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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…


Quick, name that book!


Kidding, but it’s an appropriate quote for the day, because I had a severe setback on my hands and it’s got to be shared, it’s not all roses and sunshine and snow around here.


When I moved the tomatoes outside, I reflected on the fact that they’re not properly hardened, since it’s hard to get a week off work just for that. They were semi-hardened, having seen at least three days of life outside, but not the night time lows of 6 that we’ve been blessed with. That’s 43 for y’all down south.


None of the other plants like cukes, peppers, and zucchini were any better off, so in a stroke of genius I bought a little three tier greenhouse for only thirty bucks from Home Depot, thinking it’d be perfect to harden off tender plants in – unzip by day, and zip up by night.


Exhibit A

Exhibit A


Well it was perfect all right, right up until the gale force winds we’re blessed with (gosh, all the blessings!) tipped the greenhouse right over. And it was up against the house people, on a stable concrete pad, as sheltered as can be. It tipped spilling and crushing the life out of all the tender plants inside. Just about. I could not take a photo of disaster recovery, as I was at work when it happened, but I do know that it took place in the rain, with the gusting wind, and it was very messy indeed.


The cukes are a total write off. The last insult added to the injury of their weird leaf disease tipped them over into the land of no recovery. Little yellow flowers and all. The pepper (which is flowering a beautiful white flower!) survived with some broken leaves, but the stem intact. I figured it’s less damage than a slug would do, and counted a survivor. The zucchini also lived, as did some of the strawberries, but the basil is also destined for a hard place between life and death. It doesn’t look good at all.


See the broken pepper leaf?

See the broken pepper leaf?


Another dead cucumber

Another dead cucumber


So I came home, surveyed the damage, had a few choice words with the weather, and started more seeds. I gots some 45 day cukes going, some more zucchini – just in case, and the basil I’ll probably buy from the garden centre at this point. Only this time I’m smarter – I’m going to chit the cucumbers (which means place them in a wet paper towel just until the root emerges), and then direct seed them in another maxi-kap container. That way there will simply be no more trauma to deal with – no transplant shock, no delicate handling, no hardening off in a treacherous greenhouse… they will be on their own right from the get go. Then they might have a fighting chance.


And the greenhouse? I’m thinking some bricks on the bottom shelf might do the trick.


9 comments to It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

  • Oh gosh! I’m sorry! Death by greenhouse… what a way to go.

  • Dickens — A Tale of Two Cities…Bummer, I think you had a brilliant idea about the zip up/down greenhouse. So so sorry for all of your hard work foiled by the weather! Hopefully, the survivors will prevail! I will admit that living on an island along the US coast, I always factor wind into things…dreaded Nor’Easters and Tropical Storms (don’t mention the word hurricane). Wow, it is still cold at night where you are…don’t think we’ve had a night in the 40s in two months or so…

  • Oh no!!! Gardening sure isn’t for the faint of heart (or will!) here in Cowtown. Sorry about your losses, but that pepper is definitely a survivor!

  • admin

    @ Maggie – Death by Greenhouse! Too funny. It is sad, but I’m undaunted. Second batch here we come!

    @ IG – nice one! I too have faith in the survivors – and we shall press on until I harvest a cucumber. All by myself. If you don’t mind me asking, what are your wind mgmt techniques if any?

    @ Jennifer – yep, Calgary is not conducive to first year experiments that’s for sure. 🙂 The pepper will keep hope alive until the next batch of cukes is up and running.

  • Sounds like you’ve been having as much of a time with your garden as I have! I’m having to replant herb seeds this week! We will prevail in the end, though 😉 I hadn’t heard of the chit method before. I’ll file it away for the future. Cheers!

  • admin

    Thanks for coming by Avis, yeah it’s been a blast this year! We seriously couldn’t have ordered better weather ourselves. 🙂

  • Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    I seen that little greenhouse at home depot and considered getting it. I can def understand why it would blow over : ( anchoring it somehow should help.

  • admin

    Hey Jessica – likewise! Yeah, I expected it to blow over in the open, but not all up against the BACK of my house like it was. I was astounded. But fear not – J is coming to the rescue with some cinderblocks. That’ll do it. 🙂

  • I am really sorry for your greenhouse.

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