Monday, 25 April 2011


It is a very exciting time of year, not only because it is summer, although that is a part of it, but because it is time to start planting gardens.  This means fresh produce is on the menu very soon!

My understanding of the climate here in the Lower Mainland is that outdoor planting can usually begin in early April.  We missed that by a mile.  We only just did our seeding, and it is going to be at least a couple months until we can transplant our seedlings to our outdoor balcony garden.
We went with two seeding trays like the one above, which have individual little containers in them that are capable of being transferred (without removing the soil) directly to their new spot once the seedlings have grown to about two inches and are ready for transplant.  We planted: two eggplant bushes or plants, nine cherry tomato plants (three different types), six sweet pepper plants (three types), many gai lan, bok choi, shallots, red lettuce and green leaf lettuce.

Our main strategy is to plant things that we eat regularly (or would like to eat regularly).  We both have a salad with lettuce, cucumbers and peppers (and tomatoes for Tim when available) every day, so the components of salad are high on our list.  Tim eats a lot of bok choi and would like to start eating more gai lan, both of which are extremely healthy, so I know I can help him with them.  For some reason, shallots are the only type of onion that Tim and I eat, so we thought it would be worthwhile to grow our own.  We will also be planting herbs (basil, sage, parsley, cilantro and others), but those we buy from the garden centre and then transplant once the growing season is underway. The eggplants are going to be a little more work incorporating into our weekly menu, but it is worth a try. It is a very exciting time of year!

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