Tuesday, June 4, 2019

More vegetable musings

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that what I want to write about at the moment is my vegetable gardening efforts here in Quebec.  We're in such a special part of the world in terms of nature, but...I'm enjoying the nearby national park on daily walks.

A take-home message in our northern garden is, of course, paying attention to the weather -- an universal gardening message.  The lows have been around 45° F-- chilly for what we consider in the Southeastern U.S. for warm season vegetables.  Tomatoes, basil, squash, beans, cucumbers -- we want to have temperatures routinely above 50° F, day and night.

That's not happening here, yet, although I've happily planted and seeded all sorts of cool-season vegetables that are more difficult to grow in my 4-season vegetable garden in the SE.

Here's my tomato and basil protection, added each evening, for now.  I've repurposed some wind-proofing material for shrubs in winter that was in our garden shed.

Across from our mailbox pickup spot, I saw these wind barriers today in a front-yard garden.  I imagine they're protecting tomatoes and peppers.  Maybe a few other transplants.

If I lived here full-time, I'd definitely be investing in a sturdy poly-tunnel or greenhouse, to extend the seasons.  Day length is in your favor, here in this eastern part of Quebec.   Season extension (with non-heated poly-tunnels) should work well.  They're doing this in much more westerly locations on a commercial basis -- no reason home gardeners couldn't do this, too.  Our neighbor was trying this last summer, but his version apparently wasn't sturdy enough, as only the remnant tunnel components are visible currently.

I have a writing friend in Ireland who lives in Connemara and grows her vegetables in a VERY sturdy polytunnel -- plenty of wind there, too, as well as cool summer weather.  Not sure how long she's able to extend her season, but definitely to grow what I'd consider "warm season" veggies  - they need extra protection there.

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