Cyclamen

By , 2017/09/08

September 8th, 2017

Add Cyclamen to your Fall Garden!

If you are looking for something to replace your summer annuals for fall try the amazing blooms of Cyclamen. These beauties are started from seed in early spring and grow all summer just to produce an amazing show of fall colour. Some varieties of Cyclamen are hardy enough to survive our winters but most of the ones grown are annuals. But don’t let that stop you from planting them. You will find that the annual varieties produce a great show of colour all fall, even through frost.

Cyclamen flower in shades of white, pink, and red and can have simple green leaves or complex variegated leaves with intricate patterns of grey and silver. They are generally easy to grow as they grow best in all purpose potting soil and enjoy being slightly moist which is idea for our wet fall and mild winter. To keep them blooming feed them every week with a water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro or 20-20-20.

Garlic

By , 2017/09/07

September 7th, 2017

Grow your own Garlic!

Vampires beware it’s time to plant garlic. Fall is a great time to plant your garlic crop for next year and growing good garlic is easy. If you just plant the cloves in the ground anytime between September and March and it will probably grow. But if you want to grow large, healthy bulbs, there is more to it. Click here to download our Garlic Growing Tips Information Brochure.

This year you can choose from ten different varieties of garlic, including three varieties of certified organic garlic. They include:

  • Regular White – Common type of white garlic, has a mild flavor.
  • Elephant – Has large cloves but very mild flavor
  • Bogatyr -A hardneck variety known for its hot, strong taste. Excellent for roasting
  • Duganski – Fiery flavor that mellows when cooked. Sores well.
  • German Hardneck – A very nice strain for our northern climates. Great for roasting due to large cloves.
  • Legacy – A rocambole hardneck garlic that produces 4 to 6 very large cloves in a bulb. Has a strong, full flavour.
  • Metechi - Spicy hot flavor, said to grow like a weed and store like a rock!
  • Mexican Purple – This garlic has a hot flavour when raw, but becomes milder when baked
  • Music – Music is large beautiful and a well-formed porcelain garlic. Its flavor is very rich and musky, strong and robust and sticks around for a while.
  • Red – The standard of excellent flavor in rocambole hardneck garlic. This is a delightfully mild, full flavored, productive garlic that store very well, present a nice appearance and has an excellent raw flavor.
  • Russian Red – A rocambole hardneck garlic with a rich, musky flavour and is very hot when eaten raw. Grows great in the northwest.
  • Siberian - Large bulbs, spicy flavour that becomes milder with storage. Great grower, excellently stored.

Hibiscus

By , 2017/07/24

July 24th, 2017

Add a Tropical Touch to your garden with hardy Hibiscus!

Hibiscus come in many forms. If you have ever taken a Hawaiian vacation you have probably seen them used as hedges. However, if you live here in the greater Vancouver area there are varieties of Hibiscus that are hardy enough to survive our winters. The Hibiscus syriacus varieties, known as the Hardy Hibiscus or Rose of Sharon, are capable of surviving winters as cold as -20 C (-5 F). The most attractive feature of these plants is their blooms. They produce an abundance of blooms from July through September. Every garden should have a Hardy Hibiscus as they make an excellent back drop to your annual or perennial flower beds. There are several varieties to choose from including:

  • ‘Blushing Bride’
  • ‘Lavender Chiffon’
  • ‘Red Heart’
  • ‘White Chiffon’

Crocosmia

By , 2017/07/15

July 15th, 2017

Enjoy the devilishly beautiful blooms of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

Crocosmia are one of the best summer flowering perennials to have in your garden. They produce clumps of sword-shaped leaves. These leaves are topped with tall, arching spikes of tubular funnel-shaped blossoms in mid to late summer. There are several named varieties available, in a range of hot colours. The most popular variety is the ‘Lucifer’. Lucifer has brilliant flame-red flowers, and a tall habit. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds and make an outstanding cut flower in a bouquet. Every garden should have at least one variety of Crocosmia in it and Lucifer is by far the most popular variety. There is also ‘Emily McKenzie’ which is a bright Orange and ‘George Davidson’ which is a golden yellow.

Echinacea

By , 2017/07/06

July 6th, 2017

Add warmth to your garden with Echinacea!

Echinacea (or Coneflower) are one of the most popular perennials, they love full sun and lots of heat. They have large, showy flower heads, blooming from early to late summer. Many varieties bloom until frosts in the fall. Some varieties can be used for herbal or medicinal purposes. They work well at attracting butterflies to your garden. There are many varieties for you to choose from.

Hydrangea

By , 2017/06/26

June 26th, 2017

Hydrangeas give you summer colour the lasts!

If you are looking for a shrub that will give you colour all summer that lasts into the fall then look no further than Hydrangeas. These deciduous shrubs provide the perfect backdrop to your perennial or annuals gardens and have beautiful flowers that last from mid summer to late fall. Click here for our information brochure on how to grow Hydrangeas.

