Planting time!

Posted by Karen Sabados on

Garden Time!

Finally the time has come to put in gardens and fill flower beds with blooming beauties! Gardeners have waited and dreamed all winter for this time of year and it is finally here. Yeah!

Early summer is a crucial time for gardens to ensure plants thrive throughout the season.  Take a close look at your garden to identify any areas that may need attention before beginning planting. 

Check soil quality for tilth(how fluffy it is) and nutrition levels. Think back to last year, did your garden grow well? Or were plants smaller than they should have been or had many yellow coloured bottom leaves. This may indicate a shortage of nitrogen requiring the addition of some fertilizer.

Does the soil feel heavy and clay like? Interlake soils tend to be composed of a significant amount of calcium carbonate from the subsoil level that was deposited by glaciers eons ago. We need to pay special attention in our garden soils to keep organic material present in the top soils or the soil will become heavy and soggy. In this case, just fertilizer will not work as well as adding organic matter to increase soil porosity and drainage.

If your garden consists of raised beds, is the soil level up to the top of the boards or has it shrunk down to a lower level? If it is low, last year's plants have used it up and it needs to be topped up. It may be a good time to add some manure or other fertilizer, extra soil mix(we stock these) or your own compost.

Check for signs of pests or diseases. Again, think back to last year's garden, were there any problems with pests that you had to deal with? Many damaging insects overwinter or their eggs or larva will overwinter.  Addressing these issues early by understanding the pests lifecycle can help you prevent them from spreading and causing more damage. Usually most pests can be dealt with in an organic manner with cultivation practices. If you do need something stronger, we stock easy on the environment bug killers like pyrethrins.

Give the soil a good turning over with a garden fork, spade(we stock these)or rototiller. Remove by hand,  roots of perennial weeds like sow thistle, dandelion or quack grass. 

During the early summer months, plants may require more water due to the warmer temperatures. Water deeply and less frequently to encourage strong root growth. Consider using a soaker hose(we stock these) or drip irrigation system to deliver water directly to the roots. 

Applying a layer of mulch around your plants can help retain moisture in the soil, reduce weed growth, and regulate soil temperature. Organic mulches like straw, wood chips, or compost can also improve soil health as they break down. Wait to put mulches on the garden until the soil has thoroughly warmed.

Getting a good start to the early summer gardening season, you can ensure that your garden thrives throughout the season  with a bountiful harvest and a beautiful outdoor space to relax in.

See you soon!

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