Friday, March 28, 2008

Pepper Recovery - the overwintering tale

My Fatali and Long Cayenne peppers have been attacked by aphids and I believe spider mites this winter. They have lost a fair number of leaves and all developing buds but then with the longer days, things are improving.


Much to my surprise the long cayenne appears to be bouncing back. I didn't take a picture of it at its worst out of respect for its dignity but suffice it to say that it had lost almost all of its leaves. The only reason I didn't ditch it was because I hesistate to end my experiments prematurely. When it started to re-leaf I thought that the leaves would come in even smaller than the decreased size they were before they all fell off so am pleasantly surprised by their increasing diametre. It even has some flowers on it.

I did repot it once with enriched (compost) soil to see if it was lacking nutrients so maybe that was the solution?

Anyhow, this year it will be planted in the garden as I will be gone for much of the gardening season (cries to herself) and won't be around to baby potted plants.

The Fatali has some leaf buds that haven't opened yet but I have hope. It hasn't lost all of its leaves but it isn't looking its best.


Overwintering and pepper seedlings (really just an excuse to bring you a new gardening blog you might not have come across)

Yes there is still snow

It is melting at a glacially slow pace -snicker, snicker-. However, at the edge of one drift of snow, I noticed some snow-in-summer peeping out and looking possitively perky so perhaps a change is coming to Narnia.

If, however, I see lions prowling the streets then it will confirm my suspicions that all of this has been some sort of nightmare.

On a plus side, my tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, celariac, perennial onions, and leeks are all sprouting, along with some ornamentals:

Red Mammoth Rock Cabbage, Savoy, Celariac, Leeks - 2 kinds, sperling toga bunching onion

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I Wet My Plants - more

Some of you were fascinated by fellow blogger's great blog name but surprised to find little on her site. Well she's updated it with archives:

Check it out again. She's quite the shutterbug and has some interesting posts.

Going for the record accumlulated snowfall EVER

We are close - second place for most snow ever recorded in Ottawa, and here is the mountain of snow to prove it. The porch is about 7-8 feet tall.


Seriously, by MOUNTAIN, I mean scaleable with ropes and spikes and other gear.

Snow in November 2007:


Snow now in March 2008:


I'm screaming of a white Easter

With every snowstorm that I sight.

Will your days be merry and bright.

And may all your Easters -not- be white.


Whole darn family stuck in a snow tunnel.

This is Ottawa Gardener signing out from The -sledding- Hill in Ottawa

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Overwintering Peppers
- a long winter of bugs


This is the first year that I have had to deal with 'bugs' on my overwintered pepper plants and they have taken their toll but none have entirely succumbed yet. I have done the soapy water thing, the crushing insect thing and the hard water spray thing. Now, I mostly just pick off the aphids when I see them, and put a water bowl in the pots to increase the humidity and scare off any spider mites.

My Fatali is doing okay. It has lost a lot of leaves but it is bravely trying to bud up and leaf out again.

My long cayenne is struggling along. It self pruned off its top last year and lost almost all of its leaves this year. Now it is sporting new aphid ridden leaves so we will see. I have noticed that over the years, the leaf size has dropped. Does this mean that it is near the end of its lifecycle?

I h ave only kept two peppers over the winter this year due to a lack of south facing window space but next year I intend on keeping some small fruited sweet peppers indoors as an experiment too. I can just see my husband's face now. I also hope to make sure there are no, absolutely no, aphids on them before I take them indoors!


Want to know more about overwintering peppers - please follow the pepper tag for lots more links and more about my saga.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Seedy Saturday 2008 - a whole family affair

Seedy Saturday 2009

A friend called the morning of Seedy Saturday asking if I wanted to go some place with her and her toddler.

I tell her, "Just about to head off to Seedy Saturday. Good for kids? Oh yeah. Don't mind me while I package my seeds. When are we going? As soon as possible. Okay, maybe I'll see you there. There's seeds. Yup. A trading table, information about organic gardening and related brick a brack, you know, the usual hippy fair. Artisan bread, that sort of thing. No, really there is a room for kids to do crafts, usually with seeds. I think it's supervised. Anyhow, my kids won't mind being stuck- Okay, well, hope to see you there."

True to what I had promised, all that I mentioned above was there. Most importantly were the congregation of small heritage / organic seed traders. This is great if you spend hours pouring over the seed catalogues like I do, dreaming of buying just one of those from them, and two of those from them and... the shipping and handling can add up after awhile.

One of my favourite seed suppliers, and I have many, is The Cottage Gardener. Here I've got her cornered but she is still smiling.

Cottage Gardener

I didn't get a picture of Eternal Seeds this time but boy have they expanded. Good thing too as they were popular enough that you had elbow your way in to have a look at their selection.

I also didn't get a good picture of Yuko's Open Pollinated Seed (I did get an artsy one with a floating lenscaps in front). Her plant and perennial sale is May 12th and 13th this year. Don't miss her warmly written webpage or her speciality 'chicken treat' seed pack.

However, I did snap a great shot of La Vie En Rose's stand.

La Vie en Rose stand

This company is worth a feverish second look - the kind of look that develops on a gardener this time of year from lack of working in the soil - as they had an impressive selection of hardy flowers and iris.

By the way, the kids did have a lot of fun, with seeds:

Kids in 'Kid's corner' playing with seeds and glue

And if you are wondering if all I did was shop, shop, shop, then I'll have you know that I picked up a fair number of trades too. Happily, I bumped into fellow Ottawa Valley blogger 'I Wet My Plants' and discovered that those other packs of Cherokee Trail of Tears pole beans - besides my own - had come from the ones that I had given her the previous year. Which had, for those who are interested, originally come from the seed company the Cottage Gardener.

Now that we come full circle, remember to make a mental mark on your calender for sometime in the dead of winter 2009. If you see a women with outrageously long hair dragging two slightly bored kids and snapping pictures, it might be me. Say hi. Even if it isn't me, she'll likely smile back. It's a friendly event.