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Food Growing Mamas!!!!! We need to start a 2011 Thread!!!! February - March Thread - Page 5

post #81 of 98

After a few days of 70 degree weather, this morning we got...snow. We can't plant anything in the ground until May anyway, but had been feeling so productive getting the beds set up and the yard weeded.  Sigh.  I am so very ready for some dirt-digging weather.

post #82 of 98

Ugh, we just got snow the other day too! So much for the first day of spring. I don't have tons of room in our bay window so I'm sprouting my seeds first in wet paper towels in my nice and toasty laundry room. That way I won't be taking up room in the window/pots with dud seeds.  Of course, if they ALL sprout, I'll still run into the same trouble.  We have to finish building the raised garden soon so I can start some things outside.  I was hoping it wouldn't be necessary, but because of the terrible drainage issues we have it seems to be.  Now I have to finish pricing soil to fill the bed, any suggestions as to inexpensive resources for it?

 

post #83 of 98

Check your county waste services.  Ours composts yard waste and gives it out to residents for free (I think wood mulch is $7 a truckload).  We paid a lot to a guy that will dump compost in our driveway until we figured out we could get it for free.  (Well, it costs us a six pack to borrow my brothers truck...)

 

ali

 

 

post #84 of 98

Ugh --- we just got more snow overnight too!  Finally we were so excited to have seen the grass (after being under snow since November) .... and now all the grass is covered by 6 inches of fresh new snow.  :(  And I was so ready to plant peas!

post #85 of 98

I always feel inadequate for joining the Food Growing Mom's group here since I don't have 100's of anything. But I am itching to discuss my little garden! My pea plants are 6" high so far and the radishes are poking up. Waiting on some lettuces and greens to sprout. My Danvers carrot seeds are in the ground, purple carrots will go in the next few days. Seed potatoes should be on their way here any time now. The bush green beans and summer squash I'll plant sometime next month and I'll buy 10 tomato plants at the farm market then too.

 

The weather here since I started planting the earliest stuff has been flooding rain, then very warm, and now windy and cold. It's been interesting.

post #86 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliall View Post

Check your county waste services.  Ours composts yard waste and gives it out to residents for free (I think wood mulch is $7 a truckload).  We paid a lot to a guy that will dump compost in our driveway until we figured out we could get it for free.  (Well, it costs us a six pack to borrow my brothers truck...)

 

ali

 

 


You have to be really careful with free compost.  A lot of people use fertilizers and pesticides on their lawn that those get into the lawn clippings, which make up the free compost.  I would only feel safe doing this if I was adding activated charcoal in with it to (hopefully) soak up all the potential chemicals. 

 

post #87 of 98

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuburbanHippie View Post

You have to be really careful with free compost.  A lot of people use fertilizers and pesticides on their lawn that those get into the lawn clippings, which make up the free compost.  I would only feel safe doing this if I was adding activated charcoal in with it to (hopefully) soak up all the potential chemicals. 

 

Good point.  After taking that into consideration I called around to a couple of nurseries to see if they carry organic garden soil in bulk.  One carries it for $35/cubic yard (as opposed to buying by the bag at around $70 per cubic yard which were the prices I was finding before).  I'd much rather pay the $100 or so for what we will need and keep my peace of mind about my homegrown veggies not being toxic.  One of the purposes of my garden is to see if we can eat more organic produce for less money (less money eventually, probably not this year with the start up costs), not a great start if I'm getting contaminated compost from the very beginning.

 

In other news my DS is attempting to sabotage my garden endeavor.  I am sprouting my seeds on paper towels in a tupperware container so I don't waste dirt and window space on duds.  I brought the containers out to check if any sprouting action had begun when the baby required my attention for a minute.  When I came back my DS (2.5) was in the process of shaking up the tomato seed container.  ARGH!  I got a packet each of regular and cherry tomatoes that were a mix of varieties dyed to identify and because I want to try all of them I had them layed out the in the container clearly labeled.  Not anymore.  If I hadn't mixed the two packets (cherry and regular) I'd have been fine but since the colors overlapped, I couldn't tell which green seed was regular and which was cherry.  It still wouldn't have been a big deal if I had more of each of the varieties but for one type I only got two seeds and for another I only got one seed.  I ended up having to restart all except for three varieties, which I can't tell apart but didn't have more of.  Now I have the excitement of waiting weeks to figure out which mystery plant is which.

