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Veggie Tales - March 2019

Jamie
March 1, 2019

”In like a lion, out like a lamb”

March is here and is greeting most of us with winter temperatures well below average. Winter may be holding on with a tight grip, but we all know that Spring is less than 3 weeks away. The new month also means that it’s time for many of us to get the first Spring greens into the garden. The fruit trees here in The South are beginning to bloom and they’ll be followed soon by those in The North.

Happy March, All!

Comments (447)

  • cindy_7

    Just watched this video on veggies that you can re-grow. I knew about some of them but not all of them. Bok choi is one.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnGEuidMvsE

  • naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan

    John D. I have one of those kneelers/benches. It sure does make getting up easier after you have been down weeding for awhile. Mine came from a thrift store. They had no idea what is was and asked why I even wanted it :)

    Another garden helper has been this Radius hand trowel. It was highly recommended by an older landscaper at a gardening class. At the time I was in physical therapy for hand and wrist problems and was eager to try anything that might help. I don't entirely understand why it helps, but I was able to dig with it with fewer problems than with other trowels. It lists for under $10 on Walmart's web site...I've heard some of their stores have them at times.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Radius-Gardens-11-75-Green-Ergonomic-Hand-Trowel/16797589?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227000000000&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=42423897272&wl4=pla-51320962143&wl5=9017522&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=16797589&wl13=&veh=sem&gclid=CjwKCAjwvbLkBRBbEiwAChbckd9YfcocndXNfawGfeZt6v3rhhtqMUgISlgjijJ7fFvmw44a7sVKmRoCboYQAvD_BwE

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    post #400

    I dug some more of my old small garden, the spot I'm growing carrots in this year. It was snowing and I was wondering if it's wise to garden in the snow. It quit, and I felt comfortable, you know......normal, doing the digging. I should have planted a row of lettuce yesterday. I'm worried about my forearms which we think I pulled the muscles in, especially the right.

  • cindy_7

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

  • Jamie

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you also!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Happy St Patty's day back at ya. We celebrated the holiday yesterday when we went to a party at a freind's house. They had the traditional fare complete with corned beef and cabbage with new potatoes, Rubens, and green beer. I took over some non traditional pickles, pickled peppers, pickled asparagus, Annie's Salsa, and Italian cocktail meatballs.

    John - Thanks for the link! I think my wife had that exact same garden stool several years ago. It broke somehow and went into the trash. I could use one right now. I do have a kneeling pad somewhere I can use. Sorry to hear about the pulled muscle! That can make working in the garden not so much fun. Hopefully it will heal quickly.

    Tony - Is there anything that Baker's Creek sells that you don't have? If so I think it would be a short list.

    I got all of my potatoes planted and one 10' row of spinach yesterday. I need to at least plant out the Dixondale onions and another row of spinach plants today. I'd like to get at least some of the bunching onions and leeks out too. It's down around freezing right now so I'll wait a couple hours for it to warm up into the 40s.

    I have 3 peppers up so far after 8 days...one Biker Billy (the 2016 seeds that Cindy sent me) and 2 Guajillos. I could see a few more just starting to push up the soil that should make their debut sometime today.

  • Jamie

    If you believe in long-term forecasts, it looks like that after this week we will be in the clear and frost-free. That doesn’t mean I’ll be planting anything haha because the soil temps are still too low, but it will be nice not to have to worry about covering anything. It does mean that I might get things planted by Tax Day, though. I had planned on April 19 but that was going to be a bit of a rush for me. We are leaving for a week of vacation on the 20th.


  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Greetings all and Happy St Patty's Day,


    That reversible bench/kneeler is my good friend in the garden. Mine is all green so not exactly the same but looks like made the same way to fold flat when not in use. We are leaving in the AM for 2 1/2 weeks and trying to set things up to be easy for our daughter to keep watered etc. Everything is in the greenhouse except onions a few new peppers on heat mat. Actually the Espenellle peppers are sprouted so will take cover off and put them under lights; she can move the other 6 pack when they sprout.


    Sunshine and 60 degrees today...better get busy!



