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

Setting out broccoli and cabbage early

Broccoli seedlings

Three weeks ago, these broccoli and cabbage were my babies. I loved them and cooed over them and urged them to grow.

Grow lights

Now they've been supplanted in my heart (and under the grow lights) by tomato, pepper, zinnia, and basil seedlings. So, despite several likely freezes in the forecast, the crucifers have been moved to the garden to sink or swim.

Garden before

To give them the best chance of survival, I saturated the ground beforehand with three hours of sprinkler action. Then, after setting the babies out and watering them in again, I covered each bed up with row-cover fabric. Crucifers like these can handle lows in the high 20s...but not while they're getting their feet under them. Plus, we've had a strange bout of wind for the last two weeks and the sun is pretty intense at the moment too. All of that adds up to the need for a bit of additional protection.

Garden after

Will they survive? I hope so. If not, I've got about a third as many extra seedlings waiting in the wings. Hopefully Mom and/or Kayla will take those babies off my hands next week if this set of transplants survives. (Hear that, ladies? You've been warned --- get the garden space ready!)

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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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