2016 Potato harvest in ground and containers

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Today we will be looking at the 2016 potato harvest. This year we grew
• Linzer Delikatess – Early
• Roko – Mid
• Agria – Mid
• Russian Blue – late
• German Butterball – Late
• All Blue – Late
• Nicola – Mid
• Cara

To try an experiment with planting, some of the varieties of potatoes were grown in the ground as well as in containers.

The results indicated when harvesting show the best harvest  was from growing in the ground. We think the ground gave the protection from the high temperatures and humidity during our growing season. Although we watered the beds, we had an extreme lack of any rain this year. Straw was added, after the last hilling of the rows, as a cover for the potato beds. The containers just could not cope with the heat and humidity and lack of rain as they dried out quickly and really never recovered.

The total harvest this year was 45 lbs.; made up of 38.5 lbs. from two rows of approx.16 seed potatoes and 6.5 lbs. from 10 containers and 20 seed potatoes.

We have gained some new insight into growing potatoes in ground and more from the dismal container experience. So not all was bad!

Thanks again and see you on down the road in the garden!

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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in Gardening Chit Chat


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Garden update at home Aug 19, 2016

Welcome back!

This is  a quick update of the garden at home. We have had a brutal summer with very high humidity and very little rain. The other day we got about 8 hours of steady rain, only to return to humidity and high temperatures. So as a result the garden here at home, has suffered somewhat. Tomatoes, peppers and celery have taken well to the hot weather. Beans, peas, giant parsnips, and giant carrots have been much of a disappointment.

Thanks for dropping by. See you in the garden!

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Posted by on August 21, 2016 in Coffee break chatter


July 2016 garden update at Craig’s

Welcome back!

Just returned from Craig’s house and have some video of his out of control garden. Talk about tomatoes I think we have the market covered assuming we don’t get any diseases. Potatoes are doing well with the first early due in a week or so. Peppers, peas and beans are doing fantastic as you will see. Fruit section is also coming along quite well.

Until next time, enjoy garden and we will see you back here in the garden!!

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Posted by on July 18, 2016 in Gardening Chit Chat


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July 2016 garden update from home

Welcome back!

Well my wife and I just returned from a two week vacation at my brother in law’s home in Delta BC. We toured a bit on Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Okanogan Valley in central British Columbia.

I had a chance to meet with a fellow woodturner, Larry McCafferty from the Tiny Trailer Workshop while we were touring the Island. Larry makes wood crafts in his small converted house trailer shop and sells his crafts at the Shirley Country Market located in Shirley B.C. As well he takes photography and videos showing the best of southern Vancouver Island. Check his YouTube channel out for some beautiful photos and videos.

I did not get the chance to meet William from Surrey B.C., but maybe next time William! Cheers mate!  Here is a link to his YouTube channel.

When we returned home, we found that the home garden had grown, and in some instances, out of control. Everything had shot up, including the weeds. A bit of clean up and work needed now to get it back in shape. I will give you a look around in this video at what we came home to.

The rain still has eluded us, although when  it does come, is accompanied by strong winds and quick heavy rain showers. We certainly could use a couple of days of nice steady rain.

Thanks for taking the time to look around. Bye for now and see you in the garden!!


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Posted by on July 15, 2016 in Gardening Chit Chat


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2016 Watering systems in our gardens

Welcome back!

Today I am providing a review of the various irrigation systems that we have setup to irrigate containers and raised beds.

The big benefit of the overall methods we are employing in our gardens, is that watering at the plant base, or from the bottom as in the case of the wicking beds, is by far the best way distribute water in your garden. You eliminate problems of disease spreading associated with watering the foliage of the plant, as the water is at the plant base or under the plant and not sprayed on the leaves and no water is wasted on the surrounding areas around you garden.

At home my requirements were to water the various cloth containers as well as my two raised beds. I have setup two types of irrigation systems, a rain barrel and a tap water system. The irrigation components were on the most part 1/2″ flex pvc pipe, 1/4″ feeder lines, 1/4″ soaker hose and 1 GPH (gallon per hour) drippers. For the rain barrel setup, besides the rain barrel itself, I bought a rain barrel timer.

For the rain barrel system, I used a large rain barrel that I got last year. This barrel was on sale and I paid around $48 CDN. Thus far the barrel has leaked and I continue to see if I can stop the leaks. If not, I will be replacing the barrel with a series of Roughneck 98 liter/ 26-gallon garbage containers.  I am currently using one of these as a standalone rain barrel system, and I show that in the video. The rain barrel is connected through the timer and then split in two runs. Each run does a raised bed and two potato containers. The water is distributed off the main line using the 1/4″ soaker hose formed into two loops around the bed.  I may add more loops depending on the soaking area that hose actually covers. Also as an enhancement I am going to look at tying the barrel(s) into the downspout at the side of the house so I can make use of rain when that happens.

For the drip system off of my water line from the house, I run it through a 4 zone Melnor water timer. The 1/2″ main lines feed into the zoned areas I have created and from there the various feeder lines connect to the containers. I also run a separate zone line to the raspberries. The 3 main zones are watered for 12 minutes each day and the raspberry zone is watered every other day for 30 minutes.

At Craig’s he uses two of the rain barrels and also 1/2″ solid PVC lines for the feeder and connection lines to his beds. He also uses various shut off valves to control zoning and shut offs at each bed. His bed lines are 1/2″ soaker hoses formed in a loop into and out of “T” connections at the bed. He has added a new value to control water setup into the strawberry bed and also his other fruit bed. These will likely use the 1/2″ soaker hose as the watering method.

So between the irrigation systems and wicking beds systems, I think we have it covered. These are all version 1 of the systems, but now we can see how we can tweak the systems to better and yet save water while making sure we water only what we want and not wasting water. I have added some pictures of Craig’s setup to the end of the video.

Some links regarding the items used

Solar powered rain barrel timer
Drip irrigation pipes and fittings (Under the garden section of website)
Melnor 4 zone timer

Pipe and fittings for Craig’s systems uses materials available at most  home centers or plumbing/irrigation companies. We have no specific sites for this material.

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Posted by on June 19, 2016 in Gardening Chit Chat


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