News   Apr 03, 2020
 1K     0 
News   Apr 02, 2020
 2.1K     3 
News   Apr 02, 2020
 865     0 

Urban farming in Calgary

Blader

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
79
It's not all a bed of roses
Common issues #1
Powdery mildew
My neighbor purchased a dwarf apple tree - not cheap - 165 dollars. I noticed it had powder on the leaves and I googled images. He immediately went to a garden Centre and purchased the appropriate product. I can't recall the products name, nonetheless it worked.
 

Surrealplaces

Administrator
Staff member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
7,923
Reaction score
21,648
Location
Calgary
Awesome! I can almost smell that soil. :cool:

Tomatoes starting in empty K-cups. Heirlooms, Sweet Millions, Beefsteak and Juliettes. I usually do about 30 plants. 20 go in the garden and in pots and 10 or so are give aways.
2016 March 11 276.JPG



And the final planting spot (with some squash in the foreground.. This is from two years ago, when I piled in three barrels of compost as new soil. Everything was super green from all that nitrogen. Last summer despite the great weather the plants didn't look very healthy, but the yield was amazing. I had so many tomatoes I ended up leaving some,

2014 July 20 Image 105.JPG


From two summers ago.
2014 Sept 07 013.JPG
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Blader

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
79
Nice, I see you're raising a little animal holding a phone.;)
The harvest photo is terrific.
I too, share some of my harvest with neighbours. Amazing how it promotes community. Better still, many are starting to vegetable garden as well.
 

Blader

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
79
Swedish columners (Populus tremula Erecta), windbreaks, leaf rollers and sparrows.

They're great as wind breaks. They bend like willows and don't suffer from damaging breakage. They grow rapidly. They don't occupy a lot of space.

Don't grow them near foundation, the roots fan out and will sucker. If you want a perfect lawn you'll have to wrestle with this issue.

About 10 years ago when the aspens were perhaps 12 footers, I had a leaf roller infestation. It's a caterpillar that protects itself from preditors by rolling itself in the leaf. As best I could, I picked all leaves I could reach and crushed.

2017, I had another infestation, and the trees are now 40 footers. Nothing I could do. And then the sparrows, flocking, attacked my trees, and in three days ate them all. It was awesome. Who knew that sparrows prefer flesh to seeds. They are now my friends.
 

Surrealplaces

Administrator
Staff member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
7,923
Reaction score
21,648
Location
Calgary
I'm looking at planting Swedish Aspens in my yard sometime. I have three fir trees at the side of the house and they'e huge now....resulting in tons of needles and cones that get all over the place. I think the Aspens are definitely the way to go. Everyone I know who has them likes them.
 

Blader

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
79
My back yard 2017, May 14, 8:55PM

For scale, the back fence is 25 feet. The uncovered raised bed on the right is 52"x20'
IIRC, the 2 covered beds contain flats of plants hardening off, and there is a risk of frost.

There's no lawn. The ground is covered in 3 inches of cedar mulch. Weed protection, and an absence of muddy gum boots when entering the house.
Obviously, this kind of yard only appeals to some.

20170514_195522.jpg
 

Attachments

Blader

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
79
Common issues #2
Leaf miner


There's not much point in in gardening if one doesn't address issues.
In the above photo, the large raised bed in the right. Leaf miners.
I identified the issue far too late. A moth lays it's eggs inside the leaf, thus, it's progeny are protected from predictors. All the leafy greens are affected.
The only known effective remedy is cold pressed neem oil seed. Canadian garden centres can't sell it. It's not an approved pesticide. Agricultural Canada doesn't, themselves, test. It relies on agra-business to submit their findings of efficacy. Agra-business has not done so because it's not patentable and thus, deemed unprofitable. Agricultural Canada doesn't deny efficacy, but it does depend on industry for proof, and in Canada, no proof has been submitted.

Neem oil has a 500 to 1,000 year history in India, depending on source, as an organic pesticide. A multinational company tried to patent it, the government of India objected, citing history, and won.

All said, it's available in apothecaries in Canada, and I purchased mine in Inglewood. Besides being a pesticide, it has other uses, and it's sold in apothecaries for uses other than a pesticide. It's available for sale in most countries as a pesticide, just not here.
 

AJX

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 1, 2016
Messages
651
Reaction score
507
Location
Calgary
My back yard 2017, May 14, 8:55PM

For scale, the back fence is 25 feet. The uncovered raised bed on the right is 52"x20'
IIRC, the 2 covered beds contain flats of plants hardening off, and there is a risk of frost.

There's no lawn. The ground is covered in 3 inches of cedar mulch. Weed protection, and an absence of muddy gum boots when entering the house.
Obviously, this kind of yard only appeals to some.
I'm down with that kind of yard. I would rather see a yard filled with things that are useful, like trees and vegetable gardens instead of grass. Grass is nice to lie down on in a park, but it's so inefficient to have in thousands of yards around the city. My parents have a place in Arizona, with no grass. So much less hassle.
 

Blader

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
79
^^^
This works well for empty nesters or those with older children who no longer play in the backyard. If you're into growing edibles, but at the same time, are raising young children that need play space, the children are the priority.

I encourage everyone to grow something edible, starting with a single pot.
 

Surrealplaces

Administrator
Staff member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
7,923
Reaction score
21,648
Location
Calgary
I would agree. Even if you need the yard space for kids, it's easy enough to plant tomatoes in a pot, or have a couple of small planters for root veggies.
 

Surrealplaces

Administrator
Staff member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
7,923
Reaction score
21,648
Location
Calgary
Your seedlings are coming along nicely.. I only just planted my seeds on Thursday. Tomatoes on the left, flowers on the right. Second batch of planting (cukes, squash) will come in a couple of weeks.

IMG_4962.JPG
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Blader

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Messages
93
Reaction score
79
^^^
Last year, I started my basement grow near the end of march. This year, I started earlier. Whether it's a good idea remains to be see. Half of my grow belongs to a next door neighbour in his 80s. We're Mutt and Jeff. He, a former market gardener from Bassano, and me, new to the game, a researcher.

I'm glad you enjoyed the front yard vegetable garden in Drumondville that I posted. The City of Calgary promotes this, subject to certain guidlines.

Success to all of us in this 2018 growing season.
 

Top