Al's Gardening Guide

Gardening tips and advice. An excellent guide for the novice gardener.
Find Garden and Landscaping section on Lawn, Shrubbery and Garden design.
Ideas and planning leads to enjoying your garden.
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Al's Landscaping Hints

  • Draw a plan of your property. Include all buildings, patios, walkways, walls and large shrubs and trees.
  • Remember when planning new play areas and lawns, any walkways should be at least 3 feet wide.
  • Decide which plants you are going to keep. If you are going to move plants, make sure it is the right time of year to transplant.
  • Consider all your watering systems, overall maintenand and who will be doing the work once you're ready to start.
  • Plan your garden for each season to keep it interesting and colourful.
  • Herbs are a good example of beautiful decorative gardens that are functional and low maintenance.
  • If you are planning for privacy or to hide unsightly walls, fences, views - use trellises and climbing plants that grow fast are beautiful and adequate to the job. Check out the local nursery.
  • When choosing trees, have an equal selection of evergreens and deciduous in the garden.
  • Container of potted annuals or perennials can enhance your garden.
  • Consider locating a deciduous tree close to your home if it has a southern exposure. It will offer shade and privacy in the summer and allow the sun to hit the house in the winter.
  • Consider hard wearing grass for the backyard if it is going to be a play area.
  • Pick a grass that tolerates a lot of moisture or dryness.
  • Prepare your soil for the grass - make sure the surface is level, free of disease, pests, weeds and large stones.
  • Thorough soakings will help your grass develop deep root systems and help keep the grass green.

Al's Garden Design Tips

  • Sealed pots and containers can make great water gardens if you have limited space. (Do not put fish in pots or containers)
  • Consider laying a stone or brick path on those areas where there is frequent walking.
  • Garden design for young families normally includes a safe, enclosed space for children to play. The garden would most likely be more formal in nature with vegetable and flower gardens, a lawn and large trees for summer shade. Pools and ponds, unless enclosed, are not recommended if children are part of the household.
  • Form gardens can be very low maintenance. Plan your formal garden using patios, terraced steps, pools and plants in containers.

January February March
Apply Lime Sulphur and Dormant oil to your deciduous trees and shrubs to protect from insects and disease Prune most evergreens, deciduous ornabmental and fruit trees. Compost and manures should be worked into flower and vegetable gardens, now.
Plant winter flowering shrubs like heather, jasmine and Witch Hazel Specialty begonia tubers can now be started Spanish onions, potatoes, broad beans can now be set out in protected areas.
Start early seeds like Spanish onion, geraniums, pansies and begonias. Lime lawn and garden areas. Try the new "prilled" limes for better, easier application results. Plant your early perennials as well as biennials and pansies for early colour.
Feed the wild birds. Plant bare root fruit trees and small fruits. Asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb can be planted, now.

April May June
Cold-hardy annuals like snapdragons, dianthus, maguerites, mimulas and violas can be set out now. Visit gardens and garden stores to see more flowering shrubs and trees to get ideas for your garden. June is Rose month. Check out the local nursery for colours and to smell the perfume.
Cool-loving vegetables ie.lettuce, peas, chard, radishes, spinach and early potatoes can be started. Prune back all flowering shrubs and perennials, as they finish blooming and fertilize them well. Begin your rose pest and disease program to keep roses clean.
Aerate your lawn & add a slow release fertilizer to tone it up. 3rd weekend of May get out all the warm loving veggie plants, flowers and herbs. Seasonal hanging baskets of flowers should be set out.

July August September
Plant summer flowering shrubs: Rose of Sharon and hydrangeas. Harvest those fresh vegetables and dry herbs as they mature. Plant pansies, violas, garden mums, ornamental kale
Stake tall growing flowers and vegetables for extra support. Dead-head, cleanup and fertilize perennials and annuals. Protect tomatoes and potatoes
from blight with copper spray.
Feed lawn, flower baskets & planters with nitrogen fertilizer. Water, water, deeply any plants suffering from heat stress. Apply fall application of slow release nitrogen - especially lawns.
Seed fall pansies and ornamental kale for autumn colour. Seed winter vegetables, now. Set out perennials for early spring colour.
Look around - enjoy what you see. Plan autumn blooming crocus, now. Plant your early spring flowering bulbs.

October November December
Gently lift tender bulbs ie. the gladioli
and begonias.
Plant some fall foliaged trees & shrubs. Start your winter bird feeding program.
Lift your tender perennials for winter
storage - fuchsias, geraniums, marguerites
Plant wintering flowering trees and perennials. Select a living Christmas tree early.
Plant your spring bulbs, now. Pot up your forcing bulbs to enjoy in late winter. Cut your Christmas greens and holly early.
Lime and aerate your lawn. Plant elegant amaryllis indoors. Pick out your cut Christmas tree.


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