Return to the Market Gardener Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Must be spring

Posted by henhousefarms (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 10, 13 at 23:46

Well, I have concluded it must be spring - the peeper frogs in the pond started making that delightful racket last night. After months of quiet nights it is quite nice. Worked the bees Saturday afternoon, put on some pollen suplement patties and cleared the bottom enterances of the winter debris. The ladies were flying (and pooping all over my truck - the windshield must be their favorite target). They were bringing in some pollen (yellow so is most likely maple). With the weather looking to improve next week rain wise I hope to start working ground and start potato planting soon. Hurray for spring.

Tom


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Must be spring

Most grassy areas still have 8" of snow here (since we got 5" last week), I can see the pine boughs I laid over the strawberries and brambles, and we've got a few spots in the woods that are clear (b/c the snow didn't pile up as deep). Going to be a few weeks before we can plant potatoes.

No peepers yet, but we had 4 tom turkeys chasing each other around our front yard yesterday making a racket - not as pleasant as peepers LOL!


 o
RE: Must be spring

I think everything is ready except the weather. Our peepers are singing away, the redwing blackbirds are back, and a beautiful pair of hooded mergansers visited our pond and acted pretty amorous. The rhubarb has been swelling up now for a couple weeks, and the blueberry buds are starting to develop. Saturday afternoon was gorgeous. I think that was the first sunshine in over a month. Unfortunately, it's back to rain and clouds. It will take forever for us to dry out. All of my orders are scheduled for delivery soon, and I'll have to mud them in. I'm also behind on my pruning, but I did get last year's asparagus taken care of.


 o
RE: Must be spring

I hear you on the pruning - it's been so wet that the ladders just sink. The good news it the extended forcast looks fairly dry so keep your fingers crossed. When I went into RK to get the potatos I noticed that they had a lot of whites but not too many reds. Pleanty of golds. We quit planting whites a couple of years ago as the reds sold so much better so think I may go back this week and grab another bag before they sell out.

Tom


 o
RE: Must be spring

Tom, I noticed that our RK also don't have alot of reds or whites out in the bins. Last year they sold out very quickly. I wish they would bring the LaSoda's back, instead of the Pontaics.


 o
RE: Must be spring

Over here we will make it to our last frost date and beyond with nice weather, but it will be sometime in May before nights average over 50 deg. It would take near record temps to get a frost.

With row cover or plastic it is definitely Spring. Tomatoes are really moving in an unheated cold frame on a concrete slab. I planted some under row cover in a raised bed as a test for moving up planting dates.


 o
RE: Must be spring

I got my RK potatoes a couple weeks ago and was pleased to get Red Lasota. Last year, I had to plant the Pontiacs, and I don't like them as well. I do well with Kennebecs, so I plant plenty of them. Personally, I love the Yukons and plant more of them than any other. I also do Adirondack Red and Blue and some fingerlings. They are so expensive though that I've cut back considerably. As for pruning, I've only done a few peaches. I've got 45 more trees to do. I did get the everbearing rasps cut down but have not pruned the blacks. Grapes haven't been done either. Now that the time change has come, I will be able to go down after school, which will be nice. I hope to be caught up after this week. It has been so muddy I haven't sawed up the last doze pile either. I also have a little pond work to finish up as well. I don't see any good temps coming for a couple weeks.


 o
RE: Must be spring

I'll have to check with my RK to see if they have any LaSoda in the back. What was up front looked like Pontaics.


 o
RE: Must be spring

What/who is RK? I got (nonorganic) potatoes from Agway last year for 80 cents/lb, Red Pontiac (won't grow again), Norland, and Yukons. Love the Yukons (though so did some burrowing creature late in the season) and Norlands, will plant again. My cousin does well with Kennebec, also had Irish Cobblers last year.

