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  • October 30, 2020 12:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here are the things to do for your garden in November. Taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information, or your own copy of the 11” x 17” calendar of the full year’s tips, for a $1 contribution to Master Gardeners, call 519-599-5846.

    November

    • I usually recommend a little last-minute deep watering, but with all the rain this year we should be OK until spring.
    • Buy discounted bulbs on sale and get them in the ground. I just got a bag of 40 daffodils for $20 at Home Depot. Your extra efforts will bloom in the spring.
    • Remove plants from your pots and other containers and empty the soil. Dump plants and soil into your compost pile; clean them thoroughly and store them.
    • There is an annual argument as to whether you should cut back your perennials, grasses etc., in the fall, or leave them long for “winter interest”. Up here, most perennials are covered by 2 feet of snow, so you can’t see them anyway. Since Spring Clean-Up can be daunting and there can be wet weather, a late spring and/or instant summer, this year I am opting for a BIG FALL CLEAN-UP to get a jump on spring 2020. Suit yourself.
    • Dig up and bring in dahlia tubers, tuberous begonias and gladiola corms when the leaves turn yellow. Remove the soil and wash the tubers. Remove little cormlets from gladiola corms for more plants next year. Cure the tubers and corms for 2-3 weeks in warm dry place. Place in trays and cover with dry compost, peat moss, sand or perlite. Store at about 5 C in a cold-cellar, or slightly heated garage.
    • Try potting up some spring bulbs like amaryllis and paperwhite narcissus and force them into bloom for Christmas and/or for late winter indoor colour. Different bulbs will require various lengths of cold to flower, so read the product packaging carefully. Store the bulbs in an area where they will not freeze (about 5°C). A fridge or cold cellar will work well for this.
    • Complete winterization procedures for plants, containers, drain hoses and clean all other garden equipment. To be a perfect gardener, sharpen tools and put linseed oil on wood handles. Paint small hand tool handles RED so you won’t lose them next spring.
    • Protect young trees from rodents by using wire collars or plastic protectors.
    • Hill up your hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses with 10 inches of compost covering the stems, or use a metal or plastic “Rose Collar” and fill it with compost before the ground freezes.
    • Create one or more Winter/Christmas urns using a variety of evergreen branches. Find branches with berries and add colour with red dogwood and dried hydrangea blossoms.
    • Check mulch levels in gardens. Pull mulch back 2”-3” from around shrub and tree trunks to discourage rodents. Add more compost or leaves to beds if you have them. This provides winter homes for pollinators and other insects.
    • Order seed catalogues for next spring.
    • And finally, buy your supply of Triple-19 fertilizer from the Co-Op in Markdale for March application ON TOP OF THE SNOW on all your garden beds. Then, you will have the fertilizer when the time comes to apply it in March. Many times, the Co-Op’s summer supply has not arrived until after the snow has gone from your garden beds.


    John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario

  • October 02, 2020 15:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here are the things to do for your garden in October. Taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information, or your own copy of the 11” x 17” calendar of the full year’s tips, for a $1 contribution to Master Gardeners, call 519-599-5846.

    October

    • After a warm summer, 2 more weeks of summer in September, fall is definitely here with the nightly risk of FROST.  
    • There is an annual argument among gardeners as to whether you should cut back your perennials, grasses, etc., in the fall, or leave them long for “winter interest”. However, up here, most perennials are covered by 2 feet of snow, so you cannot see them anyway. Since Spring Clean-Up can be daunting, there may be wet weather, or a late spring like this year. For these reasons, this fall I am opting for a BIG FALL CLEAN-UP to get a jump on spring 2021. 
    • It is time to trim back perennials and divide them as needed for your garden, or to give to your neighbors. Make sure it is a cool cloudy day and fertilize with a “transplant fertilizer”, like Bone Meal, with a big middle number. 
    • Buy and plant spring flowering bulbs. Add a little bulb fertilizer, like Bone Meal-one with a big middle number for lots of Phosphorus (P). Your efforts now will bring big dividends in April and May 2020. 
    • For a longer bloom season, plant a variety of bulbs, not just tulips & daffs. Also, plant early, middle and late blooming tulips and daffs for a much longer season. 
    • Place chicken wire just under the surface of the soil over any tulip bulbs you plant. The squirrels will hate you. Daffs should not need this protection. 
    • Divide and plant your perennials and evergreens, and/or buy new ones. Early October is a great time to plant perennials. 
    • If there is an early frost warning, cover tender annuals overnight with an old bed sheet. They should make it through and keep on blooming. 
    • Bring in house plants when the evenings start to cool down, or you get a frost warning. Give them a thorough spray first with insecticidal soap, so that there are no unwanted hitchhikers coming into your home. 
    • Fertilize lawns with a low “first” number and high “middle” number “Fall” formula. The Phosphorus promotes root growth. 
    • Start cutting your grass much lower than in summer to avoid winter matted long grass next spring. 
    • Water shrubs, evergreens and trees weekly and deeply, at least until frost. 
    • Buy the Triple-19 fertilizer now, so you will have it to put on the snow that will be covering your perennial gardens in March. The Co-Op may not have any in stock before the snow disappears. It is available now at the Markdale Co-Op for $23.50 a bag.


