An update from our garden…
Our efforts in the garden have started to show as the first vegetables have sprung from the ground and we’re seeing changes almost daily in the backyard. The first vegetables to come up were the purple-top turnips, with thick and healthy leaves. The chards and radishes were soon to follow with lettuces, spinaches and kales growing slowly in the shadier sections of our largest garden space.
The potatoes have sprouted with an unanticipated vigour and are more than six inches high already. We just piled them up with dirt mounds to encourage more potatoes and keep any tubers from being exposed to the light – we’re definitely going to need more dirt! Having never before seen potatoes growing in the ground, these plants are capturing our interest with their deep green colour, the beautiful leaf structure and the subtle differences in colour and growing speed between the different varieties we’ve planted. We’ve planted 7 different varieties, with different harvesting times and colours – hopefully we’ll have enough for storage this year.
Slow off the mark have been our corn patch, the beans (both bush and Scarlet Runner), as well as the carrots and beets. Most are just poking out of the ground now, so hopefully we’ll have enough days in the growing season to have a good harvest from them. We’ve planted Bull’s Blood, Touchstone Gold and Formanova beets; as well as Nantes, Dragon, Finger and Yellow Amarillo carrots.
Our sunflower and pea patch is doing quite well, though our plans of having the peas growing up the sunflower stalks may not come to fruition as the peas are eclipsing the sunflowers. We’ll have to find something for them to climb up soon as the peas are almost 8 inches long.
We have one large tomato plant in the raised-log bed that we bought from Sunnyside Natural Food Market and have a few tomatoes on the vine already. We’ve started a number of tomato plants from seed as well (Brandywine and Sweetie) but they are pretty small and leggy from our feeble attempts at indoor seedlings and who knows if they’ll have enough time to produce any fruit. We’ve got one butternut squash plant that was purchase from Sunnyside in the raised-log bed as well as 4 buttercup squash plants that we started from seed. Unfortunately we put those out a couple days too early and they were torn to shreds by heavy rains, but surprisingly they have started to come back!
All in all it’s been a slow start in the vegetables gardens, but given the large amount of rain and cool days that we’ve been having so far, it’s not unexpected. The warm weather in Calgary tends to come late and last well into September, so we’ve just got to be patient and hope for the best. We definitely want to plan another seeding day near the end of June so that we’ll have a second crop of some of the veg growing right into autumn.