The garden season

Ahh it feels good to be back! How are YOU?! I’m eager to hear how all my blog buddies are doing. 

This year has been a cold one so I’m just beginning to plant seeds now! Unbelievable! This week I will be planting: carrots, radishes, beets, bokchoy, spinach, wild flowers, potatoes and spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti squash is a new one to me…I’ve never grown a squash and I’m wondering if anyone can help me out. I hear I need to make a mound of sorts?

Anyway I’ll be posting photos in the coming days. Now I want to hear all about what YOU are growing! Do share xox 🌱🌱🌞

Garden Update – September 

Oh blogging friends, I’ve missed you. I’ve been neglectful to my blog but am still here! September has been a very busy month with starting a new program in university among other things.

My garden has been quite pitiful this month I’m afraid. There were many tomatoes in the early month until late BLIGHT(I believe) hit and essentially killed all 7 plants. I was devastated. Here are some photos so you can see what it looked like. It sort of seems like the tomatoes are rotting from the inside out.

Has anyone seen this?

I did however get hundreds of tomatoes, I just felt awful for all the ones that never got to ripen. Food waste is my equivalent to nails on a chalkboard – I just can’t handle it. I ended up ripping out all 7 plants and attempting to save any green fruits. With the non blighted tomatoes I decided to use my dehydrator again and make sundried tomatoes. It was fun to experiment with the different varieties of tomatoes.

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In other news, that garden skunk I mentioned turns out to be a family of very busy, very enthusiastic squirrels. I used to enjoy watching squirrels run around and frolic…now I want to spray them with my hose’s jet setting. I made some sort of homemade squirrel deterrent using vinegar chopped garlic and black pepper…it didn’t work unfortunately.

I have just planted some winter seeds including: spinach, carrots, beets and bokchoy. Here’s hoping squirrel doesn’t decide to dig them up and have a nibble.

Does ANYONE know how to avoid this horrible blight? Or is it just part of gardening? I should probably move on and get over it 🍅And has anyone had a squirrel digging up their garden? What has worked for you? I’m excited to hear some tips and certainly excited to hear all about your fall and winter gardens!!🌱🌱

Garden Update – August

Someone tell me I’m wrong! Can it be mid August already?! I’m in denial. I have seen an abundance of garden posts which makes me so happy – it’s such fun seeing what other people are growing and how it’s doing. 🍅🌱❤

Today I wanted to share with you guys how the garden is looking. It basically looks like one big pile of tomato plants but I reassure you, there’s a bit more going on than just the horrendous tomato mess.DSC_0894

Starting with my tomatoes. My sweet millions are turning red – YAY! The 6 other tomato plants are very green, and I’m worried I’ve done something wrong. Please ripen, I don’t want to fry 300 green tomatoes 😂 It’s been hot – 30°C(86°F) for the past week. I haven’t plant given them “plant food”. Just good soil and water everyday. What should I be doing to help them out? Patience is likely the answer. 

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The edges of the leaves are brown and yellow. Help!

Peas! Those old pea plants did in fact have powdery mildew – yuckuckuck! I pulled them out and said goodbye. I took a chance and planted some pea seeds 3 weeks ago in hopes that they produce some peas before the seasons change.🌱

The beets…they’re sad! As you can see in the photo, someone has been eating away at the leaves. I mean I’m sure they’re tasty but I’d like to see them grow! Any suggestions? Is this normal for the leaves to be snacked on this much? 

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Beet leaves. Another seedling got completely eaten away. 

Lastly, yesterday I planted some Celebration Swiss Chard, the beautiful rainbow variety. I am hopeful it grows well, as the weather will change in September. I learned Chard seeds are much larger than some other types(carrots :o). I really like how they look!

The bokchoy and carrots are coming along well. I harvested my two(lonely and dispondent) onions yesterday which are drying. Maybe next year I’ll have more success with onions 🐜

On a more personal note, today is my last day nannying some kids I’ve been with for over 2 years. Very sad, but it’s been a good run. They have been my best friends – despite the tantrums. I go back to school in September 📚🐝

Well, that’s all for today. Keep sharing your wonderful experiences with me and tell me about your gardens in the comments!! Happy growing, friends. 🌎

Pea problems and winter seeds!

