Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Shade Plants

 The beautiful thing about gardening is that your design constantly evolves. The level of sun or shade in your garden can change as well. 
 
You may live in a neighborhood dominated by huge shade trees,  or perhaps some spots shaded by buildings. 
 
With only two to three hours of sunlight, sun-lovers will struggle, but plants that like part shade will do well.
 
Usually, shade and part-shade plants will do best where they don’t get hot afternoon sun.
 
Here are some perennials to grow in lower light situations: astilbe, hosta, cranesbill, bleeding hearts, foxgloves, ferns, columbine, coral bells, goatsbeard, monkshood,

ajuga, and brunnera.  There are also shrubs that will thrive in shady areas such as:

select hydrangeas, viburnum, false spirea and euonymus.  
 
Remember that most perennial flowers and roses do best in full sun. That means at least six hours of full sun.
 
Drop in and we can help you find the right plant for the shady areas of your yard.
hydrangea, shade plants, Winnipeg garden centers
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 5:05 PM 0 Comments

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Oh No My Evergreens look brown!

 As the snow recedes and we are spending more and more time outside we are starting to see what the winter has done to our yards.  One of the first signs of how tough the winter has been is the color of our evergreens.  A lot of the cedars, spruce and pines around the city are a lovely shade of brown.  Most people’s first reaction is that the plant is dead.  This is most likely not the case.  The buds for this years growth will still be alive, they are just waiting for some heat to start growing.  Once the new growth flushes out it will cover up the brown needles .  To help the process along you need to start fertilizing and watering your evergreens as soon as the snow is gone.   A fertilizer that is high in Nitrogen ( the first number on the formula) is the best.  Miracle Gro  water soluble Evergreen and Acid Loving Plant Food is an excellent source of nitrogen with a formula of 28-10-10.  In a typical watering can ( 2 gallon) you add 2 tablespoons of fertilizer.  Soak the soil that is around the plant to feed the roots.  For best results apply the fertilizer every two weeks throughout May and June.  As for watering, a deep watering every week unless it rains.

 

Susan Jensen Stubbe

Posted by Tammy Jensen at 8:02 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Arlene’s Collection of Tips and Tricks - Part 3

1. To keep dried spices and herbs longer, store them in the freezer rather than in the cupboard. 2. If you have run out of rooting hormone while planting slips of plants, use cinnamon. 3. Have you ever tried freezing tomatoes? It’s an especially good trick in the middle of hot August when you’re inundated with a bumper crop. Freeze your whole tomatoes on baking sheets and then store them in plastic bags in the freezer. The skins will conveniently crack during freezing, making it easy to remove them once the tomatoes have thawed. 4. Boil cinnamon and cloves in water on the back of the stove to eliminate cooking odours and to freshen the air. 5. Keep charcoal briquettes in the refrigerator to sweeten the air. To refresh them, just heat the briquettes gently in a heavy pot, you’ll find that the odours they have absorbed will vanish into thin air. 6. Safe Pest Treatments for Houseplants – Spot treatment with alcohol will eliminate mealy bugs on houseplants. To control whiteflies, aphids and spider mite, add 1 Tablespoon of dish detergent to 1 cup of vegetable oil. Take no more than 1 – 2 tsp. of this solution and add it to 1 cup of water in a spray container. Shake well and spray on both sides of the plant’s leaves. 7. Here’s an efficient watering device for any garden plant. Take a plastic gallon jug and remove the cap, cut out the bottom, turn it upside down, and force the neck of the jug into the ground close to the plant. Then, fill the jug with water. It’s a good way to fertilize as well. 8. Cut the bottom of 2 litre plastic bottles and use over delicate plants as protection when planting your garden. 9. Pinch out new growth on plants to encourage bushiness. 10. Snails: Method 1 – Ammonia Spray: 1 part ammonia to 10 parts water, spray on slugs early in the morning. It does not hurt the plant; however, you should be careful not to spray everywhere as it will kill good bugs as well. 11. Snails: Method 2 – Barrier Method: Around the base of the plants under attack, right around the stem where it goes into the ground, sprinkle baby powder or talc which sticks to their gummy bodies so they will not go through it or, if they do, it will kill them eventually. An inch of sand, the coarser the better, like a moat around the plant, makes it unpleasant to impassable for most slugs. Copper bands cause a shock to the slugs. This can be bought in a tape form at many garden centres. 12. Snails: Method 3 – Boiling Water: In the very early spring, pour boiling water along any hard edge that is in contact with the soil of a flower bed. This would be like a sidewalk, fence or edging material including large stones or rocks in your garden. This will kill the eggs. Now, this can be challenging if like in most gardens you have huge spaces that fit this definition. Do it in areas where there is a lot of moisture or shade where you are having a serious snail colony problem. 13. Drainage for containers: Especially for large pots where you also want to reduce weight or if you move them around, use/recycle small plastic bottles or containers like pill bottles, empty hair spray or hand lotion bottles. Put a layer of those on the bottom and then add a layer of newspaper or landscape fabric before filling with earth and plants. You will only need about 8 – 12 inches for growing most annuals. 14. Caging sloppy plants: Cut tomato cages in half lengthwise, open them up and tuck under plants to hold them up. I often would cut the bottom section off and use for smaller plants. This is a great solution to keep your plants looking neat and upright. Arlene Ortiz (Wheeler)
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 4:19 PM 0 Comments

