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Growing your own veggies

Growing your own veggies

Old Jun 13th 2018, 8:39 pm
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

Originally Posted by scilly View Post
OH is the gardener, we've had a veggie patch in our small city garden since we moved in here in 1972.

He set up a compost box that first year, and composts grass clippings, dead flower heads, etc etc, then double digs trenches in about March. He puts a layer of homemade compost in the bottom of the trench, and fills it in with ordinary garden soil

We have lovely black soil in the garden now in an area where it tends to be either sandy or clay-ey

He plants 3-4 rows of potatoes every year, moving the rows up and down the patch from year to year ......... they're good for improving the soil. We usually get enough potatoes to last from digging up in July-ish until January or February.

Also grown ........... broad beans (I hate the things!), snap peas,leeks (sown in summer, transplanted in fall, picked in late winter), rhubarb, raspberries, 3 espaliered apple trees along one side of the veggie patch , sweet peas for me to pick, and our piece de resistance .......... kiwi vine.

The crop of kiwis varies from about 100 to over 400 a year.

We also grow tayberries in a side border against the neighbour's fence

We have given up on strawberries, lettuce, spring onions or radishes, and are trying tomatoes again this year ............. using plants bought in. Vancouver is usually damp, and tomatoes are very susceptible here to blossom end rot, spread by rain drops.
Thank you.

Just a thought, do people use all the leaves, stems, etc. from their harvest as mulch for the next one? I can't be bothered with compost bins and would hope that, if at the end of each season we put it all together with the horse poop, give it a rough mix dump it into what we already have and leave it, all will be good. Am I delusional?
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Old Jun 13th 2018, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

Originally Posted by gad33 View Post
Calgary is the one place I have done the most gardening. I had five raised beds and would rotate each year so (apart from perennials) nothing was grown in the same place two years running.

Raspberries and rhubarb were very successful. And I grew asparagus from seed. Potatoes were also successful and so much better than anything you can buy. Other root veg worked well. Chives would return each year and cilantro would self seed and I didn't worry about mint spreading. There is a special type of corn seed that was specially developed for the short growing season but I was not always successful with it.

We were quite lucky that people would trade to get fresh produce.
Thank you, that is very encouraging.

I have heard about the crop rotating that you mention.

At the minute, our beds are quite mixed but, if this trial is successful, I can foresee that this time next year I will have lots of beds containing only one thing and will rotate everything in in a circular fashion so that there is likely 8 or 9 years before a particular item is grown in the same bed again. The plan is to succession plant too so that we can eat them as we harvest them.

That's the plan anyway.
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Old Jun 13th 2018, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
Thank you.

The only rodents we need to worry about are gophers and I am hoping that our beds are high enough that they can't jump up to them. It that proves to be incorrect, I will have to look into some form of fencing.
No Racoons? They will laugh at any fencing and just consider it a challenge
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Old Jun 13th 2018, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

Originally Posted by iaink View Post
No Racoons? They will laugh at any fencing and just consider it a challenge
Not enough of a challenge these days. They're more interested in scaling tall buildings.
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Old Jun 13th 2018, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

A list, opinions mine alone:

Wonderful, better than can easily be purchased.

Garlic (planted in raised bed in the Autumn)
Hot peppers - chilies and jalapenos
Potatoes
Carrots
Parsnips

Very good.

Onions
Peas

Good but too many all at once

Zucchini
Tomatoes

Meh

Green beans

Disaster.

Cabbage

Just for decoration.

Pumpkins

Experimental

Lettuce
Butternut squash
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Old Jun 13th 2018, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

Originally Posted by iaink View Post
No Racoons? They will laugh at any fencing and just consider it a challenge
I have never heard of a racoons in Alberta. They may be here, but I have no knowledge of them if they are.

After leaving Calgary, I have never seen a rabbit on our property and the main critters are gophers. We have thousands on them on our property, as to all of our neighbours, yet, 10 kms away, there are none.

The gophers result in badgers. We also have lots of coyotes and deer too, but I haven't seen a deer in anything other than our large hay field and have never seen them anywhere near the house, which is where the planters are.
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Old Jun 13th 2018, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
A list, opinions mine alone:

Wonderful, better than can easily be purchased.

Garlic (planted in raised bed in the Autumn)
Hot peppers - chilies and jalapenos
Potatoes
Carrots
Parsnips

Very good.

