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Third Year SFG in Canada

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/3/2017, 8:06 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Nice compost!  That worm is as big as I've ever seen them. Shocked

How do you know that that giant carrot isn't a Queen Anne Lace?  Or maybe you don't have that in your area...?
We do have Queen Anne's Lace. I guess that is a possibility. However, the root is orange and it is growing in a square where I sowed carrot seeds on August 2 last summer. There was another volunteer beside it. It was very small when I took it out and ate it.   Very Happy

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 6/5/2017, 3:11 am

Looking good TD. I'm posting some photos in the No. Cal. thread. One clearly shows the winter/spring fizzled compost pile used as mulch.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/5/2017, 7:58 am

I was really hoping to get the MM mixed for my new SFG box today. The weather is still not cooperating. Currently it's too windy and we will be getting more rain. The forecast for tomorrow is yet again more rain. Things are not looking good for starting my squash in the new bed.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/5/2017, 12:37 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:I was really hoping to get the MM mixed for my new SFG box today. The weather is still not cooperating. Currently it's too windy and we will be getting more rain. The forecast for tomorrow is yet again more rain. Things are not looking good for starting my squash in the new bed.

You probably have time to start squash some inside, TD.  

Same here with the weather, and cold for summer veggies.  I started some zukes and cukes indoors and planted a few of the starts out over the weekend as an experiment.
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/5/2017, 12:40 pm

While I was poking a finger into the square containing Daikon Radish, and trying to find out if there was anything growing under the MM, I came across a horrible discovery. There it was ... the dreaded cutworm!  And next to it was a a Daikon Radish cut off at the surface of the MM.  This is in the same 4x4 box where I lost a tomato and a pepper transplant a few days ago.  I expect there are more of these cutwoms waiting to pounce.


Mrs TD's everbearing strawberry plants are doing well in the 4x4 SFG bed dedicated to them. There are plenty of flowers on them. Hopefully we will be able to outrun the slugs to the fruit as the berries develop.







The Yukon Gold Potato plants continue to do very well in their old wire compost bin home. I wonder what is going on below the surface. 

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/5/2017, 12:47 pm

Beautiful!  Everything looks so healthy!

My strawberries are berries now but still green.  I'll put on the netting once I see the first blush.
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/5/2017, 3:11 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:

You probably have time to start squash some inside, TD.  

Same here with the weather, and cold for summer veggies.  I started some zukes and cukes indoors and planted a few of the starts out over the weekend as an experiment.
I did sow some squash and melon seeds indoors in May but had limited success. The photo shows Sakatas Melon (top left), Acorn Squash (top middle) and Sweet Sakatas Melon (bottom right).  The no shows in these 4 inch peat pots were Canada Crookneck Squash, White Scallop Squash and Yellow Zucchini. I also sowed four smaller pots of Cucamelon and only one germinated. Very disappointing.




These look like flower buds on this recently transplanted True Black Brandywine Tomato plant. 

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/5/2017, 5:13 pm

Experiment time.  

I sowed seeds on damp paper towels which I then put into plastic bags. The larger seeds I first scarified with sandpaper or nicked with nail clippers. I put the plastic bags inside a plastic container and placed that container on top of the fluorescent grow light, on the spot where it gets warm.

Here is what I am trying to start:

- Canada Crookneck Squash (Baker Heirloom Seeds, USA)
- White Scallop Squash (Baker)
- Golden Zucchini Squash (Baker)
- Cucamelon (Veseys Seeds, Canada)
- Early Russian Cucumber (Greta's Organic Seeds, here in Ottawa)
- English Long Telegraph Cucumber (McKenzie, Canada)
- Mammoth Russian Sunflower (OSC, Canada)
- Autumn Beauty Sunflower (McKenzie but bought in the dollar store  Very Happy)

If the seeds sprout I will transfer them into peat pots or solo cups containing MM.

