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I started working in two more raised beds tonight for my wife. We are gradually replacing the traditional in ground with 25’ long 2’ wide raised beds. We are on a little bit of a slope, so I have to scrap 4-5” off the high side to make the raised beds level.

Gardening is a little new to us, and this was the first year we tried a cover crop over winter, winter wheat. It’s amazing how much nicer the dirt is in the roots of the wheat as opposed to what it would be like without the wheat. It’s heavy clay that soil and last year was our first year. We’ve been trying to get lots of carbon incorporated to break down the clay. Believe it or not, this is worlds better than it was.




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I'm starting a bunch of vegetable seeds tonight, tomatoes and peppers mostly. These will be for planting in western Mass., zone 5, so I think I've got enough time to get some decent growth going. I'm a Johnny's fan too but like many others I've ended up getting a lot of stuff from Burpee and other houses this year.

I have a world of work ahead of me if all goes well. I'm a country boy who turned 18 and became a city boy and 25-ish years later I'm becoming a country boy again, at least part-time. If all goes well I'm closing on 3 acres in early April and there's a lot of work to be done to make it ready for plants. First order of business might be to put up a small tunnel or greenhouse so I can get the seedlings going outside. Then I either have to build beds or clear and improve the ground. Lots to do but after the past year indoors in the middle of the city doing office work from home the prospect of many hours of hard labor outside is something to be welcomed.

The other big twist for me is that its been a long time since I had a garden on the ground. I've been growing in containers on a roof deck, 14 floors off the ground. Great sun and no furry critters to worry about. I've done really well with cucumbers and tomatoes and have kept the tomatoes going into October most years.

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Amazingly enough I do get insects though, good and bad. Lots of bees but also the occasional cucumber beetle or hornworm. Overall though it's a pretty sterile growing environment. I've already looked at some of the deer/critter fencing options out there in anticipation. This past year I planted some spinach, lettuce, and kohlrabi that I swapped in late September and all of it stayed green into January despite no covering of any kind.

New patch looks a little different but still has good southern exposure. What I really want to do is get some fruit trees and maybe even some grape vines in there.

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First strawberry grown in the hydroponic garden is just about ready to pick.

778285

and I just transplanted the first tomato plant to its new home in the five gallon bucket.
Cucumber plant should be ready to move next week.
Trellising those in the dining room will probably get interesting.
Lettuce and spinach is doing quite well and we now have enough to add to dinner a couple of times a week.
 

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Planted peas and potatoes and lettuce and radish. Will plant a tad more lettuce every week until it ceases to come up. Heat stops it.

Had get pretty much what seeds I need and sweet potato slips at Southern States. I just pick up some late leggy toms wherever and lay them down or bury them deeply. Only do a couple beefsteak and a couple cherry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Just got notified that Gurneys doesnt have the blackberries we ordered back in January. What a joke.
 

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Yes, I got the itch too. I am performing a germination test on the seeds I saved from last year. Waiting for those babies to pop and I will be relieved! Generally my seed is bought, and tractor is ready. This weekend I am going to begin getting the rototill and planter ready. They should be good, but just a final look over. Really the only real gap I have is getting some irrigation supplies (some drip tape, a submain, and valves). I plan on heading to store and gathering those up soon.
 

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I tilled the garden the first weekend in March. Really worked up nice. Had to plant something so we got 4lbs of green onions and planted those. Since then we have had 2.8" of rain and really cool temps. Hope they don't rot in the ground. It's been really windy the last few days so that is helping. Should have known better but ground was in such good shape I had to plant something.............lol
 

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I’m debating on getting some tomatoes and broccoli started in the house. Usually by the end of may the ground is warm enough to transplant here. I went out and checked a few spots in my garden yesterday and it is surprisingly dry. But it’s still too early here in western NY. Although I think we are going to have an early spring here based on my observation during deer season last fall. Early rut early spring. Late rut late spring. Will see if I’m right
 

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My garlic has all popped up and is growing well so far. Way too wet to do any kind tillage. Yesterday I put up the little green house to move the started seedlings from inside to outside and get more started indoors.
 

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I've got the garden tilled as well, have onions, brussel sprouts, red and green bell peppers, and artichokes going so far, tomatoes will be started this weekend. Brussel sprouts are a little leggy, might re-start those. Planting is first or second week of May, can't wait to get all of this in the ground.

779900
 

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This year, I got my five year old son to assist in the germination testing of the seeds I got from last year. You can see his chart in the bottom of the photo below. I had him draw the numbers, and plant each seed. I then wrote what kind of seed it was on his chart. The glow is from a UV light. The cart is covered to limit people looking at the light, thus the weird blanket backdrop.

Planting season is almost among us....here in Ohio, that is.

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That's great getting the kids involved. They will remember that for a lifetime. I went out and checked my green onions tonight after i got home. They are starting to break through the ground. I was afraid they would rot in the ground with all the rain and cold weather we had the last two weeks. If the weather holds after Thursday's rain, I hope to plant potatoes this weekend.
 

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I get so stir crazy seeing and hearing about you guys having stuff actually in the ground; I can't put anything in until at least mid April, and that would only be peas and brassica, everything else has to wait until May, and my peppers need to stay in until June.
 

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Right now, I have two plots. I interchange them as my primary garden every other year. Plot A will be a cover crop and rest. Plot B will be the garden. I am debating on a cover crop, or what mix to use on Plot B. I have about 50 lbs of oats I was going to use left over from last year. I am debating just using it or adding a mix to it (rye or radishes), adding fertilizer, or both. Also when to plow it under this summer.
 
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Same tomato (different bucket) 2 weeks later.
I live in Idaho so this is the only way I can plant this early.
Outside garden does not go in til mid May and even then has to be covered.
 

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The tomato plant looks good!
 
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Our garden is tilled and starter plants ready to go in. Hope to accomplish this sometime this weekend. Good luck all.
 

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And now at 20 days.
781008

Roots are doing very well.
I guess it is time to build a cage for it.

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Cucumber is starting to blossom.
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Even the cucumber roots are doing well. The yellow(ish) roots are from starting it in soil.
The white roots are all new since moving to the hydro bucket.
 

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@TheOtherChris - How many plants do you hydroponically grow? I assume you don't transplant in the ground, correct? Do you change the light spectrum once they flower or begin to fruit?

On a seperate note, I got the roto-till hooked up, greased, and fluids checked. I might be able to prep our apple tree plot (6 trees). I will be deep tilling the soil and mixing in composted wood mulch. Last night I filled the dump trailer with composted mulch, so it's waiting on me. It's not my actual garden, but we're getting close!
 
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