weatherman128

GardenWeb Chat - April 2017

Chris (6a NY)
3 years ago

A continuation from the March 2017 chat.

Feel free to ask questions, post progress of your seed starting and seedlings, brag about your harvests if you have any this early, cheer your successes and lament your failures, complain about the weather, etc.

Comments (549)

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Chris, I have had lettuce germinate without light (other than some defused light from my workbench 20+ feet away. That being said, the seeds germinate in 2-3 days so now I just put them under the lights as soon as they are sown 1-2" from the tubes. You don't want them to sprout without being in close proximity to the lights or they will get leggy very quickly and you will have to start over. I fill the cells with moistened mix, add 2 seeds per cell, and then cover with about 1/8" of mix. About a week after germination I cull the lesser of the 2 seedlings from each cell by snipping one (often it will grow back).

    Another cool, windy, and rainy day here in the heartland. Had some thunderstorms last night but nothing severe. I and my garden are looking forward to the next several days of sunny or partly cloudy conditions and warm temperatures. Still have a frost to deal with on Friday first.

    I went through my 3 trays of tomato and 4 trays of pepper seedlings last evening and arranged them by height. There were some that were 1-2" difference in height in the same tray. Now I am able to get them closer to the light to avoid any legginess. I am getting tight on light space now that my brother's 24 brassicas and 24 lettuce joined the party. Thankfully my brother's stuff will be gone after Easter Sunday because soon I will need to give the tomatoes and peppers more spacing.

    Chris (6a NY) thanked LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    Featured Answer
  • Steve Lng Islnd NY Z-7a SunSet Z-34
    3 years ago

    @Chris I wouldn't wait too long because you don't want competing Fungi to start colonizing the log but the plugs are cheap enough that to try and fail won't cost you an arm and a leg.

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Thanks, kpr! Maybe I can get a few friends interested and we can get a big harvest. Might have to wait until next year, so it can be planned better.

    I'm definitely going to give it a try soon, Steve. Thanks!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I dodged a frost threat overnight. Predicted low was 40 but it was 43 when I left for work at 4:45. I had put some buckets over the tomatoes last night but after checking the temp this morning, I took them off. One more threat on Sunday night with 39 predicted and then trending up. Lot's of rain in the forecast thru Monday as well but at least the garden should get some needed sun today.

    I may end up needing to resow my Provider bush beans. Provider is supposed to be tolerant of cool soils and the soil temp was 70 at 4" when I sowed them on Tuesday and around 73 at seed depth. Just not sure how the seeds will respond to the see-saw temps and soggy soil. I knew it was a little risky but I wanted to get them to maturity before the bean pests like Japanese Beetles showed up in force in late June. I should know if I need to resow by the first weekend in May.

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    3 years ago

    Thanks for the pics, Jack. You are always the best in show winner here ;)

    I am not sure how the cucurbits I planted are fairing, it has been a cold and very wet couple of days. If I don't see any by next weekend, I will resow.

    My starts need to go outside. A lot of my tomatoes are developing edema again. I think it comes from low light and dry air. My peppers are small for the timeframe and kind of unhappy looking to me. My eggplants look great though. Always a different experience... so much seems to depend on the particular bag of mix you get.

    I think I will set up a hardening tunnel this weekend.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    3 years ago

    Thanks Peter...I'm just one of the earliest to show compared to most on this thread.

    A little sunshine should do all of your plants good. Sun seems to be in short supply lately in a lot of places. Kind of strange since most of March was so nice and sunny around here.

    I need to check on my cucumbers tonight. They have been in the ground for 9+ days now so they should be up soon if they are going to sprout at all. I will give them another week. I haven't planted any squash yet. I still need to pull out some overwintered bunching onions that are now bolting in the bed where my yellow squash is going.

    I don't have much left to plant this spring....just some Rattlesnake pole beans, yellow squash, and my peppers.

