Sunday, May 27, 2012

YWCA Garden Update

We use a bunch of season extension techniques at the YWCA Rooftop Food Garden to help us get started earlier, produce later, and keep things extra warm for tomatoes, peppers, or melons.

The carrots we planted in early march are getting big -- row cover gave them just enough protection for the seeds to germinate.   The radishes are out and in their place we transplanted 'Golden Nugget' tomatoes, which are staying toasty in the high tunnel under row cover.

Thanks to Suzanne Fairley for the photos.

May 27 Cambie Garden Update

What a fabulous morning for working in the garden - warm with a gentle breeze ....

have spotted Italian honeybees buzzing the Giant Red mustard blossoms - will try to capture in a photo next time .........

the hoop house had semi-collapsed and has now been repaired - soon our eggplant, tomatoes and tomatillos will be enjoying its protected warmth ...

and, in preparation for gardening with the nearby daycare children, two of our beds have been readied for planting

the Russian Blue potatoes have started to flower and the strawberries have started to set fruit - as have the blueberries and raspberries - now if the birds will just leave a few for us!!

May - what a wonderful time of year in the garden


Saturday, May 26, 2012

May 20 Update - Cambie Garden

Better late than never - a quick update re our garden activities last Sunday, May 20th ...  Nasturtium's are popping out the the earth - we'll soon be munching on fresh strawberries and the potatoes are really putting on some good growth ........... the Red Giant mustard has finally decided to flower - and will hopefully attract benefical insects to deal with the aphids due any time now on our broadbeans ....... more updates tomorrow

and speaking of beneficial insects - here are a few worth noting ......

Monday, May 14, 2012

Check out our new compost sifter!  These can be simply built out of some old bike rims (remove the spokes first) and wire mesh. A wooden frame fits over the wheelbarrow with casters to guide the rims back and forth, separating the finished compost from the larger particles that need to 'cook' a bit longer.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 6 - Year of the Potato?

Potatoes continue to do well at the Cambie Garden too ........ Yukon Gold, fingerlings, and Russian Blue .......... they are growing faster than we can keep them hilled!!
The strawberries, sorrel and potato onions are starting to flower ........... quite a rare occurence for potato onions ........... maybe we'll get some seed
And the broadbeans are now starting to take off - May - what a wonderful time of the year

Surprise Potatoes

Potatoes are popping up everywhere at the YWCA Rooftop Food Garden.  We've found them hiding among the peas, flourishing in the compost bins, and trying to disguise themselves as strawberries. Our potato bed is already planted with Russian Banana Fingerlings and Yukon Gold, so we've started transplanting volunteers into large pots, wooden planters, and even burlap sacks!  Planting potatoes in containers comes with the added bonus that you can start with just a bit of soil (about 1/3), and then add more throughout the season instead of 'hilling up.'  Harvest is as easy as turning the whole thing upside-down!

Notice how these happy transplants are planted into the bottom 1/3 of the planter.

Burlap sacks are often available for free - just ask your local coffee roaster!