Wednesday, 4 April 2012

My Greenhouse News, Some DIY Projects, and Winnipeg Backyard Homesteading

Well, here we are.  It's April 4th and I'm patiently waiting for the garden growing season to start. With all the snow gone for about three weeks already, the wait is interminable.   Overnight temperatures won't be consistently warm enough to plant outside until after May 1 so that still gives a month more of waiting.  I've been experimenting with the greenhouse to see what I could start early and so far it's been fairly disappointing.  If the outside temperature drops to around -5C I'm in danger of losing my young plants, as I found out with the three tomato plants I had....had being the key word.  I have to water regularly because the daytime heat in the greenhouse just sucks all the moisture out of the containers and the plants, broccoli is victim number two.  I have chalk outlines around where all the plant remains used to be.  It's truly a challenge.   In the meantime, with the winter being dry and not much snow cover, we've been working on converting a couple of garbage cans into rain barrels.  So far so good.  One of the cans is nearly finished and we'll start work on the other one this weekend.  These are going to be next to our shed and we'll be hooking up some of those cheapy snap together DIY eaves troughs and directing them to the cans.  We'll also be buying an aluminum garbage can and building a cold smoker sometime very soon.  I'll post pictures of that project as we do it.  It's something I found in a book I read a couple of months ago called The Backyard Homestead.  It's a compilation from Storey Books, which I love.  I've got a couple of others from them but if I was to have bought just one then it would have been this one.  Here's another thing that has me really interested, To bee or not to bee? - Winnipeg Free Press.  The City of Winnipeg is revisiting the Exotic Animal By-law which prevents keeping a backyard bee hive.  I think it's a great idea to lift the ban.  Is there a better way to keep your flowers pollinated than getting your own pollinators?  I would definitely consider a hive in my yard.  I like honey and I don't have an allergy or sensitivity to bees yet, just wasps.  I would love to keep a couple of chickens, too.  I've been keeping an eye on this story that Maclean's magazine ran in March, Is keeping hens in the city a charter right? - Canada -  If Paul Hughes wins his fight then I'll be celebrating with a fried egg sandwich made with  a fresh picked egg..... from my backyard.

My one and only complaint for today is that I've had the strangest suggestions based on my interests emailed to me from StumbleUpon.  Here's the newest, My Kasual Kountry Weekend With the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and this came under "gardening suggestions".  I have zero intention of growing any White Supremacists and I don't expect any would be visiting my garden anytime soon.  Clearly, StumbleUpon has some tweaking to do.


  1. Haven't used StumbleUpon and after this comment, probably won't. They are obviously way off target.

    Can't wait to grow something outside too. My garlic and shallots are up. But that's it for the vegetable garden.

    Have a great Easter.

  2. Enjoyed your post. Maybe you would post a picture of your greenhouse?

  3. i bought a basic green house but do not know when it is safe to move my plants to the green house. It is not heated. It would protect my plants from frost, but maybe that is all.

    Any thoughts on when an unheated greenhouse can be used?

    1. It's a learning curve for me as I only bought the greenhouse late last year. I think it would be really useful for frost protection and hardening off your plants for the garden.


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