Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blooming Great Gardening Tips

We asked readers for their gardening tips. For every submission we print, we are giving away a signed copy of Steve Whysall's new gardening book, The Blooming Great Gardening Book (Whitecap Books, $19.95). Here are some winning entries:

We all love the bright colours of annuals, but they only live for a season. Because of this they need lots of nutrients to keep them going and going into fall. Adding compost alone only provides about 50 per cent of the nutrients a plant needs. A great way to make up the missing 50 per cent is by using a water soluble fertilize such as Miracle Grow every two weeks. You'll have the biggest, brightest annuals on the block.



I use plastic cutlery as markers for where seeds are planted. A permanent felt pen is used to record the names of seeds on the plastic. Knives and spoons work best. These are freebies if you collect them after picnics. They readily withstand rain and last all season.



Grow yellow and orange mushrooms in your garden! Over the years we've been gardening, we've found that inverted rinds are the best slug catchers. It sure beats beer. Just rinse off the rinds in the nearest pond and give the fish a boost at the same time.



My gardening tip is a very simple one. When doing your fall clean up, take time to edge the beds sharply. When you look out the window in the winter, things may look messy from winter detritus but come spring you'll be amazed at how neat and tidy the garden seems. Dirt from the sharp edging can be tossed on to the beds to add to the mulch around plants.


New Westminster

I was cleaning the outside of our patio door with ammonia. It drifted into the ground. When I finished I noticed dead slugs along the ammonia drift line. So I made up a five per cent solution in a spray bottle and I merrily sprayed the plants that slugs love and watched the slugs drift with ammonia solution. I now arm myself with this sprayer every time I am in the garden. In spring, spray around

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