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applestar
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Getting ready to start my seeds !!!

As I said elsewhere:
So I have some seeds waiting to sprout/just starting to germinate on a seedling heating mat in lower 60's room (heating mat supplies +10º) but no lights, and some cool weather seedlings that sprouted already (from which I TOOK that heating mat after germination) but which are under lights. I'll be transferring the germinated seedlings under the lights out to the main Grow Light Area in the cold (we're talking upper 20's to 30's) no-window garage tomorrow after I set the area up with extra heat (40's to 50's) and new tubes of light, moving the just barely sprouted seedlings under the light, and setting out another tray of seeds on the heating mat. :wink:
I peeked at those just sprouting seeds this morning and tiny little seed leaves were open. These are Salvia seedlings, so strictly speaking, they don't belong in this forum :roll: But I did manage to get the basics set up in my main Grow Light Area (seed starting/growing area lit with lights) to move out the salad mix box (8 seeds each: lettuce, radish, beets, rainbow chard, miner's lettuce) Checked on them after one hour and, in the 28ºF garage, the GLA soil surface temp was 50ºF. So it's just about right. (I'll check before lights out to make sure they're not going to freeze.)

After that, I was able to move the wee Salvias to the lighted indoor seedling area.

Tomorrow, I'll start the 2 kinds of cotton seeds and Broccoflower, Brussels Sprouts, Kale, 3x cabbage, and 4x Lettuce. Once these sprout, they'll also go out in the GLA.

The key to my transplant production shuffle is going to be moving the cold weather crops OUTSIDE just as the warm weathers germinate and need to go in the main GLA area (which will need to be modified to generate more heat, but by then, the garage temperature *should* remain up in the 30's and above. I want to set up some low tunnels, but, at the moment, the garden beds are all still covered in 20+ inches of snow! :shock:

GeorgiaGirl
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Yahoo, congrats!

I'm all set to start seeds -- I have the seeds and the supplies -- but I'm scared (this is my first year doing "real" gardening)... I should just suck it up and do it!!
Julia in Georgia

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rainbowgardener
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GG -- absolutely! DO IT!! Plant those seeds! If we here in OH and NJ have seeds planted, it is past time for you in Georgia!

Applestar - -I hear you about the shuffle. I have sturdy little cabbage and broccoli plants now that will need to get moved out by mid March or so to make room for all the the tomatoes and peppers etc that are now planted.

Things are continually getting transplanted, potted up, moved around, etc.

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gixxerific
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GeorgiaGirl wrote:Yahoo, congrats!

I'm all set to start seeds -- I have the seeds and the supplies -- but I'm scared (this is my first year doing "real" gardening)... I should just suck it up and do it!!
Just suck it up and do it. :lol: I'm a bit worried myself. This is not my first year of gardening by any means, but it is the first I have started seedlings for just about everything. I normally went to the nursery's and bought all my plants. Just stay tuned to this site and everything will be okay.

Oh, and I have stuff gong myself so with freezing temps and snow outside, it's actually snowing now and more on the way tonight. So you better get going girl or is that GeorgiaGirl. :wink:

pepper4
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Rainbowgardener, I planted some cabbage and cauliflower about 3 weeks ago and I'm not sure they are growing like they should. Once they sprouted up it doesnt seem as they they've grown much. Would it be possible for you to post some pics of yours? If so, thanks in advance!
Bambi

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gixxerific
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Way to go Apple you too Rainbow. I know you both are as excited as I am of this coming spring. Well maybe not AS excited this year will be a breakthrough for me in a BIG way.

I tell you what Rainbow whenever you plant something email me. (not really unless...) :P You are in basically the same weather pattern as me give or take. I have been doing so much research that say's to plant later than I normally do. I have everything planned out for the 90% frost date not the 50%. So that has everything at least 2 weeks behind if not way more than I normally do things. I need to stop listening to all that and follow my heart.

ezzirah
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HI! I am new to the forum and this is my first year gardening from seed as well and I have to confess I can relate to your apprehension. I have all the stuff, but I am a bit scared to get started. Scared I am going to screw up royally and all this money I spent on dirt, cups, etc. is wasted. I am in Oklahoma (Z7a) and we have had a colder than usual winter, which adds to the apprehension. Between trying to figure out what needs a heat pad on the bottom, to grow lights...*sigh* I am getting myself confused!! LOL :lol:

But following your advice, I should just jump in....

Birddog
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Wait a minute - you've planted seeds in NJ?

