Friday, March 01, 2013

Get Ready for Spring with Canada Blooms

Hellebores, early spring flowers
image courtesy Canada Blooms
It's March 1! We made it!! I am always very happy to see the backside of February, especially when March begins on the bright, sunshiny note it has today. (Although, I keep hearing "in like a lamb, out like a lion" in my head.)  My garden may be covered in a couple of feet of snow still, but I see pussy willows popping out on my tree, and I am filled with hope for spring. I don't have a lot of room for starting seeds indoors, but I picked up a couple of things today. I hope to get Little Boo involved in starting my zucchini plants this weekend. I'm smiling at just the thought of getting my fingers in some dirt!

In the meantime, as we wait for the ground to thaw and our bulbs to poke through, I want to share with you these tips from Canada Blooms on prepping for your gardening season. These are some things you can do in anticipation of spring, to start your garden off on a strong footing.

1. Set up your composting area.

Compost is the black gold of the gardener's world. Sure, you can purchase bags of it at the local nursery or co-op, but you can also create it yourself out of food and yard waste.

2. Start saving containers for those seedlings.

Start saving small containers (egg cartons are superb) for those seedlings you can grow yourself. In many areas of the country, you'll want to get those seeds growing in February so they'll be ready to plant in the ground by April or May.

3. Order your seeds.

This may be every gardener's favorite part: browsing the seed catalogs and websites and picking out all the delicious, beautiful plants to grow this year. Order your seeds now so you'll have them in time to start planting them indoors. 

4. Prep your soil as much as possible.

Depending on your location, the only soil prep you may be able to do at this point is just say a little prayer for it. But in many parts of the country, days of snow and ice will be interspersed with days of warmer weather and thawed ground. On those days, get out there and do as much work as possible to break up the soil.

5. Get your garden tools and potting area ready.

Claim a corner in the garage, workshop, or patio as your own. Pull out that old, dusty table from the attic or spare bedroom. Give it a bright, cheery coat of paint on a sunny day, set it up, and you've got a brand-new potting area ready.
You can get so much more information on flowers and gardening at Canada Blooms – Canada’s largest flower and garden celebration – taking place March 15th-24th, 2013, at the Direct Energy Centre, in Toronto. You can visit the website for the full run-down on what the show offers, but here are just a few highlights:
  • The Grey Power “Garden Solutions” Educational Series
  • The Master Gardeners Speakers Series
  • Wine Sensory Garden presented by Reif Estate Winery & Mori Gardens
  • Experience the Parklane and Tourism Ireland “Spring Gathering” etc.
  • Win a Trip to the Gardens of Spain with Air Canada, Tourist Office of Spain and Toronto Star
  • Scotts Canada “Ask the Experts and New Product” Stage
  • RE/MAX “Get Curbalicious” Feature
Most of all, I love to attend just to see the colours, smell the blooms, and get inspired for another successful year in my little patch of earth. I wonder what new plants I'll discover this year??

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