Salads are such an easy meal for summer time and a great way to get all our greens (7 cups a day!). Some people are intimidated by growing lettuce and shy away from it but there's no need, it easy!. Today I'm going to give you my best tips for growing lettuce so that you can have a continuous supply for quick and easy summer time meals that don't heat up the house.
Above is one of our early harvest for the gardens we used to make a salad. F.Y.I. raw kohlrabi goes great in salad.
After you have watched the video be sure to check below for all of our favorite varieties and 3 super easy and super tasty salad dressing.
Best Tips For Growing Lettuce
Our Favorite Lettuce Varieties
We grow all four of these every year and then try some new ones out as well. These are some new varieties we are trying this year.
To get the your best lettuce crop it is important that you read the description for each variety when choosing your lettuce. In general letuce is a cooler weather crop but there are some that tolorate heat and humidity better. There are also some that tolorate cold better. You want to find a variety that is best for your growing conditions.
3 Super Easy and Super Tasty Salad Dressings
To make the dressings put all the ingredients in a jar and shake until combined. That's it! You're done. Now enjoy your salad.
1/2 cup olive oil
11/2 tsp peanut oil
1/2 cup tamari
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3-4 tbsp honey or brown sugar
dash of cayenne
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
* Instead of the oregano, basil, and thyme, you can use 1 tsp Italian dressing.
Make the same as Italian but add:
1/2 cup vegenaise (or mayonnaise)
1/4 tsp ground mustard
a dash or cayenne
This is a little plot of lettuce my 2 year old "planted." It grew so well I decided to let it be. We've got a gardener in the making people!
Do you have any favorite lettuce varieties that you would like to share with us? Or how about some tasty salad dressing? Please leave your comments below!
Happy gardening to you!
Thinking about starting your own garden? Maybe you have just started a garden. For a simple yet complete guide to gardening check out my new book, "Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Garden". Remember that I'm here for you every step of the way. Your emails and questions are always welcome!
I love to garden. I always have and always will I'm sure. I've done it since I was a small child with my mother and sometimes my dad as well. I can't think of a time when I didn't garden. Even in high school I helped here and there. My first apartment balcony was filled with flower pots, and as soon as spring hit, the side of the steps of my first house was adorned with flowers.
It started with flowers then I incorporated garden vegetables and now I have the best of both worlds in this little paradise of a farm we are so blessed to live on! The best part about it is that my kids are right there next to me. And they actually enjoy it! They are just as excited about growing as me! Even about eating all those tasty vegetables!
I'm telling ya people, garden with your children. It can bring them a lifetime of healthy eating habits and endless memories of spending quality time learning something new with YOU!
To get you started I have made a list of the best plants for gardening with kids. The criteria to make this list includes ease of planting, ease of care, kids preference to the flavor, and the abundance of fun it is to grow. This is just a starting point. I hope that once you get going you venture into new things.
*I've included links to the varieties we use. I am in no way affiliated with rareseeds.com or Baker Creek (same company). I just truly love the variety and quality of their seeds! I know they are just as much against GMO's as me which gives me a piece of mind when ordering from them. I'm sure you will love them too!
The Best Plants for Gardening with Kids
Peas are easy for even the smallest of hands to plant. They are one of the first things I let the kids help me plant. They are spaced 1-2 inches apart which is great for excited little ones. It isn't a big deal if they are planted to close or a whole pile gets planted in one spot. They are very forgiving. Be sure to provide some kind of trellis for them.
I recommend doing several plantings about 2 weeks apart each. Once these plantings start to fade mid summer you can plant another crop, right in the same spot, for fall. The pods are very easy for little ones to harvest. Pick a sweet variety over the snow or garden pea type. They are best for fresh eating and your kids will enjoy them more.
You can easily save mature pods to collect seeds for the next year. Let the pods dry then remove the peas and store in a paper bag.
1. dig a trench that is several inches deep along your trellis.
2. place the seeds in the trench 1-2" apart.
