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

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 my...how 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 🙄.