jamie_z7bhz8

Veggie Tales - February 2019

Jamie
last year
last modified: last year

It’s still winter, but February means that, for most of us, it’s time to start seeds and finalize our plans for our gardens! The train has left the station and it‘s picking up speed!

I’ve started a few things already (mainly ornamentals), but this week marks the beginning of my ”serious” seed starting routine. It‘s time to start some cool-weather greens to replace the ones I over-wintered as well as artichokes. In a couple of weeks it will be time for me to start eggplant, pepper, tomatoes and the rest of the things that we can’t direct-seed.

Happy February, all!

Comments (759)

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a
    last year

    Last spring's radish success in the Mini 'greenhouses'




    harvested 80+ from one container

    Tony

    Jamie thanked 14tomatoes_md_7a
    Best Answer
  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    last year

    Where did my post go ? :)


  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    I planted some of these Persian Cress microgreens about a week and a half ago and we tried them tonight. I like them but Mike didn’t too much- they have a very “spicy” flavor that reminds me of horseradish. If that’s something you like, give them a try. They are nice in a salad mix!

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    last year

    Discovered this afternoon that our 20+ year old peach tree was split by snow load. Looks like it was rotting inside from a crotch and with half of it gone will have to remove it. Will have to find a replacement and get it in the ground!

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    Oh, no.. that's too bad, Len. What variety was it?

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Tony window garden looks great! For the lettuce I would just continually pick the largest leaves and let the smaller ones fill in the canopy. Should get more consistent harvest that way.


    Regarding heat mats- so far I haven’t turned mine on. Will use the two indoor tray size ones for peppers and will let the tomatoes germ at room temp. My sunroom contraption will be used to keep temps up on cold nights when inside room is full.




  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    last year

    Sorry to hear that Len!

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    last year

    Thanks Jamie and Kevin, We should have planted her replacement sooner I guess. The tree was Frost variety, which is one of the few that will ripen peaches in our area.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    last year

    ...you know the best time to plant a tree, and all that! We have to make some decisions on new fruit trees here this year. I’ve haphazardly planted a few apples and pears I’ve gotten on clearance at Lowe’s but would like to start a more proper mini orchard garden. Need to do some research does anyone have any easy to read resources On homestead fruit trees/orchards?

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I love fruit and fruit trees but not the maintenance. I planted 2 Elberta peach trees a couple of years ag but I mainly wanted them for their flowers - any fruit they produce is “extra”.

    Kevin, I am no help on references or resources. I’ve just heard and read a bit here and there.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Speaking of your sunroom contraptions, Kevin ... did the water barrels help to keep that room warm? I don’t remember the final verdict on that.

    Here's a summary of the germination rates I've gotten so far for most of the seeds I started on Feb 15

    Tomatoes:

    Arkansas Traveler 6/7

    Eva Purple Ball 7/7

    Lollipop 6/6

    Sugar Cherry 8/8

    Amy's Sugar Gem 5/6

    Pink Ping Pong (from Cindy) 6/6

    Wessel's Purple Pride (from Cindy) 7/9

    Chocolate Stripes (from Cindy) 7/9

    Cuor du Bue 12/13

    Boxcar Willie 6/7

    Black Krim 6/6


    Florida Market Eggplant 2/6 so far

    Rotonda Eggplant 0/6 so far - I will restart some of these as backups

    Purple tomatillos 4/4

    Green tomatillos 7/9

    Albino Bullnose Pepper 4/4

    Sweet Chocolate Pepper 4/4

    Sweet Banana Pepper 6/6

    Ausilio Pepper (from Cindy) 3/6

    Yellow Jalapeno pepper (from Cindy) 4/4

    Bullnose Pepper 6/6

    Lipstick pepper 3/6 - maybe 4, I think I see it poking through

    California Wonder Pepper 4/6

    Cubanelle Pepper (from Cindy) 1/6 so far

    Cardoon 5/6

    Artichokes 2/4

    Asian eggplant 3/4

    Lemon Gum Eucalyptus 2/4

    English Lavender 3/4 cells

    Cilantro 4/6

    Common Sage 3/4

    Cumin 8/14

    Lemon Basil 3/4

    Common Spearmint 3/6 cells

    Creeping Thyme 6/6 cells

    Anise Hyssop 3/6 cells


    I will start a few more artichokes and peppers today to make up for the ones that have not germinated. But, I am pleased with the progress so far.

    I have gotten good germination rates from the Salanova- comparable to other varieties of lettuce- more than 90%.

  • xclumsygrdner
    last year

    I managed to construct a low tunnel.

  • Habanero King (zone 7a, MD)
    last year

    Last night I sowed a new round of seeds: Waltham 29 broccoli, Red romaine lettuce, Roma tomato, golden California wonder pepper, red lipstick pepper, and golden marconi pepper.


