Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sowing Eggplant


It has been a challenge to catch up on the huge backlog of sowing and planting after going away, but I am slowly making headway.  I am also behind on posting & will be trying to catch up on that over then next couple of weeks - getting back on track in the garden, of course, has to come first otherwise I would have nothing to write about!

I started some eggplant, another new addition to the garden this year, back in mid-March.  I wasn't a huge fan of eggplant growing up, but then again, I think the only way we ever ate it was fried in a parmigiana sort of dish.  I now consider it one of my favourite veg, especially when roasted & in curries.

I decided to grow only long, slender eggplant for two reasons.  Firstly, they appear to be easier to grow in short season areas like mine.  Secondly, and more importantly, this is the type that I use almost exclusively in the kitchen.  I find them to be less bitter, the skin is more tender (so I rarely peel them) and they have far fewer seeds than the traditional large, oval variety commonly seen in stores.

Ping Tung Long (66 days, Pinetree)

Photo Source:  Pinetree
 
This one looks exactly like the variety I normally purchase at the market.  I see Ping Tung mentioned all over the place & it appears to be one of the more popular of the Asian varieties.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Little R & R


I've been away for the past week on a long overdue family vacation, hence my radio silence.  I'm one of those people that generally tries to keep family travel plans fairly quiet which is why I didn't announce it beforehand.

When I go away, I like to unplug...no email, no texts and no internet (other than perhaps a few minutes to look up places to go/eat, etc.).  I force myself to be completely unconcerned with the pile of work that will be waiting for me when I get home.  And a pile of work it is.

Since I knew we would be going away, I postponed a bunch of gardening tasks, including starting all of the tomatoes & broccoli.  My potatoes are supposed to be delivered any day now and the bed they will be going into is not built yet (although I did purchase the wood so that is one checkmark at least).  And then there is the sowing that was supposed to be done this week and, since this week is almost finished, next weeks sowing will be due as well.  I'm wishing there were 30 hours in a day ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Garden Survivors and Casualties


Our weather has turned and spring is in the air - finally!  Since the garden is relatively new, I'm still at the very early stages of determining what will or won't overwinter successfully here.  Now that warmer weather has arrived, I've been able to remove the protective straw coverings on the beds and give the garden a good once over to see what has survived the winter.

The chives are coming up already - this is one herb where the surprise would be if it didn't come up!

Without fail, chives are usually the first to show signs of life
 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Seedling Update - Early April


So it seems that the long range forecasts going into the middle of April were wrong – hurray for that!  We will actually be seeing above seasonal temperatures, with highs in the teens (50's-60'sF) for most of the coming week.  Hard to believe when it's 2C (35F) outside this morning.

Each day – when it’s not raining that is – I am out there scouring the flower beds for any telltale sign that spring is finally here.  Will I finally see some green popping up in the perennial borders & herb bed?  I'm so looking forward to spending more than a few minutes outside (without freezing) and finally being able to tend to the beds.

On the bright side, at least there has been a lot to keep me busy indoors while I'm waiting.


Asparagus

My little asparagus seedlings are a mass of ferns right now.

Asparagus - 8 weeks
 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What's Happening in the Garden - Early April


The weather is warming up oh so slowly and a couple of nights ago, we had the obligatory April snowfall (or so it seems based on my April 15th post from last year).

On the whole we have been having relatively normal temps, with highs a few degrees above freezing and lows a degree or two below the freezing mark.  We have had a few below & above seasonal days, but not many.  I removed the thin layer of straw that I put on all of the empty beds last fall (I don’t like leaving the beds “naked” over the winter!) & the soil was thawed to a depth of about 1”.

Most of the snow melted away a few weeks ago (before this last storm), and only a few persistent patches remained where it had been piled exceptionally high.

Backyard - 1st week of April
 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Is it One Year Already??


One year ago today, I hit the publish button for the first time.  It was a tense moment for me - I'm not sure what I thought was going to happen, but let me tell you, it took me a good couple of hours before I built up the courage to click on that button.  And boy am I ever glad I did.

I've "met" so many wonderful gardeners.  Having the opportunity to share and listen to gardening stories and advice with so many like-minded people has been nothing short of amazing.  I have learned so much...much more than I could have from any book, magazine or website.