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CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2016?

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Vermiculite in Ottawa

Post  Mimi2 on 4/9/2016, 11:20 pm

Hi TD! I have found Vermiculite in a few places around my neighbourhood including Lowe's and a gardening centre on Bank on the way to Findlay Creek. I think Ritchie's Feed n Seed also has it. 
Just a few ideas in Ottawa if you're still looking. I'd call first though if I were you as they may not have it in yet.

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

Post  trolleydriver on 4/9/2016, 11:32 pm

Mimi2 ... It was at Ritchie's new location in Richmond that I bought the Vermiculite. Last year I got it at their stores on Windmill Road and Carp Road. We have a Lowe's nearby so I will check there as well (thanks for that idea).

Please post some photos of your SFG when possible.

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

Post  Kelejan on 4/10/2016, 2:48 am

Still slogging away at my load of wood chips.  I almost begrudge stopping and having to do other things  It is taking me longer than I thought, and with only another two days of no rain I had better hurry up a bit.

I do have a large blue tarp and another very large piece of 6ml plastic I can use to cover it.

With this large pile I am working in a kind of keyhole fashion until I come out the other side and them I will have two piles to cover. Then that means I have one third placed on the garden with two thirds still to do.

What I am bothered about  is the pile getting wet  and and hard to shift.


Last edited by Kelejan on 4/10/2016, 11:29 pm; edited 3 times in total

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

Post  trolleydriver on 4/10/2016, 7:42 am

KJ ... You are such a hard worker and an inspiration. What size was that load of wood chips (cubic yards)?  

I've been looking around here for a supplier. It's either very expensive or if provided free then you have to to be willing to take a huge quantity (way more than I need).

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

Post  Kelejan on 4/10/2016, 8:11 am

I really do not know, TD.   Two years ago when I ordered some extra wood chips to the ones I already had from my own trees, the container was like a large truck with an extension up the side to take the wood chips from the chipper they had.

All I can say is that this lot arrived in a very large enclosed truck where the container was on a tilt mechanism and when tilted the guy had to crawl inside to pull the last of the chips down the slope.  He could stand upright inside  inside with plenty of room above him. When tilted he had to lay on the tilted floor and pull the rest of the chips with my rake and he was completely stretched out holding the rake. It was like a small furniture van.  My guess is three cubit yards?

I am going to email him and ask him.  I hate not knowing the answer.


Last edited by Kelejan on 4/10/2016, 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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

Post  trolleydriver on 4/10/2016, 1:10 pm

Thanks KJ

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

Post  p14shooter on 4/10/2016, 6:18 pm

Got back from a weekend away.  Where I went had 6 inches of snow last night.  Home here we had a little but the sun came out and most of if it gone.  In assessing the plot, the cabbage is on life support, I do not suspect it will pull through.  RIP. The peas came up as well as a couple direct seeded spinach and the radish.  The transplanted spinach is in hard shape, but I am thinking it may pull through if we had a bit more sun, but we are just supposed to get more rain till Thursday.  I leave on Saturday for a week where I do not have to worry about frost so I am going to try to get some more seeding done by then.  Who knows, maybe when I get back things will actually be growing.

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

Post  Mimi2 on 4/10/2016, 9:14 pm

Today I moved some of my seedlings in cramped quarters into their own pots. I have planted a bunch of different heirloom, organic, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, parsley, and marigolds so far. In a couple of weeks I'll start germinating different lettuces and kales. The tomatoes, parsley and kale did very well in my SFG last year, as did the lettuces that I started inside.   I'm quite pleased with how the seedlings are doing so far. Here's are picture of my set up, which is a three story "green house" shelf, with grow lights on each story. The seedlings from last year worked well from this setup.

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

Post  Kelejan on 4/10/2016, 10:53 pm

@p14shooter wrote:Got back from a weekend away.  Where I went had 6 inches of snow last night.  Home here we had a little but the sun came out and most of if it gone.  In assessing the plot, the cabbage is on life support, I do not suspect it will pull through.  RIP. The peas came up as well as a couple direct seeded spinach and the radish.  The transplanted spinach is in hard shape, but I am thinking it may pull through if we had a bit more sun, but we are just supposed to get more rain till Thursday.  I leave on Saturday for a week where I do not have to worry about frost so I am going to try to get some more seeding done by then.  Who knows, maybe when I get back things will actually be growing.

