Thursday, July 18, 2019

Back from Ireland

So we took a family trip to Ireland and entrusted the garden to fate. Before we left, I did a few things with the early harvest. I missed the window on the radishes so we had only modest number.

I decided to make refrigerator pickles from them.

The spring as also very wet and the peas were really giving their all. Usually, we have about three- or four-foot plants. This year there were over five feet before we left.

We also managed to catch the first of the peonies before we went.

We came back to a very much garden (about a foot of water over the two week were were gone). I got a jet-lagged Jess out to pick some early Saskatoons.

We then harvested about 75 garlic scapes. This was a few more than normal for us but meant lots of pesto.

Jess had come around by this point as the bucket started to fill up.

We then processed them in the house (very smelly!)

It was quite a pile to work through and rough cut.

We then hated out the processor, made maybe two litres of pesto, and froze most of it for the winter Although judging my Jessica's breath, she's been into the jar in the fridge.

The pea plants were over six feet by the time we got back and had run out of trellis. I did a quick early harvest and got three litres of peas.

Some we ate and I'll process the rest today to freeze.

I'm hopeful we'll get to pick some strawberries on the weekend. I also need to spend some more time thinning the carrots and generally knocking back the weeds.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Wet June

Based upon the photos, June has been a reasonably wet month, after a smoky end to May. The water helped with the carrots, that have finally come up!

The first of the radishes are ready to harvest and we have been baking with and freezing rhubarb. I plan to get the dehydrator out for the oregano, which has established itself on the south side of the house.

The rest oft he garden is growing pretty much on schedule. The potatoes came up in two groups (blue caribe and red sangre slightly later). The onions are also doing well, with only one cutworm so far.

We had both chickadees and robins nesting in the backyard this year, with both sets of young fledged and off now.

It looks this will be a good year for saskatoons, with both bushes loaded with little berries. The raspberries also came up after a slow start and the bees are busy in there.

Both apple trees had lots of blooms and I see enough tiny apples that we should be good for sauce this year.

We've also launched into iris season. The beds that we thinned out front are a bit sparse, but around the side we will get a nice set of blooms.

Other than one more sowing of lettuce, we're basically done with planting for the year. Hopefully we can start harvesting. It looks like some self-sown lettuce out back is also ready for this afternoon.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Planting finished

It looks like the mont got away on me and I forgot to post and update! The up shot is that the painting is 95% finished.

We put potatoes in in early May (well, Jess did--I supervised with a sore back).

We also put in most of our annuals around mother's day. The pansies and violas seem pretty hardy and self seed so that it what we went with again this year to complement the volunteers we got.

The tulips are up out back and still making a mess out of the veggie bed. I will be transplanting these again to the front once the bloom is done. The will free up a few more feet of bed for bush beans.

It looks like a great year for Saskatoons. Both bushes have been loaded with blooms.

I'm hopeful the bees are doing their work so we can get a decent harvest this year.

The onions and garlic are all up as well, including this one which pushed its skin up with the stalk.

We've also seem the potatoes push through the soil after about three weeks.

I thin out the old raspberry canes and then we built a fire. I always forget how flammable the canes are after a winter of drying!

And the apple trees are about to bloom, which is lovely.

All that is left for us are some beans and a late sowing of lettuce and I think we're good for the season.

Now off to continue the war against creeping bell flower.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Fruitcake, sidewalk, and seeds

An early spring has allowed us to get the yard cleaned up and ready for planting. We've also had time to plan ahead for Xmas and make Christmas cake (we forgot to do this last year)..

We liberated a very old bottle of inexpensive whiskey from my inlaws liquor cabinet and have been using that to douse the cake Jessica made.

The whisky adds a good flavour but without the extra sweetness of rum--which is an interesting change. These are now tucked away in a cabinet to age over the next eight months.

There are a few flowers blooming--mostly various pansies that either over wintered under the snow or were self-seeded.

A big project we planned to deal with last year (but then ran out of good weather) was to lift, level, and re-lay the front walk.

We put the walk in about 11 years ago. Ants and winter have caused some slumping up at the top. About four years ago, the city lifted the bottom six feet when they put in new sidewalks. They then re-laid the pieces and the base slumped (leading to pooling and ice).

I lifted the bricks and levelled the base (which was tricky). Jess then took over and put down two-third of the bricks.

It took us a day and a half to complete the project but the result is pretty good for two amateurs. There is one brick that is slightly high that I'll need to go back and re-seat. But otherwise, we're good.

We also planted most of the rest of the garden this weekend, with radish, beet, carrot and peas going in. The onions are doing fine and the garlic we planted in the fall is just coming up.

As soon as we can get the potato seed we wanted, we'll plunk them in along with the sunflower seeds. The tomatoes, squash, and peppers will wait until a bit later in May when the weather stabilizes a bit.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Early Spring!

We seem to be having an early spring this year, with perennial and bulbs already coming up!

The pansies on the west and south side of the house are up, including some annuals that seem to have survived the winter.

I've been cleaning up the yard as the snow retreat (just the backyard left under snow). While we wait for the grass to emerge, I've also been going through the remains of last year's harvest. We have enough onions left to get us to summer. We also have some potatoes left.

There is already some weeding to do in the back beds (!) and I see our infestation of tulip tarde (which I dutifully dig out of the vegetable bed each year and move around to the front) continues!

The rhubarb is also coming up in the sunnier bed.

A few more days and we should have enough depth in the front bed to put in onions--must go off to see what Apache Seeds has in stock.