Drying Out: Hour-A-Day Gardening

In this week of Hour-A-Day Gardening . . .
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Finally, Dry Conditions

I am sure I’ll regret this when we are in the increasingly common drought conditions later in the summer, but we had drier conditions, letting me get more work done.

More Transplants

This week, I was able to get the early transplants out: cabbage, spinach, kale, bok choi, etc.

Onions Planted

My onion seeds largely failed, as usual. I need advice on a good way to grow them! Let me know if you have a sure-fire method. I got 3 lb of sets from a local greenhouse and planted out 150 yellow and 50 red onions at 6 in spacing (6 in between plants, 6 in between rows).

Currant and Raspberry Pruning

I had a free afternoon, and was able to prune currant and raspberry patches. Our currants are being traind into a living fence. Two years ago, I planted cuttings at 3-ft intervals along fence lines. This year I pruned and wove the canes into one another. Over time, the branches will grow into one another and form a solid wall. Maybe we can even get rid of the metal fence some day.

I should have trimmed the raspberries last year, but time got away from me. This week, I just cut out last-year’s canes and all but one or two fresh canes. I train the canes onto a single-wire trellis and trim the side branches to about 2 ft long, creating an easier-to-harvest shape. Also, it allows more air flow, which helps keep down maladies.

Volunteers and Support

We’re always looking for volunteers. If you want to spend a few hours in a garden (and take home something yummy for your trouble), reach out to us at info@lowtechinstitute.org. It can be regular or sporadic as you have time.

We’re also asking those who get something out of reading our site, watching our videos, and listening to our podcast to join the community of supporters of the institute by throwing us a few bucks a month on Patreon. If you’re in a position to help us out, a little goes a long way. Thanks for considering it.

The Data

Here’s the breakdown day by day. This week, I worked 6:45 again, bringing my total to 54 minutes a day. I’ll likely get over an hour a day by the end of May and then things slow down.


4 thoughts on “Drying Out: Hour-A-Day Gardening

  1. Regarding onion from seeds:
    Buy fresh every year.
    Sow 4-5 seeds per cell in a cell tray & aim for a germination temperature of 60°F.
    Once geminated, ideally keep at 50-60°F & grow on in the cells until daytime outside temperatures remain above 50°F. They WILL need feeding after around 6 weeks.
    I plant out once the seedlings have reached around 6″ high & the cells (40 cell, standard size tray) are pretty much filled with roots.
    Spacing is 12×12″ per clump, which I thin to 3 onions, using the culls in salads.
    40 cells usually gives me around 40lbs of mature onions, plus the culls.
    Variety Santero works well for me, with last year’s crop storing right up until Sunday, May 8th, when the last of them went into a quiche. Only had two go bad & two start sprouting when kept at 40-50°F.

    1. It is the temperature! I have been keeping them too hot, with the rest of my stuff. I germinate most stuff over my low temp radiators around 80 or 90°. That must explain my low germination rate. Thank you thank you thank you! I am a fan of the multi-sowing strategy. I have had that work for me before. I do it with beets and other things too.

  2. My onion method also uses fresh seed (2 yrs or younger). I take a seedling tray (smooth bottom) with drainage holes. Fill it with potting soil and sprinkle a few hundred seeds in the tray. Tickle the surface so bury some a little bit. I’ll get 60-100 to grow. No heat mat but in a greenhouse. Once they’re ready to go out in the garden, start at the corner of the tray and tease them out. You can work your fingers between the roots/soil and the bottom to lift and loosen them.

    If you’re buying onions to plant, get baby plants from Dixondale. Feed stores and other places, at least up by me, carry them and the grow much better onions than those dried up bulbs.

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