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New England, April 2015

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Post  CapeCoddess on Wed 8 Apr - 16:51

@NHGardener wrote:

I'm also holding on for the first asparagus sprout. You will hear when it shows. Smile

Me,too! I checked yesterday. But here are so many horseshoe crab shells on that bed that I'm wondering if the babies will be able to push them off. The shells are pretty light weight so I'm guessing so.
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Post  NHGardener on Wed 8 Apr - 16:54

I would think they'd be able to push those. My bed is kind of plastered with wet leaves from the fall, and I expect them to push through that.

Today I assembled that kind of cheapie deck greenhouse shelves/cover. It was a challenge, the poles kept falling out, until I figured out you really have to jam them until they click in. It's airing out now, the plastic cover stinks (like shower curtains used to), but starting this weekend, I'm putting my plants out there (in the daytime). Have to get a thermometer for it.
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Post  quiltbea on Thu 9 Apr - 0:59

I managed to get to my raised beds and my asparagus bed.  The asparagus aren't showing anything.  In fact, I have to cut out the last of the dead stalks from last fall and rake off the leaves.  Maybe that can be done this weekend so I can add a layer of compost to the bed.
The raised beds are all clear of snow but heavy with weeds and old leaves.  More clearing up to do this weekend.
Indoors, my herbs are popping.
New England, April 2015 - Page 3 04-08-10
Here's a pot of Genovese Basil at 5 days from sowing.


New England, April 2015 - Page 3 04-08-11
My pot of common thyme are looking good.


New England, April 2015 - Page 3 04-08-12
And this is my Winter Thyme.


New England, April 2015 - Page 3 04-08-13
My Kalettes and some of my first sown tomatoes.  All are looking healthy so far.

Today I sowed some flower seeds indoors:  Malva, Rudbeckia, and Scabiosa.   We'll see how that goes.  Now if only it would warm up a bit more and the wind would die down and those dustings of snow would come to an end, I could be gardening.
I know I can sow peas as soon as the ground can be worked, and it looks like its alright except for some cleaning up.  Then the peas will go in.
I know we are all of us just itching to get out there and plant, plant, plant.
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Post  NHGardener on Thu 9 Apr - 2:33

Thanks for the reminder about the peas, QB. Looks like this weekend will be perfect for planting those.

It looks like we can plant spinach and carrots outside too? (Looking at my planting chart from johnnyseeds.com) Anything else?
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Post  quiltbea on Thu 9 Apr - 5:43

NHGardener........Yes, peas and spinach but for me in 5a, carrots still have to wait a couple weeks.  This all depends on if our last frost date is May 15th which I'm calculating.  If we get a frost after that date, I'll be covering the beds to save them.
Lettuces and radishes around the end of April for me as are the greens like arugula, corn mache, mizuna and the like. My lettuces and rads will go into the covered bed as soon as I get it prepped the end of the month.
Right now its snowing out when I let out the dogs at eleven pm.  I'm hoping its the last of it.  Weatherman said tonite that tonite is the last of the cold days with temps rising to 50s and 60s for us days the rest of the week and next week, too, with nothing below freezing at nite.  We can only hope he's right.
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Post  CapeCoddess on Sat 11 Apr - 16:15

Coffee break time:
The first plantings of spinach and lettuce seeds in the SFG have sprouted! No sign of the very old snow peas yet, which were planted at the same time.

This weekend I'm loading up the beds with compost and will be transplanting the lettuce, kale and collard starts, as well as planting carrot and radish seeds, potatoes and onions and cleaning up the rest of the yard... or at least starting on it anyway.  The latter is daunting.

Oh, I forgot to tell you guys, over the winter a very nice landscaper guy & his lady moved in next door. He is not organic. He's using Roundup and all kinds of yucky things to clean up that messy property and grow his millions of little plants that he sells. My SFG is on his side of my house so I've got my fingers crossed that the wind will always blow in the opposite direction, which it usually does.
But poor Miss Lilly in her little bare feet. Sad
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Post  NHGardener on Sat 11 Apr - 18:43

Ouch CC! Gak that people use that stuff without thinking it's toxic.

Today I got more seeds - yarrow (altho I was looking for the yellow kind and this is multi colored so I'm not sure if it's the same thing), cabbage (fermentation of sauerkraut sounds interesting), borage (since you all said to plant it as soon as the snow clears) and lavender for the bees (I think they like lavender anyway). Oh, and more Fortex beans because one pack of 50 is hardly enough.

I didn't pick up sage, which might be the last seed I need to get this season. Sage is a beneficial attractant and also appears to ward off cabbage moths.

