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rainbowgardener
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rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

So I went out and planted a row of spinach seeds and a row of carrot seeds. We've been having lots of spring like weather, with some rain yesterday and more due later today so I decided why not? We have a light freeze (31) forecast for the end of the month. After that, it is relatively rare to get much freezes after the first week in Feb (it does happen, our av last frost date isn't until mid Mar, but maybe not so much in these global warming times). All these winter seeds say "as soon as the ground can be worked." My ground could have been worked any time, it never froze.

Right now the soil is beautiful - I can just push the shovel all the way down into it and it is soft and crumbly and loose all the way down and just slightly damp. Even when I dig down into the native soil, below everything I added to the the raised beds (I can tell because it is redder and a little more clay-ey) it is still soft and crumbly.

Spring comes fast in the south! We barely had winter, just a few days of wintery weather here and there.
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ButterflyLady29
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

I'm trying so very hard to resist the temptation to plant in the ground outside. Like you we are having lovely planting weather although the ground is terribly wet with more rain predicted this week. But our last typical frost is in May and these temperatures are running about 30 to 40 degrees above normal. I'm worried that February and March will bring a lot of freezing weather and snow and that our real spring won't show up until June.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

Wow! Crazy! Our temps are just about 15 deg above normal and not too close to record highs. Sounds like you must be closing in on records for the date.

It is hard to know what to do, because no one knows what to expect. Historic averages don't mean much, because we have fundamentally changed earth's climate already.

Personally, I would go ahead and plant a little bit of cold winter stuff. Even if the winter weather comes back, spinach, broccoli, etc are exceptionally hardy. When I lived in Cincinnati, zone 6, I discovered that the best time to plant spinach and broccoli was mid-late October. It would sprout a little bit and then just sit there through snow, ice, temps in neg numbers and in late winter start growing again. With LOTS of time before hot weather, it did really well. The fall planted spinach got huge and was amazingly productive and then bolted about the same time the spring planted spinach (planted 5 months later) did, when it got hot, so even with being dormant 2-3 of those months, you know it had way more producing time.

The broccoli I planted in fall here is still producing, even though we have had a couple nights with temps in the teens.

At worst some of your seed will be wasted and you will have to start over later. Seed is cheap!
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ButterflyLady29
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

I've got a pile of spinach seed packs from which I have had a most difficult time germinating indoors. You are correct, the worst that will happen is that the seed won't come up. I think I will go ahead and top off the pots with potting soil and plant spinach. Nothing to lose except a few minutes.

We have had some record high days this month, today might be another. My thermometer was reading 59*F a couple hours ago. And with maybe 3 nights of below freezing temps so far this year is starting out very abnormally!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

I planted a couple rows of mixed lettuces and row of celery today. Yes indeed wierd weather, 70 degrees here today, which is close to record for the date. Beautiful day, sunny and clear blue skies, but unnerving.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

lettuce and spinach sprouting in the ground! (despite some adverse conditions part of the time).

Still eating broccoli, chard, parsley and herbs from the garden.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

Celery seed in the ground sprouted!

I pulled the last of the fall planted broccoli. It would have kept on making side shoots for awhile, but I wanted the space. Planted broccoli and kale seed where they were (after turning under the fall leaf mulch, adding a couple buckets of finished compost, and a little bit of the premium topsoil left over from what I brought last year).
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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

Spinach, lettuce, and carrots have sprouted. Broccoli, kale, two kinds of peas, and potatoes are planted. Garlic that was fall planted is doing well. Parsley, swiss chard, and various herbs in pots are still going strong from last year.

The bed in the foreground here has garlic, parsley, and some tiny lettuce seedlings visible. Eventually I will put tomato plants down the middle.

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This one has garlic and swiss chard. The A frame in the back has peas planted to climb it. I also planted peas to climb up the netting since I had to put it up. Most of the fenced beds have peas planted by the fencing. There's also a row of broccoli seed that hasn't sprouted yet.

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The quarter circle garden I built last year has some strawberry plants, rhubarb and asparagus. Eventually I want artichokes in the middle. I don't have a good picture of it, but this has some of the baby plants barely visible.
IMG_1632.JPG
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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

So I was working on a plan, what will get planted where.

South 4x8 bed has spinach and garlic down the sides, will have tomatoes in the middle

West 4x8 bed has carrots and garlic down the sides, parsley on one end, will have peppers in the middle

North 4x8 bed has peas and garlic down the sides and swiss chard and broccoli (seeds) in the middle

East 4x8 bed has garlic and lettuce and peas down the sides, parsley on one end, will have tomatoes in the middle.

All of them will have onion sets and basil plants popped in where ever there is room

Middle 4x4 will have some carrots and celery down a couple edges and corn in the middle/

The quarter circle bed has rhubarb, strawberry, asparagus and will have artichoke in the middle

The second quarter circle which should be finished in the next few days will have beans down two sides, kale around the outside and corn in the middle.

The 16x4 bed on the south end of the deck has potatoes, will have sage and squash. There's lots of herbs in pots on the deck and flowers in fence line plantings.

