Garden Tips for End of February

zucchini-soup

It has been an exceptionally cold and snowy winter, but Spring is coming and it’s time to start preparing the garden.

garden tips

Although things are somewhat warmer now, the ground can still be pretty cold and hard.  Here are a few late Winter / early Spring garden tips to help it warm up:

 

  • Warm the soil by covering your beds with black plastic.  This will help capture warmth from the sun transmitting it into the ground underneath.  An added bonus is that it will help suppress weed growth.
  • Prepare raised beds or furrows to encourage the soil to drain away the abundant water that has accumulated during the winter. Raising areas you wish to plant also allows the sun greater access and allows the raised area to warm quicker than the surrounding areas.
  • Consider creating a cloche to create a warmer micro-climate that will allow you to plant earlier and reap later.  If you’re not familiar with the term ‘cloche’, you’ve nonetheless probably seen them around.  They’re simply a low profile plastic tunnel  formed by making a frame raised above the bed high enough to allow your plants to grow, then covering this frame with clear plastic.
  • If your beds are near or under trees or shrubs, prune them to allow more sunlight to fall on the bed.

Here are a few of the seeds you can plant outdoors at this time of year:

  • Peas
  • Fava Beans
  • Garlic
  • Cool weather salad greens
  • Spinach
  • Leafy Asian Greens
  • Radishes
  • Onions

You can also plant perennials such as:

  • bare root fruit trees and bushes

  • Cane fruits
  • Rhubarb crowns
  • Asparagus crowns
  • Horse Radish roots

Now is also the time to prune your fruit trees and spray them with dormant oil.

If you haven’t yet started seeds indoors that can’t be planted outdoors just yet, it’s a great time to get them going.  There are quite a few vegetables you can start indoors now for later transplanting.  These would include:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kholrabi
  • Kale
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes

It’s also time to clean up any winter debri and dead leaves.  Be sure to check that your shrubs and beds are still nicely covered with mulch.  If not, you’ll want to get that done as well.  Mulch helps protect roots in winter from the cold and in summer from excessive moisture loss.  It helps remediate your soil as well.  If tends to be clay like and retain too much water, it will help improve drainage.  If it is sandy and drains too quickly, mulch will help retain water.  It’s an amazing addition to your garden with multiple benefit.

Come in now to find out what seeds, seedlings and plants we have coming in so that you can plan for a spectacular Spring and Summer garden.  Novices welcome!  We have friendly professional horticulturalists who will be glad to help you with advice and practical know how!

Security in Seed Diversity

heritage vegetables

Many of us rarely spare a thought for the vegetables and fruit we eat.

We don’t ever wonder if the many crops that sustain our lives are under threat through shrinking seed diversity.

If the topic is ever mentioned, the first thought that usually comes to mind is ‘climate change’.  However, there’s another serious threat many of us have never heard of: the shrinking number of seed varieties available to farmers.  While some of this might be due to climate change over the past century, there’s no doubt that it’s also a result of corporate seed management.

In the pursuit of aesthetic perfection, lower production costs, longer shelf life and the profitability of farmers having to buy new sowing seed each season, many of the seed varieties known to previous generations have disappeared. A 1983 U.S. study on crop diversity concluded that 93% of fruit and vegetable varieties have disappeared since 1903… a space of just 80 years.

Concern has sparked a huge amount of interest in so-called ‘heritage seeds’, their propagation  and protection. Heritage seeds are varieties which have all but become extinct. You might have seen pictures of exotically coloured and formed vegetables that look quite different to those we buy from our local grocery store? Chances are they’re grown from this type of seed.

Where do these ‘lost’ seeds come from?

Fortunately for us and our children, concerned citizens and agriculturalists recognized the danger facing many of these threatened varieties and have been quietly squirreling away seeds in ‘seed banks’ for decades.  Probably the best known of these seed banks is the ‘Doomsday Vault’, deep in a frozen mountain,below the permafrost in Norway’s Svalbard, north of the Arctic circle.

This is not the only seed bank, or seed library. There are many throughout the world – at last count 1,750. The difference between the Doomsday Vault and the others is that most are regional, collecting and preserving seeds only from their own area.  The Doomsday Vault collects seed from all over the world.  Gary Fowler, co-founder of the Doomsday Vault describes it as a type of insurance policy for the world.

Many urban farmers and gardening hobbyists are making a point of not only growing organic produce for their own use, but also cultivating heritage varieties which otherwise would be lost to the world.  Growing your own food is extremely rewarding. Growing your own vintage fruits and vegetables takes the experience to a new level of sustainability.

More reading:

http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/05/22/seeds-of-time-documentary

http://www.seedsoftimemovie.com/trailer

http://www.takepart.com/photos/seed-catalogs-2015/adaptive-seeds

http://www.seedlibrarymap.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heirloom_plant

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-visit-to-the-doomsday-vault/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard_Global_Seed_Vault

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-14/bayer-monsanto-confront-global-review-as-farmer-options-shrink

http://www.alternet.org/environment/monsanto-was-put-trial-ecocide-hague-heres-what-happened

 

6 Of The Quickest Growing Vegetables

Flavors of Fall Hands On Cooking Classes

When you first decide to grow your own vegetables it’s always nice to see the fruits of your labour as quickly as possible, especially if you’re gardening with kids.

