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new vegetable garden in Ottawa

Messages posted to thread:

Christy08-May-06 11:46 AM EST 5a   
Amanda09-May-06 06:08 AM EST 5b   
Amanda09-May-06 06:10 AM EST 5b   
Amanda09-May-06 06:33 AM EST 5b   
Jean02-May-08 11:01 PM EST 5a   
Kate30-Mar-10 07:13 PM EST 5a   

Subject: new vegetable garden in Ottawa
From: Christy
Zone: 5a
Date: 08-May-06 11:46 AM EST

Hello. I am new to the area and to gardening. I have a nice large tilled area in Zone 5a where I would like to plant a vegetable garden, but I am unsure how to get started. I would love a short "Vegetable Garden for Dummies" email from someone who knows what they are doing and has some time to mentor a newbie. Some of the veggies I'd like to grow are spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, winter squash, cucumbers, but I am not limited to those. I would also like to keep the garden organic for my family's health. Do I need to buy organic seeds? Thanks so much for any input.

Subject: RE: new vegetable garden in Ottawa
From: Amanda
Zone: 5b
Date: 09-May-06 06:08 AM EST

Hi there,

I live in 5a - 5b zone area a little ways west of Brockville. I have done a garden for the past few yrs. I am still learning but I can tell you a little about what I plant. I plant Tomato Plants not from seeds but from small plants and they grow wildly and beautifully. I also do Tiny Tim Tomatos with the same effect. Last year I did cucumbers and now I wasn't sure on how to do them the right way, you will want to make sure you somehow have them vine up something, I never did and they vined all over my yard and the cucumbers that grew there were not all that nice but the others that were off the ground were perfect, huge and tasted wonderful. I tried to also do Onions , Garlic and a Green Pepper Plant last year that never really turned out. Also where my garden is, which is kind of tiny, there is sun in that area from about 11am til the sun goes down and I think that helps alot having alot of sun throughout the day on your garden.

I hope all goes well for you.

Subject: RE: new vegetable garden in Ottawa
From: Amanda
Zone: 5b
Date: 09-May-06 06:10 AM EST

Sorry I forgot something, here is a website that I just recently found that I will use this year when planting my cucumbers. http://cyber-north.com/gardening/cucumber.html

Subject: RE: new vegetable garden in Ottawa
From: Amanda
Zone: 5b
Date: 09-May-06 06:33 AM EST

Here is another great website I have been using thus far this year it is alot of help with everything you might need.


Subject: RE: new vegetable garden in Ottawa
From: Jean
Zone: 5a
Date: 02-May-08 11:01 PM EST

I live in Orleans. I grew tomatoes, snap peas, soy beans, onions, lettuce, spinach, beets, and carrots last year. The snap peas need some thing to climb on if you want them to produce more than 2-3 weeks of peas get them to climb more than 4'. Depending on your tomato plants, the round three leg cages sold in the stores don't do a good job, if your growing "bush" type get a good 6' stake and tie the plant as it grows. Vine type are the same as your beans, peas, squashes, or cucumbers: get some thing to climb them, preferably some thing sturdy like a trellis (making your own is a fraction of the cost and easy). Soy beans are actually easy to grow (makes a small bush ~2' high and fixes nitrogen in soil), just start them ~7th of June (they need warm soil and prefer well draining soil too!). Onions are annoying and if they get me the same result this year, I am going to give them up. Trying garlic this year, you have to plant them in October for the following year, and need to bury them deep and cover them in mulch for the winter. The garlic appears to be a success since they did pop up and are a very healthy green colour. Carrots should be seeded as soon as the soil is workable. Beets I won't repeat due to my self impose waste last year. Lettuce takes ~2-3 weeks to produce. What I recommend is seed little bit at a time. You should reseed every week for the summer. Seed about 1/2 square foot at the time unless your a big eater of lettuce. One thing to really watch for: do not over water the vegetable. I had some misgivings with the tomatoes due to over watering. I watered decently almost every day.... not good on the pocket book and the plants (roots were almost on the top of the soil instead of down below). My "plot" size is 8'x10' in the back and I added a 7'x5' raise flower garden in the front this year (planted some asparagus near the house as background and going to plant herbs). I have the standard townhouse that frequent Ottawa region.

My recommendation get some study trellis (I built mine to 9' high by 10' (I bought 10' poles of cedar 2"x2" rough) and a second section of 3' wide for the tomatoes (I have 1 staker and some vine types), which is a bit extreme, go for ~6', less than 6' is annoying for climbing plants (buy ~7' high poles, 1' buried in the soil... and aim for 1-1.5" width cut rough if you can get it, it gives it a more rustic feel)) for your cucumbers and winter squash, this saves space and avoids issues of picking/noticing the veg. also some pests. Try this link for instructions: http://www.cottageliving.com/cottage/gardens/article/0,21135,1174857,00.html

You can get some cheap cedar at: Ottawacedar.com , just call them to place the order. Don't do like me and get the 2"x2" rough, it's too wide and extreme. Tell them what you want to build and ask them what they recommend. They also make cedar privacy screens which make good climbing screen for the plants.

The spinach I produced last year was a bit of a disappointment due to the bitterness of the leaf at maturity. I could not eat a salad of spinach leaves without a sour feeling in my mouth. Young leaf are nice but hard to pick since it slows the growth of the plant.... quite the delima.

Final message: don't grow pepper and tomatoes together or close by, one will grow while the other won't!

I will be growing this year: snap peas, purple beans, green beans, carrots, lettuce, small tomato and heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, soy beans, hot peppers (inside pots), kale, shallots, onions, garlic, asparagus (if it survives, first harvest will be in 3 years) and rhubarb. +Fine herb in the new garden. Fertilizer used last year and this year is sheep manure. Boy do I have a lot of worms this year!!!

P.S. Rhubarb is a joke to grow and produces very well, just make sure to leave 4 leaves at all time unless trimming for winter. It will grow in any soil too and is not hard to manage, just divide the plant when it gets too big!

Subject: RE: new vegetable garden in Ottawa
From: Kate
Zone: 5a
Date: 30-Mar-10 07:13 PM EST

I too have a favorite site in Ottawa for plant info and trading too. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Ottawa_Plantcycle/ This topic just came up.

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