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Veggie Tales - March 2019

Jamie
last year

”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 (807)

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Jack...hope today was a success

    Nature Girl We love peas but if I had to shell them I would do without! I hope my snap peas and asian peas survive the transplant after staying in the greenhouse 3 extra weeks waiting for the weather sheesh. They are out in garden now, along with lettuces and mache that were rootbound and crying out for space to grow.





    Jamie thanked Len NW 7a
    Top Answer
  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Yolos- I have a hard time with carrots also. Maybe I should try them in the fall and see how that goes. I’m not as far south as you are, though.

    I am still a little shocked that we made it though this winter without any significant snow or ice. I think we had a dusting of snow and that was it. There were no significant ice events at all.

  • RD Texas
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Carrots grow pretty good down here. I grow them in containers too, so they usually get about as tall as the container unless they are the smaller variety. I have two different kinds going now and they are in fairly small (3 & 5 gallon) containers-the sprouts are about 3 inches long-one type is growing in a larger container with parsley and both have 2-5 inches of green growth above ground.

    Jamie thanked RD Texas
  • RD Texas
    last year

    I have never had anything like what Yolo has pictured above-mine were about half that size when they were fully grown.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    last year

    Was pondering the ice in my wood chip pile and came up with this.

    If you have paths with thick wood chips as a mulch you will slow the warming of your soil nearby. But conversely if you have a problem with frost damaging fruit blossoms then applying a thick layer of wood chips may slow the flowering long enough to save a crop that year. The ice in my pile was about 4 inches down, but I don't know how thick it is. And the ice is on the most shady part of the pile and on the northwest of it. So you won't have ice under 4 inches of mulch in your sunny garden path.

    I also remembered fishing trips to Canada. Camps without electricity have a mounded pile of earth with an entrance. Inside is ice, cut from the lake in winter, covered with straw. They gave us ice for our coolers as we were leaving in mid June. And next door to my 40 acre parcel of land near Pittsburgh before WWII was a lake where they also cut lake ice and stored it in an old coal mine. That went on for 60 years or so.

  • RD Texas
    last year



    My new little strawberry plant already has a bloom


    Cindy, I got the Bloody Butcher seeds today and am going to plant them now-thank you so much-none of the ones I planted on the 12th and 19th have sprouted yet, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  • cindy_7
    last year

    Richard - My strawberry plants always have whitish/light pink flowers. That's a very vivid flower. What's your variety?

  • RD Texas
    last year

    Cindy I have always had white flowers on my strawberry varieties before too-this is my first red flower. That is the Ruby Ann that I got sent live from Burpee. I didn't try to pollinate it because it is so small. It will be nice in May or June if it gets covered in them

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Seeded today the root parsley and the rest of the herbs. 2 days ago seeded Fenugreek after soaking seeds for 24 hrs, and today saw some sprouts!

  • cindy_7
    last year

    That's a pretty expensive strawberry plant! One for $13.99.

  • RD Texas
    last year

    Cindy, yeah Burpee's prices are pretty brutal, about like Johnny's. I should have gotten all bare root plants

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a red strawberry flower either, Richard. That’s interesting

  • RD Texas
    last year

    Jamie I had a couple squash female flowers but there are no bees yet so I had to use a flower to pollinate one of them off the same plant so it will probably not make. The other one was already bad before I got to it. I have maybe 30 or so tomato blooms now but no little tomatoes yet.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    last year

    Richard I hope that gold plated strawberry will make runners for you!

  • RD Texas
    last year

    Me too Len...around 50 or so. I am really liking the felt vertical garden. In fact I ordered another one that is bigger for whenever my Burgess order arrives (25 more bare root strawberry plants). Really looking forward to the blackberry plants getting mature too. Planting them in big containers (waiting on 5 more)-might be a little hard to move when they are 5-6 foot tall-at least they are all thornless (I got three from Baker Creek for the same price as that one Ruby Ann strawberry plant)

  • RD Texas
    last year

    Now record low temperatures are headed this way. It is around 42 degrees now and it is supposed get down in the 30s for the next two days. I can't ever remember it being in the 30s here in April

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    It’s April! https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/5657624/veggie-tales-april-2019 I guess I beat Jack to the forum this morning. I thought I was going to be late!

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    last year

    Is it cheating if you jump the gun by a day Jamie? TOMORROW is April. Jack doesn’t stand a chance if you bend the rules. :-)

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Oh good grief hahahahaha yes you are correct. I will delete the other thread to give him a fighting chance! I wasn’t thinking straight hahaha

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    We had a pretty productive Saturday yesterday, in spite of the showers. We got the supports up in the straw bale garden. We will train winter squash up these

    They are a 4x8 cow panels and a couple of 8foot T-posts. Some of the bales have sprouted wheat grass so I guess they weren’t as clean as they were supposed to be. I’ll pull it out once it gets a little bigger. We had to make an extra run to Tractor Supply for an extra post (the farm supply store here in town only had 6ft posts). By the time we got home, it had started raining so we will put the third one up today.

