Clippings by purple1701

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saved seeds to be grown (my 1st time)

posted by: purple1701 on 03.20.2014 at 05:43 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

My kids had a blast helping with the garden last year, and one of their favorite parts was sprouting seeds in baggies. We had a prolific crop of cherry tomatoes, a ton of ginormous beefsteaks, and 2 kinds of roma-type plants, one of which was a hybrid. The hybrid *sucked* and the other one was awesome. Guess which one of the 4 I did not keep seeds from!

This year, I plan to split the 3 varieties so that half of the seeds are started in baggies and half are in a starter kit of some sort with a seed starter mix.

I first want to reaffirm a couple things to make sure I'm on the right track:

1. Once the seeds in baggies have sprouted, they should be immediately placed in the starter mix correct?

2. I don't have a heat pad that I can safely leave on while I'm not home, but we do have old style radiators. The one in the living room has a wooden plank across it almost like a bench. Would this work as a heat source?

3. I will be using some standard fluorescent bulbs on them once they emerge (sprout?), but as soon as I can I would like to start setting them out on the porch or in the backyard before I leave for work in the morning. What is the minimum temp at which this is acceptable and feasible not to absolutely kill the plants? They should be about 4 weeks old by this time. I'm more interested in creating hardy, sturdy plants than super-producers. In my mind I see this like the human immune system being strengthened by exposure to germs and such. (So I WON'T be using Miracle-Gro). The main reason for this is that I don't think the light I have will be sufficient for them once they start to really grow, and I don't have any windows that get decent sunlight.

4. Lastly, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will have to use a seed starter mix (I'm a cheapskate and hate spending money if I can DIY it for less or free!) but when it's time to pot them up, (that's the middle stage before they get transplanted out right?) couldn't I then use some of the well amended dirt from my garden? Like not all of it, but maybe mixed with the leftover starter mix if I have some left? Or even bagged garden soil from a store instead of 100% soil-less mix?

Thanks!!
Heather

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clipped on: 03.20.2014 at 05:43 pm    last updated on: 03.20.2014 at 05:43 pm

Is peat moss necessary 2nd time around?

posted by: purple1701 on 03.20.2014 at 04:51 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

So I'll begin this post/inquiry with the obligatory "yes I've searched but I didn't find an answer to this specifically"

My question is: do I need to till peat moss in again this year?

The garden area is about 4'x24'. Last year, we did the following prep work: in the fall (of '12 that is) we tilled in about 6 large garbage bags of leaves. In the spring (of '13) we bought 7.6 cb ft of peat moss, and tilled that in. My hubby went pretty deep with the rototiller both times, about 4-5' I think. There were some fireplace ashes, and a bit of organic matter thrown in as well as well. The soil was a bit clay-ish to begin, but after those amendments it seemed pretty good. I did some ph testing and that seemed okay as well.

My tomatoes did extremely well, peas, green beans and lettuce all thrived too. Kohlrabi, beets and potatoes languished and basically I got nothing from any of them, although I think this was due to a combination of design error, poor planning and a lack of expertise on my part more than the soil quality.

I have read that peat moss takes years to decompose, so this would seem to indicate that I won't need it this year, is that accurate?

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clipped on: 03.20.2014 at 04:51 pm    last updated on: 03.20.2014 at 05:32 pm

Dill companion planting?

posted by: purple1701 on 05.01.2013 at 05:57 pm in Companion Plants Forum

First, an overview: My garden is a 4’x24’ strip, running east and west, with a fence on the north face. I have 3 a-frames, each made from 2 pallets. The first one will have beans on one side, then tomatoes and peppers on the other. The middle one will have tomatoes and peppers on each side. The 3rd one will have tomatoes only on one side, and peas on the other. The 2nd and 3rd a-frames have lettuce planters made from rain gutters under them. The first a-frame has kohlrabi (in the ground) under it . The 3rd one has iceberg lettuce, kohlrabi and beets (in the ground) under it. The first 2 also have 3 potato plants each, but this is more experimental, I don’t expect them to do superbly well. I have a separate potato patch at the end of the first one, next to the beans at the west end. I already have marigolds, daisies, lavender, and some basil planted sporadically, as well as a perimeter of onions around the whole thing.

My companion questions are as follows: I have a ton of culinary herb seeds I’d like to try planting (dill, coriander, mustard and caraway). I’ve read that dill in particular is good for root veggies, and so might be good by the kohlrabi and/or beets, but that it also attracts hornworms which would then find my tomatoes growing just over them.

Can someone weigh in on the potential validity of this and whether it may be an issue or not?

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clipped on: 05.01.2013 at 05:57 pm    last updated on: 05.01.2013 at 05:57 pm

Second guessing watering??

posted by: purple1701 on 04.30.2013 at 05:06 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

First time gardener here. I've read a whole bunch about watering needs, I know that while the "one inch a week" is an approximate some plants may need more, especially in hot weather. I even made a list of which plants I have and what they will need, and did some (or plan to do) companion planting based on hydration needs.

