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CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swaps

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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby cityhomesteader » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:46 pm

Hey all,
Started Getting my seeds in already!! Man I needed that! I am having Garden withdrawals!!

This years Garden is going to be planted more Intensely if it kills me.. I just read an article in Mother Earth News Feb/Mar 2009 An Amazing and Prolific Urban Homestead

How our family of four has created food and energy self-sufficiency on a fifth of acre.
By Jules Dervaes

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-H ... rvaes.aspx

I have More land than that!! My growing season is a LOT shorter though and I'm finally going to do something about it.
I found a Tube Bender at Home depot
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1 ... ogId=10053

and I will be Making hoop tunnels in my raised beds. And a Hoop House for a winter long harvest of Salad Crops..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kixp6-dsHNg

Just bought the Book By Elliot Colman
The Winter Harvest Handbook
Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses

Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that's taken hold throughout North America. Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with The New Organic Grower published 20 years ago. He continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world-renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine. Now gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.

Building on the techniques that hundreds of thousands of farmers and gardeners adopted from The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest, this new book focuses on growing produce of unparalleled freshness and quality in customized unheated or, in some cases, minimally heated, movable plastic greenhouses.

Coleman offers clear, concise details on greenhouse construction and maintenance, planting schedules, crop management, harvesting practices, and even marketing methods in this complete, meticulous, and illustrated guide. His painstaking research and experimentation with more than 30 different crops will be valuable to small farmers, homesteaders, and experienced home gardeners who seek to expand their production seasons.

A passionate advocate for the revival of small-scale sustainable farming, Coleman provides a practical model for supplying fresh, locally grown produce during the winter season, even in climates where conventional wisdom says it "just can't be done."
http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/books/index.html#handbook
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“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby cityhomesteader » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:49 pm

Just a few of the things that can be grown undercover

* Beets
* Bok choy
* Broccoli - a friend of mine questions whether you can kill this stuff.
* Brussels sprouts - the sprouts get sweeter with a couple nips of frost.
* Cabbage
* Collards
* Endive
* Green onions
* Kale - one of the most cold tolerant of all vegetables. It can survive a mild climate winter, sitting out there in the snow, without any supplemental protection.
* Kohlrabi
* Leeks - a very cold hardy vegetable that you can use instead of onions in many soup and stew recipes.
* Lettuce
* Onions - some varieties are designed to over-winter underground.
* Peas
* Radishes
* Rutabaga - typically stores well if left right in the ground.
* Spinach
* Swiss chard
* Turnips
Cityhomesteader
16 This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby birdgirl+1 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:00 pm

City, your last post is great! I've looked at the web site of those folks who have the small plot and are producing most of their own things and found it to be really fascinating. I looked up the Coleman books and found he has several. Do you have one, or more than one? If you are familiar with several of his books do you have a recommendation as the best one to start with? My big goal for this year is garden/canning. I want to make my beds more productive. Year round without supplemental heat would be a HUGE step toward more productive, WOW.
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby cityhomesteader » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:19 pm

birdgirl+1 wrote:City, your last post is great! I've looked at the web site of those folks who have the small plot and are producing most of their own things and found it to be really fascinating. I looked up the Coleman books and found he has several. Do you have one, or more than one? If you are familiar with several of his books do you have a recommendation as the best one to start with? My big goal for this year is garden/canning. I want to make my beds more productive. Year round without supplemental heat would be a HUGE step toward more productive, WOW.
birdgirl+1


I have His Four season harvest Book. I used to watch the guy on TV and loved his show <forgot the name of it>.
I am buying Winter Harvest Handbook..I had borrowed it at the Local library and it went even further into how to do this.
But if I hadn't read and <Now own> four season I wouldn't understand Winter Harvest. No what I mean?

I'm buying the Tube Bender to make my tunnels this year from Home depot. I saw some posts on here from others that do this already in warmer climates. I'm excited because Elliot Colman does it in MAINE..
I am doing exactly the same as you.. More produce, and trying to make my garden season longer to get there. I'll let you know and keep me posted too! I love to talk gardening.. My goal is to learn to make my small bit of earth healthy and rich enough to put out as much as I can squeeze from it and still be rich enough to do it again and again. And for as free as I can do it..
Cityhomesteader
16 This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby cityhomesteader » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:32 am

January is here,
With eyes that keenly glow—
A frost-mailed warrior striding
A shadowy steed of snow.