    John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario

  • September 03, 2020 12:01 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here are the things to do for your garden in September. Taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information, or your own copy of the 11” x 17” calendar of the full year’s tips, for a $1 contribution to Master Gardeners, call 519-599-5846.

    September 2020:

    • Fall is the ideal time to divide and plant perennials, particularly Iris, Daylilies, Peonies and many other perennials. Share extra plants with neighbors.
    • Buy and plant spring flowering bulbs. You will be rewarded next spring. Check out Botanus on line at www.botanus.com. Add a little bone-meal fertilizer or special bulb food to the bottom of the planting hole. Water well after planting to start root growth.
    • Fill in any gaps that may have developed in your garden with new perennials, shrubs and evergreens.
    • Bring in house plants when the evenings start to cool down. First give them a thorough spray with insecticidal soap so that there are no unwanted hitchhikers coming into your home.
    • With cool nights and fall rains, it’s the ideal time for lawn repair. Dig out weeds, add clean, weed-free topsoil and re-seed.
    • Fertilize lawns with root building “Fall Fertilizer” with a low first number (nitrogen) and a high third number (potash).
    • Don’t use the lawn fertilizer you have left over from the spring, probably with a high first number (nitrogen). Save it for early next spring.
    • Trim back perennials and divide them as needed. Make sure it is a cool, cloudy day to divide and replant – add Bone Meal when planting and water well.
    • Even with the rain we have had, water perennials, shrubs, evergreens and trees deeply. Dig a little test hole, say 14” deep. Check moisture levels. If the hole is dry, water weekly until frost.


    John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario

  • August 02, 2020 11:17 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here are the things to do for your garden in August. Taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information, or your own copy of the 11” x 17” calendar of the full year’s tips, for a $1 contribution to Master Gardeners, call 519-599-5846.

    August 2020:

    • A cold wet Spring, followed now by a sweltering Summer, has made the weeds incredible.
    • Keep adding mulch as it starts to work into the soil. Keep it at least 2 inches deep. It works to suppress weeds and keeps the soil cool and damp and protects any rain we get. 
    • If we don’t get rain - water, water, water - but water deeply.
    • Sow vegetable seeds for a fall harvest e.g. spinach and some varieties of lettuce. Tidy up plants and shrubs with a little judicious pruning, but early in the month.
    • Stake tall perennials against the wind.
    • Cut your grass at least 2’’ high to combat drying out. Water well when needed, or every time it’s allowed.
    • Check out bulb catalogues (try www.botanus.com from BC).
    • Order spring flowering bulbs for planting in October.
    • Fill in gaps in your flower garden with fall-flowering perennials, like mums and asters. Did we say, water and weed as necessary?
    • Start drying flowers and herbs. Start to divide daylilies and peonies later in the month.
    • Collect seeds that have matured but not fallen from the plant. Once they have completely dried, store them in air tight containers in a cool location.
    • Take a hard look at your garden and decide where there are empty spaces, identify any plants that have not performed well and plan a fall planting program of shrubs and perennials.
    • Early Fall is a great time to sow grass seed, plant perennials, trees and shrubs. You’ll get a big jump on next Spring!

    John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario
    More information about Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc

    Click on the image to see the Master Gardener's Corner Slideshow!


  • July 03, 2020 15:43 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here are the things to do for your garden in July 2020. Taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information, or your own copy of the 11” x 17” calendar of the full year’s tips, for a $1 contribution to Master Gardeners, call 519-599-5846.

