Big City, Little Homestead

Living rural in the city.

Category: Gardening (page 1 of 5)

A short video prior to a garden session

When I got home from the nursery for the Rewilding garden session, I took this video for you to enjoy:

 

Ripening your green tomatoes

This is going to be the shortest blog post (aside from link shares) ever. In fact, here in October, I feel some chagrin for not posting this earlier, but if you still have tomatoes in the garden, they’re not going to ripen this season, unless you do this:

Pull up the plant in its entirety and hang it upside down in your garage or cold cellar. All the cherry tomatoes on this plant – and there were many more; I’ve harvested them regularly – were green when I pulled it up at the end of September. I’m getting a lot more than I thought possible – at least 40 off of 3 plants!

Climbing vines on the shady side 

My house is almost famous for the green wall of vines I have growing on it – which you can see in the banner of our Facebook page. Of all the neighbours, the only others who have vines are those on the end on a row, with a big wall to cover.

My Virginia creeper is now about six years old, and for two years, I also  let one climb out back, on the  shady eastern side. At the same time, I nabbed a real ivy plant and planted it in the same place, but I suspect that Virginia creeper inhibits other plants, as it failed to thrive.

This year, out back, I dug out the creeper and planted a climbing hydrangea in its place, as I wanted the flowers, and a climber that thrived in the shade. Little did I know, but it also released the ivy, which has since taken off.

It’s inspiring me for next year, where I’m going to remove the creeper from the front of my house (except the garage wall) and plant ivy in its place, because it spreads nicely and is less rambunctious.

It is not true that climbing plants damage your bricks. They help shade your home so that it’s cooler, they look nice, and they also give wild birds a place to hang out, and berries and insects to eat. (I’ve had no problem with insects, other than fruit flies that go after my composter.)

A seed library at the Westmount library

I saw something to get excited about at the Westmount Public Library the other day: they are reusing their old card catalogue as a Seed Library. You need a library card to use it, but the terms are generous! Read the photographs below:

Categorized by vegetable or fruit type, and then the specific breed of plant

Here is how you can contribute to the seed library: 

They are looking for well-dried seeds in Ziploc bags. There’s not really any limit to what kind:

  • Herbs
  • Flowers
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Beans
  • Heirloom varieties of plants

Make friends with someone in Westmount if you want to take advantage of their offer; or maybe recreate this seed sharing system in your own library, if they haven’t already.

Montreal’s big plant swap & gardening extravaganza, May 28 – 29

If you like gardening, this is your big weekend. Events, including native and ornamental plant sales, are happening all weekend long at the Botanical Garden, and this afternoon on the Plateau, there is another plant swap/ giveaway. Details can be seen on the PlantCatching website: http://plantcatching.com/en/partagevegetal

I’m off this morning to collect flowers from the Ville – the different boroughs give flowers and compost away every year. The giveaway usually begins at 10 AM, with a few locations for each borough, but they are not well-advertised because they still draw a huge crowd. Call 311 for your area. Bring a pail for your compost and arrive early; the line-ups are usually long.

Older posts