3. Cover with 1" of dirt and water well.. Some seeds might pop up, be sure to get them back down in the soil.
4. Keep them moist until several inches tall then water regularly.
Sugar Snap Pea
2. Giant Sunflowers
These babies can grow to be over 6 feet tall! They grow so quick that I think you can measure their growth by the day. That would be a fun experiment to try with the kids. We like to plant them in a way to form walls. Some friends of our are going to plant two rows then tie the heads together (with string) to form a tunnel. You can plant them in a circle and tie the top together to for a teepee. Or try planting them in a spiral for a cool affect.
Once they bloom they attract bees but they are tall enough that they shouldn't cause any problems. We have never had any stings. Not from bees visiting the sunflowers that is. However several of my children have thought it to be a good idea to catch a bee. They learned it wasn't real quick. I remember doing the same thing in kindergarten.
It's that silly song, Do you know it? "I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee. won't my mommy be so proud of me." It does continue to say "ouch, it bit me!" So why do we still go and catch a bee? I have no idea! Maybe don't teach your little one that song but do grow sunflowers with them.
When the seeds mature in the fall cut off the heads and let them dry. Then remove the seeds. Save some to plant next year and roast the rest for a tasty treat.
This is how you do it. Soak the seeds in salted water over night. It should taste salty but not too salty. Drain the water and spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet. cook them in the oven at 350 degrees F until they are dry and slightly browned, stirring them periodically.
My kids eat them raw or cooked. They are like little mice.
1. Poke you finger into the soil about 3/4 of an inch.
2. Place a seed in the whole and cover with soil.
3. Water thoroughly keeping moist until sprouts appear.
4. Water as needed or until several feet high. At this point they are pretty drought tolerant and will do just fine in most places if left un-watered.
Lettuce is and easy and fast crop to grow. Kids like seeing quick results. The seeds are a little small but still doable for a child. We plant ours fairly close and use a cut and come again method to harvest them. This means is grows 4+ inches in height. We cut it back, but not to the ground, then come back in a week or so and it is ready to harvest again.
Densely seeding works well for tis and helps keep the ground covered making it harder for weeds to grow and keeping the ground moist. Lettuce doesn't like the heat of the summer. It must be grown in spring/early summer or fall. You can get away with growing it in shade during the hottest parts of the summer.
It grows quickly. Plant a small patch every week for a continuous supply of lettuce. Be sure to plant multiple varieties for nutrition and color in your salad.
I also suggest planting each variety in a different spot. Lettuce can get aphids. If one patch does get aphids then perhaps the other patches, planted in different locations will not. Can't put all your eggs in one basket!
My kids will sit in the garden and eat lettuce all day long. Have picky eaters who don't want to eat their veggies? It seems to change their perspective when they know they were a part of growing them, they were picked fresh from their garden. All of a sudden they like veggies!
1. Form small trenches 3-4 inches apart.
2. Gently sprinkle the seeds into the trench.
3. Cover lightly and water gently so you do not wash away the seeds.
Rouge De Hiver
4. Dwarf Pak Choi
Dwarf Pak Choi is and Asian cabbage that grows to be just several inches tall. It only takes a few weeks for it to reach maturity. Then it will from blossoms that look like miniature broccoli heads and taste just about the same as they look.
We eat them even when they get to the flowering stage because we love the broccoli taste. Broccoli can be tricky to grow because of cabbage worms. Dwarf Pak Choi is a great alternative.
Let some go to seed to save for next year. They form long skinny pods after flowering. Allow them to dry out then collect them into a paper bag. Now you are all set for next year or even a fall planting.
Make a shallow trench and sprinkle seeds inside. Cover with about 1/4" of garden soil and keep moist until sprouted and established. Then water as needed, never letting the soil become too dry.
Extra Dwarf Pak Choi
5. Cherry or Pear Tomatoes
Cherry and Pear tomatoes are another quick and prolific producer. They come in all different varieties and colors. They are just the right size for little hands and snacking.
Your kids will be popping them in their mouth like candy just like my kids!
1. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date.
