Mid April 2018- Quick Garden Tour

I wanted to pop in a quick little tour of the garden as it is mostly covered in snow. It will be nice to look back at this in the summer when everything is growing and enjoying the sunshine. These photos are from April 11, around 6pm.

 

Willow Trees behind our house. These are typically the first to have leaves. Nothing yet.
Poplar (and Spruce) in our front yard. No leaves yet, but this thing will be dropping its horrible sticky bits all over our vehicles very soon.
Crab Apple
Raspberries are still under snow
My poppies are starting to “Spring” too! I hope I get some flowers from these this year!
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This is where my tomatoes were (and their corpses are still) last year. Still at least a foot of snow. Old tools and bits of wood to help discourage the dogs from going in the garden bed over winter.
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My ‘Iceberg’ Rose. My delphiniums are also here, and in the back you can also see my Sweet Williams poking out of the snow. This snow bank is beside the shed, and a few weeks ago, the snowbank was almost to the edge of the shed shingles. That tipped over vase i filled with leaves, grasses and pine cones and tucked it there for some lady bugs or other beneficials to over-winter in.
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flooded pots, bricks thrown on the garden bed, and sawdust from button making chucked ontop of the snow to mix into the soil when possible.
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This is the sunniest spot in the garden, and is currently flooded. A few more days of sun and it should dry right up. I think that I will be putting my eggplants in some pots here, but that may change a few times before it comes to the time of things going into their homes for the summer.
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Community Garden Plot – Update 3

On Canada Day (July 1st if you didn’t know) I had all the gardening ambition finally and after getting the backyard all sorted, I headed to my community garden plot! I also went ahead and got super sunburnt too.

I only had a little weeding to do. That was nice, because I expected to have a ton of weeding with all the sun and rain we have had.

I sowed some ‘Gold Rush’ bush beans, which are going to end up being the only beans I have this year. I totally spaced on sowing them in the yard. So disappointed in myself on that front.

I also sowed some ‘Bulls Blood’ and ‘Chioggia’ Beets, AND some of the onions I sowed from seed back in December!  Here is hoping that everything grows well with the limited summer we might end up with.

Sorry for the blurry pic… I was trying to not fall into the freshly watered garden.

On a more positive note! The carrots are doing well and the potatoes are starting to flower! So I should get something from this whole venture.

Also, check out my neighbors garlic! I’m so jealous of it!

Previous Updates: 1 & 2

April 2016 Update

Here is a basic time line of what has been happening in April… Sorry it’s so late this time. Also, I’ve been fighting with my iPhone storage and I just end up not taking any pictures rather than deleting some older ones. I will try and make the May update better and on time!

  • April 1: I potted up the Ground Cherries, Big Dipper Green Peppers, Seranno Peppers, Cayenne Peppers and the Hollyhocks, all into Party Cups.
  • April 2: Sowed the 3rd and final round of Tomatoes into the peat pellets.
  • April 8: I planted the Jerusalum Artichokes!
  • April 9: Potted up the Herbs, Carnations and Columbines
  • April 10: Potted up the 1st round of Tomatoes. (One of the Beefsteak’s that I sowed never developed it’s True leaves. I left it for a few days to see if anything would come of it, but there was nothing. So only one Beefsteak plant will be in the garden this year.
  • April 11: I potted up the Sweet Williams and some of the Corbaea into party cups. And I started some small hex cells (same things I started the herbs and flowers in).
    • 2x White Russian Kale
    • 2x Rainbow Kale
    • 2x Dinosaur Kale
    • 3x Marvel of 4 Seasons Lettuce
    • 3x Romaine
    • 3x Salad Bowl Lettuce (even thought it said to direct sow, I am a rebel!)
  • April 12: I sowed in peat pellets:
    • 4x ‘Salad Delight’ Cabbage
  • April 13: Pruned most of the peppers so they develop some strong side shoots. I did it last year on the hot peppers and they produced amazingly. It is a bit scary to do it when your plants are growing so well, but in the end it should work out even better.
  • April 14: Potted up round 2 of the Tomatoes.
  • April 15: I sowed:
    • 4x ‘Early Snowball’ Cauliflower in peat pellets
    • 4x ‘Munchkin’ Broccoli in peat pellets
    • 4x ‘Green Sprouting’ Broccoli in peat pellets
    • 2x ‘Baby Honeynut’ Climbing Butternut Squash in Party Cups
    • 10x small jiffy peat pots of ‘Blauwschokkers Blue Podded‘ Pea (I am super excited about these!)
    • 4x small jiffy peat pots of ‘Sugar Baby’ Watermelon. I thought it was worth a shot trying to grow these. Its looking like we will be having a hot summer, so these should do well.
  • April 16: I sowed planted some potatoes in the ground at my parent’s house. I harvested a bunch of Rhubarb there also. Once back home, I sowed:
    • 9x Calendula ‘Pacific Beauty Mix’ in the Hex Cells (same thing the herbs were sown into)
  • April 17: Potted up the rest of the Corbaea into Party Cups.
    • And I kicked a bunch of the plants outside into double protection in the little greenhouse thing I have. Most of the flowers I sowed earlier in the year, and the older and hardier herbs are out there now. It has been so beautiful out that they don’t necessarially need the double protection, but better safe that its there, than sorry that I forgot they needed more protection from a 40 degree change in temperature.
    • AND I planted some potatoes into 2 Potato Bags. In one I put 2 larger yellow russet type potatoes, and in the other was 2 smaller blue potatoes, and 2 small red skinned potatoes. (I have ‘Purple Caribe’ Seed Potatoes that will be going into my brand new Community Garden plot along with some onions and maybe other low
  • April 18: I sowed some ‘Small Sugar’ Pumpkins (2 party cups of them); thinned out the lettuces and Brassicas.
  • April 19: I gave the potted up tomatoes a little feed with some super diluted Miracle Grow, and made sure everything in windows was rotated to help build stronger plants. (I usually do this every other day)
  • April 20: I got a lot of digging done outside, and will be ready to put some things outside as soon as they are ready. I also started off 24 onion sets. This should give them a little head start before they go out into the ground. Birds and other wild life will be less likely to try and pluck them out of the ground because they will already be plants, and not just look like worms or a free meal.  I also thought I would hedge my squash bets and sowed 2 small jiffy pots of just regular ‘Butternut’ Squash. I should get some kind of squash action this year (hopefully). AND I sowed a few more flowers (in peat pellets):
    • 4x Night Scented Stock
    • 4x ‘Russel Mix’ Lupin
    • 4x Lupin seeds from my Grandma. They have “Coral” written on the jar, so they are probably that colour
    • 6x Moon flower (peat pellet may have been a bad choice for this large seed, but I’ve had bad germination on these in the past, so this is the easiest way for me to see if they will grow.
    • 6x ‘Heavenly Blue’ Morning Glory
  • April 21: I bought a few little bedding plants to give the bees that are out already something to tide them over until the apple tree and my perennials start showing off their flowers. Plus some Spring color is always a nice thing. If they get taken out by spring frost, I’ll just replace them later. I also bit the bullet and planted the ‘Flame’ Grape out into its new home, and the little Clematis plants I’ve been nurturing inside the house. The 3 hollyhocks also went out into the sunny bed with the Clematis and Grape. My Corbaea will also go out here once it is warmer out. I have the sheets and blankets at the ready for these (especially the Grape), for any nights that go really chilly.
  • April 22: I moved the volunteer Broad Beans to their new home.
  • April 23: I sowed things outside!!! A row of ‘French Breakfast’ Radish, a row of ‘Black Spanish’ Radish, and a row of ‘Long Standing Bloomsdale’ Spinach! Outside! in the rain! Also, the SugarBaby Pumpkins didn’t germinate, so I potted up the two regular Butternuts into the party cups that the pumpkins were in. No pumpkins again this year, but maybe there is hope for Butternuts!
  • April 24: My birthday, My pony’s birthday, and the start of our 20th year together! I also sowed newspaper pots of Cucumbers. 8x Morden Early and 5x Lemon Cucumbers. They germinated in 2 days!!! I also started 2 newspaper pots of ‘Sweet & Early’ Cantaloupe.
  • April 25: I sowed a second round of lettuces, Romaine, Marvel of 4 Seasons and Grand Rapids.
  • April 30: I potted up the last round of Tomatoes!

