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

Three soil preheating trials

Preheating the garden

During a warm winter, I'll start lettuce under quick hoops on February first and peas in the open on Valentine's Day. During a frigid winter like last year, I might not get anything out into the ground until the middle of March.

This year will likely fall somewhere in between with the determining factor being how Onion seedlingsmuch this week's cold snap chills the soil. I'm looking for soil temperatures that are at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit first thing in the morning to prevent seedlings from rotting in the ground. And to that end I'm preheating my pea/lettuce bed in three different ways.

Treatment one, in the foreground above, includes some solarization plastic from last summer weighed down with this and that. Treatment two, in the middle-ground, consists of solarization plastic under a quick hoop. And treatment three is the quick hoop alone. I'll check soil temperatures in a couple of weeks and see which, if any, area hit that critical 40-degree mark.

In the meantime, I'm starting more and more seeds inside. My first onion seedlings are already up, and I plan to play with broccoli and peas in soil blocks today. Maybe when the outdoor garden is warm enough, I'll have some starts ready to go and will end up with a harvest just as early as during warm winters in the past. Only time will tell.

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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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I'd love to get a copy of this but it apparently is only available as an e-book. I won't go into a rant on why I dislike e-books and only get them when they're not available in print. Are you planning at any time to have this book printed, or am I delusional? ::grin::
Comment by NaYan Wed Feb 10 09:47:53 2016
Nayan --- The soil ebooks I'll be mentioning this year are all parts of the paperback that will come out this summer. You'll have to wait longer for delivery, but The Ultimate Guide to Soil is up for preorder now if you want to read on paper.
Comment by anna Wed Feb 10 10:15:50 2016

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