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Garden Tips2022-04-10T21:38:00+00:00

GARDENING INFORMATION 101

Garden FAQs

Here you will find a selection of frequently asked questions and downloadable resource guides.

These are some of the most common questions our staff gets asked regularly. Most of the information is pulled from our information brochures which can be found in the second half of this page.

If you still have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or visit us to speak with a staff member who will happily assist you with all your gardening needs!

garden faqs feature

FAQs

Indoor Gardening & Plants

How do I care for my tropical plants?2022-04-04T20:26:42+00:00

Light

Tropical plants prefer lots of light but not all types can live in direct sunlight. Most prefer bright indirect light, while some can tolerate lower light. If you do not have enough light it can be supplemented with a full-spectrum light bulb or “Grow light”.

Temperature

Tropical temperatures range between 18 to 27 C (65 to 80 F) degrees, so your home should be ideal for most tropical plants. However, be sure to keep them away from cold draughts or hot blasts from furnace vents which can cause them to lose leaves.

Watering

We need to mimic Mother Nature’s humid air conditions by misting them to provide moisture, watering with warm (tepid) water, and planting them in soil that drains quickly. Always use pots with drainage holes!

You should check the soil frequently (at least twice a week) to determine the need for water. You should water when the top ½ inch of soil has become dry. The water should be warm (tepid) and not straight out of the tap as our tap-water contains chlorine. Be sure not to overwater as soggy soil can smother the roots. You should also never leave excess water in the saucer.

Fertilizer

The easiest way to fertilize your house plants is with a water soluble fertilizer. These are dissolved into the water when you water your plants. You should fertilize your indoor tropical plants once a week or once every two weeks depending on the fertilizer. We carry a selection of water soluble fertilizers including Schultz, Plant Prod 20-20-20, and Miracle Gro.

Click here to download the full tropical plant care guide.

What are some non-toxic indoor plants?2022-04-04T20:26:03+00:00

Here are some common non-toxic houseplants:

  • African Violet
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Begonias
  • Bromeliads
  • Cactus
  • Coleus
  • Croton
  • Dracaena
  • Hoya
  • Jade Plant
  • Jasmine
  • Mother of Pearl
  • Palms
  • Pilea
  • Peperomia
  • Prayer Plant
  • Spider Plant
  • Wandering Jew
  • Boston & Asperagus & Staghorn Ferns

Click here to download the full list of non-toxic houseplants.

PET SAFE PLANTS
How do I get my indoor tropical plants to flower?2022-04-04T20:24:55+00:00

Many houseplants flower in their native habitat. With the right conditions you can get them to flower in your home as well.

Here are few simple things you can do to get your indoor plants to bloom:

  1. Increase the light level
  2. Add fertilizer
  3. Re-pot in fresh soil
  4. Re-pot in new pot (best done in spring time)
  5. Dust plant leaves

Click here to download the full indoor flowering plant information brochure, or contact us to speak with a staff member for more information!

How do I create a terrarium?2022-04-04T20:23:16+00:00

Terrariums, if well-made, usually require little care for a beautiful return!

Plant Choice

  • When considering plants usually an odd number for display makes for a better look aesthetically (1, 3, 5, etc).
  • Colour or pattern variety gives a better look and draws the eye to details.
  • Texture & leaf variety breaks up the monotony as well.
  • Growth pattern variety gives a full, well established look to the planter, with growth at multiple levels.
  • Try to put in a trailing or sprawling plant, a mid-level plant and a taller type.

Planting Needs

  • Good drainage provided by a layer of pebbles or gravel
  • A layer of soil “sweetener” – activated charcoal to keep any water from stagnating & improves the health of good soil bacteria
  • Natural filter – a small layer of peat/sphagnum moss to hold the soil particles in place. Also adds to soil nutrients as it slowly breaks down.
  • Soil/Media – should be the right type & density for the plants used.
  • Coverage – decorative pebbles, sand, bark chips. These hold down the media as well as helping to contain or prevent moisture (as needed)
  • Décor – rocks, sticks, shells, ornaments, figurines etc.

