April 23

Germination begins!

This should probably have been started a month ago, but it’s hard to be motivated when there’s still snow on the ground. Weather is finally warming up.

My hope is to get four strong plants of each of the following:

  1. Sunflowers
  2. Pumpkins
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Red Cayenne Peppers
  5. Watermelons

Several of each variety were wrapped in wet paper towel between two plates and placed in a nice warm spot on top of the fridge.

In preparation for planting, I upcycled old yogurt containers into sectioned planter pots.

The soil mix is very dense, though well-drained. I may try something lighter next year. Young roots probably have trouble penetrating.

April 25

Garden is small and some spots aren’t getting enough sun. I expanded into the sun’s path using salvaged fire pit bricks to demarcate my garden’s edge.

Soil was turned and raked.

April 27

Five tomatoes and one sunflower sprouted roots. They were planted in a mix of approximately 1/3 compost, 1/3 perlite, and 1/3 sand.

Compost bin moved from winter spot to summer spot. Soil turned at raked again. The compost smells like manure.

April 28

Day’s high: 27

Four more tomatoes and two watermelons were ready for planting. No sign of life in the cayennes. Pumpkins and sunflowers look ready to split.

Soil was turned, raked, and groomed where needed. 12 litres of tap water (no rain yet) was applied to the area ready for planting spinach.

Total tilled area: ~7’x8’ = 56 sq. feet

Crop: Spinach

The internet says spinach seeds should be primed, so I started that today (soaking 24 hours in water).

April 29

Soaking spinach seeds were transfered to a Ziploc with a wet towel. I abandoned any notion of properly priming the seeds because the ground is getting warm and spinach is supposed to like it chill.

April 30

Day’s high: 14, light rain

Successfully germinated and planted indoors:

  • 2 sunflowers
  • 2 watermelons
  • 4 tomatoes

The seeds were left to germinate over Sunday, so some of the tomato roots had grown into the napkin. I may have damaged the roots trying to seperate them for planting.

A few spinach seeds have sprouted in the Ziploc.

May 2

Day’s high: 19, sunny

Planted two red cayenne peppers and prepared more yogurt container planters.

The paper-towel-wrapped spinach seeds were transfered to the garden. I made four sections, just over a foot square each. About one teaspoon of wet seeds were spread over each section, covered loosely with earth, and lightly watered. Soaking started on April 28. Wet paper towel germination until planting. Several were showing roots. They were too hard to seperate from those with no roots showing.

Planted 10 freesia bulbs into large clay pot and watered.

Started germinating remainder of sweet pea packet (about 15 seeds).

Planted almost full pack of beets directly into the soil. Two rows, probably too close together (about 7cm apart).

About 24 liters of rain barrel water applied to garden and pots.

May 3

Day’s high: 21

24 liters given to garden and various planters in the morning, late afternoon.

Planted one pumpkin.

Planted morning glories and sweet peas in containers. None of these seeds have germinated. They’re just starting to look kind of soft and gross. Thought it best to get them in the ground ASAP.

May 5

Day’s high 19

24 liters of water, morning and afternoon.

May 6

24 liters of water, morning and afternoon.

May 7

Rain was expected. No rain. 14 liters of water in the evening.

Expected high: 24

Planted:

  • 3 cayenne
  • 1 sunflower
  • 1 pea directly outdoor planter (germinated for three days. Long roots)

May 8

Rain expected.

Expected high: 22

May 9

Rain finally! Only one of two barrels filled.

Expected high: 12(?)

Some sign of spinach. Indoor plants are thriving. Thinking about disposing of dud seeds.

May 10

Rain expected. Little, if any fell.

Expected high: 14

Spinach and beets are both poking out. Ground was still pretty wet. Moistened with about 7 liters of water in the evening.

May 11

No rain. No water applied.

May 12

36 liters of water applied to seedlings, pots, and garden bed morning and evening.

Easily pulled 9 compost pumpkins from garden bed.

May 14

Day high: 27

20 liters total water applied to seedlings, pots, and garden bed morning and evening (10 liters morning and night).

