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jal_ut
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I confess, I do have two tomato plants growing in little pots in the living room. I started them about January 1. They are not doing much, act like they would love some real sunshine. Here with short days and behind glass, they just don't get enough sun. I have put no artificial light on them. They are not liking these conditions. They are spindly and sickly looking. We will see what they do.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

applestar wrote:For planting shallow, best technique I've tried so far has been to lay the individual containers of seedlings on their sides or at an angle or tilt the tray of seedlings at an angle by leaning it on something for a while before planting.

Since it's best to acclimate them to where they will be planted, easiest way has been to make a V-trench in the bed to position them at a desired angle supported by the soil of the trench or -- this is more typical for me -- to lean them/set them against the side of wide raised rows for the last day and night before planting. The tops of the seedlings will naturally respond to the new gravitational orientation and grow upward and "sideways".
Good ideas! I guess I got it from my folks that the deeper I plant the more roots the tomato can form. But if it is too cold down toward China then I guess that defeats the purpose. I will definitely use the horizontal method for my mid March planting. I think I will have some spindly plants that should like that method.

On another note, I have always used wire hoops made of concrete reinforcement wire. Well, my normal procedure is to push the cage down into the soil around the plant, and turn it a few times to get the cage set into the soil. A few years back I had some crazy spindly plants and needed to plant them horizontal, so I did. I grabbed a cage and went about my normal procedure, twisted the cage and cut right through the tomato plant. Have to be careful with that.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

jal_ut wrote:I confess, I do have two tomato plants growing in little pots in the living room.
OK, so you have beautiful mountain views AND tomato plants! What variety of tomato do you plant?
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jal_ut
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Variety? Better Boy, Celebrity, Sweet Baby Girl. Have also used Early girl. The new one called Celebration Hybrid looks interesting. Have to see if I can find some seed? Here I need to stick with those in the 70 to 72 day maturation date claims.
Even the 72 day tomatoes take closer to 80-85 days in this climate and that is about all the frost free time I have.
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SPierce
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

It has been so, so long since I've been able to garden for real, and I haven't into the forums in forever. I should probably reintroduce myself, but oh well. Hi again anyway :D

After many years of unsuccessfully being able to work my friends not-so-good soil (who owns the house I'm renting a room from) I'm going with all container gardening this year. Found some large 2 foot deep pots at home depot on sale for 9.99 that we drilled holes into on the bottom of for drainage and I've repurposed into planters for my veggies. Plan on buying more this year to accommodate all the plants I'm going to try and grow. Already got a rainwater collection system going, because I've seen the huge difference it makes for my prayer plant and the orchid I have going so I have a feeling things might get a bit crazy :mrgreen:

While it's way, way too early for me to even think about tomatoes, squashes, etc I'm starting a few seeds today of the things I have the most trouble with and those that seem to grow the most slowly. Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Peppers. We shall see what happens from here! The rest I'll start near the end of March, when I get home from vacation, and I will probably find an extra large container or two in addition to see if I can manage to grow a pumpkin in a container, even though my chances are slim.

I do have to admit that it feels really, really good to get my hands dirty with soil again. Makes me happy. I'm going to see if I can find some prolific, pretty flowers that can take mostly shade and plant them in the raised beds in the back, so it isn't just empty and sad in the backyard anymore.

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

SPierce wrote:After many years of unsuccessfully being able to work my friends not-so-good soil (who owns the house I'm renting a room from) I'm going with all container gardening this year.
I do have to admit that it feels really, really good to get my hands dirty with soil again. Makes me happy. I'm going to see if I can find some prolific, pretty flowers that can take mostly shade and plant them in the raised beds in the back, so it isn't just empty and sad in the backyard anymore.
Good luck with the container gardening. I have some large tubs that came from a farm nearby. They were used for a protein lick block. They have worked well, but even, consistent watering is a challenge.

