News Updates

Pumpkin Contest ~ Sat, Oct 14th/17 11am...
Campbell River Garden Centre23rd Annual Great Pumpkin Contest October 14th, 2017 1st place Adult Joe Hanrahan 521 lbs2nd Place...
Online Bulb Shopping Begins Sept 15th/...
Once again we have a wonderful selection of bulbs available for fall planting. Lots of new items and lots of specials. If you can't make it into our...
Summer Watering - Water carefully...
Baby, it's hot out there! Watering early in the morning helps plants handle the hot afternoons. Potted plants may require two waterings a day if...

Veggies

Growing Great Garlic!

Growing garlic is very satisfying. Simply to be able to harvest your garlic for cooking is such a great feeling. I've always thought it would make a great appetizer for a dinner party to oven roast a bunch of different varieties and taste test them with a baguette and a glass of wine. Then you could languish over the subtleties of flavours of Mexican Purple, Rocambole or Metechi. You may just find that you don't need to pick one favourite; that having a variety is much more fun. Garlic is very easy to grow so if you haven't tried growing garlic before make this the year you do.

Fall is the very best time to plant garlic.  I say "very" best because you can still plant in the spring if you missed out on fall planting, but planting in autumn will give your garlic the optimal season for growing.

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Fresh From the Garden

For gardeners there is little that is more satisfying than looking at your dinner plate and thinking, we grew these spuds, tomatoes and/or salad greens.  We are literally eating the fruits of our labour and we are enjoying it so much we just don't want the fresh supply to come to an end.  Luckily as we harvest the last of the spinach or broccoli plants we create a spot for some new little transplants of lettuce, broccoli or swiss chard to grow.  The best veggies to re-plant now are kale, broccoli, cauliflower, swiss chard and many types of lettuce.

This week I will harvest our garlic that we planted last fall.  Nigel pulled up a couple of our plants a week or so ago and they were wonderful.  Last fall we planted Russian Red, Elephant and white garlic as well as some new varieties.  If you haven't planted garlic before start eyeing up a sunny, well drained area for your fall planting, it really is so simple to grow.  Our garlic bulbs will be available in early September when the daffodils and tulips arrive.

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Starting Veggie Seeds

For everything you want to know, take a seed and watch it grow. My little sister, Alana, gave me a card one birthday with this quote on it and it took root in my mind and my heart and I've never forgotten it. It is very true. You can plant a seed and watch it develop into a plant that will bear you produce, which you can harvest and then prepare for your dinner all in a matter of months. Along the way you will also learn everything that the seed needs from you to grow; how much light, what temperature, how deep to plant it, do you start it indoors or outdoors, how much water and when you should feed it. These are all things that need to be considered but if you have never tried before, or have failed in the past, don't be alarmed - these are all things we can learn to do, you may not always be successful the first time but start small and grow a little more each year and you will learn 'everything you want to know'.
 
Timing is very important. You can do everything right with your seeds but if your timing is wrong your seeds will probably die (sorry for the big heavy). Obey the timing guidelines for each plant and you are sure to have far greater success. It's important to recognize that there are three main planting times for veggies.
 

1. March and/or April - Cool Season Crops

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Grow Your Own Veggies For Fall And Winter Harvest!

How are you enjoying your summer harvest?  Our peas were fantastic and though our tomatoes seem a little bit late they are coming on great now and in abundance! We processed our second batch of Oven Roasted Tomatoes yesterday.  The first batch only made it to the dinner table (served over pasta) but the second batch made it to the freezer.  

As far as potatoes go the Satina variety is always our favourite, but we need to get out and dig some of the others we grew to compare.  We've planted Satina, Norland, Red Pontiac, Sieglinde and Banana potatoes.  

Even if you don't have much room for veggies just having a great selection of herbs to add to salads, new potatoes and meats is so wonderful.  All these home grown plants are so good for us, body and soul, we don't want it to end and if we plan it right it doesn't have to. 

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Oven Roasted Tomato Recipe

My co-worker, Janis, got me going on this oven roasted tomato recipe and I just love making this for dinner to serve over pasta or as a side dish. 

Note:- When I make it as a side dish I like to use cherry or grape tomatoes and I leave them whole.

7-8 large tomatoes cut in half along the equator (lengthwise for roma types) or as many fit in your pan. Green belly-buttons removed ΒΌ cup olive oil 3-4 cloves garlic Salt and pepper Optional:- you can also add cut up onions and peppers, sweet or spicy, for a twist.

 

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My New Greenhouse

 

Last year for Mother's Day Nigel promised to build me my very own eight by twelve foot greenhouse.  I have often lamented the loss of the little potting shed I left behind when we moved up to the Garden Centre, 17 years ago.   It's a funny thing; I have two fairly large greenhouses at the Garden Centre, right? But it's not the same as a wee place of your own, where you can go and poke about.  A personal greenhouse is an amazing place. 

So early this Spring my greenhouse was ready to go.  If there was ever a year when you wanted a greenhouse, this cool (the coldest in 50 years) Spring was the year to get it!  I'm so happy.  I told Nigel that he is good on Mother's Day gifts for many years.   We have already eaten 20 or more salads with greens from my greenhouse and the taste of home-grown greens is incomparable.  It's easy to forget how good home-grown tastes.  Soon it will be time to re-seed for later harvests but that I will do in the veggie patch now that we are into June.

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