Getting Ready

Kailey Bosch (left) and Elizabeth Churcher.

Spring was definitely in the air as 53 people attended the March meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Kailey Bosch, co-owner of the Melrose Market located on Melrose Road near Shannonville Road, was the guest speaker for the evening. Kailey spoke about getting your garden ready for spring planting-evidently a topic of interest to many members!

Healthy soil is needed to start the garden. Kailey uses aged horse manure and compost. She plants her garden in 30-inch rows with an 18-inch walkway and raised 6-inches.

Kailey used organic and heirloom seeds in her plantings. She recommends seeds from High Mowing seeds, West Coast seeds and Village Green located in Foxboro.

Starting Seeds…

-use peat/vermiculite and worm castings (available at Thrashers in Belleville); pro mix is a good pre-mixed starter; wet soil prior to planting

-seed depth should be 2 x the size of the seed deep; 1 ½ inch cells and soil blockers were recommended

-as soon as you see sprouts, move plants to south facing window or place under a full spectrum light for 12 hours a day; light should be 3 inches above leaves

-place a fan on low to keep air moving around plants

-keep the soil consistently wet by using a cover; as soon as seed germinate, remove cover and let soil dry out a bit between watering

-harden off plants before moving outdoors

Kailey discussed planting times appropriate planting times for our area…

Feb-March…leeks

Mid-March…peppers, tomatoes, greens/herbs

April…greens, lettuce, beets, broccoli and outside you can plant green onions, peas and spinach

May…outside you can plant squash, melon and cucumber

Pesta can be controlled by….

-using row covers

-companion planting-bail with tomatoes deters aphids

-planting nasturtiums

-using organic pesticide-Diatomaceous Earth, Insecticidal Soap and Neem Oil

Suggestions to yield a bountiful harvest all season long….

-do succession planting where one crop is pulled and another is planted

-do not plant all the seeds of one variety at the same time; this will prevent having all the same produce ready at once

-use companion planting…. plant two different plants together in one area

-if using raised beds, it is important to add compost every 2 weeks to build up the soil; Kailey suggested adding pelleted chicken manure to raised beds

-keep records so you know dates when seeds were planted, varieties planted, where planted in garden and any issues you had with seeds, and the yield your garden produced

Kailey’s Market Garden is open the weekend prior to the long weekend in May…this year that will be May 9th. Plants as well as produce are available at the Market Garden!

And 2020 Begins…

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society were excited to attend the first meeting of 2020…a sign that spring is coming in spite of piles of snow and the Groundhog’s predication of six more weeks of winter! Elizabeth Churcher and George Thomson shared photos of their “Garden Friends at Hepatica Hill”. Hepatica Hill is the name of their 100 acre farm south of Tweed.

Elizabeth and George are active members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society.

Elizabeth started the presentation by a photo walk through their property highlighting their various gardens. They like to think of their 100 acres as one large garden overflowing with flowers, trees, bushes, shrubs, herbs, vegetables and fruit.

They try to plant a variety of tree, bushes and shrubs to provide shelter for the different wildlife that come to visit their property…and they are always welcome!!! In fact, Elizabeth and George even plant extra crops so the wild life can enjoy the produce just like they do!

Their plants are carefully chosen so they will attract pollinators to their gardens.

George, an avid photographer shared photos of the various wildlife that have visited Hepatica Hill throughout the years. Butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, bees, spiders, frogs, toads, salamanders, milk snakes, garter snakes to mention a few. Many species of birds have also been spotted on their property….red headed woodpeckers, Baltimore orioles, tree swallows, bluebirds, juncos, chickadees, blue jays, cardinals and even a great gray owl (twice in 46 years but George has a photo of this!) Mammals also drop by to visit…red squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks, rabbits, groundhogs, raccoons, skunks, porcupines and of course deer.

Elizabeth and George have implemented strategies to support a harmonious relationship among all living things on their property…and it seems to be working judging by the beautiful plants and wildlife seen in their presentation.

COMING UP….

March 3 …Kailey Bosch, owner of Melrose Market Garden will discuss ways to help members grow a vegetable garden… planning the garden, seed starting, succession planting, companion planting and creating healthy soil.

June 8…Bus trip to Peterborough to visit gardens and do some spring plant shopping. Cost $40.

GENERAL INTEREST EVENTS…

April 18…AGM in Ameliasburgh. Register with our Club if you are interested in attending.

April 24-26…Peterborough Garden Show at Fleming College, 599 Brealey Drive.

Happy Holidays!

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society welcomed the holiday season with their annual Christmas Pot Luck dinner at their December meeting. Tables covered in bright red tablecloths and decorated with evergreen boughs intertwined with beads, ornaments and poinsettia plants created a very “holly jolly” feeling to the meeting room at the Tweed Library.

