Welcome to Mistik Acres.

We hope you are able to form a connection with us, and the products we grow and produce on the land we live and work with.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Breaking Ground

Today as I sit at the computer and write this post, Pat is on the tractor, digging up a large patch of the yard.  This is the first piece of cultivated soil that is not going to be used to grow flowers, vegetables, or fruit to be marketed.  We plan on growing fruit trees, but the fruit will be for our consumption and enjoyment.  We are going to develop a perennial flower garden in this area as well.  Finally a step in the direction of landscaping the yardsite.  It has been a long time coming and I am really looking forward to creating a perennial bed with the plants I have collected over the years.  Now to come up with a plan of sorts...which is not a strong point of mine.

This weeks bird sightings include a few Tree Swallows, not many yet, Doves, Western Wood Pewee and an Eastern Bluebird.  The bluebirds that nest around here are the Mountain Bluebirds, so the Eastern Bluebird was a bit further north, than they usually are.  Hopefully he will stick around, find a mate and nest here.  They look like the Mountain Bluebirds generally, but they have an orange colouring on their breast.
The greenhouse plantings are going as planned.  Now we are planting Cosmos, Four O' Clocks, and Zinnias.  These plants only need about four weeks growing before they are planted outside.  Zinnia's are a big crop for the fresh cut market sales.  We succession plant these seeds, so we always have plants that are just starting to produce.  We have a lot of radish and lettuce sprouted in the beds in front of the house, but as soon as the weather turns cold, they are at a standstill.  So no hurry to plant the peas or spinach until it consistently stays warm during the day. 

A couple more perennials we have available for sales at the Saskatoon Farmers Market.  Starting Saturday May 5 we will be in our permanent location inside the building, down the center isle, corner spot, close to the garage doors.  Overall there will be a lot of exciting events and promotions going on at the market this summer, fall and into the winter months.  I will keep you updated through facebook and the blog.

 Sarah Bernhardt Peony

Red Charm Peony

Both are excellent cut flowers...surprise, surprise.  We all need more flowers in our gardens to bring indoors.  Don't worry about bringing ants into the house on the flowers.  Make sure you cut the flowers before they are fully open and if you notice any ants on them, just give the flowers a good swoosh to knock the ants off.  Leave some in the garden, but always cut a few for your enjoyment in the house.
Both of these varieties grow to about three feet and prefer full sun to part sun and are hardy to Zone 3.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Echinacea and Daylily

Spring is definitely in the air, along with a multitude of Sandhill Cranes.  Our farm seems to be the flight path for their daily foraging routine.  At times the air is filled with the sound they make, must be upwards of a hundred to two hundred birds in the area.  I was watching them do their mating dance the other evening in a neighbor's field.  It was quite remarkable.  The Flickers are back now foraging on the ground in the yard.  Hope to see some of the other birds back this week.
The greenhouses are starting to fill up with Dahlias, peppers. annual flowers and perennials.  Will move the perennials outside this week to make room in the greenhouse for the tomatoes that we will be transplanting.  We were selling our plants at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market this Sat and the perennials were very popular.  The rhubarb plants were the most popular.  If you are wanting to purchase one this year, I would suggest to do it soon, as we will be sold out early.  The variety we are selling is Canada Red.
This week we will begin our planting regime.  Getting onions and peas in the ground along with Larkspur, Bells of Ireland and Buplerum.  I have been busy digging out perennials from my gardens for sales at the market.  Everything is showing new growth.  

A couple more perennials available at our booth at the Saskatoon Farmers market.

Echinacea Hot Summer

This coneflower is a unique colour combination, petals first emerge a golden-orange with reddish shaded tips, and as the flower matures the red intensifies until the whole flower turns deep red.  It provides a kaleidoscope of colour on one plant during the summer, excellent vigor with strong upright stems with good branching.  Grows to 36" tall, likes full to part sun.  Flowers are magnets for butterflies and are great for cutting.  They also claim to be deer proof or should I say deer resistant, as I do not think anything is deer proof if they are hungry enough.  Hardy to Zone 3-8.

