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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by seedspreader, Aug 1, 2006.
Is it pretty much MANDATORY to have a greenhouse or hothouse to do tomatos up there???
I hate to break this to you, ZYG, but Minnesota is farther north than Maine and we can grow tomatoes.....most years.
In fact, the Twin Cities of Minnesota is farther north than where 2/3rds of where Canada's population lives.
That's cool, (pun intended) but having been to maine, I think I would prefer to live there if I ever moved somewhere...
Minnesota has a more continental (hot summer - cold winter) climate than Maine. I'm 2 miles from salt water, and I have lots of trouble getting tomatoes outside. There are other issues though, like my heavy clay soil.
I grow bushels of tomatoes in my garden. I am in western Maine.
I usually start my tomatoes inside (we favor Romas), about March 15th and set them out June 01st. In most years we get an ample supply. Sometimes however, we can get hit by a nasty frost near the end of August.
We are in Central Maine....and grow mostly Brandywines...I buy seedlings from the greenhouse...they start them in MArch :shrug:
Generally w/ a little manipulation you can grow just about anything....
Last year we had NO frost until after Columbus Day (it was delightful ) but an early frost in late Aug. and early Sept can often be escaped by tarping or bed-sheeting the garden.
Of course if you are of the meat and POTATO variety eater its just the right place!
The problem w/ gardening and preserving in MAine is everthing is ready at the same time....berry picking and pickle making and green beans and summer squash and beets and green peppers all came this week (tomatoes are starting) and its hotter than Hades inside and out.
We are switching to raised beds for the most part as well as doing squash (summer and winter) &cucumbers in composting manure piles. The raised beds are being filled with grower mix from Maine Organics in Unity. Its black gold and grows things faster and heats up quicker in the Spring.
Here's a tomato project in Madison
A greenhouse is best for starting plants. We have 90 odd plants outside doing well, but all were started inside.
With a greenhouse are you able to have year round salad fixings in Maine?
Nope. We grow other tropicals such as eggplant and peppers too. I've been picking tomatoes inside the hoop for a few weeks and outside for a little over a week. I start my seedlings in early April in the greenhouse. I do grow in hoops but ths is the only the second year for one and first year for two. The greenhouse is a few years old.
How big is your hoop house: did you build it: do you heat it: and do you irrigate the plants in it???
Chas, looking for a hoop house in his future, up here in Maine.
One is 14' x 40' and two are 13' x 27'. We built them. The ribs are conduit and the baseboards are tamarak. The cover is 6 mil, 4 year greenhouse film. They cost .70Â¢ a square foot to build.
I'm considering heating one in the spring. A lot of our greenhouse customers are asking for flowers. If I decide to sell flowers I need more greenhouse space. Instead of building a greenhouse I will heat a hoop. I can grow the flowers on benches and plant a warmer crop in the ground. I'm not sure I want to deal with flowers yet.
I planted in the first hoop on April 12. If I hadn't made a poor choice in plastic last year (it ripped in November) I could have planted earlier this year. In the fall I'll start cold weather crops outside and pull one of the hoops over them.
This is covered with the cheap plastic that ripped. I haven't taken pics of the new ones. They aren't fancy but they're inexpensive and they work. I expect to get at least four years out of the ribs. I don't know what to expect after that.
There's an overhead watering system made of PVC in one hoop. I don't use it unless I'm short on time. The garden hose attaches to the pvc. Water drips through the holes. This would probably work better if the pvc was on the ground. This year I'm using the hose. I water deeply and only once a week. That's working well.