Seed Sowing So-far (2019)

Its the middle of a Polar Vortex here… which is just internet-talk for “it’s winter and it’s cold.”

It also means that I (and everyone else too) am itching for it to be spring. So I had to sow some seeds and kind of get my fingers in the dirt. I also wanted to keep up the momentum of actually writing on this little ol’ blog of mine. I’m aiming for 2 posts per week. But I’m warning you that if life starts to get busy and crazy again, this might be the first thing I drop off the priority list.

But enough blabbering.. Here is what I’ve sown so far this year.

In mid- January, I sowed some Red Beard Onions in a red solo cup. I’ll let them grow together in a clump and then plant them out. This is mostly to hedge my bets in the case that the ones I planted last year, don’t make it through this winter (although I have been diligent in making sure my beds have been covered in snow for some insulation from the wind)

At the same time, I also sowed some Silverskin Pickling onions. The seed packet was from 2014, so I figured I would finally try and grow them again. I’m growing them the same as the ‘Red Beard’ onions, but once it comes to planting them out, I will probably separate them (gently) and plant them in some organised fashion, rather than a clump.

I also have a handful of baby trees I’ve started, but that is a whole ‘nother post, that I’ll get to writing eventually.

On January 30th, I finally pulled out my little peat pellet trays, and I sowed some herbs. I still have many herbs to start, but this was a start. Herbs are a good way to quench your thirst of planting something. They will grow pretty slow, so won’t get out of hand when you start them this early. Here is what I filled my 12 pellet tray with on Jan. 30:

  • 2x Greek Oregano
  • 2x German Winter Thyme
  • 2x Sweet Marjoram
  • 2x Summer Savory
  • 2x Midget Summer Savory
  • 2x Winter Savory

On February 6, the above herbs had all sprouted, so I planted some more variety for my herb garden this summer:

  • 2x Oregano
  • 2x Lemon Balm
  • 2x Anise
  • 2x Munstead English Lavendar
  • 2x Heirloom Pineapple Alpine Strawberries
  • 2x Habanero Peppers

The Lavendar and the Strawberries are both some more hedging-bet plants. I grew them later last year, and they are planted out in the garden. I just wanted a little back-up.

The Anise is an old seed packet, and more of a “hey lets try this” rather than something I am really excited about. If it makes it, then it will be fun to try something new. This is a good way to discover new things when you are new to gardening. I’ve found a bunch of new things I like growing by doing this.

The Lemon Balm is one of those things that I’ve found I love by just trying it. I don’t necessarily do anything with the plant, but Its great aroma therapy just to touch the leaves. If you are looking for something easy to grow, this is one of them. It grows easy, with hardly any work and the leaves smell amazing.

Habanero… The Habanero was a bit of a whim. I didn’t have any other herb seeds that I was ready to start yet, and then I found my pepper seeds, and figured I would give the habaneros a go again. Last time I grew them, I did get a few peppers, but I remember wishing I had started them a bit earlier. This will let the plants be a little more mature in the comfort of my warm house before I make them go outside. This is one of the things I am excited to grow again, but also won’t be super sad if they don’t make it.

Next up in my sowing will be the rest of the peppers that I want to grow. This will probably be near the end of the month, and into March. Between Mid March and Mid-April I will be doing tomatoes and near the end of April, I will start any squash or cucumbers. I will also be going through my flower seeds and sowing whatever catches my eye. Likely some more hollyhocks, lavatera, cosmos and maybe some sunflowers.

 

Any suggestions or hints & tips or anything you’d like to share, put it in the comments below

My Etsy Shop: Back 40 Woodcraft

 

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Lets talk about 2018

2018… It was a year. That is about all I can say. After the 2 years previous, it is nice to say 2018 was just a year. This is going to be a bit rambly… kind of a stream of consciousness, and I may or may not add in photos, but here it goes…

I just kind of let go of writing here in the Summer. I minimised anything that was causing me any kind of stress. I just needed less things that I needed to do. I couldn’t write what I wanted to write in the way I wanted to write it and it was stressing me out. So I let it go for a bit.

My garden grew really well, and I harvested and dried TONS of herbs that I have been loving using in the kitchen this winter.

My tomatoes grew wonderful… but in September, I should have harvested them all when we had a heavy frost in the forecast. I didn’t, I just covered the plants and lost much of my harvest.  Obviously, I had tomatoes one by one throughout the summer, but I was really hoping the weather would hold off and I could harvest and process the tomatoes all at once.

The last post here was about lettuce and greens. They didn’t make it. I let them dry out and just didn’t take good care of them.

My herbs were definitely the star of the show. Every few days, I could harvest some of the herbs and put them in the dehydrator.

Raspberries were also very prolific, although none of them made it into the house. I did get to eat a few of my strawberries, but as usual, the slugs and squirrels beat me to most of them.

My clematis that I planted as a teeny tiny stick a few years ago, bloomed like crazy, but didn’t produce a ton of foliage. Fingers crossed it makes it through this winter, and I can baby it a bit more in the spring in hopes of a really great growing season for it.

I learned a new way to try and combat the delphinium caterpillars that I’ve been plagued with the last few years. And it doesn’t involve squishing individual caterpillars… I’ll share that in the spring when I’m doing it.

We planted a bunch of fruit trees and bushes at my parents house. So fingers crossed I will have a bunch of fruit this summer and the coming years.

