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March 24, 2011


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What do I have to do to get my freakin' tomatoes to ripen on the vine? I have them planted in from of pines (warm location), get south and west sun, have tried cold frame, red mulch beneath them. Get tons of fruit, but few ripen before frost. Argh....



What a great opportunity! I feel so priviledged to participate!

I built some raised beds last year for growing vegetables in Calgary - I added some black soil, cattle manure and some compost - it seemed to work well for most of my vegetables. I'm wondering now how I can maintain this soil to get the best vegetables possible? What should I add (compost, fertilizer, etc), how should I add it (throw it on top of the current soil, turn it into the current soil), how often should I be adding amendments (annually, a few times throughout the season) and when is the best time (spring, fall?).

That is a few questions in one, hopefully it makes sense! Thanks :)

Calgary Garden Coach

Thanks Kevin and Megan for being the first to post questions! Hmm, I can already tell it's going to be hard to pick just one...
Keep 'em coming, everyone!


Kevin took my question...hee hee! And Megan has a good one too (my soil is horrible...I feel like scraping off the first foot and starting anew!). Any special tips on dealing with our soil conditions or the arid climate (I know...far too general!) would be appreciated.

Calgary Garden Coach

Hi Allison,
It's OK to repeat questions because one of my criteria for choosing the question will be frequency of it being asked!


I agree with the tomato question but more in general, what are the best vegetables to grow in pots (due to lack of garden space)? Thanks very much!

Carol K Miller

I live in a condo with a very small south facing garden area. We have lots of jack rabbits (who have eaten off everything in sight) this last 6 months and also deer come through here regularly. What can I plant here that loves lots of sun and yet is not loved by rabbits &/or deer? The "Hope for Humanity" rose I planted last summer has been levelled (I covered what little remains of it for the winter) and hope it comes back from the base of the plant. Also, columbines (on the north west shady side) have been eaten off and I am afraid the tulips I planted in the fall will be eaten as soon as they appear.
I will be very grateful for any helpful information. Thank you.

Calgary Garden Coach

Thanks Mom! ;-)
Wow, your frustration really comes through in your excellent question.

Lisa R

Thanks for doing this, Janice!
It's hard to pick just one question, and I'd be interested to hear Jim's answer to any of the questions above. To throw a new one out there, I'm looking for suggestions for low maintenance plants for shade. I want things that don't need a lot of water!


Thanks for the reminder, and what a fun idea! I'd like to vote for Megan's question and also add, what is the best mix to put into a new raised bed for vegetables?
I'm looking forward to this snow melting soon!

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