RainbowG - Have you planted seeds already? I'm in MD and there's still two feet of snow on the ground and more on the way. Where are you going to keep all the plants? Do you have a garage to take them in at night? Will you have to transplant to bigger individual pots when they start getting big? I'd like to get started early as possible - you've given me some hope. I think I will invest in some starting trays that have clear plastic covers - like a little greenhouse. That way my cat wont eat any seedlings when I leave them by the sliding glass door.
Gettin greener. Greener all the time.

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rainbowgardener
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seeds started

Bird dog: It says just above here: I have sturdy little cabbage and broccoli plants now

Those were seeds. Here's a thread I started awhile back about what seeds I have planted. Started the first seeds mid- January!

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21224

It needs updating. This weekend I planted tomatoes, salvia, petunias.

Where I am, we are now 8 weeks from the average last frost date, so lots of things can be planted.

Yes we have a foot of snow on the ground here and more coming tomorrow; you just have to have faith that it will all go away! :)

Here's a thread with pictures of my seed starting operation:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=60396&highlight=seed+starting+operation#60396

It is all in my basement, so they don't move. I start them in little individual cells and then transplant everything to 3" pots. They stay in the 3" pots til they are ready to go in the ground (or the hanging baskets on the deck or where ever they end up).

I don't like the plastic covers - no air circulation and too much humidity. We have 2 indoor cats and they don't bother my seedlings (plenty of house plants for them to chew on). Leaving them by the sliding glass door may not be enough light, definitely won't be if it doesn't face south and get plenty of sun. Also can be a pretty cold spot for tender seedlings.

The pictures in the thread above were from last year. I will try to post a couple of what it is looking like right now.

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Duh_Vinci
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Two enthusiastic, green thumbs up!!! Bring on the spring!!! Happy gardening! :flower:

Regards,
D

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gixxerific
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If I may chime in, Rainbowgardener you say you don't like the "greenhouses" do you mean that for before they sprout or after they sprout?

You guy's (and girls) gone and done it too me again, I couldn't remember who started the peppers already I was going to search for it tonight. So guess what I'll be doing tonight. :P :lol:

One more thing if you don't mind. The 3 in. pots, are they usually big enough for things like tomatoes and peppers to stay in for about 6-8 weeks? This seed starting thing is kinda new to me.

Thanks
Dono

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I really need to get my lights rigged up. I saw a returning flock of geese today...GEESE! I thought my eyes had tricked me yesterday when I saw robins fly over but now I'm confused.

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hendi_alex
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IMO you can't start tomato seeds too early, as long as you size up their containers as needed. I start some in December, a few more in January, and then start the main batch in mid to late February. All for planting in the third week of April. To me, peppers and egg plants seem to be a little more sensitive to cool temperatures, so they are seeded early to late February. depending upon how mild or harsh the outdoor weather is. Seeds for cucumber transplants, squash transplants, and flower transplants all get started about the third week in February.

There is no reason to be tense about starting your seeds. You can always start another batch. My 'celebrity' tomatoes gave very poor germination when planted in January. No harm done, I just started a second batch a few days ago. If needed, will start another batch. My method is to plant four or five seeds in a three inch cup. When true leaves form, the seedlings are moved to individual three or four inch pots.
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This is my second time growing toms and peppers from seed, but my first time doing it seriously (cell packs in flats with grow lights), but I'm not nervous at all. Actually, I'm really excited. I plan on starting them next week to be set out last week April to mid-May.

GeorgiaGirl and Ezzriah, don't worry about failure, just go for it :P. Worst case scenario is they don't grow, or grow and die. Come on here, give us the details, and we'll help you sort it out and you'll learn something new. By starting them sooner, you will have enough time to replant and still have big enough plants to put in the garden.

Now, worst case scenario aside, if you've done your research and learned some of the basics about seed starting, I'm sure you will meet with success.

There is a saying:
The best gardeners are the ones who have had the most failures.

This saying holds true if you make an effort to learn from each and every failure.

Happy starting :D !
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

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rainbowgardener
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gixxerific wrote:If I may chime in, Rainbowgardener you say you don't like the "greenhouses" do you mean that for before they sprout or after they sprout? You can use them before the seeds sprout as long as you get them off right away, but I just don't use them.

.....

One more thing if you don't mind. The 3 in. pots, are they usually big enough for things like tomatoes and peppers to stay in for about 6-8 weeks?

Yup... my tomatoes and peppers stay in the 3 in pots 8 wks or so and do fine, usually not pot bound by the time they come out.

Thanks
Dono

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Duh_Vinci
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gixxerific wrote:...I couldn't remember who started the peppers already I was going to search for it tonight. So guess what I'll be doing tonight. :P :lol: ...
I know I did :roll: :P [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21245]Peppers Started[/url] Gave them the first "food" supply - diluted fish emulsion doze last weekend. About 6" tall by now...

