Greenhouse Garden Update – June 28, 2014

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I have been trying to get this update written for over a week now. There was a huge storm this evening, so I cut my evening of after-work gardening short and ran home to work on this post instead.

I am working on some videos for my YouTube channel, so stay tuned for more updates with that. I’m not 100% sure what they will be, but we’ll see where the creative process takes me.

In addition, I have upgraded my iPhone 4 to and iPhone 5s, so my photos should look a little better. At least until I can get myself an actual camera. But lets cut to the actual garden update:

Starting inside:

Tomatoes
These are all doing so amazing, and I will actually have some tomatoes to show for it probably by the time the next update is posted.

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Peppers
There are tiny little Cayenne and Jalapenos on the plants, and the Hungarian Wax hot pepper has flowers and a lot of buds. I think it will be an excellent crop of those from the greenhouse. The Medusa and other Sweet Bell Peppers are starting to put growth on and hopefully we’ll see flowers on them soon.

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Ground Cherries
These are COVERED in fruit. Every night I check them to see if any have fallen to the ground yet so I can finally taste them.
Tomatillo
This is putting on some decent growth. I am very interested to see how it does. I’ve never tried a tomatillo before that hasn’t already been made into something, so this is another fun little experiment.
Eggplant
The Italian (Violetta di Napoli) is fantastic. It’s spiky and yet has these delicate little flower buds happening.
The Asian (Ping Tung Long) is a little less exciting right now. It has massive leaves but no little flower buds just yet.

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Turnips/Carrots/Kohlrabi/Pickling Onions
These are all plugging along. I massively thinned out both the kohlrabi and the turnips, so they are much less crowded now. The carrots are becoming carrots under the ground, so I will have to thin them out very soon too. The pickling onions are doing well, and I may have to start searching for a pickled onion recipe. If you have a good one, let me know in the comments below.

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Peas
The sugar snap and Wando are nearing 7 feet tall. They have a ton of little baby peas. I’m so happy with this variety that I will definitely be looking to grow it again next year. The Laxtons Progress are putting flowers on, and are doing great. However, there is just something more satisfying about growing really REALLY tall pea plants. But that is just me.

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Pickling Cucumbers
The cucumbers are all putting on their true leaves. Soon it will be time to train them up the trellis.

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Melons
The cantaloupe is doing great! I couldn’t be happier with it right now. It has put on a ton of growth I the last few weeks.
The watermelons seem a little stunted. One is fairing better than the other, but I hope they start being more lively soon.

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Summer Squash

The inside squash area is starting to take off. You can already see the little baby zucchini forming on the few that will be female flowers. In this area is one of each: Dark Green Zucchini, Gold Rush Zucchini (yellow), Sunburst (Patty Pan) Squash, and White Scallop Squash.

The herb garden area
I picked up a couple of new additions for this, but I haven’t found room for them just yet. I have had a few harvests from the parsley, sage, lemon balm, spearmint and catnip. Which are all very satisfying, since nothing else is ready to harvest just yet. My mom uses dried parsley in a couple of recipes that she makes regularly, so I am excited to give her a bottle of my own!

Moving outside now, where there have been sooooooooo many changes since the last update, that it is becoming hard to keep track of everything.

The winter squash
These are all starting to show noticeable daily growth. Although I don’t want to give too much away about the giant pumpkins until I write up their dedicated post. The Small Sugar Pumpkin has recovered and is putting on growth after the wind nearly ripped it out of the ground. Which is why you see that little white tent in the very top photo. It is a wind break for the poor little pumpkin. The Butternut Squash is hanging in there, but I’m not expecting much of it.

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Potatoes
All of these are doing great. I would guess there is a bounty of baby potatoes under the soil in the first row that went in Mid-May. The others have all been hilled up once now, and I will probably aim to do it again in a couple weeks.

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Summer squash, Pinto Bean and Rattlesnake Bean Area
All the squash seeds have finally sprouted. Should be flying along in no-time.
The pinto beans are all starting to show up. And I can see the soil disturbance where the rattlesnake beans are trying to break through.

Leeks/Onions/Garlic/Shallots

All doing very well. As I mentioned before, a few of my shallots have bolted. I decided to just let them flower, and see what happens. I know they wont have much in the way of useable vegetable matter, but bees seemed to love the onion flower I had in my backyard last year, so I’m sure they will like the shallot flowers out at the garden.

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Corn

My corn is doing so fantastic. I am so proud of it. I really hope I get some cobs to show for all of this.

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Beet/Turnip Areas

The seeds in these sections have all sprouted. I will need to thin them all very soon also.

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Carrots

The carrots I sowed in the beginning of June have all started working on true leaves now, and soon they will all need thinning also.

I sowed a second area on June 25, so we should have a somewhat decent carrot crop.

