Member Since: 02/03/2010

recent comments

Re: Keep Your Seedlings Warm With A Holiday Light Heated Low Tunnel

My problem with this idea is no electricity available to the vegetable garden without using a very long extension cord across the driveway. Has anybody tried a similar system in a basement or on a porch?

Re: DIY Heat Mat Speeds Seed Starting

I have a rope light that has been hanging around for some time. How do I tell if it is incandescent rather then LED? Any idea how many watts an incandescent one would use in 12 hours? My husband will ask.

Re: What's the Best Way to Heat a Small Greenhouse?

I have a 6 x 8 greenhouse at 1600 Ft. in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Last year, I insulated the inside with bubblewrap, but did nothing to heat it. We had a hard freezing spell in November and nothing int he greenhouse survived that.

This year, I am going to put up bubblewrap again, and use heavy spun poly fabric on individual plants. I am also thinking of hanging two or three lanterns in the space. They usually burn kerosene, but I saw someone comment about using lamps using vegetable oil and I am curious about details on that system. It may or may not be cheaper to use vegetable oil, but it is easier to get an safer to transport than kerosene.

Mary Deaton
Silverton, WA

Re: Homemade Applesauce

Don't peal the apples! It takes time and removes important nutrients. I do not send my apples through a food mill because I like by applesauce chunky.

I put apples into a large (8 quart), heavy kettle cut as though I were making pie (I use a manual apple corer/cutter for this), add just enough cider to keep the bottom apples from scorching. I then use a potato masher to mash them when the entire batch has softened. That is when I also taste for sweetness and add Splenda, cane sugar, or brown sugar and seasonings.

Since I make 3-4 boxes of apples into applesauce and can it, I also mix each batch (about 6 quarts) with different spices, grated ginger or candied ginger and always mix apple varieties. With just two of us, we eat applesauce all winter and nearly until the next apple season.

I also love to make apple chutney and apple butter. These are often included with Christmas gifts. I have been less successful making apple pie filling; the processed apples are too soft to hold up during baking.


Re: A Winter Vegetable Garden in Northern California

I do not live in Northern California. I live North of Seattle WA at 1600 feet in the North Cascades. We supposedly are Zone 5, but I figure I am more zone 3 (Can get into the 20's for a week or two, snows most winters, and rains the rest of the time.) We are in a narrow mountain valley, so the cold sinks down to us.

I have an unheated greenhouse and this year added a cold frame using a heavy, clear vinyl cover. I want to have greens all winter and plan to keep my cabbages under frost quilts and harvest them as I need them. Broccoli is growing, but has not set heads as of November 3. I would love to hear from others who have a less-friendly winter climate about what you have found is a successful approach. We are entering our second winter with this garden (it was a summer only garden before we moved her full-time)and the first where I have done serious winter gardening.


Re: Extend the Seasons with a Cold Frame

What is everyone elses experience with how low the temperature can get before lettuce or other cold-weather veggies are not protected by a cold frame? I am technically in USDA zone 5, but in the bottom of a mountain valley at 1600 feet. My experience is that cold frames, row covers, and even my greenhouse do not stay warm enough when the temperature gets to 25-30F.