Here is a picture of some pots with tomato plants last summer

Image
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SPierce
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

lakngulf wrote:
SPierce wrote:After many years of unsuccessfully being able to work my friends not-so-good soil (who owns the house I'm renting a room from) I'm going with all container gardening this year.
I do have to admit that it feels really, really good to get my hands dirty with soil again. Makes me happy. I'm going to see if I can find some prolific, pretty flowers that can take mostly shade and plant them in the raised beds in the back, so it isn't just empty and sad in the backyard anymore.
Good luck with the container gardening. I have some large tubs that came from a farm nearby. They were used for a protein lick block. They have worked well, but even, consistent watering is a challenge.

Here is a picture of some pots with tomato plants last summer

Image
Looks lovely! A lot nicer than mine (admittedly) is going to look! He doesn't have a lot of landscaping, and neither of us have a lot of time to do yard related things... What size are your containers? I luckily haven't had much of an issue with watering, and the things I've tried to grow in these in the past have never had a problem. More likely to be killed by bugs than water, but how do you water them typically?

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Great to see you back @SPierce! :D
Looking forward to hearing about your garden this year. ...and I know what you mean about playing in the dirt. :wink: it's my therapy for sure.
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

applestar wrote:Great to see you back @SPierce! :D
Looking forward to hearing about your garden this year. ...and I know what you mean about playing in the dirt. :wink: it's my therapy for sure.
Thank you! I will hopefully have something to post about, finally. Typically I start posting, etc. then I end up ashamed at how bad my plants are doing, so I slink away... hope this year will be better and busy! :D I've had the best luck with the containers out of all the years, so this year I'm going all out. Wish I could really do corn in containers, though, but unless someone does a mini corn hybrid, I don't think it's possible :(

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Haha you might want to look in these threads -- see what you miss when you are away for a year? :wink:

Subject: What Can I Grow In a Container?
albopepper wrote:I had good success in my 1st year with corn.

I fit 11 corn stalks per 30 gallon SIP tote:
Image

Image

I'm gonna do it again this year!

Subject: Self Watering Container and Sub-irrigated Planter
albopepper wrote:Here are examples of things grown in my 30 gallon SIP totes, without using any plastic cover at all:

Image

Image

...
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

applestar wrote:Haha you might want to look in these threads -- see what you miss when you are away for a year? :wink:
:shock: :shock: :shock: OMG. I am so, so, SO doing that! I am I am! I've bought corn seeds in the past, but the spacing requirements for them always was so far apart, I couldn't fit them in the containers I had. Now that I know it can be done, though, I totally need to try! Thank you for pointing that out!

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

SPierce wrote: OMG. I am so, so, SO doing that! I am I am! I've bought corn seeds in the past, but the spacing requirements for them always was so far apart, I couldn't fit them in the containers I had. Now that I know it can be done, though, I totally need to try! Thank you for pointing that out!
I forgot to measure my big green pots, but one year I attempted to grow all three sisters in a pot: corn, squash and beans. I had about 5-6 corn stalks and they did well. The other stuff not so much
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I planted my first corn of the year today. I planted UH #10. They were 2015 seeds so I am hoping they are still good. I will find out in about a week.
My beets are starting to bulb up and the onions are growing. I am harvesting Suyo cucumbers and my kai choy cabbage is definitely ready. I am still getting some napa grapes and my new tomato seedlings are in flower.

I was getting a bit worried because my seeds had taken so long to germinate, but it looks like now the cucumbers are coming up. The colder nights this month has slowed things up a bit. I took some bay leaf cuttings the other day and the calamondin and lemon trees are starting to flower and flush.
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

imafan26 wrote:I was getting a bit worried because my seeds had taken so long to germinate, but it looks like now the cucumbers are coming up. The colder nights this month has slowed things up a bit. I took some bay leaf cuttings the other day and the calamondin and lemon trees are starting to flower and flush.
What, to you, is the definition of "colder nights"? I actually ran my heater in the green house a couple of nights recently because our temps were near freezing, and I have some tomato and pepper plants that I did not want to suffer. Greenhouse is not so air tight so hard to heat, but a little one burner propane heater did ok. When I went out to turn it off the outdoor temp was 36 and inside the greenhouse was 50.
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

lakngulf wrote:
SPierce wrote: OMG. I am so, so, SO doing that! I am I am! I've bought corn seeds in the past, but the spacing requirements for them always was so far apart, I couldn't fit them in the containers I had. Now that I know it can be done, though, I totally need to try! Thank you for pointing that out!
I forgot to measure my big green pots, but one year I attempted to grow all three sisters in a pot: corn, squash and beans. I had about 5-6 corn stalks and they did well. The other stuff not so much
I tend to keep the plants nearby eachother, but all in separate pots. Still on the search for a largeish container where I can plant multiple corn stalks. We'll see!

