Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another cold Sunday

Yesterday there was a delightful high of 8 degrees, but today we are heading out into the garden in bold defiance of our bitter spring. We've been forced to water with the hose, as the spring has been mostly dry in addition to cold. When Mike turned the compost yesterday we found that it was doing virtually nothing because it was too dry to rot much, so we had to water it.

We are currently eating:

  • Spinach
  • Herbs, especially mint and basil
  • Rocket
  • Rhubarb
  • Romaine
  • Chives
Mike made a great batch of stewed rhubarb yesterday and we had it on our blueberry pancakes. I'm mixed into Mike's homemade yogurt. It's great that way.

The spinach is doing really well, and we've been enjoying several other lettuces for salads. We've also been having chives and spinach in virtually everything. I've made grilled vegetable panini with the basil and feta for an extra punch and Mike made a great omelet using the basil as well. Basil often dies or grows very slowly for us during the spring. We have it in the greenhouse where it is doing well, and the one in the yard is under a cloche.

Cloching seems to be working well for the corn and are melons and gourds. Given the type if spring we are having, they should be mostly dead. The corn has even continued to grow after multiple -8 types of temperatures. Who knows if it will be too stressed to do well.

Currently flowering or up in the garden:
All the same things are flowering as last week, but the raspberries and cucumber have started. We've seen almost no bees, which is very worrisome. Mike thinks we'll have few apples. The ants have been looking after the low growing things like the cherry and strawberries, but they won't be good enough for the raspberries, so we need bees soon or there won't be much of a crop. Mike and I would also like to mulch the raspberries with straw, but we haven't found anywhere to get it.

Peas, beans, kohlrabi, beets and onions are all up. We don't have parsnips yet and the carrots are really patchy. We don't really know why that always happens - any suggestions on germinating carrots would be appreciated.

Flowering perennials

  • iris (three types of bearded)
  • lilac
  • lily of the valley
  • tea roses
  • purple clematis
  • snow crop
  • bleeding hearts
  • blue grass
  • anemones
  • chives

The most exciting news is that we found some free stone on Kiji yesterday and we get to go pick it up today. We can use it as a mini retaining wall in the front to solve some of the dryness issues created by the slope and the pine tree. We've been having so much fun working in the yard this year, and the rocks will help solve a problem we've been worried about. Last night Anna and Ian took the girls (thanks guys) and we spent too much time just admiring the yard and thinking about the rocks. Anna was kind enough to want to look around the yard and Ian was indulgent enough not to complain in front of us :-)

I'll post a cool series of pics of the garden past and present soon.


  1. I'm excited to see the pics of the rock wall. Kijiji is great - most of our living room furniture is from there.

    Thanks for the reminder to turn the compost. I'll have to get Ian to do that.

    My basil is still small - I wish it would grow faster so I could eat it :)

  2. I'm not sure about Carrots...but I did read that parsnips are difficult to germinate because they must maintain a high level of moisture through the entire process. Perhaps (given their close relation) carrots require something similar? If you have had a dry spring that may explain patchy germination. That said...I haven't had any trouble germinating parsnips or carrots and I did nothing, but our spring has been very wet.

    I did have trouble with broccoli and I noticed you were trying to grow it this year. Mine got huge, but produced only many tiny heads that tasted terrible. We wound up pulling up all the plants and composting them. I'd love to know how yours does!