  • cindy_7

    Congrats Jack!! Glad that one of the older B.B. seed has germinated for you. I often have trouble with older seeds.

    It's sunny again here today though they are calling for snow overnight and in the morning, which they are saying will not effect the morning commute. One more week and the predicted lows will be in the 40's. At least that's what they are saying right now. Yeah!

    Hope to plant my brassicas outside in a day or two. Lettuce, too.

    What about celeriac? Do you think it can go out this early?

    Jamie - I planted two cosmos seeds in each pellet. I placed one thin end up and one wider end up. In this particular pellet one seed germinated up and one germinated down. I know that they are probably too leggy. Just wanted to see how they would grow.


  • Jamie

    Our Espenelles have germinated also - well, 3 of 6 so far!

  • Jamie

    Cindy mine were really leggy also! I did start a few later and had the light a lot closer. Those weren’t too bad but the first ones are quite tall. I’m not sure what I’ll do about them. I do still have some seed so I’ll direct-sow some also.

  • cindy_7

    Yes, I think that I'll direct seed the rest of my cosmos, too.

    I accidentally left my Salanova lettuces outside on the screened porch overnight for the past two days. Looks like they survived without any problems.

  • cindy_7

    Tony - Has your sorrel started to grow yet? (if it's outside)

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a

    Sorrel is well established now after last year's planting -- all 4 plants already have fist-sized growth of green leaves. Expecting to get a pot full of leaves in a month for that tasty Sour Spinach soup that my mom will show us how to make!

    Tony

  • cindy_7

    Did you grow the green or the red veined sorrel? Or both?

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a

    the green sorrel only -- because it's one of the cold hardiest veggies on earth... minus 40 degrees!!!

  • cindy_7

    Nice try, Tony. I already have seeds for both types.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Don't know whether to wish you folks leaving on trips good weather, or rainy weather to keep plants healthy. Maybe good weather where you're going and enough rain back home to keep the plants healthy?

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    THanks for the thought John...I left the heat off in greenhouse last night and my peppers were Pixxed! Once it warmed up they look ok but don't want to have that happen again soon!

  • cindy_7

    Jamie and Len - Where are you headed?

  • xclumsygrdner

    Planted out the lettuce and dismantled the makeshift hoophouse today.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    I raked enough room for a double row of Black Seeded Simpson lettuce and planted an 8 foot row, also planted a dozen or so scallion bulbs. Right on schedule, St Patties day. I guess I'm late for the radishes. I can't find my stash that I saved off the plants I grew last year, and the package of seed I found is for 2017. But then my hands got so cold I went running in the house.

  • xclumsygrdner

    Blacke seeded Simpson is by far my favorite lettuce

  • Jamie

    Cindy- we are going down to Miramar Beach, near Destin on the Gulf Coast. It’s near our regular destination on 30A. https://www.discover30a.com/


    we usually go in August but we’ve been going in April, also, the last couple of years. Both of Our birthdays and our wedding anniversary are in April so we take a trip to celebrate everything at once.

    It was a beautifully sunny day here today, in spite of the cold last night. I think the high was in the upper 60s. We got the front flower beds composted and bought a Jane Magnolia tree. We got it planted and also spent some time with friends.


  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Cindy, We are going to Mexico to get warm and dry for 2 weeks. Puerto Vallarta and Guanajuato we destinations...we know pv but not Guanajuato In having parting anxiety for my babies in the greenhouse but the trip should be great fun. Will try to post some pictures from there. If we come on any wonderful species I will try to score a few seeds.

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a

    Cindy -- red sorrel is mostly decorative (the reason I won't grow it).

    See this: "Best when harvested young for salad mix as large leaves are tough. Has great ornamental use at full size".

    https://www.johnnyseeds.com/vegetables/greens/sorrel/red-veined-sorrel-green-seed-2827.html#q=sorrel&lang=en_US&start=1

    Also recommended for indoor growing -- meaning not that cold hardy.

    Tony

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Len - I imagine you might have already left on vacation, but have a good time! You too Jamie! My brother is leaving on Thursday for a 10 day vacation in Kona, Hawaii. He didn't invite me to go along. You would think that would be the least he could do to thank me for starting leeks and lettuce for him and giving him thousands of seeds over the years.

