Need a Garden Buddy from Northern Ontario.....February

Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)February 1, 2005

Hi Everyone!

It has been mild here the past couple of days and yesterday, the snow was even soft! I can almost imagine spring! *L*

I will be starting my impatien seeds, as soon as I can get out and buy some peat moss. I know I have bags of it, but they are in the garage and I'm NOT moving the snow that is in front of the door. *S*

Have to start bringing up the amaryllis too and potting up the geraniums, it's getting to be that time.

Take care and think spring!

Debbie :-)

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claubill(z3Sud ONT)

Hi Debbie: I'm from Sudbury, Ontario.

I'm thinking of starting to grow some four o'clocks as they are just seeds and they would take a long time to produce the bulbs (tubers). What do you think? I also have some tubers but I think I'll wait till the end of March to start those.

Maybe this weekend, I'll start making an inventory of what I've got and then decide which ones I'll start in March. I have so many seeds and bulbs of all kinds in the basement. When I think about it, it seems overwhelming.

I shop at our Independent Grocers which is within walking distance. I thought this weekend I would start buying my bags of soil. We don't have a car so it's the closest place but when I checked, they only had the small bags and financially it wouldn't be worth it. I'll just have to think of something else.

You said you might start your geraniums. Are you starting them from seed or are you talking about plants that you stored away? I have tons of them stored in the basement. My neighbour has bone cancer so I dug up all his geraniums and ours as well and they are all in the basement. I have way too many. If my neighbour isn't feeling well in the spring, he won't have the energy to do anything in his garden and I know his wife and kids won't do it. I'm kind of in a dilemma. I could start them for him but that would be way too much work and I just don't have the space to do his and ours.

We're also storing his bird of paradise upstairs where there's more sunlight.

In any case, I'm just anxious about starting some plants but I don't want to start too early as the plants might get too leggy.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 10:44PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Evenin'. I guess we should aim for more than 10 posts in this thread this month, eh? :) Just not a real lot going on, i guess.

I haven't started anything yet, but have some impatiens, petunia and osteospermum seeds that i'll start within a couple of weeks. I've put out a few winter sowing containers as well. The weather this week has been great, but i don't think anything will sprout just yet! LOL

The impatiens cuttings i have in the house are doing fine. I potted them up about a month ago, and one is going to bloom again now. Hate to pinch them back, but i probably should. Some of my geraniums have been going all winter, but i'll pot up the roots i've saved during this month too. When i took out my begonia tubers last fall, one had sprouts on it so i left it in soil. It hasn't done much, but has a couple of leaves.

Meanwhile, the catalogues keep coming in, and the temptation is soooooooooo great! LOL I have a gift certificate at Patrick's Studio, so i have to order something before the end of the month. A friend from work is going to order with me so we can split the postage. I also have a coupon for Botanus - two Renoir lilies - and that has to be redeemed before the end of March. Decisions, decisions! One can never have too many lilies!

Everything else is in the planning and dreaming stage. All kinds of plans! I've gotten so many seeds from trades (people are way too generous! Or do they just want to get rid of their excesses?!), and if 1/4 of them turn into plants, i'm gonna be in big trouble! LOL

Claubill, my daughter direct-sowed four o'clocks a couple of years ago and they produced tubers. I didn't find out that you could save the tubers until after she had already dug them up. Last year, our seeds didn't germinate - probably the lousy weather. We're going to try again this year, and this time save the tubers.

Not much else happening. Think spring, everyone!

whose son is pestering her for the computer! :)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 11:19PM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

Hi claubill,

I have grown four o'clocks by seeds, starting them in the house many years ago. Mine never produced flowers soon enough before the frost came. I didn't know they produced tubers until I pulled them up. *S* I haven't tried them again. I would say that if u wanted to start seeds you'd have to start them ealier than what the seed package said. Northern summers are a lot shorter than southern summers as you know. *S* I would start the tubers inside in March like you thought, maybe start them at different times and keep track on how they do? I write the date on masking tape and stick it on the side of the pots.

I thought I had impatien seeds but I couldn't find them. They take a long time to grow from seeds, the same with geraniums. I will be starting both geranium seeds and potting up the geranium plants I saved from last year as soon as I get some peat moss. It takes a while for the geranium plants to get the leaves growing on them again after being in bags all winter.

I get peat moss at Home Hardware when I need it early cause YIG doesn't get the big bags until May up here which is way too long. I'm also going to try Walmart too. I haven't been out in a few weeks and I think I'll try to get to walmart this Tuesday.

