Spindly seedlings

Could you please take a photo each week or so of how your seedlings look in the house? Mine start out fine, but end up spindly and anemic-looking.

Sandra Agostini
Nixa, Missouri

I’ll post a few photos of our seedlings’ progress. Meanwhile, seedlings usually end up spindly because there’s not enough light. If your window isn’t providing enough light, pick up a 4-foot shop light and hang it over them, only a few inches above the tallest leaves. That does nearly as good as a more expensive Grow Light. As the seedlings grow taller, raise the light a bit, keeping it quite close to the plants. That’ll do the trick for you. I have lights above my plants even in the south-facing greenhouse windows to use on real cloudy weeks. — Jackie

Dehydrating onion blades

Once again, I need to ask Jackie, What to do with lots of onion blades? My winter onions are so pretty, because of lack of space, I pull them up in spring, dry them, set them back out in fall, won’t be long I’ll be pulling them up, the blades are so green and pretty, and they are not dried up, and not wanting to throw away good stuff, I just thought you might have the answer, You have been so very helpful, I have canned things the last 2 years that I never knew you could. Four of your “Growing and Canning Your Own Food” books are in the hands of my family,

Estes Mills
Texarkana, Texas

I would cut off the leaves about two inches above the bulb, before you pull them, then chop them into rings and dehydrate them. I use a lot of these like you would chives, in soups, casseroles, etc. I, too, hate to waste anything! I even hate to thin carrots! But I do it anyway, sweating, and grinding my teeth.

I’m glad you like Growing and Canning Your Own Food. (Have you seen Jackie Clay’s Pantry Cookbook yet? It’s full of down-home good recipes for using all of your garden and pantry food. And not one weird ingredient in the whole bunch!) — Jackie


  1. Mine got spindly this year because we moved and i could not locate the grow lights. i just re-potted them in larger pots/cups with more of the stem planted.

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