Onions
Peas

Good but too many all at once

Zucchini
Tomatoes

Meh

Green beans

Disaster.

Cabbage

Just for decoration.

Pumpkins

Experimental

Lettuce
Butternut squash
Thank you.
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Old Jun 13th 2018, 11:54 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

There's a stiff breeze in them raised beds this evening...


Unfortunately the photo uploader seems to have been enhanced beyond my ability to operate it. Ah well, imagine row upon row of bright green plants flapping about.

Last edited by dbd33; Jun 13th 2018 at 11:57 pm.
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Old Jun 13th 2018, 11:58 pm
  #24  
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
Thank you.

Just a thought, do people use all the leaves, stems, etc. from their harvest as mulch for the next one? I can't be bothered with compost bins and would hope that, if at the end of each season we put it all together with the horse poop, give it a rough mix dump it into what we already have and leave it, all will be good. Am I delusional?
All I can tell you is that OH gardens as his father did (and mine also) .......

............ build a compost box at the bottom of the garden, square or rectangular, 4 corner posts and planks cut to size that can be slipped down between the corner posts to raise the depth.

Compost everything that is vegetable matter ............. all grass clippings, weeds, deciduous leaves that fall off trees in fall, all parts of harvested plants that can not be eaten or otherwise used, potato peelings and uncooked vegetable matter from the kitchen, dead flowers, etc etc etc. Leave it open to the elements. You can buy boxes of Compost Mixture and add some of that between layers of plant material. Leave it over the winter, and it can be used the following spring at the bottom of the trenches, or left to further compost down for 2 or 3 years .......... but in that case you need one or two or more boxes.

These fancy composting containers that can be turned to mix etc really are not worth the money to such old-style gardeners!

I used to work for a botanical garden (inside the office building not gardening), and I know the gardeners had a compost pile at the "end of the garden", the Plant Ops guys responsible for mowing grass all over the campus used to deliver their grass cuttings to add to "our" composting.


BTW ................. leaves from deciduous trees can be used as mulching round shrubs etc or as a protection over a flower bed or even your veggie patch, to help provide a bit of protection over the winter, and then dug in the ground or moved to the compost box in the spring.

Conifer needles are not good.
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Old Jun 14th 2018, 4:52 am
  #25  
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

Last year and this year I have grown or am growing:

Bush beans (green and yellow) very successful, was picking beans for weeks
Runner beans - successful, but not as good as the UK
Snow Peas - didn't grow last year, this year they are climbing the poles
Red peppers - successful
Yellow peppers - successful
Spring Onions - successful
Garlic Chive - successful (been growing them for years, they 'self seed (bulbs)
Corn - very successful, though having to pollinate by hand is a pain
Carrots (3 different varieties) - very successful
Radish - not as successful, ground is too dense, trying again this year
Beetroot - not as successful, ground is too dense, trying again this year
Head lettuce - successful
Romain (not successful, they bolted last year, it was too warm)
Lettuce variety - first time this year, they are picked as young leaves
Coriander - very successful
Chillies - so/so
Basil - successful
I did have sage, oregano and thyme up until last year
I've got mustard to grow, haven't put it in yet..
Everything I grow is from seed, planted directly into the ground.
It's all grown in a very rough n ready bed approximately 30 x 15



Last edited by Siouxie; Jun 14th 2018 at 4:55 am.
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Old Jun 14th 2018, 11:07 am
  #26  
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
You have just reminded me that we have tried peppers too.

Did you have to start the tomatoes off in a greenhouse? We realized, too late, that as we didn't stagger the laying of seeds, that we will likely have two back breaking days of harvest, followed by watching the food that we cannot give away rotting. If so, at least we should have something that can feed the soil.

I am pleased to hear that you had lots of success.
We bought tomato seedlings. Vine tomatoes. We planted them in a sunny spot beside the garage. They grew like snot. We also did shallots (no effort required there).