I remember u telling us about your neighbour having cancer and U helping him with his garden. Perhaps U could pot up a few of his and plant them for him in the summer? At least he would have a couple to look at. I pinch back my geraniums too as they grow so they don't get too leggy.

I can hardly wait to see all the hostas I transplanted last summer in the new beds. I have quite a few more to move from the backyard into the front yard and have been planning on what to move where.

I bought this beautiful book called The Colour Encyclopedia of Hostas, in October, it was a gift from my mom. It has over 700 photos of different hostas in it and write ups about each one. Well Wiblur, cat, kicked it into the garbage without me knowing. I was cleaning out the fruit cellar and throwing out old preserves and dumped them right on top of the book! ekkkk I tore the house apart looking for my book and then found it in the trash a day or two later. I was soooo upset, the pages were stuck together, the pics were damaged. AFter I cleaned it off as best I could, I used plastic spoons to keep the pages apart, that I could get apart, and wax paper for pages too and then turned the oven on low and put it on top of the stove. I didn't know what else to do. Lots of the pages were ripped too. Well some nice people got together and bought me a new book for a surprise!! I was shocked! I have never met any of these people before, just chatted with them on a hosta forum! It brought tears to my eyes to know that there were such nice people around. *S* So never let it be said that even though u haven't met someone in person they still can't be your friend. *S*

Marica, yes not too much gardening going on yet. *L* I'm just dreaming of it right now. *S* I found some petunia seeds and I'm going to grow some this year. I did say that I was just going to have only 3 hanging pots of annuals this year and that was it, but guess what? I changed my mind. *LOL* I forgot I had bought new pots last year and that I like to have flowers on the patio too, sooooo I will be growing more than 3 pots of flowers again. *S* I guess I will do petunias, marigolds and the geraniums too, a couple of tomatoes and lettuce, and zucs and and and ....*S*
Did u save just the geranium roots or the whole plant?

Those catalogues are so pretty. I got one from lilynook yesterday and on man those lilies are gorgeous! I have no more space for lilies, I wish I did. *L*

Well that's it for now....take care, Gale when are u going on your vacation?

Debbie :-)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 11:26PM
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Gale(3/4 NW ONT)

Hi Buddies!

Just a quick post...leaving for the airport in 6 hrs......early flight!

Everyone has been SICK the past week..I'm still getting over sinusitis....ugh.
I'm hoping the warm weather in Florida will nurse me back to health! Everyone else seems to be over their colds and flu...thank goodness!

Mom will be staying at the house with the pets and

Anyhooo.....hope everyone stays warm and thinks spring!
I want it to be closer by the time I get back.

Here's a link to my "Florida home" looks so nice, I know I won't want to come back

Take care everyone and I'll post when I get back Feb 22.

Talk to ya'll later, Gale (ready for a tan)

Here is a link that might be useful: Florida Home

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 11:33PM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

It was cold here yesterday, went down to -29C last night! Yikes, the nails in the house were popping! I thought someone was throwing snowballs at the house until I realized how cold it was outside.

I went to Walmart yesterday and bought some seeds. They had wave petunias, impatiens, and geranium seeds. I have never seen them sell these types of seeds before so I bought quite a few. They were expensive, 6.99 for the petunias and when I planted them last night there didn't seem to be very many seeds in the pack. There use to be 10 seeds in the pack that was about 4 bucks that I usually get thru mail order, so I hope I got more than that in these packs.

I planted the pink wave petunias, white impatiens and cherry colour impatiens. I stuck two types of geranium seeds on wet paper towels in a ziploc and put those on the fridge until they germinate. I started the petunias so early so that I can take cuttings from them and root them, that way I get more bang for my buck! *S*

I have been fighting off a cold, flu, dizziness whatever the heck it is here, but tonight I'm going to try and get some of the geranium plants that are in bags in the cellar planted up in pots. I can hardly wait for spring to get here, I'm sto sick of being stuck in the house!

Gale U have a great time in Florida and I sure hope your sinuses clear up soon! Hope u take tons of pics. I can't imagine being somewhere warm in the winter time, I would like to try it though. *L*

Take care
Debbie :-)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 11:51PM
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kashacres(Z3 Canada)

Hello, I just joined up. Never knew this resource existed. Any one try planting vegetable seeds this early? Last year I started at the end of March, but the summer was cold and wet and many of my plants did not mature. I was planning to start some vegetables this week end. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 9:58AM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

Hi Kash,

Unless u are lucky enough to have a heated greenhouse to grow them in I would say that it is still a bit too early to start veggies. I don't start my tomatoes until the beginning of April usually. Head lettuce, broccoli I start then too.

