February 2023

Off Topic

Garden Highs and Lows

I thought I’d jot down my thoughts  about my successes and failures in my garden this year.

To my surprise, the Africa Marigold Inca seeds I ordered this year are a failure.  Who ever thought marigolds could be failures?  Besides, they were so pretty last year.  So for next year – no marigolds.

A note to myself – never under any circumstances order plants through the mail.  The Golden Elderberry didn’t get off the ground and neither did the Highbush Cranberry.  I replaced the Golden Elderberry with Black Lace Elderberry that I bought at the garden centre.  It’s thriving and growing daily.  I replaced the Highbush Cranberry with Tiger Eye Sumac.  However, the Giant Fleeceflower and Pinky Winky Hydrangea that also came through the mail are thriving.  Pinky Winky will probably be great next year.  So maybe “not under any circustances” was too strong a statement.

Love the Love Lies Bleeding.  A note to myself – start them inside.  That way they’ll be pretty big plants ready for transplanting.  This last Spring I just took the dried ropes and threw them on a couple of beds.  They landed wherever but grew quite well, all the same.  Still, a little more structure would be nice.

I got some seeds and plants from friends.  Some, I’ll do again and others I won’t.  Angel’s Trumpet is making quite a stir in the neighbourhood, so I will sow them again.  They are very dramatic.

Now for vegetables.  I will buy two dozen cages and give tomatoes another go next spring.  If they’re still a mess, I’ll buy my stuff at the farmer’s market and forget about growing them.  If I buy a bushel of Romas I can make a lot of sauce.  If not, I’ll buy the cans and return to doing what I’ve been doing for so long.  Biggest problem with tomatoes – critters.  There has been a lot much critter damage. 

I grew snow peas but I won’t anymore, I don’t think.  A lot of trouble for little yield.  Besides, they need to run along some kind of wire or something.  Maybe I will try again.  They were so good.

I’m having great success with beets.  No pests seem to bother them and so they are always delicious.  Carrots are doing well so is the lettuce.  I hope the leeks are fine.  I won’t know till I pull them.  My peppers are doing well, too.  Next year I’ll grow the red and yellow ones as well as the green.  Well maybe just the red.  I use them to make roasted peppers.

A friend gave me some seeds I thought were bush beens.  Instead, I’m growing squash – both Acorn and Butternut.  It’s a messy business with them running all over the lawn.  Charlie made me promise to plant flowers  and shrubs along the South side of the house next year.  Maybe that would be a good place for sunflowers.  Or not.

So, in conclusion, it looks as though the trouble spot is the vegetable garden.  Beets, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes (maybe), leeks, potatoes, carrots are good.  Squash, peas are not.

This was my second year of growing vegetables.  I’ll try one more year.  Maybe I’ll get sick of it and turn the plot into a rose garden.  There’s a switch.  Or maybe build a nice stone patio – naw, I think roses would look nice there or maybe just grass.  In any case, once the lower garden is cleared and ready for planting – if I still feel like doing it – I’ll put the vegatable garden down there.  Or not.

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