Gardening Tips

Drought conditions:

There is nothing you can do to revitalize your lawn under these dry conditions. It will not respond to fertilizer, and water alone is not enough. Grass is supposed to go dormant with this extreme heat and lack of rain. When rain returns, your grass will begin to recover. When it starts to turn green, fertilize it to strengthen the roots so it will recover faster. 

Be sure to use lots of mulch on your gardens to protect your plants from drought.  Water plants in the morning at the base of the plants to ensure water gets to the roots.

Spring cleanup:

-remove weeds as soon as visible growth appears and remove dead foliage

 -loosen soil between plants 

 -place mulch or compost or both (compost first) between plants. leaving a space around stems/crowns/base of plants to prevent rotting.

Perennials: (they come back each year)

-plant in spring or early fall

-choose zone 4 or lower in Ottawa area

-cut back straggly plants after flowering (by 1/3 growth) 

-deadhead (remove dead flowers) after blooming


-plants in groups of 5 (for small gardens) or more for best effect       

-there are several ways to keep rodents from digging up your bulbs.  Plant daffodils with tulips, sprinkle cayenne pepper and/or blood meal over planted bulbs.  Banana peels in the hole with the bulbs also deters squirrels

 Annuals: (must be replanted each spring):

-do not plant in garden until danger of frost is past

-can be planted in containers earlier, just move indoors overnight if frost is forecasted

 Gardening can be great exercise:

 -vary body positions to avoid straining muscles; kneeling, squatting, bending etc., so you  are not in any one position long enough to  strain your muscles.

-be sure to stretch well before and after gardening.  Basic yoga stretches such as the downward and upward dog work well, as do planks.

 Protect yourself:

- apply sunscreen to any other skin exposed to the sun.

 -wear gloves to protect your hands from thorns, the sun, and bacteria in the soil.

 -stay hydrated!  By the time you feel thirsty, dehydration has already set in.

-wear a hat that protects your head, ears and the back of  your neck.

Insects & Disease:

-as soon as you notice chewed or diseased leaves or flowers, take action.  I use a tea tree based spray called Soluguard (contact me for details on this Melaleuca product) in my garden, but there are many commercial products out there.  Be sure to follow package directions carefully!                                                                                                                          

My best gardening tip?  try these garden genie gloves, you will love them for planting and digging in your garden!