Peas & Beans (2017)

This is a super low-photo post, but I hope to update you all once things start growing.

PEAS

Initially, I planned to get the Peas sown around the beginning of May (as they can take a little cold and frost). But, as you can tell, I’m writing this post on May 22, and I just finally got around to sticking them into the ground yesterday.

I was going to sow a few different varieties. I do have a good collection of seed to pick and choose from. However, I stopped myself at 2 varieties because I was struggling to find homes for them all. I had some self seeded peas popping up, conveniently right where I wanted to put a little tee-pee. Since they are probably ‘Sugar Snap’, I sowed more ‘Sugar Snap’ around them.


The second variety is ‘Blauwschokkers Blue Podded Pea‘. I grew them last year, and while they are not the best tasting pea, they are beautiful. Plus, to give them the benefit of the doubt, I never got around to tasting them as a mature, podded pea.

BEANS

Since I never got around to sowing any Beans last year, I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss them this year. Beans are one of my favourite garden treats. I sowed 4 different climbing/Pole varieties, and 2 different bush varieties. Since some of my seed is quite old, I over seeded in the hopes of good germination.

Bean Varieties this year (and some quick notes in the brackets):

  • ‘Enorma’ Runner Bean (green with HUGE pods, if you let them grow)
  • ‘Cobra’ French Climbing Bean (green beans… delicious taste, lots of beans)
  • ‘Trofino Violetta’ Pole Bean (beautiful purple beans. Personal Favourite)
  • ‘Scarlet Emperor’ Runner Bean (green beans, large pods if you let them grow….with beautiful red flowers)
  • ‘Royal Burgundy’ Bush Bean (deep purple, good taste, LOTS of beans)
  • ‘Gold Rush’ Bush Bean (yellow beans… First year growing them)

I am always amazed at how different beans are. Since my hands were covered in dirt, I didn’t manage to get a photo to show you just how different they all were, although I wanted to. I would recommend grabbing a few different kinds of beans for your own garden. You can grow a rainbow of varieties. You’ll never want beans from the store after you have grown your own. Bonus… they are one of the easiest things to grow.

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Sometimes getting photos is hard when the feline is starved for attention. Such a good helper-cat. 😉

Someday I will have a HUGE garden where I can have more than a handful of each plant.

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

First Outdoor Sowing for 2016

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.

 

Update on the Peppers (2016)

My peppers are growing really well, and just like the herbs the other day, I thought it was time for a little update about them. Apart from general updates, I haven’t written about my peppers for a while, so it was about time.

All these Peppers were potted up into party cups. I usually use home made newspaper pots, but last year, I found that they started to deteriorate when they were used for a few months. For things that were only in the pots for a few weeks, they work great, but less so for things like peppers and tomatoes.

  • Hungarian Hot Wax
  • Habanero
  • Cayenne
    • sowed: March 2
    • potted up: April 1
    • despite the slow start on germination, these are growing well now. I was shooting for 6 plants, but I’m at 4 now. Which is probably more than enough for me anyway.
  • Big Dipper Green Peppers
  • Seranno

 

Okay, so you can’t really tell the difference in size in the photos above… The Habanero’s are small and compact, and are the only ones I still have under the lights. The Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers are the largest. The others are all about the same size, and all in my South West window now. They live on my desk, and this room is probably the warmest in the house. This is helping my space situation, as I can transition the flowers and herbs to my kitchen window until outside warms up enough. The next problem will be once the tomatoes start really taking off. But I’ll save the rest of this ramble for my April Update at the end of the month.

Are you growing peppers this year? What varieties have you gone for?