RyanDe680
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Zone 5, check in

What have you started indoors? What have you done?

I'm getting very impatient with the weather and want to do something, anything. I'm outside Chicago, western burbs.

I'm all set up, ready to go but nothing planted yet. I might get going on some lettuce and onions this weekend.

I'm hoping the Zone 5'ers can keep this thread updated with who is planting what!

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jal_ut
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I am sitting here watching it snow. I am not going to start any plants indoors. Come on spring!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

brownsfan62
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I have some onions, broccoli, eggplant, and (today) peppers growing from seed in my kitchen. I'm getting a bit antsy to get out and plant the peas and radishes next month, but right now I'm happy with my little seedlings!

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Zapatay
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5a here - I'm up in Vernon Hills, IL

I'm intimidated by seeds...... I have them....but it appears I need grow lights and certain types of containers and shelving....... I think I'm just going to wait for the plants to deliver to the nurseries.

..contently - I do have cilantro! :) I always have cilantro. I took a shot at indoor radish planting (earlier thread) and they don't seem to be doing much...

It's snowing here too jal ... I am super anxious for the warmer weather but my dogs (swiss mountain dogs) are in heaven.

petalfuzz
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NW Ohio, here. Still snow on the ground. I haven't yet bought my seeds, so I'm 2 weeks behind last year. I still need to get some soil mix to start my seed plugs also. I might start by March 15th with kale. We'll see!

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gixxerific
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I'm west of St Louis i have Tomatoes, basil, broccoli, carrots, onions, assorted flowers, peppers, eggplant, celery, dill, lavender, arugula, turnips, radishes and some other things. What are you waiting for? :P :lol:

Some of this stuff is experimental. What am I saying all of it is, this being my first true seed starting. I normally bought all or most of my plants. Got all kinds of stuff coming up. This is all in my cold basement so that is kinda keeping tings slow which is good. I do have a heat mat if something needs a little help. Thing is I have a ton of seeds so if this goes bunk I can try again and I can't stop, I LOVE gardening so get 'r done. :D

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Halfway
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5a.

9 below zero.

Under the lights (just shy of first true leaves):

Anaheim Hot
Portugal Hot
Habanero
sarreno hot

In the germination stage:

Cherry tomatoes
Bell Peppers
Cilantro
Basil
Zone 4a.

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nes
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Started last weekend because I couldn't hold it in any more!!! :D

I started:
4 cherry tomatoes
4 Roma tomatoes
Atlantic giant pumpkins
All sorts of herbs that are going in containers (oregano, lavender, etc) & catnip
Onions
Strawberries (from seed)

I'm going to start my celery next week & I think some lettuce.

I'm also staring very angrily out the window at all the snow that has fallen today!! At least it's big & fluffy stuff, but I can't WAIT to get into the garden :sun:.
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

RyanDe680
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I will be starting this weekend too.

Herbs, peppers, lettuce.

I'm out of worm castings though, and just ordered some today....

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gixxerific
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Just started a second round of Tomatoes, Black from Tula (a few of my others didn't pop) and some more Cherokee Purple.

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rootsy
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Covered by a foot of snow up here in the mitton... 40's next week... Time to finish the reassembly of the greenhouse that Mother Nature so kindly destroyed last fall... Then we can get rockin...

In the meantime I have equipment to finish repairing

bigdoug
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Just started my second round of seeding. I now have all my tomatoes, most of my peppers and eggplant and all my long season veggies started. I'll let these get bigger, move 'em out to the greenhouse and then start in on seeding the short season veggies.

garden5
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The onions were started about a month ago and the toms, peps, and eggplants were started a few days ago, but are not yet sprouted.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

RyanDe680
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bigdoug wrote:Just started my second round of seeding. I now have all my tomatoes, most of my peppers and eggplant and all my long season veggies started. I'll let these get bigger, move 'em out to the greenhouse and then start in on seeding the short season veggies.
What's your last frost date? Mine at 90% is around May 16th or so...

Given that, I didn't want to start tomatoes yet

bigdoug
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Last frost around here is mid-April, but I use cloches and row covers so last frost dates are a bit of a non-issue for me. Yeah, if I was transplanting the tomatoes into the garden with no protection at all, then there is no way I'd be starting them now. But I'm a farmer's marketer and in my situation it's a matter of "He who gets the first tomato to market, wins". So It pays for me to do all the frost beating tricks in the garden I can. Shoot, who am I kidding! I'd be doing those things even if I didn't sell at market. Just something about hearing all those zone 6-8 people talking about starting their gardens for the year that just gets my gardening juices flowing.

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applestar
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Not Zone 5, sorry, but I have a follow up question.

Just HOW early can you get tomato transplants out -- outside day High/night Low temp? What kind of protection do you provide? What I'm asking is condition outside (air temp, soil temp) when you decide to prepare the protection (usually ahead of time to warm the ground, so.) and what conditions the protection provides to let the tomatoes survive the cold and keep them growing. What about watering?