    I also gave the green onions a haircut.... whew! What a wonderful smell. I'm assuming I can use the cuttings like chives or something right? I did put them in the fridge.


    I think I'm about to give up on radishes. I'm into Week 6 of the first radishes I planted and still no harvest! there are a couple with really small bulbs on them but they have been the same size for a while now. I'm thinking of just pulling them up so my lettuce (that's in the same window box with them and doing quite nicely)) will have more light to themselves. And then the seeds I interplanted last week with the carrots all sprouted but they are nice and leggyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.


    This weekend I'm goign to NC to visit the family but when I return I plan to sow some turnips and perhaps do some indoor starts of cucumbers, squash and melons. Can't wait!

  • xclumsygrdner
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Took 20 minutes to get all that hay out of my car. LOL The plants are worth it though.


    Hey Habanero:


    I couldn't get radishes to grow for me either. Only leaves. I gave up on them. My onions don't seem to be growing very vigorously. I don't think they like the coco coir I put them in.

  • Habanero King (zone 7a, MD)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    clumsy: if the way my green onions are smelling is any indication of how happy they are, then I suggest Miracle Gro Natures care Organic potting mix. Everything I have grown with it has down quite well so far (aside from the radishes): https://www.naturescare.com/en-us/products/plant/natures-care-organic-natural-potting-mix-water-conserve

    I also plan to start Sweet Yellow Spanish onions pretty soon also. I probably should have done it already....

    I'm also considering growing spinach and artichokes so I can make my own spinach/artichoke dip. I am really going to be running out of room on my balcony pretty soon...

  • xclumsygrdner
    last year

    I'll think about it.


    I'll probably need to transplant them sooner rather than later.

  • RD Texas
    last year

    Habanero King I did the same thing. I just planted some Yukon Gold, shallots, and red onions and ordered some red Pontiac potatoes all way too late but I'll see how it goes. I also ordered a blackberry plant and 26 bareroot strawberry plants. Might be going a little overboard. Lol

  • RD Texas
    last year

    Habanero King I also have about 50-75 tiny habanero pods. They are fully ripe and about the size of two kernels of corn

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a
    last year

    Before giving up on radishes try French breakfast types. The only ones I had excellent success (others I had problem with bulbing, too).

    Tony

    https://www.rareseeds.com/de-18-jours-radish/


  • cindy_7
    last year

    Jamie - I'm having disappointing results with my Ausilio Pepper seeds, too. Even with the seeds that I purchased. I just re-seeded them on the 23rd which is also when I seeded the Cubanelle seeds for the first time.
    But, I almost always have trouble with pepper seeds and don't know what the problem is.
    Also, the cumin seeds I planted are just now spouting. Read that they take 7 to 14 days and that seems to be true since it's been 13 days since planting. Plus, IIRC, I forgot to soak the seeds before planting. They're very slow.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks for the info, Cindy! I have had issues with peppers in the past also. Last year, I didn't try and just bought transplants. I'm determined to keep trying though haha!

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Kevin

    I'd recommend you plant the fruit your family likes to eat. That said I bought two peach trees 5 and 3 years ago. The one that's 3 years old produced about a hundred peaches in it's second year. It was a full size Halberta from Burpee's. It's big and delicious. It's on their web site but out of stock. I have a bag of pits from the tree which spent all winter out doors hanging on my garden fence.

    For a different apple experience I'd recommend Orange Pippin. It's considered the best tasting apple out there. We have a tree which is about 14" in dia. It's the only apple that DW and I have shared that we both enjoyed. It's a beautiful apple, which vertical stripes of oranges and yellows and reds. However, it tends to russet which ruins it's appearance, which is why you won't find them at the supermarket.

    If you're growing for sale I'd suggest the fruits that are all the rage at the stores, and I'd heavily spray the ones you want to sell. Don't buy Evercrisp which is just coming out. It's from the Ohio growers who used to grow Rome's. They should stick to the old apples. The one we tasted I thought might be an apple from Chernoble. It was chewy, but then on top of that there were small hard unchewable pieces in it. Oh.. and they want you to pay a royalty every year for ever.

    There's a web site called OrangePippin.com which gives good writeups on apples. They have reviews from readers which I think gives good ratings on apples that are advertised.

    I'd also recommend an apple grading chart from Fedco. And their website at Fedcoseeds.com. I recommend a nursery north of you so that It doesn't die the first winter. Cummins Nursery and St Lawrence nursery. All probably better suited for the northeast. I have had good luck with Stark Bros.