Go for it, plant the seeds!!!!

Regards,
D

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Ozark Lady
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I am kicking into high gear on seed starting... I got a flourescent light, and seed starting mix... I have seeds already...

Seems awfully early... but I tend to err... I start things much too late, and end up buying the plants for first starting in the garden.

I even gambled and got onion sets. I do so terrible with onions, but never seem to give up on them!

Now to mount the light, and get things rolling!

The snow is 98% gone, but it is snowing as I type this... I don't think it will stick, but it is freezing outside, so it might. It is a muddy, sloppy mess... no chance to dry any in between snow, freezing rain, and water running off from thawing.

Where do you guys and gals get these 50% frost free and 90% frost free?
I see average frost free dates and nothing more...
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gixxerific
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Ozark lady you will find your frost %'s right [url=https://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/index.php?q=arkansas&submit=Go]here[/url]. Type in your zipcode and it will be more accurate.

If I may were at in Arkansas are you my sister in law lives in Corning just south of the Missouri border, it's more central than North West though.

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Ozark Lady
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I have never heard of Corning. And I moved here from North Central Arkansas, and moved there from North Eastern Arkansas... I must have seen it on the map and just spaced out the location. :roll:

I can be in Missouri in 5 minutes. Oklahoma takes 30-40 minutes.
I sometimes shop in Missouri.

Well, that chart, backs me up to Tax Day... 3 weeks, later than my chart.
I must remember it is an average... I had tomatoes growing on Thanksgiving, and the chart says October 30 both my chart and theirs.
The exception to every rule.. ha ha.
So somewhere between Mar. 15 and April 15... I get the all clear.

That is about the right time frame to get some seeds started, now.

Thanks for the link.
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crobi13
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I started my herbs & marigolds 10 days ago. I was going to wait to start my veggie seeds but not after reading this thread :roll: . Tomorrow is a holiday so I think I'll start them then. My honey got me a greenhouse for Valentine's Day so no time like now :D
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applestar
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Here's a photo of my recycled OJ carton and Rice Milk carton seedling flats with 1/2" central straps for structural support.

[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6395.jpg[/img]

Planted two kinds of cotton in the OJ carton flat and 3 kinds of Cabbages, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, and Kale, as well as 4 kinds of lettuce in the RM carton flat today. The lettuce seedlings will be pricked out as soon as their seed leaves grow out.

Now what to put in that open spot, just big enough for a berry container flat.... 8)

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rainbowgardener
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pepper4 wrote:Rainbowgardener, I planted some cabbage and cauliflower about 3 weeks ago and I'm not sure they are growing like they should. Once they sprouted up it doesnt seem as they they've grown much. Would it be possible for you to post some pics of yours? If so, thanks in advance!
Ask and it shall be given! :) Pictures of my cabbage and broccoli seedlings right now:

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/cabbage-broccoli.jpg[/img]

This is broccoli in the foreground and cabbage on the left. The ruler was supposed to demonstrate that the plants are about 3" tall.

They were all planted 1/21. That would be just over 3 wks ago. Is this about what yours look like?



[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/cabbage-babies.jpg[/img]

This one is more focused on the cabbage. It's a cabbage babies blend from Jung seed, several varieties of dwarf cabbage. Some varieties are bigger than others, right now anyway.

pepper4
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Oh no Rainbowgardener! Mine look nothing like that. They are quite a bit smaller. The only thing I can think of is they may need more light. Maybe they will perk up. :roll:
Bambi

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rainbowgardener
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MORE LIGHT!! Sounds like a good guess. You can see in the pictures, the length of the light tubes runs perpendicular to the length of the tray, so there are 4 tubes crossing each tray. They are just a few inches above the seedlings and on 16 hrs a day.

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rainbowgardener
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progress!

It's 46 degrees out today, ice and snow are melting like crazy and my trays of cabbage and broccoli went out for the first time to see the light of day! :) They will come back in tonight and then be in and out for awhile, while I watch weather reports like mad. They are now 4" tall and much bigger, sturdier, leafier than in the above pictures.

The ultimate opener tomatoes are going into the pots tonight. Dill I potted up earlier today. Petunia seeds planted last weekend, nicotiana and tithonia seeds will be planted tomorrow (in the space on the heat pad cleared out by potting up the tomatoes and the woodland lettuce).

I think when I get a chance (maybe tomorrow depending on weather and schedules) I will take the dirt and seeds of all the native woodland shade perennials that have sat there for 40 days and 40 nights (sounds so Biblical!) and done nothing and mix them together and plant them outdoors. Then I can use the space under the lights for something else.

