FLOWERS & GARDENS

GARDEN CENTRE IS OPEN!!!

Our garden centre offers a plethora of plants for bringing colour to your gardens, yard, decks & patios.  Hanging baskets and large tropical planters for any spot in your yard or deck.

Box plants are available by the box or by the flat.  Trailing plants, ivies, geraniums and various other annuals to create your own baskets, planters and window boxes.  Choose from a wide assortment of locally-grown nursery stock that we are proud to offer.

For your vegetable patch, we have a wide assortment of vegetable plants ready for your garden plus seeds, onion sets, seed potatoes. 

Lots of water-soluble and granular fertilizers to get things going and to keep them healthy through to a bountiful harvest. 

We also 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:

HOW TO PRUNE HYDRANGEAS IN THE SPRING:

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

This month, we are cutting down the perennials that we left standing over winter to allow the new growth to push through.  Ornamental grasses need shearing to the ground or just a few centimetres above it.   Hydrangea should have their heads cut off, that is, last season’s flowers.  Old fashioned Annabelle hydrangea should be cut down to about 30 cm to avoid big, floppy plants later in the season that will need staking.  Add this “waste” material to your compost and it will no longer be wasted.

Start spreading finished compost or composted manure when the frost has finally left the ground over the beds to feed the soil about 3 or 4 centimetres thick — This provides natural nutrients at the root zone.

It’s time to prune apple and fruit trees, thinning out old, thick branches and dead wood to open up the tree for spring. Read our recent Toronto Star column about this topic.

April is the biggest month of the season for seed starting.   First, like now, we sow peppers, eggplant, petunias, geraniums and all the slow germinating seeds.   By mid-month it is time to sow tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and the rest of the faster germinating seeds.   The secret, which is not a well kept one, is to count back from your planned planting date by the number of weeks recommended on the seed packet. Tomatoes, being a hot season crop, will get planted end of May, through early June. They will be at their peak planting size about 6 to 7 weeks after we sow the seed. See how that works?

Start your dahlia bulbs inside using 1-gallon pots and a quality potting mix, which will give you a jump on their blooming season.  Dahlia bulbs are available now and you should get them while the selection is at its best.

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.

Plant trees, shrubs, evergreens. Don’t wait for the ‘traditional May 24 planting weekend’ to plant frost-hardy trees, shrubs, evergreens, perennials (that are not ‘soft’ and greenhouse forced), roses and hardy annuals like pansies, violas, ranunculus, anemones and spring flowering bulbs which are in full bloom in pots at your favourite garden retailer.

Worm castings. Our secret to starting the best seeds.  We add one tenth worm castings to seed starting mix.  We use 10 scoops of  ProMix to one scoop of worm castings.  Worm castings convert the raw, organic material in the soil into a rich material that is loaded with microbes, beneficial bacteria and mycorrhiza, all of which assist in the growing process of all plants, especially in their early stages of growth. Watch the video.

 Rake your lawn. Use a spring-back lawn/leaf rake to remove loose debris and get the grass blades to stand up.  Also open up packed-down grassy areas from snow compaction and rake out old thatch and dead grasses to allow sunlight and water to reach the soil.

Sow fresh grass seed on thin patches and overseed on areas that you’d like to thicken up.  To make this job easy, just apply Wright’s Premium Lawn Seed (sun & shade) for a fast green-up, thickens your lawn and repairs damaged areas.

Apply Wright’s Feeds ‘N Need 28-4-8 Fertilizer with Iron — This product will produce a visibly greener lawn in a few days and the Iron is exceptional to give that envious, rich dark-green colour to your lawn and the nitrogen slow release for longer results.

Aerate your lawn where soil is compacted with a hand aerator.   Rent our tow-behind aerator for large properties or use a hand aerator for smaller jobs.

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.

NEW “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.