I spoke to soon. In my last post I claimed I had mastered summer gardening…well my peas have turned white and the actual pods seems to be growing MOLD. Help!🚔🚑

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What is going on?!! It’s been very humid over the last few days so I’m guessing it’s from that, perhaps they don’t like hot and humid weather. Has anyone seen this before? Any guesses?

On a happier note, today I ventured out to my garden store and picked up a few packets of seeds for when my tomatoes are gone and the weather becomes a little cooler. Check out what I’ve picked out!

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Green Arrow Peas, Bloomsdale Savoy Spinach and Celebration Swiss Chard!
Have you grown any of these veggies in the winter months, how did they do? Still eager to hear advice and stories of winter gardening. Happy growing, friends!🌱🍄🌞

Winter gardening

I think it’s safe to say I somewhat mastered summer gardening in year one. My plants grew surprisingly well and I got many delicious vegetables including peas, carrots, onions, bokchoy and tomatoes. I’m sure there will be challenges to come but I’m feeling successful and very happy!

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Tending to my garden is a great time for thinking and well, it provides tasty snacks too. What does gardening do you for? Why do you love it so much?🌱🌽

But winter is coming! Where I live is fairly mild, the weather usually doesn’t go below -1C(30 degrees F) We live in hardiness zone 8b if that means anything to you. I don’t know much about planting vegetables in the cooler months so I’m reaching out to all of you! Obviously I can’t grow tomatoes and peppers, but what vegetables am I able to grow successfully in cooler weather? Are there any things I need to know before I jump into winter gardening? Another concern of mine is seeds – I haven’t found anywhere that sells seeds past August…will I need to stock up? Do you order from a website? Save seeds from your harvests?

I’d love to grow broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes and am open to all your suggestions. What success have you had with winter gardening? Which veggies do you grow? I’m really looking forward to hearing from all of you🌱🍄

Harvest Time!

Mid July has turned out to be quite exciting in the garden. We’ve had some interesting developments including a skunk and a ton of small mushrooms that are sprouting up everywhere below the veggies. Have you had mushrooms grow in your soil? Any harm in leaving them there? I don’t dare eat them, so far I’ve just picked them and let them lay on top of the soil.

My carrots actually grew, unbelievable since I didn’t thin them like I was told and certainly didn’t have high hopes. Boy, do carrots take patience! I planted the seeds 80 days ago and finally THEY’RE HERE! Small…a little funny looking…but nevertheless. Carrots! I’ve only harvested half of them since I really want to eat a purple one on my birthday which is next Friday.

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My babies!

Next exiting news is that tomatoes have appeared on 6 out of 7 plants. My “money makers” are growing well, they should turn out to be the size of roma tomatoes. The “sweet million” is also doing well. All are green still but I’m sure thrilled to see them turn red soon. I may have made a fatal mistake with the 1 plant that’s not growing any fruit. I decided to pick off any suckers(they are supposed to suck energy from the plant) and I bloody took off HALF the plant by mistake. Soooo that was a learning moment; go easy when plucking…

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The peas are still producing, although they seem to be slowing down 😦 The beet seedlings are doing well, they are a beautiful colour already. The bokchoy seeds I planted about 2 weeks ago seem a bit sad – likely due to the tomatoes that are stealing their sun.

How is your garden? Any recent harvests? Are your tomatoes still green? Any evil skunks or interesting finds in your garden? I’m really looking forward to hearing all about your experiences. And anyone with mushrooms…let’s chat! Happy growing, blog friends 🙂

Garden Update – July

Somehow it’s already July! For those fellow Canadians out there, Happy Canada Day! For the rest of you…I hope you’re having a great day. The garden has really grown in the past few weeks, I thought I’d share some photos. I would also really love some advice from you, I’m learning but have had some issues…

The peas are fantastic; about 8 feet tall and producing over a handful every day. I planted both snow peas and snap peas, both of which are doing well.

