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HatterasJack

'13 Garden Prep 101 - Or - Who's Out Getting Ready and Planting?

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Cleaned out all box beds

 

Turned the soil - which looks damn nice and dark

 

At least 3 dozen onions are well along from last season

 

Going to completely strip the compost pile of everything it's worth and dump it in the box beds

 

Add some bagged top soil - some bagged peat moss - and some leftover '12 organic fertilizer

 

and the planting begins!

 

This weekend we'll see beets, garlic, arugala (sp?), carrots, and whatever else I can come up with

 

This time last year - I had all of the above AND THEN SOME already up showing and growing

 

All planted on St. Pat's Day

 

But last year we had 17 days of 60+ degree weather in March !

 

Little different this year :(

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Am itching to do so, but there is still about 2-3" of snow on half of the garden. Fortunately, the half where the early season crops are going this year is now snow free, so hopefully I can get out there and prep a couple beds for those.

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Just put my flat of "spring crop" stuff outside for the first time to start hardening it off. The cold frame is getting nice and toasty during the day, and I only see a couple nights in the 30 day forecast where the low is going to be below freezing for us. Looks like a good deal of sun, as well. I still have to figure out what I'm going to plant, as i have very limited space this year (just a 4' x 8' container and some buckets). I'll probably do a few tomatoes and a few cucumbers in back, so they can grow along the fence, and then rotate some crops of greens in the front. All of my peppers will be in containers. Can't wait until I have a yard that is big enough for a garden.

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and I only see a couple nights in the 30 day forecast where the low is going to be below freezing for us.

 

Even if it should go below freezing, the cold weather crops will be fine. Plus the protection of the cold frame will likely keep it above 32 in there, unless we per chance get some low 20's at night, which I doubt we will.

 

Shoot, I have some spinach and lettuce that overwintered in the open unprotected space of the garden, and they are starting to show signs of life and greening up.

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Just started to clean up a little, snow mostly gone finally. Have maybe a dozen onions and looks like some parsley held over. Probably can get some spinach and peas in this weekend.

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Already planted...........sugar snap peas



                                  shelling peas



                                  shallots



                                  onions



                                  arugula



                                  radishes



                                  parsley



                                  baby kales



                                  oriental greens



                                  baby lettuces



 



   I gave my garlic it's first foliar feed since it is over 3" tall already.



   Have plenty more seedlings which we hope to get in this weekend...........AFTER the boat work is done........Happy Growing!!!!!!!

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Doing a vegetable garden for the first time this year. Cleared out a 15'x7' plot and will enclose it with deer fence to keep the critters and the dog out. Have a compost heap made up of leaves, yard trimmings and kitchen scraps that I was going to mix into the soil, Was thinking about getting some fish racks to bury in there as well. I think I willl try to grow peas, tomatoes, zuchinni, and eggplants, maybe some herbs as well.

 

Any general advice is appreciated. I'm near the south shore on long island. My plot has a east to south exposure. Thanks,

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Doing a vegetable garden for the first time this year. Cleared out a 15'x7' plot and will enclose it with deer fence to keep the critters and the dog out. Have a compost heap made up of leaves, yard trimmings and kitchen scraps that I was going to mix into the soil, Was thinking about getting some fish racks to bury in there as well. I think I willl try to grow peas, tomatoes, zuchinni, and eggplants, maybe some herbs as well.

 

Any general advice is appreciated. I'm near the south shore on long island. My plot has a east to south exposure. Thanks,

 

my compost is just kitchen scraps

 

I keep my grass clippings and leaves on a completely separate compost pile (and it is huge)

 

a number of guys say that too much of the grass clippings can be problematic

 

I'm going to raid my kitchen compost pile and take everything that's built up over quite a few years ... and then start that anew

 

tomorrow, I'm buying top soil and mushroom compost to top off my raised beds which are low compared to the frame tops

 

I've got a lawn area the size of a 30-40 car parking lot in the back that I'm seriously thinking of fencing in to get back to the huge garden(s) I had 20+ years ago

 

that space is sunshine from dawn to dusk

 

but I have to have 8' fencing and I have to bury it 6" into the ground or I'm back where I was 20+ years ago when I gave up on a large garden :(

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Doing a vegetable garden for the first time this year. Cleared out a 15'x7' plot and will enclose it with deer fence to keep the critters and the dog out. Have a compost heap made up of leaves, yard trimmings and kitchen scraps that I was going to mix into the soil, Was thinking about getting some fish racks to bury in there as well. I think I willl try to grow peas, tomatoes, zuchinni, and eggplants, maybe some herbs as well.

 

Any general advice is appreciated. I'm near the south shore on long island. My plot has a east to south exposure. Thanks,

 

I turned 2 P/U loads of composted manure in an area of that size the first year. Did wonders. Compost is great stuff but it uses up a lot of it's nitrogen breaking down so you probably have to supplement. I have a low side on the garden that needs a good slug of something so I'm adding straw bales and will grow something in those this year and next year they'll be compost which will build it up a bit. Maybe have to do bales a couple years to add as much as I want but it seems like a good quick way to convert space to garden. Grow in it this year, next year turn it in. Downside to straw bale gardening is it needs plenty of water.

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I turned 2 P/U loads of composted manure in an area of that size the first year. Did wonders. Compost is great stuff but it uses up a lot of it's nitrogen breaking down so you probably have to supplement. I have a low side on the garden that needs a good slug of something so I'm adding straw bales and will grow something in those this year and next year they'll be compost which will build it up a bit. Maybe have to do bales a couple years to add as much as I want but it seems like a good quick way to convert space to garden. Grow in it this year, next year turn it in. Downside to straw bale gardening is it needs plenty of water.

 

I know it's just me ... but I have a tough time understanding what your're talking about Jim W

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I know it's just me ... but I have a tough time understanding what your're talking about Jim W

 

No, I get goofy. Call me Eebs 2. ;-)

 

1000

 

1000

 

You have to get the bales started composting but it's fairly quick with a good slug of nitrogen. Ggl straw bale gardening Joel Karsten, he gets all the credits.

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i'm hard to understand?

 

on account a the big words or what?

 

:squid:

 

anyhoo.....I'm hoping to deer-fence-in a 30x60 plot at the new house and move most of my operation over from the 20x30 plot at my parents farm assuming I have time to get everything together. the soil is gonna be**** for a while, sandy, former lawn, so I'm going to do something I've always wanted to do but never had the room -grow corn. I'll probably throw some extra peppers and tomatoes in just for kicks to see how bad the dirt really is. other than that I'm taking it easy. still got fantastic soil on the current plot and room to plant out 40 or so peppers and about 60 tomatoes. next year we go nuts and try to grow a year's worth of food, which will begood since between a mortgage and the hellish property tax rates I'm paying I'm not sure I'm gonna be able to sell enough insurance to actually buy food. if any of youz are archiects or engineers (the buildings kind not the weirdo kind that plays with electricity or alive things) and you're not already my client, call me k?

 

:th:

 

:wee:

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Jack -- BEWARE the bagged topsoil. It's pretty much worthless space filler.

 

Last year I filled a couple of new planter boxes, 2.5x12 each, with bagged top soil, peat moss and bagged compost. Ratio was about 4:1:1. Planted them up, watched everything get a few inches tall and stall. For weeks. I bought a soil test kit and discovered that I had no detectable nitrogen. None. Level was below the test sensitivity. Damn.

 

I supplemented with bone meal and blood meal but it was mostly a waste of time. I got minimal production from those planters.

 

Last fall I dug in grass clippings and leaves. I'll turn it and test it shortly and see if it's any better now.

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One of the MOST important aspects of soils is the pH.  If the pH is out of whack, the nutrients cannot be utilized by the plants - no matter how much fertilizer is applied.  The test is simple and cheap, whether you have your extension service do it or you do it yourself with test kits available at your local garden center.  Many of the nutrient problems I have seen at the many organic certification inspections that I have done involve pH.........If you have an acid soil (low pH) limestone applications are a cheap and easy fix.  If your soil is very acidic, the limestone applications should be done with several applications - not all at once as it can wreak havoc with the soil life.  The earlier in Spring you apply the limestone, the better as it takes time for the soils to adjust.  Avoid hydrated lime.    Do yourself a favor and test your pH before spending all that money on fertilizers (organic supplements are not cheap anymore) so your plants can utilize the nutrients in the soil.


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