Monday, August 26, 2013

A new garden bed and zucchini relish

As summer comes towards an end, a young man's thoughts turn toward next year's garden. We have a lovely and sunny west-facing front yard, which is mostly grass and flowerbeds. And bird-seeded sunflowers, this one being more than seven feet tall.

Yet vegetables could be grown here too. And that would eliminate the need to mow the front (a thankless task). Then we could grow giant carrots like these from the back (it is nine inches long and three inches thick at the top!).

So this weekend we decided to turn the sod over rather than mow it.

Two days of work later, it was all turned and the neighbours were starting to talk.

This morning I ordered a bunch of compost and it arrived 90 minutes later! Nine yards of dirt doesn't sound like much on the phone, but it was quite a hill when it got here. Jessica's initial excitement was short-lived.

We spent the rest of the day squiring it around the yard with shovel and rake and wheelbarrow. Much was moved off to the right (another bed which is a later in autumn project). The rest was shaped into a series of rows about two-and-a-half feet wide with walkways in between.

The deep row by the city sidewalk will contain 2-3 feet of irises and then a row of veggies. The irises make a pretty border and give some separation between the city and the vegetables. The rest of the rows are for potatoes and onions next spring. Tomorrow (assuming I can lift my arms) we'll start transplanting irises from the (unpictured) iris bed on the right.

And then I made three litres of sweet zucchini relish. I see I forgot to put vinegar in the pressure canner and have hard water stains on the jars. Oh well, the relish itself is good!


  1. Oh my word, you've been busy! Your yard looks AWESOME :) You're going to have some fine chin wagging going on in your 'hood! The neighbours will be scratching their heads and whispering to each other about the "strange things" going on in your front yard, LOL. Are you going to seed a cover crop or plant actual fall crops right now (assuming you can lift your arms?).

  2. Thanks! Yes, can life arms today and moving irises about the yard to create a border and room for more veggies. I've never done a cover crop. I was thinking about plunking in some excess potatoes now as an experiment as I had a large number of last year's "left-behinds" come up in a garden bed this spring (surprise!). Also some garlic--no sure what else might be a good autumn sow.