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Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

Welcome back to the start of another garden season. We’ve had a little break, we’ve painted, power washed and built a few more bits and pieces around here and if you are like me you’re chomping at the bit…nah, I’m lying…I have a few more books I want to read. So if you are not like me and are impatient to get cracking on your garden I have an awesome list for you. One part planning, one part actual work and one part shopping. It’s an awesome to-do garden sandwich if you ask me!

The Planning Part

If you have a spot for a garden corkboard that you can pin up lists, drawings, it will make your planning process easier. I know a corkboard is old school but there is something about walking by it every day that reminds me and helps me to focus on what I need to get done.

If you haven’t done so already take stock of your garden. Take photos and note any bare areas that you would like to do over. Pay special attention to any drainage issues and as soon as it’s dry, you can start to address them.

Make a wish list both for plants and for hardware…like 2 new digging shovels for me and hard features…like a bench or a birdbath.

Make a list of plants to divide up, prune, or bring in for forcing.

Gardening Magazines

Now is a great time to peruse the garden magazines and catalogues.

Make a note of any shrubs or perennials you would like to move and flag them…I have to do this part because otherwise I’ll forget…there is nothing like a piece of orange flagging tape waving at you to remind you.

Make a job list.

The Shopping Part

If you love starting from seed now is a great time to peruse both some of the new and wonderful and the old faithful varieties. I’ve set up a bunch in the store and I’ve got my eye on some Renee’s seeds. This year we've also launched our online seed store

Online Seed Store

A great learning website and seedy event website is www.seeds.ca It will not only tell you about all of the seedy events but there is great information on pollinators too!

Now is a great time to check out some new garden tools. Peruse your job list and make sure you have the tools you need to get the job done right, quickly and with a minimum of wear and tear on you!

The Actual Work Part

Pruning Trees and Shrubs

Pruning

Now is a good time to prune. And by prune I mean removal of dead, damaged, diseased or crossing and rubbing branches to enhance the Natural shape of the tree. I do not mean drag out the rusty old hack saw and chop away at will. If you have pruned correctly you will not be able to see where you have pruned but rather notice the natural shape of the tree.

There are plenty of workshops out there (our early 2015 Spring workshop schedule will be posted in the next couple of days) as well as reading on proper pruning techniques. There is no excuse for ugly pruning jobs…so don’t make me come out there!!!

If you have questions our horticulturalists and arborists would be happy to provide advice.

Dormant Oil and Lime Sulphur Spray

Dormant Spraying

Dormant spraying. If you have a problem with pests or fungus you can spray with a lime sulphur dormant spray kit. Or if you have a pest problem such as scale, mites you can just apply the horticultural oil. The dormant oil will act as a smother coat on dormant insects. It is not selective and will also smother some overwintering pollinators if they are in the spray zone. Be mindful of when and where you spray and if it is really necessary. I know I am starting to sound like an old broken record but our native pollinators need all the help they can get!

Dividing Perennials

Now is a great time to begin dividing up hardy perennials as long as the ground is not frozen or really waterlogged. And if the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged it’s also starting to be a good time to move hardy plants around.

Seed Starting

Seed Starting

Seed starting – you can get cracking indoors with some tomatoes, eggplant and peppers to name a few. Outdoors you may be able to start a few cool season crops like Kale. Otherwise wait another a week or two until most frosts have passed.

Organize & Clean

Organize and clean your garden workplace. Whether it’s a garden shed or part of the garage a clean and organized work area will make your gardening life better, simple as that. Clean, organize and shuffle the really big shed spiders away from your most frequently used tools...shudder. Also set up a sand bucket (a 5 gal bucket will do fine) to clean off digging shovels and other tools. It’s also good idea to set up a little dry off and clean up area for boots, soggy garden jackets and some small wooden dowlings to put muddy garden gloves to dry.

Get Ready to Fertilize & Lime

Check and organize fertilizers, lime, seeds etc. and make sure you are ready to go when the weather breaks!

That ought to do you for now. Don’t worry, I’ll think up more work for you next month!

Cheers - Laurelle


Sunday, February 9, 2014
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

You can’t go wrong by staying inside.

