Showing posts from October, 2011

Heirloom Pepper Trial

Chinese Five Colour Peppers, Corno di Toro Rosso, Yellow Mini Salad Baby Belle, Mild Orange Habanero Chile, and Italian Pepperoncini.
Each year I enjoy conducting my own tests and trials on the various plants that I grow, in various manners, to find out what works best for my particular growing area, and suits my sensibilities. Amongst many other things, I have trialed... organic fertilizers versus not, growing with mycorrhizae versus not, heirloom versus not... You get my drift.   
This year, I decided to trial growing peppers in three entirely different locations and situations, in order to find out how to grow a decent pepper in Canada. Up till this year, I have never, ever, ever, been able to grow more than  a token one or two, small peppers, on any one plant, regardless of variety.
I only grow heirloom varieties, both hot and sweet, and all were started from seed, using organic practices only, by me in my own greenhouse. I am so all about the organic and the heirloom.
The test …

Preparing for a West Coast Winter

All during the summer I add more and more plants to my Stash, a collection of perennials, shrubs, and goodies that catch my eye throughout the summer. The green shelving was the inside of one of those little inexpensive, pop up  style greenhouses. Surprisingly, <wink> it did not last the winter before being blown about with the topper torn up. Thereafter it  became the holder for all my treasures, aka The Stash!

The Stash of plants
Black gold, compost for the raised beds.
We live on beautiful Vancouver Island, which is essentially a big rock. As one cannot garden into the rock, The Mister built 23 lovely raised beds. Eight of them are long rectangles for strawberries  potatoes, rhubarb... while the rest are 6'x6' squares good for all sorts of vegetables, annuals and perennials, a real, traditional potager. Top the beds with manure, compost and leaves. Sadly, I have very few deciduous trees of a good size, as of yet, in the yard, but as they grow, I will be harvesting t…

Garlic, plant it now. Really.

Although I have been gardening for 20 years, give or take, last year was the first time I ever really planted garlic. Sure, over the years, being big on companion planting and organic pest control, I occasionally threw a few cloves around the rose bushes to repel pests, but I never actually harvested those bulbs. I just left them there all summer and then whacked them down in fall.

Follow these incredibly easy instructions to great garlic at home...
Break apart the bulbs of garlic into cloves.
Soak them in warm water, a teaspoon of baking soda, and a tablespoon of liquid seaweed, for two hours.
Plant 6 inches apart, 3 inches deep, with the pointy end up into a bed of rich soil, top with compost.
Cover with up to 8 inches of straw. Last year I had no straw and therefore left them as they were, they all did beautifully well anyway. This year I will try the straw to see if it makes a difference.

These are the two varieties that I planted up this year. Three packages of each, so about 90 …