It's too windy and cloudy out today to get outside today to do much.
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Post  CapeCoddess on Sun 12 Apr - 13:04

Got everything planted yesterday and gave away about 30 leftover potato onions. I probably need to shade cover from today's sun but I'm not feeling moved to do it yet.

Garlic is looking edges - 100%germination from last years harvest! New England, April 2015 - Page 3 Image11

Spinach and the Grand Rapids lettuce seeds behind it have sprouted.New England, April 2015 - Page 3 Image12

Planted in this box are three varieties of kale and three varieties of collards.New England, April 2015 - Page 3 Image13
I need to cover them with tulle before the cabbage butterfly shows up! I'll do that today. That is unused coffee grounds around the edges in hopes of keeping the slugs away. Someone here on the forum said that used grounds work well but I didn't have enough. I'll report back on this experiment.

Five varieties of lettuce starts around ten outside squares and potato onions in the four center squares. New England, April 2015 - Page 3 Image14

This box has sugar snap peas all along the back and rite sides with 2 or so squares of Marvel of the Four Seasons lettuce in the very center. I want to see how long the lettuce holds up in full morning to midday sun. New England, April 2015 - Page 3 Image15

This is my first attempt at growing potatoes in the SFG. I'm not too sure what I'm doing but this ditch covers three squares and they were planted at the bottom. I guess I wait for them to sprout and start covering, kind of like when I started the new asparagus bed?New England, April 2015 - Page 3 Img_2012

This is Red Sails lettuce in the blue pot with I'm not sure what sticking up out of the center. I did this last year and it was really pretty. When placed in full shade it lasted long time, in Mel's mix of course.New England, April 2015 - Page 3 Img_2011
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Post  quiltbea on Sun 12 Apr - 17:19

CapeC.....I'm admiring your beds.  You are a bit ahead of me in temps so its always nice to watch you 'work' outdoors getting your garden going.  Its like a journal so I know what I can put out when my time arrives. thanks   Its the reason I read The New Victory Garden book every spring (with his Mass. gardens).  Prepares me in advance.
Love the photos.  Keep 'em comin' please.

Forgot to add that I love that Red Sails lettuce.  I put some in pots, too, and cut and come again about 4 times thru the season before they are beyond hope.  I can move them into shade when needed.
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Post  CapeCoddess on Sun 12 Apr - 17:41

honestly, when I talked to my tablet about the garlic, that first line was the garlic is looking good. Have no idea where the word edges came from.

Thanks a lot, QB! I enjoy posting them as long as you're enjoying them, too. But these plantings are where I part ways with the rest of New England. I love to watch you guys with your warm-weather veggies when Cape falls  so far behind in that department due to the longer spring weather.

Got the lettuce / onion box covered with shade cloth just for today. Put a screen over the marvel of the four seasons Square. Put up a hoop house and some tulle over the kales and collards, but it's too short on one side. It was a scrap left over from last year and I thought for sure it would work but I must have cut a piece off for something else. Oh well, I'll figure something out. Sure wish I could find some of that cicada netting, like Molly did, that didn't cost $150 a roll.

Feels cooler here today than yesterday, but just as windy. How's everyone else's weather been this weekend?
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Post  quiltbea on Sun 12 Apr - 18:21

We're mighty windy here, too, but not as bad as yesterday and the temps are in the low 60s they tell us and sunny right now.  I got out and transplanted 6 Romaine lettuces to my lettuce container and 3 of the pansies to a hanging basket.  They can be brought in at night so I'm good with that.  I still have snow between me and the raised bed hillside so can't get there today to clean up.  Maybe an extra day of gaining strength will be good for tomorrow when it should be nicer out than today.
New England, April 2015 - Page 3 04-12-10
My Romaines are settling in a shady corner.

New England, April 2015 - Page 3 04-12-11
And a few of my pansies in a hanging basket.
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Post  NHGardener on Sun 12 Apr - 18:53

Beautiful guys! And CC, wow are you ahead of me, it seem like a month ahead, altho when the warm weather hits I'll bet things will speed up here. No signs of garlic yet.

I'm still looking for the first asparagus stalk!

Today I got the bees all situated, it looks like 3 hives survived out of 5. 

The windows are open here today. And no wind.

There's still snow on the north slopes. The above ground pool crumpled under the heavy snow this winter! Looks like we'll be pulling that thing out. Whaaaaaa. Oh well. 

Maybe tomorrow I'll plant peas, spinach and borage... And beets?
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Post  camprn on Sun 12 Apr - 20:05

and chard?
Wink

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Post  NHGardener on Sun 12 Apr - 23:06

Thanks camprn! I bought chard seeds this weekend.

