Mark Cullen e-newsletter
Mid-June 2013 
 Gardening with Mark
In This Issue:
Where to Find Mark
Mark's Gardening Connections

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It is mid June and the garden is busting out of its seams. Lots of rainfall across most of Canada set us up for a great bust of growth with the late spring heat. My peonies are in full bud and ready to explode, roses are in full bloom in Toronto, I see and I am having trouble keeping up with the grass cutting.

Which reminds me that bugs, diseases and weeds are ever present in the yard just now. So lets get right to "the list of things that you can do in your garden right now that will minimize work later, provide big payback and may even save you some money":

 Grubs in the lawn
 This is the #1 question at

Grub Busters Now is the time to apply dormant nematodes - those microscopic sized predators that you spray out the end of a sprayer just like you may have in your past using a weed killer or insecticide.

The big difference is that nematodes occur naturally in your garden soil already - by applying them now you are enhancing their population in a natural fight against white and grey grubs.

Nematodes are harmless to kids, pets and the environment. You have, weather depending, until the first week of July to get this job done.


 Emerald Ash Borer Control

TreeAzin While the biological control for Emerald Ash Borer can be effectively applied any time this summer, fact is you need an authorized applicator to get the job done. Many of them are very busy and getting booked up.

For a list of qualified applicators in the greater Toronto area go to and for applicators elsewhere go to The product is called TreeAzin, by the way. Finally - this is a problem for Ontario gardeners only, for now.

See details in my recent newspaper article.


 Peonies, Roses, Irises and Daylilies

Peony Before you receive your next Mark Cullen newsletter, all of the above mentioned perennials will be in bloom or will have finished blooming in your garden - depending on where you live in Canada.

Some advice:

- Before they bloom, stake them to support the blossoms, especially the peonies.

- Cut them and bring them indoors, especially the peonies and roses (day lilies don't last and irises are mediocre at best).

- Fertilize roses with Green Earth or CIL Rose food once a month in June and July.

- After flowering, remove the spent blooms to encourage later re-flowering.


 More Things To Do

Shredded cedar mulch - Mulch with finely ground up cedar or pine bark mulch 6 to 8 cm thick to reduce weeding by up to 90% and watering by up to 70% the first year.

- Set up rain barrels at your down spouts. Rain water is 30 to 40% oxygen charged. All plants perform better when watered with rain water. I use 4 rain barrels around my house to water all of my container plants. The results speak for themselves!

- Plant your potatoes, corn, zucchini, potatoes and all other hot crops that you have been holding off for. The heat is finally 'on'.

- It is not too late to sow seeds for fast germinating flowers and veggies. Sunflowers, zinnias, asters, nasturtiums, calendula, peas, beans, radishes and carrots can be sown now with expectations of a full crop before the end of the season.

- Stake your tomatoes to double your crop. Apply Bordo mixture to prevent early and late blight- once every couple of weeks until the middle of August.

- Watch the 'daily tip' on to keep up to date and check out my weekly blog for more detailed updates about what you should be doing in the garden.


 A Once in a Lifetime Experience

Hugh Beatty On my Facebook page you will find an interesting photo-essay, in 'Around the Acres this week', that has nothing to do with gardening (other than some nice photos of plants).

I was privileged to go to Juno Beach with my 94 year old friend Hugh Beaty, who landed there 69 years ago on D Day along with over 20,000 other Canadians. The experience, to say the least, was a game changer for me.

To stand on Juno Beach with 6 Canadian veterans and to tour the sites along the Normandy coast for 4 days while listening to them retell their stories was a once in a life time experience for me. I am happy to share.

View the photos 

 Connect with Mark

Horticultural Domination To learn more about 'what to do in the garden' and for that matter, get some inspiration for your best garden ever, connect with me:

- My new E-book 'Horticultural Domination' is available through the Toronto Star for $2.99. Go to Star Dispatches to purchase my E-book and learn lots about gardening.

- House & Home TV. Watch my video 'Garden Watering Tips'. I talk about the benefits of using warm water collected in rain barrels, porous soaker hoses and more.

- Did you know that I have a YouTube channel? Check out Mark Cullen Gardening on YouTube for 13 videos 'How To' videos to help with your lawn & garden.

- Watch my weekly segment on CTV Canada AM with Jeff. Every Wednesday, between 8:30 and 9:00am. If you miss a segment, watch them online here.

- My weekly newspaper column can be found online at

- Follow my daily Tweets on Twitter (@MarkCullen4)

- Listen to my weekly gardening tip 'The Green File'. I post a new audio clip every Wednesday.



The Londoner And finally - I am pleased to announce that The Londoner newspaper in London, Ontario will carry my weekly newspaper column beginning this week. This paper has an excellent reputation in the south west Ontario market and I am delighted to be a part of their team.

Talk at the end of the month,

Merchant of Beauty.


 Where to Find Mark this Month

In the garden - June 27 - I will be speaking at the Royal Botanical Garden's Annual General Meeting. For more info. visit


 Canada's Inaugural Garden Day
 June 14

Garden Day Public gardens will be in the spotlight during Canada's inaugural Garden Day, today!

Canada's Garden Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of public and private gardens, the value of home gardening, the benefits of green spaces and the promotion of environmental stewardship.

For more info. 

 Garden Gathering at Rideau Hall
 June 15 and 16

Rideau Hall This weekend only, Rideau Hall's gardens and greenhouses will be open to the public, on June 15 and 16, from 10am to 4pm.

This is a free event that will surely please all gardening enthusiasts!

For more info. 

 Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation
 Green Tie Gala

Green Tie Event Date: Monday, June 24, 2013

Join us "in the trees" at the Koerner Hall Galleria in the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Green Tie Toronto is the annual gala fundraiser hosted by The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. In 2013, the Foundation celebrates its 10th anniversary of enhancing our city's parks and public green spaces.

For more info.