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Canada April Garden Update

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Canada April Garden Update

Post  Blackrose on 4/1/2011, 12:36 am

When April hits, everything seems to change. Spring is definitely here, no matter where you live. Even if you still have snow on the ground, just the fact that it’s April means SPRING! The time has finally come to sow some seeds, indoors or out. The daydreaming of spending time in the garden comes more often now as we stare out our windows at the melting snow. We long for the above freezing temperatures that bring rain and thaw. Spring is here!

With spring also comes the time for me to step down as Regional Host for Canada. I’ve been a Regional Host for almost a year now. It’s time for a break. Old Hippie is doing an amazing job and will continue to do so with her experience as a Square Foot Gardener.
I love you I love you I love you

With that said, let’s hear the updates. What have you done in your garden so far this spring? Are your raised beds starting to thaw? Are you just starting out building boxes, filling them with Mel’s Mix and laying your grid? I’d love to hear what everyone is planning to plant this year. And of course we adore seeing pictures!

I have cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, artichokes, basil, oregano, thyme, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and lettuce all started indoors. I’m starting 3 new 4x4 boxes this year, so my DH and I will be purchasing the rest of our ingredients for our Mel’s Mix this weekend. Hopefully, we can get it all mixed and the boxes filled this weekend too. My brassicas are getting big and need planting out! Pictures to come once everything is setup.

:canada: :canada:

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  middlemamma on 4/1/2011, 12:39 am

We will miss you so much! Thank you for the great job you have done...and we better still see you around here!
I love you I love you I love you
Jennie
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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  BCgarden on 4/6/2011, 4:33 pm

Update: I planted four squares of onions and transplanted a few strawberry plants yesterday, but I may have jumped the gun. Right now it is snowing like crazy out my window. We moved here 24 years ago and this is a first. I won't get much done in the garden today, but I am enjoying planning my garden with the growveg website, that's a lot of fun.

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  Old Hippie on 4/7/2011, 1:52 am

Oh Blackrose, I know you are still going to be around but I LIKED co-hosting with you!! I hope you have a lovely summer with your kiddos. Wishing you all the best with your SFG as well. Thank you so much for EVERYTHING. Won't it be awesome when the Canadian group gets large enough to split. You better hang around in case we need you for that! And THANK YOU for getting us started on April's updates.

April gardening...what can I say? I haven't actually GARDENED yet this year. The past week and half has made a huge difference in the amount of snow in my yard here in central BC. There is now more grassy areas showing than snow. How exciting. I was actually able to get out and around the entire house without walking in ANY snow. There still is snow but I could step over it now to stay on the grass parts. It was exciting to look at my herb bed and see little sprouts of things already growing even though part of the ground is still frozen. Garlic is starting to sprout and the chives too. In one flower bed the grape hyacinth has new shoots coming up. I uncovered the roses. Not too sure if the leaves around the base of them was a good idea but we will see what happens. The rain barrels are full of water and I actually watered the front
flower beds. They are protected from the snow by the roof overhang and
being on the south side are already showing signs of growth. I did kind of poke around in the soil a bit and I can not begin to describe how good that felt. Dang, I just love puttering around outside.

Last fall I decided to experiment a bit and planted some seeds in the cold frame to see how they would do come spring. Actually I had originally wanted to make a hot bed with some manure but that turned out to be a bit of a fiasco that I described in another thread. By the time I did get some fresh manure it was too late in the year for fall gardening. But I thought a spring experiment would work too and this gave me a jump on it. I was delirious when a little over a week ago I discovered seedlings emerging. They haven't done a whole lot over the past week but there are a few more. Considering that overnight temps some nights have been down to -7C or -8C according to "Arthur" (short for our thermometer) and Environment Canada said it was -9C on one of those nights I am happy that they are still alive. It did go to -2C in the cold frame on one of those nights. Yesterday morning we had snow. So I know spring is not quite here yet, even if the robins ARE back.

Another experiment I tried turned out to be a total flop. I read somewhere that a great way to force tulip bulbs is to plant them in a pot, bury them in shredded leaves over the winter. The article said to get them out of the leaves in Feb. and bring them indoors and they would start growing. Cool. I would have tulips for my birthday. Well....in theory that is a terrific plan. However, as we all know, theory and actuality tend to be kilometres apart. (this is the Canadian region and we don't do miles.) Until this past Monday, there was so much snow I couldn't get anywhere near the bin with the shredded leaves in to dig up the pot of tulip bulbs. Now it is doubtful I will even have them for Easter. So much for that experiment.