I've never grown beets, chard, or borage, so this is all new.

Oh, and someone gave me some Jerusalem artichokes to plant! I see they're pretty invasive so I want to be sure to plant them far away from the main garden.

Anyone growing those? I know they're supposedly gaseous, but they're also supposedly really healthy, and that prolific youtube gardening guy seems to like them (not Ray, but the other one) (ah - growingyourgreens.com guy).
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Post  NHGardener on Mon 13 Apr - 0:22

Hmm. Forgot about stevia. It looks like stevia is a pollinator friendly plant too.

Did we say it was too cold in Zones 5-6 for turmeric? Maybe growing it indoors? I don't know if that would work. It says it takes 8-10 months for turmeric to harvest.
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Post  CapeCoddess on Mon 13 Apr - 0:33

Yeah, I was growing Jerusalem artichokes once, about four of them. Then the mother cut them down thinking they were weeds and I haven't seen hide nor hair of them since. Sad They never had a chance to become invasive. Not much becomes invasive around here.

NHG, I would imagine that tumeric is much like ginger. I tried growing ginger and when it finally sprouted only 1 sprout from about six or seven separate roots, the sprout grew about an inch tall and stayed that way for about 6 months. Then it died. I just don't have the warmth here that it needs.

I, too, had snow crushed shapes. Some buckets around the yard were almost accordion shaped from the weight of the snow. Three of them cracked and are no good to hold water anymore but will be fine for hauling compost and yard debris. Also it looks like my 4 year old champion Collard plant finally bit the dust this winter. Hope I can get another one going like that.

No jeopardy tonight. Heading for bed and book.
Night all!
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Post  quiltbea on Mon 13 Apr - 17:23

Its so lovely out today, I plan a full day of garden endeavors.  I found a snow-clear pathway to the raised beds thru the garage entry, then around the garages coming from the backside.  Its a longer path, but its clear of snow enuf to get thru.  I'll have rake and trowel in hand and nippers to clear out the asparagus bed.  Plans include composting the asparagus,  getting my covered 4-season  bed prepped and ready to plant the lettuces, greens and radishes because I can cover them against any cold weather that might pop in next week.
Maybe the snow peas can get sown, too, at least one of the 4' strips. 
In between I'll be taking long rests which is the only way I can handle my garden these days, but I feel so good about finally starting.  What I don't get done today, I can work on Wed and Thurs.  Tomorrow we're expecting rain so it would be great to get in the sugar snaps first I think.
I'll be back with pix when I can manage.  Have a good gardening day.
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Post  NHGardener on Mon 13 Apr - 17:50

I don't know about you QB, but after a few garden chores, I get pretty pooped... It's so nice out there, I wish I could put 10 hrs. in today!

Today I went to the beach and got seaweed! That's a big chore because it's a 45 min. drive each way. If I had my druthers, I'd do this every weekend! Anxious to get it on the beds to see how it affects the slug population. Usually I go to the beach twice a year for seaweed - once in spring, once in fall. During the summer months you need a permit for parking.

I tried pulling blackberrries up from the rock flower garden around the house - WOW! Those things are tough! Very viney, very hard to pull, I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that. I have some flower seeds to put in there, but it's not easy to know what to plant in there. Kind of like an empty canvas waiting to be painted... I'm not much of an artist, but I do have books here, hoping to pick out some perennial pollinator attractors, different sized pretty flowers, and some scented too. That would be nice.

I planted my perennial sea kale this morning. So much more to do! This is the part where it gets overwhelming...
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Post  camprn on Mon 13 Apr - 20:09

@NHGardener wrote:Thanks camprn! I bought chard seeds this weekend.

I've never grown beets, chard, or borage, so this is all new.

Oh, and someone gave me some Jerusalem artichokes to plant! I see they're pretty invasive so I want to be sure to plant them far away from the main garden.

Anyone growing those? I know they're supposedly gaseous, but they're also supposedly really healthy, and that prolific youtube gardening guy seems to like them (not Ray, but the other one) (ah - growingyourgreens.com guy).
THey have a lower glycemic index and are a good substitute for potatoes for those haveing to count carbs and manage their blood sugar. DO NOT  plant them in your garden, plant them far away from your garden. DO not ever rototill them. Shocked affraid

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2456/2

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Post  boffer on Mon 13 Apr - 21:26

@NHGardener wrote:...Someone gave me some Jerusalem artichokes to plant! I see they're pretty invasive so I want to be sure to plant them far away from the main garden....
Anyone growing those? I know they're supposedly gaseous, but they're also supposedly really healthy, and that prolific youtube gardening guy seems to like them

They're very invasive and hardy.

