Author Archives: rosemary

Spring Garden Hints

Spring_flowersMarch 2015

1. Bait garden for slugs – Use Safers Slug bait as it’s an organic one.
2. Work on garden clean-up, weeding and preparing garden beds. Add a handful of lime several weeks before planting. To improve your soil, use mushroom manure or compost.
3. Plant cool season veggies such as lettuce, spinach, kale & cabbage. Plants seeds of peas & sweet peas at this time as well.
4. Start tomato seeds indoors if desired.

April 2015

1. Continue to plant cool season veggies and flowers
2. Transplant raspberries & strawberries if necessary.
3. Plant early potatoes (Yukon Gold & Pontiac)
4. Fertilize perennials with all-purpose fertilizer such as fish fertilizer or organic fertilizer you can make yourself. See below
2 parts bonemeal, 1 part kelp meal, 1 part blood meal.
Apply the fertilizer during growing season.


We have the go-ahead to plant garlic again after a years hiatus due to “Rust” problems. That plant disease is airborne and affects the Allium family (garlic, leeks & onions) as well as Hollyhocks and a few other perennials. We needed at least a year to try & eradicate this problem.

Planting Garlic….highlights from an article by Vancouver Sun’s Randy Shore who runs an excellent garden column on some Fridays.

#1 Buy good quality garlic at a garden centre (I like Red Russian variety but there are many interesting varieties), or at a farmers market, not at a grocery store!

#2 Garlic is a lime lover so your soil needs to be amended before planting with compost or mushroom manure, organic fertilizer (with a high nitrogen content) and a handful of dolomite lime. If leaves start to yellow in the spring, give the plants a dose of fish fertilizer.

#3 Break garlic cloves apart, being careful not to damage papery skins. Plant approx. 6″ apart and 4″ deep, with the pointed end up.

#4 Mulch the area with approx. 6″ of shredded leaves,ie run over dry leaves with a lawnmower or chop up in a large container with sharp hedge shears. This will keep winter rains from washing out nutrients and in summer will keep soil from drying out.

#5 Plant now, harvest next summer!

October/November Garden “To Do” list…guidelines for gardeners

#1 Weed, deadhead and remove diseased plants from plots. Late tomato blight has hit the garden hard after the first rains. Please dispose of those plants in household garbage, not compost. This cleanup helps control the spread of disease and pests in the garden.
#2 Amend your soil with mushroom manure, compost or Sea Soil at this time and dig it in. Add a handful of lime as well or wait till spring.
#3 Plant spring bulbs if desired, with bonemeal in the hole before planting. Starting this fall we can plant garlic (now), leeks (spring) and onions, as our year has passed for not planting these crops due to Rust in the garden. Winter veggie plants can be put in now too: kale, winter flowering broccoli, some lettuces and radishes…Check West Coast Seeds Pamphlet re winter veggie planting (available free at garden centres)
#4 Some light pruning can be done to shrubs….currant bushes…cut long shoots back slightly and thin out crowded branches, cut down OLD canes of summer producing raspberries;  fall-bearing raspberries… cut down ALL canes in January; and some removal of older wood from blueberries . Rhubarb can be divided as well now that it is dying back back and the weather is cooler. Perennial plants can be divided too, Hosta, Sedums and Iris as well as other large perennial clumps, most will tolerate dividing now, before winter.
#5 Finish clipping edges around the plots and inside and outside the fence and clear up debris in those areas too, then you are all set for spring! Don’t forget to check your garden regularly, esp if you have produce to pick, do some weeding and keep up maintenance which is much less over winter. By doing a thorough fall cleanup, your garden will be ready for planting in the spring and the work not so overwhelming!