I saw a photo of a crevice garden and immediately wanted to make one.  I have a small area that has some overgrown alpine and rock plants already that I need to divide and the thought of making a crevice garden was really appealing.


I had already created a small crevice garden are and wanted extend it:


This area has the following plants:

  • Aetheonema species
  • Sedum dasyphyllum
  • Sempervivum Saturn
  • Sedum album chloroticum
  • Saxifraga minutifolia
  • Saxifraga Fosters Red
  • Orostachys spinosum
  • Phlox Crackerjack
  • Thymus praecox Purple Carpet
  • Orostachys spinosum minutum
  • Sedum Lime Zinger

To make the crevice extension we we went to a local building site and collected a number of thin, large rocks to build the garden.


And then started to stand them up while sinking them into the soil.
image image

Using a sledgehammer, we tamped down the soil to give the rocks added stability.


I picked up a number of drought-tolerant plants from Rock Wall Gardens just outside of Perth, ON as well as some wintersand and coarse gravel for top dressing.  Here’s my crazy list of plants:

  • Orostachys Iwarenge
  • Orostachys erubescens
  • Orotachys Jade Mountain
  • Globularia meridionalis
  • Pinella ternata Green Dragon
  • Sempervivum arachnoideum Hookeri
  • Sempervivum x Versicolor
  • Paronychia Kapela Serpyllifolia
  • Vitaliana primulifolia
  • Campanula carpatica turbinata
  • Draba species
  • Sedum sarmentosum
  • Lewisia longipetala hybrid Little Plum

Other plants that I picked up are:

  • Cactus prickly pear
  • Sempervivum ciliosum borisii
  • Sempervivum Oddity
  • Lychnis viscaria alpina
  • Saxifraga Peter Pan
  • Saxifraga panicul. aizoom

Next step is mixing the soil and planting.


Plant Sale is Over

May 23, 2012

This year’s plant sale is over. Thank you all for coming out, I enjoyed talking to everyone about their gardens and answering questions about tomatoes. If you missed my plant sale this year, I know of two places that are selling heirloom tomatoes. They are:

Pioneer Nursery
632 Van Buren Street
Kemptville, ON
tel: 613-258-5555

Mon – Fri: 9 AM – 8 PM
Sat: 9 AM – 6 PM
Sun: 10 AM – 5 PM

Make It Green Garden Centre
5200 Flewellyn Road
Stittsville, ON
Tel: 613-599-3419


Mon – Fri: 9 AM – 8 PM
Sat: 9 AM – 6 PM
Sun: 9 AM – 5 PM

Happy gardening!

Just noticed that I didn’t include some pepper varieties from my list:

Hot Paper Lantern
NuMex Suave Red

They will be available at tomorrow’s sale.  Garlic chives and different types of kale as well!

Plant List

May 1, 2012

Thanks for your patience everyone.

Here is the list of tomato plants for sale this Saturday, May 5th and Saturday, May 12th from 9 AM – 3 PM.   Address is 516 George Street East in Kemptville.  Let me know which ones you are interested in by sending me an email and I will put them aside for pick-up.  Limited quantities are available.

Cost is $3.50 each or 3 for $10.

• Black Krim
• Cherokee Purple
• Paul Robeson

• Black Cherry
• Haley’s Purple Comet


• Brad’s Black Heart

• Evan’s Purple Pear

• Black Plum
• Purple Russian

• Green Doctors
• Green Grape

• Jaune Flammée

• Gold Rush Currant

• Djena Lee’s Golden Girl
• Valencia

• Crnkovic Yugoslavian
• Marianna’s Peace
• Soldacki
• Stump of the World

• Eva Purple Ball

• Anna Russian

• Cuostralee
• Neves Azorean Red
• Red Penna
• San Pedro

• Mexico Midget
• Riesentraube
• Tommy Toe

• Sweet Pea Currant

• Bloody Butcher
• Chalk’s Early Jewel
• Sioux
• Stupice
• Moskvitch
• Scotia
• Super Sioux

• Prue

• Amish Paste
• Giannini
• Opalka

• Berkeley Tie-Dye
• Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye

• Green Zebra
• Red Boar
• Red Zebra

• Coyote
• Dr. Carolyn
• Snow White

• Kellog’s Breakfast

• Black Prince
• Datil
• Dorset Naga
• Habanero
• Jalapeno
• Jalmundo
• Jimmy Nardello
• Joe’s Long Cayenne
• King of the North
• Numex Joe E. Parker
• Padron
• Takanotsume
• Uba Tuba

Plant Sale 2012

February 29, 2012

Hello gardeners! I’ll be having my annual plant sale this year on Saturday, May 5th and Saturday, May 12th from 9 AM – 3 PM.  A list of heirloom tomato varieties, as well as hot peppers, will be forthcoming.

Also, Seedy Saturday is this weekend on March 3rd in Ottawa from 10 AM – 3 PM at the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, 105 Greenview Avenue.  I’ve already got all my extra seeds packaged up for the swap table!

Tomato Sale 2011

April 11, 2011

I’ve decided to hold my annual heirloom tomato sale this year on Saturday, May 14th and Saturday May 21st from 9 AM – 3 PM in my driveway.  Please email me for my address.  All plants are $3.50 each or 3 for $10 and will be hardened off and available for immediate transplant.

