Garlic Talk

Club members Dorothy and Viren Oogarah shared their garlic growing adventures to a large audience at the September meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Although Dorothy and Viren have an extensive flower garden, five years ago they decided to start growing garlic. Dorothy does the planting and harvesting while Viren looks after the soil preparation and marketing. Their high quality garlic harvest earned them the title, “Eastern Ontario Garlic Grower Champion” in 2017!

Garlic is one of the most widely consumed alliums and has many health benefits besides adding great flavor to food.

Garlic requires well drained rich soil in full sun. The soil ph should be between 6-7.5. The cloves are planted in September, rest over winter and are harvested in July.

The Oogarahs have 4 acres on their property devoted to garlic and they harvested approximately 3500 bulbs July, 2018…and we all remember the unrelenting heat during that month…many days 40 plus degrees!!!

Raised beds are used and the cloves are planted 4-6 inches deep using a dibble rake. The cloves are covered with soil and mulched with 4-6 inches of clean straw after the first freeze. The cloves rest during the winter months.

In the spring, the mulch is moved aside to speed up growth. An inch of water per week is required. Weeds are pulled. The scaps are removed to entice the bulb to grow larger. The scaps are used for salads and pesto.

During the harvest in July, the soil is washed from the bulbs and the roots are trimmed. Each bulb is carefully checked for pests. Bulbs are graded using a template and hung to dry as they bruise easily. It takes approximately 4 weeks for the bulbs to dry. Some of the bulbs are saved for future planting.

The Oogarahs sell their garlic at local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. They advised members to be sure to purchase seed garlic from reliable organic farms for best results.

By the number of questions asked following the Oogarah’s presentation, many members must be considering growing garlic!



November 6…Penny Stewart will discuss “frugal” decorating for Christmas. The AGM will be held. The Financial Report for the past year will be presented for approval.


October 13 or date to be decided depending upon the weather…Clean up of flower beds in the town. Meet at Moira Garden. Email will be sent with details.

District 3 Fall Meeting will be held in Kingston in November. More details to follow.



Plant Based Foods

Louise Nadeau from Cobourg was the guest speaker at the September meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Louise is a plant based and whole foods chef and coach offering workshops on this topic. Her presentation highlighted ways for people to incorporate more plant based foods in their daily diet.

As Louise stated throughout her presentation, “Our body wants to be healthy!” How to do this…

-cut out processed food which also helps to eliminate glutton

-add 1 green drink per day either as a smoothie or juice

-move from products to produce

-get support from family and friends

-exercise…walking and even just moving around is good

-be mindful of what and when you eat

-add sprouts to diet

-nuts and seeds should be soaked as the soaking wakes them up and they become alive and more nutritious

During the presentation, Louise demonstrated how she grows her sprouts…a handful of sprouts beats out any multivitamin. She discussed the process of dehydration which she uses to make crackers.

Members were invited to sample sweet potatoes and zucchini mixed with a red pepper dressing. Sprouts were added. There were also energy bars to taste.

For more information on this topic, Louise can be contacted at



October 2…Dorothy and Viren Oogarah will share their garlic growing adventures in their journey to becoming “Eastern Ontario Garlic Grower Champion in 2017”. They will discuss their successes as well as their challenges as they refined their growing practices.



September 18…Clean up of flower beds in the town. Meet at 5:30 pm at Moira Garden.



Anna Talks about Grasses

Anna Mizyn of Anna’s Perennials in Lindsay.

Anna Mizyn shared her love of perennial grasses at the June meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Anna is the owner of Anna’s Perennials  located in Lindsay.

According to Anna, there are more than 10,000 species of grasses. Her power point presentation highlighted many of the different grasses that she grows in her own gardens. An interesting tip she shared was using her weed whacker to cut down the grasses in the early spring…so much faster than using shears!!!

Why do people plant grasses in their gardens…


-largely unaffected by diseases and pests

-great variety of size and form

-rustling sound in the wind

-deer resistant

-can add height to a garden and even become a focal point of a garden

Anna also spoke about her hardy cacti and succulents that she also grows in her gardens. Cacti and succulents are great plants for gardens as they require no water and are easy to grow. The flowers on the cacti are beautiful.

Visitors are welcome to visit Anna’s gardens….63 Shoreview Road, Lindsay, ON. Anna can be contacted at 705-799-0062 or by email

Members work their way through the boxes of plants Anna brought to the meeting.


 July 27-29…OHA Convention in Kingston

August 7…Pot Luck Dinner at  Dave and Rhonda Derrington. Remember to bring your chair, a pot luck main dish and a dessert and your own plates, cups and utensils. Don’t forget a plate for your dessert!!!!

September 4…Join Louise Nadeau, a plant based whole food chef and coach as she discusses how we can easily incorporate more plant based food in our daily diet.


July 17, August 14…Clean up of flower beds in the town. Meet at 6 pm at Moira Garden.