I wish you good luck on your return and that you have many survivors.

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

Post  Kelejan on 4/10/2016, 10:54 pm

@Mimi2 wrote:Today I moved some of my seedlings in cramped quarters into their own pots. I have planted a bunch of different heirloom, organic, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, parsley, and marigolds so far. In a couple of weeks I'll start germinating different lettuces and kales. The tomatoes, parsley and kale did very well in my SFG last year, as did the lettuces that I started inside.   I'm quite pleased with how the seedlings are doing so far. Here's are picture of my set up, which is a three story "green house" shelf, with grow lights on each story. The seedlings from last year worked well from this setup.

Happy to hear you had success last year and that you expect equal success this coming season.  You certainly have been busy.


Last edited by Kelejan on 4/12/2016, 1:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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

Post  trolleydriver on 4/11/2016, 7:44 am

And yet again, here in Ottawa, "It's like déjà vu all over again."  Woke up this morning to more snow which will soon be followed by freezing rain. The good news is that the daily high temperatures are starting to rise. By next weekend the highs are forecast to be 64 F (18 C). I feel some serious outside gardening activities coming my way.

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Thanks for the Optimistic spin on the weather

Post  Mimi2 on 4/11/2016, 8:26 am

TD- I was a little heart-broken too when I saw that new blanket of snow. Glad to know next week will be a lot warmer. Smile

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

Post  Kelejan on 4/12/2016, 1:48 pm

I haven't much to report from my own daily doings at the moment.  Still shifting the wood chips, but I did manage to mow my large lawn yesterday and the roadside strip which is about half that.

The place is beginning to look a bit neater now and I am getting some compliments from my neighbours passing by. I have to explain why I am using wood chips. I must or two of them look a bit dubious but are willing to suspend judgement.  At least no scoffing at me (in my hearing) Very Happy

The tulips are in bud and promise to be a good display of pink white and purple. Teh forsthia is past its prime but has given a much needed bit of colour this spring.

I shifted about 40xhalf garbage bags of chips this morning - 6am to 8am., had a rest and now going out to spread them on the far corner of my lot that joins the road and my next door neighbour.  That  is the corner that really needs topping up as I ran out of them when I first started two years ago. I also want to get on with clearing the strawberry beds that are still under leaves.  I think they need to breathe and get some sunshine. I have a couple of flowering crab apples that I want to get homed.  they were cuttings taken year before last when I saw how beautiful was the original tree.  Just a love cloud of pink.  I know I will have to wait a while before that happens but it is something to look forward to.

The two piles of chips that are left are visibly diminishing and now covered with tarps as rain is forecast for tonight.

I think this year I will be using many starts as I have done very little seeding, as it is very important to me to get this job completed. I do have three small beds that are cleared ready for any starts.

Gotta go!  Wood chips are calling me.

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

Post  Kelejan on 4/13/2016, 8:55 am

Up early today to get a couple of hours work done before the rain came.  It was all clear when I first got up, had a coffee and took the dog for a walk.

Just now went to take the garbage can out to find it is pouring with rain.  So glad I covered my piles of wood chips with tarps yesterday to keep most of the rain off.  It is supposed o downpour now for a couple of days then sunshine again. At least the rain will be soaking into all the chips I have been laying down.

I can do with a change of pace so have put some seeds in to soak for later on today, and there is some clearing up I can do outside but  under cover. Also housework and paperwork to see to.

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

Post  trolleydriver on 4/13/2016, 9:03 am

KJ ... The rain is telling you that you deserve a day of rest.  Very Happy

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

Post  Kelejan on 4/13/2016, 12:00 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:KJ ... The rain is telling you that you deserve a day of rest.  Very Happy

I have re-woken and the sun is shining so I am going out again as the forecast is still two days of rain.

 I am feeling good after all this physical work I have been doing, so I don't think it will hurt me, only my housework.

