Weekly Digs #12

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No chicken drama this week, thankfully.

We got 6 new chicks at the local farm store. 2 Buff Orpington, 2 Rhode Island Red, and 2 Easter Egger.

In the garden:

  • We planted cucumbers directly in the garden. Homemade Pickle and Tendergreen Burpless.

  • Cameron built me 2 new arched trellis’. A friend gave me some extra wire fencing she had and it got put to good use!

  • I planted Good Mother Stallard Dried Beans at the base of the trellis. I’ve grown them in years past. They are delicious. It will be so nice to actually have a trellis large enough to hold them!

Arch-Trellis.jpg
Cabbage is coming along

Cabbage is coming along


Indoor seed starting:

I’m working on several seed starting experiments.

  1. Potted up 2 of my Roma tomato plants to larger Solo Cups. The six remaining plants I potted up the 2 inch soil blocks into the larger 4 inch blocks. I want to see if using the large 4 inch soil block is worth the cost. It cost me about $100 if I remember right.

  2. Normally I direct seed watermelon, summer squash, winter squash, sunflowers, and cantaloupe. This year I wanted to try them in the 2 inch soil block with 1 inch deep dibble. I’m starting indoors about 2 weeks before I would normally plant, so if it fails I can just plant straight into the garden.

THe four inch soil block

THe four inch soil block

  • Sweet potato slips got picked off the potato and are now rooting in water. Sweet potatoes yield continuous slips so about a week from now I’ll be picking off the next batch to root in water.

  • I still haven’t transplanted to the garden any of my heat loving crops. They are outside almost all day but with the rain we’ve been having I’ve been holding off. I usually wait until May 1st to plant tomatoes (about a week after our average last frost date) but if I can get a dry day they are going in the ground early.

  • As I mentioned last week my tomatoes are ridiculously large for still being potted. I can’t believe it’s only been six weeks since I started them. I need to figure out a better system for the indeterminate tomatoes. Plastic Solo Cups are so wobbly. I put them all in a tray but they still tip all over the place. It’s very frustrating and I’ve had two tomato stems partially break while I’ve carried them inside and out.

  • I’m thinking next year I’ll sow the tomatoes about 4 weeks before average last frost instead of 6 weeks. If I start them closer to the average last frost, I think the plants will be more compact and I can pot up to a 4 inch soil block instead of the Solo Cups.

In the Kitchen:

Cameron had a work lunch and they were about to throw away about 10 pounds of leftover sliced onions. Cam knew that I would want them and brought all the onions home. I made:

  • 6 snack size baggies of caramelized onions and then froze them.

  • 4 quart jars of dehydrated onion slices.

The dehydrated onion slices are reminiscent of onion rings! I was surprised they tasted pretty good dehydrated. I did do a 15 second blanch and then ice water bath before dehydrating.

I often refer to this book for dehydrating. It’s a favorite of mine: