Sunday, July 03, 2016

Summer of 2016 - so far so good

This year is going well for the backyard plantings.  So far the tomato plant is doing well and I don't see any problems with the tomatoes that are on the plant.  It has been a dry year, but, the mix I use has a good bit of peat moss in it to help hold the water.  I have done two cuttings and drying of herbs so this year I will have many bottles to last me for the winter.

My wife is looking forward to the sweet peppers as she didn't get to enjoy the garden much last year due to being in the hospital.

The strawberries were a surprise again.  This is the third year being in the planter and I never expected it to survive the first winter let alone a second one.  I picked about 15 strawberries from the one plant that flowered.

Sweet peppers are liking the weather and if everything matures I should be getting a dozen peppers per plant.  The peat moss mixed in the soil seems to be what is helping as the soil has stayed moderately moist without being overly wet.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Looking forward to the 2016 growing season

Now that Christmas is over and we have snow on the ground I am starting the process of figuring out what we want for the backyard this year. I figure on the following:
  • Geraniums on the top of the fence.  Nice colour and greenery.
  • Sedums in the boxes.  If they survive winter they make nice green cover and in the autumn nice pinkish coloured flowers.
  • Rosemary if it survives the winter here in the house.  Right now it looks a bit stressed due to the dry air, but, I hope it survives.
  • Sage, savoury, thyme, basil, oregano.  Basic spices for when I cook.  They are also easy to dry and bottle.
  • Sweet peppers.  They did quite well the past season in a 2x2 box as long as they got a good watering every day.  Peat moss mixed in with the standard potting soil helped retain water.
  • Snapdragons.  The wife loves the colours and they last fairly long.  This time though I will mix in peat moss as the boxes did trend to dry out as they were in the sun all day long.
  • Impatiens for part of the fence line that is shaded most of the day.
Along the fence line on the ground we are looking for shade tolerant plants as they don't get much sun during the day.

For the remaining planters we may put in a tomato plant (hopefully this year they don't rot out).  I have to do research to see if Brussel sprouts, brocolli and cauliflower can be planted in 2x2 boxes.  I would like to see if this is possible as the price of fresh vegetables this year is a bit insane and growing some fresh vegetables would be nice.

The remaining boxes (about six) will be for the wife and I suspect she will want something very colorful and long blooming so she has a nice oasis in the back yard.

One last thing I want to research is a watering system.  I see Lee Valley has some items that will allow me to fill a water container and then drip irrigate my plants.  This may be a real help on the hot sunny days where we can make sure our more important planters don't dry out.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

2015 - Another season finished

This year was a bit underwhelming and disappointing for the garden.  The disappointing part is that almost every Roma tomato rotted on the vine.  It appears to have been the year for this as a number of other people in Ottawa commented on the same problem.  The underwhelming part was a bit personal.  A family emergency meant I was at the hospital for 58 days and my wife and myself didn't get to enjoy the yard at the peak.  The Rosemary did well and after I washed it off I brought it in and have it in the living room window (it faces south).

Now that everything has died back it is time to start cleaning and clearing.  Most of the pots I have a peat moss mix and I dumped most of the earth back into a large garbage pail to keep until next season.  A few of the other pots have soil about 2-3 years old and I spread that over the lawn as a quick-and-dirty top dressing for next year.  The pots have perennials will be moved into a pile near the south-east portion of the yard along our living room wall.  I use the empty pots upside down over most of the boxes to protect the plants and then cover it with a large tarp.  During the winter I cover it all with at least a meter of snow and that works well every year.