Tips from the Garden Shed

Helping your Garden Cope with Drought

Posted on Jul 8, 2015

Garden Tips for Surviving the Drought -2015 (Printable PDF) With the Sunshine Coast going to Stage 3 water use restrictions, we can only use hand-watering methods for our gardens. Stage 4 (which may soon follow) restricts all watering. While this is a very serious blow for gardeners, our gardens can survive the drought with care and ingenuity. Here are some suggestions compiled by members of the Sechelt Garden Club: Conserve water: Don’t let water run needlessly (e.g., while you are brushing your teeth). Reduce the volume of water used to a trickle. When you take a shower turn the...

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Gardening in Raised Beds

Posted on Jan 21, 2014

by Kate Gardner, Planet Natural.  As you plan your garden for this year, think about building some raised beds. Raised bed gardening improves drainage, uses space more efficiently, increases yield, and simplifies the control of weeds and pests. 1. The soil is usually superior to that in row gardens in part because it never gets stepped on and is not  compacted. Filling beds usually becomes an opportunity to get high-quality soil and to fine-tune the mix of fertilizer and amendments. 2. You can mix the soil to your own specifications, creating a fine loam even where clay or sandy soil...

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Guests in the Garden

Posted on Nov 18, 2013

Even though it’s just November it’s not too early to become familiar with those guests in the garden—bugs and other critters. Not all insects are pests; some are beneficial and they’re actually on your side. Slugs do some good by processing dead and decaying leaves and turning them back into organic material that enhances the soil. They are also food, in their infant form, to things like centipedes and ground beetles. If you want to get rid of them you can use enviro-friendly baits containing ferric phosphate, a natural compound found in soil. Look for Scott’s EcoSense Slug...

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Fall Clean-up

Posted on Oct 21, 2013

Fall clean up is a very important part of the yearly gardening cycle. By cleaning up the garden you are doing more than just making it look tidier, you are helping to reduce disease and pest problems for next year’s garden.  As you go through your garden remove any diseased leaves, twigs and branches. It is best not to compost them, as our household compost does not usually get hot enough to kill off diseases like black spot or bacterial canker. Dispose of them in your household garbage or take them to Salish Soil. Also prune out any broken twigs and branches, as these can be entry...

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Helping your Garden Cope with Drought

Posted on Jun 26, 2013

Install water barrels to catch water from your gutters. Save and reuse household waste water including unwanted cold water from the hot tap and water used to prepare vegetables for cooking. Increase the soil’s capacity to hold water by regularly digging in organic matter (compost, seaweed, manures). Keep weeding down to a minimum. Hoeing or pulling weeds exposes moist soil from below the surface, and leads to further loss of moisture. Leave lawns to go brown (they will recover); spiking lawns in early summer means that they can readily rehydrate when rains come. Mulch to retain moisture,...

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Companion Planting

Posted on May 15, 2013

Basil – Will improve vigour and flavour of tomatoes, planted side-by-side. Also good with asparagus, oregano, and peppers. Basil helps repel flies, mosquitoes, and thrips.  Bush & Pole beans – All beans fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant with beets, brassicas, carrots, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes, radish, and strawberries. Avoid planting near chives, garlic, leeks, and onions. Pole beans and beets stunt each other’s growth.  Beets – Beets add minerals to the soil. Plant with bush beans, brassicas, corn, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, and mint. Add cut...

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