Godless in the garden

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Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 179
Latest Activity: 4 hours ago

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Comment by Don on April 3, 2017 at 6:35am

Grow lights are quite helpful, no doubt, but I have been starting plants successfully without grow lights for more than 30 years.  I have big, sunny windows facing the southeast.  These days I use an inexpensive indoor "greenhouse" that helps hold in moisture and warmth, but for many years I just placed the trays on the window sill, where they do just fine. 

You do have to harden off any started plants with some care outdoors as the transplanting time nears. I place my trays on a Garden Way carts that I can move into shelter overnight and when it rains. 

It is a little late now to start plants.  I garden in northern Vermont, where I still have three feet of snow on the garden.  I plant my squash, tomatoes, leeks, basil and so on generally in mid-March.

Comment by Idaho Spud on April 2, 2017 at 12:49pm

I don't have the greenest thumb here so anyone else feel free to correct me or make additions to my advice.

Thomas, once your plants start to show, you need growing lights to give them a healthy start.  Fluorescent lights work fine.  Keep them as close to the top of the plants as practical to give them enough light.  

Before you transplant them outside, they should be acclimatized to the outdoors over several days to get them used to more light and wind.  At first put the containers outdoors in sheltered locations for several hours. Every day, put them outside in locations that have more sun, and for longer periods.

You can get them used to the wind indoors by using a fan if it's practical.

Comment by Thomas Murray on April 2, 2017 at 12:03pm

 Green Thumbers,

I can't find the answers to my questions on line or in gardening books so I'll ask here.

Is it necessary to have growing lights to start seeds?

I've checked the prices for some growing lights and they are expensive, or can I use regular florescence lights?

I am starting seeds indoors and then transplant them outside.

Comment by Idaho Spud on April 2, 2017 at 7:43am

I'll look for asparagus when I go out today.  I may get some big enough to eat this year.

Comment by Randall Smith on April 2, 2017 at 7:27am

I discovered my first aspargus shoot yesterday!  And, as I write this, I'm seeing a wild turkey strolling across my lawn!!! Never before have I seen this! Surprise, especially since my closest woods is a half mile away. Wow.

Daniel, don't overdo it. (I'm one to talk.) The thought that keeps popping up is, when I die, it won't really matter--whatever "it" may be. Yesterday, I drove my truck down the road about a mile and dug up some perennials (daffodils, etc.) from a vacant lot (house burned down years ago).

Comment by Randall Smith on April 1, 2017 at 7:25am

We've had a lot of rain recently, and another 2" is predicted for next week. That puts the garden "on hold". I like to get lettuce, radishes, and peas out the first week in April. Won't happen.

My lawn tractor wouldn't start. I discovered the positive connection on the battery post was badly corroded. When I attempted to clean it, the wires fell off. I had to buy a new loop connector. I needed only one, but they come in packages of 17! Three bucks. What am I going to do with the other 16? Crazy.

But, after a couple of hours of work and a scraped bloody knuckle, I got it to work. And the yard is rolled--not recommended, but I do it anyway. Otherwise, I'm jolted to pieces when I mow. Ah, Springtime.

Comment by Randall Smith on March 28, 2017 at 7:20am

After a year of no chickens, my SIL just bought some pullets. Finally, I'll have farm fresh eggs. I've missed them.

Weeded my strawberry patch yest. What a mess.

Comment by Idaho Spud on March 27, 2017 at 5:26pm

Cute chickies.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 25, 2017 at 4:33pm

Kathy, some people use weeds as a sign of poor or good soil. I have not developed the sensitivity to weeds to be able to make the distinction. 

If I remember correctly, Daniel wrote of that several years ago. Maybe he remembers how to distinguish soil quality through weeds.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 25, 2017 at 4:30pm

Kathy, Where you find black soil, it probably had farmers working it for centuries. On a family plot in North Idaho we found the homestead of an ancestor and we could pretty much trace it out because of the changes in the soil quality. He grew vegetables for the miners and the loggers of that part of Idaho. He built a huge barn where he kept his draft horses and cattle on the main dirt floor with big barn doors built as his ancestors in Germany built theirs. He built his home on top of the barn, or the 2nd floor. The warmth of the livestock helped them keep warm upstairs and he didn't have to haul so much wood upstairs. On the side of the barn where he stores his hay, they dug a well that still works. on the opposite side of the barn, where the livestock lived, he dug an outhouse. So, both well and toilet were under cover from the weather. 

When we drove into the tiny town of Emida, Idaho, we stopped at the tavern to find out where the Middleton farm was located. They gave us exact directions. The barn is somewhat of a showplace for Northern Idaho. 

 

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