    In my experience growing fruit trees in the same soil that you most likely have, I'd get a bigger tree than you might want. My other peach tree a semi-dwarf has produced 10 peaches both in the 3rd and 4th year. My Stella cherry has produced one cherry that the critters didn't get and my semi-dwarf Bartlett pear has produced no pears in the 6 years we've had it. Pears are slow to start producing, but the crowns only about 3 feet in dia, except that I'm running bigbox store twine from some of the branches down to the fence.

    Fence everything. Grow more than you might think you need, grow enough that the critters get their fill and leave some for you. I'm saying this thinking you have the room.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Our first peach flowershave opened ...just in time for some very cold weather this coming week

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    last year

    Len, I am sorry about your peach tree! That’s a big loss. I hope you’re able to get a replacement in the ground this spring. I have 2 trees - an Elberta that was planted nearly 20 years ago, but it’s still a pretty small tree. The other I put in about 5 years ago. it’s an early Red Haven. Last year, thanks to late, hard freezes I had a total of 2 peaches! It’s been so cold late this winter I am hopeful that the trees won’t start budding out for quite awhile. Fingers crossed for a crop this year. I finally think I know how to spray to end up with nice peaches ... without many worms.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    last year
    last modified: last year

    John - thanks for the knowledge on trees!
    Jamie - the “thermal battery” doesn’t keep it warm per say, but it does hold the space above freezing for quite some time due to heat of latency and all that water.
    Pelleted lettuce test - Salanova is definitely kicking easyleafs butt so far.

    Also checked on the potatoes. Yikes! They definitely have been searching for light. Will need to carefully plant out without popping eyes.

    ETA - hmm dunno why the photos didnt come through last night. Houzz has been acting up again.


    Right three rows are High Mowing Easyleaf.





  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    last year

    John...thanks for the tree info.

    Margi...we are really bummed about the old peach tree but it had a good life. Read about keeping it going as sort of a disabled old friend until the new ones can grow up a bit. Te part that broke off was about half of the superstructure and what remains will be really one sided but won't cut it down until we see what happens this summer.


    Bought a Frost Peach and a Harglow apricot dwarf bare root trees today. Both varieties said to do well here. Actually the old tree was a Frost. Will get the holes dug and prepped before I bring them home.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    I guess that’s what I mean, Kevin. It’s been a while since I thought about thermodynamics hahaha

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    We are all in for some below normal temperatures for the next several days

    Remember that’s a probability map and the darker blue colors indicate areas where the probability of below average temperatures is very high.

    The monthly outlook looks a bit better, especially for the east coasters!


    the Mississippi River is 6 ft above flood stage at the bridge where I-40 crosses over into Arkansas. I haven’t been downtown to see it but the river bottoms of tributary wolf river out here where I live are all flooded. Last week a couple of sections of county roads in the lowest areas were flooded but it never got more than within a couple of feet of the road surface in the roads I take to work

    https://www.memphisweather.blog/2019/02/drying-out-for-bit-before-another.html

    Lots of rain!

  • xclumsygrdner
    last year

    I'm going add a blanket layer to the cold frame as well as gallon jugs of hot water at night.

    Here's the onion. They're just not looking great.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I think onions tend to look awful for a while before they perk up. Your’s don’t look to bad too me.

  • xclumsygrdner
    last year
    They do?! Huh. Well I'll keep an eye on them.

    Thanks!
  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    last year

    Agree with Jamie - those dont look bad at all!


    Jamie - River should be cresting fairly soon if not already right? I know the Ohio was up a few feet above flood stage yesterday and was supposed to crest today.


    Ughhh 4 degrees for a low on Monday here!!! Hopefully it will at least be sunny during the day to warm up the soil in the hoophouse. Guess Im not planting anything else out until next weekend (which looks much more seasonal in the 40s and 30s).

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    Kevin- it's supposed to rest this weekend and then start to decline around Wednesday, I believe. Some friends of mine live downtown on Mud Island and I'll have to ask them how high the water is there. A few years ago it was right up to the edge of the main road that runs along the residential side of the Island (well, it's not really an island, it's a peninsula now haha)

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    last year

    Jamie - thought you might like these. Hopefully they display decently here.

    A couple interesting points from the data:


    1. As described above, the "greenhouse seed starts" (orange) has a tendancy to want to stay right above freezing - I think this is due to the heat of latency of the mass of water in the barrels. You can see that during the deep freeze between 1/19 and 2/2 it got below freezing in there too. I didnt check every barrel but I believe that most of them had probably frozen up during that time.


    2. You can see that the hoophouse (grey) drops down to ambiant (blue) on all but the coldest of nights - I hypothesize that this is due to the heat of the ground into the structure overcoming the loss of heat through the plastic.