Runner/Pole Beans

The Scarlet Runner beans are doing fantastic and starting to look for something to climb, the Kentucky Wonder Wax Pole beans, should start searching for something to climb very soon too. The other two varieties are a little slower, but i’ll keep my fingers crossed that they will actually make an appearance soon. I really need to weed this area! The radishes and arugula will need thinning soon as well.

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Brussels Sprouts & Purple Cabbage and Cauliflower, Dinosaur Kale & Green Cabbage

I bought these as clearance sale seedlings at the local garden center. Which were ALL on my list of things I really wanted to grow, but that I never got around to sowing OR I couldn’t find the seed for it. Stay tuned, because I am really excited about all of these.

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Parsnips and Bush Beans

These all seem to be slow and having trouble getting going. Some of the beans sprout, but then never get their first leaves. Some are doing just fine. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I’ll try and get to the bottom of it. If you can help me, just leave a comment below.

The parsnips are just slow, they are there, but tiny. I love parsnip in stews and I really hope I get at least a handful of them for winter.

Peas

These are all sprouting and starting to climb. The second sowing will be in next week. I also sowed a row of ‘Alaska’  just over a week ago, and they are starting to show through the dirt. I hope I will have peas coming out the wazoo soon.

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Broad Beans

These are just amazing. I can even see little beans forming where some of the first flowers were. I can’t wait to try them. The ants seem to stand watch over them.

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Wildflowers/Dill/Sunflowers/Fennel

These are all doing their thing in their respective areas. I tried to keep the fennel as far away from other plants as I could, as I have read they are terrible companion plants for almost everything. I just couldn’t resist picking up a pot of them for only $2. Hopefully they grow well.

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As you can see, weeding is very high on my “GET DONE ASAP” list. And I only have one very small area left to dig and fill with plants or seeds. I will try and update more often throughout the summer, and not let so much time go by between the updates. I’ll leave you with a photo of the greenhouse from the door.

 

 

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Greenhouse Garden Update – June 13, 2014

It has been a busy couple weeks since the last update! I would have had this up sooner, but I was having trouble getting my pictures to upload properly, but it is finally here!

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Brandywine Tomato

Let’s start Inside:

TOMATOES
As of Monday, ALL the tomatoes are in their final growing spots. I delivered 5 plants to my Mom on the weekend. She will be growing “Golden Cherry,” “Red Brandywine,” “Box Car Willie,” Marglobe” and “Bonny Best”. Hopefully they work out great for her. After I got home from visiting my parents, I put the final tomatoes into the ground in the greenhouse. Now all they need is plant markers so it is easier to distinguish which variety they are. In case you are curious, there are nearly 40 tomato plants in the greenhouse! Some of which already have flowers. I’m sure by the time I get the next update up, some will have set fruit.

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PEPPERS

These are all at various stages of growth. The Cayenne and Jalapeno that I have been updating you on since I started their seeds in February, all have flowers. The Hungarian Wax hot pepper is also setting some flowers. The Medusa peppers, are small, but since they are a dwarf variety (and I started them much later) I wont hold it against them. They still have lots of time. If you are curious, the Habanero is still living life in my window sill, and will probably remain in my backyard.

Cal also started some Mixed Sweet Bell Peppers, and now we just need to find them a home in the very full greenhouse. They are still tiny, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that they catch up.

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Tomato row, with tiny ‘Medusa’ Pepper at the bottom of the photo

EGGPLANTS

These are growing well. I’m not sure what I’m doing with them, so they will be a large learning curve for me. I also found out that some grow thorns on their leaves:

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Spiky Eggplant Leaf

GROUND CHERRIES

These have fruit! And a lot more flowers too! I’m so happy with them. Now hopefully they continue to set fruit and we end up with enough to make some sort of preserves with them.

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‘Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry’

TOMATILLO

This is a little behind everything else, but I remain hopeful that I get some purple tomatillos.

PEAS

These are doing amazing. The first set from April (‘Wando’ and ‘Sugar Snap’) are nearly 5 feet tall. I would expect there will be flowers soon; Then we’ll just need to get some pollinators into the greenhouse. The second set (‘Laxtons Progress’) are also starting to put on a ton of growth. The plan is to keep all their foliage after they are done growing, and then work it into the soil in the greenhouse, so we get more organic matter in the soil there. Basically the same idea as doing a cover crop.  The Nasturtiums I planted at the end of the two pea trellises are doing fantastic:

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HERB GARDEN

This is doing great. I already harvested (and dried) some of the Parsley that was growing. I have some mint drying as I type this as well.

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ZUCCHINI/’SUNBURST’ SQUASH

These are putting on a lot of growth as well, and I’m hoping the tomato cage around them helps them to grow upwards instead of out. I plan to have more outside, but these are my hail-contingency plan.