Here are the tomatoes that will be available:

Amish Paste
Andrew Rahart’s Jumbo Red
Black Cherry
Black from Tula
Black Krim
Black Plum
Black Zebra
Cherokee Purple
Crnkovic Yugoslavian
Green Doctors
Green Giant
Green Zebra
Jaune Flammée
JD’s Special C-Tex
Mexico Midget
Neves Azorean Red
Paul Robeson
Purple Russian
Red Brandywine
Red Penna
Red Zebra
Snow White

Also available are the following hot peppers:

Black Prince
Chinese Five Colour
Dorset Naga
Heritage Big Jim
Jimmy Nardello
Joe’s Long Cayenne
Joe E. Parker
Red Habanero
Suave Red
Uba Tuba

There are limited numbers of each (some have more available than others) so please send me an email if you would like for me to put any aside for you.  Pick up can be on May 14th or 21st during the plant sale or by appointment.

If you are new to starting seeds indoors, you will need to get a few things:

  • seed starting chart
  • A cheap 4′ workshop light and a set of 4′ cool and warm fluorescent lights (a must for those with cooler climates and shorter growing seasons). Don’t get the plant-specific lights as the regular ones are just as good. Alternate the cool and warm bulbs if you are putting more than one set of workshop lights side-by-side.
  • A timer set to turn on 14 hours and off for 10 hours a day (optional if you’re good at remembering).
  • A heating mat (optional, helps germinate harder/longer-to-germinate seeds like parsley and hot peppers)
  • Soilless seed starting mix
  • 72-cell seedling insert trays (breaks down into eight 9-cell packs)
  • Plastic propagation trays
  • Clear plastic domes
  • Used 1” plastic blinds
  • Sharpie
  • Oscillating fan (optional)
  • 4” pots
  • Potting soil
  • A black paint pen

Find out your last spring frost date and plug it into my seed starting chart (keep in mind that my chart is suited towards a USDA Zone 4 growing area, i.e., you’ll need to add more repetitions of sowing seeds if you’re in a longer sowing season). This will give you a schedule of when you should be starting indoors, direct sowing outdoors, transplanting, harvesting and succession sowing as well as sowing for a fall harvest. I just bought an informative book called The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardening Handbook that also gives tips on other things you should be doing before, during and after the season. However, this book was written by gardeners in Massachusetts and may be skewed towards a shorter growing season.

Buy your seeds online for a larger selection. I mostly buy from Johnny’s Selected Seeds and from local companies. Check to see if there are gardening events in your area. Here in Canada, we have Seedy Saturday where gardeners swap seeds for free and buy from local companies. If you want to save your own seeds, buy open-pollinated varieties and not hybrids.

Don’t bother with Jiffy peat pellets (unless you really like them). I don’t like them as they don’t retain moisture as well, don’t break down in the soil and aren’t re-usable. Instead, get some quality soilless seed starting mix and dampen with water. Fill up your 9-cell inserts with the damp mix and put in your plastic trays. Sow your seeds, one or two seeds per cell, sowing twice as deep as the seed is long. Cut up the blinds into 0.5″ x 4″ lengths and label with a Sharpie to put in each cell. Cover the tray with the clear plastic dome as this will help keep moisture in. Place on a warm area or on your optional heating mat. If you have seeds that are difficult to germinate, try pre-sproutingthem.

Once your seeds sprout, remove the clear plastic dome and place them under the lights. The dome also helps the seedlings remove their seed coat as they push through the soil. If some of your seedlings still have their seed coats on, mist and cover with a narrow shot glass – within a day you should be able to remove the seed coat easily with your fingers. Suspend the lights so that they are two to three inches above the tallest sprout. Plug the lights into the optional timer. Every second day, run your hands over the tops of the seedlings to help them strengthen the stems – this will help prevent leggy seedlings. Or you can place an oscillating fan on them about 3′ away on low for an hour every other day.

Water seedlings from the bottom, not the top to help prevent damping off. I pour enough water in the tray for the seedlings to be standing in 1/3 of water. Remove any excess water from the plastic tray after 10 minutes. I usually water once a week.

Once your seedlings have outgrown their cell inserts, pot them up to 4″ pots with dampened potting soil. Use more cut up blinds to label with a Sharpie. You’ll want to start acclimatizing them to real indoor sunlight at this point. While still indoors, put them in indirect sunlight for a few hours a day. Build that up SLOWLY so that they can withstand full sun. This will take about a week. If you start noticing whitish spots on the leaves, you’ve left them too long in the sun and they now have sun damage.

A couple of weeks before you plant out in your garden, you will need to harden them off to the outdoors. Again, build that up SLOWLY as you don’t want to shock them. Put them outside in a shady, wind-free spot on a cloudy day for an hour or so. Build it up so that they can withstand full sun, rain and overnight temperatures. This takes a while and you’ll have to be patient. Keep an eye out for whitish spots and curling leaf edges as this will indicate sun and wind burn. Keep watering from the bottom. Try not to touch wet tomato leaves as this increases the risk of leaf mold.

Transplant into your garden and use a 6″ piece of blind to label the plant with a paint pen (don’t use a Sharpie for this as the sun will make the marking fade by the end of the season). Don’t fertilize for the first week as your seedlings will be in shock and will need time to settle into their new location.

Remember to succession sow seeds for a continuous supply of produce. Lettuce, radishes, spinach, bush beans, beets and carrots are good for this. Also start a fall harvest of peas, broccoli, cabbage, kale, summer squash, spinach and lettuce.

Also, buy an airtight food storage container to hold all of your seed packets to help keep them dry. Organize them in alphabetical order by Direct Sow, Vegetables, Herbs and Flowers. Keep an inventory if you want to be extra organized.

During winter, get in on seed exchanges or swaps in places like GardenWeb to trade your seeds and try out new stuff.

NOTE: if all this indoor/hardening off stuff sounds intimidating, try your hand at wintersowing, it’s easy and painless.

That’s pretty much all I can think of.  Let me know if anyone else has any tips for a new indoor sower.

(taken from a gardening forum post I wrote)