I should have gone out before that 2.5ft storm to prune blueberries but didn't. Now too mushy and I think they're budding. Rain/fog today, some snow expected beginning of next week. Maybe I can plant potatoes (if I figure out where, not areas that had LB last year, nothing over pH of 6) Easter/early April?

I like to start out each year with a soil test but can't do that when it's muddy.


 o
RE: Must be spring

Rural King, a Midwest farm store. This year is either 30 or 35 cents per pound, not on sale.

You can plant potatoes as late as first of July, if you only want new potatoes. they like pH of 5.3 to top of 6.0.

actually you can do a soil test in mud, you will need to dry the soil out in a low oven (it stinks), but you can do it. That is, if you don't sink to your knees or higher.


 o
RE: Must be spring

Yeah, I know I can dry out the soil, just hate to. Last year planted on Mother's Day and had nice new potatoes in July.

Wish we had a RK around here - those prices sound great.

I've limed most of my prepped beds to be near neutral, had some acidic ones last year for potatoes but don't want to plant spuds in those areas this year. So I have to wait until it's dry enough to prep some new beds with my acidic soil (mid 4's!) and lime them a *little* before I can plant. Either that or I may luck out where the peppers were (didn't do too well) last year, it may be acidic enough.

Other than the beds, we've only got enough topsoil around here to sink in ankle-deep - rest is ledge and glacial till (supercompacted sand - like solid rock!).

No irrigation and farther away from house, we have a clearing/meadow near old apple orchard - I may try to plant there, grass grows well but we just mow it to keep it clear. Black raspberries growing along the sides, but not enough to bother with, some grapes climbing up trees on end near the orchard. Potatoes might do well there - if I can keep deer from kicking them out of dirt, or rodents from munching them. Gotta check pH, topsoil might be deeper there. I do have 1 roll and a partial of CRW left - just have to get more T posts if I'm going to fence it.


 o
RE: Must be spring

RK is like TSC (Tractor Supply Co).

You may need to rain barrel your potatoes. Have a large barrel, put some soil in (6-12"), plant sets, wait til they grow above ground about 12" then add more soil. Keep doing this til plant dies or after 2 weeks after plant stops blooming (for new potatoes). Carefully dig thru the barrel to find the spuds.

tip; If you do the rain barrel, be sure there are holes in the near bottom. also if you dig when moist, try not to disturb the plant much, then water deeply. sometimes you can 'pick' again and not kill the plant. I did it with a 4'x2'x3'h wooden box, don't plant lots of seed potatoes, about the same number that you would plant in regular soil.


 o
RE: Must be spring

I will have to check TSC spud prices - their seeds didn't seem to be great prices. I was thinking of growing them in burlap bags last year but it was so dry I'm glad I didn't.

I don't want to use my rain barrels for planters - I might need them for water again this year.


 o
RE: Must be spring

Marla - that's funny because I got Lasotas and thought I would prefer Pontiacs. I had to really dig down through the pile to get to the Lasotas - I do not know why they are always on the bottom of the pile. Must have been 40 bags of Kennebecs, maybe ten Yukons and I only saw three Lasotas. I bet they had more in the warehouse but could not say that with absolute conviction. If your are really set on Lasotas you could call over here to the home office and ask them if they are planning on sending any over (they might throw a bag or two on a truck heading that direction - they are pretty good people). I can get you the number if you need.

Tom


 o
RE: Must be spring

Tom, thats a good idea. The LaSodas are what the customers will bypass several vendors just to get them. The 2nd year that RK had them here, people were fighting to get them.

Not sure what we are doing this year, probably need to figure that out soon.

Sheila, a good use for large broken barrels.

