Category Archives: Gardening Talk

April

“In My Garden” is about what local gardeners are doing to care for their indoor and outdoor plants.  Seasonal advice is valid year after year, so scroll down or select the current month from the IN MY GARDEN menu .  Contributions are welcomed – add your comments!

Pruning   Complete pruning of shrubs that bloom on new wood. Do not prune shrubs that flower on shoots developed last year (you can usually see the flower buds, e.g. Lilac).

Rain, Rain Go Away  If you have clay soil, resist the temptation to garden while the soil is saturated.  Clay soil takes a few days to dry out sufficiently after a rainfall to become workable.  If you dig in the clay when it is too wet, the result will be large clumps of clay that will become rock-like when they dry.  After a  few dry days, those same clumps of clay will break up into friable soil that very easily incorporates soil amendments such as compost.

 

March

“In My Garden” is about what local gardeners are doing to care for their indoor and outdoor plants.  Seasonal advice is valid year after year, so scroll down or select the current month from the IN MY GARDEN menu .  Contributions are welcomed – add your comments!

Pruning  The ground in my yard is still frozen, but daytime temperatures are starting to climb above 0°C. I pruned my Concord grapevine, which tends to bleed sap profusely if the temperature is too warm when pruned.  To view a YouTube video of Pruning Grape Vines, click here.

Pruning  I grow the Heritage variety of everbearing raspberries which bear a crop in June on old wood and also in the late summer into fall on new wood. I choose to cut the canes to the ground early each spring to allow all the plant energy go toward the later season crop. To View a YouTube video of Pruning Everbearing Raspberries, click here.

February

“In My Garden” is about what local gardeners are doing to care for their indoor and outdoor plants.  Seasonal advice is valid year after year, so scroll down or select the current month from the IN MY GARDEN menu .  Contributions are welcomed – add your comments!

Vegetable Seeds It is a good idea to check the viability of any seeds you saved from previous years before sowing them indoors or in the garden. Take 10 seeds, set them 1 – 2 cm apart on a wet paper towel, roll the towel (seeds inside) and place in a ziplock bag. Place the bag on top of the fridge where there will be constant warmth – no light is needed. Check the seed package for typical germination time. After that time has elapsed, count how many seeds have germinated. If fewer than 50% of the seed have sprouted, maybe its time to buy fresh seed. To view a YouTube video of the Paper Towel Sowing Method, click here. To find out when to sow your seeds, download a Vegetable Seed Starting Chart, click here.

Annual Seeds Check seed viability (as above) if planning to use seeds saved from previous years. For seeds you plan to sow directly outdoors, especially plants you have never grown before, sow a few seeds using the paper towel technique explained above. This will get you familiar with how the new plants look in the early stages of growth. Then when the seed start to grow outdoors, you will not mistake them for weeds. To view an Annual Seed Starting Chart, click here.

January

“In My Garden” is about what local gardeners are doing to care for their indoor and outdoor plants.  Seasonal advice is valid year after year, so scroll down or select the current month from the IN MY GARDEN menu .  Contributions are welcomed – add your comments!

Houseplants: I checked for insects and discovered SCALE on my orchids and SPIDER MITES on my Dipladenia vine. For more info about Houseplant Pests, click here.

Houseplants: Last week, I started fertilizing plants that are showing new growth with 1/4 strength 20-20-20. This made the plants look better – the longer days and the plant food gave them a boost. For more Advice on Fertilizing Houseplants, click here.

December

“In My Garden” is about what local gardeners are doing to care for their indoor and outdoor plants.  Seasonal advice is valid year after year, so scroll down or select the current month from the IN MY GARDEN menu .  Contributions are welcomed – add your comments!

November

“In My Garden” is about what local gardeners are doing to care for their indoor and outdoor plants.  Seasonal advice is valid year after year, so scroll down or select the current month from the IN MY GARDEN menu .  Contributions are welcomed – add your comments!

There is still time to plant bulbs such as tulips and crocus (daffodils need a longer time in the ground before freeze-up).  Protect the planting area from squirrels by applying blood meal  in the planting holes – the smell of this product is repellent to rodents.   Longer lasting commercial blood-based products such as Ropel and Plantskyyd are also useful if you have a recurring problem.  Follow directions and expect a bad smell to linger until these products dry.  Some pets are attracted to the smell so keep Fido & Fluffy inside until the product dries.

Autumn is the preferred season to plant dormant trees and shrubs.  While surface temperatures are cold, the soil in the root zones still retains warmth into December.  Roots continue to grow until the soil temperature drops significantly.  Another good reason to plant now is that nurseries usually have sales at this time of year to clear their stock.

 

October

“In My Garden” is about what local gardeners are doing to care for their indoor and outdoor plants.  Seasonal advice is valid year after year, so scroll down or select the current month from the IN MY GARDEN menu .  Contributions are welcomed – add your comments!

September

“In My Garden” is about what local gardeners are doing to care for their indoor and outdoor plants.  Seasonal advice is valid year after year, so scroll down or select the current month from the IN MY GARDEN menu .  Contributions are welcomed – add your comments!

August

“In My Garden” is about what local gardeners are doing to care for their indoor and outdoor plants.  Seasonal advice is valid year after year, so scroll down or select the current month from the IN MY GARDEN menu .  Contributions are welcomed – add your comments!

Garden Maintenance – Many perennial plants lose their charm and look untidy unless faded blooms and dying foliage are removed.  Unless seed is desired for self-sowing varieties, or for providing food for birds in winter, it is good horticultural practice to remove dead flowers and leaves as soon as they appear. If done in a timely manner,  fresh foliage and flowers may grow in the fall.  Try this with Phlox, Delphinium, Veronica and Echinacea.

Tomatoes – A great tip I learned from a retired farmer last summer is to pick tomatoes as soon as they begin to show colour and then ripen them indoors.  The fruit will still taste great.  If you are plagued by chipmunks, squirrels and other critters nibbling on your ripe fruit, this is a sure way to foil them!  It also prevents fruit from splitting after a heavy rainfall.

Zucchini – If your zucchini get overgrown, do not despair.  My family loves zucchini rounds, seasoned and grilled on the BBQ and served on a bun with cheese (zucchini burgers).   We also  split them sideways, remove the seeds and bake them stuffed with salsa, or tomato, feta and black olives.

July

“In My Garden” is about what local gardeners are doing to care for their indoor and outdoor plants.  Seasonal advice is valid year after year, so scroll down or select the current month from the IN MY GARDEN menu .  Contributions are welcomed – add your comments!

Orange Daylily – Immediately after blooming time is over, remove all the leaves and spent flower stalks to within a few inches of the ground.  Cover the bed or plant with mulch, compost or composted manure.  Within a few days, new foliage will grow and the bed will look great the rest of the season.