Spinach and beets are looking healthy. The patches are getting greener, little by little. Several new seedlings (including cayennes!) have sprouted.

May 15

Expected high: 28

10 liters of water in the morning on garden bed and seedlings (forgot pots).

10 liters of water spread over 1900-2200 on garden bed, seedlings and pots.

20 liters total

Round Up

Tonnes of dandilions are poking up. Applied a few drops to weeds across the lawn. The directions say to cover all the leaves, but I only applied some light a light spritz here and there to avoid getting poison on the grass. Check back in a week. Hopefully they won’t be able to go to seed.

May 16

High: 25

7 liters to all in the morning. 10 liters to all in the evening.

Planted 4 sunflowers.

  1. Seeded April 27
  2. Seeded April 30
  3. Seeded April 30
  4. Seeded May 7 (just a wee little thing)

The homemade yogurt planters worked very well. Easy to split apart. Roots were not quite pot-bound when transplanted outdoors.

All signs point to stormy rain… seedlings are outside for the night, but under roof awning to avoid drowning and tipping because of wind.

May 17

Rain!!!

Expected high: 12

It’s supposed to dip down to 5 degrees tonight. I brought my most precious seedlings inside

May 18

There was supposed to be rain, but things have cleared up for the morning.

Expected high: 15

Applied 12 liters of water to everything in the evening.

May 20

Applied 12 liters in the evening.

Mark took the pumpkin seedlings and a container of tomatoes.

May 21

Expected high: 23

Applied 10 liters of water to everything in the morning. 6 liters in the evening. 16 liters total.

Sunflowers have transplanted well.

May 22

Expected high: 26

Applied 10 liters of water to everything in the morning. Rain expected on weekend. Applied 17 liters to everything in evening.

27 liters total.

Used skinny twigs as a lattice for Malachi’s pea to climb

Round Up

Weeds sprayed last week show signs of whithering. More Round Up applied to new weeds.

Almost three weeks since planting, no sign of freesia bulbs in large clay pot. Moved the pot into more direct sunlight. Shady spot is likely inhibiting development.

Garden bed

Divided planting areas with sidewalk bricks (roughly 2x2 bricks, not including width of bricks).

May 23

Expected high: 27

Planted 4 tomatoes - 3 in garden bed, 1 in landscape block planter:

  1. All seeded April 27

Planted 5 GG - 4 in garden bed, 1 in landscape block planter:

  1. 4 seeded April 4
  2. 1 seeded April 6

Each GG is aproximately 10 cm tall, though their is ample evidence of mixed genetics. 2 out of 5 were unusually squat.

25 liters of water applied to everything in the morning and evening. 50 liters total.

Forecast keeps saying there’s rain just around the corner. Doubtful, but I do need to get the generator barrels set up.

Mosquitoes are getting pesky.

May 24

Expected high: 27, chance of rain. Lyndsay reported a heavy, but brief outburst in the afternoon.

Ground still appeared damp in the morning. Applied 13 liters to everything. Applied 12 liters in the evening. 25 liters total.

May 25

Expected high: 28, more rain expected (not likely)

Applied 12 liters to everything in the morning and 12 at night. 24 total

Planted Lydia and Stella’s Mother’s Day flowers in a landscape block planter. Malachi’s peas were also put in a concrete planter with a stick to climb.

Ended up doing an emergency planting of 4 tomatoes:

  1. All planted April 30

I was planning on giving these away, but Philip tipped over the pot. They all ended up in concrete block planters. Two tomatoes to each planter.

May 26

Expected high: 23(?)

Applied 24 liters of water in the evening to everything.

May 27

Applied 12 liters in the morning, 24 liters in the evening to everything. 36 liters total.

May 28

Expected high: 29

Applied 10 liters to everything. Ground still looked damp in most places. Transplants all appear to be firmly rooted.

Applied 17 liters to everything in the evening. 27 liters total.

Rain is always in the forecast, but never materializes. Some spinach is ready to eat.