Tweed Agricultural Fair…Theme is “Twist and Shout so 50,s”. Members are encouraged to enter items in the Fair. All entries must be set up by Friday at noon. Tweed and District Horticultural Society sponsors some of the horticultural items. For more information about the Fair, please check



Another Successful Plant Sale.

Members (and customers) braved the drizzle (and the later downpour) to participate in the annual Tweed Hort Plant Sale on the May long weekend. Trailers and tables full of plants brought many early shoppers.

Spring Talk; Easy Care Perrenials

Spring has definitely arrived (finally) and gardeners in Tweed were excited to hear Dawn Golloher of Gardens Plus located near Peterborough talk about easy care perennials at the May meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society.

When Dawn originally bought the property in 1996, the only garden was a cedar hedge! Now her beautiful display gardens are open to the public and plants are sold there as well.

Dawn’s focus in gardening is growing plants that require very little maintenance once they are established in the garden…and what gardener wouldn’t love plants like this???

According to Dawn, these characteristics are what makes a perennial “easy to care”….

-not invasive

-thrives for more than 3-5 years

-does not require dividing due to clumping

-drought tolerant…water once a week

-resistance to disease and insects

-does not need to be staked or burlapped

-long blooming

…the perfect plant for any gardener who wants to enjoy the garden.


Dawn also shared some tips for planting….

-light conditions for plants is important

-add compost to soil for some plants

-mulch with natural cedar or pine; do not mulch a dry garden, mulching helps keep the weeds to a minimum

Some easy care perennials shown in her power point presentation…hostas, coral bells, clematis, bee balm, cone flower, salvia, sedum and day lilies.

Gardens Plus is located at 136 County Road, Peterborough. Phone 705-742-5918. Gardens Plus is open from Mother’s Day weekend until the end of July from 10-4 Wednesday to Sunday. Fridays 10-7.


 May 19… Annual Plant Sale at Tweed Memorial Park. All plant material for sale should arrive at park by 7 am. Sale starts at 8 am.

June 5 Anna Mizyn of Anna’s Perennials near Lindsay will be discussing winter hardy cacti and perennial grasses. There will be plants for sale!

 June 9…Children’s Program at Tweed Public Library at 10 am. The children will create a seed craft and plant a flower to take home. Pre-registration is required. Children must be accompanied by an adult.



Daylily Gardens

Barry Matthie stands next to Elizabeth Churcher, co-president of Tweed Hort, and Maggie Goode, his partner while being photographed for the local newspaper.










Although eastern Ontario is experiencing a colder April than normal, it is the anticipation that spring will be here soon that enticed members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society to attend the April meeting to hear about daylilies. Barry Matthie, grower, owner and breeder of Bonibrae Daylilies in Bloomfield shared his passion for daylilies at the meeting. His daylilies have won many awards from the Ontario Daylily Society.

Barry has hybridized over 80 daylilies throughout the years. It takes approximately 5 years to develop a new strain. To propagate, Barry collects seeds in the fall just as the seed heads start to break open. The seeds are put into small pots and left in the refrigerator over the winter. In early spring, they’re planted directly in the ground. Barry has developed a great variety of colourful unique daylilies.

Members were invited to visit his farm on Matthie Road in the county. Best time to visit is during the peak flowering season from July to early August. No potted plants are available, as Barry will simply dig up a clump from the garden and put into a bag for you to take home!

For hosta lovers, they also sell hostas and oriental poppies….definitely a great place to plan to visit!


April 13-15….Peterborough Garden Show at the Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Road. Show hours are Friday April 13, 5 pm-9 pm, Saturday April 14, 10 am -5 pm and Sunday April 15, 10 am – 4 pm.

 May 1…Dawn Golloher of Garden Plus near Peterborough will share some of her new easy care perennials. Dawn’s focus is growing plants that require very little maintenance once established in the garden. There will be plants for sale at the meeting. NOTE: This meeting will be held at the White Building.


 April 28….District 3 Spring AGM hosted by the Stirling Horticultural Club. Please register with our club if you re interested in attending.

April 28…Clean up of flower beds in the town. Meet at 9 am at Moira Garden.




A New Botanical Garden



Deanna Groves and John Reidi, owners of Quinte Botanical Gardens were the guest speakers at the March meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Through a power point presentation, they shared the development of these gardens on their property north of Frankford on Glen Ross Road.

The gardens were developed on 6 acres of land that was part of their property. Presently there are 13 structures placed throughout the gardens, 23 benches and 3 water features.  The gardens were designed by Deanna to focus on a theme for each garden…..Knot Garden, Oriental Garden, White Garden, Colour Wheel Garden, Edible Garden and Bird, Bee and Butterfly Garden.

The gardens will be opening May 31 this year and will be open from May to October six days a week (closed Wednesdays) from 9-5. The grounds are 100% accessible with seating throughout the gardens. There are washrooms available and restaurants are within a short drive. There is an admission fee of $10 and the tour is self guided.

