Friday, October 22, 2010

The Garden

One of the great things about our new home is that we have a large garden. When we moved in, it was VERY big and a bit unruly. There was a row of garlic growing, but it didn't turn out very well. After some research, we found that we didn't really harvest it correctly. Live and learn!

We were very busy getting used to our new neighbourhood. We really didn't spend much time on the garden last year. It did get overgrown with a ton of weeds and when Peter spent a back-breaking day digging them out, found that the garden was also very rocky!!!

Over the winter, Peter formulated a 'plan' and come spring, he followed through and we ended up with a really nice garden and quite a successful harvest!

First the size was a bit much for us. After all, we aren't farmers! So Peter rented a rototiller for the day and loosened up the dirt, including some great compost. Half of the former garden was planted with grass seed and now looks fabulous.

Then three raised beds were constructed and more compost was added. To keep the weeds down, 13 cubic metres (or 7 Purple Pig loads) of red cedar mulch was distributed around the raised beds. It was hard work and the result was fantastic. The cedar mulch is nice to walk on, keeps shoes / boots fairly dirt free and did keep the weeds down.

We transplanted several rhubarb roots and hope to get a harvest next spring. A couple of gooseberry bushes were donated by a friend and they seem to be doing well, though no fruit this year. We planted red peppers, several varieties of tomatoes, green & yellow beans, zucchini, cucumbers and lots of herbs including lovage, chives, garlic chives, parsley, rosemary, sage, dill, basil, arugula and oregano.

The harvest was pretty spectacular for our first attempt. We had many dinners of fresh beans, tomatoes, & cucumbers. The herbs did really well. We had so many zucchini that I made several zucchini loaves and the very popular, chocolate zucchini cake. We even managed to freeze beans and some herbs.

The red peppers didn't do too well, and we have ideas of how to improve the garden to be even better next year! Stay tuned for more updates and happy gardening!

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