–Edgar Fawcett, American poet (1847–1904)

Thoughts on seeds starting. I will be starting my pepper plants early this year..It seems although they did really well last year that it took them some time to really take a hold and do well. Same with celery. I might sow celery and leeks soon, even with in the week.
Cityhomesteader
16 This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
http://www.ConnecticutPreppersNetwork.net
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby papa bear » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:10 pm

cityhomesteader
Just thought I would check out your state forum, since you recently visited ours. Wanted to say hi to Y' all up north from the deep south. Bruce and I have visited on a different forum. You are lucky to have him as your state moderator. Looks like you have a very active state forum and I'll keep looking in to see whats going on in my former home state. I have a sister in Mystic. I am a Stonington High school grad myself. As far as gardening, the rule of thumb here on the gulf coast is to have corn planted by Good Friday. Keep up the good work and if you ever see the bare ground again this year, good luck with the gardens.
"When you fail to prepare, you're preparing to fail." - Benjamin Franklin
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby cityhomesteader » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:13 pm

:wave: hey Papa Bear :wave:

You don't miss the State of Conn-fusion do ya? :lol:
Cityhomesteader
16 This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
http://www.ConnecticutPreppersNetwork.net
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby cityhomesteader » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:14 pm

“All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.” -Helen Hayes

Listen for the Spring Peepers here folks :lol: Seems like it is going to be a Long winter for us CT gardeners..

Just remember When you hear spring peepers (a type of frog), it’s time to plant peas.

I just Got my Green Arrow Shelling peas From High Mowing woot woot!! :clap: One Pound of Peas!! I am going to plant four of my 4'X12' beds to peas for freezing. I broadcast sow the seed aiming for a scattering of about 2 inches apart all round.
Cover with Soil about 2 inches deep and water them in.. I then Take pea brush and Insert it all along the bed creating a small forest of branches to allow the peas to climb up.. My Goal is to plant by the 17th of march or around there..These peas will be harvested around july and then I will sow my early sweet corn in the beds after I till the pea vines in and add some Compost.. In late June I sow Butternuts in paper pots and these will be planted under the corn and allowed to run. Foliar feeding twice a week once the corn comes up with dilute compost tea fortified with Fish emulsion and Sea weed Extract..
So I am looking forward to Spring Peepers!!!

http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/deta ... Num=AR0014

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKV5KsoDUQg
Cityhomesteader
16 This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
http://www.ConnecticutPreppersNetwork.net
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby cityhomesteader » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:32 am

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
http://www.ct.gov/caes/site/default.asp
Cityhomesteader
16 This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby cityhomesteader » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:19 pm

We just Got back from ComstocK ferre and I made a good haul.. I bought my Quinoa! also Blood dock seed for my forest garden, a nice lettuce mix, miners lettuce, for my microgreens, some long eggplants, milk thistle seed, schoon's hardshell melon, early purple Sprouting broccoli, yellow dutch onion, southport white globe onion,wethersfield large red onion and red orach seed. That Store is amazing!! It is in Old Weathersfield CT.. Baker creek heirloom seed bought it out and expanded the seeds line they carry..all I can say is WOW.. I have never seen a bigger selection of heirloom seed under one roof in my life..
Cityhomesteader
16 This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
http://www.ConnecticutPreppersNetwork.net
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby cityhomesteader » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:17 am

Good Morning Nutmeggers!

Today I going to talk more about what I am doing to get a jump start on my 2011 vegetable garden. I bought a Gardening By the Moon 2011 Calendar, and I’m using that to determine when to start my seeds and do my gardening stuff. I don’t know yet whether I believe fully in the concept they present, but I like the fact that I can look at the calendar and it gives me a Time to do something. Like a To-do- list that you can turn to that reminds you what you are doing next.
http://www.gardeningbythemoon.com/
“Let the Gardening by the Moon Calendar pull all this information together for you.
By following the suggestions in the calendar, and starting seeds inside, you will be able to extend your season and harvest more abundance from your garden than you ever imagined!
This great garden calendar has these features
• The best days for planting by the phase and the signs of the moon
• Garden activities for each month
• Lists of specific vegetables and flowers that can be started in flats or planted directly
• Available in three regional versions to match your growing season
• Lots of valuable gardening advice presented in a clear, easy to read format
• Available as a digital download for immediate delivery, with customized time zone preferences”
At the new moon, the lunar gravity pulls water up, and causes the seeds to swell and burst. This factor, coupled with the increasing moonlight creates balanced root and leaf growth. This is the best time for planting above ground annual crops that produce their seeds outside the fruit. Examples are lettuce, spinach, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and grain crops. Cucumbers like this phase also, even though they are an exception to that rule.
In the second quarter the gravitational pull is less, but the moonlight is strong, creating strong leaf growth. It is generally a good time for planting, especially two days before the full moon. The types of crops that prefer the second quarter are annuals that produce above ground, but their seeds form inside the fruit, such as beans, melons, peas, peppers, squash, and tomatoes. Mow lawns in the first or second quarter to increase growth.
After the full moon, as the moon wanes, the energy is drawing down. The gravitation pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil, but the moonlight is decreasing, putting energy into the roots. This is a favorable time for planting root crops, including beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, and peanuts. It is also good for perennials, biennials, bulbs and transplanting because of the active root growth. Pruning is best done in the third quarter, in the sign of Scorpio.
In the fourth quarter there is decreased gravitational pull and moonlight, and it is considered a resting period. This is also the best time to cultivate, harvest, transplant and prune. Mow lawns in the third or fourth quarter to retard growth.

