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 Post subject: Starting seeds for spring
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm 
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Location: Lawrence, KS
So who all has started seeds for their spring garden? What kind of items are you planning to plant?

What do you think is the most effective way of starting seeds? And what do you think is best to keep them going until planting time?

Let's post all our tips and ideas! I've got a great garden spot in the yard that I'm looking to expand and would love to hear from anyone on ideas.

Whether it is veggies or flowers, gardening is so much fun!

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 Post subject: Seed starting
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:05 am 
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I have my perennials started.
I plant them individually in pots setting in flats. I then put the flat in a white trash bag with a drawstring and set them outside.(properly labeled, of course.) I then wait for nature to take it's course. The seeds sprout when the temperature is right. I get really sturdy healthy seedlings.

I don't have room or the proper place to start seeds indoors, so this works for me.

In March, I will do the same with annuals.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:03 am 
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YEA! My wife told me about the new garden forum. I'm so geeked! OK, got plenty to share not sure where to start.

To chime in on Gern's post. I do a couple things. When starting seeds indoors, once the little plants get a couple inches tall you need to get them outdoors where the wind can "toughen" them up. Otherwise they'll look great for a while, but then just fold over and die. So, during the warmer parts of the day I take my trays outside. Then bring them back in overnight. Some people with the space, setup up a grow light and set a fan near the plants to simulate the same thing.


srvfantexasflood's method sounds like basically like what I do when starting seeds once it's warm enough for the plants to stay outside 24/7. I like to start my plants in potting mix in a tray for several reasons. One, I hate "thinning" so I can spend a little extra attention while planting seeds in the little containers and not have to spend the time bent over a row of something thinning plants. Two, if you plan your garden out, and put all the plants that can't be started early or transplanted together, then you can use a product like Preen earlier in the year. That really helps on cutting back on your time spent weeding the rest of the year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:44 am 
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So Gern,

What do you plan on starting early?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:49 am 
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Location: Lawrence, KS
76Scout-Fella wrote:
So Gern,

What do you plan on starting early?


I haven't decided yet. I'd really like to start some lettuces to have ready for an early spring garden.


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 Post subject: Lettuce
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:26 am 
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Lettuce is a staple at our summer dinner table. I suggest planting both loose leaf and head varieties. The loose leaf will be ready to eat in no time at all. The last couple years I've stop planting rows of loose leaf. Instead, I prepare about a 24" wide bed. Then just sprinkle the seeds thru out. One positive of planting lettuce that way is once they get close to full size they sort of create a "canopy" over the ground. Really cuts down on the number of weeds. When I planted lettuce in rows, I spent a lot of time pulling the weeds by hand that grew our from the couple inches on each side of the row. As far as head lettuce. I'll plant some romaine, some sort of iceberg, and a bibb. I plant so much stuff, honestly, I give away twice what my family of four can eat.

In fact, I was tossing around the idea of making a larryville produce stand this Spring. I was thinking maybe every couple of Sunday afternoons when I'm at home working in the garden anyway I'd just advertise whatever I have extra at the time and if people want to come by and give me 50 cents for a head of lettuce or something, that's cool. Same thing with tomatoes in the summer. I planted around 15 plants last year. We canned gallons of salsa last year. I still had tomatoes going bad on the vine. So, I'm kicking around the idea of the produce stand.

So, you say you plan on expanding? How large is your garden patch now? How much larger you going to go?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:36 am 
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Location: Lawrence, KS
It is approximately 6' x 30'. We're going to remove part of the deck and I'd like to extend it up to the deck. I'd also like to to do raised beds for it too. I've got big plans but now it is a matter of finding the time :gaah:

The lettuce info is great! I'm also thinking of planting some butter lettuce. Yum!


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 Post subject: Dirt
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:18 pm 
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I know what you mean. There's never enough time or money. Last year, my kids got to the age where they could come out in the yard and not have to be completely hovered over the whole time. So, my wife was able to spend some time with me. Which was very nice for a couple reasons. One, the garden stayed in pretty good shape thru out the year. Secondly, got to spend time with her, catch up on life while pulling weeds or what not. Kids running around the back yard. They can help a little too. Good at finding rocks and throwing them in the creek behind the house. Good family time.

I've thought about doing raised beds as well. The whole cost thing kind of set me back a little. See, my garden is 25' across. For me to put one raised bed across that, you're looking at 4'x25' bed. Take 6 - 2"x6"x10' What are those? $20 each. Maybe more. Then you still need to fill it with dirt. I've seen ads on here for soil, figure it take at least 2 loads at $100 each. So, I'd have $300-$400 in one raised bed. I guess I could always go smaller. But, well, that's not how I roll! Go big or don't go at all sort of attitude.

