Well this seems a handy tip for seeds and spacing. Good idea!

Three Pea Homestead: Plants - People - Planet

I was reading a recent post from cyber friends at Milkwood Farm and this handy little diy gadget caught my eye; I thought it was just so clever (definitely came as one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments) that I just had to share.

See the full post at the Milkwood Permaculture Blog

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Herbs: Surviving the winter up here in zone 3

My carrots may have sucked but my balcony herbs are insanely good.

Mint

I’ve got more mint than I know what to do with and chives are flowering left, right and centre. I am hoping to move them up to the schoolhouse but what will survive the winter?

I came across this blog post by The Far North Garden. It cites a great looking book called Culinary Herbs for Short-Season Gardeners. Both have a great list of options that might survive.

The mint, chives and catnip look likely. Perhaps I will keep the rosemary in the house and water it when we come up and then at least we’ll have it next spring.

The seven (or so) dwarves

Well I have harvested the rainbow carrots.
The good news is they are a lovely group of bold and interesting colours. The less good news is that, like goldfish, they have grown to the size of their environment. They are a wee bit stubbly and twisted.
But hey, good things come in small packages right? These little Tyrion Lannisters are going to pack a wallop I suspect.

If you feed them, they will come

Well it appears we have hummingbirds this summer and either fewer or weaker bears.

A few weeks ago I talked about how we had lost the old feeder to the bears. I’ve installed our new feeder and while it indicates we don’t have scores of these little guys, we do have a few.

This new feeder seems suitably sturdy and up to the task. I’ve spoken to the neighbours and the bears are definitely still in the neighbourhood but they have either been outdone by this or have another source of entertainment and candy this year.

Our country garden in July

Well the garden is in full swing even if I haven’t been.

It’s been a busy summer and we haven’t been able to do as much as we would like. Nature is starting to creep in. While the plants are well established, the weeds and crawling ground cover are starting to encroach on my plans.

However a few things are doing alright. The viburnum is in good shape. I think that is what it is called. We pruned it last year and the new growth is doing well. And it is a nice concealer between us and the road.

I have one lowly lily at this point. More are on their way by the looks. The ditches are full of orange lilies which seems early but this year is a bit of a weird one in terms of heat and weather.

These are looking a little sad this year. Last year’s were bountiful and lovely but they need a little TLC on our vacation I think. I think I will flesh them out a bit with some friends in the coming weeks. And you can surely see the wretched ground cover that I pulled out this year and that returned with a vengeance as it damned well does.

Well that is it for now. More to come soon.

My little urban achievers – July

So July has come and our balcony garden grows ever bigger.

June saw our first peas. It was a mighty small yield but we did manage to get a few in a stew along with some frozen companions.

The carrots are ready to go as is the lettuce. The mint continues to dominate. Won’t be long now and we’lll see tomatoes as well. Exciting times. We might even be able to have one or two people over for a salad of some kind.

You aren’t Canadian unless you complain about the weather: An infographic

That’s just a fact. I can’t confirm it but I suspect that is a secretly part of the immigration process. Those of us born here just have a special chip implanted at birth that makes us automatically bring up the weather in any given conversation.

Summer Sun Light

We Canadians can only talk about hockey, double doubles and poutine so long. So inevitably the conversation turns to the weather. The winter is always too cold and this year I suspect throughout the entire summer, we will be complaining about how much we have to water the garden, how many sunburns we will try to avoid as we transition from a pale blue, to translucent white to the red that our national flag bears. There is also a lot of talk about how we wish it was a “dry heat”.

In that spirit I bring you an apt infographic for this stinkin’ heat. While not the normal topic for this blog I can’t help but think about the weather when I am working in the garden or on the lawn or when I am trying to keep my herbs and veggies from shrivelling up on my balcony in the city.

I think we’ve broken a lot of these records now but you get the idea. It’s something to peruse when you are in between watering your herbs for the fifth time today and braving the waters of Lake Ontario just to cool off.

Infographic: Dog days of summer