2024 Seed Buying List – Annuals & Vegetables

Salvia seed packages

I’ve tried keeping lists on Word, in a spreadsheet and on paper, but I am inconsistent at best. Digital copies (Word and Excel) are only convenient if I’m on my computer. Paper lists are good if I’m at my desk. So, going forward, I’m going to try curating my seed list on my blog. I… Read more »

I Got A Robotic Lawn Mower And Love It!

I live on around 2.5 acres. While I’ve added a LOT of garden beds, I still have a little under one acre of lawn to cut. My boys have now grown and moved out, and since I don’t like cutting the lawn, I hired a lawn care company over the past few years. My lawn… Read more »

Finally! The Greenhouse Patio and Beds Are In

greenhouse patio in buff brown flagstone

I installed my Hartley greenhouse in November 2021 but had to wait until the summer of 2023 to complete the landscaping around the greenhouse. Part of this was taking the time to think through what I wanted, part was finding someone to build what I wanted to achieve. One of my challenges was to marry… Read more »

Installing Hydronic Radiant Flooring: Greenhouse Heating Update

flir heat map greenhouse

Having lived with my Hartley greenhouse through two winters in Southern Ontario I’ve gained a little experience with how my electric heaters work in extreme cold. Two 17,000 BTU electric fan heaters set at 15C can keep the greenhouse at 10C inside when the temperature drops to -6C. Once we reach -12C the greenhouse temperature… Read more »

Tapping Our Biggest Maple Trees – Not Sugar Maples

Bucket from tapped Norway maple

I am more than bored with winter and needed a garden-related activity so we decided to try our hand at making maple syrup. We’ve never tapped maples before and our sugar maple is too small. So rather than wait, we’re tapping some other maple trees. Unfortunately, our biggest sugar maple is only 7 inches in… Read more »

First Seed Starts – Greenhouse or Basement?

Seed starts lettuces, chard, spinach, onions

In past years I’ve done all my seed starts from February through May in a small setup in my basement. Now with a new greenhouse, I have room to grow, quite literally. The question is, how early will I want to turn on the heat in the greenhouse? We live in Zone 5 Ontario and… Read more »

Heating the Greenhouse. My First Experiments.

Greenhouse heater

One of the decisions I had to make when building our Hartley greenhouse was how it would be heated. Ultimately I decided to go with electric heaters. While not as efficient as gas, I was way more comfortable with the idea of having two electric fan heaters than I was installing gas heaters. The setup… Read more »

What’s It Like To Get A Hartley Botanic Greenhouse?

Hartley installation complete

Let me start off by saying I love my new Hartley Greenhouse. It’s a dream to have something this beautiful and yet, for me, functional. I still have some finishing details – brickwork which could not be completed before winter arrived and landscaping – but the main structure is up and it’s lovely. So how… Read more »

Getting an Early Start to the Vegetable Garden

Living around the Kitchener-Waterloo area in southern Ontario we have a decent gardening season, but most years you can’t reliably plant vegetables outside until late May and most produce is finished by late September. I’ve read a lot about year-round gardening and have, with limited success, been able to extend our harvest with row covers… Read more »

My Daffodils are Backwards!

Front view of same daffodils

Last fall, with the help of my mom and dad who were up for a visit, I planted a couple hundred daffodils along the edge of my back gardens. Some were the traditional single yellow daffodils, others were white, some multi-coloured. Finally this past week the last started to bloom and they look lovely. There’s… Read more »