I was looking at that and going but I want more... Suddenly realized that even though I don't have the other two circle quarters built, that doesn't mean I couldn't still use that ground where they will be:

Image

Yay! So one of those areas will be more corn and one will be bush beans and squash. Planted directly in the native and not very amended soil. So we will see how that works!
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imafan26
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

Your soil looks pretty decent. It may work out. Beans would be a good starter plant for virgin soil since it does not require a lot of nutrients and with an inoculant and the right beans, it may help build up the soil microbes as well.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

The native soil here is pretty nice. Much better than when I was in Cincinnati. It's loamy and easy to work. Has some red clay content. But in Cincinnati the soil was heavy yellow clay, like you could just dig it up and make pots of it. My soil here is not like that. So yes, I'm going to give it a try, just planting into it.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

Here's a few update photos. They are from a few days ago.

last year's swiss chard growing strong still, with snap peas growing up the A frame and garlic down the edge. There's some peas growing around some edges that aren't as visible and some teeny broccoli babies in between the garlic and the other stuff:
garden chard.jpg
Parsley, lettuce, garlic, peas in with the garlic, and just some weeds in the middle.
garden lettuce.jpg
Parsley, garlic, baby carrots down the opposite edge from the garlic, empty tomato spirals/ cages in the middle
garden parsley.jpg
Strawberry plants I planted last fall with a few babies just planted now. This bed also has asparagus and rhubarb.
garden strawberries.jpg
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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

All of that is currently invisible under a blanket of fall leaves as it is going down to 24 degrees tonight!
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applestar
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

Good luck! :bouncey:
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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

I'm just letting all the leaves stay in place, since it will still be down to 24 tonight. After that, I can move them off.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

Ten days later and we have gone from night time lows in the low 20's to night time lows in the mid 50's!

So given that there is no night time low below 50 deg F in the ten day forecast (which gets us into April and well past average last frost date) today I planted tomato plants, pepper plants, and basil plants! (As well as more broccoli, kale, cabbage).

I have to confess, these were started transplants I bought from a good local nursery. I am starting lots more things from seed in the ground in my new climate, but this year I just never got the lights going for indoor stuff. Didn't have good results last year with the LED lights I bought and I never got around to re-doing my set up, what with building the stone raised bed, re-doing the deck and what not. Next year I will go back to growing my own.

Sometime in the next week, I will plant corn seeds in the ground!

Pictures soon....
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

Here's updated photos:
Overview of five gardens (also have the quarter circle garden, the potato patch, fence line plantings, and tons of herbs in pots)
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three tomato plants, a pepper plant, spinach and onions down left edge, garlic and peas down right edge. Can't really see it, but there's three basil plants across the back
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three tomato plants and a pepper plant, lettuce down left edge, right edge has broccoli seedlings, then garlic, then peas, parsley in front
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broccoli and cabbage down the middle, carrots down left edge, garlic and onions down right edge, parsley in back
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swiss chard, then peas, kale and broccoli on the right and then garlic.
Image

The small, square one in the middle has corn seeds planted in it, that haven't sprouted yet.

The last picture that has pea trellis in the back. That half of the 4x8 will be done early and then the second planting of corn will go in there.

Lots more basil and flowers to get tucked in here and there. Planting isn't spring, summer, fall, it is continuous as things get finished, more goes in. All that garlic will be done mid summer and then beans can go in all those spots....

The next quarter circle garden will be done soon and then will get planted with more peppers, basil, squash.

The mulch in the top pictures is used straw raked out of the chicken coop/run. It has very little chicken poop in it, because they mostly poop while on the roosting bars. The tray under the bars has lots of poop and it gets emptied into the compost pile. The straw in the run is inoculated with Nitrogen (chicken pee) to help it break down. So as it is raked out, it goes in the gardens. Eventually they will all be mulched that way and probably covered with pulled weeds for more green.

So what's visible in these pictures is 144 sq ft of garden space and it will produce a ton (well, a whole bunch!) of food....
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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

update 11 days later!

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Image

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Barely visible are some corn seedlings!
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

You sir, are an inspiration to us all, looking good!
What is that green stuff around the outside and in between the beds?

imafan26
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

Great job Rainbow. You've done a lot with the place since you moved in. What has changed in the way you have been gardening since you moved?
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

SQWIB wrote:You sir, are an inspiration to us all, looking good!
What is that green stuff around the outside and in between the beds?
:D It is our miserable excuse for lawn. Our lawn was already more weeds than grass. Then we had terrible heat and drought for months last year. Since I refuse to water lawn, mostly the weeds survived.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbowgardener 2017 spring planting!

imafan26 wrote:Great job Rainbow. You've done a lot with the place since you moved in. What has changed in the way you have been gardening since you moved?
Interesting question, imafan. Gardening here is much more year around. Even without working at it, I had something growing all year. In a less drought year and by trying harder (covering things, etc), I could definitely have a four-season garden. That means planting is much more all the time, just popping things in when something else finishes, rather than a defined spring and summer planting season. It also means I really should do more to maintain the fertility of my beds, since they are in use all the time. Still working on getting that together. I'm not used to actually fertilizing, just compost, compost tea, and mulch. But that may not be enough in my new situation....
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