warm room, away from the light on my grow shelf. I expect them to pop by this Sunday or next Tuesday.
I also used fresh Roots Organic. Same method as above, except I only nuked it for 7-10 minutes, to heat it up. Since I don't use heat mats, I had to find heat from somewhere else to help my seeds pop.
You know, I never really thought past having a sterile medium to start the seeds in. I really don't know. But, from what I observed last season when I used it for the first time, I had the fattest, healthiest seedlings I ever grew before. I attribute it to all the amendments in the mix.
In fact, I got upset because the seedlings were growing too fast! It was still too cold to pit them out, but they were taking off in the Roots.
Here're my seed trays from 10 o'clock last night. You can see the condensation in the bags. There's also a good amount of heat trapped inside, too. The first time I used this method, I stuck my hand inside a bag to adjust a fallen tag, and was surprised by the heat I felt on my hand! No burn, LOL, but enough heat to surprise me!
No matter what you do all that is still there, unless you burn the medium or mix to carbon, That just gives seeds and ,or seedlings a jump start before they all return to strength,
As you know anything bad in there is not going to bother a healthy plant , there are only a few that ever do for all the number of living or Organic organisms .
KINDA like if you "cook melt" a lettuce leaf everything in the leaf is still there, just different until you grow the lettuce again.
I just remember last season we had a thread about RO vs other seed starting methods. I use a sterile medium (nothing added) and it was determined that RO has amendments in it. I was just wondering if the amendments would be affected by the microwave. Just thinking...
not if they arent overnuked, excited atoms are heat. Definition of radiation is energy given off of an object, light- heat- and gamma thru xrays which can be blocked anywhere from paper thick to foot thick substances. Your microwave is simply heating not irradiating. Doesnt take many seconds to heat to desired temps and moisture increases speed of heat
Gymgirl posted that she put the used RO in the microwave to heat it up and to sterilize it. I assumed that if it was sterilized it would kill everything. I have heard of a lot of people who do this, I never have.
I guess I used the term "sterilize" a bit loosely.
My main goal was to nuke any critters that had made a winter home in my mix, or maybe kill any eggs that had been laid in what came in from outside and got dumped in the recycle bin.
I've sorta figured out that I don't actually kill every microorganism living in the mix. I'd burn up the bowl and the microwave! I settled on 20 minutes in the microwave as a compromise to baking it in the oven for as long as is recommended. I think it was about 2 hours or so?
Anyways, I'm doing this partly by informed instinct, and mostly by the past observations I've made watching what the seeds and seedlings do in the mix. I keep a loose track of where the recycled mix came from. If it was full of pillbugs outside when I dumped it at the end of the season, well, I might nuke it the whole 20 minutes and cover it so it streams for another 10 minutes or so. If it was mix that never made it outside at all, I might nuke it only 15 minutes, really to just heat it up for the heat.
Hope this gives you a better idea of what I'm doing.
I've never had mold. I did have a tiny bit of some white fuzzy stuff that tried to creep last season. Dr. Carolyn advised that it was probably an airborne something-or-other that had landed on the soil, but it wouldn't hurt anything. So, I just gently scraped it away (you could use a toothpick or cotton swab...), and it stopped.
After about 3 days, I watch the trays very carefully (I've had germination in as few as 5 days). Once the very first seedling pops in a tray, that entire tray is uncovered and shoved underneath the fluorescent lights, which barely clear the tops of the seedlings at all times.
I TOP-WATER the cells with 1 capful of Hydrogen Peroxide to a gallon of tepid water (again, it's the heat thing...) for the first 3-5 waterings, until the seedlings look like they're comfortable. Then, I begin bottom watering. Last season I grew 208 seedlings, and didn't lose a single seedling to damping off...
Finally, (and contrary to popular belief), I water my seedlings AT NIGHT, just before I turn off the lights, which are on from 7a-11p, daily. I NEVER let the trays sit in standing water overnight, so I water early enough and suck out any excess before they're bedded for the night. I use a turkey baster...