This post was edited by myfamilysfarm on Tue, Mar 12, 13 at 20:07


 o
RE: Must be spring

If I can find large broken barrels...have to be food safe too (or at least wooden, not used to store chemicals). People here use the (half) barrels as decorative planters, they're pricey. Food grade 50 gal plastic barrels are $25-50. I got mine for $30 each about 3 miles down the road.


 o
RE: Must be spring

We can get barrels from the ice cream novelty plant for less than $10. Of course, you have to get all the chocolate fudge icing stuff out of them. Wow, is it greasy.


 o
RE: Must be spring

How big are you talking? I was thinking minimum 30 gal? I'm assuming the ice cream barrels are waxed cardboard?


 o
RE: Must be spring

These are 55 gallons. Any size better than 10 gal, and it doesn't have to be plastic. I've used a wooden box with some holes near the bottom.

You can plant them in old tires, adding tires as the plant grows. Plus the tires allow the dirt to get warm faster in the sun.

the ice cream barrels don't hold ice cream, but the syrup/dipping and that kind of stuff. This place makes things like chocolate covered ice cream on sticks.


 o
RE: Must be spring

55 gal syrup containers? Plastic? Sound like my sauerkraut barrels (I added a hose bib to 1, need to do it to the other). Hard to believe they'd be giving them away. I'll have to check out Carvel...

I do get nice buckets from Chinese restaurants, take a bit of scrubbing and bleach to get the duck sauce smell out, but I use them for fermenting, picking/chilling lettuce in, etc. Right now have sanitized water in them from Sandy - now that blizzards should be over, I'll empty them (but keep my canned water in case of summer storms/outages).


 o
RE: Must be spring

Dang - I was thinking of all the hot fudge sundays I could make with thirty gallons of ice cream.

I've never tried the tire technique but hear it is very effective. For us it would be a scale issue - imagine the number of tires you would need for a couple hundred pounds of seed. But thinking a little if I had some specialty spuds needing to go in I think I might try it.

Tom


 o
RE: Must be spring

Tom, at your scale it wouldn't be worth it, plus you have dirt, not rocks with alittle soil. Maybe tractor tires when you need to replace them, think giant sand boxes with dirt instead.

I find buckets from anyone that makes donuts. They are about 2 gals and that how icing comes..


 o
RE: Must be spring

Local feed store (closer than Agway) will have potatoes 75 cents/lb (5 cents cheaper), just ordering them now for end of the month. TSC has 3 varieties in 5 lb bags for $5.99 and they're sprouting already.

I get the 2 gal buckets from grocery store bakeries.


 o
RE: Must be spring

walmart has their potatoes out for about that price. RK sells in bulk that makes it cheaper.

Any place that does donuts probably uses the same icing buckets. They're just the right size for little ones to help.


 o
RE: Must be spring

I wish we had RK here.

Checked the berries near the house - some of the new blueberries look like they have buds, others don't (hope they're not dead - they weren't doing too well last year after being drenched the day after we bought them and then freezing even though we brought them into garage last week of April).

TC blackberries look OK, but some of the canes are broken - I can see green through the purple skin/bark, I had covered them with burlap and then pine boughs when we didn't have any snow, I think the 2.5ft we got last month was too heavy for them. Didn't check the raspberries.

Strawberries look OK - some green leaves when I brushed aside the straw. So the deer didn't kill them.

It looks like I have oregano overwintered! Italian looks better than Greek, but both may come back?? Didn't think that was hardy to zone 5!

It's snowing here now - a little more than flurries but unless it keeps up overnight I don't think we'll have any accumulation. Just looks like more b/c the wind is swirling it around.

I can't wait til spring...


 o
RE: Must be spring

Checked with RK, their potatoes are LaSodas, just didn't look right. Evidently nobody, but me, wants them. They have 6-8 skids so I should be able to get some when they go on sale.

We planted about 100 strawberries and a couple of pounds of onions in the hoop house today with help of 2 of the grandkids. It still amazes me how much knowledge those 2 kids have at only 5 and 8 years old.


 o
RE: Must be spring

Where is spring? Most of the snow has melted now, but struggled to get over freezing today and we have a winter storm watch (4-8" of snow follwed by 1/4" of ice) for Mon night/Tues. Like the kids really need another snow day.

