Archives > March 2016

Growing Indoors at Home – Pitfalls to Avoid

There is a certain allure to starting your own flowers and veggies at home.  Now is the time when that should be happening because we are about 6 weeks away from the safe zone for putting flowers outdoors.  As you contemplate doing this, here is a short list of things to keep in mind during this venture:

1.      Use a seedling mix to start seeds because it is finer in texture and easier for microscopic root hairs to establish. Once their roots have established, transplant your seedlings into a high quality growing mix.

2.      Temperature control is huge – if seedlings get too much heat, they will stretch and possibly become so leggy that they will not be able to hold themselves up. If the temperature is too high, ventilate to lower the temperature and if you have a small greenhouse, consider putting up a shade cloth as well to keep temperatures down.

Average temperature ranges are as follows:

  • Germination temperatures should be kept in the range of 16–22C.
  • Growing on once they have germinated should be kept a little lower – around the 16-20C.

3.      Watering – for the most part, seedlings and transplants like to be evenly moist. None like to be soggy wet.  Make sure the soil drains well without water pooling beneath the container.

Happy seeding!

Call us for more greenhouse tips today!

 

Easter Lily Care

Easter lilies, or “Lilium longiflorum”, are native to the southern islands of Japan and are said to have been brought to North America by Louis Houghton, a WW1 veteran. A vast majority of Easter lilies for Canada and the US are grown along the California – Oregon border.

This highly fragrant zone 5 lily is easy to care for in its pot.  Keep it indoors during our cool springs, in an area where there is lots of ambient light, and avoid cool draughty areas.  When the pot feels light, water it thoroughly until water drips out the bottom. Because it is mature and in full bloom, it doesn’t need any fertilizer.

What to do with this lily once it’s done blooming?  Because it is a zone 5, it will not over winter in our Edmonton area.   You may plant it outdoors and let the leaves die back naturally. Once the first frost arrives, dig out the bulb and store it in lightly moist peat moss in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator until February.  At that time, let it grow and it should bloom at its natural blooming time, which is early summer in July.  If you would like to force its bloom for Easter, take it out of its dormancy about 115 days before Easter, since the date fluctuates.

Call us for more information and gardening tips.

Sources:  Marie Iannotti, onlineplantguide.com, Dr Leonard Perry, University of Vermont, thegardenhelper.com, ext100.washingtonstateuniversity/chelan-douglas, gardeners.net

Clovers and Shamrocks | Gardening Information

The word “shamrock” comes from an Irish word meaning “little clover”.  Shamrocks, Ireland’s most recognized nation symbol, are included in bridal bouquets and boutonnieres for good luck. Shamrocks were also used by St. Patrick in Ireland as an evangelism tool to spread the gospel and illustrate the concept of the Trinity.

Sources differ as to whether there really is a ‘shamrock’ plant or that it is a clover.  It is thought that the original shamrock is a Dutch white clover called ‘trifolium repens forma minus’ from the legume family, which grows 6 – 12”. White clover spreads by underground runners (hence the opinion of weed), and has been added to lawn mixes recently for the nitrogen fixing (less chemical fertilizer dependency & use). Clover puts up with heavy foot traffic, is easily mowed, and deters chafer beetles. It is said that there is actually up to 300 different perennial species of clover. Being very high in protein, phosphorus and calcium, clover is also very nourishing for livestock.

For an ornamental application, we will be carrying 2 varieties of oxalis (which is a clover relative) this spring:

  • “Charmed Wine” has purple leaves with small white flowers.
  • “Molten Lave” has amber colored leaves with small white flowers.

Both “Charmed Wine” and “Molten Lava” add a unique burst of color, thrive in shade, and grow well in containers.

Best of luck to you all!

Call us for more information on buying Clover for your garden: (780) 467-3091.

*Sources: Enclyclopedia Britannica, World Book Encyclopedia, Lollysmith.com, franklieflowers.com, West Coast Seeds