What happens overnight constantly amazes me in the morning. You can actually see how much they grew in the dark! This is when I adjust the height of the lights because, most times, they're touching the bulbs by morning...
My seedlings start out in the warmest room in my house (vent issues which proved to be a seed-starting blessing...). After they get their first-second set of true leaves, they are moved to the light stand in the coolest room in my house (more vent issues which proved to be a seedling blessing...). The cool air slows the upward growth and they start to get "fat". Also, I introduce a fan to keep a steady stream of gentle air aimed at them. Fighting to remain upright against the breeze makes them get sturdy.
Watering becomes a more careful consideration in the cool room, because a cold and damp seedling will begin to turn purple, which signifies it is UNcomfortable. They become "blue babies." So, I water only as much as is necessary for very little run-off, and again, NEVER leave the trays sitting in water for any real length of time.
I'm thinking of starting my seedlings in my roaster oven this year and then moving them to the lights upon germination. My biggest problem is lack of heat once germinated. The spare bedroom we used last time is the coldest in the house and if we get freezing temps or snow it stays cold in that room, not freezing, but cold. We set the thermostat on 66º, but it's colder in that room. Should I invest in some heating mats or do you think they'll be okay even in the coldest room? There's really not another place to put them.
I think that roaster is a BRILLIANT idea, and would love to follow your updates on the process!
This may be totally crazy thinking, but, hey, it's what gardeners do when they're not growing stuff...
First off, how are you starting the seedlings in the roaster? If you're just packing the potting mix down into the roaster pan and sowing the seeds, well, I think you might actually be home free! You already have a heat source.
If it were me, and I needed a warm place for those seedlings to grow 1-2 sets of true leaves, I'd LEAVE THEM IN THE ROASTER, adjust the heat, and put the fluorescent light right over the roaster! Prop the two-bulb light kit on some blocks over the roaster. If the roaster is too low, put some books/blocks underneath to raise it to the light level.
After they put on two sets of true leaves, prick the seedlings out, pot 'em up to whatever, THEN, bring them over into your cool room...
Like this. (It's my worm bin...) Didn't elevate the bin upward cause the worms don't need to be that close to the light source...light actually causes them physical pain, I learned, which is why they tunnel downward when you shine light on them...go figure...
I will not be putting dirt in the roaster; it's too new for that. I was thinking of putting an aluminum liner in the pan and then setting my cups in the pan. I'm thinking of using old yogurt cups this year for my first stage of sowing.
I have been using : "Hydrofarm Seedling Heat Mat" for many years now. It is worth all its money.
If you go to the TexasHydrophonic store in town they will sell it plus you must buy a thermostat.
My laundry room is at the same temperature of your bedroom right now. The heating mat does the trick for all your warm season seedlings: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, zucchini and beans.
No reason to cook your seeds with the roaster ... OMG !
The tomatoes seeds I started 2 days ago are under lights and on top of the heating mat set at 85F. The seedlings are germinating already !
I have a heating mat (no thermometer) and I love it. Ive read articles on DG about people starting their seeds in their oven with just the light on to warm it up and they did fine. Do you plan on having the oven turned on?
I'm wondering how she's going to use the roaster oven. Sounds interesting. I luv to hear the different methods people have. I always try to keep costs down so I'm always looking for ways to make it work.
I keep my seedlings warm until they get their first or second set of true leaves. I then put tomato seedlings in a cooler area and keep peppers and eggplants warm. Not as warm as germination temps but warmer then tomatoes. If the tomatoes are kept too hot they get leggy. When I want to slow down their growth I put tomato seedlings in cooler temps, only water when they start to wilt, and stop fertilizing them. But always keep them under lights.
I have also found that it's not always possible to have the "perfect" conditions but the seedlings will be fine.
