FLOWERS & GARDENS

GARDEN CENTRE:

Our Bedding Plants, Baskets & Planters are all sold for 2019 — Thanks for a great planting season!

We have lots of natural & dyed cedar mulches, triple-mix, potting mixes, manure, compost and play/work sand for your garden & yard top-ups this spring.

HOW TO PRUNE FRUIT TREES & EVERGREEN HEDGES:

THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH  — with excerpts from gardening gurus Mark & Ben Cullen’s Newsletter

The gardening season isn’t over yet! Here are some of the things we expect to be getting into in the coming days:

Plant Spring flowering bulbs. One bulb Mark is particularly excited about this year, is the Liberation 75 tulip, which is part of a campaign to plant 1.1 million tulips across the country to honour the 1.1 million Canadians who served during WWII. $1 from every bag goes to support the Royal Canadian Legion and the balance of funds goes towards supporting the Canadian Tulip Festival. There are still bulbs available – get yours at https://liberation75.ca/product/liberation75-tulip-bulbs/.

Back-filling holes with asters, mums, rudbeckia, butterfly bush. If you haven’t been to the garden center since May 24 weekend, give them another visit! Not only are the fall colours beautiful, leftover perennials are likely on sale and happy to be popped into your garden at this time of year.

Thickening the lawn. Grass is a cool season crop, so this is the perfect time of year to cover patches and improve your lawn’s competitiveness against weeds.  Where thin spots exist, spread quality lawn dresser mix 4 cm thick and rake smooth.  Broadcast quality grass seed at the rate of 1 kg per 100 sq. meters. (~ 1 lb. to 200 sq.ft.)  Rake this smooth, step on it with a flat-soled shoes and water to keep seed moist until germination.  Remember that during drier times, keep watering the new seedlings if rain is scarce — don’t let dry out as it will kill them when they are young/small.

Top-dress with compost. Remember, ‘digging in’ compost is a thing of the past – all that disruption is just bad for the soil. Simply apply the compost to the surface of the soil and let the worms do the hard work of pulling it into the root zone.

Fallen leaves: mulch & rake. That is, mulch them with the lawn mower and rake them into the garden. Per above, the earthworms are more than happy to feast on these and turn them into beneficial organic matter.

Harvest. Any time now, frost is going to finish off your veggie garden, so start collecting those pumpkins and squash. By now, your pumpkins will be pretty maxed out for size, so take a minute to appreciate what you’ve accomplished. If you’re especially proud, see if there’s time to enter your local veggie growing competition. We always get a kick out of pumpkins and squash at the fall fair.

If you’re looking at an excess harvest, remember to check with your local food bank whether they’re participating in the Plant a Row, Grow a Row program (https://www.growarow.org/).

Apply Fall Lawn Fertilizer which is formulated to build up the natural sugars at the root zone of grass plants. You will get a faster green up come spring, less snow mold and a stronger, healthier lawn.  The later that you apply this in fall, the better. So, the timing of application varies from region to region. Wait for a few ‘killing frosts’ which will slow down the metabolism of grass plants, creating the perfect conditions for application.

Dig and divide. Perennials that flowered in early to mid summer can be dug up and divided. Replant the divisions around your yard in the appropriate places or give them away if you have run out of space. Be sure that the soil is moist when you dig up the mature perennial.   If you’ve been keeping on top of weeding through the summer months, you will find September not too bad — Stay on top of it.

Compost: a. empty b. fill. Not to oversimplify this, but your garden needs the natural goodness that is contained in your backyard composting unit and your now-empty composting unit will provide a valuable service this autumn when the leaves fall and you yank your spent annuals and veggie plants out of the ground.

Feed the birds — Use a quality seed mix so that it does not get wasted and you attract quality birds.  Birds wintering in the south will be on their way back over the next month or so clean your feeders again and fill with Wright’s Premium Wild Bird Seed — Birds love it!  Also available are sunflower seed, safflower seed, peanuts (both in and out of the shell), nyjer seed, lots of varieties of suet, corn cobs and lots of feeders for all types of backyard birds.

Participate in Project Feeder Watch –FeederWatch is a winter-long (November-April) survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America.  Participants periodically count the birds they see at their feeders and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. Your bird counts help you keep track of what is happening in your own backyard and help scientists track long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.  With FeederWatch, your observations become part of something bigger. Click here to join.

HOW TO PRUNE FRUIT TREES & EVERGREEN HEDGES:

“HOW-TO” VIDEOS FROM MARK & BEN CULLEN:

Summer Lawn Maintenance – This one is very timely! Check it out!

How to Use Nematodes to Control Grubs

How to Buy Plants at the Garden Center – Good thing to consider now that garden centers are starting to discount their seasonal plant material.

How to Plant in Containers

How to Build a Living Fence – Something you can do with the discounted plant material from the garden centre.

How to Build an Insect Hotel – A year-round project to benefit the diversity of life in your yard.

CONTAINER PLANTING TIPS:

It’s trending to use an assortment of different and unique new annuals, tropical plants (hibiscus, dipladenia, rubber plants, elephant ears, crotons) tubers (caladium), houseplants (kalanchoe, angelwing begonias), perennials (hostas, coral bells, hydrangeas, ferns, ornamental grasses, sedums, coreopsis), succulents, herbs (globe basil, variegated basil, rosemary) and vegetables (think beet tops, ornamental peppers, red millet) in planters to give a more dynamic look.  

Have a look at what you’ve already got growing in your own home or your gardens that might make a nice focal point/accent to your planters this year.  Take a look around at other nurseries/garden centres for new and different plants that might work for you that we don’t have here at Wright’s Feeds ‘N Needs.  


You might even consider creating your own spray-painted sticks/twigs to add as an accent to your planters to match your outdoor living space to add that extra punch of colour and style or add a candle feature in your planter for summer evening ambiance.

When your planters and baskets start to look tired and/or over-grown in late-summer, another popular idea is to yank out early performers or straggly plants from your planters/pots ~ half-way through the season and replace with a new late-summer bloomers or cool-weather performers in the empty space.  This will extend the life of your planters and give a new look as the seasons change. 

     

Once the annuals have been bitten by frost, you can stick in coniferous greenery, sumac branches, mountain ash berries, mini pumpkins & squash; plant colourful mums or flowering kale & cabbage; add ornamental grass tufts, birch twigs & branches, pine cones, magnolia leaves, grapevine accents; spray-paint (gold or silver) branches or pine cones, add decorative balls and ribbons (the list is endless, really) to carry your planters from a Thanksgiving theme right through until Christmas.

See how much fun this can be 🙂  ‘The possibilities are only limited to the bounds of your imagination’ and anything goes these days.  

We would be happy to share our extensive knowledge on plants, lawns, gardens and pest control to help you optimize your garden care experience.