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Finished, at least for a Week or Two

June 2nd, 2015

This past weekend I finally finished planting all of my first flush of plants. The last of the tomatoes and peppers went into the ground so they could get soaked in but the few days of rain that was forecasted.
planting peppers
This doesn’t mean I’m finished, it’s now time to start seeding heat tolerant lettuces, radishes, peas, fall brassicas, and so much more. Work is never really finished in the garden, especially when you’re trying to maximize space and harvests while minimize canning and preserving work. I’ve been working really hard to get the timing right for fall/winter crops, each year I learn a little more. I must admit, it’s difficult to think about planting/seeding new things when you feel like you just finished planting the heat loving crops.

What are you planting this week and what things do you have planned for fall harvests?

Friday Favorite: Phenology

May 8th, 2015

Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate, as well as habitat factors (such as elevation).

I’ve always been fascinated by the old rules of when to plant things. Yesterday I noticed the first dandelion blooming in the lawn.
File May 07, 7 53 02 PM
It’s funny because I was thinking to myself not five minutes before that it was getting to be about time to plant potatoes. The old saying is that you plant your potatoes when the first dandelion blooms. If you’re interested in this like I am, here’s a great list of Phenology that relates to vegetable planting.

Do you have any rules for planting vegetables that you use?

Racing the Rain

July 28th, 2014

I always wait until there’s a rainy day in the forecast to plant anything that needs to get planted. The result is usually that I’m racing the rain to get things planted so I don’t have to water them in. Yesterday rain was supposed to come around 2 or 3 in the afternoon.  That gave me the entire morning to plant all the perennials and flowering shrubs that have been sitting in their holding area for a month or so.
I ended up finishing up planting leeks just as the rain started. It was a very successful day, I managed to plant: 4 flowering bushes, 2 peonies, 2 roses, 15 perennials, 100 leeks, 15 celeriac plants, and 40 onions. There are still a few things left in pots that I didn’t manage to get to, but we will have more rainy days next weekend.

Are you ever racing the rain to get garden chores finished up?

Old Wisdom

March 15th, 2014

As I look out my window and more snow and ice that fell on Wed/Thurs, I’m thankful that I waited a little later than usual to start my seedlings.  I had a feeling that spring would be long in coming.
snow (1)
I’ve been thinking a lot about the old wisdom that told you to plant things when other natural elements were at a certain stage (aka phenology). This is much better than the current “8 weeks before last frost” that most gardening books and seed packets give.
A few that I have heard are:
“Sow corn when the oak leaves are the size of mouse’s ears”
“Once the forsythia are in bloom, it’s time to direct sow your cool-season crops in the vegetable garden. These include: spinach, lettuce, peas, carrots, chard, beets, and radishes.”
“Plant potatoes when the first dandelions bloom”
“Plant tomatoes when lily-of-the-valley are in full bloom”

What planting wisdom have you heard?

Neat and Tidy

November 15th, 2012

I’m a big fan of the traditional rowed vegetable garden, perhaps it’s my inner tendency to OCD rearing it’s head. Usually, I try not to be too crazy about spacing, though I do like to use my square foot gardening templates to keep things neat. When you’re doing long rows of vegetables it can be tough to keep those rows straight.

Earlier this fall, I purchased a seed bed preparation rake from Johnny’s Seeds along with the little pieces of tubing for row marking. I must say, I LOVE THIS TOOL. It’s super wide, thus allowing me to prepare a large area very quickly. I also love the little plastic tubes, they can be put on different tines depending on the spacing you want.

This tool makes seeding an entire bed while keeping the lines straight go very quickly. I’m really looking forward to using this in the spring for nice rows of beets, carrots, and lettuce! Although my grandpa always did say, “You can fit more in a crooked row.”

When it comes to the vegetable garden, do you like neat straight rows or do you like things a little more natural?

Reading & Watching

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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.