GFM Network News



It’s an awesome sight to behold when plum tree blossoms are at the 
peak of their utmost beauty beckoning arrival of pollinating insects.

Singing Gardener: What home remedies have you tried and what has worked or not worked for you?

Plus, Ted shares what readers have written to him

My plum trees did me proud this year while in full bloom with hundreds of blossoms (see photo at top). There were so many flowers the trees couldn’t sustain them all and many never got pollinated. The good news is green plums about the size of large cranberries had formed up nicely as of mid-June. […] Read more


Doesn’t this rare Ganti Hungarian heritage tomato grown and held by Theresa Tanguay of Austin, Manitoba look scrumptious? There are other words to describe it too such as personal favourite, full-bodied flavour, delightful, outstanding, wonderful and even stylish. Big, bold and beautiful indeterminate Ganti is blemish free, great for tomato sandwiches and home canning. Average weight is 12 ounces (345 grams). Harvest begins about 75 to 80 days from transplant time into the garden.

Singing Gardener: Ted shares letters from readers

Plus, tips for growing peas

Are we all placed here on this planet for a single specific purpose, or perhaps several tasks to carry out during our lifetime? Maybe some have never come to such awareness or give it little thought. Finding life’s purpose can sometimes be a challenge. Such a discovery might be early in life — mid-life for […] Read more

Shown is a cluster of fruit produced on an Italian hybrid tomato named “Pozzano.” Large red fruits have no green shoulders and are attractively shaped, full of flavour and have a good tolerance to blossom end rot.

Singing Gardener: Draws for tomato seeds have taken place

Plus, what kind of weather should we expect after this cold winter?

Draws for the dozen packets of Cosmonaut Volkov heirloom tomato seeds took place on March 5. Winners can expect their seeds in the mail via Canada Post with names appearing in April 9 issue of Grainews. Endless thanks to each and all who participated. I’ll be checking the entries for comments and garden tips following the draws […] Read more


This striking mass of pink hibiscus-like lavatera flowers, also known as rose mallow are grown from seeds that Joan Ziegler got from her dad, but she doesn’t know the variety name. (Ted thinks they could be “Loveliness” or “Silver Cup.”) Joan also mentioned there are white ones tucked in among the pink lavatera. She tried starting them inside but decided lavatera do not transplant well and says they do much better when seeded outside directly into the soil. She always saves some seeds and also lets them volunteer.

Readers ask for more tomato info

Singing Gardener: Plus, farming couple shares photos of their flowers

All for the love of tomatoes opens the page in this my first Grainews column for 2018. I share an email from Alberta and a phone conversation with a farmer’s wife out of Unity, Sask. Am still out and about promoting the connection between five or more weekly servings of no-sugar-added homemade tomato juice, tomato soup, stewed […] Read more

In recent years, late blight has been a common issue among a lot of home tomato growers. Mountain Merit has good resistance to multiple diseases including high tolerance to late blight. Compact determinate plants produce a concentrated set of medium-size red tomatoes mid-season during a harvest window of four to five weeks.

Start thinking about potatoes and tomatoes this month

Singing Gardener: March is the time to sprout spuds and start seeds

March is a good month to begin sprouting potatoes and starting tomatoes. Also, will be sharing Part 1 of excerpts from two pages of a handwritten letter. Top that off with where to buy late blight-resistant tomato seeds. There’s a song that says, “I need attention bad.” Did I get yours? Thank you folks for […] Read more


Ontario names trustee to break tomato impasse

The Ontario government has appointed a trustee to assume the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers’ power to negotiate 2017 contracts with processors for the growing of processing tomatoes in the province. The board of directors of the marketing board has been dismissed until new elections are held, as expected by the end of 2017. “I have […] Read more

Shown are unnamed and ready-to-be-washed sweet potato tubers freshly harvested in the field along with segments of vines and even some flowers.

More potato and tomato information

Singing Gardener: Plus, a bit about Jerusalem artichokes

Hey there — hello gardeners and welcome farmers. Are you striving to become more self-sufficient with what you grow in the garden? Tubers of the vine and tomatoes get some attention today with some focus placed on storage tomatoes. Add to that a source for rooted short-season sweet potato slips from an adventurous grower and […] Read more


Feds fund tomato and apple research

An Ontario research station is getting nearly a million dollars from the Federal government to develop new disease-resistant apple and greenhouse tomato varieties. The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, located in Lincoln, Ont., will build on work done earlier by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists, who will continue to be heavily involved in the research. […] Read more

Ted inspects developing strawberries growing in partial shade under floating row cover. Read below about the tarnished plant bug and how to avoid cat-faced strawberries.

More information on potatoes

Singing Gardener: Plus, some tips on strawberries

We can all identify with how time flies. The longest day or summer solstice for this year is now long gone. Little by little, daylight is sneaking away and shall continue to do so until just before next Christmas when we have our shortest day. Speaking of “sneaking,” let me put a question to you. […] Read more