An update on the progress of our garden is long over due, I think. Earlier in the spring, I shared our garden plans with you. Now it’s time to take a peek at how things are growing.
Spring is in full swing, and that means it’s time to turn a bit of attention to the garden. Beyond the basic spring yard cleanup, we also undertake the planning & preparation of our veggie garden. Today I’m sharing a bit about how we plan out our garden, which produces an abundance of fresh veggies for us during the summer months & some stored food for the winter.
There might still be the occasional snowflake falling from the sky these days, but it is time to turn some attention to garden planning & prep. My hubby is truly the brains behind the operation, while I lend my hands & time to the work in the spring, summer & fall. He comes up with our garden plan each year, while he plans out the other yards for his urban farming business. Even the seeds for our own garden get lumped into orders for Happiness By The Acre.
Yes, indeed, the How Grows It? post was really just part one of our yard. Here’s the remainder. I’ve saved the herbs for last. Some we enjoy fresh and others we simply dry for use throughout the year. In fact, last year, we dried so much sage that we’re still using it (and we put sage in lots of recipes). So here’s a peek at the rest of the garden:
There’s lots of time being spent in the kitchen these days. It’s not the weather that’s keeping us in there, it’s just the season. Growing season means lots of preserving to do. Chopping, freezing, drying, and boiling. Repeat. So how about a little peek into the kitchen over the past couple of weeks?
I thought it was high time I shared some of the yummy things we’ve been making with the harvest from the garden (especially since the garden is close to being finished for the year). Hubby has posted good photos & recipes of some of the dishes he made. My dishes consisted mainly of tomatoes, tomato sauces, and soon a whole lot of tomato paste.
Feeling like I need to get a little bit more experimental with my vegetable cooking. I swear, cooking is definitely a muscle that requires constant flexing. Too much time away from it and you fall into such a sticky rut. Anyway, there was a great deal of tasty fresh veggies enjoyed this summer and plenty that has been frozen to enjoy in coming months.
It’s been over a month since I posted an update about my little herb garden. Well, it’s not so little anymore! In fact this week, I removed all the herbs from the Aerogarden and planted them in soil. Yep, that’s one of the basil plants in the photo. You can see the originally pics of it, just after it sprouted here. Can’t believe how big the herbs are now! Of course, they might not all survive being planted since they were grown in a water environment. It’s got to be quite a shock to their poor roots, but I’ve got my fingers crossed. They were looking pretty limp the first day in their pots, but have bounced back for the time being. Next up, I want to try growing some sage from seed again. There is way more sunshine nowadays compared to when I was trying the herb garden back in the fall, so things should grow better.
Speaking of growing better… hubby finally got the veggie seeds to cooperate!! We have a whole assortment of things growing now including: tomatoes, lettuce, green onions, cucumber (seen in photo), and cabbage. There’s a corner of our living room rigged with a mishmash of lights and rows of plants. I’m sure our neighbors probably think we have a grow-op on the go. Dear, oh, dear… well, it shouldn’t bee too much longer… we are hardening the plants (putting them outside in the shade and cool temperature) and some seeds have already been planted outdoors. Hubby made a neat cold frame for the veggie bed, so that should help things along. It’s exciting to think that we might have our own veggies to pick this year! And we have a LOT of tomato plants, so I might be making sauce all summer long. It will be quite some time before we can harvest our own veggies, but we plan on checking out the Asparagus Festival at the end of the month. Sounds like a fun time!
Have any plants started (indoors or outdoors)? I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment to share your green thumb adventures.
A quick update on the herb garden… it is doing WELL. Like amazingly well! This photo is now a week old (I’m behind on posts due to another flu/cold thing that I came down with this week). Things seem to grow crazy overnight though. I’m just so tickled with my little herb friends and these seem much more promising than the past two attempts. I still have my fingers crossed that they will survive being planted in soil once they are more mature.
In another news, hubby bought a seed heating mat to aid his attempts to start tomato, cabbage, and onion seeds indoors. Still waiting on the edge of our seats to see if anything pokes up out of the soil. Most of the snow outdoors has melted these past few days and I know that the green thumb of the house is starting to get a major itch to get the veggie garden going. Come on little seeds, come on!
In the fall, I shared my adventures of trying to start a herb garden, which failed twice. The second time, I discovered that there were all sorts of little flies living and breeding in the soil, flying all around the house. So before those pests could damage any of our other plants, I dumped the whole garden outside. With quite the “humph” and feeling fairly discouraged, I gave up on the herb garden for a while.
My lovely sister-in-law passed along her AeroGarden unit to try out. I’d seen the success she’d had with it, and so finally about a week and half ago, I got it all set up. Things sprouted within three days! Which is kinda crazy. Shows what some grow lights and plant food will do to help the process! Now we have small leafy bits. The dome covers have been removed and all the various herbs have sprouted. There are a couple of basil plants, a thyme, a mint, an oregano and a dill plant. So far, so good. We’ll see how things continue to progress.
Any gardeners out there start their seed prep yet? Hubby is trying to get some tomato seeds going inside. We hope to grow some in big pots on the back deck this summer, along with the wonderful veggie garden he has planned out. Such a green thumb! I want to be, but just don’t seem to have the same touch.
Well folks, she finally made an appearance. The herb garden is now home to a single sprout of rosemary! Oh, happy day! The rest of the herbs are doing well, although the oregano seems to be struggling a bit. I keep encouraging and praising them and hoping that one day I will be able to snip them off and use them in my homemade spaghetti sauce.
In other plant related news, my hubby is doing some research into LED grow lights. He is interested in getting one so that we can start some plants indoors in the spring for our vegetable garden. Gardening in Calgary is a tricky matter. The general rule of thumb I was taught as a kid, was that you waited until the May long weekend (which is around May 24th) to put your plants out. Even then, there can be a risk of snow, but at least things should be safe from the frost. So that leaves Calgary with a very short growing season. This coming spring/summer will be the first year that we have had a vegetable garden. Hubby built a raised garden bed in the fall and he has done a great deal of research into what type of veggies do best in our local climate. We are hoping that armed with an LED grow light, we can get certain plants started early. I’m thinking that this could also come in handy with the herb garden, to toughen up the sprouts a bit as we enter the short days of winter. I’ll keep you posted on the grow light progress. If anyone has used an LED variety, I’d love to hear about it. Happy growing!