Mid-April 2014
Mark Cullen e-newsletter
Gardening with Mark
In This Issue
Lawn care
Dormant spray
Sow veggies
Project NestWatch
Stay in Touch



Gardening Connections

Home Hardware 
Toronto Star 
Ottawa Citizen  
CTV Canada AM 
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Things To Do  


Lawn Care.  As soon as you can get on the lawn without leaving the impression of your shoe sole on it, get out there and give it a gentle rake. 
Take it easy - no need to tear the roots out of the ground. All that you are trying to do is to get the grass blades to stand up on end to allow the air to move through the crowns of the grass plants. This will encourage early growth and discourage snow mold as the lawn continues to dry out.

Next, apply Golfgreen lawn fertilizer. This is the only fertilizer that I use on my lawn as it has the most sophisticated form of slow release nitrogen in it of any product on the market. That means that it provides the most needed nutrient to your lawn as it needs it: as the temperatures rise and rain falls the nitrogen is released. You will get a greener lawn for a longer period of time.



Dormant Spray

Dormant spray smothers overwintering insects and disease thereby saving you a ton of work later on in the season.   


It also gives your ornamental plants a much better appearance: minimizing, for example, black spot on roses. 


I also use dormant spray on fruit trees and flowering trees like crabapples.


Apply dormant spray when evening temperatures are reliably above 0 C and stay there through the night.  It is important to note that dormant spray must be applied before buds open.  


Sow Veggies


As soon as the ground is dry enough to work, sow some (but not all) of your carrots, leeks, peas, onion sets and plant pre-started transplants (from your local retailer) of cabbage, broccoli, kale and all of the 'gassy' veggies.



Project NestWatch 

Sign up for Project NestWatch with Bird Studies Canada.  


Project NestWatch is a program aimed at getting people across Canada involved in collecting data on nesting birds. 


Data gathered through this project are used to follow the health of bird populations through long-term monitoring of nesting activity. 


The data also provide valuable information on changes in the environment, as birds are good indicators of the condition of the habitat they live in.


More info.



I'm calling this contest the 'No Patience for Impatiens' contest.  

I want to know what you plan to grow this year to replace impatiens.  


I'm giving away 2 copies of Miriam Goldberger's new book, Taming Wildflowers: Bringing the Beauty and Splendor of Nature's Blooms into Your Own Backyard.


"...a richly photographed tribute to the dazzling beauty and profound ecological value of Nature's "original" flowers.  This is the ultimate DIY book on wildflower gardening and floral design: part wildflower/pollinator awareness, part gardening how-to, and part essential primer for designing with these breathtaking cut blooms and dried flowers (including a workshop for designing a one-of-a-kind wildflower wedding)."


I'm also giving away 5 other prizes of 4 packets of Mark's Choice garden seeds each.  [$8 value]


Send your entry to [email protected].  


If you're wondering "why shouldn't I grow impatiens this year?" - You can read all about it here


I will select the winners randomly from all entries.

Deadline for entry: April 28.  Winners will be announced April 29.


Stay in Touch


You can stay in touch with my gardening tips by visiting my:


Weekly blog post - From the Garden Shed - every Wednesday


Weekly audio tip - The Green File - every Wednesday


Daily Facebook page updates


Daily Tweets


And Weekly Canada AM segments, on Wednesdays


Submit Your Event Listings 


Do you have a 'gardening' event you would like to promote, I would be happy to include your event listing in my monthly e-newsletter.


Send your info to [email protected] with the subject line 'Newsletter Event Listing'.  Please provide a brief description of the event, along with a website for further information.


Plant Paradise Country Gardens Workshops



April 19: All About Pruning with Sid Baller

Time: 10am

Hands-on demonstrations on how to prune a variety of flowering shrubs & evergreens.


April 26: Drought Tolerant Gardening with Janet Allin

Time: 10am

Learn to create a low maintenance, drought tolerant garden.

Must pre-register for all workshops.


Location: Plant Paradise Country Gardens, 16258 Humber Station, Caledon, ON


More info. 


Low-Maintenance Gardening by Dan Cooper



Dan Cooper

Guest Speaker: Dan Cooper, from 'Gardening from a Hammock'

Everyone welcome.


Date: April 18

Time: 7:30-9:00pm

Location: Chedoke Presbyterian Church, Hamilton, Ontario




Date: April 21

Time: 1:15-3pm

Location: Albert McCormick Arena, 500 Parkside Drive, Waterloo, Ontario



Date: April 23

Time: 8:00-9:30pm

Location: Royal Canadian Legion, 105 Industrial Pkwy North, Aurora, Ontario



Butchart Gardens

Vancouver Island, BC 


Easter Bunny Hunt

Date: April 18-21

Times: 9am-5pm

Kids can pick up a handout at the admission gate. Find all the ceramic bunnies throughout the gardens, mark them on your sheet and redeem your completed map for an Easter treat at the Information Centre.

More info.


MacLeans Home Hardware Presents

Exeter, Ontario  


Latest & Greatest for your Garden with Mark Cullen


Join me at this great event.


Date: Tuesday, April 22

Time: Doors open at 6:30pm

Location: South Huron Recreation Centre


Tickets are $12 in advance at South Huron Welcome Centre, MacLeans Home Hardware and any Communities in Bloom member.

$15 at the door


More info. 


Bobcaygeon & District Horticultural Society



Date: April 22

Location: Bobcaygeon and Surroundings

Event: Earth Day Celebrations


More info. 


North Bay Horticultural Society meeting



Date: April 22

Time: 7pm

Location: Christ Church, 890 Vimy Street

Please join our general meeting.  After our meeting and social, our guest speakers from Board's Honey Farm will speak about "The Importance of Bees in Our Gardens".


More info.


African Violet Society of Canada

2014 Convention, Ontario  


Date: April 23 -26

Location: Westlin Prince Hotel, 900 York Mills Rd. Toronto


See and purchase beautiful African violets and Gesneriads grown by experts from across Canada and the world.

Open to the public April 25: 2-5pm and April 26: 9-noon and 1-4pm

To register for the convention, visit www.avsc.ca


Utopia Gristmill Restoration Fund



Join me at this great event. 


All proceeds go directly to the restoration of the old Mill.


Date: April 24

Time: 7pm reception

Ticket price: $20

Location: Utopia Hall, 8396 6th Line, Utopia, ON


Join us for a Bloomin' Great Evening with Mark Cullen.


Book your tickets early for this very special evening or gardening and community.


Order by calling 877-499-HALL or visit www.utopiahall.ca


Green Living Show

Toronto, Ontario    


Date: April 25-27

Location: Direct Energy Centre, Toronto


Over 400 exhibitors with thousands of products, services, food, innovation and more - all designed to help promote a healthy and sustainable lifestyle year-round.


More info.


Royal Botanical Garden Member's Mulch Day

Hamilton, Ontario    


Date: April 26


Time: 8am-3pm


Members! Help yourselves to our mulch - a small donation offsets the cost of providing this opportunity.  Bring your own containers, shovel or scoop and your membership card as this event is exclusive to RBG members.

More info.


Nifty Nag Derby & Dinner

Beausejour, Manitoba   


Beausejour Daylily Gardens

Date: April 26


300 Veterans lane, Beausejeour, Manitoba

Fun filled evening for the whole family. Advanced seating sales only.

Fundraiser for the Beausejour Daylily Gardens

More info.