Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Summer follow up, closing down for 2010

Ok well I think this blog has run it's end for now- the balcony did not not recover this past season from the infestation of spider mites, and untill then nothing will survive, except the few measely peppers and cherry tomatoes you see here...

Earlier in the spring I called in to ask Mark Cullen on CFRB's (now Newstalk 1010-hav no idea if they are keeping the show with the new formatting..) the Garden show and he advised to use Doctor Doom- aka PESTICIDES- as the one and only solution. I decided to try what my grandma suggested and throw everything out and start over. so I did- but I kept one or two really nice pots that I adored.

So maybe that's where they stayed, hiding. However Mr. Cullen did say to wash down the whole balcony, as they lie dormant anywhere and everywhere. And then there where the plants I had overwintered in the house. I admit I did see some strands, but I was hoping that was from some nive indoor spiders keeping my house free of bugs...guess not.

Now I have the infestation in the house, too, I'm sure. I have kept many of these plants for many years, and it will break my heart to throw them out, so I may be buying some Doom soon... (I guess I have to contact the Lord of the Underworld for that, heh)

So I will close this for now, but I will update on how I finally get rid of the little buggers..

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Inspiration 2009!

Ok so my return wasn't so quick, and I actually missed planting season- for a very good reason!

I was in JAPAN- cool huh? Now that county's got gardening DOWN. I highly recommend anyone who's remotely interested in gardening to visit- we were lucky enough to catch the Cherry Blossom season when we were there, too. I'll post a few pics, but two dimensions just don't cut it. It's ethereal. Goodness I've never used that word before!

So the real inspiration for my post is this video- From what I can gather on his youtube channel he's in Toronto, like me, and loves to grow tomatoes, also like me.

But his is MUCH better- It's what I'd aspire to- lots of cherry tomatoes and great use of straw. The other thing that I love is his swing chair! I've been contemplating throwing my old cedar auction love seat out- it's awkward and the nails are pretty rusty, I'm just attached to it because it was such a fight to get at the auction at the time- 20 years ago, hmm- ok, i think it can go :)

Enough about me- Vlad also has lots of videos about the carrville community garden- located behind the Toronto Waldorf School- looks like a good group of folks- 106 litres of tomatoe sauce made from their gardens in 2005!!

So because I missed starting my own toms, I'm going to have to hunt for some come May. Which is kind of nice- no dirt in the dining room, no hustling plants in and out, rushing home on cold night to get the seedlings back in, no balancing precariously on chairs (which my other half is happy about) with trays.. but also no daily little joys of green. Ah well, at least there's the internet! Time to live vicariously through others for a while!

...and one last picture of cherry blossoms:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

..and now I'm back,

..to let you know, I can really shake 'em down?


Sorry I couldn't resist.

School is done, I have a (2nd!) diploma on my wall, and I've taken all my license exams and now I wait for an answer...

But so much has happened since I've been away, as the "green" movement has literally taken root in Toronto and it' now all the rage to grown your own, eat organic, have a farmers market. It's pretty exciting. I don't even know where to start!!

Here in Toronto a lass has taken up the mantle for gathering unwanted fruits, and I surely envy her in that I always was enamored with the American groups that also do gleaning. But now that Toronto has *enforced* the banned pesticide use bylaw with some pretty hefty fines , the time is shall we say, ripe- ha ha! They need lots of help this time of year, so if you can give her a hand, please do!

17 Farmers markets have sprung up in every neighborhood, so much that there weren't enough farmers to go around ( or can't participate- that's another story)

There's also a lady that has 3 chickens in her yard-illegally! That's right, in Toronto galliformes are classified as farmstock and as such are prohibited. But let me tell you- they're the pet that gives- and you don't have to pick up their poo. She's keeping her real identity under wraps, and I'm intrigued by the challenge to locate her on my own ( but I won't reveal it if I do!)

What's that you say? How's my balcony? Oh it's fine, I have lots to tell you, right after I come back from a very much needed week long vacation on a lake up north.

Talk soon,

Monday, March 10, 2008

Seedy Saturday- March 15!

