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Old 01-14-2015, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,139,307 times
Reputation: 1280

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I'm just aching to be out in the garden again, so I figure since I've already begun my seed starting for the 2015 season, I might as well begin sharing the experience! It may be a bit too soon to begin seeds indoors for my area, but it's my first time starting seeds and I will have plenty to learn through my own trials and errors. I am IN NO WAY an expert at any of this, and will never claim to be; I'm just sharing what I'm doing and I hope everyone enjoys it! If you're interested in seeing what I did last season, click here My 2014 Container Garden.

We've had a very interesting winter so far with some very cold outbreaks and temperatures down to -19 officially at DIA (-21 at my house). I'm anxious to see if my strawberry plants will survive in their half-whiskey barrel home. The Ft. Laramie variety is supposedly rated to -30, so we'll see! Other than the strawberries, I did not attempt to over-winter any of last season's plants. I did neglect to clean out a few herb containers, but I don't expect any of those to survive.

INDOORS:

I began my seeds for rosemary, wild thyme, wild Zataar oregano and sweet marjoram in plastic egg cartons this past Sunday, January 11. I have read countless articles and watched countless videos that all state rosemary, in particular, can take more than 20 days to even germinate, then whatever does germinate grows very slowly (read: slow, poor germination). If I get good germination by mid-February, I figure I should have some decent transplants by late April or early May. The other herbs should be a nice size by that time and, of course, I will begin additional herbs like parsley and basil sometime in late February. Eggplants and peppers will be started from seed in early to mid-February and tomatoes will be started in late February, all for transplant outdoors in mid-May. Early? Probably, and that's okay because I feel confident that I have the space and materials for larger than "normal" transplants (kind of my plan).. I have seedling containers ranging in size from peat pellets and 6-cell packs to -gallon, along with 12 linear feet of grow lights, so I shouldn't have any issues with size. A neighbor starts her tomatoes indoors in late February, but has Wall-O-Waters, so she's usually able to transplant outdoors a few weeks early with relatively large transplants at that time.

I am also experimenting with growing Extra Dwarf Pak Choi completely under grow lights, as they mature at only 2-3" tall. I also began these on January 11 in 6-cell packs and the plan is to thin, then transplant up as needed. The first seedlings emerged in less than 48 hours with no bottom heat and in complete darkness. I put them under the grow lights immediately when I saw the first seedlings emerge. 15 hours per day on a timer.

OUTDOORS:

I was planning on preparing a number of my own DIY "Earthboxes" using storage totes, but with the time and commitment I'll need for all of my seed starts, as well as seeds I'm starting for about 12 other people, time will be precious and valuable. Plus, life in general has a knack for getting in the way occasionally, too. Factoring in the huge amount of labor and the cost of materials, it really is a wash and I don't want to waste any time. I went ahead and purchased 7 more Earthboxes and may construct one or two more buckets (much quicker and easier to manage than totes). I will also be using 8-10 half-whiskey barrels that I purchased sometime during the fall. Additionally, I will be planting in many of the smaller containers I used last season. So, in sum, I will have 12 Earthboxes, 12 buckets (perhaps 14), 8 whiskey barrels (perhaps 10) and a number of other smaller containers for greens, root veggies, etc.

We're supposed to have highs around 60 this coming weekend, so I will be playing around with container placement before I "commit" to certain locations. Of course, having everything in containers means I can move anything at any time. As I progress through the season, I'll further detail which plants are planted in which type of container, but for now I'll just list the varieties of what I plan to grow. There's quite a lot here, so bear with me.

Cool Season (Spring and Fall):

Greens:
1. Canton Bok Choy
2. Extra Dwarf Pak Choi
3. Five Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard

Herbs:
1. Cilantro

Lettuces:
1. Flashy Trout's Back
2. Ruby
3. Simpson Elite
4. Vulcan

Root Veggies:
1. French Breakfast Radish
2. Parisienne Carrot (globe-shaped)
3. Red Meat Radish
4. Scarlet Nantes Carrot
5. White Icicle Radish

Spinach:
1. Bloomsdale
2. Merlo Niro

Warm Season:

Beans (all bush varieties):
1. Butterbean
2. Denver (duh!)
3. Dragon Tongue
4. Lima Beans (3 varieties - Fordhook, Henderson's, Jackson Wonder)
5. Top Notch Golden Wax
6. Velour

Cucumbers:
1. Dragon's Egg
2. Hmong
3. Lemon
4. Marketmore
5. Tendergreen
6. Wautoma

Eggplants:
1. Pingtung (elongated Taiwanese variety)
2. Rosa Bianca (blocky Italian variety)

Fruits:
1. Ft. Laramie Strawberries (already planted)
2. Hearts of Hold Cantaloupe
3. Husk Cherry (perhaps in-ground where I removed a tree a few years ago)
4. Sugar Baby Watermelon

Herbs:
1. Basil (both Sweet and Lime varieties)
2. Cilantro (going to provide a lot more shade this summer)
3. Italian Flatleaf Parsley
4. Rosemary
5. Sweet Marjoram
6. Wild Thyme
7. Wild Zataar Oregano

Onions (storage varieties):
1. Milestone (yellow)
2. Red Bull (red)

Peppers:
1. Cubanelle
2. Giant Marconi
3. Jalapeno
4. Jalapeno Gigante
5. Jimmy Nardello
6. Pepperoncini (both sweet and hot)
7. Poblano
8. Serrano
9. Sweet Banana (ALWAYS!)
10. Sweet Carmen
11. Thunderbolt
12. Yum Yum Gold

Tomatoes:
1. Baxter's Early Bush
2. Beaverlodge Plum
3. Big Beef
4. Brandy Boy
5. Brandywine Sudduth's
6. Cosmonaut Volkov
7. Five Star Grape
8. Gregori's Altai
9. Hungarian Heart
10. Marianna's Peace
11. Neves Azorean Red
12. New Big Dwarf
13. Omar's Lebanese
14. Paisano
15. Polish Linguisa
16. Red Pear Piriform
17. Santiam
18. Sioux
19. Speckled Roman
20. Stump of the World
21. Sweet Million
22. Ten Fingers of Naples
23. Violaceum Krypni-Rozo

Squash/Zucchini:
1. Butterbush (bush variety of Butternut Squash)
2. Cocozella di Napoli Squash
3. Crookneck Squash (?)
4. Eight Ball Zucchini
5. White Scallop (Pattypan) (?)

