Monthly ‘To Do’ List

January ‘To Do’ List

Posted on Jan 20, 2014

Spend time going over your seed catalogues and plan your garden. Think about new seeds that you would like to try and foster for the plant sale. Plant trees, shrubs and vines as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Apply dormant spray to fruit trees when you anticipate 24 hours of dry weather. Make sure that any leaves or broken branches are off the lawn. Prune out any broken or damaged branches. Check your houseplants: divide and re-pot any pot-bound plants. Prune judiciously to create a compact, attractive specimen. Succulents – jade, hoya, sansevieria—may be reluctant to bloom in the...

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February ‘To Do’ List

Posted on Jan 19, 2014

Order seeds and start seed flats. Water sparingly. Cultivate the soil and weed thoroughly. Lift and divide perennials, taking care not to damage new shoots as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Deadhead early flowering bulbs after bloom. Prune summer-flowering shrubs that flower on this year’s wood, e.g. hardy fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica) and butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). Prune summer-flowering clematis. Feed hydrangeas with well-rotted compost or manure. Complete pruning of fruit trees and spray with dormant oil and lime sulphur if not done already. Plant new bush and cane...

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March ‘To Do’ List

Posted on Jan 18, 2014

Prune winter-flowering vines and shrubs after blooming. Plant summer and fall blooming bulbs. Spray fruit trees and roses with dormant oil if you haven’t already done so. (Please note that Linda Gilkeson doesn’t spray dormant oil or lime sulphur routinely because they kill beneficial mites and insects. However, if a tree had a pest or disease problem in the previous growing season that could be controlled with dormant sprays, then she does spray that tree.) Plant ground covers, grasses, roses, fruit trees, perennials, shrubs, trees and vines. Plant warm season vegetables. Start...

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April ‘To Do’ List

Posted on Jan 17, 2014

Stake perennials that need it and mulch perennials if not already done. Rose pruning should be completed by now. Mulch with manure or well-rotted compost. Shear winter-flowering heathers after flowering. Continue planting trees and shrubs. Check vines growing on the house to make sure they are not invading window frames or working their way under gutters and shingles. April 1-15, plant early potatoes, green onion, bulb onion, kohlrabi, cabbage and leeks. April 16-30, sow beets, carrots, Swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnip, kale and lettuce. Sow zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes in a...

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May ‘To Do’ List

Posted on Jan 16, 2014

Layer your veggie waste with carbon (dried leaves, shredded newspaper), and a shovelful of soil.  To speed things up , add some fresh manure or compost accelerator such as “Rot-It”. Give all your plants, and especially veggies, a drink of compost tea. Fill a pair of pantyhose, porous old socks, or a heavy cheesecloth bag with well-rotted compost or manure. Hang in a bucket filled with water. Steep for a couple of days until the colour of weak tea. Dilute with water if necessary. Start cucumbers, winter squash, melons indoors or in the greenhouse. Transplant before the third...

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June ‘To Do’ List

Posted on Jan 15, 2014

Groom indeterminate tomatoes by pinching “suckers” regularly so that the plant will put its energy into making fruit instead of leaves. Keep tomatoes well watered (avoid wetting the leaves!) and fed. If they’re in the ground feed with compost tea, fish emulsion or kelp every two weeks while they’re in active growth. Tomatoes in containers require weekly feeding in order to have good results. If mesclun and lettuce beds get stressed in afternoon heat, try shade cloth or even a big umbrella during the hottest part of the day. If lettuce tastes bitter, water more frequently. Lettuce...

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