Top 5 Deer-Resistant Fall Bulbs

Top 5 Deer-Resistant Fall Bulbs

With the approach of a new season, comes plenty to do in the garden! Perhaps the best place to start is to think about what might have gone wrong this year so that we can do our best at preventing it from happening the following year. One problem area that we are always asked about is how to deter deer from gardens. Well, if you have plans on planting fall bulbs and happened to have a deer problem this year, now is the best time to put a fool-proof plan into action! To help your garden perform at its best, deer-free, we’ve come up with our favourite deer-proof fall bulbs to get you one step ahead with the fall planting season approaching.

1. Schubertii Allium

[Allium Schubertii]

Also known as Schubert’s Allium or Tumbleweed onion. Allium Schubertii produces enormous 12-inch blooms with tiny, shooting-star-like florets. Unlike common densely packed Allium, Schubertii Allium has sparse blooms, creating a strikingly unique garden giant worth noting!

Plant new bulbs 4″ deep and 8″ apart in the fall (Sept-Dec) for a late Spring (May – June) bloom. This easy-to-grow variety is resistant to deer, however, note that alliums are poisonous if ingested by pets. Add “Schubertii” to cut flower arrangements, whether fresh or dried, to make any bouquet “pop”!

Colour

Pink

Bulb Size

14-16 cm

Bloom Size

12” W

Sun Requirements

Full to Part Sun

Water

Moderate to dry

Fragrant

Yes

Height

16”

Plant 

Sept-Dec

Bloom

May – June

Planting Depth

4″

Space Apart

8″

Deer Resistant

Yes

Skill Level

Easy

Zone

Zones 3-9

Toxic

Toxic to pets

2. Iris Dwarf Katherine Hodgkin

[Iris Katherine Hodgkin]

Part of the Dwarf family, Iris ‘Katherine Hodgkin’ is a hybrid award-winning iris known for its short flowers with detailed pale blue-veined petals with yellow blotches. Growing only 6 inches tall, Iris Katherine Hodgkin is a fantastic naturalizing bloom that can also perform well in containers all while deterring pesky grazers like deer.

Plant bulbs 2 inches deep and 3 inches apart in well-draining soil, ensuring they get exposed to full or partial sun. Dwarf irises do well in a variety of locations; containers, borders, rock gardens, and lawns are all great choices! Be sure to plant these flowers in large groups if used on a lawn, as they can be otherwise easily lost due to their small stature.

Colour Blue
Bulb Season Fall, Sept-Dec
Bulb size Top size
Bloom Feb – April
Lighting Full to partial sun
Water  As needed
Fragrant No
Size 6” (15cm)
Plant Depth  2”
Space Apart 3”
Deer Resistant Yes
Skill Level Easy
Zone Zone 5
Toxic Toxic to pets and humans
Other Benefits Great for naturalizing

3. Anemone De Caen Sylphide

[Anemone De Caen Sylphide]

Anemone De Caen “Sylphide” shines with its bright, violet-pink, poppy-like flowers adorned with a powdery dome of black stamens at the center. This easy-to-grow variety is very prolific as well, with as many as 18 flowers per plant! Its long stem makes it a great choice for use as a cut flower. To be planted during the fall months (Sept-Dec) in preparation for a springtime (Mar-May) bloom.

In most, well-draining soil plant the bulbs at a depth of approximately 2”, leaving 4” of space between each bulb. Loves the sun, however, in hotter areas, a bit of shade is appreciated! Anemones are beautiful deer-resistant flowers that will light up your garden with rays of dazzling pink, all while attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinators!

Colour Pink
Bulb Size 6 – 7 cm
Bloom Size 4”
Sun Requirements Full to Part Sun
Water As needed, about 1″ of water per week
Fragrant No
Height 10”
Plant  Sept-Dec
Bloom Mar-May
Planting Depth 2″
Space Apart 4″
Deer Resistant Yes
Skill Level Easy
Zone Zones 5 – 10
Toxic Toxic to humans and pets

4. Chionodoxa Pink Giant

[Chionodoxa Pink Giant]

Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow) “Pink Giant” is an early spring (March-April) blooming variety that boasts loose one-sided racemes of up to 12 upward-facing, large pink flowers with a diffused margined white eye. Its charming blossoms are borne atop the foliage of 2 – 3 narrow semi-erect, basal leaves. This bulbous perennial naturalizes easily, once established, returning to your garden year after year.

