Still Rushing

I find it odd that the days have been in the mid to high sixties here, and the nights about forty, yet the soil on our north facing slope is sixty. I planted 5 peas to see if they survive temps, and snails. If all goes well, I'll plant the rest of the peas mid-week. Also I need to prep the lettuce beds, although the lettuces is far from ready to go outside.
I switched out a non-producing orange tree, for an apricot tree that was planted in a marginal spot, THEN I looked up orange trees. It said that oranges may take 3 to 5 years to produce fruit! Mine was/is about 5 years old. I rushed out to the compost heap, and dragged it off, and put its mangled root system in a large pot with wet soil. I'll watch closely to see if it puts out any adventitious buds over the next few months, if not then back on the compost pile it will go.
In the mean time, I'll just pound my head slowly against a wall.
"Though an old man, I am but a young gardener." - Thomas Jefferson
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Billy wrote:

save the wood to chip for grilling/smoke.

at least that feels good when you stop...
around here we've had some warmer air/rains putting the daytime temperatures into the 50s. today was the first robin and killdeer sightings of the season while out walking. should have some spring flowers showing up soon. tomorrow is forecast warm and rainy again and then we'll be heading back to more cooler daytime temps in the mid-30s and nights below freezing for a bit.
still it is nice to see the end of winter coming around the bend.
hang in there. :) if we get a nice day this week i'll probably stick some peas out and Ma will be stopping by the greenhouse Monday so i'll have her ask about the onions.
songbird
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wrote:

We are still having freezing temps at night and today it made it to about 60F. In the greenhouse onions and spinach got moved to larger pots yesterday and today. I also started seeds for some lettuce, herbs and tomatoes.
We are playing "musical planter boxes" here. DH is making new ones since the old ones are falling apart. Two of the boxes have mostly perennials. I got one of those moved into one of the new boxes. These are a little taller than the old ones. Hope he gets them finished before I need to set out plants.
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I'm still surprised at the discrepancy between the average air temp, and the soil temp. Night temps here in the mid-30s for the last few days, but the planted peas seem to be OK, so I'll put in more today. They don't seem to be doing well under the grow light. I may be time to replaces the bulbs.
I have one more round for my starting plants. The first sweet pepper seeds I tried were too old, and I'm not sure that they were refrigerated all this time, so I need to try germinating fresher seeds this time. Then I need to get the sweet basil, parsley, chervil, and cilantro started.
Ever try spaghetti squash? Anyone have any opinions as how it compares to pasta? I have room (I think) for 1 or 2 winter squash. Trying to make up my mind about which (butternut, acorn, or spaghetti).
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On Monday, March 11, 2013 4:14:04 PM UTC-4, Billy wrote:

Spagetti squash is a very poor substitute for pasta. It's bland mushy and virtually tasteless. Go with the butternut, it's quite nutrisious and keeps well in storage. I've tried many of the smaller winter squashes and always come back to butternuts.
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Steve Peek said:

I agree; butternut squash is a better choice.
Butternuts (Cucurbita. moschata) are also resistant to squash vine borers while spaghetti squash (C. pepo) are quite vulnerable.
I've found the 'cheese' types to be more productive for me than the 'necked' types you more typically see these days. The necked types are very easy to to process, but the 'cheese' types keep better, so the solution is to grow both sorts. A list of some of the 'cheese' types I am familiar with follows.
Highly recommended 'Autumn Crown' (F1) available from several sources, including: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-7827-autumn-crown-f1.aspx
Similar to the above, but larger, 'Long Island Cheese' Heirloom variety http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-7194-long-island-cheese.aspx
Highly recommended 'Rumbo' <http://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID 662&c8&p=Rumbo+Hybrid+Squash>
'Musque de Provence' an heirloom variety VERY similar to 'Rumbo' http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-6552-musque-de-provence.aspx
'Fairytale' is described by Stokes as C. maxima but actually similar to 'Rumbo' and 'Musque de Provence' (from the illustration we can see from the stem it is NOT C. maxima*): http://www.stokeseeds.com/product.aspx?ProductID9574&CategoryID 2
*I think the confusion is that they are selling it as similar in appearance to 'Cinderella' AKA 'Rouge vif d'Etampes' squash which IS a C. maxima squash. C. maxima have rounded, rather corky looking stems.
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Billy wrote: ...

i won't be planting anything for a while yet. grow lights do need to be replaced every so often. do they have LED grow lights yet?
it's been colder here than average temps. today's forecast is for more rain/snow and the next week looks like we'll have overnight temperatures in the teenies. even though i went out yesterday and weeded a little as it was a sunny day and i wanted to be outside doing something/anything. i moved a few leaves around one garden and found frozen ground under the top inch of leaves. in the raised tulip gardens i could get some of the weeds scraped. where the tulips are just now poking above the ground it's a good idea to get the weeds out before the tulips start growing.

good luck on those.

spaghetti squash is bland enough like zucchini but zucchini is more productive. i'd put butternut in instead. acorn is too bland too, especially as often found in the stores the past dozen years. it used to be that you could find acorn squash with yellow-orange centers. now it is often pale yellow and fairly tasteless.
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Yes, in a choice of spectra; 7 different versions on the last vendor I spent much time looking at, supposedly optimized for different things (vegetation, flowering, etc). Cost is improving, but still kinda out there, so I'm still using cool white fluorescents with a bit of low-watt incandescent added - seems to work as well as overpriced purply "grow light bulbs" for a lot less money.
Now, if the bulbs cost the same (they don't where I shop) the purply things (basically lots of red and blue, no green, since plants reflect green because they don't use it) would be "better", though in my case the plant starter is also something I look at in the house, so I'm just as happy to have white light on it for my sake. Aside from "still expecting rapid improvements in LED efficiency and cost" one reason I didn't even spring for a test-lamp of the LEDs I was looking at was that they are really horrifically purply in the name of being efficient for people outfitting huge greenhouses with supplemental light, and not caring what it looks like so long as it's what the plants actually use. I'm not that customer.
Cool white supplies the blue, and incandescents supply red/IR in the bootleg solution (I didn't come up with it - I read a book which somewhat predated "grow light bulbs" where they had figured that solution out.)

I'll put in a plug for buttercup here - or 'nut from your list. I like 'cup a bit better. If you want spaghetti, grow durham wheat. Spaghetti squash, well, just isn't.
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In article

Thanks for the response. The butternut has it.
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In article

Had it. I got another recommendation for buttercup, and it appears to have a slightly earlier ripening than butternut 90/110.
I ordered from a local supplier
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds <http://rareseeds.com/shop/
They also have a very nice on-line catalog. <http://rareseeds.com/ "Click" downloadable.
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A little pricy. Until I can sell my lettuce for $1000/lb, I think I'll stay with normal incandescent. If you do grow a lot of indoor lettuce, grow lights will help reduce the spike in the current used. Pacific Gas & Electric is installing meters locally that send electric current usage in real time to their offices. When you open the refrigerator door, and the light comes on at 2 AM, PG&E knows.

Sounds right. I've had good luck with banana squash in the past. Baked with a little orange juice, yum.
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