MINDEN & DISTRICT HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
GENERAL MEETING
TUESDAY JUNE 6th, 2017

MASTER GARDENER: Liz Case spoke this evening about growing tomatoes. She talked about the importance of planning which varieties of tomatoes you want to grow. There are two main varieties: determinate—which are much smaller plants, that don’t grow very high, and stop growing earlier, which are mostly grown for commercial means; and interdeterminate—which get bigger and produce tomatoes throughout the summer. Tomatoes need 8-10 hours of sunlight per day. Tomatoes enjoy the companionship of basil, bush beans, radish, dill, squash, parsley, and you should avoid planting close to potatoes.

Sow seeds 5-6 weeks before the last frost, in one (or maybe 2) seeds per little pot. If using florescent grow light, keep the light very close to the tomatoes, and increase the height as your tomatoes grow. Once tomatoes get their first true leaves, it is time to transplant them into bigger individual pots. Important to harden off plants that were started inside before planting them into the ground: starting with about an hour in the shade, and then increasing the amount of time they are outside everyday, you have to be flexible with the weather. Tomatoes should be planted 2-3 feet apart. It’s very important not to touch the hairs on the stems of tomatoes, as those hairs have the potential to become roots: plant the plants very deep (right up to the first set of good leaves). She also recommends making a raised saucer with soil around the tomato plant once it is in the ground: this is to ensure that water gets into roots of the plant throughout the growing season. Additionally, it is important to pinch out the suckers between branches, and recommends taking the growing tip of the plant off after thee are four or five solid trusses: both of these strategies ensure that the plant puts energy into producing fruit, and not growing into the most massive plant ever.

GUEST SPEAKER: Gail Murray/Smith came from Innismore to speak to us about straw bale gardening. She started off the night on a great note by complementing our gardens in town! She discovered Straw Bale gardening from a small article in The Ontario Farmer, and fell in love with it. The straw bale makes up both the container and the planting medium.

Step 1 to straw bale gardening: prep your site: clear a space in an area with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day, and set your bales with the twine on the sides, with the cut side of the straw facing upwards, arranged vertically. It is a good idea to lay your beds out in a North to South orientation so that all veggies get sun all day. Mulch around the area to keep weeds out.

Step 2: “cook the bales” for 10-12 days by putting fertilizer (with a high Nitrogen content- such as 24-0-5) and water (ideally a bit warm) on your straw bales to condition them. Day one you fertilize (1/2 cup per bale) and water, and day two just water, then alternate between water & fertilizer, and just water. Decrease to 1⁄4 cup of fertilizer per bale after the first week. By day 11 you are ready to plant.

Step 3: if planting seeds, you need to put down about an inch of sterile soil mix in first. Seedlings with dirt around them can be transplanted directly into the straw. Gail stressed the importance of keeping your bales moist: she ran a drip hose through the middle of the bales, and turned it on for an hour every evening.

Plants she has tried: carrots, lettuce, beets, radish, tomatoes, peas, beans, cabbage, onion, marigolds, tomatoes, cucumber. She doesn’t recommend trying perennials, or plants that get overly tall such as corn. Gail forgot to plant her potatoes, and instead of trying to cram them in the top, she planted them along the sides, and they did great!

The straw bale garden was much further ahead than her in ground traditional garden (and her step daughter’s bales did infinitely better than the containers along side them), which she attributes to the heat from the decomposition of the bales. All the produce did great, however if you want perfectly straight carrots, maybe consider planting them somewhere other than in bales. Bales can be composted after use.
She recommends Joel Karsten’s book for further information!
“Gardening is awesome because it is one of the only ways that an ordinary person can be convinced to buy actual bags of poop”.

JUL Y
Cynthia reminded those attending next month’s cement planter workshop of the details, and asked those who had signed up, to meet with her at the break. Bring old clothes, two containers of any size, with one smaller than the other, one large green garbage bags, & a bag of stones to fill the smaller container.

Garden Tour
Susan Sheehan also asked those going on the July excursion to meet with her at the break.

CALL TO ORDER: The Chair called the meeting to order at 8:31 pm LOCATION: Minden Community Centre
CHAIR: President Karen Shirley.
ATTENDANCE: 62

Sad announcements: Francis is absent due to a family emergency, and Anne Brown has broken her ankle. Sad face.