  • isgen
    3 years ago

    Weather has warmed up a bit in the last few days, despite still a general cloudiness and rains. My doubts have been put to rest regarding my radish seeds either being duds or having rotted in the ground, having been in there for over 10 days. They likely were delayed by the cold, but are finally piercing the soil en masse.

    As seen above, I often tent some ½-inch mesh over areas where I just seeded, until the seedlings get large enough.

    Garlic was also late, perhaps because I planted fairly deep, but here it is now.

    Lettuce is slowly bulking up, as is spinach. I've started to harvest baby leaves from both, good stuff!


  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    3 years ago

    Your lettuce looks really nice Isgen. What varieties are you growing? That first picture looks somewhat like a variety I have grown called Rhazes.

  • isgen
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    The lettuce is Cimmaron and the spinach is Bloomsdale. I have two varieties of French Breakfast radishes, one simple called FB, the other as the added designation of d'Avignon. The garlic is unknown, possibly a mix from what was given to me by others a year or two back, hardneck though.

    Oh, I also have Chioggia beets in the garden, but none have sprouted yet. Not terribly worried, as they usually take longer than radish in my experience and the latter just started coming up. I just hope I can get harvest-worthy roots by the end of June, as these will need to make way for another crop by then, likely carrots. I'll be happy with anything larger than golf-ball size though.

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    3 years ago

    Really nice lettuce! I'm jealous.

    My beets are not coming up, it's been almost a month. I planted some older seed I found that I know is good last weekend, I am actually hoping that the new seed is bad and it is not rotting in the ground. Beets can be especially vulnerable to damping off.

  • isgen
    3 years ago

    I was about to give in to the temptation of digging up one or two radish seeds to see if anything is going on, glad I didn't. I guess I'll hold off for the beets as well!

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Isgen, the lettuce is looking amazing! This will be my first year trying lettuce and I hope it looks half as good as that.

    Jack, glad you were able to dodge a frost. I'm still being very cautious with what goes out. It's been a warm spring this year, but I won't start taking chances for a couple weeks.

    Peter, I'd say our April has actually been more like an April should be, at least in terms of rain. Hoping it starts to dry up a bit more soon. I'd like to see steady 70's/50's. Warm enough to get tomatoes out, but cool enough for spring veggies.

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    US Drought Monitor With the exception of the Southeast(which is a short-term drought), things are looking great! We are just about out of the woods here! Jack, looks like you're all caught up.

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    3 years ago

    It is definitely feeling like a normal April. With the cool temps continuing into May. I really need to get my plants outside, I am going to make a tunnel for them.

  • Hannah Cbus (5b/6a)
    3 years ago

    The snap peas are finally breaking the surface in my elementary school's tiny garden. My third graders are ecstatic!

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Hannah that is very cool that the little ones are getting involved in understanding where food really comes from!

    Isgen - those lettuce beds are a thing of beauty!

    Jack - glad to hear you weathered a near-frost.

    RE upcoming weather - The low on my 15 day forecast is 47. I'm thinking of putting out the peppers and eggplants this weekend to thin the start herd a little more. I really need to get the drip irrigation setup because once those are out every garden bed will be taken up. Now I just have to juggle how to transition from spring to summer crops to try to maximize bed use. Cucumbers are going where the kale and lettuce is. Pumpkins replacing broccoli. Hopefully the tomatoes don't shade out the carrots and rest of radishes. Trying to find a place to sneak in some beats. If anyone has any plans/ideas/procedures for how to transition I would be very interested... its something I am trying to improve over the next couple seasons/years.

    My 4 y.o. boy, wife, and I split our first tiny strawberry (earliglow) last night. It was the best! We wont have a huge production this year since this is the first year of planting, but I planted the bareroots pretty close together so Im not going to fuss too much about pinching flowers to let the plants sprawl.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    3 years ago

    Chris - It didn't get as close to frost as I thought it might but better to be safe than sorry especially when gardening in a valley. I still have enough backup plants to replace all of my tomatoes and my neighbors so not really much risk.