This is kind of an ambitious project for me with my limited experience, but that's what I'm going with for right now. There is still some time to scale down a bit, which I may decide to do as I prepare my flats for planting. Fortunately, I have lots of friends and family who will take extras off my hands. I was able to preserve quite a lot of sauce from my meager 7 tomato plants last season (I gave the fruit of one plant away completely because I didn't care for the flavor), but I hope to preserve much more this season. I also hope to give quite a lot away once I've met the needs of my family - it's such a pleasure to share this passion with others.

As my newly planted seedlings grow, I will post photos as necessary to document their progress. I chose not to include any this time around because I want to save the upload space for summer photos.

Last edited by NickMan7; 01-14-2015 at 01:04 PM..
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,500,688 times
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I'm in Denver... a gardener's hell lol! Well, not really. The only containers I have planned are a couple boxes on the rail of the front porch and a pot by the steps. I always fill these containers with pansies about the first week of March, so not too long to go. I get them at City Floral (I don't think Home Depot or Lowes puts out pansies that early) and they can take freezes down to the teens. I'll bring them in overnight if it's going to get much below 20, but anyway, it's a way to start growing something early
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,139,307 times
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I love pansies! It's good to know they're that hardy because I have had them for two years in a row now in a large flower bed in our front yard and they do fine for me all summer. I've been told they don't tolerate heat well, but I've had no problem with them.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Boonies
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Of the tomatoes that you have listed, which ones are the ones more on the sweeter side without being a cherry type? I am looking for a sweet slicing type!
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:06 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,105 posts, read 17,646,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarragon View Post
Of the tomatoes that you have listed, which ones are the ones more on the sweeter side without being a cherry type? I am looking for a sweet slicing type!
You are wanting a giant Belgium they are very sweet slicing tomatoe and big good luck with em
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,139,307 times
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Tarragon - great question! All of these will be new to me! I will be posting progress all season long (which will run through October). Check back for weekly updates. Obviously, I won't be eating tomatoes here until at least mid-July, probably a bit later.. but once they start producing, I expect an abundance! I think our intense summer sun here at a mile high has something to do with it..

phonelady, that's good to hear because I have seeds for Giant Belgium, I'm just not growing it this season. I went kind of crazy and purchased seeds for 82 varieties of tomato. Friends and family are growing another 20 or so varieties in addition to my 23. I'm the type that goes over the top when I fall in love with something.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:48 AM
 
2,690 posts, read 1,771,653 times
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The ground here is frozen solid, so I'm living vicariously through the thread. And growing greens indoors.

I also want to start some tomatoes from seed I was sent, but not much idea as to when...Zone 7, no grow lights.

Potatoes will get an earlier start than last year, which was...erm, July. Yeah, I know.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,500,688 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
I love pansies! It's good to know they're that hardy because I have had them for two years in a row now in a large flower bed in our front yard and they do fine for me all summer. I've been told they don't tolerate heat well, but I've had no problem with them.
When I plant them in early March, by mid May they get rather "stringy" and sort of collapse over the sides of the boxes and don't look good anymore. That's when I pull them out and plant something "summery". Then in mid September, take out the summer flowers and put in black and orange pansies for Fall, and they'll typically last until early December.
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Old 01-15-2015, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,139,307 times
Reputation: 1280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonchalance View Post
The ground here is frozen solid, so I'm living vicariously through the thread. And growing greens indoors.

I also want to start some tomatoes from seed I was sent, but not much idea as to when...Zone 7, no grow lights.

Potatoes will get an earlier start than last year, which was...erm, July. Yeah, I know.
It's way too cold here for anything outside, too, Non, but hang in there! Spring planting outdoors is only a few short months away! I'm not sure how well tomatoes would do without grow lights - probably wouldn't do much of anything. I purchased a couple of 2' and a couple of 4' grow lights off of Amazon. Not the cheapest, but they look nice, they're super lightweight and simple to use. Happy cat so far. Lots of people throughout the online gardening forums set up their own systems with shop lights, foil, white poster board.. all kinds of cool stuff. I'm not creative enough for that [yet], so I'll just stick with what I've got.

Was going to try potatoes this season, but decided against it. Maybe next..
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:32 PM
 
2,690 posts, read 1,771,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
It's way too cold here for anything outside, too, Non, but hang in there! Spring planting outdoors is only a few short months away! I'm not sure how well tomatoes would do without grow lights - probably wouldn't do much of anything. I purchased a couple of 2' and a couple of 4' grow lights off of Amazon. Not the cheapest, but they look nice, they're super lightweight and simple to use. Happy cat so far. Lots of people throughout the online gardening forums set up their own systems with shop lights, foil, white poster board.. all kinds of cool stuff. I'm not creative enough for that [yet], so I'll just stick with what I've got.

Was going to try potatoes this season, but decided against it. Maybe next..

The problem with my (container) potatoes was a combination of poison dirt from a dollar store, which slew everything it touched, a bad container, and realizing both factors too late. Once we got an Official Potato Bag, and some decent soil, they grew well. But as I say, too late for a really great crop.
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