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About Linda Gilkeson

  • Member Since: May 17, 2013

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Wet Soil, Cool Crops and Pollinator Plantings

    Farm & Garden, Food & Entertainment    April 5, 2018

Our cold spring continues…with the soil too soggy to work in many gardens, especially after this recent heavy rain. If you squeeze a small handful of soil and it stays together in a compact clod, then it is too wet to handle; it should be moist but still easy to crumble apart after you squeeze […]

Starting Seeds and Onion Sets

    Farm & Garden    March 12, 2018

Despite the slow start to spring (as snow flurries Friday morning reminded me), this is a good week to start seeds indoors for early crops and for plants that take the whole growing season to mature. I used to start leeks in mid-February, but now wait until the first week of March and find they […]

Bitter Cold Alert for Gardeners and Growers

    Farm & Garden    February 16, 2018

I waited, hoping to see that the forecast cold would be moderated by a warmer weather system as the last one was—but it hasn’t happened. The predicted cold weather, starting Sunday or Monday is for extreme lows over the next 3-5 days that would be very damaging this late in the winter. All around the […]

Big Chill Coming – Yams Again – Fruit Sources

    Farm & Garden    February 6, 2018

Well, nuts! To prove my contention that you just can’t trust February, the current forecast is for a few days of really cold air to hit this weekend. With lows of -4 and -5oC (25 to 23oF) predicted for the south coast (even for Victoria, which is unusual), you may need to take steps to […]

Spring Is Coming – Seeds, Yams, Pruning and Tool Disinfecting

    Farm & Garden    January 22, 2018

With the gardening season arriving quickly (yay!), it is time to sort out our seed collections, decide what to buy and check seed suppliers for new varieties: Germination test: If you are wondering whether seeds in old packets are still good, you can check with a quick germination test: Count out 20 seeds if you […]

Last Notes For Your Winter Garden

    Farm & Garden    November 13, 2017

That recent cold snap was a surprise, with temperatures well below freezing and the first snowfall in some areas. If your winter veggies were not all mulched by then I doubt they came to harm as the soil was still relatively warm. In this warmer lull, however, do get the mulching done before temperatures drop […]

Linda’s List: This Month’s Gardening Tasks

    Farm & Garden    October 1, 2017

The golden days of fall are such a delight…but they do remind us that there are things to do before winter: All you Brussels sprout growers, if you haven’t done so, this is the week to pinch out the tips of the plants to hasten the growth of the sprouts along the stem. If you […]

Last Planting, Powdery Mildew and Rats

    Farm & Garden    September 4, 2017

Well, so that summer went by in a blur…and here we are at the last planting window of the season. What to plant: If you sow this week, you should still be able to grow nice-sized plants of hardy winter lettuce and arugula before winter. It is expected to be pretty hot this week, so […]

Gardening: Super Heat Wave Prep Today

    Farm & Garden    July 31, 2017

A scary weather forecast for record-setting high temperatures this week, lingering over a longer than usual period, should send you out to the garden today to take some simple steps to protect your vegetables. Basically it boils down to 3 things: Shade, water, harvest. Of course, shade cloth, which I have discussed in detail earlier […]

Planning and Planting for Winter Harvests

    Farm & Garden    July 11, 2017

If you haven’t already sown beets, chard and leaf beet, rutabaga, radicchio, kohlrabi for winter harvests, do it right now so that plants have enough time to get to a mature size by the end of October. It is also time to plant out starts of winter broccoli and cauliflower and long-season cabbage (it is […]

Winter Planting is Here, Heat Again and Late Blight

    Farm & Garden    June 21, 2017

I still feel like we are caught somewhere in endless spring, but believe it or not, some important planting windows for winter harvests are upon us. Winter broccoli and winter cauliflower: Sow seeds from now until the end of June, either directly in the garden or in seed flats or pots. Given the rampaging slugs, […]

Protect Seedlings – Beet Leafminers

    Food & Entertainment    May 26, 2017

Coastal gardeners who did a lot of planting in the first really warm weather last weekend had a taste of what it is like to garden in the rest of Canada, where gardens are traditionally planted all at once on the May long weekend. By now, even the most delicate plants can be set outdoors—I […]

Current Planting, Currant Pests and Wireworms

    Farm & Garden    May 9, 2017

Planting now? With that really good warm day yesterday, I know you are ready to plant everything—but whoa! There is no point in trying to rush warmth-loving plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, corn, beans, into the garden as it is still too cool for them. Indeed, cool weather crops (cabbage family, peas, lettuce, […]

Wet Soil, Harvesting Roots, Fruit Pollination

    Farm & Garden    April 12, 2017

Our cold, wet spring continues…with the soil too wet to work in most gardens. For much of the region, March set records for rainfall, so it has been really, really wet. This spring certainly shows how valuable it is to fill your garden with mature, hardy vegetable plants before winter. Despite the bitter cold, a […]

Linda’s List: Spring Planting Timing

    Farm & Garden    March 22, 2017

As our cool spring weather continues, everyone is asking about when to plant: Soil Temperature: On the theme of testing, right now I am checking a soil thermometer out in a garden bed. It shows that the soil is far too cold to plant anything (and of course our soils are far too wet to […]

Linda’s List: To Seed or Not to Seed, That is the Question

    Farm & Garden    February 21, 2017

This certainly is a different spring than we have had for the last couple of years. I was walking around Victoria on the weekend noting all of the street trees that should have been blooming for weeks by now, without a blossom to be seen. Chirpy little notes in my own garden journals show that […]

Reviving the Garden, Germination Test, Pruning, Garlic Freebie

    Farm & Garden    January 24, 2017

Funny how fast those snowdrops pop up the minute the frost leaves the ground! With the going of the snow and the arrival of more seasonal temperatures, it is time to come out of hibernation. First, I want to let everyone know that my newest publication is out and making its way to bookstores. You […]

Linda’s List: Come the thaw….

