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2017 gardening

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Melissa Mead View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 2017 gardening
    Posted: 26 March 2017 at 13:00
Yesterday was the Garden and Flower show, so I got seeds: Spinach, lettuce, English cucumbers, carrots (free gift), wildflower mix (also a free gift), peas, green beans, yellow beans, Swiss chard, dill, and basil. Also green onions, but they were missing when I got home. I also ended up with iceberg instead of butter lettuce somehow.

Still to get: Thyme, replacement green onions, marigolds, nasturtiums.
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Tom Kurth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Kurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2017 at 14:01
Hi Melissa, I'm curious what hardiness zone Albany is in? We are about 60 miles east of Kansas City, used to be middle Zone Five, with warming we can do Arkansas stuff now. The reason I ask is that you mentioned Iceberg lettuce. With our great Plains summers, iceberg types are almost out of the question. One variety, 'Summertime' can be grown around here, but the heads are really loose.

We have had a very mild winter so when we had some 70 degree days in mid-Feb., I planted some spinach and lettuce. One variety of spinach germinated well, one so-so, but everything else was sort of bleah. I think I'll go out this afternoon  and re-seed the rest of it.
Best,
Tom

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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2017 at 20:14
Not for nothing, Tom, but the hardiness zones are all but irrelevant to vegetable gardening.

By definition, the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones apply to the ability of plants to survive the winter unprotected. With rare exception, we grow vegetables as annuals. So over-wintering is not an issue.

There are several factors effecting what will grow where and when. But the most important of them, for vegetables, are frost dates. The last frost determines when we can plant, and the first determines when we are finished.

Next in importance is temperature tolerance. Some plants are more or less heat/cold tolerate. Lettuces, by and large, are not heat tolerant, so don't do well in the summer. Spinach, on the other hand, is cold tolerant, and fits in the group of veggies (which includes most greens) known as hardy.

FWIW, about a dozen years or so back, USDA re-evaluated the zones, and changed many of them to better reflect reality. In most cases, this meant moving about half a zone towards the hardy side. That is, a location that had been, say, zone 6 became zone 6B.
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2017 at 09:41
I am completely falling behind, but will catch up. I SHOULD have started my tomatoes and peppers on 10 March, but I simply haven't been able to.

I'll have more to post when I get to it - hopefully later this week.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Kurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2017 at 18:45
I shoulda known that! There's an obvious reason that they are called 'hardiness' zones. Always kinda assumed that the zones referred to heat tolerance as well. I have wintered over fall spinach before just by tucking some leaves around the plants. I know when we first started gardening there was a ground cover, a variety of liriope, that I had the perfect spot for but was afraid to invest in because of the zone rating. Around here lettuce can be a problem if you don't get it started early. Thus, leaf lettuces work better since heading types often bolt before they mature.
Best,
Tom

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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2017 at 02:50
It's an understandable error, Tom. Everywhere you go; gardening forums, newspaper columnists, garden clubs, farmers markets, they talk about the hardiness zones as if they're meaningful. Which they aren't. Not for vegetable growers.

The folks at Sunset magazine had developed their own system. IIRC, they used something like 22 environmental factors to determine planting dates for every veggie you can imagine. But, of course, it only worked in their circulation area.

Although there's no officially such designation, I like to group lettuces with the "semi-hardy" group. You should plant them a little later than, say, spinach. But their growing season can be extended with the use of shade cloth.

FWIW, I plant lettuce as a secession plant. What I do is seed a row of lettuce. Two inches from that I seed a row of radishes. Then, two inches further, a row of carrots.

What happens is that the radishes spring first, marking the triple row. Then the lettuce. Carrots are slow to germinate, so they'll pop last.

About the time baby lettuce has been thinned, the radishes will have bulbed out, and the carrots have germinated. So we're eating the radishes, sometimes in a salad with lettuce thinnings. Sometimes, if I remember to do it, I'll plant a second row of radishes to replace the first one.

