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What you do today can make or break your summer garden


Sydney Borton
Digital Reporter

Monday, May 28, 2018, 12:14 PM - Summer is just around the corner, and although April showers didn't really bring May flowers, you can plant your own this week.

Garden centres are bound to be PACKED this weekend, as every gardening fanatic is likely going to start planting now that they finally have some nice weather and free time. To help navigate the rush, our resident gardening expert Suzanne Leonard has one simple, yet effective tip: make a list!

Suzanne's list helped her get in and out of the garden centre quickly and with plenty of gorgeous plants. It prevented her from making too many impulse buys that may not grow well or look nice with plants already growing in her garden (She said you are allowed a couple of impulse buys, though! Just not too many).

(SEE ALSO: Turkey vulture confuses smelly flower for rotting corpse)

Suzanne also shared a few tips with me about how to make the most of your garden this season:

  • Watch the forecast for frost - protect plants like tender perennials, annuals and herbs as necessary.
  • Keep on top of removing weeds before they take off on a growth spurt, which usually happens quickly.
  • Continue pruning as appropriate for each plant. Most perennials can be cut down to about 5-8 cm in spring, but avoid spring bloomers (eg, lilac.)
  • Tidy up the "look" of your garden by cleaning up the edges. Take a sharp edged shovel and 'cut' a neat edge along the edge of all flower beds. Tip: edging beds with curved lines look softer, more informal and natural in a garden.
  • Aerate, fertilize and apply grass seed ('overseed' to create healthy turf) to lawns. Tip: apply fertilizer before a good rain - that helps take it down to the roots.
  • Enjoy all the new discoveries that are bursting forth every day in your garden!

Another great tip Suzanne shared is to make sure you pay attention to the placement of plants in your garden. Plants that do best in the shade, such as perennials like hostas, and annuals like impatiens, begonias, etc. should be planted in parts of your garden that won't get too much sun. Or, they can be placed in pots around your patio furniture for nice splashes of colour here and there.

The most important thing to remember, Suzanne says, is not to rush. 

"One more thing, don't try to get it all done in one weekend!," she says. "Spring is the busiest season for gardeners - with all the pruning, planting, weeding and clean up, the list can seem endless. But just like your visit to the garden centre it's also helpful to write up a list for gardening chores. A 'to do list' makes tasks seem less overwhelming - plus it's very satisfying when you can cross them off. Above all, make sure you take time to kick back and relax in your favourite outdoor spot and have some fun with family and friends this long weekend."

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