Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Planting Season

As usual summer got away from me- most of it spent in the garden! I frequently post in the forums at and the following are excerpts from my posts this year- an edited version if you will.

Notes from the garden Spring 2009

May 31
I finally got (almost ) everything planted and decided to take a few photos for comparing later. I'm still doing a lot in containers on the deck since I'm not sure about the soil conditions -it was a parking space up until recently!

The newly dug vegetable garden- the lower part in the photo belongs to my downstairs neighbour and is nice neat rows of tomatoes and peppers. I've planted everything above the rhubarb, (which came with the place!).
Top of the picture- 1st row left to right
pie pumpkins x 2, tomatillas X 2, Romas x 2.
Next row Green bush beans x 3, Yellow bush beans just emerging, Acorn Squash x 2., Snow peas growing up the composter
Middle section Gai Lan, Rapini, ( just seeded) Buttercup squash x 2. , Daylily
Last section (next to rhubarb) Butternut Squash x 3, Hill of unknown cubits x 2 from the compost (I'm betting melons but could be cukes) Rhubarb
Bi coloured corn along the fence!

Growing corn in the city isn't all that practical- corn needs neighbours in all directions in order to pollinate and space requirements don't allow for multiple rows in my tiny space. Most corn I have seen growing in neighbourhood gardens tends to produce very few ears and tiny ones at best. My own past experience has been that the raccoons tend to get what little there is in any case- they adore fresh corn on the cob! My hope is that since the raccoons use the fence to climb down from the roof they will be distracted by the corn and never notice the rest of my garden. Here's hoping....

The Rooftop Garden

I've been a container gardener for a number of years. Here in the city it's not always easy to find space for a full garden and many vegetables do well in containers. With a decent size deck and full southern exposure it made sense to continue to grow as many things as I could in containers. Some of the tomatoes I chose were recommended for container growing but others I went against convention and potted them any how.

The tomato patch on the roof eventuall spilled onto the roof of the neighbouring building, which fortunately was empty all summer. And yes those are socks drying on the lattice- dual purpose!
From left to right: White Beauty, Black from Tula, Orange Stripe, Scotia Cross, Black Cherry

These 4 were bought as 6” plants from Wychwood Farmer’s market April 25

White Beauty -
Creamy white color inside and outside make White Beauty a rarity. Extremely mild and sweet because of a high sugar content. Fruits average 8 ounces and are quite meaty with few seeds.

Black From Tula
Deep reddish-brown beefsteak tomato has a rich, sweet flavor that is delicious. Fruit is smooth in texture and weighs from 8 to 12 ozs. This outstanding variety is very productive and seems to set well even when weather turns hot. Russian heirloom.

Big Orange Stripe A wonderful heirloom from the Carter family in Kentucky, Big Orange Stripe fruits are huge--up to 2 lbs. with delicate red striping outside and in. Delicious and sweet, one of the best orange beefsteaks available. With all the attention being garnered by the orange tomatoes and their health benefits, this one deserves a place in your garden.

Big Rainbow Stripe. This is the most visually spectacular tomato; as fruits ripen they resemble a rainbow: green on the shoulder, yellow in the middle, and red on the blossom end. When fully ripe, the fruits are gold on the stem end and red on the blossom end. Early fruits weigh over 2 lbs. with little catfacing or deformities. 'Big Rainbow' has very good resistance to foliar disease and continues to bear until frost.

Grown From Seeds- started indoors in March

Scotia Cross- Hand crossed from Scotia and Tiny Tim. Smaller red fruit that do well in containers. I admired them on a trip to Nova Scotia and was given some seeds to take home- 6 years later I am still growing them!

Black Cherry - . Plants produce a good quantity of purple/black cherry tomatoes that have the great flavour of all those black tomatoes. A tall, vigorous plant that produces abundant crops of 2 cm (1”) fruits. Fruits are irresistibly delicious.

Russian Rose - This Russian heirloom variety is aptly named as it bears fruit as pretty as a rose. The tomatoes are large rose-pink globes with excellent, sweet, full tomato flavor. The average size is usually about 12 ozs. with meaty flesh. Expect a good sized crop of these top-quality tomatoes.

From left to right: Top -Russian Rose, Big Rainbow Stripe, Yellow Bell Pepper
Bottom - Butterbean Edamame, Jalapeno peppers

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