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keith3267
First taste of the garden and planting lore.
keith3267

I was going to hijack dj1's thread about his spring garden, but decided to start a new one instead. The first Asparagus spear came up today, I broke it off and ate it right there in the garden. I actually like raw Asparagus better than cooked, although I will break up a couple of fresh spears and put them on a pizza before putting it in the oven.

My sugar snap peas are sprouting also. This seems to be a difficult area to grow green peas in the spring. They can withstand very cold temperatures and even some frost once they sprout, but they need warm soil temps to sprout. By the time the soil is warm enough, the peas won't mature and produce until the summer heat hits, and then they aren't any good. I have tried a few different ways of starting them indoors and none seem to work very well.

Peat pots keep the soil inside the pot too dry, even when buried below the soil and the roots don't seem to break through the pots very well. The peat pucks are held together with some type of mesh that does not bio-degrade. The don't transplant well from those cell packs. I have had a little success wrapping the seeds in a wet paper towel and setting them on top of the water heater for a day, but my new water heater just doesn't shed off as much heat as the old one, almost none in fact. Plus wet seeds are hard to plant.

This year, when the Forsythias and Daffodils started blooming, I planted the seeds in the bed I prepped last fall. The soil was just barely dry enough to work. The soil temperature was too low for peas to germinate, around 60F, so I covered the bed with a layer of plastic for 3 days. The soil got up to about 85F which I was worried might be too warm. I removed the plastic and now those storms that have plagued the south have hit. Been raining for 4 days now, but it looks like most of the peas have sprouted, yeah.

I have been looking for old folk lore on when to plant. I know the famous dark of the moon bit and I don't believe in astrology. What I have been looking for is stuff like planting peas when the Forsythia blooms and planting corn when the Oak leaves are the size of mouse ears. I believe that nature tells us the best time to plant every year, we just don't seem to listen.

I have hear that you can plant sweet potatoes when the Asparagus comes up, but the spear that came up today was way too early. I don't expect Asparagus to come up until late April or early May. I'll see if more comes up in the next few weeks.

I'll transplant my tomatoes when the apple tree blooms. Apples are never caught by frost, according to legend.

I also have a book on companion planting and will be using it as a guide for laying out my garden. I've already got garlic coming up in the rose bed.

A. Spruce
Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.
A. Spruce
keith3267 wrote:

My sugar snap peas are sprouting also. This seems to be a difficult area to grow green peas in the spring. They can withstand very cold temperatures and even some frost once they sprout, but they need warm soil temps to sprout. By the time the soil is warm enough, the peas won't mature and produce until the summer heat hits, and then they aren't any good. I have tried a few different ways of starting them indoors and none seem to work very well.

Peas don't have much root structure, so they don't need a lot of space, nor do they transplant well, so disturbing once germinated isn't a good thing either. You might try a piece of plastic gutter cut to a manageable length, maybe 4' or 5', fill with soil and plant. Keep the portable beds in a warm place until you can get them outside, then simply set them on the ground next to a trellis. You can even lay a length of drip tub/hose for auto-watering.

keith3267
Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.
keith3267

Putting clear (semi-clear) plastic seems to do the trick so I will probably use that in the future, but I think I will warm up the soil first, then remove the plastic and plant the peas. I will have a drip system for watering. I took a regular 5/8" garden hose and cut it into sections about 6' long. Then I used hose repair kits to put ends on them. My beds are about 6' apart center to center. Then I put a two way Y valve at each junction to which I will add a soaker hose. I have a mechanical timer on the hose so I have to turn it on when the garden needs water, but it shuts itself off so I don't waste water.

I use waterspouts cut from my apple trees to make a pea fence instead of using a trellis. When the peas are done, it all goes into the compost. Much easier than separating old vines from a trellis.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.
Sombreuil_mongrel

I have a nice picture of snow on blooming almonds, and I have seen it snow when the crabapples are in bloom. Here in the Shenandoah valley the weather can be very unkind to the orchards. Most have installed fans; they used to use big smudgepots with chimneys for heat to ward off the frost that so often will ruin a years crop of apples.
Casey

dj1
Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.
dj1

We started to see some growth in the string green beans area, new seedlings are shooting up.

keith3267
Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.
keith3267

We are finally getting a break on the rain. I checked the Apple and Oak trees this morning and nothing, but when my wife and I went for a walk this afternoon, I noticed the Oak trees are leafing out. Things are happening fast this year. I wonder if this is going to be one of those years when it looks like spring is here and then out of nowhere comes a bad winter storm like what happened in 87.

The wasps are really bad this year already.

keith3267
Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.
keith3267

Looks like I erred on those oak leaves, it wasn't the leaves I saw but the things that make the pollen and the acorns. I planted corn that day but now i realize I was at least a week early. Maybe it will still be OK. I held back some seeds so I will plant again when I actually see the leaves.

I transplanted 10 of my artichokes. One just died from shock and two have been eaten by a critter, probably a rabbit. The rest are OK, even got through the surprise freeze we had the other night. Last week, the guy from a nearby nursery told me there would be a freeze this weekend, but I could not find a single weather forecast that showed temps anywhere near freezing. Guess I take him more seriously in the future.

A. Spruce
Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.
A. Spruce
keith3267 wrote:

Last week, the guy from a nearby nursery told me there would be a freeze this weekend, but I could not find a single weather forecast that showed temps anywhere near freezing. Guess I take him more seriously in the future.

Apparently, you're not old enough to have a weather forecasting knee. :p:cool:

dj1
Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.
dj1

Weather forecasting is not a science, it's a joke. Weather reporting is the only profession in the USA where you can be wrong so many times, and keep your job.

Have you seen the weather women on TV? some have nothing to do with weather, but everything to do with sex appeal. In fact, here in Southern California, the networks have an unannounced competition "who will have the most beautiful presenter with the biggest you know what"...lol

keith3267
Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.
keith3267
A. Spruce wrote:

Apparently, you're not old enough to have a weather forecasting knee. :p:cool:

I'm old enough, but I just don't have one.

A. Spruce
Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.
A. Spruce
keith3267 wrote:

I'm old enough, but I just don't have one.

One day, Grasshopper, one day . . . :p:cool:

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