Roses, clematis, peonies, the longest days, sowing the last of my veggies [for now], mulching to reduce weeding and watering, and golf.
Let me address a few of my 'favourite June things' and I won't sing it, I will leave that to Julie Andrews and others more capable.
With a winter that lingered longer than most across the entire country [with apologies to lower mainland BC and Vancouver Island readers] our hyperactivity in May is spilling over into June. If you are among those who have not planted your tomatoes or sown your beans this may come as some relief. Nearest that I can determine, we are running between 7 and 10 days later than a typical spring, depending on your location.
I put off planting my 200 tomato plants until just a couple of days ago mostly due to the cool soil temperatures. Heat-seeking plants like potatoes, tomatoes, peppers [all members of the same sun loving family] plus corn, beans and many annual flowering plants are much happier when planted in soil that is at least 16 degrees C. Waiting for the 'frost free' date in your region may not be good enough if you are planting hot crops.
Truth is, the plants that you put in the ground while it is cool will not perform as well as the same size and quality of plant that you plant a couple of weeks later in warm soil. Point made. The point is to relax and not to panic if you are feeling 'behind the eight ball' this planting season.
The same goes for winter damage. This segment on Canada AM with Jeff Hutcheson and I, makes the same point: take your time before you pull dead-looking plants out of the ground, as new growth might just flush at an unexpected rate any day now. All we need are plus 20 degrees C temperatures. I will leave most of this activity until after Father's Day... a much appreciated excuse to kick back, have a beer and maybe play a round of golf.
Ahhh - there it is! The 'g' reference. Well, I am not talking so much about the game as I am about 'Pumps for Food'.
Pumps for Food
My friend Dr. James Clubine and I are hosting a golf tournament this Tuesday, August 26 at Pheasant Run Golf Course in Newmarket, Ontario and I would be delighted if you would show up.
$150 buys you a round and a fabulous dinner, chance at some great door prizes and the satisfaction of supporting an amazing cause.
Perhaps you recall my April newsletter in which I talked about my trip to El Salvador with S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation. For $1,200 per system we can provide subsistence farmers and landless people in Central America with all the water needed to irrigate up to 3 acres. A gas powered motor, a pump, cistern and all of the hardware needed to move the water to where it is needed = one system.
Our goal is to raise $40,000 or enough to purchase 30 systems or 60 to 90 acres of irrigated farm land. This, in areas where the soil is so dry that virtually no crop would be possible without it.
For information about sponsorship and to play, please contact Brenda Hensley at [email protected] and plan to sign up soon - we are limited to 144 players.
If you are unable to play [live out of the area?] feel free to support our efforts by connecting with SHARE at www.shareagfoundation.org and be sure to tell them that you wish to donate to 'Pumps For Food'.
haps this month I will bump into you in BC/Alberta (May 31 to June 9) or the Maritimes (June 19-21). See times and locations listed below. Please come out and join me... I would love to meet you!!
Below, 'What To Do in your garden this month'. Dig, sweat and enjoy..... June is a fabulous month to celebrate growth and life!!
Merchant of Beauty
p.s. This month we celebrate Garden Days in Canada. You will find more info about this celebration below. In the spirit of Garden Days,I encourage you to enter your street in the contest for Canada's Best Garden Street.
The Contest prize: The 'bragging rights' of being named Canada's 2014 'Best Garden Street' and $1,000 worth of Mark's Choice Lawn and Garden products from Home Hardware.
To Do in your garden in June:
- Stake and support peonies, hydrangeas and, later in the month, delphiniums. Watch the video
- Feed tomatoes with Green Earth tomato food. Stake using a Mark's Choice spiral stake [no tying required] and mulch with 30cm of loose, clean straw. Watch the video
- Spread 3 to 4 cm of finely ground up cedar or pine bark to reduce weeding by 90% and watering by 70%. I do this around all of my perennials and roses. Watch the video
-Feed roses with Green Earth Rose and Perennial food.
- Provide support for the flowering clematis in your garden.
-Finish planting your containers [try the new Pro Mix product that I have been talking about or my own Mark's Choice container mix from Home Hardware.] Watch the video
-Take lots of pictures as your garden is changing more dramatically now then ever.
-Finish planting of annuals and vegetables (you can plant perennials and winter hardy plants all summer).
-Water deeply, but not too often.
-For Father's Day check out my line up of Mark's Choice products at Home Hardware. All torture tested in my garden, all top quality (or I wouldn't put my name on them) and every one of the more than 200 products in the line up will enhance your gardening experience.
-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! Watch the video
-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.
Spring Photo Contest Winners
For my mid-May contest, I asked you to 'show me your favourite spring blooms'.
The response was overwhelming. I received many beautiful photos and posted all entries on my Facebook page.
I have randomly chosen 3 winners to receive a Mark's Choice Clear-Flow hose.
