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.
I found this by reading a magazine, which led me to a book, which I Googled on the web and found the New York Magazinearticle and this video. Maybe we should be more enterprising and get ourselves published in New York.
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.
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?
Steve and I have started a new undertaking towards sustainable living....'renting' land in exchange for veggies. Our home garden is simply not big enuf to support our family of 6 very hungry people and with several trees in the yard to help us get thru the 'hell' we call summer in the Central Valley of California we can only cultivate so much of our city lot ...is a town of 10,000 officially a city?
Follow us on our adventures in gardening in our lovely neighbor Joyce's yard. Our desire is to become strangers to the checkout gals at the grocery store.