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Third Year SFG in Canada

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  Turan on 4/16/2017, 8:59 pm

I think it would work great.  They are fast and do not take up much room.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 4/17/2017, 6:12 pm

What a beautiful supply of leaves! sobbing

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/18/2017, 8:10 am

I'm hoping to get some garden work done outside in the sunshine today. The rain has stopped but will return tomorrow. There is flooding along the Ottawa River and with more rain on the way it may get worse,  Fortunately we are several kilometres from the river so it does not affect us.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/spring-flooding-ottawa-gatineau-rainfall-1.4072763

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/18/2017, 1:07 pm

Got outside today on a beautiful sunny morning.  First thing I did was remove the remaining straw from the garlic squares and sowed radish seeds in two of those garlic squares.

What follows are some random photos from the morning activities.

First, I pulled back some of the wood chips on the front flower garden and found a nice little worm. I guess this flower garden is almost a BTE garden given the quantity of mulch and wood chips we have put on it over the years.




The Winter Sowing lettuce continues to come along very nicely.



This is the Winter Sowing Kale.  The lettuce and kale were sown on March 6.




The garlic likes being out in the sun.




I put the Leek and Onion seedlings out on the front porch for some outside activity. I plan to transplant them later this week.




I took the wood cover winter protection off the Table Top. The MM should warm up nicely without that cover.




I also took the winter covers off the compost bins.  This is the 3x3x3 wood and hardware cloth bin. Check out that fancy compost thermometer that I received as a Christmas present from Mrs TD.




It's still very cold in the middle of the compost.




This is Chives taking up an SFG square. I'm thinking of taking out of the SFG and putting it back in the regular soil garden where it came from originally.




This is the "temporary" compost bin made with plastic hardware cloth.




This chunk of ice came out of the "temporary" compost bin.




The strawberry SFG bed after removing the straw winter covering.




The messy looking compost bin area.




Piles of straw taken from the SFG beds and piled along the base of the cedar hedge.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/18/2017, 1:13 pm

Lotta work you've done there, TD. It's good to see it out from under all that snow.
What a Face
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/18/2017, 3:04 pm

This afternoon I removed the Chives from one of the SFG squares.  WARNING ... do NOT plant chives in your SFG.  This stuff appears to be quite invasive.  There are a ton of fine roots. It was quite difficult to remove and I am concerned that what is left may continue to grow.

The Chives were in a square along one of the edge boards of the SFG bed. This gave me an opportunity to examine the condition of the 2x8 lumber in that area.  Thankfully it is still in perfect shape. There is no sign of rot on the inside of the box. In the imgae below the discoloration on the wood is from the MM.  Note as well that you can see some of the weed block on the bottom of the bed. And some of the fine roots from the chives can still be seen.




The Rhubarb is starting to grow. It's located in regular soil.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  countrynaturals on 4/18/2017, 6:00 pm

TD that rhubarb is adorable.  I love you
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/19/2017, 9:54 am

I'm way too late but I started some tomatoes and peppers indoors last night. I decided to try starting them in some fine/medium vermiculite.




Here is what I started.  Containers are numbered 1 to 6.  The "a" and "b" indicate that only half the container was seeded. The years when the seeds were bought are shown in brackets.

1. Tomato - True Black Brandywine (2017)
2. Tomato - Roma (2016)
3. Tomato - Sweet Million (2017)

4a. Pepper - Long Red Cayenne (2016)
4b. Pepper - Jalapeno Mild (2016)
5a. Pepper - Early California Wonder (2016)
5b. Spinach - Long Standing Bloomsdale (2017)
6a. Pepper - Chinese Five Color (2017)
6b. Pepper - Banana (2017)

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  ralitaco on 4/19/2017, 7:33 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:I'm way too late but I started some tomatoes and peppers indoors last night. I decided to try starting them in some fine/medium vermiculite.
It's never too late if you enjoy doing it!
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/19/2017, 9:47 pm

You will be fine,TD!  Those babies will catch right up in the sun!sunny

Chives, and mint, super invasive in many situations.  I did a big rip out of grass, some of those filamentous roots were there...worry....

Looking good!
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/20/2017, 11:55 am

I found some volunteers in the SFG beds.

First up are these carrots. I'm not sure how they got here because I did not sow carrots last year anywhere near this square.



And then we have what I think are daikon radishes in the square where I let last year's daikon radishes go to seed.



Yesterday I sowed the six each (not a lot, I know) of the following peas indoors in cardboard tubes (e.g., toilet rolls): 

  • Snow Peas - Sugar Ann (2017)
  • Sugar Snap Peas (2017)
  • Tom Thumb Peas (2017) - low variety good for growing in containers


In the outdoor Winter Sowing containers it appears that some of Purple coneflower (Echinacea) are starting to sprout.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/20/2017, 12:57 pm

I just realized I have a source for chicken manure. I don't know why I never thought of this before. We know a family who have chickens and live about a 30 minute drive from our home. I contacted them this morning and we will be making a "manure run" to their place on Saturday morning. May even get a few eggs while we are there.  bounce

We also know people who have sheep but they live about 90 minutes away so it's not convenient to get manure from them. Our next door neighbor sometimes brings me horse manure from the place where they keep their horse. I'll be expecting some this Spring when they start their row garden. It's all good.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/20/2017, 1:56 pm

Chicken manure is excellent, TD! Lucky you!

