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Veggie Tales >>> March 2024

vgkg Z-7 Va
2 months ago

Time marches on...and so am I ;-). So far I have planted the peas and lettuce seeds and today I will transplant the cabbage and broccoli seedlings outside. The weather looks perfect to plant the transplants today, it will rain tonight and the next several days will be cool, semi-cloudy, with occasional showers which will acclimate the plants nicely. No 30's are expected over the next 10 days/nights or even longer. A warmer than normal March is in the long range forecast so the fruit trees will be waking up soon too. Keeping fingers crosses for no surprise April freezes. How's your garden grow?

Comments (63)

  • RD Texas
    2 months ago



    More tomatoes




    Some onions

  • RD Texas
    2 months ago



    Mr. Stripey




    Old German

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  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    ^^^ You're way ahead of me RD, esp on the tomatoes! Here's a few pics of things going on here....

    The peas just popped up yesterday....


    ...as have the lettuce...


    The broccoli & cabbage transplants....

    ..more with cages....


    The fall planted spinach....


    fruit pics to follow....

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    The first plum tree is in full bloom now...


    ...A close of of the plum blooms.....very sweet aroma...


    The pear buds are swelling up fast....


    ...and so are the blueberry buds...(plum in the background...)


  • RD Texas
    2 months ago

    Vgkg, wow lots of blooms. Let me ask you a question, how do you keep a sapling from freezing over the winter? Every tree I had froze and died this winter

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    RD what types of saplings are you growing, fruit trees? and are they in pots or in-ground? Here I've been lucky not lose a young newly planted fruit tree in-ground but low temps here rarely go below 10F. That low temp would kill a fig tree in a pot, but if the fig was in-ground it would just kill it back to the roots and it would survive, usually.

  • RD Texas
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Vgkg, I had 2 cherry, 2 banana, a lemon, and an avacado sapling which are all in the ground except the cherry trees. The banana trees, the Meyer lemon, and the one cherry tree (more like a bush) are pretty much desiccated with nothing more than a husk left on the ground. The other cherry tree and the avacado tree are still standing, but look terrible without a single leaf or sprig of green on them. It got down to 18 degrees here and it stayed between 18 and 21 degrees for 3 days in a row

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    RD under those circumstances I can see why those tropical trees were killed by temps in the teens for 3 days. The cherry tree may have survived if it were in-ground (warmer roots) but any foliage would be destroyed. I don't have a good answer on how to save those outside tropical plants when they're exposed to those conditions.

    A few years ago I had a Meyer Lemon tree in-ground outside and contained within a small homemade greenhouse warmed by lightbulbs. It was doing quite well even as the temp dipped into the single digits (holding the greenhouse temp around 40F) but then we lost power at 3am. Within just a few short minutes that GH temp dropped into the teens and killed all of the foliage. If it weren't for that power outage I would have had a very nice crop of lemons by the summer. After that incidence I gave up on growing any fruit trees which were not able to handle below freezing temps.

  • wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Crocus are blooming here...bees working them.

    I plan to plant my first seeds on the 15th.

    I raked the excess straw off the strawberries today.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 months ago

    I just finished planting my tomato seeds indoors. Fifty varieties. It's actually less than I usually plant.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    50 Varieties!! Wow Cindy, the most plants I ever had was about 35 and that consisted of just 4-5 varieties. What do you do with all of those tomatoes and which variety is your favorite? My 2 favorites are Cherokee purples or chocolate and Pink BWs.

    I picked our first serving of Spinach today and prepped rows for future snaps and squash. As for the tomatoes, I'll be cleaning up their cell packs and planting tray this week and start the seeds around the 25th. Worked up a little sweat out there today, cooler temps are predicted for next week but nothing below freezing so far.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    vgkg - At one point I was working with three restaurants. I'm now down to one restaurant. When I was working with the three restaurants I was (at that time) up to 125 tomato plants.

    My favorite tomato for canning is Wessel's Purple Pride. Very prolific with small seed cavities. Meaty and dense.