    Hanna - that is so cool that you are teaching your kids about gardening. I hope the peas give you all a great harvest.

    Kpr - Succession planting is one of the hardest things to get a handle on and a lot depends on how early you can get the cool weather stuff planted and harvested. Here I can get most potatoes out of the ground by July 4th as long as I get them planted by mid March so that frees up several beds for just about any fall crop. Brassicas are also out early enough to plant just about anything for fall. Most of my other early stuff like leeks, lettuce, and green onions I just tuck in along the edges of beds containing warm weather stuff and they get enough time before the toms or peppers go in to get a good start on growth before being somewhat shaded. Something to also take into account is when certain pests show up, peak, and decline. For instance, I am trying to time my bush green beans so that no crop has to deal with the peak of Japanese Beetles this year. That means planting the Provider beans early and then not sowing any more until about mid/late July when the JB are declining but I still have time for the beans to mature and get a few weeks of harvest before possible frost. We'll see how it works!!

  • Sloan Quinn 8b
    3 years ago

    LoneJack, I feel for you with the JB. I don't have so many problems with them here, but hubby's grandmother in Springfield used to take them out by the score a couple times a day. I'd go nuts with an infestation like that. At least with the hoppers, the advice isn't "brush them off into soapy water."

  • Sloan Quinn 8b
    3 years ago

    BTW, @Dawson, the solution for raw Brussels sprouts presented itself this evening. I was quartering some to go in the oven w/a bunch of other veggies, and little guy asked for some and was happy to eat it when given.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I couldn't help myself.... this is about a third of the peppers that will go out (10 of 30 planned)... spacing is pretty tight at a little less than one plant per sq. Foot. Hope that doesn't come back to bite me.

  • Sloan Quinn 8b
    3 years ago

    kpr, what kind of peppers do you grow?? anything weird and interesting?

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Eh I wouldn't call any of them weird. This year I'm growing the following: Cascabella, doulce despagne, corno di toro, poplano, Hungarian wax, sweet banana, jalepeno, and sweet habenero. Also got my eye on a few chilis and a bhut joluka I've seen at lowes this week.


    eta pretty sure I misspelled just about all of those.

  • Sloan Quinn 8b
    3 years ago

    Nice, nice. I keep meaning to get some peppers started to stick in the ground next spring, but I haven't done it yet. I've got some dried cayenne-type peppers hanging up right now I'd like to try. They were a store-bought hybrid, so there's really no telling what I'd get, but I like good hot peppers for keeping varmints out of the garden. No deer/rabbits/gophers/dillos/coons/dumb dogs for me, thanks!

    Other than that, I guess I'm pretty boring, too. None in the garden this year (trying to get them started was terrible for me this year) but I just go for salsa peppers, stir fry peppers, and Mexican drying type peppers - ancho poblanos, guajillos, etc.

    You got 2/3 of them right. :-P Doux d'Espagne, Poblano, and Bhut Jolokia. I love looking at pepper varieties - there are so many I want to try! Baker Creek sells Brazilian Starfish, and I'm really curious whether those would be any good for stuffing as an appetizer - similar to stuffed mushrooms.

    Personally, I still have a bit of a love affair with our native chili petines. We had a couple plants growing against the side of the house when I was little, and every year I'd go out and pick off every tiny little pepper I could find and bring them in so dad could make his spicy vinegar. We don't have any where I live right now, but I keep telling dad I'm going to come steal one of his.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Mmmm spicy homemade vinegar sounds delicious!!! Ill have to remember that come harvest time! Do you have any recipe tips?

  • Dawson North TX (z8a/7b)
    3 years ago

    Great news about the Brussel Sprouts Sloan!

    Update on my issue with hoppers and bush beans, I tried the method of sprinkling flour on the leaves but since I wanted it to stick, I wet the leaves before I sprinkled the flour on it, thus when the sun shined on the flour/water mixture it dried it out along with the leaves. The leaves are currently kind of curled up and has a yellowish green look along with yellow spots on it while the new, true leaves (which hardly got any flour on them because they were so small when I sprinkled the flour on) are a dark green. I will have pictures of my beans along with the rest of my garden whenever I receive the email from the phone that has them.

