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Anything to start from seed in April? Toplef10Anything to start from seed in April? 1zd3ho10

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Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
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Anything to start from seed in April? I22gcj10Anything to start from seed in April? 14dhcg10

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Anything to start from seed in April?

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Post  jjlonsdale 4/19/2013, 3:14 pm

I miss having all my little seedlings to baby along indoors. Is there anything that would be useful to start from seed around this time in the Lower South? (I'm in Dallas, 8a.) Or do I just have to wait until it's time to start cool-weather crops again?
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Post  walshevak 4/20/2013, 8:14 am

I would wait at this point. Direct sow in the ground some things and buy starts for others. The one exception I can think of is starting a few tomatos for late production. I was given some foot tall plants in late June/early July one year and decided to stick them in the ground. They didn't produce until mid Sep but I got bumper crops until frost. You can also root the prunings of your tomatos for this purpose.

Kay

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Post  TejasTerry 4/22/2013, 9:21 am

walshevak wrote:I would wait at this point. Direct sow in the ground some things and buy starts for others. The one exception I can think of is starting a few tomatos for late production. I was given some foot tall plants in late June/early July one year and decided to stick them in the ground. They didn't produce until mid Sep but I got bumper crops until frost. You can also root the prunings of your tomatos for this purpose.

Kay

Would okra be ok? I'm thinking about putting some in today...
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Post  GloriaG 4/22/2013, 1:59 pm

Hi jjlonsdale,

I live just north of the DFW airport. Right now you can plant okra outside without starting it inside. But in two weeks you can start your fall tomatoes and eggplant inside and at the end of May you can start your fall peppers. They get transplanted into the garden on the 4th of July.

I know it doesn't help right now but it's soon.
Good gardening,
Gloria
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Post  jjlonsdale 4/22/2013, 2:19 pm

That's great to hear Gloria :-)

So funny to be thinking of prepping the fall garden when it's still in the early 80s!

bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce

^ me bouncing up and down wanting to play with seeds some more

thx!
JJ
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Post  GloriaG 4/22/2013, 3:39 pm

I know what you mean. I had trouble with the concept of starting fall plants so early too. But when you count back the weeks from first frost in November, July-August is just right for planting them. We're really lucky that we get TWO good planting seasons.

Good luck,
Gloria
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Post  jazzycat 4/22/2013, 3:58 pm

GloriaG wrote:Hi jjlonsdale,

I live just north of the DFW airport. Right now you can plant okra outside without starting it inside. But in two weeks you can start your fall tomatoes and eggplant inside and at the end of May you can start your fall peppers. They get transplanted into the garden on the 4th of July.

I know it doesn't help right now but it's soon.
Good gardening,
Gloria

OK, so I am new at this and still learning. So why would you need to start new plants for the fall that are summer plants? I understand that sometimes tomato plants will stop setting fruit in the heat of summer, but they do continue growing and will set fruit again once it cools off, don't they? That is my understanding. Am I wrong about that? I'm so confused. thinking
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Post  CapeCoddess 4/22/2013, 4:02 pm

Jazzy, be very aware of where the poster lives if you read posts to glean info. Like TX seasons could be way different than GA. Maybe their 'summer' starts in the fall.

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Post  jazzycat 4/22/2013, 4:18 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Jazzy, be very aware of where the poster lives if you read posts to glean info. Like TX seasons could be way different than GA. Maybe their 'summer' starts in the fall.

CC

I understand. But I'm in Georgia, and they're in Texas. I think we're even in the same zone?
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Post  jjlonsdale 4/22/2013, 4:25 pm

My understanding -- and I am very new so I may well be wrong! -- is that in our wonderful warm Zone 8, you CAN get two growing seasons out of the summer if you want to. Start tomato seeds in January and plant them March, then start tomato seeds again in May and plant in July! Two rounds of veggies instead of one!
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Post  CapeCoddess 4/22/2013, 4:47 pm

Unless they are determinates, don't the original tomatoes keep producing until winter?

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Post  GloriaG 4/22/2013, 5:32 pm

Hi all,

Sorry, I guess I've confused things here.

IN TEXAS - we have at least two, depending on the region and plant, three or four growing seasons. In the Dallas area, we put spring tomatoes in the ground in February/March, and fall tomatoes go in July or early August. That's unique to our area - so PLEASE don't read this as something you should do anywhere else.

The reason we do this is because our summer heat is so intense that spring tomatoes stop producing in summer and they are usually too stressed to produce again in the fall. But we have a very LONG fall growing season - with tomatoes producing until November and even December sometimes.

Everyone needs to check first and last frost dates and growing season information for their own area.
Thanks,
Gloria
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Post  brainchasm 4/22/2013, 5:49 pm

I'm in zone 9a - our season is over two hundred days long! But, we get so hot, things tend to shutdown in the middle.

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Post  littlejo 4/22/2013, 8:10 pm

You know, zones are fine for what it's worth, but, if you can find a farm store that sells seed/plants, they can tell you what to plant/when. Also planting to beat the bugs. You may want to order seed, especially heirlooms, from an online source.
Okra could be started now, I find it won't germinate for me outside. I let it get about 6 in tall and transplant. Anything that really goes for the heat. Sw. potatoes would be good, they love the heat. Lima beans.
I started all my plants in the house this yr, except carrots, beets and spinach.
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Post  jazzycat 4/22/2013, 8:45 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Unless they are determinates, don't the original tomatoes keep producing until winter?