About the time the lettuces are finished, the carrots will be ready to start harvesting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2017 at 07:48
     This will be the first year we're starting a garden at the new house.  I'm going to start with an area where I took down an old fat Albert spruce last year.  I'm thinking starting with just a few types of tomatoes and some cucumbers.    I'll probably get another peach tree and perhaps a plum too.  
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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2017 at 09:31
Dan, let me know if you want to go with heirlooms, and we'll see about fixing you up with seed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2017 at 18:13
    Very kind of you to offer, Brook! I'd sure be interested, am I getting to late for seeds?


   Thanks 😃
Dan
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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2017 at 18:26
Not at all, Dan. Tomato seed is set (indoors, under lights, that is) six to eight weeks before last frost. I go a little later, to prevent the plants getting away from me. Normally, I shoot for April 1. But I've started seed as late as the 15th, and still had plenty of time to transplant them.

Peppers are set eight to ten weeks before last frost. The potential problem is that peppers can be very slow to germinate. Which is why ten weeks makes more sense.

Although cucumbers can be started indoors, they usually are directly planted once all danger of frost is past. If you do pre-start them, use biodegradable pots, such as newspaper pots, to minimize root shock.

Do you have any preferences in terms of tomato color, size, shape, etc.?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2017 at 22:50
Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:

Not at all, Dan. Tomato seed is set (indoors, under lights, that is) six to eight weeks before last frost. I go a little later, to prevent the plants getting away from me. Normally, I shoot for April 1. But I've started seed as late as the 15th, and still had plenty of time to transplant them.

Peppers are set eight to ten weeks before last frost. The potential problem is that peppers can be very slow to germinate. Which is why ten weeks makes more sense.

Although cucumbers can be started indoors, they usually are directly planted once all danger of frost is past. If you do pre-start them, use biodegradable pots, such as newspaper pots, to minimize root shock.

Do you have any preferences in terms of tomato color, size, shape, etc.?


   In the past, I have always liked a nice variety.  Gold, red, green, dark...varying flavors and acidity.  Shape varies too.  When I used to have a garden, at the community garden plot...I used to have a variety of shapes, but I'd always have one or two small ones.  The rest would vary.  

      this is going to be exciting!
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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2017 at 04:41
OK, I'll put together a selection.

I think I only have your old mail address. So, send me the new one in a PM.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2017 at 08:54
It's pretty awesome to see the exchange of seeds!

I have been giving many German and Ukrainian varieties to my dad; also some Italian varieties such as San Marzano, but he hasn't been impressed. I'm thinking of running out to the Bear Paw Mountains south of town, which are volcanic in nature, and getting a bunch of dirt in 5-gallon buckets. Perhaps if I grow my San Marzanos in there, we might see something worth bragging about?

This year, the new tomato that I am trying is the Riesentraube, suggested by Brook:

http://www.southernexposure.com/riesentraube-cherry-tomato-016-g-p-298.html

I think it's going to be a good one!
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Melissa Mead View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2017 at 17:13
Albany, NY, was 5b the last time I checked.
My big concern about getting Iceberg by mistake is that I don't think I have room for head lettuce in my box if I want to grow much of anything else.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2017 at 20:18
That's one of the reasons I like the semi- and verticle-heading varieties, such as any of the Romains. They take up less surface area, and utilize the freehold above the ground.

Alternatively, Melssa, think in terms of secession planting. Lettuce doesn't last long, once the heat comes in. So you can plan on immediately replacing it with something else.

But we hae meat and we can eat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 March 2017 at 07:46
Dan, going out in today's mail are seven tomato varieties and one cucumber.

Most of the tomato seed is on the older side (my apologies for that), but I've included instructions for maximizing germination.

Good luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 March 2017 at 14:21
    wow, thanks!  I can't wait to get them going!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 April 2017 at 16:04
    Brook, I got the seeds today.  I'll get them started tomorrow...thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2017 at 13:38
    Just an update, I've been trying to figure where I went wrong with my seeds.  Things seemed to be going fine right away, but none of the tomato plants grew their true leaves.  They looked good and strong as their seed leaves came in...but nothing after that.  

   I ended up with a few things planted in the garden...but it's relatively small this year.  We'll see how things turn out
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Melissa Mead View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 June 2017 at 20:34
Planted green beans, yellow beans, cucumbers, onions, basil, thyme, and parsley today.
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