Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Irrigation System

As it happens, having an irrigation system in place makes life easier - especially if you go away for a few days. I have a system that I set up on my roof that seems to work during the driest of times for about a week. I plant my tomatoes in large self-watering containers and place a water-filled emptied wine bottle or two upside down into damp soil after watering and filling the reservoirs. Plants in containers that aren't self-watering, I place into tubs filled with water and I water them well. I also purchased a couple of children's blow up swimming pools that I fill w water for all the little pot that find their way up to my roof as well. I've now used this system twice and each time I've returned and my plants are still thriving and there is water left over ... I wouldn't want to do this too often because the time I went away and it rained a few times, it left the plants a little water logged BUT for a one time gig where you get to go away and not worry about your plants or having neighbours involved then it's highly recommended.

I just came upon this today on the Lettuce Share site and it seems filled with even more sophisticated self-irrigation tips and a Jordan's Picklee Pinecrest how to for cutting glass to make fancier versions of this bottle system.



Saturday, June 30, 2012

Watering & Weeding

 The old paste patch watered (to the right you can see where I harvested kale for last night's dinner)
 Tomatoes & Peppers in red mulch & beyond (you can see berries are doing well in the b/g)
 Some tomatoes in the old tomatillo patch (protected by screen)
 Melon Patch
 I scored this bird bath w drainage holes from my parents - YA! It will go into the herb garden.
 Peppers and bitter melon (planted by Julie)
Sun struck chartreuse zucchini plant (and if you look closely you can see dirtbird poking his head out where the diagonal strip of wood crosses the 2nd pole)

and the art rock in my original bowl

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roof Garden

On the roof, in the big bin, is the sterile potting soil for use in Spring. It needs to be replenished each Spring/Summer because it can be impossible to get when it's required in early Jan/Feb when pepper seeds are started!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Planting on the Roof in the Rain in the Evening

 It was raining lightly as I planted these guys into containers on the roof tonight - really refreshing - now that it's hot, I think heading up to the roof and be in summer rain more often! So Peaceful.

Two of my favourites from Gayla (Mel gave me a Whippersnapper too) I just can't say how happy I am to have these particular plants - I really get such a kick out of being able to run up to the roof and throw prolific early tomatoes in my salad. I love them.

These next two I've put two to a pot.
Black Seaman
... and Sicillian Rosso Togetta

These I am hoping to be able to bring indoors to over winter
Gayla brought them back from Thailand
 Two Thai Red Roselle

I have two blueberry plants that I am going to buy a tall containers for and I'm visiting cottage country in a week so I can bring back some pine needles to mulch them (they like acidy soil) Gayla's blueberries are bursting w berries this year - I'll have to wait a year or so but I'm looking forward to harvesting blueberries.

I am feeling pretty lucky this year to have so many fabulous plants lovingly grown by friends. I know how much time and care goes into getting them to this stage. I am trying not to feel guilty for having done so little this year. People who don't grow from seed and buy all their plants at nurseries don't really know what is involved. I'm glad I do. There is a tremendous amount of work involved - albeit joyous work - for the most part. Thanks Gayla and Mel once again! I'm trying to think of ways to get you back.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Gayla's Tomatoes, Peppers, et al

the tiny plant to the left is a tomato plant called coeur de pigeon because 
the fruit is heart-shaped and the size of a pigeon's heart
[the plant on the right is a ground cherry I got from Melanie - I noticed the stem
was almost chewed through so I buried it a little deeper and am hoping it survives]

 there were two spaces on the red plastic mulch left so I planted two of three chiltipen peppers from Gayla (they are sometimes known as the mother of all peppers  " they are rated very hot and pungent"
they fit nicely in a little arrangement with the ones I planted the other day that I got from Mel as well.

the little guy on the left is an unknown
the large plant on the right though is a
Cyphomandra abutiloides or Dwarf Tamarillo
 it will have small orange edible fruits
(they are supposed to do well in containers - now I'm 
thinking I might put it in one since it is really a small tree)
From Top Left 
Piedmont and three Cherokee's
From Bottom Left
Mandarin Cross, Silver Fir, Maglia Rossa (Gayla told me she plants these every year and that they are really good for drying and roasting) and Jewel of Oaxaca (these look pretty and taste good) AND they're from Oaxaca!

Julie has planted 5 tomatoes in the back
(this put a smile on my face when I saw them - a human can never have too many tomatoes)
The 5 I planted in front are from Gayla 
From Left to Right 

Arbuznyi (means watermelon in Russian), Velvet Red (these look so pretty in the photo), Snow White (cherry tomatoes), Czech's Bush (hmmm a determinate - I might need to take this out and put it in a container - maybe) and Lutescent

 in here I have 3 zapotec pink pleated and 2 freckled childs
[these are for their looks, one is pretty and the other is pretty ugly) 
heheh- just kidding (saying that makes good copy)
From Left to Right
3 peppers
Ajidulce Chiltipen and Golden Nugget
1 tomato
El jefe - nope it's not - Gayla got tricked by the people who gave it to her 
(probably not intentially - again saying that just makes better copy)!

And finally - some blackberries. I'm hoping there will be enough sun way over here in the corner of the garden where the sun don't shine a whole heck of a lot because of the forrest. We will see.

I have as many now to plant on the roof in containers. 


And again, thank you Melanie. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mel's Toms & Peppers are Planted

I saw that it was supposed to rain around noon today so I high-tailed it down to the allotment and began digging and prepping a bed for Mel's tomatoes and peppers. I was able to lay the red plastic mulch from last year over them and cut a few new slits for them to keep the moisture in (it's supposed to be a hot dry Summer). I watered them well before leaving and must say I saw no sign of rain.

Here's what it looked like last week before the rains came.
Here's what it looks like now after some weeding & digging and with last year's red plastic mulch (and just before today's rain).

Silvery Fir Tree (might replant this on the roof as it's a determinate) and Old Ivory Egg
Cheeseman and Cheeseman I can't tell if these are determinate or indeterminate (I suppose I could pull one up and put it into a container to see how it does on the roof)
Uncle Charlies and Uncle Charlies (this is a giant Mexican pear tomato)

Bulgarian Carrot (hot and good pickler) and Habenero
Orangee Thai Hot and Thai Hot

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hello Toronto Allotment

Melanie gave me a great big tray of tomatoes & peppers. What a gift and as you can see below in shots taken of the garden, before the rains, there is lots of room for them. I'll be heading over tomorrow to plant them.

I was totally thrilled to pieces to notice there was a whippersnapper tucked in there which I'll be planting on the roof today!

Julie has been chipping away at my garden, weeding and planting - it's looking absolutely super.

The soil is dry from lack of rain but there is rain in the forecast AND there are soaker hoses on all my beds!