Steve in Mass

2018 Vegetable/Fruit Gardening Thread.....

539 posts in this topic

Is about that time, in fact, some chores should already be done....

 

So use this thread for the topic. There is already one in the Mass Forum I and others have been posting to, but that is kinda localized to Ma and RI, so there will also be this one here for others that want to participate.

 

Seed flats and trays were sorted on Monday, and I washed and bleached the first round of what I will need later this week. Being sown indoors by early next week with be a bunch of pepper varieties, eggplant, parsley, and a few different early salad greens like sorrel, cress, arugula, a few different mustards, Tatsoi, and Swiss chard (which can be slow to germinate.)

 

Have at it............. 

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Parsley and pansies started on heat mat set low. Also 8 tomato seeds to see how long they take.  Maybe try to graft some. Starting in the basement this year and it’s still cold but don’t think air temps matter too much yet.   Chard, eggplant, peppers. Giving shi****o a try.  Will start squash indoors this year too.  

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Going for some NY early outside sprouting under glass which usually works out well.

PHOTO_20180222_110437.jpg

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It’s been chilly here in Hawaii...high 60’s. Still managed to harvest apple bananas, papayas and soon jack fruit!

5A53C4A6-08D0-4248-8C80-DAD3B890084F.jpeg

7AF1322C-C9CC-4989-A456-91D73189E632.jpeg

9EC512CC-A24D-4696-A2BE-1DD2BA99C1AD.jpeg

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I have the standard early veggies (cabbage/cauliflower/broccoli/brussels sprouts) sprouted under lights in the basement.  Those will go outside in late march and then I'll start tomatoes/peppers indoors.  Everything else (beans/peas/lettuces/corn/etc) I'll either direct sow in the ground, or just buy seedlings from the Amish nursery 25 minutes away.   Amish nurseries are the greatest.  Great variety, and so cheap.  It's hardly worth the effort to start my own seeds, but I enjoy it so I still do.  

 

Also, this is year 3 with my asparagus patch (started from 2 year crowns) so I finally get to go nuts with harvesting.   And year two with my grape vines, so I should see some fruit develop, but the plan is to remove it this year.  Maybe leave one bunch or two just for fun.  

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Posted (edited)

Sowed a bunch of seeds on Monday. Aside from all the peppers, eggplant, leeks, some herbs, I also sowed some of the heartier salad greens like sorrel, arugula, Swiss chard and kale. The flat went on the light stand on top of a heating mat.

 

Less than 48 hours later, both types of arugula were sprouted, and I had to turn on the grow lights. THAT was quick! :eek:

 

Today, about another 24 hours later, I see some of the kale and Swiss chard are also poking thru.

 

Aside from the chickadee call I heard yesterday, this is a certain sign of spring, despite tonight/tomorrow's weather.

 

 

Edited by Steve in Mass

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Just purchased my first home and have been looking forward to getting a garden up and going for the first time. 

 

Im on Long Island so when should I start tomatoes/peppers/eggplant inside? After how long should I transfer to the ground outside?

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Think you can probably can set them out early- mid May on LI so need to get on it now.   Heat mat will help germination as those like soil about 80F to sprout.   

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The peppers and eggplant should for sure be sown indoors now., like today if you can. I am up here in SE MA 30 miles from salt water, and my peppers and eggplant were sown about 10 days ago. In fact, the first of them, a few sweet bananas, sprouted over night last night.

 

EB Harvey is in CT near the coast and he said he sowed his peppers already on February 1. Personally I think that is a bit early even for where he lives, but he knows his particular environment and capabilities, so am not gonna question his judgement. :)

 

 

The tomatoes, might still be a bit early, but depends. Certainly to early for up here, I will sow in early April. You want to count about 8 weeks back from the time that the night time temps are consistently at least 55 degrees in your area.

 

As Jim said, I started mine on a heating mat.

 

The other thing is it helps to keep a dome on the seed flat so you create a warm, moist environment, something like this (although I don't sow most types of seed in the six packs, I have other small trays I use for that.)

5a9ed19e49b7f_dometray.jpg.3266755bddb6491eed78d9032548296d.jpg

 

Once a particular seeding tray spouts, get it out from under the clear dome to allow more light to reach the leaves. Even clear domes can block some light especially when they are wet with "dew", and getting enough light indoors to young seedlings is tough enough, so any help is a help.

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Posted (edited)

Here ya go.............

