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Food Growing Mamas!!!!! We need to start a 2011 Thread!!!! February - March Thread - Page 3

post #41 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerCathy View Post

 

I still haven't started any seeds yet.  I need some motivation.  I still don't have very much energy, this 1st trimester is kicking my butt.

Um, I haven't started my seeds either.  I've been washing dishes and laminating homeschool books.  I just don't have the energy to tackle cleaning up the pantry with my "help."  Maybe one of these days. 
Feel kinda bad for my uncle though... Got him to actually talk/chat a bit when he stopped by this afternoon (um, he's of the more strong and silent type - chatting is a freakin' challenge half the time).  He was a wheat farmer for a good 40 years.  And hated it.  He never got out to try anything new or find what he loved doing - went straight from college to the wheat truck.  :(  Trying to get him to move up here so I can keep an eye on him (he's a confirmed bachelor, has no kids).  Bonus if he gets some acreage and he lets me plant raspberries or asparagus or other random things on the edges of his property.  :D 
The irony here though?  I loved (loved!) going out to the wheat fields and being involved in the growing and such back in the day.  But since I was a girl and didn't have that all-important familial last name (since my mom was the only girl in six kids), I was shoved aside.  So someone that could've potentially been groomed to help take over part of it or shift the farm in a different direction nowadays?  I've found greener pastures elsewhere, and have no idea what my uncles are going to do with half a county that a bunch of us that stand to inherit it want.  Feel bad that all my grandfather's hard work in procuring his family's future just...  Sigh.  Anyway, sorry for the tangent.  Moving on...  I got my seed box out of the basement today, that counts for something, right?

 

post #42 of 98

Blah. We just got like 2 feet of snow. Where is spring?!! 

post #43 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMommyNiceNice View Post

I do love the rain!  I was out digging today, and I almost thought I could have planted my sweetpeas straight out today and skipped the 24 hour soaking. 

 

I guess our test used to be take home, but they stopped that.  We did have to do a presentation, which of course I kicked butt at b/c I love to talk to people - and who doesn't love a talk about vermicomposting for 10 year olds?  They want me to make it longer for the speakers bureau. 

 

How's the climate in NC treating you?  are you mountains or coastal? 

Wow, a presentation too?  lol.gif  We've got it easy here. orngtongue.gif

 

I love this climate, but its been so cold this winter and even this morning was a little cold.  I'm neither.  We are inland, but no mountains.  We are just South of Greensboro.  Dh is looking for a job in the Durham area, which is cool because there is a really good AP'/Homeschool group AND a homesteading group there.  I'm excited. 
 

 

post #44 of 98

I think the final two feet of snow on the ground may melt this week!  So excited to see spongy, muddy earth!  (There are no guarantees that we won't have another good snow storm, though.)

 

I'll be starting some of the hardies indoors this week.  Out setting-out date is Memorial Day, though some wait an extra week.

 

We're trying some new methods this year.  More containers and raised beds.  I am going to do the '3 sisters', etc.

 

We want to start fruit trees and berry vines.  We just bought this house last February, so this will only be our second garden here.  The previous owners didn't have an orchard or berry vines.

 

Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli were big fails last year... I couldn't keep up with the cabbage worms.  Anyone have a bio-dynamic solution for this?

 

For the garden this year, we're doing:

 

Potatoes

Asparagus

Beans 

Cabbage-- Baby Pak Choi

Carrots

Corn/Popcorn

Cucumbers

Lettuce

Onions

Peas

Peppers

Pumpkin

Radish

Squash

Zucchini

Winter Squash

Strawberries

Tomatillos

Tomatoes

Watermelon

Basil

Chives

Cilantro

Parsley

Oregano

Thyme

Mint

Flowers (Alyssum, Morning Glory, Godetia, Snapdragon, Echinacea, Sunflower, Partial Shade Mix)

 

ETA:  We are using Irish Eyes for the first time this year.  Does anyone have any experience with this seed company?  They're a bit pricey, but I do all that I can to avoid Monsanto (wow! is this becoming more and more difficult).  Are there similar seed companies that you prefer or that have better proliferation?  

 

Also, are there any other ladies/gents on this thread that live in northern New England?  ME, NH, VT, MA???  I am becoming more interested in the programs offered by the cooperative extension.  I really want to volunteer for the master gardening program... but the timing isn't good right now.  Also, does anyone on this thread hunt?  We lice in NH, but have 52 wild acres Downeast (Washington County, ME).  We get tons of blueberries!!!  I would like to hunt this autumn, if anyone else is up for a trip.  Turkey, deer, bear (not baiting), woodcock, goose, and duck.  