The dinner was just as amazing as some of our members’ gardens…..roast turkey, ham, quiche, and a wonderful variety of salads, meatballs, veggie trays, rolls, potatoes and several vegetable casseroles. The dessert tables were filled with cookie platters, pecan pie, apple pie, cakes, tarts and squares…a wonderful variety for that sweet tooth that we all have during the holiday season!  A variety of punches completed the menu!

Several members were presented with their 10 year pins to recognize their years of service to the club. Congratulations to these members!

Members enjoyed Linda Holmes’ annual video presentation that showcased the speakers and club activities during 2019. Our club had a busy year as seen in the presentation. Many thanks to Linda for continuing to coordinate this presentation as it was certainly enjoyed by all.

Then it was time for “Quarter Frenzy”….a bidding game that used quarters. Valerie and Dave did a wonderful job showcasing the prizes and encouraging everyone to keep bidding! Laughter and the sound of quarters dropping into cups could be heard throughout the room. Lots of excitement as members bid for the prizes…and several members won more than one prize!!!! Members were also given the opportunity to win a poinsettia plant….lots of fun was had by all!!!

Wishing all our members and their families a joyous holiday season and best wishes for 2020!

NOTE: First meeting for 2020 will be Tuesday February 4th @ 7:00 pm at the Tweed Library.

Annual memberships will be on sale at the meeting.

The Look of Christmas

The scent of cedar boughs certainly made it feel like Christmas at the November meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Sheila Harris, former owner of Dustin’s flower Shop in Belleville shared some of her favorite ideas for Christmas decorating.

Using a grapevine wreath, she had made, Sheila simply added different types of greens to the base of the wreath to create a simple yet stunning wreath. She likes to use natural grapevine to make her wreath rather than using a store-bought wreath. Simply use wire to hold the vines in place and make the wreath the size you want. She used spruce, pine, boxwood and cedar as her greenery. She suggested adding one type of greenery at a time. Push the greenery into the spaces of the grapevine and wire for extra durability. Berries, dried orange and lime slices, hydrangea, pinecones, and dried flowers from the garden are natural embellishments that Sheila tends to use in her wreaths.

A vase with dogwood branches makes an attractive arrangement for the holiday season. She suggested adding slices of lemons and limes to the water as a natural preservative. Adding a few cranberries gives a splash of colour!

Sheila demonstrated how to use a tie a bundle of dogwood branches as the base of a centre piece and added greenery to enhance the dogwood….very attractive! Again, Sheila preferred to use natural embellishments but the choice is yours!

She mentioned that most natural wreaths and centre pieces will dry out in the house unless they are in water. They can last 4-5 days indoors even with occasional spritzing of water. Sheila suggested keeping them outdoors and just bring them in when needed…then put outside again!

At the conclusion of her demonstration, Sheila encouraged members to use the many materials available to make something to take home for the holiday season.

The AGM was held at the meeting. The financial report was presented and approved. The slate of officers was presented for 2020.

COMING UP…

December 3…Christmas Pot Luck Dinner @ 6 pm. Bring your favourite pot luck dish, dessert, plate, utensils and wine glass. There will be the annual power point presentation of the club’s activities throughout 2019. Pins will be presented to qualifying members for their years of service to the club. Bring quarters to play “Quarter Frenzy”….always a lot of fun!

Volunteers are needed to help set up for the dinner. Meet at the library at 1:00 on December 3rd.

Canning and Some Salsa

With gardens overflowing with ripe tomatoes, zucchini, onions, carrots etc, members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society were interested to learn tips about preserving their harvest through canning.

Nadine Campeau, the dietitian at Gateway Community Health Centre in Tweed was the guest speaker at the October meeting. Nadine discussed safe ways to preserve the season’s harvest through canning.

TIPS:

-always wash your hands and use gloves if handling items like jalapeno peppers

-use a water bath when canning acidic produce high in salt and sugar

-all jars and lids need to be washed in hot soapy water, air dried and placed in a water canner for 10-20 minutes prior to filling; the snap rings need to be sterilized at 82 degrees for 10 minutes to sterilize; always use new lids and snap rings

-do not touch any area of the jars which will hold the ingredients; use sterilized tongs

-when jars are sealed properly, the lids become concave; if unsure if a jar was sealed properly, keep in the fridge and use within a few weeks

-canned food must be sealed properly to prevent botulism which can make a person very ill and affect the nervous system

Nadine made Peppy Salsa, a Canadian Living recipe…http://www.canadianliving.com/food/appetizers-snacks/recipe/peppy-salsa

Members enjoyed the Peppy Salsa that Nadine made at the meeting!