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Snap peas growing rapidly!

I planted about 10 onion bulbs…most of them got rather moldy and limp so I pulled them. I have 3 remaining. This is my largest. I have high hopes but honestly I don’t think it’s doing too well. Have you grown onions? Any tips?

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Next are the 8 tomato plants which have taken off. As you can see they were quite small when I planted them. 7 of my tomatoes are doing well, still have yet to produce a tomato…soon! Grow babies, grow!

1 of the stems has an issue…so tomato planting friends I need some help!!! What has happened to my delightful tomato plant? It looks like something has eaten it out…suggestions?

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The carrots are HUGE, the stems at least. I dug down to see how big the actual vegetable is and it’s about an inch wide(probably less), so they’re tiny still. I’m getting impatient with those carrots! I have a feeling carrots are one of those veggies that’s just not worth growing – a lot of waiting and not a ton of yield. Thoughts on that?

I’ve just planted some more bokchoy since the last batch was so successful and yielded SO many luscious leaves for us to gobble up. We ate bokchoy at every meal for weeks. I also planted a few beet seeds just to see what happens.

I’ve never planted beets, have you had success? How are your vegetables coming along? Have you ever had success/failures with any of these plants? What should I grow next? Happy growing, garden friends!

PS enjoy my calendula plant that FINALLY grew a flower. Bumble bumble bumble, come to my garden, bees!

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A meal from the garden

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Today I made spot prawns with bokchoy and peas from my garden. OK the prawns were from the ocean but you know, the vegetable part was grown by me;)

A few of you have asked me how to use bokchoy (aka: pac choi) so I’m here to tell you!

In this case my bokchoy bolted so I haven’t been eating the stem as its very fibreous, better off for a nice animal with large teeth. Instead I’ve been peeling the leaves off and frying them.

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It’s a lot like spinach in that it shrinks down and goes a bit limp when you heat it. I added some water and soy sauce and fried them up for about 5 minutes. I added my lovely snow peas in at the end.

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This is what the end result looked like!

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I’m generally NOT the type of person to take photos of my food but I don’t buy expensive seafood everyday, and this was my first pea harvest…so I had to!

Are your vegetables harvesting? What’s your favorite meal to cook? What do you make with the food from your garden? Happy eating and growing, blogger friends 😄🌱🍴

Bokchoy Friday

Ahh more harvesting! While I was away for a few days my bokchoy, aka pac choi, BOLTED. As you can see in the pictures the stems did not bulk up as I thought they would, instead the stems grew in height and grew pretty yellow flowers. I attribute the bolting to the weather. It was very warm, then very cold.
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The yellow flowers are delicious though! And the leaves are fantastic and taste incredibly like store bought bokchoy (but 100 times better).

How are your gardens coming along? Has anything bolted? Failures? What have you harvested?

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Garden update!

It’s time for a garden update! I was away for the weekend and came home to quite the treat…radishes!!! These radishes are the first harvest of the year, besides the onion some creature dug up.

I’ve also taken photos of my other veggies to show you all how they’re coming along.

First, the tomatoes are about the same size, likely due to lack of heat…boo, hopefully they pick up soon. Come to us, sunshine! 🍅🍅
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Below you can see our onions are very floppy…the green stems resemble fainting goats. Does anyone know if this is a normal thing for growing onions to do?

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Floppy yellow onions

The bokchoy is tall, but thin. I assume the stems are on the cusp of bulking up. Here’s hoping! Unfortunately as you can see something is eating the bokchoy leaves (damn you creatures, damn you!). There’s many wood bugs roaming around…perhaps they are the culprits?
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Carrots, oh yes carrots! They’re doing well, looking more like carrots everyday. They are about 4 inches tall. All I want is one purple carrot ☺
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Not pictured are my beautiful and lively pea plants which are about 5 feet tall.

How is your garden coming along? Have you harvested anything in the last week? I am so excited to hear about your garden adventures and maybe learn something from you as well! I can’t explain the feeling of excitement when these radishes came out of the ground; so rewarding! 🌱🌱