Edited by bluebackpacks - 3/7/11 at 8:57am
post #45 of 98
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmonter View Post

Um, I haven't started my seeds either.  I've been washing dishes and laminating homeschool books.  I just don't have the energy to tackle cleaning up the pantry with my "help."  Maybe one of these days. 
Feel kinda bad for my uncle though... Got him to actually talk/chat a bit when he stopped by this afternoon (um, he's of the more strong and silent type - chatting is a freakin' challenge half the time).  He was a wheat farmer for a good 40 years.  And hated it.  He never got out to try anything new or find what he loved doing - went straight from college to the wheat truck.  :(  Trying to get him to move up here so I can keep an eye on him (he's a confirmed bachelor, has no kids).  Bonus if he gets some acreage and he lets me plant raspberries or asparagus or other random things on the edges of his property.  :D 
The irony here though?  I loved (loved!) going out to the wheat fields and being involved in the growing and such back in the day.  But since I was a girl and didn't have that all-important familial last name (since my mom was the only girl in six kids), I was shoved aside.  So someone that could've potentially been groomed to help take over part of it or shift the farm in a different direction nowadays?  I've found greener pastures elsewhere, and have no idea what my uncles are going to do with half a county that a bunch of us that stand to inherit it want.  Feel bad that all my grandfather's hard work in procuring his family's future just...  Sigh.  Anyway, sorry for the tangent.  Moving on...  I got my seed box out of the basement today, that counts for something, right?

 


Yeah, I got me seeds out too.  I haven't gotten too far after that.orngtongue.gif

 

That's a bummer you couldn't do something with the family farm.  That would be fantastic. 

 

post #46 of 98
Joining this thread. I am in MN. I think our date is around may 15. I have 6 raised beds in the back with strawberries, asparagus and then annuals. They are partially shaded which can be bad. I am going to try to do greens back there this year and hope they won't bolt.

We have a squash patch in our side yard. Major issues with squash borers last year. I want to try to innoculate this year.

We transplanted and expanded our raspberries last year and got almost no berries. Hopefully we will get at least a few this year.

We have a front yard garden too, which I am hoping to expand this spring as it is the sunniest spot.

I started all my stuff indoors last week. Seeds from baker and sse. Fingers crossed.

I have 2 burning questions, lol. #1, why do squashes that I start indoors always get overtaken by the ones I start outdoors a month or 2 later? What am I doing wrong?

And #2, blueberries. Where to buy? What variety? Dwarf or regular? What do I need to do to the soil to make them grow? Wherever I order from, I think I will add 2 more cherry trees as well.

Suzan
post #47 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
We transplanted and expanded our raspberries last year and got almost no berries. Hopefully we will get at least a few this year.

I have 2 burning questions, lol. #1, why do squashes that I start indoors always get overtaken by the ones I start outdoors a month or 2 later? What am I doing wrong?

And #2, blueberries. Where to buy? What variety? Dwarf or regular? What do I need to do to the soil to make them grow? Wherever I order from, I think I will add 2 more cherry trees as well.

Cane berries can take a year to recover from transplanting.  As long as they're greening up, you're good.  By next year you'll wonder what on earth you were thinking since they multiply like bunnies.
I've had that happen with onions and such as well (direct seeding vs. starting indoors).  I just take it as a cue to not bother starting indoors and wasting my time.  Just sow outdoors where mother nature knows her business, and move on.
Blueberries... ones that are good for your area/zone/climate?  I kept trying with blueberries, but after 5 years of them not being able to do much (and my kids I think trampling them this winter) I'm giving up and trying honeyberries instead.  They supposedly need acidic soil, but no matter how much I added I never hit that acidic sweet spot in my own yard - despite the lilac monstrosities nearby whom also like acidic soil.  If you've got a local blueberry farm, call them up asap and see if they sell any extra plants.  Hmmm... maybe I need to do that this year.  I kept waffling at the price (they're not cheap at $17.95/plant here), but it's probably well worth it if they're already acclimated and established.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerCathy View Post

That's a bummer you couldn't do something with the family farm.  That would be fantastic. 

Eh, it's dryland wheat farming.  Believe you drove through it on the way here.  Basically sagebrush-type land, not exactly lush/green like over here in my yard.  Whatever, things happen for a reason.
 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebackpacks View Post

ETA:  We are using Irish Eyes for the first time this year.  Does anyone have any experience with this seed company?  They're a bit pricey, but I do all that I can to avoid Monsanto (wow! is this becoming more and more difficult).  Are there similar seed companies that you prefer or that have better proliferation?  

