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CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

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CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Kelejan on 4/1/2016, 12:32 am

I have jumped the gun this month.  I am off to bed so see you April 1st. Very Happy

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  p14shooter on 4/1/2016, 4:50 pm

Well, it looks like I get to be the first to post here this month.
Part of what I am doing in April is waiting for the results from what I did in March that I did not post.  Last weekend I direct seeded a cabbage, a broccoli (eight radish tucked in the corners like suggested), 16 beets, 16 carrots, 8 peas, 8 lettuce, 9 spinach, and 4 swill chard in my SFG.  Outside the SFG I direct seeded 9 onions and I transplanted 9 onion seedlings that had barely started growing as well as a sf of 9 and 16 onion set each.  A lot of onion I know, but A-I wanted to see if I could direct grow them as I tried 3 times last year and nothing came up, B-I wanted just to try if I could just get them sprouted and transplanted to see if they would grow, and if both that failed, then the sets hopefully will save me.  I also direct seeded 2 green bell peppers even though it is WAAAAAY to cold for them, but I intend on keeping them inside a cloche (pepsi bottle) just to see.  I did however also plant a couple inside for safe measure.  the SFG is covered and nothing is happening yet, but I did not expect it to yet, and the direct seeded onions are covered until they sprout, and the other onions are open.

This month actually I intend to plant a lot more peas ( I had hoped to have it done already, but oh well) as well as a few more greens.  I had figured I would remake the back SFG as it is in a state of, well, it is just in a state, but I am cheap and figure I can get one more season out of it.

This month I plan on learning more about compost and if I can get the construction materials for free, I hope to get a 3x3 done.  My wife laughs at me when I bring home the compost book, but hopefully she will see the benefits.  I also plan on continuing to read through this forum listening to what others have to say.  I am going let my neighbor read the book this week as he gardens and is talking about doing raised beds this year so I think he is a good candidate to convert.  I hope to find out when the community garden has its open day and stop in to tell them about SFGing. 

I did have an OMG moment as well.  Up to this year, I just got the seeds that were available at my grocery store, but I went in to our local co-op feed store that sells vessey seeds and Halifax seed, and holy cow, I knew there were a lot of varieties, but holy cow there are a lot of varieties, and I am now sure that there are a lot more out there that I do not see.  Thanks for enlightening me, the learning continues.

The barely sprouted onions that are still living, even though I had my doubts that they would survive



The covered up bed of course.  Those are the pepsi bottles cloched peppers in the back



Garlic


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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  p14shooter on 4/1/2016, 5:31 pm

I could not seem to edit my previous post, but just for comparison for everyone, this is my uncle's garlic, he just posted it online.  It is definitely not SFG, and I have no way of converting him.  Yes, all you see if garlic.


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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/1/2016, 5:38 pm

You have a good start, p14! Dang! That is a lot of garlic!

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Kelejan on 4/2/2016, 12:23 am

You really have been busy p14 and have a lot to show for it.

Today was a beautiful day here in British Columbia Interior and the temperature got as high as 21C for the hottest day of the year so far. It will fall to near Zero so I brought in some chrysanthemums that I had split up from a birthday pot given to me.  I did that once before and was it was very successful until one year I neglected them during the summer and they died of thirst.

The only thing I managed today was to gather a large garbage bag full of pine needles to place on my blueberry bushes. The work was already done and all I had to do was walk a few yards down to my neighbour and take them.

I had too many non-gardening things to see to today so my whole day was taken up with getting them out of the way. Not even time to get on to this Forum. Sad So once again, an early night for me and maybe tomorrow I can play catch-up here.


Last edited by Kelejan on 4/2/2016, 7:51 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  StrongAsMeat on 4/2/2016, 4:11 pm




I've taken the plunge and got some seeds! I got a seed starter kit at HD and will get some started. Yay!

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Kelejan on 4/2/2016, 8:00 pm

Another non-busy gardening day but I did sneak in an hour of weeding around my blueberry bushes.  they are covered with a quantity of creeping buttercup that I neglected to pull last year so now I am paying for it.

There is about nine square feet to clear and I think I am about half-way through.
Pretty easy to pull as they are covered with pine needles and wood chips. The wood chips are decomposing nicely and there is a nice lot of good earth there with their worms.  Once i have cleared it I will place some more pine needles and so that small corner of my garden should be almost weed free for the rest of the year.

As I have said before, my resolution is to keep on top of the weeds before they get out of hand. I will try and devote half an hour per day when it is not raining.

