gabriola garden

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween Freeze and Gardening Down Under

The deep freeze has finally hit Canada’s warmest coast. We had the coldest Halloween in recent memory. Hedgehog picked a strapless costume and refused to put on a coat to warm her shoulders. She was dressed as some space alien, with her magic wand and cat’s ears. High red boots, ruffled choker, and long red gloves completed the outfit. I was impressed, but was totally afraid that she would catch a death of cold.

Youth is much more resilient than I thought, because today she’s fit as a fiddle. Obviously, the sugar in all the chocolate and candy she ate kept her warm. Jim was a pirate, and Sara and I had to dress up as King Arthur and Merlin. That’s right, I was the king and Sara pasted on a long white beard with a wig as the most famous magician of them all.

Luckily, we also dressed the garden before this cold hit. A good six inches of extra compost went on top of everything, and higher around the base of the pruned Butterfly bush and the other plants that were cut back to wood. The spring bulbs were put to bed underground, with a layer of soil, then some sprinkled fertilizer on top. I used Heavy Harvest Spring for this purpose, although I could have used Iguana Juice Grow.

The two hanging pots of Christmas cactuses (or is that cacti?), which were outside in the courtyard for spring, summer, and most of the fall were brought indoors and immediately started budding. I think Christmas is coming early for them this year. I fed them with Iguana Juice Bloom, just in case.

Some of the unpruned plants were heroically struggling to stay alive, despite the thermometer’s plunge. The two Malvas in containers on the back steps still had open flowers on them last time I checked, and some lonely Petunias and the Geraniums that were left outside hadn’t lost all their petals yet.

The jack o’ lanterns are going into the compost in a couple of days, following their innards that were scooped out to make way for the tea light candles. Some of our Tomatoes on the window sills turned bad, but most of them are zesty, tasty, and delicious. We gave away bunches of them to friends and neighbors. Harvest is the time to cement friendships.

We’re also communicating with family more often. Sara’s brother and sister-in-law live in New Zealand, near Hamilton. His name is John and hers, Eloise. Eloise wants to start up a garden, now that she’s been reading this blog. So they e-mailed us for advice.

As you know, things down under are a total opposite to ours, so they’re just heading into their summer season. Christmastime for them, is like our July. They go to the beach, put the shrimp on the barbie, and go swimming after they sing Christmas carols.

Sara told them to visit the Advanced Nutrients online store, which ships all over the world. In fact, their products are very popular in Australia, and we’re doing our best to equal that popularity in New Zealand.

“If you decide to grow organically like we do,” said Sara in her e-mail, “the best possible products to use are Iguana Juice, Grow and Bloom. You can go back through the archives of our blog to see the results. Your flowers bloom more vibrantly and your vegetables are large, crisp, and tasty.”

“Ours is a very small operation. If you have more land (which they do) and more time to devote to gardening, you may want to use Heavy Harvest Spring, Summer, and Fall. This is a time-release, three-part synthetic fertilizer that is expertly designed to fit the individual season, and is more cost effective when you’re factoring in volume usage.”

John and Eloise are both schoolteachers, but they get summers off. They plan to grow several acres of corn, as well as hot chilli peppers, onions, and cucumbers. The tiny ones, called gherkins, which they plan to pickle with spices. It seems that spicy foods like salsa are very popular now in New Zealand, so they’ve figured out a market to sell their produce.

Sara’s e-mail continues—“You should have started back in the spring, but you can still plant your seeds now and hope to get a harvest before the frost hits during your late fall period. You can also accelerate your growth by using products such as Piranha, Tarantula, and Voodoo Juice, which make your roots stronger, increase plant vigor, and promote faster growth, both under and above ground.”

“By using Heavy Harvest, Spring, Summer, and Fall, you’ll be feeding your plants all the macro and micro nutrients they need in the exact ratios they require for the seasons. It is pH buffered, it uses pharmaceutical grade precursors and reagents (assuring its place as the highest quality product available worldwide).”

“This wonderful Canadian company backs up all its products with a money-back guarantee. It uses 2-4 of the highest quality chelators per micronutrient. You only have to apply Heavy Harvest three-times, each application corresponding to the stage of growth that the plants are going through.”

“And the most convincing argument for using this synthetic fertilizer is that it is cost-effective and it is designed to increase yields. Less money to spend with more profits to look forward to.”

This message was sent to New Zealand two weeks ago and John and Eloise are already hard at work planting their crops (albeit a bit late) and using the Advanced Nutrients products that Sara suggested to them. We’ll keep you posted regarding their progress.

posted by Tim at 10:53 PM


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