Saturday, April 24, 2010

Year-old Onions

So I had some green onions that I never used last year, and I just left them in the garden to do their thing. They came back after winter, but I was too skeptical to try eating them... But scapes are another story!

A scape is what happens when an onion (or garlic!) "goes to seed." These huge ones you see in these photos probably aren't tender enough to eat, so I'll leave them and experiment with collecting their seeds.

There were several smaller scapes that seemed nice and tender, and a few more that should be perfect in a couple days.

You could cut them up for a stir-fry. I'll probably cut them into very small pieces and saute them to add to a rice dish.

It just goes to show that, in the right climate, nature keeps doing her thing. Volunteer tomatoes appear, plants survive harsh conditions, and a neglected onion offers forth new bounty past its prime.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hardening Off

Oklahoma City's last-frost date has passed! You can put most of your plants into the garden now, if they've been hardened off. If they've not been hardened off, and you're not sure how, here's my usual process:

Day 1: Put plants outside, in the shade and away from the wind, for about an hour.
Day 2: As above, for a couple hours... and letting them get a few minutes of sun before bringing them in.
Day 3: Put the plants in partial shade for a couple hours, in an area where the wind won't hit them full-blast. (Be careful of that Oklahoma wind!)
Day 4: Similar to day 3, but for about half the day.
Day 5: Similar to day 4, but for about the length of a work-day.
Day 6: Similar to day 5, but with more exposure to to sun and wind.
Day 7: If the plants are doing well, give them full-sun most of the day... but check on them periodically.
Day 8: If all is well, transplant them.

Pay attention to your plants during this process. If they start looking wilty when you put them in the sun, then back off a bit and take smaller steps! And check the forecast before you put them in the ground. Freezes can happen after the last-frost date.