Friday, May 17, 2013

How to climatize your annuals and perrenials


We must remember to get our plants ready for the great outdoors where they will be subject to the elements of the season.  Most plants at many greenhouses and different places have been babied and have not been used to the wind and the direct sun.

 To make sure your plants are going to survive and be healthy and strong, put them first in a shady, sheltered area and then gradually move them into the sun and the wind for a few hours at a time.  You may have to do this for a few days before planting them out into the garden area or will they will eventually call home.  They will need a lot of water for the first while they are out so they don’t dry out and get stressed.  If they look wilted or the leaves become white (scorched by the sun), give them a good drink and move them back into a sheltered, shady area for a few hours before you move them back out again to where they will be planted.  If you have already planted them out into the garden area, you may have to shelter them from the hot sun and wind by using sheets, newspaper or cardboard boxes to cover them.  Plant out your sun plants first and then your shade plants.  If the temperature drops below 10 degrees at night, your shade plants may suffer and become stressed, so if you have a lot of planting to do, leave your shade plants until the temperature at night is 10 degrees or higher.  If you are planting your containers, the ideal time to plant is in the early evening.  They will then get the rest of the night to settle in before the hot, windy conditions of the day. 

 For the first week, just make sure everything is well watered and then after the first week once they are settled in, start your fertilizing program.  Most plants purchased have little to no food in the soil less mix they are grown in, so you must improve the soil with compost or fertilizer of some kind.  For blooming plants, I recommend a water soluble fertilizer with a high middle number to encourage bloom.  Miracle Gro 15-30-15 is a good one to use.  A fertilizer too high in nitrogen, the first number will encourage a lot of leaf, but little bloom.  If you follow this simple plan, you will have strong, healthy plants that will ward off a lot of insects and give you a lot of bloom throughout the rest of the summer!

Arlene Wheeler

Posted by Tammy Jensen at 7:29 AM 0 Comments

Friday, May 03, 2013

Live the Life! AND I need your Help!

I’m so very lucky! I have the best job in the world and the best partner in life who is the greatest support – how lucky can a girl get!

I’m in heaven these days. I get to go into schools all across the city, visit with so many great students and teachers; enjoy listening to all the various renditions of “Oh Canada” as their school day begins; talk to the students and teachers about gardening and what different vegetables need to grow strong and healthy; show them what they can grow in a recycling container; plant a plant with them so they have the experience of planting and being able to take a plant home to care for; talk about what plants need to grow; what we get from plants besides food and share some gardening jokes and riddles. I really enjoy being with the kids, they wear their heart on their sleeve; they are able to take in so much and are very eager to learn, eager to plant and also share their gardening experiences. Just when you think they’re not listening, they surprise you. Since I started teaching in the schools the beginning of April, I have visited 13 different schools and taught approximately 650 children and I have approximately 1,000 students left to plant with by mid June! So, I am appealing to you, if you have any small containers, approximately 2 ¼” x 2 ¼ “, please think of us and bring them in for us to recycle and to support our school program. Jensen’s supplies me with all the soil and plant material, so if I can get some more containers for the children to plant in, that would be a great help! These children are our future and I know we have some great gardeners coming up!

Arlene Wheeler
Gardening Teacher and Passionate Gardener
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 11:13 AM 0 Comments