Anyone thinking of next spring, already?

myfamilysfarmNovember 21, 2010

Ok, I know my market just ended a couple of weeks ago, and already I'm ready to start planting again. This must be a sickness.

Anyone plant now, just before the ground freezes, for next year's crop? If so, where are you and what are you planting for over-wintering. Are you using a greenhouse, or are you planting the seeds out in the 'cruel' weather?

Marla

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danagr(4)

I think I have this sickness too. I have already planted next yrs garlic in the garden. but being in zone 4, that is all we can plant here, unless you have a heated greenhouse (it get too cold, so I don't heat it during the winter months). But all I can think of is: I can't wait intil mid February, then I can start planning & planting again. I start all my transplant in my basement and move them out to the greenhouse in about April.

Dana

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 8:14PM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

I have been thinking about next spring for months. just got the garlic in the ground last week. Yesterday planted a several big pots of onion seed (mostly to see if the seed is still viable). have started going through seed stocks to see what we need to order and have been discussing what not to grow next year as well as what to grow more of.

I already have the details for next year's CSA and have opened it up for members to enroll and also plotting out other marketing strategies-our Saturday market has been doing poorly this year but a new co-op is opening up in the spring where we can sell, hopefully, a lot of food and there are some chefs who seem interested in buying from us in the future (We have not dealt with restaurants in years as the chef's can be a real PITA but they can be profitable too).

I hope to have my seed ordering done by mid January and should have a lot of things started by Jan 1st under lights in our grow room (and we will keep on starting seeds pretty much daily until mid May). Onions and leeks from seed have to be started really no later than Jan 1st.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 6:15AM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

Yep, garlic too. A lot more of it than ever before.
Hauling 10 dump trailer loads of manure from my sisters horse farm.
Ordered some plugs two weeks ago.
Started some bulbs in pots for early spring market (ours has an indoor market once a month, but not super well attended-better than nothing)
I am still making christmas wreaths and grave blankets and swags.
Also planning on attending the TPIE tropical plant expo in Fla in January.
Yes, we are crazy!~

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 7:21AM
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myfamilysfarm

I knew I was, but I wasn't sure if there were other 'crazies' out there also.

Hubby said this year I couldn't start any tomatoes til the end of Jan. Last year, I started them a day or two after Christmas. All in a 14x50 trailer, which we live it. It started looking like a jungle after awhile, and this year I'm planning on planting 3x-4x as much. We might have to live outside and let the plants have the trailer.

We do have some of the fields ready to plant, and I was wondering if anyone in this zone direct sows over the winter. If so, what? besides garlic.

Marla

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 8:33AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I am very eager for next year. I have to finish all my high tunnel moving projects first! I still have all my tunnels full of produce, I need to sell first. I am going to be starting to plant in early February/late January. I am going to plant carrots. I will put out lettuce and spinach seedlings in March and try to have as much as possible for our April 23rd beginning market.

I may scale back our seedling production, but I am not sure!

Jay

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 10:43AM
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brookw_gw

I'm very anxious for next year. I planted enough squashes and pumpkins, I thought, to carry me into January. Yeah right. Sold out of everything a month ago. This weekend I readied some beds for next year. I've got to get some sulfur and peat moss incorporated for blueberries. Does there ever come a time when enough is enough??? Also tried out a new toy--a propane flamer. Awesome. Worked wonders on dried weeds and I hear they're great for young weeds as well. Seed catalogs are arriving, and I'm starting to create planting lists. Planted some fall strawberries and garlic and have been watering them to keep them alive. This is a very busy time for gathering bagged leaves as I like to collect around 1,ooo a year. Starting next month, I'll start cutting wood out of the north hollow where the pond will go. Finally, I've got some dried gourds I'd like to do something with--but that will be for a day when I'm snow bound.

Brook

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 2:11PM
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myfamilysfarm

Brook, over here if we would use a propane flamer and we caught anything on fire, we are fined $2500 if the fire dept has to come out. We are so dry that hubby's disc isn't doing anything, just cutting lines.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 5:50PM
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robin_maine

>>"I think I have this sickness too. I have already planted next yrs garlic in the garden. but being in zone 4, that is all we can plant here, unless you have a heated greenhouse (it get too cold, so I don't heat it during the winter months)."

How about high tunnels? They're not heated. I get my fix in the tunnels all winter. There's nothing like fresh cut spinach in February in Maine. Or cold frames of cold tolerant greens in your greenhouse? I've moved my cold frames out in the spring and back in the fall for many years.

I've been thinking about next spring since before last spring. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving in a couple of days and Christmas next month and I'm looking forward to seed catalogs, pots of coffee, pads of paper, pens and lots of planning as soon as the holidays are over.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 9:22PM
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myfamilysfarm

At least I don't have it as bad as you, Robin. I'm only about the next spring beginning in the fall before. I don't have tunnels, just a couple of plastic covered canopies without any extra heat besides what the sun will provide.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 9:28PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Robin, I am with you. I have about 3100 square feet of high tunnel space growing currently. I am selling in my online market, but I have probably 100 times more stuff than I will ever sell. However, we have ate salads almost every day for the last two months and we are hoping to go for another two months!