Well, I don't know about you fine folk, but as soon as Feb hit I started to gaze longingly at my balcony.

I know, I'm supposed to be aligning priorities, but I just can't help having little fantasies about seedlings.

Snowboarding season is pretty much over, soo, *maybe* I can allow myself this distraction for now..

Well, while I ponder this, why don't you make plans to hook arms with a buddy and swing on over to Scaddington court ( Dundas west and Bathurst-southeast corner) from 10 till 3 this Sat, and wander blissfully around at what I think is the best Spring event in Toronto for seed nerds- Seedy Saturday!

Now, there's pros and cons to going early- early means more food and seed choices, you can attend seminars, later means less people but exhausted exhibitors, but then again you get to sleep in -! You decide..

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A month- wintersown, and a sign off-for now

Ok I've been feeling guilty about not blogging for so long, but after finally catching up on my blog reading (how I love Sage!) I dont' feel so bad, but I do feel left out in the harvest season, as not much came of the balony, but I do feel proud of my seedlings that were sent else where & the bit of harvesting that allowed me to make salsa! Thanks Gramma!

As I am back in school, I'll be honest- I'm prone to distractions and I've learned that having too many interests can be seriously harmful to my achieving goals, such as graduating. I've even pared down my web board activity (hi to anyone in YGGG- boy I miss it there). As winter is coming that means snowboard season and more sewing time, so I'll allow those two distractions for now.

But before I sign off, I want to direct your gardening compass to a way cheaper method of starting seeds(no grow lights!), especially for those of us with limited space- it's called winter sowing, and the folks over at www.wintersown.org have a fantastic site to help you out- they even offer FREE seeds-(outside of the USA you have to pay $2 for postage, of course).

Now I've been hording all my take out containers for this, and you should too. I'm not sure if I'm actually going to go ahead with it, but we'll see.

Also- if anyone wants info about how to do the balcony drapes, leave me a message-I did make them but for now I'm going to shelve the post.

Thanks for reading. See you- for now ;)

Oh & if you're reading this sat morning & are in Toronto- Foodshare is celebrating their new location opening-, 11 to 3pm, at 90 croatia street (near Dufferin & Bloor)- you should go!

Friday, September 14, 2007

cherry tomatoe cross

cherry tomatoe cross
Originally uploaded by hot_toddygal
So while my tomatoes are succumbing to spider mites, and likely some blossom end rot, they are proliferating heavily elsewhere, and I am quite lucky enough to reap them from there, as well!

My Grandmother has a bumper crop-I had forgotten to tell her that they are indeterminate...and thus weren't pinched-ah well- interesting to see the effect of non- pinching- more tomatoes- perhaps too many- they got so tall and numerous they fell right over!

So the only thing I can report that I actually harvested from my own balcony is the teeny-tiny but spicy hot peppers- and a lovely cross pollination of tinytoms & beefstake.

They are incredibly resistant to both the spider mites *and* the blossom end rot!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


..so I've been vigilantly fighting a new nemisis- SPIDERMITES.

The canadian government has factsheets on stuff like this, btw: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/89-002.htm

At first I thought it was aphids, no problem-had those before, so I started spraying with the ol' soap & water combo, and isolated the worst ones.

Noticed that the peppers weren't affected, but they loved the poor Morning Glories, so I thought I'd leave them nearby...

Weeks go by. More plants are affected. The infected plants become impossible to isolate, adn those that are seem to get worse! Harvest numbers drop in my mind. Start upping my attack.

Finally get around to looking up what my leaves look like ( ooh, instead of like, looking at random articles & pictures like I usually do when I start out with intentions on the 'net)

I have- spider mites!

So I can keep doing what I'm doing, and hope for rain- it's been waaay too dry this year, and apparently SM like it this way.

I have also been considering bringing in some warriors- I need more predators!

i need to get some persimillis, I discover on this site-www.thebugfactory.ca/pages/products/persimilis/
but they are in BC- (you lucky folks!).

So I'm going to call the local hydroponic store, and see what they have.

I'm kind of excited. This will be my first foray into beneficial bug buying.

..and the winds are blowing like it's going to rain soon- hurrah!