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New England April 2017

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Post  bigdogrock on 4/1/2017, 11:36 am

I awoke to the gentle “tink” of the ice crystals outside this snowy New England morning. The bed begged me to stay in its warm depths and promised that blessed “just a little longer” amount of sleep the alarm clock battles so diligently with on work days.  But I wanted to get up this day. The 1st of April was presenting us with a real New England snow storm, complete with some wind and the steady timed rumble of the storm’s antithesis, the mighty lumbering snowplow, navigated by the heroes of our quaint little town, relentlessly pushing back the white waves of flakes.
    Outside to measure, the breeze pushes snow down the back of my neck, past my comfortable jacket. The birds all dart in different directions as they see me approach their feeders on the border of my garden, with chirps and songs which are a mind soothing blessing that can’t be recorded, only experienced. The quiet loudness of the place, the beautiful feathered friends, mixed with the cold realities that perpetuate our setting make this home, the place I want to be.
     I think of the difference when I have a snow storm and just a storm. A storm is fierce and troubling, the lighting and thunder, the downpours that wash away important parts of everyday living. But a snow storm is different. It can be an ominous foreboding event, but its name is usually changed to blizzard, Nor’easter, or has other added words that prompt us over prepare and help the supermarkets sell off all the supplies of milk, bread, batteries, and last minute supplies for that vague “just in case” situation if it happens.

     For now, I am spending my time with my family, wishing I could record the smells of the “snow storm” breakfast of fresh ingredients cooked on the gridle which is brought out for these special occasions. I sit back with a cup of coffee, thinking how blessed I am to have such a family, such a place to live. This New England morning is cemented into my memory again, complete with soft sounds of my woodstove as it crackles and ticks. This is the place I want to be.
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Post  donnainzone5 on 4/1/2017, 12:23 pm

You're a wonderful writer!
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Post  jenalawz on 4/1/2017, 1:52 pm

Trying to ward off the winter by doing some garden research today! I would like to grow some larger variety watermelon, as well as charentais melon and also cantaloupe. I know New England is not always the easiest climate for all of these to grow. Last year I had modest success with some smaller ice box watermelons that I grew on a trellis, but the variety I have this year is too big for that. Does anybody have any experience, tips and/or pictures of successful beds for melons? I don't get full sun where my garden is, it's about 4 hours per day full sun. Thanks!
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/1/2017, 2:22 pm

Thank you, Rock, for the lovely entry into April. My weather however is not so lovely. This wind and torrential rain is insane! Yes, from my window I would call it a nor'easter.

Jenalawz, glad you\'re here
I don't have good luck with melons here as I don't have full sun either, but some do well. A neighbor down the road from me grew those full sized oval watermelons in full sun about 3 years ago.

Where in New England are you?
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Post  jenalawz on 4/1/2017, 2:32 pm

New Hampshire, right on the border of what would be considered coastal Nh.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/1/2017, 2:49 pm

You must be close to NHGardener. That's where she lives. Maybe she can help you with the melons. You could PM her.

Do you have access to seaweed for your garden?
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Post  jenalawz on 4/1/2017, 3:08 pm

I suppose I could collect some pretty easily!
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/1/2017, 5:19 pm

Seaweed is great for the compost pile! Sometimes in the fall I also throw it atop my boxes and around my fruit trees. Tomorrow would be a great day harvest some after all this stormy rainy weather! I should probably get my butt out there.

I started my tomatoes today - Black Cherry, Super Swert 100s ( that I thought were Sweeties until I looked at the photo below and realized I'd made a mistake), Sungold, Gilberti, Roma and Super beefsteak.
 New England April 2017 Img_2099
 New England April 2017 Img_2098
The experiment with the mediums continues. The side with the tags is in MM and the side without the tags is Power Grow. My other experiments with the two mediums have shown them to be neck-and-neck - no difference.

I'm thinking about starting some peppers but every year at the end of the season I say never again and every year I plant them again.  Rolling Eyes  Such a dilemma.
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Post  quiltbea on 4/1/2017, 5:51 pm

BDRock, I enjoyed your entrée into the month of April.  We, here in Maine, have snow, snow, snow.  I feel sorry for the robins that came back too early since we did not get the wind sheer that blows a section of lawn clear of snow.  Its all covered with 8 inches of white.  Hopefully the warmth we're to get tomorrow will free up some lawn for them to hunt.
In the meantime, I'll dream of spring blossoms.
 New England April 2017 04-01-11
This is my garden today.
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Post  bigdogrock on 4/1/2017, 6:20 pm

Thank you, both CapeCoddess and Quiltbea for your kind words. 
Sometimes my finger hits the right keys. What guides it is still a great mystery to me.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/1/2017, 7:48 pm

@donnainzone5 wrote:You're a wonderful writer!
He is our poet!  Lovely!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/1/2017, 7:51 pm

CC, why do you say no to peppers?
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/1/2017, 7:55 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:CC, why do you say no to peppers?