They affect everybody differently.  My wife has issues with gas from some foods, and they don't bother her a bit.  I rarely have issues, but they get me bad.  Actually, they get me bad on the first day,  but if I eat them several days in a row they don't cause me any problems after the first day.

I like them baked, but my favorite recipe is soup.

Find the recipe here along with other info.
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t6834-friday-s-rookie-post-iii-sunroots
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Post  quiltbea on Mon 13 Apr - 23:12

NHGardener.....As you said about yourself, I'm pooped.  I think I'm coming apart at the seams, too.
I cleaned, weeded and composted the asparagus bed.
Cleaned and weeded the greenhouse bed and put on the cover to warm the soil for lettuces and greens later this week, and radishes.
Planted some Purple Coneflower bulbs in one bed and also some Cheyenne Spirit coneflower seeds (t/y Windmere).
Planted some Goldstrum Rudbeckia bulbs in another bed.
Set up my trellises.
Cleaned up a strip and sowed Sugar Snap Peas.
By the end of this, even with rest breaks in between, I can now barely move in low gear.
Of course, while out there I cleaned up the winter doggy leavings that were hidden under the snow for so long.  I'm glad the trash pickup is tomorrow morning.
I tried to rake the snow away from the short way to the garage where I keep my garden supplies and tools but it was too difficult so I have to leave it for Mother Nature to melt.
I'm too tired to cook so I think I'll open a can of Mini-Raviolis that I keep handy in case a quick meal is needed.
Our temps were in the high 60s today and can't help but love that sun.
New England, April 2015 - Page 3 04-13-10
Here's the greenhouse bed open for fresh air and for the rain we're expecting tomorrow.  The soil is so rich and dark.  I think on Wed I'll be sowing the lettuce mix I have and the radishes here.  Other things are also on the agenda.  Another day of doing and resting and doing and resting for both Wed and Thurs.
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Post  NHGardener on Mon 13 Apr - 23:23

Thank you for that thread, boffer! That's great info. I planted the sunchokes today, 2 in a waterlogged mudhole because it's the only area in that part of the yard that I can actually get a shovel into (I think tree roots) so we'll see if those grow or not - once the thaw is over it won't be waterlogged till next spring. The other 3 I planted near a boulder in the chicken yard because I remembered reading (after I planted the other 2 somewhere else) that chickens really like them. I'm actually kind of excited about them because they are also pollinator food I think, and I think the birds eat the seeds too, if they have seeds? Hmm. Maybe if they're tubers they don't have seeds. Well, I thought I read that somewhere too.

QB, I don't think I can move. Not just sore, but weary to the bone. This is what happens after being sequestered due to such a cold winter. Laughing There's still so much I haven't gotten to, like planting the peas, spinach, and etc. But I also went through my beehives - again - today, lifting the heavy boxes, seeing what's what. I couldn't do dinner either and picked up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.

camprn, it seems pygmy shrews got to one of my hives (which is now dead). I'm duct taping the entrances on the others at night until clusters are over and they can defend themselves. The shrew got into the 3/8" holes in the mouseguard. The telltale sign is all the dead bees are only half bees, and the legs are all over the place too.
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Post  CapeCoddess on Tue 14 Apr - 15:39

Peas are poking up their little heads! cheers
I planted Seven Tops turnip seeds and some radishes yesterday.

And once again, the rain is dividing over the Cape, to the north and south of us, so I get none.  All my buckets were lined up outside this morning waiting...waiting...waiting....

No
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Post  NHGardener on Tue 14 Apr - 17:03

Yay CC! So exciting when they come up.

One of my kale seedlings is starting to yellow, and I'm thinking I should transplant them outside. It's not too early for that, is it? I think they're an early transplanter.

Is it drier than normal there, CC? We're still in mud season, a lot of melting still going on so the ground is pretty waterlogged right now.
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Post  CapeCoddess on Tue 14 Apr - 17:37

Well, it's not wet here by any means.  We live on a sandbar so the water goes right thru.  The starts I planted out on the weekend will need watering today.  I'll have to drag out the hose.  And so it begins....

If the yellow kale leaves are the lowest ones, that's normal and you can take them off or they will fall off by themselves.

I just bought some Dr. Pye's beneficial nematodes from Amazon.  I think it was Molly or Lyndeeloo that uses them.  Supposed to kill grubs, fleas, & such but leave lady bugs, earthworms and other good guys alone.

How to grow SVB free squash:
http://www.bigpumpkins.com/nepga/ViewArticle.asp?id=27
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