 

Somewhere along the way my singular Stevia seedling died. Luckily I found two bedding pants of Stevia at Home Depot, so the dream of my own homemade sweetener is still alive! I may have missed a few tiny things along the way, and again, sorry for the lack of photos.

 

If you are interested, here are the posts from this last month: First Outdoor Sowing, Distance Gardening, Volunteer Broad Beans, Leaf Mold Update, My First Harvest of 2016, Pepper Update, Herb Update, Jerusalem Artichokes, Venus Fly Trap and Round 3 of Tomato Sowing.

Previous Updates this year: January, February, March

March 2016 Update

Things are starting to pick up garden wise now. Our weather has been pretty glorious this month. A few little snow falls, but nothing that has really stuck around. It has been a nice change from a few years ago when it was -30 (Celsius)  for nearly the whole month and there was no end in sight to the snow. For once it felt like Spring on the first official day of Spring. So this might be a bit of a long winded update.

**My iPhone is updating right now and I need to go to bed, so I will add some photos in later. I still want to get this posted on the last day of March though. I will have the video up on YouTube this weekend once I am done work for the week and I have the time to put into it. Thanks everyone for understanding! I’ll add in any photos I have already uploaded at the end as possible.**

I sowed my Mexican Purple Garlic into paper pots on March 6. I made a little video to play around with some editing.Once sown, I put them in the fridge to help give them the cold they need to split into bulbs (the ground was still frozen solid). It is an experiment, so I’m interested to see if it will work. On March 22, after waiting for the ground to thaw enough to dig, it was finally ready for the garlic to go outside. Despite the paper pots being frozen solid (because my fridge likes to think its a freezer sometimes), I was kind of amazed to see little roots on some of the pots that broke apart. If everything goes right, I should end up with 20 bulbs of purple garlic! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Also, while rooting around in the dirt outside (on March 22), finding areas that are ready to be turned over for Spring, I discovered the the Elephant Garlic that I planted last year (that did absolutely nothing), has sprouted! Also, the Spring Bunching Onions are growing well. I’m glad I left them there for the winter. I never would have guessed that they would survive to Spring. All 3 rhubarb crowns are starting to poke their heads up.

On the 26th and 27th, I got some of the digging done outside in the areas that are starting to thaw out. Mostly I got a lot of the winter build up of dog poo picked up. I moved the little stack of wood that will be in our way when we finally start working on the patio. Some of the wood I used to start building the edges of the beds. Any of it that was a little too small or too rotten to use, I re-stacked over on the other side of our house where the mason bee house is. It will be a good bug habitat over there. I’ll be trying to get as much digging done as possible to be able to plant sooner. I also got started on digging the new bed by the garage – For the clematis and hopefully grapes. Ideally we will be getting the patio done this year… but I did say that last year and our bricks are still sitting stacked out in our driveway.

On the 28th, I started working on the bed by the apple tree too. I was thinking of trying to grow watermelon there, BUT it might be too shady there for them. Now I am contemplating putting strawberries in it, or just growing some beans there. Only time will tell.

Moving onto the stuff I’ve started inside:

The ‘Northern Gold’ Onions I sowed on December 27 are doing well. They are a little smaller that I would expect at this time, but with some heat and sunshine I think they’ll perk right up. The second sowing on early January in the individual cells is doing well… Well the 2 that survived a bit of neglect, when I didn’t realize they had dried out as much as they had.

