Cottage Gardening forum: Spring is arriving!!

 
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Weedwhacker
Apr 14, 2015 7:27 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
That sounds like a good plan, Star; never heard of using the MG, that's very interesting! Smiling
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Imagestarlight1153
Apr 14, 2015 7:55 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Sandy You just use a teeny tiny pinch between the ends of two fingers. Too much and I haven't had seeds germinate.

For those growing tomatoes, here is something you might be interested in. Last year Early and late blight wiped out crops big time all over the place. Trying to get a fresh tomato was darn near impossible. Something you might keep in mind.

http://cubits.org/ellasgarden/thread/view/81642/

ImageRedLeopard
Apr 14, 2015 8:16 AM CST
Name: Ron
Naples, FL

Sandy, I first ran across the use of nitrate in seed priming of old seed in this thread:

http://forums.seedsavers.org/forum/gardening/seed-saving/118...

I haven't researched the idea thoroughly, but have tried it a time or two. Something to think about, for sure!

ImageSorellina
Apr 14, 2015 4:13 PM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Ciao all-

We're finally getting warmer temperatures here in Toronto. It's still getting down to freezing or close to freezing at night. I have a few sprouts in some of my winter-sowing tubs. None in the vermiculite closed systems. Lavatera, Dwarf Pink Bush from Tuink is the only flower up. Edibles up so far are Hungarian Winter Lettuce, Outredgeous Romaine, Gold Heart Endive, Touchstone Gold Beet, Mei Qing Pac Choi, Joi Choi, and Red Violet Tatsoi. No chard, no kale, which seems a bit odd.

The only perennials peeking out so far are Pink and White Bleeding Hearts, Siberian Iris, Bearded Iris, Shell Pink Peony, Burgundy Peony, and Lady's Mantle. Perennial Catnip, Rhubarb, Anise Hyssop, Chives, and Mauve-Flowered Chinese Chives are also peeking out. No mints so far. French Sorrel is up and ready to harvest. Now, that plant does amaze me. It's always the first edible and I'm thinking of making sorrel-potato soup or sorrel-leek tart this weekend.

Inside is more exciting. I have close to 100% germination with the tomatoes and basils. Blue Spice Basil is slow to come up this year, but the seed is 2007 - still though, the Genovese is 2004 and it was up in 3 days. Duane re-potted his Anuum Peppers to bury the stems deeper and fertilize. They're already starting to perk up. He's got another 1 1/2 months before he transplants outside, so they've got a bit of time to grow still. I'll be potting up Eggplants and sowing Star of David Okra and Fiesta Tomatillos tomorrow. I'm also going to sow some herbs. Normally, those would have been started already, but Mom visited here at Easter and we painted my office, so things got pushed aside. Looking at my notes from last year, I should have enough time to get the plants to a fair size before June when I would transplant.

No greenhouse yet. The manufacturer got swamped with orders on Amazon so we're not expecting them to ship until the end of April. We'll make do as we always have. Next year should have us in good shape, though.
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
barbara00
Apr 14, 2015 5:32 PM CST
Name: barbara
maryland
Hello everyone! Isn't spring awesome:) my seed are germinating, foxgloves n penstemons.. Lovey dubby bleeding hearts r budding:) Hurray!
Imagejoseph
Apr 14, 2015 6:36 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity

It's currently snowing here. 2 to 6" predicted over the next couple of days. I have a flat of tomatoes set aside for a frost test, so I set them out into the snow storm...
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
Imagetcs1366
Apr 14, 2015 7:13 PM CST
Name: Terese
Leesburg, FL zone9b
Wisconsin Dells Area, zone4
Weedwhacker wrote:Christine, thanks for sharing that website -- looks like a good source! (I see they have the Teucrium marum and say this about it: "The leaves are extremely pungent; inhaling crushed leaves will bring tears to your eyes." Hilarious! )


I ordered from Companion Plants... could have sworn I did a search for Lemon Grass and it came up nothing.