Plant in autumn (September – December) in well-draining soil, under full sun or partial shade. Plant the bulbs at a depth of 2”, while leaving 3” of space between each bulb. A deer-resistant variety that is suitable for growing in hardiness zones 3 through 8. “Pink Giant” provides a pretty display when planted among many kinds of perennial plants in garden borders. They can also be planted near other very early-flowering perennials to create complementary colour combinations.

Colour Pink
Bulb Size 5 – 6 cm
Sun Requirements Full to Part Sun
Water As needed
Fragrant No
Height 6”
Plant  Sept-Dec
Bloom Mar – Apr
Planting Depth 2″
Space Apart 3″
Deer Resistant Yes
Skill Level Easy
Zone Zones 3 – 8
Toxic No
Other Benefits Disease tolerant

 

5. Snowdrops Galanthus Woronownii

[Snowdrops Galanthus Woronownii]

Also known as ‘Snowdrops’, ‘Giant Snowdrop’ or ‘The Green Snowdrop’, Galanthus Woronownii are native to Turkey, Russia, and The Republic of Georgia and are named in honour of the Russian plant collector, Georg Woronownii. As one of the very first signs of spring, Galanthus Woronownii can be found pushing their way through the frozen ground with white blooms with green accents stretching their pedals into bloom in February and March. They make the perfect blooms for woodland margins, lawns, under deciduous trees, rock gardens, border fronts and walkways.

Plant Galanthus Woronownii in zones 3-8, 3 inches deep and 4 inches apart in fall. Galanthus Woronownii prefers full sun to partial shade environments and are toxic to humans and pets when consumed. These fantastic neutralizers are easy to grow and require less than an inch of water per week, in well-drained soil.

Colour White
Bulb Season Fall, Sept-Dec
Bulb size 5-6cm
Bloom Jan-Mar
Lighting Full to partial sun
Water  Little, less than 1 inch per week in well-drained soil
Fragrant No
Size 10cm/4 inches
Plant Depth  2”
Space Apart 3”
Deer Resistant Yes
Skill Level Easy
Zone Zones 3-8
Toxic Toxic to humans and pets
Other Benefits Great for naturalizing
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August Gardening Tips

August Gardening Tips

With the tail end of summer here, it’s time to squeeze in every last drop of the sunny outdoors that we can! In this week’s blog were here to keep you busy and growing in the garden with all that there is to do for the month of August! 

Lawn & Pond

Keep lawns deep-watered during hot weather. Fertilize, a healthy thick lawn will keep weeds down.
Raise the blade on your lawn mower. Growing taller blades of grass will allow your lawn to retain moisture during hotter months.
Use grass clipping to mulch your lawn, keeping it nice and cool.
Look for thin areas to re-seed. August is a great time to allow new seed to grow before cooler temperatures.
Give your grass a growing start by fertilizing in the late summer.
  Watch for grubs and treat them accordingly! The best way to prevent grubs is to have a lush and healthy lawn.
Clean water features like waterfalls, remove built-up algae which can effect functionality.
Remove old water lily leaves and fertilize.
Check on your fish! August is a common time for fish to develop ulcers. Use medication as needed, clean the water and filters.
Check water for nitrate levels.

 

Plants

Remove perennial blooms as they fade.
In perennial gardens, a light cultivation, followed by mulching with compost, will restore their ornamental stature.
For ongoing health of vegetable gardens, remove plants that have finished producing. Chop them for compost, apply a warm season green manure crop or replenish the soil and plant fall and winter vegetables.
Avoid watering the foliage of tomatoes.
Deadhead all spent annual flowers and water flower beds early in the morning.
Don’t forget to water trees and plants which grow under eaves of your house.
Feed rhododendrons and azaleas and keep them well watered.
Replace annuals with new season plants! Try tucking in new varieties of plants that are ready to take on the fall, like Chrysanthemums!
Check houseplants! With hot temperatures and extra watering, it might be time to upgrade to bigger pots. Gently pull your plant out of the pot and see if there are new roots that are ready to be replanted.
Potatoes and onions should be ready for harvest! Check for foliage that has browned as an indication that they’re ready.

 

Miscellaneous & More!

 Check on temperatures for heat waves! Make sure to work in a shady spot or start working in the garden in the early morning or evening.
Stay on top of your harvesting! Failure to do so will result in slower production.
Inspect your plants for insects and pests! Treat as needed.
Don’t forget to clean your tools! Cleaning your tools is a key component in preventing the spread of disease.
Plant colchicums or fall crocus for colour now.
Reapply 14-14-14 slow-release fertilizer – your annuals have a good few months left!
Plan for fall planting by planning out your gardening space & sunlight. Purchase seeds accordingly and start sowing!

