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who in northern states USA has started gardening?

Provo, UT(Zone 5a) anxious..LOL..jealous as all &($%&*# of u all in
southern states that have got things going already..
here in utah..were still getting snow (we need it) and nite temps
are mid 20sF.. so not alot of planting out..yet..
so thought id ask when anyone in northern states has got anything
going and when..
me: ive started 4 big flats of lettuce inside..they are up now..
if we do get nice weather this putting a cold frame together
and when nite temps are in mid 30sF i'll plant them in it..
getting all my planting supplies..potting soil,starting pots,checking lights
for my tomatoes.. i'll probably start tomato seeds late march..
i started them one yr beginning of march..and they were WAY to big
by may..LOL
so.. what are u all doing????

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I never stop vegetable gardening here in Dallas.

Right now in my raised beds outside I am growing: lettuce, swiss chard, onion, garlic, carrots and broccoli and trying to keep alive tomato transplants (these are the only ones under a protected cover).

Herbs growing around the garden for my cooking: rosemary, sage, thyme, chive, parsley and cilantro.

Growing inside under lights: cucumbers, zucchini, okra, peppers and eggplants.

How long is your vegetable growing season in Provo?

How do you select your tomatoes and pepper plants?
Do you look for a variety that will develop fruits faster?

Talihina, OK

Kinda Like drthor I never really stop growing but this winter has really put a crimp in my activities I planted some glads on sunday and today we are getting some freezing rain..Only thing going pretty good are the Collards Spring is coming LOL

Kankakee, IL(Zone 5b)

I'm South of Chicago. I always have herbs and now my dwarf citrus trees in the house. In the last month or so I have also started lettuces mixes, peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli! Everything is up, and now it is snowing and icey out! Come on Spring! I would like to fill my gardens with peas in the next month or so, so they'll be nearly done by the time I need the room for other things. I am attempting 3 seasons of gardening this year to get the most food possible out of my 2 veggie gardens! It's definately gonna be a challenge being this far North, but worth a try!

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

There's something going on most of the year here -- either going in, harvest, coming out or sitting dormant in the winter to be harvested fresh when needed -- but our gardening break in the South is when it's a 110F swamp outside. Nothing sets fruit and no one wants to be outside except the bugs eating your plants.

Tropicalnut777, if you don't have it already, you may like "Four Season Harvest" from Eliot Coleman. He covers all kinds of season extension methods.

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

thanks nicole..i have a couple of colemans books.but not that one..
i'll check it out..
good to see what u all are up to around the country..

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Since when did TX and Oklahoma become part of the northern USA? Lol

Provo, UT(Zone 5a) hearing from everyone..
hope some northerners chime in... hint..hint...:)

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, considering the crazy weather. Maybe there isn't much difference

Talihina, OK

Hey now it was a blizzard out in western Okie and Amarillo was shut down and it was cold here this morning with 35 and wind/rain

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

Nebraska here, a little further north than those Okie's and 'Horns who have been chiming in. You wouldn't know it though, with the lack of snow we've had this year :( The weather channel's self-named winter storm Q was supposed to be our Snowpocalypse, it ended up being a Snowpiddle...

We'll start seeing the first green outdoors in March, end of April is our last frost date. Then first frost by mid October, and all exposed growing outdoors is done by December.

Right now I've got red onion, leeks and shallots from seed started, and some starts of spinach started under lights indoors. Almost time to start some flowers (snapdragons, vinca, coleus), cole crops, herbs and peppers. Beginning of April I'll start tomatoes, other flowers (zinnia marigold). End of April/early May I'll start cucumbers and melons.

As soon as the snow melts and the soil can be worked out will go the spinach. End of March, peas lettuce and radish,

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Does PNW count as north? I have Sugar Lace peas in, but no sprouts yet. Indoors I have peppers & tomatoes, lettuce & cabbage & pak choi all sprouted. And some delphiniums & columbine from my seeds I saved.

Madras, OR

Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant are all up in my greenhouse in trays. I have my trays on shelving, with rope lights under the trays. Then I have a portable greenhouse cover over that. I have started transplanting a few in to larger pots, but those are also under cover at night while sitting on the greenhouse beds.