    3. Hoophouse (grey) has wildly larger temperature fluctuations than the 'greenhouse seed starts' (orange). Due to A) - More surface area exposed to sunlight, and B) - less thermal mass








  • Habanero King (zone 7a, MD)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Richard.... wow 50! Get ready to have a good time with them.... lol

    Tony - I sowed a blend of radishes that consisted of French Breakfast, Cherry Belle, Pink Beauty, Scarlet Globe, Purple Plum, and the white kind (name escapes me). I did go ahead and pull all the radishes yesterday and it looks like all the ones that got some sort of bulb were all French Breakfast! So you my be on to something.

    First "harvest" of 2019!


    Also, last week's transplants look marvelous..



    And the seedlings.... everything is starting to get true leaves. Also the red romaine I sowed on tuesday are in the middle. no germination yet...



    Exciting times...

  • naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan
    last year

    Kevin, your charts, graphs, spreadsheets, etc. show so much information. It makes me think it would be worth learning to do more things with my computer, phone, gadgets, etc. I love seeing the output, but would/will struggle with the learning. Some of the info would sure make gardening life better.

    Hab King, you can stir fry the radish leaves with olive oil and onions and/or garlic for a tasty and healthy greens side. I find that during some times of the year radishes do not bulb well....just can't make the connection to what the cause is, tho. I do know that the winter radishes will bolt and not form bulbs/roots if planted in the spring.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    last year

    Does everybody have all the seeds they need? One more free shipping offer through the end of the day is available at Park Seeds. Use code: FREESEED Just thought you'd like to know. :-)

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a
    last year

    Margi -- still at it...? Lol


  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    last year

    Tony - Just doing my part to make sure fellow gardeners have everything they need.

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Me too...!

    We are definitely not enablers.... :)

    Tony

  • Habanero King (zone 7a, MD)
    last year

    naturegirl - I actually chopped up some of the ones that didn't bulb up and put them in a side salad for lunch. Had a slightly bitter yet spicy taste. Made an interesting twist...

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    last year
    last modified: last year

    naturegirl - thanks! but a lot of times all the data can be overwhelming and can get me into analysis paralysis! Being an engineer by profession I feel its my diligence to at least produce some chart or graph or data table that at least pretends to show me some sort of useful data.


    Its taking the data and then turning it into something useful thats the real skill. By the time I am ready to make that step on a project usually some other bright shiny object rolls by and I'm 'on to the next one'!


    In a lot of ways, I could have just walked out into the hoophouse and said "yep, that water's frozen!" and gotten the same results as what I have now lol!

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Interesting data, Kevin. I can’t read all of the numbers on the date axis, but I was curious about the difference between the high and low on the coldest nights as compared to the highs and lows on other nights. I would expect that the heat loss would speed up some due to the difference between the air temp inside the hoop house and outside. Will you email me the data? Haha I’d like to take a look at it

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a
    last year

    After scissoring down the Evergreen Hardy White bunching onions to within an inch in December, now they have 2" of new growth! Year 4 since direct seeded, and they still self-reproduce, and in April they'll be over 20" tall and ready for harvest #1 of 10 more green top harvests for the year!!! Last year the total from two 10 gal containers was 26 lbs of 20+ inch green tops!


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

    Bulgarian Carrot ultra-hot pepper has the first fruit set, after I aggressively pruned it in early Jan.




    Tony

  • cindy_7
    last year
    last modified: last year

    We have another winter weather advisory for the area. It's for 1 to 3 inches of snow and/or sleet. And it's running from 10pm today to 10am tomorrow. Some school systems have already posted a two-hour delay for tomorrow.

    This is the never ending winter here.

    I have 120 seedlings sprouted as of today.

    Edit - I don't know what is up with this formatting lately.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    In like a lion, out like a lamb! We might get some wintry precipitation Sunday night but it should not amount t to much.

    I hope that it’s not as bad as expected, Cindy!

  • cindy_7
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Jamie - It really doesn't sound that bad to me (I grew up in Michigan). It's the timing of it as the worst of it will be during rush hour. People here just cannot handle that.

    I will not be effected since I have no plans to go anywhere tomorrow. :-)

    2.3 hours until a new thread for March. March means springtime!!

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    last year

    Tony - The window garden’s looking good!

    re: weather...I saw our forecast shows a low of -1 F for Sunday night. Yikes! Maybe a couple inches of snow during the day Sunday. I’m DONE with winter.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA
    last year

    Jamie - message me your email address I’ll send you the excel file or a high quality pdf

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a
    last year

    It's March here....

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    Kevin, I can’t seem to be able to message you. I tried “following” you but I still wasn’t able to do it. See if you can send me one and I’ll reply

    March thread: https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/5630039/veggie-tales-march-2019

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