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Discard Thy Preconceptions

I’ve received a few comments/emails lately, asking just wtf I think I’m doing planting carrots, onions and tomatoes right now.  

*sigh*

Listen people…planting guides are just that:  GUIDES.  They are not bibles, they’re not edicts handed down from on high, and they’re not immutable law.  They’re the average results from the average varieties grown the average way….none of which you are required to adhere to.   

We grow carrots and onions nearly year round here, despite the “recommendations” of the planting guide. We do it in small crops, in raised beds, we use drip irrigation that waters from below (which avoids most fungal issues), and we generally grow the smaller varieties that better suit our space limitations.

Honestly, only October through March??  Carrots and onions need at least some heat to grow, and those seeds we started in November did indeed sprout, but they didn’t start really growing until last month.  Yes, July/August/September here in Florida are going to be bad times for fungus-susceptible plants as it rains pretty much every day, but your April planted carrots are going to be harvested by then.  I can tell you from direct personal experience that our container and raised bed grown carrots had zero fungal issues last year.  Maybe it is the improved air circulation around the containers/raised beds, eh?  There’s a factor that’s not going to be included in your planting guides.

Scallions, shallots, bunching onions….we grow these all year.  I’m actually trying some long day onions this year (started in January) even though technically we Southerners don’t have long enough days for them to bulb, but after Googling around and reading reports of success from others, I’m damned well trying them.

And why would you not TRY?  The only thing it costs you are seeds and time.  Experimenting with varieties/methods is one of the great joys of this whole gardening thing.

Here’s something else I’m not supposed to be succeeding at…growing Tall Bearded Irises that actually bloom!

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Not only is it blooming, but that’s the FOURTH time it has done so in the past two months.