Jay

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 10:07PM
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brookw_gw

Well, Marla, I don't think we have to worry about fires now!! Good, good rains we're finally getting. I'm sick of watering. Even without tunnels, which I'd love to have, I'm getting lots of broccoli, kale, lettuce, turnips, radishes, and green onions. Harvested the last of my leeks just last week. I think we eat winter squash like Jay's family eats salad. We're turning yellow, and it's not from cirrhosis either.

Brook

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 10:34AM
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myfamilysfarm

We have several winter squash left, also. Plus pumpkins. But the cows LOVE them, both the squash and pumpkins. Actually they love almost anything we give them. No eggplants, and not green beans.

Regarding the fires, we can finally burn that giant pile of waxed boxes and such. Of course, we are getting an icy mix today, and calling for 1.2" of snow/ice tomorrow. If it's not 1 thing, it's another.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 3:05PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

Any of those waxed boxes that are in good shape, break them down, keep them dry, and take them back to the auction in the spring. They even auction boxes off at Williamsburg where I go.
At least you can make someone really happy if you give them away there. I do that a lot.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 9:00AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I was sitting in a waiting area, waiting on my daughters class to be finished and I started to look at a calendar. I have 20 weeks until the first Farmers Market in the Spring, April 23rd. So I started to do the math and counted backwards. Lettuce and spinach, 3-4 week old transplants, grow for 3-4 weeks, that gives me 12 weeks, actually less. I am going to try to open up my online market April 1, So that would take another 8 weeks off of that, Gosh, I am in January. I need to order seeds and get organized.

I want to try to put out tomatoes earlier than ever this year, run the risk of freezing them, around March 1st. That means starting them around the 15th of January.

Wow, I need to get in gear and finish that new high tunnel and move the other one, clean up the garden, get rid of debris, continue to harvest each week.

It is going to be busy!

Jay

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 11:29AM
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myfamilysfarm

time really goes by fast. Hubby says I can't start ANYTHING unless mid or late January this year. He got tired of plants being EVERYWHERE. Image a 14x50 trailer, 2 bedroom, with 2 people living in it along with 4 cats, and 3-5 thousand tomato plants along with 1,000 peppers and about 400 eggplants. It got interesting, especially when I wasn't as prepared as I should have been. I kept buying shelves and more lights all winter. Of course, now all the shelves have been filled up with 'other stuff' and I have to find room for the 'stuff' elsewhere so I can have my plant stands back.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 4:18PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Too funny! However, I know exactly what you mean! I need to work out a plan to add more lights or work out a rotation for the plants when I start them.

Jay

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 4:53PM
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myfamilysfarm

And this year I plan on starting more plants.

I have a question on the lettuce/spinach/broccoli/cabbage transplants. I know with tomatoes and peppers, you can and should bury the plant (even baby transplants) as deep as possible in their new 'home'. Do you do the same thing with the above mentioned plants? I've haven't really tried to grow many of them, but would like to offer transplants for sale.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 5:38PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I don't plant them as deep as the tomatoes or peppers, but I have found that they get a long stem on them and I bury them up to the first leaves and I get along really well.

Lettuce and spinach, I just plant them to cover the root ball.

I don't know how they would sell as transplants, but I am sure someone would by them.

I sold some zucchini and cucumbers last year. It was easy and quick money. I planted, and sold them them 2 weeks later. The ones that didn't sell, I planted.

Jay

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 12:18AM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

MMF, no you do not plant those things as deeply as you would tomatoes or peppers. You can cover the cotyledon leaves of the seedlings but go no deeper than that.

Spinach I have far better luck if it is direct seeded, covered and with row cover or a board (it needs to be dark and damp to germinate well)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 5:43AM
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myfamilysfarm

Thanks Jay and boulderbelt. I've tried broccoli and cabbage, but always get long stems, so I wasn't sure if I could plant them deeper. I wasn't even burying them deeper than the root ball. I'll try them again and plant alittle deeper.

I'm really trying to find more money making things that I can grow. My market is getting stricter about the percentage of what you can bring in from others, and I expect a list of who you are buying from in Jan-Feb for the following summer. I know some but I'm always finding new farmers throughout the summer.

I picked up some 1203 trays off of ebay, 60 flats for $5 plus $12 shipping. Got 5 offers, so now I need to use them and hope to sell most.

Thanks for all the help.

Marla

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 8:43AM
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cowpie51

Dear Marla and all other,s, We switched from 48 count flats to the 36 count flats for most of my plants in the greenhouse and I love the difference in plant stockiness and ease of transplanting. Especially the tomatos and brassica seedlings. Nick

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 11:09PM
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myfamilysfarm

I got the 1203 (36) trays because of the price, I couldn't go wrong. Plus I plan on selling alot of plants. Most people in my market don't want 4-6 of 1 variety, but 3 is better. Plus I might cut the 3 pks apart. One vendor last year, used 72 cell plug tray and cut them apart. My 72s are the heavy, not cheap, type, and I'm not willing to cut them up, I use them for several years.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 7:54AM
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