Busted Hands, Plenty of Updates

Hey! It’s been a little while since I updated, but I’ve got a lot going on. I ended up falling while stupidly trying to stomp on a box and sprained my left wrist, so I’ve been hobbled in the yard a bit. No matter; plenty is afoot!

  • I put sugar snap peas and favas in the garden because they love this cool weather. The peas are climbers so I’ll be building a collapsible portable trellis and sharing that with you.
  • My cider apple trees arrived and I planted them one-handed. There’s so much that goes into planting them – they’ll be there for thirty years – that I almost felt overwhelmed with decisions. I fell back on my mantra – perfection is the enemy of a planted garden. They’re in the yard and waiting to be written about.
  • I innoculated the root, us of one of the trees with something special, but you’ll have to wait to read about that…
  • I planted twenty asparagus crowns in the yard today, using my new tiller to open up a spot in the front yard and work in compost. I’ve had a decade-long dream of growing asparagus and from high school to college to law school, I never had the time to wait three years for a crop. This is big for me.
  • I’ve got San Marzano tomatoes and shishito peppers planted in pots and sitting in the cold frame. Why start there? The seeds like a temperature over 70 degrees and the cold frame keeps them warm enough so that they’ll germinate, even in April.

How to handle spring rains

weather forecast

I’m eager to get things in the ground, but this week isn’t really complying. Look at that forecast – look at that rain! April’s rains can have a way of halting the best-laid plans of gardeners. Let’s talk about what you can do during those rainstorms to advance your outdoor plans.

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Picking sunny planting spots

pick a better spot

That’s the cold frame again, pulling itself out of winter. I thought I did a good job of siting it in the yard – I even took a time-lapse video to see where the sun usually is. Alas, I put it about 8 feet east of where it should have been. The result is that it loses out on a lot of early-morning sunlight. You can plainly see this in the photo, too. The bed of garlic right in front of it is getting light, while the shadows on the frame¬†look¬†comically abrupt.Read the rest of this post…

So I sunburned this Fig…



My plants are as eager as I am for warm air and bright sun. When the weather got better a few days ago, I brought a bunch of them – including this fine fig – outside. They got a lot of benefit but also sustained some damage in the bright sun. That brown and dry leaf tip wasn’t there before. Plants with new growth that are only used to diffuse winter light in your house need to be acclimated. It’s easy, it’s fast and I’ll tell you how.

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An Introduction to Cold Frames


15 degrees out and four inches of snow on the ground!

15 degrees out and four inches of snow on the ground!

It’s the dead of winter, but it’s a sunny day. If you park your car in the sun, it’ll be warm inside – even though it’s freezing outside.

What if you could grow plants in there? They’d have warmth, shelter from snow and wind. They’d keep their moisture and not dry out.

With a cold frame, you can do exactly that. A cold frame is a wooden box that you put on top of soil, about a foot high. It’s got plastic or glass panes on the top to let the light in. Here’s mine in the dead of winter:

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