2. Once they have at least 2 true leaves pot up into a 4" pot. Barry the stem all the way up to the leaves. The stem will actually grow roots. This form a nice strong root system to support the plant.
3. Fertilize with fish emulsion at half strength at 5 weeks for best results.
4. You may need to pot up once more before planting out. Are there roots coming out the bottom of the pot? If so, and you are still a few weeks off from planting, Pot up into a bigger pot.
5. About a week and a half before your last frost date start hardening off your plants. Put them out in the morning sun for about twenty minutes. Increasing the length each day by 5-10 minutes until it is time to plant them out.
* This may sound like a lot reading this but really it isn't. Just give it a try. You and your little one will be so happy with the results. Taking care of the plants is a good chore for little ones and another way to get them involved.
Fox Cherry- these were not listed at the writing of this post. I bet they are just out at the moment. Keep checking, they're fabulous! They are on the same site as the other tomatoes.
6. Pole Beans
There are two type of beans, pole and bush. Pole take slightly longer to produce but are typically more prolific. I have found that both my children and I tend to snap bush bean plants off at the base when harvesting. They seem to be somewhat fragile. Now we just grow pole beans for the most part. They grow well and we don't have to worry about killing the plant when we harvest. We enjoy the beans straight of the vine as well as cooked into our favorite dishes.
There are so many different types of beans. They all vary in color, length, stringless, not stringless… You can even grow yard long beans! Now tell me that won't excite a small child. They are like nothing they've ever seen before.
Pole beans are another crop that are fun to make living walls with. Tie 6 poles together to make a teepee and plant several beans at the base of each pole. Your kids will have a living fort, a special little place to escape the summer sun and enjoy a fresh picked snack from the garden. Your earning some major brownie points and they are learning to love their veggies!
1. Soak the seeds in water for 1 hour to aid germination. If you forget this step it's ok but you will have better result if you include it.
2. Poke a whole 3/4" deep or make a trench that is several inches deep.
3. Place you seed (bean) in the whole or along the trench. The seeds should be about 4-6" apart.
4. Cover with about 1" of dirt.
5. Water thoroughly and keep moist until seeds have sprouted and plants are several inches tall. then water regularly.
Purple Podded Pole Bean
Chinese Red Noodle Bean
How do you think your kids would feel about their own personal size cantaloupe? Sweet and juicy dripping down their cheeks. Your thinking you want in on that too I know. We started growing these mini versions of cantaloupe and they are crazy good. It can be difficult to find melons that will have a long enough growing season up here in North Dakota, but then we found the Minnesota midget.. Oh, they are so good and we are so looking forward to them this year!
1. A week after last frost date, form a hill several feet in diameter and make a little crater in the center. You want it to be able to hold water so the water doesn't run down the sides when watering.
2. Plant your seed about 1" deep and cover with soil.
3. Water thoroughly and keep moist until sprouted then water regularly.
Minnesota Midget- These were not listed on Rare seeds at the writing of this blog. Check back in, they will restock.
Sweet crunchy carrots from the garden, mmmm yummy! Did you know that they come in all different sizes and shapes? Off the top of my head you can get, white, orange, yellow, red, purple and black. You can get small round ones, long and slender, more traditional ones, or stumpy and fat 1 pounders! Some varieties take awhile while other take only 55 days.
Try several different kinds for a colorful snack and salad. You don't have to wait for them to reach their full size to start harvesting. We start harvesting them once they are about 1/2 their expected size. This is how we thin them out and make room for the others to reach their full size. No little baby carrots are wasted this way.
1. Form a trench 1-2" deep.
2. Gently sprinkle the seeds along the trench.
3. Lightly cover the seeds.
4. Gently water and keep moist until several inches tall then water regularly.
Perisienne -small and round
Cosmic Purple- purple skin with orange center
Ox Heart- squatty and thick, can weight up to 1 pound
Little Finger- small, sweet, and quick to mature
What are you planting in your garden this year? Are you trying anything new? Is there anything particular that you like growing with small children? Please share in the comments.
