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Bean Seed Trials

June 28th, 2016

I found some old seed for the same variety of beans that I purchased fresh seed for this year. Instead of throwing it away, I decided to plant it along with the new seed to see how the old seed compared to the new.
bean seed trials
As you can see from this photo, the old seed didn’t germinate as quickly and not as well. It’s a great illustration of the importance of starting with fresh seed and not trying to use up old seed in the garden. This is especially important if your garden is small, there’s no reason to waste space by trying to use up old seed.

Have you noticed reduced germination rates with older seed in specific varieties?

Succession Planting

June 3rd, 2016

This year I’m working on improving my succession planting success. I.E., I’m actually doing it. I’ve always struggled with remembering to seed plants every few weeks, mostly I forget as I’m out working in the garden. This year I’m already on my fourth flat of lettuce, my third batch of bulbing fennel, my second planting of cilantro, and there are more.
seeding more 2
Yesterday I spent time seeding more flats of flowers and vegetables, most of them were a succession planting, some were heat loving varieties that are being seeded for the first time.
seeding more 1
seeding more 3
As I was looking through my seeds, I realized that I should organize the things that need seeded multiple times into their own box. Possibly even organized into folders depending on how often they need seeded. As I work I’ve been mulling over a workflow that will help make succession planting easier for me to do.

Do you succession plant? Do you have any tips/tricks for organization?

Keeping Things Organized

April 11th, 2016

One thing I like to do when I seed flats is to alternate colors of plants. I find that having red lettuces in between green lettuces helps reduce confusion if plants labels ever get mixed up to fall out of the tray.
seeding herbs
I will also plant different varieties of plants in the same tray, as long as they have similar germination times and preferred conditions it works very well to keep things organized. These are things I’ve found that work for me and help me keep things organized.

Do you have any tips that help you keep things organized when starting seeds?

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds

April 6th, 2016

This past weekend I started loads more seeds, I think the total number of soil blocks I made and seeded was 420. Amazingly, I still didn’t get all the ones seeded I wanted to. Once the weather warms up and I get my onions planted outside, I’ll have room under the grow lights for the rest.
starting seeds 2
Typically, I don’t start quite the many, but then I don’t usually grow a ton of flowers from seed. This year I have almost just as many flowers as I do vegetable. Now that I have space for them in the garden, I’m happy to have a few flowers to cut for bouquets. I especially love to have flowers to take when I’m invited to dinner.

Are you adding anything interesting to your garden this year?

Onions, Onions, Onions

February 25th, 2016

I love growing onions, of all colors, shapes, and sizes. I love starting my onions from seed. I love, love, love eating onions.
starting onion seeds 5
onion braids 1
Onion Harvest 2
onions (1)
planning for onions all year long 2
Each year I grow loads of onions, loads. Generally I harvest around 200 lbs of onions to eat throughout the year. That number doesn’t include green onions and leeks. We eat an AMAZING amount of onions. Many years ago, I decided to start growing them from seed myself, both because it saved me money and because you can find so many interesting varieties. In my experience, starting them from seeds makes them store longer. This past week I started 3 flats of onion seeds, I still have 3 more to get going this week. Onions are probably one of my most favorite crops to grow.

Do you grow onions? Have you started them from seed?

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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.