Friday, May 27, 2011

Vegetable Garden Update

I meant to post this a few days ago, but, life gets busy, you know? Eight o'clock comes around and the stack of library books on my desk screams, "hurry up and read me!" My crazed book requesting at the library got out of hand and I have bitten off more than I can chew. Along with my current minesweeper kick, life has been busy.

In all seriousness the evenings have been busy this week with various errands, and even some softball. I have a very busy weekend coming up, which once is over, I will be heading to Denver, CO for the week. So, without giving any more excuse, here is a recap of planting the vegetable garden on the Holiday Monday:

With all the rain that we had the previous week, the ground wasn't looking too hot for planting. The garden bed is raised, which is what really saved it. A sunny day on Sunday was enough to dry the bed up just enough to allow us to plant on Monday. There was some drizzle on Monday but for the most part, it was a beautiful day for some gardening. My Dad picked me up at 9:30 am and we headed to Canadian Tire and Sharples to pick up seeds and plants, of course after a Tim Hortons run. We were able to get almost all the plants we wanted. Unfortunately eggplant and rosemary could not be found.

This is what the garden looked like already:

Herb Garden (L to R: chives, lemon balm, oregano, sorrel)
Vegetable Bed

All the plants we have to plant:

The box on the left is what my grandfather gave us from his greenhouse (Marigolds and Romaine Lettuce).
L to R: Marigolds, Romaine Lettuce, Petunias(?)
 The box on the right are the tomatoes and peppers my grandfather grew in his greenhouse from seed:

Basil, Red Pepper, Cabbage, Kale, Melon, Zucchini, Cluster Grape Tomato, Tomatoes, Peppers, Hot Peppers, Rhubarb.
When you plant lettuce from seed, you usually plant a lot of seeds, and then thin it out once it grows. We had romaine lettuce seedlings, so I separated each sprout and planted them separately (as you can see by my feet). I also planted beside the romaine, red leaf lettuce and spinach seeds. Often we forget to thin the seedlings out and never really get heads of lettuce or large spinach bunches. This year it is my goal not to slack off on thinning out the greens.

Although I am not a fan, my Mom loves rhubard. She loves it so much, she may even venture into the garden, bugs and all, to harvest it when the time comes. So, we decided to plant this rhubarb for her. The plant will exist for years to come and will be harvested twice a year. She is excited about it!

The vegetable garden had no more rooms for rent so these kale seedlings got shafted to the herb garden. As far back as I can remember we have never grown kale. It is my favourite green so I am really excited!

The herb garden. A new addition is the basil plant. We plant basil every year but it doesn't last through the winter. Normally we plant the herbs in pots in the ground because they tend to spread like wildfire. This year, I thought it would be nice to plant the basil in a pot that can be taken indoors. It fits nicely in an indoor pot holder that we have. We also plan on planting rosemary in it so that throughout the winter we have fresh basil and rosemary, two of my favourite herbs! Another addition to the herb garden will be a bay leaf tree that my grandmother will be bringing us.

Another herb garden veggie is swiss chard which was planted from seed. Some leek seeds were planted somewhere in the herb garden too but I cannot remember where. We will soon find out!

After all the plants/seeds were planted I took a picture of each bed as some nice before pictures.

L to R: Romaine Lettuce, Red Lead Lettuce, Spinach, Parsnips, Beets.
Garlic planted last fall, Marigolds line the entire garden.
From Front to Back: Green and Red Cabbage, Hot Pepper, Cluster Grape Tomatoes
Various Green, Red, and Hot Peppers
..and more tomatoes! With cucumbers in the back. Romaine lettuce planted in between the rows for now, which will be harvested once before removing.
Honeydew, Watermelon, Zucchini (yellow and green), and Cucumber (along the back so it can climb the fence).
There is another row which I didn't take a picture of. It is all just beans planted from seed so not too exciting to see. We planted more this year than usual so I am looking forward to drying some of them to have some dried beans for the winter. 

Not living at home this Summer is going to make it more difficult to help out with garden maintenance and harvesting. Since I don't live far away (20-30 min bike), I will be able to make it home at least once a week, so I will get to see the progression of the garden still. Often times we have more produce than we can handle, and I hope to make sure none of it goes to waste. Also in the spirit of not wasting, we had some extra plants which I decided to plant in pots and take home. I now have two pots with two tomato plants and three pepper plants on my porch. So far, 2/3 nights, my pepper plants have been dug up by some pesky animal, probably the neighbourhood cats. Unfortunately, to my dismay, I report the loss of a hot pepper plant. Poor thing. No capsaicin to defend itself against animals yet.

Anyway, this post seems long enough, I hope I didn't bore you. I hope to share more updates throughout the summer, and some recipes with the resulting vegetables. Have a great day!

* I would like to note this is the second time writing this post, as the first one didn't save and an error occurred (ugh..). At this point, zero editing has occurred, and you can blame errors on my lack of patience, not on my lack of spelling/grammar ability.


  1. That's lovely!!! I am jealous of your chives!!!!

  2. Wow - I'm so proud to be Zia! What is so interesting about this activity is that your dad carries on the seeds and plants from your grandfather. Those seeds were brought to Canada by our father, your grandfather. And those seeds and plants were grown by your great grandfather and his father before that! For the most part, this healthy garden represents the hardy genetic foundation of the same plants raised in Italy for generations in a little town called Pescosansonesco!