Let's see what if anything happens.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  yolos on 6/5/2017, 8:11 pm




TD, I don't know if it is just the light or a reflection from the sides of the greenhouse, but your peat pots look like they have moss growing on the surface of the soil.  Could your problem be that they are too wet?????????
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/5/2017, 8:32 pm

@yolos wrote:
TD, I don't know if it is just the light or a reflection from the sides of the greenhouse, but your peat pots look like they have moss growing on the surface of the soil.  Could your problem be that they are too wet?????????
I think you are right, yolos. There is some green stuff growing on the MM and I allowed them to get too wet for those squash seeds. But having said that the ones that sprouted also have the green stuff.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/7/2017, 1:51 pm

Mrs TD was putting together a salad for our lunch. So off I went into the SFG to see if there was anything that we could use. I have some radishes growing in among the garlic.  So here is my first harvest of the year ... some small but delicious radishes.






My other activity so far today has been to sift the material in my plastic SoilSaver compost bin.  I'm not sure it has "cooked" long enough but I'll take a chance. There were a lot of worms in the material.

Here is some of the "good" sifted material.



And here are the leftovers. Not sure what I will do with this stuff. Maybe use it as a mulch top-dressing or recycle it through the composting process again.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  Turan on 6/7/2017, 1:59 pm

You know the squash will be very happy with half cooked compost. I commonly use the squash bed for compost that needs more time before more dainty types can handle it.

Yumm on the radishes! We have been eating radishes as well.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/7/2017, 2:02 pm

@Turan wrote:You know the squash will be very happy with half cooked compost.  I commonly use the squash bed for compost that needs more time before more dainty types can handle it.

Yumm on the radishes! We have been eating radishes as well.
Thanks for the advice Turan. I was not aware that "half cooked compost" was liked by squash. I'm always amazed at how much I learn from you and others on this forum.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/7/2017, 3:22 pm


Mm m mmm...
My radishes are small having been pulled in order to plant pole beans.  They were taking so long this year.  Not enough sun probably.

I had to plant tomato starts in half cooked compost once and they were the best growers I ever had.
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/7/2017, 5:45 pm

One more step in the right direction. We finally have a nice sunny day with relatively calm winds so I managed to mix the MM and fill the new 3x6 and attached 2x2 beds. There is a real sense of satisfaction in mixing up MM and filling a new bed.

I had to use a different approach for mixing the MM than the way I usually do it. The reason is that I have injured my ribs on one side and it hurts to try to mix a lot of MM on a tarp. I may have to see my doc tomorrow. 

I mixed smaller batches of MM in a wheelbarrow. For compost I used store bought shrimp, mushroom, sheep manure and cattle manure. To that I added a double dose of my own compost some of which may be only half-composted. To compensate for the possible peat moss filler in the store bought compost I used a lower ratio of pure peat moss and higher ratio of compost in my MM. I think it is better to err on the side of more compost.

I still have to figure out what to use for a grid and then there is the trellis. But the squash will soon have their home.


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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  Fiz on 6/7/2017, 8:01 pm

Looking good trolley! I'd been thinking of doing radishes myself (never had a radish before) but my wife says she doesn't like them. I hear it's an acquired taste. I do like that they supposedly grow super fast. Still on the fence!
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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/8/2017, 11:39 am

I was having trouble getting my squash and melon to germinate from indoor sown seeds.  So on Monday I tried an experiment of sandpapering one edge or nkicking each seed. They were then put onto a damp paper towel and into a sealed plastic bag. I noticed yesterday that there were signs of germination but I did not have time to do anything with them.  Here is what the Canada Crookneck Squash look like today with four of six seeds germinated.


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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/8/2017, 1:21 pm

As a temporary (maybe) measure I have used yellow coloured garden cord for the grid on my new 3x6 box. So far I planted two of the sprouted Canada Crookeck seeds in the new bed. Still no trellis installed.

It's a warm 80F here in Ottawa today.

