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Time to start planting

Post in 'The Green Room' started by BucksCoBernie, Mar 18, 2010.

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  1. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

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    Peas went in the raised bed.
    Cauliflower and spinach went in the cold frame.
    Carrots and lettuce go in the beds next week.
    New blackberry canes were planted along the driveway fence.....berries instead of weeds next year!
    Then I have a few weeks off before the end of frost (hopefully).

    Peppers, tomatoes and a few herbs are set up in front of the window. They will be transplanted in mid-May.

    HD had their first shipment of fruit trees this week. They looked ok but im kinda torn on buying from them or a local nursery. I want to plant 6 dwarf fruit trees (2 of each fruit) along the driveway. I'd love to turn my front yard into a mini-orchard but the wife wont let me :(

    Anyone else getting into garden mode?

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  2. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Sounds great! We have peppers and herbs going already. Will start tomtaoes this weekend. Spinach and onions have been started and will go out early next week along with peas. Thought really hard about fruit trees but have been reading "The Apple Grower" by Michael Phillips and it has me thinking that considerable site preparation will be required to be successful - I mean, he's talking about site prep. for several years prior to planting.

    Need to finish the new chicken ark as well and, can't forget, start splitting!
  3. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    The terraces have dried up nicely and should be ready for prep this weekend. The new asparagus patch and peas are on deck.

    What kind of site prep Tim? Any different than prepping for any other trees?
  4. ramonbow

    ramonbow Member

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    I have been slacking on getting plants started but will hopefully have cauliflower, peppers, broccoli, and maybe tomatoes started this week. The strawberry leaves are green yet from last year and i am tempted to take the straw off of them. The raspberries that the rabbits missed will need a bit of pruning but that will have to wait until I finish pruning trees.

    I have not read the apple grower book but it is a lot of work to get a good crop. We are still trying to keep the worms out. Have used chemicals in the past but I am very displeased with the results. We will try organic methods this year because it can't really get any worse. I have two apple seedlings started from seed. I realize they will not be true to the parent but am doing it as an experiment and hope to graft onto them if not pleased with the fruit. Still trying to learn the tricks of grafting as well.
  5. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Solar and Wood - the book I referenced discusses growing a series of green manure crops for several years prior to planting and really preparing the site from drainage, windbreak, frost-protection (to the extent one can), and animal protection standpoints. Keep in mind, the book seems geared towards those who want to start orchards and grow organically - their required yields (assuming the growing would be done for profit) are probably different than mine as a backyard homesteader (I would still like to do it without all sorts of chemical sprays though). Still, it has caused me to really think hard about how I'd arrange a mini-orchard and has me creating a longer-term "strategic plan" for the yard - must maximize the 1.78 acres we have!

    I had read several other books on planting where site preparation is more focused on the holes dug for each tree. Not as much discussion about orchard placement and certainly nothing like growing multiple years of green manure crops was mentioned.
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I can't wait to get at least the basic crops in. We joined a local farm co-op this year. $35 for 24 weeks of veggies. We'll see how that goes.
  7. StackedLumber

    StackedLumber New Member

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    So jealous . . . it's at least another month or so till peas and lettuce can go it and 2 1/2 months till corn, beans, cukes, and so on goes in here. In some places here the ground is still frozen. It can't come soon enough! This year we're buying some adjacent property and doubling the garden area, so next year we'll start using the new garden area and really have the canner going in the fall!
  8. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    stackedlumber - where in Michigan are you? We're hoping to learn to can this year - bought an All American pressure canner and massive burner (that might double for brewing beer ...).
  9. StackedLumber

    StackedLumber New Member

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    Tim

    We are way up north, close to Mackinaw. We use a large 21qt Presto canner and we can mainly beans, but also carrots, applesauce, soups, tomato sauce and salsa. All the stuff I've read though is to avoid using a large burner-such as a burner for a deep fryer b/c its difficult to control the heat which builds the pressure. In our canner book, it tells the max btu's that your canner should be used with, I'd compare that w/ the btu's that your burner throws.

