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New member in Northern Ontario

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New member in Northern Ontario

Post  AranMC on 1/9/2012, 7:13 pm

Hi, I'm Aran and I live in South River which is over 3 hrs North of Toronto...
I'm English and moved here in 2003...
I was brought up with gardening especially vegetables, in England we could rent Allotments (large pieces of land) from the city councils...for growing fruit and veggies for your family.

I have a veggy plot attached to the house, surrounded by 20ft high chicken wire fencing (we have 10 rescue cats, used to be 14) and they can still get into the garden despite the high fences...lol

I'm working on plans for a new garden, I used to have chickens and ducks but not any longer, so I have the old chicken run 27ft by 46 ft that I'm going to turn into another veggy garden.... I'm going to be using the square foot gardening technique for this one too....

I've always loved growing my own veggies, and now for health reasons I'm growing organically as much as possible...

My challenge here has always been the short growing season, only 12 weeks from start to finish in a good year.. but now that the chickens and ducks are no longer with us, I'll be turning their old shed and feed room into my potting shed and seed starting room... Plus building cold frames too will give me a head start on the last frost date...


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Re: New member in Northern Ontario

Post  Goosegirl on 1/9/2012, 8:00 pm

flower Welcome to the forum! flower

I am in Sisseton, SD, at just about the same latitude as you, according to GoogleMaps. But it sounds like I have a longer growing season than you. It is still not what I was used to in Sunny California, but I have to admit my 125 days beats out 12 weeks!

2 words: Season Extenders! Boffer is the King of heated hoop houses (H3's) and you will find LOTS of members with great ideas for adding a few weeks on either end of your season.


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Re: New member in Northern Ontario

Post  Rhianna78 on 1/9/2012, 10:10 pm

Welcome Aran! I loved living in the UK. Never did the allotment myself but I very much miss the WIs, nothing like them around here that I've found. I also terribly miss the garden centers with all the wonderful varieties of plants we can't get in the US.

Can't be much help with the weather, never lived that far north but I have grown veggies & herbs in the house next to the sunniest windows over the winter so that may be an option for you. I'm sure you'll get some fantastic garlic!

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Re: New member in Northern Ontario

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/10/2012, 9:17 am

Welcome aboard, Alan! I can't second the heated hoops enough. Do your research, ask questions, and when ready give 'em a shot. You may almost double your season.

12 weeks seems really short to someone living in the tropics compared to you, apparently. I will be very interested in watching how you convert and get your garden up and running.

Please include some pics if you can, and check the chat rooms from time to time. Sometimes you catch a couple people in there, and it's a great way to get to know some of us, too.

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Re: New member in Northern Ontario

Post  staf74 on 1/10/2012, 9:40 am

Hi Aran,

to the forum. We have some friendly folk here on the forum to help you out. Always nice to see another Brit here ! Uh oh....The British are coming....

I lived very close to one of those allotments you speak of near Milton Keynes and moved here in 97 (New York area). I am now down here near Charlotte, NC since 2007.
I love me some season extension and build hoop tunnels for frost protection. We have mild winters this far south but still need frost protection if going all through winter like I do. Seems like you are looking to "tack" on a few extra weeks after the first and before last frosts.

There are many better designs out there than mine but this is a standard hoop tunnel.

I used the old xmas lights to give extra warmth. One night got down to 15 but under the covers I had a toasty 40.

Please fire away with any questions you have as you go along your journey.


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Re: New member in Northern Ontario

Post  HillbillyBob on 1/10/2012, 10:13 am

cool ideal but why not hang the light above your plants?They could act as a grow light that way?? Very Happy

Last edited by HillbillyBob on 1/10/2012, 10:14 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correct type-o)

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Re: New member in Northern Ontario

Post  walshevak on 1/10/2012, 6:28 pm

Welcome Aran

I spent 2 1/2 yrs in Croughton, Northants. I just loved all the great nursery/plant shops that were available in England. I still use a huge plastic strawberry pot that I bought while here and wish I could find one on this side of the pond.

Didn't do any veggie gardening - military housing and didn't know about SFG TTs - but I had a yard full of flowers in all kinds of pots.

I love my tabletops and MM.



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Post  AranMC on 1/10/2012, 6:44 pm

Tomorrow we start clearing the old chicken shed out... removing the old nesting boxes, scraping down and white washing the walls, building tables... adding Fluorescent lights to use as grow lights... The temps are fairly mild right now, hovering around 32 F (0C) so we can work inside and out right now.. Hubby and father in law demolished the old, small, original chicken shed today, no longer needed and not worth saving...

We're also going to be building an earth oven this spring... Home made pizza baked in less than 5 minutes with fresh veggies from the garden, home made bread, soups, stews and no hydro used...lol we have PLENTY of wood for the earth oven, 5 acres of trees... I'll be able to sue it in winter time too... a couple of days cooking in that oven and a weeks bread, soups, stews etc will be ready for us to guzzle down...lol

And to think, I used to be a city girl from Sheffield... I still miss the chip shops though....lol


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Re: New member in Northern Ontario

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