Serenading Seedlings and Dances of Joy (Part 3)

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I just noticed we were over 200 posts and VERY exciting things are happening! We came from here http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/954569/#new

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Bless your heart for starting the new thread!!!

Supposed to get down to 28 tonight :-(,
I have covered everything I can. I am pouting. Last night got colder than predicted, 33, but I think it was colder at my house. Some of the perennials showed signs of having a rough night. Almost everything has been put out so if I lose them i will have to start over. Think warm everybody!

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Oof. Sending warm thoughts your way!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Here's to hoping it stays warmer.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Just came in from Santa Fe. Temp was 26 at the bank and it isn't midnight yet. This is a really hard freeze.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Oooo not happy news, no. There are folks in Texas and Missouri who are getting hit bad..... big blue ole blizzard on them! Other southern places too. Brrr.

thanks for putting up the cold barrier. so far it only got down to 35. sigh, sorry Paja I know most of the state got hit hard. Spring is not my favorite season.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Good news, Angele...... Waiting to hear how everyone else's plants fared......

Our temps dropped a bit more than predicted so I was out at midnight covering -- just putting tops on WS containers, nothing major. Right now I am dithering about whether to sow more seeds (things I have felt it was too early for til about now) or wait til midweek. I have lots of things that *could* go in the ground but I don't trust it at all yet even for my wildflower seedlings so gonna wait on that despite the fact that they jump up and down and say "Me! Me! Me! Plant Me!" every time I go out there.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I buy as many of my seedlings as possible and as a result had cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts in 4 packs out on my outdoor table. It snowed 6 inches on them and got down to 28 degrees or less ( the outdoor thermometer is on the outside of a glass window -- triple pane but still transmits some head from the house so about 10 feet out where the table sits, it was probably 2 or 3 degrees cooler.
I swept the snow off them to check them this morning and they looked very perky. Cabbage family doesn't mind snow. Neither do peas, snow peas and snap peas, potatoes, and kale, but I haven't planted those yet.
The sad thing was that the forsythia blossoms froze. I have never seen that happen before. And the many blooming apricots around town turned instantly brown. Sigh. I suspect none of mine have survived. This will be the first year in many that I haven 't had apricots -- unless the tree surprises me.
But most of the other kinds of fruit trees haven't started to bloom yet, so they may survive -- unless we have more late frosts.
Temps this time of year are up and down every so many hours. It is impossible to know when we will get hit again with another frost. Last year it was at iris bloom time.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

We have started some seeds inside... Tony's favorite Scarlet Emperor Beans (he's british, so he tells me they have lovely flowers as well as the beans)... fava beans, leeks, sugar snap peas, and although I know it will only be an annual here, I had to start some double purple datura seeds. I had a gorgeous double purple dat in AZ so I saved seeds. Also we have some cherry tomatoes and other regular tomatoes (nothing exotic... bought the upside down tomato planter thingy for cheap at Walmart and it included seeds)... we also got lots of other veggie seeds to direct sow outside when the time is right. We have not had a veggie garden together before (although Tony did back in England). He's been out preparing the area we're planting which is a chore because it hasn't been turned in I don't know how many years. We're going to do several lettuces in gutter gardens (we're removing a long gutter from the side of the house because the snow gets really caught up on it and becomes a dangerous avalanche). If you haven't seen gutter gardens, basically, you take rain gutters, drill holes for drainage, attach to a wall, and plant. I'll see if I can find the thread and link to it here. I'd really love to grow some heirloom tomatoes... any recommendations for best place to buy seeds?

We are loving watching the beans bust through the soil...

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Here's the link to gutter gardens... http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/835468/

This message was edited Mar 29, 2009 12:37 AM

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I have grown scarlet runner beans. They are lovely. Never ate any because had too much other produce at the time, but understand they are delicious. Maybe I should try some this year.

