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First timer SFG plans in Ontario

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Post  TastyTurnip on 4/13/2015, 3:21 pm

Hello from Southern Ontario, Canada. This is my first time on the site What a Face, well really my first time trying to grow anything other than a few herbs. Here are my plans for two 4'x6' raised beds (about 1' deep). I've noted the north and south regions and did my best to plan for companion planting. I don't think I understand the meaning of starting small...Looking forward to your advice and feedback!

I've already sowed the following seeds in my south window sill and have tomatoes, artichoke, and kohlrabi coming up now:
tomatoes, artichoke, kohlrabi, eggplant, lettuce (3 varieties), nasturtium, and the herbs. The rest I will start in the coming weeks.

First timer SFG plans in Ontario 2015_g11
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Post  yolos on 4/13/2015, 3:42 pm

Wow, that ought to keep you busy.  After taking a quick look at your plan, I see one problem.  I do not know what variety of zucchini and squash you are growing, but I think you have not left enough room for the squash and zucchini.  They get very big. 
I planted 6 summer squash/zuchinni in a 3 x 8 bed and they took over the whole bed.
First timer SFG plans in Ontario Squash10

Some gardeners plant them on the corners of the bed and let them sprawl into the aisles.  You can also put a stake near the main trunk and try to keep them as upright as possible to help with the sprawl.  Also helps a little to put them in a cage.  But still not 1 per square.
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Post  sanderson on 4/13/2015, 4:00 pm

TastyTurnip, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here

I agree that summer squash should be in a corner or roomy edge square so it can fall over, or in a tomato cage, or experiment with staking and proper pruning. I now plant zucchini and yellow squash in pots with tomato cages. Maybe the tomatoes are a little close together, especially if they are determinate? How are the pole beans supported?

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First timer SFG plans in Ontario Empty Thanks!

Post  TastyTurnip on 4/13/2015, 4:11 pm

Great, thanks for the tips!

I got this "small bush" variety of zucchini called Cocozelle, but I will adjust the plans to give the zuc's more room - 2 sq ft/plant okay?

I have an existing raised bed in nearly full sun at the back of my yard (normally just flowers) that I was planning to throw the pumpkin in. So I could move the squash there too. The squash seeds I got from a friend...she said they are "mixed" (late and early season)! So we shall see...

Tomatoes need more room - I will work on that too!
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Post  FRED58 on 4/13/2015, 8:11 pm

Welcome from the Ontario's West Coast.

Have you grown morning glories before? If not: don't let them go to seed. Check out OMARA's page on "bindweed", wild morning glories. I've been trying to get rid of it for two years. What effect does basil have on cucumbers? I am a big believer in companion planting, so I am curious.
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Post  TastyTurnip on 4/13/2015, 10:42 pm

Hi Fred, thanks for the welcome. I remember reading your nickname "Ontario's West Coast" a few years ago when I was visiting a friend in Kincardine - made me chuckle. Those windmills have really taken over, eh?

Thanks for the tip on the morning glories! I got the seeds from a friend who hasn't had that issue. It seems they are possible to control but can take a lot of work. I hadn't completely settled on which flowers were going where (just liked that the MGs would climb up the trellis w/ the cucs and peas) but I will reconsider! I have some window boxes on my garage where they can go instead. I'll replace them in the SFG with some cutting flowers.

I read that cucs don't like aeromatic herbs too much, but I have also read that they will both grow well together...so who knows. I just didn't want to experiment to find out.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/14/2015, 8:59 am

Hi TastyTurnip.  Welcome from Atlanta, GA!  Looking forward to see how your garden grows...

Fred - I checked my companion chart - there's nothing good or bad about basil & cukes.  So they should be okay...
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Post  TastyTurnip on 4/14/2015, 12:15 pm

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and tips! I have a new plan - hopefully considered all of the advice. The tomato planters will be either 16"x24" or 16"x36".First timer SFG plans in Ontario 2015_g12
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Post  FRED58 on 4/14/2015, 8:16 pm

Nice. Well thought out. Are you growing the nasturtiums for show, to eat or both?
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Post  yolos on 4/14/2015, 8:49 pm

Are the pole beans going to shade out the snow peas.  Of course that may be what you want.
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Post  TastyTurnip on 4/14/2015, 10:19 pm

I wanted to have some Nasturtiums for colour and I read they get along with cucs - although I am not a stranger to edible flowers - I will have to give them a try!

