Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April Is Here !

Sorry - it's been a while - we've been busy!

Greenhouse # 4 is mostly finished now. Everybody pitched in and installed the plastic coverings, built the doors and finished the end walls.

Meanwhile the plant plugs kept arriving. Savannah helped to get some wave petunias transplanted and Bailey helped carry the plants to the new greenhouse.

One last shipment of plugs will arrive next week but, there are lots of seeds germinating in Greenhouse # 1 and even in the spare bedroom - tomatoes, herbs, peppers and lots of flowers. As we put more hanging baskets together, more space will be freed up - I hope.

The weather has not really been very cooperative this year - the cold nights and cloudy days has meant that our heating costs have been much higher than last year.  The cats have figured out that the best place to be on a cold night is on the duct work above the corn furnace  - where it is very cozy!

Speaking of cats - we have kittens!  Celia has three babies and Taffy has four.  The "Free Kittens" sign will be out soon. Celia looks overjoyed by motherhood.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Mad Rush Continues!

It continues to be a busy time but progress is being made. Greenhouse # 2 was tidied up and quickly filled with plants.

That's better
 More plants were scheduled to arrive - so Greenhouse #3 was next on the list.

The returned pots and trays were sorted and most were moved out to be reused for this season.  Unfortunately the weather was not cooperating - still cold and cloudy.  Some heat was needed for the chilly nights.  An old airtight wood stove was put into service to supplement the sun.  Our son, Adam, volunteered to help set up the stove while I was at work. As soon as it was working, the hardiest of the plants, the geraniums, both potted and hanging baskets, along with a number of pansies were moved.

 The cold nights leads to a two a.m. trip outside to keep the fire going each night. Surely, Spring is on its way!

With all three greenhouses bursting at the seams, more plants on the way and flower and vegetable seeds to start, more greenhouse space is definitely needed.

 March Break and the end of the hockey season has freed up some more workers - and just in time! Adam and his boys arrived on Monday to start construction on the new greenhouse.  Brodie and Bailey took over transplanting the remaining plugs - petunias, pentas, dragon wing begonias and verbena.

Brett and Adam took on the construction. On Monday, they set up the wooden timber base and firmly anchored it to the driveway with lengths of rebar. (Brett's introduction to the sledgehammer may have influenced his decision not to apply for the railroad track crew as a career choice.)

On Tuesday the metal arches were quickly put together with the help of some scaffolding and the front-end loader on the trusty Massey-Ferguson. Adding the purloins, cross ties and wind bracing took the rest of the day - but the greenhouse was taking shape. A cold wet Wednesday delayed any further work on the greenhouse but, the arrival of more plugs - wave and vegetative petunias, aggravated our need for more space.

Thursday's sunshine allowed construction to proceed. Adam and Brett framed the end wall and Blake built some benches for the new greenhouse. Friday is another work day in Picton, so we will resume construction on the weekend.

We'll keep you advised.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Mad Rush

It has been a wild week and no end is in sight!

In spite of my electrical/mechanical skills (?) the pot filler is working like a charm (except for a minor water leak which is now corrected).  This machine is really saving us time and exertion by filling the flats quickly and consistently.

An order was to be delivered last Wednesday and, of course, I was scheduled to be at work in town. The delivery arrived early in the morning. However, when we went to check the condition of the plants, we discovered that only one of the three boxes was ours - the other two were for a greenhouse north of Peterborough.  We reported the problem to the supplier and were told it would be corrected. It was - at one a.m. the driver returned with our plants!!

Now three boxes of plants doesn't sound like a lot but each box has up to eight trays and each tray can have almost 300 plugs.  It works out to be a lot to get done quickly before they dry out or get root-bound. We have been plugging away (groan) and are now almost caught up - again thanks to grandkid power.

One obstacle continues to be space - the greenhouses are filling up quickly. Number 2 greenhouse needed to be cleaned up and readied for plants.  This turned out to be a little more work than we thought but it should be ready today complete with new shelving. However it will be full as the geraniums are scheduled to be here by the end of the week.

 It looks like we need to clean out Greenhouse #3 where we have been storing the pots and trays returned by our customers and friends for reuse. Many thanks to all of you - it's nice not to see all that plastic going to the landfill. 

Unfortunately, the weather is not being really cooperative, cold nights (-16 C. tonight) and the cloudy days have meant that the corn furnace has really been working overtime to keep the plants suitably warm. The price of corn has increased by about 50% since last fall. We still think that our blend of corn and pellets is slightly more economical than oil - and without most of the environmental drawbacks. The occasional sunny day, like yesterday, is just heavenly - by 10 a.m. it was 25 C. in #2. We will need to find a temporary nighttime heating source for #3 as soon as it is ready to receive plants. A few more warm sunny days and we will be able to get the new greenhouse (#4) up.

Lots to do! When I become a little frazzelled, I'd like to ask the cats what to do - but I hate to wake them!

Unearth Your Imagination!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Storm Before the Calm

It was a dark and windy night......! We were at the Deseronto Storm game with 15 minutes in the 3rd period to go - behind 4-3 but coming on strong. Then the electricity died! Officials called the game but we don't know what will happen - replay, finish game?  The power was out in all of Deseronto and on to the Territory. We got home and found the candles and oil lamp - it was so quiet! Our corn furnace burned low but, when the power came on in an hour or so, started right up and kept on going. No damage.

