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Garden Trends 2015

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Organically grown, heirloom zukes at the Nitty Gritty Potager As always, this is my favourite post of the year. What's happening, what's new, and what's trending?

Here are my thoughts, reflections and ideas regarding what gardening looks like as we head into the new year of 2015.

1. Buying Local - This is my favourite trend of the year! Consumers are supporting their own peeps while spending less time and money at the big, box stores. Realising that the big box stores make a huge eco-foot print with the growing, shipping, spraying of plants, their use of neonics (a systemic pesticide hazardous to our bee population), buying local and organic really is the only way to go.
It seems that more than ever, we are buying from local growers, small biz, mom and pop businesses, farms and farmers markets, putting local people and small businesses first, keeping the money in our own communities!

Buying locally grown foods from local community members 2. A Safer, Better World - Buy…

Growing Great Peppers, Eggplants & Tomatoes

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Habanero's Always wanted to grow your own really nice, big, juicy peppers? Looking forward to heading out to your own potager to pick some Jalapenos for your famous, homemade fresh salsa? Or canning up a storm of tomato sauces, pasta sauces and jarred salsa, made with your homegrown ingredients?

Chinese Five Colour Hot Peppers
Maybe you want to grow your own hottest peppers of the world, like the Bhut Jololia (Ghost Pepper) or the Carolina Reaper?The super hots can be kind of tricky to germinate, join us for some tips and tricks on how to have a successful crop and stun all your friends ; )

This workshop is for you!

1. Grow Really Great Sweet & Hot Peppers (Eggplants, too) Workshop!

Choose from a great selection of all kinds of pepper and eggplant seeds, sow them here and go home with the potential for 24 plants!

Enough plants to give extras as gifts to friends! Or grow them all yourself and sell the peppers at market, roast and store for winter, dehydrate, give as gifts, can a…

December Garden and Greenhouse Ramblings

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In the garden this month... 

The month of December has started off frosty, yet sunny, here on the west cost.

The garden beds all have a good thick crusty frost layer ... which means no fresh garden veggies till the rains return to thaw it out.

Though, if one were to get really desperate for a carrot or maybe a parsnip, my trusty garden fork easily lifts and breaks up the frost layer.



What to do in the garden ...

- Prune tree form roses to prevent breakage should we get some snow. The heavy snow will make your standard stem bow with the weight, and may snap it in half.

The rose in the picture above is a Hybrid Tea Standard called Double Delight. I cut it back quite severely once or even twice a year to promote a flush of new growth in spring with lots of gorgeous blooms on nice, long, stems.

Weeping tree form roses need just a trim ..snip off any criss-crossing branches, inward facing branches, and the 3d's - dead, damaged, or diseased wood.  

- Prune your shrub roses, too, to …

November Ramblings

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What to do in the garden and greenhouse this month?

With any luck, you were able to finish your garden bed clean up? Top dressed the beds with compost or manure? Planted your spring flowering bulbs? ... and your garlic?

If not, these things can still be done, though is harder to get enough rain free days here on the coast.

What To Do This Month .... 



Garlic - if you can still find some to plant, do so today! Immediately, get it in the ground asap!


Citrus Trees-  Bring your potted up citrus fruits into the house, the greenhouse, or the cold frame.

Spray them down with insecticidal soap, let sit for 15 minutes and then rinse off really well with a strong jet of water, both tops and bottoms of the leaves.This gets rid of the soapy residue as well as any lingering bugs that may have escaped the soap. Give special attention the the undersides of the leaves as that is where scale will be. If you can get rid of scale while it is still soft, it will be much easier to eradicate than when it has …

How To Over-Winter Glads, Dahlias, Canna's and More....

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Is just about time to lift all your tender summer blooming bulbs, corms and tubers for the winter... canna lilies, calla lilies, dahlias, begonias, eucomis (pineapple lily), and gladioli.
Here in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, garden zone 7, we can leave our dahlias, glads, and callas in the ground year round ...  but we do so knowing that a tough winter may cause us to lose some or all of them (some of the dinner plate dahlias can be quite tender).

Always lift your Canna lily bulbs, begonia tubers, and Pineapple lily bulbs. 

If you live in a cool garden zone, cooler than a zone 5, you will need to lift all those bulbs, corms, and tubers each fall in order to not lose them over winter.


GLADS! (GLADIOLI CORMS)

I always lift my glads in fall as I grow them in the potager, amongst all the vegetables in the raised garden beds. They are moved around from year to year, planted wherever I feel the need for more height, colour, and/or pollinator attractors.

Glads just pulled and being hosed …