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Online Newsletter

GARDENING & HORTICULTURAL TIPS
by Various contributors

Deadheading

     When deadheading those daffodils and tulips only take off the flower head not the stems, and definitely not the leaves, ugly though they may be.  Try hiding them with something else, annuals, pots or whatever creative ideas you can come up with.  By GG.

 

Formosan Termites

     I have received several email messages regarding the danger of termites being imported in mulch from the American southeast as a result of recent hurricanes and the resulting debris. If you are concerned, there is very little threat to us.  The Formosan termite may travel to some new sites in the USA, but our winters would be too severe for it to survive much further north than Washington DC.  (I am going to resist the urge to make any humorous or deprecating remarks here but feel free to let your mind roam).  By Dawn Pollard

     Action Line: False alarm over influx of giant Katrina termites -- by Dennis Rockstroh www.mercurynews.com

 

Garden Maintenance: Pruning

     This is something close to my heart, as I see many gardens where the basic shrubs are neglected in pruning. 

     By basic shrubs I mean:  forsythia, lilac, spirea, mock orange, lots of junipers and yews to name a few.

     Please, I urge you donít be afraid to get your hands on it, get rid of all the dead wood inside and shape it.  And of course the best time to do it is right now when you can see inside the shrub and you can see the structure without the leaves.  Once your neglected shrub is back in shape you can do your pruning at the right time again (like for lilacs right after flowering and so on).

     Sometimes if it is too far-gone, you have to chop off the whole shrub to just above the ground.  Now donít cry:  I had one customer with a very spindly spirea, which didnít do much so I chopped it off (she was a bit upset) but believe me the next season it just came up very nice and full and she was happy.

     Another customer had some very straggly lilac trees in the back against a fence all the leaves and few flowers where on the very top but only the tree trunk to look at it.  So she told me whatever you can do please do it.  I chopped them to about 4 feet.  I never heard the end from her husband.  That was two years ago and the lilacs bushed out very nicely and looking great.

     Sometimes it is hard to do a drastic thing but it is better in the long run.  Also for some shrubs it might be the ďwrongĒ time of the season to do it (you loose the flowers for that season) but sometimes it just has to be done and winter I found is a good time.

     So donít be afraid to rejuvenate your overgrown spirea, forsythina or lilac.  They will be so much better after the next year.

     Contact Edel Schmidt at (416) 953-1031 or edel@sympatico.ca if you have any questions.

 

For all Tomato Lovers

1. Be careful with manure or a high-nitrogen fertilizer when preparing the soil for tomatoes as it will promote lots of leaves and produce few tomatoes.

2. Put a teaspoon of Epsom salts in the bottom of the planting hole, this appears to make them more productive and consistent in size and shape.

3. Taking most of the foliage off the plants in the first week of August helps to ripen them faster.

4. Just after the tomatoes ripen, water them well with slightly salty water.  It will improve the flavour.

There you go, enjoy those wonderful 'fruits' in August and don't forget the Pesto.

(2013-10-15)

 

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Last Updated: 2017-11-18