I've still got everything mulched - maybe I should rake the leaves/hay that the turkeys scratched up back around my new blueberry bushes. But take the burlap off the blackberries (that got broken from 3ft storm)?


 o
RE: Must be spring

yesterday was cold and windy, but when I got home, found out that the southern part of our state was under a winter storm advisory. Didn't get to us, just the southern part.


 o
RE: Must be spring

Yea - I may have spoken too soon. We were almost dry enough to start working the high ground but now it's raining/sleeting/snowing. Guess those little frogs are back in their sleepy little beds with the covers pulled up over their heads.

Tom


 o
RE: Must be spring

I always heard that Spring isn't truely here to stay until the peepers stop peeping 3 times.
Deb


 o
RE: Must be spring

I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. Still January here.


 o
RE: Must be spring

Wednesday, it is supposed to dip into the teens here. I am really glad I have nothing planted and that my perennials aren't budding. Long range forcast isn't good either.


 o
RE: Must be spring

You wouldn't believe the view outside my window right now.

Kids home from school - don't know when they're going to make up THIS snow day...


 o
RE: Must be spring

We've only missed 2 days so far this year, our school adds snow days into their schedule as 'flex days'.

I covered everything in the closed up hoophouse with frost blankets until this cold spell is over. Who knows when that's going to happen. Calling for possible snow again.


 o
RE: Must be spring

80 degrees plus on Friday, started tilling everything with the tractor on Monday afternoon, had to wear gloves, heavy jacket, and stocking cap. Finished up tilling this morning with snow falling.

Guess I won't be planting potatoes anytime soon. Now to start working in the high tunnels. At least it is out of the wind!

NO spring in Kansas!
Jay


 o
RE: Must be spring

We've used all 5 emergency days, I think they lost the professional development day after Mem Day so just a 3-day weekend instead of 4 days. The last day of school is supposed to be a Thurs, maybe we can get them to extend it to that Friday, that's better than losing a day of April vacation.


 o
RE: Must be spring

Well the forecast shows about normal temps next week and even 60 for the first couple days of April. I do not know when the snow will melt or when planting can start.


 o
RE: Must be spring

My forecast low for tonight is 19. My greenhouse has an electric heater, a propane heater I just now set up, and a wood-burning furnace which will keep me up all night feeding it. If I am lucky, the plants will look the same tomorrow as they did today. This is lot of work just to tread water.


 o
RE: Must be spring

I unconvered the the newly-(a year ago) planted brambles before the snow came, since the blackberry canes were already crushed by the 3ft snow in Feb and I thought this snow (though only calling for 8") was supposed to be heavy/wet with ice on top. Didn't want the pine boughs and burlap on top, figured they might survive 20's and ice better than an icy blanket. Hope I was right - we didn't get that much snow and no ice, but temps dipped below 20.

Calling for snow showers today and Monday, but warming next week to highs in low-mid 40's. Only 10 degrees below normal.

Looks like it might be Mother's Day before we plant potatoes again this year...


 o
RE: Must be spring

One forecast was calling for better temp, but .7" of snow Sunday, another one with colder temps and who knows how much snow also on Sunday. I'm sure looking forward to later next week.


 o
RE: Must be spring

Getting ready for more snow, 6-9" starting Sunday early am thru Monday am. MAYBE after this, we'll find some spring.

Enjoyed working in hoophouse 85 degrees versus less than 60 outside, but SUNSHINE. soaked up as much as possible to get thru this snowstorm.


 o
RE: Must be spring

I saw that snow was going south of us in Michigan and that there is a slow warmup to near normal temps next week.

I heard and saw the sand hill cranes yesterday, a sure sign spring is near.


 o
RE: Must be spring

Yep, south of you, ME. Woke up to snow on ground and everywhere else with LOTS more coming later this afternoon/evening/morning. This was after a very nice warm day yesterday with very warm ground.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Market Gardener Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here