    July 2020:
    • Watch for the Japanese beetle on your Lilies, Roses, Rose of Sharon, Dahlias, Hollyhocks, and numerous other plants. Handpicking and squeezing, combined with a beetle trap, are the most efficient way to limit these ravaging critters. Some lily gardeners have given up and pulled out their real Lilies (Lilium). Luckily, the little red devils don’t eat Day Lilies (Hemerocallis)
    • Watch for earwigs. Spray plants with a 40:1 mixture of water and dish soap.
    • Ants are also a problem. The ant powder does not seem to work for me. Maybe they didn’t read the instructions to take it back to their nest. Boiling water works, but will burn the grass in a lawn.  
    • Trim evergreens, cedar hedges, etc., as needed.
    • Pinch back and/or stake straggly annuals and perennials.
    • Raise lawn mower blades for summer mowing. (Grass should be at least 5 - 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) high to stay healthy and weed free.)
    • Prune spring flowering shrubs after blooming, like Forsythia and Spirea. If you really want to be picky, remove spent lilac blooms.
    • Try a second round of weeding and add mulch again to keep the weeds at bay.
    • Mulch your tomato plants. Then, when a ripe tomato falls to the ground, it won’t get muddy.
    • Thin, hoe, weed and water vegetables as required. This is why I stick to flowers.
    • This has been a cold and wet April and May and now little rain in June & forecast for July. Tackle weeds before they go to seed.
    • Stake tall perennials that may be weakened by too rapid growth.
    • Turn compost regularly and check moisture level - not too wet, not too dry. Like Goldilocks, just right.
     

    A big thank you to everyone who turned out for our COVID Plant Sale at St. George’s, the Anglican Parish for the Blue Mountains, in Clarksburg. It opened at 7 am and by 10:20, the 637 potted plants were all gobbled up! Next year’s sale (hopefully NON-COVID) is set for Saturday May 29 2021. See you there.

     John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario
    More information about Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc


    Shown above is a marvellous Agapanthus plant in the Hethrington's garden.
    This is a South African plant that Fred Young had much success with and gave one to them! 

     

  • June 01, 2020 22:10 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here are the things to do for your garden in June 2020. Taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information, or your own copy of the 11” x 17” calendar of the full year’s tips, for a $1 contribution to Master Gardeners, call 519-599-5846.

    June 2020
    • Prune spring flowering shrubs, like Forsythia, after flowering.
    • Prune evergreens and hedges, as needed.
    • Stake or cage tomato plants, dahlias, glads and tall perennials, like peonies, and delphiniums.
    • Mulch flower beds 2” to 3” deep to control weeds and conserve moisture.
    • Thin vegetable seedlings and plant successive crops.
    • Plant seeds for flowering cabbage & kale between rows of early vegetables for later transplanting.
    • Seed fast growing flowers like cosmos, calendula, lavatera and marigolds directly in your garden.
    • Move houseplants outside to a protected location. Water well.
    • For my money, June 1st is the earliest to put out tender annuals.
    • Deadhead the blooms and flower stocks of spring bulbs when blooms fade, so the plant won’t waist energy making seeds.
    • Do not remove the foliage of spring bulbs until they fade, flop and turn yellow. The foliage builds bulb strength for next year through photosynthesis.
    • Pinch back late bloomers like mums, snapdragons, asters and dahlias to promote strong, bushy plants.
    • Water garden beds deeply on a regular basis.
    • Weed beds after rain or watering on a regular basis. Don’t let weeds get ahead of you and out of control.
    • Prepare cuttings of perennials, shrubs, roses, etc. for rooting.
    Giant Church Plant Sale in Clarksburg is Approved:
    St. George’s, the Anglican Parish for the Blue Mountains, will hold Its Annual Plant Sale on Saturday June 20 2020

    The giant annual Plant Sale will be held on Saturday June 20 at St. George’s, the Anglican Parish for the Blue Mountains in Clarksburg. The sale has been approved by the Bishop, the Municipality and the Bruce Grey Medical Officer of Health. Strict Covid Crisis Controls will apply, so everyone can be safe. The buying process will take longer, so your patience and co-operation will be appreciated.

    It’s the 140th anniversary of this annual summer event. A number of enthusiastic St George’s gardeners have already potted 600 unique perennials, including over 90 named daylilies from a well-known local garden.  The church parking lot at 166 Russell St. E. Clarksburg will open at 7 AM and will continue all day, or until the plants are sold out.

