The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Planting for a four season harvest, Part 1

My great aunt Ruth Tirrell wrote for Organic Gardening and for the New York Times during the '60s and '70s, and I've inherited my Egyptian onions (and perhaps my green thumb) from her.  I got permission from Organic Gardening Magazine to reprint some of my Aunt Ruth's articles here in my blog. 

Stay tuned Monday through Friday for the next two weeks for sections from her article "Planting for a 4-Season Harvest."  For those of you who enjoyed Daddy's posts this past week, don't despair --- he'll return in a few weeks with another series.  Enjoy!


Planting for a 4-Season Harvest

BasilPlanting time in suburban Boston begins in the house in late February.  That's when I sow eggplant, lettuce, and the first tomatoes in a small flat, to be set out early under protection.  A few weeks later, I start cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower along with peppers and the main tomato crop, Big Boy.  Once in a while I sow leeks inside, but there's no real need.

Leeks are hardy, and can be sown outside as soon as the ground can be worked.  Though they take a long time to mature, they're not intended to be harvested until the next fall.  If space is not limited inside, I start basil (ornamental Dark Opal, but the green-leaved kinds are just as suitable) to have little plants to set out simultaneously in the garden with the young tomatoes as a pest-repellent.  Basil doesn't take as long to grow as tomato, can be sown outside and will catch up.  But wait until soil and air are warm.

I make no elaborate preparations for starting seeds, but try to be careful.  Soil is ordinary clay loam, lightened with compost.  I dig it up in a January thaw, so that it is "alive" as possible, and sift it.  Until seeds sprout, flats are kept in a warm, dark place, covered with dampened newspaper.

To be continued....

Tirrell, R.  1966, February.  Planting for a 4-Season Harvest.  Organic Gardening and Farming.

Reprinted by permission of Organic Gardening magazine.  Copyright Rodale, Inc., U.S.A.  All rights reserved.  www.organicgardening.com.



This post is part of our Planting for a Four Season Harvest lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:





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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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