 

By the way, I'm still miffed that only the mixed tomato packets had any sort of identification on them.  I was hoping for a least "This packet may contain any of the following varieties" or something on all the packets of mixed seeds and was disappointed to find out that they just say "Mixed _____" without any clue what it may contain.  This summer as things start ripening I'll have a heck of a time figuring out what varieties I'm eating since 85% of what I got was mixed seeds.  How difficult can it be to add something like that to the label? 

post #88 of 98

Hi everyone! I recently joined MDC because we are TTC our first, and have stumbled upon this forum. I'm very excited, having read a bunch of the threads already and realizing what a great sub-forum you guys have! 

 

I seem to be a black thumb when it comes to non-edibles, but I really love vegetable gardening. This year will be our third season of veggie gardening in four 8'x8' raised beds (terraced, because we built them into a slope). We have had a lot of success, aside from mites on our tomatoes late each season which I haven't successfully dealt with yet. (I'll be asking more on that later). Otherwise we've had: 

  • snow and snap peas
  • string and french beans
  • tomatoes (six to eight plants)
  • summer squashes
  • cucumbers
  • melons (amazingly tasty and successful this year, planted on a whim)
  • pumpkin (planted from seed on a lark LATE last summer and got three nice ones)
  • lettuces
  • collards
  • beets
  • turnips
  • radishes
  • carrots
  • spinach
  • hot peppers (serrano, tobasco, jalepeno)
  • dill, parsley, cilantro, basil
  • little deck herb garden of: chives, mint, oregano, rosemary, thyme
  • garlic and shallot cloves - pleanted last Fall and it looks like they over-wintered well. I have no idea what to do with them now that it's Spring.
  • asparagus - planted crowns last year and think I killed them, but maybe they'll come up anyway

 

I want to make a flower bed (annuals from seed) in my front yard but am really hesitant to do it. I think I do okay with the veggies because I eat them...I think about them every day. But I neglect the landscaping that came with the house, and have never done any flower seeding of my own. I was hoping to sow some zinnias, black-eyed susans, and something else that's shorter, and hope for the best. I really want sunflowers too but I don't know where to put them. I am thinking about marigolds in the veggie beds, but I'm reluctant to relinquish space. 

 

Anyway, that's my intro. I'm excited to read up on what you are all growing, and hopefully will learn a lot from your experience. 

 

 

post #89 of 98

I'm so excited to be a new gardener this year!

 

I have a very small yard and we utilize the space with our outdoor furniture when we have company so I don't have much space to devote to a garden.  I'm going to try my hand at container gardening.

 

I also took a leap and started from seed:

 

cherry tomatoes

regular tomatoes (not beefsteak, I forget the type)

cucumbers

zucchini

bell peppers

jalapenos

basil

parsley

cilantro

rosemary

lavender

marigolds

 

i think that's all. 


Edited by danaf617 - 3/28/11 at 8:19am
post #90 of 98

Finally got a few things planted! In the 2 raised beds we built last year I planted seeds for:

 

Shell peas

Radish

Lettuce

Spinach

Red Beets

Carrots

 

DH made me a wonderfully useful tool! We use the SFG idea of plant spacing. I noticed a lot of veggies I plant are 9 plants per square foot. I tend to do whole rows though so that is a lot of little holes to make.

 

DH made me a wooden hole stamper. It has a grid of 9 hole stamps made from a cut up dowl. And it has a handle so I can just stamp on the down the row. DS can follow adding the seeds.

 

I also checked the Farmers Almanac online for best planting dates – per the moon cycle. I am happy to say most fall on the weekend when I am not working. That is very helpful J

 

Rhianna

post #91 of 98

In my third season of growing, I still haven't ever started seeds inside. I buy plants (which was a disaster last year for my kale and broccoli...I brought in white cabbage butterflies) or start as much from seed in the ground. I think that I'm held back by my lack of setup and lack of knowledge of how to get things going. I do have space in my basement, but I'd need to get lights set up and probably a space heater (it's cold down there). 

 

Will some of you post pictures of your seedling setups?

post #92 of 98

hey ladies!

 so idk if this is going to work but it worked for my younger brother in a different situation and ill let you all know later in the season. here it goes:

a few years ago my brother was getting critters in his shed (im not sure exactly but i think skunk, raccoons cats and such) and he took some dog fur and put it around his shed and the problem went away, he also tried this w/ his FIL's barn/shed and that worked too.

