The Start of Gardening Season

Last night was the start of gardening season. It may be -22C with windchill outside, and snow deep on the ground, but it is time to get ready for the spring and summer growing season.

This year we are starting quite a range inside, even vegetables you traditionally directly seed into the garden, in an attempt to get some vegetables early.

The list of what we planted is as follows: tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce, cilantro, basil, spinach, chard and kale. We also planted seeds for marigolds and calendula. Little bits of a large range of vegetables to hopefully get a head start on our 2017 garden.

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“Winter” Gardening

Today, shortly after noon, flakes of snow started falling from the sky. At first it was intermittent, but within a half hour it was pretty clear that the snow was increasing and beginning to lay. 

I had held off as long as possible with harvesting the garden. The weather had been fairly nice, and I like the convenience of just popping out to the yard to get the vegetables for supper. By 12:30 pm it was clear that I needed to go out and dig up the garden.


Sometimes “not” getting around to doing something works in your favour. This is exactly what had happened in the potato patch. At some point during our very wet summer I had laid down boards to be able to walk in the garden, and for some reason I had never removed them. Luckily under the boards the ground was still soft and completely unfrozen making for easy digging of the potatoes.


The next bed was a little frostier, frozen about an inch or two deep. With snow laying it was a guessing game as to what was left in the bed.


The garlic had been harvested weeks ago from this bed, and the sunflowers at the end were “volunteers”, however I still managed to dig up several onions and carrots from this spot.


As I dug up this bed and the potato patch I realized that it might be a good idea to change the vegetable garden location next year. The question is whether to garden in the ground or garden in raised troughs. Our raised troughs have been amazing this year for growing, so it may be the way to go. 

The troughs also had to be harvested. Beets and carrots were still waiting to be picked. The chard and cabbage have been left, with hopes that the chard may survive a few days of cold. The cabbage has been feasted upon by cabbage worms in the last couple of days so it wasn’t in the best shape.


The final task was to plant the garlic for next year. This time trying a new spot at the front of the house. Again this bed was frozen a few inches deep. After working the soil I managed to plant a small area of garlic. If the weather warms up next week ( as the forecast says it will), I will plant more garlic, but at least I have a bit in the ground just in case winter is here to stay.


Two and a half hours later, soaking wet, frozen, and covered with mud, the veggies were all safe inside. Where the veggies were grown is now completely covered in snow. Gardening season has come to an abrupt end. Hard to believe this is the beginning of October.

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Something Dirty Going On

tulips

It is always a good day if dirt is involved. After all if there is dirt there probably isn’t snow….or at least as much snow!

backyard

One end of our backyard looked like this, which is fine, because the flowerbeds near the house have finally started to melt off. Finally!

flowerbeds melting off

As I looked around the flowerbeds I found a lot of new growth had popped through the ground. This is quite remarkable as we have only had three or four days of warm weather.

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Even more remarkable was the fact that I was cleaning up the flowerbeds as my daughter did snow angels next to me. That is just a little surreal.

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I am never quite sure of what is coming up. Some plants and bulbs date back way before we had the house. Some of the bulbs are leftovers that my mom donated to me. It will all be a great surprise when they actually bloom……..well that is if the deer, moose and rabbits don’t get to them first.

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One thing that is for certain is that the beds were MUD. Sloshy and sticky, the sort of mud you sink into if you accidentally step off the grass. By the time we were done everyone had mud on them…..and was soaked through as well.

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I did notice the chives are up this is good news as chives out of the gardens are wonderful for cooking.

Watching the ladybugs.

Watching the ladybugs.

By the end of the afternoon we did have some excitement, exciting enough to even stop making snow angels. We found ladybugs.

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ladybugs

That is a sure sign that spring is here!

Indoor Gardening Experiment Update

We are finally seeing a little activity on our indoor gardening experiment. Each day I move the planters into the sun by our south-facing window. Every evening I move the planters to a warmer spot; it has been so cold our windows are icing up at night so I don’t want to risk the seedlings freezing (while inside the house!).

radishes

radishes

So far the radishes look the most promising. This is exactly what I expected as they have such a short time frame until they mature. Hopefully we will end up with some nice homegrown radishes in about a month’s time.

lettuce

lettuce

The lettuce is trying it’s best. We have a few sprouts. This planter was planted “creatively” by my daughter so I am not quite sure where all the seeds ended up. I guess the surprise is part of the fun.

peas

Our peas only started poking through yesterday. We have one good sprout and about four teeny ones just barely visible. I am really interested to see if this planter will grow as fresh peas are just so tasty.

chives

The last bucket is chives. Nothing happening yet. It could be old seeds or it might be a waiting game. I guess time will tell.

This has been a pretty fun experiment so far. The younger children love watching the plants grow and see more pop up each day. It has been a great experience for everyone.