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CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 1/23/2016, 10:58 am

Mrs TD just got back from the nearby supermarket. There is one section that is usually filled with packaged lettuce. Today the section was empty. She saw green onions (scallions) about four to a package for $1.69. She bought two tomatoes for $4.40. YIKES!!!  Bring on the SFG exapnsion.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  Kelejan on 1/23/2016, 11:32 am

I see that a lot of DOLE packaged greens have been withdrawn because of listeria, so that may be the reason that Mrs. TD did not see any lettuce.

You must get even busier this coming season, TD.  I am sure that doubling your "acreage" will not be unsightly to Mrs. TD's eye.

I see a future increase in Square Foot Gardening, beginners and experienced alike.
I know that I am going to produce more, mainly to store for next winter when prices are sure to continue upwards.

Just think of the poor people in cities who have no way to garden.  So far, in our little town, few people have taken advantage of the community garden.


Last edited by Kelejan on 1/23/2016, 2:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 1/23/2016, 11:36 am

You are right KJ.  It was the DOLE products that are missing from the shelves. Thanks for that update.

===

Ottawa, January 22, 2016 - Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc., is recalling various pre-packaged chopped salads, salad blends and kits, and leafy green products from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume and distributors, retailers and food service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals and nursing homes should not sell or use the recalled products described below.
This recall applies to all products manufactured from the Dole facility located in Springfield, OH. Affected product can be identified with a product code beginning with the letter "A" in the upper right-hand corner of the package.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 1/23/2016, 2:20 pm

Today I had to do a bit of soul searching concerning whether or not I should try to start seeds indoors for transplanting into the SFG. The problem is that we are going to be away a lot during the March - May period (indoor seeding time) for up to a week at a time. Unless I can rig up a self-watering system for the seedlings it will probably be a waste of time since they will dry out while we are away. I'll probably have to rely on store bought transplants for tomatoes and peppers. For now I'll use the DIY grow light for microgreens and even then I could just use the sunny front window.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/23/2016, 2:38 pm

You are. Just being practical, TD. Why waste your time and money and fret over things....

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  yolos on 1/24/2016, 9:51 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:Today I had to do a bit of soul searching concerning whether or not I should try to start seeds indoors for transplanting into the SFG. The problem is that we are going to be away a lot during the March - May period (indoor seeding time) for up to a week at a time. Unless I can rig up a self-watering system for the seedlings it will probably be a waste of time since they will dry out while we are away. I'll probably have to rely on store bought transplants for tomatoes and peppers. For now I'll use the DIY grow light for microgreens and even then I could just use the sunny front window.
TD - last year I bought one of these little kits at Home Depot.  It worked fairly well.  The cells are not real big but I let my lettuce stay in there until ready to transplant and they did pretty good.  The package says they only need to be watered every ten days so it would work for your situation. 

The cells sit on a mat that goes down into the water reservoir and wicks the water up to the bottom of the cells.  It has a dome that you can use to start the seeds under.  Put the tray under your lights and put your lights on a timer.  Should work.  I don't remember what they cost but it worked so well for me that I went back and bought another set.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 1/24/2016, 10:09 pm

Thanks yolos.  I actually make my own mini version of that self-watering system for growing microgreens. In fact I just made a new one this evening. I use a rectangular plastic food storage container as the water reservoir. I make holes in the lid of the container and use paper towels as wicks into the water. A flat piece of folded paper towel sits on top of the wicks and then I sow the seeds on that towel. I then invert another container on top to make a mini greenhouse at least until the seeds have sprouted. I start the seeds in the dark and move them under the grow light or to a window after they have sprouted. 

I'm trying to come up with a larger DIY version that would use something more substantial than paper towel for the wicking/mat system.  Maybe felt would work. I would then set small containers (e.g., cut down paper tubes) filled with growing mix on top of the mat. I'll also see if I can buy a system like you showed and for a reasonable price.  Home Depot Canada does not seem to carry them on their website, at least not at this time of the year.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 1/24/2016, 11:38 pm

I found a capillary mat at Lee Valley Tools. This company's headquarters and retail store are just a couple of miles down the road from where I live. But the pseudo-Scottish blood in me makes me hesitate to spend the money. Mrs TD has some felt in the house that I might try.

http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=44627&cat=2,44713

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  Kelejan on 1/25/2016, 2:15 am

TD, the watering mat at 36" x 72"  seems a good buy for $22.00,  I wonder if it can be used cut into different size pieces to fit smaller areas?

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 1/25/2016, 9:47 am

You are right KJ ... not a bad price for that size mat. I may go for it or at least go over to the store and take a look at it. The problem with going into the Lee Valley store is that they have so many wonderful things for gardeners and wood workers, etc. I fear if I go in there then the mat will not be the only thing I will buy!