    I counted 8 pepper sprouts this morning with more pushing up on day 9. I didn't get as much accomplished in the garden yesterday as I had planned. I got about 120 Dixondale onions planted, 10 Escalade spinach, 5' row of French Breakfast and 5' row of Easter Egg radishes, and I pulled most of the mulch off 1/2 of my garlic bed and freed up some of the plants that couldn't push thru the mulch. So far I haven't found any missing garlic plants. I'll finish the rest of the bed this evening and maybe plant some bunching onions. I'm going to wait until next weekend to plant the leeks.

    I just got back to my desk after a fire alarm in the building. Had to go outside for about 20 minutes (good thing it was around 40F outside!). The KCFD showed up and checked around but didn't find what set off the alarm. Somebody probably burnt some some coffee! There were only a couple dozen people in the office so it didn't take too long for everyone to ride the elevators back up. When the office is full with 500+ people it takes quite awhile to get everyone back to their desks.


    Jamie thanked LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
  • cindy_7

    Tony - Guess I need to plant my green sorrel seeds now. The red veined sorrel is really pretty and I like the flavor of it, too. It is still young. Will plant the green sorrel later today along with my Malabar spinach. Have errands to run this morning.

    Jamie - Looks like a great place for a vacation! Only places that I've been on the Gulf Coast are New Orleans and Brownsville, TX. Post some photos is you have time, please.

    Len - I have not been to either of your destinations. Last time I was in Mexico I was 18 and it was only right next to Brownsville. We went for the shopping! Looking forward to seeing your photos!

    I'm headed to Santa Fe April 13th for a week. Going to see Ghost Ranch and the vicinity. My friend and I are both hoping to take some great photographs!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Cindy - I've been to Matamoros, MX a couple times myself. We went to South Padre Island for spring break while in college and it's only about 30 minutes from the border. Thousands of college kids would cross into Matamoros every day for Corona beer, Tequila, and shopping. I've also been to Monterrey. MX on business a couple times at my current job. Half of my company's operations are in Mexico.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)

    It was a gorgeous weekend here. Sadly, Saturday I was busy with other things. The only thing I did in the garden was turn the top foot or so in my compost bin. I had added a bag full of coffee grounds a week ago and many grapefruit peelings, pineapple trimmings, and kitchen scraps over several weeks. Yesterday when I DID have time outsid, the first thing I did was check the compost. It was about 40 degrees ambient temp.

    I was busy outside much of yesterday. I planted my 3rd row of Maestro peas and a row of various sugar snap and snow peas. While I was in the garden I checked on the peas I planted last Monday. They have plumped and are starting to sprout under ground. Yay!

    Other chores included picking up sticks/twigs that blew out of trees with the terrible winds last week; spraying broadleaf weeds in the lawn; cutting off the dried pampas grass; installing a critter barrier around a bed away from the main garden in which my broccol, kholrabi, and bok choy will go. I put my tray of the aforementioned veggies on the deck to prep them for unprotected life in the big world outside. This is such a busy time for gardeners.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Thanks Jack...would have invited you if I knew but you have too much to do in garden to leave right now. Plane not for a few hours yet, Have not been to Monterrey...big city I think?

    Cindy my sister lives in Santa Fe and we love to visit there. Great food, shopping and mountains...lots of memories there! However I do not believe I have ever been to Ghost Ranch...now on my bucket list for sure :)

    Don't work to hard gang; I'll be in withdrawal so will check in on you!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Len - I think Monterrey is the second largest city in Mexico at a few million in the metro area.

  • cindy_7

    Len - Do you have any recommendations of things to see/do in Santa Fe?

    We have a photo shoot scheduled with Mark Schumann:

    https://www.schumannphototours.com/privatetours

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Closest I've been to Mexico was Memphis, well Millington, when I was in the Navy, 1964-65. I was offered a trip to Mexico for a month by an employer. They had offered trips to Europe, I volunteered for Switzerland in May. Instead I was offered the Mexico trip which wasn't on the list. So I refused, why didn't they just offer up the real trip, I might have taken it. Memphis was also the closest I got to Vietnam, back then. Well maybe West Memphis Ark.

