Monday, January 26, 2015

2014 Harvest Tally

 
Since I am talking Total Annual Harvest today, I decided to link up to Harvest Monday on Daphne's Dandelions.  Even in January, there are those lucky few that are sharing an actual harvest - it's definitely worth heading over to get a little bit of a gardening fix.

This will be my final post about the 2014 gardening season.  But before I get to the total annual harvest, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the weather, since it's one of the most important factors when it comes to the garden.  There's only one word for the weather this past year.  Crazy.

First there was the ice storm that knocked out our power, four days before Christmas 2013.  We have a wood burning fireplace, so heat wasn't too much of an issue.  The bigger problem for us is always water.  We're on well water which is supplied by a pump - no hydro means no water.  Thankfully, our power was restored after only 1.5 days, unlike many people, even those in large cities like Toronto, that went without power for a week or longer.  And then there was the tree damage.  There were downed trees everywhere - roads and sidewalks were often impassible.  No matter where you went, this is what you saw:

A Typical Suburban Neighborhood after the Ice Storm
Image from Global News

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

End of Season Review - Berries, Fruit Trees & Herbs


My final review!  I must say, when I started my end of season reviews back in November, I thought it would be more of a sprint than a marathon.  In hindsight, there were so many changes this year and I learned so much that I should have realized my reviews would be on the lengthy side.  And of course, looking back at the 2012 & 2013 garden (pre-blog) also added to the length of each post.  But as I mentioned previously, it has been a much more rewarding experience than I originally anticipated, so I’m happy.

Berries

The only berries in the garden so far are strawberries.  I have two varieties growing in a single 4’x8’ bed, with each variety taking up approximately half of the bed - Fort Laramie and an unnamed variety that I received from a neighbor (which I have since named CV for “Connie’s Variety”).


Fresh Strawberries
Right about now, the winter is seeming mighty long...
 

Friday, January 16, 2015

End of Season Review - Alliums


When it comes to HTML, I'm not a whiz.  I'm not even a quarter of a whiz....if there were negative whizzes, that's where I'd be.

So I think I have been messing up the HTML code on my blog with the tables I have been putting in my review posts (among other things).  This, in turn, was buggering up the feed.  I do all of my tables in Excel - no problems there.  But getting them into a post and having them look halfway decent WITHOUT messing up the code is not so easy - for me, at least.

So I decided to start inserting my tables as images.  Unfortunately, they aren't necessarily as crisp as I would like, but such is life.....so long as my HTML is happy ;)


Alliums

Back in September and October, I wrote fairly extensively about the results of both the onion, garlic & shallot harvests (Onions 2014 – The Results and Garlic & Shallots 2014 – The Results).

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

End of Season Review - Squash



This year, I grew 4 varieties of summer squash – 2 green zucchini types (Dark Green & Sure Thing), a yellow straightneck (Early Prolific) and a vining variety (Zucchetta Tromboncino).  I also grew one variety of winter squash (Gold Nugget).  Of these varieties, only the Tromboncino & Gold Nugget were new to the garden.

I started all of the seeds indoors on May 22nd & transplanted them outside on June 1st.  I then immediately covered the beds with netting in an effort to thwart the squash vine borer.

Sure Thing Zucchini
 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

End of Season Review - Carrots and Radishes


Carrots

I love carrots.  They are pretty high up on the must have veg to grow in the garden as every single member of my family really enjoys them.  Either cooked or raw they are an essential part of our everyday food.

This year I grew 3 varieties of carrots.  Two of them – Scarlet Nantes and Little Finger - I had grown before; Chantenay Red Core was new to the garden this year.  I used Granny’s seeds mats, which I talked about HERE and I covered the bed with Agribon to keep it moist after sowing – a trick I learned from Daphne.  Both of these techniques worked very well and the carrots came up beautifully.  Once the Agribon was removed, I sprinkled the bed liberally with diatomaceous earth to ward off any sluggy predators.

Little Finger

Friday, January 9, 2015

End of Season Review - Peppers


This was my first year growing peppers (unless you count the dismal failure I had in my first garden when I was in my 20’s!) and I must say, I’m already addicted.  Everywhere I look there seem to be more and more varieties that are begging to be tried.

In this first year, however, I only grew two varieties – one hot pepper (Hungarian Hot Wax) and one sweet pepper (King of the North).  I first sowed the seeds back on February 19th.  By March 5th, all of the sweet peppers had germinated.  Nothing yet from the hot peppers.  I had read that peppers – especially hot peppers - sometimes take a long time to germinate, but I was getting antsy.  What if I kept waiting and they didn’t come up…I could end up losing weeks of growing time.

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

End of Season Review - Cucumbers


Here we are at the start of a brand new year.  The holidays are over, the big after-Christmas cleanup is *almost* finished, kids are back at school and things are finally settling down.  Amid the Christmas dinners and New Year’s celebrations, we also had my daughter’s birthday, so our holidays are not so much spent relaxing as they are spent planning, preparing and, of course, celebrating.  And now that it's all said and done, I've come down with a cold...I suppose if I was going to catch a cold, this was the best time for it!

I usually order my seeds in mid-January – which is next week – time is just flying by!  In the meantime, I will do my best to wrap up my end of season reviews this week.  Well, that was the plan before this cold hit.  We will see how far I get.

Today I’m covering cucumbers and I will then move on to the peppers, root crops and squash.  Lastly, I will do brief summaries on the alliums, herbs & fruits.

Cucumbers

I grew cucumbers for the first time last year and I’m finding them to be such a fun crop.   This summer, there always seemed to be one or two hiding in the foliage and they never failed to bring a smile to our faces when we found them.

I grew 3 varieties this year - Suyo Long (which I also grew last year), Garden Sweet Burpless and Lemon.

First Garden Sweet of the Season