    The bales are beginning to give off a slight ammonia odor, which indicates that they aren’t getting quite enough oxygen. I don’t think I can do much about that as you can’t mix up the straw. You would turn a regular compost pile to ensure adequate oxygen. I might start poking some holes into them to try and loosen the straw a little. Fortunately, we will be decreasing the amount of nitrogen we are adding this week.

    we also got a couple more of those concrete mixing pans on Friday. I drilled holes in them yesterday. I think we will try some bush beans in these two.

    The spinach and beets I planted a week ago have started to germinate as have the Red Russian Kale seeds.

    I don’t care what that Christmas carol says .. for me this is “the most wonderful time of the year”

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    last year

    Jamie - Did you pull an early April fools day joke on yourself? Hahaha! Can you put a fan on those bales to push thru more oxygen?

    Kevin - happy birthday +2! The closest I can get to gardening on my February birthday is watering leeks and onions or buying seeds.

    I potted up 27 peppers yesterday and sowed my cherry tomatoes and some Big Beef. I also had to resow my brother's Early Dividend broccoli. Somehow when I sowed it last weekend I sowed the Early Dividend in the same cell pack that I sowed the broccolini. I was wondering why the ED hadn't sprouted after 6 days but then I noticed there were 2 seedlings in all of the broccolini cells. At least I was able to tell which seedlings were ED and which were the broccolini because the latter were faster to sprout and were already twice as tall as the former. Alcohol may or not have been involved in this screwup!

    It's a bright sunshiny 23 degree morning here. I didn't cover anything yesterday because it was raining most of the day and the winds were blowing 30 mph. With those winds it would have been a battle trying to get things covered. I'll go out and inspect the damage after it warms up this afternoon.

    Now I'm off to do my taxes :-( I've been putting it off for too long and I'm running out of time. Can gardening expenses be used as a deduction?

  • cindy_7
    last year

    Yikes, Jack! That' down right cold. After hitting 76 yesterday tonight's low is predicted to be 29, and Monday 30. Then things look pretty good for gardening after that. Today the temp will be dropping all day. It's already dropped two degrees in the past 20 minutes.

    It rained overnight, too, which I was glad to see.

    May do some transplanting today.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    It’s the same here, Cindy. The low tonight is supposed to be 28 and 32 tomorrow night. It’s bright and sunny here right now but a little cool outside (about 40)

    we are going to have a late breakfast then go get some compost and potting soil for the grow bags and a couple of empty Pots I found yesterday.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    Jack - I don’t know if I can or not. I’m a little nervous about running an extension cord out there as the ground is pretty damp all over.

    Good luck with your taxes! We had to pay a small amount, but that’s pretty normal. Usually We pay a little or get a little back.

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

    On a whim I bought some butternut squash seeds. How big do these vines get? I may not have room on the balcony if they trail all over the place like melons...hahaha.


    also new germinations this morning....Danvers carrots, purple top turnips, space master cukes, bush steak tomatoes, and sweet basil (first time growing herbs from seed). Still waiting on Jamaican and fish peppers.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    last year

    Margi - we're supposed to warm up after a low around freezing tonight. So far I'm zooming thru my federal return and about to look up my tax liability in the tax table. I get a credit for my sons tuition so the bottom line should be positive.

    I haven't decided whether I'll transplant my broccoli today or not. I might wait until tomorrow evening just to be safe. I do think I'll check the soil temp and maybe sow some radishes and beets if it's 40+.


  • cindy_7
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Jack - Hope up end up not having to pay Uncle Sam.

    Temp dropped another four degrees and it's very windy out there. No sun either. Not sure about transplanting now.

    Four out of nine Malabar spinach seeds have broken ground.

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Garlic chives I direct seeded on the 23rd (whole pack of 300+) in the 14x14" square window box sitting at my window that only gets 3 hrs direct sunlight have started sprouting today! Seems chives are very shade tolerant -- so hope to have them indoors for year-round harvesting.

    Tony

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    last year

    Many years ago I dated a Chinese girl who raised Garlic Chives and sold them wholesale to the Chinese store downtown. She had a bed about 2x16'. She cleaned them while we watched TV for maybe 2 hours. Stripped out the browned leafs etc. Piled up a stack at least a foot tall and maybe 16" wide. She got 50¢ a pound. Maybe a buck for the stack. She said you need to let the bed grow a few years before harvesting, I'd cheat a little. She considered the flowers a delicacy. I don't know how they're prepared or what they taste like cause she never shared... with me.