 

Looking for more to do this August? Check out the latest episode of Get Up and Grow ‘How To Get Rid of Algae in Ponds’ below with our President, Gord Nickel.

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Eremurus 101

Eremurus 101

Also known as Foxtail Lilies, Desert Candles and King’s Spears, Eremurus are strikingly unique members of the Asphodelaceae family. Originating from all over the world in Asia, China, Turkey, and Europe. They can reach up to seven feet tall in varieties of whites, pinks, yellows, and oranges. Derived from the Greek meaning “tall” and “solitary” Eremurus symbolize endurance.

Varieties of Eremurus

With over 50 different variations, there are four common types of Eremurus that can be found commercially available for growing in your home garden.

Eremurus Himalaicus – Produces white flowers, reaching up to four feet tall.

Eremurus Robustus – The tallest variety of Eremurus, producing pink or white blooms that climb up to ten feet tall.

Eremurus Stenophyllus – The shortest variety of Eremurus, producing yellow flowers that grow from 2ft to 3ft tall.

Eremurus Isabellinus – A hybrid Eremurus bred between Emerurus Olgae and Emerus Stenophyllus. Also known as “Cleopatra” with copper flowers reaching 4ft tall.

At Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre, you can find the following varieties that have become increasingly popular year after year.

Eremurus Copper Cleopatra Tops

How To Grow Eremurus

While deterring unwanted garden pests such as deer and disease, Eremurus attracts beneficial pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds. They are easy growers that require little maintenance while creating a big impact. Plus, there’s nothing quite like them when it comes to their performance indoors as cut flowers and in containers.

When planting Eremurus, it’s important to know that these garden giants require space to grow. Placing them at the back of garden borders is a popular way to prevent overcrowding while taking advantage of their enormous height for added depth. When given the space they need, Eremurus pair beautifully with peonies, roses, allium, and iris.  To grow Eremurus at home, follow the care guide below to see if your home garden meets their growing requirements.

SUN Full to Partial Sun
ZONE Zones 5 – 8
DEER RESISTANT Yes
FRAGRANT No
BLOOM TIME Late spring to early summer
HEIGHT  Up to 10 feet tall
PLANTING SPACE Plenty of space, 8″ is recommended
PLANTING TIME September until Frost

 Cutting Eremurus

To get the most out of your cut Eremurus, cut them at the base of the stem on an angle and place them in warm water with sugar or plant food. As the flowers wither from the base upward, remove any dead foliage and replace the water as soon as it isn’t clear.
Don’t forget to pre-order your Eremurus now, to guarantee your favourite striking garden giants this fall!
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How To Treat Slugs

How To Treat Slugs

With only four types of slugs in Canada, it sure feels like there are more than enough to go around! For as long as we can remember slugs have always been one of the worst pests in the garden. Nibbling tiny little holes in just about everything invites unwanted diseases into our plants, killing all our hard work! Don’t worry, if slugs are causing you problems we’re here to help solve them. In this week’s blog, we turned to our Nursery Experts to see what we can do in the garden to treat slugs.

Signs of Slugs

Since slugs like to feed at night, you will likely not catch them in the act until it’s too late. Once you notice tiny bite-size nibbles turning into large unsightly holes, it’s time to act. These tiny holes are an ‘open invitation for disease and infestation. Immediately prune off the dead leaves or any foliage that has been affected, to prevent further damage.

Ask Our Experts

When we asked our expert Shawn what his treatment plan for slugs looked like, he sure had a lot to say. It seemed as if he’s tried everything there is and he was happy to share with us what works. Here are five different ways to help treat slugs, from our Nursery Expert, Shawn.

  1. “A handy trick to finding your slugs is to place a 1ft 2×6 piece of wood on the surface of the ground, directly under the affected plants. In the early morning, turn the wood over. Depending on where you live, you might find a handful of nocturnal critters. If you’ve collected some slugs, then how you dispose of them is up to you! Repeat this trick as many times as you need.”
  2. “Did you know, slugs won’t cross copper? Commercially available, copper tape or copper wire can be applied to containers or garden bed frames, to prevent slugs from getting into your crops.”
  3. “Garter snakes are a big predator of slugs, so if you happen to see some in your garden, let mother nature do its best work at getting rid of them naturally!”
  4. “Ducks love slugs, keeping ducks around your garden not only gets rid of slugs but also creates many, many other benefits for your plants!”
  5. “Above all, the best practice for keeping slugs away from your garden is to keep your yard and compost, neat and tidy. Denying slugs the natural habitat they need to live.”
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Top 5 Water Plants

Top 5 Water Plants

Whether you’re looking to add more plants to your pond or looking to add some to your indoor or outdoor space, water plants hold a special place in many gardeners hearts. These easy growers come in many different shapes, blooms, vines, and more! Though they’re not as easy as just adding water, they are low maintenance. Check out our top five favourite water plants, what makes each one so special and how you can grow your own at home.