Some of the varieties that you can choose from include:

  • Annabelle
  • Blushing Bride
  • Bloomstruck
  • Endless Summer
  • Incrediball
  • Limelight
  • Little Lime
  • Little Quick Fire
  • Nikko Blue
  • Pee Gee (Paniculata Grandiflora)
  • Pia
  • Strawberry Sundae
  • Twist-N-Shout
  • Vanilla Strawberry

Blueberry

By , 2017/06/12

June 12th, 2017

Harvest a Bounty of Blueberries!

Blueberries are excellent plants for the home gardener, providing not only delicious fruit, but plants that have outstanding ornamental value as well. Blueberries are easy to grow, require little care and are seldom bothered by pests. Fruiting occurs from June to October depending on the variety. In winter, the leaves as well as the bark of the young branches turn glowing shades of yellows & reds.

For more information about the varieties of Blueberries that you can choose from and how to grow them click here.

California Lilac

By , 2017/06/01

June 1st, 2017

Ceanothus ‘Victoria Blue’

Ceanothus is more commonly know as the California Lilac. This beautiful shrub has masses of electric blue flowers in May and June. It prefers to grow in a location with full sun and well drained soil. One of the best features is the ability to attract bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators as they emerge for the summer.

You can easily grow the Ceanothus as a centerpiece in your garden or even make it into a hedge. You can prune Ceanothus vigorously every spring and it will still produce an abundance of blooms. If you are looking for a reliable summer flowering shrub look no further than the Ceanothus ‘Victoria’.

Herbs

By , 2017/05/29

May 29th, 2017

Savour the Flavour of Fresh Herbs!

If you enjoy cooking with fresh herbs there is nothing more rewarding than a herb garden full of Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, and Basil to use in your culinary creations. There are many flavourful herbs that are easy to grow in your garden or in pots on your patio. In addition to their flavour many herbs are very aromatic and make an excellent addition to your garden. The beautiful blue flowers of rosemary are as ornamentally beautiful as they are culinarily delicious. I can not imagine a garden without at least a few herbs.

You can choose from a broad range of herbs including:

  • Basil
  • Bay Leaf
  • Cat Grass
  • Chamomile
  • Chives
  • Cilantro/Coriander
  • Curry
  • Dill
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Majoram
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Stevia
  • Thyme

For some advice on growing herbs, including a chart of culinary uses, click here. For a list of companion planting, including herbs and vegetables, click here.

Tomatoes

By , 2017/05/15

May 15th, 2017

Taste the flavour of home grown Tomatoes!

The weather is almost warm enough to start thinking about putting tomatoes outside in the garden. If the night time temperatures are below 10 degreec Celcius (50 degrees fahrenheit) it is recommended that you provide some protection. You can do this by covering your tomatoes with plastic or a white cloth like our “Crop Cover” or “Frost Blanket”. When the night time low is above 10 degrees Celsius you can leave them uncovered.

Whether you are a seasoned tomato growing veteran or a new gardener here are a few tips to help you grow better tomatoes:

  1. Tomatoes are heavy feeder, they are the teenage boys of the plant world. You should add manure and fertilizer to the soil before you plant.
  2. When you plant the tomatoes plant them deeper as new roots will develop along the stem helping your plants grow faster and stronger. (Except ‘Mighty Mato’ grafted Tomatoes, do not plant them below the graft)
  3. Water regularly all summer, twice a week early in the season and daily during the summer months. Tomatoes that do not get regular water are more likely to develop diseases and are less likely to produce as much fruit. They also develop thicker skin if not watered properly.
  4. Fertilize weekly with a water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro Tomato Food 18-18-21 or monthly with a granular fertilizer like Evegro’s Vegetable and Tomato Food 10-15-19.
  5. Add Lime to your soil before you plant and every month during the growing season. Lime helps balance the pH and provides Calcium and Magnesium to the plants.

With so many varieties of Tomatoes to choose from here are a few varieties that perform well in our climate:

  • Ball Extra Early – a medium sized tomato that produces early
  • Beefsteak – one of the largest tomatoes with lots of meaty flesh
  • Early Girl – a medium sized early producing variety
  • Sungold – a golden cherry tomato
  • Sweet 100 – an excellent small cherry tomato
  • Sweet Million – a smaller version of the sweet 100 that produces an abundant crop
  • Tumbler – a great cherry tomato for hanging baskets that produces all summer until frost
  • Tomaccio – a super sweet grape type tomato that is great for making Sun Dried Tomatoes

In addition to these varieties you can choose from a selection of Heirloom Tomato varieties including:

  • Bloody Butcher – a medium sized tomato that is great for slicing
  • Brandywine Black – a large heirloom tomato
  • Latah – an early producing medium sized tomato
  • Nyagous – a medium to large early to mid season tomato
  • Prudens Purple – a medium tomato great for slicing

Be sure to stake your tomatoes as they grow to give them support as the fruit matures. You can stake them up with a basic bamboo or cedar stake or buy a “Tomato Cage” that provides support for the leaves as well.

Click here to download our information brochure on Tomatoes.

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