    She taught Chinese cooking and am guessing she wanted a steady supply when she needed them and just couldn't see the excess go to waste.

  • cindy_7
    last year

    I have garlic chives growing outside and they come back every year. They also self seed like crazy and I end up digging them up and tossing them all the time. Just dug some of them yesterday. And they have to be dug up because it's nearly impossible to pull them with the roots intact.

    Every part of the plant is edible.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    Hab- butternut squash vines will get pretty large- mine have been 8 feet or more. They aren’t quite as bushy as melons, but they do get large. There are some that are smaller than others, but unless the variety says so, I would count on them being full-sized.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    last year

    Cindy

    I looked up recipes for Garlic Chives and I think I was wrong about not having eaten the flowers. The picture I saw looked familiar. The bud on top of the greens. I seem to remember a purple flower. But if you harvest the flowers in the bud stage you won't have them overgrowing. They will get thicker after a couple years. What
    I remember was almost 1/4 inch thick greens, maybe; not quite.

  • cindy_7
    last year

    John - My garlic chives have white cluster flowers just like the ones in this photo.

    https://www.burpee.com/herbs/chive/chives-garlic-24549.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwyoHlBRCNARIsAFjKJ6Bb8X5aA71syRLwXEKfjF0lUv3l3uXEzvtPBmJ_wMo4A-3MfTnWBnEaAvZJEALw_wcB

    And it's difficult to keep up with all of those flowers, especially since I have a row of them along a flower bed!!

    But the deer do not touch them so that's a big plus.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    Well, I think we have the garden all ready. We filled the rest of the grow bags today and got the rest of the squash supports put up. The only thing left is to put up the tomato, cucumber and pole bean supports. I think we will do that next weekend.

    .

  • cindy_7
    last year

    Looks great, again, Jamie!

    Jamie thanked cindy_7
  • RD Texas
    last year

    Jamie, I was wondering how I could use that hay that I bought as a growing medium. I spread it all soit is just loose. Do you have any ideas? I read some of the articles about using straw as a growing medium and they all used bales of hay-some on their sides-some on their backs, but all used the actual bale as the medium for the roots. I thought about trying to stuff a container or a grow bag but that might not be enough. What are your thoughts? Anybody else have any ideas?

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    last year

    Cindy

    That looks too purple. My memory is probably a little off. But those flowers, actually the buds are probably worth a lot of money. Maybe 75¢ a pound? Hahaha

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    last year

    Jamie that garden looks awesome...just thinking about the work I have to do when I get home is driving me to drink another margarita :)

    Jamie thanked Len NW 7a
  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Richard - these are all still bales and we have been treating it with high nitrogen fertilizer to speed up the decomposition - basically to convert them into a bale of compost. I bet that if you piled up the loose straw and treated it the same waybas these bales you could grow potatoes or other things in it. I’ve seen a video on YouTube (Huw’s Nursery growing potatoes in Straw) that might be helpful. Oh and that spelling is correct he’s welsh so that’s not a typo haha

    here is a link - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pk0vhqSarYU

  • naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan
    last year

    John, were the flowers from regular chives? Mine have light purple flowers in the spring to early summer. And the stalks with flowers are thicker than the regular leaf stalks

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year

    Have two, Len! Hahaha

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    last year

    OK...had two, now shopping for grow bags :) Any suggestions from the experienced users as we have not bought these before. Planning on experiment with potatoes and ???

  • cindy_7
    last year

    #800

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Len- I grew potatoes in some last year with success. I started with a little soil and filled it in as the plants grew. They dry out QUICKLY so keep an eye on them. This year we are using them for some squash and dwarf corn. I’m a fan of them but I’ve learned that it’s important to have a growing media that holds onto water. The ones I’ve been using are basically recycled plastic that’s been felted into a sort of fabric.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    last year

    naturegirl

    could be? I thought the garlic chives were thicker. DW buys new onion chives every season, skinny and wispy. She calls the flowers pink, yeah maybe purply pink. My plans are to build a raised bed, my only raised bed 2 1/2 feet by 18" and plant both. To keep them off the ground. Not this year, too much on the plate.

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Garlic chives

    https://www.rareseeds.com/chinese-chives/

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

    Onion chives

    https://www.rareseeds.com/chives-common/

    I've only eaten onion chives -- so really excited to grow the garlic ones!

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a
    last year

    Hour plus till April....

  • RD Texas
    last year

    Sure is cold for April

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