Click here to download the full information brochure.

Enjoy!

How do I care for Bonsai trees?2022-04-04T20:22:36+00:00

Watering any bonsai must be thorough to ensure saturation of the rootball which must never be allowed to completely dry out. Overhead watering (rain) should be repetitive. Occasional plunging of the entire pot (root ball) will help greatly.

To ensure even growth and reduce the risk of ‘burning’, it is best to feed frequently but lightly with a water soluble growth or to stimulate one aspect of the plant ie: root development, flowering or fruiting and leaf growth.

Typically, prune or pinch frequently during the active growing season or after flowering to maintain shape. Any severe pruning should be judicious and well thought out before making the cuts.

Watch for insects and disease on ANY bonsai specimen. Such small plants can be devastated in very short periods. All varieties are prone to the same problems as their full size counterparts.

Bonsai is very quickly becoming a popular hobby and the general market offers material ranging from poor to excellent potential. Be wary of your purchase. Nothing is more disheartening than losing a find due to a lack of knowledge. Ask questions! Members of our staff are well-versed on this subject and will be glad to counsel you with regard to your particular needs.

Click here to download the full information brochure.

How do I care for lucky bamboo?2022-04-04T20:18:32+00:00

Whether Lucky bamboo is grown in water or soil, the light requirements are the same. Lucky bamboo like bright, indirect light. Too much sun can damage the leaves. A windowsill is perfect.

Lucky bamboo like their soil moist but not too soggy. A tip to determine whether your plants need watering is to stick your finger in the soil about an inch deep. If the soil feels dry, give it a water. If it’s still a bit moist, check back later. It is safer to under water than to over water.

Lucky bamboo does well in room temperature. It’s good to fertilize lucky bamboo to encourage new growth and flowers. Any tropical plant fertilizer would do well.

Click here to download the full information brochure.

Outdoor Gardening & Plants

How do I attract birds to my garden?2022-04-04T21:23:30+00:00

Birds live in a variety of habitats. The more varied the habitat the greater variety of birds you will attract. It is important to offer food and nesting sites at various heights. There are four basic habitat levels: grass, shrubs, small trees and large trees. The best plants provide berries or seeds for food, shelter, and a nesting place. Tree branching must be dense enough to support nests but allow for easy bird movement.

Click here for a complete list of plants that will help attract birds to your garden and home!

How do I prune trees and shrubs?2022-04-04T21:22:02+00:00

Proper pruning is essential to improve how your plants grow, flower, fruit, resist disease, and how long they live. This pamphlet explains the practical procedures for pruning a majority of your garden plants. For fruit trees, shade trees, and flowering trees follow these four basic rules:

  1. Remove all weak and diseased branches
  2. Remove all branches growing towards the center
  3. Remove the weakest of crossing branches
  4. Remove the weakest of parallel branches

You should remove all twigs and branches at the intersection with another branch with a clean cut leaving no stubs. You should seal all cuts over one inch in diameter with a pruning paste or spray.

Flowering Shrubs

Pruning shrubs that flower on OLD wood (ex. Forsythia, Spiraea, Weigela, etc). Most of the flowering shrubs in your garden are in this group. New shoots grow from the ground level each year. Flowers grow on two, three, and four-year old wood. You should prune these plants only after they have finished flowering. You should prune the oldest growth, more than four years old, off at the ground level.

  1. Remove weak and diseased branches
  2. Remove all shoots over four years old at the ground level

Pruning shrubs that flower on NEW wood (ex. Roses, Buddleia, PeeGee Hydrangea, etc). This group of plants produces flowers only on new wood. You should prune these plants in the spring (March or April) by heading back.

