Rollin' right along ... now

Well , here we are in mid-May , and it ain't so bad . We had like 3 frosts just a couple of days apart in mid/late April , and it looked bad for a while . It got all the buds on many of our oak trees , my new
grape vines and the wild muscadines , and some tomato seedlings that I had on the deck (enclosed area) . So it goes , the grapes have new leaves , I lost a couple of 'mater plants , and the Rose of Sharon on the deck (open area) lost her buds . That's all history and things have turned around and we're going gangbusters here now . We have 19 tomato seedlings doing well , the green beans (blue lake pole variety on a 5 foot tall trellis) are a couple of inches tall . The cuke and zuke and acorn squash hills all have seedlings now , and the salad greens I planted a few days ago are coming up . In an effort to avoid early blight I have covered the ground under the tomato cages with cardboard . Just a hole in the center for the plant . The goal is to stop soil splashing on the leaves since the blight is a soil-borne fungus . As soon as they're taller I'll be doing the same to the beans , as much to help with weed control as anything . Any space that isn't covered by cardboard will be mulched with straw for both weed control and to help conserve moisture . I haven't decided how to do the vine crops , I might try using some of these empty dog food bags as a sterile mulch for weed control . Straw hasn't worked out very well for me for that .
Bee update - We're back to 8 hives now , but it looks good for all of them to survive . One of the caught swarms decided to leave , and one weak hive dwindled away to nothing . Of the 8 , 6 are doing very well by *outward appearances , the other 2 were caught swarms and will take some time to build populations . I'm looking for those clouds of bees that buzz around the hive on "orientation" flights as that means they are building up the population . I'm very very happy with the way things are going out in the apiary this year . *I'm a very hands-off beekeeper , I figure they've been doing it longer than I have and know what to do without me in there messin' things up . I will go into the hives about once a month or so to be sure they're not doing something crazy like running comb crosswise and to check for brood but that's about it until this fall when I'll be stealing their honey .
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Snag
Yes , I'm old
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Snag wrote:

i'm hoping the frosts are done for the season here.
i have peas up and growing and the strawberries are flowering. i did replant some of the peas that did not come up. 1 out or 11 had no peas at all sprout and another had 3 out of 12 seeds sprout so i filled in the rest to see if it was temperature related or it may be the seeds were old (someone sent them to me so i guess it happens).
we picked up the starts we need from the greenhouse yesterday so we're ready to plant as soon as we can get the plants hardened off. the vegetable gardens are ready. at least most of them are. we're working on removing some pathways now that are useless and i have wanted to redo for many years. this will give us more space to plant tomatoes. we're going to need it.
songbird
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I have a queston about the squash.
I put some squash seeds on the "paper machay' type seed cups and used the potting material that I use for tomato seeds. About half of the squash seeds came up. A friend had some squash seeds that he put in some potting pods and out of 12 pods, none of them came up. He later put seeds from the same package out in the garden and they came up.
Is there something about the potting mix that the squash seeds do not like ? Maybe they need to just be put in the garden soil ?
For tomatoes I started some inside and the plants were about 18 inches tall. Put some outside after the first week of April. April 17 is the average last frost date for the middle of NC. The forcast was for no lower than 40 deg at night for the week before. Then in the 2nd week of March some areas around here had frost. I tried something I read about and put a lot of water during the day around the tomatoes. The 6 larger and 8 smaller ones made it without any problem.
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On 5/17/2020 9:18 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

I've never started squash seeds indoors . BUT every time I've used those peat pots has been a disaster . Same with the little discs that grow into a little "pod" when you wet them . It's probably not your potting soil .

My seedlings were out on the deck getting more sunlight , I have problems with plants getting tall and spindly sitting in the window . That part of the deck is enclosed with plastic so I can use it for construction related work . I knew it was going to freeze , so I put the seedlings all in a box with a gallon jug of water to help moderate the temps , but it wasn't quite enough and a few plants got frosted .
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Snag
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Good to know that others have trouble with those seed pod things. I never used those, but my friend did and no squash came up at all. I used the 'paper cup'type with potting soil. Not really soil, but some kind of ground up coconut shells from the description.
I do not have much of a garden, just about a dozen tomato plants, a few squash and some years cucumbers and cantalopes. I start about 6 tomatoes inside eairly and a month or so later some more. Just in the bedroom. There is a north facing window that I open the curtains during the day for sun. After they start and the weather gets warmer I move them to the attached garage and it has a window that gets lots of sun. They are transferred to some pots about the size of gallon milk jugs and regular potting soil. They do grow tall and spindly on me doing it that way. I then plant them deep in the ground around the middle of April (recommended last frost here April 17). They usually do ok as far as growing.
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On 5/17/2020 11:41 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

I bury mine deep too . I've never used that type of potting compound , just use good ol' miracle grow potting soil and it works well for me . I start mine in the little 6 cell trays , seldom re-pot them before they go into the ground . When I set them out I mix 50/50 soil and rabbit droppings and partly fill the extra large hole with that . I do the same with hills , make them with the 50/50 mix then top off with a layer of soil .
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