  • Sloan Quinn 8b
    3 years ago

    @kpr - dad literally just took a load of chili petines - which are wildly different in heat from year to year and in varying stages of ripeness - and filled one of those make-your-own salad dressing bottles about 1/2 to 2/3, then filled the bottle with regular vinegar and let it sit for about 3 months before he used it. He'd use a mix of the green, red, and orange stage peppers and it always came out good and spicy. Pretty sure he used it just like Tabasco sauce, really.

    We never really used any of it for ourselves as kids - I loved the green ones, which were about as hot as a jalapeno, and would just snack on them, but the red ones were quite too hot for me as a young'un. These days I'm more inclined to put them in my fire cider, or sun dry them and use them for seasoning. The red ones are still hot enough I don't just want a big bite of them!

    IDK what you'd use in their place - chili petines are wild here, and while hubby's grandma was able to keep a (potted) plant alive up in MO, it never did real well, as far as I know. Pequins are a different pepper - the heat from pequins lasts longer, I believe, while a petine (or tepin) is more of a punch-your-teeth-out-and-walk-away kind of heat. The flavor is different, too. Hard to describe, but a chili petine tastes wild. And it won't grow where there's a lot of hard frost in the winters.

    @Dawson - hmm. I can see the paste drying out the leaves. Hope it doesn't adversely affect the plants too much. I'd have sprayed the plants with castille soap, personally, rather than just water. Are you seeing any damage from the grasshoppers themselves? I'm starting to see more nymphs move in on me, so I'm going to have to start spraying a little more frequently (or maybe I've just been getting lazy?) but so far they haven't done any worse than the cucumber beetles I'm still picking off and stomping every day.

  • Dawson North TX (z8a/7b)
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Sloan, the grasshoppers are leaving it alone but the plants don't look to great. I am going to see if I can try something else until I can find the semaspore which I know is lying around somewhere. I don't want to lose this batch of plants so I think I'll just find a different method. Thank You for all your suggestions! :-)

    ETA: Could I get the recipe for your castille soap garden spray? I think that will be next thing to try while looking for the semaspore bait

  • Sloan Quinn 8b
    3 years ago

    Well for grasshoppers specifically, a 1:1 dilution of liquid castille soap:water would probably be the best balance between easy and effective.

    As for my particular garden spray, here it is:

    ------------------

    16 oz liquid castille soap (Dr. Bronner's is fine) (for chewing, bug-type pests + sticking the rest on)
    16 oz castor oil (for furry pests)
    60-75 drops each peppermint and clove essential oils (for deterring pests, see notes below)
    50 drops each tea tree and juniper berry oils (TT for suppressing fungal issues & juniper berry for attracting pollinators)

    Mix it all up (shake really well) in a quart-size mason jar (it probably won't quite fit, so short yourself on the castor oil if you need to.) Add 1/2-1 cup to a 1 1/2 gallon sprayer along with a heaping tablespoon of hot fine ground chili peppers (or just cayenne pepper from the spice aisle at the store). Fill with water and go to town. Spray plants until just about to start dripping and watch the bugs run/fly away. Note: they may come right back, but unless your bugs have different tastes than mine, you'll notice a decrease in the amount of damage they're doing.

    Try to avoid spraying in the middle of a sunny day, 'cause "they say" the tea tree oil can burn the leaves while it's still wet if it gets hit with bright sunlight. (That said, I don't think I've ever sprayed except in the middle of the day, so you could probably safely ignore that warning. Just be aware it's possible.)

