Sunday, September 20, 2009

Construction Time

I was surprised to see this mystery plant in bloom this fall - Know what it is???
My favoirte eye candy for the garden - Zinnias are always planted.
Sedums are fun color.
Our great tasty pole bean even at this size - there is some confusion as to variety
The construction zone
My miniature geranium - I think its called Robin Hood?

Pink Pearl - lovely to look at and good to eat

We are still dry - the last rain was in late August and we could sure use some cool fall rains. Luckily, the hose reaches from the faucet to the garden and I have been getting that inch of water on the garden. Tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, peppers, and the herbs are all still producing. I got the onions cleaned and the garlic into a mesh bag for storage. The dill seed is finally dry and time to sift it and put it into a jar for winter use. We have a Dill Bread recipe that I will post in the future. Drying of veggies and herbs continues, and with some nice apples from a friend I made a batch of Hot Pepper Jelly with the Big Bomb peppers. That variety is REALLY HOT! I tasted one and my lips were on fire for twenty minutes and several large glasses of milk. I used the Big Bomb in the jelly but chickened out in the end and removed most of the pepper pieces before I put the jelly into jars. The extra that I tasted was snappy, so as the jelly matures it should be really hot. I like hot pepper jelly with peanut butter.
The proposed brick apron in front of the greenhouse got closer to completion with our work this week. Check out the "tamping video - there was no way for me to rent and maneuver a mechanical tamper so the hand one will have to do. I have laid down the gravel base and put a layer of paving sand over the gravel in preparation of placing the leveling sand and then the pavers. Susan and I moved the 1500 or so pavers out of the way of the construction and hopefully the last move will be to place them on the apron site. This construction project will allow for a nice level site for the early cold frames in the spring and a good level location for the rain barrels on the east side of the green house. Just a note: the greenhouse is only heated for one germination month in the spring. The cost of fuel is such that I can not run the greenhouse all winter as in the past. This change came about several years ago as fuel cost jumped and heating the greenhouse was doubling our heat bill so something had to go and that was the most efficient. I can winter over a number of plants in the basement under eight fluorescent lights. Keeping them on for about 15-16 hours a day makes the plants under them thrive and the cool basement temperatures seem not to bother them. I have successfully over wintered my favourite miniature geranium, Robin Hood, for over 25 years and in the basement for the last six with little problems. African violets grow their best under fluorescent tubes - try it - and see if they don't bloom beautifully with the artificial light.
The apple harvest continues and I have started to dry some too. The variety "Pink Pearl" is a great one to dry. They keep their beautiful color and we really enjoy them and all the other apples that we dry.
Happy Gardening


  1. Hi David...
    Isn't nature wonderful; looking at the 'seed star' in an apple one has to wonder! That beauty did not just happen! What is the lower portion of your green-house made of? Is this a 'box green-house' or one you made from scratch? What do you use for heating it? So many questions but I am considering one; how long have you had it? I'd appreciate any suggestions and/or thoughts on what you'd add etc?
    The Cat Lady

  2. Hi Cat Lady,
    The greenhouse is an old Lord&Burnum that I re-built from an 8 span to a four span back in the early 90's. The old one came down when we remodeled the house and did not have room for that big a greenhouse and I am glad because we do not heat (gas forced air) this one except in March for one month to get plants started. The structure sits on a poured cement foundation that is stressed because of our winter weather and I have patched it three time now. Things are better now that no water freezes in and on the cement in winter. I have to sweep snow off the roof after every snow because the glass is so old and brittle. So, I keep plants in my basement now instead of in a greenhouse under fluorescent lights and they do just as well as they did in the greenhouse for much less cost.
    Happy Gardening
    D. Parsons