Category: garden

Planting season

Planting season

Learn why cages are essential when growing tomatoes this summer.

Learn why cages are essential when growing tomatoes this summer.


I took a little tour of the garden since we’re supposed to get a…

I took a little tour of the garden since we’re supposed to get a cold snap with lows in the 20s for the next few days.


Winter Care I wrapped the trunks of my lemon, fig and nectarine…

Winter Care

I wrapped the trunks of my lemon, fig and nectarine trees in burlap in
anticipation of a freeze that may happen Wednesday night. We haven’t
gotten to freezing temperatures in my part of the city just yet this
I’ll be honest: I’m not sure if this step is necessary or even
effective, but I have the burlap in strips on a roll from last year and
it only takes a few minutes to do. I doubt it can hurt.

The winds have also been regularly blowing the pepper cage over so I
tied it off to the light cables. There are still several fruits on this
plant and none of them have ripened. I broke one off and tried it; it
tasted like a very mild green pepper from the grocery store. The taste
was mild, not bitter, and underripe. I bet these are great when they are

I’ve read lots of articles that say you should pull peppers and tomatoes
up before a frost and hang them upside down so the fruits will continue
to slowly ripen. I have never actually done this but I am curious if it
would work. Not sure if I’ll get to doing this before Wednesday.

Orchid flower spike.

Orchid flower spike.

Overwintering This is the 4th winter I’ve brought the…


This is the 4th winter I’ve brought the bougies indoors to overwinter
like this. I bought these in April 2013. The hibiscus I’ve had since at
least 2014, but I can’t recall if I had it longer than that.

The Continuing Rat Problem, or The Greatest Rat Trap Ever Made…

The Continuing Rat Problem, or The Greatest Rat Trap Ever Made

So a few days ago, the BF noticed that one of my violet sparkle
peppers has been chewed. I dreaded what I would find, but sure enough it
looked like the rats were back.

I took at look at my Victor electronic trap that I had left outside
since the last time rats were eating my tomatoes, in June. It had been
rained on and neglected, mainly because I couldn’t bring myself to bring
it into the garage. I checked the batteries and the indicator light
wasn’t coming on so I assumed I needed to buy new batteries. I propped
it up on the edge of the south side garden box to remind me to buy new

Today, I was out back watering and the BF says, “oh, you got your
rat.” I would never have even thought to look in the trap since I
thought it was dead and it hadn’t even been baited. Sure enough, a rat
tail was sticking out the end.

This rat trap is the most effective thing I’ve ever used. When I
first bought this trap at the end of spring, I baited it with peanut
butter and chocolate chips and set it outside. That very first night, I
went back outside at around midnight to check on things and it had
already caught the biggest male rat I had ever seen. The tail was
sticking out 6 inches beyond the end of trap. I womaned up, cleaned the
trap and reset it.

The next morning, it had caught a very large female rat. I hadn’t
seen any evidence that there were any more rats after that and I was
amazed at how quick and effective the trap had been. That was already
enough proof for me that this product was amazing. Fast forward to today
and this thing is still killing rats, without fresh bait, propped up
precariously on the corner edge of a box!

I’m convinced this machine just cannot stop killing. I’m not
complaining, of course. While I do feel bad about harming something just
trying to survive outside in the garden, I have to draw the line at
disease-spreading rats. I think perhaps like Christine, this trap has a
real taste for blood. As long as it’s killing the rodents that are
eating my produce before it can ripen, I’m on its side.

Entry 58: Move In DayAnyone who has ever moved can understand…

Entry 58: Move In Day – Pic 1

Entry 58: Move In Day – Pic 2

Entry 58: Move In Day – Pic 3

Entry 58: Move In Day

Anyone who has ever moved can understand the anxiety that comes with finding and arriving at your new home. It’s all the same as when you’re transplanting your seedlings into their more permanent homes in your garden. I’ll explain, first you spend months and weeks finding the right place. “Is there a grocery store near by?”, “Can you afford the rent?”,  “Is the neighbourhood safe?” It’s just like asking: “Is there the right amount of sun here?” And “are there a lot of bugs that will eat the leaves in this spot?” Then once you find the place and signed all the papers you’ll get to the place and you always need to try to fix it up. Clean it up a little so you can start moving stuff in. Similarly to mixing up the existing soil in your garden. Loosen up the soil to start fresh. Then you move in all your stuff. Basically that’s when you transplant the plants into the soil. Occasionally you bring in new furniture along with the old staples from your last place. That’s like adding a new layer of topsoil and some fertilizer to spruce the place up. Finally you’re all settled in. But you send the next few days wondering “What was that noise?” and “Why does the water from the tap taste funny?” But eventually you get use to being there and you’ll know everything’s going to be okay. Moving can be stressful, so can the process of transplanting seedlings into the soil (more so for your plants). I always like to carefully monitor them for a few days after the transplant before I know things are going to be okay at their new spots. Pics 1 and 2 are some highlights from this years first move. Pic 1 showcases some pepper plants below some celery. And Pic 2 are some more pepper plants in the foreground with some peppermint plants that we normally have in that corner. peppermint is one of those plants that just spreads if you let it. It’s resilient.

Pic 3 is actually a shot of the seedlings that sprouted from the seeds I got from the library that I mentioned in my last post. They’re doing quite well. I’m going to let them get a little bigger before moving them into a more permanent location.