No peppers have come up yet (probably won't, since I have trouble with them every year!) but my brussells sprouts and brocolli seeds have started sprouting. They just came through yesterday, so I'm excited to see what happens with the others...

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I do not have a greenhouse or a heating mat so I germinate everything outside on my nursery bench. When the temperature drops below 68 degrees peppers do not germinate very well or very fast. February has been in the low 60's to high 50's at night. That is enough to slow every thing down. Day temps are in the 70's. Great for the cool season crops but it was warm enough in January for the eggplant to flower, but the fruit now is taking an eternity to grow. When it is warmer, I will get 8-10 eggplant in as many days. I don't have to worry about freezes, but it can still get cold enough to keep things from growing normally.

I plant my corn closer than 30 inches, more like 18 inches and I get 1 or 2 ears per plant. I get more if I bag the tassels and hand pollinate them. I have not experienced no ears on the inside corn very much except when I left 2 cornstalks in the same hole. I usually have at least one or two ears that can't decide to be cobs or tassels though and that happens all of the time. I don't have as much space and I only have room now for about 39 plants. In a bad year I got only 20 ears but usually I get about 40-50 but they won't all be big or full. When I had my whole half garden I consistently would plant 47 plants and get 67 ears. Not anymore though, the aloe and jamaican oregano have taken over 1/3 of the space. I am going to have to move them somewhere else someday.
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I started my Tomatoes and Peppers the 21st of December. The tomatoes have now totally outgrown my growroom (I need to start by the end of January next year - you live and learn) and badly need to be planted into the garden. The peppers I've cut back to make them branch out, so they are still not too tall. Problem is, it's a tad too cold still (40 at night and 72 during the day) and the garden currently is producing an abundance of food. I need to sacrifice some of it unfortunately. Spinach is so prolific that eating it and making smoothies every day does not make a big enough dent to keep up with the growth, so I'm thinking I will remove half of it in order to make room for some of the tomatoes.
Some of the brassicas won't have enough time to produce, so I'm probably going to juice the leaves. I'll find a way somehow...it's just hard to remove perfectly good crops. I need more beds....

I took a picture from my roof of the garden little over 2 weeks ago. It has grown much more since then due to more sun and heat, especially the different lettuces in the keyhole bed (it's amazing how big they get in just 2 weeks) and beans and carrots have germinated and started to fill in the voids.
bed.jpg
2016-02-20 12.03.07.jpg
Some of the tomatoes bathing in the sun. Obviously, 2 weeks ago is a long time, so they are inconveniently larger now.

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I just got my order from Johnny's Seeds today. I called it in only a few days ago, this was really fast. Especially when you consider in Hawaii there is no such thing as express mail. Two days is the best I can get.

I ordered
Parthenon zucchini-I am trying it to see if I get a better yield with a zucchini that does not require pollination
Tigress zucchini is supposed to do better in the south. I am in the south and way west.
Carmen peppers- They did really well last year and they are a good frying and stuffing pepper.
Mellow Star- Shishito pepper.

Of course they sent this beautiful catalog with it and now I want more.
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

MockY wrote:I started my Tomatoes and Peppers the 21st of December. The tomatoes have now totally outgrown my growroom (I need to start by the end of January next year - you live and learn) and badly need to be planted into the garden. The peppers I've cut back to make them branch out, so they are still not too tall.
HURRY UP Springtime!!!

