Lazy in the fall, happy in the spring

Not a bad harvest for April

Last weekend, I had the extreme good pleasure to attend a workshop on extending your growing season. The workshop facilitator was Dan Rubin, a home vegetable gardener who, through tactical use of raised beds, glass panes, and plastic row covers, has grown a whole lot of impressive eats in a location which is, essentially, a salt-lashed, wind-beaten, topsoil-less bit of rock (and I say that with love – I was born there and I adore the place).

As the workshop participants wandered Dan’s garden, and the garden at Points East Bed and Breakfast next door, we identified the plants which, [...]

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My front yard grocery store

My "salad bar": a shelf with seven kinds of lettuce

When you garden in the city, you take your sunshine where you can find it. I have a tiny postage-stamp of a front yard, and a decent-sized back yard (for downtown). Neither one of them gets full sunlight, but from mid-June on the front yard gets blazing, baking afternoon light that vegetables seem to love. I had forgotten this when I started my garden this summer. Slowly but surely, though, I’ve been migrating pots and containers to the front of the yard, where they flourish, and scratching my head as I wonder about the best use for my backyard space.

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Downtown Dirt end-of-July update

White cosmos

White cosmos, nowhere near the worm tree

Hello, friends! I had wanted to do a lovely pictorial of all the things growing happily in my garden today, but unfortunately almost everything in the back yard is completely covered in specks of black poo from the millions of tiny worms rolled up in the leaves of my neighbours’ enormously large maple tree, the branches of which now reach almost 2/3 of the way across my back yard. It’s to the north of my garden, so it doesn’t block all the light (although if [...]

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Good Things In The Ground

Seed Potatoes Planted

Hi everyone! Sorry for the rather long hiatus on Pioneering in Paradise, but it’s been a crazy month. On the plus side, things have calmed down and I’m happy to report some real progress on some of my projects.

I’ve built my first potato tower, and planted out 16 seed potatoes. The boards on the outside are 8 inches high, and as the plants start growing up, they will get buried up to the top set of leaves. Since high amounts of nitrogen can cause issues with potatoes, I used a mix of composted sheep manure and black earth as the growing medium, so we’ll see how that goes. Since I still have some seed potatoes left, I’ll be building a second box, so stay tuned!

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Growing In A Potato Box

Completed-Potato-Tower

Thanks to the listing from Seeds of Diversity, I was able to locate a gentleman in Newfoundland who has a great deal of experience growing a wide variety of potatoes here. Last week, I recieved by my set of samples from George, and here’s what my benefactor told me about the varieties:

Red Dutch: A very dry, yellow flesh red from Holland in the 1940’s. An excellent potato. Late maturing.

Northern White: A white flesh variety, from Quebec apparently, from the early 1900’s. Very high yield. Good taste.

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