    There will be a number of safety precautions and procedures in place. Entry to the grounds will be by automobile only, with a maximum of 20 cars allowed at a time. You will be assigned to your personal St. George’s plant volunteer who will be on the other side of the plant tables. Only 3 customers at a time will be allowed to select (but not touch) the plants they wish to buy. The St. George’s plant volunteer will place your plants on a wagon, take them to your car and place them in your trunk. Special no-contact Covid Service! Payment by CASH ONLY. Please have adequate cash, as change will not be available. Patience and co-operation will be needed by all. But the wait, the quality and the variety of plants available will be well worth any delays.

    For more information, please call 519-599-3074.  

    John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario
    More information about Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc

  • May 06, 2020 13:41 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here are the things for you to do for and in your garden in May 2020 taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information, or your own copy of the 11” x 17” calendar of the full year’s tips, for a $1 contribution to Master Gardeners, call 519-599-5846.

    May 2020
    • Find out your average last frost date (May 11 in Thornbury) and allow at least an additional 2 weeks (May 25) before you plant out tender transplants and warm weather plants, e.g. beans and corn.
    • For my money, June 1 is the earliest to put out tender annuals.
    • If you are growing seedlings, don’t forget to harden them off before transplanting them into your garden.
    • Consider protective measures against slugs, cutworms, earwigs and tent caterpillars.
    • Your Hybrid Tea roses should already be pruned back to 6” to 8” and any dead ends from other roses.
    • Treat roses against black spot and aphids as required.
    • IMPORTANT Take notes and photos of your bulb plantings in bloom for possible changes and additions next fall.
    • Deadhead faded tulips and daffodil blooms. Leave the leaves to wither and die so they can charge up the bulbs for bloom next spring.
    • If not done already, fertilize lawns with slow release lawn fertilizer. Look for a high Nitrogen number (the first number on the bag. The extra cost is worth it.
    • Treat lawns against weeds and grubs as required.
    • Start regular hoeing and hand-weeding of garden beds.
    • Add well rotted manure to improve the friability (look it up) of your soil.
    • Mulch newly planted seedlings and shrubs, plus 2’' to 3” on bare spots in your gardens to suppress weeds for the rest of the summer.
    • Stake and tie shrubs, vines and soon-to-be tall perennials as required.
    • Plant tender summer bulbs, e.g. dahlias and glads for colour and cutting.

  • April 06, 2020 15:41 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Things to do in your garden each month taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information call 519-599-5846.

    Please Note: The Paul Zammit presentation on Perennials has been postponed until Thursday, May 28 2020 at the Beaver Valley Community Centre at 7 PM. See you there!

    April 2020
    • Make sure you have done everything you were supposed to do on the March Master Gardener's List.
    • Do stretch and bend exercises before you start in the garden. I find skiing muscles have nothing to do with gardening muscles. Take it easy. There are a lot of gardening days before the ski season comes again.
    • I hope you had a chance to spread 19-19-19 general purpose fertilizer over the snow on all your flower beds and shrub borders before the snow disappeared. It melts down into the ground as the snow goes away. It and other fertilizers are available at the Co-Op in Markdale, at 10% discount for 599 Members. If you missed this step this year, plan for next winter and buy the fertilizer this fall.
    • The snow has gone but may be back once or twice in April. You can still spread the triple 19 as long as it does not get on to the emerging plants, as it may burn them.
    • Organize your compost pile for the new season. Start a new one with the top foot of compost from last year’s pile as a base.
    • As the weather warms and the ground dries, prune back perennials and ornamental grasses to 1” to 3” from the ground. Put dead material on your new compost pile. Shred if possible.
    • Prepare garden beds for planting. Dig in compost, and/or manure, and/or other organic material around each plant. Remove any weeds that have come through from last fall. When you have cleaned up the beds, ADD 3”TO 4” OF MULCH to control weeds this summer.
    • Remove rose protection. For Hybrid Teas, Prune to 6” or 8”and apply dormant oil spray before the buds break.
    • Apply dormant oil spray to shrubs like euonymus that may have suffered from scale last year. Do it before the buds break.
    • Prepare your vegetable garden with a good digging and mid-month plant the seeds of cool-weather vegetables like peas, spinach, lettuce, onions, beets and seeds of frost resistant annuals like larkspur, sweet peas and calendulas.
    • When dry, rake your lawn vigorously to remove thatch, repair damage with weed-free topsoil. Add grass seed to bare spots. Keep moist.
    • Fertilize your lawn with slow-release high nitrogen (the first of the 3 numbers) fertilizer. Slow release urea costs more, but it’s worth it.
    • Apply crabgrass pre-emergence herbicide to your lawn, if required.
    • When spring finally comes, plant trees, shrubs, perennials and biennials in your garden. No need to wait until May 24th for perennials, that’s for annuals. It may be the first week in June before you can get frost tender annuals into the ground.
    • Re-fill your pots and planters with compost. Put empty plastic bottles with tops at the bottom of large pots. You will need less soil and they will be lighter to move. Add slow release plant food to the top 4 inches.
    • Plant frost-resistant pansies NOW for a little spring colour.


