After last year’s dismal garden I was hoping for an improved version this summer. I prepared some seedlings in early spring in my indoor greenhouse. Although the greenhouse was in front of a window on the south side of the house the plants struggled to absorb the sunshine and flourish. In the beginning they looked pretty good, but as spring lingered for weeks they looked withered by the time I was ready to place them in the garden. In the end, I trashed them and bought tomato seedlings from the garden center. This was my last attempt at starting seedlings indoors. The hassle and disappointment are not worth saving a few dollars. From now on I am going straight to the local garden center to pick up seedlings. I converted the mini-greenhouse into a shoe closet in the basement.
Off to a good start, but they didn’t make it to the garden.
Garden boxes filled with peatmoss, black earth (dirt) and potting soil.
Boxes are planted and making progress.
In addition, to my garden boxes I made a small cucumber patch by using some decorative fences that my neighbour was throwing out.
This might not produce anything, but I found a use for the fence.
One month later – a few plants.
I also made a garden for beets, onions and string beans. This garden is proving very popular with my yard visitors – rabbits and groundhogs. These guys are feasting on the beets and beans.
I love beets!
I will eat everything, except onions!
I guess they don’t like onions. I took preventive measures to keep them out of the raised garden. I used chicken coup and bamboo stakes to make a barrier. This is a temporary fix for now. I plan on making a fence around the raised boxes, but this may not happen this summer.
Chicken wire and bamboo fence to keep out backyard visitors.
Onions are not being attacked by backyard visitors.
My herb garden is doing great. All of the herbs resurfaced in late spring with the exception of the rosemary plant. Of course, this is my favorite, but it is not hardy enough to survive an eastern Canadian winter. It acts as an annual in our area, so I got some at the garden center.
My seedlings that I started indoors in the spring in my mini-greenhouse didn’t make a smooth transition to life outdoors. The tomato plants that survived were tall and skinny and produced only a few tomatoes. The cucumbers were even worse – short and stubby. The beets and yellow beans were a bit more successful, but they would not win any prizes at the local agricultural show.
What a terrible garden!
In general, it was not a great summer for local gardens and the lack of attention given to mine definitely contributed to the poor results. Although I was too busy to plant a vegetable garden at my new place this year I planted a small herb garden that did much better than the garden at the cabin. (Below are some close-ups of the plants.)
Although I spent hours last winter scouring the forest on skis searching for chaga I came up empty-handed. Then my brother, who was not looking, stumbled across a ridge with a lot and he harvested some for me. Here are a couple of huge chunks that I cut them into smaller pieces and placed in tin cans to keep dry.
Thanks for the free chagga.
These chunks are too big to use.
Perfect chunks for tea.
This will be stored in a cool place in the basement.
Tea for me.
I should have enough for a few months. I also set aside a big chunk for one of my neighbors who mentioned that he is getting low on his supply.