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 1/25/2016, 10:54 am

I'm trying to balance the costs and benefits of indoor seed starting. We usually do not buy a lot of veggie transplants (few tomatoes and peppers mainly). So from that perspective it does not make a lot of sense to spend a ton of money on grow lights, mats, starting trays, electricity, etc. So I am trying to keep the cost down with my DIY grow light stand, reusing containers (e,g, yogurt cups, toilet roll tubes) and so on. The benefits of indoor seed starting include being able to grow more transplants and different varieties than those available in stores. As well, I can use some of the things to grow plants right through the winter such as microgreens. I suppose if one amortizes the startup costs for indoor seed starting over a several year period then it makes more sense from a cost-benefit perspective.  However, the bottom line is that it is a fun hobby and I like to experiment.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/26/2016, 9:01 am

TD - I don't have any of that stuff. I just use a set of shelves in an east-facing window.

Yeah, it'd be nice to have them. Maybe some day I will. But I figure plants have been around a LOT longer than we have. And they're very resilient. So I'm not willing to spend the money on them right now.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/26/2016, 7:51 pm

I get it.  For one thing, it sucks you in with the lure of heirloom, rare, and fragile varieties!  Then the cost...I did a cheap shelving unit from Walmart, and 2 forty-eight inch shop light fixtures.  And will need mucho rigging by me in order to function, big time!  

There are really nice, convenient ready to go packages, but I can't do that at this point!

Wish I had a nice sunny window, but my east facing window will not sustain new baby seedlings....too north-y dark, I guess.


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 1/26/2016, 7:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typo)

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 1/27/2016, 9:13 am

AM ... Well done. I've got a nice big front window that faces south to south-east. Lots of light. The problem is that it is in the living room. No way Mrs TD is going to go for a greenhouse in that space. I do get away with growing small containers of microgreens and an avocado pit in that area. But I think she is coming around. Yesterday, all by herself, she started two more avocado pits in water (hanging on to the sides of their containers with toothpicks). I did have to correct one thing though ... she had them upside down. Smile

SR ... So right. It sucks you in. If I do not demonstrate some self-control this whole thing could become a money pit for me. But oh what fun! Laughing

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  Kelejan on 1/27/2016, 10:53 am

TD, I enjoy your contributions to this SFG forum, they are so interesting.

I had to smile at Mrs. TD putting in the avocado pits upside.  If she reads this reply, please tell her I am laughing with her, as I really did not realize that there was an upside-down side to it and I most likely would put them in wrong-side up or down myself Very Happy.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/27/2016, 11:05 am

Hear ya, TD. My shelving is in our dining room sitting on a desk. And with the amount of students we have coming in the doors on a weekly basis, we just have to deal with it.

DH says he's going to build me some roll-a-round shelving with lights for the garage, but it's expensive AND I'm not sure where we'd find the room....

Maybe if you can come up with some NICE shelving that looks decorative too....

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 1/27/2016, 11:46 am

Thanks folks for your replies. I try to put a smile on your faces with some of my silliness not to mention my many photos.

Anyway, the following is off topic, but I'm pretty sad right now and I need to share it. Just received some news about a good friend of ours. They moved away last year and now live quite a distance from us. They had a beautiful new home built for their retirement in a nice small town in farming country. And now they have to deal with a very serious health problem. She has been diagnosed with acute leukemia. I am thankful we have a close knit church community to provide prayer support for them.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/27/2016, 12:39 pm

Oh, I'm sorry, TD... I know that's tough! Sending warm, healing thoughts...

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  Kelejan on 1/27/2016, 8:32 pm

I feel for you and Mrs. TD. I am also sending healing thoughts.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  sanderson on 1/28/2016, 12:09 pm

TD and Mrs. TD, I'm so sorry.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  Kelejan on 1/28/2016, 1:08 pm

Out walking Jazz yesterday evening I noticed catkins on one of my neighbour's tree.

it really stood out in the streetlamps. Spring must be coming.
Right now the rain is pelting down. If the temperature had been lower it would be something like Washington, D.C. and the East Coast.

The snow is being washed away and I can see the bones of my garden and it all looks so sad.  We need more snow to cover the beds and keep the plants poking through  from freezing.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 1/28/2016, 8:20 pm

Here is my mini self-watering system for microgreens.  The Arugula microgreens are growing under the grow light and the container is sitting on Lego blocks which can be adjusted in height to get closer to the grow light rather than moving the whole fluorescent light fixture up and down.

The mini self-watering system consists of a plastic container for the water reservoir. The snap on top has holes in it through which paper towel wicks hang down into the water. On top of the wicks there is a folded layer of paper towel on which the plants are growing. So far I have not had to water these microgreens but I will soon need to add water to the reservoir.


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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  Kelejan on 1/29/2016, 1:16 am

That looks neat, TD.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  sanderson on 1/29/2016, 3:42 am

@Kelejan wrote:That looks neat, TD.
+1 And Legos to boot.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

Post  Kelejan on 1/29/2016, 12:29 pm

Looking out of my window I see the snow melting on my lawn and there are now many patches of grass showing. 

I think when the snow has melted off my SFGs I will have to place another layer of leaves on them to protect from any sudden sub-zero weather.  I have several bags of dry fall leaves tucked away so I am hoping I can get through to spring without everything being killed with the cold.

Has anyone else in the Great White North or the U.S.A. North had any experience of little snow, and warming weather followed by intense cold?  There is a forecast of cold coming down from the Arctic.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in January 2016

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