Congratulations to: Elaine McMurtrie, Diane Cobon and Linda Riesberry.
Mark's Choice Product of the Month
Adjustable Railing Planter
The new 24 inch adjustable railing planter is available in two colours; terra cotta and white.
Adjust arms 1 inch to 4 inch wide. No tools, mounting hardware, or drilling required. Ideal for wood, metal and vinyl railings.
Hidden lower bracket keeps the planter level and locked in place.
Water reservoir holds 6 cups of water, and will auto drain any excess to avoid root rot.
Home Hardware item# 5055-634/635
Where to Find Mark
May 31 - Dunlop's Home Hardware in Port Hardy, BC. 11am-1pm. Contact the store for more details (250) 949 - 8313.
Garden Days is Canada's coast to coast to coast, three-day celebration of our National Garden Day which is held annually on the Friday before Father's Day.
This three-day program of activities and events is for gardening enthusiasts, families, schools and tourists alike. Garden Days is an opportunity for Canadians to enjoy their own garden, visit or take part in their favourite garden experience, get inspired at their local garden centre or travel to a nearby destination to enjoy their favourite garden.
Our gardens have long been among the country's great assets
All Canadian gardens, garden and horticultural organizations and garden-related businesses (eg. garden centres) are invited to organize activities or events to celebrate public gardens and home gardening and to be included in the Garden Days program. It's as simple as visiting www.gardendays.ca and clicking on the 'Register Your Activity' button.
Find a Garden Days activity near you and enter the 'Best Garden Street' Contest
Above all, have some great outdoor fun by adding more garden to your life.
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Garden Days is sponsored by: VIA Rail Canada, Enterprise Canada, Mark's Choice, Chimpanzee and Baxter Travel Media and supported by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.
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.
American Garden Award
The American Garden Award is a unique opportunity for the general public to view, choose and vote on a specific flower that they think has the most appealing charateristics.
Voting is open through September 30, 2014. Voting is free with admission to the garden.
Voting is available at the following gardens in Canada:
Panayoti Kelaidis: Great Rock Gardens & Plants of Eastern North America
The second talk in our Spring Speaker Series.
Panayoti Kelaidis is the Senior Curator and Outreach Director at the Denver Botanic Gardens. He designed plantings for the world famous Rock Garden at the DBG. He is a plant explorer and has introduced many plants into horticulture. His talk will be fun and you'll probably have to buy more plants for your garden.
Riverside extends from the DVP to just past Degrassi Street along Queen Street East. Local eateries will be opening their doors serving tasting plates and musical entertainment. There will be a diversity of event destination points with live music, and entertainment including: cooking demos, belly dancing workshops, instrument making, kid's crafts, henna tattoos, food and art walking tours and of course some mouthwatering Riverside tasters.
Cabbagetown's Hidden Gardens & Private Spaces Tour
Date: June 8
Time: 10am - 3pm
Stroll through privately owned gardens in the historic Cabbagetown Heritage Conservation District. This self-guided tour will inspire you with imaginative solutions to many urban challenges such as small spaces, wildlife, and shade! This year, the CPA is proud to have several Toronto Master Gardeners stationed throughout the tour!
Your ticket will include a map, gardening tips, and special offers from local restaurants and merchants.
Location: Bain Apartments Coop Community Centre, 100 Bain Avenue, Toronto
This multi-day course is designed for individuals who want to gain tree-related knowledge and skills. Each session provides basic arboriculture training through a combination of indoor and outdoor instruction, and a group tree planting.
Join Seeds for Change, the City of Markham and the City of Vaughan for a day of conversation, sharing best practices, new initiatives and policy development in urban food growing across York Region. A panel discussion about community gardens and urban food growing in York Region.
Location: Cobble Hill Hall, 3550 Watson Avenue, Cobble Hill, BC
This easy-to-enter show is open to members of the public of all ages and experience. We have volunteers on hand to help you select the correct class and give advice on displaying your flowers. Included in the show are Plant Sales, Commercial Plant Vendors, Garden Accessories and a large Silent Auction. The Master Gardeners will be there to help solve your garden queries and the Lake Bay Hill Ladies Auxiliary will be serving their delicious Strawberry Teas. A variety of gardening workshops/ seminars will be held every 30 minutes from 9.30am to 12.00pm
Experience 19 Private Gardens on Father's Day Weekend; Toronto Botanical Garden's 27th annual tour of private gardens in Toronto. This self-guided tour is done at the pace and interest of the participant. Complimentary shuttle buses allow garden-goers to 'hop on and off" as they make their way around the garden route. If there are any questions, Toronto Master Gardeners are stationed in each garden to help identify unusual plants and points of interest. A printed guide and map are also provided with the purchase of your ticket and some gardens even have QR codes to download the full plant list.