Garden Update July 16,2017

Look at me go, an actual week update! 

It’s been a bit of crazy weather around here and it’s kept me on my toes hoping the garden survives! We’ve had a heat wave but with heat waves come storms.  I’ve thought we were going to get hail a few times and we did get hail once.  I watched and hoped it didn’t ruin everything and thankfully we had no complete casualties although there was some damage.  There were a lot of damaged leaves to the tomatoes and peppers, a couple peppers that were growing ended up ruined, the greens were pelted pretty bad but there’s still lots left to grow and eat.  The watermelon, cucumbers, squash, pumpkin and zucchini all had damage, the most being to the watermelon and cucumbers – I don’t think we’ll get any harvest from either of them anyways.  The other damage was to the flower gardens, they are now laying down and leaning everywhere so I’m going to try and hold them up somehow. 

Otherwise, this week I’ve been working away at getting the tomatoes all supported, pruned and fertilized – still not done, and never will be I’m assuming. I also hung the shade cloth in the greenhouse with some trial and error, but it’s hanging! The plants seem to love the shade, it still gets smoking hot in there but the sun isn’t scorching them.  I got all the peppers either potted up or planted in the garden.  I’ve now realized my big mistake with all the peppers in the garden – I didn’t bother to harden them off. See, I haven’t hardened off the tomatoes at all and they’ve done well so I didn’t even think about gardening off the peppers! So they’ll survive I’m sure but their growth won’t be nearly as good as it would have been had I taken the time to harden them off.  I’ve also thinned out all the carrots and we’ve been munching on the babies.  

Whew – when I write it all out I realize how much I’ve actually done! Sometimes it feels like I’m just spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.  That’s another reason I like doing these updates, to remind myself that although some days (right now it feels like all days) seem like all I do is feed kids, put kids to bed and clean up all the messes that I am actually able to accomplish much more than that. 

So here’s what the garden looks like:

The herbs are flourishing! I can’t wait to use these in my cooking soon! The fill definitely needs to be harvested, I’ll be using it in a lot of roasted/BBQ potatoes. 

Ezekiel’s gardens are doing pretty well! I think the carrots and peas are going to be great! 

The potted tomatoes seem to be doing great! I’ll need to fertilize these ones real soon. 

You can see the greens, carrots and onions had some hail damage but I think they’re bouncing back. 

The squash, zucchini and pumpkins are taking off but the cucumbers and watermelons suck.  

The peppers! So many of them! Some days I look at them and think “they’re doing so well!” Then the next I look and think “they look so sad!” Despite that all, there are quite a few peppers growing and lots of flowers so hopefully we’ll get a good harvest. 

The tomatoes….. allllllll the tomatoes.  One is going to be ripe soon, and I can’t wait to eat it! The tomatillos are going nuts, I seriously under estimated how much room they would need, unlike most of my tomato varieties which growing like a vine and are easily contained – they grow up and way out! They are really pretty though. 

The potatoes look like they’re growing well. It’s always a nice surprise at the end of the season to see what’s underneath the green! 

I love these gardens more and more each day. 

The greenhouse is doing fantastic, and I love it more this year than last.  

Well, that’s it for this week.  Always lots and lots to do, but it’s slower work and I can do a tiny bit each day.  It’s been nice to slow down before the craziness of harvest comes and I’m drowning in tomatoes. 

Ciao friends! Happy Gardening!

Garden Update July 8,2017

I’d really love to make these updates more regulated – like say – make an update every Sunday.  Yet this time in my life and motherhood journey I’m learning to be ok with “good enough” for most things.  So I take pictures regularly (confession: currently I have more garden pictures on my phone than kiddo pictures) and when I have some time to sit on my phone (and not scroll Instagram) I’ll write out a post.  Right now my baby needs some momma snuggles while sleeping so I have Jessica Jones on Netflix (my husband and I have recently become obsessed with all the Netflix original Marvel shows) and a post to write.

Since I last wrote I’ve actually gotten quite a lot accomplished in the garden.  I have all the tomatoes potted up, the tomatoes in the garden are pruned, supported and fertilized.  I harvested A LOT of greens and we’ve been enjoying salads daily.  The garden is growing amazingly, the wildflowers are blooming more and more each day, the herbs are coming along well, the tomatoes are mostly all flowering and many have tomatoes, and the peppers are finally starting to perk up and we already have a few growing.

This next week there’s a couple “have to” items on my list: hang up a shade cloth in the greenhouse and pot up the rest of the peppers.  Along with those two things I’m going to try and work through the rest of the potted tomatoes – prune them, stake them and fertilize them.  Lots and lots to do around here!

