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 Post subject: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Feb 24, 2020 4:05 pm 
Prolific Pinecam Poster
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Time to start a new season!

Would love to hear from everyone on what they are starting and what they are planning for their gardens this year.

For me, I received my seed order from Territorial, washed all my pots and trays, and cleaned off the starting rack in my laundry room. I planted one tray of seeds yesterday, onions, leeks, and some herbs.

A few new varieties I am trying this year are:
  • Seychelles pole beans, supposedly 60 days instead of 70 like Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake
  • Aspabroc broccoli, 56 day variety described as being like broccolini. I will still plant my usual Apollo broccoli. Not doing the purple prouting I planted last year, was not a big producer and on the tough side if eaten raw.
  • Bolshoi kale, looks similar to Russian, suppose to be on the sweeter side
  • Dragon Tongue mustard, lovely colors. I think I will also plant more of the Fizzy Lizzy I tried last year, it was great on salads for a pop of color and spice.
  • Early Wonder beet, 45 days instead of 60 for the Detroit Red I usually plant. Last year I tried Territorials Bolder (golden) beet instead of my usually golden beet and it did very well, matured earlier than my Detroit Red. Hope this one works well too.
  • Borage to support the bees. One gardener at the Conifer Community Garden planted some last year, I was amazed by how well it enticed bees into the garden. Stayed in bloom until the first hard frost.

A few new methods I am going to try this year are:
  • Ollas (pronounced “oy-yahs”), I tried a one of these last year in the garden as a test. Placed it between two tomato plants and was surprised who well it worked on retaining soil moisture down by the roots. I am going to expand and see if I can use them for an entire raised bed this time. Once the plants are established, I hope I can just fill the ollas every few days and not do any top watering for that bed. Another experiment. I looked at several ways to make these and ended up using the method shown in this blog, really simple.
    https://lovelygreens.com/how-to-make-di ... or-plants/
  • No dig method. Charles Dowding is a big proponent of this method (videos on youtube). I generally hand dig my beds each spring and work compost into them. This year I am going to just lightly loosen the soil with a fork (no turning) and put compost on top.


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Feb 24, 2020 4:46 pm 
Prolific Pinecam Poster
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Haven't started yet, but I have some seeds and have seed potatoes ordered. Hope it starts warming up soon!


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Feb 24, 2020 6:11 pm 
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I'm just now thinking about what/where I want to plant things this year.

Mostly plan to do the same ole stuff with my old seeds.

I like to plant something new every year, but not sure what that might be this year.

I tried ground cherries last year, but had issues with them. I think I planted them in the wrong spot. So I might try them again this year...

I look forward to see how well the ollas do at the Conifer community garden!


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Feb 25, 2020 6:35 am 
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Started seeds for onions and peppers last week. Have my April and May seeds lined up. Tomato, rhubarb, more hot peppers, watermelon and sunflowers. Hubby knows what to build and just need to order hail cloth. Fingers crossed.


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Feb 25, 2020 9:40 am 
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Monchiladas wrote:
Started seeds for onions and peppers last week. Have my April and May seeds lined up. Tomato, rhubarb, more hot peppers, watermelon and sunflowers. Hubby knows what to build and just need to order hail cloth. Fingers crossed.


If I remember correctly you are relatively new to gardening up here. Melons are a tough one to grow in this climate if you are growing outdoors. Only about 75 days between frost dates.


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Feb 25, 2020 10:58 am 
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Yes, the melons are a gamble.


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Feb 25, 2020 12:07 pm 
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Indeed. :lol:
But with the right variety and providing adequate protection from the cool night temperatures you might get a few. Please keep us updated on this, I know I will be very interested to hear how it goes.

Several times I've considered the Blacktail Mt watermelon variety
https://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetab ... watermelon
But have never wanted to give up that much garden space for an experiment. :thud:

Regarding tomatoes, I personally would not wait until April to start seeds. I generally start them in January or Feb, depending on variety. But I like them to be good size before planting them outside (typically ~June 15th is the earliest). I'm running rather late this year and hope to start mine later this week.

