Monday, June 1, 2020

Garden Under Cover

Started planting with ProtekNet covers
With the Covid19 pandemic, quarantine, physical distancing, sanitation protocols, wearing a mask in public etc ... our 'new normal' will be something to get used to. Even my garden in the woods is masked and undercover this year!

This Spring I was prepared with a 7' x 100' package of ProtekNet from William Dam Seeds and eager to try it out. I'm really excited at how easy it is to use, almost stretchy and fabric-like. Insects can still lay eggs on leaves if touching the netting, so it must be supported by hoops to keep it elevated off of the vegetables.
Black mesh plant trays for shade on the broccoli plants
So far under cover are; 3 varieties of cabbage (Tiara, Taiwan & Lennox), 2 types broccoli (Sibsey Artwork & Calabrese), onions (Patterson, Rosa di Milano, Ailsa Craig, Apache), leeks (Bandit), cylindrical beets, carrots (Bolero), radish (Easter Egg), purple potatoes (seed originally from my Uncle Robert, many years ago!), pickling cucumbers (Corentine), dill weed and nasturtiums.
Since the photos above, I've planted the 2 beds on the far right, one bed with winter squash (Sunshine and Butternut) and the other with summer squash (Partenon and Cassia Zucchini and assorted Patty Pans). 
Burlap over cucumber bed at night

Our weather is still up and down with day to night temperature fluctuations. Daytime, direct sun on the new transplants is reduced in intensity by using the black mesh plant trays. I have used numerous methods for shade in past years. In the evenings I add burlap over the Corentine cucumber bed, removed in the daytime. The garlic is looking great! Compare this photo to 2 months ago...
Garlic planted October 2019

I got the bird netting over the strawberry bed a week early this year. I lost quite a few Seascape plants over winter, so will fill in the gaps with runners later. The robins strategically place their nests near the garden. I find their beautiful blue egg shells on the ground and have seen them chasing the owls away from their nests day and evening! The robins can destroy the ripening strawberries just before they are ripe enough for me to pick, so I'm happy to be ahead of the game this year!
Sheila's Perfume Rose
I just acquired another highly scented rose to my collection. This 'Sheila's Perfume' rose is a stunning beauty and has a delicious scent! I was in the right place at the right time and received this as a generous gift from the incredible man who illustrated my cookbook, For the Love of Food. From what I have heard, this is a difficult rose to get your hands on, so I am thrilled ... thank you Peter! 

Until next time... 
Please stay healthy, be safe...  
Happy gardening and Bon App├ętit!

Photos by Sally Rae


  1. I'll be planting garlic this fall. Do you have a variety you recommend?

    1. It depends where you live... for Canada, there are several families of garlic that thrive. The most cold-hardy garlic varieties are in the hardneck group of which there are several subgroups. Of these subgroups, 'Porcelain', 'Purple Stripe' and 'Rocambole' garlic tend to preform best under normal Canadian growing conditions.
      I grow 2 varieties; 'Porcelain' with 4-6 very large cloves, sweet flavor and easy to peel... and 'Rocambole' with large bulbs, deep, complex flavor and often the first choice of Chefs and garlic lovers.