What I like about being retired is that often I can change my itinerary at a moment's notice

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

Post  trolleydriver on 4/13/2016, 1:53 pm

This morning Mrs TD and I focused on another "hobby".  We do some geocaching. In addition to finding geocaches hidden by other people, we have hidden 10 geocaches in the Ottawa area. Now that the snow is gone (except in some shaded wooded areas), it was time for a Spring maintenance run. We visited six of our caches, replaced some broken containers and replaced some wet paper logs (the thing people sign when they find the geocache). It was great to be out in the sunshine even though there was a cool breeze. Now back to considering the next steps in SFG.

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

Post  Kelejan on 4/13/2016, 3:21 pm

I managed another hour outside then came in for a light lunch.  Ready to go out again and it is raining steadily so I will plant some seeds , among them patti pan squash and butternut.

Some allium are pushing up through my pots ready for transplanting, and also on the go is spinach and chard. 

I have potatoes ready for planting but no bed ready yet.

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

Post  p14shooter on 4/13/2016, 7:39 pm

well I am getting ready to go where the rain won't fall for a week (hopefully) but as time was running out, I did manage to plant 7 more peas, 1 more swiss chard, 1 more beet, 1 more carrot, 1 more onion, 1 more cabbage where my dying transplant is now, 1 more broccoli  and a few more radish in the corners.  The seeds that I have planted, the peas, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, radish are up with no signs of the carrots, beets, or swiss chard.  The onion sets I put in are just starting to show some signs of life as well, along with the garlic that is doing great.  2 more days of rain, then 4 days of sun in the forecast. As a watched garden never grows (or is that a watched pot never boils) hopefully when I get back I will be seeing nothing but green.  If not, back to planting I will go.


Last edited by p14shooter on 4/13/2016, 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : forgot about my onion sets)

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

Post  StrongAsMeat on 4/13/2016, 7:49 pm



Of course the nice weather is coming, and I'm feeling a nasty cold coming on.

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

Post  Kelejan on 4/14/2016, 10:07 pm

Not a lot done today. Emptied about 30 bags and spread the wood chips; some straight on top of the previous chips and some with newspaper underneath to discourage the weeds there.  Built up some of the low spots. Have not been able to start any new areas but concentrated on improving what is there.  Perhaps I may order another load in the fall, so that they can improve over the winter. A neighbour has expressed and interest in obtaining some chips although I don't know how many yet.

I did not touch the remaining piles today, needed a bit of a rest. They are mostly covered with tarps.  It is raining now so I am happy about what I have managed today. 

Planted some fingerling potatoes, Yukon Golds tomorrow. perhaps. I notice the weeds are beginning to really grow; still have lots of weeding to do.

Another day of rain tomorrow, then a few days of sunshine.

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

Post  sanderson on 4/15/2016, 2:14 am

@Kelejan wrote:What I like about being retired is that often I can change my itinerary at a moment's notice
Itinerary? Very Happy

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

Post  sanderson on 4/15/2016, 2:16 am

@StrongAsMeat wrote:Of course the nice weather is coming, and I'm feeling a nasty cold coming on.
Of course! I hope it is a short one.

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

Post  Kelejan on 4/15/2016, 8:54 am

@sanderson wrote:
@Kelejan wrote:What I like about being retired is that often I can change my itinerary at a moment's notice
Itinerary? Very Happy

Yes, the direction of travel I take through my life.i,e, gardening, shopping, walking, housework etc. When it rains, then eating, sleeping, catching up on paperwork, reading, housework, shopping, walking, gardening. Laughing

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

Post  trolleydriver on 4/15/2016, 2:50 pm

It's a beautiful sunny day here in Ottawa. I can work outside in the sun without a jacket. Picked up a bucket of coffee grounds from Tim Horton's. I'm not sure how much to use in the compost but I'll keep getting more. We have started to compost kitchen scraps as well. One of the compost bins is still frozen in the centre. Maybe I should relocate them this year to a place where they will get more sun.

I got the pond pump running. The pond is only about 350 gallons. I don't expect any goldfish survived the winter but in the past a few have surprised me. The pond really needs a good cleaning out which I really am not looking forward to doing. 

Garden activities are really going to ramp up now. Over the winter I made plans to do a lot of things this Spring that I will probably not have time to do. I need to visit some construction sites next week to see if I can get some scrap lumber. If not I'll need to go to HD or another store.

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