Category: vegetables

Soup’s On, Souping’s In – Menu Mainstay Gets Fresh Treatment

Soup’s On, Souping’s In – Menu Mainstay Gets Fresh Treatment: Explores the benefits of and the…

Entry 61: Time Flies!So I wanted to post these 3 pictures of the…

Entry 61: Time Flies! – Pic 1

Entry 61: Time Flies! – Pic 2

Entry 61: Time Flies! – Pic 3

Entry 61: Time Flies!

So I wanted to post these 3 pictures of the same winter melon over a couple of weeks. Pic 1 was taken July 30th! it was just a tiny numb hanging off the vine. Pic 2 was taken about a week later on Aug 7th. It was much bigger. I was already surprised at the size of that melon. But finally, Pic 3 was taken yesterday Aug 19th! And this thing was huge!!! Ended up harvesting it this morning. Going to make some soup with it. Should be good! 

I love seeing these 3 pictures together. Shows you that everything grows and changes with a little bit of love and some time. 

Entry 59: Still GreenHey everyone. Apologies for the EXTRA…

Entry 59: Still Green

Entry 59: Still Green

Entry 59: Still Green

Entry 59: Still Green

Entry 59: Still Green

Entry 59: Still Green

Entry 59: Still Green

Entry 59: Still Green

Entry 59: Still Green

Hey everyone. Apologies for the EXTRA long absence. Life has been really busy but I’ve definitely been keeping up with my gardening. I wanted to do a extra large photo post to make up for lost time. 

So in the top row we have a photo of some tomatoes, chilies and snow peas. It’s all still green so I’ll be waiting for the tomatoes and the chilies to turn red before I pick them. The snow peas are good to go, I’ve already taken a good batch of snow peas in to make a stir fry. The middle row of pictures is sort of a before and after shot of the lettuce. The photo on the left is from a few weeks ago (I was going to post it earlier but never got time). And the photo on the right is from today. I’ve already harvested some of the leaves for salad so it looks a bit thin but the leaves are much larger then they were a few weeks ago, The last row of photos show some banana peppers and a flower from the bitter melon. No bitter melons yet but I think it’s still early in the season. So I will be patient. Happy gardening!

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. 

Entry 56: Moving In!So it’s getting a bit chilly in this part of…

Entry 56: Moving In!

So it’s getting a bit chilly in this part of the world. I’ve decided to take action and transplant my super, spicy peppers into containers so that I can move them indoors at a moment’s notice. We’re trying something new this year and are going to try to keep these guys alive through the long winter. I hope to have some nice peppers next growing season. I’m really hoping that they survive, I haven’t quite figured out where to place them but I will keep you posted.

Entry 54: Harvest Galore!I know I haven’t posted in a while….

Entry 54: Harvest Galore! – Pic 1

Entry 54: Harvest Galore! – Pic 2

Entry 54: Harvest Galore!

I know I haven’t posted in a while. There really hasn’t been anything worth posting. There’s a constant stream of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers (Pic1) being harvested in and I guess I felt that the same post over and over wasn’t really news worthy at all. 

But this week I did harvest in all my red onions. And believe me this is news! Onions are always a waiting game. You plant them in the beginning of the season and if you want some good sized onions, like you’d see in the stores, you got to wait until the end of the season to harvest. Normally I’m impatient and end up cutting off the tops for dishes before the season’s over or I’ll harvest tiny red onions to eat during the season. This year I’ve been good and waited until we got some respectable sized onions. Check them out in Pic 2. That’s good stuff! The red onions I get are always delicious. They have a really fresh and oniony taste. It never tastes like the ones I get from the store, they’re so much better. Seriously if you’re looking for something to plant next growing season, may I suggests red onions. They are worth the wait.  

Entry 50: Yum! So the past few days have been hot ones. The…

Entry 50: Yum! – Pic 1

Entry 50: Yum! – Pic 2

Entry 50: Yum! – Pic 3

Entry 50: Yum! 

So the past few days have been hot ones. The garden is really loving it. A lot more cucumbers are appearing and the peppers and tomatoes are ripening. So things are looking good.

Today i wanted to bring you a snap of the eggplants (Pic 1). They’ve really starting to make their move, despite their tiny stature. That eggplant pictured will probably be ready in a week or two, depending on how the weather holds up. I’m looking forward to putting some barbecue sauce on that and grilling it up! Yum! Pic 2 is a nice shot of a kale and celery delivery I’ll be making to a friend’s place today. He’s a big fan of kale smoothies. Yum! Finally Pic 3 is a nice tuna salad sandwich I made for lunch today. It’s got some canned skip jack tuna, mayo, green onions and some homegrown celery and jalapenos. Yum!!! There’s nothing like fresh vegetables in a dish!

