Articles

Growing Perennials from Seed – Ninety-nine Perennials

Posted on Nov 21, 2015

Ninety Nine Plants to grow from Seed – Bill Terry (Printable PDF) Here is a selection of perennial flowers that can be grown from seed and should flourish in Sunshine Coast gardens with little or no attention. All but two are species, and so should produce fertile seed and may therefore reproduce and multiply. This list is far from comprehensive. I have chosen these plants because I have grown all of them from seed with little difficulty, and they have proved to be long-lasting and trouble-free in the garden. Besides, I like them.   * A plant native to the Pacific...

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6 Tips to Keep Your Garden Healthy and Attractive

Posted on May 27, 2014

by Steve Whysall, Vancouver Sun, May 5, 2014 (Based on information from Egan Davis, one of the top gardeners at VanDusen Botanical Garden and foreman at Park & Tilford Gardens in North Vancouver)  1. BUILD HEALTHY SOIL If you only do one thing – mulch. Mulch protects the soil from sun and rain, reduces water demands and cuts back on weeding. Leaves are best, but soil amenders, composted bark and well-rotted manures are good, too. The idea is to mimic the cycle that happens in nature, especially in the forest where organic litter is continually promoting microbial activity and root...

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Roses

Posted on Apr 9, 2013

HOW TO PLANT AND CARE FOR ROSES By Steve Wysall from information provided by Brad Jalbert — Vancouver Sun, April 5, 2013 Roses thrive best in open, sunny locations with fertile, slightly acidic soil. They flourish best with at least four hours of sun a day; six is ideal. Good drainage is essential, although it is important for the soil to be moisture retentive. Once a rose is established and mulched, it needs watering only once a week. Before planting, dig the ground to 18 inches (45 cm) and work in about a third of humus- rich material such as compost, peat moss, leaf mould or...

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Organic vs Chemical Fertilizers

Posted on Mar 8, 2013

Intensive food gardening is almost certain to strip nutrients from the soil, nutrients we need to put back in order to grow vegetables year after year. The question then becomes: do you use chemical or organic fertilizer and why. Most chemical fertilizers provide only nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). While these macro-nutrients are required in greater quantity than any others, they are only three of the thirteen nutrients plants need. The three chemicals that qualify as secondary nutrients – calcium, sulfur, and magnesium – are generally ignored, as are the trace...

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Why Gardening is Good for Your Health

Posted on Feb 14, 2013

(Adapted from Steve Whysall, The Vancouver Sun, February 1, 2013) Charlie Hall, professor in the department of horticultural sciences at Texas A&M University is one of the most influential leaders in horticulture in North America today because of the detailed research data and verifiable scientific work he has done to nail down precise data about the benefits of gardening.  Over two years, he gathered more than 400 research documents showing the benefits of gardening and other aspects of the horticultural industry.Here are just a few of his key findings: People are able to concentrate...

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The Secret of success with Rhododendrons

Posted on Jun 20, 2012

(MAKE THEM THINK THEY’RE GROWING IN THE HIMALAYAS) By Ron Knight, Caron Gardens. Most rhododendrons in cultivation are happiest when you provide them with the conditions that exist in the mountainous regions of Asia where their ancestors lived. These conditions include: Lots of moisture moving through well-drained soil Rhododendrons in the Himalayas live in a cloud forest, often on steep slopes. They receive a nearly constant supply of moisture, yet water does not pool around their roots, driving out air. Coarse, well-drained soil allows rhododendron roots to absorb the large amounts of...

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