"Place pots in which you have sown seeds that need warmth to germinate in an electric roaster with the lid on and set on 85 to 90 degrees. (Check the temperature of your roaster first by heating a cup of water in it for a few hours and adjusting the temperature to the desired setting. The correct setting will likely be below the first temperature printed on the dial, and the light indicating heating may not come on often.) Check to see if seedlings have emerged after the third day and then every day after that."
You all have made me realize that I need to start my seeds!! I really need to get those peppers & tomatoes started. Last year, I bit the bullet & purchased some heat mats & shop lights. These were installed on an empty shelf in my pantry. So I have my setup all ready to fo.
Placed my first orders:
Dixondale - Copra, Sterling and Cippolini onions
Heritage Tomato Seed - Brad's Black Heart, Dinner Plate, Rosella Purple (dwarf)
And I've got the catalogs scattered around everywhere...
I too love seeing everyones' list.
Seeds I have sown so far this year
Brandywine (a mix of colors)
Dejena Lee Golden Girl
Fooled You Jalapeno
Sweet Banana Pepper*
Hungarian Hot wax
and a few mixed seed packets: Carnival bells, a cayenne mix, and a habanero/scotch bonnet mix*
After reading all the posts yesterday about seed starting methods, I decided to take a tray of tomatoes and peppers that I sowed a few days before Christmas and place them in the oven with the light on to see if it would help the germinate.
I was fed up with waiting and my house is rather cool. Then (hiding head in shame) I promptly started the oven (not 15 minutes later) when my two year old asked to make cookies. ACCORDING TO MY OVEN TOP, IT PREHEATED TO 170 BEFORE I REMEMBERED THE SEEDS. I swear pregnancy makes my brain stop working. Needless to say, I was totally bummed out. I was losing sleep, but this morning two of the "Fooled You Jalapenos' sprouted. Is it possible I didn't murder all my poor little seeds!
Hope, hope, hope!!! I am going to give them two more days to see what happens. Whatever doesn't sprout by Sunday evening will be reseeded. Luckily, I still have seeds for all of the varieties.
GrowingNVegas, it happens to the best of 'em. Sounds like you're going to town with planting, as well as many other folks. After the big -22 degree freeze, I kinda' lost heart for a couple of weeks - lost my soul dog, too - but now am planning a small indoor greenhouse on the south side of the living room for starting (and keeping some) seeds inside. There will be Lattice walls, lights, and space blankets to reflect light back onto the plants. Then everything won't get so leggy awaiting decent temps to set out into the greenhouse and outside. It doesn't get warm enough here for that until June 10th or after, and first freeze last year was September 7. I tried saving some stuff from the greenhouse, but hardly anything survived. I even lost my big avocado tree, so I may just keep those kind of plants indoors. I plan to build a rocket mass heater out there this summer, so it should be toasty all next winter with very little wood use and virtually no pollution. Now, to just remember there's a stack of 2x4s and lattice panels lining the hall, when I stumble around in the dark tonight... It's so wonderful to see everyone's plans and I can envision some of the wonderful gardens you all will have. Isn't gardening fun?
I start peppers indoors, too, otherwise it's well into fall before I get any fruit.
But I still use plain dirt, and as soon as they are up and about they go outside in the sun most days -- it's usually warm enough and there are only a few days they need to stay inside. I do have a big florescent lights for emergencies with a couple of very high tech cinderblocks to prop it up :)
I have the pellets expanding and will start all of these in the morning. I'm looking at 24 tomatoes, 12 cucumbers, 18 peppers, 24 beans, 24 okra & 20-24 corn. Plus herbs, sunflowers, zinnia, marigolds, impatient and poppy
Neves Azorean Red
Aker's West Virgina
Black Giant (are these just Blk Oxheart under a different name?)
Black From Tula
Box Car Willie
Red Mini Bell
Hill Country Heirloom Red
Roma II or Derby (if I can find them)
Burpee on Deck
Also starting for neighbors and friends
Chinese Five Color Peppers
False Alarm Hybrid
Pasilla Bajio (hot pepper)
Cour di Bue
Mexican Sour Gherkin
I will start my peppers and eggplant seeds next Friday, January 11h.
