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

Onion experiments

Onion seedlingAs a gardener, I have a hard nose and a green thumb.  In other words, I tell my plants "sink or swim" and --- mostly --- they swim.

Which is all a long way of explaining why I transplanted my onion seedlings into the garden this week even though they really aren't ready for the cold weather that's yet to come.  I hedged my bets by putting half of the seedlings under a quick hoop, then tempted fate by planting the rest of the seedlings out in the open.  I figure that if the baby onions with no protection thrive, I will have figured out the easiest method to get good onions from seed in our climate --- start seeds in a flat and then put them out in the garden when they have two leaves.  I'm willing to risk some seedlings in pursuit of long term laziness.

Of course, all that experimentation isn't what I'm hanging our hopes of a summer onion crop on.  I direct-seeded another 200 seeds under the quick hoop and yet another 200 out in the open.  I figure that by the end of this spring, I'll have tried most of the possible permutations for onion seedling growing and will have chosen a method to use in following years.
Nectarine in the green bud stage
Meanwhile, my nectarine tree thinks I might just get lucky this year with my transplanted onions.  The tree is already in the green bud stage, which means she's counting on no weather colder than 21 degrees so that she can keep 90% of her fruit.  Here's hoping she's right.


Our chicken waterer never spills or fills with poop.


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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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