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

Under the quick hoops

Quick hoops without coversI took the fabric off all of the quick hoops except the tomato bed Saturday because the heat was starting to make the lettuce turn a bit bitter (and I wanted the plants to capture every raindrop from the weekend's thunderstorms.)  I'll probably re-cover the beds tonight and leave them protected for a while since the weather is supposed to return to 30s to 60s rather than the recent 50s to 80s.

Onion seedlings planted at different times

Asian greensI was intrigued to see the differences between onion seedlings planted at various times, and places: inside, under quick hoops, and unprotected outside.  As you might expect, the onions started earliest inside then transplanted under the row covers are tallest, followed by the earliest plants direct-seeded into quick hoops, then by later plants direct-seeded into quick hoops.  The onions seeded directly into unprotected ground once the soil temperature reached 35 degrees are smallest, but they've all germinated in good numbers and I suspect the head start given by the row covers won't make much difference in the long run.  I'll let you know if I can still see effects of the various planting schedules at harvest time, but since onions aren't a crop I need to rush to the table, I may plan to use the quick hoops for something else next spring.

Something like greens, maybe.  Asian greens (above) and volunteer mustard are nearly big enough to eat, and the swiss chard started in a quick hoop already has two true leaves.  We've had a couple of meals of Broccoli seedlingsoverwintered kale and mustard greens, but with only four plants surviving, we're ready for a big mess of fresh greens.  Maybe in a week or so?

Last year at this time, we'd already planted out our broccoli and cabbages, but the seedlings are still a bit small for transplanting.  It's tough to tell whether a cold frame would have made these crucifers come up sooner than the quick hoops did --- the asparagus was earlier last year too, which makes me think that the soil just took a bit longer to warm up this spring than last.

The mule garden is starting to feel full and vibrant again with all of this new growth.  Time to mow the aisles and dream of big harvests!

Our chicken waterer is the clean alternative to poopy water.

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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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