Thursday, February 28, 2013

All Those Onions!

My beloved brought me three batches of onions: we have one set of sweet onions (Walla Walla), one set of white onions (White Ebenezer), and some sort of red onions.

I don't think I told her that I want to keep three kinds of homemade onion powder in the kitchen: sweet onion powder, white onion powder and red onion powder. My beloved is awesome!

Here are some photos of the process: before, during & after. Note that the "Before" picture is the "wintered over" state of the bed: that's winter rye. I just tilled it in.

Note that the Sweet and Red onions are starts, and I filled up their sections. The White onions are from sets (small bulbs), and I only filled half of them so far: they'll keep better, and I'll plant more later in the season.

From the near side (here, the left side): Red, White & Sweet.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Protecting Cabbage from Moths

It's probably a great surprise to you, but one of the bigger challenges for growing cabbage is a creature called a cabbage moth. And cabbage moths arrive to the cabbage by (of all things) flying.

So this "fabric" (it's non-woven) is called Reemay. "This polyester fabric allows 75% light transmission. Provides frost protection down to 30°F"

And it keeps cabbage moths away.

I'm told that another option is to visit the fabric store and pick up some tulle. (Noun: A soft, fine silk, cotton, or nylon material like net, used for making veils and dresses.) So the Bridal store becomes the Garden store? Hmm.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

All That Cabbage?

Cabbage is an awfully hardy plant. It doesn't hate winter.

I've been trying to grow some in the greenhouse over the winter. They've done reasonably well, but the incredibly short days have kept them from growing very well.

So really, I've come up with some amazingly well-developed cabbage starts.

I transplanted them outside recently. I hope I'm not pushing them too fast.

It's scary how quickly this is actually looking like a garden. . .

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Ton of Taters (and Onions)

My beautiful blushing bride returned from the Garden Show with some goodies for the vegetable garden: Five kinds of potatoes and three kinds of onions.

In the onion category, we have one set of sweet onions (Walla Walla), one set of white onions (White Ebenezer), and some sort of red onions.

In the potato category, we have white (Cal White), red (Cherry Red), gold (Yukon Gold), Purple (Purple Majesty) and fingerlings (Rose Finn Apple). I've never grown fingerlings (or purple taters) before; going to be interesting.

Going to be a busy several days, planting things.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Death of the Dill

It was a terrible disaster. I spilled my tray of dill starts.

I love dill as a spice, especially on fish, which we have with some frequency.

Replanting dill. These are seeds collected from last year's dill.

More Shelves

My bride was off at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show this weekend. So I took the opportunity to do some little things I've been wanting to do for a while.

This was one of them: we needed more shelving in there.

It's not a big thing. But it'll be a big help.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Alyssum Sprouting

I've decided that Alyssum is a pretty flower. So I planted some.This is what they'll look like. Yellow and purple. Hmm. That sounds like UW Huskies colors. I'll have to get some red ones too, just to be fair.

These were planted at the beginning of February. They're not very big yet. But they're growing! Cougars aren't threatened by the colors just yet.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dehydrator in the Greenhouse

I've got a dehydrator in the greenhouse as well. I'm not quite sure how it ended up out there, but it seems to fit, especially during the herb harvests and the tomato harvest.

It's certainly nothing fancy, but it's getting things done! Lots and lots of snacks!

Right now, I've got a load of Gala apples drying. With the mechanical slicer, it took maybe 5 minutes to peel, core and slice a dozen very large apples. They require no preparation, though if you want to give 'em a light coat of lemon juice it is reported (but not demonstrated) to keep them looking prettier. These are like candy: sweet, crunchy, really good!

And I sliced up a few naval oranges. The whole reason for this blog is to document some of the unusual experiments that I can't hold myself back from doing.

This is one of them! I don't actually know what I'm going to do with these. Well, I have an idea. I took a handful of these, ground up the insides with some stevia, a little sugar, and the contents of a peach-passionfruit teabag, and used that to make some sweetbread. It was absolutely increadible. Mmmm.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Evil Intruder!

Do you see him? The evil intruder? He's come to carnage my lovely (well... someday, maybe) celery!

Fortunately, I've thwarted his nefarious plot! Mwahahah!

New Dehydrator

Craig's List came through again. Got a second small dehydrator (a Mr Coffee" brand!) for cheap.

It's a little more compact than the first, and it's fan-powered, rather than strictly convection. I think I like having a new technology. It will be interesting to see how well (and how quickly) it works.

