Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Garden activity

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

The peas are taking off like crazy this year and our heirloom tomatoes are getting bigger and stronger by the week. Not much sign of the parnsips. The carrots, while they started out strong, have had to contend with our 1 year old gardener. Still holding out hope that they bounce back! Our basil plants were thriving in the heat of last week but aren’t sure what to make of the cooler temperatures this week.

Some sights from around our gardens:

This year we pruned our pear tree to hopefully increase its yield and grow more pears than the squirrels can eat.

This year we pruned our pear tree to hopefully increase its yield and grow more pears than the squirrels can eat.

Here’s Ella checking up on the peas in the garden – can you see any carrots leaves on the bottom of her shoe?

One of our resident carpenter bees making a home in our fence. At least its not our porch again!

An unusual black butterfly. Anyone know what it is?

A snail chilling out on some clematis.

Rhubarb!

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Rhubarb on the stove

Tonight I cooked up a little rhubarb sauce for Tanny and I. Delicious! My Mom used to make it for us when I was a kid and I haven’t eaten it for a long time. I called her up for the "recipe". Based on what I made tonight, here it is:

  • five stalks rhubarb, chopped
  • 3 tbsp sugar

Heat the rhubarb in a saucepan on low heat with a tiny bit of water. Stir as the rhubarb cooks until the rhubarb gets to a stringy, saucy consistency (see picture). Stir in sugar. That’s it.

We eat it on toast.

Tanny made rhubarb-apple muffins with our first load of rhubarb and they were also excellent. Anyone have a good strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe they’d like to share?

Happy Victoria Day

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Tanny and the seedlings.

This weekend Tanny and I had some time to work on the website and the garden. Tanny added some more soil to her tomato seedlings and pinched off the weaker ones. I worked some compost into the garden and got it primed for planting. Unfortunately the temperature is just barely into the double digits so we’re going to wait until next weekend to plant.

Also – the seasonal food list now has lists for BC and PEI.

Sprouts update – Week 5

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

McMullen tomatoes - over 3 inches tall

Sweet Basil

Golden Midget Watermelon brown leaves

With the exception of the watermelon, my seedlings are doing quite well.  Most have at least one set of “true” leaves.  The McMullen tomatoes are over 3 inches tall! I’m supposed to pinch back the weaker seedling in each pot, but I can’t bring myself to do it just yet. One more week.

This weekend (Victoria Day Weekend) marks the beginning of the growing season for us in the Toronto area.  I didn’t start my seedling early enough to transplant this weekend, but I will be sowing some carrots, parsnips and peas directly in the garden.

 

 

Yellowing Golden Midget Watermelon Leaves – Help!

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Golden Midget Watermelon yellowing leaves

Golden Midget Watermelon brown and drying leaves

My golden midget watermelon seedlings are not doing so well.  The leaves are looking yellowish, and on one of the seedlings, the first set leaves have started to turn brown and dry.  Has anyone else experienced this?  Is this normal?

 

 

Sprouts update

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Sprouts - week 3

Week 3: They are getting bigger.

Getting the Garden Ready – Part 1

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

We’ve had a full week of warm, sunny days here in Toronto.  Our daffodils are blooming, the lily-of-the-valley have come up from the ground, the forsythias and other flowering trees are, well, flowering.  We finally got the hedges in our backyard trimmed last week.  We spent today raking the last of the leaves from last fall, and pulling out many, many dandelions.  Our garden is almost ready for planting.  Josh raked the leaves and the next step is to turn the soil and work in the compost we got for free at the Earth Day celebration at Downsview Park.  Just a few more weeks…

 

 

 

Sprouts!

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Basil Sprout in action!

Only a week after I planted the seeds, almost all the them have sprouted. All of the tomatoes, one of the golden midget watermelons, and most of the sweet basil have sprouts. After the mold incident last week, I was pleasantly surprised that no damage has been done. I’m very excited about the sprouts, actually, maybe a bit TOO excited.

Mini Greenhouse

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

I finally got around to planting my seeds over the weekend.  After checking the packages, it turns out that I only have to start the seedling for tomatoes, basils and watermelon indoors.  The rest I should wait until after the last frost and plant them in the garden directly.  I planted the seeds in a mini greenhouse that fits on a window sill.  Since Sunday, I’ve been eagerly checking everyday for sprouts and today, I noticed mold on the watermelon soil!  It’s only day 3 and already I’m having problems.  According to various gardening websites, the mold is probably from overwatering.  So I removed the moldy parts and opened the greenhouse. Hopefully, the mold won’t come back.

We have grass again.

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Thanks to the milder weather and rain this week, most of the snow has melted in our backyard.  Some of the tulips and daffodils are coming up, actually.  Spring is finally here!  That had caused some momentary panic – we still haven’t planted our seeds yet.  It’s been three weeks since we bought our seeds from Seedy Saturday, and they’re still sitting in the den.  We don’t even have the dirt to plant them in.  All we’ve got are seeds and some plastic milk bags (I read somewhere that milk bags are good for starting tomato seedlings because you can roll them up to add more dirt as the seedling grows.)  We plan to go to a local garden centre to get supplies and get those seed planted this weekend.  Only six more weeks until the “official” gardening weekend in southern Ontario – Victoria Day long weekend.