I am with you MockY. I started some tomatoes mid December and now have some beautiful plants. Of course, I have started more every 1st and 15th of the month since, so I will have all shapes and sizes. The earliest ones are in great shape and probably will be up-potted in the greenhouse. Today, working around them it was such a pleasant odor when I rubbed against the tomato leaves.

Here are my earliest tomatoes

Image

I am glad to have started peppers early. Always hard to get them going but this year I have some Bell, multi colored Bell, Banana and Jalapeno coming along nicely. Here are some of the smaller peppers and tomatoes.

Image
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Man vs Raccoon --- Phase I

This year I hope that the raccoons and squirrels will share some of the fresh corn with me. I have installed some slippery tin around the small pier to give them a challenge. I know they are resourceful and will find the weak point, but maybe it will take a little time.

Image

Image

At the very least I want the old timer raccoons to tell their grandkids "What do you mean you cannot get into that corn patch? Why, let me tell you what I had to traverse back in 2016"
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Well, I left on vacation (7 days ago) and when I left, only a few broccoli and brussels sprouts had come up - maybe 5 total?

Well, I came back and EVERY seed that I had planted sprouted, so I now have roughly 15-17 Brussels Sprouts plants, 7 sweet bell peppers of random varities and 6 Broccoli's. I have no idea what to do with them or where to put them - I had them started in my bedroom window in little pots of soil. Guess I have my work cut out for me though and have to buy new containers to plant them in outside :D I do hope all do well enough to produce at least a little unlike last year. I also better be more careful when I go to start my non cold weather/more quickly growing plants so I don't end up with an excess

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

One of my broccoli is making a flower. It is about 2 inches now. DeCicco does not make a large head but it does put out side shoots of mini broccoli.
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

MockY wrote:
2016-02-20 12.03.07.jpg
Some of the tomatoes bathing in the sun. Obviously, 2 weeks ago is a long time, so they are inconveniently larger now.
MockY, how are those large tomatoes doing? I could not stand it and had to put some of these in the ground last week. The stems were very sturdy and healthy, but I planted them horizontal because they were so long, and that would give them more warmth in these spring days.

Image

I planted them on my small pier, where I get the most sun this time of the year

Image
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

SPierce wrote:Well, I left on vacation (7 days ago) and when I left, only a few broccoli and brussels sprouts had come up - maybe 5 total?

Well, I came back and EVERY seed that I had planted sprouted, so I now have roughly 15-17 Brussels Sprouts plants, 7 sweet bell peppers of random varities and 6 Broccoli's.
Sounds like your "green thumb" is working. Good luck with them
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

imafan26 wrote:One of my broccoli is making a flower. It is about 2 inches now. DeCicco does not make a large head but it does put out side shoots of mini broccoli.
Always good when a plan comes together.
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From Memphis Tennessee

An update on how things are going....



PS: lakngulf - You are quoting Hannibal Smith, I believe

The grand total at this point is about 28 tomato plants, 24 Poblano peppers - though some have not come up yet, 25 or so Cascabella (semi mild yellow, think "Garden Gem"), about 32 Cascabel, 5 lettuce plants, two spinach plants, and a pair of Giant Thai Elephant Ear plants all indoors

Or around 125 houseplants right now... :mrgreen:
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

lakngulf wrote:
SPierce wrote:Well, I left on vacation (7 days ago) and when I left, only a few broccoli and brussels sprouts had come up - maybe 5 total?

Well, I came back and EVERY seed that I had planted sprouted, so I now have roughly 15-17 Brussels Sprouts plants, 7 sweet bell peppers of random varities and 6 Broccoli's.
Sounds like your "green thumb" is working. Good luck with them
Thanks! I've been told by all my family (I'm the only one that still gardens, gets plants, etc regularly) that I take after my Grandmother, Grandfather and Grandfather (farmers and gardeners). I do admit I tend to have a bit of a green thumb :mrgreen:

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Something someone said at a different website set me off. I told them not to grow different kinds of tomato plants close enough together to cross-pollinate. They shot back a lot of stuff about how it only changes the seeds - and I said:

"Alright, but that doesn't explain the two years I grew zucchini and crookneck summer squash together and wound up with GIGANTIC YELLOW CROOK NECK SUMMER SQUASH..."

