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N & C Midwest:  April 2016 Toplef10N & C Midwest:  April 2016 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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N & C Midwest: April 2016

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CapeCoddess
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Post  Scorpio Rising Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:12 pm

I posted this morning, and didn't realize until I got to work that is was APRIL!  At last!  Entering into a cold spell, but at least I have a bit of a start!
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Post  Scorpio Rising Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:58 pm

Spinach, lettuces, radish sprouts and peas sprouting....32 to 34 tonight, I don't think I should have to cover, right?
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Post  CitizenKate Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:52 pm

Inside, the toe-maters and a few peppers (bless their hearts) are percolating for a mid-April to early-May debut.  I have a couple of cabbage sprouts that just blasted off after being up-potted, and I hope will be ready to put out, say... next weekend?  I like to have them larger before transplanting after last year's disaster with them.  Also, a couple more squares of carrots if I can get them going in time.

Outside:  spinach, lettuce, onions, and carrots.
N & C Midwest:  April 2016 State-10

The two kales in the boxes are struggling a bit.  I discovered that they do okay with colder air temperatures, but chilly watering really shuts them down fast!  Warmer watering for them from now on!  They are recovering, but I have a few more if they don't make it.  If they do make it, the extras will go in containers on the patio.

N & C Midwest:  April 2016 State-11

In the second over from the top and left, you can't make out much at this resolution, but there are a few newer carrot shoots that have begun to emerge from the mix.  I didn't know if they would make it after some of the crazy weather we've had, but these are promising signs.

The carrot stalks you see in the upper-left were started indoors and transplanted sometime last week.  Looks like they've made it over the transplanting hump.

You may notice that some of my onions are planted 9 to a square, and some 16.  The 16's are set deeper, and harvested earlier as green onions.  The 9's are planted shallower, and left in the bed until the stalks start to dry up and die, and by then there are larger yellow onions emerging from the surface.

bounce   Me love springtime.

That is all.
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Post  Scorpio Rising Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:40 pm

N & C Midwest:  April 2016 Image12

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Post  Scorpio Rising Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:43 pm

N & C Midwest:  April 2016 Image13

N & C Midwest:  April 2016 Image14

Previous above post: 2 small kales, hail damaged spinach and radish seedlings coming up. This post, Black Seeded Simpson, 2 of which are hail damaged, and the peppers and marigolds that I spared the torrential winds of today inside.

I am rethinking my start dates. Too early. Too cold, nothing growing, just getting damaged and having to be covered up all the time. Only 2 peas up. Out of like 16.


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Can't figure out how to do pictures and text in the same thing.)
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Post  CitizenKate Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:05 am

Oh ouch! The cold seems to be hanging on here, too, just when I thought all spring was about to bust loose. Last night was the last night in our forecast for freezing lows at night for at least the next week. Hopefully, that is coming your way!

I think your lettuce and I think most of your spinach will recover from the hail damage, from what I can tell from your photos.
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Post  sanderson Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:09 am

SR, Jot that down in your journal. That will help you judge when to start your seed pots next spring.

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Post  Scorpio Rising Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:29 am

I hope so too, Kate. The plants and temps! 2 of the spinaches are gone, I will pre sprout and direct seed replacements.

I am keeping detailed notes, sanderson.

Once I get my real 4x4, I can build a cover for it, and getting the plants some protection will help immensely on the cusp of the seasons I would think. I like the PVC one that you put together, Kate, because it is moveable. Or wood.
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Post  CitizenKate Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:10 am

I think for once I started everything (except the peppers) at about the right time. But we always have wild swings in the weather this time of year, so we always have some acrobatics to perform to keep the plants protected and have them ready to go in the beds when the frosts are finally done for the year.