Planting out date will be at the beginning of April or late March. depending when our last freeze will be this year.
Last year I had the perfect pepper's season.
In our Zone 8 - If you transplant your pepper plants out too early ... and if we will get a cold front, the pepper and eggplant plants will just get into shock and perform poorly for the rest of the year.
It is still too soon for me to start tomatoes & peppers, but I am working on my spaces. This is my Christmas light setup ! I think it will make enough bottom heat through the glass shelves (the stand is a re-purposed bathroom stand) and I have one heat mat to use also. When they sprout I will put 24" fluorescent lights onder each shelf. Last year I started seeds in my greenhouse, but the winter winds have nearly torn the plastic off it, and I don't feel safe putting the seeds out there.
Linda, LOL- I could, but I put a fan on it when the seedlings start sprouting- it should give me all the tomato & pepper plants I can use in my little back yard garden. I always end up giving away dozens of excess plants- gotta cut back someday!
Gracye wrote:I just received my two-tier seed starting cabinet, with the lights. Now I have to put it together. Wish me luck! Also got a "Cultivator/Rototiller" and it arrived same day! Is this is SIGN?
Since I have raised beds, I never thought I'd need a small cultivator. My DH has always suggested one, but I just couldn't justify the expense. Since I received a $100 gift certificate for Lowes, I got one of those cultivator attachments that attach to your week eater. We tried it out yesterday, and that thing will work great for incorporating compost, amendments, etc. into the beds. Plus. DH has to do it instead of me. While it's not too heavy, I just can seem to handle it.
Be sure to see the video tour- it shows how it operates.This is mine- I love it because it does not rotate-just oscillates back & forth, so it doesn't tear up roots in a small space. I also have the string trimmer, blower, & hedge trimmer- they all use the same battery, and I have 5 chargers and lots of batteries. The tools run a long time on a charge. They are ideal for women because they are small and lightweight. Do I sound like I am an employee???!!! When I find something that really works, I like to tell everyone. Gardening can be so much pleasure when one has good tools.
OK, 3.5 hours later, Hubby and I have put the "2 Tier Compact SunLite Garden" together! We're exhausted. And, I am extremely mechanically-inclined, so it didn't go willingly! LOL!
But, the thing looks really good, and according to Mother Earth News (and you should REALLY go to their website or get December/January Issue-fantastic article on starting seeds), you HAVE to give the seedlings plenty of light.
So, I am redeemed - and good thing, so now Hubby has a BIG FAVOR owed to him for all of his cussin' and fussin' and working on a Saturday...
Not to mention the cost. But, I have to say, I really would buy everything that my kit contains, from the cow pots, to the organic seed starting mix, to the special fluorescent lights...really a nice kit.
If you're curious, go to Gardener's Supply, and drool away. I even bought an innovative coldframe from them. Got my landscaping done (finally), so now I can turn my attention to my vegetable garden.
I have had excellent luck with the Biodome from Parks seeds. The little sponges that go in them hold water well, and I can water from the bottom. I have a light, a small fan that has a heat button on it, and a seed heat mat. It sits in my laundry room, and the light and fan are on timers. I've been using the Biodome for about 6 years now, and just buy the little replacement sponges each year. I have had a rabbit infiltrating my garden, and he got almost all my fall stuff before I could figure out where he was getting in. But I found it, and fixed it, so hopefully my next round of stuff won't fall victim to him. I added mushroom compost and some peat to my beds this weekend, and I will put out my sugar snaps next week. My fennel and parsley are coming back from the rabbit attack, and I planted some thyme in my hanging baskets.