For tomatoes -- there are lots of good places with plenty of heirlooms. I like:

http://www.seedsavers.org/Items.aspx?hierId=43 (Heirlooms Only) Sells seeds & plants.
http://www.totallytomato.com/
http://www.tomatogrowers.com/
http://www.territorialseed.com/prod_detail_list/65 Sells seeds and plants. Specializes in cold season crops of all kinds.

And many more. You will probably find all this confusing -- people really get into tomatoes. Many are heirlooms from various countries. I do recommend Carolyn Male's book on heirloom tomatoes to help you sort it out. She is a DG member and a tomato expert.
http://www.amazon.com/Smith-Hawken-Heirloom-Tomatoes-American/dp/0761114009/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238309165&sr=1-1

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

I had too much fun ordering tomato seeds from Gleckler Seedmen. They posted in classifieds here that they were getting back in business after a hiatus, selling heirloom tom seeds (and a few other t hings). Something about their ad appealed to me and I went and ordered a couple of things (I think what appealed was some remark about how they just could not stay out of the garden! tried to quit and failed kind of thing. And this was before my heating oil sudden expense so I still felt I had a little $$ to experiment with!!!!!)

So next thing happened was a few "old timers" in the Tomato forum started mentioning, hey, Glecker Seedmen is back in business, which sounded like a good recommendation. When I checked Garden Watchdog it was mostly good too......

Anyway, my seeds did not arrive! So I emailed and got real quick response, they were clearly unhappy it had happened, sent me my order again plus some gifties, which got here in two days regular mail (from Ohio to CA), and then, a week after that, the original order arrived! for some reason the stamp never got canceled I guess that caused delays....... I offered to send their seeds back but they said no, and also volunteered that this was the only time such a thing had happened.

so now I have more tom seeds than I have any business dealing with. dealing with them this week tho! Will be putting a nice comment in about Glecker too, soon as I get the chance. Anyone wants to support them, this is a friendly mention, they were nice to deal with throughout all that. ;-)

My dad grew Scarlet Runner beans. He sent me seed once and I never got them to grow. He sure was proud of his garden and loved it when his entire dinner came from the fruits of his labor.

Got down to 30 last night, sure feels chilly on my hands 'specially when cleaning out the bird bath. Peas have their first blossoms- noticed that yesterday. The veggies that are planted in containers are doing much better than the ones in the ground. Most of the stuff in the ground is about the same size as when I planted them. I probably didn't amend the soil enough cause I sure worked hard on turning it but only added a little bagged soil. I need to break it up again.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Thanks for all the tomato info!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Can you tell we have all spent time trying to grow the perfect tomato?

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Well, now I don't know which varieties to try... but it's fun to ponder...

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

That is a big problem in fact. Here are some of the heirlooms that are very popular:

Stupice ( Small, but tasty early tomato from Czechoslovakia.)
Cherokee Purple ( a larger tomato and earliest of the larger ones in my garden.)
Pruden's Purple ( a larger tomato and earlier than many. )
Caspian Pink ( A great big pink tomato that is one of the best ever -- late)
Bradywine Black or Yellow ( Great big tomatoes that taste great and come on late.)
Brandywine Pink -- I guess some people can get yield from it but I never can.

Non-heirloom but delicious cherry tomatoes.
Sweet 100
Sweet Million
Sungold ( gold colored and delicious)

I am sure others on this thread will have a lot to add as well. If you read the tomato descriptions -- especially in Territorial and Seed Savers, you can pick which ever other ones strike your fancy and start keeping track of how each does in your very own garden. Tomato flavor and growth vary enormously with soil and climate variations, but the heirlooms above are all tried and true in the Santa Fe, Los Alamos area.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Pajarito, thank you for even more good info. I'm trying to figure out really when to start them inside for planting outside. We can have frost right up until the end of May, so if they say mature in 68 days, does that mean 68 days from sowing? (Sorry if this is a dumb question). If that is the case, they would be huge if I start them now by the time I put them in the ground. How soon before planting outside do you all start your tomatoes?