That last cage I built definitely made frost (or other weather) protection a snap. No more hassles with getting plastic sheet arranged just right over the box, and getting it anchored down. Just pick up the cage and set it on the box - done.
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Post  Scorpio Rising Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:05 pm

Yeah, my plants are alive....lettuce actually looks ok, spinach must be way more tender...lookin weenie. Kale too. Weenie
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Post  CitizenKate Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:15 pm

For spinach, I make new sprouts throughout the season to replace plants that bolt or get damaged.  Last time I had hail damage to my lettuce, it was quite a bit larger, and it was hardly fazed at all, other than having to chuck the damaged leaves into the compost bin.

Today I finally got all the tomato plants topped up with growing mix.  They are looking fabulous, I think my best ever, so far.  And they got some serious sunshine time this weekend, both yesterday and today - finally!  But wow, the wind!  It was beating the crap out of them when I set them out Friday morning, so I brought them back in to sit under the grow lights before I headed to work.  (I start work at noon, usually.)  It was windy yesterday and today, too, but I set them closer to the fence to keep some of the wind off, which helped.  Whew!

Oh - and I had this very welcome visitor today, coming to scout out sources of water...
N & C Midwest:  April 2016 Bee-0110
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Post  Scorpio Rising Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:41 am

Awwwww, hi little fella! We are supposed to be low 20s here tonight, so will cover again later. Rolling Eyes At some point after next weekend I think we get a break temperature wise.
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Post  CitizenKate Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:51 am

I haven't had to cover anything for the last couple of nights, SR, and there's nothing in our forecast for the coming week, so I'm sure your last night of covering plants is coming.  However, it's still early April, and there are almost always are a few more frosts coming until the end of the month.  I think we've finally reached the point where they won't be, like, every other night or so.

I saw a meme on Facebook that said, "Winter, you had six months to show up, and you didn't.  So BUG OFF!"  Laughing

Got my toe-maters out again today soaking up some sunshine and breezes, and finally got some shots of them to share, both here and on craigslist.  (Hopefully I can sell a few and make back some of what I spend doing this.)

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Post  Scorpio Rising Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:29 pm

Dang, girl! That is a bunch of 'maters! They look great!

I just checked my tomato seeds: one German Green and one Cherokee purple germinated; both Sungold (cherry), one Oxheart (thanks, Little Sapphire!). Neither peacevine germinated, and neither Great White. Replanted those. 3 out of 4 groundcherries germinated! (Thanks, CC!). Still on heating pad and under lights.
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Post  herblover Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:33 am

It is outright COLD here in OH!  Tucked my 4 squares of salad greens under their blankies last night again.  I want to get more planting done but this cold weather is holding me up.
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Post  landarch Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:32 pm

I've had my tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings outside 24/7 for about a week covered with an Agribon fabric...temps in the 30's, then near 80, and wind that won't stop...the fabric lets sun through but cuts down on wind and watering.

I potted up 5 more flats of tomato and pepper seedlings late last night and will start to harden off outside later this week.

One idea I have this year is to take a few of my largest, healthiest tomato plants, pinch off a few suckers, dip stem in rooting compound, and start new plants from cuttings.  These make good replacements for any plants that may go down with early blight without having to start from seed with little time left.
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Post  Scorpio Rising Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:39 pm

herblover wrote:It is outright COLD here in OH!  Tucked my 4 squares of salad greens under their blankies last night again.  I want to get more planting done but this cold weather is holding me up.

I am with you, herblover.  Standstill until we get some decent nighttime temps.  I covered last night, it was 23* here...brrr.  High, 41 (yay?).  Low 30s tonight....may cover again!  And supposed to hold this way until next week..... rendeer

Landarch, I would be interested in how your experiment goes!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:40 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Forgot stuff)
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Post  CitizenKate Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:01 am

landarch wrote:I've had my tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings outside 24/7 for about a week covered with an Agribon fabric...temps in the 30's, then near 80, and wind that won't stop...the fabric lets sun through but cuts down on wind and watering.
Oooo... Agribon.   What a Face  That looks perfect.  I'd love to stop having to haul flats inside/outside almost every day.

