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Post  Scorpio Rising Sun Apr 03, 2022 9:19 pm

So it is Spring, right?  Very cold here in Ohio, what are you guys all experiencing?  I have been putting off all my in-house seeds.   Just brought up the sprouting taters—Yukon Gold…they will go out this weekend.  Getting some sun. 

My strawberry and asparagus beds need weeded.  It has been so cold here.  Maybe this weekend?  Hope so

Started some seeds inside on the heating pad:  Nasturtiums, Marigolds, Butterfly flower, and Tansy celery.  Also, started bunching onions and cilantro and parsley.
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Post  nrstooge Mon Apr 04, 2022 9:13 am

Still to cold here in Iowa to plant outside.. but my growlights are full with seedlings.  I may try to get some of the cold hardy plants into the patio greenhouse this week.
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Post  Scorpio Rising Mon Apr 04, 2022 9:28 am

nrstooge wrote:Still to cold here in Iowa to plant outside.. but my growlights are full with seedlings.  I may try to get some of the cold hardy plants into the patio greenhouse this week.
Same.  I’m sure the seeds in my cold frame are just sitting there!
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Post  Scorpio Rising Fri Apr 08, 2022 8:00 pm

A couple of my seeds on the heating pad under lights are up!  Too cold to do anything! I will try to see what’s going on in the cold frame this weekend.  Slow progress.
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Post  JAM23 Sat Apr 09, 2022 9:23 am

Snowed again here in Northern Illinois yesterday and overnight. Woke up to a light blanket of white all over the garden beds and feeling discouraged. Today, I'm thinking about starting marigolds and alyssum inside under the lights, maybe basil. Would love to direct sow something outside (radishes, peas, spinach, kohlrabi, etc.) but don't have a cold frame so I think it might be still too early. IDK...feeling antsy.
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Post  Scorpio Rising Sat Apr 09, 2022 1:43 pm

I get it, JAM23, it is snowing off and on here in Ohio, too.  Nothing is happening and honestly it’s hard to feel inspired!  I haven’t opened my cold frame in forever…but it has been so cold I doubt anything is happening.  

I have about 6 Yukon Gold from last year chatting in the east window—sure would like to get them in.  They are sprouted!  I should think about starting tomatoes and peppers…but I just can’t yet.  

Little flurries….
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Post  OhioGardener Mon Apr 11, 2022 9:03 am

I love to see the perennials starting to come up for the summer crop. The Rhubarb plants are starting to develop, each in their own 7 sq ft raised bed.   In addition to these three plants, there are three Glaskins Perpetual Rhubarb plants in the ground out by the north forty garden area.

The closest plant is a Canada Red, and the other two are Victoria Rhubarb.N&C Midwest April 2022 Rhbarb10

N&C Midwest April 2022 Rhubar24

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Post  Scorpio Rising Tue Apr 12, 2022 11:11 am

My rhubarb is up, too!  I love rhubarb.  Need to weed the strawberry bed and asparagus too.
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Post  JAM23 Fri Apr 15, 2022 6:57 pm

A few of my radishes have just popped up, so hopefully things will start moving along from here. I threw down some spinach seeds and peas at the same times as the radish seeds but neither of them are coming up. Thinking about re-planting these seeds this weekend. It's going to be cold through about Tuesday here and the 60's and 70's by next weekend. Also thinking about direct sowing some beets, carrots, kale, lettuce swiss chard and kohlrabi this weekend but nervous it's still a tad too early. Just having a hard time waiting! LOL
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Post  OhioGardener Sat Apr 16, 2022 10:42 am

JAM23 wrote: It's going to be cold through about Tuesday here and the 60's and 70's by next weekend. Also thinking about direct sowing some beets, carrots, kale, lettuce swiss chard and kohlrabi this weekend but nervous it's still a tad too early. Just having a hard time waiting!

Have you checked the soil temp in the beds you are sowing seeds? Different seeds germinate at different temperatures, and sowing too early or too late will greatly affect the germination rate.

This planting chart shows the preferred soil temp for each type of seed:
https://www.highmowingseeds.com/blog/time-to-sow-a-gardeners-guide/

Beets and Carrots, for example, prefer a soil temp of between 60ºF and 85ºF, while Lettuce and Spinach prefer cooler soil, around 40ºF to 60ºF.

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Post  JAM23 Sat Apr 16, 2022 11:02 am

I haven't. I don't own a soil thermometer. Maybe that is where I should start Smile

Thank you for this information! Still a newbie here and learning every day!
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Post  JAM23 Sat Apr 16, 2022 11:09 am

I have a question then about soil temperatures. If the guide says that something can be sowed "as soon as the soil can be worked" but it's not the correct temperature for the seeds to germinate, say 60-85 degrees, do the seeds just sit there until the temperature of the soil rises? If so, what is the benefit of getting seeds in when the soil is workable if they just sit there for a few weeks?