    My favorite fresh eating tomatoes are BW and Neve's.


    vgkg Z-7 Va thanked cindy-6b/7a VA
  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Oops, I now recall you mentioning growing tomatoes for a restaurant in the past. I'm behind the times as I've not heard of Neve's variety and had to look it up, sounds good. I too don't care for cherry tomatoes but I do plant 2 Sungold's along my neighbor's fence so their 2 kids (ages 7 & 8) have some to pick. One of them asked me yesterday when I was going to plant the Sungolds and I had to chuckle, he seemed sad that it won't be for at least another 6 weeks when the soil has warmed up enough.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    vgkg - Neve's is a terrific tomato! It's also a very strong and sturdy plant.

    What varieties, other than BW and Sungold, do you grow?

    It's another beautiful day here, too. Currently 71 degrees.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 months ago

    Just planted onions seeds, carrot seeds and peas. It will be a battle to see who gets the peas - the squirrels or me.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Cindy my fav tomatoes are pink BWs & all variations of the dark Cherokees. I toss in a large hybrid or two from the Supersteak column just because I only grow large types. But just BWs and Cherokees are my annual mainstays. I may have to look up Neves, pretty large like I like em'......My peas are now 2" up, we have a lot of squirrels here but when it's time to pick the peas they're too busy working on the plum trees to bother with peas.

  • RD Texas
    2 months ago

    I agree with Cindy-Neve’s Azorean Red is a great tomato, I have a couple this season, along with maybe 75 other tomato varieties. Tomatoes are always my main crop. I will count and list them tomorrow-have about 20 more to transplant too although it is supposed to be raining hard for the next week, so I might have to rearrange things so I can get them under cover

  • RD Texas
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Okay Vgkg, I think (if I counted right) I have 88 plants in containers or waiting until after the rain storms for transplanting (14 waiting) and about 15 more varieties left in the greenhouse. This is the list: Mrs Maxwell x2, Dester x2, Chocolate Stripes x5 (2 waiting), Druzba, Goose Creek, Creole, Mariana's Peace (for John), Saybrook, Japanese Black Truffle x2, Black Truffle, Large Barred Boar, Nebraska Wedding, Brandy Boy, Carbon, Neve's Azorean Red x2, Hybrid Beefmaster x2, Fejee Improved x2, Apricot Zebra x2, 42 day x2, Brandywine Sudduth x2, Copia x2, Paul Robeson x2, Tomande, Great White, Pineapple, Black Beauty, Lucky Tiger x2, Medium Rare x2, Honeycomb x3, Sugary, Darkstar x2, Cherokee Purple x4, Black Krim x2, Classic Beefsteak x2. The following I got from the local nursery: BHN 589 x6, Amelia x6, Tycoon x6, Celebrity x5, Old German x2, and Mr. Stripey x2.

    vgkg Z-7 Va thanked RD Texas
  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 months ago

    Decided to check my dwarf plum tree for blossoms. And mine is just starting to bloom.

  • RD Texas
    2 months ago

    I decided to get some tomato plants from the nursery because mine were looking bad with lots of brown spots. I finally figured out they needed fertilizer (same day I visited the nursery) and they bounced back within a week-which is another reason I have so many tomato plants. I got my Pro-Mix BX bales from a bargain place and it had holes in it and a small amount missing (it wasn’t even compacted, so there was close to 1/4 missing). It was so dried out I should have put in a minimal amount of fertilizer in the mix but I usually don’t add it until about week 3. Live and learn

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 months ago

    I have two Sungold seeds showing loops in four days. It's the only cherry variety that I grow.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Whoa RD, you and Cindy put me to shame when it comes to tomatoes, and folks call me a farmer? nyuk. Well today I prepped 2 tomato holes for my future "cheating tomato" plants which Home Depo should be getting in stock soon. Normally they'll have CPs and BWs in 4" pots almost ready to bloom for about $3.95/ea. Worth the cost and growing effort to get 2 beauties ready to plant once the soil warms up enough, by mid Apr? These 2 will give me a jump on the first ripe tomato by at least 3 weeks over my own seedlings. I'll be prepared just in case a late cold snap hits them....

    This pic is from 3 years ago when we got hit with a late freeze, got box, light bulb, and extension cord handy....