  1. Remove weak and diseased branches
  2. Remove branches growing towards the center
  3. Remove crossing branches
  4. Cut back all remaining branches to between 10 cm to 30cm (4-12 inches)

Click here for more information and to download the full Practical Pruning Guide.

How do I start seeds?2022-04-04T20:55:41+00:00

Seeds can be started as early as January indoors on a sunny window or directly outdoors as early as February. Some plants are hardier than other and their seeds can be started earlier outdoors.

If you are starting your seeds early they can be started indoors on a sunny windowsill in trays or pots. For later seeds they can be planted directly in the garden beds.

Place the growing medium (soil) in the trays or pots. Ensure that the medium is flat and level. Gently shake the tray or press the medium down to remove any large air pockets.

Next make a small depression or hole to place the seeds in. The holes should be approximately one to two inches apart. The hole should be about twice as deep as the seed is wide. Place the seed in the hole and cover.

Keep the growing medium warm, 18° to 20 C (65 to 75 F), and ensure that it stays moist by covering with a plastic dome or misting with water.

When the seedlings have developed two or more sets of leaves you can thin them out by removing the weakest ones. You can then transplant the strongest ones into a larger pot with more growing medium. At this point you can begin fertilizing.

Click here for more information and to download the full Seed Starting Brochure.

What outdoor plants are deer resistant?2022-04-04T20:30:54+00:00

The plants in this deer resistant list are known to be poisonous, and therefore less appealing. Deer may ignore certain plants one year and munch away on them the following year regardless of their being in a deer resistant list.

  • Bee Balm
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Boxwood
  • Daffodils
  • Daphne
  • Daylilies
  • Ferns
  • Forsythia
  • Hellebores (Christmas Rose)
  • Lilac
  • Spirea
  • Spruce
  • Strongly scented herbs such as rosemary, oregano, lavender and sage

Click here to download our full list of deer resistant plants, trees, shrubs and more!

How do I care for my outdoor plants?2022-01-25T00:15:15+00:00

It is important to tend to your garden every day if possible. Check the health of your plants and ensure they are receiving adequate water, especially on those hot and sunny days! Some plants prefer more water than others, just like some need more sun. We also recommend using fertilizer to provide extra nutrients to your plants. If you think about it, plants are just like humans – each one is unique and requires different care, yet it is when they come together that they can be most successful and beautiful!

What is a hardiness zone and what zone do we live in?2022-01-25T00:15:30+00:00

North America is divided into 13 plant hardiness zones based on their climate and temperature. These zones help determine which plants are best suited to live and grow outdoors in your garden, as each plant has a recommended hardiness zone. For example, Vancouver and Surrey are in hardiness zone 8. Plants that thrive in our climate include:

At Hunters Garden Centre, we only carry plants that are acclimatized to coastal weather. However this information is important to know for those looking to tend to their outdoor garden year after year.

Learn more

What is the difference between an Annual and a Perennial?2022-04-04T19:15:25+00:00

One of the most common questions from novice gardeners is the difference between an annual and a perennial.

An annual completes their life cycle in less than one year and the roots die in the winter. 

Perennials are plants that have a continuous life cycle and live for more than two years, and often many years. As the seasons change, the above ground growth dies down in the fall and new growth comes from the perennial root each spring.

Perennial Plants

How do I care for Hostas?2022-04-04T20:38:13+00:00

Hostas are a very hardy, adaptable and easy to grow perennial plant that are grown for their interesting foliage. Flowers are produced on scapes, some are fragrant and they bloom from June to September. They are the perfect plant for those shady garden situations.

Hostas prefer a rich, slightly acid soil enriched with humus to retain moisture.

A fertilizer high in nitrogen will be beneficial and give greater splendor to the foliage.

Hostas are moisture lovers and need regular watering during dry spells and in the summer. Always water immediately after planting!

Click here for more information and to download our Hosta Care Guide.