Do you plant out cool weather crops too?

I'm in a pickle because I may have to boot my cool weather starts earlier than intended to make room under the lights for the warm weathers (changing the temp setting for the area in the process) I'm looking at the latest 12" of snow that fell since yesterday wondering what, if any, possibility exists to set up a poly tunnel right now (I do have a couple of PVC hoops in place, a little higher than strictly necessary or wanted -- they're covering a 4' wide bed at hoop height of about 4'. Nothing on them right now, I'll have to get something to cover them.

RyanDe680
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bigdoug wrote:Last frost around here is mid-April, but I use cloches and row covers so last frost dates are a bit of a non-issue for me. Yeah, if I was transplanting the tomatoes into the garden with no protection at all, then there is no way I'd be starting them now. But I'm a farmer's marketer and in my situation it's a matter of "He who gets the first tomato to market, wins". So It pays for me to do all the frost beating tricks in the garden I can. Shoot, who am I kidding! I'd be doing those things even if I didn't sell at market. Just something about hearing all those zone 6-8 people talking about starting their gardens for the year that just gets my gardening juices flowing.
Amen to that.

If it weren't for our weather in Chicago lately, I would have had everything planted. It's just to cold and snowy still. Very frustrating.

bigdoug
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It's funny that you should ask about ground preparation, Applestar. That is this weekend's project. I'll go out and put black plastic down on the garden soil and make sure its secure. Then I put my row covers, or I guess they're more "hoop houses" as they are a heavy clear plastic and are closed on the ends, down on top of the areas where my future rows will be, and secure them.

Then I let the sun do that voodoo that it do so well. At about a week before I am ready to put my plants in the ground, (around the middle of march for my cold stuff and between the 20th and 25th of March for my hotties) I take everything off and start tilling. By then, the average high is 60 degrees and the average low is 40 degrees here. In New Jersey I'd guess it would be about 3 degrees more than that. With the combination of the plastic and the temps the tilling goes pretty smoothly.

When I have my rows tilled how I want them, I chose a calm day and start transplanting. When a row is in I put 3 liter pop bottle cloches over each plant, sinking them to the depth of the plant root to keep everything warm. Then I put the row covers back on and secure everything.

By now it's the end of March/ beginning of April and with both the cloches and row covers covering the plants, it's not the cold you have to worry about, it's the heat. I have to make sure things don't cook, so I get the caps off the bottle cloches if it gets over 55 that day and raise the plastic on the row cover if it gets over 60.

It does seem like a lot of work. But you have to remember, I'm well compensated for it those first few weeks at the Farmer's Markets.

You were asking about how I am able to water? I use the pvc clips on my hoop houses, so I can just remove a couple clips, raise the plastic and water.

For your dilemma, I would suggest potting up on your cold plants, putting black plastic or cardboard (your local appliance store is begging you to take their boxes) down under that 4' of hoop, put your pots on top of that and cover the hoops up with the heavy clear plastic. If you are worried that won't be enough, use cloches too. With that much protection for your cool weather plants I just don't see a problem. It takes quite a freeze to nip most of those cold plants, and in March we just don't have those long freezes. Sure it dips down there periodically, but it usually goes right back up the next day.

I hope that was of some help. I lurked on here for quite a while before I started piping up, and in that time I've seen you cheerfully help scores of people. So it gives me great pleasure to assist you and return some of that kindness.

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applestar
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bigdoug, WOW WOW!! :D :D
Thank you SO MUCH for such a detailed description of what needs to be done! I'm printing it all out so I can study and get everything ready to PLANT!!! :()
Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it. :wink:

The Helpful Gardener
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It's a danger for us borderline folk Doug, but the calendar never lies even when the thermometer does...

And the thermometer has nothing but ugly truth at the moment...

SO we wait... :wink:

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

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Zapatay
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Rock on Big Doug..... Gracias for the awesome post

The Helpful Gardener
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Indeed. I just reviewed my last post and it seemed less than gracious; such was not the intent. Just pouting about more snow, is all... :(

Your expertise is certainly appreciated, Doug, thanks for sharing... :D

HG
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nes
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WTH did it have to get so cold??

I got all my seeds into their little pots a week early since we were having such nice weather. We have a dug basement so it's not easy to heat but I figured it was warm enough for the onions & such. Well if it WAS - it is no longer!!!! I had to pull the plug on the whole operation. The tomatoes are sitting on my bathroom floor, but everyone else just has to wait it out in the chilly basement until it gets warm enough outside I can heat my seedlings properly.

BOOO SNOW! BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

RyanDe680
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So today indoors I started cayenne peppers, bell peppers, banana peppers, onions and round 1 of celery.

I'm trying to water from the bottom up. My only uncertainty though is if I have too much water.

In any event, I'm going to plant some herbs tomorrow and perhaps some broccoli.

malkore
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I"m either 5a or 4b for my zone...first year really gardening as we now have a house with a big backyard and gets good sun even though its somewhat north-facing.

