Aside from a Christmas tree, one of the most prominent symbols of Christmas is the Pointsettia. A real Pointsettia plant is beautiful part of the holidays and with proper care, can last for months. Remember to keep Pointsettias in warm spaces, away from drafts. The tricky thing about buying Pointsettia is that they don’t like the cold, but the weather during the buying season is cold. So, when buying a pointsettia, make sure it is wrapped and transported in a warm car. Don’t stop to run errands and leave the plant in the car. When you get home, find places in the house away from doors and heat vents. If the pointsettia you buy is a gift, take it out of the wrapping until it is time to give – it won’t like sitting in the wrap for long periods. Poinsettias also like even moisture. You want to water the plant thoroughly and then empty the drip tray. Pointsettia are available seasonably in a variety of colour and styles and very reasonably priced.
*many of the products and plants highlighted in the following posts are not always in stock. Some are seasonal or only available in limited quantity. If you plan to come to the store for one of the specific plants or products discussed below, it is always a good idea to call the store at (905)878-0722 to confirm availability. Sometimes we sell out very quickly and we don’t want to see you disappointed.
[frame_left][/frame_left]This is the perfect time of year (and weather) for planting Spring flowering bulbs. It’s kind of exciting to plan and arrange a beautiful showing of colour for the upcoming spring. There are so many bulbs to choose from – tulips, daffodils, crocus, snowdrops, allium and so many more.
First of all, consider where in your garden are you planning to plant? Since these bulbs will be flowering before the trees are in leaf, you’ll likely have a sunny location. How large is the area? Spring flowers generally look best when planted in clumps. You can mix colour or keep it uniform. When selecting bulbs, you’ll want to choose healthy and large size bulbs. As a rule of thumb, the larger the bulb (considering its type), the better the flower in the Spring.
Position bulbs pointed end up, the pointed end is their stem. If a pointed end is not obvious, then don’t worry about it, just plant the bulb and the stem will naturally find its own way up. The planting hole should be three times deeper than the height of the bulb. For example, if you have a 6.5-centimetre daffodil bulb, then dig your hole 20 centimetres deep and then plant. You may wish to mix some bone meal with the soil, but if you’re starting with good soil already, it shouldn’t be necessary – just an option to encourage root growth.
[frame_right][/frame_right]To prevent the squirrels stealing your newly planted bulbs try outsmarting them by concentrating your bulb plantings in large groups, and then flooding the soil with water after you’ve planted them. This will help to “erase” the marks you leave behind when planting and will also help to close any air pockets you created in planting. To further disguise the bulb locations, you should cover them with approximately five centimetres of leaves and branches. Some avid gardeners suggest that you plant heavy with the daffodils because squirrels don’t tend to like them as much – not sure if this is true or not, but since they are on sale 10% off here at Jade Gardens anyway, maybe its worth a try!
Finally, don’t forget to mark where you’ve planted so that you don’t forget where you’ve already planted. Then you can sit back and be ready to enjoy the fruits of your labour, come spring.
[frame_right][/frame_right]With the cooler temperatures coming it’s getting to that time to put your garden to bed for the winter. If you take good measures to protect your shrubs and perennials, and to prepare your soil, you’ll definitely get better return in the spring. Start this process by warding off potential disease for the next year. Discard leaves and stems that show fungal disease or insect damage. Otherwise, spores will inoculate in your soil and re-infest next year’s plants. Many gardeners like to cut everything back, and while you want to clean things up and not leave all the work for spring, we don’t recommend total cutback in the fall. You can clean rotting leaves and stems, like the daylilies, hosta and old annuals, but the stems of many perennials like Black-eyed Susan, purple coneflower, and perennial grasses continue to lend interest to the garden over the fall and through winter.