How do I care for Perennial plants?2022-04-04T20:34:47+00:00

Perennials grow best in a loose well drained soil. Annual applications of manure in the fall can be dug in the spring to improve soil texture and retain moisture. Plants like to be watered on a regular basis and it is important to cultivate the soil frequently. The small fibrous roots systems grow best in a loose well-ventilated soil. Fertilizers should be applied annually.

Most perennials are best planted in the spring. Some grow best in the sun, others in shade. Plant perennials as soon as all danger of frost has passed, and the ground is dry enough to work. Make sure to give plants plenty of room so that none of the roots are crowded.

Click here for more information and to download the full Perennial Care Guide.

What is the difference between an Annual and a Perennial?2022-04-04T19:15:25+00:00

One of the most common questions from novice gardeners is the difference between an annual and a perennial.

An annual completes their life cycle in less than one year and the roots die in the winter. 

Perennials are plants that have a continuous life cycle and live for more than two years, and often many years. As the seasons change, the above ground growth dies down in the fall and new growth comes from the perennial root each spring.

Annual Plants

How do I care for Fuschias?2022-04-04T21:06:56+00:00

Fuchsias are quite easy to grow. In baskets or planters they provide colour in sheltered areas from May until October.

Watering is critical for fuchsias. In early cool weather, plants may not need watering for a week or more at a time. Heavy watering of small plants during cool weather will result in root rot, this can happen quite rapidly and can easily kill your plants. In warmer weather, however, larger baskets may need watering one or more times a day. Check the soil daily and water after the top inch of the soil is dry.

Fertilization is very important for good flower production. We recommend the application of a good quality liquid fertilizer once every two weeks when plants are young and once a week for mature plants.

Exposure for fuchsias is IMPORTANT. Most varieties need protection from afternoon sun from 12 – 6 pm; morning sun is ideal, also avoid placing your fuchsias in a windy exposure. Before putting your fuchsias out make sure that all danger of frost has past.

Click here for more information and to download the full Fuschia care guide.

How do I care for Annual Hanging Baskets?2022-04-04T21:04:31+00:00

Hanging baskets require a little bit of care during the growing season. You will need to provide enough water and fertilizer to ensure that it grows well and remove dead flowers to encourage more blooms. You should also monitor for insects and other diseases.

The most important thing to remember is to water the basket on a regular basis. Hanging baskets require more water than other plants in containers. This is because all sides of the basket are exposed. During hot dry spells they require water every day, sometimes twice a day. A general rule is to water the basket when the top inch of soil has become dry.

You should remove dead flowers from the plants to encourage more flowers. Removing the dead flowers encourages the plant to produce more flowers.

Click here for more information and to download the full Making & Caring For Hanging Baskets Information Brochure.

What is the difference between an Annual and a Perennial?2022-04-04T19:15:25+00:00

One of the most common questions from novice gardeners is the difference between an annual and a perennial.

An annual completes their life cycle in less than one year and the roots die in the winter. 

Perennials are plants that have a continuous life cycle and live for more than two years, and often many years. As the seasons change, the above ground growth dies down in the fall and new growth comes from the perennial root each spring.

Edible Plants

How to grow Raspberries and Blackberries?2022-04-04T20:51:38+00:00

Raspberries and Blackberries have the same basic cultural requirements. They prefer deep, well drained soil, but plenty of water and sun during fruit development. These cane fruits are very hardy and easy to grow. They produce new canes every spring, which grow vigorously and must be supported either with a stake or along a wire.

Fertilize new canes with 6-8-6 granular fertilizer and water well. Feed in early spring (March- April) with a Fruit Tree and Berry Food (4-20-20) or a top dressing of compost to promote fruit development.

Click here for more information and to download the full Raspberry & Blackberry Care Guide.

What’s wrong with my Peach Tree?2022-04-04T20:49:30+00:00

On the West Coast, peaches have two basic diseases, peach leaf curl and gumming.