    Nice sunny day today 40°F.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA

    I had a good buddy's surprise 40th birthday to go to this weekend out of town so didnt get as much done in the garden as I would have liked, but it was a great time away and a kids free night that my wife and I needed dearly!

    Instead of lots of text I'll just let some photos do the talking::

    Garlic just SHOT out of the ground this past week. They were all fertilized with chicken manure last week.


    Caterpillar tunnel drip tape ran. We have to continually open in morning and close at night with these sunny days and cold nights we are having.






    Spinach and beets are getting ready to be put out in the free world.





    Tomatoes and peppers are going well in their 200 cell trays. Trying to hold out the tomatoes for another week or so before putting up into 72 or 50 cell trays:








    Broccoli will be ready to plant any day now - waiting on a good weather spell.



    Four 12 ft beds of lettuce planted out in the front yard garden. Row cover to help them on these low 20's nights should be able to be removed this week.





  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Kevin

    Your plants look nice. You're 4-6 weeks ahead of me. I'm planning to start tomatoes around April 1. I'm thinking of starting some this year in doubled coffee cups on an east facing window. We have a heat pump and the fan is always running. I think that may keep the plants cooler at the south facing window I usually use. ??

    The local news reports 37°F, instead of 40 like the weather channel. Why are they always 3° higher. It's not where their reading their thermometer. I don't see that consistent difference in localities around the area. They must have a themometer on the south facing side of a masonry building, and in the sun.

    I had a thought about the mud slides we've been having here. They've been spending trillions separating storm water from sanitary sewage. Where are they running the storm water? Just a question in my mind.

  • cindy_7

    Impressive as always, Kevin!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Wow Kevin! Your Salanova lettuce in the high tunnel looks great! What spacing did you use in row? Your garlic is double the size of mine. I meant to get out and liberate my garlic from the mulch a couple weeks ago but my back/leg wouldn't allow it. I haven't fertilized them either. Tonight!


  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Cindy,


    In town of Santa Fe the square and surrounding area are a must, including Georgia O'Keefe museum.


    An hour out the Bandelier national monument, and if you can spend a day Chaco canyon is amazing. It is about 4 hours out and about halfway to Durango.


    Lots of amazing food

  • cindy_7

    Thanks, Len.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)

    Jack - Have you started PT yet? I hope you have good luck with that. Last summer I spent some time with a PT and she did wonders for my less-serious-than-yours back pain. Now that bending/stooping over is becoming a regular thing with garden chores I've been doing some stretches that she recommended. So far, I've been able to keep my back in check.

    Kevin - Your plants all look great, as usual! I'm glad that you were able to get away for that much needed "we time" that you and your wife needed.

    I may try to plant my broccoli, bok choy, and kohlrabi late today. It looks like clouds and a bit of rain is forecast for tomorrow.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Margi - I haven't started yet. They called me this morning to schedule but what they had available this week didn't fit my schedule. I wanted times between 3 and 4 and they were all booked up. I got one at 4:15 a week from Wednesday. I'll just ask them to teach me a few stretches/exercises to strengthen my core and I'll do them at home. The place is 20 minutes from both my house and my office so not very convenient. I was hoping to be able to schedule it so I could just stop in there on the way home from work.

    I've been doing a few of the exercises shown on this website that are supposed to help build up the core muscles. so far I haven't hurt myself! And I've been gardening/planting!

    20 Core Exercises that top trainers swear by

    I think I may go ahead and start hardening off my lettuce and broccoli today and plant it out this weekend. They are going on 4 weeks from seed and getting pretty big. We have several days with rain in the 2 week forecast that I'd like to take advantage of.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA

    John - Thanks, hopefully we are 4 to 6 weeks ahead of the other market gardens too! ;-). I admittedly get scared we are pushing the boundary too much. My leeks look like they took a beating - hoping that as with other alliums they will persevere.


