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A First Time SFG in Canada

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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Thu May 21, 2015 12:57 pm

This morning's acquisition was a food grade plastic bin to be converted into a rain/water barrel. This one was used to transport olives from Spain to Montreal, Quebec. I bought it at Cohen and Cohen in the Nepean area of Ottawa ( http://tinyurl.com/mc432ob ). I want to get another one to make into a composter.

Here is the barrel. My composters are behind the barrel near the hedge.



Another view (as if anyone needs more than one look at the barrel ... but here it is anyway).



And here are some transplants just chomping at the bit to be planted this weekend.



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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  Kelejan on Thu May 21, 2015 1:45 pm

trolleydriver, I like the shape of your proposed water butt.

I would like to see it painted in a brick or clay colour so that it looks like a large clay pot, without the risk of it cracking.

Just thought you might like a little more work to do.

When I started SFGing I also planted each square with  a different plant. A lot of fun when one only has one or two beds, but I found that  as more beds were added I started to do a whole of of strawberries, potatoes and onions.  The other beds are what takes my fancy so I have a variety.

If I had only the one bed, then I would definitely do a variety.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Thu May 21, 2015 2:05 pm

Thanks Kelejan. Actually they had some clay coloured barrels at the store. Not sure what possessed me to get the black one. Oh well it is what it is.

Not sure if you noticed my green composter in the background. You are supposed to be able to turn it to mix up the contents. But you can't put much composting material in it before it gets too heavy to turn.  So I'm thinking of getting another food grade barrel and making a composter like the one shown in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a08WS-wDivI
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  Cherbear on Fri May 22, 2015 9:27 am

Welcome to the forums! Your beds look amazing, so neat and tidy! My yards a mess still...
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  Kelejan on Fri May 22, 2015 11:25 am

Cherbear wrote:Welcome to the forums! Your beds look amazing, so neat and tidy! My yards a mess still...
Give yourself some leeway, Cherbear.  You have only recently got back into gardening and things can only get better if you keep at it on a regular basis.
P.S. I'm good at preaching. Very Happy
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Fri May 22, 2015 3:14 pm

Just got a great deal at Lowes Canada. I was looking for something to put down on the paths between my SFG boxes. Lowes had Premier Cedar Chips on sale ... regular price $8.99 for $6.74 per 2 cu.ft. bag. When I asked for it at the garden centre, the person helping me said it was in another area. He took me to a storage area and pointed me to a pile of bags most of which were broken. He said if I wanted some I could have it for 50% off per bag. So I got several bags for $3.37 each. They actually filled some new plastic bags with what was spilling out of the existing bags plus they threw in an extra bag to take care of what was lost from spillage. The trunk of my Camry was full of bags of cedar chips to the point where I could only just close the trunk lid.

I expect those of you living in the USA are shocked that our regular price is $8.99. You probably pay way less than that for your regular price. Everything in Canada seems to be more expensive. For example, EMT conduit and PVC pipe (if you can find it) is way higher priced than in the USA.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Fri May 22, 2015 8:13 pm

Environment Canada issued a frost advisory for this evening. Time to cover up. The chicken wire cages made it easy to cover the SFG boxes with tarps. We also had some other white polyester stuff that my wife bought at the dollar store. It turned out to be too flimsy and easy to tear. However, we are trying it over some geraniums at the front of the house. It was a bit difficult getting these covers in place due to a strong wind at the time. My understanding is that these covers need to be removed early in the morning, otherwise other damage might occur.

The SFG boxes got the tarps over the chicken wire cages.



Note the small lilac bush and the rhubarb in the background. We have been enjoying some rhubarb desserts.



The white cover over geraniums. We covered some with buckets.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Sat May 23, 2015 10:09 am

So far things don't look too bad after removing the tarps. Temperature was -2 C at 6:30 a.m.

This morning I did a repeat trip to Lowe's to get the deal on cedar chips. I got four more bags only one of which was actually broken. As well, each time they threw in an extra bag. So even though I paid 50% off the already discounted price I also got a couple of extra bags at no charge. I love getting deals on broken bags. I did it for many years but then the store where I was buying stopped doing the deal.

The plan for today is to work on the tomato/pepper beds and the pathways between the beds. I may also do some more planting in the SFG boxes.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  Kelejan on Sat May 23, 2015 7:40 pm

trolleydriver, you are putting me to shame with all the work you are doing. Very Happy
I will have to go out now and do something.

It is oively when you get deals like the wood chips.  I'm sure also that it helps the store clear up some space for more profitable items, for them.

It reminds me that I should contact my paint supplier to use up some of their paint that turns out the wrong colour or the customer doe not like how the colour turned out and so refuses it.  I still have some outside hours painting to do and so long as the colour is light or dark but is somewhere near, it does not matter as long as the top coat matches the rest.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Sat May 23, 2015 8:05 pm

Well I didn't get as much done as planned today. I got my 8 foot 2x2 stakes hammered in the ground for the indeterminate tomatoes and I built a wooden frame/cage for just one determinate tomato plant. The latter is too much work so I need a quicker but cheap way for the other determinate(s). I saw a cage on the internet made with bamboo stakes and formed into a teepee shape ( http://tinyurl.com/k4o9x6f ) .

I'm only planting 6 indeterminates and 2 or 3 determinates all of which will be in the non-SFG "boxes". I got 4 indeterminates and 1 determinate transplanted to their final locations today.

Most of the seeds planted in the SFG boxes have germinated and little leaves are starting to show above ground. I need to get the remainder of the squares planted soon.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Sun May 24, 2015 4:15 pm

A sad day ... it looks like I killed my marigolds. These were the first plants I planted in my SFG Box #1. I'm not sure if the frost got them (they were covered up) or I over watered them.