COMING UP

October 26….Garden clean-up. Meet at Moira Garden at 9:00 am

November 5….Christmas decorating tips with guest speaker, Sheila Harris. There will be a hands-on workshop; bring your clippers and supplies.

The Annual General Meeting is held at this meeting. The Financial Report of the past year will be presented for approval.

Seed Saving

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society welcomed Karen ten Cate, from Bumblerock Farm located near Roblin to the September meeting. The members were chatting among each about their “harvest” of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans, beet, etc. that they have been enjoying. Karen’s talk was a perfect choice for this time of year as it gave members insight into “seed saving” for next spring’s growing season.

Karen, her husband and children grow organic vegetables on their farm and are stewards of a large heirloom seed collection. Honey is also produced on their farm.

Through her photos, Karen shared the secrets of her seed saving journey. Although she has had many successes, she admitted that she had just as many “non-successes” during her learning process. But as she stated, seed saving was a means to keep her “ancestors alive”. She started seed saving with seeds from her grandmother’s garden.

Heirloom seeds offer delicious tasting produce, are locally adaptable and offer a wide variety of colour, shape, size and texture.

It is important to collect seeds that are true to the type of plant you want. Seeds should dried and stored in glass jars that are not completely sealed.

Karen’s enthusiasm about seed collecting was evident throughout her presentation. She loves the fact that she has seeds in her heirloom collection from plants that were grown 100 years ago.

Members were encouraged to attend the Kingston Seedy Saturday which is always held the first weekend of the March Break.

COMING UP

September 17…Garden clean-up. Meet at Moira Garden at 6:00 pm

October 1…Nadine Campeau from Gateway Community Health Centre will be discussing canning. She will do a demonstration on making salsa.

The Gardens in Mid-Summer

Village gardens are looking good this mid-summer. Tweed Hort maintains most of the municipal gardens in the downtown core.

Here’s a shot of the Moira Memorial Garden.

For more photos, click on the “Village Gardens” link over in the right hand column.

Container Water Gardening

With the rainy damp spring in southern Ontario this year, container water gardens seemed to be a perfect topic for the June Tweed and District Horticultural Society meeting. There has definitely been lots and lots and lots of rain to fill containers for water gardens!!!!

Peter and Christine Gill shared their water container garden knowledge through a power point presentation interjected with many comments that had the members laughing as they enjoyed the presentation.

Peter and Christine are the founding members of the Water Garden Society and are still very active members within the society.

Any container can be used for a water garden providing it has no hole!!!! This allows a novice water gardener to start small. What is important in planning for the water garden is knowing how much water ABOVE the plant is required.

Marginals grow close to the surface of the water. The hardy marginals are suitable for zones 4/5. Roots need to freeze during the winter months.

Floaters as the name suggest float on the surface of the water garden. Most are tropical so will need to be brought indoors during the winter months. Floaters provide shade for the water as well as help to filter t he water.

Submersibles need to be planted deeper in the container and the roots must not freeze…. therefore, they need to be brought indoors during the winter months. Water lilies are an example of submersibles but they are more suitable for ponds.

Peter’s photos showed how to use bricks, stones and cinder blocks to gain height for plants, levelling plants as well as protecting them from wildlife.

Since rainwater is recommended to use in water container gardens, pond tabs or Laguna pond sticks can be used to fertilize the plants.

Photos illustrated how to landscape your water garden to fit into the garden naturally. Peter suggested surrounding your water garden with plants give a more natural feel to the water garden.

Mosquitoes and raccoons can cause issues for water gardens. Using a pump and adding goldfish to a water garden helps with the mosquito problem. Or simply add a few drops of cooking oil to the surface of the water and overfill the container to get rid of mosquitos.  Placing plants in the center of the water garden and using containers with straight sides helps with the raccoon problem. Also, Peter has learned that solar lights placed close to the ground scares off the raccoons. You can move the lights around as needed.

Peter emphasized that what is in the pond stays in the pond….do not put plants or fish from your water garden into lakes, rivers or natural ponds as they may be invasive.

Suggested references…

-Water Garden Plants for Canada…. A. Beck

-www.onwatergarden.com

-Garden Artifacts in Uxbridge…. all water garden plants and supplies

COMING UP

June 9…Children’s Program at the Tweed Public Library. The children will be planting potatoes. Pre-registration is required.

July 5-6-7…Tweed Agricultural Fair. Entries must be set up by Friday July 5 at noon.

August 6…Pot luck dinner at Valerie and Chris Foran’s home at 6 pm. Please remember your chair, your favourite potluck main dish and dessert, cup, plate and cutlery.

September 3…Karen ten Cate of Bumblerock Farm near Roblin will discuss Heirloom Seed Saving…..both her successes and mistakes.

GENERAL INTEREST EVENTS

July 19-21…OHA 113th Convention in Windsor