Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Basil for 2021

With the work being done in the garden this year, I am once again cutting back on what I'm growing to the essentials.  Well, the essentials according to me 😉.

"Regular" & lemon basil are always on the grow list.  I started growing lemon basil several years ago and I wouldn't be without it.  It's absolutely delicious mixed with Greek yoghurt - one of our favourite veggie dips.

When it comes to regular basil, I enjoy trying new varieties.  About 7 years ago, I had a very bad basil year when the entire crop was infected with basil downy mildew (BDM).  The following year, I grew Eleanora, a BDM resistant variety, and it was a success - the basil patch was mildew-free.

I always plant basil in the the tomato beds,
usually with a marigold or two

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Garden Bed Cleanup - I'm Early This Year!

I don't do very much garden cleanup in the fall which is good in a number of ways.  Firstly, it allows beneficial insects plenty of nooks and crannies to settle in for the winter.  Then there are the birds which are very grateful for the seedheads that continue to feed them through most of the winter.  Lastly, there is the winter interest that the plants provide - I, for one, prefer to see swaying grasses and seed heads covered with snow rather than a white, flat landscape, devoid of any plant material save for shrubs and evergreens.   And truth be told, by the time fall rolls around, I'm pretty much ready for a break, so the less I need to do the better.

Icy sedum heads are magical

Friday, March 19, 2021

Let's Talk About the Weather

Oh wonderful it's been.  The mild weather is continuing and I decided to start some spring cleaning in the garden.  It's been a few days since we have been basically snow free and the ground is no longer sodden so I decided to get out there and start tidying up (and excitedly taking photos of some much-anticipated signs of life).  A full month early.  Say what??

Garden cleanup tools at the ready...

Thursday, March 11, 2021

A Little Bit of Sulphur and a Whole Lot of Stink

Hello everyone!

I can feel it - spring is in the air!!  Well, almost.  We are having an absolutely amazing week, weather-wise (in the teens (50-60F's)!), and I have been itching to get in the garden.  There isn't much to do outside yet - there's still snow on the ground and the spots that are exposed are downright sodden so I'm trying to keep off of them.  A couple of tasks were overdue, however, and needed to get crossed off the list.  A couple of days ago, it was all about spraying the fruit trees with dormant oil & lime sulphur - a first for me.

The sulphur/oil solution is ready to go - 1st up is the nectarine tree in the background

And everything went well - although I'm not exactly sure why I was surprised by how absolutely stinky the sulphur was - I mean pee-ew!  You really do have to make sure you're not standing downwind when you're spraying the trees - a fact that I forgot about a couple of times 🙄.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Little Garden of Horrors....

You know one of the reasons I love knitting.  Because I can control it.  If I don't want my cat to get into it, I put it in a bag and zip it up.  I know when I get to it the next day, it will still be there - safe and sound.

Wish I could do the same in the garden.  Every season has it's challenges and it's ARGH! moments, and 2020 is no exception.  I think I will dub this "Year of the Critters" (although I think I may have already had one or two of those in the past).  And be forewarned...I've sprinkled this post with images that are akin to a horror story for gardeners.  Proceed at your own risk.

One of many melon devastations...

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Hilltop Beds

In keeping with my "cutting back" strategy this year, I only planted up three of the six annual veg beds on the hilltop.

One bed contained the garlic, which was harvested a couple of weeks ago (I wrote about it in THIS post) and is currently drying in the garage.

Monday, August 10, 2020

A BT Convert


So this year, I decided to try something new in the brassica bed.  Instead of the usual netting, I decided to try using BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) to keep the cabbage worms at bay.

So far, I've harvested over 11 lbs. of Aspabroc from the 4 plants I'm growing

This was not so much brought about by my desire to try something new, but rather the fact that the netting for this bed had torn.  Both the broccoli and onions have special netting as they are too tall for the standard size.  In both cases, I have to sew two lengths of netting together to get the required height.

This spring, I realized that one of the nets was torn and would require serious patching (i.e. sewing).  The onions took priority so they received the intact netting.  The brassica bed (which this season holds broccoli and some newly sown kohlrabi & cabbage) was covered with the smaller netting until the broccoli grew too large, at which point I removed the netting.  I then waited until I saw cabbage worm activity to apply BT, an organic solution which only affects caterpillars.