Cleaning Up The Home Garden For 2014

red peppersWell everything in our vegetable garden has been picked. The last of my pepper plants have been picked clean and now on the windowsill turning bright red. I roasted some with the supper I made last night. So tasty.

Once I was done picking the last of the veggies I started pulling out plants for the compost bin and then I started turning over a section of garden that only had sunflowers in it and had not been tilled last spring.

I turned over two rows using the garden fork. It was fairly easy but then I hit a spot that was as solid as rock. When I hit that with my garden fork the shock wave went up my left leg and nearly brought me to tears. Now I can barely walk.

It is a little better today so I’m thinking I will be fine by the weekend but I won’t be doing any walking and taking photos for a few days.

last of the peppers

Picked The Last Yellow Pear Tomatoes Today

yellow pear tomato basketJenny and I really enjoyed the Yellow Pear tomato chutney I made last fall with our own yellow pear tomatoes. The plan was to do the same and more this year however plans don’t always work out the way we planned.

I was a bit depressed about the whole start to the growing season but the work I did in the garden by adding raised beds will pay off next year. We are even adding a couple more before winter sets in so the entire garden will be higher and less likely to flood out.

The Last of the Yellow Pear Tomatoes

We have had a couple of nights that dropped to only 2C so I decided to bring them in and call it a season. I do have enough to make a couple of bottles of chutney. Jenny and I only use the Chutney with Sunday brunch so those two bottles will last most of the winter.

Looking forward to the next growing season already.

Checking Out The Community Garden At The YMCA

tall sunflowerI took a few minutes out of my walk to Centennial park to check out the community gardens at the YMCA. Didn’t see anyone working in their garden as early as I was out this morning but they sure are looking good.

I waited until it was late enough that the sun was up over the trees to the east of the their gardens so I could have the best lighting I could get. Not much for clouds by then either so there were no seconds wasted waiting for the clouds to stop blocking my light.

The first thing I saw as I approached the YMCA other than their logo was this happy nine foot tall sunflower with about a dozen flowers. Such a beautiful site. People who walk this way for work each day much love the view.

Below is a photo of the YMCA community garden. The YMCA building is behind me in this photograph.

ymca community gardens

I would love to have been on the roof for this shot so you can see that it extends all the way to the billboard. The sunflowers and pole beans kind of cut it in half. I should have taken a photo from their parking lot as well but I looked through last year and found one that will give you a better idea.

ymca side view

There is also another section to the community gardens. I noticed that in that section there is a Boy Scout logo. It would be nice if they are doing this for badges and sharing what they grow with soup kitchens.

What Growing On Here

I took about 50 photos before I continued on to Centennial Park. Here are a few of them in a smaller format.

marigolds yellow and red nasturtiums

Lots of vegetables but it’s nice to see that there are plenty of flowers growing as well and add a little extra beauty to the whole thing. There are little groups of marigolds as well as nasturtiums. There are other types of flowers too.

I love looking at the vegetables growing. I visit the garden in early spring when they start digging and keep coming back as the summer progresses. My visits get closer together as we hit the end of summer so I can watch as things really start to produce.

pumpkins ymca beets

I love pumpkin pies and who doesn’t like a cute or maybe scary jack-o-lantern. Pumpkins just say Autumn. I love beets too they are so good with butter and pepper. Mmmm

Well I only stayed a few minutes and then headed out so that’s it for this post. Hope you enjoy the harvest time and maybe lookup the YMCA in your area to see if they have a community garden.

Enjoying Our Yellow Pear Tomatoes

yellow pear tomatoesDefinitely been a strange spring and summer for us so we weren’t even we would see a harvest due to really late planting this year.

I was pleasantly surprised to see yellow pear tomatoes ripening a few days ago. I was taking photos this morning and brought a few in for a taste test.

Last year I made the best Yellow Pear tomato chutney that lasted most of the winter. It was the first time I made it. Glad it was so easy to make and so good.

I would love to make a few more bottles this fall. Just have to wait for more to ripen for the first batch. Can’t wait.

Pumpkins Are Now Looking Like Pumpkins

pumpkinMy first year growing pumpkins I was wondering if I had planted something else as I had expected them to be that pumpkin orange a lot earlier than the change actually happened so this year I was clued in but still glad to see the colours coming out.

I didn’t get to plant any pumpkins this year, sadly, but I have been following the progress of the YMCA Community gardens and these small but healthy looking specimens seem to be enjoying all the sun and rain this summer. They still have a month to go maybe even longer so they could double in size.

pumpkins

We haven’t had a Halloween pumpkin since our son stopped enjoying it as much as we did and moved away for work. Maybe they will come back with a grandchild and we can make some Jack-o-Lanterns.

Transplanting Mid Summer – DOH!!

raised bed gardenI am in my 60s and still have a great memory but I have to say that spring and summer 2014 has to be the strangest I can remember. Our vegetable garden was just a big rectangular mud hole.

The spring rain started, of course, but then it just wouldn’t stop. Before the garden could drain and dry there was more rain. You can read about our spring conditions here.

Ooops Veggies Way Too Close Together

The first raised bed of tomatoes is doing fine but the second raised bed was looking way too crammed for space. The crappy looking peppers and tomatoes I bought grew like weeds once they were in the raised beds and before long I realized they were way over crowded and the tomatoes had completely covered up the peppers.

I decided to try and transplant the peppers as I was sure they wouldn’t survive being covered up in the tomatoes.

Transplanting Our Green Peppers

green peppers in raised bedI built a third raised bed and put this one right on the lawn between two flower beds I started last year.

Because I put it directly on the lawn I put black landscape cloth under the bed to keep the grass from growing through the bed and then filled it with organic mulch and garden soil we bought earlier in the spring.

Jenny and I started by adding an inch of organic compost in the bottom and then mixed in an inch or two of garden soil. Then we almost filled the bed with garden soil we had purchased in the spring.

I dug up the pepper plants and Jenny moved them the new bed where I quickly got them back in the ground. Even going as fast as we did it only took about 10 minutes for the pepper plants to start looking dead. I gave them water twice a day and just two days they were already looking better than they did when I transplanted them.

Transplanted A Row of Yellow Pear Tomatoes

Once we had transplanted the green pepper plants from their original bed I could see just how close together I had planted the Yellow Pear tomatoes. So while I was in the transplanted mood I decided to move one row of tomatoes to the spot the peppers had been in.

I planted size of the tomato plants and still had two left so I put those two into separate flower pots big enough for them. A very risky move I know but I was certain they would produce very little if I left them crammed together so tightly.

They looks so sad by the time I was done and for the following three days. Didn’t think they were going to make it but still felt it was the best choice if we want some Yellow Pear chutney this winter.

This morning which is 5 days later they are starting to look better and very few withered leaves so I’m thinking they are going to produce some tomatoes after all.