I use grow lights early morning and evening to be sure they are getting enough light, and they seem to be doing pretty well. I cannot set them out until mid to late May.

When I do, they go into a homemade wall of water.....5 gallon bucket with the bottom cut out, and then a gallon of water with lid set down inside and the tomato plant planted in the dirt in the center. I usually set tomato plants down at least half the stem below the soil line. the water jugs will warm during the day, and give off heat at night. If it looks like it will drop below 27 degrees or so, then I will cover the 5 gallon pails with row cover. By the time the tomatoes are above the pail, I am pretty much past the risk of frost.
I live at 2200 feet, east slope of the Cascades so last frost mid-June and first mid September. However if I cover stuff, often then we will not have another frost till October. In this way, I get 100-120 growing days.

I will start onion, celery and lettuce seeds for transplanting in another 3 weeks, to set out early May. Also broccoli and cauli. Here if we plant peas the first of April, middle of April or Memorial Day Weekend, they all ripen about the 4th of July. so I plant those when I get around to it.

This year, I tried fall plantings of onions, leeks, potatoes, and garlic(always plant it in the fall), and while I don't know about the potatoes, the rest are up and looking good. We do get frozen ground for a month or more, but I mulched it well. But I am uncertain about the potatoes/

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

I'll be starting some things near the end of March here in N.Y. Can't wait!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Wow, Nancy you have a short growing season. What zone are you in?

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

lettuce is doing great ..its inside..but all 4 trays are covered with
little sprouts..:)
were suppose to..we'll see..get some nice weather starting tomorrow..
days low 50sF nites high 30sF.. if it putting up a cold
frame..yea !!!
i found some big 6" coco coir pots (like peat pots) going to start my
cucs and summer squash in them.. i find the less transplant shock i give
cucs and summer squash ..they seem to just take when i plant them out in
the garden..
i have my heat pads,lights all check out..and mylar film for when i start my
tomatoes.. yea !!!! LOL im really sad arent i..LOL :)
great to see what u all are up to ...

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Started flowers and eggplant seeds in the last couple of weeks. Also have greens and carrots growing outside undercover.

Dayton, WA

I start gardening every year on January 1 by starting several hundred lettuce seedlings indoors under lights. At the proper time around Groundhog's Day, I begin transplanting them out to the greenhouse.

Madras, OR

my zone was recently changed by the extension service, so I am 5 or 6, don;t actually recall. Just have a frost sensitive nose, lol

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

I think I'd qualify as a 'northern' gardener, at 7,665 feet, lol. I brought in some of the soil from a bed in the greenhouse, after sifting straw, lumps, etc. out of it. I put it in the roaster and sterilized it to get some plants started inside in cups. I need to get some more of the blue cups from Family Dollar or Alco, as they're deeper than the little pots I used last year. Especially for corn, the roots will run out the bottom so fast... I am in the process of building an indoor greenhouse around two sides of the south-facing living room of my house. The room is large, and I think the lattice walls will help give it a garden ambience. There are large 9' wide windows on the east and south walls, but will only gardenize the south one, and the other wall is open to the kitchen. I plan to do some hydroponics in here, to have fresh veggies close by for cooking. The green house has been occupied by a big black kitty that enjoys sunning in there, but there's a lot of work, yet to do out there. I'll start planting tomatoes in the sterilized soil, and will rinse the roots to transplant some to the hydroponic pots. I sure want to get a head start on the corn, as I started it way too late last year. I did have good results from transplanting corn, so it CAN be done. The key is getting pots to start them in that are deep and big enough to last until mid-June planting time, here. Yeah, I'm really getting anxious for Spring!! The 14,000' peaks on the east and north sides of this valley, as well as the San Juans west and south have snow on them and may until June or so. Still quite a bit of snow in the yard, too, but the ice has almost all thawed and fallen from the roof. The avocado trees I moved into the house, and the pineapple plant (I started from one I ate from the grocery store) are going crazy! That gives me hope. :)

Thumbnail by Solace
Indiana, PA(Zone 5a)

I have a couple types of green peppers and tomatoes started under grow lights. It's probably too early, but this is the first year using grow lights and I figured it couldn't hurt! Three kinds of green papers and four kinds of tomatoes. It's been snowing here off and on, but none to little on the ground. Ground is still frozen. I was thinking of putting black plastic on the raised beds to get them to warm up. I thought I'd read somewhere that you should do that if you want to plant earlier. We're also thinking about getting old windows and making a small greenhouse. Temperatures are going up to 60 by next weekend, supposedly, and I hope to get onions, garlic and peas planted in a couple of weeks.

