Showing posts from October, 2016

Over-Wintering Annuals

Sad to see the end of summer and therefore the end of  your favourite geraniums? Or lantana? Fuchsia, too? Why not keep them over till next year?

Pelargoniums (aka Geraniums) and Lantana are both super easy to over-winter
I adore pelargoniums (aka geraniums) and scented geraniums, too, so always keep a few of my favourites to over-winter in the greenhouse. Lantana is also becoming a new fave to keep from year to year, will be working on getting a collection of varieties.  
Many plants that we think of as annuals are actually pretty hardy, and also super easy to keep over. Try bringing in your prettiest coleus, lantanas, geraniums and fuchsias. 
There are several different methods you can choose from to over-winter yours ... I use them all ; )
1. Re-pot, clean up, and leave as they are.  2. Cut back hard now and let flush out over the winter months.  3. Take cuttings and throw away the 'mother' plants. 
Over-wintering plants in a winter greenhouse  

Regardless of which method you…

Winterizing The Greenhouse

Here we are in late October, with winter right around the corner. I pull my jacket in just a wee bit tighter as the girls and I walk about the gardens.  

Whether you have a heated or unheated greenhouse, here are some steps you should take to transition from summer to winter.

Start with a really thorough clean up, both inside and outside.
Wash off all the summertime dust, dirt, pollen, and algae build-up from the roof and walls of your greenhouse, to allow in more of that weak winter sunshine.

Our west coast winters are very, very grey, so all extra light you can provide will be appreciated by your over-wintering plants.

Empty out all plants and accessories from inside the greenhouse, pack away any items not going back in, and then do a really good sweep up.

Clean out corners and crevices really well. 
Use a soapy 10% bleach solution to kill all algae, bacteria and mould spores, followed by a good rinse. I make sure to get the corners, vents, and tracks that the 'windows' sit…

Garlic Planting How-To

Time for my annual garlic planting post! I get crazy excited about growing organic garlic in fall and heirloom tomatoes in spring, my two great passions. 

In our mild west coast climate, garlic is planted between mid September and late October. In colder areas, try to plant 5 weeks before your first frost. 
I have planted in September, October and early November, with no real discernible difference in size, quality, or harvest time. The ones planted in mid November last year, however, were harvested about 2 weeks later than the rest.   
Western Rose, the prettiest garlic that I have ever seen. 
This year, I planted in October, over a period of several warm and sunny days. Got them all in before the fall rains and big storms set in.
If you are still cleaning and prepping your beds, worry not, you still have several weeks to plant.

But... please note! Never muck about in wet garden beds as you will compact your soil, garlic prefers to grow in nice, loose soil and will not thrive in hard…

October Garden Ramblings

Well, here we are, well on our way into the month of October. So many garden chores this month! Busy, busy times!

Do a thorough garden clean up 
Hubby and I have been plugging away at garden clean up and winterising for several weeks. Greenhouse clean up, garden clean up, soil amending, emptying pots and baskets, weeding, raking ... 
Beds cleaned out, 
So, where to start? I always start with the food garden, of course ; )

In the potager... 
My main goal in the garden beds is pest control. A really thorough garden clean up helps to minimise the over-wintering bugs, and provides less hiding places for them to lay their eggs.

- Harvest the last of your peppers, squash, sunflowers, etc.. Remove all summer annuals to the compost bin.

- Fill your compost bin with layers of browns and greens for faster cooking compost. Take all diseased items and weeds to the dump. Some municipalities have free drop off bins for yard waste or even curb side pick-up, check to see what your city provides.

- Clea…

One Last Veggie Planting For Winter

Is a bit later than I would usually sow from seed, but after reading an article that had some well known Zone 5 gardeners/growers sowing fall and winter veggie seeds in early October, I decided to give it a go, too.

The biggest difference between our Zone 7 and most Zone 5's is the amount of sunshine they get, that we do not. On the wet, west coast, our winters bring grey skies and rain, whereas the rest of the country is sunny and bright, though snowy and cold.

With any luck, we get a few weeks of fantastic sunshine after this fall storm blows over. A girl can hope.

Either way, radishes and turnips are sure to thrive, so decided to go ahead and plant an assortment of fall and winter veggie to see how they fare. 
This is what the beds looked like just a few short weeks ago...
First emptied out the faded summer blooms from the beds ... sigh, good-bye summer. 

Weeded and amended with manure, bloodmeal, and bonemeal. Raked it over the surface of the beds.  
Then seeded a few different…