So here’s the last while in pictures:

Now, here’s the garden today:

Garden Update June 22

I’ve been trying to sit down and write this for a couple days but each time I try a little person needs my help.  I suppose that’s the life of a mom – especially moms of younger ones.  So I’ve resorted to writing this on my phone – convenient but not as trust worthy when it comes to spelling (dang autocorrect!) so forgive any grammatical and spelling mistakes.  

It’s been a good week in the garden. We are going to be having fresh salads next week and I cannot wait! There’s several tomatoes forming, some of the plants have sun damage but there’s lots of healthy new growth which is what really matters. The hot peppers seem to be struggling I guess I should have been a bit more patient before putting them in the garden.  I have a lot still in the greenhouse to fall back on if they don’t produce anything.  My paprika peppers, jalapeños, and sweet peppers all seem to be doing well though! The rest of the garden is sprouted and growing – I’m most surprised by the watermelons, really hoping to get at least one! The wildflower gardens are thriving as well – it’s going to be fun seeing what pops up there when they start to bloom.  

Here’s the pictures this week: 

Gourmet, rocky top, and midnight ruffle lettuce in the back.  

Arugula (super delicious!) and kale in the back.  Swischard and spinach in the middle.

Butternut squash, cucumbers and watermelon, peppers in the back. 

The tall pepper plants are paprika, then there’s the tomato forest! 

The rest of the peppers and the squash at the back. 

I’ll never tire of looking at this! Greens in the back, carrots in the center and onions in the front. 

Barrels of potatoes are doing well – time to add more dirt.

Ezekiel’s gardens are also doing pretty good.  I’m interested to see for how long they do well.  Carrots in the top picture and peas in the bottom.

Wildflower beauty.

Last but not least – the greenhouse.

How are you gardens growing? Any fun surprises? Or hard challenges? 

Happy gardening friends! 

Garden Update July 17

How did three weeks go by? It’s been a busy time around here.  The first of those 3 weeks was full of work for me, I worked 6/7 days which was nuts.  After that I spent time catching up around the house and garden and then we were off to Saskatchewan for a wedding.  This past week I’ve been doing things here and there around the house, doing a TONNE of walking (a post on that to come soon with an update on my health) and a couple night shifts thrown in there.  So to say we’ve been busy is a bit of an understatement but it’s been good, so so good.

The rain hasn’t stopped in what seems like weeks.  The yard and gardens are water logged and squishy and I’m really hoping for some sun this week to help the veggies grow.  Despite the lack of sun things seem to be doing well although my tomato plants are really begging for sun, a lot of the fruit is split on the bottoms and the leaves are curling on a lot of plants – sure signs of overwatering.

I’ve had quite a bit of harvesting to do, mostly leafy greens, lots of kale and swiss chard.  There have been 4 tomatoes that we have enjoyed and 2 zucchini’s which have been sautéed and loved.  The spinach and radishes are completely done, pulled and composted and I’ve replaced them with three different types of lettuce.   I thought we would be drowning in greens but actually we keep running out and having to harvest more!  I’m finding that I’m just becoming more creative in incorporating them into our meals and so far everyone has enjoyed it which is a very good thing :).

Despite me not writing posts with updates I’ve been taking pictures with intentions of blogging so here’s pictures from the week of July 3.

Now from the week of July 10:

Finally, this past week:

Well that’s it for now.  Hopefully this week I’ll have time to do some more blogging that’s not just gardening.

Ciao friends!

Monday in the Garden

It’s Monday! Not my favourite day of the week, but it’s made much better by getting to show you my gardens!

Let’s take a look – first let me make a disclaimer.  My phone is broken (insert crying here) and part of what’s broken is the camera lens and I didn’t realize until this morning that some of my photo’s are really cloudy because of that.   I’ll be getting it fixed within the week!


The three tomato plants in the farthest garden are seriously out of control.  I actually am so overwhelmed by how large they are, I’ve had to anchor my anchor posts to the sides of the garden but still they were falling all over the place! Also the branches are covering the entire garden leaving no room for the rest of the plants to get sun.  I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of solutions and a better system next year.  For this year I’ve literally had to tie the branches up and basically wrap the plants up, I also had my husband help because I couldn’t do it alone! It’s so nuts.


We had some rain and lots of wind last week so I had a lot of damage control to do afterwards.  The tomato plants are falling everywhere!


An aerial view of the tomato garden.IMG_9052 IMG_9053 IMG_9054

The other garden is really thriving too! I’ve also had to work on controlling the plants a bit here too. IMG_9055 IMG_9056

I made some bamboo teepee stands for the Morning Glories and Peas.IMG_9057 IMG_9058 IMG_9066 IMG_9061

And then I added a second trellis.  I’m hoping to get most of the stuff to climb up the side.  I think it would look beautiful!


