Wow, what unbelievably warm/hot weather weather we have had here in Indiana over the last week. High temperatures have been in the 70’s and 80’s, which is some 20-30 degrees above normal. My overwintered lettuce and top setting onions have exploded into growth (see pics below). I will be harvesting some of the lettuce and onions today. Interesting to note, all of the overwintered lettuce that survived under the hoop was the variety Sierra. My onions plants from Dixondale Farms should be arriving within the week. All of the seedlings in the cold frame are growing well. Most of the lettuce seedlings might be big enough to transplant out into the garden (under the plastic covered hoop) in another week. I started green pepper seeds about 6 days ago. Most of my celery seeds have germinated, but I have not moved them out into the cold frame as of yet, due to all of the hot weather. I was a little worried that it was too hot in the cold frame for some of the seedlings, but most seemed to handle the heat very well. The broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprout seedlings are still somewhat small, but they should start getting bigger over the next few weeks. I won’t be planting those out into the garden until the 3rd or 4th week of April. I will be directly sowing 2-8 foot rows of peas within a few days. I have been letting my chickens work and scratch the soil in most of the empty garden beds. They love to eat all of the worms and bugs. Spring gardening activities are “gearing up.”
Most of my lettuce seeds have germinated and are now happily growing in my outside cold frame. I will be starting seeds of broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, celery, and fennel today. I emptied both of my compost bins this last week and top dressed all of my garden beds with this fabulous soil amendment. The weather looks unseasonably warm for the next week or so. I think spring has finally arrived here in Central Indiana
For those Midwest gardeners like me (zones 5 or 6), March through mid April is the right time to plant onions. If you want really good sized bulbs, you must get them into the ground early. I start with good quality transplants and usually like to get them planted no later than the first week of April. This year my onion transplants will be delivered to me the week of March 26th. I ordered my onions from Dixondale Farms and have ordered my onions from them for many years now.
For success in growing onions, you must also select the right variety for your area. I will let Dixondale Farms help you with your selection: See http://www.dixondalefarms.com/category/onion_plants
I have also added a very informative video below from Dixondale Farms about onions and onion selection. You can also view it by clicking on the following link: Selecting the Right Onion Variety for your Area
The above video is excellent. I even learned a few things about onions that I did not know before.
You might also be interested in a step-by-step guide on how to plant onions. In April of 2010 I published a Guide to Planting Onions on this blog. To view this see: A Guide to Planting Onions
Happy Onion Planting!!
Spring is here (knock on wood). I seeded 72 lettuce plants yesterday. I like to germinate all of my seeds in vermiculite under florescent lights and over a seed warmer mat (see firs pic below). When the seeds germinate, I will move them to the cold frame. The weather forecast looks decent for the next week or so. This time of year I am more concerned with the low temperatures and not necessarily the high temperatures. If the low temps are much below 20 degrees, it might be too cold for the plants in the cold frame. I posted a picture below of what the inside of my cold frame looks like. I place used plastic half gallon containers filled with water along the back wall of the cold frame. The sun heats up the water in the day and releases the heat at night, using the principle of Thermal Mass. This has worked well for me over the last 10 years or so. With any luck, most of the lettuce seeds should germinate in 5 to 7 days. I will be starting broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and celery seeds in another 7 to 10 days. Happy Early Spring Gardening!
My Juwel cold frame went up last Saturday, February 18th. I do not have any seedlings in it as of yet. The extended weather forecast looks okay (no super cold temperatures predicted) so I think I will start some lettuce seedlings in a few days. If the good weather continues, I will start broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage shortly after that. Spring is almost here!
Why do you garden? There are many answers to this question. Some people garden to relieve stress, others because they like being outdoors. I agree with both of those answers, but I also raise a vegetable garden because I like eating the most fresh and nutritious foods.
Studies have shown that the best vegetables for cancer prevention are the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.) and the Allium vegetables (garlic, onions, leeks). These are the two superfood classes of vegetables most adept at blocking human cancer cell growth. You can find more information at the following web sites: http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/1-anticancer-vegetable/ and http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/super-veggies-cruciferous-vegetables
In my opinion, every vegetable garden should contain at least of few of these types of vegetables. I grow broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and onions. My two favorites of these are broccoli and onions. I really miss fresh garden broccoli this time of year. I recently bought some “fresh” broccoli at the local grocery store. It was okay, but it certainly did not taste like “fresh from the garden” broccoli. Here’s hoping for an early spring!!!
Happy Belated New Year Everyone!!
I have added 2 new pages to my Web Site: Frequently Asked Questions and a Video page. Let me know what you think. A special thank you to everyone who has visited my new Tim’s Square Foot Garden Facebook page. If you have not stopped by the page yet, please do. Don’t forget to like the page and please feel free to post any of your questions or comments on my wall.
The weather here has been warmer than normal with highs in the 40’s and sunny. This is great weather for early January in Indiana. Unfortunately, the warmer temps are only predicted to last a few more days. All this warm weather has me thinking of spring. I now have most of my seeds and garden supplies ordered for the upcoming growing season. My Juwel cold frame will be going up, weather permitting, in about another 5 weeks, so spring cannot be far away
Great news, Tim’s Square Foot Garden in now on Facebook!! Find my Facebook Page here: http://www.facebook.com/timsquarefootgarden Like the page and stay connected with me to see what is new in the garden.
Not much happening in the garden right now. Two inches of new snow fell on the garden 2 days ago, but it had all melted within a day. I will be harvesting the rest of the fall planted carrots soon. They have been growing under a plastic covered hoop since the weather turned cold. The lettuce is also still growing under another hoop, but I will not be harvesting anymore of that until next spring. The weather has been warmer than normal, but it has been very wet.
I have been inventorying my seeds and making plans for next year’s garden. I will be ordering all my seeds within the next few weeks.
I would like to wish all my readers a very prosperous 2012!!
My fall garden was very successful this year. I just finished harvesting the last of the cabbage and brussels sprouts on December 6th and 7th. Temperatures here in Central Indiana were above normal for the month of November, which probably helped the fall garden produce more over a longer period. The low temperatures over the last 2 mornings have been in the mid teens, which have effectively put an end to much of the fall garden harvest. I still have some carrots left in the ground (that are protected by a plastic covered hoop) which I will be harvesting within the month before the ground freezes solid. The fall harvest from my garden this year has been spectacular. Not only did the broccoli produce very nice main heads, but the plants produced some very nice side shoots over the better part of late October through November. The cabbage and cauliflower plants produced some mammoth sized heads. Now is the time to start planning next year’s garden. I have started receiving 2012 seed catalogs in the mail, so you know it won’t be long until spring arrives.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
The mid to late fall vegetable garden continues to produce a nice harvest of cabbage, broccoli, and lettuce. The cauliflower heads are getting bigger and will be ready to harvest in about one more week. The carrots are also nearing harvestable size. The brussels sprouts are ready for harvesting, but have not been as of yet (see pic below). The fall broccoli harvest has been very good with many very large heads (see pic below). Temps are expected to dip below freezing in about 2 more days, so I will have to make sure to protect some of the late maturing plants with either row covers or plastic covered hoops.
I have posted a new YouTube video below on ways to extend the fall growing season.
You may also view the above video directly from YouTube by clicking on the following link: Ways to Extend the Fall Growing Season – November 8, 2011