  • March 06, 2020 15:38 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Things to do in your garden each month taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information call 519-599-5846.

    March 2020:

    • Start tuberous begonias and caladiums and bring them back to life in pots using damp peat moss. 
    • Start brassicas (cabbage family) and hardy annual seeds for April-May planting in your garden. 
    • Start tomatoes, lettuce and other fast-growing seeds late March, or early April this year. 
    • Order summer flowering bulbs. Try www.botanus.com for interesting high-quality bulbs. 
    • Get your “To-Do” list for this spring and summer into your computer so you can’t say you lost it. 
    • Spread triple 19 fertilizer on the snow on your flower beds and shrub borders before it goes. It’s available at the Markdale Co-Op on Hwy 10 south of Markdale. Ask for our 599 10% discount from the regular price. Call 1-519-986-2031. 
    • Check and repair gardening tools. Find them first. Sharpen spades, shovels, etc. Wipe down wooden handles with boiled linseed oil. Paint the handles of small hand tools like trowels with red or yellow fluorescent enamel, so you won’t lose them so often. 
    • Apply combination dormant spray to fruit trees and pest-prone shrubs when non-freezing weather permits. Especially good against scale. 
    • Start forcing branches of spring-flowering shrubs like Forsythia, and lily-of-the-valley root pips after buds start to swell, later in the month. 
    • Prune summer-flowering shrubs and vines when the snow has disappeared. 
    • When the snow has gone, and the frost disappears, loosen up packed winter mulch and push perennials back into the soil that have been heaved out of place by the frost. 
    • Plan to add a few native berry plants and shrubs that will attract the birds this summer. 
    • Visit local nursery greenhouses to smell the coming spring. 
    • Check dates for annual garden shows like Canada Blooms, Mar 13 - 22 2020, co-locating with the National Home Show at the Enercare Centre in the CNE grounds. Tickets Reg. $20, Seniors $17, Early Bird on-line to Mar 7, Regular $17, Sr only $14 www.candablooms.com. 
    • REMEMBER 
      • Paul Zammit is coming back to the Community Centre in Thornbury for our April Meeting, Thursday April 9 @ 7 pm to talk about perennials. It’s a joint 599 Garden Club /Probus Club presentation. Guests welcome for $10. Get tickets at the March Meeting.


  • February 06, 2020 15:43 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Things to do in your garden each month taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by  John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information, or your copy of the 11” x 17” calendar of the full year’s tips for a $1 contribution to Master Gardeners, call 519-599-5846.

    February 2020:

    • With one January freeze/thaw already this winter, mound up all the available snow and any new snow that falls, around tender plants like roses. If you have a few bows from your Christmas tree, put them over tender plants to catch the snow. It is the freeze/thaw that kills plants, not just the cold.
    • Start planning your garden projects for 2019. Make a list, so you will know what you did not get done when you look at it in June. I have mine done and I am tired already. A garden is never finished!
    • Start propagating stem cuttings of geraniums, fuchsias, etc. by the end of the month.
    • Plant slow germinating seeds inside, like impatiens, peppers, eggplants, etc.
    • As the weather warms, start pruning shade trees, fruit trees and shrubs, if you can get to them through the snow. Leave trees that “bleed” like maples and birch until after they have leaves.
    • Visit local nursery greenhouses to smell the coming spring. Stop by the Garden Gallery just west of Barrie on Hwy 91 on the way to Angus, and inhale.
    • Check the dates for annual garden shows like Canada Blooms: Mar 13 - 27 at the Enercare Centre at the CNE. Early Bird Tickets $17, $14 for Seniors. Go to www.candablooms.com.
    • Pat Brookings, owner of Annan Way Nurseries, is again running a bus tour to Canada Blooms, Wednesday March 18, $98 including Bus, Blooms Entrance & Mandarin Dinner on the way home. Pick-ups at Owen Sound, Chatsworth, Markdale & Flesherton. More Info call Pat 519-376-9444.
    • Paul Zammit is coming back to Thornbury, Thursday April 9 at 7 pm to talk about perennials at a joint 599 Garden Club /Probus Club presentation. 


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