May 29

Expected high: 17… looks like rain…

Applied 10 liters to everything in the morning. 6 in the evening. 16 total.

Picked a small handful of spinach just as it was ready to bolt. Tasted pretty good.

May 30

Expected high: 10(?). Very light rain. No water.

Picked five leaves of spinach. One had what appeared to be white insect eggs. Washed and gave to Lyndsay who say it was “delicious”.

May 31

Expected high: 10. Raining!

June 1

Expected high: 10. More rain!

Spinach isn’t bolting in the cool weather.

June 4

Went golfing all weekend. Rain in Calgary. Full barrels.

Applied 12 liters to everything in the evening.

Had delicious spinach in salad.

June 5

Applied 24 liters of water to everything.

Pulled some weeds in the garden. Applied Round Up to a few large dandelions. Light application is definitely detrimental to the weeds, but I’m not sure it’s enough.

June 6

Expected high: 25

Applied 36 liters of water to everything in the evening.

Planted 4 watermelons:

  1. 2018-4-28
  2. 2018-4-28
  3. 2018-4-28
  4. 2018-4-30

Watermelons are looking pretty sick. Root bound. Planted at the open corner of the garden.

Planted 5 cayenne:

  1. 2018-5-2
  2. 2018-5-2
  3. 2018-5-7
  4. 2018-5-7
  5. 2018-5-12 (three seeded, one actually sprouted)

Cayenne are barely 2 inches high.

Transfered lavendar plants, each to one of the clay pots that had nothing sprout. Planted the osteospermum alongside one lavendar.

Don’t know what to do with all the lemons that miraculously sprouted. Three of four are still going strong in their yogurt planter.

June 7

Expected high: 26

Ground was still damp in the morning.

Mowed the front lawn. Definite signs of Round Up effectiveness once the tall grass is cleared. Won’t mow the back until someone picks up Molly’s dog log.

Applied 36 liters of water to everything in the evening.

June 8

Expected high: 29

Ground was still damp in the morning. Applied 12 liters to everything.

Bought a 5 liter jug of Roundup with Comfort Wand. Compared to the small squirt bottle, the battery-powered sprayer sprays way too hard. It’s difficult to target specific weeds without spraying the grass as well.

Applied 24 liters of water to everything in the evening. Total 36 liters.

June 10

Lots of rain for the past couple of days. Dampened dry soil with 6 liters in the evening.

June 11

Cool, dry weather. Very windy.

Ground dry. Applied 30 liters in the evening.

June 12

Soil damp. Applied 12 liters to everything in the morning.

Applied 24 liters to everything in the evening. 26 liters total.

June 13

Soil still damp in the morning.

June 16

Applied 6 liters to planters under eaves in early afternoon.

It’s been gloomy for the past few days. Enough rain that there’s been no need to water. Not very much sun.

Pruned some of the low GG leaves, because they were splattered with mud and touching the ground because of the rain.

Compost

Checked in on the leaves composting from last winter… the leaves layered with compost are reduced, though the top part of the bin is very dry. Put some of the bottom stuff on top.

The leaves with no compost layers are hardly reducing at all. Once again, turned some of the bottom rot to the top. Left for another year, I could see the leaf-only bin making excellent mulch

Mandarin and Lemons

Transfered the mandarin orange planted last Christmas to a larger pot with a stake, because it’s growing more like a vine than a tree.

All four lemons planted May 2 were also put into larger pots, though one seems to have whithered. It had a healthy root when I broke apart the planter container, so I thought I’d give it another chance alongside one of the other lemons.

June 17

Applied 24 liters in the everything.

I couldn’t resists pinching some of the whithered, weak leaves on the beets and the tomato under the eaves. Most of its leaves had been eaten by some sort of insect. All damaged leaves were removed.

June 18

Expected high: 23

Applied 12 liters of water in the morning. 24 in the evening. 36 total.

The pruned tomato from yesterday stood straight up reaching for the sun. Discovered it infested with small, hard-shelled insects. They are about the size if a dull pencil tip. These are almost certainly the cause of the old leaf damage. I flicked them away and have been checking back periodically.

