Blog: My 2020 garden

It’s the sound of snowblowers and that chiselling you have to do when you wait to shovel but then it gets colder. But it’s not winter, and so we’re in varying states of being ‘ready’ for this sudden change of season.

Since my garden is covered in almost a foot of snow (we’re up Trepanier)- and I’ve been slow to put away the garden this year – it’s a good time to go through my photos and think about what worked and what did not. This is the first year we started pretty much everything from seed, and as a result, the first thing we learned this season is that we need MUCH more room in our basement bunker – turned seedling room (cuz they start small…but you know).

In there, I started 132 onion seedlings (red, white and scallions) and 97 marigolds. Then later on, it was four kinds of tomatoes (33 plants in all), five cucumber, some basil, and so many peppers – almost 40. Not all of these would survive, of course – I managed to kill every last onion, but we mostly achieved our goal for the year: To produce enough to do a decent amount of canning for the winter. I just didn’t think winter would come this soon!

So, here’s what my season looked like, for those of you who are into such things 🙂

April: Here’s the tomatoes, peppers, basil and onions. The onions I messed up. I planted them wrong from the beginning and they took up way too much room!




May 9-12: Planting days! According to my garden journal, there’s potatoes, radish, the onion transplants, carrots, beets, peas, beans, romaine, kale, spinach, parsley, basil, cilantro, tarragon, dill, tomato, cucumber and peppers. And marigolds around the border. They’ll show up soon!


Mid June: The structure to the right is the pea fence (about to be taken over by the tiny nasturtiums on each corner), and the other structure on the left there is our tomato fence. That’s what the next picture is about!


June 25: This is a Florida Weave, and we found out about it on Pinterest. We drilled holes in the posts, and the string that we ran through the posts supports the plants as they grow (you have to remember to weave them between the strings as they get higher). It worked great! Much better than cages. But stronger string – maybe wire is needed, and sturdier poles. It was a good prototype.


July 7: All is well 🙂


July 8: Despite the drip irrigation, the good soil and all my time transplanting more than 100 of these things one by one, my onions all turned yellow and died. I think I’m supposed to grow them as a clump? Anyway, I cleaned all this out, replaced the soil and planted another round of onions by seed in August. They were doing great – and will see if they still are, once this snow melts!



Garlic was planted in October 2019…harvested July 5.






Aug 1: The peas didn’t end up thriving…because the nasturtiums went a little wild! (on the right) We didn’t take into account the ones from LAST year would reseed..


Aug 1: These are my daughter’s sunflowers. They’re Mammoths and lived up to the name – 10-12 feet tall and the seeds were fun to separate and roast. This was our first year planting these. More next year!


Aug 15: Tomato fence in the background, and the time of year where the snapdragons take over. I bought four plants from Home Depot in 2017 – and they reseed every year and end up in random places and I love it (I also help them along by saving the seeds and sprinkling in random spots, hehe.)










Sept 7: I think we ended up with a little more than a dozen jars of tomato sauce and another dozen or so of salsa. When we pulled these plants Oct. 16, some were more than 6ft tall! From little seeds…:)
In front of the tomatoes are the peppers. Lots of plants, but not much fruit. The jalapeños were most productive. Maybe I needed to trim some of the flowers off – concentrate the growth on just a few. To the left are the cucumbers. After three straight years of either bitter cucumbers or no cucumbers, we had a small but steady amount through the summer. Finally!

Oct 12: It’s time. Trimmed off the last of the tomatoes and jalapeños.

Oct 20: Went a little nuts with the garlic this year, and as of this writing, I still have 79 heads to plant. We ran out of last year’s harvest in August, and we reallllly like garlic so that’s how I ended up with almost 300 bulbs and a few hours to plant before dark. But there’s still time to plant more, right?


Oct 24: Sigh..


Written by Kristen Friesen

October 24, 2020

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