Last fall we rescued two acrylic domes from a building that my husband works at. Renovations were being done and we got two domes plus 13 double pane windows for a greenhouse. The acrylic domes are 4' across and sort of fit over my 4' square plots. Well, the corners aren't covered since the plots are square and the domes are round....but the MIDDLES are covered. The strawberries are already growing under one of them now that it has melted out of the snow and the soil under the other one is so warm that I will be able to plant my carrots in there on the 15 of this month. I am so thrilled.

I have tomatoes and peppers going and will start cucs this weekend. It is still 10 weeks until my last frost date. Ayyyyy. This year I plan to put my cucs in a brand new box with PURE MEL'S MIX. (Shame on me, most of my garden is amended garden soil...except for pots.) I went shopping for vermiculite and peat moss last weekend. I tried finding compost too, but it seems to be a bit early here yet. So far only steer and cattle manure on the shelves. Normally, I would use my own compost but both bins are frozen solid so it is going to be a while before I can use that.

So that is gardening in a Zone 3b in Canada. What are the rest of you up to? We would love to hear from all of you.

Gwynn

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  BCgarden on 4/10/2011, 8:38 am

Yesterday I went to the feed store to pick up some peat moss, and they had fruit trees and small fruit bushes to, so I got a pear and a plum tree as well as a couple of blackberry and blueberry and three raspberry bushes. This will all go very nice with the apple tree I already have. Very Happy The store owner said that they were all hardy types, so they should stand up to our 30-40 below winters. She was very nice and gave me a book. It's a referance book with many plants listed, 131 pages with photos, and if they attrack birds, butterflies, need sun or shade, etc. I also worked in the boxes yesterday and added more MM and hubby dug out another 4x8 box. I am replanting the 4x8 box from last year with strawberries, so the new 4x8 will be for veggies. Today I want to fill the new box with MM and plant peas, Sugar Pod and Laxtons Progress, both organic. I will also plant the beets today, again organic, the organic seeds are small and not many in a package. Is it worth it? Every one had better germinate, first time I have seen these here. I put weed barrier down in the strawberry boxes too, saw lots of worms, guess they will have to live in MM now. Hubby is really onboard this year, I think he was impressed with the results last year in just one 4x8 box. Today I have a carrot attached to my curser hand, do you?

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  Goosegirl on 4/10/2011, 9:38 am

@BCgarden wrote:Today I have a carrot attached to my curser hand, do you?

As it shoud be during Carrot Week!

TC

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Spring (?) gardening.

Post  altagarden on 4/22/2011, 12:17 am

I've done absolutely nothing. Just dreaming about gardening. Still snow in the backyard. I haven't even planted any seedlings, but a sunflower seedling my daughter brought home from schools is up and about 8 cms high (that's right folks, centimetres!)


Last edited by altagarden on 4/22/2011, 12:39 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  Old Hippie on 4/22/2011, 12:33 am

Dreaming is GOOD. And yes......we garden in centimetres. LOL!

Gwynn.

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  bullfrogbabe on 4/25/2011, 10:20 pm

Our second snowy relapse has finally melted enough here to finally get carrots and parnsip seeds into my SFG. Snow was completely gone and soil thawed by April 15 but I had to work 15 & 16, and I spent the afternoon of April 17 preparing some of my SFGs (had to pull out grass again!!) for planting but then it snowed that night and again a couple days later;it stayed again until the middle of this weekend (April 23).

I had my nephew and niece each plant 3 squares of carrots (scarlet nantes, coreless nantes, and touchon) and 1 square of parsnips, filling up 8 out of 16 squares in one of my 4x4 boxes. Better late than never! I do carrot alot for SFG but can't control the weather.

I also dug the grass out of another 4x4 box, I just have one more to clean out. The extra thick weed barrier I re-installed last year didn't make any difference, and I think I actually had even more grass creep into to the 2 boxes I dumped than last year.

I have broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, bunch onions, and celery started indoors, that are coming along nicely.

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  camprn on 4/26/2011, 6:32 am

Spring is moving in quite slowly this year but it sounds like progress is being made. That is what matters. I have a feeling it's going to stay cold and then BOOM! It's going to be hot! and buggy.

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/26/2011, 10:17 am

Does this mean you come back in the fall? You are one of the nicest and friendliest people here. A great host. Hope to see you around throughout the growing season. Put a pair of these on... Cool ... I understand you get longer days than we do starting soon.