Week before last we had torrential downpours to tune of over 4 inches, and then last week we got a little over 1/2 an inch, but temperatures did not even hit 70. I did some watering on Sunday, but haven't yet determined the gallons per minute on my hose to do so accurately.

Now, hubby has me questioning whether or not to water more. It was almost 80 yesterday, over 80 today and will be tomorrow, and then going to get more rain and lots of it, for the rest of the week.

The ground does look a bit dry on top, and even cracked in some places, and I haven't had a chance to check deeper down to see if it's still moist.

For reference, what I have in the ground so far is:
kennebec potatoes
onions (white bulbs/sets)

seeds planted in ground:
peas (don't know what kind)
kohlrabi (early white vienna)
iceberg lettuce
loose leaf lettuce blend (burpee heat wave or something like that I think?)
beets (detroit red I think)

seeds sprouted in baggies then put in ground:
basil
marigolds (crackerjack mix and petites)
lavender
shasta daisies

Any advice would be appreciated. Even if it's just to point me to a resource that would be fine. There's lots of general info but this is pretty specific...

If there is a better forum to ask in, I'm happy to go there. FYI my local extension wasn't very helpful either lol.

This post was edited by purple1701 on Tue, Apr 30, 13 at 17:14

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clipped on: 04.30.2013 at 05:21 pm    last updated on: 04.30.2013 at 05:21 pm

Slightly informed questions about grocery store beans

posted by: purple1701 on 04.24.2013 at 04:33 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I’ve read up a bit on this topic already, but have some unanswered questions. It seems like the things that may be the most obvious to expert gardeners are rarely mentioned and thus that knowledge is hard for beginners to find.

I plan to plant some beans I purchased from the grocery store to eat (we eat a lot of beans as a cheap substitute for protein since corn-fed meet is an expensive commodity lately). I have black beans and pinto beans. I plan to pre-sprout them so that I only plant the ones that are definitely viable, because I’ll eat them if they’re not LOL, and am hoping to get them in the ground sooner than later, since I have no idea exactly what variety these are, how long it will take them to mature and put out fruit, etc. I do know that they are most likely bush beans, but I do plan on giving them some support if necessary. I have well-amended soil, and plentiful sun in the area they will be grown.

My questions are:

1. If I am planting one 4-ft row, would 4 plants be too many for that space? The only thing around them will most likely be some strawberries, onions, and herbs. Oh wait I can’t put onions by the beans, so scratch that (Companion planting). For what it’s worth, I do realize I may not get very many beans, this is more to placate the DH since he doesn’t seem to believe that the time and effort to harvest them may far outweigh the relatively cheap cost at which they can be purchased and low output of bean plants.
2. Since there is a chance that they may be slightly more vine-y than bush-y, is there also a chance that I might be able to clone them?
3. If I pick off pods at some point, will this at all encourage them to grow more? Say for example, if I pick them off to dry them myself, as opposed to waiting for them to dry on the vine? Can you even do that?
4. I understand that they might not set pod once temps reach 80 and above. Being in Chicago, that means potentially by mid-June, but more likely July and August. If they have not set pods by then, will they never set pods, or will they simply set pods later in the season after it cools off again?
5. If they do set pods before the temperature gets too high, and I harvest them, will they again set pods once the weather cools again?
6. I have read in many places that you are actually supposed to wait for the plant to DIE before harvesting the beans. How accurate/efficient is this?
7. Lastly, again being in Chicago, we tend to have a very wet fall season. I understand this can complicate the drying process, so what would the recommendation be as far as harvesting the beans before they might be completely dry on the vine, but before the weather gets too wet? I guess this might be answered by other questions, but if not, would be helpful to know as well.

Thanks in advance to anyone who reads this, and I appreciate your feedback!

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clipped on: 04.24.2013 at 05:10 pm    last updated on: 04.24.2013 at 05:10 pm

Pictures of successful baggie seed sprouts?

posted by: purple1701 on 04.22.2013 at 05:35 pm in Herbs Forum

Hi there!

I did post this in the seed propogation area as well, but seeing as these are mostly herbs and flowers (lavender, daisies, marigolds, basil and parsley) I'm hoping someone here might have specific answers :-)

Yesterday I put a variety of seeds into baggies with the wet paper towel method (well I'm using napkins, but anyway).

I am unsure as to exactly when I should put them into the soil? FYI - I am on a very limited budget and so I do not have many of the things that people may say is "necessary" like potting mix, peat pellets, or whatnot. I have dirt from my garden (which does happen to be very well-amended with a good ph)and some empty egg cartons. I also have a nice uv lamp under which I plan to put them once they have morphed from sprout to seedling.

What I would really like to know though, is does anyone have pictures of what the seed/sprout should look like in order for me to know when to remove them from the baggie?

That would be most helpful. Thanks much!

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clipped on: 04.22.2013 at 05:36 pm    last updated on: 04.22.2013 at 05:38 pm

Pictures of successful baggie seed sprouts?

posted by: purple1701 on 04.22.2013 at 04:36 pm in Growing from Seed Forum

Hi there!

