October in the Greenhouse (Ramblings)

This month is a busy, busy time in the greenhouse. The garden beds have been cleaned out and winterised, so is time to move on to readying the greenhouse for winter. 
We do our annual, super duper thorough, clean up in October, after the water restrictions have been lifted, but while it is still warm enough to be spraying water ... and getting thoroughly soaked in the process.    
With the days getting shorter daily, sparkling clean walls, inside and out, help let in more of that weak winter sunshine. 

We start by emptying pretty much everything out of the greenhouse. All the plants, furniture, bits and bobs. Anything that you do not want power washed should be hauled out.

Then do a thorough sweep before adding water to the mix ; )

Wash up any unused pots, store away till they are needed again. I call this part 'doing the dishes' ; ) 

The tracks along the sides of the greenhouse, where the walls meet the foundation, always fill up with 'stuff' throughout the summer (…

October Garden Chores & Ramblings

Night time temperatures have dipped to single digits, mornings arrive heavy with dew, and the wind blows oh so cold ... October is here.

The veggie garden beds are all cleaned up, with nothing left standing except the fall and winter goodies, things like kale, celery, kohlrabi, carrots, parsnips, spinach, and some newly seeded lettuces. 
They have been top dressed with fish compost and manure, feeding the soil so that I am good to go with planting when spring arrives. 

For a how-to on winterising your garden beds, bug prevention, and weed control for next spring, please click here.  

The October to-do schedule 

Transplant/move/plant - This is a great time to transplant or plant new trees and shrubs, too. Anything from the shops, growing in pots, will need no additional pruning or care, just amend the planting hole, rough up the roots a bit, and pop in the hole. Water once. Likely you will not need to do much more to it this season, unless we have many weeks of dry weather, so that it n…

Putting Your Kitchen Garden To Bed In 5 Easy Steps

Next year's fantastic, healthy, organic, kitchen garden begins right here, right now. What you do now to winterise your beds, makes the difference between a great garden year ahead and a frustrating one.

Here are five easy steps you need to know to put your kitchen garden to bed for winter. How organic gardeners maintain healthy, happy beds that are 'almost' weed, disease, and pest free.

Ruby Tuesday helps with garden clean up...  'Hey mom, I found some nasturtium seedlings' ; )  
1. Post Harvest Clean Up!

After you have harvested your summer veggies, canned and stored them to enjoy throughout the winter, it is garden clean up time. This is the most important step you can take for a pest free garden next year.

Remove everything from the surface of your beds... spent tomato, squash and cucumber vines, all stems, leaves, seedlings and other plant debris lying around on top of the bed. Try to get all the leaf material and debris that you can, as they provide winter hi…

Tanja's Top Ten Tomatoes 2017

Time for the annual 'Best Tomatoes Of The Year' blog post. Seems like this year it came on faster than ever!

This gardening year certainly had it's challenges... Spring was wet and cool, bees were scarce due to the weather, causing many of the earliest tomatoes to be lumpy and bumpy from poor pollination.

Then summer came along with a real bang, was really hot and really dry. Some tomatoes ended up with tough skins or green shoulders in the high temps.

So, although it was certainly not the best tomato year, there are some varieties that never seem to disappoint. 

Though I must say, all of the greenhouse grown tomatoes were fantastic this year. They were truly thriving after the new shade cloth 'roller blinds' went up. Thank you to BC Greenhouse Builders for those!

Tomatoes will go sterile in too much heat, so the shade cloth was a real blessing. Stayed warm and sunny in there, but not stifling hot. Also saved on water and the power bill, as the fan was not running …

September Garden Ramblings

September came in with a bang! Whoa, has it ever been hot out there. Then came the smoke from the forest fires, turned our skies a creepy yellow colour, but also cooled things down a couple of degrees.

While it is not feeling much like fall weather here on the island yet, we all know that it can change in the blink of an eye... bringing on the fall rains and risk of late blight.

So, what is going on in our gardens this month? Lots! This is harvest month, the month when everything seems to ripen before our very eyes. Tomatoes go from green to red in a matter of days, cukes and zukes go from small to ginormous almost overnight.

Canning, freezing, curing, storing, baking, stewing, brewing ... How to keep up with all this glorious bounty? And... what a wonderful problem to have, eh?

- Take the tops off of your brussel sprouts this month, if they are not sizing up decently by now. The top looks like a wee cabbage, twist or cut it off to put the growth into the sprouts rather than the plant…