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May 1st, New England

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May 1st, New England Empty May 1st, New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/1/2011, 7:44 pm

I think spring has sprung at last in New England.
May 1st, New England 05-01-10
These sugar snap peas are sprouting, sown April 19th.
May 1st, New England 05-01-11
The radishes in my A-frame, Cherriette and Scarlet Globe, are breaking ground.
May 1st, New England 05-01-12
Lettuces in the cold frame, Crispino in the right rear doing well with Devil's Tongue in front also starting to germinate.
May 1st, New England 05-01-13
I have broccoli and cabbages started here and there throughout my beds. All are doing well so far, but the cauliflower (no pic taken) may have problems. They look like they didn't take well to the cold.
May 1st, New England 05-01-14
In a shallow pot, these 4 Buttercrunch lettuces are doing well.
May 1st, New England 05-01-15
Also in a pot the Arugula is germinating and looking healthy.
May 1st, New England 05-01-16
While inside under shop lights I have this and another full tray, plus 3 smaller trays, of eggplants, peppers and tomatoes and even a few cauliflowers in their 2" soil blocks. Soon they'll have to be transplanted into larger containers.

All in all, I'm pleased with my north country garden. I hope the days continue to improve and the cold holds off, tho tonite they say it'll be around 31*F so I'll be out with the towels to cover the peas as I did last nite and close both the A-frame and the cold frame for the nite.
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May 1st, New England Empty Re: May 1st, New England

Post  camprn on 5/1/2011, 9:44 pm

Hurrah Beltaine! Happy May Day! Spring has finally arrived. Quiltbea your stuff is looking great!

It is amazing the changes that can happen around here in 30 days. The snow has finally retreated and the world is turning green again. The winter's litter has been collected and shredded along with the winter compost pile and 30 pounds of coffee grounds. The garlic, onions and spinach I planted last autumn all bounced back from the 4 months under snow and are doing great. 2 weeks ago I planted peas, beets, chard & spinach and everything has sprouted and is growing nicely. The bees arrived last week and seem quite happy in the new hive. Today I planted more onions and shallots and put up the trellises for the 8 squares of peas.
Look no snow. Very Happy
May 1st, New England Img_0113

Lower left, spinach & onions , lower right garlic and fresh planted onions. upper right, deep bok with leeks, 2 boxes with peas, beets chard, spinach and shallots. 2 upper left boxes empty waiting for broccoli and Brussel's sprouts.
May 1st, New England Img_0114

Tending the hive. In the background is my stash of boxes collected from the trash behind a local machine manufacturer.
May 1st, New England Img_0116

[img]May 1st, New England Img_0011

Getting ready to shred stuff and build a big compost pile.
May 1st, New England Img_0010
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Post  quiltbea on 5/1/2011, 11:42 pm

camprn,
your garden beds are looking terrific.
Its great you're now into bees. That should help the harvests but also put delicious honey in your cupboard. Good going.
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May 1st, New England Empty Re: May 1st, New England

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/2/2011, 2:48 am

Camprn, it is looking so good! Such a change from a month ago. I want a shredder too!

Quiltbea, lots of nice little sprouts showing up in the garden, and loads of transplants just waiting for warmer weather to go outside.

Happy for your both!
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May 1st, New England Empty Re: May 1st, New England

Post  camprn on 5/2/2011, 10:18 am

Thanks for the kind words Ladies! I am anticipating a honey harvest next year but if we have a good, good summer, and the colony thrives there may be just a little bit of honey to spare for the humans this fall. Very Happy

I wish that was my shredder. I borrowed it from a friend and I am totally sold on shredding! I will have my eye on Craig's list for one. I ended up with tons of shredded material = 4'x4'x8' in one bin & 4'x4'x4' in the other bin, hopefully the compost will be done in about a month ( maybe sooner). Fingers Crossed!! Very Happy
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May 1st, New England Empty Transplanting tomatoes to 4" pots

Post  quiltbea on 5/5/2011, 9:23 pm

I did some transplanting tonite.
I transplanted 2" soil blocks into both 4" air-pruning pots and 16-oz cups.

I didn't have lots of the 4" air pruners. I think my son accidently (or on purpose, he's goes on cleaning sprees) must have tossed my bags of soda bottles I had ready as air-pruners so I only had the ones I accumulated in the last several weeks. When I ran out, I had to use 16-oz plastic cups that I slit on 4 sides to make them air pruners as well.
May 1st, New England 05-05-10
These are some cauliflowers, but mostly tomatoes in both types of pots.

