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getting ready for spring gardening

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ElizaQ
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Joined: May 27 2005
I just saw a news bit on that farmer the other day. I haven't made pasta with it yet but plan too. I expect he gets his flour from the same place I do. Probably from Desboro farms (there was link to a video report on them on Babble somewhere) as it's becoming quite the little mecca for locally grown grains and Fife in particular, though I've been reading that since it seems to be making a comeback as people are realizing how great it is, that more farmers are starting to grow it again. It's great and you can find the Desboro flour all over the place now around here. You can even get Red Fife in bulk now at the Bulk Barn which is a fairly big chain though I don't know where it comes from. Regardless it's cool that it's going that mainstream. It really is different taste wise and though it costs a wee bit more then regular run of the mill whole wheat it is totally worth it my opinion. I just got a bread machine the other day and made a loaf with regular whole wheat and loaf with Red Fife, the Fife bread not only baked a better loaf, crumb and size wise, but it tasted way better. It actually had taste. Just a quick note so people are aware the main reason that it costs more isn't because it's 'gourmet' or in many cases 'organic' it's because the per acre yield is less then the wheat varieties that are commonly grown now. At one time Red Fife was one of the main wheat varieties grown in Canada but it fell out of fashion with the emphasis on creating wheat varieties that yielded more per acre.

ebodyknows
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Joined: Feb 11 2008

Anyone have experience planting  saskatoons?  I have seeds but havn't done any stratification yet.

"Has anyone had any luck growing okra? Especially appreciate hearing from those at higher elevations with chilly nights. The sites of I checked state a growing period of 50-60 days, but all are US based sites and I don't know if they take overnight temperatures into account."

We grew Okra last year in a community garden in toronto.  Last year was cool, wet and clouldy, they survived but barely and didn't produce very much fruit.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

I just thought I would mention soil blockers.  They cost a fortune in the stores so I tried making my own with plastic pipes (different sizes inside each other)  It worked and I might still weld up a square "multiblocker" like the real thing.

(Just because square blocks get more economical use of space on the  growing area).

 Aparently plants raised in soil blocks do much much better than plants raised in pots!

Good video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31urzDs09zU

For anyone who is trying to cut down on waste in gardening, the soil blockers could pretty much eliminate pots when you raise plants from seed. In view of how rootbound happens and how soil blockers prevent it, , why don't they just manufacture  "mesh"  pots?

Brian


bagkitty
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Joined: Aug 27 2008

Thanks ebodyknows... (for the okra bit) - was hoping someone in zone 3 on the eastern slopes or in the interior might have tried. But if it wasn't succesful there in zone 5 (6?) I guess the chances are vanishingly small here.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I love the BBC Gardening Homepage, especially Dig In. Smile   How guerrilla gardening took root is also an interesting piece.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I'm thinking of using leftover veggie seeds from previous years rather than buy new ones. They've been in cold storage. Can I assume they'll work okay?


Snert
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Joined: Nov 4 2008

Some may not germinate, but them what do will be vegetables.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I'll give them a try - I've spent money buying them, and there's so many - enough to do my whole garden and greenhouse - and I want to get a good return on what I paid for them. Last year's garden didn't do well, but I think that had to do more with an influx of weeds and lousy weather.


Hellebor
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Joined: Dec 5 2010

Escholtzia, or California poppies.Brilliant deep orange to saffron yellow silky flowers, on grey green ferny leaves.

This is something you may not have thought of because they are not seen in nurseries as plants.(just as seeds) They are grown from Zone 3 to 6. Do not let the name fool you. They need to be seeded As Soon as the ground cam be worked in the Spring.  Snow & freezing temps will not harm the seeds or seedlings. They bloom all Summer, are drought hardy & like full sun best. Once they are established you need not water very often. (I did not water mine at all last Summer, after their 1st month after sprouting.)

 They frequently will re-seed themselves, & get a nice early start on the growing season. They are tough as nails, like a true wild flower. They do not transplant well, so put seeds where you want them to grow.

 

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I have poppies in my various wildflower gardens - they do very well, and this is Hardiness Zone 3a. The flowers that do best here are lillies and sunflowers, though. My lillies are quite spectacular every summer and fall.


