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Hi all!

Post  Old Hippie on 8/12/2010, 1:32 am

Although I am new to this site I have gardened since I was a kid but this is my second year of formal SFG. What a wonderful way to garden!

I live in Canada in a zone 3b area. We can count on frost from any time form about the last week of Aug./first week in Sept. to the last week of May/first week of June. This year we actually had frost in the first week of July! It does make gardening a challenge!!

Looking forward to getting to know some of you and checking out garden pics and ideas.

GK
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Re: Hi all!

Post  boffer on 8/12/2010, 1:46 am

Hi Old Hippie,

glad you\'re here to the forum. We have several Canadian members in your zone, and it just doesn't seem fair that your growing season is so short. Have you figured out a way to extend your growing season on either end? Are you able to grow any warm season crops? Would like to see some of your pictures as well! Welcome aboard...
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Re: Hi all!

Post  Old Hippie on 8/12/2010, 10:20 am

LOLOL! Thanks for the welcome! I am normally not a CW music fan but the chorus of that song about the "old hippie" describes me perfectly. I am delighted to hear that there are other Canadians here from my area! I did check out the forum for Canadians as well.

I am totally jealous of people who have longer growing seasons!! But don't most gardeners push the limits of their gardening zone? LOL! People talk about their 'winter gardens'. Ha! Gotta post pictures of my winter garden. There are NO slugs or grasshoppers in it! LOL!

Anything I can do to get an edge on our short growing season is tried. I have found a couple of excellent seed sources here that have developed varieties of most vegetables for areas with shorter growing seasons. The raised beds do seem to warm up sooner than a regular garden plot. I put down plastic as soon as the snow is gone to help the ground warm up even quicker. From what I have read that is supposed to make a difference of a couple of weeks and it did seem to work. I started planting whatever possible the minute the ground was thawed. Cool weather stuff like radishes, peas, etc. but the beauty of SFG is you can easily cover a section that has tender plants. I do start some things in my cold frame and actually plan to get some manure to experiment with making it into an old fashioned "hot bed". Last fall I used remay cover, blankets, plastic, tarps, anything I could lay my hands on to cover the tender stuff at night. We were very lucky last fall and didn't get a killing frost until the middle of Sept.

Experimenting with the micro climates in my yard, has enabled me to grow tomatoes outside with excellent results. I put them in the brick planters on the south side of the house. The soil heats up there very early in the year and the bricks hold the heat overnight. Being under the roof overhang gives them added protection on cool nights. I had six plants there last year and again this year. Besides watering them DAILY and fertilizing twice a week, I put down plastic on the soil to deter neighbourhood cats from using the planter as their private litter box. I plant them out on the May long weekend and it looks like I will start harvesting tomatoes by this weekend. I have good results with Early Girl. Last year my largest tomato weighed almost two pounds and I harvested over 40 pounds in total. Next year however, I should plant the tomatoes somewhere else for good crop rotation practice. Every year is different but that is the fun of it.

Again, thanks for the fun welcome.

GK
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Re: Hi all!

Post  Garden Angel on 8/12/2010, 11:24 am

Welcome there is always room for one more here ! best of luck.
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Re: Hi all!

Post  Old Hippie on 8/12/2010, 9:29 pm

Why thank you Garden Angel! I think I am going to enjoy it here.

Question for you......the picture that is posted by your name....is that a decoration you have in your garden? If so, where did you get it? I collect angels but have enough inside the house. I would love to get a few for the garden. Actually, I thought I might try my hand at making some out of rebar or something with my husband's welder.

GK
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Re: Hi all!

Post  boffer on 8/12/2010, 9:47 pm

@Old Hippie wrote:...I thought I might try my hand at making some out of rebar or something with my husband's welder....

Another SFGer who welds
could be a fun thing love the idea
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Hi back atcha

Post  ander217 on 8/13/2010, 7:30 am

Hi, Old Hippie. Welcome to the forum!

It's amazing how people can stretch the growing seasons. Our daughter's friend moved from Missouri to North Pole, Alaska when they were in high school. Her family missed fresh sweet corn so much that when they invited our daughter for a visit, her checked baggage at the airport consisted solely of a huge duffel bag of sweet corn in the shuck picked fresh the morning she left.

They enjoyed it so much that they were determined to grow their own. They built a greenhouse and grew short season varieties. They almost got some twice before cold temps got it, but they said they would never give up and I think they eventually managed to raise some, even in Alaska.

You may not have a long growing season, but on the other hand you're probably not bothered by heat stress in your plants. What is your bug problem like?

Congrats on growing tomatoes. We look forward to photos.
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Re: Hi all!

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