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#1316815 --- 01/09/12 02:55 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: bluezone]
MeRightYouWrong Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mountain of Truth
You have to figure, the longest day of the year is 12 hours of daylight. Anything between 8 and 12 hours of light is good, but that depends on the plant because some require more/less light than others.

If you use lights, try to keep them within a few inches of the top of the plants. The farther away, the weaker the rays. Fluorescent lights dissipate quickly. If using High-Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide lights they should be pretty powerful enough the hang from the ceiling, but they also consume much more wattage and give off a lot of heat.

I arrange my plants by height, with the tallest at one end and the shortest at the other end. The advantage of hanging the ballasts with chains is that I can easily adjust the height of the lights to fit perfectly above my plants.

Try not to over-crowd the plants. This is more difficult with plants that spread wide, but you want to make sure all the parts of the plants have sufficient lighting. In the past i have hung ballasts on the sides, not just above, so the light can better reach all sides of the plants.

For each table (4-foot X 6 foot) that I have plants set up on I use 2 ballasts above. Each ballast holds 4 40-watt bulbs. If I need ballasts on the sides I hang only one in front and one in back. I have to drill holes in the ballasts to insert a hook so I can hang them sideways like that.


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#1319404 --- 01/20/12 03:51 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
thanks
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#1319405 --- 01/20/12 03:54 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: MeRightYouWrong
I keep my plants alive during the winter months by hanging fluorescent lights in the basement on chains over tables.


what plants do you normally grow?
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#1319504 --- 01/21/12 03:53 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: bluezone]
MeRightYouWrong Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mountain of Truth
I grow vegetables and get them started indoors in the beginning of Spring.
During the Winter months I'm keeping the plants we hang on the front porch down in the basement. The porch is enclosed but not heated.


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#1319584 --- 01/22/12 05:56 AM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
Roadtrip2nowhere Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/03/09
Posts: 4819
Loc: No where but here
Was at Lowes yesterday, the gardening department is starting to gear up. I like to look at the seed packets etc. Also my seed catalogs are starting to come in the mail...I always enjoy those!
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#1319602 --- 01/22/12 08:13 AM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: MeRightYouWrong
I grow vegetables and get them started indoors in the beginning of Spring.


are there any vegetables that do not sprout with this method?
what date do you normally plant the seeds?
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#1319817 --- 01/23/12 09:42 AM Re: Gardening forum [Re: bluezone]
MeRightYouWrong Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mountain of Truth
I think any vegetable or plant will sprout with this method. I usually get a tray of peat moss pods to germinate the seeds in. After they sprout I put them into small pots with soil until they go outside.

Last year I had problems because I started them in March and by the end of May they were overdue for transplanting outside, but my yard was still too wet to use the roto-tiller. It was my first year gardening on this property (new owner). I didn't realize the yard would drain so slowly. This year I won't start the seeds until April, at least.

The reason I start them indoors is only to give them a head start. We have a short growing season in New York and I'm just trying to get the most yield I can out of everything.

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#1319845 --- 01/23/12 12:28 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: MeRightYouWrong
I think any vegetable or plant will sprout with this method.


I was thinking the same but just wanted to check
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#1319846 --- 01/23/12 12:29 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: MeRightYouWrong
We have a short growing season in New York and I'm just trying to get the most yield I can out of everything.


I agree
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#1319847 --- 01/23/12 12:30 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: MeRightYouWrong
I didn't realize the yard would drain so slowly.


is it the soil composition or just a low flat area?
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#1319849 --- 01/23/12 12:36 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
Farmers' Almanac's long range weather for the Northeast

January 2012
20th-23rd. A chance of rain or snow.
24th-27th. Storminess from the Southwest brings a dose of snow.
28th-31st. Showery, especially for Mid-Atlantic.

February 2012
1st-3rd. Rain, then fair, cold conditions.
4th-7th. Increasing clouds, cold.
8th-11th. Wet snow mixed with rain Mid-Atlantic north through New England; slushy accumulations of 4+" possible.
12th-15th. Light snow, then fair skies.
16th-19th. Unsettled.
20th-23rd. Heavy wet snow sweeps up through Mid-Atlantic across the rest of Northeast, 12+" possible; then fair, cold.
24th-29th. Spotty light snow/flurries; could turn steadier, heavier over eastern New England.

March 2012
1st-3rd. Light snow/flurries. Steadier, heavier snows along New England coast.
4th-7th. Stormy, with significant snow accumulations possible Mid-Atlantic region, then clearing.
8th-11th. Fair.
12th-15th. Light rain, especially Pennsylvania, New York, then fair.
16th-19th. Showers, heavy thunderstorms

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#1319865 --- 01/23/12 02:13 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: bluezone]
MeRightYouWrong Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mountain of Truth
It's a combination of low, flat area and clay. I've been doing a compost pile to till in, in hopes of eventually having better soil, but the drainage may always be a problem because of all the clay underneath. I've also tried adding gypsum to help keep the clay broken up, but I'll need far more than what I've added. It seems a little too expensive to be a viable solution at this point.

I will need to do something about the drainage, for sure. It was my first season trying to grow a garden since we'd gotten this property a couple years ago. Combine that with the fact that I'm a city boy trying to turn country and you can expect some learning curve along the way.


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#1319996 --- 01/24/12 08:21 AM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
about how large is the garden?
10 x 10
10 x 20
20 x 20
or other
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#1319997 --- 01/24/12 08:23 AM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: MeRightYouWrong
Last year I had problems because I started them in March and by the end of May they were overdue for transplanting outside


about how many weeks before you are able to see a sprout from the seed?
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#1320238 --- 01/25/12 11:38 AM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
ever try chicken 'manure' tilled in?
remember someone saying they use it
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#1320713 --- 01/27/12 09:06 AM Re: Gardening forum [Re: bluezone]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: bluezone
about how large is the garden?
10 x 10
10 x 20
20 x 20
or other


if it was small enough you could try a raised bed
new soil and the water would not be as big of a problem
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#1320733 --- 01/27/12 09:59 AM Re: Gardening forum [Re: bluezone]
MeRightYouWrong Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mountain of Truth
With 3 acres I'm hoping to eventually have a large garden, much too large to bother with raised beds. I placed it along the side of the property and it was about 10 feet wide and about 50 feet long. The 50 foot length will probably remain the same but each year I hope to make it wider, as I add more crops to what I'm growing.

As for how long it takes for seeds to sprout, that varies. My tomatoes sprouted within a week or so. My peppers took up to 3 weeks.

There is a farmer up the road that once offered me some cow manure. I'm not the type to ask for anything or accept things for free, so I never contacted him about it. I was thinking of at least giving him some money to bring over a tractor bucket full. Otherwise, I'm just building compost piles as large as I can get them and plan to till that into the soil.


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#1320768 --- 01/27/12 12:05 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: MeRightYouWrong
much too large to bother with raised beds.


correct
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#1320769 --- 01/27/12 12:08 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: MeRightYouWrong]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 31963
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: MeRightYouWrong

There is a farmer up the road that once offered me some cow manure. I'm not the type to ask for anything or accept things for free, so I never contacted him about it. I was thinking of at least giving him some money to bring over a tractor bucket full. Otherwise, I'm just building compost piles as large as I can get them and plan to till that into the soil.


would it make sense to pay him to deliver and till in the manure?
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#1320845 --- 01/27/12 04:08 PM Re: Gardening forum [Re: bluezone]
twocats Offline
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Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11903
Loc: NYS
My daffodils and crocuses are coming up!!!!!

\:\)
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