Fall is a great time of year to add on to your soil base. Using a compost or triple mix on your garden now, will help fertilize your plants and keep them healthy. As well, as the leaves start to fall, shred them with your mower and use the leaves as mulch on your garden. This will help to insulate the roots and protect your plants through the winter. You won’t want to mulch newly planted plants until the ground begins to freeze. If you are setting up to protect plants, please remember not to tightly wrap plants in burlap because this can hold ice against the plant tissue. If you want to use burlap, set up stake and burlap barriers, loosely wrapped to protect from wind by breaking up air currents.
Finally, don’t forget to water generously. You don’t want to winter thirsty shrubs and trees. If you have a root feeder, it is an excellent idea to deep water your trees in the late fall, before the freeze. Shrubs appreciate a good drink to see them through winter also.
With Oakville, Mississauga and Milton municipal pesticide banns in effect, beneficial nematodes are the most effective way to control cranefly larva, June bug larva (white grubs) and other turf damaging grubs in your lawn, including European Chafers and Japanese Beetle. White grubs and certain larva feed on the roots of grasses and in the spring when they have reached their maturity they hatch out of the ground and become Japanese Beetles, European Chafer and June Beetles. We want to eliminate as many grubs as possible to prevent them from maturing and coming out of the ground to damage trees, as well as to prevent the grubs from damaging the lawn. Nematodes are naturally occurring organisms that actively seek grubs and once found they enter the white grub release a bacteria in the grub which causes it to die. Nematodes will not harm humans, pets, wildlife, birds, soil, earthworms, water sources or the atmosphere. Nematodes arrive on a damp sponge within a plastic bag and are kept cold and dormant. To use, you soak the sponge in room temperature water and then apply the water to your lawn or garden using either a watering can or hose-end sprayer. The application is not difficult, but the timing is important. You need to apply in mid-May to mid-June, while the grubs are still in their larvae stage. Cool and cloudy late spring weather when frost danger has passed is ideal. The second application is from mid-August to mid-October. Please give us a call or drop by if we can help with your grub problem or nematode application.
A rose bush in full fragrant bloom is certainly a site to behold. At Jade Gardens, we have several different types of roses for you to choose from including the hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora as well as miniature and climbing rosebushes. And if you need any help making a selection, our friendly and knowledgeable staff would be delighted to assist you. [frame_right][/frame_right]
Care of Roses
Roses aren’t necessarily difficult to care for, but certainly fall in the higher maintenance spectrum of flowering bushes. Roses like full sun, a loose, slightly acidic and well-drained garden soil and a good fertilizer. Be sure to give your roses plenty of room for air to circulate, thereby reducing their vulnerability to mildew. Once established, roses shouldn’t require watering more than once a week, the exception being during a hot spell. When you water, you should water early in the morning, wetting the ground at the base of the plant, rather than the leaves. A mulch of wet peat moss during hot weather is helpful also. Evening watering, over-watering, or allowing water to sit on the leaves could encourage black spot.
[frame_left][/frame_left]In the fall, remove any dead or diseased leaves, mound soil around the rosebushes and prune back long branches. Once we’ve had our first frost, you can add leaves or straw as mulch, or some people like rose collars or cones. Any of these practices will help protect the plants from the cold weather to come.
In early spring, mulch and mounds of earth should be removed before the buds appear. The plant should be cut back and fertilized. Fish emulsion or dried blood and bone meal are good suggestions for an organic rose fertilizer. Fertilizer can be applied in early spring and then again in early summer, but you want to be sure to stop feeding in early August.
Many roses in Canada are actually grafted to the roots of more winter hardy plants, increasing their chances of surviving winter. As such, you’ll sometimes get suckers, which are unwanted growth from the roots of the grafted plants. These must be removed. Wild roses or roses that are not grafted will not have suckers. If you have further questions about the care of roses, please do not hesitate to call us at Jade Gardens and Greenhouses, 905-878-0722. We look forward to talking with you.
Jade Gardens was the stage for a portion of television’s ‘Til Debt Do We Part this evening. Show will be on again at 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, 2011 on H.G.T.V. Check us out!