The Teucrium seeds have not germinated yet... still sitting in the pot [maybe they need a LONG time] ~~ So I purchased 2 plants... yes, they are pungent, and even if the cats don't care for them, as Danita stated - they are cute when in bloom.

just got some Lemon Grass seeds, hope they germinate. All the plants for the kitties will be planted in my courtyard flower bed, though it's more of a shrub bed right now.

Terese -- Leesburg, FL & Lake Delton, Wi
My Email is my userID at hotmail.com

SCbuttercup
Apr 15, 2015 2:19 AM CST
Name: Judy
Simpsonville , SC
Somewhere, I think it was this swap, I received lemongrass seeds. One sprouted a few weeks back and I have been nursing along one solitary seedling. Looked back to my piggy swap database and lemongrass wasn't listed so must have been a one to one extras. Had this plant from an acquaintance who gave me a plant so I know they grow huge and one plant is all I'll need. (sadly that first plant lives several years because I would dugouts bit and bring indoors for winter and one year I followed some bad advice and left it out, plant did not return. I will be nicer to this seedling when it grows up.

SCbuttercup
Apr 15, 2015 2:25 AM CST
Name: Judy
Simpsonville , SC
PS Wildflowers in the swap gave me coral honeysuckle, wintersowed and thought it didn't sprout but there it is! Teeny sprouts but I'm sure they will grow fast... they are in the plant nursery on the front porch where babies go before they can get used to direct sun.
Imagejoseph
Apr 15, 2015 7:58 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity

Thumb of 2015-04-15/joseph/e37e72

Thumb of 2015-04-15/joseph/187304
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
ImageAndi
Apr 15, 2015 8:38 AM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
A garden bed in an old mattress? I hope you post pictures!

I finally have sprouts - in my wintersowing containers outside and on my light shelves inside. I have a picnic table and benches full of soda bottles in trays of winter and spring sown seeds. I am glad that I put them there - they were safe from melting snow and leaf blowers.

My neighbors helped me with spring cleanup. My neighbor, Pete, is a big bear of a man. He had a commercial leaf blower in each hand! Leaves, my plastic bin of kindling for the fireplace, plant labels, the peat moss providing spring freeze/thaw protection on my roses, small labeling rocks, and small potted plants "hardening off" in the sun were flying everywhere! Winston was inside, else he would have been flying also. They stepped on a couple of day lilies, but the tree peonies survived unscathed.

It was stressful at the time - you can't tell people who are helping you what to do - but with help, I got a weeks worth of heavy work done in a couple of hours.

I am buying a freezer chest from my neighbor, Joe. He and Pete are installing laminate flooring in Joe's house this week. I am making room in my crowded little kitchen for it. It will come in handy if my tiny veggie seedlings ever make veggies!

Thank goodness my wintersown seeds survived unscathed. I resist the urge to fuss with them. I leave the lids on until they are big enough to transplant or the weather gets too warm for the covered containers. The wintersown oriental vegetables and greens are doing fantastic! I got better results wintersowing than either direct sowing or starting inside (before I had a light shelf set up.)

Of course, I still have seeds to start. I bought a few new to me zinnia varieties. I haven't started the nasturtium for my walkway yet. They like heat. It hasn't been warm enough for them inside or out this year. The tomatoes and peppers were slow to germinate, so I "borrowed" the old heating pad from Winston;s bed. I put the little pots in a big aluminum spring roll pan and set it on the heating pad. That helped. Maybe I should skip the expensive heating mats and get some more big old heating pads at Walmart or garage sales.

The piggy seeds must be disappointed when they land in the box heading north. They don't reach their full potential in the cold weather.
Imagewildflowers
Apr 15, 2015 9:12 AM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
That's good news about the coral honeysuckle! Hurray! They might not flower this year, but they will be ready for next spring. They are in bloom right now in the wild.

