These pro tips will remove your fear of digging in the dirt
Monday, May 11, 2015, 1:43 - The Memorial Day long weekend is the perfect time to wake up the garden.
Horticulturalist Ken Brown of Whitby, Ont., has been dallying in the dirt for most of his life. He has 5 tips to help you get a jump start and be the envy of all neighbors.
Here are five tricks every gardener should know.
1) Top dressing
- When the lawn is dry enough to walk on without leaving a footprint, it's time for its spring tuneup. Rake thoroughly to remove thatch and then spread germinating grass seed over the lawn. The trick here is to cover this with a thin top dressing of some nutrient-rich soil, or else you will just feed the birds.
- When you prune correctly, you encourage healthy growth and flowering. Look for buds and cut right above. The right tool makes all the difference. Bypass garden pruners tend to be the most popular amongst garden enthusiasts. They make a clean cut using two curved blades that bypass each other much like a sharp pair of scissors.
3) Growing up and not out
- Growing fruit such as grapes can often take up a lot of space in the garden. The trick here is to grow them up a trellis or arbour to create more room for other vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini or snow peas.
4) Digging and dividing
- Dig and divide overly large perennials as soon as they emerge from the soil to alleviate crowded roots. Check to make sure that they like to be divided in the spring. Some such as peonies are much happier being dug up in the fall. Re-potting leftovers make great gifts for family and friends.
5) Plant cool season annual flowers
- Flowers like pansies should be planted as soon as the weather is slightly warmer. This will give your containers an early season of interest before you plant them with the warm season annuals in late May.
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