Toronto isn’t really known for exceptionally good weather. On the contrary our Winters are long and they seem to never quite want to end. We have about four months of good weather to plant, grow and enjoy our garden. I think planting season, or planting weekend as we call it, is Michael’s favourite time of year.
I help of course, but Michael is really the planner behind our yearly garden. My input usually is pretty minimal and limited to what veggies and herbs we want, but the actual design and build process is all him. This year he researched vertical planting and ways we can maximize our incredibly tiny amount of space. He decided we should grid our boxes into square feet because it would give us a better idea just how many of each vegetable or herb we could fit into one square. He also settled on a cylinder made out of chicken wire to try growing beans vertically, and a spud box so we can try growing potatoes! yey!
The long weekend that just passed was the perfect time for us to do our planting. I should add though, that prepping the soil of the beds took place about a month ago. We mixed and filled in the boxes, weeded and broke up the soil well in advance. The actual planting though, that we did over the weekend.
In total we planted over 30 different varieties of herbs and vegetables. Lettuces, beans, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cilantro, parsley, thyme, chives, kale, arugula, beets, radishes, carrots, pumpkin, zucchini, cucumber and eggplant. We made notes of what squares contain what plants to help us plan out next year’s garden. For the vegetables that are the most sensitive to cold, Michael built sort of tent greenhouse which we can take off later. It has an opening so we can water and give them fresh air during the warmer days but they get covered up at night. The peppers and cucumbers are especially sensitive and we found out last year that this was the only way we could extend their growing season.
At the end of the day Sunday the boys had dirt in their hair, mud under their finger nails and grass between their toes. The water ran black with mud, and all you could smell in our little bathroom was that heavy earth smell mixed with sunscreen, the smell of a day well spent outdoors filling their lungs full of fresh air. So now we wait impatiently for the day when we can enjoy what our garden has to offer while doing our best to keep raccoons and squirrels (and kids and puppies) out of the beds.