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I have little plants!! YAY!!

peachymomma
17 years ago

I am so excited to see my corn coming up that I planted last weekend. I was so excited to share that will everyone here :D It is my first time to plant corn.

However the other stuff I planted the weekend before that has yet to make an appearance. Usually I don't use seeds I just go to the local farmers co-op and buy little plants so I am kinda getting nervous.

I guess if I am still not having any luck with the other stuff by next weekendI will seriously think about replanting.

I hope everyone else here is having success :D

Carla

Comments (9)

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Carla,

    Congratulations on your baby plants!

    What else have you planted that is not coming up yet?

    And, how much rain have you had since planting?

    Dawn

  • peachymomma
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I planted carrots, beets, okra, yellow and zuchinnie squash the weekend before and they are not coming up.
    I watered the day I planted and used the miricle grow that attaches to your water hose once. Then we had rain once.

    Carla

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  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Carla,

    CARROTS: Carrots are NOTORIOUSLY SLOW and can take a month or longer to sprout. We plant them in the cool spring months, but they germinate fastest in hot weather (wouldn't you know it!) I love carrots, but they are frustrating to get started.

    One of the main problems with carrots is that they sprout so slowly that gardeners tend to forget about them and let the soil dry out....and then the carrots never sprout.

    Here's a couple of the 'old farmer's ways' to sprout carrots:

    1. Prepare your soil and sow your seed as directed on the seed packet. Water the bed gently so the seed doesn't wash away. Then, lay a board or a piece of heavy duty black plastic or cardboard on top of the area sown with carrot seed. This will conserve moisture and keep the soil from crusting over and becoming too hard for the carrots to break through. Check underneath the board every morning and every evening, and remove the board the minute you see even one tiny green sprout. I've used this approach and it works pretty well.

    2. Buy a packet or two of radish seeds. Plant your carrot seeds, but interplant them with the radish seeds by placing a radish seed every inch or two in the row OR by sowing a row of radishes VERY CLOSE (maybe 1/2" away) to the row or rows of carrots.

    Now, why in the world would you want to do this? Most soil surfaces dry out and crust over very soon after the seeds are planted, and those teensy carrot plants aren't strong enough to break through the surface of the soil. Radishes, on the other hand, sprout quickly and with those great big leaves. As the radishes sprout, they break through that crusty soil layer, paving the way for the carrots.

    Because radishes mature very quickly, you will harvest them quickly, and they won't be there to interfere with the growth of the carrots in the long-term. You will have a lot of radishes all at once, but they store really well, or you can just give them away or throw them on the compost pile.

    And, if you have kids who enjoy gardening with you, the radishes are great for the kids to grow because you get such fast results....from seed to an edible vegetable in about a month.

    Now, here's the Okie-Dawn Carrot Planting Method for Control-Freak Gardeners Who Must Have Their Carrots "Just So". Don't laugh at this. It works. I've done it twice, but I don't usually do it. It was the result of not getting a good stand of carrots for several years.

    1. Save all the cardboard tubes from your rolls of toilet paper, paper towels, wrapping paper, etc.

    2. When you are ready to sow your seed, cut all the bigger tubes down to the same height as the toilet paper tubes. Line up the tubes upright in a seed starting tray or plastic storage bin. Fill with soil. Water to settle the soil.

    3. Plant 3 or 4 carrot seeds per tube. Lightly cover with fine potting soil or compost and water gently. Keep inside in house or shed or garage. Carrot seed will sprout at 40 degrees, but will sprout quickest inside at normal room temperatures. Keep moist until seeds sprout. If necessary, cover box with chicken wire or something similar so that cats won't think it is a litter box.

    4. After the plants are an inch or two tall, thin to where you have two plants per tube.

    5. Transplant tubes to garden, setting the tubes about an inch apart. Water well. When carrots are a couple of inches tall, thin to one carrot per tube. The cardboard tubes will rot. The seeds will grow. You WILL have carrots.

    OKRA: This is a true heat lover. I usually plant mine in May, or maybe in April if the soil is REALLY warm.

    Okra germinates best when soil temperatures are in the 75 to 90 degree range. In most of Oklahoma right now the soil temps are in the 60s. At our place they are consistently in the 63 to 67 degree range, so it is still a little early.

    If your soil was lower than 68 degrees when you planted your okra, you can expect very poor if any germination. Sorry.

    I find that okra is a very erratic germinator, even under what seems to be 'just perfect' conditions. Even if the soil is warm enough and you are careful to ensure that is is moist enough, you still will have erratic germination beginning about a week after you plant and then lasting 1 or 2 weeks. Sometimes it seems like the okra germination drags on and on at an excrutiating pace.

