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

Pushing the gardening envelope

Cucumber seedling

Did I learn from planting my broccoli sets too early? Of course not.

Day one of summer crops

It's a gardener's prerogative to push the envelope. So I went ahead and set out four tomatoes, a row of cucumber seedlings, and a bunch of zinnia sets nearly two weeks before the frost-free date.

Flat of seedlings

In my defense, the forecast says it's going to stay warm. Maybe that's why I also direct-seeded a bed of summer squash and one of beans? I'll either have early crops or will be replanting everything within the next few weeks!

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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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What are the plastic things in the second image, that look a bit like a short fence?
Comment by Maggie Turner Mon May 7 07:11:53 2018
That's the bottom of a trellis for the cucumbers. I like to train them up so they don't take over the garden and so they stay drier to combat fungal diseases.
Comment by anna Mon May 7 10:23:38 2018

I was talking to a friend on Sunday, who is in his second year in his house (with a greenhouse--not at all envious). I asked about his garden, and he asked if I wanted any tomato starts, as the ones in his greenhouse were getting too big. Of course I said sure, and then he told me they have blossoms and some even have small fruit!

Usually I don't put out tomatoes until Memorial day here in Michigan, but the forecast looks good.

Now my tomato garden looks like the beginning of July! I'll still need to get my paste tomatoes in the normal way, so canning will wait until September, but looking forward to eating lots of heirloom tomatoes all summer long!

Comment by Jim Tue May 8 09:01:36 2018

I'm biting the bullet and putting out our tenders a couple of weeks early too. The garden spot is ready (which is an amazing feat in itself! I'm always scrambling!) and the plants are getting leggy under lights soooo~ let the season begin!!! (I'm with you Anna, the warm weather forecast is giving me confidence too). Elizabeth

Comment by Elizabeth Sun May 13 10:38:58 2018

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