    ------------------

    For deterring buggy pests, keep in mind what your problem pests are. For me, it's ants, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles, mostly, so I use peppermint oil. I use clove oil to keep my garden from being overrun by wasps (also I spray down the beams in my shed with my garden spray once a year - no wasps until next year.) If you don't have a bunch of wasps trying to take over, you could reduce the amount of clove oil, which tends to create a sort of no-fly-zone for things like mosquitoes and horseflies, but doesn't seem to trouble bees too much. Clove oil is also great at keeping away fungal and bacterial issues, plus it's good to keep around the house for toothaches. Rosemary essential oil is also a good pest repellent.

    Aside from the fact that it's one of the best antifungals out there, I use tea tree oil, most simply, b/c we have ticks in our neck of the woods, and I don't want them in my neck, or leg, or anywhere else on my person. Eucalyptus would work just as well, but you want to make sure it's 100% eucalyptus oil.

    If you need to attract more pollinators, try adding lemongrass oil, which bees tend to go a bit crazy over. Organic beekeepers use it to help keep their hives healthy, too.

    The hot peppers will help keep dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. from messing around in your garden. It messes with their noses and paw pads something fierce. The hotter the pepper you can get, the better - there's nothing wrong with using ghost peppers or even Trinidad scorpions, though you may want to hold off on the super-spicy ones for a while before you harvest. If you ever really have problems, cut a bunch into your castille soap and let it steep for a couple of months before spring comes 'round, then strain them out when you make the mix. The oils in the peppers will stay in the soap - just remember to wear gloves!

    If you don't have problems with the fuzzy underground pests - moles, voles, gophers - you could try using 32oz of castille soap instead of mixing in castor oil, just to give it a little more oomph for your chewing/sucking pests.

    Keep in mind that I came up with that recipe based on the particular things I was trying to avoid/deter, and what works for your garden may be different.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    3 years ago

    @Sloan - I can deal with the Japanese Beetles because they don't stick around too long in numbers. I don't grow much of their favorite foods like fruit trees, roses, etc. Last year they did a number on my 2nd and 3rd planting of beans so I am trying the new approach of trying to have just used up bush bean plants around for them to snack on during the peak. They also seem to like asparagus (who doesnt't!) but they are pretty easy to knock off the ferns into soapy water. Digdirt (Dave) recommends using diluted Murphy's soap (1 Tbsp/quart) for a lot of pests but I've never tried it. I'm going to pick some up at wally world next time I have to go there just to have on hand.

    About 3/4 of my cucumbers had sprouted as of yesterday!! Looks like this weekend is going to be a washout here but at least we are not forecast to get the 7-8 inches they are calling for in southern Missouri. I think I can find enough indoor tasks to keep me busy but I'd much rather be out in the garden goofing off!


  • Sloan Quinn 8b
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    My cukes and pole beans are starting to come up, too! Yay!

    On the other hand, my (edit:) BUSH beans seem to be struggling again. Some of them have lower leaves turning yellow, and the stem on one seems to have turned woody coming up from the soil. Looks like it might be fusarium root rot, which someone suggested earlier on another thread. That would stink. There's nothing to really do about it, right?

    I am dragging today. Was up late, then toddler woke up to use the bathroom at 2 am and didn't go back to sleep for God only knows how long - hubby put him back to bed at 4 before he left for work. All I know is that I woke up at 5 to discover him trying to wash his underwear in the toilet, after he flushed a pair - which I had to stick my hand into the s-trap to pull out before the toilet overflowed.

    We're binge-watching Little Buds and Veggie Tales today, 'cause I'm not up for anything more. Sometimes coffee just isn't enough.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Sloan - OUCH that is a rough night! And I thought I was having it bad the past couple nights (both boys have been plagued with that barking, once every 5 minute, cough with the every-so-often spit up/choke/puke sort of thing).

  • Dawson North TX (z8a/7b)
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Sloan - Thanks for the recipe! I will try to get some castille soap later to make the brew. Good news about the cukes and good/bad news about the pole beans.

    Nights like those are never fun but I must admit, Veggie Tales is a good choice!

    ETA: Is it just me who is really happy that it will soon be the May 2017 GardenWeb Chat and there will no longer be 530+ comments to go through?

