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In The Garden Now

Let's just see if I can update this blog this year...

Pepper Problems

June 9, 2012

I have several hot peppers that I have started from seed this year.  They currently look like this:

I am wondering is anyone knows what their issue might be.  To give a bit of history, they are potted in a sphagnum based potting mix, they had some fish bone meal added to the top layer of soil after planting, and were fertilized with some 2-4-4 fish/seaweed emulsion liquid fertilizer after transplanting into these bigger pots from their 3 inch ones.


Peas, Plants and Peaches

April 22, 2012

That’s right, it alliteration day here!

First up, there are peas growing in my garden.  This photo below was actually taken a week or so ago, and the peas are much bigger now.  I planted these peas during that one warm week where we reached the high 20’s (that’s Celsius).  They all pretty much germinated, and where those didn’t, I planted a few last weekend and they are up now too.  These are Super Sugar Snap and regular Sugar Snap.  I had planted Sugar Anne last year too, but not this year.  Maybe I will still plant some and see how they do.  The row cover was just on them to keep the squirrels from digging them up and eating them.  The cover is off now and their netting for support has been placed.

Peas are up and kicking!

The next photo is of my plants.  These are currently growing in my basement under lights.  There are peppers (Aji Dulce, Trinidad Perfume, Super Chilies, and Sweet Gypsy Peppers), Tomatoes (Cherokee Purple, Sweet Hearts Grape, Big Beef, Viva Italia Paste, Stupice, OP Ultra Girl, and Campbells), Romaine Lettuce,Couve Tronchuda,  Kale (White Russian, Rainbow Lacinato, and Dinosaur), Bright Lights Chard, and Basil (Thai, Genovese and Lemon).

Plants hanging out in the tanning bed.

Lastly, I bought a hardy peach tree.  The variety is Reliance.  It was purchased from the Make It Green garden centre in Stittsville (really just south of the Bridlewood area).  They are self fruitful, vigorous growers, and fruit on last year’s growth.  Apparently I can expect to get some peaches even next year, with production really taking off in the 3rd year.  It will be an interesting experiment.  Doug, at Make It Green, has grown them before on his property and has had great success.  We’ll see how this one does for us!

1. Dig hole
2. Plant tree
3. Wait for peaches
4. Prune a whole lot each year (40-50% apparently)

If nothing else, it will have beautiful blossoms each year!

Compost Sifter Update

April 22, 2012

I said that I would post a few more photos of the compost sifter from different angles.  Here you go!

DIY Compost Sifter

April 12, 2012

I had made a soil.compost sifter/screener last year and nearly broke my back sifting the small amount of compost that I had.  This year, I have more compost and have upgraded the original design for a greater ease of use.

The original design used some 2×2 stock with 3/8″ ply sides and metal lath as the screen (although hardware cloth would have worked).  This year I added some 2×4’s to the sides, mounted 1 1/2″ fixed casters on the bottom, and then made a base for it to ride back and forth on.  This was all mounted on a tablesaw stand base that I had kicking around.

This new screener allows me to slide it back and forth rapidly, without having to bend over and take the strain on my back.  It works like a charm.  If anyone is interested, I could post closer photos of the screener and base.

It is fun to screen your own compost from you composter.  You find all sorts of neat things, like banana stickers and the true pit shape of a mango!

Trying out the new compost sifter/screener.

Garlic, Peas, and DIY Seed Tape

March 25, 2012

Well…  The garden is starting to grow again.  We have many Egyptian onions (perennial) coming up all around the place (maybe even some to spare), the over wintered parsley is growing again, as is the over wintered spinach and the garlic that we planted last fall.  The currant bushes are leafing out and the cherry trees look like the will burst at the next sign of warmth (whenever that returns).  The apples, pear, and cherry trees have all been pruned for the season and we are thinking of even adding a hardy peach tree to our roster!

The garlic plants are rearing their heads... or tails? I guess the heads are underground!

The peas have also been planted with the hopes that they will grow well from here on out.  I have to admit that I dug around one of them the other day and found that there was about an inch of root on one of the peas.  I am hopeful that these will do well and we won’t have to replant this section.

Peas hiding under a layer of soil and metal lath (take that squirrels and neighbourhood cats!)

Lastly, I thought this year that I would give some DIY seed tape a try for carrots and early white turnips.  I decided to go with toilet paper (for its ease in breakdown) along with a flour and water mix for my glue.  I will see how this goes this year.  I have seen people do this before on various blogs.  Some cover with vermiculite, sifted soil, wet burlap, and a variety of things.  I am hoping that the germination of the carrots goes well, but I am sure that the turnips will do well.

Nantes, Purple Dragon, and Atlas Globe Carrots
Hakurei and White Lady Hybrid Turnips


Lastly, on the go in the basement under lights I currently have Super Chili, Aji Dulce, and Trinidade Perfume Hot Peppers growing.  As well, I have Gypsy Sweet Hybrid Peppers.  As mentioned before, I have kale (White Russian, Dinosaur, Rainbow Lacinato), Couve Tronchuda, and Rainbow Chard.  Oh, and the Romaine is there too, although is it looking leggy, but maybe that’s just Romaine’s growth habit!

Getting Ready

March 14, 2012

Cleaned up the garden a bit yesterday, and have started some peppers, kale, romaine lettuce, and chard already.  I will be starting some tomatoes in the next week or so.  The garlic that was planted last fall is showing itself ever so slightly as well.


Hot Pepper Update (How long has it been?)

February 23, 2012

I haven’t really updated this blog for quite some time it seems.  I guess the summer just took over and I didn’t really update!  For anyone that subscribed and might get this update, here are a couple of pictures of some of those Scotch Bonnet or Habanero peppers that I started last year in the paper pots.  I dug 4 of them to over-winter and all of them have survived unscathed.

I am looking forward to planting these out in the garden again this year and seeing how they perform in their second year.  I have been told that peppers will do much better in their second year if you over-winter them.  The idea is that the first year they produce their structure and a couple of peppers, and in the second year, with the structure being built, they can focus on fruit production.

Below are two of the four plants.  The other two are in a window at work and are actually producing some fruit.  The fruit is small, but there are about 10 peppers or so.  It will be interesting to compare those to these ones that are not fruiting now once I plant them out this summer.


This one is rather compact and lush. Might be a different variety than the one below. It never fruited last summer, so I have no frame of reference.


A little branched out, but still healthy. Should be interesting this year in the garden!