Friday, June 1, 2012

Rain on the Roses

June came in like a lion today- the much anticipated rain is coming down in buckets, accompanied by gale force winds! It's a bit like Pooh's Blustery day but oh did we need it! The garden was dry as bone, and the rainbarrel has been empty for weeks. I caved in and hooked up the hose to kitchen sink a few days ago but even that didn't do much more than settle the dust. I've  been reluctant to transplant most of the seedlings- the leeks and beets went in last week and are hanging on but only just. The strawberry spinach vanished in a day- whether if got eaten or just evaporated I'm not sure but there's no trace of them now. I even held off on direct sowing my beans for a while, hoping for a good rain- they eventually went in to the ground the day I watered and are all up now thankfully. I've got some zucchinis, squash and brussel sprouts on the deck still in their seedling pots- they will be grateful to be finally transplanted in the ground now that it's rained. It's not the bounty I was expecting by this time but lettuces are ready to pick and yesterday I harvested rapini and garlic scapes to make our first garden meal of the year, in time for my June 1st prediction!

The rest of the garden is still rather bare for this time of the year; for someone who was so anxious to get going earlier this year I've been surprisingly slow to plant, for a variety of reasons. Some things in the works have had me stalling but if all goes as planned there will be a much different strategy this year. In the previous post I wrote about how my garden space has grown over the years but what I didn't mention was how much the surrounding trees have also grown. For while I was able to trim back branches to allow a decent amount of sun to get through but each year it's gotten more difficult and the overhead canopy has gotten more dense. Last year the tomatoes in  the ground barely ripened at all. In previous years I have taken advantage of the roof next door as well as some key sunny spots of our deck to grow a few tomatoes in containers. Well we now have neighbours next door so that space is gone, and our deck see less sun each year due to the same shade trees. The only solution is to go up!

Our building has a flat black tar roof, ideal for growing heat loving plants but we didn't have a way up there. We considered using a regular 6' ladder but that seem precarious at best. So the Russian and I put our brains together and came up with a solution that is hopefully going to allow me to grow all my tomatoes and peppers up there, as well as few other things in containers. It's not quite finished but it holds my weight and feels stable enough to climb. The farmcats seem to like too. I still need to figure out how to transport or collect water up there but hopefully I'll have an update from the new rooftop garden in the near future!

My other big news I've been planning to post about has to do with work- there's been some wonderful developments in my job description that have me actually excited to go to work lately.  I've been assigned as the steward of our somewhat neglected greenhouse space so I've been very busy cleaning it up and making plans to let it live up to it's potential. As well I've been able to include some general improvements to FoodShare's outdoor space as a whole; adding things like rainbarrels and rain chains as well as new garden beds and plants. There's been so much to do and I promise I will do a full review, complete with photos very soon.


  1. A great big huge tree branch came down across from my back yard, but this time it didn't hit our poor fence, which still has a big hole in it from the last one. Love your Pooh Bear and Christopher Robin cartoon!

  2. It was a a blustery day indeed! Glad to hear your fence was missed this time round. We had a few small branches come down but nothing noteworthy.