    Why do you want to keep your tomato plants cooler? To reduce legginess? I think I'd prefer the direct southern sun if I were a tomato seedling.


    I dont even follow the weather channel or even the local news anymore other than to get a feel for what the next week is going to be. I use wunderground and my acurite weather station for the day to day stuff.


    The stormwater is the easy part in most instances. The hard part is getting the sh*t (sorry for the language) separated and treated. The way a lot of these old systems worked was that when we received large storms the sewage drainage would mix in with the stormwater runoff system and it would all blow out into the river. Definitely gross, and you can still see a good bit of these discharges along the three rivers. For the most part from what I understand they are leaving the stormwater parts the same and trying to un-tie the sanitary so the outfalls should remain the same they should just smell better lol. Other areas its cheaper (relative term) to build separate mini treatment facilities near to the outfall and find ways to break up the drainage system to minimize the peak events. Obviously lots and lots of money no matter how they do it.



    Jack - Lettuce rows are spaced 8 inches apart, 6 inches on the row. It takes two 200 cell trays to fill one of my full size beds (50 ft) and I'll be transplanting a new bed every two weeks to hopefully harvest 50 lbs a week. I sow three trays thinking I'd get some losses but so far I've had over 98% germination rate so I'm just finding places to tuck the lettuce into.


    Hope your PT can get you some relief! Dont jump back into it too fast, the garlic can probably handle another couple weeks without care!

  • Sunflowers

    Jack - I’m hoping we don’t have a cold blast in April like last year! Fingers crossed. I heard about Planter’s Sunday hours and was so excited! Otherwise, Saturday is my only day of the week to go.


    Kevin, all of your plants (especially the lettuce and garlic) are looking very healthy! You’re ahead of some of us, so I hope mine look like yours in a month or so! I removed some of the leaf mulch and fertilized my garlic about 9 days ago so I’m hoping to see some more growth soon.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)

    Wow, Jack - some of those look pretty intense! My PT did a fair amount of "manipulation" - massage and pressure to stretch out the tight spots on my spine. I became a fan of ice too. Counter intuitive for me. Always thought when my back hurt that heat made it feel good. Wrong...ice is your friend. I hope you connect well with your PT. he/she can do wonders.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Kevin
    I think what happens with my heat pump is that when it's not heating, since it's still blowing, that the air coming out of the vents may be cooler than the room temperature. The east facing window doesn't have a vent under it so there not constant air blowing. But there's not enough room to put any racks or furniture there to set trays on. Thus my idea of planting in some doubled coffee cups and filling up the sill. I've put plants there later in the season and they grow taller there. Apparently, what with the roof overhang and the trees when they leaf out, there's more sun in the east window. Plus I took out some trees with small crowns so don't know how that will affect the sun in the east window.

    My understanding is that when it rains the storm water runs into the sanitary sewer and it goes to the treatment plant. When there was too much water the excess was just run into the rivers. So seems like you would have to dig up all the streets for new storm water drains and I ain't seen no digging for that. A lot of busted water mains, but that's it. So, I have a suspicion that they're just running it over the hill and in many locations there's houses down there which are flowing with the mud.

  • Jamie

    I'll post some photos, Cindy ... and I hope the rest of you travelers enjoy your trips.

    Kevin- your lettuce looks better than mine haha!


  • Habanero King (zone 7a, MD)

    more balcony radishes pulled today:





    Also checked on my other plants under the grow lights and it looks like some of my lettuce is becoming “leggy” except it’s the leaves that are stretching, not the stems. I forgot to take pics, but has anyone seen anything like that with loose leaf lettuc?


    Everything else is doing well. Peppers and Roma tomatoes started getting true leaves.





    I also got some beefsteak tomato seeds from bakers creek as a “long shot” for my balcony, to join the sugar baby watermelons and sugar cube cantaloupes as long shots.


    i go for my firsr post-op follow up on my foot tomorrow. I’m hoping they will put me in a boot so I can at least bear weight on it and limp around. Getting around on these crutches suck!

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a

    Hab -- which type are these gorgeous radishes? (look like my fav -- french breakfast)

    Tony

    p.s. get well soon!

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