Monday, July 28, 2014

Harvest Monday - July 28, 2014

The good news is we harvested our first green beans this week – Yeah!

Contender Bush Beans
The bad news is my hunch about the browning leaves on the Golden of Bacau climbers turns out to be right.  They are infected with Bacterial Brown Spot – just like last year – Boo!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Planting Fall Crops & Hardening Off

I started some transplants for fall a few weeks ago.  The plan was to transplant them into the garlic and onion beds once they were empty.

The garlic & shallots were harvested last week so that bed was ready to go.  I aerated it & amended the soil with sheep manure, chicken manure, soybean meal, kelp meal and greensand.

Adding Soil Amendments to the Bed

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What's Happening In The Garden - Mid-July - Part 2

For the next couple of years, I am concentrating primarily on edibles when it comes to starting seeds in the spring.  Once I gain confidence and am better organized in the vegetable garden, I can start giving the ornamental side of things more attention.  When Thomas at Seeding the Good Life wrote about starting over 2,000 plants from seed this past spring, most of which were perennials, I was pretty awestruck.  My grand total for ornamental starts this year?  Less than 20 plants and only 3 varieties.  Well, it’s a start I guess…maybe next year I’ll go up to a whopping 6 or 7 ornamental varieties ;)

The marigolds that I planted in the tomato beds are awesome.  This was the biggest surprise – I always thought marigolds were pretty boring – until now.  I think that growing them from seed & watching them develop into these colourful bundles with dozens of blooms has changed my perspective.
Marigold - Janie Series

Friday, July 18, 2014

What's Happening In The Garden - Mid-July - Part 1

It’s been a month since my last garden tour and everything has grown by leaps and bounds.  The weather has been really nice during the day – not too much heat or humidity in the last week or so – just comfortably in the low to mid 20’s (mid-70’s F).  The nights have been unseasonably cool – down to 9°-10°C (48°-50°F). July started off pretty normally – hot with a ton of humidity.  But in the last few days I’m donning a sweater if I’m out in the evening…very strange.

Let’s start the tour with the herb bed.  On my last post, I talked about having to pull all of my basil plants as they had become infected with Basil Downy Mildew.  I am fairly limited in what I can grow in the now vacant spot that the basil had occupied since we are already half way through the season, so I decided to simply scatter some more dill and cilantro seed.

The dill and cilantro I sowed just over a month ago have really started growing well now.
Cilantro & Dill

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Saying Goodbye To Basil...For This Year Anyhow

A couple of weeks ago I started to notice some bronze type patches on my basil:

Bronze Patches on Sweet Basil Leaves
I didn't think too much of it at first.  I assumed it was a bit of sunburn.  And even though basil is a sun loving plant, I had read that they can become sunburned if they get too little water and too much sun.  I'm not the most conscientious when it comes to standing their, spraying a bed, so I bumped up the watering a bit.

But the basil didn't get better.  In fact it got worse with each passing day and dark brown patches began to appear.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Harvest Monday - July 14, 2014

What’s new this week on Harvest Monday?  Peppers!

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
My husband and I love pickled hot banana peppers and that is what these are destined for.  It will be my first time making them so I’m really looking forward it.  I'm harvesting the peppers at the yellow stage so that they keep producing well over the entire summer.  If I let them hang on until they turn red, I’ll end up getting fewer peppers overall.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Leaning Tower of Peas

When it comes to growing vegetables that require a trellis for support, everyone seems to have a favourite method for each crop.  As a relatively new gardener, I am still in the experimental stage of trying to find the method(s) that work best for me.

The first year I grew beans and peas, I used sturdy plastic netting that had large, 5” gaps.  It worked really well at supporting the legumes, but then came the end of the season.  Of course, I didn’t want to throw out the netting as it was still perfectly good, with years of use ahead of it, so I spent a few hours (that’s right – hours!) untangling & cutting the vines from the netting.

When I set up the trellis for my peas a couple of months ago, I had a different plan.  Jute.  Since jute is a natural fibre, I figured that I could simply cut it off the trellis and throw everything into the compost pile at the end of the season.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Harvest Monday - July 07, 2014

This past week we FINALLY started to harvest some sugar snaps.  A couple of weeks ago, I was wondering why everyone, even those in my zone, seemed to be harvesting their peas and mine had just started to flower.  Then I realized that I had planted them late this year – May 2nd instead of mid-April - because I was pre-occupied with finishing up the beds & fencing for that area.  So hurray for sugar snaps – my favourite pea!

Sugar Snap Peas

Friday, July 4, 2014

Basil Salad Dressing & Another Round of Spinach

This is my first year growing spinach and so far, I haven’t had the best of luck.  The latest round of plantings – a heat resistant variety called “Galilee” – has started to bolt with only a minimal amount of growth.  I first tried to grow transplants for this variety and they bolted just as I was hardening them off.  Then I tried pre-germinating the seeds and sowing them directly into the bed.  And this is how they looked a few days ago:

Galilee Spinach Bolting....Again
They were definitely larger than the transplants that bolted, but only just.