Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Up's & Down's of Being a Gardener!

Not a veggie, but I just love the lupin-like blooms
of baptisia.
So it's been raining for a whole week. 7 days and 7 nights. Of rain. Often heavy downpours that just pound everything into the ground. The basil and peppers are on 'pause' in terms of their growth.. and I think I saw a little 'on strike' sign tucked amongst the basil leaves. Not good! But, there is a glimmer of hope as tomorrow and later on into the week, the forecast looks a bit better with warmer temp's and more sunshine. Fingers crossed! At this point, the slugs are almost bigger than me, so we really need some of that summer heat.

I haven't actually been up to the garden in about 3 days, and it amazes me how some plants embrace the rain - greens, tomatoes, perennials, pole beans.. while others (the above-mentioned basil and peppers) languish.

But in my neglect of the garden, I have made a few boo boo's and the slugs have gone crazy in the new carrot patch.. check out my pole bean blunder below! Happily, the chickpeas are thriving (knock on wood)..

Chickpeas - putting on new growth even with NO

Hark! Is that a chickpea flower I see?? Plants
are about 1-foot tall and well branched. Only
about 20 plants (from 24 seeds in the packet)
Mental note: next year order 2 packets

Whoa - potato flowers! Does that mean I should
dig for some baby spuds?? Yum!

My giant kossak kohrabi is getting big! The
bulbing stem is about 3 inches across now.

Ok, I have 1 deer fence up now.. but before that
happened, the deer nibbled on my pole beans last
week. So, I used old pea netting to surround
the base of my pole bean teepee.. But.. now
the plants have grown through the netting!
Agh! I guess I'm stuck with the netting for the

Lovely lettuce.. more salad tonight.

Hmmm.. can you see the tiny half-eaten
stub of a carrot plant in the middle??
darn slugs!! must stick more seed in.
And thin the remaining carrots. 


  1. You were very successful with the chickpeas (ahem..I have three). Unusual foliage heh! We won't talk about my beans but yours look great! Please sun...please come out again.

  2. What? You are growing chickpeas!?
    Wow - I need to see those!
    I need to put some serious manure and compost on my garden....what and where do you recommend I get it?


  3. We've had so much rain I haven't had to hook up my drip irrigation yet but I think it's time to do that today finally. Any tips on Asparagus. My first bed looked great first year and then only 3 crowns came up out of over 20 the next year. I dug them out and all I can say is maybe they rotted? Not sure it was a raised bed mostly compost with some clay, my indigenous soil. So this year I'm planting just a few as a trial in front yard on slope between rose bushes and Russian Sage.

    1. Hey Rebecca.. thanks for your comment! Asparagus isn't a clay lover and if you found few roots, they prob did rot. Asparagus is one of those plants that requires some time, elbow grease and a lot of compost/aged manure. You want to dig a nice deep (about a foot) trench.. a few feet wide. Thoroughly amend your soil w/the good stuff (compost/manure) and lime depending on your soil pH. Newer research shows that asparagus doesn't have to be buried as deep as previously thought, so even 4 to 5 inches is enough. Drainage is essential though and that is where the compost will help. Mulch the plants to suppress weeds. Fingers crossed! It's a lot of initial work, but the 20+ years of harvest make it very worthwhile. Keep me posted on your plants in your rose/sage garden. I have tucked asparagus in with perennials too.. nice way to enjoy the ferny foliage!

  4. we had 3 weeks of torrential rain too, it seems to be the thing in Canada this year. We've had a couple weeks of sun now so things are bounding back. I've never seen chickpea plants before, what interesting leaves!
    We put up a an 8 foot tall elk fence around our garden this year PLUS a niteguard (they are great, I highly recommend them and it seems to have stopped the bears from visiting too). SO FAR the deer have not touched the garden. booyah!
    I'm extremely excited about your next book this fall (it's already on my Christmas wish list). I am planning and seeding some of our fall garden right now and using your book as my guide so I will be writing a post about it all very soon!

  5. I can't wait for your new book to be released! I loved your first book so much that I actually read it cover to cover and I keep going back to it for reference. I'll have to keep an eye out to see if you are in Alberta speaking as we are moving there shortly.

  6. You reassure me! If someone like you can be affected by bad conditions, or be neglectful... then I feel much better about my lack of gardening skills! :-)

  7. The rain has been relentless. Just when I think we're going to get a break there's 3 days of constant downpour. I'm amazed my little garden hasn't floated away. In spite of the rain it looks like you're having a pretty good year! That lettuce looks so good! Outdoor Lighting Buffalo Grove IL


Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)