I’m sorry if you visited my site in the past 3 days and got a seriously scary notice! OMG. My SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate expired and no one at my hosting company warned me. So the browsers put up that notice. I don’t get it because sites that have never had an SSL don’t get that notice, so why does one whose just expired get it and get blocked? And why is the wording of the notice so aggressive?  I’m stumped. Maybe an expert can explain it to me.…
 

saving, storing, and organizing seed packets

 
 
I don’t know if most people realize that seeds last more than one year – often 10 or more years. I never throw out a seed packet until it stops germinating. A seed’s life span is different for different types of seeds. While parsnips, and onions last only a couple years, I have had tomato seeds that are still viable after 15 years. seed viability Here’s a nice seed viability table from James Romer at Iowa State University. It looks to me like these lengths of life expectancy may be…
 

where to buy seeds

 
 
It is only mid-January, but many varieties are running out of stock at on-line seed companies now. Time to order!  I recommend purchasing from small, local seed companies. They will be selling varieties that are adapted to your area. I also like to support small, family-run companies. These are some of the companies I recommend. Fedco Seeds – Maine Pinetree Garden Seeds – Maine Maine Potato Lady – Maine Vermont Bean Seed Company – Vermont Fruition Seeds – New York Hudson Valley Seed Company – New York Turtle Tree Biodynamic…
 

washing pots for seed starting

 
 
I have a collection of old pots that I reuse again and again for seed planting. It is important to wash and disinfect them well to avoid diseases that can kill seedlings. I washed a big stack of 128-cell seed trays the other day. This should be all of the pots I need for seedlings this year. It is important to wash and disinfect pots that are reused to raise seedlings. Molds, fungi, and pathogens can remain on the pots. Germinating seeds and small seedlings are highly susceptible to damping…
 

asparagus – how far apart to space

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I’m excited to be expanding my asparagus bed this year. It’s such a delicious crop and one of those vegetables that’s way better picked and eaten fresh from a home vegetable garden than from a grocery store. I’m planning to dedicate one of my oversized raised beds to asparagus. The bed is 6 x 16-feet. I’ve read that between five and 20 plants are the right amount to grow per person, depending on how much you want to eat. We’re just a family of two now (my dogs LOVE asparagus…
 

2021 plan for my mom’s vegetable garden

 
 
My mom’s vegetable garden is in her side yard along the tree line at the east side of an big open area. Several times in the past 40 or so years we have moved the garden further out into the yard and away from the trees. Of course, the trees just keep growing. Most of the vegetables do OK now, except the tomatoes. They really need more light. Plus the garden has a phosphate problem – there is way too much in the soil. Someone went overboard at some point…
 

2021 plan for my community garden plot

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I’ve had this little community garden plot in Belmont MA for 12 or so years now. Forever, it seems. I got it back when I lived in an urban area with a small yard that had very little sunlight. I was so happy the day I was assigned to the plot – a new found joy. I ended up being the garden manager for six years. I tended the paths. And I knew everyone. Memories… Now the years have passed. I still have this beautiful plot. I have two espaliered…
 

my home garden plan for 2021

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I have extra space in my vegetable garden this year! My tomatoes will be mostly in the front yard, bush beans behind the chicken coop, and sweet potatoes in a plot on our hillside. Plus, I’m going to do container gardening on my driveway and patios. And I’m planning to tuck vegetables in here and there in my front yard flower borders. It was fun to develop my 2021 plan with the extra space. What’s going in the extra space: Asparagus! I’m going to expand my asparagus to fill a…
 

Happy New Year! it’s time for garden planning

 
 
The new year has started and I’m getting going on planning my garden for next year. The first thing I want to do is to make a diagram of what I’ll plant where. To do that I’ll reminisce about what did well last year and what I want to do differently this year. Then I’ll get out last year’s garden diagrams and start moving things around. That’s my project for today. Hopefully I’ll get my plans and some reminiscing posted soon. My previous garden plans are here.
 

today’s harvest

 
 
I harvested bit of broccoli (Marathon) and cilantro today from under the covers of my winter low tunnel. The tunnel is about 4 feet high and protected with three layers of winter row cover and a top layer of green house plastic. It’s pretty cozy in there. I have never grown winter broccoli before. It’s like winter kale – really tender and sweet. It only needs one minute of cooking, a little butter and salt, and it’s amazing! The cilantro is really welcome in the middle of winter too. It’s…
 

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

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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


Flickr

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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