Category: Garden Tips

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

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.

Summer Lawn Care

May 15th, 2017

Summer Lawn Care

During the summer months your lawn goes dormant. Before the heat of the summer starts be sure that you lawn has been adequately fertilized. One last treatment of the Evergro Spring and Summer Lawn Fertilizer (28-3-8)  is all that you lawn will need until you apply the Evergro Fall Fertilizer (6-3-20) in late September or October.

Watering your Lawn

When watering your lawn it is best to water early in the morning to minimize evaporation loss. This saturates the soil more thoroughly and provides better absorption of the water. Watering your lawn less frequently but more thoroughly encourages deeper roots that can withstand drought.

In the greater Vancouver are watering restrictions come into affect on May 15th and are in effect until October 15th. Please not that they changed in 2017. They are as follows:

Residential lawn sprinkling allowed:
Even-numbered addresses Monday, Wednesday, Saturday mornings 4 am to 9 am
Odd-numbered addresses Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday mornings 4 am to 9 am

Non-residential lawn sprinkling allowed:
Even-numbered addresses Monday, Wednesday mornings 1 am to 6 am
Odd-numbered addresses Tuesday, Thursday mornings 1 am to 6 am
All non-residential addresses Friday mornings, 4 am to 9 am

What if I don’t want to wake up at 4 am?

Here’s a better idea than getting up at 4am, purchase an electronic water timer for your sprinklers to make it easy for you to water your lawn and not violate the restrictions. Be sure to ask us when you come by to see us.

Newly planted lawns need special attention. It is best to keep the soil moist for at least 4 to 6 weeks after you apply grass seed to ensure that your lawn develops an adequate root system. If you are starting a new lawn in the summer be sure to apply for a permit to water outside of the watering restrictions.

Click here for more information from Metro Vancouver’s website.

If you have applied fertilizer or lime to your lawn it is best if you water the lawn to ensure that the fertilizer is washed off the blades of the grass to prevent burning. Watering also helps the fertilizer reach the roots faster.

Mowing your Lawn

Lawns should be mowed at regular intervals. For best results your lawn should be cut every 7 to 10 days. A rotary mower should to be set at a height of 2 to 3 inches for the season. Your lawn mower should be kept sharp at all times. A dull mower tears the grass instead of cutting it, making it more susceptible to diseases.

You should use a catcher, or rake the cut grass to remove the cuttings and prevent the build-up of dead grass. If you do not remove the dead grass you should power rake your lawn on a regular basis to remove the layer of dead grass (thatch) that builds up, this is called power raking or de-thatching.

Fertilizing your Lawn

If you have not fertilized your lawn before May 15th do it before the heat of summer comes. Once the summer gets too hot it is not recommended that you fertilize until fall when we have cooler temperatures again. You should ensure that your lawn is fertilized before the middle of June.

The beauty of your lawn, its resistance to disease, insects, moss and weeds depends largely on how healthy it is. With our heavy rains in the coastal area, much of the mineral content (food or fertilizer) of the soil is washed away each year. Every fertilizer shows the percentage of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash (N.P.K.) For example 28-3-8 is 28% Nitrogen, 3% Phosphorous and 8% Potash.

  • Nitrogen – gives lawn its green and is the main food a lawn needs
  • Phosphorous – encourages good root growth
  • Potash – promotes strong healthy stems

Lawns should be fed at regular intervals. Fertilizing should be done when the grass is dry and should then be watered in thoroughly. To ensure an even application, it is best to use a fertilizer spreader. We carry several fertilizers that can help you invigorate your lawn:

  • 28-3-8 gives your lawn a jump start promoting an abundance of new growth. One application will last 10 to 12 weeks ensuring that you will not have to fertilize again for the rest of the summer. Ensure that the blades on your lawnmower are sharp as you will need to cut your lawn every week with this fertilizer.
  • 6-2-3 is an Organic lawn fertilizer that provides a balance of nutrients that you lawn needs. If you wish to keep your lawn healthy using an organic fertilizer this is the best choice for you.

Starting a new Lawn

Summer is not a good time to start a new lawn. It is best to wait until fall when the cool fall weather and rains provide enough moisture for the lawn to grow better. This tends to happen in late September or early October.

Lavender

May 15th, 2017

Enjoy the sweet scents of summer with Lavender!

Lavender (Lavandula) is a romantic flower and every gardener should have at least one variety in their garden. They love a sunny location with good drainage. Lavender is extremely drought tolerant once it is established, but it should be watered regularly when young.

Two of the hardiest and best know varieties are the English varieties (Lavendula angustifolia) ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’. These varieties of English Lavender produce wonderfully fragrant blue-lavender coloured flowers during the summer. You can also try several new varieties of English Lavender including one called ‘Felice’. This new variety produces beautiful blue flowers in late May and early June.

Another popular variety of Lavender is the Spanish Lavender (Lavendula stoechas) ‘Anouk’. This variety produces a consistent display of flowers from June through September. To encourage them to repeatedly bloom is it best to cut them back after they produce their first set of flowers to encourage the second bloom.

 

Spring Water Gardens

By , 2017/05/01

Water Plants Have Arrived!

Our water plants have arrived for 2017. You can choose from a selection of plants for your pond. There are marginal plants that live near the water edge, Water Lilies which live at the bottom of your pond, and floaters like Water Hyacinths and other oxygenators.

Spring is the time to start planning for summer by seeing which plants have survived the winter and which may need to be replaced. Clean out any debris left from the winter and ensure that the water is clean.

Water Lilies

Water Lilies

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