So this year was my first with a vegetable garden consisting of more than cherry tomatoes and herbs. I've been growing mostly standard crops this year, the most unusual ones would be ground cherry, okra, malabar spinach and cucamelon. There's been some struggles and mistakes but overall enough success than I'm encouraged to dive deeper in terms of variety, quantity and growing crops that yield in various seasons.
One thing I'm realizing is that my area actually has a rather late frost thanks to being in Greater Toronto's urban heat island (nights are 3-4C warmer than in the countryside) and being 2000 ft from Lake Ontario whose waters (usually around 8-15C in Oct-Nov) provide a few more degrees of frost protection. As a result, our micro-climate's average first frost is around Nov 5-10, which is later than even much of the US Southeast. Being in the North and close to Lake Ontario also means that our summer day-time highs are relatively moderate (26C on average, rarely above 32C, although nights are still warm, averaging 19C).
Late frosts, not too hot summers and mild falls are ideal for growing photo-period dependent Andean root crops which I've recently been reading about on Cultivariable's website. They look like a cool unique crop to grow, and would provide food in late fall/early winter when not as many vegetables are available. However it seems like Cultivariable and most US sources can't ship tubers to Canada, and most of their seeds are sold out. Also many other retailers I've turned up in online searches seem to have closed down.
1. Do you any Canadian sources, or American sources that can ship to Canada?
2. Have you had any issues with small seed orders getting through customs? (I'd only be ordering a dozen small seed packets at most, since I'm in a suburban garden)
3. Have you had better success with 13 hour photo-period oca compared to 12 hour period-period oca? One reason I'm bummed out about Cultivariable's seeds being sold out is that they had those 13 hour photo-period oca that seemed like they could yield better in a climate like mine that has a fairly high risk of frost in early November, and of hard frost in mid-late November. Many retailers don't have this sort of information about their varieties. (when does Cultivariable restock seeds?)
the frost is certainly late to arrive this year
i have ordered other plants from flora exotica
yacon is on my want to buy list
not sure if they are in stock currently but it might be worth sending Perry and email
I think I might've overestimated how late our first frost date would be. So probably around Oct 30 for the average first 0C and Nov 8 for the first -2C? Maybe mashua (and ulluco) is not worth the bother then, I'm not sure.
The regular nasturtiums here survived the first couple light/pseudo frosts we had on Wednesday and Thursday though, are mashua somewhat hardy to light frosts similar to nasturtiums?