Peach Leaf Curl

In spring, peach leaves start to curl and thicken with a reddish, crisp texture. Leaves then turn brown and fall off the tree. This disease can be controlled by using a dormant spray during winter or a copper spray in the early spring

Gumming

Gumming occurs at the sight where damage to the bark has been done by bacterial grown or canker. Control is only done by removing the affected growth below the diseased area. Be sure to disinfect your pruners after each cut.

Click here to download the full Peach Tree Care Guide.

How do I grow Kiwis?2022-04-04T20:48:07+00:00

A large family of vines, Kiwis makes beautiful ornamental plants and produce delicious fruit with ten times the vitamin C content of lemons. They are easy to grow and are free of pests and diseases. Kiwis are vigorous vines. Excellent for a privacy screen, they will rapidly cover a fence and, with support, will cover a wall or steep slope. They can spread up to 30 feet.

All varieties except ‘Issai’ need both male and female plants to produce fruit. One male can pollinate up to 8 females. The fuzzy Kiwi male is the best pollinator

Click here for more information and to download the full Kiwi Care Guide.

How do I grow the best Tomatoes?2022-04-04T20:45:46+00:00

Tomatoes are one of the easiest and most rewarding crops to grow in your garden. There are lots of great varieties to choose from, each giving you something different, from the small cherry and grape varieties to the large Beefsteak type. You can start them from seed in March and April or buy the plants already grown from May through July. If planted in a good location, they can produce crops well into October.

Tomatoes should be planted in a location that gets as much sun as possible. A minimum of 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight is required to produce good crops of Tomatoes. The soil should be fertile and retain some moisture as Tomatoes require lots of nutrients and water. The ideal pH is between 6.0 and 6.8. You can test your soil to determine the pH of your soil.

As a general rule you should not plant your Tomatoes outside until after May 24th.

Click here for more information and to download the full Tomato Growing & Care Guide

How do I grow Strawberries?2022-04-04T20:43:36+00:00

Strawberries are very easy to grow. Strawberries can grow and produce for many years in your garden. They multiply themselves so you can continue to expand your strawberry patch every year. The hardest part about growing them is right after you plant them, you have to force yourself to remove their blooms so that the plant can become established before growing fruit.

Strawberries grow in most soil types but prefer a well-drained soil. If you have soil that is clay like, you may want to build a raised bed for your strawberries, as hard clay is about the only thing, they don’t grow well in. You can also grow them in pots, containers, or hanging baskets.

Strawberries need full sun. While they grow with as little as 6 hours of sun a day, the size of the berries and the quantity produced will be small. Strawberries have shallow roots, so they need to be planted somewhere where they will not be overwhelmed by ground cover.

Click here for more information and to download the full Strawberry Growing & Care Guide.

How do I start a vegetable garden?2022-04-04T20:38:57+00:00

For best results a vegetable garden should be well planned. Locate the entire garden in as much sun as possible. Plan your rows to run North-South. Decide what vegetable you want to grow and plan how much space each takes up.

You can plant your vegetable gardens in March, April, and May depending on the weather. To get an early start you can use a greenhouse, cold frame, or row covers to protect young plantings from cold or insects.

Cool Weather Crops – are the first ones to be sown or planted, usually in March or April. These include; cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, carrots, radishes, peas, broad beans, potatoes, onions, garlic, and turnips.

Warm Weather Crops – are usually planted in May when all danger of frost has past. At this time you can sow: beans, corn, cucumbers, peppers, squash, and tomatoes.

Late Crop Vegetables – are usually planted in June or July. At this time you can plant; cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, parsnips, and leeks. You can also start fall crops of lettuce.

Click here to download the full Vegetable Garden information brochure.

How do I grow grapes?2022-04-04T20:29:50+00:00

Grape vines need to be planted in full sun in order to produce more fruit and avoid fungus problems. Make sure the soil where you are planting is well-draining.

