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  • Gardners - when do you start your sping plantings?

    DH & I are avid gardeners - this year we decided to do something a bit different for our spring crops - we planted them back at the end of October (we live in No. VA) - they sprouted by mid Nov- and then went dormant... now that things are getting close to feb 1st I'm starting to look fwd to my early spring greens (already starting to come back to life), spinach (which just has hung around at the baby-baby spinach stage), our Brussels sprouts, and Kale!

    I hoping for our first harvest by 1 April!

    I'm also thinking of starting our toms (which haven't done well for the past couple of years) earlier this year in our basement next to the heater and leaving the florescent lights on to start their growth...

    WE buy our seeds from seeds of change. I'm thinking of buying some starter pepper plants and eggplants this year - since we never have any luck with either of them (I think it's the soil - so I may put these in pots!) Our potato yields have been amazing...And I'm going to throw some sweet potatoes into the ground come march to see what we get!

    Anybody else tool around in their back yard growing good things?
    The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose. ~ Ayn Rand
    What's your purpose? Mine is Optimal Health.

    Converted to PB November 2010
    SW 190lb
    Leptin Reset Redux (1Sep 2011) SW 170lbs
    25 Sep 2011 160lbs
    1 Dec 2011 158lbs!
    GW ~135lbs
    5'3"
    Mother of 2, and wife to a kick ass husband...trying to contain chaos and havoc on a daily basis

    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread40609.html

  • #2
    I start all mine from starter plants. I have a friend who is becoming a master gardener and he says it is always worth the money to get starter plants. One it take as much time and is obviously easier and you are ahead of the game when you plant them because they are usually a little further along when you plant them.

    Also, I just don't have a spot in my house where I could do seeds. My son would be all over it. =) But as far as when to start your seeds it really depends on when your last frost is in VA. And I can't help you there but your library would be a great resource. I have found many books about gardening in my specific region and it lays everything out for you.
    Family Living Simple blog

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    • #3
      I'm still in "demolish the playground" mode as prep for my first vegetable garden. I'm going to use the square foot gardening model so I don't have to dig through our rock-hard clay.

      Around here (Seattle area) the advice seems to be to start planting around Mother's Day. Just as well it's a ways off--I have lots more demolishing and then some building to do.
      Liz.

      Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
      Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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      • #4
        I just finished spreading about 50,000 lbs of composted horse poo on about 1/2 acre of garden, tilling it in, and creating my bed for spring planting.

        @Shijin13: Starting peppers and eggplants from seeds - These seeds expectly slightly warmer temps than tom's in order to germinate so one trick you can try is to put a heating pad on low underneath your seed tray until you seed germination. re: sweetpotatoes - Soak the sweet potatoes in water in mid-late March and stick a few in the ground. These will generate about 20-30 "Slips" which can be broken off of the potato and planted in rows about 18 inches apart within a row. These slips usually have a few roots already attached and will thrive as long as they get decent water for the first couple of weeks.

        @lizch - Great plan. Digging through clay is no fun at all....

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        • #5
          Hey "Soil To Sustenance"....awesome blog. I've just subscribed to it because I think you could be a useful source of wisdom.

          I'm also adding chickens. Given the hesitancy of my husband about even those chickens, I suspect a dairy cow is unlikely any time soon
          Last edited by lizch; 01-26-2011, 05:24 PM.
          Liz.

          Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
          Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the kind words Liz... As the growing season heats up, I should be posting a good bit more about happenings on the farm.

            Let me know if you have any chicken questions. I am not sure I save very much money in keeping them; however I do have a lot more control over their diet.

            ...Tim

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            • #7
              Agree about the horse poo, also compost kitchen garbage. Small (3' x 3') spot at the edge of my flower bed.

              Started toms and peppers already. Sunny spot by the backdoor of the garage. I garden in large pots, move stuff around as needed.

              Gardening takes practice; most of the learning curve is overcome by just doing it. Also -- involve the kids at an early age. My parents made gardening part of my life, I did the same for my children; they are now doing the same for my grandiose.

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              • #8
                @SoiltoSustanance
                thanks for the tip about starting peppers/eggplants. It seems we always get stuff in the ground too late (At least over the past 2-3yrs - Kids will wreck havoc on schedules!)

                But this year I'm eager to get out and dig in the dirt on a regular basis. I'm hoping we'll have successful garden this year... I keep telling DH the reason the Toms are doing well is b/c we keep planting them in the same spot -and the soil needs a break with just some cover crops (buckwheat, clover, amanranth) for at least 1 season...he doesn't want to let the ground go fallow...but I think I'm going to win this one this year! If I don't I'm only going to let him fill up the top part of the garden with Kale, and salad greens!
                The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose. ~ Ayn Rand
                What's your purpose? Mine is Optimal Health.