There are always lots of events happening at the gardens according to Groves…..weekly presentations, teaching/fields trips, seniors programs, memorial plantings and trail gardens to try new seeds. A Tulip Festival is planned in the near future with 40,000 tulips.

Members could be heard discussing plans to visit to the Quinte Botanical Gardens when they open in May. As Groves stated, there is always something new blooming in the gardens… several visits just might be necessary!!!


 April 3….Barry Matthie, owner, grower and breeder of Bonibrae Daylilies in Bloomfield will be speaking about daylilies. He enjoys breeding lilies with ruffles edges, gold edges, double edged and specific colour combinations.

April 13-15….Peterborough Garden Show at the Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Road. Show hours are Friday April 13, 5 pm-9 pm, Saturday April 14, 10 am -5 pm and Sunday April 15, 10 am – 4 pm. Admission $8.00


 April 28….District 3 Spring AGM hosted by the Stirling Horticultural Club. Please register with our club if you re interested in attending,



Growing Greens and Storing Harvest in Cold Weather

John Wilson

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society were happy to attend the first meeting for 2018…..a sign that spring is coming in spite of the mounds of snow and the Groundhog’s predication of six more weeks winter! Elizabeth Chrurcher shared her experiences using a cold frame and John talked about how he stores his garden produce.

Elizabeth has been member of the Tweed Horticultural Society for over 10 years and served as its President for the past two years. John is the former owner of the organic blueberry patch in Tweed.

Through various methods, Elizabeth is able to enjoy food from her garden throughout the year. She has a cold cellar where she stores beets, carrots, onions and potatoes. Her freezer is filled with beans, corn, garlic scaps, broccoli, pesto, asparagus, pears, zucchini, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches (she admitted that she does not grow peaches!!!), apples, pumpkin and black currents. Her shelves are laden with preserves….beets, dill pickles, salsa, applesauce, chili sauce and tomato sauce. She also dries herbs from her garden…sage, lemon thyme, oregano. Some herbs are kept on her sun porch throughout the winter in pots.

In spite of all the food from her garden, Elizabeth really wanted to have fresh spinach, lettuce, and other greens during the winter months. Her solution…build a cold frame. Using the book, Year Round Vegetable Gardener by N. Jabbour, Elizabeth set out the construct a cold frame.

She highlighted both her successes and areas that are still a “work in progress”….

-use a southern slope and sink the frame into the soil

-use cedar not treated wood to build the frame

-mix compost and aged manure to within 6inches of the top and add mulch to fill to top

-greenhouse plastic….if you can get some

-need to vent….open for part of the day

-watering…let rain do it….can’t get too wet

-brush off snow with a broom

-pick greens at mid-day

-planted….spinach, lettuce (make sure you get the kind of seed that is winter hardy), kale, argula

-plant in early-mid September….will last until early March

-due to very cold weather in December/January of this year, the cold frame did not produce the abundant crop that was harvested in past winters….but it is all a learning experience, according to Elizabeth!!!

John Wilson shared his ideas and practices for storing food from his garden over the winter months. A cold cellar/root cellar needs air circulation and the humidity should be maintained between 85%-95%. 

John’s “Show and Tell” presentation gave the members an opportunity to see the potatoes, carrots, leeks and beets that he has stored in his cold cellar. Cabbages do very well in a cold cellar….they can even be hung. John recommended that potatoes should develop a tough skin before they are placed in the root cellar. Sweet potatoes can keep for almost a year as long as they are “cured” in warm soil for 10-14 days. Sweet potatoes like warm temperature so they are not recommended for cold cellars….simply keep them in a milk crate or cardboard box in a cupboard with 60 degree temperatures.

John plants lots and lots of tomato…..before freezing he suggests removing the core and simply freezing in plastic bags until you are ready to use them for salsa, chili sauce etc. Too many green tomatoes….place in warm dark room or cover with newspaper to ripen.

John uses a dehydrater to dry some of his vegetables, for example zucchini. Samples of John’s zucchini chips were enjoyed by members.

Both Elizabeth and John’s love of gardening was evident throughout their presentations…they love experimenting with different crops, they enjoy the healthy choices that their gardens provided all year and maybe, just maybe a young child will ask them, “Can you show me how to garden?”


 March 6 ….Deanna Groves and John Reidl, owners of Quinte Botanical Gardens will discuss their gardens and the overall plan for their property in the future.

March 9… Bus Trip to National Home Show and Canada Blooms at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. Cost…$65.00. Tickets must be purchased by February 24th. Price includes admission to both shows and motor coach. Bus leaves Tweed at 7 am from the parking lot behind Quinn’s of Tweed. For more information, contact Linda @613-478-6850


March 9-18…National Home Show and Canada Blooms at Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto