By Faye Has your appetite for growing your own food expanded as mine has? With the warmer weather these past few summers, harvests have been plentiful and deliciously sweet, but planting space had not kept up with my lust for more. I wanted more of what I’ve already grown, and more new crops as well.
By Faye If you, like me, are admiring your nicely established winter crops in the garden, then it’s worth the little bit of time it takes now to make sure everything stays healthy throughout the cold season. Mulching and some staking are needed to protect winter crops from the elements. It’s been a while since
By Susan Well grown rhodos will be bushy, with leaves covering the whole plant. Poorly grown rhodos are often leggy and bare. The difference usually comes down to maintenance pruning, which should be done on an annual basis. Plan to cut back about 10% of the plant every year. Cut back select branches to
By Faye The short answer is yes, and no. It depends on what kind of tomato you are growing. If it’s determinate then no pruning is required, but indeterminate tomatoes must be kept in check. Determinate vs. Indeterminate This is the key piece of information to look for on the tag when you purchase your
by Laurie It’s that time of year when we get excited about spring, then look outside and see all the work to be done. Gardening is a way better workout than the gym, but like the gym, I want to avoid any setbacks from injury or strain brought on by the physical aspects of gardening.
Posted in Maintenance
There is much we can do between now and spring to eliminate or lessen the damage from insects and disease. We in southern BC are very fortunate to have food-growing expert, author and entymologist Linda Gilkeson, PhD in our midst. She has generously provided the information for this article.(www.lindgilkeson.ca) TO DO NOW: Mulch, mulch, mulch!
Winter is the best time to prune modern repeat climbers as all the old leaves need to be picked off anyway, so may as well prune at the same time. (Once blooming old roses and ramblers are best when pruned in the summer after flowering) The key to climbers is to train the canes as
By Brian Russell Established woody plants (trees, shrubs and conifers) are best moved when they are fully dormant. In our climate, this means November, December, January or early February. In theory you can move just about anything if you have enough determination and manpower (or womanpower!) The tree in these photos is an Acer palmatum
By Laurie Caring for Ornamental Grasses Customers at the nursery are often asking about how to care for ornamental grasses. It can get confusing. Grasses don’t ask for much in terms of maintenance, but most do require cutting back and some need periodic division. This article summarizes when and how to do both. A
Keep your hellebores happy and show their charming faces! These easy care perennials ask only one thing of you, and that is to cut back their old leathery leaves in very early spring, right about now. New leaves will quickly take their place; put the old ones in the garbage not compost, as they can
by Susan The decision has been made, the hole dug and the tree planted, following all the instructions of course! Now what? Research has shown that newly planted trees take two years to establish. During that time young trees or older trees that have been transplanted are sensitive to environmental stresses, nutrient deficiencies and pest
Having clay soil may seem like a great misfortune, but if it is managed and handled properly it can produce an abundance of plant growth. Clay soils can be very fertile as they have the ability to hold onto nutrients. Clay soils are moisture retentive – to a fault in the winter, but a good
by Faye The great Canadian lawn. Is it an oasis upon which to rest and rejuvenate your spirit, or is it a monstrous thirsty fraud? The pros and cons of keeping or killing turfgrass have become hot button issues for gardeners of all shades of green. Historically, the lawn signified the emergence of the middle
Moss thrives in our rainy climate and naturally acidic soils. It loves wet, poorly drained soil and does best in shady spots where the grass struggles to grow. The only way to really solve a moss problem is to determine and remedy the cause. Drainage: Improve the porosity and drainage of your soil by aerating
Getting the veggie garden ready for winter entails just a few simple tasks. The first really hard frost of the season is upon us; we need to prepare now for the winter that lurks nearby. First of all, the soil needs to be protected from incessant rain, which leeches out nutrients and compacts the ground.
Improper or badly timed pruning is often the reason that flowering shrubs bloom poorly or not at all. A little insight into a plant’s growth and flowering habits can be used to plan how and when to prune. Only a few pieces of key information are presented here, so consult a good pruning book for
Most of the vegetables suitable for the winter garden are perfectly hardy, but minor protective measures will ensure a greater harvest, better quality leaves, and cleaner produce. I’ve grown kale, leeks, chard and purple sprouting broccoli in a raised bed with no protection over the winter other than leaves covering the soil. The soil needs
Mid October has finally brought the first rains of the season, as we say goodbye to the lovely, long late summer. Has there ever been a fall as gorgeous as this one? The extended fall has unfortunately enabled those evil white cabbage moths to produce yet another generation of their voracious offspring. Even today, I
Do you remember when springs were warm, and fall was a time of crisp air and the smell of burning leaves? Times have changed! Spring is now cold and wet, with temperatures not climbing until well into June. Fall (which, in many minds starts after Labour Day!) has been longer and warmer, with dry air
I look back with horror on how I used to prune my shrubs. Akin to a “bowl cut” for hair, basically I just trimmed off the ends of branches to keep shrubs the size and shape I wanted, resulting in a “witches broom”, a scary hairstyle indeed. Alternatively, I didn’t prune at all, favouring the