Browse through our old articles on the website. Download some e-books from the library. Ok, seriously though even though it’s darn cold out there you can still get cracking. Here is the list for February 2014:

Plant some seeds. Even better try out some sprouts. They are fast, healthy and you don’t have to go outside to do it. You can also get cracking on seeding the tomatoes too. If you haven’t planted from seed before, we have some seed starting workshops coming up later this month and March.

seeds & sprouts

You can also browse and shop for seeds in our new online store: http://shop.artsnursery.com

You can plan out your garden bed or a container garden. There are some great websites out there…Pinterest and Houzz to name a few…I’ve wiled away many an hour on those sites.

Bring some inspiration inside. There is some glorious winter colour out there; Witch hazel, Pink Dawn Viburnum, Red Twig Dogwood etc. You can even try your hand a forcing flowering Cherries or Forsythia. Build a bouquet and get inspired.

pink dawn viburnum

Winter pruning – now is the time. Actually wait a week so that you won’t freeze off your fingers and compact the soil with your trampling feet on the frozen ground. Remember never to remove more than 1/3 of the tree or shrub. Sound like a broken record, don’t I.

If you need some tips keep your eyes open for pruning classes in your neck of the woods or you can come by the nursery and talk to Karin. There are also some good you tube videos out there. If it’s more than you can or want to handle, call a Certified Arborist…they won’t bite.

If you prune fruit trees at this time it will speed up growth, if you summer prune (end of July beginning of August) you will slow the growth. Choose wisely. If you are thinking about grafting up an apple tree, now is the time to collect scion wood (6-8 inches long, pencil width or as close to that as you can, from the growing tips). Place in a sealed zip lock with a moist paper towel and place in the fridge. I start my grafting in March and end by the end of April. If you want to learn how to graft your own apple tree we’ll have a class on April 5th.

You can possibly think about liming by end of Feb or early March. I’ll be ready to talk lawns by then.

Give your stored bulbs a shake. Toss any that are rotten. Mist the shavings or peat moss.

Give your tools a quick inspection…might be a good time to take your lawnmower blades in to be sharpened and any other tools you want sharpened. You can beat the rush.

If you have fish in your pond make sure you’ve got a section of it free from ice for gas exchange. You do not need to clear the entire pond…the ice will actually insulate it. There are pond heaters or bubblers that will keep a small section thawed, or you can just cut a hole in the ice and try to make sure it doesn’t freeze over for more than a couple of days. Make sure you don’t disturb the water layers…the fish are on the bottom of the pond where the water is actually warmer. There is some excellent reading on the web for this.

If you want to try out your new warm winter coat and enjoy the sunshine…even though it’s minus something out there, try taking a walk through a local botanical garden to check out that glorious winter colour and even fragrance!!

plants for early season fragrance

A few fragrant winter plants include Witchhazels, Sarcococca and Hyacinths.

See you next month!

Laurelle


Thursday, February 7, 2013
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

IPunxsutawney Phil appreciate and admire the groundhog Punxsutawny Phil.  I even think he’s cute.  But 6 more weeks of winter??  I think he is mistaken this year.  The sunshine that has started off February has slightly thawed out out my gardeners inclination.

A couple more days of it to steam off the damp and I might even start to get excited about gardening.  Start slow…stretch…daydream a little and then poke around your garden, never know what you might find just waking up.

 

Here’s your list:

You can do your winter pruning now of trees and shrubs.  Never remove more than one third of your plant at any time.  Sometimes that is just one pruning cut.  Follow International Society of Arboriculture’s pruning guidelines.

If pruning Cherry Blossom trees or Forsythia or other early blooming trees or shrubs, make a bouquet of the branches and place in a vase of water inside.  They should start blooming in a week.  It`s a nice way to usher in an early spring.Dormant Spray Kit

If needed, apply dormant spray to fruits and roses.  Walk through the area first and watch for native insects.  Avoid spraying if they are present.  Our native pollinators can use all the help they can get.

Always identify the problem first and see if there is another way to prevent it such as sticky tanglefoot for winter moth, or raking and bagging the leaves to help prevent scab or black spot.

You can apply lime towards the end of the month.  Avoid working or walking on lawn or garden beds when the ground is frozen.  If ground is dry and not frozen you can aerate.