And they shot back a lot of more stuff.....

SO what I have just done is this: I sent for two packs each of HEIRLOOM crookneck and zucchini seeds from this website:
https://heirloomseeds.com/


I intend to grow them "ONE PLANT THIS, THE NEXT PLANT THAT, ETC..." so that they are fully mixed together as far as pollination. O:)

I'll be taking pictures/videos of the whole thing :mrgreen:


~Just to prove the point.


What do you think is going to happen? Place your bets!
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Greywolf wrote:Just to prove the point.

What do you think is going to happen? Place your bets!
I plant yellow straight neck and green zucchini side by side and wide up with green/yellow striped zucchini. I like it!
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

"What do you think is going to happen? Place your bets!"

The HEIRLOOM Crookneck will produce crookneck squash.

The Zucchini will produce zucchini.

The pollen falling on the flowers does not change the fruit characteristics this season!
Now if you same some seeds from this planting for next year............... You will get some interesting mixes.
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Sometimes the companies send the wrong seeds too, but that is rare. I ordered Yellow brandywine and got a red tomato. The company replaced the seeds. They did not know what they were either but agreed it was not as advertised.
I agree with James that it should not change the characteristics this season, unless you are consuming the seeds. Crossing different kinds of corn and hot peppers with sweet peppers can make a difference. I don't know if cross polination will cause stripes, but hey you can make a lot of money if you can get it to make pink polka dots.
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Re: From Memphis Tennessee

Greywolf wrote:PS: lakngulf - You are quoting Hannibal Smith, I believe
Indeed. As I am flipping channels late night I see him, Mr. T and others and HAVE to stop and watch their plan!
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Haha haven't seen that show is ages! :D
Things are looking good :wink:
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I have been away for a few days at the beach, came home and found my greenhouse looking like this:

Image

Several items that need to find some soil in the garden soon = rattlesnake beans, yellow and zuchinni squash, silver queen corn, and lots of tomatoes. Some tomatoes are so large that they may have to be discarded in favor of the newer group coming along. I like the color of healthy green!

Image

The 10 day forecast calls for some cold nights for Sunday and Monday, so I will nurse everything along and transplant after that. Here are the tomatoes I put in the ground before the trip. They really enjoyed the warm temps and living on the small pier. Will have to cover them during the cold nights.

Image

And WHAT???? A bloom???

Image
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

See what can happen in ajust a few days.
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Not long now! I love the way everything in your greenhouse is eagerly growing :-()
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Tomato plants were big enough to plant, lowest temp forecasted is 44 degrees on April 3, so some tomatoes have been put in the ground. Blooms still look good on the early ones I had to cover a couple of nights. But there are too many out to cover now so here's hoping.

Here are the next tomatoes getting ready:

Image

Several folks that have gotten some plants from me in the past have asked about the crop this year. They should enjoy the bunch above.
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

The early tomatoes seem to have weathered the weather OK. Maybe night temps now will stay in the fifties.

Image

Many of the larger ones still have blossoms but I don't know what the cool temps have done to them. Maybe!

Image

These were planted a little later, and still look good after the last two nights in low forties.

Image

And lots more that need to go somewhere.

Image
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lakngulf
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Lake Martin, AL

Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Word to the Wise.

Check the forecast before you put little plants out in the sun and leave home for a day. I knew rain was coming in but thought it was supposed to be last night and today. It came early afternoon and my little plants took a beating.

Got them inside as soon as I could and they show good recovery this morning.
Nutin as good as a kitchen sink mater sammich

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Good to hear they are recovering. The little ones are weak from indoor conditions and you have to watch out for every little thing. :|

My main concern right now is peering up at the lights to make sure none of them are touching or nearly touching the bulbs. But I did take the biggest ones outside for a day (inside of a translucent storage tub and loosely covered with a white trash bag to shade them from the sun) yesterday. It was in the 50's last night and theoretically possible for them to have stayed out, but I gave in to bringing them back inside. It was raining this morning. 30's tonight, so still a few weeks away from fully hardening off or planting.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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