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Thank Goodness for gardens and nature walks during this lockdown!

We have a few of our favourite things to share with you this month and a few tips about getting your best start on the gardening season.

    • Ephemeral plants - Did you Know that Trilliums, Bloodroot, Trout lily, Dutchman's Breeches and a long list of other spring-flowering plants here in Ontario are ephemerals? That means they pop up, bloom, and then quickly disappear, completing their entire seasonal lifecycle in just a few weeks! Check out this quick YouTube video about ephemerals. If you want to learn more about our spring wildflowers, here's a good site to bookmark as they have a list and excellent images too - OntarioWildflowers.com. For a handy app on-the-go, one favourite is the free Ontario Wildflowers app. (also available from Google Play)
    • Plant Identification - As spring flowers start popping up everywhere, we gardeners sometimes are tested with remembering what we put where. If you need some help with identifying plants, here are some great resources: Gardening apps for your mobile devices and also Plant Selection and Identification websites with handy links for you to bookmark!
    • Birds in our yards - the birds are on their way and need us during their long migration. It's time to get our oriole and hummingbird feeders ready. Place hummingbird feeders in a shady area if possible, away from other feeders. Use 1 part white sugar and 4 parts distilled water and never add dye to colour the water. Please remember to change it often. More tips about attracting birds to your garden.
    • Hikes and strolls in nature - London is blessed with many great trails and ESA's (environmentally sensitive areas). Here's where to find excellent local trails. Please stay on the path and leave all plants for others to enjoy. Tip - take your binoculars too. Early spring is the best time to see migrating birds since tree leaves aren't hiding them yet.
    • Seeding our cool-season crops directly into the ground. OMAFRA does a good job of defining what's frost-hardy, semi-hardy, etc. The soil is definitely workable now and we've planted onion sets, peas, brassicas, radish, and spinach. These crops do better in cooler weather as they will 'bolt' (go to seed quickly) during the hot summer months.
    • Core aerating our lawns if they need it. Tip - Most do! We prefer the kind of aeration that leaves 2-4 inch 'plugs' of sod on your lawn. Here's our general guide to giving lawns a good start in spring.
    • Getting our tropicals and tender bulbs out of hibernation and into pots. Begonias, cannas, dahlias should be potted up and moved into a bright window. Here's a brief YouTube video to guide you.
    • Weeding - getting at those pesky overwintered perennial weeds before they take off. Garlic mustard may be edible but we certainly don't want it in our gardens or woodlands! Tip - it pays to know your weeds and get at them before they go to seed. Check our weed identification resources.
    • NO - Rolling lawns - such a bad habit that many companies love to sell to homeowners who think it will give them a smoother golf-green surface. Yes, it will smooth a few bumps but also compact the soil and you know what doesn't mind that so much? ...Weeds. Instead of rolling, use topdressing and overseeding to fill any low areas. Consider adding a healthier mix of grass seeds that includes up to 30% white clover. There are many benefits.

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    Green London Card1
    Senior woman with grandaughter gardening in the backyard garden.

    We love to hear from gardeners and answer questions. Don't be shy. We were all new to this once!
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