MELONS

There are ‘Sweet & Early’ Cantaloupe and ‘Crimson Sugar’ Watermelon here. They seem to be settling in now, and hopefully we will get some fruit.

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‘Crimson Sugar’ Watermelon

PICKLING CUCUMBERS

We ended up sowing the entire seed packet, and in hindsight, we really didn’t need to. I expected a much lower germination rate, since they were old seeds. After these put on more growth, I’ll thin them out, so there will be less competition between them all.

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SWEET POTATOES

I’m trying again this year. I’ve been a little tight lipped about it, after last years failure to even get them into some dirt. But now the slips are in dirt officially, and now we just wait and see if they produce some potatoes.

THE REST

I’ll keep the Birdhouse Gourds in their own update… which will happen soon. The Turnips are putting on some growth. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they start to bulb up before trying to bolt. Which is what happened with the radishes. There were a few edible bulbs, but the rest used the energy to try and flower. So they are in the compost pile. I also harvested all the Spinach. It was starting to bolt too. Hopefully the carrots, Kohlrabi and Pickling onions can stay where they are, and make some edible vegetables instead of seeds.

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OUTSIDE is where most of the action has been happening. As you know, ALL the potatoes are finally in the ground. The Garlic, Shallots and Onions are all doing well. The red onions have finally gone in, as well as another mixed row of all three (Spanish, White and Red).  Some of the the Shallots are going to seed. I thought about pulling the ones that are right now, or snapping off the seed head, but then I decided to just let them flower if they really want to. I’m sure the bees will love them, and I wouldn’t mind too much either. Allium flowers are very cool.

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On June 3rd, I put in the Leeks and some Parsnips. Keep your fingers crossed for me, because I have never grown either and just planted according to all the YouTube allotment gardening shows that I watch.

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On June 4th, All the Bush Beans went into the ground. Two rows of ‘Contender’; One of ‘Amethyst Purple Stringless Fillet’; One row of ‘Tendergreen Improved’; Two rows of ‘Greencrop’; and then one and a half of ‘ Borlotto Lingua Di Fuoco’. The last half row is finished off with more ‘Tendergreen Improved’

On Saturday, June 7th, Cal put in a lot of work and dug the whole area where the carrots are going, and part of the next section. Together we constructed a Pea trellis of sticks and chicken wire. We sowed the peas: ‘Sugar Sprint’, ‘Mr. Big’, ‘Lincoln Homesteader’, ‘Sugar Snap’ and a mixed area of ‘Wando’ and ‘Laxton’s Progress’. We will do a succession planting of the first 3 in a couple weeks. The later three I mentioned are also planted inside the greenhouse, so hopefully we will have a fantastic pea crop this year. Later that afternoon, I planted the carrots (and a tiny flower area at the end of the row, just because). We have a row of ‘Red Cored Chantenay’; one of ‘Purple Haze’; one of ‘Scarlet Nantes’ (seed tape); one of ‘Kaleidoscope Mix’; and one of ‘Little Finger’. Then I slipped in two mini rows of ‘Atlas’ and a mini row of ‘Viking’ Spinach.

On June 10th, I finished digging the summer squash area. Pinto Beans (Pole-type) are also planted in this section. Summer Squash I sowed include: Dark Green Zucchini, Gold Rush Zucchini, ‘Sunburst’ Squash (Pattypan), and White Scallop.  I also tucked in a little row of ‘Watermelon’ Radish.

June 11th, I dug and planted the Beet area. There is a row of ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard; then one row of each: ‘Detroit Dark Red’, ‘Cylindra Formanova’, ‘Golden Detroit’, and ‘Chioggia’.

June 12th, I finished the turnip bed. It has one row of ‘Early White Vienna’ Kohl Rabi, two rows of ‘American Purple Top’ Rutabaga, and two rows of ‘Purple Top White Globe’ Turnips.

Needless to say it is starting to really take shape. There is just a little more weed-covered area to take out (even less now, than in the picture below)

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The Corn is doing surprisingly well, and has surpassed ANY expectation I had… Imagine how happy I will be if I get a harvest from it! The variety is: ‘Canadian Early Supersweet Hybrid’. I am loving not having to worry about weeding around it, even though planting it with the landscape fabric was very fiddly and fussy.

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The Broad Beans are flowering!!!!!!!! And as you can see, the Ants love hanging out on them too. Their variety is ‘Windsor’.

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And the Scarlet Runner Beans, and Kentucky Wonder Wax Pole Beans have finally broken through the surface! There are two rows of radish in between the bean poles as well.   Also, I picked up a couple other pole/runner bean seeds, so I will have to find some more room somewhere to stick them in the ground. This may be the year of Beans.

