Showing posts from June, 2012

Chore Log - First Week of July

Each week, I jot down a To Do list of garden chores on my blotter.... 
This week, I kind of thought maybe I would share these lists with you...
You never know, might be something helpful in there sometimes, something new or different for you to try... or might just make you decide that all this garden work is for the birds ;)

Front Deer-Resistant Garden -
- weed and finally cut back the rest of the daffs and alliums
- deadhead Rhodos, Azaleas, Roses, Lilacs, Bleeding Hearts and Brunnera
- add a few more perennials to this bed, plus Crocosmia and Choca Mocha Cosmos
- top dress around trees and shrubs with chicken manure and perhaps some Gaia Green
- mow lawn

The Potager
- strawberries are ripening... pick some every day!
- make strawberry jam & jelly, freeze the rest for pies
- harvest the last of the rhubarb, chop and freeze for pies and cold soups
- continue to harvest garlic scapes
- cut back the towering herbs! Parsley and Cilantro are growing wild with all this rain, give the…

Despite It All!

This June has been very, very cool and very, very damp :(

Even towards the end of the month, the weather is wet and cool and iffy....

Despite it all, the veggies seem to be thriving....

Cherokee Purple is putting on lots of fruit was one of the earliest to fruit this year. Brandywine, Peche Jaune, Kellogg's Breakfast, and Harbinger also have baby tomatoes on them.
The Early Russian Cucumber  can be grown as a pickler or as a slicing cuke! Ya gotta love the versatility ;) 
This long English style cucumber, Longfellow, is completely covered in blooms and small cukes
This stunning pepper with it's dark stems and veining on crisp green foliage is the Hungarian Black Hot Pepper.
Purple blooms turn into black fruit which matures to a deep red.
Can be eaten and enjoyed at either stage! A mid heat pepper, great for  adding zip to salsa.....
and makes a super tasty pickled pepper.

Honeoye Strawberries are beginning to ripen after two days of sunshine!

Using bird netting to keep the bir…

Greenhouse Ramblings in June

In the greenhouse, we have now moved from 'Retail Phase' onto "Growing Phase'...

Thank you all for coming out this spring, in support of  organic, heirloom veggies!
Plus roses and perennials, of course ;)
Boy, I  can hardly wait to see you all again!
My mind is racing, planning for next year already!

Little 'Lilah thanks you all for bringing children, she is now so enamoured with all little peeps! 

So, in the greenhouse ...
It now houses 22 tomato plants, 5 cucumber plants more than a dozen pepper plants, one melon, and an eggplant! Whew! Everything, except the peppers, has been strung up from the rafters as explained here!

The pepper plants are all lined up along the south wall of the greenhouse.
They do not need stringing or caging, will just get a simple stake later on if needed. As they are all flowering and fruiting, I have great hopes for this years harvest!

The tomatoes are flowering...!

Lots of baby cukes on this one already :)

The rest of the tomatoes …

June Ramblings

I love June! Okay, it just so happens to be my birthday month, ha ha, but it is also the last month of school, the beginning of summer time, the month of promise, sunshine and warmth...
June this year has had more downs than ups, as far as weather goes... A lot of rain, a bit of sun, cooler temps... and yet, the plants have just exploded in size!
Still, me, personally, would like a bit more sun, and a little less rain  ;)
Happenings In The Yard-Scape This Month...
- the lawn is growing fast and needing weekly mowing's (grr!) - the weeds are growing twice as fast (double grr!) - lilacs are blooming - roses are just starting to bloom up here on the mountain, but I see that in town they are all abloom. ( we are 2 to 3 C degrees cooler than in town) - the Hawthorn is covered in lovely red blooms... absolutely lovely!

The lavender row looks and smells divine

The perennial shade planter out back is starting to show off... Loving the lime green Hosta's contrasted with the deep …

Baby, It's...Cool, Outside!

So, ... here we are in June! and suddenly the weather got kinda cool!

Anything to worry about? Nah,not really.
Despite the fact that we our selves would prefer it to be warmer and sunnier, as would the plants, the temps are still fine for the tomatoes, peppers, cukes, and squashes.

However, here is some info for next year, or just in case your babies are not really thriving this year...

Do not plant your tomatoes out till the air temps are reliably +10 C at night.
Here on Vancouver Island, anywhere from mid-May to early June.

Some people say to wait till early June to buy and plant.
In theory, this is very wise advice.
However, you need to know that you run the risk of variety selection being very diminished.
If you purchase in June, you will likely miss out on all those fabulous new varieties that you really wanted to try and end up with plants/fruits you did not really want, but you had to settle.

I say... Buy them early! Get the plants you want!
If the weather does not co…

What's The Deal With Heirlooms?

Heirloom Vegetable - (from Wikipedia )
One school of thought places an age or date point on the cultivars. For instance, one school says the cultivar must be over 100 years old, others 50 years, and others prefer the date of 1945 which marks the end of World War II and roughly the beginning of widespread hybrid use by growers and seed companies. Many gardeners consider 1951 to be the latest year a plant can have originated and still be called an heirloom, since that year marked the widespread introduction of the first hybrid varieties. It was in the 1970s that hybrid seeds began to proliferate in the commercial seed trade.

Another way of defining heirloom cultivars is to use the definition of the word "heirloom" in its truest sense. Under this interpretation, a true heirloom is a cultivar that has been nurtured, selected, and handed down from one family member to another for many generations.

Me, I like to grow pre 1951 heirloom veggies.
However, if it has a good story to te…

Growing Tomatoes in Your Potager

Potager = Kitchen Garden, Kailyard, Victory Garden, Garden Plot....

I sell heirloom vegetables from my little greenhouse business, called.. what else, Nitty Gritty Greenhouse.

Tomato questions have come up lately and so I promised to do a little post on how I grow mine.

There are many great options out there, so many ways to grow them efficiently, so this may help, or may just add to the confusion ;)

There are two categories of tomatoes...
Indeterminate or vining types, which are grown on stakes, trellises, or tall round cages
Determinate or bush types, which grow nicely in tomato cages or the larger peony cages...

Determinate in cage...

Bush types (determinate) do just fine in tomato or peony cages. 

This is how I grow the vining types (indeterminate)

Place a length of string over your support beam, rafter, beam, post... make it a long string with both ends hanging down to the top of the pot.

Tie one end of the string into a loose loop around the base of the tomato plant. Make …