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  Old Hippie on 4/26/2011, 7:06 pm

@bullfrogbabe wrote:Our second snowy relapse has finally melted enough here to finally get carrots and parnsip seeds into my SFG. Snow was completely gone and soil thawed by April 15 but I had to work 15 & 16, and I spent the afternoon of April 17 preparing some of my SFGs (had to pull out grass again!!) for planting but then it snowed that night and again a couple days later;it stayed again until the middle of this weekend (April 23).

I had my nephew and niece each plant 3 squares of carrots (scarlet nantes, coreless nantes, and touchon) and 1 square of parsnips, filling up 8 out of 16 squares in one of my 4x4 boxes. Better late than never! I do carrot alot for SFG but can't control the weather.

I also dug the grass out of another 4x4 box, I just have one more to clean out. The extra thick weed barrier I re-installed last year didn't make any difference, and I think I actually had even more grass creep into to the 2 boxes I dumped than last year.

I have broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, bunch onions, and celery started indoors, that are coming along nicely.

So nice to see you again. Those of you in the mid-west and out east have really had more than your share of snow this spring. Wow! Ours is pretty well all gone where I live but the people in slightly higher elevations here are still looking at snow banks in their yards.

Too bad about the grass.....is it crab grass? I hate that stuff. Looks like I am going to have to dig out my new potato box that I built last year too. Grrrrrrr!

Great to hear you got your carrots planted. It will be interesting to see everyone's results.

Stop by more often if you can. I know life can get pretty crazy at times but I always look forward to your posts.

Gwynn

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  bullfrogbabe on 4/26/2011, 10:31 pm

Hi Gwynn / Old Hippie,

It is Definately not crab grass, it is perennial and creeps into my boxes using rhizomes. Crab grass is annual (dies each year) and grows differently. The grass rhizomes push in from under the sides of the boxes and up through the weed barrier which is stapled onto outside of box above the grass line. I dug the grass out from under the boxes and put down weed barrier initially. I had to empty the boxes and replace weed barrier with a thicker kind last year but the grass has poked through again, even worse than last year. I just did some major grass removal by hand this year; carefully dug through MM down to bottom/weed barrier and pulled out all the rhizomes. I will probably have to do it again next year! Or dump my boxes and replace the weed barrier again with super industrial strength weed barrier if I can find something stronger.

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  Old Hippie on 4/27/2011, 1:20 am

Well, I have no idea what I have.......crab grass, quack grass, bermuda grass or whatever.......some of it is fine and is normal grass. But then there is this stuff with long white stringy roots that go under the sidewalk or planter boxes and pop up all over the place in spite of cardboard and weed cloth. It is so annoying.

Gwynn

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  walshevak on 4/27/2011, 8:04 am

@bullfrogbabe wrote:Hi Gwynn / Old Hippie,

It is Definately not crab grass, it is perennial and creeps into my boxes using rhizomes. Crab grass is annual (dies each year) and grows differently. The grass rhizomes push in from under the sides of the boxes and up through the weed barrier which is stapled onto outside of box above the grass line. I dug the grass out from under the boxes and put down weed barrier initially. I had to empty the boxes and replace weed barrier with a thicker kind last year but the grass has poked through again, even worse than last year. I just did some major grass removal by hand this year; carefully dug through MM down to bottom/weed barrier and pulled out all the rhizomes. I will probably have to do it again next year! Or dump my boxes and replace the weed barrier again with super industrial strength weed barrier if I can find something stronger.

Might be time for tabletops, or at least up on a brick. That stuff sounds wicked. I have a rhizome weed in my flower beds and also bermuda grass creeping in. But my tabletops are safe.


Kay

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Re: Canada April Garden Update

Post  altagarden on 4/28/2011, 11:06 pm

On Easter Sunday I finally got into my garden and planted peas, lettuce and spinach. A whole 2 weeks earlier than last year. And then it snowed. Well, that's to be expected and everything was covered with plastic rows anyway.

I added a huge bag of compost and some organic fertilizer to the soil to combat my disappointment in Mel's Mix. Last year nothing really grew.

I started the seedlings indoors a few days ago of a few things, and the cosmos are already up.

Besides my backyard garden, I have signed up for a community garden plot. It's not going to be ready until next week. I plan to do my root crops, potatoes and zucchini in that garden since I have not had success in my Mel's Mix with root crops, and the zucchini takes up so much space. (My winter squash will have to stay in the backyard since they aren't allowed in the community garden space.)

Anyone other Canadians finally get into their gardens? If not, don't worry, May is around the corner.


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