gardenchatter

Garden adventures and advice…


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Some of My Garden Favourites!

It’s that time of year again. The snow is gone, the greenhouse is open and the seed orders are arriving fast and furious! 

I’d like to share a few of my favourites:

Renee’s Garden Seed

I tried a few new squashes last summer and in my opinion grew the best one ever. Renee’s Garden Seed – Baby Butternut Squash, Honey Nut. It was an outstanding performer with outstanding flavour and the only squash I plan to grow this year. 

A petite, light-weight and colourful squash, baby butternut grows “up” perfectly on a trellis or A-frame with no need to add supports to the fruit. When they first appear, they dark green and when ready to harvest are an interesting and unique darkish orange colour.

Certainly worth trying and great for any size garden. Can easily be grown in a container and suitable for small-space gardens or balconies that receive lots of sun. 

Baby Butternut – Renee’s Garden

I never seem to have much luck with peppers but last year I tried Renee’s Baby Belle and Yummy Belle peppers. Holy Moly! These were fabulous. Small-sized, sweet, non-stop producing peppers. Perfect right off the vine, and I liked the smaller size as well for grilling and cooking. I already have these growing indoors getting ready for the summer heat. Also great for any size garden. Grow very well in containers. 

Yummy Belle – Renee’s Garden

Baby Belle – Renee’s Garden

Looking for a small-size cabbage with amazing flavour? Try Pixie cabbage. I really only bought this one a few years ago because we had a cat named Pixie. But once we tried it, it became a regular in the garden. I cover it with floating row cover to keep the cabbage moths away while it’s growing and that seems to work well. I’d also recommend succession planting…start them indoors, but plant them every couple of weeks to enjoy a continuous supply right into the fall.

Pixie Cabbage – Renee’s Garden

And check out this new zinnia. I’ve got some for this year, so stay tuned…

Zinnia – Summer Pinwheel

 


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Seed Starting….Easy Peas…ie

For those of us that like to grow-our-own, that time is once again here. The ability to walk around the garden at the end of the day collecting dinner or cutting flowers for the table is truly an exciting experience; every time I take that walk, I am overwhemed at what I have created.
 
Here’s a few things to consider if you plan to grow from seed (and if you don’t, give it a try – it’s easy!)
 
Use the best quality seed you can afford. If you have seed but are unsure of how old it is or where it originated, don’t use it. Buy new.
 
Good lighting is essential. Seeds need light to germinate. And heat.
 
If planting indoors, use a good soilless potting mixture. This provides the needed air circulation, good drainage and typically these mixtures contain no diseases or pests. Garden soil is too heavy for young seedlings – and may contain pathogens that little plants can’t fight.
 
Use the seeding guidlines on the package. It will tell you how far in advance of the usual last frost date to plant – if you’re planting indoors, and explain how and when to seed if planting outdoors. Some plants prefer the cooler weather, some need the summer heat. When in question for any part of seed starting – follow the seed package instructions and information – the seed growers know what they’re doing! (Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way.)
 
What’s best to start indoors?
      – tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, broccoli, brussels, cabbage, cauliflower, perennials and  herbs
 
Best for either starting ahead or directly in the ground?
     – greens, kale, chard, cucumbers, squash, melons, sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds
 
Best for sowing directly in the ground?
     – peas, carrots, beans, corn, radishes, parsnips, onions, turnips, morning glory, scarlet runner, sweet pea.
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