life ain’t easy as we Grow ..
– Back in the day, many of Vancouver’s homes had a veggie patch.
“When temperatures are consistently 10 C at night, you can put out everything — tomatoes, basil, peppers.”]
strawberries, tomatoes, herbs and lettuce are excellent choices for growing in containers.
Early March: Sow radishes, broad beans, mustard greens and peas.
Mid- to late-March: Sow cabbage, salad blends, peas, beets, parsnips, radishes, onions and spinach.
April: Sow spinach, green onions, carrots, cabbage, lettuce and Swiss chard.
May: Sow bush beans.
We always recommended buying warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes, squash, peppers as seedlings at local nurseries and planting them out in late May or early June
We recommend growing the following: zucchini (four plants), tomatoes (five plants, staked), peppers (six plants), cabbage, bush beans, lettuce, beets, carrots, spinach, radishes and marigolds (to discourage rabbits).
Yes, zucchini. The veggie that gives so much you’ll be handing them out to friends and family like hotcakes. People may start to hide at the sight of “gifts,” but you can always console yourself with the dozens of chocolate-zucchini cupcakes you’ll be able to make.
Tip: Pick zucchinis when they are small, as letting them develop into behemoths dilutes their bright taste.
Pretty much any type of bean (from bush to pole) will grow and produce like wildfire, so much so that you’ll be able to pick a couple of handfuls daily throughout the summer.
Pole beans will need some kind of support structure for the vine to climb and twine – make a sturdy teepee of long poles or sticks, or plant against a tall fence. If the bean vines reach the top of your structure you can always trail them back down again.
Tip: Plant the “bush” variety of beans if you plan to can or pickle your harvest, as the smaller more compact shape lends itself to jars.
There is something incredible about the taste of fresh lettuce from the garden, and a little lettuce seed goes a long way when creating a variety of different salads. You can practically just toss the seeds into your garden bed and heads of lettuce will appear in droves. Pick new growth as soon as it comes up, otherwise your little greens will bolt and become giant lettuce trees.
Tip: Lettuce likes a cooler climate so make sure to keep the soil moist during the growing season.
Just as prolific as beans, from snap to snow to the kind you shell before you eat, peas are a wonderful addition to any vegetable garden. They’re fun to watch grow (you can start them as early as the soil can be worked) and they produce pretty little flowers that attract bees. Peas also prefer a cooler climate and if it’s a particularly cool spring you can plant another set about three weeks after the first.
Tip: Be vigilant with your spray bottle of mild detergent as aphids can suck the life right out of your peas.
Growing onions is easy, and they’re definitely tastier than when you buy them from the grocery store. Bulb onions are readily available in a variety of flavours, from yellow to white to red.
Plant a row and in as little as two weeks you could be chopping some green onions into your salad; wait a little longer (until the tops start to fall over) and you will have fresh onions to add to your soups, stews and stir-fry.
Tip: Store your onions in a cool place covered with a mesh bag that allows air to circulate.
The best way to water most plants is by applying enough to moisten the plant’s entire root system, and then letting the soil dry out slightly before watering again.
The best time of day to water a garden is in the morning, since that gives the plants time to dry off before nightfall. Leaving water on plants overnight can lead to mold
Apply water slowly so it’s absorbed by the soil rather than running off — a soak er hose is ideal. Avoid daily light sprinklings, which encourage roots to grow near the soil surface where they’re vulnerable to drying out.
Rather than relying on a schedule, water plants when they need it. (Besides, how do you know when you’ve applied an inch of water with a soaker hose?
It’s usually best to apply water directly to the soil around plants rather than watering with a sprinkler. Less water is lost to evaporation, especially on hot, sunny days. Foliage stays dry, minimizing disease problems
drought-tolerant plants may need supplemental water only during extended dry spells. Note, however, that just because a plant is drought-tolerant doesn’t mean it doesn’t fare better with a regular supply of moisture.
This rain garden nestles into the landscape and demonstrates how storm water management features can be done in a pleasing fashion
Fixing Drainage Issues in Your Yard
what you can do at home to keep our waterways healthy and clean. Part of the water bring lazy and taking the easiest route
Why plant rain gardens?