When planting, dig a good sized hole, twice as wide and twice as deep as the root ball. Place the plant in the hole, mixing some compost in with the existing soil. Fill the hole so that the base of the plant is level with the soil when planted. Tamp the soil down well and settle it in with water to remove all air spaces. Grapes need a lot of root space to thrive.

Click here to download the full Grape Growing & Care Guide

How do I plant garlic?2022-04-04T20:29:09+00:00

Garlic can be planted in the fall or in the spring. Fall planting allows the garlic to develop roots and feed before the winter extending the growing season to produce larger bulbs. When planting separate the bulbs into individual cloves and plant the cloves, top side up, four to six inches apart so they will have room to grow. It is best to rotate your crops and not plant them in the same place again for three to four years. Garlic can be grown in the ground, raised beds and even regularly watered pots as long as they are in a sunny area.

Click here to download the full Garlic Growing Guide for more information.

What are some edible plants and flowers?2022-04-04T19:24:51+00:00
  • Lavender
  • Gladiolus
  • Lilac
  • Borage
  • Dianthus/Carnations
  • Jasmine
  • Nasturium
  • Begonia
  • Rose
  • Viola/Pansy
  • Snapdragon
  • Petunia
  • Marigold/Calendula
  • Daisy
  • Rosemary
  • Dandelion
  • Dahlia
  • Thyme
  • Chive
  • Scented Geranium
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Strawberry
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Current
  • Blueberry
  • Catnip
  • Raspberry
  • Salal
  • Wintergreen
  • Squash
  • Clover
  • Fuschia
  • Agastache
  • Angelica
  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cornflower
  • Day Lillies
  • Hollyhock
  • Honeysuckle
  • Impatiens
  • Primrose
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower (Unopened)
How do I grow blueberries?2022-04-04T20:28:33+00:00

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 July to October depending on the variety.

Plant blueberries in an area that receives full sun in a well-drained, acidic soil that is high in organic matter.

Blueberries are shallow-rooted, so they require lots of watering to avoid heat stress and to produce the best fruit.

Blueberries are self fertile, however planting two different varieties increases the amount of fruit that each will produce. Most blueberries bloom at about the same time so any two varieties will pollinate each other.

Click here to download the full blueberry information brochure.

Shrubs

How do I care for Rose Bushes?2022-04-04T20:58:29+00:00

Roses are beautiful in the garden and flower better than most other shrubs. With proper planting, pruning, and fertilizing they bloom profusely all summer long, year after year.

Roses require a rich loamy soil in a location with at least six hours of direct sunlight.

Roses should be fertilized periodically during their growing and blooming periods. Start in March/April when the leaves begin to develop by applying compost or manure around the base of the bushes as well as a granular fertilizer. This should be applied every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season from March to October.

Pruning Roses

November – Prune out weak, diseased, crossing, and broken canes and remove at the ground level. The canes remaining should be shortened by ¼. Once all leaves have fallen spray with a lime sulphur and dormant spray.

March – This is when the most important pruning is done. Remove an additional ¼ of the branches so that the bush is about half of the height at the end of the previous summer. It is best to cut to an outside bud to encourage an open growth habit. Cut just above the leaf bud at a slight angle away from the bud.

Click here for more information and to download the full Rose Care Guide.

Click here for more information about pruning and to download our Practical Pruning Guide

How do I care for Rhododendrons?2022-04-04T20:35:40+00:00

Rhododendrons need to be planted in an area where there is lots of humus, or good workable soil. They have a very fine shallow root system, so they do not do well in heavy clay or very rocky soils.

Rhododendrons require is a consistent supply of moisture. Due to the fact that their root system is very shallow the soil should not be allowed to go dry for very long.

The reason that Rhododendrons are so successful here on the west coast is our warmer wet winters and our cool summers.

When planting Rhododendrons be sure to add compost, or peat moss to the soil as well as some Transplanter (5-15-10) or All Purpose (6-8-6) fertilizer to encourage good root development. Mulching is a very important part of growing Rhododendrons successfully.

