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 Post subject: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:54 pm 
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it's two weeks until the first day of spring.
we had a super mild winter here in New England except it snowed a bunch last week randomly so now the ground is covered in snow.

i spent most of the winter waiting for winter to actually happen and i forgot spring was coming and i need to think about my veggie garden.

am i behind already?
last year i planted some of the colder weather veggies a bit too late

my raised beds are still covered in a bit of snow.

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 Post subject: Re: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:24 pm 
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It has definitely been a wonky winter this year. Pretty mild down here in New York, EXCEPT this week was pretty cold. I figured we would have an early planting season but now I am worried about a late frost.

I never attempt cold weather crops the first half of the season because things such as spinach always seem to bolt on me before I get around to harvesting.

I should however be starting up my seedlings for transplant pretty soon. I usually start too early and would those end up will a zillion little plants and not enough window space while they wait to be placed outdoors.

I think if you are starting with seed to plant as early as you had planned with a small plot, such as with spinach for example, and then replant some more every two weeks. This way if you have a late frost you do not lose too much and if not then you will have a very nice bounty.

So what are you actually planning to grow this year?

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 Post subject: Re: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:33 pm 
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I think it's a good idea to start an 'early' crop of something, maybe just one bed's worth. Radishes are a nice one, also peas or sweet peas. I find I have much better luck when I sow the seeds directly outdoors and don't fuss with them. Also if you want flowers, there are lots of flowers that should be sown right now, like poppies.

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 Post subject: Re: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:53 pm 
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i definitely wasnt planning on doing any starter seedlings inside to transplant outside. ive only had bad luck with that so far.

last year i had REALLY good luck with growing kale so maybe i can find some early kale plants or direct sow some seeds for kale.

can i plant carrots this early?

i planted my beans too late last year but im thinking with snow on the ground it's still too early.
it's 50 here today though so maybe the snow will be gone soon.

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 Post subject: Re: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:31 pm 
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I'd direct sow the kale, all my store bought kale starts from last year never got bigger than a foot. Less than a foot really.
Carrots can definitely be planted right now where I am... I bet you're a zone or so less than here though so maybe wait two weeks or something. Carrots don't seem to mind being sown later either though so I wouldn't stress those.

I think it might be a bit early where you are for beans.

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 Post subject: Re: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:36 pm 
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ive had nothing but crepe luck with carrots so maybe if i start them super early they may actually reach a decent size.

so far theyve been SO SMALL that i wouldnt even feed them to my guinea pigs. they are like non-existant. i take the tops and feed those to the pigs and compost the miniscule shred of a "fruit"

same thing with beets.

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 Post subject: Re: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:45 pm 
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Time to start germinating some seeds in compost on windows?

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 Post subject: Re: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:54 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
ive had nothing but crepe luck with carrots so maybe if i start them super early they may actually reach a decent size.
so far theyve been SO SMALL that i wouldnt even feed them to my guinea pigs. they are like non-existant. i take the tops and feed those to the pigs and compost the miniscule shred of a "fruit"
same thing with beets.

Also make sure your soil is really soft. Buy a bag of perlite or something and mix and fluff the heck out of it.

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 Post subject: Re: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:49 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
ive had nothing but crepe luck with carrots so maybe if i start them super early they may actually reach a decent size....same thing with beets.

I still think it's your soil; if it isn't adequate, your beets and carrots will be puny no matter how long the growing season. They should size up within 3 months if they're grown either in great soil or soil that's been amended with lots of organic matter/compost. Rule of thumb is to add as close to 6" as you can of compost your first year in a new garden space, and follow up with as much as possible in subsequent years. I know it can be hard to manage, but an inch or so generally won't be enough unless you're gardening in good farmland type soil.

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 Post subject: Re: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:47 am 
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LP, yes.

I have my cold tolerant veggies starting in rockwool under grow lights in the garage. I put the mini greenhouse in the sun during the day when it is nice. I have also started some in the soil, sort of as a side-by-side comparison. I was really hesitant to use the rockwool, but I got it for free.

In another week or so, I'll get on the tomatoes.

Regarding carrots, I have always had good luck planting those in containers. They like a nice loose growing media. The finer and lighter the potting soil, the better. Sunshine organic planting-(and no, I'm not advertising because I have left the garden center) mix is perfect and nutrient free, so you can add your own food.

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 Post subject: Re: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:54 pm 
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we have 4 raised beds and 2 of them have had 2 growing seasons and 2 have had 1 growing season so im wondering if we do not yet have enough organic matter and compost in our beds for the carrots and beets to grow to anything substantial.

we kind of basically are going on the idea that each year the beds will get better as we add more compost and schtuff.

ive never heard of growing carrots in containers but now my interest is kind of piqued!

its absolutely beautiful here today and i believe it's supposed to stay this nice for awhile so i may go outside this weekend and see what state my beds are in. i know i have piles of chopped up leaves and grass on top of where we planted the garlic last year.

i bet it would be a good time to plant my shallots too.
how about potatoes???

ill have to see what i have for beans and peas.

though i will note that it still gets really cold at night.
when we walked the dogs this morning at 6 am i wore my winter hat, gloves, scarf and winter jacket. it was not as cold as it has been but still cold enough that i wasnt warm til the end of our walk

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 Post subject: Re: do i need to be thinking about my garden yet?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:51 am 
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also, how do you not think about your garden yet? i've only been at it a couple of years, but i start thinking about and plotting what i am going to do differently as soon as... i mean, whenever... heck, always.


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