    You may have to replant after the soil warms up a bit.

    To plant Okra: Use your hoe or a stick or your hand to create a furrow in the center of what will be your row or rows of okra. If the soil feels dry, use a watering can or a hose set at a very low watering rate to apply some water directly to that furrow. Let that water soak in for a few minutes before you plant. Sow your seed at the rate of 4 or 5 seed per foot of row. Cover the seed with dirt 1/2" to 3/4" deep and lightly tamp down the soil. This ensures good seed-to-soil contact, which is important, and also keeps the soil from drying out as quickly.

    Once your seedlings emerge, you'll need to thin them out. I like to thin out my okra the first time when it is about 2" tall. At that point I thin the plants out to about 6" to 8" apart.

    After the plants have grown to be about 6" to 8" tall, thin them out again, to a spacing of about 12" to 18" apart, depending on the eventual size of your plant. For a dwarf okra, like Little Lucy or Bubba, I'll leave them a foot apart. For a larger okra, I'll leave them 18" apart (and sometimes 24" apart if they are one of the ones that get REALLY big).

    Each time after you thin out the plants, pat down the disturbed soil and water lightly.

    Okra is one of the few plants that I do not mulch extremely early on in the growing process. Okra likes it hot, and mulch cools the soil, so I don't mulch the okra until the soil is well up into the 70s.

    BEETS: I don't grow beets, but I know a little about them because my granny always grew them, and I grow Swiss Chard which is a relative of theirs. Beets are a cool season crop. You can plant them as early as 4 to 6 weeks BEFORE the date of your average last frost.

    Beets love soil that has been improved by adding liberal amounts of compost and other organic matter, but avoid adding manure in the weeks just before you plant the beets. High levels of manure cause beets to develop tough, coarse, misshapen roots. It is OK to add manure in the fall and then plant beets in the spring.

    Sow beets in furrows as described above for okra. Sow about 8 to 10 seeds per foot of row, covering with no more than 1/2" of soil, unless you have a nice sandy loam, and then you can cover them with up to 1" of soil.

    It is hard to get a good stand of beets. To speed up seed germination, you can soak your beet seed in room temperature water overnight immediately before planting it. Also, if your soil tends to crust over and get hard a couple of days after planting, then cover the seed with compost after planting, instead of with regular garden soil. You can also pre-soak okra seed in this manner.

    Beet seeds will germinate when the soil is between 45 and 85 degrees. As always, germination is faster with the warmest temperatures. So, in the springtime the beets may take 2 to 3 weeks to sprout, and if you are planting in late summer for a fall crop they may sprout in 4 to 6 days.

    If it helps to know this, one of my neighbors, who is in his second year of vegetable gardening, planted his beets three weeks ago, and they finally began to emerge two weeks after he planted. He has unimproved clay soil so he has been watering lightly every day to keep the soil soft enough for the seedlings to emerge.

    SUMMER SQUASH: All squashes are extremely sensitive to cool soil temps AND to cool air temps. If planted too early, they will grow very slowly and will be of low productivity.
    If you planted when your soil temperatures were at least 60 degrees, they should be fine. If you planted when the soil was colder than that, they may not sprout and, even in they do sprout, they may not do well.

    Plant squash once the soil temperature exceeds 60 degrees and only after daytime high temps consistently exceed 65 degrees.

    For bush types, plant 3 or 4 seeds together every 24 to 36 inches. For vine types, space the hill of 3 to 4 seeds every 36" to 40".

    Plant seeds at a depth of 1" to 2", planting deeper on lighter sandier soils and planting higher on heavier clay soils. If the soil and air temps are at the right level, you should see seedlings emerge in a week or less.

    Once the seedlings have developed two to four true leaves, thin each hill to one or two seedlings. Because of the extensive root system of squash plants, it is better in this case to thin by pinching off the stem at ground level instead of pulling up the young plant. As with okra, squash likes warm soil, so I don't mulch it for the first few weeks.

    Since it rained and is now quite warm, I think some of your sluggish seeds should emerge this week. If not, you may need to think about re-planting. Before you decide to replant, though, you can take a hand-held trowel or cultivator and gently scratch around in the rows where you planted seeds that haven't emerged. See if you see any tiny bits of emerging green leaves or roots. If you see some, you might want to wait a few more days before replanting.

    However, due to the amount of rain that fell, and because you have seed in the ground that hasn't sprouted, there is always the possibility that the seed is so wet it will rot instead of germinating.

    Keep me posted on how it goes.

