Moving to Maine

hobbsjMay 31, 2009


My wide and I will be leaving steamy South Texas for main in the next week. We had just torn up our grass for our garden in Texas and are looking to get raised beds built within a week of getting there. So, we have quite the learning curve ahead. My main question is what would be the best vegetables to start in early June? We have some everbearing strawberries in planters we plan on bringing with us along with some hop rhizomes that are getting started. Is it too late to put tomatoes in the ground? Cucumbers? How about berry bushes and fruit trees? In Texas we basically had two growing season separated by bad heat so we had two tries a year. We just want to be sure we don't put a lot of money and effort to get this thing going only to be too late. Thanks

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Welcome to Maine! You don't say where in Maine you're moving, but all except for the far north and western mountains should be safe from frost at this point. I'm planting my tomatoes (transplants), cucumbers and beans (seed) asap here in the midcoast area. As soon as my garden dries out sufficiently to make the raised beds, that is. Our 90% frost free date is May 15 but I usually wait until end of May for anything tender. I'm not sure about the strawberries, my sister put her plants in about a month ago, but if they survive the Texas heat I assume they'll be fine planted now. It's a good time for trees and shrubs too, provided you keep them watered if we have a dry spell. Hops, I have no idea. Maybe some others will chime in. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 3:29PM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

Frost warnings here in Western Maine (Oxford County) tonight. I couldn't resist planting some ornamental annuals earlier and just finished covering as many of them as I could with plastic. The food crops, like eggplant, peppers and tomatoes, I hope to get in the ground next weekend.

My technique is to extend the season by building mini-greenouses at the end of the season with furring strips and plastic so the warm-weather crops can survive the early killing frost that is usually followed by more warm weather. I learned this gardening in the Adirondacks where the weather was a bit more severe than here.

BTW, I moved to Maine from NY 2 1/2 years ago and don't regret it for a minute. I hope you love it as much as I do.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 9:07PM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

Hello & Welcome to Maine =) Where abouts are you moving? This has been an odd year so far. We had a frost warning in southern coastal again last night! BTW if you need a good realtor, click on my email link on my page. (anyone else feel free for that matter).


    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 6:50AM
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Hello and another Welcome To Maine! My wife and I moved to Portland from Austin in August 2002. If you learned your gardening skills in Texas (a/k/a surface of Mars), you shouldn't have much of a learning curve here other than figuring out native plants and when to put things in the ground.

Your strawberries should do just fine. Visit a farmer's market (Portland and Brunswick have excellent markets) or greenhouse for some seedlings and you shouldn't be late for anything. What I have in the ground now: lettuce, spinach, broccoli, carrots, beets, peas and potatoes, all of which were put in at various times during the last week of May up until last night. Seedlings in waiting for another 2 weeks or so: tomatoes, cucumbers, bush/pole beans, squash, peppers and melons. The ME Organic Farmers & Gardener's Association has a list of planting dates that's helpful at - click on "publications," then on "articles for reprinting" and then on a Jean English article titled "Huge Growth Potential, Pounds of Dividends."

Berry bushes: you are heading to the blueberry state friend, plant yourself some bushes. Blackberries and raspberries abound as well. Fruit trees: Apple for sure. I've seen plum and peach trees for sale here, but don't know anyone who has them, so I can't say for sure if they do well.

Good luck and have a safe trip!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 3:01PM
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Welcome to Maine. Have a friend with a peach tree that does great and I have picked plums from wild trees. I have a small plum seedling I planted last year, will let you know how that works.
I cheated and put my veggies in early this year and because I am on the coast, I won!! I still plan on adding a few veggies from flats, it is definitely not too late.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 9:30PM
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waker(waker RI)

Again, welcome to maine - we moved here last year from Rhode Island and are going through the same learning curve. We built raised beds and have the following in the ground now: corn, bush beans, tomatoes, various herbs, onions, sweetpeas.
Get seedlings locally and you should do well. The short growing season does need some cleverness.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 10:57AM
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