Andi, I'm a little jealous of you getting nasturtiums growing during the hot months. Nasturtium is a good example of how different planting zones can be. Down here in Texas they do best planting seeds in fall or early spring. By the time summer roles in, they need some shade, especially from the hot afternoon sun.

Seeds started in this container in March (with some volunteer impatiens Smiling ) I'm looking forward to seeing how it they look blooming together. Sometimes volunteers can do a better job of making a nice display than I can when I try real hard! lol

Thumb of 2015-04-15/wildflowers/4f1167
FAITH over fear!

Imagewildflowers
Apr 15, 2015 9:14 AM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
Joseph, your seedlings look so good! Thumbs up
FAITH over fear!

Imagestarlight1153
Apr 15, 2015 9:56 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Barbara That is great news!!!!! You keep it up. Glad to see you cold Northern folks finally getting something green growing. Thumbs up

Joseph AGGGGGGGGGGG I was hoping the snow would be over for you. Now if you have some tomatoes that survive. Won't you need to measure the ambient air temp and also the temp of the snow surrounding the plants to see how much cold they actually can take? Sure is shame to see them babies get bit they so pretty, but when you comes science , ya gotta make some sacrifices.

We need the rain to let up some here. This is now 7 days straight of solid rain here and still more everyday until sometime next week. UGGGGGGGGG. Gonna have to watch things like a hawk for fungal diseases. Normally we get all this rain in Feb and March we flood.

{b] Andi[/b] That goes in reverse too. Lots of cool weather plants don't reach their full potential down here because of heat and humidty, but hey who can resist certain plants and seeds. Not me. Rolling on the floor laughing

Looking good there Wild. I bet it will be a pretty combo.

Back out to play in the rain. Having to stake veggies up.


OHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I have question and need help!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I have these big scarlet runner beans. Not gonna say what kind, cuz if they make seed, than it will be surprise for swap. But these things are growing like wild fire. I have to grow them in a pot. Now is one plant going to branch all out? How soon do I have to start staking them in a pot. Will they get big roots?




Imagejoseph
Apr 15, 2015 11:13 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity

Star: I'm expecting snow from time to time until the last week of May. I had frost in the third week of June the past two growing seasons. I haven't even started tomatoes for myself yet. I started some for the farmer's market, but there are a lot of micro-climates around here due to the mountains, and elevation changes, so some of the neighbors can plant warm weather crops up to 3 weeks earlier than I do. Plus a small garden can use wall-o-water or cloches for frost protection.

I let the tomatoes stay out in the snowstorm for about 5 hours. During that time 1.5 inches of snow fell on them. Air temperature was about 35F. Then I put them in the greenhouse for the snow to melt... They seemed to shrug it off. Be hard to tell for a couple days until the sun comes out and warms them up well.

The flat had been outside for about a week, with low temperatures around 35 to 38. About 1/3 of the plants had already been culled because they couldn't handle the cold...

I am basically comparing the plants to each other... If I put out a flat with a lot of genetic diversity in it, some plants will survive lower temperatures than others... If I kill every plant in the flat, or if I don't kill any, then I haven't selected for frost tolerance. The more I kill, the riskier it is that I'll lose the whole experiment. I'd like to kill about 90%, but am content with 50%. I have already identified some lines that have very little frost tolerance. And some that have a lot... Helps me to know where to focus my efforts next year.
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
ImageSorellina
Apr 15, 2015 4:18 PM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Ella, I've grown Runner Beans in a large half whiskey barrel, but not in anything smaller. You may want to consider creating a teepee trellis for them because unless it's a dwarf variety, they can reach well over 6 ft tall. I find that around 8" to 1 ft, they'll start branching and winding around twine or posts, whatever you put near them, they'll latch onto.

My Sunrise Lupines have sprouted! I think it was bxncbx who gifted them, so THANK YOU!! Good grief, lupines never work for me, so maybe winter-sowing is the key there.
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
ImageAndi
Apr 15, 2015 8:32 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
I saw a robin today. Spring is here to stay!

