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N&C Midwest: April 2020

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Post  OhioGardener on 4/2/2020, 6:01 pm

Today I turned under the cover crop of Winter Rye and Hairy Vetch on two of the beds. After it sets for a couple weeks to begin decomposing the roots & green tops it will get chopped up and covered with new compost. One of these beds will be tomatoes, and the other one will be peppers, so they won't need to be ready for planting until the 2nd week of May.

In the back of the 2nd picture, you can see two more beds that need to have the cover crop turned under. Maybe tomorrow....  Very Happy

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/2/2020, 10:03 pm

Oh yeah, I guess it is April!  Thanks, OG!  

That seems like a lot of work to turn those beds?  

My sugar snaps all got dug up and eaten by some critter, will re-plant.  Grrr!  I think I can thin some things in the cold frame this weekend!  

Plans are to start maters and peppers this weekend!
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/3/2020, 8:39 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Oh yeah, I guess it is April!  Thanks, OG!  

That seems like a lot of work to turn those beds?  

My sugar snaps all got dug up and eaten by some critter, will re-plant.  Grrr!  I think I can thin some things in the cold frame this weekend!  

Plans are to start maters and peppers this weekend!

Fortunately, SR, it was easier to turn than it looks since the soil is so lose and friable. And, this year I got a new Razor-Back Spading Fork that made the job much easier.

My peppers went into the cold frame yesterday, and the tomato seeds will get started under the grow lights today.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/3/2020, 9:33 pm

Started the dig out for the asparagus bed tonight...will need amended, also some sand.  I have clay soil.  I am excited to get that thing started, it finally is warmer here.  Has been cold.  

Replanted my sugar snap peas and also the cabbage which didn’t germinate.  Checked on the lettuces under the lights, not real reassuring to be honest.  Cilantro and parsley up.   A couple cubes of lettuce.
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/4/2020, 8:34 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:  Cilantro and parsley up. 

A number of years ago I started a bed of Italian Flat Leaf Parsley on the edge of one of flower beds that we were converting to an Herb Garden.  Each year I let some of that parsley go to seed, and it comes back with a vengeance the next spring. Haven't had to plant parsley since.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/5/2020, 9:58 am

I put my herbs in containers outside my kitchen on the patio, so I have to change the potting soil every year, they get so root-bound that they are like a solid root-monster in there!  Otherwise, mine might do that, too!  The pollinators love the flowers on the dill, cilantro, and basil.  

Day 2 of the asparagus bed creation (life without a rototiller) so hope to get the roots in the ground after the rain ends today.  Beautiful day here yesterday!  

Enjoy!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/5/2020, 5:33 pm

ROOTS IN THE BED!  It’s cold, my hands basically froze!  But it’s a deal...fingers crossed!
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/5/2020, 5:39 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:ROOTS IN THE BED!  It’s cold, my hands basically froze!  But it’s a deal...fingers crossed!


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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/6/2020, 6:13 pm

I went out there to look at the asparagus bed in the cold light of day....yeah....not bad but not the best effort!  I did have a little bit of dirt to kind of cover the roots with.  Hopefully we do get some rain tonight as predicted.  Thighs=pain.  

Welcome Spring!
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Post  sanderson on 4/7/2020, 4:18 pm

You guys are getting some great work done this April.

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Post  OhioGardener on 4/7/2020, 5:51 pm

Today I took advantage of the 80°F weather to finish preparing two of my beds for their early-May planting. I had some stored biochar that had been activated with worm casting which I added to the beds, and then covered them with 3" of homemade compost. Now they can sit and rest until early-May when one of the beds gets planted with peppers, and the other bed gets planted with tomatoes.  Now my compost tumblers are empty and need to get started again.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/8/2020, 8:07 pm

You are right!  

So my re-planted sugar snap peas are up-ish.  Gonna close the cold frame tonight because it’s gonna be cold...

OG, you are right, the cold helped some of my lettuces get germinating! 

Celery doing great...big.

Will start tomatoes and peppers this weekend!  SUMMER
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/9/2020, 8:17 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:OG, you are right, the cold helped some of my lettuces get germinating!

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That's great to hear!  Sometime I'll share my secret for getting nearly perfect germination of carrots, too.

