Thursday, May 27, 2010


We're expecting temps of 90+degrees this weekend so the garlic needs to be pulled to make way for the final 1o tomato plants.

The heads will go onto drying racks (old refrigerator shelves:) and sit out for a week or so before storing in the cellar. I'll be back later today to post pics of the haul!

ps. The poppies were volunteers from the compost we added to the soil.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Transition Time in the Garden

Trying to get double duty out of some of the beds in the garden. Here is our tomato/lettuce seed-saving bed. We just tucked the tomatoes between the lettuce plants that we'll be collecting seeds from next month. They are just starting to flower and the process takes a good couple of weeks before we get viable seed. This bed was actually planted with seed saved from last winters crop. It's an easy one to save but because of the time involved I've learned to keep the plants that are going to seed on the outside of the bed (mostly :) so we can plant our summer crops while we're waiting.

ps. the onions on the left side of the bed will be replaced with jalapeno peppers next week.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

His Empire of Dirt

I found this by reading a magazine, which led me to a book, which I Googled on the web and found the New York Magazine article and this video. Maybe we should be more enterprising and get ourselves published in New York.

The article spells out more of the travails.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What's New and Happenin'

I don't write much about the garden. I tend to let Maureen because she does a better job and I like to think of myself as the brute strength of this operation, emphasis on brute. Here are some crude pictures of what is happening in the last few weeks.

This is one of the new wine bottle herb beds. The bottles are filled with sand and buried upside down to form a bed. They are at the end of the wooden formed beds and set off the garden. 'Tis also fun to create more empty bottles for more beds.

This is one of the older beds with a winter crop.

These are the new beds that have been created in the last two weekends. Besides tidying up the place a bit, we now have more places to grow.

More fun than a barrel of monkeys in store for us.

Monday, May 3, 2010


....sort of :(
This year we are once again seeing our multitude of onions go to seed and fail to grow into decent bulbs....eek!

As I found out last year Onions are very weather dependent and our fluctuating winter temperatures confuse them into thinking it has been 2 seasons so they flower in order to propagate.

The plants never develop a sizable bulb and most of that is an inedible core.

Tho this is actually a leek (also going to seed) the idea is the same. A very hard inner core with only a few usable outer layers. I used 20 white onions in a pot of spaghetti sauce just to get enough actual onion. ....sigh.

The only ones that seem to be avoiding this fate are the red onions (planted as transplants vs. the sets used in the other bed). Of course I didn't plant very many of those....sigh.

From the Plant Answers Website---
Most folks want to grow onion bulbs NOT onion flowers! What causes bulb onions to send up flower stalks? Flowering of onions can be caused by several things but usually the most prevalent is temperature fluctuation. An onion is classed as a biennial which means it normally takes 2 years to go from seed to seed. Temperature is the controlling or triggering factor in this process. If an onion plant is exposed to alternating cold and warm temperatures resulting in the onion plant going dormant, resuming growth, going dormant and then resuming growth again, the onion bulbs prematurely flower or bolt. The onion is deceived into believing it has completed two growth cycles or years of growth in its biennial life cycle so it finalizes the cycle by blooming. Flowering can be controlled by planting the right variety at the right time.

So for all of you who live in HOT summer areas, when do you plant your onions and what kinds do you have the most success with?