June 19

Applied 36 liters to everything in the evening.

Little hard bugs keep coming to that one tomato plant. I’ve been brushing them off. So far the plant appears no worse for wear.

Am constantly pinching damaged beet leaves. Hopefully don’t get any spider bites.

GG: the Senate approved the Marijuana bill. Praise God!

June 20

Expected high: 27

Applied 12 liters to everything in the morning. Applied 24 liters in evening. 36 liters total.

Forgot to check tomato for bugs in the morning.

Bugs are back, but just on that one tomato plant under the roof. I can’t tell if they fly or just jump really far. I keep brushing them off. The leaves are starting to get damaged.

Are there any good homemade pesticides?

June 21

Expected high: 27

Applied 12 liters in the morning. Chance of rain. Applied 12 liters in the evening. 24 toal.

Tomato had a few bugs on it. Maybe they’re losing interest. It’s a wonder that the bugs only like that one plant.

Couple of bugs in the evening. Did minimal work because it’s gloomy outside.

June 22

Expected high: 21

No rain last night. Applied 12 liters in the morning. Rain expected today and over the weekend.

June 23

Cold wet rain, as promised.

Expected high: 20

June 24

Nice hot day. Applied 24 liters in the evening.

June 25

Expected high: 26

Stormy looking clouds coming over the mountains.

Applied 12 liters in the morning. 24 liters at night. 36 total.

June 26

Expected high: 21

Forecast calls for rain. Applied 12 liters in the morning.

June 27

No rain. Applied 24 liters in the evening.

June 28

Rain forecast. Expected high: 20

Bugs are really gnawing on that poor tomato. Pinched some damaged leaves.

Pinched damaged leaves from beets.

The cayenne peppers are super small. They had a good headstart on the year. Plenty of sun and water. The tallest is 3” high.

Applied 24 liters of water in the evening.

Rain started in the late evening.

June 29

Expected high: 19

More rain forecast.

June 30

Rain and a bit of sun. Applied 24 liters in late afternoon because ground looked dry.

July 1

Decent rain over the weekend, though I did apply 24 liters Sunday night (dry-looking ground).

Thinned a bunch of damaged beet leaves. Picked four nickel-size baby beets to make room for some larger ones.

July 2

Spotty rain throughout the day. And yet, ground looked dry in the evening. Applied 12 liters.

July 3

Expected high: 15

Light drizzle and rain forecast all day.

GG plants are looking good. Some are over 2’ high.

July 4

Rainy, sunny, but cool.

July 5

Expected high: 26

Applied 12 liters in the morning.

July 6

Expected high: 32

Applied 24 liters in the morning. Applied 24 in the evening. 48 total.

Peas flopped over. They need a higher lattice.

Thinned some damaged beet leaves

July 7

Expected high: 24

Applied 12 liters in the morning.

Thinned some damaged beet leaves.

Spot-applied RoundUp around the house.

Set up wire for peas along the deck rail. They were growing across the ground.

Pinched weak and damaged growth on tomatoes and GGs.

July 8

Applied 12 liters in the morning and 24 at night. 36 total.

Pinched weak and damaged growth where appropriate.

July 9

Expected high: 27

Applied 12 liters in the morning. Applied 24 liters in the evening.

Test fire of the rocket stove. Very good performance. Minimal smoke.

July 10

Nice rain. Full barrels.

July 11

Applied 24 liters in the evening.

Thinned beet leaves. Cut branches on lower tomatoes and some GG.

July 12

Applied 12 liters in the evening. I’m purposefully holding back water to condition for August vacation.

July 13

Expected high: 31

Very hot. Plants could use water…

Applied 24 liters in the evening… then it rained!

July 14

Applied about 6 liters to plants under the eaves in the morning. Didn’t get any rain last night, apparently. Applied 18 liters in the evening. 24 liters total.

Expected high: 21

July 15

Applied 12 liters in the morning and 24 at night. 36 total.