Generally you need to add about 30+ days to the "days to maturity" stated on the tomato seed packets, even growing in an unheated greenhouse.

Early, "cool season" varieties are recommended. Forget about old southern favorites like Brandywine. I don't know anyone up here (above 8,000 ft) that has had any success with them even in a heated greenhouse. Let us know if you want recommendations on varieties that do well up here.

Looking forward to hearing all the details about your gardening experiences this coming season.
Best of luck to you!


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Feb 25, 2020 8:57 pm 
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Thanks for the heads up, I'll start the tomatoes now.


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Mar 2, 2020 11:19 am 
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Well I finally got my tomato seeds planted yesterday.

Better late than never. I like to pamper them indoors until they are at least 12-18 inches before they are transplanted to their final spot for the season. I make sure to pinch off all flowers until in their final spot.

Starting seeds March 1st is fine for the outdoor maters, as they don't get transplanted until mid June (~Father's Day).

But for the greenhouse, I like to transplant my maters mid April (~Easter) but that's only 6 weeks away. So I may not get many maters in July this year, oh well, that's just the way it goes sometimes.

This year, I planted Sungold, Sweet Million and of course Stupice.
Lots of Stupice! Some for me, some for the Community garden pantry plot, some for a neighbor, some for a friend and then extras. You can never have too many Stupice starter plants. :hugegrin:


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Mar 2, 2020 1:30 pm 
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CooknThyme wrote:
Starting seeds March 1st is fine for the outdoor maters, as they don't get transplanted until mid June (~Father's Day).

But for the greenhouse, I like to transplant my maters mid April (~Easter) but that's only 6 weeks away. So I may not get many maters in July this year, oh well, that's just the way it goes sometimes.


Thanks for distinguishing seeding times for outdoor growing versus green house. On many of the facebooks groups I follow, folks were already planting tomatoes and peppers in January, I am assuming for moving into heated greenhouses. This becomes very confusing to the folks who do not have green houses.


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Mar 2, 2020 2:19 pm 
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Yes it can be confusing, especially to the new gardeners.

When to start tomato seeds (or any seeds for that matter) has so many variables to consider. The two key factors for me are, 1) at what stage of growth is best for transplanting and 2) when can I transplant to its final location for the season. Every vegetable is different.

Typically the best stage of development for transplanting a tomato to its final spot is just before the flowers start to form. If you need/want to transplant later, be sure to keep removing any forming flowers.

I sometimes start my tomatoes in January if they are going to the greenhouse and I want to get a really early harvest (so they can finish up and be pulled out by late August to prep and start a winter garden). But I don't garden year round anymore, so that's no longer an issue for me.

The determining factor for me now, is how many weeks do I want to provide heat in the greenhouse. Heating a greenhouse can get expensive depending on the greenhouse design, type of heating system and of course the weather. Mid April is the earliest for me now, as by then the heater is generally only needed at night.

In order for tomatoes to set fruit, most varieties have to remain between 55 & 85 degrees AT ALL TIMES once the flowers start to form. So once the plants go into the greenhouse, I put a temp control heater in there to kick on if temps drop. I generally leave the heater in the greenhouse through end of May (but last year, it was until the end of June :( ).

Everyone's circumstances are different. So for those new to gardening up here, it may take a couple of years to develop an appropriate seed starting schedule for your situation.


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Gardening
Post Posted: Mar 5, 2020 6:55 pm 
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Well, you sucked me in. Between the thread and the nicer weather this week I'm starting up the gardening. Today I harvested a tray of worm castings that I've been putting off due to the cold weather (I do that outside because of the mess). i also started pulling out the seeds that I preserved from last season as well as some new seeds I got in the mail a week or so ago (Stupice and Sakura tomatoes). Tomorrow I'll start some seeds under the lights in the basement.

Hope we have a better summer than last year!


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