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the 2009 growing season


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#1 mongo_jones

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 03:36 AM

i cleared a fresh patch of ground for this year's tomatoes. as you may not recall from last year's saga, the spot i had the plants in last summer was not optimal in terms of sunlight--they got just about 5 hours of barely direct sun a day. this spot has no trees in front of it in the southern direction, and gets non-stop sun all day long. and it's a much larger area. i cleared about a third of it this evening, and that should be enough for 6-7 plants (which i'll probably go get on friday). tomorrow i will clean the area up a little more, add compost and mix it all in. last year's spot will become a larger herb garden this year. and speaking of herbs, my sage plant from last year is coming back.

i'm thinking i'll clear the rest of the new spot in the coming weeks, add some compost to it as well, and cover it with plastic sheeting, and leave it aside for next year's tomato crop. unless, that is, anyone has suggestions for other easy veg i could grow.

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#2 flyfish

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 10:54 AM

QUOTE(mongo_jones @ May 13 2009, 11:36 PM) View Post
i cleared a fresh patch of ground for this year's tomatoes. as you may not recall from last year's saga, the spot i had the plants in last summer was not optimal in terms of sunlight--they got just about 5 hours of barely direct sun a day. this spot has no trees in front of it in the southern direction, and gets non-stop sun all day long. and it's a much larger area. i cleared about a third of it this evening, and that should be enough for 6-7 plants (which i'll probably go get on friday). tomorrow i will clean the area up a little more, add compost and mix it all in. last year's spot will become a larger herb garden this year. and speaking of herbs, my sage plant from last year is coming back.

i'm thinking i'll clear the rest of the new spot in the coming weeks, add some compost to it as well, and cover it with plastic sheeting, and leave it aside for next year's tomato crop. unless, that is, anyone has suggestions for other easy veg i could grow.

If you can get it, cover the tomato bed with red mulch before planting. It really does help.

Grow peas and beans in the other patch. They act like green fertilizer, adding nutrients back into the soil.
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#3 Rail Paul

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 11:40 AM

Peas and green beans are wonderful soil conditioners, and they can be planted alongside tomatoes and beans. They grow quickly, and pair well with the tomatoes, etc.

My tomatoes have now been planted, and my tomatillos and peppers should go in later today. The basil, lettuce, rosemary, thyme, spinach, oregano, and sage will be container grown this year. We have a great, long, south facing window box that's just the right size to accommodate gallon size containers.

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#4 mongo_jones

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 05:20 PM

quick advice needed: i was going to buy my tomatoes today and put them in the ground. however, as per the forecast, the minimum temperature tomorrow will be as low as 37. is that low enough for a danger of frost? should i wait till sunday to plant? minimums starting on sunday will be in the 50s.

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#5 GG Mora

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 05:37 PM

QUOTE(mongo_jones @ May 15 2009, 01:20 PM) View Post
quick advice needed: i was going to buy my tomatoes today and put them in the ground. however, as per the forecast, the minimum temperature tomorrow will be as low as 37. is that low enough for a danger of frost? should i wait till sunday to plant? minimums starting on sunday will be in the 50s.

I'd wait a few weeks yet, until the soil has had a chance to warm up. Even if there's no frost, there's no benefit sticking them in cold dirt. And cold temperatures may inhibit flowering later on.

#6 fentona

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 05:37 PM

I'm pretty sure that the ground temperature has to be freezing in order for there to be frost. If the air temperature is dropping to 37, it seems impossible that the ground will be that cold.'

edited to add: but GG Mora seems to actually have some real knowledge on the subject. don't listen to me!
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#7 Stone

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 05:40 PM

Remember to do the Indian trick of putting decomposed kitten bodies in the soil.

And she was.