I've ordered from Irish Eyes for several years.  Good for funky colder-climate seeds.  Good potatoes, too.  :D  They grow a fair amount of their own seeds, too.  They're about 4-5 hours away from me, give or take.  Their prices *have* gone up in the last two years though.  Supply and demand...  All the more reason to find the varieties you want, and then the book Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth.  :D
 

post #48 of 98

This is just what I need.... I am so looking forward to getting the garden started and to really expanding this year. We're still cold here in the midwest, so it will be a while before we start things, but we have been poring through gardening books and especially looking to expand the fruit trees this year. This will be our second growing season in this place, with last year having been a good trial run for what will work where. In addition to the vegetables last year, we planted peaches, cherries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

While we wait out the cold, it isn't all hopeless, though. In a few weeks, some lovely hens will be making their home here in our yard, so we're working on plans for their quarters, as well. And we just finished off our first batch of maple syrup from the trees in our yard (pictures here). I'm in love with sugaring! It feels good to be getting food from the land even as we wait out the end of winter.

I'm loving this thread. Thanks for the inspiration!

post #49 of 98

LOL well, we woke up to a coating of snow today.  Well, a subtle reminder, I suppose.  :D

 

MY DH did an internship down around Raleigh at this awesome place called the carnivore preservation trust - you should check it out sometime.  Freaking awesome.  Lots of big & small cats. 

post #50 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post

Joining this thread. I am in MN. I think our date is around may 15. I have 6 raised beds in the back with strawberries, asparagus and then annuals. They are partially shaded which can be bad. I am going to try to do greens back there this year and hope they won't bolt.

We have a squash patch in our side yard. Major issues with squash borers last year. I want to try to innoculate this year.

We transplanted and expanded our raspberries last year and got almost no berries. Hopefully we will get at least a few this year.

We have a front yard garden too, which I am hoping to expand this spring as it is the sunniest spot.

I started all my stuff indoors last week. Seeds from baker and sse. Fingers crossed.

I have 2 burning questions, lol. #1, why do squashes that I start indoors always get overtaken by the ones I start outdoors a month or 2 later? What am I doing wrong?

And #2, blueberries. Where to buy? What variety? Dwarf or regular? What do I need to do to the soil to make them grow? Wherever I order from, I think I will add 2 more cherry trees as well.

Suzan

I can answer #1.  Ditch trying to start them indoors.  They do way better just direct sown.  I did a test one year and direct sowing won hands down for squash and vining things. 
 

 

post #51 of 98

You should really do a soil test before planting blueberries.  They prefer acidic soil, and it can be a lot of work if you don't get them in the right space.  The general recommendation is to go with 3 plants in 2 varieties (like 1 tall & 2 short) because you will get better heavier yields. 

post #52 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMommyNiceNice View Post

LOL well, we woke up to a coating of snow today.  Well, a subtle reminder, I suppose.  :D

 

MY DH did an internship down around Raleigh at this awesome place called the carnivore preservation trust - you should check it out sometime.  Freaking awesome.  Lots of big & small cats. 


Yeah, the cars were covered in ice this am, but no snow for us, it stopped raining soon enough.  I will have to go check it out when my ds is here.  He would love that.

 

post #53 of 98

I am ready for spring (still have a way to go here in zone 5).  I have tomatoes and peppers started downstairs and I ordered a sweet cherry tree and more blueberries this year (which just came today...not sure what I am going to do there since I think the ground is still frozen.)

 

I am trying to keep my garden blog updated with lots of pictures this year. 

 

ali

post #54 of 98

Hi there everybody! It's so exciting to hear all about people's plans and garden work.  It makes me feel like I can actually do this!

 

I'm a very inexperienced gardener planning a few sq ft gardens for this year.  Our date is April 15th, but we're zone 8 and from what I've heard recently, lots of folks around here set most things out in mid-march and just protect from frost if necessary.  I still haven't got the soil mixed and into my beds, so I'm not sure whether or not I'll be ready that soon...

 

I've started some parsley, chives, echinacea, and onions inside, but I don't have a fancy lamp setup, just the top of the fridge, so I will probably be doing mostly direct plantings. 

 

My garden goals this summer are to have enough lettuce for salads right on through, and enough tomatoes and cucumbers to satisfy my summer cravings.  Altogether I have 75 sq ft of beds (mostly sun, but parts will be shaded for much of the day), and I'm planning on a few more big containers that I can plunk down to take advantage of the few other sunny spots in our yard.  I hope I can get this to work!

 

Regarding blueberries, I planted two bushes last week, one that needs full sun and another that tolerates part-shade.  Should I get a third plant to ensure pollination?  The people at the garden center sounded like two was enough.  If I do plant another it will be getting further into the shade, do you think the part-shade variety will still be ok?  It will get some sun, but probably not more that 3 hours of direct sunlight. 

 

Thanks for starting this thread!

post #55 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidandspencersmom View Post

I went a little crazy and have planted everything already. I have four new 4x8 raised beds. One is tomatoes and basil, one is just peppers (sweet and hot) one for cucumbers (slicing and pickling) and one salsa garden.  I have 25 tomato plants in 10 gallon pots that I started from seed in early Jan.  I am growing Celebrities, Yellow Pear, Cherry, Money Maker, and Brandywine.  I also have three 65 gallon pots planted with zucchini. One big 95 gallon with carrots, and another with strawberries.