I am still working on the wiring for the bale-breaker/ flat-filler. The first attempt resulted in a popped circuit - think the switch was the culprit.  I'll give it another try with a new switch.

Our strawberry plants have really started to blossom with the Spring sun.  We did get a few strawberries over the winter but we were not very attentive to the plants.  Now that the sun is higher in the sky, (and we are watering regularly) we are getting some tasty berries.  Rumour has it that a berry or two in a glass of shiraz is quite tasty!


Tuesday was a busy day - the crew from Cleave Energy ( were here installing the solar panels for our Microfit installation. Hopefully, in another month or so, we will be connected to the grid. A separate post on energy issues and the steps we are taking to reduce our footprint is planned soon.

We have had a couple of questions from readers about what we will be selling in the Spring. Our main product line includes a big collection of annual flowers for your flower beds, decorative containers and hanging baskets.  We will have a good supply of pansies, geraniums and Wave petunias.  We also try to carry a number of the old-fashioned flowers you rarely see in garden centres - cosmos, zinnias and others. This year we are making arrangements to add a selection of perennials, including some from our own beds. With a bit of luck, we will have some small shrubs and vines as well. Don't worry our oversize tomato plants will be back - a number of organic heirloom varieties and other favourites. This year we will also have some flats of tomato plants available for those of you with larger gardens. Other veggies and a variety of herb plants will be on hand. (One of our surprises last year was how attractive oregano was as a foundation plant in the flowerbed- fragrant too!)  A limited supply of jumbo Gladiolus corms will be available. As always, we try to keep our prices as affordable as possible!

As we get further into the season we will keep you informed of the plants we are transplanting or seeding and hopefully provide you with links to information on each plant.

Lynn & Dave

Unearth your imagination! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Time to Get Started

Wednesday and Thursday were some of the coldest days of the year.  Snow was piled up around everything. The green house furnace died -  so obviously, it was planting time!
  The first of our crops arrived here from New Brunswick. In fact we waited two days for the truck. It finally arrived late Thursday afternoon and the plants were in perfect condition. It was only one box and the truck driver kept them in the cab with him because of the cold!

However, we still weren't ready.  Lynn and I were both working on Friday, so we watered the plants and hoped the cats wouldn't damage them. (The cats love the greenhouse on Sunny days.) Saturday was the work day.  Thank God for grandkids! The 16 year old twins, Trent and Caleb, were willing to help. What a treat to have young muscles! We went to Napanee and picked up corn for the furnace.  They just manhandled the 40Kg bags with ease. Then we were off to Belleville to get a skid of potting mix. Since my trailer is buried in the snow, we had to make two runs to bring the thirty bales home.  Again, young muscles loaded and unloaded the truck, hauled then into the greenhouse and stored them under the tables to thaw out.  All before lunch!

Transplanting got under way.  I had one bale of potting soil that was not frozen.  Our brand new flat filler isn't working yet - I haven't had time to pick up the electrical switch and get it wired. As a result Trent had to manually dig out the mix, fluff it up with a paint mixer on a drill and moisturize it.  This is a lot of work that we hope will be reduced as we get the flat filler working.
 Caleb was our transplanter and started on the spikes (Dracena).  We ordered them early so they would be big enough for containers by May. We did find that one of the cats thought the flats made a lovely place for a nap! A few of the plugs were damaged but it could have been worse. It was a nice relaxing couple of hours in the greenhouse with the boys. The radio was on, the cats were napping and we soon got into a rhythm.

We knocked off early. The Deseronto Storm were playing the Bradford Rattlers. Our son, Adam, is the assistant coach and our grandson, 16 year old Brett, is playing in his first year.  Brett has been off since December with a broken collarbone.  He played on Saturday and scored a goal in their win over Bobcageon!  We were anxious to see him play again.  Unfortunately we only saw one shift! After handing out a check at centre ice , something happened in his shoulder and had to leave the game in some pain.  Hope he's OK!

We will try to get out an update in a couple of days.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What did we get ourselves into?

This is our first crack at a blog - be patient with us!

The Lazy Gardener is our hobby/business. We are Lynn and Dave Wilson from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville Ontario Canada. Our gardening hobby somehow took off. We are not really sure how it all happened or where it is going. When we moved back to the Territory (13 years ago) the house and property had been rented out for several years and there were absolutely no gardens or flowerbeds anywhere, just a bunch of scrub cedars.  We started with a load of compost and a few potted perennials  from our place in Belleville and made two little flower beds by the front steps.

We just kept building a few more beds.  My mom gave us quite a few plants from her flower beds in Elgin County and we bought plants on sale whenever we could. A few years ago we built a small (12' X 30')greenhouse on the south side of our garage/shop to start some annuals for ourselves.  Well, the greenhouse was really a little bigger than we needed so we had some plants left over to sell. Two years later we built a pergola in front of the shop to hold hanging baskets to sell. The next year we turned this into a greenhouse (17'X40'). A couple of years later I got a bargain greenhouse (all in pieces and no instructions) from a neighbour and we finally got it up in 2010.  This Spring we have a new 36X24 greenhouse ready to assemble as soon as the weather warms up a little.

The purpose of the blog is to let you follow our journey, through our notes and photos.  We will try to keep you up to date on our activities as we plant the crops and grow them for sale.  If you have questions or comments, feel free to send them in. We will have fun - hope you do too!

Lynn & Dave