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

The general recommendation is to plant them no more than 8 weeks before you can plant them outdoors. Now lots of people start them way earlier, but that is not generally recommended. You plant them after all danger of frost has past -- normally after the average last freeze date. You can find out when that is from you County Extension Agent -- a good person to get to know for a lot of reasons. Our average last freeze date is May 15. How soon after that you plant them depends on how big a gambler you are. One think to keep in mind is that they don't do much until it gets warm, so waiting until June 1 sounds reasonable. Of course if you are too much after June 1 the larger ones won't bear before frost. You would get lots of green tomatoes for frying or whatever. Of course walls of water enable you to put them out quite a bit earlier -- like even now. As you can see hard and fast advice is hard to come by because conditions are so variable from place to place and year to year.
Oh and the number of days given is days from transplant, not germination unless you are starting them from seed in the ground -- which people do in warm parts of the country.

First sentence edited to make more sense.

This message was edited Mar 29, 2009 1:35 PM

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

You are just a wealth of information! Again, many thanks...

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Yes she is! Paj is a real resource of experience! Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Pajaritomt!

Angele, I am sharing your dislike of spring this morning, as it froze harder than predicted last night, YOW! And I slept very late (after being up for a while in the wee hours..... nice not to have a schedule that makes that a problem) so did not discover this til just a little while ago.

However. Everything looks okay so far..... and it has warmed some, but is to get even colder tonight so I am going to cover everything again.

Yesterday I had intended to sow a bunch of stuff and just could not make myself get to it, now I am glad!!!!!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

The garden fairy was speaking to you, Kyla! It is still pretty early for lots of things -- just not the ones that need to be cold stratified.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Well, yes. T he whole wintersowing process, however, does seem to give a way to sow some things earlier than I otherwise would dare, so it is its own learning curve. I just read that one experienced wintersower in zone 6 just sowed a lot of Zinnia varieties-- which is one I mean to sow next week even though if I were putting it in the ground directly it would be way too early.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

You can try but Zennias do not take frost! If you get frost, they will be history.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I also luv Mountain Princess heirloom tomatos and I think we all must have that one. I was going to direct sow my scarlet runner beans. Are they slow pokes? Do I need to start them inside?

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

My experience with scarlet runner beans is that they were very fast. I don't think you need to start them inside -- if they behave the same where you live. I think your summers are warm so that should make them very speedy.

Reno, NV

Planted out one of my peas on sat. I think it was sugar snap 2 or something. Potatoes are in their trash can. They look like they're ok so far. Kale seedlings look good but the mustard doesn't look happy. That's ok tho, I didn't put all of them out. Inside my toms are starting to peek up. Box car willy or something like that. My artichokes are bursting forth. First seedling on the hollyhocks and sweetpeas are coming up. My peppers are looking great except one of them had aphids. How the heck they got in the house I don't know. That baby is in seclusion right now but haven't seen any more.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Parsley seedlings up today. Have not killed any more tomato plants. Trying to get the snow off the hoop house, but in the middle the drift is too big to let the snow slide all the way off.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

There be baby basils ^_^

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

oh wow. sending them a kiss. x

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Basil! I should plant basil now!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Congrats dahlianut. Will you be handing out cigars?

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

And if so, what color will the bands on the cigars be?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Pink, blue, yellow and green cigars. Pink - Siam QueenThai, Blue-greek basil, Green-Italian basil and Yellow-Magical Michael. I just got some Cinnamon basil seed on Sunday. There will be red cigars when it is born.

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

I finally got a photo of my seedlings while it's still light out (they look awful in the flash). Left side is basil (Minette, purple ruflles, Mammoth napoletano, Dark opal, Thai, and Genovese). Right side is lettuce (Flashy troutback, Red deer tongue, and Nevada batavian) and frisee endive. Far right are a couple of loofah which grow much faster than everything else.

Thumbnail by Katlian
Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

And here are the tomatoes and peppers. Jaune Flamee is growing like a champ but everything else is slow.

Thumbnail by Katlian
Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Wow! Those seedlings look terrific! Do you eat the loofa or just make sponges out of it.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Awwwww, what cute babies! I have some too... will post pics tomorrow...

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