Rebecca West
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

I'm waiting for the crocuses and bluebells to die off before I plant anything decorative.  Not sure what survived the winter.  I plant pretty hardy perennials, and 99% tend to do well over winter, and survive hot dry periods in summer, but I'd like to have more delicate plants ... for some reason, I can't get heather to grow.  Maybe too hot and dry a summer kills it. 

Before I do the herbs and veggies, I'll need at least a week of temperate weather - like after May 2nd - but I'll probably put it off longer because of the work required to rehabilitate the soil out at the back of our property.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

A bit early for the 2013 season, , but some things to consider:

 
The Four Steps Required to Keep Monsanto OUT of Your Garden
 
Keep Monsanto OUT of Your Veggie Patch
 
Monsanto-Free Seed Companies
 
and:
 
Rachel Parent ~ GMOs Kids Right To Know – JUST LABEL IT!
 
In Canada, there is currently a private member’s bill C-257 introduced by NDP (recently had its first reading in Parliament) to require mandatory GMO labeling RIGHT HERE IN THIS COUNTRY. All Canadians need to show support for this Bill. We need an equivalent Prop 37 marketing campaign! Email Gerry Ritz, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, to express your support of Bill C-257 at: gerry.ritz@parl.gc.ca
 
Sign the petition here: www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Bring_Mandatory_GMO_Labeling_To_Canada

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Monsanto-Free Seed Companies
 
I notice VESEYS is not on this list - I've just emailed them to ask for an explanation. I may be changing suppliers if I don't like their reply.  :annoyed


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Boom Boom wrote:

A bit early for the 2013 season, , but some things to consider:

My wife says I should tell you her Snowdrops have been up for a week and other things are also starting to pop up.


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

The garden across the street from me had a massive work party last weekend! It's about time to start prepping, I think, if I want early spinach/peas/broccoli, etc.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Lots of snowdrops and ice here. Oh, wait...


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

Can we all agree that we hate Vancouverites and other assorted early spring BC types?

I thought so.  Thanks. :)


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Laughing


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Excuse me, we are in the deep throes of old man winter right now. The cherry blossoms aren't even out yet, even though it's already February. Solidarity with our fellow winter sufferers!


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

I apologize for the fact it is 8 and partially sunny today.  It must not have been to bad a winter in TO since I haven't heard of the army being called out.

Cool


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Poor Toronto. The city has to endure Rob Ford, and with the stigma of being the centre of the universe. Laughing


RevolutionPlease
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Joined: Oct 15 2007

The -8 weather has been causing pileups on the 401. Have sympathy when we call in the army. ;)


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

Haha, kropotkin...touche!


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

Boom Boom wrote:

Monsanto-Free Seed Companies
 
I notice VESEYS is not on this list - I've just emailed them to ask for an explanation. I may be changing suppliers if I don't like their reply.  :annoyed

Hate to tell you, darlin'...

According to your blog link:

Quote:

  1. Avoid buying from the seed companies affiliated with Monsanto. Here’s a list of these seed companies: http://www.seminis.com/global/us/products/Pages/Home-Garden.aspx

Veseys is not OWNED by Monsanto, but they sell Monsanto seeds.  They're not GMO seeds, but the idea is to not support any seed company that buys or sells Monsanto seeds.  Vesey's sells Seminis seeds, and this is a Monsanto company.  So, if you want to join this effort to pressure seed companies to completely disaffiliate with Monsanto, you might tell them that you won't be buying from them until they stop carrying Seminis seeds.

When I typed in "seminis" to their search engine, no hits came up.  So an added issue is that I don't know how the average customer would know whether they were getting seeds sourced from Monsanto or not when ordering from them.  That would be enough for me to avoid them and pick from the safe seed company list.


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

Seed Exchanges happening across Canada in 2013, throughout February and looks like a few in March.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Thanks for all that info, Michelle.


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

No problem.  I had insomnia. :)


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Veseys does have organics, though - their new catalogue is out:  Certified Organic Products

I've been reading and drooling through it.


NorthReport
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Joined: Jul 6 2008

What a cool thread - thanks gals and guys!


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

I'm going to take a trip to Richter's tomorrow, a seed distributor on the safe seed list at the Occupy Monsanto website.  It's in Goodwood, Ontario, and apparently it is reachable by GO bus from Union Station here in Toronto.  According to their website, the GO driver will let you off right in front of Richters if you ask!  That's pretty neat.  I was going to order online, but I think it will be fun to just go out there instead.


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