cheers to the March larder

Storing Vegetables

winter larder vegetables 134

After checking on the produce left from last years garden, I enjoyed a martini with a thin slice of crisp white celeriac and winter radish. Ahhh….

11 Comments. Leave new

  • Nice shot! I still have beets, a few carrots & radish and two delicata squash from your seed. I should really get cooking before spring.

    I sowed the brilliant celeriac quite thickly because of the germination rate on the pack and now to my surprise I have a forest. It will be a celeriac filled year 🙂 I should really get a post up soon on all the seedlings.

  • My single Delicata (actually from my CSA) ended up in the compost recently. 🙁 It's hard to cook in the winter, I find. So much easier to do simple stuff when the weather is lousy.

    I have 13 celeriac seedlings now. A perfect number.

  • I have not counted but I must have over 25 celeriac. The moon must have been aligned just right when I planted them, Ha!

  • nothing in the larder, but I still have many tasty carrots in their hoop house bed. Your martinis always look and sound fantastic, but I'm a such a lightweight. Celeriac wine spritzers?

  • Hi Kathy,
    I have a question that I hope you or some of your readers might be able to help with. The question has nothing to do with martini's 🙂

    I live in Southern California and I started my tomato and pepper plants around the beginning of February. Well, mine are getting close to being ready to transplant into the ground. I have my seedlings still under lights near a large south facing window where they get a lot of light. They're doing great! I work long hours as a software developer and I am not home during the day to start the process of hardening them off. My dilema is how to get the seedlings hardened off if I only have Sat/Sun to work with. Any suggestions? I was thinking of putting them out with a shade cloth over them. But, I am so worried that I will lose them after all this hard work.

    Happy gardening,

  • @Chris – Wow. Haven't even started thinking about tomatoes up north. Blows my mind.

    We usually buy seedlings because our growing season is so short, but here's what I found on gardenweb:

    "Introduce the plants to outdoor conditions slowly. This is called "hardening off". If it is not done slowly your plants may be shocked and their growth may temporarily cease.

    "The longer the plants remains indoors, the harder it will be to acclimate them to the outdoors. Avoid full sun and wind when you first move them outside.

    "Cold frames can be used to harden off the plants. The covers can remain in place on inclement days and removed on moderate days.

    "Temporary structures can be built from plastic sheeting. Buildings and fences can be used to provide sun and wind protection while the plants adapt to outside conditions.

    "If really cold weather is forecast <40F (4C), it is best to bring the plants back inside. Freezing temperatures will destroy your plants (and it happens fast).

    "After the transplants are hardened off, they can be planted to their final outdoor growing locations either in the garden or in large growing containers. Most agree that any early blossoms should be plucked off prior to transplanting. Others leave the early blossoms in place, especially if the transplant is strong, healthy, and not rootbound."

    So, perhaps a plastic cover next to a south-facing wall?

    You could also utilize a heating pad to provide them with a little extra warmth. There's an article on Dave's Garden about heating pads, and even a DIY heating pad with christmas lights and kitty litter. Here's the link:

    That's all I've got. Hope it helps.

  • Chris,

    Harding off consists of wind and sun. I too work full time. Here is what I do. On days that you work, put your plants by an open window, you can even do this during the night, as long as it doesn't get too cold. You can also place a house fan on your plants to get them used to the wind. Start at low speed, several feet away.

    Move slowly with both, and your plants will be happy.

    Have a great gardening season. I am so jealous that you are to this point already.


  • Hardening off is the biggest risk to seedlings it seems to me. Start very sheltered. As CJ says, wind and sun are important. And start on a Sat morning. Maybe half a day outside on Sat. 3/4 on Sun. Inside to recover or out all day on Mon.

    I have used plastic plant tray covers when leaving them out for the first time all day. This protects against the wind. And holds in humidity. But make sure it is secured well (i.e. duct tape in case wind comes up). Once I lost many seedlings because the cover came off a bit.

    Try to find the most sheltered location you have with some sun. Move from less to more sun gradually.

    I am hoping to construct a cold frame soon. I think this may be a good place for hardening off. The seedlings can get used to the bright sun first in the frame, then I'll move them to the sun plus wind.

    Also, I will use wall-o-water this year. The first time trying this. I think these will provide good all-day tomato protection. But expensive, so I'll only have 6.

    Good luck!

  • Thank you everyone (Matt, CJ, Kathy) for your responses. I have to admit that I am overwhelmed right now, since I obviously started too many seedlings too early. This is my second year gardening (i.e. as an adult) and my first year growing seedlings from seed. I simply started too many seedlings.

    Kathy, I should have followed your planting guide (*sigh*). We're in our rainy season and I can't transplant because the soil is just too wet right now to work in. I like the idea of moving the seedlings near a large window, which is what I did last night. I already had many tomatoes there already, now they are joined by many other seedlings (that were only under lights before).

    I don't have to worry about the cold here, at least, not right now. It is the sun that is the problem. We get too much of it during the middle part of the day with cold nights and mornings. So, it is not safe to leave them outside all day or they'll wilt.

    I also like the idea of moving them to a sheltered location. We have an east facing side yard that might work.

    Wish me luck, I don't want to lose a single seedling 🙂 …

    Happy gardening,

  • Chris, if you're not having heavy rain, the last few days of hardening off are perfect if it's cloudy, even with light rain. And they can be planted under those conditions (you're right to wait until less rainy, though). — Debbie

  • This seems like a perfect time to chill. 🙂 Your glass of martini is so inviting. Healthy radish too. We got flowers blooming here. But would you like some strawberry shortcake? 🙂


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