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Steve in Mass

Gardening Season 2012

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Well, getting to be about that time.......a look at the calendar tells me that in my area, the last frost is about 10 weeks away, which means it is time to get on the ball.

 

Yesterday I bleached and washed a bunch of seed starting pots/trays. My order of seeds has been here for almost a month already. Within the next few days, the first seeds of the season will be sown indoors. These will include things like leeks, onions, cabbage, broccoli, parsley, sage, sorrel, mustard greens, arugula, cress, and a few other various greens including some early lettuce. Cauliflower should also be sown, but I am skipping that this year.

 

About ten days to two weeks later near the end of the month, peppers and eggplant will get sown. And maybe even an early tomato or two.

 

All of that gets put under lights in a south facing window indoors for about a month until the mini-greenhouse and cold frames warms up enough for them to go out into that after being transplanted into 6-packs.

 

With the mild winter we have been having, I am hoping that it may be possible to start spring clean up and turning over the veggie garden beds by the first week of March or so, but that will depend on whether this type of weather continues over the next few weeks. If it stays relatively warm and dry and the ground can be worked, hope to get snow/snap peas and spinach sown in the ground by St. Paddy's Day which is just over a month away, and start pulling the straw mulch off the garlic that was planted last November.....

 

Don't let time slip away from you...............;)

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We just cleared our garden this weekend and prepped it for planting. Tilled in 2.5 yards of compost and about 3/4 yard of sand. It could have used another yard of compost and maybe 3/4 yard of sand, but I wasn't gonna make another trip down pick up more compost and sand. That was Saturday. On Sunday, I rested.:snr:

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So, very first sprouts of the season just barely broke ground this morning.....arugula, kale, and broccoli. :)

 

Too small to get a good picture, but maybe by tomorrow.

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Depends how it does......it is slow growing and will last until frost (at least in my garden), but kale is the type of plant that if it does okay thru the summer, you can "cut and come again", although it is much better once it has seen a frost or three.

 

The variety is Dwarf Blue Curled.......

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Came home to find about 4 or 5 sprouts in my hot pepper tray, which I planted the first week of Feb. Hoping the rest of them aren't too far behind. Still waiting on my onions to sprout.

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Is it possible to grow garlic in Spring if I did not start in Fall last year. I was wondering with the mild winter if I could start them inside them move them outside after the start heading. I will cover with straw outside.


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Is it possible to grow garlic in Spring if I did not start in Fall last year. I was wondering with the mild winter if I could start them inside them move them outside after the start heading. I will cover with straw outside.

 

See this post:

 

http://www.stripersonline.com/t/835695/garlic#post_8994525

 

And no, you really can't start it indoors. When you plant garlic, first thing that happens is it sends down roots to establish itself. Then over winter, it goes into dormancy. In the early spring, even under the straw mulch, it will start to send up shoots.

 

Once those shoots see the light of the sun, the plant gathers energy and then about a month later the seed clove starts to multiply, growing more cloves around it to start to form the heads. Sometime in late May or early June, the foliage of most varieties will send out a stalk from the seed clove which will form what are called "scapes", which are flower/seed heads. This are best harvested (cut off) before they open and form flower and seed, both because they are a culinary delight, but also because they sap energy from the plant. By cutting off the scapes, the energy goes back into forming the bulbs, so you get bigger cloves and larger heads.

 

With the mild winter, if your ground is workable and not too wet, you can sow cloves outdoors now or as early in the spring as conditions permit as per the post I linked above. Your cloves and heads will mature later than fall sowed, and may not be as big as if they were sowed in the fall, but you should still get a crop in very late summer or early fall. And even if you were to be able to sow them today, the straw mulch really won't be needed this late in the winter.

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At the moment the patch is under snow but my winter rye I planted last fall is peaking at me. This year I will not be growing tomatoes, I said it last year but this year I mean it :shock: I will have leeks,onions,taters, peppers,garlic,cukes,carrots,squash,parsnips, and maybe a few other things to be decided.

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I have 2 new raised beds built for this season. Now looking at a 5x10 bed and 2 2x6 beds along with some pots and containers. Seeds are all pretty much started indoors at this point. Broccoli, cabbage, parsley, Black Krim tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cubanelle peppers, habanero peppers, purple tomatillos. Thai basil gets indoor sowed this weekend. I have some kale already in the garden that wintered over fine. Direct sowed leeks, peas, and spinach this weekend. One bed is under a PVC frame with clear plastic stretched over to make a cold frame.



 



My friend and I are swapping seedlings this year. So I'll also be growing a couple other varieties of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zuchinni, etc.



 



The big venture for this summer will be growing my own hops to give to a friend who brews his own beer.


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