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

New garden zone, new planting dates

Lettuce seedlings

Our spring frost-free date is supposed to be five days later here than it was in Virginia, so I tweaked my garden spreadsheet to match. Of course, spring planting times are more of an art than a science. It's all about current soil temperature and upcoming rainfall and two-week forecasts...and my mood that day.

To cut a long story short, I direct-seeded my first lettuce seeds two weeks earlier than I did last year in Virginia. They're growing slowly but surely, despite the fact I didn't even slap a quick hoop over them until lows dropped back into the mid twenties sometime last week.

Flat of broccoli seedlings

Meanwhile, my inside seedlings are doing pretty well, considering the fact I let them sit on the floor without lights for way too long. Stems are a bit leggy as a result, and the cat trampling didn't help either. Now that Mark's given them their own shelf and lights, though, I think we're back on track. No, Huckleberry, my grow zone is not your play pen.

Young kale plants

I went ahead and transplanted some baby kale outside to join the few overwintering specimens I have under quick hoop number two.
The older plants are starting to put out enough leaves to provide a small meal occassionally --- so good to have real, flavorful food on our plates again!

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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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My previous gardening experience has mostly been in the zone 8-9. Then I moved up to the foothills in the same state. Our zone is 6-7. Our last freeze date is May 1st instead of March 1. It's been a huge change for me adapting. I wish it was only 5 days later instead of months. I'm just starting my seedlings. Shorter growing season up here too.
Comment by Jo Murphey Sun Mar 18 13:23:53 2018

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