Washing Trays – A Gardener’s Winter Ritual

 
 
Every winter, the first thing I do to get ready for planting seeds is to wash out my planting trays. I have a collection of at least a hundred and I reuse them as long as I can – until they fall apart. I have 10×20 inch support trays, both mesh and solid versions. And I have different types of planting pots, 6-packs, 4×4 inch pots, and 10×20 cell trays ranging from 50 to 200 cells per tray. My first step of cleaning is to rinse the 10×20 support trays. In…
 

New Plans for My Vegetable Gardens!

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I have drawn up new plans for this year’s vegetable gardens! It’s exciting to imagine how the gardens will look and what harvests I will get this year. I haven’t posted to this blog in quite some time. Pre-covid, pretty much. And now that I am starting up again, it is taking me a while to relearn how to post.    
 

A beautiful garden calendar

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I got an email from Sarah, a vegetable gardener and blogger in Colorado, about a Garden Calendar she has made. It’s a beautiful printed calendar wall calendar full of wonderful photos she has taken of her gardens. The cool thing is each day lists tasks you can be doing in the garden. Yes – there are things that you can be doing in the vegetable garden every day of the year! This is a great gift idea for a gardener you know, or someone who would like to be inspired…
 

Today’s seed planting

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Today I planted beets, spinach, celeriac, and onions. Also herbs, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and chives. I planted a lot of beets and spinach. 144 beets and 64 spinach. These are for Aurelia’s Garden, the food pantry donation garden I work at. They are in the trays with 128 little cells and will get planted out in the field in a very early planting on the second week of April. We’re hoping the weather cooperates. The celeriac, onions, and herbs will take more time to grow up. I’ll share them with…
 

Watering winter tunnels with snow

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Yesterday I opened my winter tunnels to check on them. My husband and I shoveled open the gate and then shoveled our way to the beds. We still have about a foot of snow on the ground. We shoveled the snow along one side of each bed and then lifted the plastic covers. I was hoping to see nicer looking vegetables. They were very dry. I have a lot of spinach, some arugula, red beet greens, escarole, endive, kale, and broccoli. But all were wilting and small. In past years,…
 

Today’s project – Sowing onion seeds

 
 
Today I planted onions, leeks, shallots, and bunching onions. I really think they are my favorite vegetable family to grow. They are the seeds that are planted FIRST – right after Valentine’s Day and right in the middle of the coldest and snowiest part of winter. It’s just so exciting to plant and know that now there’s a part of spring growing and on its way. Onions are very happy grown close together. I worked at a farm that planted their onions in trays with a guide to space seeds…
 

the middle of winter

 
 
I certainly feel like it’s the middle of winter right now. We’ve had 25 inches of snow in the past couple weeks, only a couple days with blue skies, but fortunately not too cold for having fun snowshoeing with the dogs. I think this is why Valentine’s Day comes at this time – it’s the time for chocolate and … well… hanging out with the special someone before you get all busy with planting, transplanting, growing, weeding, harvesting, canning, cooking…… Cheers to the icy season!  
 

an app for seed planting!

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I’ve written a cute little app that reminds you when to plant your vegetables seeds. Set your own frost dates and pick your crops to grow. The app makes a calendar for you. And it has helpful tips and planting information for each vegetable. I hope you give it a try. Some users have been disappointed that Skippy’s Calendar App doesn’t work on an IPad. On a tablet, the date selector doesn’t work. The app works great on phones. I am working on getting the app to work on a…
 

almost time to plant seeds

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I usually start planting seeds for my summer garden around Valentine’s Day. That’s just around the corner now. The first seeds I’m planting this year are celeriac and onions on Feb 17. That’s 11 weeks before my last spring frost (May 5). I’m going to plant a lot of onions, most I will donate to Aurelia’s Pantry  Garden. I’m planting yellow onions: Cortland and Patterson. Red onions: Rossa Di Milano and Wethersfield Red. Shallots: Conservor, Ambition, Zebrune, and Crème Brûlée (BGS-270). Leeks: Mechelen Blue Green Winter and Bandit. And bunching…
 

winter tunnels with spinach, kale, and escarole

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I have two winter tunnels covered with a few layers of winter fabric and one of green house plastic on the top. I also have a half bed of cabbage covered with a couple floating layers of winter row cover fabric. They are all doing well this winter. In this time of short daylight, I don’t expect the plants to grow much. But it’s nice that they are hanging in there. No rodents are eating them and surviving the cold, which is awesome. The plant’s growth will take off mid…
 

Kathy Martin
This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy thinks the garden is his, even though I do all the work. We're located near Boston, in USDA zone 6. I have bees, chickens, fruit trees and berry bushes, too. I use all sustainable organic methods and strive to grow all of my family's vegetables myself. -Kathy



weeks and counting until my last spring frost


What I planted recently

Jan 21
thyme, lettuce, escarole

Feb 21
celery, celeriac, parsley, leeks

March 11
cabbage, kale, arugula



What I'm planting soon

April 1
peppers, eggplants, marigolds, beets

April 12
tomatoes, basil, sunflowers

Make your own customized planting calendar. Try out my app!
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My garden this week

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17 years of archives!


Check out the food pantry farm I helped to start up:

Aurelia's Garden


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Skippy’s vegetable of the month – Egyptian walking onions!


“I envision a day when every city and town has front and back yards, community gardens and growing spaces, nurtured into life by neighbors who are no longer strangers, but friends who delight in the edible rewards offered from a garden they discovered together.” – Greg Peterson



"What can happen to a seed is a miracle."


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