Seeds for this year:
Cucumbers - Cucina (small and very flavorful)
Eggplant- Little Fingers and Amadeo
Okra- Jambalaya (dwarf variety)
Spaghetti squash- Small Wonder
Zucchini- Eight Ball
Pepper- California Wonder and Thai Hot
Tomatoes- Nugget (small orange), Hillbilly, Mule Team, Texas Star, Atkinson, and Bonnie Best
Asparagus Bean- red seeded
I did some cleanup this weekend and got most of the pavers in at the new garden gate -- I ran short by a few. There are still a lot of weeds out there in the landscape beds and around the apple trees, but I'm calling it living mulch for now. It's looking ready for spring, which despite the 25F temperature this morning is just around the corner. I need a few more pavers and to get out there and extend the irrigation system into the new beds, but I waiting for a warm day since that's so hard on the hands.
Also, I have a guy coming to work on the drainage whenever it gets dry enough out there. (It's been a soggy month.) If the up-slope stuff works and corrects the down-slope erosion, I will have another huge area to landscape with perennial edibles. If not... I will have to figure out the next drainage correction project.
My sister gave me a gift card mandating I use it to only to grow things she can eat, hah! So I ordered from Baker Creek:
Cherokee Purple Tomato
Poona Kheera cukes
Arumugam and Louisiana long green eggplants
Melrose: an Italian sweet pepper
Tatume zuke for fried blossoms
Mrs. Aquillard's cushaw - I've never grown cushaw, but we'll see!
and here's a tomato I started in the Aerogarden just a few weeks ago, I'm going to try to keep it under the cold frame out front and see what happens.
There've been discussions here on rooting/growing plants in water vs. In soil. Seems they grow a different set of roots for each medium, and going from a water to soil environment delays the development, or something to that effect.
Dixondale sent my onions today! Wish I were home, whine, I'd hide in the garden and pretend I wasn't hurting from the wisdom tooth removal today, soon, soon... :) got new pix of the great grandson and his dad this week before he went back to the boys mom. He's helping his grandpa with a screwdriver fixing the pickup...and playing basketball with his uncle... he's only 1 and a half years old. Looks good guys, love the pictures...
Dixondale sent my onions on Monday - so I'm anxiously awaiting my first try at onions. I have the raised bed all prepared with the rows marked & the fertilizer strips in. I'm going to try the organic route in my garden this year, so I used a complete organic fertilizer with extra bone meal. I got some Seacide Insecticide/Fungicide as recommended by Dixondale.
Now, if only the weather would cooperate. It's been rainy for the past 4 days & I'm tired of all the gloom.
HoneybeeNC wrote:I got the largest onions when I scattered blood meal along the rows.
The blood meal was meant to discourage voles. It didn't get rid of the voles, but it sure did make those onions grow!
I plan on using blood meal as my fertilizer every 2-3 weeks as Dixondale recommends. They recommend ammonium sulfate (21-0-0), or calcium nitrate (15.5-0-0) at the rate of ½ cup per 10 feet of row. Sine my bloodmeal is 12-0-0, I'll probably use 3/4 cup.
My potatoes arrived a couple of days ago and I picked up a pound or so of Lasota Reds at the feed store yesterday. They had onions, too, but I had already ordered so didn't get any. Mark did see a temporary greenhouse structure that piqued his interest, though.
Purple Majesty and Yukon Golds
Purple Majesty already with sprouts!
That's a good looking batch of bags there for your onion planting soil!
I'm going with MG potting mix and Organic Compost in a 1:1 ratio in my patented Earthboxes, with a huge amount of BONE meal (phosphorous) in the planting trench to promote good root development.
Once the transplants take, I'll switch over to the Ammonium Sulfate (Nitrogen) every 3 weeks, per the Dixondale recommendation, to promote good leaf development.
As of yesterday, I have 72 total seedlings under fluorescent lights. I'll divide them out after they get their first set of true leaves. I still have 48 cells that have not popped yet, and I'm in trouble if they do, cause I sowed 2 seeds into each cell. That's an ~ addition of 96 more seedlings, for a total of 168.
OH, NO! I haven't even sowed the bells and the eggplants yet!!!!