Click here to download our full Rhododendron Care Guide for more information as well as some common Rhododendron problems.

How do I care for Hydrangeas?2022-04-04T20:33:59+00:00

Hydrangeas are available in hundreds of varieties; they tolerate shade and are relatively low maintenance. As a long flowering shrub they are an excellent garden centerpiece. Hydrangeas bloom from early June into September. Their blooms are also excellent long lasting cut flowers.

Hydrangeas bloom and grow well with morning sun and afternoon shade. They do not do well in heavy shade as their blooms will be few and unlikely to fully develop.

Hydrangeas need to be regularly watered in hot dry conditions. They can wilt quickly if they do not receive enough moisture; however they recover swiftly once watered.

Hydrangeas should not be fertilized with mushroom manure. Steer manure may be applied shortly after winter ends. Manure be applied between the beginning April and the end June.

Click here to download the full Hydrangea Care Guide.

Bulbs

How do I care for Rose Bushes?2022-04-04T20:58:29+00:00

Roses are beautiful in the garden and flower better than most other shrubs. With proper planting, pruning, and fertilizing they bloom profusely all summer long, year after year.

Roses require a rich loamy soil in a location with at least six hours of direct sunlight.

Roses should be fertilized periodically during their growing and blooming periods. Start in March/April when the leaves begin to develop by applying compost or manure around the base of the bushes as well as a granular fertilizer. This should be applied every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season from March to October.

Pruning Roses

November – Prune out weak, diseased, crossing, and broken canes and remove at the ground level. The canes remaining should be shortened by ¼. Once all leaves have fallen spray with a lime sulphur and dormant spray.

March – This is when the most important pruning is done. Remove an additional ¼ of the branches so that the bush is about half of the height at the end of the previous summer. It is best to cut to an outside bud to encourage an open growth habit. Cut just above the leaf bud at a slight angle away from the bud.

Click here for more information and to download the full Rose Care Guide.

Click here for more information about pruning and to download our Practical Pruning Guide

How do I care for Rhododendrons?2022-04-04T20:35:40+00:00

Rhododendrons need to be planted in an area where there is lots of humus, or good workable soil. They have a very fine shallow root system, so they do not do well in heavy clay or very rocky soils.

Rhododendrons require is a consistent supply of moisture. Due to the fact that their root system is very shallow the soil should not be allowed to go dry for very long.

The reason that Rhododendrons are so successful here on the west coast is our warmer wet winters and our cool summers.

When planting Rhododendrons be sure to add compost, or peat moss to the soil as well as some Transplanter (5-15-10) or All Purpose (6-8-6) fertilizer to encourage good root development. Mulching is a very important part of growing Rhododendrons successfully.

Click here to download our full Rhododendron Care Guide for more information as well as some common Rhododendron problems.

How do I care for Hydrangeas?2022-04-04T20:33:59+00:00

Hydrangeas are available in hundreds of varieties; they tolerate shade and are relatively low maintenance. As a long flowering shrub they are an excellent garden centerpiece. Hydrangeas bloom from early June into September. Their blooms are also excellent long lasting cut flowers.

Hydrangeas bloom and grow well with morning sun and afternoon shade. They do not do well in heavy shade as their blooms will be few and unlikely to fully develop.

Hydrangeas need to be regularly watered in hot dry conditions. They can wilt quickly if they do not receive enough moisture; however they recover swiftly once watered.

Hydrangeas should not be fertilized with mushroom manure. Steer manure may be applied shortly after winter ends. Manure be applied between the beginning April and the end June.

Click here to download the full Hydrangea Care Guide.

Pest Control

What is the European Chafer Beetle?2022-04-04T21:17:45+00:00

The European Chafer Beetle, Rhizotrogus majalis, is a serious turf pest. In 2001 it was found in New Westminster, British Columbia, in lawns and boulevards. It has spread and is now found throughout Greater Vancouver.

