Maine

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by chickenboy, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. annabananaandfamily

    annabananaandfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On a completely non-chicken note. I am trying to begin the planning process for our garden this year. We have a raised plot left from the previous owners that is around 20x30. There is some asparagus and rhubarb already there and a bazilion tomato cages ready for me to use. Anyway, my first moderately successful attempt at gardening was last year and a smaller scale. I was hoping you lovely mainers, with your recent garden talk, may have some good advice and suggestions for us. Ready? GO!
     
  2. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lucky you to have Rhubarb AND Asparagus beds! I am trying to get mine established and it is so hard to not pick the Rhubarb! I want PIE. NOW!
     
  3. buckabucka

    buckabucka Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop

    I'm not sure how much you already know about gardening....

    We have our garden in quadrants and try to group like-minded plants together.
    Group 1- peas and beans, and rows of stuff like lettuce, spinach.
    2 - corn, melon, squash, and cucumber
    3 - brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) and we squeeze our onions in this area, along with more rows of stuff (beets, carrots, basil, etc.)
    4 - nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes) and I usually add sweet potato too.

    Each year, we rotate these groups of crops clockwise. It helps keep down pests and maintain fertility. I always make a garden map.
    It's good to add a lot of compost or aged manure each year.

    If you want to start your own seedlings, you'll need to plan ahead. I start my onions and leeks in late February, and eggplant and peppers in late March. It's good to have some grow lights for cloudy days, or the plants will get leggy.

    It's not a bad idea to get a good gardening book. I like The Garden Primer, by Barbara Damrosch. I love to try new things, like peanuts.

    I'm not sure about your microclimate, but we are in a cold pocket, so we've always used black plastic under the eggplant and peppers, and put floating row covers over them. Now that we have the hoop houses, we don't need the row covers, although we still like black plastic to suppress the weeds. It is ugly, but it works.
    Have fun with it!
     
  4. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Vacationland, Maine
    We start our seeds indoors on a heated seedling mat in a "cabinet" that's insulated and therefore warm, with lights overhead. There's a fan in there that I turn on for a few hours a day to start to make their stems thicker and their waxy covers more protective to drying out. Once it's at least in the 50s during the day they go out into a cold frame during the day and come back in at night. Then they get transplanted. They're nice and big, healthy and ready to go. Here's a not quite finished picture of the cabinet (there's another row of lights halfway down that's not in yet, nor is the fan in there) and a picture of the cold frame (which is just one piece of plywood and some plexiglass that we [he] made). It gets insanely warm in there during the day, it's great. I'll be having him make at least one if not two more soon for the spring.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]



    I grow a variety of seedlings and try to do many heirloom. I've had some good luck with them, but I do also grow crops that are not necessarily heirloom but suited to a short growing season so I am sure to have something early. I also keep a table of when I start seeds, how good the sprouting is, when they're moved outside, when they're transplanted and when I get the first fruits and overall production. That way I know what works well here and what doesn't and plan the next year accordingly. I know tomatoes and peppers in buckets do much better than ones in the ground where I am, perhaps because the soil is warmer? I also keep notes such as "got really cold, wish I had left X in the cold frame for another 2 weeks" so I can do better this year.

    I had my first tomato of 2012 on 19 July from seedlings I started 23 March. I hope to improve that this year.

    I also try to grow something new each year that I've never done, which is fun. This year it was celery. It was sufficiently worth it to do it again this year; but I'm not sure I'll have the room.
     
  5. Widget

    Widget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Limington, Maine
    I will probably try a garden again this year. Not sure why since a green thumb is not something I have or have ever had unless you want weeds. I have a great spot and have been building up a raised bed for the past couple years. Have plenty of aged manure. But the actual soil is very sandy. Good drainage though. Would love some pickling cukes, peas, corn and string beans. Anything else would be a plus.
     