Take care
Debbie :-)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2005 at 1:26AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Hi all! It's playing in the dirt time again! Today i started impatiens (3 kinds), petunias (3 kinds as well), osteospermum and godetia. No sprouts yet, though! LOL

Debbie, i ordered my seeds from Dominion Seed House. I can't remember how many seeds they said there'd be in the wave petunias i got, but there were 21 of them! If you buy them from a nursery, each plant is at least $5, right? So if all of these germinate and grow, i'll have $105 worth of petunias! The other petunias i planted were from saved seed, so i don't know what they'll turn out to be. Doesn't matter, though. I hope the purple waves come back purple, though, because the osteospermum i planted is in purple shades and i'd like to put them together. Come to think of it, the godetia is lilac too. Sounds good to me!

I haven't brought in the geranium roots yet (the ones in the garage). Several of the plants i kept are doing quite well in the house, but none are blooming. A couple of the impatiens cuttings are blooming now. They've had spider mites, and so i've had to dunk them in the dish water once. Where do those darn things come from? None of the other plants have them - they seem to specialize in my impatiens!

We've had pretty good weather so far this month, a lot of days above 0. The snow has packed down quite a bit, and has even melted somewhat. The good (?) news is that we're supposed to get another 5-10 cms tonight. Oh well, it IS February...

Hope you've successfully beat the flu, Debbie. I've been lucky this year - got my flu shot! Lots of it going around, though.

Not much else happening here. Same old, same old. I'll be starting my tomatoes at the beginning of March, and the peppers not long after that. When the March Break comes along, winter sowing will start in earnest! People have been bringing me containers, and i've promised them flowers in return! LOL Next month, i'm going to do a winter sowing workshop at the Hort. Society. I'll have to start advertizing that pretty soon.

Anyway, take care, all. Let's think of Gale enjoying herself in Florida! Boooooooo! :)


    Bookmark   February 13, 2005 at 10:07PM
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Last year, I started a few plants (mostly the gifts from my sister-in-law). She stuck the plants in my garden. I started Queeny hollyhocks, malva sylvestris, and mauve datura from seeds. The hollyhocks only put a few leaves out, no flowers. The malva only flowered for a few weeks near the end of summer, same as the datura. I don't even know if these are annuals or what! I've been trading seeds and have a few different ones I'd like to try this year, but I'm not sure when to start them indoors and I'm not sure what to do about the ones I started last year. My sister-in-law planted canna, feverfew, eunonomys (or something like that), forget-me-nots (which spread to different parts of my garden). I dug up the canna bulbs like she told me to and have them in the unheated basement. I don't know when to plant them back into the ground (she only planted a few and now I have 2 boxes of bulbs (eek!). I gave away a couple of boxes to all of my neighbours already, so I'm keeping the rest of them to trade for callas which I've been having difficulty finding.

I don't know which seeds to start first or what I'm supposed to do with the plants from last year, if they're perennial or annuals, and when to plant the bulbs. I'm getting overwhelmed by it all...I've got a lotttt of learning to do!

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


    Bookmark   February 13, 2005 at 10:31PM
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Hi from Sudbury! This is my first day visiting this nice to find you all!
Claubill...I live in New Sudbury also, so we can't be too far away from each other....!
Until about 4 years ago, gardening didn't interest me was survival of the fittest. Now, each year my interest grows, esp after discovering some plants I actually enjoy having around, like Hostas, my StarGazers, lilies....
I'm afraid I'm a novice here, but we do garden (flowers and veggies), and my DH put in a nice waterfall pond for me a few years ago...I hope to learn so much more about gardening in our zones from you all!
Take care...Lindi

    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 8:58PM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

Hi everyone
It's been cold here the past few days. The new back door we had put in it May is letting in lots of drafts, the hinges are icing up. The door company guy said this is normal? Ha! Then why is the top hinge not icy? He put some new weatherstripping around the middle and lower hinge but they have still iced up. It is a metal clad door and he said the cold from outside is coming thru the steel and inner core and icing up the hinges. I don't think so, but we are not getting anywhere with this. Plus the guy didn't know any English, and I don't speak French so son was trying his best to translate. It's hard to communicaet when u don't speak the others language, and hand signals don't really cut it when your trying to explain about a door.

