This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Monday, February 08, 2010

a cool drink

skippy 1

I can't imagine wading barefoot into this ice cold water! Its 25*F today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy - Water seems irresistible to children and dogs! In winter, Pixie likes to stand on the steps of our pool with her feet and legs in the water, too. Your Skippy looks right at home in the water - great picture!
- Daisy in AZ

February 09, 2010 9:07 AM

Blogger Paloma said...

really *COOL* picture ;)


February 09, 2010 10:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy,
I missed commenting on your post from 2/7 about your first indoor seedlings. I have a quick question about onions. I noticed that most of the seedlings you planted were onions. I understand that onions take a long time to mature. That is probably why you're getting a head start. I am reading a book on gardening and the author describes the planting of small onions (little miniature onions). He doesn't say anything about growing onions from seeds. What is the advantage of growing from seed or planting miniature onions? When you plant one seed; do you get one onion? If an onion doesn't make it to maturity can you still put the greens in salads or use it in cooking?

Happy gardening,

February 09, 2010 12:19 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Good question Chris. I'm going to have to look up a few things about onions and make a post on this. They do take a long time to mature (100 days) and the package recommends planting seeds indoors 11 weeks before frost. If you use small plants or sets, some of the growing has been done for you and you can just start when the soil can be worked.

Also some onions are long day, some short, and if you want to grow the wrong type for your area you can start with plants started in a different area.

Any onions can be pulled early as "green onions" or "spring onions". Seeds, sets or small plants for miniature onions will produce miniature onions when the bulbs mature (like cipollini or pearl onions). Seeds, sets or small plants for big onions will produce big onions when the bulbs mature.

Onions and celeriac need the biggest head start for the things I grow. That's why I've only planted them so far. And yes - one seed makes one onion. (Unless you kill it by planting it under a pepper plant....)

The advantage of growing seed is that you get to watch and tend the seedlings yourself for a long time. You get to know exactly where they've been and what they've been up to. Some gardeners say that there is some lag or stunting caused by pulling and shipping sets or small plants and that you get bigger, better onions by growing them yourself from seed. This seems true to me from comparing the seeds and sets I've grown. Also seeds are cheaper than sets or plants. But I don;t know how a cost comparison would work out if you factor in lights, shelves, and electricity.

February 09, 2010 3:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy,
Thank you so much for your response. I appreciate your insight because you have so much experience with your garden and with your community garden. I too like the idea of growing my plants from seeds.

I love different kinds of onions and I haven't grown any yet. But, right now I have 12 trays of seedlings going (I live in So. Cal. so, Spring is right around the corner). I might not have time to get onions started right away. Is there a cut off as to when onions grow best? That is, do they grow best in Spring or Fall or can I plant them for a Summer harvest? I realize that 100 days is a long time. But, then again it is only 3+ months. If I planted them in March they would be ready in May/June. Does that sound feasible or is May/June too hot for onions?

Happy gardening,

February 10, 2010 12:25 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Oh no. I may not know any answers here....

I grew onions from seed for the past two years. I start in Feb and they mature in August. Hmm. That's more than 100 days... I don't know the answer why its longer than the seed package.

I think if you're in So CA you should be buying short day onions. This site explains: short vs long day onion types.

Growing onions takes skill and luck. (That's the title of the article.) I'm still working on this challenge. I admire the onions of our most experienced gardened at BVG.

Here's a Southern CA planting schedule I can across. I didn't too close, ut seems you should have planted seed already. Maybe you should try sets or plants this year and research for next year? Sorry I don't know the answers for your climate.

Maybe you can walk/drive around and look for a garden near you and try to find the gardener and ask lots of questions. I LOVE to do this.

February 10, 2010 7:02 PM

Blogger Tyra i Vaxholm said...

Hi Kathy it looks like Father Winter finally losen his grip. We still have much to much snow, I was seriously thinking sending some to Vancouver...


February 12, 2010 8:40 AM

Anonymous drip irrigation said...

we will start preparation of planting, as the winter is gone away soon

February 14, 2010 10:53 AM


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