Warrenton, VA

Kathy, I'm with ya! I started veggie and flower seeds this past Sunday, live in Northern Virginia, and hubby was out this week digging up our vegetable garden. Last frost date here is April 15th, and most seed directions say to start indoors 4 - 8 weeks before the last frost date, so we're right on time. Oh yeah, I figured it all out, and like you, this is my first year doing the fancy thing with seeds!
By the way, most are up already and VERY dark green! What a joy to see them come up, even seeing the difference between morning and evening, oh I LOVE gardening.

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

Started peppers (2 bells, 2 non-bells, 1 jalapeno variety) today. Tomatoes will wait 2-3 more weeks as they grow a lot faster for me than peppers do.
Will start hardening off spinach plants this week, as soon as I see outdoor bulbs coming up they will be planted out (under plastic for at least the first week).

Carmel, IN(Zone 5b)

I keep my grow lights on all year around. After our fall harvest, I bring in some plants to overwinter (rosemary/lemongrass/bay). I start some herbs for use during the winter (basil/thyme/cilantro). In January, I start early veggies (Ieeks/onions) and plants that have a long germination or growing period (rosemary, lisianthus, lavender). I just love having herbs year round.

Will be starting rest of the annuals/herbs/veggies in a week or two for planting out in Mid-May. Can't wait :)

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

Does that mean you leave them on 24 hrs. , just wondering or if you have them on a timer. I have heard some people say 16 hrs. at most, and others say 24 hrs. works just fine.

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

16 hours is optimum.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I have a couple of tomato plants growing , some berry plants , some Borage , a few leaf lettuce , My leeks and Garlic grow year round in the garden outdoors .
I have a couple of annual flowers started and wrong time perennial , I hope for better weather this year . last year was a nightmare..

Carmel, IN(Zone 5b)

Seedfork: I use timers to do 16 hours on/8 hours off. Thank goodness for timers!!!

Juhur: I'm with you on wishing for a better growing season this year. Last year, using drip irrigation saved my container plants, and overall my garden plants did OK. But, I lost a huge spruce tree to disease (I'm sure the drought helped) and a few shrubs also. I hate losing trees--especially beautiful, mature trees. All I can do now is hope everything else didn't get too compromised and will do OK this year.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Prickly Pear Cactus and Gaillardia!!!! ^_^

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

I will be planting my tomatoes on Wed, put them on a heat mat then transfer to the greenhouse when they pop up. Peppers, too. I managed to over winter 3 peppers in the greenhouse and 3 eggplants. This was a first so we will see where that goes. I plant my tomatoes out the 2nd week of May, on or about, and will see the first fruit in Aug. sometime, depending on how warm the summer is. We do have mild summers here.
Best news of all.....I will not have to worry about deer getting into the garden any more. My dear sweet husband has two more tall posts to go and then we will buy the deer fencing.

Helena, MT

Well Dave we had a heat wave last week and I went fishing for the first time this year. When I got back it was in the 50's so I dug out several packets of onion seed and got busy. I use the COSTCO plastic mushroom containers to start my onion seed which will probably be transplanted in about ten weeks. Hoping to find some other seed to transplant I called my favorite local nursery and they told me it would be another four weeks before they got their seed potatoes and vegetable seed in. I guess if you want to plant any seed indoors you just have to stick with ordering your seed through the catalogs or on line. I have been having some issues with those companies which want to charge anywhere from 25% to 50% for shipping even small packets of seed. I have decided to look into trading seed here in DG next season which means a concerted effort at saving heirloom seeds this year.

