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Anyone in Ontario?

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Anyone in Ontario?

Post  LupinFarm on 3/13/2010, 9:41 pm

Anyone else from Ontario?

How about Eastern Ontario, around Belleville, Shannonville, Napanee, The county (Ameliasburgh, Carrying Place, Picton...), and north of the city to Stirling, Springbrook, Madoc, Campbellford, Marmora, and Tweed?

I'm in Springbrook, Ont!

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 3/13/2010, 10:21 pm

I am in Petawawa to your north. The snow can't melt fast enough for me!

I was in Bath a couple weeks ago and was amazed that the snow is already gone down your way. I am jealous!

There is still a pile of snow over my SFGs!

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  LupinFarm on 3/13/2010, 10:23 pm

Very Happy I only have a bit of snow left on my driveway and in my horse fields.

My garden and orchard are completely bare now, and I swear there has even been some greening of the grass in places! My riding ring is positively flourescent green LOL.

I can't wait to start going with growing things, with the polytunnels on I can plant lettuce this week Very Happy and peas the week after.

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anyone in ontario

Post  daniel Gagnon on 3/20/2010, 4:00 pm

hi

i live in gatineau, quebec beside ottawa.

i am anxious to start my two SFG boxes with tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, yellow beans, strawberries, brocoli, cauliflower, italian parseley, coriander, basil (boxwood variety and regular basil.


do you have some suggestion on what i should try that grow well here

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  LupinFarm on 3/20/2010, 7:54 pm

Probably bullfrogbabe would have a better idea of what you can grow up there. I'm only half an hour from the 401, near Belleville, Ont.



...on second thought, what zone are you?

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 3/21/2010, 10:32 am

Hi Daniel!

2009 was my first year with my SFGs so I am still experimenting. Last year was so cold that most of the longer maturing vegetables didn't make it in the 4 months we had between frosts. This year has to be better, well it certainly can't be any colder or darker than last summer! Not sure which growing zone you are in, but you are located a little bit further south than I am so you may be in zone 5 (I am in 4a) and will likely have a slightly more generous growing season than here in Petawawa.

I found that carrots, romaine lettuce, and snap peas did really well despite the weather. Your beans should do well.

We did get some tomatoes but they didn't ripen until just before fall frosts came. Definately not enough sun and heat last year. Our summers are usually sunny and warm/hot so tomatoes and cucumbers should do well here.

Long maturing crops, that take over 90-100 days will need to be given a head start indoors or be bought from a nursery so you can have some before fall frosts return in the fall -- peppers, cantalope, and winter squash are examples. Too cold for them last year...didn't get any even though they were bought already started from the local nursery. Even tomatoes and cucumbers will benefit from a head start. This year I am starting my own from seed indoors.

I am also planning to try some summer squash varieties this year, they mature faster than winter squash so I am hopeful they will do better than the butternut squash vine I tried last year. It just started to flower when frost started in the fall.

If you start your strawberry runners this year, they won't start producing until next year unless you use a continous producing variety. I put some in last year, they did flower a bit in September but really didn't produce much, only a handful of berries. This year they will start flowering earlier, now that they are established.

All the herbs you are planning should be a breeze. I transplanted my rosemary from the SFG into a pot and brought it in the house for the winter. Planting herbs into a smaller box or a series of pots may allow you to bring them in for the winter.

Happy growing!


Last edited by bullfrogbabe on 3/21/2010, 9:11 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : fixed typos)

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anyone in ontario

Post  daniel Gagnon on 3/21/2010, 8:19 pm

i am in zone 5b, gatineau quebec beside ottawa. thank`s for the tip. i am planning on buying the plant allready growen from nursery. i would like to try growing corn.

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  Blackrose on 3/21/2010, 11:15 pm

Hi all! My name is Kimberly and I live just outside of Toronto. I'm starting my first SFG this year and I'm so excited.

I'm going to build a 3x4 box and plant the following: beans, sugar pumpkins, eggplants, onions, green onions, carrots, spinach, butter lettuce, leaf lettuce, broccoli x2 squares and leeks.

I'm also going to plant tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and strawberries in hanging planters.

I've started a few of my plants from seed indoors. Onions, green onions, broccoli and peppers. I'm thinking maybe I should start the leeks, beans and eggplants early too, but I'm not sure. I'm going to buy seedlings for the tomatoes and cucumbers from the nursery.

