How to Design a Year Round Solar Greenhouse

BR 2012

BR 2012


Here is a good idea for your west coast winter project !

This article in Mother Earth News has a fantastic overview of the main considerations for a
passively heated green house design.

How to Design a Year-Round Solar Greenhouse


Vancouver Island Frost Watch


According Farmer’s Almanac Naniamo gets an average of 171 frost free days, and the frost free growing season starts on April 28th. Further south in Victoria the average frost free date is April 19th. Expect a first frost around the beginning of November.

Of course many vegetable and herb plants can tolerate frost. Here is listing of Frost Tolerance of Vegetables to help you get started.


It is always interesting to see how Vancouver Island compares to the rest of Canada for frost free dates and growing season length, here is a handy table put out by the Farmer’s Almanac for various Canadian cities.


Weekend Read – Recipes, Limestone and PH Control, Fall Cuttings on Vancouver Island, and the Weather




October Storm over Vancouver Island

October Storm over Vancouver Island

Here is a review of interesting horticultural experiences and  news from the past week that I hope will enjoy !


I found this great site with Recipes that feature herbs  by the American Herb Society.


Soil Mixes for Plant Growing

For those of us inclined to a more scientific approach here is an extensive article on Peat Moss, Compost , Limestone and PH Control.


Fall Herb Propagation Tips for Vancouver Island

The September 1 – Nov 1 time frame is really good for perennial plant propagation by division and cuttings because:

a) Generally a less busy time of year for plant growing, compared to the “spring rush”.

b) Summer heat has passed , so less sun, heat and misting issues.

c) Plants started this time of year are bigger, better and ready earlier than plants propagated early spring.

d) If for some reason the fall cuttings don’t take, you get a second chance in the spring.

e) Additional bottom heat is always beneficial for cuttings, however this time of year there is a natural tendency for the soil to be warmer than the air.

And Finally the Weather !

We have been having quite a storm over the last 24 hours,  click here for an interesting real time update.

Plant of the Week – Meadow Clary and On-Line Tools for Selecting Herbs

Meadow Clary

I bumped into this Meadow Clary plant ( Salvia pratensis ) blooming  in the farm’s demonstration garden.. Then I found out that the Royal Horticultural Society have given Meadow Clary their Award of Garden Merit (AGM). Since England has a similar climate to Vancouver Island I explored the RHS web site further and found a really interesting interactive herb plant selector guide. It would be perfect for planning a herb garden since you may search for plants using a huge number of different requirements such as available sunlight, height of plant, when it blooms and many other factors. Check it out ! RHS Herb Selector Guide