    Dawn

  • peachymomma
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dawn thank you so much for the information! I am now saving toilet paper rolls :D and just waiting a bit for the okra. I will keep you updated.
    Carla

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Carla,

    Watch your low temps as the weekend approaches! If you have tiny baby veggies up by then, you can protect them with just a light scattering of leaves or grass clippings or straw...just enough to cover them up the tiniest bit. Then, after the cold nights pass, they should be fine.

    I guess a good topic for discussion later in the week might be the subject of plant damage by freezing versus plant damage by actual frost, and what we need to watch for????

    By the way, many many of my tomatoes plants are blooming, so I am a really happy camper. And, I have billions and billions of tiny peaches and plums. OK, maybe not quite billions and billions, but a lot. Thinning the fruit will be a nuisance, but it is necessary. Still, I'm waiting until the cold passes because sometimes it does some pruning for you. :(

    Gotta go make dinner....and it is starting to cloud up and look rainy.

    Talk to you later,

    Dawn

  • peachymomma
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dawn,
    I was reading the post about the cold temps and I am concerned about my corn. Nothing else has come up yet.

    I am visiting the local nursery in a week or so for squash and zukes. And replanting the green beans this weekend. A friend planted their green beans around the same time I did and has had much better success.

    I am going to mulch around my tomatoes today.
    I wish I was as lucky as you having tomatoes blooming :D

    I hope your peaches and plums fair well ;)

    Carla

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Carla,

    If your corn is still quite small, it should be fine, especially if it is mulched.

    The taller the corn plants are, the higher the growing tips and the greater the chance of chilling or frost damage. Sweet corn that has 3 or 4 or 5 leaves will have a growing tip closer to the ground and will be less likely to freeze. Taller sweet corn plants that already have 6 or 7 or 8 leaves will have a higher growing tip and will be more likely to suffer damage. The key is the growing tip. If the growing tip is damaged, the corn will not recover and you'll have to replant.

    I can't imagine your corn is already tall enough that the growing tips are very high off the ground, so I think your corn will be OK. Well, unless we have a freak snowstorm and then all bets are off. (Just kidding--no snow in forecast!)

    It is exciting to see the blooms on the tomatoes, and of course, the tiny tomatoes as well. I am not expecting trouble from the weather, but if trouble comes our way, I have big sheets of 4mm and 6mm plastic that is 10'wide by 25' long. If I get panicky about the overnight low temps or the prospect of frost, I can lay that plastic on top of a row of tomato plants and tape it to the cages....sort of like throwing a big tablecloth or sheet over them, only I don't have tablecloths or sheets that are that big.

    Thanks for the good wishes for the plums and peaches....we don't often get a good crop. Every year it is something...
    they bloom too early and the cold gets them OR they bloom on time but the deer eat all the green fruit OR they bloom on time and the deer DON'T eat the green fruit, but they hail gets them a couple of week before they ripen. Our last really big crop was in 2004 and we had to give a lot of them away, as I couldn't get them peeled and frozen fast enough.
    That's the kind of year I'm hoping for this year.

    Dawn

  • peachymomma
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If you have that type of year again it will be wonderful! Peaches are so good!

    My corn is all about 3 inches high so I guess I have nothing to worry about. Shew :D

    Where did you find sheets of plastic that big? I have though about cold frame gardening a bit. And sheets of plastic like that would be really useful. I saw an article in Mother Earth News a really long time ago and was intrigued.

    Carla

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Carla,

    I bought the rolls of plastic at either Lowe's or Home Depot in the paint department. I've had it a couple of years. I bought it when we were threatened with a pretty vigorous cold front just like we're expecting this weekend. I didn't use it back then because the cold front slowed down and stalled and it became apparent the cooler temperatures weren't going to make it this far south that time.

    I think we are going to get hit pretty hard by this cold front. At first, our forecasters here were saying 42 degrees for Friday night going into Saturday morning and 41 degrees for Saturday night going into Sunday morning and I wasn't real concerned. Last night they said it would be 39 degrees Friday night and 37 degrees Saturday night. So, obviously, I am a little more concerned now.

    Being very close to the Red River, I am in a valley type area. And, to make it even worse, I am in a creek area within that valley so we sit even lower and often have a frost when others around us don't. Thus, I am expecting frost....depending on what the dewpoint is, and our weather guy has made it clear that some of us will have frost.

    Here's my cold weather strategy, beginning with Thursday night, when we are expecting about 41 degrees for our early Friday morning low:

    TODAY (Wednesday): Add a little more mulch to all the beds....onions, beans, corn, tomatoes. I was going to do this anyway sometime in April, now will just do it ASAP. I mulch the plants lightly in the beginning and continue to add mulch all season. That way, by the time it is really getting hot in June, I have about six inches of mulch on everything.

