Garden 2009 - Victoria

I was a participant in Capital Families Food Security Initiative which helped new gardeners cultivate and harvest their own garden produce. See:

Throughout the growing season, the coordinators offered workshops, additional plants and tools and ongoing support.

This project hopes to expand next year to include more new gardeners, which is great news because there is such a need in the community for these types of programs.

A great, big thanks to Capital Families, who provided me with top soil, fencing, tools, plants and support to really kick start my new garden, and to my organic garden guru, Elaine Ferguson, who mentored me from start to finish.

Download the Newsletter: Gardening Neighbours Vol.1.1

This organic garden is situated in the Happy Valley flood plain and is approx. 20' x 9' in size with an additional V-shaped herb garden in the back end, and a container garden on the front deck.

At the time the garden was created, a basic compost consisting of chicken wire wrapped around some metal stakes, was also set up.

May 27, 2009: We were a little late getting coordinated and started, but the whole garden is dug out and top soil on most of it.

The grass/topsoil dug out from the garden is used as mulch behind the fencing to keep access around all the garden if possible.

May 27: The garden borders on a sheltered seasonal creek wetland surrounded by tall evergreens, wild thickets, blackberries and bushes, so it is well protected. It also gets a good amount of sunshine, at least in peak summer. In the autumn the tall evergreens that border the yard block much afternoon sun. Keeping the blackberries back may be a challenge.

The compost is adjacent the garden on the right side.

June 9, 2009 : Peas are planted along rear fence with trays over them to protect shoots. Swiss chard and squashes are in and garden mulched with a straw/wood chip mulch.

June 9: All mulched, ready to go. The tomatoes and peppers will be on the right side which gets the most sun.

July 26, 2009: cauliflowers, tomatoes. Peppers were grown in the ground and in containers.

July 26, 2009: different varieties of tomatoes include Sophies Choice , romas, black heirlooms, grape, beefstakes. I germinated Sophies Choice seeds indoors in March and was eating them in July.

The blackberry bushes behind the fencing have required some cutting back, but not to bad.

August 22, 2009: Coming along nicely...
Left front: Lettuce, salad greens, pumpkin, cucumbers, zucchini,
left rear: peas (along back fence), sunflower with leaves, swiss chard, beets
Middle: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, squash, beans( on rear fence) onions
Right: several varieties of tomatoes, peppers

Various flowers are planted throughout the garden - marigolds, calendula, borage, nasturtiums, sunflowers, sweet pea and many different blooms from the veggies.

Containers- Railing: Tumbler tomatoes, Nasturtiums, everbearing strawberries
Patio: lettuces, onions, herbs - parsley, chives, oregano, mint

September 13, 2009: Still going good. Harvesting much of the produce now.

September 15, 2009: Some of the produce that has been harvested and prepared for freezing

September 28, 2009: The sunflowers are now in bloom, and the compost is filling up.

I have been eating zuccini, squash, pumpkin, cucumber, peas, beans, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, onions, peppers, many different herbs and varieties of tomatoes. I still have tomatoes, peppers, a butternut squash, some cabbages and zuccuni that I'll likely have to harvest quickly if the weather worsens.

Peppers: perhaps it was the variety, but one pepper plant grown in the ground produced large, green sweet peppers. The peppers I started indoors in March and transplanted to the ground, produced very small peppers, but they did get crowded out by tomatoe plants growing too close. The peppers in the containers all produced smaller peppers.

I fed the garden almost weekly in the summer, and rotated among manure tea, Raingrow, Mother Earth Super Tea , Tarantula Beneficial Bacteria, lime, and pure, positive energy.

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