2016 In the Garden


This year in Southern Ontario it has been HOT!  No rain, but SO HOT.  I wish that it would stay like this forever.

The garden is doing very well.  The Brussels, broccoli and cauliflower are the only plants not enjoying the weather.  Everything else is fantastic.  Right now we are harvesting zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, kale, cabbage, rhubarb, all of the herbs, beans, artichoke, peas…

imageArtichoke plants are growing well this year.  Tonight’s dinner is grilled artichoke & zucchini with bruschetta! Planting nasturtium & calendula around the plant has increased the bee activity & I have never had as many artichokes on the plants.  Spreading straw around the plants keeps the moisture in the soil during the dry heat this year.

imagePeppers are ripening in bunches. Jalapenos, Hungarian Bananas, Joe’s Long Cayenne, Orange Habaneros and Mazitti peppers are all changing colour.  The greenhouse superhots aren’t ripe yet, but they are doing well. This year I emptied out a 2 yard bin of compost into the beds and the plants are loving it.  Everything is full and lush.

imageI like to plant sunflowers in the veggie beds.  They are beautiful & attract bees & butterflies.  Amaranth has spread through the garden.  I pulled out thousands of  volunteer plants & left a few plants scattered through the beds.  They are reaching 10′ high!  Tomato plants are bushy & healthy (middle 2 beds). They love compost.

imageI tried a new combination in the grape bed.  I planted potatoes in chicken wire cages along the bed.  Then planted kale around the cages.  I don’t know if it is the compost, the weather or the combo – but all 3 plants are the best ever.  I have over 300 bunches of grapes growing.  The potato plants are 5 feet tall & easy to hill.  There is NO WEEDING.  Love it!


We had a chicken loss this week.  The boss of the flock, our 6 year Whitey the Silkie died in her sleep.  She had a great life with her baby Silkies, keeping everyone in line and foraging in the trees.  She was our roo, Napoleon’s favourite & he has been pretty quiet this week.  The other hens are doing well.  The little brown Silkie is the tamest bird that we have had.  She waits for me outside the door of the house every evening to pick her up & put her in, while everyone else is asleep on the roost!

imageEdwin & Ezekial, named after Blue Jays players are doing well.  Thankfully, they are both boys – there was some question…  They enjoy kale & cabbage, hanging out with the hens & the chipmunk that has moved into their pen!  Edwin (the blonde) likes to be pet & Ezekial (grey) is a little more skittish, but always the first to race to new food!

imageimage Wound Morning Glories around tomato plants & tied them over a trellis. The plants are HUGE in this bed.  I will continue this combination next year. Pole beans may work, but morning glories tendril the tomatoes with more strength.  Plus it looks fabulous in the garden in the morning. I need some new varieties for next year!




This entry was posted in 2016 garden, bean, chickens, flowers, hens, Potatoes, rabbit, tomatoes, Uncategorized, Veggie Garden. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to 2016 In the Garden

  1. nannygrannie says:

    Everything is looking so beautiful!!!


  2. Dawn says:

    So excited to see an update on your blog! 🙂


  3. Judith Adam says:

    Thanks for your report, Nicky! Sounds like the heat (and primo garden compost) are boosting plant production. Here in Toronto I’m having a problem with tomatoes (also experienced by another grower in Niagara-on-the-Lake). I have great bunches of flowers on plants (full size and cherry tomatoes), but little fruit set. The flowers don’t drop off, as sometimes can happen in high heat; but they simply don’t form fruit. These tomato plants are grown in the middle of a garden designed for pollinators, and it’s absolutely buzzing with bees and wasps, so I’m fairly confident the flowers are being fertilized. Tomato flowers have both male and female parts, so only the least bit of jiggling will move the pollen around. I guess this will make the few I harvest more valuable this year. The most interesting tomato I’ve got in the garden is a new heritage hybrid, ‘Jersey Boy’ from Ball Horticultural. It’s a cross between two older tomatoes, a selection of Brandywine’ (1885) and ‘Rutgers’ (1934). The fruits are lobed, and look meaty.
    My journalist son is in Kansas City with the Jays, and I’m hoping for another exciting and dramatic season between now and October.


    • nicky says:

      Some years I get less fruit, but this isn’t one of them! They say that giving the plants a little shake between 12-2 in the afternoon can help, but I’m at work at that time, so I couldn’t say if its true!

      If you are interested in trying a few new tomatoes, let me know & I’ll send a few of my favourites along! I have about 75 varieties in the garden this year.

      I wish that your son could take me on the road with him for the Jays game! I love talking Jays – especially mid 80’s teams! Can’t wait to see them win it all this year!


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