It's time to garden!

We've been waiting patiently for this; gardening time. After diligent weather checks, it is looking like clear sailing for the beginning of the planting season.  The early years of gardening would reference the old world calendar of gardening; most importantly, when to plant. It usually brought out the conversation of the "Corn planting moon" or "full flower moon"; of which I was informed was "the last full moon of the month". This year, May 29th, 2018 seems to be that date, but those may opt to get an early start.  Looking ahead, the projected temperatures seem to be favorable for getting the garden going. Lawn maintenance, adding amendments to the garden, pulling the early weeds, and getting seeds and the bedding plants planned then gathered is generally part of the list for spring activities in the garden. Preparation is key.

Grass thatching and raking takes place as well as topdressing and seeding areas of the lawn which may have had snow mold effects, vole damage, damage from dog spots; or sand and salt damage on lawns with areas close to roadways. Topdressing with a clean mix of peat moss spread thinly over newly raked lawn makes a good base for over seeding. General grass blends of fescue, rye and Kentucky blue grass is commonly used in mixed ratio but specialty blends are also available targeting areas such as concentrated shade; or for those preferring more percentages of Kentucky blue seed in the mix. Seeded lawns should be kept moist to allow for the germination of the blended seeds; sometime up to 21 days. On average: 3 lbs of grass seed per 1000 sq/ft of area will work. Hint: spread your peat moss and grass seed when wind is minimal.  Dog spots can be remedied by increasing the PH of the dog spots by applying dolomitic lime to the affected areas after you have given the areas a good thatching to remove the dead grass. Early seeding of lawns is beneficial as seeds adjust with the warm daytime temperature and tepid nights, germinating nicely.

In the veggies garden, roots and seeds can be planted now as well – asparagus, potatoes, and onion sets. Prior to seeding you may opt to amend your soil by adding peat moss to lighten the texture. Compost and steer manure add good nitrogen for everything from flowers to food crops.

Just think – once the lawn is amended and the veggie garden seeded and planted you can then start with the color of the yard: flowers.

How do you start choosing? You may be focused on color, theme, texture, heights, which carries you into decisions of doing container (patio pot or hanging baskets) gardening or planting flower beds in the yard.

The number of flower choices available are numerous as well as the color choices.  As a child, the selections ranged from geraniums, to snapdragons and the yellow or orange marigold.  Nowadays assortments of annuals plants have exploded with varieties with color ranges within those. Even those used years ago are improved in vigor and color series with variations in heights. Flower selections for sun, shade, dry areas, and those for windy areas. Not even mentioning plants with blooming power that favor patio pots and hanging baskets. You may opt to follow trends and venture into using tropical plants as accent plants or explore the world of succulents for your container selections.

It is best to begin by looking at the area which you want to brighten up with plants. Is the location full sun or shade? This will guide you to inquire about plants which favor those conditions. Full sun is considered a combination of about 6 hours of total sunlight.  Some areas may achieve total hours of sunlight from different portions of the day.

Ie: a. 2 hours early morning with 4 hours late at night

b. 6 hours sunlight from noon.

These scenarios as well as others can accommodate many plant selections. Garden centres have the expertise to guide you to proper plant selections.

Once selections are chosen planting begins. Whether working in patio pots, or the garden it is best to always work with light lose soils ( for containers ) and prepared gardens which allow the root system of the plants to take anchor and grow. If the garden soil is hard to dig with a hand trowel then your garden may require turning with a pitch fork to break up the soil to enable good root growth. Plants positioned in compacted soils will develop slowly; producing less blooms. It is best as well to loosen the root ball of the plants when removing them from the store container just prior to planting which encourages them to grow outward into their new area. Nutrients added to the planting hole before placing the plant will encourage the roots to take hold. You may opt to use bonemeal or use a "root start". Water all new planting thoroughly when you are completed. All new plants will have to be monitored for water as they progress to make sure they get established.   As the season progresses always check for moisture even after rainy periods as garden beds located near and around trees or houses can be sheltered from proper moisture getting to your plants. This is true too for all patio pots and hanging baskets. Just think of your trees, shrubs and foliage as an umbrella; it does not allow moisture to penetrate beneath it's canopy.

The season is here! It is planting season!

St. Mary's Nursery & Garden Centre is in bloom with color. Hundreds of varieties of annuals for your gardens wait for your choosing. Our gardening selections expand to perennials, trees and shrubs too.

We have the expertise to assist you with your selections.  We look forward to making your gardens beautiful this season.



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