June Blog 2021 – Gardening on Vancouver Island

June Blog 2021 – Gardening on Vancouver Island

June 30, 2021

A cool and rainy start to June ended with a blaze of heat, as temperatures soared this past week to 30-40 degrees around Vancouver Island! Gardens have been growing like wild but are in need of plentiful watering, so keep a close watch on your plants and love them up. You may also need to move them into the shade if the sun is blasting them too much.

We have three wonderful contributors to this month’s June Gardening Blog: Kathleen from our RE/MAX accounting department, a Victoria gardening blogger Helen Chesnut, and my mother, Lori! All three are considered expert gardeners in our eyes. Here are some tips and tricks from these Lady Greenthumbs. We hope you find them useful in your own gardening dreams!

From Lori

Beets & carrots grow very well in felt grow bags. You can purchase them at your local gardening store. These bags are also great if you don’t have a garden in your yard. You can set them up on your patio, balcony, or anywhere around home.

Watermelons like lots of nutrients and yes, lots of water! A yummy treat for later in the fall!

Pumpkins require lots of nutrients to feed on. Adding steer manure to the soil makes pumpkins really grow. Feeding them a little milk once every two weeks also stimulates growth. Pumpkins love the sun and heat!

Tomato plants need lots of sun and heat to grow large tomatoes. They also require feeding with garden fertilizer or steer manure.

Tips on Interplanting from Mom’s favourite gardening book, Better Homes and Gardens: Complete Guide to Gardening, Ed. James A. Autry & Marjorie Groves

“Smart gardeners double up plantings whenever possible. This idea, called interplanting, lets them use the same space simultaneously for two crops. For example, fast-growing radishes are sown between young cabbages. The radishes mature before the cabbage plants need the space. Or sow a package of radishes between rows of corn. You’ll get a good harvest of radishes long before the corn is tall enough to block out their sunlight.”

“Fast-growing leaf lettuces and spinach also qualify for interplanting with slower vegetables. Basil grows well around staked or caged tomatoes. Beets and broccoli are another good combination. The beets grow rapidly in the cool, early spring weather, while the broccoli is just getting established. Later, as the broccoli plants begin to mature, the beets can be harvested.”

From Kathleen

Second Planting – This is the time to plant the second harvesting of your short season vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, chard, etc.  A second planting now will give you a fresh harvest later in the year.

A good rule of thumb is to plant the seeds twice a deep as the seed is wide.  And, as my Great Grandma Edith use to say, “plant one for me, one for you, and one for the crow”. Planting a couple of seeds together gives a little insurance for germination.  If they all come up, all the better. You can always thin the seedlings to the recommended plant spacing. Be sure to keep the new planting well-watered until the seedlings are established and have two or three leaves.

Happy Gardening!

From Helen

Helen Chesnut’s Garden Notes: Frozen fruit puree makes superbly refreshing sorbet
Helen Chesnut / Times Colonist
June 12, 2021

“It was something so simple, so easy. Why hadn’t I thought of it before?

I was putting together my favourite breakfast — a boiled egg and a piece of toast — when I realized I had no jam for the toast in the fridge. “Jam” in my house is a minimally or not at all sweetened fruit sauce made from the garden’s fruits and berries. I cook the fruit with a small amount of water, fresh lemon juice, honey or sugar if it’s needed, and sometimes a complementary flavouring.

When the sauce is cooked down to a desired thickness, I turn it into a puree using an immersion blender. Once cooled, it is frozen in 500 mL sour cream and yoghurt tubs.

Back to the breakfast lacking jam for the toast: I retrieved a tub of frozen plum and apple puree I’d flavoured with grated ginger root and chopped candied ginger, and shaved out a small amount to thaw for the toast.

In doing that, I sampled a shaving of the icy fruit concoction and was struck by how delectable it was. I had in my hands a delicious “sorbet,” an instant dessert left long unrecognized in the freezer. It was far tastier, and more superbly refreshing, in its frozen state than it is thawed and used for jam.”

Thank you to our contributors for the awesome gardening tips!

For anyone looking to add a little artistic flair to the garden this year, the 2nd Annual Outdoor Garden Sculpture Shop is happening in Nanaimo every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am – 5:00pm. Our team realtor Julien Prevost has a very talented father, Joel, whose sculptures will be featured July 10th and 11th. Details below and more information at Vancouver Island Sculpting Studio.

2nd Annual Outdoor Garden Sculpture Shop



FROM JULY 10 & AUGUST 29 / 2021

Takes place every Saturday and Sunday / from 11 am to 5 pm

The studio has invited special guest artists over the summer for a Pop-Up Patio weekend show.





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