Thinking about starting your own garden? Maybe you have just started a garden. For a simple yet complete guide to gardening check out my new book, "Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Garden". Remember that I'm here for you every step of the way. Your emails and questions are always welcome!
Gardening season is upon us and we are here to guide you! Many of you may know that I've been working on a gardening book, "Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Garden." It's done! It will be released on Tuesday May 14th and available for purchase here on our website and on Amazon
To kick off it's launch I thought I would do book giveaway! Yeah! To be entered into the giveaway is all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what excites you most about gardening. Simple! That's how we like it and that theme carries through to my book. A simple guide that won't confuse you or give you a bunch of unnecessary tasks. Yuck! My book outlines everything you need to do so you can have a garden THIS YEAR! Yes please!
There are numerous book on the market about grading-so many that it can be overwhelming for someone who is just starting out. Where are you to begin?
It has everything that you need and nothing that you don't!
Instead of wading through all those other gardening books, Pick up mine, Finish it in an afternoon or weekend, Then keep it with you as a handy guide while you go about implementing all the steps to create your garden.
You see, there isn't necessarily anything wrong with those other gardening books, But while you are trying to get a handle on all those methods and practices, you are missing out on growing fresh produce now. My book will lead you through starting, and managing, an abundant garden. Then, while you are reaping all those benefits you can do further research to refine your practices to your particular needs and growing environment.
The best to all of you! Looking forward to reading your comments!
We are so grateful to be able to share fresh organically raised heirloom produce with our customers. It is truly a blessing. In doing so we pray that more people will learn about the importance of "clean" food, going non-GMO, and knowing where your food comes from. But it all began to provide our family with all that aforementioned good food, so we would know exactly what we are eating and what went into it. So our children can learn how to raise their own food and the difference between homegrown heirloom produce and commercially raised GMO counterfeit food. So far it looks like we have succeed (thank you LORD). Our kids love gardening and eating the vegetables. Heck, they don't even bother washing the dirt off. A few swipes of the hand is sufficient enough for them. Oh, it's great!
So with this comes canning, drying, freezing and fermenting. That is a lot of work but once again my kids love being a part of it and that helps tremendously. It takes a lot of food to feed this big ol' family!
The sweet peppers did not do the greatest this year but we had an explosion of hot pepper. My daughter just reminded me how I had said that I wanted a lot of hot peppers because we are about out of our red pepper flakes from the previous year. Oh I got it. We have over a gallon of ground red peppers. I think I will concentrate on sweet peppers next year!
After we get 150 plus quarts of purred tomatoes canned we start canning salsa, wings sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, or what ever new thing we find. We are always looking for new recipes. This year my daughter has really taken a liking to canning and has done all the tomatoes so far.
In addition to all the tomatoes we can beans, carrots, peppers and fruit. Also blanch and freeze greens, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. The kids picked about 6 gallons of wild plums and made plum preserves. They also picked bull-berries. They are cleaned and stored in the freezer so we can can them when all the other canning settles down. They are very good at identifying edible fruit and plants in the wild and it is one of their favorite pastimes. There was a time when almost everyone could do such a thing. I'm so grateful my children are learning those skills.
The onions and garlic have already been taken care of and are put away neatly on the shelves. However we still have to harvest the potatoes and carrots and beets. These can be harvested last because the frost isn't going to hurt the root. They store so well in the ground- at least until the ground freezes so we hold off on them while we get the other canning done.
This year we have started fermenting. OH. MY. GOSH. It is SO easy. Just cut up your choice of veggie, put it in a jar, cover it with filtered water and salt if you'd like, put the lid on a wait a week. And that is it! Now you have a jar of super healthy, probiotic filled veggies. One more skill that was almost lost. Fermenting food was an everyday thing for our ancestors. These probiotics are so good for a healthy gut and good digestion. But that is for another post.
So now you see why there was no September newsletter. But I know that you are the understanding type. Thank you and may you have a blessed fall!