  • Sloan Quinn 8b
    3 years ago

    Nope, not just you.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    3 years ago

    Nope. My mouse scroll wheel is broken I think.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Yep, the April chat beat the record and may reach 600 by Sunday. And the best part is that several more people joined in this month...the more the merrier!

    My son loved Veggie Tales when he was young. We even went to see Veggie Tales Live a couple times at Silver Dollar City. The cranky french grape guys were my favorite characters. I was thinking that 'Veggie Tales May 2017' would be a good name for the next chat thread!!!

    Sloan - as far as I know there is nothing you can do to counter the Fusarium rot. Have you tried to pull a plant to check how the roots look and maybe try to find some images to compare to on google to verify that is what they have?

    I googled 'fusarium root rot beans images' and got a lot of hits.

  • isgen
    3 years ago

    I had to look really, really close, but my beets have also (finally) sprouted, so tiny, not worth a phone picture yet.

    I also have some rhubarb growing for a couple of summers now. It was given to me and I just dug a hole in the lawn where is would not be in the way and has been doing so-so. It gets sun until early afternoon. It never grows very large and I only harvest a few short stems, but it's not something I was/am terribly serious about anyway. I think it's looking a bit better for the same time of year now though. Here is it, in a small box I build around it with some straw for mulch.



    I also re-did the grade behind my workshop last summer and planted clover as it is supposed to be good at retaining soil when well-established. I guess there was more than clover in the bag as I had a ton of unidentified brassica growing in that spot, possibly a turnip of some sort. Now look at the below picture from the same area, it is just me or is that strawberry? There are several small patches of them all over.



    Finally, here's a bush bean I test-germinated and kept indoors; I'll have a few pods to eat soon, if not quite a feast! ;)



  • Sloan Quinn 8b
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Hahaha that would be a great name for the next chat thread!

    I haven't pulled any plants today, but the ones I pulled out before the roots pretty much looked like roots. A couple of them did seem to have the stem break away from the roots a little too easily, though. It doesn't really make sense, though - they say to avoid it, plant in a warm, well-prepared bed - check. Good drainage - double check. Avoid soil compaction - check. It does say that cool temperatures can be a contributor, so maybe a week with nighttime temps in the low to mid-50s early on was the issue? Or maybe I planted too deep? IDK. Lucky me, it's one that fungicides don't work on. What I've read specifically says to solarize to kill the spores. Bleh.

    ETA: @Isgen, that does indeed look like strawberries. Maybe you'll have a nice surprise, for once!

  • Steve Lng Islnd NY Z-7a SunSet Z-34
    3 years ago

    I posted this question in Fruits aND orchards but figured you guys and gals may have some insight. My peach tree has this going on, on its leaves. Anyone know what it is? I'm totally inexperienced with fruit trees, any insight is appreciated.

    I've also heard that I need to spray them soon, but I have no idea with what and why.

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Sloan, there isn't really anything you can do about fusarium. You can solarize the soil to get it out of there. Assuming it is fusarium...

    @isgen, yeah wild strawberries, I have them growing everywhere. They make tiny inedible fruit though. That bean looks great for snacking!

    @Steve, sorry I have no ideas.

    My plants are going outside. My eggplants look perfect, tomatoes and peppers are a mixed bag. Some tomatoes are great, others have has major edema followed by yellowing. The peppers are small and semi stunted looking, some are yellowish. I am not thrilled with the Espoma mix this year... it really seems like whatever you buy is a gamble. I think I will try to find the stuff Chris used next year.

    But, I know, the roots are what matters, the plants are going to look like crap after transplanting anyway, and the rootballs on them are nice.

    This plastic tub idea is fantastic!

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    3 years ago

    Well I came up with what I think is a cool idea to get rid of some of my extra tomatoes and pepper plants and maybe something to "grow on" for years to come.

    My mom was diagnosed with MS last year, so I posted on social media that I am taking donations towards her MS walk team's fund. $3 per plant or 4 for $10.