I got really into learning to propagate plants. So I want to share some of that this year.

Right around Halloween, I took some seeds from an organic orchard-run Gala Apple. Cold stratified on wet paper towel in a plastic bag in the fridge…And they germinated… So around Christmas, I potted them up into red solo cups. And they sprouted on January 5th. Which would’ve been my grandma’s 91st Birthday.  It will be interesting to see what becomes of them, the little bit I’ve googled about Apple genetics has been fascinating.

I have a few other kinds of potential future trees in my fridge right now.

So 2019 will be… maybe just another plain year, maybe it will be awesome.

And HUCKLEBERRIES! I fell in love with huckleberries in 2018.

 

 

So…

I’m bad at being a garden-blogger. It’s the height of summer, my tomatoes are growing amazingly, I’ve had handfuls of raspberries, my hollyhocks I started from seed last year are blooming like crazy (even though they are all butter-yellow I’m still obsessed with them), I have cooked a few meals with fresh herbs that overwintered, and eaten a mountain of fresh peas (I even shared some of them!)… and I haven’t written a word of it here.


Like seriously, the last thing I talked about was squishing caterpillars. Speaking of, the Delphiniums are bouncing back! They aren’t their usual 6 feet tall, and amazingly full towers of blossoms, but there are some flowers, and there is a lot of life!

Hollyhocks!


I will legitimately try and get some posts written. I’m impressed with my garden so far this year. Things I sowed from seed last year and flowering and I’m just amazed at how bountiful my lazier approach this year has been.

Sweet Potatoes!! They are loving our HOT (AF) Summer.
Potential Pumpkin!! 😀
Raspberries. These take me back to childhood. My grandma and her neighbour had a raspberry patch between their houses and I remember picking raspberries with my grandma…
Nasturtiums
Tomatoes!!!!! No squirrel thieves in this area of the yard
Serrano Chillies
‘Black Beauty’ Zucchini

Still Alive

Okay, it has been well over a month since I posted ANYTHING here. I am sorry about it, since it is kind of the time of year where I have tons of things growing and all the gardening enthusiasm forever. However… I’ve been going pretty non-stop with making things which keeps me away from gardening. (You can check out the Etsy Shop here to see some of the things!) This was a benefit a little earlier, when I didn’t allow myself to start sowing a million seeds. It’s all fine when they are seeds but then they grow and need potting up and then take up triple the space. Space that I do not have. Plus my creative brain gets to be happy and just do as it pleases.

But it meant that I severely neglected my blog. I tried to think of a schedule that I could try and follow for posts here… but I know myself better than that, and would end up apologizing infinitely for not meeting promises of posts because I got distracted. So instead, I’m just going to do what I kind of already do, and just write when the mood strikes. That might mean I write 4 posts in a day and then schedule them, or it might mean (unfortunately) going weeks between posts. I will try to keep it regular, but sometimes it can’t be helped, and me apologising every few weeks is pretty lame.

I wanted to pop in and show you that I legit do have things going on in the garden. So here are some photos:


Rhubarb is taking off! I hope to use more of it this year.


I rescued some raspberries from a garden that was getting a complete makeover. I wish I had grabbed more of them, as I have room for at least 4 more plants. I’m hopeful these fruit on old wood, and I’ll get a harvest this year from them.


Strawberries are looking good. I still need to figure out how to keep the squirrels off of them.


The Sweet Williams that I sowed last year survived winter and I cannot wait to see them this year. They are for my grandpa.


I bought myself a rose for my Birthday. Partly because it is white and I love white roses, and partly because of its name: “Iceberg”. As you can also see, the delphiniums are growing like crazy too. I even divided them and you can hardly tell I took away anything.


Spring onion patch. These just keep coming back so I leave them. I get fresh Spring onion, the bees get a flower they like, and I get fresh seed. Behind them I sowed the Garlic I had left from my crop last year. They are just starting to poke their heads up now. In the back corner of the photo, in front of the orange bag (full of leaves im going to use for mulch and the compost like), are poppies that survived winter! I’m pretty excited for them and hope they are as beautiful as I’ve imagined in my head.


Both my Taragon and Sage survived winter (in ground-not containers)! Possibly the Thyme, and Oregano too, but I’ll wait til June to decide if they legit survived or not.


I sowed this Lupin from seed! I’m glad to see it survived because my big beautiful one was completely destroyed by aphids last year. A second one also survived as well!


And I started digging everything and getting it ready for planting! AND as you can see in the top left, one hollyhock survived the winter, so keep your fingers crossed for me that the flowers are as beautiful as I remember my grandma’s being.

Ps. My clematis died, so if I still have clematis dreams I’ll have to get yet another new plant.

Change of Plans…

After some long thought on the subject, I decided to give up my community garden plot. I was all gung-ho for it. But the effort required to keep it up, along with my own backyard garden, and anything else I take on this summer… It just needed to be dropped. The garden site is on the opposite side of the city, and during high traffic times, it takes me far too long to get over there. If I didn’t have backyard space, It would have been a higher priority. Spending over half an hour in traffic to get to the site, and then again to get back home… Not my idea of a good time.

Especially with zero hail resistance, and nasty perennial weeds on the paths.

Now the question is… Where am I going to grow my massive amounts of carrots?

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