Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A (Very) Late Garlic Planting

The fall weather this year has not be cooperating - I can't recall an end to the season quite as cold as this one with zero warm ups.  In fact, this morning, we woke up to a bunch of white stuff on the ground - this is the earliest snowfall we've had in a very long time.

It's late in the season - some may say the season is already over - but several tasks were still on the to do list.  The most pressing of these was getting the garlic in the ground.  I was waiting and waiting and waiting for that elusive "nice" day to get this task done - but I finally realized that it was not going to arrive.

On Sunday, it was just above freezing BUT it wasn't windy and the sun was out.  From the looks of the long-range forecast, this was as good as it was going to get so I decided to get out there and plant the garlic.  I had to do it in stages...prep the bed, come inside for a warming break, plant a couple of rows, come back in - you get the picture.

Had to get out the heavy duty, insulated gardening gloves

The fact that I waited much too long to plant the garlic hit home when the manure I planned on incorporating into the beds was half frozen.  I did my best to break it up and even brought a bucket of clumps inside to warm up for a few hours.  When various members of the family asked what's in the bucket, I nonchalantly replied "sheep poo" as if that's the most normal thing to be carrying around in a bucket, inside the house, in November.  You know you've trained your family well when the only response that generates is an understanding nod 😁

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

More beans please!

It’s been a chilly few weeks here – temperatures have been topping out at 6 or 7C (43F) each day which doesn’t really motivate me to get moving on finishing up the remaining tasks in the garden.   There’s still a small laundry list of things to do before the garden is closed for the winter – cutting back the asparagus ferns, digging up dahlia tubers, harvesting the remaining carrots, chard & broccoli and, most importantly, planting out the garlic.

For those that follow along on Instagram, you know we were getting our front walkway redone.  It was a narrow, weedy mess and on the “to do” list for a few years now:


The walkway was widened and we cut back a lot of encroaching growth….what a difference it’s made!  One of those things that you kick yourself for not getting to sooner.


There are a few invasives in the bed on the right hand side, between the house and the walkway, that I’ve been trying to get rid of (periwinkle and self-seeded spirea).  I’ll be laying down black plastic topped with mulch & leaving that in place over the next year - hopefully this eradicates them & I'll be able to remove the plastic and plant some better behaved shade tolerant perennials by the following year.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Apologies to all...!

Apologies to everyone that's left a comment that went to my "Awaiting Moderation" folder since this past June...I've just realized that there are 29 comments in there - yikes!!  I feel so badly!

I have always received an email when a comment needs approval as only comments made within one week of the post are automatically published.  For some reason, I am no longer receiving notification emails of comments that need moderation - and I had no idea!  Since I was always notified in the past, I didn't even think to check this folder until now.  I have a feeling this has something to do with the changes I made to the blog earlier in the year so I'll have to look into that.

In the meantime, I'll be reading and publishing all of your comments today....once again, my sincerest apologies about this goof.  I'll be checking that moderation folder much more frequently from now on!


Update:  Mystery solved!  Email notifications apparently changed after the implementation of the GDPR this past May.  Thank you to Jo from Through the Keyhole for not only letting me know what the issue was but also helping me resolve it (check out her comment below for all the details).

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Plenty of Potatoes? Not This Year...

You can often tell how your potatoes are doing by how well (or not) the foliage grows – more foliage usually means more (and larger) potatoes.  This year, the potato foliage left a lot to be desired so my expectations were fairly low.  Still, the actual harvest was (much) worse than I expected...sigh.

Moisture was not an issue as the drip irrigation took care of our dry spell over the summer and, unlike the area where the pepper beds were, I did not mess up on setting the timer during the May heat wave.

Chitting in April

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Back to the Homeland

One thing that many of you may not know is that I was born and spent the first 5 years of my life in Lisbon.  Up to my teenage years, I would go back most summers and spend a couple of months with my grandmother.  My last visit, however, was back in the 90's when my grandmother passed away.

São Jorge Castle in Lisbon

I had been meaning to return but it was one of those things that just kept being put off until “next year”.  And now here we are, over 20 years later, and I finally made it back.

Praça do Comércio in Lisbon

Thursday, August 30, 2018

An Onion Experiment - The Reveal

This past spring, I decided to do a little experiment with onions.  I had read in a local seed catalogue that onions sown in April would grow larger than those seeded in February, which is when they are traditionally sown around here.  I was intrigued by this statement and quite skeptical, to say the least, so I decided to put it to the test.

I chose to use Copra's in my experiment as I have grown them for several years and normally seed a larger quantity of them compared to other varieties since they store incredibly well.

Copra Onions (2014)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Best Type of Seed

You know what the best type of seed is?  One that has been shared by gardening friends.  These seedy treasures warm my heart, every time I see them in the garden.

Earlier this year, Dave from Our Happy Acres generously shared a number of different seeds and all of these varieties are now growing in my garden.

First up is a hot pepper - Aji Golden.  This year, the peppers were really set back early on when I went away shortly after transplanting them.  I didn't set the irrigation timer correctly and, of course, there was a heat wave at the same time with zero rain.  I've been taking good care of them since then but most of the plants are still runty.  Even with the setback, however, Aji Golden is performing admirably well, being one of the largest plants in the pepper bed (on the left in the photo below).

Aji Golden (on the left) is one of the few pepper plants
that is recovering incredibly well from the early setback