CC

THAT is why I'm confused! Very Happy Why do you need to start new seeds for a plant that will keep growing/producing until winter? My understanding is tomatoes might stop setting fruit in the extreme heat of our southern summers, but once it cools off they start growing fruit again. It just seems like a lot of extra work to me to destroy those plants, only to put news down again. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear the first time. What a Face

But wait...

GloriaG wrote:Hi all,

Sorry, I guess I've confused things here.

IN TEXAS - we have at least two, depending on the region and plant, three or four growing seasons. In the Dallas area, we put spring tomatoes in the ground in February/March, and fall tomatoes go in July or early August. That's unique to our area - so PLEASE don't read this as something you should do anywhere else.

The reason we do this is because our summer heat is so intense that spring tomatoes stop producing in summer and they are usually too stressed to produce again in the fall. But we have a very LONG fall growing season - with tomatoes producing until November and even December sometimes.

Everyone needs to check first and last frost dates and growing season information for their own area.
Thanks,
Gloria

See THAT makes sense to me. LOL The plants get too stressed to grow more fruit. So even though they might start producing again somewhere else, they won't there.

It gets very hot here, and it's extremely humid. I know someone who had a tomato plant in a container that he'd had for over 5 years. He would bring it indoors during the winter and take it back out in the summer. He said the tomatoes got sweeter and juicier every year. Very Happy

What is the difference between a cool weather tomato and a hot weather tomato? I thought tomatoes were tomatoes.
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Post  camprn 4/22/2013, 9:21 pm

jazzycat, look up indeterminate and determinate tomatoes. That should clear up a few things.

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Post  GloriaG 4/22/2013, 10:39 pm

Hi jazzycat,

FWIW - USDA Hardiness Zones refer to the lowest temperatures you can expect in winter. That information is great when you buy tress, shrubs and plants that have specific winter temperature requirements. Or when you read a seed package that says "Hardy to zone X". What the Hardiness zones don't define is what the weather is like in the zone.

I'm no expert, but I suspect that even though we both live in zone 8a, you probably have ocean breezes in summer that produce cooler night temperatures than we get - those lower night temperatures allow your heat stressed plants to continue to grow slowly over the summer and spring back better in fall. Our summer daytime temperatures may not be much higher than yours, but we have almost no wind (and if we do get a breeze, it's coming across the land which is hot) so our nights are hot - and there isn't any relief for the plants.

Those are the type of conditions that create "regional climates" and cause gardeners to have different issues even if they live in the same Hardiness zone.

Hope this helps,
Gloria
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Post  jillintx 4/23/2013, 9:54 am

Hi jjlonsdale. This is just my 3rd year, so I'm still figuring out what works best for me, but this is what I've experienced. Yes you can keep a large tomato alive during the "furnace" part of the summer, but it takes a lot of water and effort. And when the weather cools off in the fall my spring plants have not been as "thrifty" as new fall plants. If I find one from the spring that I really want to keep, I'll break off and root a sucker for the fall. Also for me, I'm trying a lot of different heirloom tomatoes right now so I look at it as a chance to have a whole new taste test in the fall. Smile

Hot peppers seem to fare better, so I have not tried new pepper plants in the fall. Seeds that I would go ahead and plant now are okra, armenian snake melon, chinese red noodle beans, malabar spinach, and cantalope. (in fact I just finished planting the snake melon and some beans a week ago, thanks to this crazy spring!) I "think" I grew rat tailed radishes last summer, but honestly I'm not sure what month I planted them, so they are being tested this summer. The way I approach it is - go ahead and try some border line things...the joy of the experiment far outweighs the cost of a few seeds!
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Post  jjlonsdale 4/23/2013, 12:16 pm

Jill, that sounds awesome. Thank you for the suggestions and I'll give them a try! Now the gardening bug has bit me I just don't want to stop Very Happy
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Post  Parb 4/30/2013, 10:57 am

CapeCoddess wrote:Jazzy, be very aware of where the poster lives if you read posts to glean info. Like TX seasons could be way different than GA. Maybe their 'summer' starts in the fall.

CC

Here in Texas (depending on where in Texas) our Summers have been known to start in March (pretty much skipping Spring) and end in November/December. LOL! We are unpredictable sometimes. That is why there is a saying here in Texas, "Don't like the weather, wait five minutes. It'll change."
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Post  Pepper 4/30/2013, 1:50 pm

Here is a link to Mother Earth News's planting guide. It is somewhat general but a good guide none the less. Just pick your area and on the next screen the month( by changing the month you can get a feel for how to preplan), scroll down to see what to plant and what method.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/what-to-plant-now-zl0z0903zalt.aspx#axzz2RyBPcXHY
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Post  littlejo 4/30/2013, 6:06 pm

I don't know what happened to the first post I made, so will try again!

Here is another link to another site. Of course, take these sites with a grain of salt, and use what's happening in your specific area. Of course, Mother Nature will change your course of action at any given moment.
Jo

http://www.mysquarefootgarden.net/
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