Friday, July 31, 2015

Onion Update

Last year was my first time growing onions & it was so much fun.

Copra Onions - Mid-July 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's Happening in the Garden - Mid-July - Part 2

Technically, it's the end of July, but since many of these photos were taken last week, I'll let the Mid-July heading stand ;-)

This year I was super late with the carrots.  I was originally going to try two sowings, but one will have to do.  My spring sown carrots last year really weren't the sweetest, so this will be a good comparison as they will all be maturing in the cooler fall weather.

The carrots were sown on June 29 and they took less than a week to germinate.  I direct sowed the carrots instead of using Granny’s seed mats like I normally do, just because I needed to get these in the ground quickly.  Once the seeds had germinated, I removed the Agribon (which I used to cover the bed so that the soil stays moist) and I sprinkled the bed with diatomaceous earth.  A couple of years ago, I lost all of my summer sown carrots to slugs and I didn’t want a repeat of that this year.

Carrots - 4 weeks

Monday, July 27, 2015

Harvest Monday - July 27, 2015

We are in for a heat wave this week, with highs of 30C+ (86F) & a humidex in the mid to high 30’s (closing in on 100F).

The Royal Red lettuce had already bolted last week and a couple of Simpson Elite’s followed suit.  I decided to harvest all the lettuce in the bed as I really didn’t want to lose it to the hot weather.

Pinares, Simpson Elite & Sierra MI

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What's Happening in the Garden - Mid-July - Part 1

It's high time I review what is happening in the beds as I didn't get around to posting an update in June.  You'll have to excuse some of the photos as I took many of them during a sunny, windy day - not exactly the best picture taking weather.

The tomatoes are doing ok considering I sowed them a month later than last year.  This is what they looked like in mid-June:

Tomato bed in mid-June
The netting was my way of making the bed a bit less attractive to rabbits before the fencing was complete.  And here are the tomato beds now:

Tomato Beds

Monday, July 20, 2015

Harvest Monday - July 20, 2015

There was one very pretty newcomer to the harvest basket this past week – Peppermint Swiss chard:

Peppermint Chard (left); Fordhook Giant (right)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Straw Bales - The Experiment That Was Not

Ok, so let me say right off the bat that this year I cheated when it came to the straw bales & now I'm paying the price.  I made all of these extensive notes and was going to follow a particular conditioning method.  And then it all went out the window when I got bogged down with other gardening tasks.

What I was doing was “choosing” to go with a statement that I found on a website that I can't for the life of me find now.  I'm fairly certain it was an extension services site & it stated that if you leave the straw bales out all winter – which I did – they would be automatically conditioned and ready to go come planting time in the spring.

I did do a couple of things before planting the seedings – I topped the bales with some compost and I added some granulated organic fertilizer.  Then I tried to keep the bales constantly moist - I would stick my finger into a bale & if it felt dry, I watered.  I also fed them once per week with fish emulsion.

I had planned on having 5 straw bales, 4 from last year and I was going to purchase another one.  Then I realized that the recommended number of plants per bale was 3 for summer squash and 2 for winter squash.  Seemed a bit much, considering how large squash are supposed to grow, but since it would make my life easier as I wouldn't need to purchase any more bales, I decided to follow the recommendation.

And these are the bales today:
Straw Bales Planted with Squash
Pretty pathetic isn't it.  You would think that I had just planted these out as seedlings, but in fact, they were planted out a month ago.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Darn Figs

So the other day, I was out shopping at a store that sets up a temporary garden centre during the summer.

As I walked to the entrance, I saw this:

Can't pass up a sale

Monday, July 13, 2015

Harvest Monday - July 13, 2015

There were a few exciting harvests this week, two of which I’m particularly happy about.  It was actually a bit difficult to decide which of them was to get first billing, but I figured that this honour would go to the prettiest harvest – chamomile:

1st Chamomile Harvest

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hilltop Plan - A WIP

Last week I did a post on what is now growing in the hilltop beds.  This time round, I thought I would do a bit of an overview on the hilltop "renovation" in general.  We are not even halfway done the area at this point, but I know I will want to see the progress in the future, warts and all - and there are plenty of warts.
When we moved here, the hilltop was a weed & vine infested mess with a huge 6’ fire pit in the middle.  We would run the mower over the weeds every once in a while but that was about it.  We really didn't want to spend any time or money on this area until we knew what we wanted to do with it.

So this is what we started with:

Before - Facing west
You can see the load of soil I moved up there last fall on the right &
the plant debris filled fire pit in the middle