Sunday, July 18, 2010

Garden 2010

As promised, here is a quick look at our garden here in NW Alberta, Canada. We`re at about 55 degrees Latitude, for reference. Our soil is decent for the most part, though there is a lot of clay so we have had to add a lot of organic matter.

The pictures were taken in late June, I`m just really late posting them. I will put up some updates soon as there have certainly been changes.

This little patch has always been one of the productive parts of our garden. We could put a lot more into it, but my parents have developed a pattern of spacing wide enough between each row that the rototiller can pass through. I do make little exceptions here and there, like the patch of garlic in the top right corner. It is double rowed and each pair of rows is only spaced about 18" apart, just wide enough to move for weeding and hilling.

The productive qualities of this patch mean it usually gets seeded with things we want to start eating as early as possible and grow 2 or 3 crops. Down at the bottom you can see some weeds left in a row that had contained radishes. By the time this picture was taken we had already consumed two rows of spinach as well as some of the Romaine lettuce which can be seen.

Garlic is a new addition to our garden. I decided to try growing it this year after reading on the Sugar Mountain Farm blog that garlic is an effective de-worming agent for pigs. Plus I am fond of roasted garlic/bell pepper seasoning so I want to try to make my own over the next couple of years.

This view shows most of the rest of the garden, looking north. The picture is taken from the other side of a small cabin that my Granny used to live in. The cabin basically turns the garden into an upside down Y. It does extend further behind where this picture was taken but the ground was wet from the sprinkler so I didn`t go as far back as I could have. There is basically a large patch of tomato sets, some cabbage sets and a couple more rows of radish. Probably something else that I cannot remember as well.

Speaking of the sprinkler, here it is in action. Here you can see our one long row of beets. Up top and to the left are some broccoli and more cabbage. To the right are two long rows of bush beans.

Here are the beans again, then one row of peas (now producing finally!). You can see a couple of volunteer sunflowers as this is where mom had two rows of sun flowers last year. One the other side of the peas are two rows of potatoes, the first ones we planted. They have been hilled well and I wish I had the time to bring more dirt to them to have buried the plants one more time. The soil here is probably the healthiest in the garden right now so I think we could have got a LOT of potatoes out of those two rows. As it is they should still do pretty well. We ought to be eating from them soon actually.

Next are a couple of rows of mom`s begonia bulbs from last year, but they didn`t winter very well and so they are not coming along terribly well either. I think they don`t like such a clay based soil. The picture shows another couple of rows of cucumbers from seed, then a couple of rows of zucchini and pumpkin, both of which are exploding now.

This year`s sunflowers are doing fairly well too. As is the swiss chard next door to them. On the other side of the chard are three more double rows of peas. I still think we should have done a couple more double rows.

There is another patch of potatoes in there but they were quite small still so I didn`t take any pictures of it. Then comes my 2010 corn patch. Last year`s patch produced very well but mom felt that it didn`t freeze very well so we tried a different variety in the big patch this year. The center two rows contain runner beans as well as I had some seed remaining after seeding my Three Sisters mounds. They are out-growing the corn now!

This is the view from the north end of the garden, back towards the south. You can see the small cabin that I mentioned earlier, as well as the Three Sisters mounds down at the bottom of the picture. Down by my feet are about 3 more rows of leaf lettuce and yet a couple more rows of radish.

And that`s basically it. I`ll take some more pictures and update soon.

Peace and comfort.


Anonymous said...

Looks good. I must say, the sprinkler gets me. We are so wet here this year, I feel like I'm living in a rain forest.


Jerry said...

For a few years now much of our moisture has been blowing elsewhere. I`m sure much of it is fueling this year`s excess rain and floods in other areas. Just what climate change was forecast to do...

Luckily, it is easier to use a sprinkler than to deal with too much long as the underground water supply holds.

Walter Jeffries said...

Nice garlic patch! Did you know that soaker hoses cause rain storms? Every time I put my soaker hoses out in the spring it rains. If I disconnect them from the hose we get a dry spell. I reconnect them and go to soak and we get a rain... Hmm...

Jerry said...

Thank you Walter!

Our hoses must be broken...

linda said...

Thanks for sharing this. I planted only a small patch of garlic to test it and we noticed as we were weeding the other parts of the garden nearby that the garlic patch was the only one that did not grow a single weed. We have a jungle on our hands every where else. Do you notice the same thing?

Jerry said...

No we definitely had weeds in the garlic patch. I`d say at about the same density as the rest of the garden too. I guess you found your sweet spot!

linda said...

how do you spread around the sweet spot then? Because we are losing the Battle of Weeds. Its all the rain.

MoonRaven said...

This is so nice to see. Our little urban garden is probably only slightly bigger than *one* of your rows. Everything looks so nice--and you are already eating from it.

Thanks for posting this and congratulations on your garden and its produce.

Jerry said...

Yeah too much rain is just about as bad as too little..sometimes worse. Hard to weed a garden that is all mud.

MoonRaven, I feel for you. I think I`d start to experience claustrophobia if I had to go back to a tiny urban garden. As for eating from it, I think we were eating some greens and radishes by late June. Not bad for the North Pole huh?