If we continue to get some lovely weather, you can start to tidy and topdress garden beds towards the end of the month with compost or manure.

If you have stored any tubers such as Cannas or Dahlias etc.  this is your reminder to check on them and remove any damaged ones.  Add new sawdust if needed, turn and dust.  Cinnamon works well for me.  If you have any that are shrivelled you can stick them in a tub of room temp water for a day and then dry off and put back into their storage container.Sweet Peas

Sow your sweet peas outside.  Start your tomatoes inside and keep your eyes open for all of the new seeds, seed potatoes, asparagus and any other flowers and veggies that you would like to try.  Seeds are cost effective, you get a lot of bang for your hard earned buck!   Try something new this year!!

Take stock of your tools and start your repair and wish list.

You can continue planting trees and shrubs as long as the ground isn't frozen or waterlogged.

Surrey residents should take advantage of the fantastic city tree voucher program - it's like getting free money to landscape your home! For classrooms and other neighborhood groups, consider the cities Releaf Program.

Houseplants

Inspect your house plants and start to think about an overhaul.  Pot up those that need it towards the end of the month and let go of the ones that need to go.

 

Yes, I`m talking to you.  It`s ok to say goodbye to that shrivelled African Violet and the Boston fern with the three leaves left.

 

Great time to order up hedging cedars as they`ll be digging fresh during the dry days.

Enjoy the sunshine and hang in there.  Spring is just around the corner.


Thursday, February 9, 2012
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

GroundhogI appreciate and admire the groundhog Punxsutawny Phil.

I even think he’s cute.

But 6 more weeks of winter?? I think he is mistaken this year.

The sunshine that has started off February has slightly thawed out out my gardeners inclination.

A couple more days of it to steam off the damp and I might even start to get excited about gardening.

Start slow…stretch…daydream a little and then poke around your garden, never know what you might find just waking up.

Here’s your list:

-You can do your winter pruning now of trees and shrubs. Never remove more than one third of your plant at any time. Sometimes that is just one pruning cut. Follow International Society of Arboriculture’s pruning guidelines.

-If pruning Cherry Blossom trees or Forsythia or other early blooming trees or shrubs, make a bouquet of the branches and place in a vase of water inside. They should start blooming in a week. It`s a nice way to usher in an early spring.

Flowering Cherries and Forsythia

-If needed, apply dormant spray to fruits and roses. Walk through the area first and watch for native insects. Avoid spraying if they are present. Our native pollinators can use all the help they can get.

Always identify the problem first and see if there is another way to prevent it such as sticky tanglefoot for winter moth, or raking and bagging the leaves to help prevent scab or black spot.

Dormant Spray Kit Dolopril Lime

- You can apply lime towards the end of the month. Avoid working or walking on lawn or garden beds when the ground is frozen. If ground is dry and not frozen you can aerate.

-If we continue to get some lovely weather you can start to tidy and topdress garden beds towards the end of the month with compost or manure.

-If you have stored any tubers such as Cannas or Dahlias etc. this is your reminder to check on them and remove any damaged ones. Add new sawdust if needed, turn and dust. Cinnamon works well for me.

If you have any that are shrivelled you can stick them in a tub of room temp water for a day and then dry off and put back into their storage container.

Seeds

-Sow your sweet peas outside.

- Start your tomatoes inside and keep your eyes open for all of the new seeds, seed potatoes, asparagus and any other flowers and veggies that you would like to try.

- Seeds are cost effective, you get a lot of bang for your hard earned buck! Try something new this year!!

- Take stock of your tools and start your repair and wish list.

- You can continue planting trees and shrubs as long as the ground isn`t frozen or waterlogged.

-Inspect your house plants and start to think about an overhaul. Pot up those that need it towards the end of the month and let go of the ones that need to go. Yes, I`m talking to you. It`s ok to say goodbye to that shrivelled African Violet and the Boston fern with the three leaves left. Visit our florist and we would be happy to get you a new indoor tropical, or perhaps even two!

-Great time to order up hedging cedars as they`ll be digging fresh during the dry days.

Enjoy the sunshine and hang in there.

Spring is just around the corner... really.


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

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