I would like to know if any of u have steel clad doors on your homes and if the hinges ice up on yours? I don't know what to do,,,,all the thousands of dollars we have spent at the building center and for Robage windows and doors in the last year and we are getting treated like this?
Ok, enough about that.

I am still busy doing my seeds. I planted some more impatiens and silver wave and mixed carpet petunias the other day. The geraniums I have in wet paper towels on top of the fridge are germinating nicely and I plant some in small pots every night. I have also started two types of coleus.

Some of the geraniums that I had in paper bags over the winter and I potted up are getting leaves on them, so I'm happy about that. I think I brought up the amaryllis too soon as they are getting leaves on them but no flower stalks. *sigh* so looks like I'm not going to get many flowers from this 10, but I have a bunch more in the basement. *L*

Marcia, I think I will try Dominion Seed next year as I'm getting tired of Mcfaydens. I don't know how u save petunia seeds. I can never see where the plant hides the'll have to take a pic of your petunias for me where the seeds are hidden, ok? *L* If your petunias get too big before it is time for them to go out to the garden U could do like I'm going to do, take cuttings from them and put some rooting hormone on them and see if they will root.

If u have geraniums in the garage, won't they have frozen or is your garage heated? Sorry to hear your having trouble with spider mites, I hope the dish soap will help get rid of them. Do u mist them too? I have read that they don't like humidity.

We haven't hit 0 here yet, still waiting. But don't want it to melt too quick in case of floods etc. I am feeling better now and I too got the flu shot, but I'm the only one in the family that did. I just wish they'd learn not to share germs. *L*

How are the house projects coming along? Did u get the floor, siding, painting etc done?

Hi Rani and Lindi
Rani, zone 6? Where abouts are u located? Zone 6 would be around Toronto, I think. Hollyhocks are biannuals, I think. Which means they will bloom the second year and reseed themselves. They grow the first year and bloom the second, then die. But I'm not sure on this, maybe someone else would know. Hollyhocks are not hardy where I live, though I have tried them, love them. I would also suggest to go to your local library and get some gardening books. I have read every gardening book in our local library, they might even have some gardening videos u could borrow too. I also think that daturas are tropical plants, if they are the ones I'm thinking of, so they won't have survived the winter if u left them outside. You might also want to go to some garden club meetings or horticultural meetings in your area too and ask people there questions, they are usually very good to answer questions.

Lindi, I have a small pond here too that son and I dug about 8 years ago. I love the sound of water, it is conforting. Also love hostas and lilies! I have about 70 different types of hostas and oh about 300 lilies,,,but not all different types. I love lilies they are my fav flower. Hubs and I just redid my gardens last year. Moved a lot of hostas from the back yard to the front amongst my roses.
If u have any questions we will try and help you.
Take care
Debbie :-)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 2:06AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Hi all. Happy Sunday! :) It's snowing again. Sigh... And the temps are much colder than last week. Let's hope March brings some milder temps and a lot of melting!! Winter seems to be about six months longer than it used to be! LOL

Rani, i can't tell you much about hollyhocks. I have some seed i'll be winter sowing this year, so maybe i'll learn more! They are perennial - or maybe biennial, as Debbie says. I'm not sure. Malva might be perennial in zone 6 - not sure. My malva reseeds like crazy, though. Feverfew is perennial. Eunonymous is a shrub, isn't it? Eunonymous alata - i have that, i do believe. Otherwise known as Winged Burning Bush. Perennials will take care of themselves - i mean they'll just grow again when they're ready. You can plant the cannas into a container to start them earlier. I'm not sure if you can plant them directly into the ground in zone 6 - i mean without starting them early.

Somewhere in the Far North Forum, there's a link for a site that tells you when to start your seeds. If you go over there and browse some of the threads you might find it. It might be in the one entitled "Starting seeds inside" (something like that). You and Glitter will learn a lot here, and you'll learn by doing too. Me, i'm always learning!

One thing i learned this week is that godetia probably shouldn't have been started quite so early - it popped up in three days! Everything else i started has some germination now, some more than others. Debbie, when you have your petunias growing this summer, don't deadhead a couple of stems and soon you'll find a little pod growing where the flower fell off. When it gets brown, the seeds are ripe and you can collect them. Sometimes you miss some flowers while deadheading, and after awhile, you might see some little black things on some of the leaves. At first you think they're bugs, but chances are you'll find a ripe, open pod nearby, and they're seeds after all. Probably these seeds i've planted will not come true, but they'll be nice, nevertheless. I'll be doing cuttings too!