I contacted my local nursery (in Newmarket) and they have confirmed that they will have 3.8 cubic foot bags of coarse vermiculite for sale within the next couple of weeks. I just need to find a good source of compost. My father-in-law has a farm where he raises cows, pigs and sheep. Should I get manure from him from all three or will one kind (i.e. cow manure) be enough blended with some other compost that I buy at the nursery?

I am so looking forward to getting started. I'm trying to live healthier and teach my little girls about eating healthy and growing our own food.


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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  LupinFarm on 3/21/2010, 11:26 pm

Welcome Kimberly!

The more compost you can gather the better, just make sure its nice and composted. Cow can really smell if its not composted properly (I know this because I live surrounded by several beef and dairy farms LOL). Sheep is really nice stuff, I have Goat manure of my own from my two Pygmy goats. It doesn't smell too bad fresh either.

If you're looking for a nice drive, Prices Market in Bowmanville, Ont. (about 30-40 minutes east of Toronto) has a huge selection of greenhouse started plants spring through summer. They have flats of strawberries, and other plants. Lots of seeds, planters, etc and you'd be supporting a local family. Its locally owned, and family run. We still shop there despite having moved 1.5 hours east of the GTA 2 years ago.

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 3/22/2010, 9:09 pm

Sheep, cow, and horse manure can be significant sources of weed seeds if not fully composted. Digestion alone is not enough to kill the seeds these animals consume. Manure can be used if it has been composted at high temperatures or if it has already been reduced to a soil-like texture while stored in piles at the farm. The high heat of the composting process is needed to kill the weed seeds. You could mix manure into your own compost bin/heep to ensure the composting process is completed before using. Un-composted manure will cause some serious weed problems and may even deplete the nutirents from your Mel's Mixture temporarily if it goes through the composting process after being mixed into your SFG.

A compost thermometer is likely a great investment to make, some also double has soil thermometers for dual purpose justification.

A quote from an article on "Keep[ing] Compost Weed Free":
Within a week, temperatures in a properly constructed compost pile will reach 130 degrees. That quickly kills many seeds and stabilizes the composted material. But it takes 30 days of exposure to temperatures of 145 degrees or more to kill seeds from tougher weed species."
See the full article "Keep Compost Weed Free" at link below:
http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/keep-compost-weed-free-time-temperature-and-turning-critical-factors/11747.html

-----------
Some of the Cities in the GTA / Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario have green bin composting programs or leaf/garden waste pick programs sell or even give away free compost. You should look into this in your area, you might get lucky.

My friend in Mississuaga told me that the City of Mississauga has so much compost they can't sell it all so they offer it free most years, you just need to find a way to pick it up and get it home.

We can buy compost from our local composting facility here in the Petawawa area. I included a clip from our local composting facility website so you can get an idea of cost this route.

OVWRC Spring Compost Sale
May 1st - May 22, 2010
Spring 2010 Prices

1 Cubic Yard $20.00
1/2 Cubic Yard $10.00
1/4 Cubic Yard $5.00
Our compost is sold in bulk, so bring your truck, trailer or containers to purchase this valuable soil amendment


Last year I bought compost and fully composted manure in 15-20L bags from various local garden centers for between $3-$7 each, it added up quickly!

Free sources are very valuable if you can find them!

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  spidergal on 4/19/2010, 10:38 am

I'm in Scarborough, and just dug my first SFG on the weekend!

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 4/20/2010, 10:21 pm

Two weeks ago I planted onion sets and snap pea seeds into my SFG. Last weekend I planted parsnip, white turnip, and spinach seeds.

The broccoli I started back in March will be ready to plant outside in the next week or so, I have started putting it out on the porch during the day to harden it off.



I also have peppers, tomatoes, and an assortment of lettuces and herbs started inside. The lettuce will be planted out soon too.



I can't wait until frosts are over so I can plant the rest outside too!

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  Blackrose on 4/25/2010, 1:09 pm

Love your seedlings bullfrogbabe! They look great. I've been having trouble with mine. I lost all my broccoli seedlings and about half of the onions.

My peppers, cucumbers and sugar pumpkin seedlings are doing great though. I'm going to start hardening off the onions, green onions and leeks that I have left so I can plant them later in the week. I'm also going to plant some seeds today.

My husband built my box for me yesterday. It's a 3x4 SFG. I filled it up with my Mel's Mix, put the grid on and it's ready for planting!

