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Community & Forum Building / Re: Let's Talk Soils!
« Last post by William S. on Today at 10:20:16 AM »
Or clay topsoil or clay loam topsoil?

Note: some unscented kitty litter is clay.
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Community & Forum Building / Re: Let's Talk Soils!
« Last post by Richard Watson on Today at 09:46:03 AM »
How easy would it be to bring in clay as well Doro
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Community & Forum Building / Re: Let's Talk Soils!
« Last post by Doro on Today at 07:55:46 AM »
This reminds me of my first year gardening at our house. I dug into the lawn, excited to start the first garden beds... found an inch of top soil above orange sand... just flipped the grass back up and went hiding from the gardenproject for a while lol it was the worst I had ever seen. Like a kids sand box.
I never did a proper laboratory soil test, they are rather pricy here. But I did a simple mud jar test and found it to be 90% gritty sand, a little silt, no clay and very little organic material. The water in the jar had cleared up in a day.
Found out that the natural dirt on my property is early deposited  glacier sand with plenty of iron, a bad deficiency in lime and a PH of 5.4
I've been adding compost, mulch, garden lime, ashes, chicken and rabbit manure ever since. Things have improved a lot in the older garden areas. However I'm adding new garden beds almost every year. It is very interesting to compare the oldest areas with newer areas, it's quite a jump in soil quality.
It is fascinating to see how much time it takes to build up organic material in soil. There never seems to be enough compost and garden waste. But I finally found a small sawmill that is happy to just get rid of their bark chip ;D this should speed up the soil building somewhat.
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Plant Breeding / Re: Dahlias and other edible flowers
« Last post by reed on Today at 06:11:56 AM »
Don't know if my overwinter set up will work or not. They aren't deep enough to be under frost line but I was afraid they would rot in the wet clay dirt if I put them that deep. Also too lazy to dig that big of a hole. That tub on top is full of dry leaves and sand so maybe it will help. I'm also hopeful of finding some that may have more hardy tendency.

Years ago I had some dinner plate types that overwintered on their own against the south wall of the house. That was before we started getting these freaky cold snaps mixed in to otherwise generally mild winters. It was -13C at my house this morning, a record they say. Two days ago while I was digging them it was +19C. 
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Plant Breeding / Re: Dahlias and other edible flowers
« Last post by Doro on Today at 02:25:22 AM »
That's some amazing roots!
I don't pay much attention to how tall the plants are getting. When I plant them in a spot where they should not be too tall I trim them pretty hard while they are small. They just branch out and grow more bushy. Dahlias are pretty forgiving to early trimming.
My attempts at dividing the root clumps were not very successful to be honest. The growth points are so close to the stem and the roots are so brittle that I end up damaging them a lot. I guess it's one of those things with a steep learning curve where early attempts fail a lot, but with practice it's getting easier. Hopefully! I was using garden clippers, but next time I'll try with a sharp curved knife, maybe that will work better.
Your overwintering setup will work when it's below the frost line in the ground.
Rule of thumb for root cellars is that they need to be at least the same depth as the building recommendations for in ground water pipes. For me that means 1,5m (almost 5 feet) but in other climate zones you need way less... ;) I'm having major gardening envy right now, still digging Dahlias in November is fantastic! I forgot a spade in the compost heap and it's frozen stuck since almost a month... won't get it back before April lol.
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Plant Breeding / Re: Dahlias and other edible flowers
« Last post by whwoz on Yesterday at 06:42:37 PM »
Yes Reed, you can divide them, as long as each division has an eye you should be ok
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Community & Forum Building / Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Last post by whwoz on Yesterday at 06:40:26 PM »
Welcome Stephen, you certainly have an interesting environment.   Glad I don't have to deal with those icebergs
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Community & Forum Building / Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Last post by Steph S on Yesterday at 04:17:52 PM »
Hi.  You may know me as Bower on T'ville.  I see many familiar names and faces here, good to see you all.   Warren sent me here to check out the pea breeding thread, and I just have to join.  :)  I need advice on a new project (shallots!) so I'll be posting about that in the near future.
I got my love of gardening from my Dad, who grew up a farmer's son here on the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland, in the days before we had fertilizers, pesticides or anything but nature to work with.  We have a short cool growing season with a cold, late spring and very fickle weather in general.  There can be frost any month of the season, or not.   Icebergs affect the spring weather due to the cold air blowing off the water.  Climate change is bringing us a lot of miserable weather as sundry pieces of Greenland's melting glacier float by and/or cause the "cold blob" in the ocean affecting our weather in unpleasant ways.  We are also getting more unpleasantly hot weather in summer when the wind changes - for us that is anything approaching 80 F!  Unbearable and sometimes lasting for weeks.  :P   All kidding aside, our variable weather has simply gotten more extreme, and that has implications for food security in the future.
I built a home here in the sticks 25 years ago, on a piece of land that belonged to my grandfather but was never farmed.   Never farmed, as I learned, is a key piece of information for a gardener in this area.  The glaciers scraped most of the topsoil away when they retreated just 10,000 years ago, leaving lots of interesting rocks of all sizes and yes, a small bit of red clay on the ridges, with a pH of 4.  In spite of that I did manage to establish a bountiful perennial herb garden which is pretty much self sustaining without water or inputs.  I was more interested in growing medicine than food, but tbh my efforts to grow vegetables were not well rewarded here.  I maintained a fence around the garden to keep out the snowshoe hares, but they always managed to get in.  I didn't do too well with fruit and nut trees and other trees and shrubs either, although some survived, the browsing of moose and hares could be described as brutal.    At some point I gave up on the fence here, and instead enjoyed the company and inspiration of my Dad growing vegs together at his place - one of the first places ever farmed in this area, so 400 years of organic inputs and fantastic soil by local standards.  I also got inspiration from two young friends who are farmers and returned to the island about ten years ago to get serious about growing some food.
I started a tomato breeding project to meet our local needs and tastes in 2012, after one of the most horrible summers on record.  It has not been a straight line to the finish, and that's okay but I am a bit tired of having too many tomatoes in a small space, and giving it so much of my time.  The two farmers who also helped with growouts and selection along the way have chosen an indeterminate F5 each to grow out this season, which they will take to stability.  One of the determinate lines which I grew out myself this year has diversified from a bee cross between sibs, so it may take me longer, but I don't mind.  They are close to the goal I had in mind - low maintenance plants that produce early tasty not red fruit.  Maybe this line wants to be a landrace project.  Can bees be wrong?
I think that ten years ago I had never saved a seed of any kind.   Now it's an integral part of my gardening.  It's fantastic to have our own fresh seed every year for all the greens we now grow, even in winter under lights, to supply our needs.  And share and swap, to try something new each year as well.  I'm really grateful to the online gardening community at T'ville and beyond, for the information, inspiration and seeds shared.  TIA for this new forum and the focus on breeding!   I expect to learn a lot.

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Yep, in fact the first flower on Bbcuzzie still on and that must be 5 days now, they are still inside, tempted to keep them there so I can keep working on the flowers, in the mean time ive been taking cuttings,they can be planted outside so I will allow them to be taken advantage of by the bees.
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The same flower stayed open for two days? That's amazing, I bet it's cause they are protected inside. Or have you taken them out already?

Have any that you pollinated dropped the flower leaving the stigma still there? That's the sign I think, that pollination was successful. Seems to me they tend most often to drop off almost immediately after pollination otherwise they just kind of wilt away and fall off leaving nothing but the stem.
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