Today I started the following tomato seeds in my roaster oven:
Lg. Red Cherry
I started them in 6oz. yogurt cups. I have 6 cups for ea. variety, 2 seeds per cup, except for the Rutgers. I only started 3 cups of those because of the space in my roaster. I can fit 27 cups on my roaster oven, 15 on the bottom and 12 on the rack forming 2 layers.
I used LadyBug brand's seed starting mix, The Germinator. To that I added 1 handful each: cornmeal, lava sand, green sand and a bit of a gentle fertilizer. I watered them with warm water and popped 'em in the oven.
I'm hoping that I can grow OK-tasting micro-greens or baby leaves with very-cross-polinated seeds.
Lots of what I grow is Brassica rapa, and they cross-pollinate very freely. My plan for sprin g 2013 is to let 1 vareity bolt (or two closely-related varieties at most) , but pull anything else that bolts ASAP. That way it will only be moderately cross-polinated.
For example, several similar OP white-stem Bok Choy that cross "ought" to give fairly consistant seeds. At worst they will germinate at different rates and I'll harvest some micro and some baby leaves.
On the other hand, two F1 Chinese cabbage varieties (or even just one!) might be all over the map in the F2 generation. Depending on what bolts when, and how long the seed takes to mature, I may find out this year.
Have any of you tried that Purple Mountain Spinach? I am trying this year. It's not spinach but related to spinach. I have no idea what it taste like but it's suppose to have lots of vitamins and great for salads , smoothies, and stir frys and its suppose to be an heirloom that tolerates mild drought and a little more sun.
I wouldn't call it related to spinach. They are both Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot family), but otherwise totally dissimilar. Atriplex hortensis is more like amaranth leaves, IMO, which isn't surprising because Chenopodiaceae is a subfamily of Amaranthaceae. It is really a cool season crop; it just tolerates heat better than spinach. I haven't tried it in the summer in North Alabama; you may want to stick it in a spot that gets some shade.
OK, here's my "Compact 2-Tier Sunlite Garden." Sorry about the rotation of the photos! I have everything "at the ready" and best of all, my dear husband has agreed to expand our vegetable garden! I must also thank the beautiful Blue Spruce we lost earlier this Winter, for succumbing to the two very bad storms...
Everything, EXCEPT THE ONIONS, was shriveled back by the light blanket of frost in my yard, this morning.
But, I was already considering when to start taking down the cauliflowers and broccoli plants (and, start some new), and the beets and turnips weren't doing exactly great anyways, so, the decision has been made for me...
I think the carrots are ok, although they shrank a bit, too...
My tomatoes under lights have taken off, and are too tall for the 4" pots anymore. They are also telling me that they are about to be ready to EAT!
The stems are long (but not leggy), so, looks like I'm gonna have to pot them deep into the tall drinking water bottles from this weekend until hardening off on February 9th.
That's only 4 more weeks before plant out on February 16th.
I'm actually ON SCHEDULE for a change! Life does get better!
P.S. I've decided that, NEXT fall, I really need to watch the temperature predictions more, and not plant the brassicas when it's still too warm.
I need to wait until the end of September to start these seedlings, and transplant out beginning late October or early November. When the weather is too warm here, those plants just don't thrive, and, the up and down warm/cold just stresses them out.
So, the adjustment will be to start the seedlings later, and have more transplants growing inside for transplanting out in the late fall/early winter, when it's already cold. I can always transplant them out under my covered hoops until they take. The ambient air temperature should be the steady cool/cold that they truly need. Hardly any of my cabbages have made tight heads, cause it's just been too warm for them.
Gee, I thought that my life-long dream of starting my seeds in a special lighting/indoor situation was so extravagant, but you all amaze me! What with the special seed-starting mixes that aren't adequate enough and need fortification, to the actual starting of seeds (while I patiently watch the Calendar), to the use of household appliances...wow. I stand totally in awe of you! I am totally left behind...
Congratulations, all of you green-thumb geniuses! May your 2013 gardens grow with great gusto.