I also started a herb/butterfly garden with parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, onion chives, garlic chives, sage, and dill.

If it freezes, I am in big trouble, but I don't think it will....................right?


Have you ever grown your carrots and zucchini in these giant pots before this year? How did they turn out? I have been thinking of growing carrots and potatoes in giant pots, but I wasn't sure how they would turn out? 

 

post #56 of 98

This is my first time with strawberries in the containers, so we'll see. I have attempted to grow zucchini in 15 gal pots before, but the squash vine borers got to them before anything really happened. This is my first year growing carrots.  I think the main issue with container growing is choosing the right soil.

post #57 of 98

For blueberries I like http://www.backyardberryplants.com/  They're 
They're in Indiana and have a good selection of cold tolerant varieties.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post

Joining this thread. I am in MN. I think our date is around may 15. I have 6 raised beds in the back with strawberries, asparagus and then annuals. They are partially shaded which can be bad. I am going to try to do greens back there this year and hope they won't bolt.

We have a squash patch in our side yard. Major issues with squash borers last year. I want to try to innoculate this year.

We transplanted and expanded our raspberries last year and got almost no berries. Hopefully we will get at least a few this year.

We have a front yard garden too, which I am hoping to expand this spring as it is the sunniest spot.

I started all my stuff indoors last week. Seeds from baker and sse. Fingers crossed.

I have 2 burning questions, lol. #1, why do squashes that I start indoors always get overtaken by the ones I start outdoors a month or 2 later? What am I doing wrong?

And #2, blueberries. Where to buy? What variety? Dwarf or regular? What do I need to do to the soil to make them grow? Wherever I order from, I think I will add 2 more cherry trees as well.

Suzan



We still officially have 2 months before the last frost date but I'm feeling like spring is coming early this year.

We bought our seeds from sustainable seed company and went wild this year...I think we bought one of everything.

We just said we'll plant a bunch of different things and see what makes it this year. I mean what can go wrong with okra in New England??

I've been starting them indoors and the leeks and onions have taken off.

 

A local conservation group is selling plants too so we're picking up raspberries and blackberries from them in April, can't wait!

 

 

 

post #58 of 98
Last August we moved from chilly zone 3 to zone 5b. We're doing a market garden this year so our personal food garden will be meshed in there. So far I have about 75 different veg varieties and 20 or so herbs that I plan to plant. I'm hoping to do a lot of preserving. We also have on order 2 apricots, elderberry, mulberry and pears. We were going to do a huge fruit tree order of 25+ trees but we're broke at the moment so it'll have to wait until next year. A friend is going to give us cuttings his raspberry and blackberry bushes.

I'm so excited. We didn't get to garden last year because we were selling our house so I'm eagerly awaiting spring.
post #59 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidandspencersmom View Post

I went a little crazy and have planted everything already. I have four new 4x8 raised beds. One is tomatoes and basil, one is just peppers (sweet and hot) one for cucumbers (slicing and pickling) and one salsa garden.  I have 25 tomato plants in 10 gallon pots that I started from seed in early Jan.  I am growing Celebrities, Yellow Pear, Cherry, Money Maker, and Brandywine.  I also have three 65 gallon pots planted with zucchini. One big 95 gallon with carrots, and another with strawberries.

I also started a herb/butterfly garden with parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, onion chives, garlic chives, sage, and dill.

If it freezes, I am in big trouble, but I don't think it will....................right?



Have you grown peppers before? I read somewhere that if you grow sweet and hot peppers too closely, you will get all mixed, so your sweets will be hotter and the hots will be a little sweeter. I want to grow both too.

post #60 of 98

I am also in Minnesota, in the rural western part of the state.  This is my 7th year with my own backyard (and thus my 7th year with a garden!) --- and every year we do things a little differently and plant slightly different things.  However, I never start seeds indoors.  It just doesn't work for me. 

 

It gets warm here later, but things do really take off once it's May.  I'm really into greens, so I'm excited this year to plant Kale, Chard, Beets, Lettuce and other salad greens, Bok Choy varieties, and Spinach, etc.  We also plant tomatoes, chilies (DH is from India), Squash/Zucchini and Peas, Cucumbers.  What am I missing? 

 

Last year I ordered non-gmo seed from Botanical Interests (found them here on MDC).  Thinking of going with them again this year, or possibly trying a new company just to see.  We also have a compost in the back of our yard, and last year we had some beautiful soil additions from that  :)  Our squash plants grew huge!

 

I'm very excited that spring is on it;'s way!  It's my favorite season. 

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