Monday, July 19, 2021

An Earlyish Garlic Harvest :)

 It's not surprising that with all the heat this year, the garlic harvest is about 2 weeks earlier than usual.


The garlic bed before harvesting

When to harvest garlic is all about the visual cues rather than a set time on the calendar.  Once the bottom two or three leaves are brown, that's my signal that it's time to harvest.

Bottom two leaves have dried up

Another cue comes from the leave tips, which should be starting to brown...check!

Practically all of the tips are browning

I could have waited another week or so to harvest but I decided that I had better take advantage of the couple of days of dry weather we've had.  The water to the garlic bed was turned off about 3 weeks ago but I was getting a bit worried as it has been raining here consistently ever since then, practically every other day.  In fact, just over a week ago I turned off the drip irrigation to the entire garden.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

A Lightbulb Moment? Getting to the Cherries before the Birds.

 

About a year after we moved here, we planted a cherry tree beside our house.  At only 4' tall, it was a tiny thing but it was nonetheless a very exciting moment as this, together with a plum tree, were the first edibles that I planted in our garden.  My kids were toddlers at the time, but we needed the mandatory stand beside the cherry tree pic.  I obviously picked the worst time of day as is evidenced by my son's "the sun is so bright, I can't open my eyes!" squinting, lol.

We tasted the first cherries that year

Friday, June 18, 2021

My Favourites Right Now

As I work around the garden, I can't help but stop and smile.  So many of the plants that I've added in the past couple of years are starting to really take off and it just makes my heart sing.  While I have always loved strolling through the garden, my little walks have been especially joyful this year.  So I decided to take my camera with me and snap a few pictures of my mid-June favourites.

Each year, the solitary David Austin rose in my garden just gets better and better - I believe it's in its 4th year now:

'Crown Princess Margaretta'

Monday, May 31, 2021

End of May Update

 As is always the case at this time of year, things have been busy in the garden.  Our first frost date is on May 10th, so the two weeks before and after always see a flurry of activity with lots of transplanting, seeding and, of course, weeding.

Last week, however, we ran into a bit of a glitch when we had a string of truly horrible weather that was cold, wet and windy.  One day in particular really did a number on newly transplanted seedlings.  It started out a bit chilly, at 11C/52F, but then the weather kept getting colder as the day progressed, a rare occurrence.  By early afternoon, we were sitting at 1C/34F which is unheard of for this late in May.  Unfortunately, I had put the cucumbers in the ground only a couple of days earlier.  They survived but are definitely worse for wear.  We'll have to wait and see if there is any lasting impact.

Cucumbers took a beating during the recent frigid/windy weather

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Tomatoes are Potted Up

This weekend, I potted up the tomatoes. They are not as far along as they normally are but I'm not overly concerned.  They tend to grow really quickly once potted up, so much so that I've moved their sowing date up by at least a couple of weeks over the years as they were getting too big before I could transplant them outside.

This year, however, I had a few issues with germination.  I'm not sure what was going on, but most of the seeds ended up on the tail end of what I would consider the normal germination time.

Usually the seedlings are at this stage by the end of April

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Cucumbers - Hoping That This Year is Better Than Last


I sowed 3 varieties of cucumbers this week and, together with a few squash varieties that are yet to be sown, I am totally psyched for a great cucurbit year.

Garden Sweet (pickling) & Chelsea Prize (slicer) are two long-time favourites
while the Tasty Treat Slicer is a new-to-me variety

Cucumbers are one thing that I've always had pretty good success with.  While there may be some hiccups every once in a while, overall the harvests have been good to great.  That was until the disaster that was 2020, where I had the absolute worst cucumber harvest ever.  How bad is bad?  How about one cucumber.  Yup - short of zero harvest, you can't get much worse than that.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Under the Grow Lights

This year, just like last, the grow lights are nowhere near as cramped as usual.  The main reason for this is that we are revamping the side yard vegetable garden which contains 8 of our raised beds (Area #1).  The original plan was to redo that area last year...and then we had a pandemic and most plans, including that one, flew out the window.

So 2021 is the year.  All the beds (old and new) in that area will be out of commission for most, if not all, of the season.  While the actual building of the beds is a relatively quick process, everything else that goes along with that (such as filling them, mulching the paths and redoing the drip irrigation) takes much more time.  And just like last year, I'm planning on doing this at my own pace & not stressing myself out with deadlines.  I spoke about my New Approach to the garden last July and I intend to stay the course on that - more enjoyment & less pressure is the name of the game.

Lettuce will be on the hilltop this year - a little less convenient,
but you gotta do what you gotta do