Spring is in full bloom in Agassiz

Sunny breaks encourage gardens to spring forth with new growth

Gardening columnist shares tips and tricks for good growing in Agassiz and Harrison

Some sunny breaks have encouraged the garden to spring forth with new growth and blooms. There is still time to divide perennials. Weeds will be up and easy to pull out with the moist soil. Hunting and removing slugs pays off in dividends later. The forsythia is nearly finished blooming, so roses should have had their final pruning. Bare root roses can be planted now along with new shrubs and trees. Brassica vegetable sets, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli can be set out now with some cover for an early start. Potatoes that we planted in pots of garden waste are up. Peas can be planted at different time intervals. Oh, the joys of spring and how blessed we are to garden in this fine land!

Questions and Answers

I have been trying to grow perennials among a flourishing bed of rhododendrons and azaleas at the back of the house to no avail. Will it hurt the rhodos if I mix lime into the soil as I’m guessing it is too acidic.

I’m assuming there is some shade where the bed is located and the soil will be acidic in our area for sure. Rather than adding lime try some perennials that will grow in acidic soil and some shade. Heucheras, also called coral bells or alum root, have been developed to produce a wide range of colored leaves.  Hostas  can now be found in dwarf sizes; a thicker leaf will discourage slugs. Lilies and iris in different heights would give a change in leaf structure and could bloom throughout the season. Trillium, lupines, primula and heathers all are available in several colors. With a mixture of these plants and varieties there could be a lovely mix of blooms throughout the gardening season. Watering and fertilizing the first year is essential since they will be competing with the shrubs. Keeping the shrubs tidy by pruning them up off the ground, highlights the perennial and assures a better air flow.

I have a sharp drop-off at the back of my property that slopes into a ditch that weeds love but is difficult to maintain. What fast-growing, sun-loving, weed squelching ground cover would you recommend? It goes to the roadside and ditch and is very awkward to water. My neighbours would love you for any help!

A ground cover that meets your requirement is often called an invasive weed! It sounds like it is sun exposed since watering is a concern. There are perennial ground covers for the sun such as vinca, soapwort “Max Frei” and snow-in-summer, with vinca minor being the best selection. Low growing shrubs could be another solution. To mention a few; genista pilosa (Vancouver Gold) has yellow flowers in summer, potentilla tridentate (wineleaf quinquefoil), euonymus fortune (wintercreeper), junipers, ‘Blue Rug’ and ‘Blue Pacific.’ The junipers are drought tolerant once established, prefer well-drained acid soil and full sun. Some will grow to 8 feet in width when mature. A layer of bark mulch under the plants will cut down on weed growth and conserve moisture.

Is it possible to transfer daffodils from pots to the garden after they have finished blooming but before the leaves have yellowed?

Because the leaves are needed to generate nutrients for next year’s bulb and flower, the leaves should be allowed to yellow naturally. If there is no choice but to remove them, take extra caution to not disturb the tender roots and place them in a prepared and sunny spot. Then water and fertilize, withholding water after the leaves have yellowed to prevent bulb rot. To prevent the disturbing of the bulbs in the future, plant them in a pot that can be set inside the decorative pot.  Lift that pot out and let the leaves complete their work of bulb-making.

Thanks you for the questions and please continue to summit them to news@ahobserver.com

 

 

.

Just Posted

Highway 7 down to one-lane alternating as crews fight Mt. Hicks wildfire

150-hectare blaze prompted closure of a provincial park

Night patrol on Chilliwack waters leads DFO to seize 48 sockeye and harbour seal from poachers

Charges pending after two poachers arrested for fishing at night

WATCH: Recruitment set to start for the Molson Coors Brewery at Chilliwack

There were about 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and some staff now being sought

Chilliwack goes cluck-cluck for chickens ahead of civic election

With an election in sight, urban chickens supporters ramp up their efforts for legal acceptance

Wildfire smoke brings in air quality advisory for Lower Mainland

People with health conditions are urged to avoid the outdoors

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read