Applying compost, manure, or straw has many benefits for vegetable production, BUT may also introduce weeds. Check out this podcast to learn ways to minimize the number of weed seeds.
Newsletter from Halton Master Gardener with 3 good articles: To-Do List for November, Adding Biodiversity to our Gardens, and Plan for Bees in our Gardens
Come to LEARN and SHOP! This event is well-known for its reputation of inspiring a passion for gardening each Spring! Great vendors and educational exhibits, talks throughout the day, seeds and garden supplies to get you going for the season and yummy food on site so you can make a day of it.
Garden magazines and their online newsletters are my favourite things to read, especially on a cold dreary day with snow in the forecast!
There are lots of great how-to and inspirational garden videos online. This will be a collection of some of the best we've seen.
What should I do for my newly planted evergreen to give it the best possible chance of survival over the winter?
We don't have to limit our growing and harvesting season just to those few short summer months. Many gardeners are now successfully growing and harvesting almost year round.
Lots of good reasons NOT to do fall cleanup in our gardens. We are doing more harm than good.
The Ontario Horticultural Society is creating YouTube videos with something for every gardener. Here's one example - a step by step creation of an outdoor fall container.
When should I prune my tree and how do I develop its shape properly? The right timing and approach is important!
What to do with all the delicious apples now available? Here are 3 methods of preserving apples, what apples work best for preserving and more!
It's fall and we're starting to get some frost. It's possible to protect your greens by trapping heat present in the soil so it stays around the plants.
Taking advantage of the sunny fall days and cooler temperatures to prepare your garden for winter will promote a healthy and productive garden for the spring.
Saving your own seeds and swapping seeds with gardeners in your region will ensure you are planting seeds that are adapted to the local climate and atmosphere.
Sadly our sultry southern Ontario weather is on its way out and you know what that means! Yes there’s a possibility of frost any day now. I’ve just seen the first frost advisory for central Ontario so it’s time to bring in the houseplants that have been happily enjoying the back deck. Click here for frost dates...
Garlic is quite easy to grow and yummy to enjoy. The time to plant garlic is fall. Here’s how! Canadian icon Mark Cullen shares this advice on how to plant garlic: Garlic is a counter-intuitive crop. Plant in the fall, harvest scapes in early summer and bulbs in late summer. Enjoy this How-To! Start by...
Ontario Invasive Plant Council offers loads of information about invasives such as phragmites, various aquatics, japanese knotweed and more. Learn "What to Grow Instead?". Check out their upcoming events.
What's wrong with my tomatoes? Most of the leaves are dying and the actual tomatoes are turning brown then going soft and rotting. What is the problem and what can I do about it?
Lots of heat and humidity this year so most gardeners are struggling with Powdery mildew, a fungal disease that attacks a wide range of plants. It appears as a white, dusty coating on leaves, stems and flowers. Learn more about this common problem and organic treatments.
Trillium grandiflorum, or the White Trillium: the floral emblem of Ontario, a symbol of purity, beauty, and patriotism. This distinctive three-leafed flower, native to the province, can be found in the forests throughout the province. It is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in the spring and left unplucked, can remain blooming perennially for over...
Plants with yellow leaves and green veins may indicate a problem called Iron Chlorosis. Check out an article from the Missouri Botanical Garden that outlines root causes and treatment!
Wild parsnip spreads quickly as its seeds are easily dispersed. Like giant hogweed, it produces sap containing chemicals that can cause human skin to react to sunlight, resulting in intense burns, rashes or blisters. Learn how to identify this plant and deal with it.
Many of our vegetable diseases first appear to us as ugly leaves with blotch marks or a white coating. These marks can warn you about a big problem you should correct quickly or may just be relatively minor blemishes. The trick is to know which is which and what to do about it! Here are three great infographics to help you understand foliar diseases that affect edibles such as Onion, Squash, Zucchini, Melon, Cucumber and Tomatoes.
Reduce your costs. Don't waste a precious resource. Stop dragging garden hoses around for hours every few days. Here are some steps we recommend to conserve water and still have a great lawn and garden!
Organic matter and compost are the best ways to amend soil, however, if fertilization is your choice, make sure you use the right amount, of the right type at the right time!
Did you know that urban gardeners are asked NOT to grow potatoes or tomatoes? Why? Because they currently pose a risk to potato and tomato production as a source of late blight! There are things you can do though to still grow your favourites at home while minimizing the risk to our local farmers.
Your lawn will have some different requirements, depending on the size, composition, and another factors but here are six basics that every lawn needs. Thanks Nick for sharing your blog!
Whatever our reasons to save seeds, here's a great article that will help you know what to save (Hint - not hybrid seeds as they won't breed 'true'). Most importantly we want to be sure we do it the right way so our carefully saved seeds will germinate! Read more here about when and how to save seeds.
Gardening is an activity for all ages and abilities. It can have a wide positive impact on a family such as improving diets, providing positive family time together, encouraging exercise, reducing stress and more.
Native plants are so beneficial and easy to grow! They are well adapted to the soils, the regional climate and wildlife - and will continue to survive climate change. Learn more about why we should all be growing at least a few natives. Check out the handy links to local growers and nurseries.
To prevent the further spread and introduction of this unwanted invader in the province, Ontario has regulated Japanese knotweed as restricted under the Invasive Species Act. Find out more about how to identify and manage this invasive bully.
Garlic Mustard has rapidly become one of the most invasive plants we've ever seen in Ontario. It spreads aggressively by seed so the time to deal with it is in spring before more seed is distributed!
Check out the Best management Practices with great information about how to control this invasive plant.
Peonies are considered by many gardeners to be the most beautiful shrubs in the garden. Does yours seem to be in trouble? Find out more about peony diseases and what to do about them.