    TOMORROW (Thursday): First thing in the a.m., drag out all the rolls of plastic stored in the barn/garage and make sure I have enough.

    If not enough, dig through linen closet shelves for spare sheets, table cloths, etc. and make a stack on top of the pool table in the barn/garage so they will be there if I need them.

    Dig up the sack of clothes pins I have stashed somewhere as I can use them to hold sheets and table cloths in place.

    At about noon I will carry inside the 10 flats of 3" tall peppers and herbs from the screened-in back porch and line them up on the floor of the TV room. Then I will close that door and post a sign that says...BABY PLANTS INSIDE, KEEP DOOR CLOSED. That will prevent family members from opening the door (I hope) and keep my old dog and my cats from walking into the room and stepping all over the plants.

    At about 2 o'clock I will add my 3 flats of 'leftover and back-up tomato plants' to the row of flats in the TV room. These plants are still in 4" paper cups and are really huge. Some are flowering. They are my security blanket in case it snows or sleets and my garden suffers widespread damage. Generally, after the annual Easter cold front passes, I give away these plants to DH's co-workers, and to our friends, neighbors, etc.

    Then, I will carry, push, pull or drag 14 of my 19 containers into the garage. Each container has one tomato plant for fruit production interplanted with 3 or 4 herbs/flowers per container for appearance. The remaining 5 containers are too large and heavy to move, so I will throw plastic over them later, probably at about 4 o'clock in order to retain the heat. I'm not real worried about these as they sit on the concrete patio outside the barn and stay fairly warm due to the reflected heat.

    Then it is on to the garden to drape the plastic over the rows of tomato cages. I will use a piece of duct tape periodically to tack down the plastic so it won't blow away. The plastic serves a dual purpose: it can help prevent frost from forming on the leaves and, if I apply it while there's still 2 or 3 hours of sunlight left, it will help retain heat and help mitigate chilling damage.

    If I run out of plastic, I will resort to table cloths and sheets. If I run out of those, I can place empty 5 gallon buckets or large flower pots over a few of the larger plants.

    The only thing about plastic is that IF the plastic touches the foliage and then a frost, sleet or snow occur, anywhere the plastic touches the foliage, that foliage will freeze. Still, though, most of the plant will survive even if that happens.

    I might then, if time permits, LIGHTLY scatter handfuls of hay over the tops of the corn beds and bean plants. Gotta be careful here as these plants are tender and could easily break if I put too much on top of them.

    I can't do anything for the fruit trees as they are too tall. I won't cover the cannas and four o'clocks because they will bounce back from a bit of cold damage.

    I don't need to do anything for the perennials and annual volunteers. Either they make it, and I think they will, or they don't. That's life.

    I'm going to cover up everything for Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night. I uncover everything that has plastic over it as soon as the sun is up because I don't want for it to roast. I may or may not carry the flats of peppers and herbs back out onto the screened-in porch for the day.

    It is a lot of work to protect the garden from a late frost, but it is worth it to me. A lot of my neighbors just wait and plant their gardens after Easter. I like getting an early start. When I'm eating ripe tomatoes in late April...and their plants aren't even blooming yet....yes, it is worth it. And, yes, because I am a nice person, I always share my early tomatoes with local gardening friends because I know they are just as eager as I am for that first taste of a real, home-grown tomato. :D

    Of course, in the fall I take the same types of steps to protect at least a few tomato plants, although the plants are so large that you can't completely prevent them from being damaged.

    One year we built a wood frame of 2 by 4 lumber and covered it with 6 mm plastic. It was about six feet tall, four or five feet wide and maybe twelve to fifteen feet long. We used it to protect one row of tomato plants....maybe five plants. We had a hard, hard freeze the last day of September and then 2 or 3 more freezing nights. The covered plants survived and gave us tomatoes for about six or eight more weeks, because that first freezing weekend was then followed by a long Indian Summer.

    For me, the worst day of the year....any year and every year....is the day we eat the absolute last homegrown tomato. Anything I can do to extend the season and have tomatoes longer is worth it.

    I hope you are able to cover up your plants as much as possible and get your garden through this cold spell. After this weekend, I expect it will be clear sailing. HOWEVER, one old-time here (he is 95 years old) tells me repeatedly that this area has had snow in May several times in his lifetime. I won't argue with him, but haven't ever found any record of a snow this far south in May. Still, even when the weather is nice like it has been this year, his comments stay in the back of my mind.

    Dawn

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