When planted they looked like this.



Now they look like this.


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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on Sun May 24, 2015 11:57 pm

Hope it was just the cold. Sad It shouldn't be over-watering since there isn't any mulch.

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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  AtlantaMarie on Mon May 25, 2015 7:43 am

Plants are very resilient.  Give them a chance to come back.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Mon May 25, 2015 7:48 am

I'm quite sure now that this is due to over watering. I read that for marigolds the soil should dry out a bit before the next watering. My wife has a few marigolds planted in our regular garden. They were not covered up to protect them from the frost and she has not watered them since they were transplanted. They look great. Mine on the other hand look so sad. I'll leave them for a few days to see what happens.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Mon May 25, 2015 9:35 pm

Nothing but rain, rain, rain all day here in Ottawa. I was hoping to do more planting but was confined to doing some shopping (I needed another tomato plant and some bamboo stakes) as well as indoor work. I expect all this rain will put an end to my distressed marigolds in the SFG boxes. We needed the rain because everything was drying out, especially the lawns.

I'm looking for a better day tomorrow. The weather person says "mainly sunny" with high temperature of 29 C (84 F). It will be humid after this rain and I expect the mosquitoes will be out in full force.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Tue May 26, 2015 7:03 pm

Today's (May 26, 2015) photos.

Green bunching onions grown from sets in SFG Box #1.



Radishes after being thinned to 16 (there were 2 seeds per hole and they all sprouted).




SFG Box #1 still has three unplanted squares.

  • The back row from left to right is thyme (transplanted May 16), sweet basil (transplanted today ... maybe too early), cilantro (transplanted May 16), oregano (transplanted May 16).
  • The next row from the back is chives (transplanted May 16), turnip (seeded today), leek (seeded today), curled parsley (transplanted May 16).
  • The next row toward the front is green bunching onion (sown from sets May 16), unplanted square, beet (seeded today), unplanted square.
  • The front row is marigold (transplanted May 16 and not doing well), salad leaves lettuce (seeded today), unplanted square, dusty miller (transplanted May 16).





SFG Box #2 is now fully planted with seeds and transplants. 

  • The back row next to the trellis from left to right is cucumber (seeded today), 2 x honeydew melon (transplanted today), pole beans (seeded today). 
  • The next row from the back is red cabbage (transplanted May 16), Pepper (transplanted today), swiss chard (seeded on May 16 and sprouting), eggplant (transplanted today).
  • The next row toward the front is radish (seeded on May 16 and thinned today), spinach (seeded May 16 and sprouting), yellow bush bean (seeded today), spanish onion (transplanted May 16 but not doing well).
  • The front row is dusty miller (transplanted May 16, carrot (seeded on May 16 and sprouting), iceberg lettuce (seeded on May 16 and sprouting), marigold (transplanted on May 16)

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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Tue May 26, 2015 7:14 pm

Some views of the traditional gardens.

A couple of experimental home made cages for determinate tomatoes.




Traditional Box #1 has indeterminate tomatoes in the back row, then a row of peppers, and a ground cherry plant (left corner) in the front row.  Part of the front row will be planted with bush beans at a later date.



Traditional Box #2 (Not shown) has indeterminate tomatoes in the back row, herbs in the next row, one cabbage (hopefully its not too close to the tomatoes) and space for some other things in the front row.



Here is a view across the pond with the SFG boxes and other veggie gardens in the far corner of the garden.




The ferns in the ground and the alyssum in the pot are doing well. The pot contains Mel's Mix.




Bleeding heart and garden statue/fountain.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on Tue May 26, 2015 8:42 pm

You have a really pretty back yard.  The only thing missing is a small table top herb box close to the house. Wink

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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Tue May 26, 2015 9:13 pm

Thanks Sanderson. OK now I have another project ahead of me ... a table top herb box. If I had one of those then I could free up some squares in SFG Box #1 for other things.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on Tue May 26, 2015 10:06 pm

The 4 herbs I use the most in cooking is cilantro, parsley, oregano and curry.  Can't do anything about the curry.  I'm also growing cayenne peppers for red pepper, dill, 'coriander' cilantro, lemon grass, sage, thyme, tarragon and spring / green onions.  The closer to the back door/kitchen the herb garden is, the neater it is to just walk out and snip them for dinner.  The extra will be dried for winter use.
PS Don't put it under the gutters/roof line. Embarassed

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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  AtlantaMarie on Wed May 27, 2015 9:45 am

What a NICE setup, Trolleydriver!  I really like the water feature.  That's great for the birds & bees. 

You've got such a nice, flat yard.  I'm quite jealous!  Trying to garden on a hill is a bit of a pain...

For herbs this year, I've got spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, rosemary, lemon thyme, lemon balm, & dill.  All except the thyme are in flower boxes on my deck or in their own containers.
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  Shrimpsey on Wed May 27, 2015 10:23 pm

Impressive set up!  I am a newbie to SFG also in Ontario, and have just built my first beds this year.  I will be following your progress!  Looking good so far!
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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on Thu May 28, 2015 4:02 pm

Today I prepared the paths between the boxes by putting down weed block and covering it with cedar chips.




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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on Thu May 28, 2015 4:29 pm

Sweet!

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Re: A First Time SFG in Canada

Post  Kelejan on Fri May 29, 2015 8:11 am

Shrimpsey wrote:Impressive set up!  I am a newbie to SFG also in Ontario, and have just built my first beds this year.  I will be following your progress!  Looking good so far!

glad you\'re here   Shrimpsey  happy hi

Come on over to the Canadian Regional thread and tell us about yourself if you have not already introduced yourself on the Welcome thread.

Kelejan :canada:
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