So what im thinking is to take some dog fur and sprinkle it one the outside of the garden to keep critters away so i don't have to spend money on a fence and have to work around it. Does any one have any opinions on why or why not this may work? i am open to any suggestions 

Thanks!

post #93 of 98

We have skunks, ground squirrels, and raccoons here as pests, and was told by a garden guy to sprinkle blood meal around the perimeter of the garden to keep them out. I haven't tested it yet, but will be this summer!


 

post #94 of 98

Well, I'm officially The Tomato Slayer. Pretty much all of the 12 or so that I started from seed have died from damping off except for a few hardies that are hanging out in the bathroom window :(

 

My soybean plants also croaked--I transplanted them right before three days of lashing high winds and kicked myself daily over it while watching the wind slowly destroy them. They were so pretty, too!

 

Oh well! I re-seeded the soybeans and hope they have enough time to mature in our relatively short growing season--if not, they will still enrich the soil. As far as tomatoes go, I think that I'm just going to buy starts from the local nursery and keep working on starting them indoors, maybe get a grow light and see if we can do an indoor plant for winter tomatoes (I was able to do this with cherry toms for a couple of years).

 

What's sprouting outside: the first snow peas! and garden peas, too! mustard greens, some green onion bottoms that I stuck in the dirt from our store-bought salad onions, I think a marigold or two, maybe more spinach plants than I'll be able to handle, a few different varieties of broccoli, and our first black-eyed peas! Yay! joy.gif Oh, and my sis gave me four strawberry babies.

 

I really should start some more seeds indoors, but this is a pretty busy week for me, so I think I'm just going to chill on it and keep watering the outdoor garden.

 

There's so much that I want to grow! I'm having to reign myself in a bit since this is my first real garden and I don't want to get in over my head.

 

 

About the strawberries--where is the best place to plant them? I was thinking of doing those topsy-turvy things hanging in our main garden space coz I'm feeling stingy with the square footage that we have and since I might want to move them to a more permanent place later down the road. Has anyone used the topsy-turvy's? Will my strawbs come back next year if they're in the TT container?

 

Happy gardening to all!

 

post #95 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by RosieL View Post

 

 

Will some of you post pictures of your seedling setups?

 

There are some pictures of mine here
 

 

post #96 of 98

aliall - Thanks for posting! I have an unused plastic shelving unit just like that! I thought it would be too hard to rig up lighting, but you've proven me wrong. :) I suppose it is too late for me to start seeds now (also zone 5)? I have to admit, I've also been scared that if I start my own seeds and I grow weaklings, I won't get as good of results as just buying transplants at the nursery. redface.gif

 

I squinted at my bare beds from the house this morning and saw tiny dots of green! My peas, lettuce, and turnips are coming up!!! It is a JOYOUS day when I see the first signs of sown seeds. I get excited like a little kid. 

post #97 of 98

Mine is set up like aliall's.  Except instead of them being stacked on a shelf they are next to each other on a banquet table. I have the lights dangling from the ceiling in our basement.  Luckily, this basement had a bunch of nails perfectly spaced for this just sticking in the rafters.  Win!

 

Craft_Media_Hero- Sorry to hear about the tomatoes.  What a bummer!  Only about half of my tomatoes have sprouted.  I think it's due to my watering technique.  The water sometimes gets splashed in there and I bet the seeds settled somewhere toward the bottom of the dirt.  This makes me want to scream as I waited 50 days for these stupid seeds to come in the mail.  The ones that have sprouted are mostly the ones I saved from last year from non-heirloom organic plants.  If those end up doing better, I may never bother with heirlooms again.  We had quite a few volunteer tomatoes from our compost last year and we saved those seeds too and they are doing well.  *sigh*

 

I think I may need to start watering my plants from the bottom up again.  I had success doing that last year.  I had to put my coconut pots in a big tub and put the water in the big tub and let it soak up from the bottom instead of watering from the top.  It makes me want to cry having to redo some of these plants.  So much time wasted.

post #98 of 98

We got our first things in the ground here this past weekend and I'm excited to see how it turns out. We planted potatoes using a plan for a box that grows with the plants. Supposedly if it all goes well, we can get as much as 100 lbs. of potatoes out of 4 square feet of space. You can read more about it and see pictures here. I'll try to post how it goes.

 

Our last frost date is still 4-5 weeks out. We're starting seeds this week, but what things do you guys plant out directly this early? I'm wondering if onion sets and carrots, beets, spinach and kale from seed would make it if I sowed them now. Appreciate any thoughts.

 

 

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