Here's a pic from before we filled it and put the grid on (hope I did the pic thing right):









Oh! If anyone in the northern GTA (Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, etc.) are is looking for vermiculite, I found some at the Holland Valley Nursery on Yonge Street in Newmarket. I posted it on the new International Vermiculite Database in the general forum.

My SFG Blog!

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 4/25/2010, 8:44 pm

Today I put my broccoli out into my SFG. It has been sitting outside to harden off this week. First in the porch and inside on the cooler nights, then I inched it out a little bit further each day until it was finally out in the sun for a few days and out over night for a couple days. It is still alive and seems to be ok in the sun, so out it goes...no more babying!



Starting to see snap peas coming up and turnips. So far no sign of the parsnips or spinach. Onion sets are starting to grow too. One garden box almost fully planted saving a square for a winter squash of some sort and have a bit of room with the snap peas for some carrots eventually. I'll have to put some lettuce out soon in my second box.

Moved 2 squares of strawberries from one of my 4x4 boxes into their own box and filled up the box with some "tristar" strawberry plants from the nursery. I don't expect much to happen this year, strawberries take a couple years to spead before they begin to produce.



I have made a couple more 4x4 boxes that need to be installed along with a couple squash boxes. I'll need to set them up soon.

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  Blackrose on 4/26/2010, 10:26 am

I'm still just learning about zones and frost dates and what to plant when. So, my question is:

Would it be ok to put out my tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and strawberries now or is it still too early? I'm in Zone 5a, about 20-30 minutes north of Toronto.


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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 4/26/2010, 8:10 pm

Hi Blackrose,

You likely need to wait until approximately early or even mid-May for zone 5 for frost sensitive plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. I am in zone 4a which won't be frost-free until late May/early June. I used to live in the Toronto area years ago so if you are a bit north of there, I think mid-May would be about right for your area.

You can look at a map at the following link to confirm you frost free date (there is also a list of crops with planting times relative to last frost date):
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/climzoneveg.htm

Strawberries can go out now, they are tougher. Right now is a good time for cool loving crops such as broccoli, onions, lettuce, and spinach. You can also start snap peas and turnips.

Don't rush to put your plants out too quickly, frost will set them back or even kill them, particularly cucumbers they hate being cold/damp.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your gardening!

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  Blackrose on 4/26/2010, 10:07 pm

Thank you so much for that link bullfrogbabe! It is very helpful!

Based on their map, my last frost date is May 3rd. So the frost hardy plants I have already planted should be fine, and I can plant my tomatoes in a couple of weeks.

Thanks again!

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  LupinFarm on 4/28/2010, 7:26 pm

Wow I'm so out of the loop here LOL.

Bullfrogbabe, I used my horse manure that had been sitting in the field and getting chopped up and heated up all winter in my carrot SFG bed and so far no weeds at all and my carrots are doing fantastic.

So far out we have our peas growing like mad, tomatoes are in one bed and have the poly tunnel over them and doing great (I planted out this early for tomatoes last year too and they were absolute monsters over the summer, I'm talking waist height and above and we had so many tomatoes we started feeding them to the chickens), carrots and the lettuce/spinach have to be replanted because my barn cats dug them up.

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 5/9/2010, 9:45 pm

An update on how things are going in my SFG.

I transplanted the romaine, great lakes head, and buttercrunch lettuces I started inside into my SFG last weekend. Had enough transplants to do 1.5 squares of romaine, 1 square buttercrunch, and 2 squares of great lake head. I also planted 1-2 squares of each with seed.



I also planted a second crop of sugar snap peas (2 squares - back halves) in the same box with the lettuce and planted carrot seeds in the front half of the snap pea squares this week. I also added carrot seed to the fronts of the 3 snap pea squares that have already started growing in the my other box (the one with the 4 broccoli in the middle depicked in my last post).

My broccoli is getting thicker and bigger -- it was really spindly when it went in but the stems are now 1/2" thick and still growing. The turnip sprouts look like little 4-leaf clovers and are starting on their first true leaves. I have also started seeing little itty bitty parsnip sprouts. The spinach germination was spotty so I added a few more seeds into the gaps.

I already have the deer mesh around my boxes so the deer won't get anything this year!