The grubs cause damage to your lawn by eating the roots of the turf. They feed on all types of grass and, if food is scarce, may move into vegetable plantings to feed on corn, potatoes and other crops.

A healthy, vigorous, well-irrigated lawn can deter a grub infestation.

Predatory nematodes are available for grub control in late July, but they need to be ordered in early June. Nematodes work best if applied when grubs are in the larvae stage which is from late July until early August. There are many types of Nematodes, be sure to ask for the Nematodes for the European Chafer Beetle.

Click here for more information and to download the full European Chafer Beetle Information Brochure.

What are Aphids?2022-04-04T21:14:52+00:00

Aphids are a common garden pest that can vary in many different colours, but are usually green, black or yellow. They are small soft-bodied insects that have needle-like mouthparts to pierce plants. They can attack many plants from fruit trees to vegetables to indoor plants.

Aphids damage plants by sucking the sap from leaves, twigs, stems, or roots. This can also transfer diseases in the process. Usually you will find a cluster of them feeding under leaves or stems.

Ladybugs are a great way to naturally eradicate aphids from your garden. They are predators both as adults and larvae, consuming about 50 aphids daily.

Click here for more information and to download the full Aphid Information Brochure.

General

How do I start a lawn from sod?2022-04-04T21:31:08+00:00

Sod lawns can be started almost any time of year, except when weather is very cold. It’s also best to avoid installation during a summer heat wave. Water the planting area thoroughly the day before the sod is delivered.

Other tips include:

  • Time the delivery of the sod so you can sod the area in a single day
  • When you lay out the strips, stagger them so the ends aren’t adjacent
  • Roll the entire lawn with a roller half-filled with water
  • Water once a day
  • Mow for the first time when the grass is one-third taller than its optimum height

Click here for more information and to download the full Lawn Care Guide.

How do I start a lawn from seed?2022-04-04T21:26:46+00:00

Seeding applies primarily to cool-season grasses. Lawns started from seed are best planted in fall, early enough in the season to give the grass time to establish before cold weather comes. The next best time is spring, after all danger of frost is past and before weather turns hot.

When you prepare the soil, don’t cultivate it too finely—it may crust, forming a hard surface which emerging seedlings cannot penetrate. Ideally, aim for pea-size to marble-size soil particles. Do final leveling with a garden rake.

Other tips include:

  • Pick a windless day and sow seed evenly
  • Apply a complete dry granular fertilizer
  • Cover the seeds
  • Water thoroughly
  • Mow for the first time when the grass is one-third taller than its optimum height
  • If weeds emerge, don’t attempt to control them until the young lawn has been mowed 4 times.

Click here to download the full Lawn Starting Guide.

What are Mason Bees?2022-04-04T21:09:26+00:00

The Mason Bee is the common name of a native bee (Osmia lignaria ssp.) that pollinates our spring fruit and nut trees, flowers and vegetables.

These bees are perfect for spring fruit and nut trees, blueberries, and virtually all flowers in your yard needing pollination. It takes 6 Mason bees to pollinate a fruit tree, compared to 600 Honeybees!

These bees will stay close to home, meaning that you and your neighbour’s gardens will benefit from these pollinator friends.

Click here for more information and to download the full Mason Bee Information Brochure.

DOWNLOAD LIBRARY

Gardening Reference Sheets

Here you will find an entire library of downloadable Hunters Garden Centre’s information brochures which have been compiled over the last 65+ years we have been in business.

Much of the content has been passed down from generations before. Margaret Hunter used to type out our original information brochures on her typewriter! Rest assured this information is tried and true, with new knowledge regularly added as we continue to grow and learn.

If there is something you would like to see here, feel free to contact us and let us know. We are always looking for new ways to update our library to provide the most up to date information for gardeners in Vancouver, Surrey and beyond!

gardening reference sheets

Indoor Plant Information Brochures

Outdoor Plant Information Brochures

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