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Arlene’s Collection of Gardening Tips & Tricks - Part 2

1. For a healthier lawn, forget the crew cut! A trim is all it needs. Lawns that are cut too short are more susceptible to drought and disease. For a vigorous lawn that chokes out weeds, keep your grass about 2 -3 inches long and never mow off more than 1/3 of the height of the grass blade at one time. 2. Easy and quick to make – Safe-to-use Insect Spray. In a blender, mix 1 garlic bulb, 1 small onion, 1 Tablespoon of cayenne pepper and 1 litre of water. Let this mixture steep for about an hour. Then, stir in 1 tsp. of liquid, non-detergent soap. Spray on your plants. Use immediately or store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 3. For the crunchiest cucumbers, soil calcium is essential. Expert cuke growers often side-dress their crops with a calcium source, such as bone meal, gypsum, rock phosphate or dolomite lime. Pick your cucumbers young, mature fruit isn’t crunchy. 4. Be sure your cucumbers get enough moisture. Drought can cause hollow fruit, unsuitable for pickling. 5. Rose growers successfully combat powdery mildew and other fungal diseases by spraying roses with a solution of 3 Tablespoons of baking soda in a gallon of water. 6. A Quick Fix for Acid Soil – Wood ashes take just a few weeks to neutralize soil acidity (limestone takes about 6 months to a year). For best results, thoroughly mix the ashes into the soil in the fall time, and then repeat the application every 3 – 4 years, if soil tests indicate a need. As a rule of thumb, use 1 ¼ pounds of ashes for each pound of limestone recommended. 7. Don’t water your lawn late in the evening. The grass will remain wet through the night, encouraging mold and fungus growth. The best time to water your lawn is in the morning or right after the sun goes down, so the water has a chance to reach the roots instead of evaporating. 8. Try planting pole beans between corn hills or rows. The beans will climb the corn and save you the bother of setting poles. 9. There’s a trick to getting more variety out of a small garden plot. Interplant (plant more than one variety within a block of space). Good combinations are fast-maturing varieties with slow-maturing ones. Harvest the quick-to-mature varieties before the other need to fill the space. Try planting: (a) lettuce with corn, peas, radishes, or tomatoes (b) beans with carrots, corn, cucumbers, onions or squash (c) radishes with carrots, melons, onions or peas 10. When drying herbs, hang them upside down in clean brown paper bags. The bags keep out light and catch any seeds or leaves that may fall off the stems. Cut a few holes in each bag to increase air circulation. 11. To speed the ripening of mature green tomatoes, store them with apples in a confined space. Tomatoes release ethylene gas as they ripen and so do apples. The extra “charge” from the apples will speed the tomatoes along. 12. The best time to gather herbs is in the morning as that is when the aromatic oils are the strongest.
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 3:17 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Arlene's Collection of Gardening Tips & Tricks - Part 1

I was perusing my pile of gardening articles and information when I came across my collection of tips that I have collected over the years and I would like to share them with you. Enjoy! 1. To get rid of Aphids, mix 1 Tbsp liquid soap and 1 cup of vegetable oil together. Add 2 tsp. of the blend to 1 gallon of water. Spray the plants with the mixture and follow with a spray of water. Wait about 15 minutes and then repeat. Don’t use this on squash, cauliflower or cabbage as they can suffer leaf burn. 2. To test if seeds are viable, put them in a container of water. If they float to the top, they are not good. 3. Prolong the life of cut flowers by putting a couple of drops of bleach in the water. The stems in the vase will stay bacteria free. 4. Kill weeds and grass growing in sidewalk cracks by dousing them with undiluted bleach. 5. Plant mint between cabbages to discourage caterpillars and other pests. 6. Plant green beans next to eggplant and potatoes. The beans deter an eggplant and potato nemesis, the Colorado Potato Beetle. 7. Natural sweetening for Tomato Sauce: If the tomato sauce you’re making isn’t sweet enough, instead of adding sugar, grate in some carrots, they work wonders! 8. Keeping lettuce longer: Moisten a clean kitchen towel; then wrap it around a head of lettuce. Place the wrapped head in an open plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 2 weeks. (Don’t seal the bag, allow the air to circulate.) 9. To peel fresh tomatoes, plunge them briefly into boiling water, then into cold water. The skins will crack and slip off. You can peel peaches, plums and beets the same way. 10. Storing potatoes: Don’t store potatoes near apples as apples give off ethylene gas, which causes potatoes to sprout. 11. Allow water to come to room temperature before using it on seedlings you start indoors as cold water chills the seedling roots, significantly slowing growth. 12. If you have trouble getting your beet seeds to germinate, try spreading the seeds on a piece of wax paper and then, using a rolling pin, crush the outside husks. This gives the seeds a head start. 13. For weeds growing in the cracks of a sidewalk or patio, mix ¼ cup of salt, 1 litre of vinegar and 2 tsp. of dish soap. Spray on the weeds when they are actively growing. 14. To keep cats and dogs off your lawn, put 2 – 3 cloves of garlic and 3 -4 hot red peppers into a blender to grind them up. Then combine this mixture with about a gallon of water and a few drops of dishwashing soap. Mix well. Sprinkle this solution around the edges of your yard and garden and along sidewalks. Repeat often. Stay tuned for more! Arlene Ortiz (Wheeler)
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 12:00 AM 0 Comments