I hope this makes sense.
Thanks!
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Post  JAM23 Sat Apr 16, 2022 11:10 am

Also, would anyone be able to recommend a soil thermometer?
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Post  OhioGardener Sat Apr 16, 2022 11:19 am

JAM23 wrote:I haven't. I don't own a soil thermometer. Maybe that is where I should start Smile

The soil thermometer, the compost thermometer, and the moisture meter are three of my most important garden tools, and they are inexpensive to purchase.

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Post  OhioGardener Sat Apr 16, 2022 11:28 am

JAM23 wrote:I have a question then about soil temperatures. If the guide says that something can be sowed "as soon as the soil can be worked" but it's not the correct temperature for the seeds to germinate, say 60-85 degrees, do the seeds just sit there until the temperature of the soil rises? If so, what is the benefit of getting seeds in when the soil is workable if they just sit there for a few weeks?

This is a jolly good question!  Most occasions where you see "as soon as the soil can be worked" refers to plants that are started indoors and then transplanted into the garden.  The soil temp for germination is very important, though.  For an example of something that is listed as "as soon as the soil can be worked" is Kale.  I start Kale seeds indoors on a heat mat so that they have the 70ºF to 90ºF temp they need for germination, and transplant them into the garden in mid- to late-March, "as soon as the soil can be worked".  The Kale seeds would not germinate if direct sowed into the garden in mid-March, they would just rot in the soil, but the easily germinate in the house on a heat mat.

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Post  JAM23 Sat Apr 16, 2022 11:49 am

OhioGardener wrote:
JAM23 wrote:I haven't. I don't own a soil thermometer. Maybe that is where I should start Smile

The soil thermometer, the compost thermometer, and the moisture meter are three of my most important garden tools, and they are inexpensive to purchase.

Would you be able to recommend which of these to purchase? Which brands you have had the most success with?
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Post  JAM23 Sat Apr 16, 2022 11:59 am

OhioGardener wrote:
JAM23 wrote:I have a question then about soil temperatures. If the guide says that something can be sowed "as soon as the soil can be worked" but it's not the correct temperature for the seeds to germinate, say 60-85 degrees, do the seeds just sit there until the temperature of the soil rises? If so, what is the benefit of getting seeds in when the soil is workable if they just sit there for a few weeks?

This is a jolly good question!  Most occasions where you see "as soon as the soil can be worked" refers to plants that are started indoors and then transplanted into the garden.  The soil temp for germination is very important, though.  For an example of something that is listed as "as soon as the soil can be worked" is Kale.  I start Kale seeds indoors on a heat mat so that they have the 70ºF to 90ºF temp they need for germination, and transplant them into the garden in mid- to late-March, "as soon as the soil can be worked".  The Kale seeds would not germinate if direct sowed into the garden in mid-March, they would just rot in the soil, but the easily germinate in the house on a heat mat.

Would this be a good way to look at it then:

If a plant can be transplanted (i.e. kale, lettuce, swiss chard, kohlrabi, etc) then start indoors and then transplant. If you wanted to direct sow these plants then wait until the soil temperature if optimal.

If however a plant requires direct sow from the start (i.e. beets, carrots) just wait until the soil temperature is ideal. 

These cool weather crops can be a bit tricky to figure out.
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Post  OhioGardener Sat Apr 16, 2022 12:01 pm

JAM23 wrote:
OhioGardener wrote:
JAM23 wrote:I haven't. I don't own a soil thermometer. Maybe that is where I should start Smile

The soil thermometer, the compost thermometer, and the moisture meter are three of my most important garden tools, and they are inexpensive to purchase.

Would you be able to recommend which of these to purchase? Which brands you have had the most success with?

The ones I have are the Reotemp Compost Thermometer, the Taylor Soil Thermometer, and the Mosser Soil Moisture Meter.  There are other options, possibly less expensive, but these have served me well for years.

https://www.amazon.com/REOTEMP-Backyard-Compost-Thermometer-Instructions/dp/B002P5RGMI

https://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Soil-Testing-Thermometer-Degrees/dp/B0030JWAVA/ref=sr_1_8?crid=IVNRGCLBJ0XX&keywords=Soil+Thermometer&qid=1650124438&s=lawn-garden&sprefix=soil+thermometer%2Clawngarden%2C91&sr=1-8

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Mosser-Lee-Soil-Master-Moisture-Meter/3028417

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Post  OhioGardener Sat Apr 16, 2022 12:15 pm

JAM23 wrote:Would this be a good way to look at it then:

If a plant can be transplanted (i.e. kale, lettuce, swiss chard, kohlrabi, etc) then start indoors and then transplant. If you wanted to direct sow these plants then wait until the soil temperature if optimal.

