Friday, March 21, 2008

Onion snow tonight

Weather: Sunny and chilly, a bit windy, in the upper 40s. Supposed to snow tonight into tomorrow morning. Low about 30. Full Moon.

I suppose we are about to get our onion snow. I thought "onion snow" was a widely known gardening term, but I read that it is regional to South-central Pennsylvania. It's that last spring snow that comes along as the wild onions and garlic sprout, and gardeners are often getting sets into the ground around that time.

I need to get potatoes in as soon as it clears up. I am buying some to start chitting this weekend. Chitting is my new word - it means putting seed potatoes out in the light to start encourage sprouting from their eyes. People often line them up in egg boxes for this. I have been saving cardboard egg boxes. I already have some sweet potatoes from last year that have healthy sprouts.

I read that potatoes actually from the stems of the plant. Apparently you can grow them vertically in tires. You fill a tire with dirt and plant potatoes in it. As the plants grow, you pile on more dirt, and then add a tire, continuing to add dirt as the vines grow. At the end of the season, you unstack the tires and there will be taters growing in the whole column. They say you can do this even on bare concrete. I am not going to try it this season, but I do want to try that one year. Talk about getting a lot of production out of a small area!

It's Easter weekend, so we will be coloring eggs - more shells. I have been drying shells on the counter for the past few weeks, to grind later. When we trench composted kitchen waste last year, I pretty much just dumped it right into the trench, in whatever size chunks came out of the ktichen, including whole eggshells. I know that many people blenderize their garbage before they compost it, but I figure it was better to get the stuff into the ground than to never do it all because it was too much trouble to process. I noticed the shells were still mostly whole when we dug into the dirt last week. I will have to be less lazy and dry them for grinding. Most of the rest of the waste seems to have rotted into the dirt. I will do some research and see if there is something more useful to do with the shells.

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