Zone 6 - what are you doing?

I'm in update NY and we are being blessed with some mildish weather these days, tho its the dampness and rain put a chill in the air. Despite that, I'm jonesing to get outside!
Is anyone else in my situation? anyone actually braving the weather and getting out there anyway? what kind of things are you doing?
I've been eyeing an overgrown patch of periwinkle and weeds that was threatening to take over the world last summer. I was thinking with the ground wet, it might be a good time to hack away at it....
Anyone else?
MissBliss
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"MissBliss" wrote:

Here in the northern Catskills it's still like a month too early to do anything in the earth, there're still patches of snow in the shady spots and the ground is much too cold and wet to work. Actually the ground is frozen solid except for the top 3" which is so mucky it nearly sucked my shoes off my feet when I ventured out yesterday... the deer hoof depressions are filled with water. The Canada geese are just beginning to arrive but still nothing is green. It rained on and off the past two days and heavy squalls are predicted for today, in fact the sky is already becoming black to the south east. Flooding is predicted, which is why I went out to take a close look at my newly ripraped creek.
Yesterday, seems to be holding well, so far:
http://i43.tinypic.com/1628roj.jpg
http://i39.tinypic.com/2vx3dwl.jpg
Sky here a few minutes ago, a bit too ominouse to contemplate gardening:
http://i41.tinypic.com/hrnak5.jpg
A few days ago, not gardening weather:
http://i42.tinypic.com/1tpht0.jpg
http://i43.tinypic.com/wmonc.jpg
http://i40.tinypic.com/bjaefq.jpg
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the creek has lots of room yet before it floods. are you starting any seeds yet, or do you buy started plants? what are you putting in the garden this year? lee
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The water was about a foot higher the day prior while it was raining. I'm not concerned so much about water rising over the banks as I am the rocks washing away. Those are now larger rocks than those from the year before, they seem to be holding, and greenery has already begun to grow in between which will further act to stabilize.

I mostly sow vegetable seeds directly into the garden. I also buy some few flats of plants like herbs and others that I don't want to grow too many, like cabbage. I start very few seeds for transplant. I've found that seeds sown directly into the ground catch up with, surpass, and are healthier than those that are sown in pots and transplanted.... transplanting often causes shock and weakens vegetable plants making them suseptible to disease... some never recover and soon the growing season ends so they produce little to nothing.
I plant mostly the same crops each year, just different varieties; tomatoes, cukes, peppers (sweet and hot), summer squash, winter squash, lettuces, cabbage, green beans, snow/sugar peas, okra, various greens, and others that I'll decide last minute. Each year I'll try a few vegetables I haven't planted in a while; last year it was celery, beets, turnips, and bulb fennel... once more none were worth the trouble so I won't try those again. I also trade with my neighbor, he plants tons of garlic, onions, and potatoes... he also puts in a a huge pumpkin/gourd patch for all the nieces/nephews, so I get a few of those too. I'm thinking of putting in four more fruit trees, 2 pear, 2 nectarine... just have to choose the spot and consider it's four more to fence and mow around.
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On Tue, 10 Mar 2009 18:56:27 -0700 (PDT), MissBliss

Middle Tennessee - used to be zone 6. I planted some potatoes yesterday. Lovely day - temp near 80. I had the tomato seedlings outside. Today the temp is dropping and tomorrow looks like we'll be back in the 30's.
The hawthornes are in bloom and the red buds are fixing to as well. Hyacyths - ambrosia to my nose!
Kate

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I put into my cold frame 6 week old spinach and lettuce plants to harden off. I will plant them this weekend in the ground in a cold frame on a raised bed. Richard
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On Tue, 10 Mar 2009 18:56:27 -0700 (PDT), MissBliss

Last week sent us outside when the temps were in the seventies, but that was short lived. Today is in the teens and the dog poo, which I neglected to pick up before it turned cold is stuck tight to the ground. Grrrrr. We're far northern Mo, zone 4/5. When it thaws it will be too mushy for a while as we had two inches of rain before it froze and dammit, I just this minute remembered I forgot to empty and turn over the rain guage. Crap!!
I'm building potato cages while it is cold. I have limited space here and am going to try the cage/cardboard/straw method and grow spuds upwards.
I am champing the bit to start my seedlings, but every year I start too early. Only one more week. I did start the onions and leeks a month ago, as they can go in earlier than any other transplants.
I'm beginning to see a few dandelions in sheltered areas and am looking forward to fresh greens from this source.
Mostly what we are doing is pissing and moaning about the winter and being cooped up and behaving quite cantankerously toward one another.
--
Charlie

Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and
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Potted up geraniums Planted 15' row of strawberry bare root (first time to plant strawberries!) Fertilized lawn at half rate Spread 2 coffee can-fulls of cottonseed meal under blueberry mulch Applied rotted cow manure to roses, prune out dead branches Stack leaves for composting Repacked mower springs, sharpen mower blades, replace carb air filters Cleaned out nesting boxes (bluebird, wrenhouses, robin shelves, etc) Test electric fence Continued to care for coleus cuttings, wandering Jew, cactus pads for planting outdoors later. Repaired deer cages.
Coming up: First lawn mowing Trimming Erect peony support Trim Rose of Sharon Remove excess algae, parrot feather, elodea from pond for compost Maybe plant potatoes
The strawberries should be interesting. I used cow manure, peat moss, leaf mold, and 10-10-10 tilled into a ridge mound. I have always considered wild strawberries a noxious weed, maybe this domesticated variety will grow well in my vegetable garden, here in E.TN.
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I'm in zone 6. We tilled under several inches of partly composted small twigs, chippings, grass mowings and last falls leaves along with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. It's been too wet ever since to plant the peas and cool weather crop. But no hurry for us, it's still early.

Without something like Round-Up to kill it off first, I can't see how you can get rid of that stuff. Oh, maybe a flame thrower......... :-)

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If you want to kill off the soil biota in order to sterilize the soil, and make yourself totally dependent on salty chemferts, the above is as good a method as any.
Speaking of flame throwers, an organic one may be along shortly . . .
--

Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is
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wrote:

Actually, the flamethrower thingie is a *much* better option than poisons. Poison effs up babies, critters and other living things, ya' know. Besides, who the hell wants to support Monsatano?
http://www.flameengineering.com/Red_Dragon_Propane_Torch_K.html
They work and are cool as hell to use. Rushing flame noise and neat power at the end of the wand. Firepower!!!! Lots of uses besides roasting weeds. I use mine for weeds, lighting charcoal, melting ice on the drive,....... Can be used for singeing the pinfeathers off butchered chickens and hair off hogs. Simply another multi-tool.
Could be used to light a fire under Billy's arse on Monday morning also.
Charlie
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Last week I did some major garden cleanup, planted an apricot tree, planted a row of asparagus (have another couple of rows to do and transplanted a few perennials. There's more weeding to do that I couldn't do last fall since I was still recuperating from a hip transplant. I have a lot of transplanting to do this year - young blueberry bushes, a couple of one year old grape vines, asparagus and a lot of perennials. We added height to some of our stone terraces and I have to dig out the perennials and asparagus so they can add more soil. Then I can re-plant. I've also ordered more grape vines, berry bushes and perennials so I'll be getting a lot of garden exercise in the next month.
It's been raining the past few days and I've had house guests, so I couldn't get anything planted. My spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and kale starts are outside hardening and doing well since we haven't had any frost nights. I'm having a cold frame made that will be installed early this week so I'll be able to move some of my more tender seedlings in there.
I've also been re-potting some seedlings from seed starter mix to regular potting soil - parsley, lobelia, snapdragons, etc. The house is getting over run with seedlings so that cold frame is going to be very appreciated. I started a lot of tomato seeds and only 4 came up so I planted some more. None of my pepper seeds came up.Is anyone else finding that seeds in the last year or two have a low sprouting rate?
I lost some seedlings to wilt. I guess I transplanted them too early and I didn't have any of that anti-wilt liquid. They had strong second leaves and I don't know why they wilted; but I lost all my money plant seedlings, some artichokes and others.
June
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In article

I started germination of last years tomato, pepper, cucumber, summer squash, and peas a week ago. So far the only seeds not to germinate are the habaneros, and carmello tomatoes. I'll leave in incubator until next week end, when I'll rotate out the most successful plants and replace with new seeds to germinate.
I did have some left over root seeds (beets, parsnips, and carrots), and lettuce seeds from the last several years, which I flung into the appropriate beds. Afterwards, I threw in some compost to lightly cover them. If they grow, great. If they don't grow, no loss.
--

Billy
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