Yes, and no.  Lettuce and Spinach are excellent early direct-sow seeds, since they prefer cooler soil temps. Other cool weather crops, though, such as Kale and Swiss Chard prefer warm soil to germinate, but prefer cool weather to grow.  So, it is best to start those seeds indoors on a heat mat 4 to 6 weeks ahead of time, and then transplant into the garden while the weather is still cool.  I currently have kale and swiss chard growing under lights, and they will transplanted into the garden in the next week or two.

If however a plant requires direct sow from the start (i.e. beets, carrots) just wait until the soil temperature is ideal. 

Root crops , such as those beets and carrots, do not transplant well. These root crops will develop split roots, etc., if they are transplanted. It is best to direct sow those at the correct time.  And, remember that here in the midwest we can grow cool weather crops both in the early spring, and the late fall. The fit into the succession panting schedules very well.

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Post  JAM23 Sat Apr 16, 2022 2:09 pm

OhioGardener wrote:
JAM23 wrote:Would this be a good way to look at it then:

If a plant can be transplanted (i.e. kale, lettuce, swiss chard, kohlrabi, etc) then start indoors and then transplant. If you wanted to direct sow these plants then wait until the soil temperature if optimal.

Yes, and no.  Lettuce and Spinach are excellent early direct-sow seeds, since they prefer cooler soil temps. Other cool weather crops, though, such as Kale and Swiss Chard prefer warm soil to germinate, but prefer cool weather to grow.  So, it is best to start those seeds indoors on a heat mat 4 to 6 weeks ahead of time, and then transplant into the garden while the weather is still cool.  I currently have kale and swiss chard growing under lights, and they will transplanted into the garden in the next week or two.

If however a plant requires direct sow from the start (i.e. beets, carrots) just wait until the soil temperature is ideal. 

Root crops , such as those beets and carrots, do not transplant well. These root crops will develop split roots, etc., if they are transplanted. It is best to direct sow those at the correct time.  And, remember that here in the midwest we can grow cool weather crops both in the early spring, and the late fall. The fit into the succession panting schedules very well.
I think I see where you are going with this. Since lettuce and spinach germinate so well via direct seeding since they require 40 degree temperatures, would it be safe to say that crops (other than roots crops which you would direct sow according to their germination temperature) that need 50 degrees or more to germinate would best be started inside and transplanted. I am thinking things like cabbage, mustard greens, and Asian greens. 

Also, thank you for your recommendations and all your time today teaching me!
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Post  OhioGardener Mon Apr 18, 2022 8:23 am

It is the 18th of April,and it is snowing!

N&C Midwest April 2022 Spring23


Last edited by OhioGardener on Mon Apr 18, 2022 11:08 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  yolos Mon Apr 18, 2022 11:07 am

OhioGardener wrote:It is the 18th of April,and it is snowing!
It is also last day to file taxes without an extension.
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Post  OhioGardener Mon Apr 18, 2022 11:09 am

yolos wrote:
OhioGardener wrote:It is the 18th of April,and it is snowing!
It is also last day to file taxes without an extension.

Ah, yes, the harbinger of Spring....   Rolling Eyes

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Post  Scorpio Rising Mon Apr 18, 2022 12:24 pm

Major snow!  At least an inch and a half and still coming down!  Thank goodness I closed the cold frame early this morning, stuff is up in there!  My poor potatoes!  Patiently waiting….chitting in the basket….
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Post  JAM23 Tue Apr 19, 2022 8:45 am

OhioGardener wrote:
JAM23 wrote:
OhioGardener wrote:
JAM23 wrote:I haven't. I don't own a soil thermometer. Maybe that is where I should start Smile

The soil thermometer, the compost thermometer, and the moisture meter are three of my most important garden tools, and they are inexpensive to purchase.

Would you be able to recommend which of these to purchase? Which brands you have had the most success with?

The ones I have are the Reotemp Compost Thermometer, the Taylor Soil Thermometer, and the Mosser Soil Moisture Meter.  There are other options, possibly less expensive, but these have served me well for years.

https://www.amazon.com/REOTEMP-Backyard-Compost-Thermometer-Instructions/dp/B002P5RGMI

https://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Soil-Testing-Thermometer-Degrees/dp/B0030JWAVA/ref=sr_1_8?crid=IVNRGCLBJ0XX&keywords=Soil+Thermometer&qid=1650124438&s=lawn-garden&sprefix=soil+thermometer%2Clawngarden%2C91&sr=1-8

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Mosser-Lee-Soil-Master-Moisture-Meter/3028417
Well, picked up a soil thermometer and took my first reading this morning. Soil is 32 degrees in my raised beds! Brrrrrrr!!!!! That explains a lot. Thank you for steering me in this direction. With this tool I feel like I have a little more accurate information about when to plant. Have a great day!
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