#8 mongo_jones

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 05:57 PM

QUOTE(GG Mora @ May 15 2009, 12:37 PM) View Post
QUOTE(mongo_jones @ May 15 2009, 01:20 PM) View Post
quick advice needed: i was going to buy my tomatoes today and put them in the ground. however, as per the forecast, the minimum temperature tomorrow will be as low as 37. is that low enough for a danger of frost? should i wait till sunday to plant? minimums starting on sunday will be in the 50s.

I'd wait a few weeks yet, until the soil has had a chance to warm up. Even if there's no frost, there's no benefit sticking them in cold dirt. And cold temperatures may inhibit flowering later on.


it's actually been warm for some weeks now--tomorrow's low is an aberration.

fentona, my understanding is that published max/min temperatures are actually not at soil level, where it can be a few degrees colder. so apparently even if the published minimum temp is above 32, it can get to frost point at soil level.

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#9 GG Mora

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 06:41 PM

From one of a gazillion gardening sites:
QUOTE
Tomatoes crave warm weather and should have eight or more hours of sun a day. They are sensitive to cold temperatures. The average nighttime air temperature should be 55 degrees F or more and the soil temperature should be at least 55 degrees F to 60 degrees F. If you expect lower temperatures, be sure to cover your tomato plants. Tomatoes also need plenty of consistent watering and nitrogen.

I've learned that there's no benefit to planting tomatoes (or peppers or eggplant) early. If you can rely on consistently warm temperatures, go for it. Otherwise, your tomatoes will just sit there and do nothing until the weather warms up.

#10 Stone

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 02:42 PM

When the daffodil flowers are gone, is there any reason not to cut away the long green "leaves" that just flop around and look messy?

And she was.


#11 Rail Paul

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 03:22 PM

QUOTE(GG Mora @ May 15 2009, 02:41 PM) View Post
From one of a gazillion gardening sites:
QUOTE
Tomatoes crave warm weather and should have eight or more hours of sun a day. They are sensitive to cold temperatures. The average nighttime air temperature should be 55 degrees F or more and the soil temperature should be at least 55 degrees F to 60 degrees F. If you expect lower temperatures, be sure to cover your tomato plants. Tomatoes also need plenty of consistent watering and nitrogen.

I've learned that there's no benefit to planting tomatoes (or peppers or eggplant) early. If you can rely on consistently warm temperatures, go for it. Otherwise, your tomatoes will just sit there and do nothing until the weather warms up.


Yes. Tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos do not like cold feet.

I generally "plant" a few bricks, leaving about four inches above ground. And, put black plastic sheeting strips on the intended planting area. After a few weeks, the ground is warm and ready to take tomatoes, peppers, etc transplanted from one gallon (10" across, 10" deep) pots. I usually plant in mud, stirring up the loose soil in the bottom of the hole to create a slurry. The seedling goes into that, which seems to provide a good, firm rooting .

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#12 GG Mora

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 03:29 PM

QUOTE(Stone @ May 16 2009, 10:42 AM) View Post
When the daffodil flowers are gone, is there any reason not to cut away the long green "leaves" that just flop around and look messy?

Yes. The leaves keep growing to nourish the bulb, so it has food to make pretty flowers next year. Same with lilies and tulips. If you're really bothered by the mess, gather the leaves in a bundle and knot them around on themselves (loosely, though).

#13 GalPalJoan

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE(GG Mora @ May 16 2009, 08:29 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Stone @ May 16 2009, 10:42 AM) View Post
When the daffodil flowers are gone, is there any reason not to cut away the long green "leaves" that just flop around and look messy?

Yes. The leaves keep growing to nourish the bulb, so it has food to make pretty flowers next year. Same with lilies and tulips. If you're really bothered by the mess, gather the leaves in a bundle and knot them around on themselves (loosely, though).



Is it the same with tulips? You just solved a mystery for me with the daffodils. There's still hope for the tulips.
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#14 splinky

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 03:51 PM

i just realized i had a bag full of bulbs that i never used. mostly narcissus, i think. is it too late to force them in a bowl indoors?

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#15 fantasty

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 12:36 AM

We have strawberries!


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