A Journey to Grow a Little Food Close to Home

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A week in Pictures

It's been a while since I did an update of my own kitchen garden.

To begin with, I learned the value of a little protection for seedlings. I have been planting lettuce about once a week for a solid winter harvest from cold frames. Here are some of the first:

The problem here is that I didn't protect these from the wind while they were first sprouting. They got blown all over the place and became weak. I'll probably just dig them under because they won't become much more than what you see here.

These are a little stronger because I used just a little protection:

These should grow into some nice lettuce for the winter harvest. I wish, though, that it would already be as mature as this:

I planted this on August 29th for a fall harvest. The lettuce in the first two pictures I started seeding a week later on September 6th (following Elliot Coleman's planting charts.)

Here's what I've learned: not only does one week make a huge difference, so does the amount of sunlight. Elliot Coleman talks about thte sunlight that he receives in Maine vs the sunlight in France, the country from which he learned much about planting systems. He stresses the importance of the amount of sunlight that plants receive but I have now seen it first hand. My coldframes get flooded with sunlight in the spring but are quite shaded in the fall. This has apparently made a HUGE difference (the best looking lettuce in the third picture is planted in a different location that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight each day.)

On a more positive note, here is some nice arugula:


And, although tired, a still producing tomato (Wisconsin 55):

Finally, I've got two questions for ya'll...

1. Anybody got a greenhouse? Here are some strong Siberian Tomato seedlings that I threw into the garden on August 25th.

They are 6 weeks old and would probably still work in a greenhouse given their cold tolerance (down to 38 degrees!!). I planted the seeds on August 25th simply so that I could establish a baseline for seeding in coming years. I think that in the future, August 1st could work well. That way, I might be able to get tomatoes 'til November!!

2. The second question and last pic - anybody need parsley? Look at this monster:

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