Here are the Zucchini and White Scallop experiments (scarified or nicked) ... excellent germination rates.





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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/9/2017, 3:26 pm

I've moved the majority of the remaining germinated squash, etc. seeds into pots containing MM. And I took time this morning to weed my ANSFG beds. That's easy with the MM.

This afternoon I made another of my many trips to Home Depot. I came home with two 8 foot lengths of 2x8 lumber for another box which will complete my new U-shaped bed. For a couple of reasons this box will not be All New SFG either in shape or material for growing. It will be six feet long but not quite 2 feet wide due to available space. And it will be filled with amended soil per the old style SFG. I expect to use it for a couple of summer squash plants this year.

I also bought enough 1/2 inch EMT conduit, fittings and clamps to make 1 trellis for the new 3x6 box. If it works I'll get enough for a second trellis on that box or I may experiment with a PVC trellis since I already have the parts. I still have to find nylon trellis netting. For my other SFG trellises I was able to get it at Walmart Canada but they no longer have it.


Last edited by trolleydriver on 6/9/2017, 3:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  Turan on 6/9/2017, 3:41 pm

I am curious, now that you are making a U shaped bed, will the trellis cross from one to the other? Will the supports be upside down U s with a few horizontal cross parts and then netting stretched over? Or are you still thinking about the ladder shape? Or traditional?

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/9/2017, 3:53 pm

@Turan wrote:I am curious, now that you are making a U shaped bed, will the trellis cross from one to the other?  Will the supports be upside down U s with a few horizontal cross parts and then netting stretched over?  Or are you still thinking about the ladder shape?  Or traditional?
The plan is to have two trellises (or is that "trelli" ?) on the 3x6 ANSFG bed only.  The two red lines in the diagram show the approximate locations. They will be made as described in the ANSFG book but I will probably connect them together at the top for additional support. I am somewhat concerned that when the trellis near the center of the U is loaded with plants it will shade the other trelis.


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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/9/2017, 6:48 pm

The new addition (a 6 foot by almost 2 foot box) to the U-bed has been built. Now I am having second thoughts about making it an old style SFG bed with amended soil. I still have about two cubic feet of vermiculite plus plenty of peat moss available. I also have several bags of store bought compost, a bit of home made compost and a ton of partially composted material. So it seems to make more sense to make it an ANSFG bed which also would be consistent with the rest of the U-bed. 


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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/10/2017, 2:02 pm

In the end I decided to go the ANSFG route with the 2x6 addition to the U-bed. This could be the last All New SFG bed that I build at this location.

Here are the three ingredients of Mel's Mix ... vermiculite, compost and peat moss ready to be mixed.



The 2x6 with its weed cloth in place on the bottom.



And here it is filled with MM. Now the U-bed has all of its boxes filled with MM but grids and trellises are still needed.

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 6/10/2017, 8:06 pm

In additon to finishing the new box there were other activities today including sowing seeds, transplanting seedlings and mowing the lawns.

Seeds sown:

  • Canada Crookneck Squash
  • White Scallop Squash
  • Golden Zucchini
  • Marigold
  • Bush Bean (purple)
  • Parsley (into the Table Top)


Transplanted from indoor starts:

  • Sakatas Sweet Melon (the seeds were obtained from SR)
  • Another Sakatas Melon (larger seeds and also obtained from SR)
  • Sweet Reba Acorn Squash
  • Cucamelon


Transplanted several of the following into Mrs TDs gardens from indoor starts:

  • Dreadlocks Amaranth
  • Alyssum
  • Marigold


There are probably some others that I have forgotten.  Smile

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Re: Third Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 6/12/2017, 2:23 am

@trolleydriver wrote:In the end I decided to go the ANSFG route with the 2x6 addition to the U-bed. This could be the last All New SFG bed that I build at this location.

And here it is filled with MM. Now the U-bed has all of its boxes filled with MM but grids and trellises are still needed.
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