July 16

Expected high: 30

Applied 12 liters in the morning. 24 liters in the evening. 36 total.

July 17

Didn’t apply water in the morning. It was very hot, so I carefully applied 12 liters of water directly to the soil in early afternoon. 24 more liters were applied over the late afternoon and evening. 36 liters total

July 18

No water applied. It rained in the evening.

July 19

Expected high: 24

Ground was still wet from previous evening. Applied 24 liters in morning.

July 22

Gone since Friday. No water over the weekend. Not sure if it rained, but all the plants were doing fine.

Applied 36 liters in the evening.

July 23

Expected high: 21

Applied 12 liters in the morning. Rain in the evening.

July 23

Rain.

Expected high: 18

July 25

It got dry enough to uproot the GGs. Major root damage. Currently contained in 4 gallon buckets. Added about 8 liters to all the buckets.

The clay-rich ground is almost rock-hard when dry. On the flipside, it gets super muddy when wet.

July 26

More rain!

GGs haven’t wilted. They are now under a single 400W HPS. Added a bit more water. Plants don’t seem too distressed yet.

July 27

Forgot to turn on lamp! Lights on at 1700. Lights out at 0100.

Major dummy move… chains hanging the lamps are in the path of the garage door. Back to the drawing board.

Applied 24 liters outdoor in the evening.

No water for the GGs. Soil is still damp and I want to make sure the roots get oxygen.

Picked a collandars worth of beets. Some decent sized vegetables. The largest were well shy of a baseball’s size. The smallest, like baby potatoes. Hopefully pulling the smaller ones will make room for larger ones.

July 28

Lamp on at 1400. Lights out at 2210.

1 liter of water to GGs in evening (~2100). 24 to outdoor plants.

July 30

12 liters in the morning. 12 liters at night. 24 liters total.

Lamp on at 1530.

GG soil was still moist, though I gave spread a half liter of water between the four of them at lights on. One plant’s drooping is quite worrying. The rest seem to be adjusting.

July 31

24 liters in the evening.

Lamp on at 1530… this is going to be a pain.

August 1

Decent rain. No water outside. Moistened GGs.

Lamp on at 1245. Lights out 910.

August 2

Ground still damp. 10 liters outside in the morning, mostly under eaves.

GGs should probably be on 12 hour cycle. Set up timer to start at 10am and stop at 10pm.

August 6

GGs were dry. Applied about 2 liters total. Applied about 4 liters early afternoon to the plants under the eaves. They were getting pretty droopy.

The mix of sun and rain over the last few days has been wonderful. The forecast calls for some serious heat this week.

Applied 24 liters outdoors in the evening. 30 liters total.

August 7

Applied 12 liters outdoors in the morning.

Expected high: 30

August 8

Applied 12 liters outdoors in the morning. 24 liters in the evening. 36 total.

Moistened GGs… less than a liter for all.

Expected high: 31

August 9

Applied 12 liters outdoors in the morning. 24 liters at night. 36 total.

Expected high: 33

Pruned back a lot of green growth on the tomatoes.

August 10

Applied 12 liters in the morning.

August 11

Moistened GGs and applied 24 liters to everything in evening.

August 12

Moistened GGs in the morning. Decent rain last night.

August 13

Moistened GGs in the morning. 24 liters applied to everything in the evening.

August 14

Expected high: 28

Applied 12 liters to everything in the morning (moistened GGs).

August 27

Very cool weather. Haven’t seen the garden since we left on vacation.

Applied 6 liters to plants under the eaves in the evening. Ground is moist otherwise.

August 28

Expected high: 18

September 3

Good batch of beats harvested today. Smaller than golf balls.

Applied 14 liters to garden bed in the evening.

Decently warm day, but definitely cool. Fall is almost here.

September 6

Applied 24 liters to everything in the evening.

Nice, warm, sunny day. Garden’s basically alive.

September 7

Applied 12 liters in the evening.

September 8

Applied 12 liters in the afternoon.

September 9

Applied 12 liters in the evening.

September 10

Rain in the forecast. Expected high: 19