When we moved to the Okanagan four years ago I was very excited at the possibility of having a large garden. During our first winter here I dreamed of all the varieties of tomatoes and peppers I could grow and as soon as spring arrived we built four large raised garden beds. Prior to our moving my gardening experience was limited to growing peas and spinach in the northern interior of British Columbia. I knew that I had plenty to learn so I started writing regular posts about my backyard gardening adventures (and misadventures). Over the last few years I have amassed quite a few garden journal entries but this year my garden journal has been somewhat neglected. My garden is alive and well so here is a much needed update.
My gardens got off to a slower start this year but the delay was mostly intentional. My raised garden beds were in need of some topsoil, which did not arrive until the beginning of May, and I started my indoor seeds two weeks later to avoid transplanting the seedling into bigger pots. As I peeked over the fence at my neighbour’s garden in the early spring I couldn’t help feeling a little green with envy. Spring arrived early in these parts and I was feeling sad that my gardens were bare. My friend reassured me, several times, that my gardens would thrive and she was right, of course. Around mid-May I planted bush beans, squash, sunflowers, beets, carrots, swiss chard, lettuce and my tomato and pepper seedlings. It was quite hot and then cold and rainy throughout much of June which is typical in these parts. I watched and waited and kept a close eye on my row covers. The pesky quail around here enjoy snacking on new shoots and row covers seem to deter them. By the end of June my gardens were thriving, minus a few quail related tragedies. Even the spinach, which was a source of frustration last year, was filling in.
Now it is the beginning of July and the days are getting hot again. The peas are coming to an end and the radishes have gone to seed, but everything else is thriving. Right now we are picking raspberries, my favourite, as we anticipate that first sun ripened tomato – yum!