Master Gardeners

Soil Deficiency, Symptoms & Treatments

Written by  |  Thursday, 06 May 2010 08:44  |  Published in Master Gardeners
by Margaret Inwood, Lanark County Master Gardeners   If the leaves on your plants are turning yellow and the overall growth of the plant is stunted, the soil is lacking nitrogen and you should add manure or bloodmeal. If the undersides of leaves, veins and stems of your plants are a reddish purple colour, it means that the soil is deficient in phosphorus and you could add rock phosphate, bone meal or fish emulsion. If there is a bronzing of, curling and/or drying of the leaf margins and the overall growth of the plant is slow, this means that your soil lacks potassium and you should add wood ashes or granite dust. If there are yellow spots on upper leaves and curling of young leaf…

Rhubarb

Written by  |  Wednesday, 05 May 2010 20:00  |  Published in Master Gardeners
by Helen Halpenny Lanark County Master Gardeners Rhubarb, ‘Rheum rhubarbarbum’, the staple of every garden, is the first spring crop we pick for pies and jam. But some varieties of ‘Rheum’ are also striking ornamental plants. With large umbrella-like leaves that contrast with red stems. Rhubarb is a handsome plant and it grows well in our cold Canadian climate. All rhubarbs are high in Vitamin C. It used to be used in olden times for medicinal purposes. By the eighteenth century, it became food. Although we think of it as a fruit, we eat the petiole, or leaf stem. Rhubarb leaves are poisonous. Both leaves and root contain high amounts of oxalic acid that can cause the throat and tongue to swell and prevent breathing.…

Ten Tips for Small Gardens

Written by  |  Wednesday, 05 May 2010 20:00  |  Published in Master Gardeners
by Helen Halpenny Lanark County Master Gardeners You folks who live in apartments, condos or houses with small yards need not be deterred from having an attractive garden. With careful planning, you can enjoy the outdoor space at least three seasons of the year. The first step is to consider your location. How many hours of sun does your yard get? Even a north-facing garden can be great if you choose plants that suit. Is wind a consideration? If so, opt for lower-growing sturdy-stemmed varieties. Is the soil naturally wet or dry? Is it acidic or sweet? All these conditions will dictate the plants you choose. Next, consider your surroundings: the style and colour of your dwelling, fencing and other hard landscape features. Choosing pots…

Ten Golden Rules to Houseplant Care

Written by  |  Thursday, 25 March 2010 10:25  |  Published in Master Gardeners
By Kathleen Lang, Lanark County Master Gardeners Don’t drown them – roots need air as well as water – keeping soil soaked at all times means certain death for most plants. Give them a Rest – Beginners are usually surprised to learn that nearly all plants need a rest in winter, which means less water, less feeding and less heat than in the active growing season. Accept the loss of ‘temporary’ plants. Some popular gift plants such as cyclamen, chrysanthemums, poinsettias, and gloxinias will die down in a matter of weeks. You’ve done nothing wrong, this is a normal life cycle for these types of plants. Give them extra humidity – The atmosphere of a centrally-heated room in winter is as dry as desert air.…

Pruning Deciduous Trees and Shrubs

Written by  |  Wednesday, 03 March 2010 19:00  |  Published in Master Gardeners
By Dale Odorizzi, Lanark County Master Gardeners Late winter is an excellent time to prune many trees and shrubs. The trees and shrubs are dormant and without leaves, it is easy to see the structure of the trees so that you can see which branches should be cut out. Also, gardeners are looking for an excuse to get outside and start working in the garden. Think about the 5 “D’s” of pruning and do them in the order given. Remove limbs that might be dangerous. Then take our any dead, diseased and damaged branches. Finally, consider the overall design or shape of the plant when deciding which branches to remove. Remove any branches that are crossing, especially if they rub on each other. Do not…

Amaryllis

Written by  |  Thursday, 28 January 2010 09:52  |  Published in Master Gardeners
by Peter Pietsch, Lanark Master Gardeners By now most of you who have bought an Amaryllis (botanical Hippeastrum) before Christmas are left with a pot, a bulb and a few leaves. It was quite a show and so easy to grow! If any of you are like me, you probably wanted to buy all of the left-over bulbs that were still in the store. They look so pathetic and starting to bloom right there on the shelf, contorted by the box as they grew. That is the habit of Amaryllis. Once it is ready to flower nothing will stop it. The directions on the package probably said to pot in good soil, with a third of the bulb sticking out of the soil and add…
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