Happy, healthy, clean living,
Most likely your great grandparents did it, maybe even you grandparents. They saved seeds. Why? Well there weren't as many options back then for one but more importantly they knew the value in it.
Saved seeds are not the same as purchased seeds. All seeds grow- well, except for the GMO terminator seeds that produce sterile offspring. You know just a little insurance that the farmers have to go to the big ag/chemical companies to buy their seed. Sorry side tracked, but I couldn't help it. Anyways, most seeds grow so what is the difference? Each seed has a genetic make up that helps determine how well it will grow, how much fruit it will produce, and how well it will cope with the pressures of the environment that it is in. Lets take a Rainbow tomato for example. All the seeds collected from a rainbow tomato will produce a rainbow tomato but there are slight differences in each plant. You can capitalize on this with just a little effort.
Did you have several plants that did better than the others? This is where it all begins. In a year of drought like the one we just had there are going to be some plants that do better than others. Some that tolerated the drought better. If you save seeds from these plants and plant them the following year then save seeds from the plants that tolerate less water that year and so on you will soon have a drought tolerant variety.
Maybe it isn't drought tolerance you are after. Perhaps you get plenty of rain where you are but your tomatoes are prone to blight. Then you would select those that are most tolerant to blight. And the same goes for any plant that you grow. Isn't that awesome! You do not need a seed company to plant a garden. Most seeds are very easy to harvest. As simple as letting the plant go to seeds, collecting the seed, then letting them dry and storing them. (I've included a mini seed saving guide below)
Some varieties take a little more but nothing that you can't handle. Lets start with tomatoes. If you slice open a tomato and take a look at the seeds you will see that they are surrounded by a gelatinous sack. We don't want this gelatinous sack but it is very easy to get rid of. First slice your tomatoes down the middle horizontally. Now squeeze the seeds into a small bowl. Do this with all the tomatoes you are wanting to save seeds from being sure not to mix the seeds of different varieties and label each kind. Next add a little water to the bowl and place it somewhere that you will not be able to smell it. It gets a little stinky but it is only for a few days. This is where we get rid of that gelatinous sack around the seeds. Leave the bowl with the added water to sit for about three days. It will ferment and grow a thin layer of mold on top. This is what would happen to the tomato if it were to be left outside. The tomato would rot freeing the seeds and then come spring they would sprout. Once they have grown the mold add a little more water then use your finger or spoon to swirl the contents around. Carefully pour out the floating contents. The fertile seeds will sink to the bottom. You may have to do this several times and you will loose some good seeds so be sure to account for that when you are determining how much to save.
Now all that is left to do is let the seeds dry-make sure they are completely dry, then place them in a plastic zip-lock bag or mini manila envelope and label with the variety and year. You did it and you are on your way to tomatoes that are perfectly accustomed to your growing conditions! Pretty easy right?
*Please not that you can only save seeds from open pollinated varieties. Hybrids will not produce a true to type seeds and may not even be fertile at all. I suggest using heirloom varieties.
Here's a little recap-video form:
Saving other seeds
Beans- let them fully mature on the plant then pick them, let them dry completely, take out the beans and store.
Cucumbers- let the cucumbers grow until they are overly large and turn yellow. Bring them inside and let sit for an additional two weeks. This give a higher fertile rate. Cucumbers general don't produce a lot of fertile seeds so save plenty of cucumbers. Once the two weeks are over scoop out the seeds and process the same as tomato seeds.
Peas- let them grow to full maturity then bring them into dry. Harvest the seeds from the pod then store.
Spinach- allow plant to go to seeds then wait for the seeds to mature and dry. Once it has turned brown pull off the seeds and let it dry completely then store.
Peppers- choose fully ripe peppers. Slice down the middle, extract the seeds then allow to dry before storing. If you are working with spicy peppers be sure to wear gloves or you will have burning hands.
Swiss chard- Much like spinach, allow seeds to turn brown before collecting then bring them in to finish drying before storing.
Squash- Allow the squash to grow until the skin is hard and can't be easily puncture with a finger nail, cut it open, extract the seeds, clean the flesh from them then allow to dry completely before storing.