I plan on getting started with my raised beds here in a couple of weeks. Preparing the beds is a good distraction from the winter doldrums. Another activity is outdoor vermicomposting and gathering composting materials. Gardening for me isn't just about seed planting even thought I can hardly wait to get that started. Growing healthy fertilizer is as much about gardening as planting seeds.

I did my 15 second scan of the latest DG newsletter and found an article which caught my attention by a Mr. Rodman on upcoming FDA legislation regarding pathogens and composting of animal manures for gardening. I am waiting to see if there is any feedback on this article.I checked several different forums thinking someone might comment on what Mr. Rodman had to say, but apparently the veggie people don't bother to check the newsletter.

Clinton, IN

Does building a hydroponic system count as working in the garden? Fred

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

What seeds might you be looking for?

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

mraider, where does one find the DG newsletter? I haven't been able to locate it-

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I read the article but I didn't see anything about FDA legislation. I did see a couple gardening myths that have been passed along but can't be proven in the lab.

Jo it comes in the newsletter you get every Monday. Or on the homepage on the right side, at least on my computer it does not sure if everybody's is the same. Mr. Rodman has done a series of these articles, they are very interesting and good food for thought but I didn't see anything about legislation.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I forget where I read about the FSMA, and where I posted a comment.
"Food Safety and Modernization Act"


I thought it was cute that the authors of the bill thought that "modernizing food" would sound like a plus.

Viewed one way, the proposed rules for using manure on food crops was a reasonable response to all the food poisoning from lettuce cases a few years ago (except I would guess they were caused b y farm workers plotzing in the fields, and restaurant workers not washing their hands). How bad is it if the FDA suggests you compost the manure before spreading it on lettuce and shipping lat5er that day?

But they also wanted tests don e to prove the coliform count was lows enough in your compost heap before you spread it. Then I imagined a market grower (or myself) trying to prove to an inspector that the way we've grown for years or centuries is responsible. Probably after the legislation, it will require filled-out forms with weekly tests from certified laboratories - something no small-scale organic grower is going to be able to afford or evade.

Large agri-business, yes, I'm sure they can afford or evade such rules.

Gee, who benefits?
Who has lobbyists?
Who goes out of business?
Monsanto or small-scale organic growers who market locally?

If I were in the Tea Party, I would start ranting about UN inspectors sequestering my compost heap, but I'm not quite that far along yet. No, I rant against big business using the government to put small businesses out of business.

I'm not at all sure if FSMA is really motivated by that, or just typical modern paranoia that wants to believe we'll alol live fore4ver if we just pass enough laws to makes us "safe".

When i asked my Senator to vote against it, she was all in favor of food being "safe" and "modern".

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

Quote from fordpickup :

Does building a hydroponic system count as working in the garden? Fred

I sure hope so, lol.

Provo, UT(Zone 5a) as ever man..
lettuce is doing good..
cold frame is up..i'll check the temp in there this next week
and see how temps are early in morning..if they are in 40sF i'll
start lettuce out there too.. mmm fresh salad greens..yea !!!
other day i just walked around homedepot.. checkin out what i could
use for various pots,garden stuff..
i have all my seeds for this season..
also going to try cover crop of buckwheat
i grew vetch one was ok..
i bought some online..only to check at local feed store..they
carry it..and alot cheaper..LOL i never learn..:)
kicked a few peat homedepot..they were froze solid..LOL
i think i will get a few..and bring inside so they can thaw..for my potting
was high 40sF today..suppose to hit 50ish F tomorrow.. would be nice !!!

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

here's these little indoor plants , not much ,but only?
Still have a couple of tomato plants barely under a foot tall in the other room (sunlight matters and no room)
These are some Borage,Tomato, Huckleberry, etc //. I am wondering what new vegetable etc is myself so there is no need to ask ,only browse on.. lol

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Helena, MT

Jo, that's interesting. I thought all DG members received the weekly newsletter on their personal net address. I seldom find anything of interest and only spend a few seconds scanning this newsletter, but the most recent one had an article by a Mr. Rodman on upcoming FDA regulations concerning pathogens in composted manures. There is some discussion now going on in the Soil and Composting forum as well as a link to the article. I check on this link and post it here.

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