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Grow your own Microgreens
 We have a selection of Microgreen seeds in stock now!       Share
How to Grow Amaryllis Bulbs
Everyone loves the magnificent blooms of the Amaryllis. Trumpet-shaped flowers are up to 9 inches across and displayed in shades of pink, white and...
How to Create a Festive Container
Watch my short slideshow on how to create a festive planter with clippings from your garden. Happy Gardening! Shauna  

D.I.Y. Tips

Moss in your Lawn

Is your lawn really mossy this Spring?

In Campbell River, our soil naturally tends to be quite acidic, and that is not ideal for lawns.  Acidic soil becomes mossy quite quickly.  If your yard is shady or if you have large conifer trees on your property your soil will be even more acidic, and your lawn can tend to have even more moss.     

Here are some tips on dealing with moss.

1)  Measuring your lawn area. 

 The average homeowner's lawns measure between 3000 and 4000 square feet for front and back lawns combined.  If your lawn is not average, you should measure it.  A long pace is about 3 feet so it can be measured in a very small amount of time.  A 40’ X 50’ lawn is 2000 square feet.  If you have the same 40’X 50’ size lawn front and back you would have 4000 square feet in total.

 

2)  Getting rid of existing moss.

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Fantastic Fairy Gardens

 
I've got to admit, I wasn't an early believer in the fairy garden trend, but it is winning me over. In the last couple of years, I've grown to see the value of this whimsy. Watching parents and children or often grandparents and grandkids speak of creating a tiny magical space is pretty fantastic. And this isn't a trend limited to kids; I believe that the miniature garden may be the new Zen Garden where grown-ups create and unwind and reconnect with their playful side. 
 
A little while ago on the TV news, a White Rock Garden was highlighted for showing a tree in a boulevard with a fairy door, stone path and miniature garden planted at its base. This planting might very well have made the homeowner happy, but the real treat here is that it seemed to be mostly for passersby to enjoy! The news went on to say that local elementary school teachers were taking their classes on field trips just to walk by and enjoy thinking about the fairies and gnomes that live there. Anything that gets kids using their imagination gets my vote!
 
Inspiration is the key to getting started. What would make you or a visitor to your garden smile? It might be a door in a tree or fence panel or like one of our staff members it was a few miniature chairs that she placed in a circle in a wide bowl-shaped pot filled with bark mulch. Then she added some tiny sticks to replicate a campfire in miniature. Read More

Micro Irrigation for Your Hanging Baskets & Containers

Even the most beautiful of hanging baskets only stay that way with regular watering and one of the easiest ways to provide this is with a micro irrigation system such as a Raindrip Container Kit.  Most of our customers are a bit nervous about doing it themselves but soon find that it is such an easy system to install they wonder why they didn't do it summers ago.  I understand their feelings completely as I am fully aware that this kind of installation felt outside of my skill set but I too was impressed with just how simple it was.

The kit can be installed with or without a timer but if you like to be away in the summer a timer is much more reliable than the kid next door.  Let's face it, the kid doesn't garden and doesn't really know a flower from a weed (and also does not reading gardening columns so will not have hurt feelings).

One of the best things about the Container Kit is that it gives you everything you need to get started but you can also add to it later.  This means you don't need to get overwhelmed in the details.  When I first got started with my system, I began with a very simple drip system for a few hanging baskets.     

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How to Make Beautiful Moss Baskets

How to Make a Beautiful Moss Basket

Materials

14-inch wire basket frame wire hanger (hook or eye) Sunshine or MySoil potting soil 1/2 bag or moss 2 tbsp fish meal 2 tbsp 14-14-14 Osmocote slow release fertiliser

Plants for a Sunny basket

1 Geranium (Zonal) for the top 3 Proven Winner trailers for the top 3 fillers for the top 24 plants (trailers & fillers) for the sides (We can show you what we use)

Plants for a Shady Basket

1 Tuberous Begonia for the top 3 Proven Winner trailers for the top 3 fillers for the top 24 plants (trailers & fillers) for the sides (We can show you what we use)

Method

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Welcome to a Brand New Year in the Garden!

As the beginning of a new year unfolds it is a great time to both reflect on last year and make plans for the New Year.  Sure there is plenty to do in the garden, to get ready and cleaned up for Spring, but spending some time reflecting and planning is also very important and quite satisfying and it may save you time in the long run.

My favourite way to start is to bundle up, grab an empty notebook and your favourite warm drink and wander through your yard.  Try to look at your garden with fresh eyes.  You might need to walk down the street and then approach your yard to try to see it "fresh". Don't overwhelm yourself.  You might only look at one part of your garden today so start by picking one that is the most important to you.

Most gardeners know which areas need some work but here are some areas you might think about:-

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Raindrip hanging basket watering system

A couple of summers ago I vowed that I was done dragging hoses around my deck before or after a long day at work. My planters on my deck are large whiskey barrels and only need watering about every third day but I always have two hanging baskets that need watering daily and while it's really hot sometimes twice a day.

I could handle watering the barrels with the hose every third day but doing the baskets everyday was getting tiresome. I started with the Hanging Basket/Container Drip Kit and decided to put up a very simple drip system for the two baskets.

I gathered the tools required, the Drip Kit, a small hammer, a pair of scissors, a cup of hot water (to soften the tubing) and began the job. Fifteen minutes later I was done and I could not believe I had waited that long to do it.

The Raindrip system is really slick. The last summer I added my deck planters to the system and at the moment I am adding the three tomatoes that I grow in five gallon pots.

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Nigel's Fruit Tree Pruning Tips

Training of a fruit tree begins in the early years, and the aim is to develop a well balanced framework of branches that are capable of supporting the fruit crop. This permanent framework provides the reference points for pruning a mature tree.

Early pruning should only be enough to establish this desired framework; heavy pruning on a young tree can delay fruiting. I find open centre pruning is the most common and the most beneficial to use on fruit trees. This is the style of pruning I will explain today.

Open style pruning produces a bowl or vase shaped tree with no main central branch but instead many of the major limbs, or scaffold branches, angle outwards from the main trunk. These branches usually start at about 2 to 3 feet above the ground and should spiral around the tree with about 6 inches between each of the branches. Being able to identify the difference between new and old growth and what is a fruiting spur and a fruiting bud is important when pruning.

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How to Plant Fruit Trees

 

Fruit trees grow best in full sun locations where the ground drains well. Most home gardeners will want to plant semi-dwarf fruit trees, these being about a third smaller than their standard counterparts. As semi-dwarf trees are smaller they will easier to pick the fruit from and easier to prune.

Some of the best types of trees to grow in our area are apple, pear, cherry and plum. Once you have decided on the type of tree, you need to decide how many trees you have room for. If you only want one tree, be sure to get a self-fertile tree. Otherwise, your tree will not reliably set fruit. Pollination can be complicated so be sure to take the time to discuss pollination when you purchase your trees. We will help you with that.

Peaches are a bit trickier to grow in our climate but can be grown against a south or west wall with an eave over them to keep rain off their leaves. The reason for this is because peaches are very susceptible to a fungal problem called 'Leaf Curl' on our wet west coast. Renton and Frost Peach are excellent varieties for our area because they are less susceptible to Leaf Curl but the excellent flavour of Redhaven makes it a common choice as well.

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