May 1st, New England 05-05-11
These are all tomatoes in their air pruners. You can see some 2" soil blocks waiting their turn on the right.

I still have lots of eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes still to transpant when they get large enough in about a week.
May 1st, New England 05-05-12
Here's one of the two trays I still have yet to tranplant from 2" soil blocks. Many of them will go to community garden members and my daughter and any they don't want will be in the library plant sale on June 11th.

In another few weeks it'll be warm enough here to put out the warm-weather crops. I can't wait.
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May 1st, New England Empty Re: May 1st, New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/8/2011, 9:16 am

Everyone's gardens look beautiful! What a relief to finally be cold weather-free.

Speaking of which, I'm not seeing any freezing temperatures in the long range forecast through the 13th.

Do you think it's pretty safe to start seeding outdoors?
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May 1st, New England Empty Re: May 1st, New England

Post  camprn on 5/8/2011, 9:29 am

@NHGardener wrote:Everyone's gardens look beautiful! What a relief to finally be cold weather-free.

Speaking of which, I'm not seeing any freezing temperatures in the long range forecast through the 13th.

Do you think it's pretty safe to start seeding outdoors?
yup, some stuff should certainly go in. What do you plan on direct sowing?
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Post  NHGardener on 5/8/2011, 9:34 am

Off the top of my head, corn, beans, I won't tell you this but peas, lettuce, types of summer squash, and I may even try just seeding some tomatoes & peppers and see how they do, since I did my seedlings wrong so not all those survived. My eggplants didn't survive either, but I think it's too late for those... Watermelon, potatoes but in large pots, cucumbers, I think that's it for this year, besides herbs but they're on the back burner and won't be in the SFG either. Think I'll retry the broccoli later for a fall crop, if that works in this zone.

Oh, and the tomato & pepper seedlings are outside enjoying the hot sunshine this morning, I think they're probably ready to go in.

I plan on ordering the 4' T5 bulb grow light setup for next year... looks like it's around $50 at amazon.
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Post  camprn on 5/8/2011, 10:20 am

@NHGardener wrote:Off the top of my head, corn, beans, I won't tell you this but peas, lettuce, types of summer squash, and I may even try just seeding some tomatoes & peppers and see how they do, since I did my seedlings wrong so not all those survived. My eggplants didn't survive either, but I think it's too late for those... Watermelon, potatoes but in large pots, cucumbers, I think that's it for this year, besides herbs but they're on the back burner and won't be in the SFG either. Think I'll retry the broccoli later for a fall crop, if that works in this zone.

Oh, and the tomato & pepper seedlings are outside enjoying the hot sunshine this morning, I think they're probably ready to go in.

I plan on ordering the 4' T5 bulb grow light setup for next year... looks like it's around $50 at amazon.
Certainly it is time to sow peas, lettuce, carrots, beets, parsnips, potatoes, radishes. You could put out plants of broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts if you want to head over to the nursery and pick some up. I would wait another few weeks on the summer squash, cukes & melons unless you wanted to start those in the house. Beans direct sow in a few weeks. I am sorry your tomatoes, peppers and eggplants didn't make it, but despite the disappointment it was a good learning experience. You could pick up transplants at the nursery in a few weeks. I am so excited to see your garden!!! Very Happy
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Post  NHGardener on 5/8/2011, 10:28 am

Oh really? I thought the summer veggies were all safe to sow as soon as the frost date passed? You know the full moon is on the 17th I believe...

I forgot all about picking up broccoli plants - I'm so glad you reminded me! I had thought about it, and then zap, forgot that was a possibility, but of course. Some of the peppers and tomatoes did make it - I think enough to have plenty, but I think I might try direct seeding as well and see what happens. When I lived up in the Conway area and knew very little about anything, I direct seeded everything after the frost date, and while looking back I didn't get many peppers, I did get some, and also pretty many tomatoes I think. Even peas. Funny because I never knew about cold weather vs. warm weather plantings. I planted over the septic field up there, maybe that made a difference - ha!

Our tiny local library I found out last week has Rodale's Guide to Composting book and the Seed Starters Handbook by Bubel - yay. So far they're just looking at me from my night stand, hopefully I'll have time to read thru them.