    So far ive had a ton of interest and around 30 or so plants sold just today.

    Its also been great hearing from others who have been affected in one way or another or who just have stories to share.

    Plus everyone is happy to be saving a couple bucks and it not going to mega corporations Home Depot or lowes.

    Oh and most requested is Doux Despagne

  • Dawson North TX (z8a/7b)
    3 years ago

    That seems like a pretty neat idea! I'm glad that it's working out well so far! I Will be praying for you mom's recovery.

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    3 years ago

    That is a great idea. Sorry to hear about your mom. A friend of the family has primary progressive MS... it is pretty rough for her. I haven't seen her in a while, I hope she is doing ok.

    I swear my peppers have perked up after a single day outdoors. The leaves look a little flatter and fatter and greener. For whatever reasons, I just don't think they were liking the grow light this year.

    It is only 60F today... but I can throw a layer of AG right over the top. No tunnel even needed.

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Isgen, that green bean plant is so cool! Also, that does look like strawberries!

    Steve, I'm not sure what that is. Maybe peach leaf curl? Hope the tree is ok.

    Kpr, sorry to hear that your mom has MS. That's really nice that you did that. Great plants for a great cause.

    Peter, everything is looking great! Nice that you can start hardening them off. I'm eager to harden off mine, because I have a pepper jungle! I won't be giving them 8 weeks to grow next year. I sowed the seeds 6 weeks ago and they are way bigger than a normal transplant would be.

    My spinach started to bolt, so I harvested a giant salad bowl of it, left 2 plants to collect seed from and composted the rest.
  • Allison B (zone 6a NWNJ)
    3 years ago

    That spinach looks amazing! I am jealous. Chris, I think I'm going to wait a week to garden off my peppers and aggplant, but I'm hoping my eggplant reacts like your peppers. They just aren't happy under the light.

  • Steve Lng Islnd NY Z-7a SunSet Z-34
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    A small bunch of pole beans, at least I think they are pole beans germinated in this year's bush bean bed. So I dug them up, separated and planted them. Only other thing they could be is Zucchini. What do you guys think?

  • isgen
    3 years ago

    @Chris, too bad the spinach's already going to seed, seems early, no? Mine did not grow much last year before doing so and I only got to eat a couple of harvests from it. This year, I started earlier and it seems to be doing better, maybe my harvesting more younger leaves forces growth a bit. Hopefully it will last into late May.

  • Sloan Quinn 8b
    3 years ago

    kpr, it's great that you've found a way to get rid of your extra plants in a way that helps people. :-) I can't imagine going through what you and your family are dealing with, but it's always nice to see people trying to think about others outside their own circle.

    We had an eventful morning yesterday. The toddler managed to get into a bottle of acetaminophen that one of the teenagers apparently left out and not-quite-closed when they were here last. All's well, but we got to spend a long morning sitting around the ER to find out that apparently he'd just been licking off the cherry coating on the pills. *facepalm* Needless to say, his door is now locked if one of us isn't up to stop him from doing Things That Make Us Freak Out. Pretty sure I've got a couple of gray hairs now I didn't have before.

    Took some more pictures of the garden today. Everything has grown so much in the last two weeks, it's a little ridiculous.

    Here's the garden with all the trellises set up. The beans and cukes are just coming up, so the support lines for those are tied up right now to keep them out of the way. I had to touch up this photo a bit, 'cause it was getting dark by the time I took it, but I think it came out nicely. The west side of the garden hasn't been mowed in a couple of months, there being Things In The Way, so I've pretty much got a border of rudbeckia and monarda on that side - LOTS of pollinators available here!


    I finally got around to cleaning out the onion bed today - you can see some of the grass and chickweed I pulled out in the walking row on the picture of the whole garden. It was a bit ridiculous - I was literally pulling out grass by the handful.


