My 2018 Winter Sowing Results are In!!

Today I am going to share my 2018 Winter Sowing Results! I was pretty hot here in the high 70’s yesterday, so I decided it was the day to open all my milk jug greenhouses that I had winter sown back in February and March. It felt like Christmas opening up all the mini greenhouses! Yay!! Did you Winter Sow this year? If so, please share with us what you grew and how it worked out for you! I have had success every year with this process. Please read my Seed Starting 101: Winter Sowing article if you would like to join in the fun next winter! Winter Sowing Flowers :Snap Dragons and Zinnias Snapdragons on the left, and Zinnias on the right. I grew three varieties of Snap Dragon: Black Prince, Tall Deluxe Mix and Apple Blossoms. I grew five varieties of Zinnia: State Fair, Benary’s Giant Purple, Red Scarlet, Lilliput Mix and California Giant. This year I want to add more flowers to my vegetable garden to give it more of a potager’s garden feel. Can’t wait to see these all in bloom! Winter Sowing Flowers: Marigolds I always grow some marigolds for the vegetable garden, and now collect my own seed from them every year to plant next years flowers from. I grow three varieties every year and they are Star Fire Signet, Court Jester and Giant Mix. These are wonderful for the vegetable garden because they keep pests away. They also happily reseed there on their own, so I will probably find some volunteer’s as well. Winter Sowing Flowers: Phlox   Phlox is one of my very favorite flowers. I love all the varieties it comes in and the scent is awesome. This year I used…

Tamara


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How to Plant Onion Seedlings

This article will teach you how to plant onion seedlings for a healthy robust onion harvest in late summer. To learn how to grow your own onion seedlings, please see my How to Plant Onion Seed article from my Seed Starting 101 Series. In that article I discuss the pros and cons of planting onions by seed or by sets, and talk about different onion varieties you can choose to grow.  If you have any other questions after reading, please feel free to comment below! When and Where to Plant Onion Seedlings Onions are a cold hardy crop, so they can be planted much earlier than your warm season crops. Here in the PNW, I like to get mine planted in early April. Make sure that your soil is workable and not too wet by doing the squeeze test. Grab a bit of soil in your hand and squeeze. If the soil stays in a muddy ball when poke, then the soil is too wet. If it crumbles and falls apart when poked, you are good to go. Planting seedlings in soil that is too wet, will cause them to rot. When determining where to plant your onions, choose a sunny location with loose, well draining soil. Remove any weeds from the area prior to planting. Please don’t use commercial weed killer, you really don’t want that stuff anywhere near you or your food! Fertilizing the Onion Seedlings If you are new to gardening or starting a new garden, it is probably a good idea to test your soil to see where it is lacking in nutrients. I follow a no till method in my garden, so all supplements and organic matter are just added in layers above the soil. Onions are heavy feeders, so first…

Tamara


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How to Get a Massive Potato Harvest from Pots

The last few years, I have been trying to grow a massive potato harvest from pots. I’ve even tried these potato crates. I was getting an ok harvest, but the potatoes were always small, and never as big of a harvest as I had hoped. A little over a year ago, I stumbled upon someone on YouTube, who was having absolutely amazing results. Dan from Allotment Diary who is from the UK. The video I watched, he harvested over 25 pounds from a 13 gallon (50 liter) pot, and some of these potatoes were HUGE! The Tutorial to Grow a Massive Potato Harvest from Pots Thankfully Dan from Allotment Diary, has made a lot of videos on his process. This is the video I originally watched: Please be sure to Subscribe to Dan’s YouTube channel here to get more awesome gardening tips from him! He has a bunch of video’s on growing potatoes this way, as he makes a new one every year. He also has a lot of video’s showing his potato harvests, so if you want to see more, go check him out. You can also find him on Facebook. 🙂 My Results Last Year So last year, I grew my potatoes his way. The results were AMAZING! I actually had, that massive potato harvest from pots that I had been trying to achieve! So I am here to share how I did it, following Dan’s advice. I did not weigh all my food harvested last year, but I did weigh my best pot. It was only a small pot, about 10″ wide x 12″ high, so approximately 2-3 gallons I am guessing? My harvest from that single little pot was 12.8lbs!!!! And the potatoes…