The news has been saturated (pun intended) with water-related headlines lately: last year, Toledo’s water was contaminated with toxic algae. Locally in central Ohio, we’ve experienced elevated nitrate levels and localized flooding from heavy rainfall and runoff.
Though compacted and paved suburban or urban landscapes are limited in their ability to absorb rainfall, the creative gardeners among us can capture their rainwater in a rain garden. Treating your own home’s runoff is one way residents can protect our drinking water while decreasing harmful effects on waterways from flash flooding, erosion, and pollution.
Storing water temporarily in a rain garden allows it to draw down slowly, preventing the possibility that it will pick up pollutants and carry them to the nearest stream. Water is naturally filtered as well: gardens remove and degrade contaminants through microbial processes, plant uptake, exposure to sunlight, and absorption to soil particles. Properly designed rain gardens capture the first inch of rainfall, and drain within a day. Since most storms produce less than one inch of rainfall, capturing it reduces pollutants significantly.
How To Build A Rain Garden
There’s a new sort of garden in town. It’s easy to install, looks good year-round and has a positive impact on the environment. It’s a rain garden
A rain garden is a special type of garden, designed to collect stormwater runoff from a roof, driveway or other impervious surfaces. Rather than rushing off into a storm sewer or a local waterway, the rainwater collects in a shallow depression in your yard. This area is planted with native grasses and wildflowers that are specially selected for their ability to gradually absorb and filter stormwater.
Rain gardens can have a significant impact on the water quality in our communities. Studies have shown that as much as 70% of the pollution in streams, rivers and lakes has been carried there by stormwater. By taking responsibility for the rainwater that falls on your own roof and driveway, you’ll be helping to protect our rivers, streams and lakes from stormwater pollution. Adding a rain garden to your yard will also provide food and shelter for wildlife, and give you a whole new garden that’s hardy, low maintenance and naturally beautiful!
Siting the Garden
Your rain garden should be located at least 10 feet from the house. A natural site is a low spot in your yard that often collects water after a heavy rain. Ideally this area receives full sun, but at a minimum it should receive a half day of sunlight. There should be a natural slope (at least 1 percent grade) leading from the water collection area (your roof or driveway) down to the rain garden. Choosing a relatively level spot for the garden will keep digging to a minimum. or call …
A-Plus Gardening & Landscaping
Once you’ve identified the new garden’s location, remove the sod and dig a shallow depression approximately 6″ deep. Slope the sides gradually from the outside edge to the deepest area. Use the soil that you remove to build up a slightly raised area on the lowest side of the garden. This berm will help contain the stormwater and allow it to percolate slowly through the rain garden.
If your rain garden is no more than about 6″ deep, stormwater will usually be absorbed within a one- to seven-day period. Because mosquitoes require seven to 10 days to lay and hatch their eggs, this will help you avoid mosquito problems. If you want to create an area with standing water for fish and amphibians, you can make one part of your rain garden deeper, perhaps as much as 18 inches in the deepest spot. Depending on the type of soil you have (sand, clay, loam), you may need to line that area of the garden with plastic to help retain a small pool of water.
A typical residential rain garden is 100 to 300 square feet, but any size rain garden is fine. Most people just size the garden to suit their available space. You can calculate the ideal size for a rain garden, based on the surface area of your roof, soil type and the garden’s distance from your house. (For more detail, see the links at the end of this article.)
The downspout from your roof or sump pump outlet from your basement should be directed toward your rain garden depression. This can be accomplished by a natural slope, by digging a shallow swale, or by piping the runoff directly to the garden through a buried 4″ diameter plastic drain tile.
Time to plant! Native plants are the best choice for rain gardens.
They withstand difficult growing conditions and require little care. When choosing the plants, consider height, bloom time and color. Clumps of three to seven plants of the same variety will look better than a patchwork of singles. Be sure to mix native ornamental grasses and sedges in with your perennial wildflowers to ensure the garden has a strong root mass that will resist erosion and inhibit weed growth.
New plants should be watered every other day for the first two weeks or so. Once they are well established, your garden should thrive without additional watering. Fertilizers will not be necessary, and only minimal weeding will be needed after the first summer of growth.
