Posts Tagged ‘Garden’

2016 Garden Update

Last year was my first attempt at square foot gardening. I had grown tomatoes and herbs in containers before, successfully,but wanted to try my hand at something new with a larger footprint. SFG was right up my alley, and it worked out well. So well that I wanted to increase my garden this year.

I started planning in January and February, making plans for my garden (Excel is awesome), researching companion planting, reading everything I could about what grew successfully in my neck of the woods. Ordered my seeds. Got my jiffy pods organized and sowed the seeds in March to start them early indoors. For the others that grew very quickly, my plan was to direct sow into my garden in May.

Pods and my Excel Garden plan plus my jiffy pod plan to keep track of what I put where:



My list of seeds included: three kinds of cherry tomatoes (2 plants each), green peppers, Swiss chard, beets, leaf lettuce, onion sets (red, yellow,white), bush beans, basil, thyme, lavender, parsley, acorn squash, golden zucchini and marigolds to keep the bugs away. Here is the progress, each set of pics about a week apart:






Late April:





Early May:


Some of my starter seeds did better than others and come May, it was time to transplant them outside. I used Triple Mix for the soil with a few bags of compost (mix of sheep and cow), plus I added plant food.





Two of my tomato plants didn’t make it. After suffering from a bit of transplant shock and recovering nicely (I had to tie 2 of them to stakes to keep them as they were falling over), the other four are doing awesome, I bought another two at the nursery. One pepper survived, and I replaced another one. The parsley and marigolds did good but I needed more so I bought some extras. The basil and thyme didn’t make it – bought seedlings of Genovese and lemon basil at the nursery. They are thriving. I also bought two strawberry plants to have a first go at fruit. The lavender sprouted but never grew past a wisp of a stem so I bought two perennial lavender plants at the nursery.

I showed the beans, lettuce, onions, Swiss chard, beets and squashes directly in the ground and they are all doing great thankfully. So far we’ve been able to harvest the basil, parsley, onions and lettuce. Lots of little green tomatoes, small peppers and green strawberries. The beans are flowering. Life in the garden seems to be a happy one. 🙂

As I pick the onions, I’m planting more so I’ll keep a steady supply over the summer and fall.

Late May:


June 17:








This is one of the lavender plants (small one in front of pic) planted next to our hydrangeas. Smells so good when you brush the leaves. 🙂


Just a few days ago (sorry about the sun glare):





I’m happy with how things are progressing. 🙂

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I’ve decided to give square foot gardening a try this year. I have my raised bed frame and garden plan – a 4′ x 4′ grid with 16 squares. I started some seeds indoors a couple of weeks ago and am convinced I have magic beans…

I picked up a mini greenhouse for $30 at Lowes to store my seedlings indoors in a warm spot (my office) which will also work well when I harden them off later this spring out on the deck.

I decided to start some from seed and buy the rest as plants from the nursery. The seeds I started include basil, beets, green beans, spinach and marigolds. The plants I’ll be buying include cherry tomato, regular tomato, peppers and onion sets.

I started my seeds in early March which may be a bit early for the beans. This is them a week later. The beans sprouted really quickly. I’m a bit worried that they’ll grow too quickly before my outdoor garden is ready but I figure worst case scenario, I’ll transplant as needed in to bigger containers and I can always plan new seeds directly into the soil. I’ll play it by ear but they should be fine.



Below is the mini greenhouse and the potting soil I’m using:



And I transplanted some of the beans (top) and the beets (bottom):


These were taken today. I transplanted more of the beans and thinned out some of the beets.




These were the first beans transplanted. Magic beans. 🙂


Stay tuned for progress!

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I went to get my hair cut on Saturday morning – it would be the second time I’d get it done by Sandra. I like going to the salon at the mall because it’s close to my house and I can run errands afterwards if need be. That being said, since we moved to the area, I’ve gone about 6 times and due to the high turnover at this particular salon, I’ve had my hair done by 4 different people. I’ve always been very happy with the results but I found the turnover rate a bit strange. Things started to make sense on Saturday.

