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Seed Catalogs: Still Worth Reading!

I hope everyone had a good weekend; if you celebrate US Thanksgiving, by now you have probably exhausted the left over turkey and are emerging from the tryptophan stupor. All I can say is – look upon this coming week as an opportunity for you to eat a LOT of fiber and try to get your digestive system in some sort of equilibrium before the onslaught of pre-Christmas entertaining.

To the topic at hand: seed catalogs. (more…)

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Is there anyone in the world who has not seen “Avatar”? Well, if you haven’t, what I’m going to say is NOT a spoiler. For those of you who have seen it, think of the scene where Sully first sees his avatar in the tank…floating there, in the moisture….happy..peaceful..content…

This photo shows something that is like that…only for growing transplants. (more…)

It’s Later Than You Think: Order Garden Seeds Now

Aunt Toby hates to make great hulking generalizations but this year has been one for the books.
No matter where you live, the weather has been absolutely awful and totally out of the usual in terms of cold, rain, freezes, snow (tornado warnings in Phoenix, AZ?).

No matter where you live, the economy stinks.
No matter where you live, the winter veggies you get are grown in California, Arizona, South Texas and Florida. And those areas have gotten hit very hard and have suffered huge losses this year. Prices have already gone up because availability has gone way down. (more…)

Sometimes Hope and Dirt Can Use a Hand

And, welcome back. The last time we took the soil temperature in the garden in my part of Upstate New York, it was 32.9 degrees F. on March 7th. Hope Is A Thing With Dirt

On Friday, March 20, it was, as you see above, 43.4 degrees. That’s with several 50-60 degree days behind us, but very chilly freezing nights. It is now way above freezing. And there is an onion shoot in the photo, too. Time to get out the seeds, right?

Mmmmmm, no. There ARE some seeds that you could put into the ground now and if you protected them a little bit, they’d come up, but as you see from the chart below, it would take them a very, very long time to do that. Even something like Beets or Lettuces, which are very hardy and would germinate at 41 degrees, would take 42 days and 49 days respectively to germinate. (more…)

Tomorrow’s Garden: Today! Part 2

sprouts OK. We are NOT in the kitchen today. This is for those folks who read, way back in October, about starting a garden and perhaps went to their land fill or composting facility and picked up some compost and put out the cardboard and now have …frozen piles of compost out in the yard that has snow all over it. It’s hard to get romantic looking at that stuff – but trust me, in the spring, you will be happy you did the work.

Actually, look at the picture above: I took that yesterday, Christmas Eve day in my garden here in Upstate New York. Those are brussels sprouts, frozen but still cookable and edible. On Dec. 24th!! So, if you get started with more garden stuff this week, you can, even in the coldest places (well, maybe not Alaska…) have something out in your garden that you can harvest a year from now and use to feed your family (ahem..disclaimer: you will have something out in your garden that you can harvest…except if the bunnies and deer get to it. RIP: the kale that was also standing in the snow last week, sniff). (more…)

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