Peppers: The Habanero and The Hungarian Hot Wax peppers are doing fantastic. I potted them up on March 23. The Cayenne are also doing well, even though the germination rate has been shit. I put 4 seeds in every peat pellet, and only one came up in 4 out of 6 pellets. The other 2 I sowed again with 4 more seeds, and only one sprouted. So it looks like I will have 5 cayenne plants not 6. Disappointing considering they are new seeds. The Serrano Peppers I sowed on March 6 are doing great. As are the ‘Big Dipper’ Bell Peppers I sowed the same day. I’ll probably be potting up all the rest very soon. Here is the post from when I sowed them.

Tomatoes: The bunch (Part 1 here) I sowed on March 15 are doing incredible. I am always amazed at how quickly tomatoes grow. The bunch I sowed on March 23 (Part 2 here) are just starting to poke their heads out. Boxcar Willie won that sprouting race – It poked its head out on the 27th. Part 3 will be in the April update.

Ground Cherries: I am so interested to see how these will grow in a container. I have 4 peat pellets of them, so I think I will try 2 in a container, and 2 in the ground. They are starting to put on their first and second sets of true leaves and will be ready to pot up soon.

Strawberries: I originally sowed 12 pellets of ‘Patio Temptation’, and 6 germinated. Then I mistakenly let them dry out, and now I’m down to 3. But they are growing well. Slow, but they tend to grow slowly anyway. I picked up a pack of ‘Ozark Beauty’ strawberry plants at Home Depot, and plunked each one into a red solo cup to keep them growing rather than rotting away in a bag. 10 plants for $5. There were actually 11 in the bag. However, 3 of them still haven’t done anything in their cup. I’ll give them until early April before I decide to scrap the duds. Plus, if the weather keeps up, these can probably get moved outside soon.

Flowers:

Since I just updated you on the flowers a few days ago, I’ll just link to that post rather than repeat the same story here.

In addition to what is in the Flower post, I have some Tulips that I have been trying to force a little inside until I can dig around enough to get them outside. I just want them to start to make some roots and get a little head start. I put half of them outside on the 28th, and I’ll stick the rest out in a week or two. I always forget about the fall bulbs I find on sale, OR I find them on sale well after my garden is under snow.

When I found the ‘Ozark Beauty’ Strawberries at Home Depot, I also picked up a little pack of ‘Jackamanni’ Clematis that had 2 plants in it. I plunked them into some red solo cups to keep them alive. They are growing very well, and now the pressure is on to get their home created. (Which I started on the 27th!)

Outside, My delphiniums have little buds starting under the cover of their leaf mulch. And I noticed that the Lupin and Hollyhocks have some little surface buds. The foxgloves look like they didn’t even stop growing under the snow. I am also hoping that the daffodils I planted last year will come back. I’m not sure if they got enough energy stored up last summer or not. So more finger crossing here. I seem to be on a bit of a flower kick this year, so don’t be surprised if I add more bulbs and flowers around later this year.

Herbs:

The Lemon Balm, Lavender and Spearmint that were sown January 23, are doing great. I potted them up on March 5, and I’ve had to trim them a couple times since then. I want them to develop good, strong, bushy growth now before I send them outside and neglect them a little. I’ve moved them away from the lights and into the windows to get them a little more used to real sunlight.

The germination on most of the herbs I sowed earlier in the month was pretty amazing. A few things are a bit slower: The Rosemary, Sage and both types of Parsley are just sprouting now, but everything else was up in at least 6 days. I am still waiting for the Stevia, but I did see some tiny sprouts on March 22 when I was gently rooting around the soil. I added a few more seeds, so I will keep my fingers crossed that it decides to grow. As of March 30th, I have 3 sprouts in 2 of the pellets. I really hope that I get more sprouts soon.

Moving back outside, the Chives are putting on good growth. I also check my Chocolate Mint daily for signs of life (still waiting). If I can keep all these herbs going, I should have a decent amount to dry for storage. I’m hopeful that I can save some of my own seed from them as well. My lilacs and the crab apple tree are starting to develop buds. The trees should start developing their leaves too.

