Episode-1294- Getting Ready for Spring Planting — 27 Comments

  1. May 17th is our last frost date. I don’t set my pepper and tomatoes out until June 7th-10th. Or as the farmer up here say “Not before the first full moon in June”

    • Wow. Where do you live at?
      Here in Southern Louisiana we’re looking at March 18th. Although I will say that I keep hearing ol’ cajun grandmother wisdom of “not till after Easter.” (a moving target no less).

      I laughed at that, till it frosted last year like the day after easter!!

      • My Jalapenos, start life in doors, then to greenhouse, then outside, and if one is a trooper producing red ones, I dig it up and it goes into the greenhouse then inside. It sucks, but, I really shouldnt be growing them up here. Lettuce and Broccoli shine up here

        • I feel your ‘pain’, Brent. I am at 45°18’32” N (Gleason, WI). I rarely get red Jalapenos.

  2. Lemon grass starts…..Don’t grow from seeds, go to an Asian store and buy the ones that aren’t too dry. Stick ’em in a glass of water and roots will develop, plant and enjoy. I’ve had some die here near Houston in the winter but boy does the roots break up the soil…

    • Really? Good to know. We have one that has been living in a pot for awhile now because we’re choosing were to put it. I need to just throw it down and forget about it.

    • I did lemon grass here (NJ) for the 2nd time. 1st year the dogs went crazy and ate it down to the nub. This past year I put it in the front yard, away from my canine chowhounds, and it looked like a beautiful ornamental grass. It looked great along with all the thyme, rosemary and other herbs.

      • Another thing about lemon grass is if you grow it around your house it keeps snakes and supposedly mosquitoes away. On getting items from an Asian or other specialty groceries, would make a good show (if it hasn’t already been covered) devoted to perennial edibles you can get from to grow.

        • Mosquitoes I figure would work to some degree, don’t count on any plant making snakes stay away.

        • It has to do with their spiky leaves and how snakes don’t like how it rubs against their skin from what I’ve heard. Same goes for crushed seashells.

  3. Perfect timing on this show! The last several days I have been ramping up my efforts to prepare for spring planting. This includes getting my orders in for trees and seeds. I can’t wait to listen to this show on my way home from work (66 miles – 1 hr. 10 min. drive).

  4. Good idea about the flags. I’ve tried to overcome this by spending more time attempting to visualize it and using more “technical” ways. I measured the areas after putting up contour flags. I looked at it and decided how the earthworks are going to go. From there I thought ok… what heights and widths am i looking for overall in each one of these sections starting with the highest points (north) and working smaller south.

    I then picked rough sizes and quantities on a piece of paper for each section. “I want one medium tree that is 20 foot tall, 2 x 10 foot trees, and 4 very small trees that are about 4-6 foot tall”. I then put that in a spreadsheet and just started sticking in species that fit those parameters. (If they are normally 15 foot, but can be pruned to 10, then it would fit in said spot).

    After coming up with a bunch of examples, what I liked more than others just popped out at me.

  5. Jack,
    If you remember the name on those tree tubes let us know please. I’m gonna start some apple trees if I can and am ill knowlaged. Sounds like this might help a lot.

    Thank You!

  6. We did similar things. With the break in weather last month, I ended up cutting down some trees near my drain field. I had a ton of branches left over. I piled them up and thought why not make a huglebed and grow some grapes 🙂 Turned out to be 35 feet or so breaking a slope. I didn’t have material to cover the wood. I looked on Craigslist for material and found people giving a way horse manure. Funny you can get tons of this stuff for free, sad honestly they don’t put that back down on the field.

    BTW… Kiwi is my unicorn. I can’t get this stuff to grow. First year we got a dog and he dug them up. Next year planted them outside the and he dug under the fence and got them. Last, year a late frost came in and killed them… I have two new ones I moved off the fence with another trellis and planted them later, we will see if they go. If not, I don’t think the wife will let me get anymore 🙁

  7. This show is just what I need as I sit here in the midst of that awful winter storm that’s pounding the Midwest right now. It also got me wondering… What would YOU guys do?

    I’m one of the lucky folks that has TWO enclosed porches off the back of my house. One of them has windows in the east, south, AND west facing windows. It’s about 12’x12′ if I had to guess, and it’s not used for anything (other than storing junk.)

    I’ve been considering making this porch a greenhouse of sorts for the winter. It has dark, indoor/outdoor carpet over a slab, so it holds heat when the sun does hit it, but it gets VERY cold at night. (Crappy windows and nothing but a screen door that leads to the outside.)

    Obviously, I’d have to do some moveable insulation of some sort at night (and prob. some supplemental heat with these cold IN winters), but I’m wondering how you guys’d set up a “room” like this. When would you use it? Would you do any permanent tables/benches/etc?

    It’s not shaded by any trees, so it’s quite pleasant in the winter when the sun’s shining, but it’s downright unbearable in the summer.

    Oh… I forgot to mention one other thing. We’re not going to do anything to the roof (so no skylights or anything.) It’s a BRAND NEW metal roof.

    I’m SO ready to get out and do something. I’m over this winter stuff!

  8. Jack,

    Did I miss the part where you were going to talk about stratifying the apple seeds? You mentioned at the beginning of the show that you would talk about it later in the show. Then I didn’t hear anything more about it.

  9. I have been using my worm bin to process my seeds. Put a tomato in a small container with some holes in the bottom and place it in my worm bin. When I harvest the castings the container is full of worm castings with seeds. The seeds sprout like crazy when I dress the soil with the worm castings. Will be trying this with other seeds this year.

    Let the worms do the ‘dirty’ work – stratifying and all.

  10. I’ve been talking to a neighbor who has a few fruit trees and this year we are going to try taking cuttings and duplicating his trees. This makes me think that if other tsp listeners duplicate their trees we could swap trees and increase diversity inexpensively.

  11. Hey Jack (or anyone else that can answer),

    I have never started seeds indoors, but I am going to give it a shot this year. I know some people use soil blocks, and some people swear you need an operating-room like sterile growing medium. What do you guys use, and why would some that sterile be needed?

    • I use pots and dirt and light. I don’t sanitize or sterilize anything like that. My biggest concern is keep it damp not wet or you get mold. Give it lots of light or you get spindly seedlings. That is about it. I try to keep the area warm too. 75-85 degrees but I do not sweat it.

  12. Jack-

    I purchased some additional trees from Bob Wells Nursery today. Bob actually called me and let me know my order shipped. I thought that was a nice touch.

    I told him about you and your podcast. He remarked that I was the 3rd or 4th person that heard about him from the podcast. He might be a nice addition to the MSB for a tree supplier.

  13. Jack talked about moringa during the episode. Something he didn’t mention is its health benefits. It is great for people too! It is curing 100s of malnutrition-based diseases in Africa. It tastes like horseradish raw but if you cook it that goes away. Great with garlic!

    As a side note, my animals don’t like it raw. Dry it in the shade then crumble it up and put it in their food as a vitamin supplement. They love it that way.