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Better Late than Never? And a Small Miracle (for me)

June 22, 2013

Newbie gardener that I am, I have been quite happily watching my herbs and limited veggies grow.  Its pretty much all an experiment of  sorts.  As a child I only grew carrots and radishes given to me  by my mother. She’s the one with the massive green thumb, not me.

So far, I’ve reported on the progress of my garlic, onions and additions to our herb garden for the year, like the different basils and the one tomato plant that has made it into the ground. I’m proud to say that although some of my onions have suffered from the ravages of the local bunnies, the garlic is thriving and I’ve had my first crop of scapes. I even noticed the first flowers on my cherry tomato. I’m so proud I could burst!

I cut back the chives and they’re bouncing back, but the sorrel that I let grow so high and chopped down rather drastically  has yet to recover. I think I was a little over-zealous, which is not unusual for me. When the weather started to get warmer, I immediately started on my plans for the backyard, including both veggie garden and invasive plant removal. Of course, I ignored the fact that I hadn’t consulted any of the literature or experienced gardeners that said, ‘here in Canada, we plant on the May 2-4 weekend.’ I was waaaaay ahead of there. Something along the lines of late March at the time.

Since then, I’ve built a raised bed, which is still in the basement. And the backyard is an absolute jungle. I’m about a month behind due to mass amounts of rain and a large amount of work. But I’m hoping that during the next week of vacation, I will be exhaustingly active and have the raised bed in and planted, the jungle will be fought back to the fences and I will no longer be ‘that’ neighbour.

Last week, I started with removing and potting a small flower that had migrated into the back lawn. Wilty but trying.  Thursday night (19 June), I finally decided to sow a windowsill-sized planter box of shiso (pernilla).  I know its late for planting from seed, but I’m hoping it will be ok now that it is really getting warm – today was 29 C at 4 pm.  I still have hopes for carrots and radishes if I get my raised bed in this week.

Last year, I’d sprouted a piece of ginger in water and planted it in the pot. It seemed to flourish when I put it outside in late June, but when I brought it back in for the winter, it suffered from the house environment and appeared to die off. Because it seemed to be breeding fruit flies, I covered the pot with cellophane, put it in the basement and forgot about it.

Looking at my sad little indoor tomato plants, I brought up the pot with the failed ginger experiment with the intention of re-potting at least one to grow on the porch. To my utter surprise, the covered ginger plant had thrown up a new shoot. Without water and limited light.

I’ve put the pot out in the sunniest place on the porch and am hoping for better results than last year. As it is mostly a tropical plant that loves humidity, this may work in my favour. We’ll just have to see. My friend has offered use of his greenhouse in the winter, so if it can manage to overwinter in the dark in my basement, maybe a well-lit, environmentally controlled greenhouse will allow it to really flourish.

As with everything else I’ve planted, its all an experiment. Finding enough time to get things into the ground on time is hard! I’ll keep on trying different things until I find something that works.

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