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

Thursday, April 22, 2021

My Approach to Sowing Basil

A couple of weeks ago I spoke about the basil varieties that I'll be growing, namely Profumo di Genovese, Dolly, Lemon, Thai and the Botanical Interests Custom Blend.  When it comes to growing basil in my area, you don't technically have to start seeds indoors.  If I sow directly in mid-late May, which is a couple of weeks after our last frost date, I could start harvesting by the end of July.  But we all want our harvests earlier, don't we?  And that means that I'm starting my basil indoors about 5 weeks before our last frost date.

12 day old basil seedlings

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Garden Awakens, Part 2

Last year, I went a bit hog-wild when I was finally able to go to the garden centre after the initial lockdown.  All that pent up plant-shopping energy came out with a bang and I reverted back to type.  Instead of having a plan and a list to go by, I spent over 3 hours browsing and anything that caught my eye ended up in my cart (which quickly turned into two carts - #noguilt 😜).  After the stress of those first few months of the pandemic, I truly reveled in a good old fashioned plant shopping spree.

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Garden Awakens, Part 1

It's early April and the garden is coming to life.  There have been a lot of additions to the perennial beds in the past couple of years and I've been rather remiss in detailing those here.  I'm hoping to rectify that this year.

Puschkinia libanotica with
Iris reticulata in the background