You can also see how large my potatoes are getting.  I’ve actually since moved the bucket, they were starting to overflow into each of the gardens.



There is going to be a tonne of fruit! IMG_9071 IMG_9073 IMG_9075

Less than a day after building the teepees the Morning Glories are already climbing right to the top.  I can’t wait for them to bloom!

A demonstration of how large those plants are! I’m about 5’10! IMG_9087 IMG_9090

The last of the spinach – I’ve replanted and I’m hoping to get a second crop this year. 


Finally, here’s a pic after my husband help tie up the largest of the plants.  It’s not really clear in this pic but I used blue yarn because yesterday I couldn’t find any plant ties/tape at Walmart and just had to use what’s on hand.  Not pretty but so practical.

How’s everyone else’s gardens coming along? Anyone have some solutions for my tomatoes next year?


Before my hiatus I talked about my garden dreams, specifically about all my tomato plants.  I figured that would be a great place to start on my updates.

I am honestly and seriously obsessed with all things plants.  In the busyness of my life right now I love to spend time in the mornings and evenings tending to all my plants and it brings me so much peace and joy each day.  I literally go outside and examine my garden at least 4 times a day.  My tomatoes have had me worried on several occasions, but they are really starting to take off in the garden!

Without further ado, here’s a photo timeline.

Seedlings started in the middle of March.

Then planted into pots at the end of March.

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Last year I had all my tomatoes on my coffee table by the window in our living room and I would just rotate them so they all had equal time closest to the window.  Ezekiel is generally VERY good about not touching my plants but I didn’t want to risk them toppling over if he accidentally ran into them.  I ended up placing them on the window sills in my living room and in my bedroom, they are all south facing windows and get amazing amounts of light.  The plants did pretty good but this is where the worrying came in and where I made a few different mistakes.

In my bedroom we had very heavy curtains (which I have always hated but never changed) and I would close them up at night trapping the tomato plants behind them.  I honestly didn’t think it would be a big deal but never thought about the cold air and humidity that would be trapped.  My tomato plants quickly showed signs of not tolerating that.  Some leaves turned brown, others curled.  I googled the heck out of every tomato disease and actually thought that my tomatoes had caught early blight – like I said, I am OBSESSED enough to google tomato plant diseases!

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I wasn’t very hopeful that they were going to last until I got them in the garden because they started looking terrible around the middle of April.  I doted over them and removed the curtains (good riddance!) but they didn’t seem to improve much.  I started hardening them off around the middle of May.


This is where my next mistake comes in.  Last year I was home all the time so I had the time to put my tomato plants out in the middle of the afternoon for a couple hours and then bring them back in and extend the time outside each day.  This year because I leave for work around 7 am and don’t get home until after 5 I had the “brilliant” idea to put the plants on my deck which gets full sunlight.  I thought that the more sun they got the warmer they would be and the less shocked they would get.  What I didn’t realize is that the leaves that grew behind glass getting filter UV rays were very delicate and I BURNT the leaves!


I took a risk and planted them into the gardens at the end of May instead of beginning of June and thankfully it didn’t snow! This year I made sure to add compost to the two gardens on the left and I planted the tomatoes in the middle garden to rotate from last year – I’ve heard that tomatoes deplete soil so you shouldn’t plant them in the same area two years in a row.  The third garden that my dad built me this year has a combination of my own compost and potting soil that I purchased and I had to plant three of the tomato plants in that garden.  When I planted them I buried them all the way to the bottom to make sure they developed a really great root system.  I used the bamboo stakes again this year for support.

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Right from the get-go the three plants in the composted soil did much better than the middle garden.  It’s really quite amazing to see.  I have been worried about the middle garden up until this week because they just didn’t seem to be doing great, but thankfully this week I’ve noticed huge growth spurts in all of the plants.  I have so many tomatoes already on the plants! I’m anxious to see how fast they mature.  Last year I did a lot of pruning, and this year I have done a bit but only on the branches that were yellowing and not doing well.  I think this year I’ll just let them be until the end of the season when I’ll likely top them off.

This is what they look like today (sorry about the colouring on some of these, not sure how that happened):

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I’m pretty happy with how they are turning out, and I can’t wait to start canning in the fall!

2015 Garden Dreams

I have a dream this year.

To have enough tomatoes to be able to make marinara, canned tomatoes and salsa to last us at least 6 months.


On top of that I’m really hoping that every vegetable in the marinara and salsa can come from my garden.

Lofty dream considering last years garden was 90% failure.