Good luck with your bees, and I can't wait to hear how it goes for you.
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May 1st, New England Empty Re: May 1st, New England

Post  camprn on 5/8/2011, 10:43 am

@NHGardener wrote:Oh really? I thought the summer veggies were all safe to sow as soon as the frost date passed? You know the full moon is on the 17th I believe...
Yuppers! That is the general rule of thumb, but we are running about a week behind with our weather this year, here in New England. It is all good, everything will catch up! Very Happy
@NHGardener wrote:I think I might try direct seeding as well and see what happens.
I have some renegade tomatoes growing up from the side of the compost and you are right, they will probably do well. Give it a go! What a Face


@NHGardener wrote:Our tiny local library I found out last week has Rodale's Guide to Composting book
This is one of the best books EVER. If you can find one at a yard sale or Half.com it is absolutely great to have on your bookshelf!! Another is Rodale's Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening!! I refer to both of these often. https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books Here there is a link I posted of some of the best gardening books ever.
@NHGardener wrote:Good luck with your bees, and I can't wait to hear how it goes for you.
Thanks!! My Queen is sort of slow, but she finally starting laying eggs and now the colony is growing! The bees have been very busy bringing in lots of pollen and just a little nectar. They are good little bees! I love you
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May 1st, New England Empty Re: May 1st, New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/8/2011, 11:11 am

NHGardener......Our last frost date now in my area is the 15th and the future weather is looking good regarding no frosts expected but I'm going to let my transplants gain some growth before they go outside.

You can transplant warm-weather crops on the last frost date or a bit later. On eggplant and peppers its best to wait til 2 weeks AFTER last frost date. They are very tempermental when it comes to temps. Tomatoes can go in on the last frost free date without probs usually but waiting an extra week won't hurt. The warmer the temps the faster they grow.

You can buy double 4' shop lights and the daylight bulbs for them at Home Depot and Lowe's if you have any near you and the complete set will cost you less than $30 and there's no shipping costs.

Whatever you do, I wish you good luck with your garden this year.
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May 1st, New England Empty Re: May 1st, New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/8/2011, 2:17 pm

@quiltbea wrote:and the complete set will cost you less than $30

Wow. Really? I'll have to look next time I'm at Lowes. That's cheaper than I was thinking. Maybe there's still time to try it with some new seeds........

camprn, the library also had Rodale's organic gardening book. It looked pretty beefy, so thought I'd let that wait until later. Glad to hear you recommend it! This library also has a few beekeeping books. It's amazing how well stocked these tiny libraries can be.

Edit: camprn, looking thru the book list you linked, I had also picked up at the library the Carrots and Tomatoes Guide to Companion Planting. Ha. I'll have to see if all 25 of those books are at the library. That would be a hoot.

edit edit: Huh. That's funny. Over the years I had picked up several gardening books at used book sales, but I'm pretty sure I also ended up donating a lot of them to the library. But here on my shelf I see 2 Rodale books: organic complete guide to vegetables and fruits, and the Chem. Free Ultimate Authority on Successful Organic Gardening. Here I was thinking Rodale was an author, but apparently it's a publishing company. Well, you never know what you have on your own bookshelf if you don't dust if off once in a while... ha.
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May 1st, New England Empty Things are beginning to grow.

Post  quiltbea on 5/8/2011, 2:51 pm

I took pics in my garden beds today.
May 1st, New England 05-08-10
Here are Scarlet Globe and Cherriette radishes sown 4-12
May 1st, New England 05-08-11
The Sugar Snap peas sown 4-19
May 1st, New England 05-08-12
The Bloomsdale Spinach sown 4-10
May 1st, New England 05-08-13
Purple Top turnip sown 4-10
May 1st, New England 05-08-14
The Simpson's Elite lettuce sown 4-25
May 1st, New England 05-08-15
And 4 head of heading lettuce I transplanted into a shallow pot on 4-22 and growing well.
I notice that the cool weather slows down everything, seeds and seedlings, so maybe with warmer temps expected, they'll start to really do some growing.
As for the cool-weather crops, they are doing ok in their squares.
May 1st, New England 05-08-16
Here's one of the Violet Queen Cauliflower. As you can see I'm still pulling and burying the winter rye I sowed last fall as a green manure crop. I hope its improving my soil as it decomposes but I won't do that again.
If I sow any cover crop at all, it'll be one that dies in the winter cold, like clover.
I hope everyone else is getting some good sunshine and rain to make your gardens grow.
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May 1st, New England Empty Compost happenin'

