September Garden Ramblings

September came in with a bang! Whoa, has it ever been hot out there. Then came the smoke from the forest fires, turned our skies a creepy yellow colour, but also cooled things down a couple of degrees.

While it is not feeling much like fall weather here on the island yet, we all know that it can change in the blink of an eye... bringing on the fall rains and risk of late blight.

So, what is going on in our gardens this month? Lots! This is harvest month, the month when everything seems to ripen before our very eyes. Tomatoes go from green to red in a matter of days, cukes and zukes go from small to ginormous almost overnight.

Canning, freezing, curing, storing, baking, stewing, brewing ... How to keep up with all this glorious bounty? And... what a wonderful problem to have, eh?

- Take the tops off of your brussel sprouts this month, if they are not sizing up decently by now. The top looks like a wee cabbage, twist or cut it off to put the growth into the sprouts rather than the plant…

Pickled Hot Peppers

Pickled hot peppers.... 
The entire family, sans me, loves pickled hot peppers. I mean, they really love them! They slap them on pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, potatoes, hot dogs, even on baked ham ... just about everything. 
A blend of mildly hot peppers...
I believe the recipe originally called for banana peppers, but we make our just a titch hotter, with a blend of Hungarian Hot Yellow Wax, Pepperoncini, Cyklon Hot, and Beaver Dam. 
Black Hungarian Peppers
If you do not mind the look of black rings in your mix, you can also add Black Hungarians. They have the perfect amount of heat for pickling, too. Sadly, my son eats with his eyes and is very pickyconservative. Everything has to look exactly like it does at the store, or he will not eat it. 
Last year's Pickled Hot Pepper Rings
Pickled Hot Pepper recipe...
6 cups white pickling vinegar 4 cups water 6 tsp salt 1-2 garlic cloves per jar Hot Peppers
Heat up the brine to boiling.  Toss a bunch of garlic cloves into the hot brine. Chop the pepp…

August Greenhouse Ramblings

This is the second one of these new monthly Greenhouse Ramblings posts. Bits and bobs about what I do in my greenhouse each month, plus additional tips and ideas for what what you can do in yours.

Caspar eggplant 
What to do during the dog days of summer... otherwise known as August ; )

The new shade cloth we had installed last month has proven to be a real godsend. Before the cloth, my fan went off pretty much all day long just trying to keep the space cool enough. With the shade cloth at half mast, my fan rarely goes off and the plants are thriving in the cooler conditions, even the peppers. So, I save money on my hydro bill and the plants love it : )

While you want your greenhouse to be nice and warm and bright in spring, fall, and winter, you need to be able to keep it well ventilated and moderate in summer. A sauna-like greenhouse creates stressed out, unhappy plants that will not thrive, and sterile tomatoes ... no more flowers or fruits. What good is a greenhouse with no tomatoe…

August Garden Ramblings

The month of August rolled in with a big ol' heat wave and smoky, hazy skies from all the scary forest fires burning on the mainland. We are praying for rain but there is nothing in sight, just more high temps, according to the weather man's forecast.

Ruby Tuesday is checking out the Canada 150 Zinnia bed
It feels like all I do at this time of year is water, water, and then water some more. Luckily, most of the cutting gardens and perennial beds are full of drought tolerant flowers. They look great and require very little additional tlc from me. Whew!

This gorgeous red and white 'Canada 150' colour theme is from Renee's Garden Seeds. They have the very best seed combos! Perfect for those of us who like to colour co-ordinate our gardens, or prefer to avoid adding certain ugly hues colours (like yellow, ugh!) into our yards ; )

Watering and more watering.

I am thrifty about my watering, and very selective. The edibles are my first priority always.

Living in an area th…

July Greenhouse Ramblings

#greenhouseramblings #inmybcgreenhouse #greenhousegrowing
I am starting something new and exciting this month. Have been mulling this around for a bit, and so, in addition to the monthly Garden Ramblings post, will also be writing up a monthly Ramblings for all you greenhouse growers, or potential future greenhouse growers.

As with the 'Garden Ramblings', will be all about what to do each month, how and why I am doing it, plus any concerns, issues or problems that arise, joys and successes. Whatever is going on at the time, I will let you know about it.  
Therefore, without further ado... this is what is going on in my greenhouse this month.
Summer has finally arrived on the island, plants are starting to grow and thrive in the heat and sunshine. I think my peppers and tomatoes shot up several inches in just the last few days. Amazing! 

Tomatoes are forming, pepper plants are flowering and making lovely wee peppers. 

Tomatoes and cucumbers are strung up to the rafters. The str…