Despite the failure’s of last year I’ve decided to press on this year.  I may have been a bit ambitious though, I currently have 20 tomato plants growing in my living room (so far my toddler hasn’t destroyed them, not sure how long they will last though).

Yes, 20.


I’m considering gifting a few once they are ready to be planted into the garden.  I’m also hoping to build one more square foot garden to house most of the tomatoes.

Tomatoes potted

More exciting than my 20 thriving tomato seedlings, is my 4 thriving pepper seedlings! Last year I wasn’t able to get the peppers to sprout.  This year I had an idea to separate them from the tray of tomatoes after the tomatoes had sprouted, I then put them in a plastic ziplock and 5 days later they were poking their leaves up! I am thinking of keeping them potted and just growing them in pots on my deck so I can bring them inside in the fall when the weather starts to cool off.

I’m seriously so excited about gardening this year, and I have high hopes that I’ll get more than just tomatoes!

2014 Garden

Although the weather has turned back to quite warm here, last weeks snow and nights of freezing ended the gardening season for me.  I thought I’d do a quick recap of how the season went.  You’ll have to excuse the less than stellar photography, 98% of these were taken with my iPhone only for the purpose of documenting the process for my own learning next year.

2014 Garden

I started some plants from seed.  Only the tomatoes, kale, lettuce, spaghetti squash, zucchini, and pumpkins made it to the garden though.  From that only the tomatoes were truly successful, which really surprised me.  I figured they would be the failures! I will definitely be starting from seed again next year, I found this part to be the most rewarding on top of being super cheap! I won’t be starting kale, lettuce, or zucchini though.  I will just start those in the garden and see how they do.

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I was skeptical that my seedlings would do well because I didn’t have any lights on them.  However, my living room is very light and I was diligent in rotating the plants often so they wouldn’t grow lanky.  I also repotted them and planted them deeper into the pots to try and establish a good root system.  Lastly, I hardened them off for quite a few weeks when the days were warm, and then would bring them inside for the nights.  I did that until the nights weren’t quite so cool and then I left them outside until I had my gardens built.

2014 Garden

2014 Garden

It took me a while to get the gardens actually built and ready for plants.  I didn’t plant anything until June 4, next year I will be planting much earlier!

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These were the gardens on June 19, at this point I was quite happy with how things were coming along.  Everything seemed to be popping up quite nicely.

2014 Garden

This was the zucchini on June 30.  I was so excited to actually have fruit, but had no idea that I wouldn’t be getting any good fruit from these plants due to flower rot.  None of my zucchini were getting pollinated because I didn’t plant any flowers to attract bees.  Also my soil was severely deficient in so many things.  Two rookie mistakes I will be correcting next year.

2014 Garden

Here’s a look at my very first tomato on July 9.  I was ecstatic!

2014 Garden

Here’s the pumpkin and squash plants on August 14.  They looked like they should be doing well but they were complete failures for the same reasons as my zucchini.  The vines actually grew much larger than these but started to die at the bottom and continue to grow at the top.

2014 Garden

Here’s the left garden with the tomatoes, zucchini and you’ll see the beets which didn’t produce anything.  Through the season I was diligent in pruning my tomato plants and I think it really helped get the amount of fruit that I did.  This was right before I topped them off.

2014 Garden

Here’s the tomatoes right after being topped off on September 6. I topped them off to force them to give the nutrients to the fruit that was already established rather than produce more fruit. I didn’t have many days before it snowed to see how well this worked but from what I can tell it was beneficial.  I will do it again next year, maybe a week or so earlier.

2014 Garden

I really wanted my tomatoes to ripen on the vine, so when the forecast called for snow I made sure that the temperatures would stay above freezing and just covered them with a sheet.  After a couple days of snow, however, the forecast was showing temperatures well below zero and I was forced to pick all the tomatoes.  I placed them all on the window sill and they are ripening up pretty well.  I got about 40 big tomatoes and a lot of cherry tomatoes.  Next year I will plant more tomatoes and plan on doing quite a bit of canning.  We buy a lot of canned tomatoes so it would definitely all be used up.

2014 Garden 2014 Garden

This was a couple days after it froze, pretty sad looking!

2014 Garden

And finally, this was the last harvest of the season, half a bucket of potatoes!

All in all it wasn’t a superb year for my gardens, but I set out with a goal of learning and I definitely learned a lot! I kept notes during the year of when things were planted, what did well, what went wrong, where things were planted etc.  I’ll be referring back to them next year in order to plan well.  I’m already preparing lists!  I really can’t wait to see how I do next year, until then I’ll be planting herbs and collecting indoor plants to tide me over.

Did you plant a garden this year? Any words of wisdom for me?