Most rain gardeners wait until early spring to cut back the prior year’s growth. Leaving seed heads and spent foliage in place through the winter provides visual interest as well as cover and food for many kinds of wildlife. Once spring comes, burning off the dead material is the best way to knock back weeds and stimulate new growth. If burning is not an option, mow the dead plants or cut them back with a scythe or pruning shears.
Applied Ecological Services, Inc., has been installing rain gardens for more than 20 years. Their web site has lots of good information about rain gardens, and their Taylor Creek Restoration Nursery offers a wide variety of garden plants.
A-Plus Gardening & Landscaping
Do you have crows, skunks or raccoons digging up your lawn? If so, you may have a European Chafer beetle infestation.
The European Chafer beetle (Rhizotrogus majalis) is a serious pest in Eastern North America and was first identified in the Lower Mainland region in New Westminster in 2001. It has since spread to many Metro Vancouver municipalities causing considerable damage to lawns, boulevards, medians and turf in parks.
Chafer beetles have a one year life cycle and populations build up quickly. The grubs feed on the roots of many different plants, but prefer the fibrous roots of turf grasses. In drier weather, the damage caused results in the appearance of brown patches in the lawn. Most of the serious turf damage is typically caused by birds and animals digging for Chafer beetle grubs. Damage by animals is most severe in the Fall and Spring when the grubs are rapidly increasing in size and feeding near the surface.
What Can You Do If You Have An Infestation?
The European Chafer Beetle is an exotic pest, so there are few natural predators to control its population. They are here to stay, but with healthy lawn care practices, alternative groundcovers and biological treatment, damage from this pest can be controlled on residential properties
Don’t cut your grass too short. Raise your mowing height to 6 to 9cm (2.5 to 3 inches), since Chafer beetles prefer laying eggs on closely cropped lawns. The taller grass also helps protect the soil surface from water loss and encourages deeper root growth
The key is keeping the lawn healthy,
call Alpus for help
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call Rob 604 929 3017 A-Plus Gardening & Landscaping
No closures will be implemented within one hour before and after all events at the the bridge , Garden or Party, to minimize traffic impacts in the area. .( ͡°╭͜ʖ╮͡° ).
When growing plants, be very careful about where you plant different strains as well as which pollinators can create hybrids without your knowing. This includes bees which can carry pollen for miles as well as the wind itself which can transmit pollen from one field to another.
A hybrid seed is produced by artificially cross pollinating two genetically different plants of the same species, such as two different tomatoes or two varieties of corn. The crosspollination is done by hand, and a seed that is saved will not grow true to either parent. Thus the farmer or gardener has no choice
Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO seed have been altered using DNA from completely different species and organisms to give different traits such as resistance to herbicides and acceptance of chemical fertilizers. Some GMO corn, for instance, manufactures its own herbicide in its root structure. Some DNA donors have come from fish, frogs and bacteria. The major crops that are genetically modified are corn, cotton, soybeans and wheat. Sugar beets and alfalfa have recently been deregulated, and potatoes are being studied. Most common garden vegetables are not yet genetically modified simply because the financial return in the market is not present yet.
Two of the better known benefits of heirloom seed include adaptability and flavor. Some varieties of heirloom tomato have been known to adapt to a specific location within as little as 2 to 3 growing seasons, showing better vigor, better production, better flavor and increase disease resistance. This is a result of saving the seed and replanting it year to year. Many people come to heirlooms in search of flavors that they experienced as a child. One of the leading characteristics of heirloom varieties is defined by the depth of flavor that they produce. This single characteristic has been one of the major reasons for the preservation of specific varieties over great spans of time. This is probably one of the biggest reasons for the resurgence of heirlooms in home gardens in the past 10 years, as once people experience the amazing range and depths of flavors that heirlooms offer, they are hooked. Taste is once again becoming a viable characteristic in variety selection for the home garden instead of only production quantity, uniformity, and disease resistance.
People are celebrating the fact that taste trumps volume. It’s the classic quantity vs. quality conundrum, with quality making a comeback.
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