Sea-Absolutely fantastic! The greenness from summer sun makes the photo even nicer! Thank you for sharing with us. How I look forward to seeing Spring! And thank ALL OF YOU for giving me so much to think about - my farmer-father would have been proud that his daughter is learning and doing what he loved so much.
If you have some shop lights and empty plastic tubs, buy some seed-starting mix and you're in business!
Seed-starting is easy and the few pitfalls are easily experienced and overcome.
Line some cut-down cardboard boxes with big plastic bags to catch run-off water.
Some Miracle-Gro soluble fertilizer if you're holding seedlings more than a few weeks.
I think "expertise" is just another name for having drowned a few trays of seedlings, and let another few trays languish by starting them too soon and not planting them out or potting them up quick enough.
If you pick easy seeds and avoid damping off, you can be an instant expert your first year.
If you have a cat and can find some oats or winter wheat, you can treat your cat o cat grass in mid-winter.
My broccs and cauliflowers take a good 8 weeks from seeds to be ready to go out into the cold as sizeable plants. I read somewhere that brassicas need to be a good size transplant to ensure they'll do well after transplanting into that weather. Mine go out with at least 6-8 true leaves.
I was toying with starting some more seedlings, but, I really don't think we'll have enough cool/cold ahead of us. My cabbages didn't even head properly 'cause it's been so warm.
The aphids are already bad, and the stinkbugs are right around the corner...
Thanks for your input, Linda. Will nix the brassicas for now -- got plenty of other things to plant, anyway. I do have a couple broccoli plants that have been out there since fall, but they got shaded out by the tomatoes and are just now starting to look healthy once I finally tore down those darned late tomatoes, lol.
Back in December we had several days in a row when the temperature stayed in the 20 degrees to 30 degrees range and it killed 3/4 of my broccoli. In past years I’ve never had cold temps kill broccoli or any other cole crop. Maybe it was the new variety I tried from North Haven Gardens. This year I’m avoiding buying any transplants from nurseries by starting all of my vegetables and annuals from seeds.
I am so sorry to hear about your broccoli.
I did cover my vegetable garden before the Christmas snow. I was lucky that I arrived home just the day before that.
I didn't lose anything ... even the tender lettuce survived.
My broccoli plants were a pretty good size. I did started them in August and transplanted outside early September.
Maybe older the plants are, they have a better change to survive the cold ... huummm
Now I am curious. How long were your plants in the ground?
This year I discover that if I start lettuce from seeds in August (yes during those hots days)... the lettuce plants are though enough to go all trough the winter. In fact I am still harvesting lettuce from those August plants ...
The trick is to get them established before the cold arrive ...
I have observed that my brassicas grow best in a spot that gets some bright sunshine (but not full-hot sun), and some cool shade. My best world is bright light and cool shade...
I have them in a bed running east/west on the north side of my yard. It's relatively bright from morning sun until around noon, then the sun is just about overhead and setting on them for a couple hours. Then, around 6 p.m., they're back in the shade. Heat is NOT their friend...
Yes! "The trick is to get them established before the cold arrives..."
That's the same principle I apply to my brassicas seedlings. Once they have at least 6-8 true leaves (sometimes my seedlings are almost 8-10" tall at transplant), they go out and can get established before the cold.
Broccoli and Cauliflower timeline:
8/6/12 Sowed seeds
9/3/12 Potted up some that were ready to be potted up
9/17/17 Hardening off some
10/7/12 Transplanted 17 cauliflowers out -RB #3
10/13/12 Transplanted 11 broccoli out -RB #3;
10/13/12 Transplanted 7 green magic broccs & 6 caulis out -RB #2
12/03/12 Broccoli and Cauliflowers making buttons at 120 days from sowing
I tried earlier to post. ah well. There is a freezer shelf life for blackberries, i dont remember how long it is - how about a 'bake sale?' Girl Scout Cookies aren' t too far away now- and you still have a ways before fresh ones happen...The strawberries looked so RED at Oxnard, Calif this week, I know those aren't far from groc store shelves now.