Since herbicides came off the market in Ontario in 2009, many homeowners puzzle over the right strategy to keep their lawns healthy. Fear not! All the turf management tools you need follow and proper lawn care techniques, done at the right time, can make your lawn greener than it's ever been!
Here's where you'll find terrific garden tips and resources from recent Seedy Saturdays such as quick links to exhibitors and garden catalogs, handouts from various talks, even recipes!
Native plant or native cultivar? What we buy at local nurseries often are “nativars”- a cultivar, or selection, of a native plant. Read or listen to a podcast by Dr Doug Tallamy explaining the significant ecological implications to this choice.
Ignore all the ads for grub control in spring. It's just about the least effective time to try to control grubs, insects then so close to maturity that they're next to impossible to reach and kill. Baby grubs, that's what we should go after.
Winter is a terrific time to read and explore plant choices. Here are TEN TIPS for creating a year-round sunny border PLUS a handy list of plants you might choose! Start making your list and in no time you’ll be ready for spring.
Check out a recent podcast series offered by Joe Gardener that features one of our trusted gardening advisors - Linda Chalker-Scott. She answers Joe's questions about dozens of garden tips - are they fact or myth?
Here's a great offer - a free series of webinars to learn more about the invasives threatening our native landscapes and native species, our cropland, wetlands and gardens. Check this out for more information or to register for any of these free webinars.
Can I prune my hydrangea bush now or should I wait until spring? First it's important to know if its the type of hydrangea that blooms on new wood or old.
Clay pots are great containers for our plants however they benefit from a good cleanup now and then. Learn more about why and how.
Here is list of monthly jobs that the everyday gardener in Zone 5 to Zone 6 can perform. Of course, the timing of the outdoor tasks depends on the reliability of Mother Nature, and may vary from year to year.
The Master Gardeners of Ontario launched a search for a Canadian flower that appears in every province and territory, and is not already a provincial or territorial emblem. You voted for Bunchberry. Our petition to have it adopted as our national flower was rejected, however, we can certainly recommend this little gem as a great plant to grow in gardens across the country.
Do you want garden design that looks terrific AND serves a purpose? Interested in advice from wildlife and gardening experts? If so, check out 'In the Zone', a new guide to help you cultivate vital habitat. We can impact the health of the ecosystem on which people and wildlife depend.
Make your own high energy bird suet to see them thru until spring. Try this easy recipe to help the birds and attract them to your yard. Most all birds will enjoy this suet including the early spring arrivals when it is still too cold for plenty of insects and worms.
There are lots of benefits to raised garden beds! Learn about the whys and the hows!
Neonic use as a seed treatment in field crops (ie. Corn, beans, grain crops) continues to be newsworthy and consumers are concerned. Read more about the science and the opinions of the Ontario government, the bee keepers and the farmers. What choices do you have as a consumer?
The dandelion has more nutritional and medicinal uses than any other common garden weed. It flowers at a time of year when bees need help the most. It requires no water or special care and yet stays vibrant green.
Rain Gardens are an excellent way to use rain water for our own plants and avoid runoff. Learn about the basics - it's easier than you'd think!
Why would you want to attract birds into your garden? What is needed to make them want to move in? Which species might set up residence in your yard? What can you plant to make them want to stay?
Spring is in the air and it's time to plan, buy seeds and do a few tasks that will get us ready for a great growing season. Here's a checklist of spring tasks and links to great sites for more ideas. Are your green fingers and thumbs just twitching with anticipation? Ours are!
Soil is alive and biologically complex. By considering this, we realize the importance of not just being on alert for the presence of pathogens, but also the presence of beneficial microorganisms which are transferable to create more "good" soil.
Here's some advice for choosing plants that are more resistant to these cute but destructive nibblers.
Japanese Beetles are most active from July to early September. These voracious little pests damage many species of plants. Let's understand the life cycle and options to help control this beetle and reduce the damage in the garden.
Help Please - my garden needs a makeover. It is full of invasive plants, is now too big and too much work for me and is so heavily shaded by the trees that my sun-loving plants are desperate. Where do I start?
My roses are covered in spots, the leaves are turning yellow and dropping rapidly. I know it's Black Spot but what am I doing wrong and how do I help my beautiful roses?
What do I plant around my waterfall to help it look more natural?
Are you ready to test your basic knowledge? Take this short quiz and test your gardening knowledge. Ready...Set...Go!
Pollination is not just fascinating natural history. It is an essential ecological function. Without pollinators, the human race and our ecosystems would not survive.
Seed packages usually identify how many weeks ahead of average last frost date to start the seeds. Count back from that frost date for each type of seed. Start hardening off for 1-2 weeks after this date and keep a close eye on the night temperatures. May 24 is a safer date for actually planting out.
Which plants will regrow from your kitchen scraps? Check out our list. What are the top tips to encourage scrap growth? Have a look at these suggestions.
Most homeowners treasure the trees on their property but know little about how to care for them. Much of what we have heard about tree care is actually incorrect, based on myths and misconceptions.
Gardening in containers is the perfect answer for apartment balconies, small condo spaces, a way it add colour and texture in those difficult spaces to plant, a way to set a theme or create an interest in an area.
Knowing and understanding hardiness zones is important. This information will come in handy when you are purchasing new perennials or shrubbery and will take some of the guesswork out of your plant choices. Gardening is an endless trial and error process but knowing your zone will help ensure your purchases have a better chance of success.
Horticultural oil is an ideal remedy to deter overwintering pests. The best time to apply it to woody plants and shrubs is before the buds break and leaves open but you also want the little pests to be active, not hiding, so wait until temperatures warm up to above zero for at least 24 hours.