Changes to the minutes: The financial report section of May’s minutes were incorrect: the motion was moved by Elinor Kernohan not Francis Thiberge.

MINUTES: Moved by Secretary Faye Adamson Seconded by Nick Case “That the minutes of the May General Meeting be adopted as corrected”
CARRIED

FINANCIAL REPORT: Karen in Francis’s absence reported a balance of $3666.12 There will an additional deposit from the plant sale, plus a $2000 cheque from the township.
Moved by Barb Millington Seconded by Elinor Kernohan “That the financial report be accepted”
CARRIED

 

COMMITTEE REPORT:

COMMUNITY GARDENS—Anne Brown: not here. Everything is planted. Volunteers got wet. Town will fertilize, but not water. It’s raining.
The river beds may not get planted this year due to damage from the flooding.

EXCURSIONS—Susan: everyone is arranged in cars. Please see Susan if you have any questions.
A change has occurred: we are no longer going to Sandhill Nursery, and instead going to the garden centre at Dwight, as it I closer, and they are offering a 10% discount! The price is going to be $15 per head. Thursday July 27, leaving at about 9.15am.

GARDEN SHOW—Michelle: next meeting is June 12 at 1.30pm at Michelle’s home, 46 Anson St. You don’t have to be a member of the committee to attend the meetings, and volunteers would be gratefully welcomed.

Nancy told us about the “decorative” portion of the show. There will be two competitions included in this: a Flag, and fall centre piece, there will be a workshop on the latter, happening July 15, 9.30-3.30. They are asking you to pay the $15 in advance, and bring everything you would like to include in your centre piece.
Sandria: has a sign up for pie making for the show, they do need to be filled pies with real fruit. She is also asking for tea and coffee supplies as well. The garden show will be happening on the 11th and 12th of August.

LIBRARY AND BULLITIN BOARD—Isabel: offered to meet new members afterwards to explain the library to them.

MEMBERSHIP—Nancy: We have 3 new members! (and one she said we look good)! 8 memberships sold tonight. We are at 99 members!

PLANT SALE—Pat: We made $943.50!!!! Thanks to everyone who helped out and donated plants.

T-SHIRTS, CARDS, PINS—Elinor: Sharon Ireland needs to pick up her t-shirt! Elionor showed us the water lilly pins which are available for $5.
Cards were sent to Susan Keller, Liz sliders, and Francis Thiberge. And one will be sent to Anne Brown.

COMMUNITIES IN BLOOM: a meeting will happen on Monday to finalize the plans for the communities in bloom tour happening on July 19-21, 2017. Donations are being collected for a raffle basket. A tent will be sent up on July 1, to be shared with the Society.

Debra Tammi asked to make a motion to use Hort funds to top up the donation basket if it wasn’t filled out enough, however Elinor assured her that we have enough already, and that the township will add to it also.

VILLAGE GREEN—Liz: work will be happening Thursday at 1 when the sun shines, and a great team is set up for the work force through to the fall, however 6 more individuals would be much appreciated. Please see Liz if you would like to sign up! She estimates about 2-3 hours of maintenance work needed each week

YOUTH PROGRAM—Pat: it’s going very well. OTHER

POLLINATOR GARDEN: Karen has received approval from the township to create a pollinator garden by the Loggers’ bridge on Invergorden. She would like to create a committee to help define the garden, she would like to get started on it right away. On June the 18, Karen will be at the Sirch butterfly release to promote this. Karen has purchased a butterfly to release on behalf of the society. Karen would also love any pictures pertaining to pollinators to put on display.

HYLAND CREST NURSING HOME: are asking for help with a small garden: weeding, watering, etc. If you are interested in helping, please call 705 934 0011 and ask for Pat Bradley.

Carolyn Langdon: Is available to come to your house and inform you about your weeds and which you can eat! 705 286 3966

OHA District 4 Meetings: June 21 is a skill update morning and celebration event noon-3 at the Naval Club In Peterborough. Theme: Our 150th Birthday.

GARDEN ONTARIO WEEK: June 10-18 FALL SEMINAR: Oct 29, Lindsay

OHA CONVENTION: July 21-23 in Markham. Early bird pricing ends June 27, and information can be found at the garden Ontario website.

DOOR PRIZE WINNER: Barb Ballentine! Yay!

ADJOURNMENT – Moved by Nick Case Seconded by Faye Adamson “That the meeting be adjourned” Time – 9.03
CARRIED

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