 

PICT4473.jpg.f961adc7157cdb88c96a4ff008319204.jpgPICT4474.jpg.54c4fafe61ee330c0663c302defa02e6.jpg

 

 

First picture is various heartier salad greens. Second picture is the Sweet Banana Pepper I spoke of above. Gonna leave them under the dome one more day to see if any more sprout (I sowed 15 seeds in that flat), as the domed flat is the one on the heat mat.

 

Those are the type of trays that I use to start a good amount of seeds in, basically, anything that will be moved up to larger containers or six packs before setting them in the ground.  I call those "community flats" Certainly tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, most anything that has larger leaves, fairly think stems, and are kinda spaced when sown. I allows you to sow a lot of seed in a small space, and then move them up when you see what actually sprouts. The separate fairly easily for transplanting into larger containers. And yes, I sometimes also do the salad greens and transplant those into six packs, but the delicacy of the seedlings takes patience and the light touch of the hand, but I enjoy doing it while having a beer, and watching TV on a quiet afternoon.

 

Unfortunately, those kind of "community flats" are pretty hard to find these days, and the ones I have are likely pushing 20 years old. :eek: But I keep, sterilize and reuse them every year, even if some of them are held together with masking tape..... :o

 

Edited by Steve in Mass

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2 hours ago, Steve in Mass said:

Here ya go.............

 

PICT4473.jpg.f961adc7157cdb88c96a4ff008319204.jpgPICT4474.jpg.54c4fafe61ee330c0663c302defa02e6.jpg

 

 

First picture is various heartier salad greens. Second picture is the Sweet Banana Pepper I spoke of above. Gonna leave them under the dome one more day to see if any more sprout (I sowed 15 seeds in that flat), as the domed flat is the one on the heat mat.

 

Those are the type of trays that I use to start a good amount of seeds in, basically, anything that will be moved up to larger containers or six packs before setting them in the ground.  I call those "community flats" Certainly tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, most anything that has larger leaves, fairly think stems, and are kinda spaced when sown. I allows you to sow a lot of seed in a small space, and then move them up when you see what actually sprouts. The separate fairly easily for transplanting into larger containers. And yes, I sometimes also do the salad greens and transplant those into six packs, but the delicacy of the seedlings takes patience and the light touch of the hand, but I enjoy doing it while having a beer, and watching TV on a quiet afternoon.

 

Unfortunately, those kind of "community flats" are pretty hard to find these days, and the ones I have are likely pushing 20 years old. :eek: But I keep, sterilize and reuse them every year, even if some of them are held together with masking tape..... :o

 

I start a bunch of stuff for family and friends so I’ve been using 1020 trays with 12 - 4 cell inserts.  Try to get them off the claim before they need to get replanted.  I’ve run out of the inserts and while pack of 10 is reasonable at $8 the shipping was $10.  Using small solo cups.  Made me think of shim washers though.  

 

By community flat you mean larger undivided inserts or the type that are divided into 4-5 long rows?   MMike had some of the latter he sprouted in.  I am going that route I think when it’s time to make a bigger order. 

 

If you don’t have domes use plastic wrap.  Even that is enough to help hold in warmth and moisture. 

 

I haven’t had a cold frame in 20 years but want to put some kale and chard out this year.  Probably freeze it or cook it but trying for early before heat comes.  You still use a cold frame Steve?  If so how early generally?

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Posted (edited)

Jim - only have a second, but the "community flat" I referenced is in the first picture, second one from the left. They are perhaps 3" by 4". but at any rate 8 of them fit in the standard tray. The other ones are kinda half flats, as they have two cells and while the same 4" long, they are a bit narrower and I think 10 or 12 fit in a tray. Over they years I have had to cut those in half. and thus the one on the far left and the two on the right. The third one from the left is one that has not been cut in half, if you look close.

 

Each has their purpose depending on what I am sowing.

 

Cups have a disadvantage as they are round, and take up more room with the void space between them, and room is at a premium when having plants under light indoors.

 

Will address your other questions tomorrow, gotta go cook monkfish..... :)

 

Edited by Steve in Mass

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On 2/25/2018 at 0:29 AM, quan808 said:

It’s been chilly here in Hawaii...high 60’s. Still managed to harvest apple bananas, papayas and soon jack fruit!

5A53C4A6-08D0-4248-8C80-DAD3B890084F.jpeg

7AF1322C-C9CC-4989-A456-91D73189E632.jpeg

9EC512CC-A24D-4696-A2BE-1DD2BA99C1AD.jpeg

Yummmm...Jack fruit is one of my favorite fruits along with Lychees.

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