This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

today's seed planting

Feb 28, 2018 (indoors under lights) 
Cabbage, Red Express and Murdoc
Endive, Dubuisson
Parsley, Italian Large Flat Leaf
Flowers, Stock, Katz Lavender Blue


I just looked up when I’ve first heard red winged blackbirds around here in the spring over the past few years. I think it shows a trend:

2018 February 25
2016 March 5
2015 March 27
2009 April 9

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

spring red winged blackbirds

The red winged blackbirds are a full month early this year!!! I saw a small flock of 4 or so males at a nearby pond a few days ago and have been listening to them (cookalokooo) from my window today. We’re having the warmest February on record here. I don’t see much spring going on with the trees and bushes outside. but the birds are reflecting the warmth.

I’m tempted to plant peas now. My soil is workable. The old saying is to plant peas when the female red winged blackbirds arrive. I’ll prepare some soil and listen for the click click of the females replying to the males.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

crazy February weather

Yesterday we had record breaking temperatures in the 70's here! I felt very excited and wanted to plant my gardens all at once. But, back to reality and this is the view this morning. Our typical February weather. Very pretty (but yesterday was really awesome).

winter gardens IMG_1730


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

hardening off seedlings

The seedlings for my winter tunnel have grown really fast. Time to start hardening them off. Today is sunny and 65F (!!) so they are outside on the patio sunning. I am enjoying the air and am working by the open door.

early seedlings IMG_1716

early seedlings IMG_1714 early seedlings IMG_1718

My plan is to harden them off for about a week before transplanting these seedlings into the tunnel soil. I'll leave them outside 3 hours today and then gradually longer until they are OK staying overnight in the tunnel. If it's not warm enough outside during the day, they can be in the covered tunnel for their hardening off time.

I opened up the winter tunnel to the air too. There are a few plants left in there (the mice left me a few). The soil is pretty dry. I'll have to bring a watering can down there this afternoon.

winter tunnel MG_1724 winter tunnel IMG_1720


Saturday, February 17, 2018

asparagus seedlings

My newly sprouted asparagus seedlings look just like tiny asparagus.

asparagus seedlings IMG_1698


Friday, February 16, 2018

onions and celery seeds are planted!!

Yeah! This is my first big planting for my summer garden. I planted celery, celeriac, onions, bunching onions (scallions), leeks, and artichokes.  I also sowed some flower seeds: milkweed, aster, and chamomile. Here is the link to my 2018 planting list.

sowing onions IMG_1681


Monday, February 12, 2018

updates for our PlantIng Calendar Apps

An update for Skippy’s Vegetable Planting Calendar IPhone app will be out in the next few days. It will fix bugs including saving input frost dates and crops. Also vegetable planting information is updated. if you purchase the app now, you can use the update at no extra cost. Also anyone with the app already will be notified to download the update (no cost).

The Vegetable Planting App is here HERE. I’ll be using this app to start my onions and celery this week. Be sure to email me any comments or suggestions you have regarding the app.

Our Flower & Herb Planting App can be purchased through the same link above.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

early seedlings

early seedlings IMG_1649

The planting season is starting up!!

I planted a bunch of greens to fill my winter tunnel since mice ruined my fall planting. I finished transplanting them today. They were growing 4 or 5 to a cell of a 6-pack, now they each have a cell to themselves. I hope to plant them out in the tunnel at the end of the month.

I started my regular garden planting a few days ago by planting a few asparagus seeds. They need to go in 13 weeks before the last frost. They are germinating (I hope) in a nice warm (78F) spot. My onions, scallion, leeks, celery, and celeriac will go in 11 weeks before the last frost - the week of February 16 (just over a week away!).

early seedlings  IMG_1633 early seedlings IMG_1642
early seedlings  IMG_1651 early seedlings IMG_1661

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Thursday, February 01, 2018

new varieties for this year!!

I have a lot of new varieties planned for this year. Why not be a bit adventuresome! Planning for fun in the garden takes my mind off of this winter. Not that it's a bad winter, but I really want to get back outside in the dirt. Some of these are new varieties of plants I've grown before. Some are whole new plants that I'm trying for the first time - like artichokes, celery, and cumin.

Artichoke, Tavor, only 95 days to harvest - I'll grow some for flowers too (High Mowing)
Asparagus, Mary Washington, very popular heirloom released in 1919 (David's Garden)
Beans, Marvel of Venice, yellow pole beans (Johnny's)
Beans, Haudenosaunee Skunk, dry pole bean (collected by and a gift of Roger Swain)
Beets, Boro, a new round red beet (Johnny's)
Broccoli, Blue Wind, extra early heads (Johnny's)
Carrot, Sugarsnax 54, long slender orange roots (Johnny's)
Carrot, Purple 68, deep purple roots for fall harvest (Johnny's)
Cauliflower, Snowball Y, an improved heirloom with self blanching heads (Burpee)
Celery, Tango, early maturing and self blanching (High Mowing Seeds)
Corn, Nothstine Dent, early maturing heirloom for sweet cornmeal and flour (Johnny's)
Cucumber, Max Pak, a new pickling variety with wide disease resistance (Johnny's)
Cumin, 120 days to seed (Burpee)
Eggplant, Orient Express, "the most dependable eggplant" (Johnny's)
Basil, Tuscany, big curly green leaves (Johnny's)
Lettuce, Crispino, iceberg (Johnny's)
Lettuce, Rouxai, beautiful red and green oakleaf (Johnny's)
Onion, Patterson, extremely long storage yellow (Johnny's)
Pepper, Highlander, Anaheim with earlier and longer fruits than Joe Parker (Johnny's)
Pepper, Red Rocket, cayenne 6" long and quick drying (Johnny's)
Squash, Flaminio, high-yielding Costata type zucchini (Johnny's)
Tomato, Pozzano, a hybrid San Marzano type for the greenhouse (Johnny's)
Tomato, Chef's Choice Orange, orange beefsteak AAS winner in 2013 (Johnny's)
Tomato, Martha Washington, "heirloom-quality" pink slicer, reliable hybrid (Johnny's)
Tomato, Taxi, heirloom early yellow slicer with baseball-sized fruit (Johnny's)

new seeds IMG_1503

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