Dreaming of Spring Gardening in the middle of a Wisconsin winter

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by oldhenlikesdogs, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought cedar fence planks cut them in half and made boxes I could add slats too for potatoes, worked pretty well, kept topping it off with peat moss though straw would work at least as well.

    For a temporary greenhouse I bought one of those 10x20 canopies for $80 from Menards. Serves as a canopy for parties in summer but in spring I can put plastic over it, when not in use it goes back in the box, the plastic takes up more space.
     
  2. Miss Biddy

    Miss Biddy Out Of The Brooder

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    Zone 4 gardener here. I ordered all my seeds from Fedco, Dollar Seed (a great company out of Central NY) and High Mowing.
    Started a new garden journal, organized my seeds by sow date, and already started some herbs, artichokes, and Brandywine tomatoes. I must be nuts to start the tomatoes so darn early, but I'm trying something new.

    I also plan on selling some of my plants to recoup my costs. Oh and I ordered seed potatoes from Fedco.

    I'm going to grow them in my old feed bags. And I have blueberry and strawberry plants coming in May.

    I have a lot of land, and plan on really using more of it this year. My chooks and goats manure will be a big help.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

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    Hello fellow zone 4 gardener. You are going to have giant tomato plants, should be interesting. I've been keeping a journal since 2001, it's nice to look back at weather patterns and being able to find dates I can't remember. I have read about growing potatoes in sacks but I haven't tried it, it does sound easy. I plant any potatoes that has grown too many eyes from last year's potatoes, I don't even cut them up. I have never tried artichokes, either growing or eating.
     
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  4. Miss Biddy

    Miss Biddy Out Of The Brooder

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    *Waves* Hello from Northern New York!
    We keep getting hit with Late Blight on the tomatoes, so I'm taking a stand, lol.
    I've never grown potatoes, but the farm (a CSA farm) I worked at sparked my interest after I tasted them.

    What a difference between store bought. I was hooked on Carola in particular.

    Artichokes: love them. They are quite pretty too. I started them too late last time I tried to grow them.

    Grow Imperial Star if you do decide you like them. The secret is vernalization: I plan on exposing the 6 inch seedlings to cold temps in a cold frame during the day, and bring them in at night.

    It tricks them into budding the first year. They're a Mediterranean plant that thrives in Central California, but I will make them grow here! [​IMG]

    I'm also growing the Glass Gem corn, and the Indigo plant. Already have the Indigo sown.


    Oh, I use my car as a greenhouse during the spring. Yes, I drive around with flats in my Toyota.

    My mother thought it was hilarious, but it works. I swear by it. :D


    I also use my broken, over the stove microwave as a germinating box. Seeds that normally take weeks to sprout, pop up in days. I'm all about being frugal.
     
  5. Miss Biddy

    Miss Biddy Out Of The Brooder

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    Every year, in my raised beds, I sow a cover crop of buckwheat.
    This year I threw down some winter wheat as a cover crop. Hoping like heck it comes through.
    No one grows straw around here, the farmers even have to buy it from Canada, so I'd love to have my own straw!

    Oh, one year I planted peas and oats, when I turned the soil over? Worm city!
    Need to plant that again.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I find that growing tomatoes in the green house provides protection from LB. When the weather gets hot, I pull the plastic down from the top, giving them a surrounding wall of plastic that is 4 - 5' high. This keeps the spores from being carried to the plants on the wind. Home grown potatoes are NOTHING like store bought. I'd swear they were a completely different plant. Nothing like those first new potatoes, stolen from a blooming plant, while the rest of the taters are left under ground to continue sizing up! I bet your car works wonders for starting those seedlings. Even the vibration they get while you're running errands will make the plants grow stronger! My favorite places to sprout seedlings are around the base of the wood stove and on top of the refrigerator.

    Peas and oats together? I'm thinking about planting a plot of grains (barley and wheat) sunflowers, field corn, and sorghum. Will put some in the BTE orchard, as well as some in a fallow spot in a corner of the yard.
     
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  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

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    I mulch my tomato plants with grass clippings all summer and avoid the blight most years, last year I stupidly planted them next to the potatoes and a few succumbed. I have never tried cover crops because I practice no till.

    Have you tried dehydrating in your car, I did dry out my thyme one year. Do you seatbelt those plants in? [​IMG]

    You have some great ideas.
     
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  8. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my neighbors mulches with grass clippings and thatch, collects it from all the others who use weed and feed in their lawns, and didn't flinch when I pointed that out so maybe the brain damage is done.
    I have mulching blades on the lawn tractor so I don't generate enough clippings to mulch with regularly unless I pull out the bagging push mower.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

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    We mulch with the grass clipping all summer adding about an inch a week, too deep and it will mold underneath, than in the fall we add all fallen leaves than top dress the beds with seasoned manure, the following Spring I pull back the layer, plant replace the layer while fluffing it, water and walk away, I plant my cold crops as soon as I see the garlic coming up, most years I'm planted in the middle of April and eating my salads as others are just looking at their gardens. I have raised beds, formed only, which warm up and dry quickly in my zone 4 short growing season, and I do no other fertilizing, and my garden is small so I practice intensive gardening as well as two plantings in each bed every season.
     
  10. Miss Biddy

    Miss Biddy Out Of The Brooder

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    No, but that is a good idea, about dehydrating in the car. Lol, I drive carefully with my flats in the car.
    Gardening has made me a better driver!
     
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