I never have good luck with them. Two or three peppers per plant usually. And that's the small ones like pepperoncinis and banana peppers. The large ones never make a full fruit. I don't know if it's me or if it's that my hot season is so short. It gets hot here around July 4th, over a month after the rest of New England does.
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Post  quiltbea on 4/1/2017, 9:19 pm

CC......You are not alone.  I never had luck with peppers either here in southern Maine.  Except for a couple of mini-pepper plants that gave me a half dozen nice sweet fruits, none of the others did very much, whether sweet or hot.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/2/2017, 10:35 am

Thanks, QB. It's good to know it's probably not me and could be my shorter hot season. I know camp can grow great peppers but she really has the heat turned on for quite a while in her area.
I just bought 8 more packs of seeds. What is wrong with me???  dangit  Although I have to admit that 4 of them are zinnias and marigolds of which I grow a lot. The others are carrots, radishes, cauliflower and...and...
thinking
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/2/2017, 12:19 pm

...turnips!

Miss Lilly is wondering why the babies have to harden off on HER railing.  New England April 2017 Img_2100

After lunch I'm going to start some Snowball X cauliflower, and some Pepperoncini and Banana peppers. And maybe some Sweetie Tomatoes since I botched that up yesterday.


Last edited by CapeCoddess on 4/2/2017, 12:39 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post  countrynaturals on 4/2/2017, 12:35 pm

What a sweet picture, CC.  I love you
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/2/2017, 12:52 pm

Smile ThNks, Six. As soon as I walked in the door she went over to the remaining cell packs which are hot weather plants, and sat next to them as if to say, 'look Mommy, you forgot one.'
 New England April 2017 Img_2101
 New England April 2017 Img_2102
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Post  Banned Member on 4/2/2017, 2:39 pm

Wow, snow in April!  I guess it was HIS (finger pointing upwards) little April Fools joke.

Take solace in this--you New England gardeners have much success with the healthiest of all foods, the nutrient-dense greens.

If I had tried to grow the greens I like the most, they would have bolted in early March long before they were large enough to pick.  

We had our own little joke played on us this year--a day in February near 90 degrees, and multiple days in March around 83 to 85.

We can grow abundant peppers of all kinds.  I love growing Paprika peppers and the same peppers used to make Louisiana Hot Sauce.  We get banana pepper harvests like Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes--they just keep coming as fast as we can eat them.  But, if I had the choice, I would rather be able to eat fresh greens all the way into June.

PS--There must be professional writers on this forum.
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Post  sanderson on 4/3/2017, 2:22 pm

Yes, the Forum has some good writers, as well as some special gardening "buddies".

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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/4/2017, 1:27 pm

Planted onions on Sunday - potato, red and shallots:  New England April 2017 01310

I'm hoping they are small enough not to bolt. I tried to use only dime sized onions but the shallots are bigger. I couldn't remember if we're supposed to use big or small shallots for planting.

Small onions, big garlics, but shallots...?
thinking
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/4/2017, 5:05 pm

Garlic is Allium sativum
Onion is Allium cepa, and Shallots are also Allium cepa.
So I'd go with the onion rule - smaller better.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/5/2017, 11:21 am

Good thinking!  Thanks, Beetles.  Guess I'll grab a few small ones and plant them, too.  It'll be an impromptu experiment.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/6/2017, 5:36 pm

Oh yeah, snow here tonight....my spinach and kale are on their own.  Just over it.  If the spinach gets bit, I will direct seed some and hope for germinational success....I think the kale will be OK, it is on the patio in containers....

CC, your kitty is sooo cute!  Plants lookin good too!  LOL!

TNG, we are blessed with a wide array of talents on this forum!  cheers

I am gonna wait on my walking onions, and see how many squares I end up with.  All my existing squares are ocupado.  But there are always surprise "openings" along the way...hiddenID
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Post  camprn on 4/9/2017, 7:18 am

Its going to get to 60 °F today!
 New England April 2017 274447 alrighta

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