I found it very therapeutic and also found lots of muscles that were somewhat unused.
They will let me know tomorrow.  I found myself working in short sleeves, lovely with the sun on my back.

I should be able to get another hour in tomorrow before the rain falls tomorrow night and Monday.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/2/2016, 10:12 pm

Good for you, Kelejan getting out there! Our weather is abysmal here at the moment...take it when you can!

S.A.M., way to go on your seeds! So exciting! All that potential in a tiny little bundle, so cool!

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Kelejan on 4/2/2016, 10:35 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, Scorpio. So far I am feeling great.

My Worm Lady friend just called and gave me two bags of straw, 2 x 5 gals veggies for composting,and  5 gals of coffee grounds. inspected my compost pile and said well done, looked at my tumbler composter and gave me some good advice on that and then gave me some local folk knowledge of when to plant things when the forsythia and lilac each bloom, that she herself learned from an old-time gardener.

I think I may have found a treasure. Very Happy 

StrongAsMeat, lovely picture of your veggie seeds; looking forward to seeing the results.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/2/2016, 11:02 pm

Counseling needed: I have this ongoing dilemma with my compost pile. It is one pile. Therefore by definition it never gets done. I need another pile to be the In Progress pile, while the other one (mature) finishes. Where should I do this, just pick a spot in my yard? My other pile is back by my raised beds...Just start plopping leaves etc, in a new spot? I gotta do something. I never get any finished compost. thanks

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  StrongAsMeat on 4/2/2016, 11:40 pm

I was looking at lumber today at HD, and after spending $30 on seeds I didn't want to spend anything else. Maybe a km down the road there's a house that must have 20-30 pallets stacked up, I'm thinking of asking if he'd part with any. I know there's a ton of projects of Pinterest with pallet wood, and I've started a garden board if anyone is interested. I really like the seeding templates...

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  sanderson on 4/3/2016, 2:57 am

SAM, Pallets can be taken apart and used for the beds. Just make sure they are heat treated and not chemically treated. It can be as easy as removing the slats on one side and lining the resulting box with weed cloth. Also, look for a new housing development and get permission to go through the scrap pile. What ever size the beds end up, don't forget the grids. They really help in plant spacing.

KJ, Your new treasure sounds wonderful. Yes, if one can be disciplined and weed for just 30 minutes a day, the job will be easy to keep up. The key is being disciplined, which I am not!

SR, I think one thing that could help is if you have a cubic bin. You may need this kind of visual aid to get a finished product. Even pallets can be made into a bin. Concentrate on filling it up. When it is full, remove contents and layer back in with barn manure, watering every few layers. If it heats up, it's on its. way. Turn periodically, depending on how quick you want it to compost down. That is, in a few weeks, or in a few months. Meanwhile, start filling bin #2. When it gets full, reconstruct with manure to get it cooking. When I pull my material out for turning, I put it all out on a blue tarp. But, that's because I have a small area. If I had room, I would have a 3 compartment bin, two for turning back and forth, and the third for the finished product. Sigh. . .

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  StrongAsMeat on 4/3/2016, 9:31 am



Yuck.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Kelejan on 4/3/2016, 1:26 pm

Getting on for 10:30 this morning and already done my half hour of weeding as well as watching on TV the Bahrain Grand Prix Formula 1 racing.

Now out to shred some pine needles, and leaves from last year, to put on the weeded blueberry patch after I have sprayed some mycorrhizal fungi on the area.

Then to add my recently donated veggie stuff to my compost pile mixed in with newly shredded leaves.

Talk to you all later.  Much later. Very Happy


Last edited by Kelejan on 4/4/2016, 1:23 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  trolleydriver on 4/3/2016, 3:13 pm

Visiting my mom this weekend in the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario. There is a storm warning in effect and we are expecting up to 20 centimetres of snow this afternoon and evening. Yeuk!

KJ ... you are one busy lady. I would never be able to keep up with you.  Very Happy

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  p14shooter on 4/3/2016, 7:18 pm

Doh.  It is not looking good.  I am covered up, but the night time lows for the next 4 nights are -7, -7, -9, -2 with day time highs about 0.  My only saving grace I think is that nothing has sprouted yet except for that cabbage and onions I transplanted.  We shall see.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/3/2016, 7:49 pm

I've never lost anything in my SFGs to cold.  Doesn't mean it won't ever happen but it's amazing how the little veggies can bounce back after being hit with all Mother Nature has to offer.
What a Face
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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/3/2016, 8:54 pm

I have been covering my  spinach, lettuces, peas, and radish sprouts... Last night was really cold.  Tonight, milder, so np covers.  I lost 2 of my 18 spinaches to hail, will re plant those direct.  I have never done this much spring planting before .  

 thinking

Not sure if I will do it again. Will see.


