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.

June

“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 gardeners:  Early to mid-June is the ideal time to plant warm weather crops such as beans, peppers, squash and cucumbers.  It is tempting to rush the season and plant everything after the last frost date (May 24th in the Bolton area),  but plants that require warmth at the root zone just languish in the soil until it warms up sufficiently to promote growth.   You can judge the soil temperature with a thermometer but it is just as easy to dig a hole to the depth of the root zone of the transplant (or recommended depth to plant a seed) and feel the soil with your hand.  If it feels cold, then warm weather crops won’t thrive.

Weeding:  Spring rain and high intensity sunlight combine to produce a bounty of weeds.  When time is tight and you can’t weed your entire garden, focus on the weeds that are flowering and/or seeding.  If you allow your weeds to reproduce from seed, you weed problem will increase as these seeds germinate.  After weeding is a great time to put down mulch, which enriches the soil, keeps weed seeds from germinating and makes the garden look nice, too.

 

 

May

“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!

Perennials  Divide, fertilize, top dress perennial beds with 1″ -2″ organic matter such as compost or composted manure.

Nincompoop Mulch  As an annual fundraiser,  BDHS sells Nincompoop organic mulch which is made up of composted straw and manure. For more info about Nincompoopclick here.

Lily Beetles  These bright red beetles emerge from ground to munch on plants in the lily family, including the earliest varieties of Fritillaria (checkered lily).  Combat these pests by hand picking – the beetles drop to the ground when disturbed, so take advantage of this characteristic and place a jar of soapy water under the plant and let them plunge to their demise.  NEEM oil, often sold as a leaf shine product, can be sprayed on the emerging foliage of lilies to make the plant unpalatable to the beetles and their larvae.  NEEM oil will not kill the beetles.  Eggs are orange and laid in a line on the underside of the leaves.  As the larva mature, they surround themselves with frass (insect poo) making it a messy job to kill them.  Rinse the frass off and you will see the plump orange larva that are destroying your plants.  A beneficial insect with an appetite for lily beetles has recently been released in the Ottawa area.  In time, the lily beetle pest may become less of a problem for lily growers. For more info about Lily Beetles, click here.

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!