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Soaking up the Sun

February 28th, 2011

Yesterday was a beautiful day here at Chiot’s Run. We saw the sun, the weather was warm, up around 40 and the snow and ice we got earlier in the week was melting off. This is the time of the year when you really start to notice that the days are getting longer. The sun is higher in the sky and feels warmer when you’re outside. Since it was so nice, I put a flat of lettuce seedling on the front porch in the afternoon to harden off. I also left them out overnight so they could get used to temps a little colder than their basement home.

They’ll be planted out in my cold frame someday later this week if I have a warm day without rain. The nice thing about planting in spring is that you don’t have to worry as much about hardening off as far as the sun goes. The cold however is a different story I find. My front porch is perfect for hardening off, it gets the afternoon sun. The concrete floor warms in the sun and will keep seedlings warmer in the spring so I don’t have to worry about them freezing or getting nipped by frost.

The greenish yellow lettuce is ‘Little Gem’ from Burpee and ‘Sea of Red’ lettuce from Renee’s Garden is the reddish lettuce. I sowed this flat on January 18th, and had first germination on the 21st. I also sowed ‘Rouge Genobloise’ which didn’t germinate very well and ‘Sanquine Ameliore’ lettuce which didn’t germinate at all, both of these were from Baker Creek. I’m not sure what happened with these, I’m going to try sowing another flat with them. Perhaps I just got a bad batch of seeds, which happens on occasion.

Do you have a favorite spot for hardening off seedlings? Are you planting anything in your garden yet?

Lettuce Love

September 27th, 2008

My lettuce is loving this weather (and so am I). I’m looking forward to salad all fall with this patch and another one.

I have to put a fence around my lettuce or the rabbits mow it down, but that’s ok. Next year I’m considering putting up an electric fence around the back yard to keep all the critters out, but until then my little make-shift fences work.

Anyone have any great tips to keep the rabbits & groundhogs out of the lettuce patch?

Bring on the Salad Bowl

August 8th, 2008

A few weeks ago I ordered some lettuce seeds. I started them on the 23 of July. I put them in the basement where it’s cool (lettuce likes cool weather). A couple days later they germinated and then under the grow lights they went. This is what they looked like on July 27th.
I can’t believe how quickly these seedlings grew. I think the secret this time was the Dr Earth Starter Fertilizer that I added to my seed starting mix. From now I’ll be using this with all my seeds.

Today the seedlings went outside on the back deck to get ready for planting in the garden. They’ll stay there a couple days to get used to the sun & wind.

So what kinds of lettuce do I have for our late summer & fall salad bowl?

Black Seeded Simpson

Green Jericho Romaine Lettuce

Simpson Elite Lettuce

Red Sails Lettuce

I also started some Red Ruby cabbage for the fall.

The spinach seeds I started haven’t germinated much yet. I have one that’s just starting to emerge.

I can’t wait for all these salads.

Another Harvest

July 10th, 2008

Last Wednesday I picked most of the broccoli and most of the lettuce. I also picked some lime basil and made some Lime Basil Vinaigrette. We had a decent amount of both, enough for a few meals.

Little Lettuce Seedling

July 8th, 2008

The little lettuce seedlings have gotten their first set of true leaves. You can already tell what color of lettuce it’s going to be.

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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.