"She's learning... she's definitely learning."
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Post  landarch Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:01 am

I've learned about Agribon from another raised bed gardener here in KC.  He recommends getting an early start in February by covering low tunnel hoops with Agribon 19 for wind and frost protection.  As the plants grow, especially broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc., go to a larger 4' hoop (pvc or metal conduit) and switch to Agribon 15...it's a lightweight cover which acts as insect protection. 

I am trying this for the SFG beds at my community garden spot because I can't get there every day and check for cabbage moth caterpillars...and Dipel did not work well last year (too much rain). 

Since I keep my warm season seedlings at home in plastic crates, I found that lining them up in the yard an covering with a 20' long piece of Agribon works well...protection from wind, frost...lets plenty of light and rain through...enough protection from light to not sunburn new seedlings.  Last week the air temp was in the 50's and I stuck my compost thermometer inside the fabric covered environment and got a reading of 77 degrees.  Seedlings look fine through a low of 34 degrees a few nights ago.

These row covers are really designed to cover long rows.  My space in the community garden is 25' long so I cover multiple beds with one cover.  Fairly adaptable to 4x4 beds.  This is why I tend to keep the variety down within boxes...when it comes to covering and protecting it makes sense to group like plants together.
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Post  Scorpio Rising Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:07 pm

I have heard of this Argribon. How does Agribon come, and where would you get it? I would really like to see about getting some. I don't need much, however. Maybe we can do an Agribon Co-op? Lol. Sounds like great stuff. I think I would need both (what, thicknesses?) versions.

Thanks, landarch!
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Post  Scorpio Rising Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:30 pm

OK, I have my lettuce, spinach, radish sprouts, and kale covered yet again. With my old towels/rags. And it looks like I am nowhere near done doing this! I think I planted out too early without real protection, like a row cover or Agribon...if I ever figure out where to get me some!? Cold and wet here. Really wet. And really cold. YUCK No
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Post  yolos Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:16 pm

Scorpio Rising wrote:OK, I have my lettuce, spinach, radish sprouts, and kale covered yet again.  With my old towels/rags.  And it looks like I am nowhere near done doing this!  I think I planted out too early without real protection, like a row cover or Agribon...if I ever figure out where to get me some!?  Cold and wet here.  Really wet.  And really cold.  YUCK No
Most any online seed company has the Agribon.  I bought mine from Johnny's Seeds.  They also sell it on Amazon in smaller quantities.
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Post  sanderson Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:04 am

Just Bing or Google Agribon. Several specifications from which to choose.

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Post  CitizenKate Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:24 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:OK, I have my lettuce, spinach, radish sprouts, and kale covered yet again.  With my old towels/rags.  And it looks like I am nowhere near done doing this!  I think I planted out too early without real protection, like a row cover or Agribon...if I ever figure out where to get me some!?  Cold and wet here.  Really wet.  And really cold.  YUCK No
We're still getting colder nights here, too, which really is not that unusual in April.

Last night, the forecast low was low 40's. I get up this morning, and it's about 28. Yep, yet another blown forecast.

But as long as the covers do their job, there's no better time to have some of those plants out there, like spinach and lettuce. The kale, not so much. I still have a few kale starts that I potted up and allowed to continue inside under the lights, and those are doing much better than the ones I planted outside 2 or 3 weeks ago.
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Post  landarch Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:24 pm

Kate, the weatherman didn't do me any favors last night...woke up this morning to check on tomato seedlings in the front yard.

Pulled the Agribon off to check and things looked good.
N & C Midwest:  April 2016 Covere10

Cursed the weatherman...little balls of ice on the leaves of my Carbon seedlings, under the cover...ugh.  Hopefully they will be ok.  Didn't notice any ice formed on any plants in other crates.
N & C Midwest:  April 2016 Carbon10
peppers

N & C Midwest:  April 2016 Pepper10

tomatoes hardening off to temps and sunshine
N & C Midwest:  April 2016 Tomato10

catalina spinach, toy choy
N & C Midwest:  April 2016 Toy_ch10

this is what it looks like when I have to carry seedlings into the house during cold snaps...wife not thrilled.
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