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.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Garlic Harvest - First Impressions

This morning, I harvested the garlic - it's always one of the hilights of the season as you just never know what you will get.  As with most root crops such as potatoes & carrots, the "surprise" factor is always fun.

Ready to Harvest

This year, I let the garlic mature a bit longer than I normally would - I had been meaning to harvest it for the past week, but just never got around to it.

I try to harvest the garlic when the bottom 2-3 leaves die down, but this time, the bottom 4-5 leaves were dried up and/or yellow on all the varieties, with yellowing reaching most of the top leaves.

Friday, July 31, 2020

A New Type of Chard

This year, I only grew one type of chard - perpetual chard.  I've also seen it go by perpetual spinach, perpetual spinach chard, beet leaf spinach or sea kale.  Perpetual chard is part of the beet family, just like Swiss Chard, but falls in a different group (Beta vulgaris Cicla Group vs. Swiss chard, with it's thick stalks, which falls in the Flavescens group).  Learn something new everyday, don't we?

Saturday, July 25, 2020

First Tomato of 2020!

The first tomato has been harvested and, as usual, it is something to celebrate!

Bloody Butcher
Bloody Butcher is very quick to the finish line.  In fact, it will often ripen before the cherry tomatoes (as is the case this year).

While I'll pop the first cherries right into my mouth when they ripen, the first larger tomatoes are usually destined for a BLT - tomato season is the only time of year we eat them since the tomato flavour is such a big part of that sandwich.

But this year, BLTs will have to wait.  I am fresh out of Bloody Butcher seeds, so I have these marked to save.  And just so that I don't forget, I try to place a marker in front of each variety to be saved as a reminder.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Onion Progress

The onions have started to bulb up, which is always exciting!

This year I only planted 2 varieties, which happened to be the only long day varieties that I could get my hands on at Baker Creek Seeds - Wethersfield and Stuttgarter.  While I grew Wethersfield last year, Stuttgarter is a new-to-me variety.

Friday, July 17, 2020

A New Approach

Let me jump right in - I've been silent here for a while for three reasons.  Firstly, there's the usual mid-summer reason - busy, busy, busy in the garden.  Secondly, there's the fact that "stay at home" means that I've had exactly 2 days in the past 4 months of alone time - Mother's Day and my birthday.  Yup - that's it.  And thirdly, our lives, just like everyone else's, have changed over this time and the blog fell by the wayside.

Area #1 vegetable garden at dusk
The stress of the pandemic, of course, is ongoing, as are the practical aspects of having people home all the time - I both dread (is it contaminated?) and celebrate (no cooking & dishes!) the occasional times we get take-out.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

A Little Good, A Little Bad

We've had a mixed bag of "good news, bed news" when it comes to the garden in the past couple of weeks.  The good news is that we enjoyed the seasons first salad fixins...and oh what a treat they were.

While lettuce and greens in general may seem rather lowly in comparison to hyped up crops such as tomatoes, let me tell you, the difference between freshly picked and shop bought is just as awe-inspiring.  I always say that skipping the salad section of the grocery store is up there when it comes to things I look forward to each season.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Don't Save It....Use It!

Over the past couple of months, I've had this need to use things up.  In our consumerist society, I'm just as guilty as the next person of buying, buying, buying - and then letting some of those purchases sit there, sometimes for years, waiting for the "perfect moment/occasion" to use them up.

These are a few of the seed packets that I had saved over the years
as I never really had the "right spot" for them.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Not the Usual Start to the Season...

First things first – Hello, my friends.  Hope that you are all well physically and hanging in there emotionally.  I was supposed to come out of “hibernation”, so to speak, at the end of March.  But, to be honest, my writing mojo had left the building...for obvious reasons.

Hanging from an upstairs window: 
A big colourful Thank You to health care workers & first responders

And here we are.  Needless to say, it’s not where I expected to be at the beginning of May 2020.  And the most unbelievable bit is that it’s almost certainly not where YOU expected to be either.  And by “you” I mean every single one of you, regardless of which city, country or continent you happen to live in.  That, to me, is mind-blowing.