Some of the tomato plants I started indoors are getting too tall for my grow lights so I am going to have to start putting them outside to harden off. I still have approximately 3 weeks to wait until frosts become less likely before I put out my vining tomatoes. I potted the 12 largest ones from the first round of tomato seed started back in early March (8 Juliet and 4 Cherry -- both indeterminant varieties) into XL and L Tim Horton's cups so they will have more support and room to grow some more roots up their stems. They still fit just barely under my lights for now -- but when things warm up outside later this week I am going to start putting them outside in the front porch for a bit each day. I will then start inching them out into the sun.



I started cucumbers, summer squash (yellow crookneck, white custard pattypan, and sunburst pattypan) and winter squash (acorn, buttercup, acorn, spaghetti, and sweet dumpling) seeds indoors this week. I started them in Jiffy pots so I can plant them pot and all so the roots won't be disturbed. They germinated very quickly 1-4 days for most of them so far. None of the sweet dumpling squash as of yet.





It got pretty cold this weekend, we had hail and cold rain off and on all day yesterday (Saturday). Today (Sunday) started out with light snow flurries and very cold wind. I put plastic plant domes over my lettuce, broccoli, snap peas, and turnips to protect them until the temperature gets better!

It was cold enough to freeze layer of ice on all 3 three bird baths! I dumped them out so they won't crack.

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 5/24/2010, 9:16 pm

My gardens are growing! Looks like I may actually get more than 2 bites of broccoli this year as the stems are already thicker.

Here is what my gardens looked like today (May 24, 2010).

Back Row: 3 squares sugar snap peas / carrots, 1 empty square
Third Row: parsnips, broccoli, broccoli, parsnips
Second Row: white turnips, broccoli, broccoli, white turnips
Front Row: spinach, onions, onions, spinach


Back row: 2 squares of sugar snap peas / carrots, 2 empty squares
Third Row: great lakes head lettuce x 4 (first 2 squares transplants, next 2 seed)
Second Row: buttercrunch lettuce x 4 (first 1 square transplants, next 3 seed)
Front Row: romaine lettuce x 4 (first 1.5 squares transplants, next 2 from seed)


2.5 x 2.5 ft box of strawberries:
left half everbearing, right half Tristars, and 1 garlic in front right corner


Setting up 2 more 4x4 SFGs, will need them shortly for peppers, tomatoes, radishes, beets, and more lettuce. Also have 2 smaller boxes for summer squash bushes or tomatoes. Also have a 3x3 box I picked up on junk day, I think it was a drawer for sliding under a bunk bed -- not sure what to put in it yet (not in picture).

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Cornwall

Post  The Cynergist on 5/26/2010, 11:05 am

Hi,

I'm in Cornwall Ontario about an hour south east of Ottawa. Square foot gardening is a first for me. Mine is a modified version, as I already had my garden dug up last season. Let's see what happens.

Kimberly I saw your blog. Your garden looks great! I posted a comment as Cynergy Diva. I noticed we have similar openings to our garden blogs. Great minds, eh? And just between you, me and the fence post, my name just happens to be Kimberley too.

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  Blackrose on 5/26/2010, 11:49 pm

Thank you The Cynergist for the compliments. Your garden looks great as well. Looks like you have a great helper there too!

It's been amazing me over the last week or so how fast everything is growing. There is such satisfaction in watching food grow from a little tiny seed.

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  The Cynergist on 5/27/2010, 7:20 am

My pleasure Black Rose. And thanks for following my blog; I really appreciate it.

I've noticed that a few things are starting to spring up in the square foot patch, but I'm not sure what's weeds and what's my seeds. The maple tree next door dumped a load of seeds in my garden, so who knows; I might just find I'm growing a stand of maple trees this year.

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

Post  Blackrose on 5/27/2010, 9:02 am

I know what you mean. I keep pulling those "helicopters" out of my garden. I could be there almost all day just pulling them out. Seems like everytime a take one out of the garden, two more fall in.

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Prince Edward County

Post  SuperADDmom on 6/3/2010, 2:32 am

hi Lupin.. I'm in the County. I live rural and am (although late) putting on a 13 squares, SFG. I live in town in Picton prior to here, and had a 4 square SFG. We do what we call square foot companion gardening, and we plant our plants with other plants in close proximity within each square that work well with each other, and repel bugs to each other etc. for example we have cukes growing with Dill and Lettuce.

SuperADDmom
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Mom with ADD to two
also with ADD.
Ontario, Canada

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Re: Anyone in Ontario?

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