    The bush beans, working hard at putting on pods. The one that got hit the worst with the gunk I wrote about a few days ago is in the foreground next to the survey flag. IDK how clear it is, but it still appears to be growing beans, so unless someone tells me it's something that can be passed along to other plants by touch, I'll leave it there.


    Peanuts, reaching for the sky. They're still flowering, if not as excitedly as they were a week ago. It might just be that the flowers aren't as concentrated by the center of the plants - they appear to be moving outward now.


    Pole beans, just started coming up a couple days ago. Looks like I'm getting good germination so far.


    The tomato row - they've taken off a bit. Most of the plants are flowering and fruiting, now. I'm thinking about removing a couple of leaves from the very bottoms of the plants, to keep them out of the dirt and make it easier to get in to weed around them.


    Remember me saying I had a bunch of flowers on the first trusses that were double and triple flowers? Here's one of my mutant tomatoes starting to grow. The flower never really opened up all the way like the regular flowers do. I'll be interested to see whether this one grows up to be deformed or just segmented or something, but it's definitely at least two fruit that are growing together.


    So many flowers!!!! Pretty sure this is an indeterminate tomato, and at last count there were at least a dozen buds on the first flower truss. I've got some that have had seventeen and twenty-four buds.


    The radish/carrot bed, two weeks after I pulled most of the radishes. I left a few to go to seed - anyone know how long that takes? I wanna see the flowers!


    Corn is still standing, though it's leaning a bit. We had 35-40 mph wind last night, and then a light 17-20 mph today, so it hasn't quite stood back up, yet. Still, it's a damn sight better than last year's flattening. Couldn't get a good picture with dark coming on and the stalks leaning, but it's starting to tassel now.

    I tried to take a picture of the cukes coming up, but it came out kind of crap. I'm trying a new thing this year - I planted a single row of pole beans down the middle of the bed. Hopefully, the soil will be a little better off than it would have otherwise been at the end of the season. This year, I'm really just hoping to see if the two grow well enough together, since I don't have anything else, crop-wise, planned to go in that bed until next spring.

    Anyway, that's the garden now. I love looking at the pictures and seeing how everything compares from one week to the next.

    Here's to May!

  • Sloan Quinn 8b
    3 years ago

    @Steve, unless you're talking about the distinctly bean-looking seedlings at the bottom of the first picture, those don't look like any pole beans I've ever seen. They look distinctly cucurbity to me. Might ought to move them away from that fencing here in a couple weeks.

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Thanks, Allison! Hope your eggplant does well.

    Steve, those definitely aren't beans. If you think the only other thing it can be is zucchini, then it's a zuke alright. Agree with Sloan, something cucurbit-y haha.

    Isgen, this is Bloomsdale Long Standing spinach that I started last fall and kept under a mini greenhouse during winter. It's notorious for being more susceptible to bolting. We've had spikes of temps recently that reached 80°, so it's tapping out. It gave me a great harvest though. I'll be growing it again in the fall. My New Zealand spinach actually just starting coming up.
  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Beautiful spinach, Chris. I got a nice harvest from some overwintered spinach too, but the oxalic acid content was very high, left a very chalky taste in your mouth. My beet greens do the same thing... not really all that appetizing.

    @Steve, yes that would be zucchini not beans.

    Now I am being called Chris by other people... I am going to get a complex here ;)

    Chris, what was that mix you used on your peppers again? Fertilizer, watering? How far was the light when the plants started getting bigger?

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Haha, for some reason our names are interchangeable.

    Yeah if you eat them raw it will leave that chalky taste in your mouth. I filled 2 freezer bags full of spinach and then had some in an omelet. I like to eat the spinach sautéed in pasta too.

    It's the Fort Vee mix from Vermont Compost Company. It's actually a dual-purpose mix. Can be used for seedlings and transplants. I put them under my 4-bulb, 4-ft grow light at about 6" at first. Now it's more like 2 or 3". Only fertilized them a couple times with diluted fish emulsion. No sign of any deficiency yet.

    Looks like the May chat was started. I'll post the most recent pics of them in there.

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