The Other aspect of this is Gardening by the signs..

How the astrological signs of the zodiac influence gardening
by the Moon
The Moon moves through the signs of the Zodiac in the heavens every couple of days. Different signs are associated with an element of earth, air, fire or water. When the Moon is in a water sign it is the most fertile time for planting. Different types of plants have favorite signs too, such as leafy plants prefer the water signs.The fertile water signs are Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio, and are best for planting above ground, leafy annuals.
Planting by the Signs
The Earth signs, Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, are also very fertile and good for planting. The root is the part of the plant associated with earth signs, so it is especially good for planting root crops, or for transplanting to encourage root development.
Air signs work well for some plants, but are generally barren and dry. Libra is an exception to that rule, and is semi-fertile and good for blooming flowers and herbs. Flowers are the part of the plant associated with air signs. Melons like Gemini, and onions respond well in Aquarius. When the Moon is in an air sign it is a good time to harvest and cultivate.
The fire signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are very barren and dry, but may be used for crops grown for their seed. Because it is barren, Leo is a good sign for weeding and cultivation, so seeds won't sprout. It is also good to harvest during a fire sign.





Aries- A fire sign. Barren and dry. Harvest root and fruit for storage. Cultivate, destroy weeds and pests.

Taurus- An earth sign. Productive and moist. Second best for planting and transplanting. Good for root crops and potatoes, especially when hardiness is important. Also a good sign for leafy vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage and spinach.

Gemini- An air sign. Barren and dry. Harvest root and fruit for storage. Cultivate, destroy weeds and pests. Melon seeds respond well in this sign.

Cancer- A water sign. Very fruitful and moist. The best sign for all planting and transplanting. Also good for grafting, and irrigation.

Leo- A fire sign. Very barren and dry. Cultivate, harvest root and fruit for storage. An excellent time to destroy weeds and pests in the fourth quarter.

Virgo- An earth sign. Barren and moist. Some flowers and vines are favored by it. Cultivate and destroy weeds and pests.

Libra- An air signs. Semi-fruitful and moist. Best sign for planting beautiful and fragrant flowers, vines and herbs. Good for planting pulpy stems like kohlrabi, and root crops.


Scorpio- A water sign. Very fruitful and moist. Best planting sign for sturdy plants and vines. Tomatoes like to be transplanted in Scorpio, and it is a good sign for corn and squash. Graft or prune in the third and fourth quarter to retard growth and promote better fruit. A good sign for irrigation and transplanting.

Sagittarius- A fire sign. Barren and dry. Harvest roots and onions for storage, and plant onion sets and fruit trees. A good sign in which to cultivate the soil.

Capricorn- An earth sign. Productive and dry. Good for planting potatoes and other root crops, and for encouraging strong hardy growth. Good for grafting, and pruning to promote healing, and applying organic fertilizer.

Aquarius- An air sign. Barren and dry. Harvest root and fruit for storage. Cultivate, destroy weeds and pests. Good for planting onion sets.

Pisces- A water sign. Very productive and moist. Second best sign for planting and transplanting. Especially good for root growth and irrigation.
Cityhomesteader
16 This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
http://www.ConnecticutPreppersNetwork.net
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby cityhomesteader » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:42 am

My Small attempt at being a great gardener in Pictures (c:
microgreens 007.JPG
onions and celery babies
microgreens 006.JPG
Large American and japanese leeks as well as Red onions seedlings
microgreens 005.JPG
Munchkin broccoli,leaf lettuce, and red and green cabbages
Attachments
microgreens 008.JPG
more seeds started and placed in the warming table
Cityhomesteader
16 This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
http://www.ConnecticutPreppersNetwork.net
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Soil as Your Garden Palette

Postby cityhomesteader » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:32 pm