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Well, that is all for now. Here is the link to the previous update. I will try and update again sooner, especially now that everything is flying along. I hope your garden is growing well too! Thanks for all the follows, likes and comments, It means so much to me!

 

Greenhouse Garden Update – May 4/2014

There still is not a whole lot going on out at the Greenhouse. It is Alberta, so of course Mother Nature thinks that Spring involves 22 C temperatures one day and then a 10-20cm Snowfall warning for the next day.

However, despite the snow, the tomatoes that I planted out in the greenhouse on April 19th are doing great. They have started to put on nice, dark green foliage. They are still wrapped up in a frost blanket, and will stay that way for the foreseeable future. I would be more likely to uncover them if there were less broken windows.

The peas I sowed on April 13th have finally begun to show their faces. Which means I will be sowing the next batch in the next week or two, for succession planting.

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The radishes have really taken off in the last week, and the true leaves are starting to poke through. So it shouldn’t be long before we have a harvest

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The spinach, turnips and kohlrabi are also doing great! It will be nice to have such an early harvest of a few things to keep us inspired and pulling weeds!
I need to get in there and thin out a few of the seedlings, but for now, I’m just happy to see them actually growing! Especially with the snow outside.

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I am still waiting on the carrots and pickling onions to show up. There are a few little carrot seedlings starting to poke through, but there is no sign of the onions just yet.

The tomatoes that are still waiting to go into the ground are tucked away in a double layer of clear plastic and frost blanket, along with my pre-started shallots, and the broad beans. Once this weather stops being so horrible, the broad beans and shallots will move outside to their final homes, and the majority if the tomatoes will be in the greenhouse… The extras are going into other peoples gardens… Or into my backyard.

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The biggest job that needs to get done out there is the digging of the outside garden. While we did the brute force of the work in the fall, every piece of dandelion root and grass root that we missed is now sprouting. So while I would love to just go over it all with a rototiller, I know that will just make the problem so much worse… So hand digging is in our future… A lot of hand digging. I have done about a quarter of it so far, so only 75% more to go!

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Well that is about all there is to update on at this point. Next time should be much more exciting as we really get into the planting season… I should get back to digging before the grass takes over. Have a great day, and I hope it is warm and sunny wherever you are.

Next we will probably talk about Potatoes and onions and all the things that can stand a few of these colder days. (Our seed potato variety count is at 10 right now… needless to say that some kinds really need to get into the ground soon)

Backyard Update – April 26/ 2014

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While I don’t have much to update here, I thought I would start anyway, since in a few short weeks, everything will be taking off. There are not a lot of pictures to show, but I’ll give you a quick rundown of some of the things going on out here. (Side note- That picture above is my pony. She obviously doesn’t live in my backyard, but I couldn’t resist putting her picture in here to counteract the lack of plant pictures)

Rhubarb – It really started poking thought the ground at the beginning of April. So I took the opportunity and added some recycled potting soil and compost around it. It really needs to be divided again, but I will wait until next year. I have plans to actually use the rhubarb this year (like Rhubarb Barbecue sauce), so I didn’t want to mess that up.

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Chives – I am always amazed at these. Popping up while it is still basically winter. And these ones overwintered in one of our coldest on record… In a pot! I can’t wait for their little flowers – and the bumble bees that love the flowers too.

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Delphiniums – Again, I am amazed at these. They come up early every spring. After spending some time underwater (the grading in our backyard is not well planned), and freezing and thawing and freezing and thawing. They are another favorite of the bees.

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Lupin – I bought this the first year we lived here, thinking it wouldn’t really live past the first year… but it did. And it is thriving! I have even discovered that although I thought I had taken all the seed heads off, It has self-seeded its self all over my flowerbed. I may let some live if they survive, but I will be adding in the few lupins that I started from seed, near this older plant, so I will get a cool mix of different colours.

Lillies– My lilies remind me of my grandma, and almost every year, she buys a new variety and shares it with my cousin and I – so all 3 of us get one. I have mixed them all up, so I don’t know which is which until they flower anymore, but they are still gorgeous. Want more info? Here are pictures from my 2012 Lily garden.

Clematis – I wish I could grow clematis even a quarter as good as my grandma can. I don’t know if this plant is going to come back this year, but I’ll keep hoping. If It doesn’t, I may wait until we have our own house to try again.

I will show you pictures of the whole yard once we get everything cleaned up from this long winter.

Birdhouse Gourd Update – True Leaves

We have true leaves!

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Potting up is Imminent! (As soon as I move tomatoes out to their new home)

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Now I guess the next biggest struggle will be getting these warm/sun loving plants to actually produce some gourds in our lovely Canadian weather. Any tips?

 

Timeline:

Sown: March 30

Sprouted: April 8

True Leaves: April 19

Potting Up: N/A

Planting Out: N/A