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Second Year SFG in Canada

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 11/15/2016, 2:33 pm

Remember, every time you add new stuff, the pile is basically starting over. The newest material has a way to go. If this is just a "lazy" compost pile, then it doesn't matter because there is a lot of time before it will be used.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 11/15/2016, 4:41 pm

@sanderson wrote:Remember, every time you add new stuff, the pile is basically starting over.  The newest material has a way to go.  If this is just a "lazy" compost pile, then it doesn't matter because there is a lot of time before it will be used.
Absolutely. This is the "add to" pile. It's the one that gets fed the kitchen scraps.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 11/15/2016, 5:16 pm

I have about one and half of these trash bins filled with compost produced in the plastic composter.  This is what is left from what was produced over the past 12 months less what was used.



In addition to working on the contents of the plastic compost bin today, I also turned the contents of new bin #1. It's steaming away nicely with a temp of about 60C (140F).




Here are the contents emptied onto a tarp. Looks like it is starting to breakdown nicely and take on that dark compost colour.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 11/16/2016, 3:38 am

@trolleydriver wrote:
@sanderson wrote:Remember, every time you add new stuff, the pile is basically starting over.  The newest material has a way to go.  If this is just a "lazy" compost pile, then it doesn't matter because there is a lot of time before it will be used.
Absolutely. This is the "add to" pile. It's the one that gets fed the kitchen scraps.
okay

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 11/17/2016, 4:37 pm

I turned New Bin #1 again. After two full days since the last turning, it had only heated up to 42.1C (107.8F). I reloaded everything and added blood meal as I went. The moisture content seems fine (like a rung out sponge). So I am assuming the problem is a lack of greens/nitrogen hence the use of blood meal.

Mrs TD put up the Christmas lights on some of the bushes at the front of the house. I still need to put some on the SFG trellises.

This is one of old style SFG beds that I recently amended with compost. I also added a thin layer of straw. It did't take long for the squirrels to get into it as evidenced by that holes in the straw.


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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 11/18/2016, 4:39 pm

Another busy day in the garden which included winterizing the lawnmower and adding polymeric sand in the spaces between some interlock pavers on the walkway at the side of the house.

First the bad news for me. New Compost Bin #1 refuses to heat up after yesterday's turning even though I added blood meal. New Compost Bin #2 is quite warm at around 57 Celsius. More about this on the "Trolleydrivers Compost Thermometer" thread. I will no longer be turning the material in the compost bins until next Spring.

Now for some photos from the garden. First, here is the last harvest from the SFG beds, It includes Swiss Chard, Kale, Parsley and Rosemary. That's it for this year. Overall it has been a successful year for the SFG and other veggie and flower gardens.




These four Parsley plants were all growing in one square in the Table Top. Amazing what can be done in SFG.




The Table Top all cleaned out and amended with compost.




The pond (horrible green water) and empty flower beds. Note the bags of leaves hiding under the tree for the winter.




The SFG beds are ready for winter. The beds with deep straw contain garlic (9 squares), multiplier onions (1 square) and strawberries (one whole 4x4 bed of 16 squares). The green tarp is covering a pile of wood chips.





Looking over toward the three compost bins, garden shed and miscellaneous stuff. The blue and yellow totes are full of coffee grounds which I am still getting from the local coffee shop.





I decided to top up the pond to give it a bit more depth which may help the goldfish to survive the winter.





Another view of the SFG beds from a different angle.  I still have to string the Christmas lights of the trellises.  The next time I post photos this area they probably will show a covering of snow.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 11/19/2016, 12:52 pm

Everything looks so snug, tucked into bed for a long winter's nap.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 11/19/2016, 4:59 pm

Environment Canada is forecasting up to 20 cm (about 8 inches) of snow over the Sunday and Monday period. Yeuk!

I did more cleanup  and prep for winter and ...

  • made tops for the 3x3x3 compost bin (photo below) and for the SFG Table Top
  • emptied the hoses and turned off the outside water
  • rescued some vermiculite and peat moss from the shed to use in making potting soil for indoor starts during the winter/spring
  • grabbed two more bags of leaves from a neighbour
  • cleaned up the garage so I can get one of the cars inside
  • put my bicycle and other things in the shed for the winter
  • etc.




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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 11/20/2016, 12:58 am

Well, look at you!

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 11/20/2016, 3:42 pm

What a difference a day makes as Ottawa gets hit with a horrible snowstorm (expecting up to 10 inches) and high winds.





