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SFG in ottawa, canada

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SFG in ottawa, canada

Post  daniel Gagnon on 3/20/2010, 3:45 pm

i am looking for feedback from other gardener who tried SFG in my region.

i bought the sfg book and would like to try it in my garden, see picture on my profile. i have two 4x4 square foot area that i could build boxes on top of it.

daniel Gagnon

Male Posts : 5
Join date : 2010-03-20
Age : 43
Location : gatineau, Quebec, canada

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Re: SFG in ottawa, canada

Post  choksaw on 3/20/2010, 4:34 pm

hello and welcome to the forums theres a couple of people here from canada that can help give you some advice on their success there is a wealth of knowledge amongst the community here so feel free to ask any questions you might have


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Re: SFG in ottawa, canada

Post  martha on 3/20/2010, 6:56 pm

well, I am nowhere near Canada, but your first and last frost dates are very similar to mine in US Zone 5/6. (Some maps tell me one, some tell me the other, I can't keep track of the 5a, 5b, etc. Plus I read on line that Canadian hardiness zones are different than American ones.)

So feel free to fill us in on your hopes, plans and dreams while you wait for other Ottowans to show up.


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Age : 59
Location : Acton, Massachusetts Zone 5b/6a

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Re: SFG in ottawa, canada

Post  LupinFarm on 3/20/2010, 8:29 pm

Our hardiness zones are a bit different. For instance, half an hour north of the 401 in Belleville, Ont. (about 3-4 hours west of Ottawa, and further west than Gatineau, PQ) I am Zone 5b CAD, which is Zone 4 USA...

It looks like you're either Zone 5a or Zone 4b...


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Age : 27
Location : Springbrook, Ont. (Zone 5b)

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Re: SFG in ottawa, canada

Post  slecaval on 4/6/2010, 6:12 pm


I'm in Cantley QC about 2 min. from Gatineau. I started my square foot gardening last year and inspite of the bad weather had great results. I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, bush and pole beans, carrots, peppers, peas, spinach, radishes, ground cherries and eggplant. The only issues I had were probably due to all the rain we had. I was giving away cucumbers and pole beans to anybody who wanted some! I'm sold on this method of gardening, I would never go back to the traditional garden.


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sfg in ottawa valley

Post  daniel Gagnon on 4/6/2010, 6:48 pm


tank you for sharing your experience with me. i am new to this, i bought the book and anxious to start.

last week end i install the boxes (2 4x4 )

i bought the vermiculite at ritches and peat moss, this week end i will buy the mushroom compost .

i am interested in triing to grow corn....good idea??

what about growing potatoes??

daniel Gagnon

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Age : 43
Location : gatineau, Quebec, canada

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Re: SFG in ottawa, canada

Post  slecaval on 4/6/2010, 7:42 pm

I haven't tried corn but it certainly grows well around here. I grew potatoes last year but not in my sfg, I grew them in tires and that worked very well. I also planted pepper plants and tomatoes in the tires and had some success. It all depends how you feel about having tires around your yard!

I also prepared one of my gardens this weekend since the weather was so beautiful. I think the book states that we should use 5 different sources of compost but I'm having problems finding that many different kinds, so last year I decided to start composting with the Bokashi method, it's a great way to get rid of kitchen waste without the smell. Here's a link with some information if you're interested http://www.compostguy.com/bokashi-resource-page/


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Re: SFG in ottawa, canada

Post  bullfrogbabe on 4/6/2010, 8:30 pm

You can certainly give corn a try. That's what gardening is all about, eating some will be a nice bonus too. Corn is grown locally in fields here in the Ottawa Valley to your north so you should have a long enough growing season to grow some in Gatineau for sure.

I haven't grown corn myself but my stepfather used to grow fields of corn. It takes a lot of corn stalks to get a good feed of corn. Each stock of corn only produces 2-4 ears (cobs of corn) and takes all summer to grow. The SFG book suggests that you plant 4 stocks per square and plant a whole 4x4 garden box with corn (should produce 32-64 cobs). Due to the Mel's mix being very light and fluffy you will likely need to provide your corn with support so it doesn't blow or fall over when it gets tall (the soil isn't strong enough to hold it upright).

You will need to fence the racoons out of your corn patch or they will eat your corn before you do. Not a big problem if you have a whole field of corn but you will be sad if they clean out your SFG plot after waiting all summer for it to grow.

My grandfather used to grow potatoes, row style in mounds of soil. He used to get between 6-8 potatoes per plant but the varieties he grew were large bushes; I can't imagine they would fit 4/sq as suggested by Mel's book, I was thinking 1 per square before I looked them up. Potatoes will need a box deeper than the 6" usually prescribed for a SFG. They take most of the summer to produce; my Grandfather used to dig into the side of the mound to steal a few baby potatoes part way through the summer while leaving the plant intact and growing more potatoes (not sure if you could do this in a SFG box very easily). Potato beetles/larvae were a very common problem here in Ontario, they will eat the leaves off the plant killing it if not controlled. My Grandfather used to sprinkle a white powder on them (not sure what it was) but hand picking of larvae/beetles should work fine at the SFG scale. Take care not confuse them with lady bug larvae!

beetle larvae

Enjoy your SFG adventures and keep us posted! I'd like to know how your corn and potatoes work out.


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Re: SFG in ottawa, canada

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