I have a large toad in the compost pile. I haven't seen any "rump prints" anywhere. I felt the same way last year when deer ate my tree lily buds. Sprinkling ground pepper on top of the soil in containers keeps the squirrels from planting oak trees in them. Perhaps something like pepper, cinnamon, neems oil would repel toads without hurting them.

I have babies of Bletila stricata ground orchid from soilsandup. They were sown two years ago! I started them in the pot inside in my old place. I got one sprout the first year but it didn't survive the move, one the second but it didn't survive the second move and three now. I left the pot outside over the winter. I guess they are slow germinating and suitable for winter sowing.

I am jealous that people have tomatoes setting fruit already. the store tomatoes are horrible, even the ones on the vine.

Tomato seedlings surviving a touch of snow? Amazing Joseph. More snow? Yuck.
ImageSorellina
Apr 16, 2015 4:52 PM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Sowed more stuff today downstairs:

Star of David Okra - resorted to ordering this from Baker Creek.
Nasturtiums: Yeti (a climber for the obelisk), Ladybird Cream Purple Spot and Empress of India for the two beds in back with the basils. LCPS did not perform super well the first time I grew it. I'm trying again with a new seed source.
Peppermint 4 O'Clock, a broken colours type from a friend in the Philippines.
Two-Tone Colour Fiesta Tomatillo
Ernesto Tomatoes - lots of them for church give-aways. I get lots of requests for this one - it's a fantastic Italian oxheart and it's the same name as one of our beloved priests.
Genovese Basil - again for church give-aways. Friends seem to like how I crowd my basil plants. I should also have some extra eggplants, but I don't grow them for people on purpose because they take lots more room. Hopefully, with the greenhouse, I'll have more space downstairs for things like this.

More things outside are starting to emerge, thankfully. Still nothing on the closed systems, though. I'm going to give everything a good spritz of water in the morning.
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
Weedwhacker
Apr 16, 2015 8:59 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
I planted 2 flats of tomato seeds today, a flat of "Thumbelina" zinna for my deck-railing flower boxes, a flat with the older gourd seeds from the swap, and another flat with eggplant plus assorted herb and flower seeds... I need to kick my onion plants out to the GH tomorrow, now that we have the heater set up for any overly-low temps, and will plant 2 more flats of mainly flowers tomorrow. Also want to get a few things planted outside -- very rare to be able to do so in Mid April here... carrots, radishes, broccoli, snow peas and kale in the ground, and lettuce in a flower box. I keep feeling like things should be further along by now, but really it is extremely rare that I can even contemplate planting anything outside at this time of year... not that terribly warm, but the snow has been off the garden for a while and it just seems like it's later than it is.

Meanwhile, haven't seen a single sprout in the WS jugs, and have planted a bunch of seeds in vermiculite in big pop bottles a couple of days ago so I'm anxiously awaiting some action there. I'm pretty sure I've never had anywhere near this many seeds planted at this time of year before!! This is going to be a VERY busy gardening year for me Big Yellow Grin
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Imagestarlight1153
Apr 17, 2015 8:23 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Sorellina Thanks for the information. Big Grin About how many plants in your whiskey barrel? These are not dwarfs. I almost wish they were. My hummers will go bezerk when they flower though. The foliage on these one I have are beautiful. Worth growing just to see it.

We are on day 9 of rain here and still 3 or 4 more to go. Everything is so soggy. It's going to be a heck of a year to start off having to watch like crazy for fungal diseases with all this moisture and than when we do see the sun, the humidity is going to be terrible. Glad I don't have beans or squash in yet as they would definitely have powdery mildews and rust.

When the weather does finally break than it will be sow like crazy.

Joseph If your tomato seedlings survive the cold and snow, you should have some very thick stemmed plants I would imagine since the cold slows down the foliage and height growth.
Any of them still alive?





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