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 4/3/2016, 8:55 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Yeah)

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Kelejan on 4/4/2016, 6:21 pm

After two beautiful days here in British Columbia we have a day of rain. At least it made me take a break, as I was ready to do a third day outside as I knew the rain was coming.  I am only sorry I did not get to mow my lawn for the first time yesterday.  It was a tremendously satisfying day and this morning I felt really good, no stiffness and certainly no joint pains. I did a total of three and a half hours of physical activity. The hardest part was on my knees weeding for half an hour.

Today I walked to downtown for an appointment, and as the rain had stopped I decided not to take my umbrella.  You can guess what happened.  I got soaked on the way back.  Very Happy  

Tomorrow the rain will taper off, then we are promised at least five days of sunshine and temperature going up to 24% and above freezing for night times.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  trolleydriver on 4/5/2016, 7:13 pm

Just got home from another trip. There was a major accident on Highway 401 in Toronto so we were delayed for almost two hours. The traffic was crawling along at about 2 km/hr plus there was a lot stop and go. 

Our yard now is clear of all snow but we are expecting 10 cm tomorrow followed by rain. I have an appointment tomorrow morning to replace my winter tires with summer tires. That is probably what is bringing on the snow!

Now here is an interesting situation. My regular soil beds are thawing out nicely. I can easily stick a finger deep into the soil. On the other hand my Mel's Mix in the SFG beds is still frozen solid as a rock and I would break my finger if I stabbed into the MM. I think the problem is that I have a layer of leaves on top of the MM which is preventing the sun from warming up the MM. I think the leaves are insulating the MM and keeping it frozen. So I will be removing the layer of leaves.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/5/2016, 7:38 pm

TD, plus your beds being above ground expose the mix to the temps more. I would remove the leaves. Do you have some black old trash bags? Lay those on there. Heat it up!

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  trolleydriver on 4/5/2016, 7:46 pm

SR ... Good idea with the bags. As well, I was thinking of covering my chicken wire cages with plastic (clear) to make a greenhouse effect.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/5/2016, 8:03 pm

If I had 'em, I'd be using 'em!  At least the black plastic might help with soil temps....and any ambient air temp help would be a bonus!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 4/5/2016, 8:04 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added)

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Kelejan on 4/5/2016, 8:47 pm

Another good day in the garden.  An  hour preparing three small SFG beds. Soil lovely and soft and I used my "new" three-pronged fork  that I can stand and move the soil then  bend down and pluck the weeks out. Much easier than being on my knees.  I salvaged half a dozen carrots that were left in during the winter and a few green onions.  These beds had wood-chips laid on them last year, so I moved them and underneath the soil was so easy to work.

I mowed the lawn for the first time.  The setting was the highest I could managed so that only the top of the longer grass got any cutting. The surface of the lawn is very variable and one could easily twist an ankle if not aware.  So tomorrow that will be one job I want to get out of the way. My friend gave me some bagged soil that she did not need so they will come in handy. I really would like to have an aerator as  I think that would do the lawn a world of good.  I do have a two-pronged one but it takes hours and hours to do.  I know, I could do fifteen minutes at a time like I am trying to do half an hour's weeding per day.

Then I finished shredding the bags of leaves I have piled up at the back.  Rather hard work as some of them were dry but others were wet so I mixed them as well as I could and reduced eight bags to five shredded bags for later use.

When I finished clearing up all the mess I had made, I placed an order from a landscaper for two loads of wood chips.  I ordered two loads last year but they never turned up so I am hoping for some this year. Wherever I had laid wood chips I have found it conserves moisture in the SFG beds and makes it so easy to remove the weeds.

I think this is the best start I have ever made since I took up this SFG method of gardening and I am looking forward to good results this year with much less work providing I keep on top of the weeding.

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Re: CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/5/2016, 9:54 pm

Kelejan, you are off to a great start! The weeding is a thing....I have grass invading my boxes. Still, much much less than anything sharing soil! I need to figure out my next compost step. I really need this pile to finish. So I need a new pile....but where....

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