Category Archives: Garden Diary

Garden Diary – March 15, 2012


Yeah, so I discovered this morning that I’d left the fan on my plants overnight, which had done a pretty spectacular job of drying them out. Fortunately, after a good watering, they sprang right back. I must be more careful to only leave the fan on for an hour here and there. Perhaps I should invest in another timer.

(Why a fan, you might ask? Plants that grow in unmoving air don’t tend to be nearly as sturdy as ones that have to deal with a little push from the wind every now and again. it also helps circulate the warm air, which pools at the top of my vertical “greenhouse”.)


The bigger task, yesterday, was getting started another batch of seeds in the “grow-op”, including all the following:

March 14, 2012
CabbageSuper Red 80
Eggplant(Unknown variety)*
LeeksMammoth Pot*
PeppersOrange Sun
TomatillosToma Verde
TomatillosAunt Molly’s Ground Cherry
TomatoesJumbo Jim Orange*
TomatoesTN Britches*
ChineseGai Lan*
ChinesePac Choi

All the unmarked items are from West Coast Seeds; the ones marked with stars are seeds that came to me from the fantastic Beth Breisnes in hand-folded seed packets made from newspaper. (Click here to learn how to make them yourself!) She received the seeds at a seed swap but unfortunately lost her photos of the original packets.


Today and tomorrow are busy days, so won’t have time to do anything but tend to the seeds I’ve started in the greenhouse. Hopefully I’ll have time this weekend to finish mixing the sand into my garden beds and then get to planting my peas and a couple other early outdoor crops.

Have you started any part of your garden yet? What are your plans this year?

Garden Diary – March 13, 2012

20120313-200130.jpgThis year, a new strategy for blogging my garden. I’ll post what I’m doing, when(ish) I’m doing it. The “why” I’ll get to if I’ve got the time and/or if you ask questions of me on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments.

When I started blogging about my garden last spring, my intention was to document my thought process on why I’d made all the little decisions I was making on a regular basis. Additionally, I wanted to add a little bit of explanation, in the hopes others might find it useful. Unfortunately, as the garden project got busier, I spent less and less time writing about it. So, time to turn over a new leaf…


To bring this up to date, so far I’ve:

1) Bought a wire rack from Costco, some fluorescent shop light fixtures (4 feet long), “daylight” fluorescent bulbs, a few feet of small-link chain and a roll of plastic. Used it all to build a little greenhouse in the basement. (Photos of the set-up coming soon! In the meantime, here are some newly germinated cauliflower:)


2) Bought “Jiffy” peat pellets and used them to start a bunch of seeds. All these varieties are from West Coast Seeds, except as noted. I’ve started the following so far:

February 23, 2012
BroccoliHybrid Broccoli Blend
CabbageEarly Jersey Wakefield
CauliflowerWhite Cauliflower Blend
CeleryTall Utah
LettuceSuper Gourmet Blend
LettuceLooseleaf Buttercrunch
OnionWalla Walla
February 28, 2012
PeppersJalapeno M
PeppersPurple Beauty
PeppersRed Habenaro
PeppersRed Cherry Hot
TomatoesGreen Zebra
TomatoesBlack Krim
TomatoesOregon Spring
TomatoesYellow Brandywine


3) Last week, my father came over and we pruned the bottom branches off the giant cedar tree in our backyard. Mostly, it was for safety, as the branches were growing between the power and other utility wires. The added benefit, though, is that it’ll give most of the garden an extra hour or two of daylight each day. We’re just using our Yard Waste bin (and those from the neighbours) to get rid of the cedar branches a bit at a time.

4) Picked up a pickup truck-load of construction sand from Mainland Sand and Gravel in Richmond. Brought it back and combined it with my fresh compost to add to my garden beds. My beds were almost 100% compost last year and were pretty soggy, since the compost sucks up the posture like a sponge. I hope the sand helps improve the drainage somewhat; and I’ll add extra wherever I plant my root veggies (carrots, parsnips, etc.) this year.

I think that pretty much brings us up to today. In the next few days, I’ll finish adding the compost/sand to my beds and lightly tilling it in. I’ve got to do a couple of soil tests to make sure the right nutrients are available. Then, it’ll be time to start planting peas, beans and a bunch of other wonderful things. Also, the grass needs some love; it needs some sand and maybe some lime, as well as reseeding in a few places.

So, that’s my garden; how’s yours coming along so far?