I was hoping for a nice relaxing morning at the salon. It started off nicely – hair shampooed by a guy who knew what he was doing. I thought – excellent, this relaxing morning is starting off well. Sandra greeted me and off we go to her chair. And then it starts – apparently she just got cut from full time to 3 days for no reason. Turns out the 25-year-old manning the front desk (let’s call her “Britney”) is on a bit of a power trip and when Sandra mentioned that another employee was being disrespectful, Britney sided against Sandra. Now, Sandra just turned 50 last week and petty arguments isn’t high on her priority list, however, standing up for herself is. Britney, probably too young and inexperienced to handle staff issues of this nature is in over her head.

To add to that situation, all employees were given new promotional tshirts to start wearing this weekend – black tshirts with white text on the front. All but 2 employees are wearing them – Sandra (no one is going to tell her what to wear, let alone a 25-year-old power tripper) and her neighbor working the chair next door (who seemed to be a semi-flaky 25-year-old who secretly had the tshirt in her bag but told the manager she forgot it at home).

Anyway – long story short, my relaxing morning turned into a discussion about how certain young people fail to grasp the consequences of their actions and they do things a certain way because they don’t know any better. There’s a lack of respect among the “new generations” that makes me wonder what the world will be like in 20 years.

So, my guess is I won’t be seeing Sandra for much longer since she seems to be in Britney’s crosshairs. It’s amazing that a 25-year-old hair salon front desk worker can wreak so much havoc. Where are her parents? Would they be proud, I wonder… Was I ever that mindless at that age? Incredible.

Anyway – love my hair even with all the drama. 🙂

Took a walk around the yard this afternoon to see what’s blooming. Our lilac tree is doing well – there are more blooms this year than last, which is great. It smells heavenly.

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For months, I pondered and pondered over what to plant in my container garden this year. I debated between which veggies, herbs and fruits I wanted to grow this year. I’ve only been doing this gardening thing for 2 years – this summer will be the third and I love it. I’ve learned a lot along the way and hope this year’s bounty will be great.

I chose the following:

  • Red cherry tomatoes – Tiny Tim (great for the past 2 years)
  • Yellow cherry tomatoes – Honeybee (great for the past 2 years)
  • Thai basil (great last year – makes awesome pesto)
  • Cinnamon basil (great for the past 2 years)
  • Strawberries (first time – I might be a bit late in starting these – we’ll see)
  • Baby lettuce (first time)

They’re already germinating away in jiffy pots…

I’m looking forward to more yummy homegrown food.


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All the veggies in this pasta comes from my garden. Cherry tomatoes, mini peppers, basil. Add some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic salt & pepper, simmer on stove for 10 minutes, toss with cooked pasta and voila! Yummy fresh pasta dinner.

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Well, I can really say it’s the *first* bounty since I’ve been snipping the basil and parsley for a few weeks now. That being said, this morning I picked the first veggies. Behold the bounty of our first mini pepper and mini cucumber. And they were delicious!!!  I thought I might have picked the cuke a bot early (I was testing it out to know when to pick the rest) but it was sweet and fresh and yummy. The pepper was crisp and fresh too. So excited to eat more!

Here are more pictures of my container garden. I originally had plants on either side of the patio door but noticed that the ones on the side that got more sun were getting a bit parched – you’ll see them in the pic of the entire garden – they’re lighter in color and smaller. I moved them all over to the far left this morning – hopefully they’ll be happier there.

Basil and parsley In their new home

The garden!

Pretty soon we’ll have too many veggies to know what to do with. 🙂 And I can’t wait!

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This heat wave is really getting old. Yesterday was 38 (49 with the humidity). For the Farenheit folks out there, that’s 100 (120 with the humidity). Hello..??? We’re in Canada. That’s too hot. But – I’m still not craving ice and snowmen. So, I’ve been staying inside with the AC on, or in the pool. Life is hard. 🙂

I’ve been keeping an eye on my garden – for the past two days, I’ve come home from work to find them sad and wilted but a good watering perks them right up again. The basil and parsley are doing very well – used basil in some meals this week. And I’m finally seeing tomatoes and peppers! Not sure what’s up with the cukes though – lots of flowers, but nothing growing yet.

I see tomatoes!


More tomatoes

Parsley and basil (Thai basil and Cinnamon basil)

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