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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 11/21/2016, 2:52 am

It looks like you got everything winterized before this big snow!  Thank you for the snow pics.     http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4937-holy-snow-batman?highlight=Snow

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/21/2016, 7:16 am

BBBBBRRRRRR!
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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 11/21/2016, 2:42 pm

Interesting how the snow has drifted in front of the compost bins but left a natural path right in front of them for me to walk on.




Glad I got the straw on the beds that have the strawberries, garlic and onions.




The pond is starting to freeze over but the waterfall is still working away.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/22/2016, 7:25 am

The heat (even reduced) coming off the bins perhaps?
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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 11/22/2016, 8:55 am

I like to make lists and get the clutter out of my brain. "Beetles" reminded me of my to do list from November 7. Here is an update.

1. Do a final cleanup of the SFG beds including the Table Top. (Complete)
2. Add compost to the SFG squares/beds where not already done. (Complete)
3. Put straw mulch on the strawberry bed. (Complete)
4. Put straw mulch on the garlic squares/beds. (Complete)
5. Turn the new compost pile (not looking forward to doing that). (Did it several times - Complete)
6. Move the pile of wood chips from the driveway to a storage location in the backyard and cover with a tarp. (Complete)
7. Move bagged leaves to a storage area (maybe under the big pine tree) and cover with a tarp. (Complete)
8. Cleanup the pond (remove pond plants such as water lilies, trim them back, compost trimmings and put potted roots back in pond). (Complete)
9. If needed, collect more bags of leaves from neighbours for use next year. (Complete)
10. Continue to collect coffee grounds and get some cardboard*** from the coffee shop (nice people working there by the way). (Complete)
11. Prepare the lawnmower for winter storage. (Complete)
12. Maybe build another compost pile using a simple hardware cloth enclosure (I have to be crazy to even think about doing this). (Complete)
13. Mow the front and back lawns for the last time this year. (Complete)

*** I may use this cardboard to build a low enclosure to hold in the mulch on the SFG beds before putting the chicken wire cages back over them. If I do this I'll post a photo. (Complete)


Additional Items added since November 7.
14. Make tops for the 3x3x3 bin and the Table Top. (Complete)
15. Cleanup the garage and store things in the shed. (Complete)
16. Put away the hoses and turn off the water to the outside. (Complete)
17. Put Christmas lights on the SFG trellises. (Not started)

There were of course other things that I did which were not on any list.  

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 11/23/2016, 3:22 pm

Couple of snow photos.

The SFG in the snow.



The pond has only a small area that is not frozen over.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  countrynaturals on 11/23/2016, 10:00 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:Couple of snow photos.

The SFG in the snow.



The pond has only a small area that is not frozen over.
What a difference a month makes!  Shocked
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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 11/28/2016, 4:12 pm

The SFG "scaresnow" is starting to melt already.



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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 11/28/2016, 5:11 pm

Oh, no! Wink

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 12/1/2016, 1:45 pm

Not much left of the scare"snow" now.  Just a little blob of snow.


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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/1/2016, 2:02 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:Not much left of the scare"snow" now.  Just a little blob of snow.
Think it will scare off more snow when it sees what happened to the last guy?
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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 12/1/2016, 3:39 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:Not much left of the scare"snow" now.  Just a little blob of snow.
Think it will scare off more snow when it sees what happened to the last guy?
That would be nice.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  CapeCoddess on 12/2/2016, 2:28 pm


If it works, I'm building one first chance I get!!!
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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 12/2/2016, 2:59 pm

I am starting to think about indoor gardening ... first to grow microgreens and then to start seeds for planting out in the Spring.

Last winter I set up a grow light on my (very messy) workbench using black ABS plastic as a stand from which to hang the four foot fluorescent light. I had to expand this by adding another four foot light which I hung from shelf brackets on the wall opposite the workbench. I had to expand further by using a smaller 18 inch desk light that I clamped to a small desk.

This year I am thinking of starting the process by setting up the two four foot lights on the shelves across from the workbench. If necessary I will buy another four footer to hang from the ABS stand on the workbench. Can't wait to get started.

The first photo shows the ABS stand on the workbench and the second photo shows the shelves (messy again) across from the workbench.





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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 12/5/2016, 9:52 am

These cherry tomatoes were grown in one of the SFG boxes and are still struggling to ripen on the counter.  The ones that do turn red do not taste very good compared the vine ripened toms. Maybe it's time to let them go to the compost bin.


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