My snow peas are an extra early variety - Norli - so my plan is to plant them April 18, harvest until June, then replace with more cucs for a late planting mid June. I won't be planting my pole beans until June 1st and they take up to 2 weeks to germinate here so I'm hoping they won't interfere. Would you suggest I move the pole beans to the back or the side?

Thanks again Smile

I feel like this plan is in constant evolution - probably a few too many herbs for my use here...we'll see where it goes.

I did check and my tomato varieties are all determinant - phew.
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Post  kristinz on 4/15/2015, 12:44 pm

Welcome Tasty Turnip!  I love seeing your plans evolve!  I have not started my plans for this years bed, but will be working a 4x8 bed this weekend - all cooler weather crops -even if it is a little late in my zone for that.  I usually rearrange my plans 4 or 5 times before I actually get anything in the ground.  There is some good advice on this thread already, and I'm going to use it too!  It looks like you have a great start and I look forward to seeing pics of everything!  Good Luck and Happy Gardening! First timer SFG plans in Ontario 1787710427
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Post  Kelejan on 4/16/2015, 12:02 am

A second glad you\'re here Tasty Turnip from Kelejan over on the Canadian Region thread. happy hi

Just relax and have a ball with your first venture into SFG. Part of the fun is discovering what mistakes can be made, there are so many of them, and most of the big ones you may not make twice.

There is a big STICKY on the page that gives the last frost dates for anywhere in Canada that may be handy for you.

From Kelejan, Canadian Host who is not the world's best gardener but loves gardening.  Everyone else is here to help. when you need it.
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Post  TastyTurnip on 4/17/2015, 11:10 pm

The weather has been beautiful, raised SFG beds (two 4' x 6') are coming along - here are some pics (60lb dog for scale).

We stapled the landscape fabric up along the walls before filling. Gravel was just to keep them from blowing away as it was a bit breezy. Also filled in around the posts with some gravel mix we had left over from last years landscape project.

First timer SFG plans in Ontario Img_2010First timer SFG plans in Ontario Img_2011
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Post  TastyTurnip on 4/17/2015, 11:12 pm

I should say - trellis, rabbit fence, and trim (benchtops) of boxes coming soon!
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Post  yolos on 4/18/2015, 8:10 am

They sure do look pretty.  I can't wait to see them when you put the trim (benchtops) on them.  A lot of work done there.
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Post  Kelejan on 4/18/2015, 1:03 pm

Are you growing puppies?
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/18/2015, 4:27 pm

lol!   Bet you'd get a lot of puppies in that box!  But can they be trellised?
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Post  sanderson on 4/19/2015, 4:16 am

funny post

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Post  TastyTurnip on 4/19/2015, 7:32 pm

Got the trellis (totally backed out of building our own this year since we still have to install the fence) and drip irrigation today. Is this right? Of course its going to rain for the next three days...
First timer SFG plans in Ontario Img_3311First timer SFG plans in Ontario Img_3310
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Post  quiltbea on 4/19/2015, 8:30 pm

Welcome from Zone 5a in Maine USA.  We're a cold weather area as well.
I'm liking your garden plans.  I hope all works out well for you, but the things that don't, become your learning tools for next year. glad you\'re here
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Post  TastyTurnip on 4/19/2015, 8:36 pm

Oh I just saw your comments about growing puppies! rofl I would if I could! Although then we'd probably have to move. Molly would love a few pups for her entertainment.
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Post  sanderson on 4/20/2015, 3:28 am

Tastyturnip, Looking good. Your dog looks like he/she is a really good dog. The only thing I would encourage you to do is build the grids.

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Post  quiltbea on 4/20/2015, 11:04 am

Personally, I find the grids can be a pain in the ...neck.  They get in the way when I'm weeding or working around my plants.  I like them for marking spaces but prefer them removable.  If I can remove them from the bed I can get my rake right in there and make short work of any weeding.  IMHO.
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Post  TastyTurnip on 4/22/2015, 6:20 am

That's a great tip! I will ponder this.
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