We don't do any of it these days, apart from some herbs.
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Old Jun 14th 2018, 1:08 pm
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

We tried to grow all sorts of fruit and veg; potatoes, runner beans, beetroot, carrots, zucchini, garlic, pears, apples, peaches, cherries and melons. We encountered issues in the countryside where we had acreage, and wildlife proved impossible to control (bears ate the fruit, deer enjoyed the veggies and squirrels/chipmunks/gophers helped themselves to everything). In a slightly more urban setting, though on the periphery to Crown Land, we still had deer problems, but it was the cost of irrigating that was prohibitive. Kamloops summers require a huge amount of water to keep any sort of garden alive, and once we were reliant on city water supplies with a meter, the veggie garden consumed way more $ in water than the cost of purchasing from a fruit and veg stand or grocery store.
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Old Jun 14th 2018, 1:10 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

We grow in both raised beds that I built a couple of years back, a vegetable patch & a greenhouse. We're rather late at starting this year due to too much other stuff going on & will be planting in all of those places this weekend. Given that a week ago we had a dusting of snow on the ground and that night time temps still get perilously close to freezing we're probably not too far behind schedule for the outside planting at least. Short growing season in this part of the world.

We've had success with spuds, too many tomatoes to eat, peas and sometimes broccoli. Corn has done well in the greenhouse but the wind is a problem outside. Truth to tell the effort in growing 6 heads of corn wasn't probably worth it except to educate the kids on where corn actually comes from! Carrots are straightforward enough as well. Strawberries have been a bit hit and miss - the birds get a good feed, we don't!
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Old Jun 14th 2018, 1:20 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

We've been very successful with peas, runner beans and cucumbers. I built a frame of 2x2 posts and made a mesh of twine for them to climb up - more cost effective (and frankly less ugly) than a lot of the commercially available climbing frames, and the fact that the edible bits are some way off the ground discourages the rabbits and chipmunks from destroying them before we were ready to harvest. We were also inundated with butternut squash one year - the plant spread much more widely than we'd expected, and while the squashes were excellent (we kept some in the cold room for most of the winter, after making and freezing a huge batch of soup with the first lot) they did rather take over the space and crowd out some of the other veggies. Shallots, garlic, and a selection of herbs are pretty much a given, too - the onions and garlic are usually planted in among the roses, as rumour has it they are good companion plants to keep the bugs away from the rose flowers (I don't know that it actually makes a lot of difference, to be honest).

Tomatoes and strawberries were a little less successful - the few fruits that we got were delicious, but the bushiness of the cherry tomato plants and the low-to-the-ground-ness of the strawbs meant that critters got there before we did, more often than not.

We did potatoes for several years, until one year when a family of rats decided that the potato bed would be an awesome place to build a nest. My OH's disgust at unearthing spuds and getting a handful of baby rats instead has rather put us off trying that again any time soon!

I don't think we've ever quite managed to get timings right for carrots - we either plant to late, or forget to thin out in time, or whatever, but by first frost we've had a small quantity of edible roots and a whole load of tiny stringy things that wouldn't even grace the most nouvelle-cuisine of micro-salads. We'll keep trying - one year will get it right.

I'm envious of the Lower Mainland-ites talking about harvesting leeks in late winter. You'd need a jack-hammer to do that here

edit to add: one year the chipmunks left us a few tomatoes. This was one day's crop in around 2010, I think

Last edited by Oakvillian; Jun 14th 2018 at 1:28 pm.
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Old Jun 14th 2018, 1:33 pm
  #30  
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Default Re: Growing your own veggies

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Last year and this year I have grown or am growing:

Bush beans (green and yellow) very successful, was picking beans for weeks
Runner beans - successful, but not as good as the UK
Snow Peas - didn't grow last year, this year they are climbing the poles
Red peppers - successful
Yellow peppers - successful
Spring Onions - successful
Garlic Chive - successful (been growing them for years, they 'self seed (bulbs)
Corn - very successful, though having to pollinate by hand is a pain
Carrots (3 different varieties) - very successful
Radish - not as successful, ground is too dense, trying again this year
Beetroot - not as successful, ground is too dense, trying again this year
Head lettuce - successful
Romain (not successful, they bolted last year, it was too warm)
Lettuce variety - first time this year, they are picked as young leaves
Coriander - very successful
Chillies - so/so
Basil - successful
I did have sage, oregano and thyme up until last year
I've got mustard to grow, haven't put it in yet..
Everything I grow is from seed, planted directly into the ground.
It's all grown in a very rough n ready bed approximately 30 x 15


Fantastic!

I had never thought about growing chillies so will have to give those a go too.
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