Thursday, May 26, 2011

Planting the garden

This weekend was our flurry of spring planting, weeding and yard projects. The weather was great Saturday and Sunday, so we got lots done, then rested on our cold and rainy Monday.

What's new:
  • Mike built me two new beds on the side of the garage and I have filled them with peppers and tomatoes. Because they are raised, against a south wall and on concrete, they should get a lot of extra heat, which will be great for them. The girls planted the third one full of their own veggies and herbs and put it in their sandbox.
  • I moved one of my square foot beds onto the driveway.  We have never actually parked our car in our garage, so I parked my raised bed in front of it.  I'll let you know how things do there. I planted about half of the spaces with flowers, basil, beet seed and a pumpkin (my lone veggie bedding plant from a store - old seed didn't sprout).
  • A bee hotel is a great think for a gardener - the girls made me this one for Christmas and I am hoping to attract some lone bees with it.
  • Mike is gradually growing the stone path that connects my front steps to the sidewalk in front of our house. Thanks to rocks donated by James, there is great progress. I also used some to make a dry stone bed in the front.
Our planting:

I always try to plant on the May long weekend because it is our last frost date (although as Anna noted, there was a frost warning last night after the last frost date). This year I put in two types of bedding plants: those always done in Saskatchewan and those I did so we could have early crops.

I planted three types I like, Yellow Pear, Cherry and Sub-Arctic Maxi.  I also bought a new heirloom type and a small pack of Roma's. The tomatoes are planted mostly on the south side of the house and garage, although I have 9 in the front yard and 12 in the garden. I have used spiral stakes in the front because they were great last year. The tomatoes twine themselves up the stakes and need less pruning, so Mike is a big fan. I also planted three in the greenhouse and the ground and potted 6 more as patio tomatoes. Last year I thought the upside down tomatoes did not work well, but it was such a bad tomato year that I am trying another.

Cucumbers and squashes and other vine things:
I am growing four types of squashes and two types of cucumbers. The cucumbers are on the south side of the house where they did really well last year, as is the watermelon (which did not, but Mike wants to try again). I had to buy two pumpkins, as mine did not sprout.

Corn and Peppers:
I have learned that starting corn in the greenhouse a couple of weeks early ensures I get a crop of corn before first frost. I did that again this year. Peppers need a much earlier start to be able to fruit. I did mine in February - they are always the first thing I start.

I started basil, oregano and mint this year. Mostly, I did a lot of basil which I kept in the greenhouse in hanging baskets and pots. I put about 15 plants throughout the yard as well. I also did some edible flowers like nasturtium and potted them with the herbs in the front.

Plants usually grown from seed here:
I actually plant in three intervals now.  Most of my seeding happens on the May long weekend, as do my potatoes. I also plant extra peas, beans, chard and beets about two weeks later. The other big thing I do is start a number of things early so I can put them in as bedding plants and start eating them sooner. This year I planted bedding plants of:
  • sunflowers
  • coriander
  • spinach
  • chard
  • beets
  • yellow beans
  • purple beans
  • lettuce
  • rocket
  • kohlrabi (with my new bug screen)
  • onion, green onion
Check out all Mike's pics of planting weekend to get a feeling for how things are laid out. We are currently eating herbs, lettuces, rhubarb and lots of asparagus.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. It all looks great. Congratulations for getting it all done over the weekend. It's a big job, but I bet it's also rewarding to see all the seedlings in, especially when you've started them yourself.