  6. annabananaandfamily

    annabananaandfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maine
    Thanks for all the tips folks! I am very anxious to get things figured out and moving towards a productive garden. I was browsing Johnnys Seeds website and kept adding things here and tehre to the cart....but I didnt make any purchases because I really dont need things quite in the number they sell. Do seeds last for more than one year or do you have to buy new each year?

    We just got back from visiting an alpaca farm in yarmouth and it was wonderful! The owner was EXTREMELY helpful, a wealth of information. I could have stayed all day and talked to her about alpaca farming! I wish we were ready for alpacas now, because she had some great animals for sale at amazing prices. But we are not to the ready point just yet, unfortuantely.

    Everyone enjoying the first day of the new year?
     
  7. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Vacationland, Maine
    Most seeds are good for many years, although the sproutability may reduce significantly after 3-5 years. That's why I keep track of the sproutability of my seeds on my spreadsheet, so I know when it's time to replace seed. I store them in their original seed envelopes, and then in a plastic bag inside a larger tinted plastic box (not airtight) in the cool of my basement.


    You guys are getting me excited for seeds. I think this week I'll take seed inventory and then start the search for new things! I love this time of year. I know I need pumpkin seeds as all my seed was used up this past year. I love anything in the cucurbit family.
     
  8. ashandvine

    ashandvine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2012
    Western MA
    I will gladly trade you lots of rhubarb for ... something. ? What do you grow? I always get waaaay too much. I freeze it and can it.

    I tried contacting someone about quail eggs because they are so pretty. I wanted to blow them out and decorate with them but the person is in Turner and I am not going out there again, certainly not just for eggs to decorate with. Oh well.

    And SCG-- I KNOW, I love the leaves and flowers and smell of all the squashy types. Pumpkin and cucumbers are my faves. We had a volunteer pumpkin grow near the coop this year. The chickens enjoyed some of the small unripe pumpkins and I protected two for us. Very pretty.

    I want to be hatching too. I feel very left out and behind the eight. Turns out that my Brahma, Ducks and Polish, my Dorkings and Welsummers are all laying but not my Marans who are older than the Dorkings, nor are the new BR. I am impatient. Of course neither are my Ams. [​IMG] and they are supposed to be eggers. Darn lazy butts.

    Is anyone going to the Poultry Congress? I know ChickMagnet is planning on it. Anyone else?? I am going to try to get things here easy enough for SO to take care of and stay with a friend/family if I do go. Its two days but I'll only make one. There are some very respectable judges and speakers going to be there. ITS FREE
     
  9. hoppy

    hoppy I'm not all fluff

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    central maine
    what a weird post. I too was at an alpaca place today and bought 2 fleeces for my new felting project. she said all 4 of her alpacas were given to her pretty much 4 for $100. and I am currently waiting on a job interview with johnny's I've worked for them in the past. order the mini packets, lots less seed, plenty for a home gardener. also if you can split an order, might be more cost effective (shipping ect)

     
  10. buckabucka

    buckabucka Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 13, 2010
    Fairfield, Maine
    My Coop
    I just placed my seed order with Fedco today! They were already sold out of the snowpea I wanted, so I chose another one, but I think I'll be getting everything else.

    I love your seed starting box, SCG. I often put my seeds on the heated bench of our masonry heater, but I have to be careful (one year I cooked them). I do want to try the fan this year, at least with the crops that won't be in the hoop house.

    As far as seeds keeping, onions are one type that doesn't keep well. But recently I started putting the onion seed in zip lock bags, and sealing the whole thing in a small tupperware container in the freezer. They keep great that way! I should probably do that with all my seeds, as where they are stored now is fairly warm.

    Widget, my soil is total sand. You can dig for days and never find a rock. We have added lots of organic matter. Even when we have days of rain, it is very rare to see a puddle in the garden.

    The new crop I'm going to try this year is a flint corn that you dry and grind into pink cornmeal. [​IMG]
     

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