Herbs- For most herbs is all you need to do is allow the plant to flower and go to seed, wait for the seed to turn brown then carefully remove the seed. Bring it inside and allow the seed to finish drying before storing.
Carrots- Carrots are biennials meaning they only go to seed every other year. That means they have to overwinter then come back up to produce seed. I have had plenty of carrots go to seed the first year which can be handy for the seed saver in zone three where carrots do not regularly overwinter. When the carrot does go to seed collect in the same way as herbs.
Onions- Onions are biennials as well but they don't usually have any problem overwintering. Just leave a few in the ground and the following year they will come up and bloom. Once they have bloomed and begin to dry it might be a good idea to put a paper bag over the bloom to catch the seeds. because they will start to fall while you are waiting for them to dry.
May this encourage you to start saving your seeds and help you grow many successful gardens!
Happy, healthy, clean living,
Well we have made it past the average frost date of Sept 20th. We actually made it TWO weeks past that. That is quite amazing! Thank you Lord for the extra time! This is only the second time we even made it to the average frost date. Normally we get a frost by the end of the first week in September. See, quite amazing!
We have spent the last weeks harvesting and preparing for the coming months. With harvesting comes canning. Lots of canning. Then we harvest some more and continue to can. Sunday we got everything harvested that wouldn't be covered for the frost that is coming on Tuesday. The only thing besides the cold weather crops that can take temps down to 27 degrees is the eggplant and poblano peppers which are under a plastic row cover. They will stay plenty warm there until we harvest them later this week.
We have been making lots of pizza with the abundant harvest of roma tomatoes. Doesn't it look tasty? Did I mention it is also gluten free? You would enjoy this pizza whether you are gluten free or not. The week after I made this pizza we tried a deep dish version in our cast iron pans. You don't want to miss this recipe!
Have you ever heard of cardoon? It is a tasty relative of artichoke. When prepared it tastes just like that artichoke relative. Instead of eating the flower, like artichoke, you eat the stalk like celery. It is also blanched like celery. That is why it is all tied up. The great thing about cardoon (besides the fact that it tastes like artichoke), you get way more from it.
We have been canning these for a super yummy, dare I say better, alternative to marinated artichoke hearts. These are soooo good and I'm very excited to pull out a jar of these this winter to make some cheesy "artichoke" dip, or how about some "artichoke" pasta, or maybe I'll just grab a fork and eat them straight out of the jar.
Keep checking back for these yummy recipes and more updates. For now I have to get back to canning.
Garlic is one of my favorite things to grow. Every spring when it comes up it reminds me that summer is not far off and I'll be outside planting soon. It also seems to withstand hail pretty well. Aren't we happy about that! The stem got beet up pretty bad but the bulb was safe and sound several inches underground.
I started my garlic 4 years ago and have been building it up since then. Each year saving more and more back to plant and thus increasing my stock.
After the garlic is pulled it has to sit out of sun and rain for a few days to a week. When they are done curing then the roots and tops are trimmed. They are then ready for storage. In the fall we will bring out the some of the bulbs to plant for next summer.
In North Dakota it is best to grow a hard-neck variety. This is a long day type. Long day refers to how many hours of sunlight the garlic need. Long day type need more sunlight hours so they work great in the northern parts of the country where summer days are long. Short day is just the opposite and need fewer hours to thrive. They are grown in the southern stated.
The hard-neck refers to the top or stem. It is indeed very hard. It must be cut off with sharp knife or kitchen shears. Hard-neck garlic can not be braided like soft-neck garlic for this very reason.
A few weeks ago we harvested the garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are the blooms of the garlic. They are very funny looking things. The stem grows up several feet then curls over and around with the bloom on the end. You cut them off about eight inches below the bloom and that is your garlic scape. It can be used just like garlic or you can pickle it like we like to do. It is absolutely delicious spread on a sandwich.
They look like miniature garlic cloves don't they. We are excited to grow garlic from these tiny little bubils!