Hey, I have to have something to keep me off the streets! :)

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gixxerific
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Sounds good RG, it was nice here yesterday as well. I took myself and the kids and the tomato out for some sunshine. I had it in the corner by my front door out of the wind and next to the almost white siding. I got a temp reading of 70+ degrees. :shock:

I can't wait to see your garden(s) in full swing this year.

Dono

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Duh_Vinci
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RG - your cabbage seedlings look wonderful!

All of my brassica seeds germinated fine, but I can't stop them from getting too leggy :twisted: They have plenty of light, directly under the grow tubes 2" or so since day one, can't figure out what am I doing wrong...

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D

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rainbowgardener
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D_V - if it isn't the light, are you fertilizing them? too much ferts might make them grow too fast... Just a thought.

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Duh_Vinci
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RG - nope, no fertilizer, aside from a very small amount of worm castings I add to the seed starter mix prior to seeding.

Maybe I should try just plain mix w/o any additions?

Regards,
D

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applestar
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You can just bury them, including the seed leaves, with the base of the true leaf rosette snuggled into the soil at uppot time I remember last year, I just kept adding sand around the hypocotyl so they don't flop over until then. My Coles only sprouted on Wed, so I have to wait a bit yet.

My theory last year was that when direct seeding, you sow the seeds twice as deep, at least, so they don't dry out. Then the wind and the weather would push more dust and particles around the seedlings as well as settle them deeper. Also, we're planting in "light and fluffy" seedmix.

You know, I'm beginning to think that it's those raised beds ON CONCRETE patio that's giving you the edge, Rainbowgardener. My Zone 6b garden doesn't seem to warm up as quickly as yours. :wink:

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Duh_Vinci
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Will certainly do!

In the mean time - I will start another flat, and use different light, and no worm castings - question though:

How deep do you plant brassiac seeds?

Regards,
D

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applestar
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As I usually do with all my indoor starts (except the ones that need light to germinate and are surface-sown) I planted mine 2x the thickness of the seed -- probably a smidgeon deeper than tomatoes. But I'm impatient. One of the fun of starting seeds indoors is that they sprout so incredibly fast and develop right before your eyes. 8)

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rainbowgardener
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applestar wrote:
You know, I'm beginning to think that it's those raised beds ON CONCRETE patio that's giving you the edge, Rainbowgardener. My Zone 6b garden doesn't seem to warm up as quickly as yours. :wink:
Maybe so later on in the season.... right now they are still snow covered with nothing in them! :)

My brassicas are back indoors now after a few hours sunning on the deck this afternoon. There was actual SUNSHINE!!

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applestar
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Here are mine -- still wee babies in the RMflat nursery :wink:, Bull's Blood beets and Rainbow Chard (which for some reason appears to be all yellow :roll:) in the CCBflat in the back. The red cabbage seedlings are a little leggier than I like. They'll be separated/thinned tomorrow.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6436.jpg[/img]

Mesclun flat, with Chiogga beets just starting to peek out in the front row:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6433.jpg[/img]

Recently single-potted Bull's Blood beets in the TP tubes, with Red Cross lettuce, and Corn Salad:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6438.jpg[/img]

Radish and mixed salad, with that Cypress 'Ellwoodii' in the back (are you seeing this Gnome and Victrinia? :wink:)
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6435.jpg[/img]

All huddled together in the bubblewrap:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6431.jpg[/img]
But it's still pretty cold:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6428.jpg[/img]

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Ozark Lady
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Looking good!
I didn't know you could start beets and radishes...
Will you transplant these, or grow to eating size?
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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applestar
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Bull's Blood is supposed to be harvested more for the "greens". I started the Chiogga after BB transplanted so easily. I'll plant them out if I manage to get the poly tunnel set up and if everything inside is cozy enough for them. (You're inspiring me to attempt an unprecedented early planting, Ozark Lady!)

I'm also trying to follow Companion Planting recommendations and need beets to grow with the Kohlrabi (the seeds for which should be coming in the mail any day now.... :roll: )

I usually don't start root veggies ahead, but as I mentioned elsewhere, Jeavons book has directions for starting almost all veggies ahead, so I've been trying a little at a time. Last year, I tried carrots and corn.

I'm planning to grow the radishes to eating size along with the Mixed Salad (Lettuce, Chard, BB, and Corn Salad) indoors. :()

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gixxerific
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You didn't hear it from me but I always started way too early.

Too much frost in the ground right now. You still have snow I would think, not here anymore, but another cold wave on the way. We see what happens this weekend, I just started working again so my starters are getting a little abused. :( But I need room in house, so in the ground the sooner the better. :wink:

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