Friday, 28 June 2013

June at Lakeshore Collegiate: Yikes that's a lot of rain !

I think we got more rain in one week of June than we had all of last summer. The plants are loving it and the landscape is completely transformed again. Here's a recap of what went on at Lakeshore Collegiate this month.


The garlic scapes welcome us into summer! Garlic bulbs that were planted last fall release scapes which then flower. The trick is to pull out the scapes before they flower so that the plant sends its energy back into the bulb which then grows into garlic. If you've never tried a garlic scape before, run over to your local farmers market and pick some up. They have a mild garlic flavour and are great for salads, pesto and pickling. 


Sheet mulching is a permaculture technique that attempts to mimic the forest floor's natural mulching process. When trees in the forest shed their leaves they naturally mulch the soil beneath them. This serves to add organic matter to the soil, improving the overall structure of the soil.

Sheet mulching take a lot a lot a lot of cardboard
 The method we've employed at Lakeshore is a simplified version intended to smother and kill weeds and quack grass in the paths and areas to be converted into new beds. The weeds are cut down and cardboard is layered 3 sheets thick to smother the weeds and 2-3 inches of wood chip mulch is added on top to hold the cardboard in place and assist in the smothering. We'll be adding more and more wood chips throughout the season to ensure no weeds have a chance to make their way up.

The areas intended for new garden beds will be mulched again before fall using a move involved process which includes many layers of manure, straw, cardboard and soil amendments, so stay tuned! By spring the the layers will have composted into the soil creating new beds ready to plant into!

Wanna learn about sheet mulching? I could use some help! Email me at if you have a hand to lend.


Now that the beds are open and planted we can finally find some time to pretty up the site. In one long hot day Lakeshore volunteer and garden club superstar Julien and I cleared out a load of junk left over from previous growing seasons, removed quack grass from the paths, extended three beds by 2 - 3 feet and sheet mulched! Wowzers !

Julien zens out on quack grass removal



Big thanks to FoodShares who gave away a ton of free plants from their greenhouse ! We installed two flower beds of cosmos, marigolds, zinnias and more. Flowers not only make a garden beautiful but attract pollinators, beneficial insects and certain flowers can even deter pests.
Marigolds work as a general pest deterrent

Alex and I spend the day digging up new beds for the flowers


 This year I decided to try trellising one of the cucumber beds. When properly prune, trellising cukes improves yield and formation of the fruit. It also saves space in the garden. The lattice (kindly donated by Bianca Radix at Lakeshore) creates a special micro-climate. Because it runs north and south it provides partial shade in the afternoons, a perfect place to grow cool loving plants like radish and lettuce !

Food Bank Volunteer and my new friend, Krisi, helps trellis the cukes

And of course, those tomatoes are in need of a little support. These indeterminate varieties can grow up to 8 feet under the right conditions so 6 foot stakes are pounded for support. Peldon Tsamitshang and Tenzin Sherab help pound 23 stakes for our 23 tomato plants! Not easy work! 


Can you believe it? We've already harvested over 100 pounds of produce in the garden! Everything is growing so fast with all this rain and sunshine. A few heads of cabbage are ready for harvest and the beans are starting to flower! Time to start thinking about fall crops!

Harvest for Food Bank included 18 lbs of greens!

Carrots are sizing up and in a couple weeks will be ready for harvest!
Almost there! 


Our table at Sorauren Farmer's Market is doing great! Catch us at the park on Sorauren Ave just south of Dundas next Monday, July 8th from 3-7 ! See you soon <3

Jasmine makes the sale!

1 comment:

  1. Amazing wow your gardens are really thriving congrats!!