                Converted to PB November 2010
                SW 190lb
                Leptin Reset Redux (1Sep 2011) SW 170lbs
                25 Sep 2011 160lbs
                1 Dec 2011 158lbs!
                GW ~135lbs
                5'3"
                Mother of 2, and wife to a kick ass husband...trying to contain chaos and havoc on a daily basis

                My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread40609.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Soil To Sustenance View Post
                  I just finished spreading about 50,000 lbs of composted horse poo on about 1/2 acre of garden, tilling it in, and creating my bed for spring planting.

                  @Shijin13: Starting peppers and eggplants from seeds - These seeds expectly slightly warmer temps than tom's in order to germinate so one trick you can try is to put a heating pad on low underneath your seed tray until you seed germination. re: sweetpotatoes - Soak the sweet potatoes in water in mid-late March and stick a few in the ground. These will generate about 20-30 "Slips" which can be broken off of the potato and planted in rows about 18 inches apart within a row. These slips usually have a few roots already attached and will thrive as long as they get decent water for the first couple of weeks.

                  @lizch - Great plan. Digging through clay is no fun at all....
                  Oh,oh on the horse poo! Horses do no completely digest weed seeds and even when the manure is composted you will get massive amounts of weeds. Cow manure is much better in this regard.

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                  • #10
                    Adrianag,

                    I agree that the cow poo is generally better; however the horse poo was free for the hauling, the pasture the horses were eating from was free from weeds at the seed stage, and finally, for my compost pile, I built a 6 foot high x 30 foot long windrow and turned it several times which generated significant heat (like 160 degrees). Hopefully I will not get a huge crop of weeds

                    ...Tim

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                    • #11
                      Oh, good catch, Adrianag. My horse-training friends raise champion quarter horses, and feed coastal hay/grass only. I forgot that less persnickety horse owners are likely to let their stock graze on weedier stuff, and you're right, that can introduce weeds into your garden. Although, for nice, rich soil, I think I'd still go with weed-filled horse manure than no compost at all.

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                      • #12
                        Haha! You can't put anything in the ground around here until May for peas and broccoli or June for things like tomotoes. It is funny because I thought of gardening this last weekend when I woke up to -35F with the wind.
                        Don't be a paleotard...

                        http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...oxidation.html

                        http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...torage-qa.html

                        http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...rn-fat-qa.html

                        http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...-you-need.html

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Soil To Sustenance View Post
                          Let me know if you have any chicken questions. I am not sure I save very much money in keeping them; however I do have a lot more control over their diet.

                          ...Tim
                          Yes, I'm hearing quite consistently that it's not financially worthwhile to have chickens. The thing that persuaded me to do it was the joy of "harvesting" the eggs from my neighbor's chickens while they (the neighbors, not the chickens!) were away at Christmas. Over a two week period, we got to take warm eggs from the nests and eat a few right away (though at one point, I had 60 eggs in the fridge--I'm definitely not keeping 12 chickens!). Makes those stacks of cold eggs in the grocery store feel soulless.

                          Will definitely be asking you some questions!

                          Interesting to see you have a software background. My husband and I are ex-Microsoft. He still works in the software industry, but I work in the birth industry now instead (though use my software skills to develop tools for midwives, so it's not all lost.) It always fascinates me to see what the software-industry retirees move on to!
                          Liz.

                          Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                          Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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                          • #14
                            @Liz - Sorry if I sounded negative regarding the finacial value of chickens. I would strongly encourage people to keep a few laying hens (but not as a way to save $$$). I have twin 8 year old boys and I love every opportunity I can find to teach them where real food comes from. re: fresh eggs vs. supermarket - nothing beats fresh eggs. Sometimes those supermarket eggs are a month or two old when you buy them (and they are definitely souless).

                            re: software background - I will send you a pm shortly.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Soil To Sustenance View Post
                              @Liz - Sorry if I sounded negative regarding the finacial value of chickens. I would strongly encourage people to keep a few laying hens (but not as a way to save $$$). I have twin 8 year old boys and I love every opportunity I can find to teach them where real food comes from. re: fresh eggs vs. supermarket - nothing beats fresh eggs. Sometimes those supermarket eggs are a month or two old when you buy them (and they are definitely souless).

                              re: software background - I will send you a pm shortly.
                              Oh, no need to apologize...didn't take it as sounding negative, just sounding realistic!
                              Liz.

                              Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                              Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

                              Comment

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