Instead, I was leaning towards spending that kind of money on just good garden soil this fall. For about the same amount of money, I could get 2-4 inches of good soil added to my whole garden. In fact, last fall I planted rye grass over the entire 2000 square feet. I need to till it in as soon and I can work the ground. My theory is I will improve the soil I have by adding organic matter, and quality top soil by the truck load. My soil isn't bad, my house was built just 4 years ago and like most new homes in Lawrence the contractor only put about 2-3 inches of dirt back on top of the clay. The first year I put several truck loads of composted horse poo on it. Really, my soil isn't bad, just don't have very much of it. About 4 inches and it turns to rock and clay.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:33 pm 
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Location: Lawrence, KS
I am trying to look into cost. I was thinking of using railroad ties or other landscaping timber to do a raised bed garden. I am considering taking the space and making several smaller ones too so I can do a bit at a time when extra money floats my way.

I'm still working with the kids on how to tell a plant from a weed. 2 years ago was a disaster for my radishes :lol:

We are going to have to do several loads of dirt for the yard anyway. It seems like we lost a lot of top soil last summer. If I have to do it for yard, I might as well get extra for a garden & get that part out of the way.


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 Post subject: Ties
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:19 pm 
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Rail road ties may not be the best choice for use around vegetable gardens. Ties are treated with Creosote to prevent them from rotting. Creosote is pretty nasty stuff. While there is still some debate on how safe they are to use, I have avoided them. Now, for a non-vegtable garden they're probably fine. At least, that's my position after doing some research when I was considering railroad ties. But, on the flip side, my Mom made all my baby food from my Dad's garden. Which was surrounded by rail road ties. I've seen studies and reports that say it's safe, and others that say it's not. So, may be paranoia, or could be a real concern. I chose to error on the side of caution and not use them. Just my personal preference. In the warm weather, they get sticky and you'll undoubtedly get some tar on your clothes at some point.

Sounds like you've got a busy Spring. Good luck with your projects. Make sure you keep me posted on progress.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creosote
http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/hort2/MF2134.PDF
http://www.metrokc.gov/health/hazard/treatedwood.htm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:03 pm 
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Great info, thanks! I knew about the stickiness but I didn't know about the potential health issues.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:19 pm 
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This Guy has some great stuff on his site.

http://www.squarefootgardening.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:06 pm 
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Location: Lawrence
Hey 76Scout-Fella,
I think your idea for the produce stand is GREAT. I would happy to buy ALL my veggies from you. I grew up eatting out of the garden but do not have the time keep up with one (also have too many damn rabbits). Keep us posted!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:13 pm 
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Gern, I have been considering using Recycled Plastic Landscapes Timber Ties. Haven't checked on the cost yet.


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 Post subject: good vs evil
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:42 am 
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Gern, How about cinderblocks instead of railroad ties? I don't know how the cost compares, but they wouldn't be as heavy. Move a block one at a time. :roll:


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 Post subject: I'm jealous!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:50 am 
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All this talk about vegetable gardening is making me jealous. I have a yard filled with huge mature trees. I have to settle for annual and perennial flowers. Bummer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:52 am 
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Location: Lawrence, KS
pebbles wrote:
This Guy has some great stuff on his site.

http://www.squarefootgardening.com/


I was checking that out and I really like that idea! It looks to me that weeding would be really easy with that. The only problem is maybe the cost factor. I don't need to get as fancy as some of those pictures but the theory behind it is sound.

I like the idea of the recycled plastic timbers. I would love to use the version of them when we replace our deck but I haven't checked out cost there either. I was under the impression it was a bit pricey but on the other hand, they do have a longer life than traditional materials.

Cinder blocks are an interesting idea. My concern with those would be the holes. Would dirt just wash out through them? Maybe I'm thinking of something different and just haven't thought the idea all the way through. It does have some potential.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:49 am 
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Thanks for info timesawastin. I was actually considering posting on Swapmeet fairly soon on this issue. Tell you what. I'll shoot you a PM and we'll discuss this. Also, if anyone else wants to PM or email me about this that would be more than fine. At that point, we can discuss your needs and I can adjust my garden quantities accordingly.

I'll provide much more details via email, and my future "ad" on larryville as far as pricing, my garden practices, and my location.

Thanks everyone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:22 pm 
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76Scout-Fella wrote:
Thanks for info timesawastin. I was actually considering posting on Swapmeet fairly soon on this issue. Tell you what. I'll shoot you a PM and we'll discuss this. Also, if anyone else wants to PM or email me about this that would be more than fine. At that point, we can discuss your needs and I can adjust my garden quantities accordingly.

I'll provide much more details via email, and my future "ad" on larryville as far as pricing, my garden practices, and my location.

Thanks everyone.


Cool! If you plant something I don't have, now I know where to get it! This is good stuff!


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