Monday, March 09, 2015

Get your Garden Ready for Spring - Canada Blooms

After this brutal winter, I am so ready for any signs of spring. With the clocks going ahead this past weekend and the temperatures finally getting above zero, I am starting to feel hopeful. I even saw clean, dry sidewalk this afternoon! Can you believe it? Now if only the 3 feet of snow in my yard would melt.

Although I won't be seeing plants in my own garden any time soon, I'm looking forward to checking our the gardens at Canada Blooms, happening at the Direct Energy Centre for March 13-22. It does my heart good to walk through and experience the beautiful colours and smells of the flowers, and I know I will leave with lots of inspiration for my own space.  I wonder what new products and plants I will see? 

In the meantime, while we await the chance to get out in our own gardens, now is a great time to start our planning , so we are ready when we see soil again. There's lots of work to be done before planting can begin.

“We Canadians are a hardy people, as are many of the plants and flowers we find around our homes,” says Denis Flanagan, a horticultural expert with Landscape Ontario. “But a little prep work when the snow melts away will help ensure your garden is lush and vibrant when the warm weather arrives for the summer.”

Denis offers the following tips for getting your garden and yard ready for spring:
  • After another harsh winter be sure to check plants for winter damage, prune out dead or damaged branches and bark. Damaged bark if not cleaned correctly can be a hiding place for pests and diseases.
  • Rake out winter debris and dead grass (known as thatch) from lawns, open up pores on the lawn’s surface by using an aerating machine so that when you apply a high nitrogen fertilizer it is reaching the roots of the grass.
  • Clean up perennial plants by removing dead foliage, carefully avoid damaging the centre (crown) of the plant, and apply a fresh layer of mulch around the root zone.
  • Prepare vegetable gardens by turning the soil over to a depth of 15 inches and digging in manure and compost to supply valuable nutrients to vegetables throughout the growing season.
  • Freshen up pots and containers by turning the soil and adding compost and a slow release fertilizer.
  • “You are usually safe to plant tender plants around the Victoria Day long weekend, but getting all of this work done now means you don’t have to do it then,” says Flanagan. “That means you get right into planting your annuals and seeds.”

Co-located with the National Home Show, Canada Blooms takes place March 13th to 22nd, 2015, at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto. For more information or for tickets, please visit canadablooms.com. Follow Canada Blooms on Twitter @CanadaBlooms and Like it on Facebook to stay in touch.

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