Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Up on the hilltop, the lettuce went in last week.  Hurray!  And then a few days later, a whopper of a storm tracked through our area and they were pummeled by strong winds and heavy rain.  Boo!

I considered placing a cover on the bed ahead of time, but then thought this may do more harm than good, as the winds would likely rip off the cover and cause further damage.

Battered Lettuce

Friday, April 21, 2017

Every Season Has Its Issues...

The weather finally turned a couple of weeks ago, after our April snowstorm, and I have been busy with bed prep, seeding and transplanting.  It’s wonderful to finally be working outside!

Since the weather outlook was promising, with temps staying above freezing for the most part, I spent some time this past weekend hooking up the drip system.  Of course, things didn’t run as smoothly as I would have liked.  A vacuum breaker fitting that my husband left on one of the hoses had corroded and essentially fused with the hose – my bad as I forgot to tell him that any fittings should be taken off the hoses before storing.

The faucet is a strange size (larger than usual) and requires specialty fittings.
The fitting that is fused to the hose is the only one that will fit and it was a PAIN to source.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Peppers, Past and Present

2016 was a banner year for peppers, due in part to the hot, hot weather.  But I won’t give the heat all of the credit – I did a few things differently last year and I’m confident that these changes also played a part in the bumper pepper harvest.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Brassica Starts - Rapini and Kohlrabi

The weather has been wonderfully spring-like over the past week - I've been prepping beds, hardening off seedlings and spent one day ridding an old perennial border of buckthorn.  Then, this morning, I woke up to this:

The pile of buckthorn brush sits beside the large tree on the right

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Saving Allium Seed & Transplanting Leeks

In the past couple of years, I've been experimenting with onion seed storage.  Alliums are one of the few vegetable seeds that do not store well so it's usually recommended that you purchase fresh seed each and every year.  The issue I have is that I enjoy growing a variety of different onions and leeks which means that, in most cases, I only sow a small portion of the seed packet.

When I spend over $30 for allium seed,
it irks me that so much of it is going to waste

So my question was this - was it possible to save the leftover seed for an additional year?  This would cut my seed cost almost in half since I usually have leftovers for every variety except Copras.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sweet Potatoes

When it comes to growing a veg that I love, I don't give up that easily if I run into problems.  Case in point - sweet potatoes.  I'm on my third year and have yet to have a good harvest.

This past season, with it's super hot summer, I was convinced that I would get a halfway decent haul.  I grew the potatoes in both black grow bags and large plastic tubs but neither yielded a particularly impressive harvest.

One of the sweet potato tubs,
just before tipping it over to reveal the harvest

Friday, March 24, 2017

Allium progress

2016 was a very disappointing year when it came to onions.  The season started off badly and never seemed to get any better.

Firstly, I tried a different approach when I sowed the seed.  Instead of using a plug sheet as in the previous year, I scattered the seeds in large 2"x4" cells.  I was hoping to (1) gain space under the grow lights and (2) minimize drying out of the soil as it was more difficult to tell when the plug sheet needed watering and I would tend to let them dry out too much.

All was well and good...until I had an issue with damping off and lost a good number of seedlings.  Of course, grouping seedlings into one large cell means that the disease easily spread and I likely lost more than I would have had I used a plug sheet.

Conservor shallots in 2016, succumbing to damping off