Sunday 29 March 2020

End of March Garden Update

I stopped by the garden because it was SUPER windy today and I wanted to make sure everything was in place. I was surprised to see caution tape all over the playground. I mean... it make sense... but my first thought was "crime scene" not "reminding people to not be idiots during a pandemic".

Here's a before and after for today. If you look along the left you can see the garlic growing surprisingly well considering the flood and such. As I was cleaning up the blown over barrels and such a gust ripped up the top left corner of the tarp. I went around re-anchoring the tarp and then grabbed some loose 2x4s that had washed against the fence for weights.

A lady walking her dog on the other side of the fence struck up a conversation that left me a bit confused:

Lady: "Hello! Getting to be that time isn't it?"
Me: "Yup, we're getting there. Today I'm just making sure the tarp doesn't fly away in the wind."
Lady: "I wonder if the garden centre will be open in time."
Me: * shrug * "I bought seeds online."
Lady: "Oh, you're one of those."

Now, I'm not sure exactly what she meant by that. Maybe "doesn't support local", maybe "very into tech", I hope it means "so good at gardening I can grow my own starts".

Friday 27 March 2020

On Journaling

I've seen a few posts on social media encouraging journaling because future historians will be so happy to have day-to-day accounts from everyday people during this pandemic . . .

but I don't really want to preserve my every lil worry and stress. We've made sure our moms are being sensible, and checked in with Wolfie to make sure he was okay, and Hugslut's working from home while I'm on leave trying to make the most of my time by homemaking like a boss . . .

but I'm not interested in documenting for the future. I'm more interested in living for the now.

Sunday 22 March 2020

First Seeds of 2020 Planted!

If looking at this chart crosses your eyes like mine, you'll understand why I made a timeline below. 

Now keep in mind the numbers are actually kinda vague because I'm planning on interplanting, and some of the seed is older so it's not like one seed = one plant.

TimelineSeedling tray legend

I also rejiggered the plan a bit because I realised I had interplanted root crops together which is less ideal than interplanting them with the leafy veg nearby.

Looking forward to posting some pics once they sprout in a week or two.

Sunday 15 March 2020

Garden Plan for the 2020 Season

The original plan for 2020

As you can see the plan is very crowded, with lots of interplanting and a LOT of different plants. (26 to be exact) This plan heavily relied on being able to get things in the ground as early as March. After learning about the flood and coming to terms with the actual land situation I'm working with, I looked ahead to the next couple months and...

March April May

As you can see, we're expecting the weather to dip below freezing until the beginning of May so the delicate things like the tomatoes definitely won't be going out til at least mid-May. Thinking of a shorter growing season and looking at the original plan I noticed that potato/zucchini area was where the mint was the worst last year and could probably use a longer period of time under the tarp, so I decided to move the heat loving crops to that end of the plot. Double checking on maps I found that end is actually the south face anyway and they'd probably do the best there.

With this new idea in mind, and trying to simplify my first ear instead of trying to do ALL the things, I rearranged the plan.

The left side where the garlic has over wintered(and is not covered by the tarp) will be the first seeds to go in. around the beginning of April. The quick crops of radishes, green onions, and baby carrots are the ones I'll be spending the most time on(harvesting and replanting often) so they're along the fence of my tidier neighbour. Her garden was weed free last fall and I want to not only be a good neighbour by keeping our "property line" tidy, but also take advantage of the lack of competition.

The next section to be planted will be the brussel sprout and potato bed along the bottom/north walkway in mid-April.

The middle two beds of leaves and roots will go in end of April to beginning of May.

And the heat lovers will go in the top/south bed Mid to end of May.

The new plan for 2020

As you can see, the new plan is much simpler with larger quantities of the storage roots and less of a focus on large specialty items like melons and pumpkins which we use so rarely. Reducing the tomato and pepper plants by one each also allowed the cucumbers to be on the same trellis, eliminating the need for sunflowers altogether (which is great because I was worried that might not work well to begin with).

Simple, tidy, tasty. What more could I really ask for. :-)

Now I Know

Here's how things looked in January. 
I thought the plot was tucked in snug for the winter.

My first winter in this community garden has been a learning experience for sure. Near the end of February I stopped by to find the tarp had been completely washed into the walkway. Another gardener told me that there was a 6 foot flood a week or two before that washed everyone's empty composter barrels into the soccer field so I was pretty lucky my tarp had remained anchored in one corner. She mentioned that it's a usual thing and happens pretty much every year.

Unfortunately, after the flood there had been some very cold weather so my tarp had frozen to the ground in the walkway. Watching the weather for a warm streak I went back out March 5th to try to get everything back where it belongs.


Another surprise under the snow; the garlic has started to sprout!

So now I know. 
This garden gets REALLY flooded in February, AND that the flood didn't mess up my beds at all. I also now know that overwintering garlic is a viable option despite the flooding. I also need better anchors for my tarp next winter.