    Farm & Garden, Food & Entertainment    December 18, 2016

As this prolonged cold period is coming to an end, I thought a few notes on salvaging garden crops would be in order. In this last couple of weeks, the minimum temperatures and amount of snow cover varied quite a bit over the region so some gardens will have suffered more than others. Well-mulched root […]

Linda’s List: Cold weather preparations, cutworms again

    Farm & Garden    November 7, 2016

Well, the La Nina weather pattern is certainly delivering as promised: wet and windy indeed, with a record-setting October for number of rainy days and, in some areas, record total rainfall for the month. Despite this, however, it has been warm enough for cabbages and other hardy plants to continue slow growth and for cutworms […]

Linda’s List: Fall Leaves, Garlic & Brussel Sprouts

    Farm & Garden    October 4, 2016

That nice spell of warm weather was just what we needed to bring on the last growth of late crops. Here are some things to do—and not do—right now: Keep insect covers on until the end of October. A perennial question is when to take off the netting or row cover protecting carrots, winter radishes, […]

Linda’s List: Last Planting, Fall Weather Reminders, Keep on Trapping

    Farm & Garden    September 14, 2016

The seeding season is about over: Only the smallest leafy greens (corn salad, lettuce, arugula) can be sown this week and still have a chance of making a good crop this fall. If you want more kale, chard, spinach or Chinese cabbage, look for well-grown starts at local nurseries. These still have enough time to […]

Linda’s List: Growing Greens for Winter

    Farm & Garden    August 11, 2016

Right now is a great time to seed spinach for harvest this fall. Spinach sown at this time of year usually overwinters to produce a big spring crop, no matter how beat up plants are by winter. I just seeded mine to take advantage of that spell of cooler moist weather over the last couple […]

Linda’s List: Editing, seeding, planting & propping

    Farm & Garden, Food & Entertainment    July 20, 2016

There are quite a few crops for winter harvest that can be sown from now through mid-August (see below)—but where to fit them into your bursting garden? The main thing I am doing this week is ‘editing’: pruning back plants that have overrun their space, removing what I don’t like, don’t need, have too much […]

Linda’s List: Happy Carrot Day!

    Farm & Garden    July 1, 2016

July 1st is Carrot Day too! It is time to sow the carrots as well as beets, rutabagas, turnips, winter radishes that you want to eat over the winter. The first week of July seems to work fine for carrots for most gardens in the region. You can sow beets and turnips a week or […]

Linda’s List: Late blight, fruit fly alert

    Farm & Garden    June 14, 2016

Based on emails I have been getting, I thought a quick review of how to approach pest and disease problems would be useful, plus an alert about the 2 most serious pest problems in food garden (IMHO): The first thing to do when you see something you are concerned about is NOT to remove the […]

Winter Crop Planting, Garlic Harvest, Ermine Moths Among Us

    Farm & Garden, Food & Entertainment    May 30, 2016

Time to start winter crop planting now and over the next few month: This week is good timing to sow seeds of Brussel sprouts and the varieties of winter cabbage that take over 120 days to mature (e.g., January King, Danish Ballhead, Langedijker Late Red). These need the whole summer and fall to make big, […]

Linda’s List: Heat & drought lessons

    Farm & Garden    May 5, 2016

This spring has unfolded remarkably like last spring, both in lack of April rainfall (around 75% below average over the region, again) and the same higher than average temperature regime. Nighttime temperatures have consistently been above average all spring, resulting in flowering and plant development in my garden occurring about a week earlier than last […]

Linda’s List: Buying & planting tips for veggie starts

    Farm & Garden    April 13, 2016

One effect of last year’s drought is haunting us this spring as clouds of pollen billow from the huge crop of stress cones on conifers all around the region. We always see pollen from alder, maple and other trees in the spring, but this year, everywhere, there are masses of small reddish brown cones on […]

Linda’s List: Early Planting and the Usual Suspects

    Farm & Garden    March 29, 2016

The fast start to spring last month seems to have slowed down a bit with the recent cold weather, but it sounds like we are in for a nice stretch of warm, mostly sunny days starting this weekend. In most gardens there have been few, if any, days that garden soil has been dry enough […]

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  • Wet Soil, Cool Crops and Pollinator Plan...

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    Our cold spring continues…with the soil too soggy to work in many gardens, especially after this recent heavy rain. If you squeeze a small handful of soil and it stays together in a compact clod, then it is too wet to handle; it should be moist but still easy to crumble apart after you squeeze […]

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