Entry 49: Nice!So there has been a lot of progress lately since…

Entry 49: Nice! – Pic 1

Entry 49: Nice! – Pic 2

Entry 49: Nice! – Pic 3

Entry 49: Nice! – Pic 4

Entry 49: Nice! – Pic 5

Entry 49: Nice! – Pic 6

Entry 49: Nice!

So there has been a lot of progress lately since the temperatures have risen. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. 

But here’s a little background. Pic 1 shows the lovely roma tomatoes. Have a few of these vines growing. Pic 2, is a prickly cucumber. I’m told the bumps go away as they mature. I’m not really sure about that but I guess we will see. Pic 3, is herb corner. Showing off some thai basil and other goodies. Pic 4 are the cherry tomatoes, with a red one finally making an appearance. Pic 5 is a shot of the cucumber plants. A few weeks ago they were barely off the ground. Today it’s like they’ve taken over! Finally, Pic 6 is one of the pepper plants standing tall.

In other news, I transplanted a lot of the pepper plants to where the lettuce used to be since we harvested most of that already. This will give them a little more room. And hopefully keep them away from where the bugs like to settle in the mornings.  

Entry 48: Warming Up!So the weather is finally drying out and…

Entry 48: Warming Up! – Pic 1

Entry 48: Warming Up! – Pic 2

Entry 48: Warming Up!

So the weather is finally drying out and warming up. Which is great news for the garden. The cold, wet weather was sort of bringing everything down. The peppers were the only ones producing fruit but most of it wasn’t ripening. The lettuce and kale were doing alright as well. Harvested a few romaine lettuce heads for salads. They were tasty. Nothing like a fresh salad in the summer time. 

So Pic 1 shows one of the Roma tomatoes that appeared this week. Finally! The tomatoes make an appearance. There are a couple of smaller cherry tomatoes but they’re still green on the vine. Pic 2 is the celery in the foreground. Will probably harvest some of that for some chicken noodle soup soon before it gets too old. A little further behind the celery is the eggplant. They are tiny. Not sure why they’re doing so poorly this year. The flowers are appearing but the plants aren’t spreading out. Keeping compact for some reason. Perhaps I didn’t leave enough space for them and they know it. Finally in the background are the cucumbers. They have grown! There are a ton of yellow flowers but no fruit yet. I think we’re going to have to wait a bit for those. Regardless, things are looking good in the garden. With some nice weather in the forecast, I think we’ll be looking at a happy harvest.  

Entry 46: Pepper Problems!Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of…

Entry 46: Pepper Problems!

Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of insects on my pepper plants, located on the south end of the garden. I never had this problem before with the north garden which I’ve been using to grow veggies for the past two years. There were a bunch of ants and little insects with wings. They sort of looked like flies but weren’t. The insects were eating some of the plants and the plants weren’t doing too well. They had some holes in the leaves and the leaves were all droopy. 

I immediately searched the web for a safe way to keep the bugs away. Now there are a number of food-grade and organic insecticides on the market. But I was looking for a cheap, home made solution first. A couple of youtube videos suggested the cayenne pepper mixed in water method. Basically you take the cayenne pepper off of your spice rack and mix it with water, then you spray it on the leaves of the plants. The insects will land on the leaves, dislike the spiciness and hopefully leave your plants alone in the future. Now I’ve heard that this solutions works with larger animals like squirrels or cats but i was sort of skeptically that it would work with bugs. I mean they already seemed attracted to the pepper plants. Aren’t I making them more peppery? I gave it a try anyways. It’s been a week and I’ve seen a big improvement! It worked! 

Now a few warnings about this method. If your pets like to hang around your garden, you might want to avoid this method. They might touch a leaf or get some of the solution on them or in their eyes and it will cause irritation. I’ve also heard that this insecticide works on bees. Now with the bee population being not great, you’re going to want to use this method sparingly and making sure you don’t get them on the flowers, which is what the bee’s are mostly interested in. So just be cautious, it gets rid of the bad pests as well as the good ones. Lastly, this won’t heal any damage already done. Hopefully keeping the pest away will allow for your plants to get better by themselves. 

So this method worked for me but there are a bunch of other ways to deter pests that would be safe for vegetable gardens. Some other things you might want to research is food-grade diatomaceous earth, neem oil, dish soap and canola oil. Just some ideas on what to google if you run into a similar problem!