 It seems to me that if those volunteers are coming up already you could direct plant those peas rather than start them inside, couldn't you?  Try some just to see?  All 3 of my succession plantings of peas have sprouted.
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/20/2017, 2:33 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Chicken manure is excellent, TD! Lucky you!

 It seems to me that if those volunteers are coming up already you could direct plant those peas rather than start them inside, couldn't you?  Try some just to see?  All 3 of my succession plantings of peas have sprouted.
The soil temp may still be too cool here for good germination of peas. But I have a ton of seeds so it may be worth a try.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  ralitaco on 4/20/2017, 8:18 pm

TD, it could be alien zombie carrots...be careful!

Yea for your chicken manure!! (never thought I would think that, let alone ever post that in a public forum)

If you have a truck, that 90 min drive could be worthwhile to get some manure for one big compost pile per season.
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/20/2017, 8:48 pm

@ralitaco wrote:TD, it could be alien zombie carrots...be careful!

Yea for your chicken manure!! (never thought I would think that, let alone ever post that in a public forum)

If you have a truck, that 90 min drive could be worthwhile to get some manure for one big compost pile per season.

Oh no ... not the attack of the zombie carrots.  affraid

Unfortunately no truck and the trunk of a Camry just does not work that well for hauling large quantities of manure.

Very Happy

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/20/2017, 8:50 pm

Sown indoors this evening in 9 cell packs:

  • Swiss Chard - Bright Lights (2016)
  • Alyssum - Clear Crystal Mix (2017) - 10 to 14 days for germination ... yikes.
  • Zinnia - Magellan Sunburst Mix (2017)
  • Dusty Miller - Silver Dust (2017 ... wow are this seeds tiny.


I also got the second grow light set up in the basement workshop.

The leek and onion seedlings have been going outside for a few hours each day for three days. I'll try to plant them in the SFG this weekend.


Last edited by trolleydriver on 4/20/2017, 11:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  Mimi2 on 4/20/2017, 10:58 pm

Wow lots of great progress over the last few days TD. Good work.
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 4/22/2017, 3:27 am

TD, You are really catching up!

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/22/2017, 9:45 am

Due to the wet weather in these parts, I have had to delay my "chicken poo run".

As for starting seeds, now I wish I had bought a seed starting heat mat to speed up germination.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/22/2017, 10:24 am

TD, if you have a drugstore heating pad, the kind you use for sore muscles, use that. That's what I've used for years.  Works great!
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/23/2017, 1:56 pm

We have lift-off under the grow lights.

First up are the tomatoes which were sown 5 days ago on April 18. From left to right we have Brandywine, Roma, Sweet Million. The Brandywine germination is lagging the others.





Next are Peas sown 4 days ago on April 19.




The Zinnia started 3 days ago on April 20.




Finally, these tiny Alyssum were also sown 3 days ago on April 20.



It appears that putting the pots/cells inside clear plastic containers that have their lids close to the grow lights is creating a greenhouse affect and warming up the inside so that bottom heat is not required. Temperature at the surface of the growing medium is 82F.



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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 4/23/2017, 3:24 pm

The middle of my main compost bin is still frozen solid.  I decided to take off the top unfrozen layer to expose the frozen centre and allow it to thaw out.  The bin is still mainly in shade except for the later hours. I'm thinking I should relocate it to a sunnier location but then it will be in a place that will be uncomfortably hot for turning it in the summer months.

The whitish area in the middle of this photo is caused by ice crystals.



An overview of the area.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  Banned Member on 4/23/2017, 5:28 pm

TD, you must have a lot of energy to do all that you have done in less than a week.  Don't worry about your tomato tots starting so late.  In most years, one of the volunteer tomatoes that comes up well after the others have already begun to flower tend to bless us with the last tomato of the season.  I think those started late tend to survive being covered by blankets in November when we have frosty nights but not freezes.

Last year, we had a fresh tomato on Thanksgiving Day, because it came from one of the volunteer plants growing in our slow compost pile.  We never staked it, and just let is stay on the pile.  A little warmth from the pile plus covering it with a thick blanket kept it alive until late November.  It only died because I was away from home when it needed to be covered at the end of the month.

As long as your plants get strong, you can still have tomatoes early enough if you get adequate sunshine and some warmth.  Actually, we passed by Gardens of Babylon yesterday and saw a tomato plant in one of the flats with a tiny green tomato on it already.

TD, I can see in your picture how much pleasure you receive from our shared hobby.  It makes me happy inside to see someone else with the same expression on their face.  That's how I feel inside when I am out there in my little square world.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  Jaffa55 on 4/23/2017, 9:05 pm

So, just wow. You must be thrilled with your progress. I can't wait to see little bits of green showing up in my garden.
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