Saturday, 25 May 2013

Late May, fast growth

May - Fast Growth

It is amazing how much  everything has grown in the 19 days 
since I last posted pictures.

You may wonder about the red & green plastic sheets hung up.
The green one on the outside was put there to give a bit of shade 
as the temperature inside reached 40c/104f one day and the peas 
sure were NOT happy about it.
The red on the inside wall - well, in the Lee Valley Tools catalogue
they offer re plastic sheeting to use as ground cover around your 
tomato and other plants to help promote fruit production.  I have
carrots planted between the tomatoes (companion planting) so I was
unable to use the plastic on the ground.  Instead, I decided to try some
on the wall to see how it would do there.  (I found a red plastic table cloth
at the dollar store that was the right size.) 

Potted flowers in back yard have been swamped by the pansies

* * *

The front flower beds are slowly filling in.  The white flowers are Alyssum that self-seeded.

* * *

 Volunteer potatoes want the whole bed!   Strawberries are loaded, raspberries also
bearing a good crop with lots of bumble bees busy pollinating.

* * *

Inside the greenhouse the "bush" peas have reached the roof and want to keep going.
Another week and we will be eating peas.  
The lettuce seems to be going crazy and not wanting to form heads.

 * * *

In the pictures posted May 6th the tomato plants were about 1/3 the size
they are now.  I keep the sucker shoot pruned off and the plants are doing great.
I saved 4 sucker shoots that were about 3" long, trimmed the bottom leaves,
then potted them and kept the soil very moist.  They developed nice roots and
have found homes elsewhere as I have enough plants.
 * * *

Beware of the dog!

I don't think she has reached 7 pounds yet but she has a good voice!  

Regards to all

Saturday, 11 May 2013

May update - Warmer weather!

Well, the warm weather is with us, so that means more  planting of flowers as well as setting out some seedlings in the veggie garden.  It got so hot inside the greenhouse that some of the peas got burned at the tops.  The temperature reached 104f/40c so I had to hurriedly arrange for some shade.  Doesn't look pretty, but it does the job.  Shade cloth that we brought back from Arizona on the roof and a thin plastic table cloth on the outside of the wall.  It did the trick!
In the front bed in the right corner is a single "Sweetmeat" squash plant.  Last year 3 were more than we needed and they just about smothered the whole bed.  Left end of the bed is a chive plant. The large green plants are volunteer potatoes.  (works for me!)
In the next bed are strawberries.  A real jungle, loaded with blooms, strawberries are forming nicely.  The white is plastic pipe framework holding up a mesh to keep birds out.
The far bed is my tangle of raspberry canes.  I think we planted 8 canes last year and they have done quite well (to put it mildly)... I have already given away a few dozen runner shoots and there are many dozen left to sort through and see which I will leave in the bed and which I will dig up and offer them to other people.
 * * *

 Bottom left you can see dark lines in the dirt which are rows of beets just planted and not yet sprouted.  Working towards the far end, next are the last 2 lettuce plants from the ones planted by our Saskatchewan friends before we got home.  Next, barely in sight are some small lettuce plants I started in paper pots and then next to the peas are some lettuce plants we started in pots then set them out in the greenhouse.  As you can see, the peas are right up to the ceiling - I had to top them so they didn't push against the plastic.  In the far left corner hidden away are the inside strawberry plants which are loaded with berries but none ripe yet.  Also in the corner are about 8 raspberry canes that came under the wall and are trying to take over.  Just for fun I am going to let them grow there (I will have to top them when they get near the ceiling) so I can see if they do OK inside, maybe produce fruit sooner than outside.
On the right side are 5 tomato plants.  A couple of "Early Girl", a "Celebrity" and 2 "Super Fantastic"...  all good producers.  On the right bottom corner are a couple of bush beans that are now producing flower buds.
* * *

 Below you can see the Super Fantastic tomato plant and the bush beans with the Egyptian Onions in the corner quietly going crazy.


* * * 
One corner of the greenhouse has been temporarily turned into a "nursery" for seedlings or small plants.  If you look carefully you can see 4 tomato plants that are busy setting roots.  They are the suckers taken from my main plants.  I wait until the sucker shoots get a few inches long then nip them off the main plant (where the leaves grow off the stem), I then nip off the largest leaf branch from the sucker and just put the stem in nice moist dirt.  Keep them moist and they send out roots and you have more plants in no time at all.  I have enough plants so these are for our 93 year old neighbour who is still gardening!  
In the big pot is a hydrangea taken from one we moved.  It looks like it is going to do OK as it has been in the pot about a month now so should have some good roots on it.  The pot in the middle with the pink flowers contains some strawberry plants - ornamental type with pink flowers and they do produce fruit but very small and very sweet.  (Gift from our 93 year old neighbour!)  In the plastic tray are some scarlet runner bean seeds in shallow dirt.   When they start to sprout I will then plant them out on my bean trellis/teepee.  Doing this way I know for sure if the seed is growing rather than wait and find out which ones don't germinate.  In the segmented pot are seeds of "Bee  Balm" - the claim to fame is the flowers attract humming birds as well as bees.
* * *

So much for the veggies  -  below are a few pictures of the flower gardens.  Still a work in progress and before long they will put on a good show.
 Just starting to look decent - the geraniums are mostly in bud, pansies still small, and the hundreds (yes hundreds) of Alysum plants are just starting to bloom.  They are self-seeders from last year.

 * * *
 The bed next to the south fence is just starting to look good.  The pink Azelia is the main feature at the moment with the peony (bottom left) in bud.  Not sure if it is going to do much in the way of large blooms as we moved it this spring.  Our 2 small Rhododendrons are not happy, possibly due to my not knowing they don't like mushroom manure.  Also in this bed are a couple of Oriental Poppies (the ones our puppy is named after)... as well as some iris, day lillies & a new plant that is a double bloom Columbine (also said to attract humming birds)...

 * * *

Last but not least are the planters by the patio next to the gazebo.  The pansies are the main bloomers at the moment but other "stuff" will be coming on in a while.

I hope you are enjoying the spring as much as we are!