Tag Archives: deadheading

Fall planting begins

Taking a break from the Olympics to post while enjoying the gentle rain and thunderstorm rolling through the city. Thunderstorms are so moving. Feeling the vibration of the thunder as it rumbles through your body.  The calming feeling of the world going dark for a little while, as if reminding us to take a step back from our everyday lives and recognize that there are greater things going on in the world. The cycle of nature.  Beautiful and humbling.

We picked 4 large cucumbers on our visit to the garden yesterday. It’s always a surprise to find the large fruit hiding underneath their leaves. Marketmore cucumbers are field cucumbers. I was expecting English cucumbers, probably because that’s what I buy in the grocery store.

Hope this tastes better than the last stubby guy

These tasted a lot better than the first one we ate a few days ago. The skin was nice and crisp, not tough and rubbery at all. I was especially concerned about the fat one we picked (above) because the rubbery-skinned one from a few days ago was also fat and stubby. My brother wanted to leave it to get bigger like the one below. I was concerned that if we left it, it wouldn’t be there when we came back.

Now there’s a cucumber!

Last week after we pulled up the borage plant, I planted another seed in the centre of the square in hopes that a new one would grow and create flowers that would attract more pollinators. This is what I saw this week:

Many tiny borage plants

I know I didn’t plant all these borage plants. Where the heck did they come from? I know borage self-seeds. I’m not sure how this is done as I’ve never seen the seeds on the plant, but that could be the cause of this phenomenon. Last week I did see an ant pulling around a borage seed in this area. I’ve read that they tend to farm things. Could they have caused this? Anyway, I pulled up all but the one in the centre. Incidentally, the plant with the 4 jagged leaves may be a strawberry. My brother planted one as an experiment.

I pulled up the last of the beets (I think I should have pulled them up a while ago) and planted some carrots and spinach in its place. As I did this I realized that I didn’t have a lot of empty squares left to plant more beets, spinach, and kale. Then I realized something worse – I have no more beet seeds!!! Have to get to Urban Harvest. They are at the Wychwood Barns and Dufferin Grove farmer’s markets this time of year. I can’t make it to Dufferin Grove ‘cuz I’m working so I’ll have to visit Wychwood next weekend.

I corralled the nasturtium to leave the empty squares around it open to sunlight. I planted carrots in front. Right behind you can see a new zucchini sprout coming up. There were two (I killed off the second one as soon as I noticed it!)

Check out the results of deadheading. What a difference a week can make:

A beautiful new calendula flower; and more fresh heads, hopefully blooming soon!

And even though, as you can see, there are quite a few brown leaves in the background, the tomatoes are coming along fine.

Soon to be yellow pears?

I still have to remember to pick off the suckers. It’s really hard because I have them growing to close together. Sometimes (most of the time) I can’t follow one branch from mainstem to it’s tip because it gets lost amongst the other branches.

Red pears in the making

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Summer harvest continues (sort of)

Last Sunday we pulled up both of the zucchini plants in the plot. Reasons we decided to do this:

  • For the last few weeks there were only male flowers (and not many) and the few tiny zucchini I saw were dry and not getting any better
  • I’d read online a few days before that plants start to either slow down or go out of production after 4 to 5 weeks (I probably should have confirmed this through other sources but since it fit with what I was seeing I decided it must be accurate)
  • The base of the plants were splitting

Tough decision made

My dad seemed to think that I should have left them alone, that the plants would heal themselves. But I thought why not start over while there was still some summer left. We planted a few seeds and after a couple of thunderstorms this week my brother told me today that he saw some sprouts coming up.  This time I won’t make the mistake of letting more than one plant grow in the space in order to make sure there’s good circulation and no critters setting up shop around the plant and maybe I’ll reap more than one measly zucchini in the next few weeks.

Once your foundation goes, it’s only a matter of time before the rest falls apart

The last few blossoms ended up on top of a pita pizza:

The blossoms add a nice colour, don’t you think?

When I was washing one of the zucchini blossoms in the garden, a cucumber beetle fell out. I was surprised! I’d only ever seen earwigs hiding in them. It made me wonder if they had caused the damage to the base of the plant and if some had invaded and were slowly doing damage on the inside. It didn’t matter anymore, but I was pissed thinking about it. So as it struggled to keep from drowning, I squashed that sucker to oblivion. I also squashed a beetle on my neighbour to the North’s cucumber plant. Satisfying.

The calendula that were looking dead when I transferred them were still looking pretty miserable last Sunday. However I gently tugged on the plants and found that they had taken solid root. My brother experimented with pulling off the dead flower heads (deadheading) and he says he’s noticed that fresh blooms are appearing! Deadheading really works!

Miserable-looking transplanted calendula with dead flower heads

My brother brought home our first marketmore cucumber and red pear tomatoes yesterday.

First cucumber and tomatoes

The skin of the cucumber was tough and rubbery but it still tasted good. I wonder if the thunderstorms and resulting uneven watering caused it to get so fat. The tomatoes were nice. Can’t wait for more!

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