Soil as Your Garden Palette
by John Kochanowski
UCCE / El Dorado County Master Gardener
For Print February 4, 2011
http://ceeldorado.ucdavis.edu/files/83587.pdf
Your soil is your garden palette. Just as the painter’s palette holds the pigments the artist uses to create a masterpiece, your soil provides the medium to make your garden grow and prosper.”
Your gardening efforts are going to be enhanced or restrained by your soil, so the first step to good gardening is learning about its composition and how to improve it. The soil in your garden is comprised of air, water, organic material, microbes and minerals. These components work together to provide nutrients to your plants. As we will see, most aspects of your soil can be improved by adding organic matter. I’ll be discussing each building block for healthy soil in this article – and there’s a lot to mention.
Texture and Structure. The first thing you want to know about your soil is its texture, the percentage of sand, silt and clay. The minerals in your soil that support plant growth are divided by size. Sand can be seen with the naked eye, silt can be seen with a hand lens and clay particles are too fine to be seen without an electron microscope. Good garden soil is made up of a mixture of sand, silt, clay and organic materials.
Another important feature of your soil is its structure. Soil clumps together into aggregates rather than separating as single particles. While it is difficult to change the texture of your soil, management practices can change the structure within one growing season. Earthworms and microbes work added organic material to increase binding agents that encourage granular clumps of soil. Clumping soil allows roots to penetrate easily and allows water to easily drain through the granules, while each granule retains sufficient moisture to support plant growth.
The texture and structure of your soil determines its porosity. Remember, one of the components of soil is air. Air fills the spaces between the minerals or granules in your soil. Ideally, your soil will contain some air and some moisture. Equal amounts of air and water are best for plant growth. Oxygen is important for root respiration and for the soil organisms that are working to break down organic material and improve your soil structure. When soil is over watered or drains poorly, the spaces are filled with just water, and your plants can become oxygen starved.
Soil Color. The color of your soil is determined by the amount of organic material, the parent material and the type of weathering that produced the soil. Most California soil is gray or brown. Despite having little organic matter, these soils comprise the bulk of the productive soils found in the central valleys. You still may have productive soil even if it is not packed with organic material.
Older soils are red or yellow, meaning the soils are losing nutrients. Red soils have been exposed to extensive weathering, and often have hardpans or clay pans that restrict root
and water penetration. Water can accumulate above the hardpans, damaging roots with the poor aeration. Red soils are often lacking nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc and sulfur.
Soil Chemistry. An important component of soil that is often overlooked is the microbes that assist plants in taking up nutrients. Microbes decompose organic material, increase aeration, aggregate (clump) soil and provide food for worms that assist in moving soil components and aerating soil. Organisms found in your soil include bacteria, fungi, yeasts, protozoa, and algae.
The soil pH is the relative acidity or alkalinity of the soil. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 14. The lower the number, the more acidic the soil. pH is important because as soil becomes more alkaline (above 9), it will hold on to nutrients. California soils normally range from a pH of 5 to 8.5. Most plants do well between 5 and 7. Organic materials will buffer your soil pH by adding or holding the hydrogen atoms that allow the chemical reactions that feed your plants.
Soil test kits are available at your local nursery or online. These tests range from about $10 to $50 and up, based on the number of tests and associated support. Some tests have online support that help you evaluate your test results. Some of the local nurseries will also test your soil for a fee and recommend the organic additives to improve it.
Organic Additives. The best solution for your soil is the addition of lots of organic material. When I think organic gardening, I think of avoiding the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic farming actually was based on adding organic material to soil to boost the ability to grow crops. This can be done by adding compost, growing green manure and adding thick mulches, as well as adding specific organic additives to correct individual deficiencies.
Organic material such as mulches and compost fulfill numerous functions in improving your soil. Organic material added to your soil keeps the soil from becoming too compacted. It provides nutrients both directly to the plants and also to the soil microbes which in turn improve the soil structure. Since our warm Mediterranean climate summers cause organic material to break down quickly, you will need to add organic material at least once a year.
You will know your soil structure is good when it forms small clumps and your soil resembles the consistency of granola. The activities of worms, bacteria and fungus within the soil break down the organic material and create clumps that naturally aerate the soil. Organic material will also add nutrients like nitrogen which is water soluble and washes out of your top soil level. It feeds the bugs that make it easier for plants to take up nutrients, and they feed worms who do a great job of improving your soil.
The components of your soil work together to provide nutrients to your plants. Knowing what your soil needs will allow you to focus on improving its deficiencies. You may find your soil is better than you thought and you only need to take some very basic steps to
improve your garden.
http://ceeldorado.ucdavis.edu/files/83587.pdf
Cityhomesteader
16 This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
http://www.ConnecticutPreppersNetwork.net
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Re: CT Garden Questions and Answers & CT Seed and Plant swa

Postby workingonit » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:57 am

Quick Question!

I have plans for container gardening this year and wonder what some of you might recommend. I have come across plans that take Rubbermaid containers and make them self-watering. I also know folks who just put drainage holes in them and don't bother with the self watering. It is more costly to use two bins to self water than one bin with drainage.

Thoughts? I need to start making them soon and could use some input. Thanks!
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pick your own CT

Postby cityhomesteader » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:43 pm

PickYourOwn.org
Where you can find a pick-your-own farm near you!
Connecticut http://www.pickyourown.org/CT.htm
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“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6"
http://www.ConnecticutPreppersNetwork.net
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