 Hemerocallis South Seas

The South Seas Daylily is a strong grower with exceptional bud count.  Mid bloomer, 5.5" ruffled fragrant flowers, reblooms, semi-evergreen foliage, tetraploid.  Iridescent coral pink with a dark coral band.  Grows to 24", prefers full to part sun.  Hardy zone 3 to 8.  Flowers are great for cutting and hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to them.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Perennial Iris's

Iris Pumila Smart

The Smart Iris pictured above is a Dwarf German Iris.  It grows 10-12" tall and is a red violet with dark purple on the falls.  It blooms very early Spring, earlier than the tall bearded types.  Prefers full sun and is hardy to zone 3.  Some of the plants are blooming right now in our greenhouse adding a burst of colour to the green of the other plants.  

Iris Germanica Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven is a Tall Bearded Iris, hardy to Zone 3.  It grows to 39" tall and requires full sun.  Perfectly arching, near white standards and round flaring medium blue falls with ruffles. Strong stems with good bud count.  Blooms early to mid Spring and is a Dykes Award winner.  

We will have both of these Iris's available at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market in May.  You must plant the rhizomes of these plants near the surface, and once established are drought tolerant, a great choice for our prairie summers.

We are busy planting and transplanting in the greenhouse at this time of year.  Everything is looking great.  In the gardens there are a few things that are showing green.  The Angelica, Yarrow, Fern Leaf Peony, Karl Forester Grass, and lots of ground covers in the rock garden are coming to life, along with the Hens & Chicks.   We had seeded a few cold loving vegetables, radish & lettuce, in front of our house foundation in the fall, and they have sprouted nicely.  The last few cold nights have kept them at a standstill, but they will go about their business again once the air warms.  We are starting to do more preparation to the beds to ready them for this Spring's planting.  I already seeded Bell's of Ireland and Larkspur, as they do best planted in cool soil.  The Sweet Pea seeds are planted in the garden, and I planted the extra seeds in bedding plant containers.  Sweet Peas like a cold period to get them flowering early, so they really need to be planted in the cold soil or if you plant them in containers place them outside so they are exposed to very cold temperatures.  I set out the containers I planted with Sweet Peas, into the cold frames. Well we  have a squirrel that has set up residence in the quonset which is right beside the greenhouse and cold frames.  Squirrels love pea seeds, so you can imagine what happened to my flats of Sweet Peas.  It looks like she may have eaten almost all of the seeds, so I quickly called T&T Seeds and ordered more seeds this morning.
Gggrrrr, when they do things like this, they don't seem so cute anymore.  Oh well, I should have known better, as this is not the first time this has happened, in one circumstance or another.  I am hoping it will not dig up my seeds which are planted in the Sweet Pea garden.
The battle between gardener and critters continues.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sounds of Spring

We had a great weekend at Gardenscape.  Visited with a lot of our market customers we hadn't seen since last fall and met a lot of new people.  There was always lots of discussion about the bat houses and how to get the bats to take up residence in a bat house.  We really did not come up with any solutions other than the location may be the most enticing factor for the bats to call it their new home.  Be sure to hang it 10-30' high, facing south, southeast or east.  Pat will be hanging our bat houses up this week so we will keep you informed if we have any  bats take up residence.  We have hung our mason bee houses though, and whenever we are out and about in the yard we are looking closely at any flying insect, as we really want to identify a mason bee.  At this time we have not made a certain identification, but we will keep you posted.

We have been enjoying the sounds of Spring though.  The Sandhill Cranes are back and we have been listening to the unmistakable call of a Killdeer. The Robins are all busy singing, trying to attract a mate and we have been seeing a lot ducks already.

The greenhouses have been opened early this year, and all the plants are enjoying the sun.  We are busy planting seeds and this week I am going to start transplanting the first pepper plants I seeded.  We have been busy harvesting pussy willow for Easter celebrations.  We will be at the Saskatoon Farmers Market Sat Apr 7th, with the pussy willow bundles.
Below are a couple of perennials that will be available to purchase at our booth at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market starting May 5th.

Pixie Twinkle

Pixie Twinkle is a dwarf Garden Phlox that is short and compact with good mildew resistance and exceptional long bloom time.  The flowers are fragrant, light pink with a darker eye.  They grow 14-16" tall and hardy to Zone 3.  Prefers full sun and is attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.

 paniculata Blue Paradise

Blue Paradise is a tall Garden Phlox with lavender-blue flowers with a reddish eye and very fragrant.  Attractive dark green foliage is remarkably mildew resistant.  It grows up to 40" tall and hardy to Zone 3.  Requires full sun and is a good cut flower.  Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to this plant.