  • RD Texas
    2 months ago

    Vgkg, the price of tomato plants is about the same here at Lowe’s-but at Renkens nursery they are 6 for $3.95. The single plants are $1.75, so I usually get the 6 pack-they get a new shipment of plants at 9 every Thursday. Think I might save myself some trouble next year.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

    I have eleven tomato seeds that have sprouted just now. I expect that number to increase by the end of the day. This is day five of the seeds being planted.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Happy St. Pats Day back at ya Cindy. Everything is surely Greening Up around here today with temps around 70F. That will be our last 70 for a while but still no freezing temps in sight. Today I thinned out the peas and repaired some irrigation lines. All pear trees are in full bloom as the plum trees drop their petals. The various bees have moved from the plums to the pears and they are very busy. Glad the pollination process is going well during a stretch of warm days here. The apples & figs are still asleep while the sweet cherry is at bud swell.

  • RD Texas
    2 months ago





    50 bare root ”Whopper” strawberries

  • RD Texas
    2 months ago






  • RD Texas
    2 months ago







  • RD Texas
    2 months ago







  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 months ago
    last modified: last month

    I currently have 22 varieties of tomato seeds that have sprouted. Some of the varieties have put up all four seeds. That's how many I usually put in a cell.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    last month

    Brrrrrrr.....a cold start here this morning at 35F but no frost out there. The blooming fruit trees should be a-ok as well as the early cool crops too. Heavy rain is forecast on Friday but we could use some now for the shallow rooted early crops. Happy 1st day of Spring everyone!

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    We have a warning from the National Weather Service for elevated fire chances until 8pm today. I expect that to be extended for most of the week.

    It was down to 34 here last night.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    last month

    And the warning was extended. Rain possible on Saturday here.

    I currently have 30 tomato varieties that are showing themselves. Yeah!

  • emmers_m
    last month

    Here’s the extent of my garden right now, tomato seedlings in a ’trial by fire’ under the CA sun. I don’t have supplemental lights set up, so they’re going in and out as the temperatures permit and we’re in for 10 days at least of cold and cloudy weather, so good luck to them.


    I’m actually wondering if the sun is too much for them - last year they seemed to struggle - so i changed the pots to white and covered the soil to reduce heat buildup in case I cooked the roots last year. They’re paler than I’d like so we’ll see if the clouds help out.


    Mostly Dwarf Project varieties with a couple old favorites as well.


    PSA: Try your old tomato seeds! For 2 years in a row my ‘packed for 2014’ Rosella Purples have been my speediest germinators with no special treatment, so this year I tried some 2010 Vorlons and they also came right up!


    ~emmers



  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    last month

    emmers - Please save seeds from your Vorlon tomato. Several places are sold out already.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    last month

    Yesterday I stopped by Home Depo and they just got in a shipment of 4" potted tomato plants for $2 each so I picked up a couple, a red & pink BW but they didn't have any CPs. I repotted these 2 plants and will keep them inside for the next few weeks until the ground and air temps are warm enough later in April. I'll start up some other tomato seeds inside next week. We're expecting a good soaking rain tonight and into tomorrow for up to 2", we need some rain now since it's been dry and windy for the past 10 days. No freezing temps in sight so steady she goes......

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I just planted some new strawberry plants.

    They were surprisingly healthy. Planted in time for the rain later.

    One of my raspberry plants is sending up a lot of new shoots. Glad to see them.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    last month

    We topped off at 2" of rain overnite, perfect timing since I spread fertilizer around all of the fruit trees yesterday, a good soaking-in. The wettest winter on record here so no drought to start off this Spring. More rain expected by mid-week too. Temps to remain on the cool side in the 30's - 50's range, it might dip to 31F tonite.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    We ended up getting 1.08" of rain according to Dulles. Very much appreciated.

  • annie1992
    last month

    I just came here to get my "fix" of gardening talk, LOL.