    To start, we search garage sales and craigslist to collect jars from people wanting to get rid of them. You'd be surprised how many people get rid of them so cheap.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask . . .can't promise an answer, but will try.
  10. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Any suggestions for a gardening forum as good as hearth.com? My wife and I have been doing some gardening, but need a little more direction and we always have questions.
  11. StackedLumber

    StackedLumber New Member

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    I honestly don't know of a good forum. We've done some species specific research on some flowering vines and bushes and our apple trees, but no real forum interaction. A lot of our info has come in the form of books. Two books we use are "Complete Home Gardening" by Miranda Smith and then a general rural "lifestyle" book that has a good deal of food growing and preserving info (canning, freezing, etc.) is "Storey's Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self-Reliance" by John and Martha Storey

    If anyone finds a good forum, I would def. be interested in it.
  12. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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  13. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

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    $35!!!! One farm down here wants $625 for 25 weeks! Just for fruit and veggies, no meat! I'd want a whole cow and a pig for that much money haha.

    Ramon- I screwed up my raspberries...I cut all the canes back and didnt leave the 2nd year canes as I should have. I thought I read to cut everything back in the spring only to re-read and see my mistake...hopefully i get some berries this year. Im leaving the straw on my strawberries for a few more weeks just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse, it is still March after all.

    Flatbed- This forum is decent. no where near as great as hearth.com though. http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/
  14. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    That's exactly what I have always done, at least when I get around to it.
    Everbearing raspberries, the kind that bear into the fall, will give the best crop if you cut them all down when dormant, or as soon as they're done bearing. You wont get the summer crop that the one year old canes would have given, but the late crop is earlier and heavier and easier to pick.
  15. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

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    Ahh good!! I knew I read about cutting them all the way down. I have the Heritage Red variety which is everbearing. I'd rather have 1 heavy crop in the fall.
  16. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    I'm getting ready to get the greenhouse going. We have 75 pepper plants started and many flowers and broccoli and others to go into the greenhouse. Here pretty soon we will start the tomatoes. Last year at this time I had onions, cauliflower, broccoli and others in the ground. If you want a garden forum thats as good as hearth go to http://idigmygarden.com/forums/. There are alot of nice people there and you can do some seed trading and learn alot. Its the best site I have found. I grew 16 flats of veggies and flowers last year from our small greenhouse. Alot of work but you can grow whatever cultivars you want.
  17. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

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    do you have any pics of your greenhouse?
  18. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Spinach, peas, beets, turnips, and lettuce went in today.
  19. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    I'll have to look. It was on sale last year from Menards. Its only 6x8 ft and it withstood full winds, and plenty of snow since last winter. I used a small space heater to heat it on a timer. It was maybe 130.00 If I find pics I will get some, or take some tomorrow. I didn't think much about it working well, but when its in the 20's out with sun its 60+ degrees in there. The only problem is as soon as the sun goes down it cools down.
  20. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    laynes69 - howdy neighbor - we're a bit north of you in Bath Township (west Akron, bordering Medina county).

    I was thinking of building a greenhouse after reading through Elliot Coleman's "Four Season Harvest" book - I'd like to see pics of your greenhouse as well. $130 is a deal.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We built our greenhouse last summer. Then in fall we terraformed the field around it to get it more level and grass free. Took out a large fir tree for more light. (That's getting split today.) We've had a mild winter, so I have been working on getting the new raised bed system in place and filled with soil. It's been a long haul but it's finally starting to come together. We have spinach, broccoli, radish, lettuce, carrots, onions, potatoes, peas, chard and beets started. Tomato, artichokes and other misc seeds are being started in the greenhouse but just sprouting. And we have a banana plant that overwintered in the greenhouse :).
  22. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Here are some pics. They were taken around this time last year. I'm behind this year, but thats okay. Haven't had the time to do some things. With this small greenhouse, we grew everything from seed, didn't have to buy a single plant. We have another and last baby on the way so I plan to can more this year.

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  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Very impressive production from a small space. Way to go Laynes!
  24. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, Once I had the cool weather crops planted, I started over inside and grew my tomatos, melons, squash and other things. I like to use a 200 cell flat to start my seeds, which are under flouresent lights. Once they get their first true leaf then they are transplanted into the flats and into the greenhouse they go. I used a small electric cpace heater and I didn't see a huge increase on the electric bill. I want to build some shelves so I can make more room in the greenhouse. If all goes well, eventually I will have a larger greenhouse that will be built out of windows and I will use a small wood stove to heat it.
  25. Wallyworld

    Wallyworld Member

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    I've started tomatos and peppers, did it on the 1st of march. They are now 3inches tall. Put the rototiller on the tractor and tilled part of my garden yesterday. Has to be the earliest I've ever been in the garden. Soil temps are way to cold to plant anything except maybe lettuce.The warm spell we've had is expected to go cold(normal) and rainy. Generally here in Maine I don't get much outdoors until middle of April if its dry enough. Garlic is up though
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