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Planting, Transplanting and Dividing

Planting, Transplanting and Dividing

When planting, transplanting or dividing plants it is vital to use a transplant fertilizer. We use Acti-sol Transplater 4-10-2. It is made of pure hen manure and bone meal.  It is ideal for planting and transplanting all types of plants as the hen manure acts rapidly to stimulate root development and the bone meal breaks down slowly for medium and long term action. A plant will not push any crown growth until it is firmly established.

Planting

You can plant at any time of the year, as long as you can dig a hole (so you can’t plant when the ground is frozen).  The most important thing about planting is watering – and not just watering once…water, water, water – water lots especially during the plant’s first year.  Trees need up to 15 gallons (that’s 57 litres) of water a week, shrubs need up to 10 gallons (that’s 38 litres) a week.  The easiest way to water is taking a 5 gallon pail, drill a couple of holes in the bottom, set it beside the plant you are watering, and fill it up – it will slowly empty, giving the plant a nice deep water.  Repeat this a few times a week depending on how much water your plant needs.

This is a great video on how to water using the bucket method.

Also, keep watering your plants until the ground freezes. Plants need nice moist roots going into the long dry winter.

Transplanting

Transplanting plants is a little different than planting potted plants. When transplanting, for the most part, we do not want to move the plant while it is in bloom or during it’s growth time. Move the plant either really early spring or late fall (depending on it’s blooming and active growth time). It is expected that there will be some root loss and damage when moving a plant so plants moved in the heat of summer is discouraged. Damaged roots will not always be able to absorb sufficient water for the whole plant so cutting back the tops is sometimes necessary to keep it hydrated and cool – if possible try to move the plants in cooler wetter weather.

Transplanting offers the ability to redesign your gardens without having to buy any new product. A fresh new look, accentuating different plants and bringing attention to some of your more hidden specimens at a moments notice keeps your yard looking fresh and new.

Dividing Perennials 

As a rule of thumb divide and move perennials in the cooler weather and remember: spring bloomers in the fall and fall bloomers in the spring.

Dividing perennials is a rewarding though finicky gardening adventure. Dividing plants is a great way to scale back some of the more vigorous growers keeping your garden from looking overgrown and unkempt. It is good for controlling plant growth, smaller plants are most often more vigorous bloomers than their larger leafier selves. When managing our gardens that is our goal, emphasis plant blooming and manage our space. When using a spade to separate clusters use rubbing alcohol to clean the spades cutting edge to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

Below is a great article on dividing perennials: when, which ones and how. Check it out!

http://www.finegardening.com/10-tips-dividing-perennial-plants

Check out our video on dividing hostas – the general concept of dividing hostas can be used on many other perennials as well.

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Hedge Trimming

Hedge Trimming

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There are many different varieties of hedge but the theory remains the same. Establish your shapes and contours early on in the hedges development and maintain these same designs through its lifetime.

The majority of hedges in our area (Georgina) are cedar. Other traditional hedge types include:

  • Cedar
  • Boxwood
  • Yew
  • Flowering
  • Large Evergreens

When setting up your hedge there are a few things to keep in mind. Its better to take too little off when cutting as you can’t put it back on and cutting too deeply and gouging into the wood will create undesirable brown spots. It is better to round out the top of your hedge then to make it perfectly flat as this will help it shed snow avoiding potential shearing and broken branches.

It is imperative that the bottom of the hedge is thicker in width than the top and tapers upwards, never the other way. While your hedge can be shaped in very artistic ways it is still a living thing and has requirements, especially in terms of sunlight. A well shaped hedge allows sunlight to hit the entirety of its surface as such tapering the hedge top down is very important.

The rule of thumb is to cut twice. Cut the hedge in a way that takes off the most vigorous growth then take a rake and gently bang out the cut pieces, going up and down the hedge across its entire length. These bits will brown up in time and make your hedge look unkempt and disorderly. Following the first cut you will see a notable difference in how tight the hedge looks. To help picture what we mean by tightness consider it like given your hedge a haircut. Were looking for a neat buzz cut not a shaggy unkempt look. With a careful second cut we can safely carve this down a little bit further making the hedge tighter again still. This second cut is the stage that gives the hedge its clean crisp and professional look.

Note: hedges should be trimmed at least once a year any time after July but before freeing temperatures. Leaving the hedges for a year will leave you with a less dense product when you are finished as the plants production goes to its leaders rather than its side. Talk to Georgina Garden Centre about best practices if you desire to change the shape of your hedge.

Use string lines when setting the initial shape of the hedge to ensure its lines are straight and linear.

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Dandelion Problems

Dandelion Problems

Corn Gluten- Natural Weed Inhibitor

Corn gluten is natural and non-toxic. It prevents seeds from germinating – it won’t get rid of existing weeds (those you’ll have to pull or spray), it can inhibit more seeds from germinating. While effective, its application timing also has to be precise – you apply corn gluten in early spring and late fall.

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Types of weeds best controlled:

  • Crabgrass
  • Dandelions
  • Curly Dock, Knotweed, Lambs Quarters, Pigweed and Plantain

How to apply:

Apply corn gluten to your lawn with a spreader – not by hand. Apply the corn gluten to a moist lawn but be sure that the corn gluten will stay dry for 48 hours after application.  Allow 6 weeks before/after overseeding your lawn with grass seed, as corn gluten will inhibit the germination of any grass seed you put down. Apply corn gluten in April – May depending on weather – before the Forsythia finishes blooming.

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Spring Clean Up Checklist

Spring Clean Up Checklist

Spring has come and it is time to get out there and get your yard ready for the coming season. A proper spring clean up will set up your lawn and garden for greater success throughout the growing season. There are a number of things you can do to get your lawn and garden ready.
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Opening your garden beds:

  1. Clean out all winter debris: driveway rocks pushed over with the snow, leaves that came down in the fall, etc
  2. Cut back the dead plant material left by your perennials
  3. Prune back the shrubs that need it
  4. Turn over and add new soil
  5. Clean up the edge of your garden with a freshly sharpened spade
  6. Add a fresh layer of natural mulch

Doing these few things will provide you a great deal more success with your garden in the months to come.

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Lawn:

  1. Aerate your lawn for better air, water and nutrient penetration and to break up heavily compacted ground. Aeration also helps to increase the lawns ability to retain water, reducing run off and erosion
  2. Fan rake the lawn to help the grass stand back up and to clean up excess thatch
  3. Topdress your lawn with new topsoil for greener more dense grass. Top-dressing also allows you to smooth out bumps or low spots in your lawn
  4. Overseed your lawn to thicken your grass, to fill bare spots and to choke out weeds
  5. Fertilize your lawn to green it up, stimulate new growth and to keep it healthy

A beautiful thick green lawn starts in the spring with the proper spring care and maintenance.