    I'm also in Michigan, northwest Michigan. We got 5 inches of snow yesterday, although I do have garlic up it shouldn't bother it much. I planted peppers today, I grow my own plants from seeds and save many of my own seeds, although I do purchase seeds for various hybrids. Plants and seeds finally got expensive enough a few years ago that I just said "enough" and learned to save my own seeds, set up an old bakers rack with some lights, invested in some reusable pots and started planting. Today it was peppers, a mix of sweet and hot. So for hot peppers there are 8 poblanos, 4 Anaheim, 4 Black Hungarian, 4 Biquino, 4 Sugar Rush Peach, 4 balloon peppers, 2 Death Spiral and 2 Dragon's Breath. Sweet peppers are 6 Ajvarski, 4 Big Red, 4 California Wonder, 4 Glow, 4 Zulu, 4 Snackabelle, 4 of a nice red pepper that I don't know the real name of but call "Canastota" because it came from a forum friend who said that's where she got it, LOL. They are warm and happy on mats in my entryway. Next week it'll be tomatoes, I usually plant a dozen Rutgers for canning, then a mix of Barnes Mountain Pink, Big Rainbow, Great White, SunGold, Black Cherry, Pineapple, Golden Jubilee and whatever else suits me at the moment, although I've been trying to limit myself to 36 total, then things like cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli. My garden is about an acre without the asparagus jungle, the strawberry patch, my garlic space, the two small raised hoop houses and raspberries and blackberries. Also apple, peach, plum, pear, sweet and sour cherry trees, elderberry bushes and the grape vines!


    Annie

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Hi Annie-

    Have you ever grown Wessel's Purple Pride? That's the one that I mainly use for canning any tomato product. It's very meaty and has small seed cavities. If you're interested in it I can mail you some seeds. Just message me your address.

    I grew up in Michigan!

    37 out of 40 varieties of tomato seeds have sprouted.

  • beesneeds
    last month

    Got pepper seedlings pricked and repotted. Just pepperonchini, I need to do a round of canning this year. A dozen pots, hopefully I'll be busy later this summer. Lots of flower seed started, some herb seed. Daffs are up and yellow all over the place. Haven't opened any of the caps in over a week. Been busy at work and then we got some of that cold snowy crappy. Only a scant inch. It's supposed to warm up more this week so I'll start peeking then. Rain is coming in and I need to open the garden caps to make sure everything is good and wet out there.

    I need to do some cleaning out on the porch. Wormwood cuttings I took too late last year and didn't really take need to be sorted out from the lots that are doing well. Why can't they do that neatly so I don't have to sort the pots out, lol. Some of my flower seedlings are getting big enough that I need to start their sheltered hardening off with the cooler temps and night hours out in the porch. So cleaning I must do.

    Been sorting out the gardening supply stock. I've got plenty of dried toothache blossoms on hand and some hot peppers to use up... so once it's sunny I'll put out some jars of tea for spraying the new tree planting out back. The combo of hot from the peppers and numbing from the toothache plant can be disturbing to critters that want to nibble. Running low on sugar ferments so I'll have to make more this year.

  • wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana
    last month

    Yesterday I set out a row of onion plants, a row of glads, butterhead lettuce seeds, and ferterlized the strawberries.

  • RD Texas
    last month





    The banana tree is trying to make a come back-hopefully it will keep growing

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Whew, we dodged freezing temps here by 1 degree the past few nights but the fruit tree blossoms appear to have survived ok. Here's some pics from yesterday...

    Pears..........


    Figs waking up...


    Peas....


    Spinach....


    Broccoli & Cabbages....


  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    Original Author
    last month

    Man we ended up with another 1.5" of rain, at this rate I may never use my irrigation lines this year. Wettest winter on record so at least our wells will not go dry. Now watch the weather take a U-turn and a hard drought sets in. Otherwise I can't complain, the garden looks very happy, just glad we didn't get more rain like folks on the coastline are getting, around 3"+. A very nice sunny and low 70's is predicted for Easter. I did get my tomato seeds planted indoors along with a few other things. It will be nice to start drying out tomorrow.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    last month

    That's really surprising, vgkg. We had about 1/3 of an inch. That's all.

    But it does appear as though we may be finished with temps below 32 degrees.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    last month

    And to you as well, RD.