Yesterday I put a variety of seeds into baggies with the wet paper towel method (well I'm using napkins, but anyway).

I am unsure as to exactly when I should put them into the soil? FYI - I am on a very limited budget and so I do not have many of the things that people may say is "necessary" like potting mix, peat pellets, or whatnot. I have dirt from my garden (which does happen to be very well-amended with a good ph)and some empty egg cartons. I also have a nice uv lamp under which I plan to put them once they have morphed from sprout to seedling.

What I would really like to know though, is does anyone have pictures of what the seed/sprout should look like in order for me to know when to remove them from the baggie?

That would be most helpful. Thanks much!

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clipped on: 04.22.2013 at 04:37 pm    last updated on: 04.22.2013 at 05:05 pm

Do my tomato A-frames need to be disinfected?

posted by: purple1701 on 04.15.2013 at 05:56 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

My wonderful hubby built these out of pallets we "recovered" from a friend's work parking lot. Main motivations - they were free, and we are going to have some beefsteaks as well as other types of tomatoes and some bell peppers, and I've read/heard horror stories of wire cages not holding up to the weight of a fully loaded tomato plant. On to the question: is there something I should do (or should have already done??) to make sure that my plants, once they start climbing Mt Palletness, don't contract urban-back-alley-itis or whatever, if they get a scratch from one of the rough boards?

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clipped on: 04.22.2013 at 04:37 pm    last updated on: 04.22.2013 at 04:38 pm

Early Girls

posted by: CaraRose on 04.16.2013 at 12:36 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Hard to tell cause of the angle, but they're probably 1 1/2 feet high and close to a foot wide with the leaves.

Since this shot they've been repotted to a larger nursery pot and moved to a new shelf by themselves. I planted them deep in the new pots.They're now dwarfed by my super sweets too, which also are huge. I guess I did good on the lights, cause these guys are nice and wide and not leggy.

I'm going to have to start hardening them off soon, then am thinking of keeping them in containers outside and moving them in if it looks like it's going to be too cold.

I fully expected I'd kill them starting from seed the first time. I have three of each variety (super sweet, early girl, big beef, and brandywine) I wanted one of. I think I'm going to be giving tomato plants free to a good home once I'm sure I have the four plants I want.

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clipped on: 04.22.2013 at 11:00 am    last updated on: 04.22.2013 at 11:00 am

best tomatoes for cloning?

posted by: purple1701 on 04.16.2013 at 05:17 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Sorry if this is out there already... I've read quite a few posts about cloning and several posters have mentioned that some varieties take to it better, but as far as I can tell no one has said which do and which don't.

Anyone care to tell me about varieties that did really well with cloning, vs others that did not?

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clipped on: 04.22.2013 at 10:43 am    last updated on: 04.22.2013 at 10:43 am

your best (and worst!) cheap, thrify, and diy garden tips?

posted by: purple1701 on 04.16.2013 at 02:23 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Hello there friendly fellow gardenwebbers!

I am starting my first vegetable garden, inspired by memories of tending one with my mother as a child, as well as a desire for a more healthy diet. I am constrained to a minimal budget, and I would really love to hear everyone's best tips for how they saved money using unexpected, non-traditional garden items, oddball tips, or did things themselves! (ie - more than just things like "start from seed instead of buying plants". That's pretty much common sense, I think?)

Or even, what you thought was a great idea that turned out to be not so much a great idea at all!

I'm hoping to hear lots of great stories :-)

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clipped on: 04.22.2013 at 10:38 am    last updated on: 04.22.2013 at 10:39 am

Too early for potatoes in Chicago?

posted by: purple1701 on 04.12.2013 at 04:46 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Hi there! I'm new, so I apologize if this is a "stupid question"... I'm hoping to do some planting this weekend, and after quite a bit of searching, haven't found an exact answer.

Here in Chicagoland (I'm a few blocks outside of city limits in a near-west suburb) it's been a long-awaited, late, cold spring. In addition to that, it's been raining almost non-stop. Seems like I live in Oregon right now lol. This weekend I was hoping to plant my potatoes. My soil is all amended and ready to go, and daytime temps are finally getting into the 60's, but the nights are still pretty chilly - anywhere from the high 30's to low 40's. It's forecasted to rain a whole bunch next weekend too. I don't have way to test the soil temp, unfortunately. I'm on a very limited budget.

Here's the big catch: I already cut up the seed potatoes a couple days ago, when the forecast for the weekend was showing warm and sunny. The cuts are healed, and I only did this to about half of them, the other half were small with only one or two eyes so I didn't cut them.

SO.... my question is 2-fold: if I plant the potatoes this weekend, will they survive the next 7-10 days of colder nights? If I don't plant them, will I lose all the seed pieces I already cut?

Thanks so much!

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clipped on: 04.12.2013 at 04:47 pm    last updated on: 04.12.2013 at 04:48 pm