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The First Onions

August 4th, 2015

One of the reasons I grow different varieties is to watch how they do in my garden. I watch grow rates and harvest dates. This year ‘Martina’ onions are new to my garden. They grew well, sized up nicely and were ready to harvest this past weekend. This variety is a short day variety, so they size up without the 16 hours of sunlight that the long day ones require.
martina onions 1
According to Baker Creek, this onion does well and summer/fall onion in the northern latitudes. I should have planted my extra seed and planted them out to see how well they sized up in the fall. It’s probably too late to sow them now, but I’ll throw the extra seeds in a tray and see what happens, perhaps with a little cover they might produce a crop that will last longer in the spring than the onions harvested now.
martina onions 2
This is one of my favorite things about gardening, I get to satisfy my curiosity and get vegetable in return. I’ll be watching these onions to see how well they store.  This variety sizes up so fast, I will have to start some extra early next winter to have onions extra early from the garden. I could even grow onion sets one year to plant out in the spring.

What fun things are you doing in the garden this year? 

No Lost Time

April 14th, 2015

When you’ve been anticipating spring for so long you pounce as soon as it arrives. Yesterday it was 68 degrees and sunny. The 5×5 Challenge garden thawed out and I seeded it with radishes and spinach. We have several sliding glass doors that I will lay on top to act as a cold frame of sorts. That should help warm the soil even more so the crop gets going faster.
planting in spring 1
planting in spring 2
The potager in the back is also thawing out nicely. In a week or two I’ll be putting up the fence and planting all the lettuces from under the grow lights. It was so nice to get my hands in the dirt and feel the sun on my back. I’m really looking forward to the coming gardening season and all the delicious fresh veg!

What are you planting right now?

Be Ruthless

July 9th, 2014

It’s been a while since I talked about my 5×5 Challenge Garden.  I must admit, it’s a bit overgrown.  The lettuce I started this spring grew like crazy almost shading out the tomatoes that were planted in their midst.  Then the golden peas grew rampant and were blown over when the hurricane came through last week.  As a result, the garden is rather in shambles.
5x5 challenge garden (1)
I ripped out all the lettuce earlier this week.  I plan on harvesting most of the peas while leaving a few to set seed.  Then they will be ripped out and replanted with something else, perhaps bush beans.  The tomatoes need tied up and staked along with a good mulch around their feet.  After that the garden should look neater and the tomatoes will start growing well.

Does your garden ever get out of control? 


5×5 Harvests

May 29th, 2014

I missed my 5×5 Challenge post yesterday, with the holiday weekend I’ve been off a day every since. Last week marked my first harvest from the 5×5 garden. We’ve been enjoying an evening salad every night. It’s amazing how many salads a small plot of lettuce will produce. If you remember, I planted this lettuce back in early April.
salad harvest
I like to pick the outside leaves of the little lettuce plants rather than cutting the entrée plant. Doing this ensure continual production until the weather gets too hot. Of course the chickens LOVE the salad as well so I have put a little fence in the garden to keep them out!

Are you harvesting anything for your plate from the garden yet?

Summer is HERE in the 5×5 Garden

May 21st, 2014

Yesterday I planted tomatoes in the 5×5 garden.  We’re pretty much past the point of frosts, especially here in my garden which is a high south facing slope.   The night time temperatures have been dipping less and less into the 40’s and the days are feeling warm.  With these warm days the tomatoes are taking off in their cell packs.  One signal for me that it’s time to transplant tomatoes into the garden is when I start seeing tomato seedlings pop up around the garden from last year’s fallen fruit.  This is a signal that the soil is warm enough for these warm soil loving crops.
5x5 tomato
If you notice there’s a dandelion blooming back behind the tomato. I purposefully leave these in the garden because they draw up calcium and other nutrients from deep within the soil. Calcium is important for tomatoes in particular helping them set fruit better. This makes dandelions a perfect partner for them. Sometimes weeds can be beneficial for our gardens!

Have you planted warm weather crops yet? Or do you live in a warm climate where you planted them long ago and are eating tomatoes already?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.