Tamara


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April Homestead To Do List

April Showers Bring May Flowers! We have a few flowers blooming right now, and lots and lots of showers. I have been sick, so I am going a bit stir crazy and not much is getting done. I am just itching to get outside and get started on our spring to do list! It is miles and miles long. Here are a few of our pretty blooms right now: April Homestead To Do List for Gardening: As always, our to do list is ginormous. Especially in the spring. Let’s start with our little seedlings. I have 8 trays (36 plants each…..gulp) of peppers and tomatoes, that need transplanting, or up potting into larger pots. A lot of those will be sold at the end of the month. But for the ones I am keeping, I have to wash and sanitize 100+ large pots to prepare for their final transplant. The greenhouse also needs a final cleaning before I move everything out there later this month. There is still quite a bit of veggie garden winter clean up to do and a few more kale and broccoli transplants to put in since the rabbits nibbled down the one’s I planted previously. I sprayed the rest with deer and rabbit spray, and they seem to be leaving it alone now. We may also have to replant more peas, at last look, I didn’t see any coming up yet. The fava beans and kohlrabi and some swiss chard I planted by seed has all germinated.  I need to put a bunch of compost down and need to plant my beets and carrots and transplant all my onion starts. And start some lettuce and spinach. And put more mulch down in lots of place. Egads, that…

Tamara


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Seed Starting 101: Planting Tomato Seed

Choosing Varieties to Plant Are you planting tomato seed this year? I will teach you how I grow many varieties of tomatoes from seed in this article. Have you decided which tomato varieties you will be growing this year? There are so many varieties, I think that is the hardest part of planting tomato seed! Just trying to decide! When you are deciding, think about how you will use them. I like to make a lot of tomato sauce to can up and keep in the pantry and I also like to freeze a bunch. I also love to eat them fresh. And I love to try new varieties as well as stick with the old that have worked well for me or taste the best. Below I have listed out which cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and roma or paste tomatoes I will be growing this year.  Breaking them down into these three categories makes it a wee bit less intimidating! Cherry Tomatoes Past favorites that I have grown before and will grow again this year: Sungold: This is my favorite, and I think that goes for many people. A small orange cherry that is super sweet. Like candy! Yellow Pear: This is another favorite that I grow every year, not only for the color (I like lots of different colors, I would never plant all red tomatoes!), but it is also super sweet and it is fun to have a different shape as well. Blush: I grew this for the first time last year, and it was a quick favorite. The fruits are oblong in shape, almost like a mini paste tomato and they are a bit larger than most cherries. They are yellow, and as they ripen they get red and orange streaks down them. They have a…

Tamara


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Seed Starting 101: Planting Peas

Happy Spring! Today is the first day of spring…..have you got your peas planted yet? Planting peas is usually my first act of getting the garden going for the year. It is the first thing that gets planted outside in the garden in the new year, along with fava beans. Also known as broad beans. Fava beans are simple, just stick them in the ground, down about an 1″ or 2″, and you are good to go. Peas are a little more tricky, so in this article I will share my tips for planting peas successfully. Not a Fan of Peas? If you or your family are not a fan of peas, have you ever tried them fresh from the garden? Eating raw peas fresh from the garden is like eating candy. They are so sweet and crisp and yummy! Nothing like store bought canned peas which in my opinion are just gross. Freezing peas from the garden are almost as good as fresh. See my article on freezing beans, I use the exact same method for freezing peas. After shelling them of course! Than blanch and follow the same exact procedure. Although you can preserve peas by canning them, I find them unappealing preserved that way. So give them another try and grow them yourself and you will see. Types of Peas There are three different types of peas, shelling peas, snap peas and snow peas. Shelling peas are the ones you shell, and harvest the round green peas from inside the shell. I prefer the Green Arrow variety, because it produces a lot of peas per shell and they are super sweet and crisp. It takes a lot of time to shell each pea by hand, so I would rather get a lot of…

Tamara


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