Monday, February 29, 2016

End of Season Review - Tomatoes


When it comes to tomatoes, the quintessential home garden vegetable, there is always a lot to say.  To finish off the month of February, I decided to post my tomato review all in one go, instead of breaking it up into a couple of posts like I normally do...so I suggest you get comfortable ;)

As with a lot of veg I grew this year, we had an ok tomato year, but not phenomenal.  This bothered me quite a bit as we had some prime tomato growing weather this past summer & I feel as if I failed to take advantage of it.

Mid-August tomato harvest

Thursday, February 25, 2016

End of Season Review - Peppers


Two years ago, I grew 2 varieties of pepper – one sweet, one hot – and I had so much fun, especially with the productive Hungarian Hot Wax pepper, that I decided to expand the number of varieties I grew this past season….to 10.  Quite the jump!

Pepper harvest in early September
 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

End of Season Review - Potatoes


Potatoes were the most "experimental" new veg I grew this past season as they're culture is so different from any other.

Yukon Gold & Roko Potatoes
 
It all starts with seed...seed potatoes, that is.  Luckily, we have a few sources in Canada that go beyond the ubiquitous "red and white" seed potatoes found in many local stores.  I wanted to try several varieties as different potatoes (much like tomatoes) have different characteristics that make them more suitable for one cooking method or another.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

End of Season Review - Eggplants


When I was growing up, eggplant was pretty close to the top of my “veg I don’t like” list.  In my 20's, however, I discovered that my issue wasn’t with the eggplant but the preparation - eggplant parmigiana - which was essentially the only way my mom ever prepared it.

The lightbulb moment came when I was at a Thai restaurant and one of the dishes was a curry that contained big pieces of Asian eggplant.  No one was more surprised than I when that turned out to be my favourite part of the meal.

The two small ones (lower middle) are Slim Jim, the rest are Ping Tung

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

End of Season Review - Fruits & Berries


This past season, the garden was a flurry of activity when it came to fruit.  Not only did we have the most bountiful harvest since the trees were planted, but we also made several new additions to the garden.  These included 3 apple trees, 1 nectarine tree, 2 blueberry bushes, 2 haskap (aka honeyberry) bushes, 1 row of red raspberry canes, 1 row of yellow raspberry canes and 2 rows of blackberry canes.  We were even able to harvest a few small raspberries before the first frost.

Raspberries

Saturday, February 13, 2016

End of Season Review - Asparagus


This was the year when I finally got around to adding asparagus to the garden.  And I went about this in a slightly unusual way – I decided to grow it from seed instead of crowns.  Although cost was not my main consideration, it certainly doesn't hurt that growing asparagus from seed is quite a bit cheaper than using crowns, with a packet of seeds costing $7.95 vs. $25 for the same quantity of crowns.

Perhaps had I grown asparagus before, its development would not have been so exciting, but since I really had no idea what to expect, every milestone was a bit of a thrill.

Seedlings emerging in late February

Thursday, February 11, 2016

End of Season Review - Herbs & Flowers


I grew a variety of herbs this year together with a few pollinator attracting flowers.  Alyssum & lemon bee balm were new to the garden and I enjoyed them immensely.  Both were planted in the straw bales and the alyssum also found a spot in some of the beds.  The plants in the bales didn’t take off until late summer, but once they did it was quite the show, especially when it came to the bee balm:

Lemon Bee Balm - it was gorgeous!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

End of Season Review - Cucumbers


It was a dismal year for cucumbers.  I think that out of all the veg I grew this year, they got the short end of the stick when it came to the amount of attention I paid to them – and that lack of attention was evident at harvest time.

From the left:
Chelsea Prize (2), Garden Sweet & Lemon

Saturday, February 6, 2016

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program....


I’m finishing up my end of season reviews, still a few more to go on those, but thought I would slip in this post because I received this in the mail yesterday:

First seeds to arrive this year
from Baker Creek
 

Friday, February 5, 2016

End of Season Review - Squash


As many of you know, I’m squash challenged - I’ve been at it for 4 years now with minimal success.  Like radishes, it’s the quintessential “easy” vegetable that I just can’t seem to get right.  I solved my radish problems this past year, but squash is still a work in progress.

From tiny plants that don’t grow, to the squash vine borer, to powdery mildew, to lack of pollination ... the issues go on and on.  If you're interested in all the gory details, I wrote a two-part post on my squash troubles back in 2014.

Romanesco

Thursday, February 4, 2016

End of Season Review - Garlic & Shallots


Garlic

The winter of 2014/2015 was particularly frigid – a few records were broken and we had several days where it went down to -40C/F.  But the garlic was a champ – every single clove I planted the previous fall survived.

2015 Garlic Harvest

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

End of Season Review - Onions & Leeks


Storage Onions

Onions are such a fun crop to grow.  I especially love them because they are one of the few homegrown veg we can enjoy “fresh” all year long.

The old kids wagon sure is handy at harvest time