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.
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!
After being on the waiting list for nearly 3 years, I finally got a plot in the Community Garden! May 8th was my first time seeing my plot… The soil is not the greatest, and it’s full of rocks, but there is so much potential! I will add some manure at the end of the year and pick out as many stones as possible when I get the chance, but for now, I just plunked things in.
2 rows of ‘Purple Caribe’ Seed Potatoes
2 rows of Red Onions that I gave a head start in some old peat pellets I had laying around, and put into in the little backyard greenhouse
1 row of ‘Nantes Touchon’ Carrots.
I also have one more row of room left. I don’t know what I’ll put there just yet, maybe more carrots, or some beets. I’m also tempted to plant some turnips out there, but I’ll need to make some cover for them. Maybe a few bush beans to add nitrogen to the soil… We’ll see which idea makes the cut.
My plan for my Community Plot is to just grow things that don’t require much attention. I want to keep anything that might need covering or extra water or any attention (other than quick thinning or weeding) in my backyard. Anything that I can basically just plant and forget about until it’s ready to harvest can go over there.
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 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.
I sowed things outside for the first time this year. It still blows me away that our Winter was so mild and Spring came so early. I heard that this winter might be the complete opposite (El Nino?), so I’ll enjoy it while I can.
But I put seeds outside!! On April 23, I sowed:
‘French Breakfast’ Radish
“A true gourmet treat. Attractive, large, oblong radish with scarlet color and white tip. Crisp and juicy with a mild sweet flavor. Cool weather crop. Make several plantings every 10 days until the weather warms. This bicolor variety adds a unique color and flavor to vegetable trays and salads.” McKenzie Seeds (Heirloom)
Days to Maturity: 20-30
‘Black Spanish’ Radish
“Large turnip shaped 3-4″ diameter globes, deep black skin, solid crisp pure white flesh, tall tops, primarily for winter storage, sow in July or August, will keep all winter stored in moist sand. Plant 1/2 – 1 cm deep & 10cm apart. Water well. Seed pods are also delicious in salads or pickled.” Urban Harvest Seeds (Heirloom)
Days to Maturity: 40
‘Long Standing Bloomsdale’ Spinach
“Very popular variety that produces for a long time. Glossy, dark green, thick textured, crinkled leaves are rich in iron. This cool weather vegetable is easy to grow in rich, well-drained soil. Best growth occurs in spring and fall, and be sure to do a second sowing in late summer for a fall crop. Requires plenty of moisture.” McKenzie Seeds (Heirloom)
Days to Maturity: 40-48
I will probably do a second sowing of the Black Spanish Radish in July like the seed packet says – depending on what kind of room I have for them. Radish isn’t my most favourite thing, but their speedy growth is inspiring. French Breakfast is a favourite because it doesn’t have that really spicy kick that other radishes do. They still have the radish flavour, I just find it a little more subdued comparatively.
I will try and get my successive sowings of Spinach in. I always buy these frozen spinach nuggets to throw into pastas and pretty much anything I cook in the winter, so it would be nice to be able to use my own homegrown spinach instead.
I wasn’t going to grow Broad beans this year. They are not my most favourite thing. I like the taste of them enough, but mostly I like their flowers, growing habits and soil enhancing abilities.
However, while working on getting the garden organized and ready for planting things, I noticed that I had a handful of broad beans popping up. I never harvested very many of these last year, and obviously wasn’t very diligent in removing the seed pods when I dug the bed up. So they survived winter and started growing.
Things that survive winter instantly make me like them more. I appreciate the tenacity of it I guess.
So these survivors can stay.
Just not where they are currently growing.
So I just moved them. Two are now over by the Jerusalem Artichokes, and the rest are behind the Spring Onions and Elephant Garlic. This is the little Winter Survivors club area.
If you are in a similar situation, just take a garden trowel, dig down and lift the little plant up, being careful to not damage the roots. This is much easier if you have loose soil, If you don’t, just be extra diligent about the little plant’s roots. Then you just move them to where you want them. Like potting up other plants, just wait until they have some true leaves and are strong enough to handle the stress, but not so large that they have really set down deeper roots.
I’ll keep you updated in future posts about how these are doing. If you have any suggestions on what I can do with Broad Beans that might help me enjoy them a little more, I would greatly appreciate it.
The benefit of these seeds surviving the winter and germinating on their own, means that I can continue to save seed of successive generations. This should produce seeds/plants more suited to this ground, and the conditions in my yard.