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Post  countrynaturals on 4/9/2020, 9:25 am

@OhioGardener wrote: Sometime I'll share my secret for getting nearly perfect germination of carrots, too.
Show off! Razz
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/9/2020, 9:32 am

@countrynaturals wrote:
@OhioGardener wrote:Sometime I'll share my secret for getting nearly perfect germination of carrots, too.
Show off! Razz

lol!

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/9/2020, 5:55 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:OG, you are right, the cold helped some of my lettuces get germinating!

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That's great to hear!  Sometime I'll share my secret for getting nearly perfect germination of carrots, too.
Well it won’t be long, mister!   carrot
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/10/2020, 8:54 am

We're under a freeze warning tonight, so I will have to get the agribon cloth out and cover a couple of the beds this evening. I don't think any of the plants in there would be affected by a light freeze, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/12/2020, 9:39 pm

We had a cold hard freeze last night...closed the cold frame thank goodness!  Today, I planted Candy onions, Crosby Egyptian, Chiogga, and Tendergold beets.  Also my fave carrots Tendersweet!

Crazy!
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/14/2020, 8:44 pm

Had nice mild weather today, so I finished up putting compost on the last raised bed. Everything is now ready for planting as the season progresses.  Well, almost everything - one 4'x8' bed currently has a cold frame on it that is being used to start the pepper, tomato, and basil plants so they will be ready for planting in mid-May. As soon as that cold frame is no longer needed, it will be removed and that bed will be refreshed with compost and planted in bush beans.  Have one 4'x12' bed with Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Beets, Leaf Lettuce, Radish, and Carrots growing in it. Have been eating the small kale and chard leaves to get some fresh greens - really, really miss them during the long winter months.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/15/2020, 6:04 pm

All my beds are ready except for a couple of my legacy beds, and the strawberry bed needs de-grassified.  What is that???

Everything is more or less on time.  Celery is up and healthy; lettuces are up-ish.  Cilantro and parsley are up.  Stuff in the boxes are pretty cold
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/16/2020, 3:09 pm

Last night all of my pepper plants in the cold frame froze, and I have to start some new seeds. It got down to 19°F last night, and that was just too cold for the peppers even though the cold frame keeps fairly warm. Always hate to loose seedlings that were lovingly being cared for. Sad

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Post  countrynaturals on 4/16/2020, 4:20 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:Last night all of my pepper plants in the cold frame froze, and I have to start some new seeds. It got down to 19°F last night, and that was just too cold for the peppers even though the cold frame keeps fairly warm. Always hate to loose seedlings that were lovingly being cared for. Sad
YIKES! That really stinks, OG. Peppers take so long it makes it even worse. very sad
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/16/2020, 5:15 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
@OhioGardener wrote:Last night all of my pepper plants in the cold frame froze, and I have to start some new seeds. It got down to 19°F last night, and that was just too cold for the peppers even though the cold frame keeps fairly warm. Always hate to loose seedlings that were lovingly being cared for. Sad
YIKES! That really stinks, OG. Peppers take so long it makes it even worse. very sad

Yeah, I hate it!  I always transplant them on Mother's Day - a gift to my wife - and it will be hard to get them up to size between now and then. But, off we go to plant seeds....

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/16/2020, 5:59 pm

Bummer, OG!  It has been cold cold cold!  Last year I started my peppers 4 times!  Mostly non-germination....some of them made it eventually, but it was the first year since starting SFG that I had to buy plants!  

I haven’t been out there, so hope things are OK.  The only thing in my cold frame are cold tolerant crops.  This weekend is my mater, pepper, basil, dill and flower starting marathon!  They will get the lights/heating pad, lettuces will come upstairs.
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/16/2020, 7:12 pm

Yes, SR, trying to second guess the weather is a never ending challenge. The cold frame can easily protect the tender plants down to about 25°F, and most April's we very seldom get down that low. The deep freeze down to 19°F last night was not predicted - we were supposed only get down to 30°F, so I wasn't worried about the plants. Fortunately, the cold-hardy plants that are already transplanted into the beds are doing fine. The Kale, Chard, and Spinach will easily survive down to 15°F, and they looked very good today. I was surprised that the Romaine Lettuce, Radishes, Carrots, and Beets didn't show any significant damage from the freeze. We'll see in a few days how they come back. But, today I planted new seeds for the Bell, Banana, and Jalapeno peppers, and put them on a heat pad under the lights.

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