How was March in your area? Leave a comment below, and please check out my YouTube video update for this month… It should be up on the weekend, this week has just been too busy and crazy to get everything filmed and edited. We are still waiting to save up for our new camera, so the iPhone updates continue for now.

March 2016 Post Links:

Peppers, March 6 Random Update; Lettuce; Face Cream Review; Mexican Purple Garlic; Herbs; Garden Planning; Tomatoes 1; Carrots; Tomatoes 2; Flowers

‘Hungarian Hot Wax’ and ‘Habanero’ Peppers


Herbs, flowers, tomatoes (round 2)

  

Some of the things under the lights… Back is all flowers, left is Cayenne Peppers, right is Stevia


‘Ozark Beauty’ Strawberries 

  

‘Alaska’ Peas are popping up… I’ll let them get some growth, then they’ll go straight outside… They can handle some light frost.


 

March 6, 2016

I didn’t have a specific thing I wanted to talk about today, I mostly wanted to jump around and give you a little update on what I have been doing. Mostly this is a record for myself when I am wondering when I sowed something, or when I potted it up, and when I have made my mind up on what varieties I am growing.

Yesterday, I potted up my Lemon Balm and Spearmint into 3″ pots, and the 6 Lavender plugs into a seed cell. All of those were sown on January 23rd, along with 12 plugs of Strawberries. It is amazing how fast the herbs grow comparatively. Only half of the strawberries germinated, and they are still developing their true leaves. The Lemon Balm could use a trim already!

I thought I already had my hot peppers picked out and sown, but then I found a pack of Serrano Peppers. Obviously, I had to buy them. I sowed 2 jiffy pellets of them. The seed packet says: “Serrano is a small, fiery hot Chilli pepper with a delayed fuse. It is one of the hottest peppers available. It is smaller and hotter than a jalapeño… A favourite in sizzling hot salsas and sauces and Asian dishes.” So it should be an interesting mix with the others I already sowed.

I also started 4 pellets of Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherries and 6 pellets of ‘Big Dipper’ Sweet Peppers. If you want a fun, hardy fruit to grow, try the ground Cherries. 2 years ago when I grew them, they were amazing. They are a bit tart, kind of pineapple-y? I don’t know exactly how to describe them, but they are great. I made a pie with them and it was delicious! Its definitely worth the space if you can fit them in. They want to sprawl out, but I’m going to try and do some in a container this year. We’ll see how it goes.

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I’ve also got some Mexican Purple Garlic stashed away. I found it in January at 40% off, because Fall is the time to plant them. I might pot them up into some paper pots, and put them out as soon as I can dig the ground enough to get them out. Spring is kind of here. It was nearly 20 degrees (Celsius) out yesterday! I mean, we could still get a huge dump of snow any time between now and the middle of June, but garlic is hardy, so it should be cool. It also needs cold in order to split into a bulb, so planting it earlier will be better in the long run.

My ‘Northern Gold’ onions I started from seed back in December and early January are doing well. Or I think they are. We’ll find out later in the year if all of this was a wasted effort or not. I will also pick up some sets so I get at least a few onions for cooking with. I am skipping Shallots and Leeks this year. I do have some shallots still in the ground and I may leave them there and see what they do this year.

On the flower front, The Hollyhocks are starting to pop up, and so are the Carnations. Still no sign of the Columbines, so my fingers are crossed tight that they will germinate… If not, I guess I’ll chuck a different seed in those cells and see what happens with them.

The little cacti are getting little pokers on them. As you can tell I use all the technical words around here. A few more weeks and I’ll do a legit update on them. As it stands, there isn’t a huge change in them to justify their very own update.

I’ve been picking up a bunch of different lettuce mixes, so keep an eye out for a post about them. Every year I seem to pick one thing that I become a little obsessive about it. This year seems to be lettuce.

It is still early in the day, so I will probably crack and end up sowing a few more things, But I’ll keep a record of it for future posts here. Leave any tips you have in the comments section below, and Thanks for reading!