Giant Garden Plants
And Interview with Yvonne Haug
April 15, 2020
I was invited to join @verddure and was amazed by the clip of the living wall. I wrote to my cousin Yvonne that she should check out the @verddure Instagram site. Than I remembered Yvonne’s amazing garden of plentiful and very large vegetables and fruits. She was kind enough to let me interview her over the Internet.
What got you into growing gardens?
I have always enjoyed being outside and love nature. It felt like a natural step to grow flowers and vegetables. In fact my flower garden is mostly perennials to free my time to focus on the vegetable garden. There is nothing like fresh food one grows from seed. While researching my family history, I discovered that my grandmother’s parents owned a greenhouse in Toronto in the early 1900’s, so guess it is in my blood.
Your vegetables are much bigger than the average garden. Is there a special soil and/or nutrients you use?
I focus on composting. Every kitchen scrap from my kitchen goes directly into the compost. This includes coffee grounds, tea bags egg shells and vegetable peels (not meat or bones or dairy). Over the past three years I also made “chicken poop tea” from the manure my backyard chickens generously leave in their coop. I actually did an experiment two years ago with my pepper plants. I used the “tea” on half of the plants and within a week they were six inches taller than the others. Obviously I gave the rest of the plants a little “drink” after that.
How did you get the raspberries to grow so high?
I make sure I cut back all dead canes every spring. I also use lots of the fall leaves as mulch and of course top fertilize with compost. The mulch helps keep moisture in the ground so the raspberries flourish.
Your cucumbers are the size of zucchinis. Did you plant the seeds earlier than usual?
No I planted at the proper time. Sometimes you just get lucky with weather conditions. I followed the same procedures for all my garden. Compost, water, mulch when possible (a good mulch can be grass clippings).
When a plant is larger does it change the taste at all?
Yes, if a zucchini gets too big it no longer tastes tender and nice, but chickens really like to eat those as a treat. Cucumbers will start to taste bitter if they are allowed to turn yellowish. The same holds for beans, peas, and radishes. Lettuce will become bitter or “go to seed” once the weather turns hot. Most greens are best in the spring or early summer. A second planting can be done late in the summer for a fall crop as the weather cools.