Happy garlic eating!
P.S. If you are looking for the post on the hail damage you can find it after the post on multiplier onions. Just keep scrolling down.
Have you ever heard of Multiplier onions? They do just as their name implies- multiply. Instead of planting them in the spring like regular onions you plant them in the fall. Then in the spring they have a race with the garlic to see who comes up first. It's usually a very close race. Once they come up they start multiplying. You can get even ten onions from one. Five to seven is more common and what I actually prefer. They seem to grow bigger when there is fewer.
One of the nice things about Multiplier onions is that they are ready to harvest before spring planted onions. They're not usually as big as spring planted onions but they are very reliable, always tied us over until the spring planted onions are ripe, and have been a part of many, many jars of salsa. I can't see myself ever not growing these.
Before onions are harvested you fold over the tops and let them sit like that for a few days. This stops the sap from flowing to the stem and puts all the energy into maturing the bulb. Once the tops start to brown you can harvest them. You can see that the tops on my onions aren't brown. Two things are going on here. The first is that these are multiplier onions. Onions are biennials. That means they bloom and produce seed every two years. So the onions that were planted in the fall shot up a stem that produced a blossom. We snip off the blossoms so that they will put the energy into the bulb. This stem though, is a thick stem that is not soft like those of first year onions. The new onions that grow from the one planted in the fall don't have this, just that fall planted ones. These stems don't lay over well. They sometime break. The other issue is the hail damage to the tops.
Now that we have harvested them we will plant a cover crop in their place. The cover crops protects the soil and then will be used for green manure- it will be left on the soil to add nitrogen and organic matter. As an added bonus we get to feed our birds the grains and some of the greens from the cover crop.
Quick Garden Update
I said it was horrific right? Quarter size hail and winds as high as 70 miles an hour. Yeah, it was horrific, but we have hope (make sure you read to the end). Everything got hit pretty bad. That being said, somethings recover better than others. Before the storm, all the tomatoes had fruit on them and the peppers were blooming if not setting fruit. The pole beans were just starting to bloom. Any fruit that was on the plants were damaged. Branches were broken and the vegetation was stripped off. The lettuce was shredded. The squash and cucumbers were shredded as well. The cucumbers taking it worse than the squash.
These Picture of the hail were taken two hours after it had stopped hailing. There was so much that it was still there two hours later. You can see the size off the hail, again, two hours later, is still bigger than the circumference of my rings.
The picture don't do the damage justice. These were taken two hours after the storm. The next day they looked even worse because all the bruised vegetation that hadn't fallen off, shriveled up and began to fall off making the plants even more bare.
We Still Have Hope
As horrible as the hail damage is, we know that God doesn't make mistakes. Let His will be done and may we learn from it! And may He help the garden to rebound and flourish. OH, and thank you God for eliminating almost all the flea beetles. That's a plus. Please keep them away!
The tomatoes are getting new growth and are even blooming, The zucchinis have blooms and even new fruit. the lettuce has perked up and we were able to salvage some of it. The poultry have been filling their bellies with the rest. I have planted lettuce and spinach every week since early spring. There is new lettuce coming up and will be ready to harvest before too long. We had planted some the day before the storm. Most of it has come up but there is still some that I'm not sure if it got washed away or not. It really is a miracle that it didn't all wash away. The eggplant is blooming and recovering nicely. There are some beans that survived. I planted over 500 plants between the pole and bush beans. There were a lot that just broke at the stem but like I said some survived. There was a row of pole beans next to a low tunnel that fared pretty well and are blooming now. The bush beans are planted in front of the green house. The ones closest to the green house didn't seem to get damaged. Most of the winter squash seems to be recovering well too. The peas were damaged but they are hanging in there and blooming. The grapes didn't seem to get damaged much at all. They look really well. Thank you!
Hello, I'm Jaci. I love gardening and being outside in God's amazing creation. I'm passionate about whole foods and clean eating. I look forward to sharing my farming adventures and helping you reach your gardening goals!