1.) Japanese Water Iris

Also known as Iris Ensata, the Japanese Water Iris is a prized water plant that has been said to be celebrated in Japanese culture since the mid-ninetieth century. A tradition known as ‘The Act’ is the practice of patiently meditating and watching as the Water Iris slowly unfolds its blooms over the course of three days (The Japanese Iris, Currier McEwen, 1990).

When growing Japanese Water Irises, you can expect tall blooms reaching up to 4 feet high in June and July. In zones 4 to 9, sow seeds in a small container with loamy aquatic mix and cover with potting mix. Once the seeds are established, transplant them into pond plant baskets!

Tip: Remove dead foliage to promote healthy growth. Cutting just above the water line in the fall for dormant growing months.

2.) Papyrus

Native to African regions, Papyrus is also known as Nile grass named for its natural instinct to grow along rivers, lakes, swamps, and ponds. Though capable of growing in soil and in pots, the Papyrus flourish best when grown in water. Historically, Egyptians have widely used Papyrus to make paper, food, chairs, shoes, rope and much more. Now, you can find Papyrus as a pond plant favourite!

When grown as a plant, you can place your Papyrus in a three feet deep hole in muddy soil. Cover the hole to the top with mud to secure the papyrus structure in an upright position. Alternatively, you can plant Papyrus from rhizomes in a container with fertile-moist soil and then transfer it to your pond.

Tip: Remove broken stems and feed in spring with a balanced fertilizer.

3.) Water Lilies

A symbol of pleasure and peace. With over 70 species, the Water Lily belongs to the Nymphaeaceae family and can be found all over the world in ideal climates. With giant blooms stretching out their petals early in the morning and closing back up at night. The Water Lily is a water plant perennial that can live for fifteen to twenty years or more!

Water Lilies are not only a popular pond favourite to many of us gardeners, but it’s also a favourite to fish. The Water Lily provides fish with food and shelter from the sun, while also preventing algae by keeping your pond cool.

Using a container with or without drainage holes, fill your container with soil (avoid peat soils, perlite and vermiculite). Prune your Water Lily plants and place them along the side of the container to allow for hanging over the edge. To keep your soil inside the container, top it off with stones like gravel. Submerge your pot 12-18 inches deep, allowing the leaves to float to the top!

Tip: Try to maintain cooler pond temperatures by having 60% of the pond covered by plants like water lilies to prevent unwanted bacteria.

4.) Water Lettuce

Not to be confused with regular lettuce, water lettuce can be deadly to eat! However, it’s beautiful large rippled foliage unfolds beautifully in ponds and waterscapes, creating the perfect shade to protect fish and other aquatic wildlife. Water Lettuce is also known for its ability to clean water by producing oxygen and eliminating large amounts of nitrate nitrogen, phosphate and ammoniacal.

To grow your own Water Lettuce from seed, bury your seeds in sand, cover with soil and water. Submerge slightly underwater, watch as your Water Lettuce begins to sprout and transfer to your aquatic environment!

Tip: Performs best in temperatures between 21C-26C.

5.) Broadleaf Arrowhead

The Broadleaf Arrowhead, also known as Duck-Potato or Sagittaria Latifolia. Producing edible tubers, Native Americans have traditionally used the Broadleaf Arrowhead to treat indigestion, kidney and urinary ailments. Named after its arrow-shaped foliage, unique white blooms appear in bunches of threes during the summer months.

Broadleaf Arrowhead performs amazingly in swampy areas like ponds and streams. When placed in a container, they prefer shallow water and look beautiful in waterside gardens. To grow your own Broadleaf Arrowhead, sow your seeds in late fall via tray method in 1-3 inches of water and maintain wet to highly moist soil. Once your seedlings are strong enough to be potted, transplant them to larger pots. As your plant forms new and stronger stocks, you can migrate them further into your pond, keeping their foliage above water.

Tip: Monitor for aphids and spider mites! Treat immediately.

For more inspiration for growing the best water plants, check out the latest episode of Get Up And Grow, ‘How to Get Rid of Algae in Ponds’.

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