Best of all, it fits on one of the new shelves, which means it's not taking space on the potting bench!

Already, it's full of sliced Fuji apples. Here's a hint for aspiring fruit dehydrators: Fuji is a really good apple to dehydrate: so sweet that the dried fruit is almost like candy (really good candy!).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gardening: Cheaper than Therapy

And you get tomatoes!

Assorted Early Greenhouse Endeavors

It's foolishly early for squash, even for a greenhouse. The rule of thumb is plant them in the greenhouse two months before transplanting them out to the "real world" garden.

But what if you plan to keep them captive forever? I had to try. So I planted 5 Carnival Squash seeds from last year's squash in a hanging planter. They should be ready to transplant mid April: still too early for outside. Maybe I'll move them to a larger planter. Maybe I'll leave them in a planter all summer. We'll see.

Here's a Rosemary plant that I'm trying to start from a cutting of one of my older plants. I started this a month or two ago. Looks like it's doing well.

Did you know you can start a celery plant from the stalk of the celery you buy in the grocery store? Me neither.

This is a Trader Joe's Organic celery plant. I planted it about a week ago: I mugged my bride's vegetable crisper, and planted it immediately. It looks like it's beginning to grow already! Exciting!

I re-organized my spices a few days ago, and discovered that I didn't make nearly enough dill last year. So today I planted six dill starts (all from seeds gathered from last year's plant). We'll see how well these grow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spices: The Starting Point

Gathered spices together. The new containers are going to make this a whole lot more interesting this year: 

  • Sage
  • Dill
  • Red Peppers
  • Yellow Peppers
  • Green/Unknown Peppers
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Stevia
  • Sweet Onion
  • White Onion
  • Red Onion
  • Dill
  • Thai Basil
Going after SO much more this year!

The Gutter Garden

This gutter planter is an experiment. 

We're thinking it will get pretty darned warm this summer, so it needs (long term) to have plants that can handle some heat. But not right away, perhaps. 

Right now, it has two primroses, a bunch of strawberry plants (the runners from the regular strawberry patch) and a bit of salad greens. Salad should be done before the weather gets hot!

Radishes in the gutter. Bit of lettuce (black seeds) in the end.  


Rhubarb is starting! This is what it's like today. 

I wonder how it will do with the manure?

Off Work Early Tonight

The manual says lettuce can go into the garden as early as the soil can be worked. That's now!!

Got off work early on a beautiful day. So I planted some lettuce. White seeds on the left. Black seeds on the right. Just the one long row on the near side. The back side is still in the shadow of those boards in Bill & Ada's back yard.

And as long as the rain held off, I figured some radishes would nicely fill in some of the space next to the peas. Just the one row.  

Monday, February 18, 2013


I'm always amazed at how early crocus plants come out to play!

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Garlic is doing well. These are from November, a dozen or so from the grocery store garlic. At least it's a start.

There are also five plants growing from a mysterious large garlic (found one head, all alone, at WalMart). It took quite a lot longer to get started (look at the height difference!).

This week, I found an Elephant garlic at Jay's Farmstand. It had 5 cloves. I planted the 3 largest, and brought the other two into the kitchen. These are even bigger than the WalMart garlic, so I might need to wait quite a lot longer to get greenery.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

First Into the Garden

Set out some cabbage starts that have been beginning in the greenhouse.

And planted a couple of rows of peas.
Near side: 2010 Territorial.
Far side: 2011 Ed Hume

2013's First Starts

Early February, I planted two spinach, four purple alyssum, one radish one violet, two yellow alyssum, two tomato basil, two Walla Walla Sweet onions, one kohlrabi and three white onions.

Second week of February, I planted starts of broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, mammoth sweet basil, purple ruffle basil, Thai basil, leeks, white onion, and cumin.

Friday, February 15, 2013

First Taters

Late January, I found a bag of red potatoes in the cupboard, sprouting away in the hidden darkness. They were too far gone to eat, so I cut up a few and planted them. It's way too early for planting them in the ground, but I have some large planters. Let's give it a try.

This week, the first one is beginning to sprout above the soil. I guess we're going to have taters this year.

Here's the photo from the first of March. I sense that there's been some growth. 

And by March 15th, it appears that there may be some more growth. I'll have to measure to make sure, but I think so.

I've since filled the pots to the rim with additional dirt and topped it off with composting straw. That's as big as I can go for now.