 

Here are some choices for vegetables that have shorter growing times:

arugula quickest growing vegetablesArugula: this is a fast growing plant wit a slightly peppery taste that’s used primarily in salads and it’s great as a pizza topping or alternative to basil pesto.  It takes less than 4 weeks for the leaves to be large enough to harvest. Best of all, it’s a cool season plant so it’s ideal for spring and fall and it can be grown in a container on your kitchen windowsill from which you can harvest leaves on an ongoing basis!

radish quickest growing vegetablesRadishes: these grow even faster and can be harvested in about 3 weeks from the time seeds are planted.  Radishes are also a good salad ingredient.  They enjoy cooler weather and you can either grow them indoors or start from seeds outside in a protected area.  Sowing radish seeds every 10 to 14 days will provide an ongoing crop.

turnips quickest growing vegetablesTurnips: another ‘no-brainer’ if you want an easy-to-grow, quick harvest which will be ready in just a few weeks.  Turnips are great in stews, soups and roasted.  You can eat both the leaves (which are rich in calcium) and the turnips themselves (which are rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin C).  They’re temperature tolerant though they prefer a cool garden, so you can grow these for the full growing season.

Mesclun Mix quickest growing vegetablesMesclun Mixes: this is a mix of salad greens that are easily grown, even in containers indoors, and are ready for harvest quickly and on an ongoing basis. By planting new seeds every 10 to 14 days, you’ll never run out of lovely, fresh salad greens!

 

 

kale quickest growing vegetablesKale: is a great salad ingredient and can be used in a variety of ways.  Kale leaves roasted in the oven make fabulous healthy snacks and are a great alternative to potato chips.  They enjoy cool weather and moist conditions and can be harvested quickly and for a lengthy period of time if you harvest the outside leaves.

 

broccoli raab quickest growing vegetablesItalian Broccoli: also known as Broccoli Raab has edible leaves, buds and stems.  It’s used quite a lot in Italian cuisine and has a slightly bitter flavour. It’s best to harvest the buds right away before they flower and to harvest leaves and stems when young and tender. Although it resembles broccoli in appearance, it’s actually related to turnips!  It’s another cool season vegetable though you can grow it longer by succession planting.  Some varieties will be ready for harvest in as little as 40 days with others maturing at 60 and 90 days.  You can plant seed directly in the garden.

These are just a few of the choices – feel free to come in and see what we have in stock.  Varieties may vary depending on what’s in season and available.

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Events 2017

2017 events

Upcoming Events 2017:


Please RSVP for ALL events

SUMMER EVENTS:

SEPT 9TH @ 6PM TWILIGHT IN THE GARDEN
Elegant artistic foods & refreshing Limoncello in breezy garden patio lounges & socializing nooks
Listen and dance a little to Quieros band
Amazing Dancers
Artists in the Garden Paint-off

Tasteful living silent auction and art

Help us raise dollars for kids hands-on visual literacy and critical thinking arts and heritage learning

Early Bird tickets until August 19th: $100 per Reach Friend / $125 for Future Friend
Art Entourage of 8 Future Friends:$900
After August 19th $140 pp or Art Entourage of 8: $1000
Purchase at thereach.ca/calender OR at The Reach at 32388 Veterans Way,Abbotsford

 

JULY 29, 2017 @ 10:00 am to 12:00 pm – MEMORIAL BUTTERFLY RELEASE
Memories Taking Flight…
Buy a butterfly to release in memory of the passing of a loved one. Then release it and enjoy watching it flutter through a summer garden at Tanglebank.
Children will enjoy getting their faces painted before releasing their own butterfly.
Afterwards, enjoy lunch or desert and coffee in the bistro or on the patio.Who:  YOU, Family, & Friends!
What:  Memorial Butterfly Release
Where:  Tanglebank Gardens
29985 Downes Rd, Abbotsford, BC
When:  July 29, 2017 @ 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Why:  To support the Abbotsford Hospice Society while paying respect to loved ones who have died.
Butterflies $25/each
Butterflies must be reserved in advance at
www.AbbotsfordHospice.org/butterflyFor more information and to purchase your butterflies, click here..

 

 


 

SPRING EVENTS

February 23rd 7pm – Girlfriends  Wine and Cheese Terrarium Night  
Cost is $20 (includes wine, cheese, soils, instructions and decorative touches)  Cost of plants and glass terrarium extra.  RSVP  by calling 604 856 9339 or come into the store.

March 17th  9am – 3pm St. Patrick’s Day Special Menu
The chefs will be cooking up some classic Shepherds Pie as well as. Delicious Guinness Short Rib Stew en croute.  (With a pastry top).   Of course we will have some classic Guinness or Baileys Irish Cream Coffee ☕️ to enjoy with your entree and it wouldn’t be complete without some special desserts as well.  Served 9am-3pm.

April 8th  10am – Spring container workshop Saturday
Create a beautiful spring container to welcome Spring using a combination of spring bulbs,annuals, perennials and more. Learn how to care for and change it over to a summer planting when the time comes.  Cost determined by the plants you chose.   Bring your own container or purchase one here.

April 15th 10am-12pm Kids Potted Plant and Easter Scavenger Hunt  – $10per child

April 18th  6:30 pm – Girlfriends Cheese & Wine String art Planting ‘ Kokedama’ Night
Learn How to make a Japanese Moss Ball
$20 plus cost of plant. All other supplies included.

April 22 10am – Kids Pop Bottle Terrarium  – $10 per child

April 29 10am – Moss Hanging Basket Workshop    Phone for prices.

May 13th Saturday 10am Kid’s Mother’s Day Workshop
Children can pot up a cute flower pot with flowers and decorate it for mom
Cost $5.00 per RSVP

May 14th  Sunday  9am / 11am / 1pm – Mother’s Day Brunch
Call for reservations and more info. Cost is $25 for adults and $15 for children 3-13 and 2 and under free.