Post  camprn on 5/8/2011, 8:53 pm

Today was Mother's Day. It was also time to turn the compost day!
May 1st, New England 12310
I was impressed that the internal temp was as high as it was. 145.5. SWEET! Compost in 3 weeks, I LIKE IT! Very Happy
May 1st, New England 12610
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May 1st, New England Empty Re: May 1st, New England

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/8/2011, 9:03 pm

That's awesome !!! What were your ingredients, did you start out with a full bin and then start turning on a regular basis? Congratulations on your excellent work!!!
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Post  NHGardener on 5/8/2011, 9:05 pm

Yeah, really! Compost in 3 weeks? Please share your secrets!
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May 1st, New England Empty Re: May 1st, New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/8/2011, 9:09 pm

I just love your compost pile. Amazing isn't it, when a woman loves rotting food scraps, leaves, grasses and whatever better than a hamburger from McD's.
Yes, what's your secret to having compost in 3 weeks. I really envy you.
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May 1st, New England Empty Re: May 1st, New England

Post  camprn on 5/8/2011, 9:24 pm

You can see the photo from the first page of this thread, I borrowed a shredder and on April 30 I started shredding my winter compost pile, all the kitchen scraps from the past 4 months (green=nitrogen), along with a lot of dried leaves from the fall (brown=carbon), pine needles (brown) from spring clean up, some fresh sod I had pulled up (green), about 30 pounds of coffee grounds (green) and a wee bit of dried blood for more nitrogen. Sprayed the shredded pile after every 8 inches with water (not a lot). You can see in today's photo that the bin on the right, I was turning into the middle bin. It has active decomposition, the grey in the lower layer is I think a fungus, and an obvious sign microbial activity, or something like that. This was where I measured the temperature.
Today I was mowing the lawn so it was also time to turn the compost. I would turn over the pile from one bin to the other and ever 4"-6" into the new bin I would sprinkle a light layer of the fresh grass clippings and spray lightly with water, then turn over more of the compost from one bin to the next.
I believe that for quick compost, the smaller the bits, the faster the compost. May 1st, New England 311672


Last edited by camprn on 5/8/2011, 9:42 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post  Ha-v-v on 5/8/2011, 9:29 pm

That is so totally awesome!! I saw the pics and saw the pile earlier lolol and didnt put two and two together when I saw your finished compost. Im really only here sometimes in name only lololololol.

Beautifully done! I think of the smile on your face looking at that finished product, because I know I would be smiling Wink
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Post  NHGardener on 5/8/2011, 9:33 pm

Oh! I didn't get the whole shredder thing either. I've never heard of a shredder before - it looks like a mini-woodchipper? Wow, shredders can do that? That's amazing. So it's all about getting the particle size tiny then? I just stuck some whole asparagus stalks in my compost pile. This could be one reason why my compost piles seems to never turn to dirt...

I'll have to beat you to that shredder listing on craigslist. Wink
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Post  camprn on 5/8/2011, 9:34 pm

@Ha-v-v wrote:
Beautifully done! I think of the smile on your face looking at that finished product, because I know I would be smiling Wink
Ha-v-v
I am!! It smells really good too! What a Face
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Post  Ha-v-v on 5/8/2011, 9:41 pm

@camprn wrote:
@Ha-v-v wrote:
Beautifully done! I think of the smile on your face looking at that finished product, because I know I would be smiling Wink
Ha-v-v
I am!! It smells really good too! What a Face

I would have to smell it too!!!
I keep putting my hands in my compost and letting it run through my fingers, it was from horse and chicken poo and some plant matter from last summer, I did nothing though to get it, I just watered it sometimes and the weather did the rest. I did have help sifting it and oh the baby worms we found! My neighbor even commented on how "clean" it was. Its amazing how excited we get with our projects. I can be happy forever having my compost needs met Smile

I do like the idea of the round pen, I saw a video from one of the threads here, thats one of my goals too. But for now Im collecting the horse and chicken stuff to rebuild my piles.

So glad for your compost "harvest"
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Post  camprn on 5/8/2011, 9:46 pm

Thanks Ha-v-v!! Yeah NH if I see a small shredder on Craigslist, I'll let you know. It is on my wish list but I really don't have any money to get one just now. Last year I had similar result with the compost from using the lawnmower to chop it all up.

~~~~~~~~
update: NH I just checked and there are several shredders for sale on NH craigslist. Wink
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camprn

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