Anyhow, I'm starting tomato, pepper and cantelope seeds here in 2 weeks.

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nes
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With the unbelievably wild weather (at least we) are having, anyone considering putting anything outside?

I'm getting super antsy but have almost been considering trying some beans/lettuce/carrots and seeing what happens.

Of course I should probably get my new garden expansion/additional soil/garden fence put in first... :oops:
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

The Helpful Gardener
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You'd be borderline in Zone 5 but could likely get away with the brassicas, (cabbage, bok choy, etc.)

HG
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nes
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Last year we still had 2' of snow at this time! I'm just being impatient ;).

But that's a good idea HG maybe I'll throw some cauliflower in my back flower bed & see what happens... :D
(Gets lots of sun & I don't think they are going to compete with the irises coming out)
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

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applestar
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I think in Jeavon's book it said lettuce germinates at 35º but it'll probably take 2 weeks at least.

Don't waste your beans. They only like warm soil. I tried sowing Bushbean Provider in early April last year because it was described as being able to grow in cold soil, and it didn't come up, I think, for like 3 or 4 weeks. I guess the GOOD thing was that it resisted rotting and did grow eventually. But it grew very poorly. I'm going back to my stand-by schedule of sowing beans when peppers and eggplants get planted out.

RyanDe680
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My peppers are doing well and lettuce is growing strong.

Broccoli continues to do well too.

The temps have been 55-60 here for the past couple of days and this is supposed to continue into next week. I'm shocked at the fact that it has and will be that consistent (temperature wise).

This would be a good time to prepare the garden, however, it's soaked and continues to rain.

I'll be planting my tomatoes indoors this weekend.

Perhaps if it is in the 60s next week, some of the plants already sprouted will venture outdoors for a couple of hours.

Sharpy
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I have tomatoes, celery, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, onions and cabbage seedlings under lights in the basement I started with a heat mat.

Covered the area that will be the raised bed 3-4 days ago with plastic to get it dried out. Hoping to work on the sides for the beds this weekend if rain stays away long enough.

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nes
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Started some celery, strawberries, cauliflower & peppers indoors this morning. I'm DIEING to go out side today but it is just cold and rainy and MISERABLE out there!! BOOO :(

On the upside my husband got me a fantastic 2.5'x2.5' wooden box from a job site for me to plant my potatoes in :), plus some skids to make my compost bigger, plus some wood for a nice picket fence*, and weather permitting we're headed to the back of the farmer's property tomorrow for some lovely soil/rotten manure to supplement the veggies garden and fill in some spots on the lawn. Yippee! Rain, rain go away...

*I'm suspicious the offer of creating me a nice wooden picket fence is filled with ulterior motives to prevent me from further expanding the garden into 'his' lawn... :D
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

The Helpful Gardener
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That's EXACTLY what he's thinking Nes; DON'T fall for it!

Lawn is wasted space mostly anyway; what is it doing for you that you can't do without? Play space? Do you really need ALL that for play? It's not doing a darn thing for wildlife or soil biology. MAke his prove he has better use for that space than you do; bey he can't...

HG
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gixxerific
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Good stuff on the lawn subject. I suggested expanding my garden just a little bit more and the DW said we can't use up the whole yard because the kids need somewhere to play. Well I just put up a fence, for rabbits, where "I" wanted it. I would be a shame if that area was covered in grass clippings and compost and "accidentally" turned into garden space.

The kids never play back there anyways. 8)

The Helpful Gardener
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And teach the kids to "play" in the garden; games like "Who can find the most weeds?" and "Turn the Compost"... :lol:

HG
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applestar
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"Who can pick the most dandelion flowers" 8)
But don't hand out 5 gal buckets, they get discouraged. :lol:
Works better with a small beach pail for each child and the 5 gal bucket to dump the flowers in. :wink:
Use clean pails and buckets so you can make dandelion flower syrup and dandelion flower cookies (I have yet to try making dandelion flower wine, though home wine making is another one on my list of projects :roll:)

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gixxerific
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Pulling weeds! :shock: I'm appalled. :wink:

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applestar
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Are you talking to moi? or to HG?
Who said anything about PULLING weeds?
Mine are not pulling weeds, they're PICKING flowers. :>

My kids play another game called "Who can collect/pick the most number of different kinds of (live green) leaves." (and yes they KNOW not to pick Poison Ivy or other poisonous ones) We then sort them by different attributes like texture, shape, fragrant or "just green smell", etc. 8) Then, *I* get to see how many of them I can ID without having to resort to a reference book. :wink:

The Helpful Gardener
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I didn't say PULL Gixx...

My weeds will be picked this year...and mostly eaten! (Have done a job of selecting edible weeds for inclusion this year; if you can't beat them...eat them! :lol:

Do you know how many of the worst invasives are edible? A LOT of them... eat your weeds!
HG
Scott Reil

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Zapatay
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... I wish weeds were my only problem, I have a big snow season of two (over 100 pound) dogs of poop to pick up.

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