I was at North Havens Gardens Nursery in Dallas on Thursday and they finally got in the "Apache" variety of thornless black berry that I have been asking them for, along with others. I'm going back today to purchase one Apache and one Ouachita to go with my other three blackberry bushes (Arapaho, Navaho & Natchez). Blackberries are real easy to grow in this part of Texas and they produce a lot of berries. But as I have mentioned before, it drives me nuts having to share my berries with our neighborhood Mockingbirds. I'm still toying with the idea of adopting a rescue cat but she/he would have to be a good hunter and would remain outside because of my indoor dog and two rabbits, which my son lets run around on the floor of his bed room.
Oops, I'm probably posting this on the wrong thread of the wrong forum, so excuse me. I blame it on jomoncon.
A bunch of Girl Scouts were selling cookies today when I was out running errands, kittriana. They're baaaack.
hrp50 - A roll of shade cloth to keep the birds off your berries is a lot cheaper than a cat in the long run. I haven't been very pleased with my Ouachita although they *are* in a tough spot. I may replace them with Arapaho since those were just an all-around great bush for me at my old place.
greenhouse_gal wrote:What will you do with your blackberries? I still have bags of them in my freezer from last year!
It's more like what will I not do with my blackberries - jam, cobbler, wine. I just know I won't have enough to do all I want. DH thinks he may know some pick-your-own places, but I really want someone to sell them by the bucketload. I need to check http://www.pickyourown.org for any places near here for blackberries.
I'm not sure I ever found a cobbler recipe that I like, but I discovered that if I use a single frozen pie shell and fill it with my usual berry pie mixture, bake it, cool it, and cover it with crème fraîche or a mixture of sour cream and cream cheese with some sugar, it makes a wonderful dessert. I decided I like it better than a two-crust berry pie.
I'n not sure I ever looked at a recipe for cobblers! The pie crusts in the fruits were definitely important tho as far as flavors. And even tho I can' t have dairy foods without pain now tho, (no ice creams, sweet creams nor cream cheeses) it doesnt stop the memories! Sigh. yummmm. Cakes go good with berry drizzles too.
Definitely "Yes" to warm blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream on top. With all of this talk
about cobbler, I may have to visit the grocery store to buy some blackberries and bake a cobbler
'cause I don't believe I can make it to June when my berries will be ripe.
stephanietx wrote:Our blackberries never make it in the back door! We munch on them while working in the garden.
Stephanie, I have a feeling that this is what's going to happen with mine! I only have 4 plants put in last year, so I don't expect a whole lot of berries this year. So the ones I do get will probably be enjoyed right in the garden.
I have grown those NHG thornless blackberries since I have my black yard. They are delish.
Watch out !
They suckers a lot !! even 6' away form the original plants.
I did like them at the beginning, so I could have a lot of free plants ... now the suckers are trying to get into my veggie beds .. aaahhh
Anything with bugs goes to the curb in the yard bag for the city to pick up on trash day. Thick stems and such also go to the curb because they take longer to break down and I don't have the patience for that.
the brassicas break down into sulfur based stuff- thats why the awful stink. Like Steph says... bugs and big go to the dump. Yay!!! Am home! and got 2 days to get garden cleaned tossed and poisoned (spinosad for fireants with boiling water)and scaped and planted.
Here's what I did today- converted half of my sewing room to my growin' room! I am pretty much ready to go when the calendar says I can. I have made charts of all my egg cartons and will try to keep it under control! I will put 24" flourescent lights undr each shelf when the sprouts come, and there's a ceiling fan that I run toward the ceiling to circulate the air. Wish me luck!
My broccoli's still in the ground, although all it's producing right now are some little side shoots. I say "Little side shoots" cause they don't have a chance to get bigger. That's what I snack on while working outside. When they get pulled up, they go to the chickens.
I did get 3 new raised beds sets up. And am planning on 2 more. Or maybe just one more this year. I definitely want to have one for sweet potatoes. Now, I need to get the drip irrigation system extended to those beds.