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And, so it begins

This year, my featured project will be an attempt to graft Japanese eggplant onto Maxifort tomato rootstock. Since eggplant doesn't seem to do well in Zone 3, I think this might prove to be worth the effort, if it works.

Too much of a good thing (claytonia)

Claytonia is one of my favorites. I recommend to any cool climate gardener. Just make sure you harvest it before it goes to seed, when the first flowers emerge. Otherwise, it will take over your garden and even areas around it.

Adventures in tomato grafting

So, here's what I've learned so far about tomato grafting.

1) Make sure you start a lot of seedlings, both of the root stock and the scions. I only succeeded with half the attempts at grafting tomato seedlings. No surprise I didn't go to medical school. There's a lot of planning (and luck?) involved in timing the rootstock to match the stems of the scions, so it's a good idea to have a lot of candidates for a match of the stem sizes.

2) Start the root stock about 10 days after you sow the

The best (garden) plans of mice and men...

"Everyone has a plan ... until they get punched in the face."

-- Mike Tyson

I was cleaning off my very messy desk today and found the planting schedule I had laid out back in February. It said I should be sowing lettuce, spinach, radishes and bok choy in the hoop house later this week. That's the same hoop house that was bending under the weight of a foot of snow earlier just a few days ago. 

Temperatures has warmed significantly and we haven't had more than a trace of snow the last few

Hoop house crushed under 13 inches of 'spring'

After braving a particularly hard winter here in northern Minnesota, our hoop house finally buckled under the weight of 13 inches of wet, heavy snow in a major mid-April storm.

An early (too early?) seed starting

Because this is my first try at grafting tomatoes, I got an early jump on starting my tomatoes. Normally, in Zone 3 I wouldn't do this until the middle of April. I did this mainly because I don't know how fast the rootstock will develop and to provide a cushion of time, in case I have to start another flight of seeds. Wish me luck.

Frankenplanting: pushing the envelope in Zone 3 with grafting

I just learned a bit about grafting tomatoes (and other plants), and I'm thinking it could be a tremendous tool for growing in Zone 3. I'll be writing more about it as I go along, but here are two very informative videos about it ...

Gardening resolutions for 2013

The beginning of the year is a good time to do forward thinking about your life, your finances, and — maybe even more appropriate — your garden. Since there's very little most of us in Zone 3 can do right now to screw up a frozen garden, a little planning now can pay off when spring comes. Can't say the same about other life decisions.

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