30+ Best Storage Vegetables and Varieties for Winter Cold Storage

30+ Best Storage Vegetables and Varieties for Winter Cold Storage

In the year round garden, when the going gets tough (freezing temps, winter storms, you name it!), you need to have a backup source of food, and more specifically, fresh food. 

Even with vegetables that can extend your season (mentioned HERE) and low tunnels, once you hit very cold temperatures there isn’t much left in the garden. January through March is when I really struggle to do 100% backyard garden vegetables because of prolonged periods of cold, ice, and snow. I’m in zone 6b so if you are in a colder zone this period is probably longer.

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How to Build A Low Tunnel

How to Build A Low Tunnel

I have a very special guest post today by Cameron! He is the builder around here and because he can explain this way better than I can, he is going to give you all the details on how to build a low tunnel. I also made my first ever YouTube video to explain the process if you prefer to just watch rather than read (please keep that in mind as your watching haha!).

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Top 15 Cold-Tolerant Vegetables for Fall & Winter Gardening

Top 15 Cold-Tolerant Vegetables for Fall & Winter Gardening

Cold Hardy vegetables can be killed anywhere from 30ºF all the way down to -5ºF and possibly lower. It covers such a wide range of temperature that they are usually put into two different groups, semi cold hardy which can take light frosts and cold hardy which can survive to 20ºF and below. 

First let's talk about the crops that can take several light frosts. Light frosts would be in the 28-32ºF range. Crops that can handle light frosts include lettuce, swiss chard, arugula, radishes, beets, chinese cabbage, collards, cauliflower, celery, turnips, and green onions.

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11 Common Seed Starting Mistakes and Tips to Avoid Them

11 Common Seed Starting Mistakes and Tips to Avoid Them
  1. Overwatering. My kids recently experienced this one. They get so excited for starting their seeds and want to take the best care of them. It’s kind of like smothering a pet, you love it so much it hurts the pet. Don’t do that with your seeds. Wait until the soil is beginning to feel almost dry to water. And I mean almost dry, not completely dry. There should still be a bit of moisture in the soil. Your little seedling babies will be ok, I promise.

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What You Need to Know BEFORE You Plant Apple Trees

What You Need to Know BEFORE You Plant Apple Trees

A few weeks ago, some of our good friends were planting apple trees and were asking me the basics you need to know for planting apple trees. In responding to their questions, I realized it’s not quite as simple as it seems. The act of planting apple trees is not complicated. But if you want apples in years to come there are some important things you need to know before the tree goes in the ground.

I’m going to cover several points.

  1. Selecting a variety that works for your area and how you want to grow. (Organic or Conventional)

  2. Where to buy quality trees.

  3. Selecting the correct pollinators for your tree.

  4. When to plant.

  5. Where to plant. (Spacing and Location)

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How to Prune Blackberries

How to Prune Blackberries

In order to understand how to prune blackberries it’s important to understand the basics of how blackberries grow. Blackberries are perennials. This means that the root system will live for many years. The root system produces new canes yearly. Canes produced are biennial and die after two years.

The first year of growth on a blackberry is called a primocane. For many varieties of blackberries (though not all) this is primarily a vegetative year of growth and will not produce fruit.

The second year of growth on a blackberry is called a floricane. Floricanes will bear fruit.

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2019 Garden Plans

2019 Garden Plans

Planning a garden to feed us year round is quite a job for a family of six! It’s a little more complicated than it should be because I’m working in a tight space with intensive planting.

I do a four year rotation for my plant groups for the most part. Below are the plants I group together:

  1. Squash Family

  2. Nightshades

  3. Cabbage Family

  4. Lettuce and Friends- Friends being carrots, peas, onions

By “group together” I don’t mean they are all in one group in the garden. I just make sure that anything in the squash family doesn’t go into the same area for four years. And I’ll just say right here that 4 year rotation is the goal, however, it doesn’t always happen… (Read more)

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How to Make Eliot Coleman's Soil Blocking Mix

How to Make Eliot Coleman's Soil Blocking Mix

About five years ago, I started doing soil blocks for the majority of my seeds. I use Eliot Coleman’s recipe. This recipe can be used for both soil blocking and regular seed starting in any other container. Because the recipe belongs to Eliot Coleman, I have not posted ratios on my blog. However, the full recipe can be found on Johnny’s Seeds website HERE. Johnny’s Seeds and Eliot Coleman collaborate on many projects.

I also highly recommend his book, The New Organic Grower, which has the soil block recipe noted above and a mini block recipe. The book is worth it just for the soil block recipes. In addition to that Eliot Coleman is a gardening genius and it has tons of other gems in the book as well. [Read More…]

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Seed Preparation 2019

Seed Preparation 2019

This year, I told Cameron all I wanted for Christmas was the Baker Creek Seed Catalog. They send out a small one for free but I wanted the bigger one because I like to read all the articles too. All the waiting made the gift more worthwhile. I spent most of Christmas Day pouring over the catalog and my other favorites which I had already received…[Read More]

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