I have taken cuttings from some of the impatiens now and have them rooting in water. I should mist the plants more, i guess. Occasionally i spray them down at the sink. I've also cut back my lantana and have cuttings rooting from that. It wasn't looking good anymore, so maybe three years is its limit! The little begonia (Gumdrop) is not doing really well either. Half the plant is dying off - the stems are kind of constricting for some reason. Anyway, i trimmed it and put some pieces in water.

The garage is minimally heated, Debbie. We keep root veggies in the far corner, and they stay nice and firm. That's where i put the geraniums - and maybe i'll get out there one of these days to bring them in. I just brought in my bale of Pro-Mix, so it'll be awhile before it thaws out - i'll have plenty of time to procrastinate! LOL

Oh - i made a big mistake this week. Someone posted a link to T & T Seeds with a list of what she had ordered. I followed the link... $50 later, i'll have some new lilies, a mum, a daylily and some ligularia this summer! I didn't realize ligularia was a shade plant. There are a couple of spots it can go.

Dh got the roof done last summer, a new living room window, most of the siding and most of the soffit and fascia done. The floor is still waiting, though there have been noises made lately about getting started on it. I just moved all the boxes out of the way in the porch so the table for my other lights could be set up. This is what the house looks like now:

He ran out of vertical siding for the front of the porch, so that didn't get done. Lots of snow, eh?!

Anyway, i have some other stuff to do, so i'm off. Have a good week, everyone. Gale, we'll be waiting to see pictures of your Florida tan! LOL


    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 2:15PM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

Hi everyone

Nice pic Marcia! I love your siding, I hope u will be able to get some this spring that will match it and yes u do have a nice blanket for your plants. *G* We are still getting snow here, it is suppose to snow tomorrow and I have to go to Timmins for tests and to see a specialist. I sure hope the snow will hold off until after we get back home. I have travelled in a snow storm to Timmins before and I was scared outta my wits!

I transplanted some impatiens last night but ran outta peat moss. Gary thought he had put one of the bags in the garbage box so he dug that out but it wasn't there and there is no way he can dig out the garage to get at the ones I know are in there. Oopps *L* I'll have to pick some up on Tuesday because I have another pot filled with pink impatiens that needs transplanting and a couple of pots of petunias too. So things are really start to pop up here.

I gave my fushia a hair cut and moved it into the front window beside my Christmas cactus that has decided to bloom again. This is the first time it has bloomed twice in one year. So whatever I did to it this past summer I hope I can remember and do it again. *S*

Marcia, I looked at the petunias last year that I missed deadheading and didn't see a thing, I even had son look and he didn't see anything either. I'm thinking my plants are just too shy and don't fool around. *L* I do see like a green thing where the flower had been growing, it is tiny and has about four tiny leaves around it, is that where the seed is hiding? I mean I think it has tiny leaves around it, sort of reminds me of a cup. But I never see anything sticking out of it.

Do u think your begonia has spider mites?

OOps I have to get going. It's getting late and 6 a.m. comes early. *ugh*
Take care
Debbie, not looking forward to the drive to Timmins in the morning.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 10:39PM
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claubill(z3Sud ONT)

Hi Lindi. I'm the lady from Sudbury. We live on Victoria Street, off Lorne Street, by Northern Breweries. It's nice to have someone here from the area.

I started some 4 o'clocks and three of them had a set of leaves. I had put them in bathroom upstairs because there's more sunlight there. Well, I came back from work one day and noticed that the leaves were gone. My cat, Schmutt, had chewed them off so I have to start again. I spent the weekend setting up the basement. We have growlights down there but our basement isn't insulated so it's still too cold to start anything unless I put a heater and I don't want to do that just now.

Hi Lindi, if you need anything seeds, I have tons of certain kinds, like marigolds. They are very easy to start. If you have a wish list, send it to me. It's possible I may have it. Since you're in the area, I have a lot of canna lily bulbs if you're interested.

Anyways, I have to leave you as I have to go to work early in the morning.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 11:05PM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

I made it back from Timmins ok, though I'm dead tired and it snowed, but not too bad. Had a lot of laughs on the drive as the lady was very nice and funny.

Claubill, I'm sorry to hear that your cat ate your plants, sure hope he doesn't get a tummy ache.

Maybe if u want to set up lights in the basement u could hand a sheet around them to keep the cool off them. The heat from the lights would keep them warm, the cool would also keep them from getting leggy as plants don't grow quickly where it is cool. Just make sure the lights don't actually touch the sheets.

I'm going to go and start the March thread now.

Take care
Debbie :-)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 1:36AM
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