Bobbex 101

Bobbex 101

Deer Repellent has come a long way to ensure that the safety of ourselves, the deer and our plants are the top priority. If you’re in the market for an effective deer repellent, we’ll share everything there is to know about our favourite product, Bobbex! Plus, follow along as our President Gord Nickel shows us a few special Remembrance Day bulbs and how he keeps them deer-free!

What is Bobbex?

Bobbex is an eco-friendly solution designed to deter deer, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and groundhogs; you name it! Unlike most pest deterrents that are filled with unsafe chemicals that can harm pets, humans and plants, Bobbex is eco-friendly and safe for everyone when used as directed.

Long-lasting and easy to apply, Bobbex is a natural solution that provides your plants with nutrients. Meaning you can never over-spray your plants! Once used, it’s there to stay. Lasting through rain or snow for weeks and even longer during dormant seasons.

How Does It Work?

Well, it doesn’t smell like roses, that’s for sure! Bobbex is formulated with a wide variety of natural ingredients, including fish meal, fish oil, garlic, clove oils, putrescent eggs and more. As you can imagine, it’s not a pretty smell, and that’s precisely why it frightens and naturally repulses pests like deer.

With additional Nitrogen and Phosphorus properties, Bobbex is highly beneficial for plant growth. One of the best reasons to use Bobbex verse other chemical-based repellents is that it offers twelve nutrients that, once sprayed in a clear coat, can provide plants with additional moisture retention. Keeping them happy and healthy even during droughts!

How To Use Bobbex

Used as a topical spray, it is essential to note that Bobbex shouldn’t be used on ripened plants (you can only imagine what the solution must taste like!). It should not be digested. 

Bobbex is often applied approximately every two weeks during peak growing season or when two inches of growth have developed. Once dormant season approaches, less frequent applications are necessary as the plant grows much less.

To apply Bobbex, be sure to follow the instructions on the label. For best results it is recommended to use a pressure washer. Once applied, Bobbex will take approximately six hours to dry, where the smell will also become almost undetectable to the human scent but remain strong to critters.

Spring Application 

Begin by spraying in the Spring when the plants are approximately ½ inch out of the ground.

Summer Application 

Bobbex should be sprayed in the early morning rather than in the day’s extreme heat. Plants may encounter phytotoxicity if spread when temperatures are above 85 degrees F. This is not due to the ingredients in the product, but rather the magnification of the sun through the water spread on plant’s surfaces. During Peak Growth season, application of Bobbex Repellents should be done about every 7 to 14 days, or when one to two inches of new growth has developed.

Fall Application

Bobbex should be used in fall months even though plants are no longer at their peak. If applications of Bobbex are interrupted, deer may lose their conditioning to avoid previously treated plants. Regular spraying of Bobbex trains deer to seek nourishment elsewhere. Bobbex is necessary in the fall (and winter) months for damage prevention to shrubs that keep their leaves throughout the year. These shrubs include rhododendrons, arborvitae, holly, and yews— all common plants that deer prefer the most!

Winter Application

Winter application should not be done below 35 degrees F. Water freezing on leaves can draw out moisture, harming the plant and causing browning along leaf edges. (This cautionary recommendation should be followed for all water based horticultural products.) During winter (dormant) season, Bobbex Repellents will endure much longer, (up to two months) so less frequent application is required.

Note: Bobbex will not stick well to wet surfaces, so be sure to apply to only dry plants.

 Ask Gord Nickel

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Mealybugs 101

Mealybugs 101

The summer is coming to an end, so it’s time to bring your plants inside. We said plants, not mealybugs! Before it’s too late, here’s everything you need to know about the nutrient-sucking, little white cotton-like-critters that could cause you a lot of headaches if you’re not careful.

What Are Mealybugs?

If you’ve ever noticed a weird cotton like substance growing on your plants, chances are they didn’t just leave after wiping them off. It’s more likely that they came back overnight, again and again. If you head to your local garden center to ask an expert, you’ll get a wide-eyed look and the word “Mealybugs!”. It’s no joke folks, Mealybugs aren’t easy to get rid of. The kill every plant they land on and send shivers down our experts backs!

Though, not harmful to humans and pets, they can be life threatening to their host plant, sucking up all the nutrients your plants need to survive. If you’re brave enough to take a closer look at them through a microscope or google images, you’ll find that they look awfully similar to potato bugs but with more legs.

Like many bugs, Mealybugs start their lifecycle in a cocoon form. In just three days they hatch into tiny crawling insects with the female Mealybugs taking the form of larger potato-bug-like critters ready to reproduce without mating. While rare male Mealybugs take form as flying insects.

How did I get Mealybugs?

Mealybugs are attracted to nitrogen rich plants and moisture. If you have a tendency to overwater your plants, it’s a good idea to water as little as you can to make them as uncomfortable as possible.

Not only do Mealybugs love houseplants but like many insects they enjoy common produce from grocery stores  and flowers, which is a good reminder to wash your food before putting them away and to check your flowers before bringing them home.

When shopping for new houseplants, be sure to check them over. Once a single plant is infested, it is very easy for Mealybugs to transfer host plants. If you spot any signs of Mealybugs from a new plant, be sure to return it and notify the business of the reason for return so that they can dispose of the plant and check on their nursery.

Tip: Mealybugs aren’t just interested in indoor plants, they can often be found outside during warmer temperatures. Be careful when bringing plants inside from the outdoors, as it’s a good opportunity for them to extend their lifespan.

How Do You Get Rid of Mealybugs?

There are a few methods to taking care of a Mealybug infestation but non of them as as easy as you  might hope. Treating mealybugs can take time but with enough care, your plants will thank you for your efforts. Here are a few favourite methods to taking care of Mealybugs.

1.) Dish Soap – Mix 1 tablespoon of dish soap with a quart of water, apply the spray to the leaves and the soil of your plant. This treatment will take some time and should be applied every couple days.

2.) Peroxide – Using a Q-tip swab the insects off the leaves of your plant to ensure all eggs are sterilized to prevent hatching.

3.) Spray – If you’re time sensitive and want to treat your Mealybugs immediately, try Safers End All Ready To Use Spray. Safe to use on all types of plants and highly effective for treating many types of bugs.

Tip: For an effective treatment, shower your plants clean of the effected soil and treat the roots directly. Place your plant in new soil, and treat it again. Since mealybugs live right at the root of the plant, this will help take care of them straight at the source.

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Summer Watering 101

Summer Watering 101

Who knew Canada could get so hot!? With the summer we’ve been having, it’s hard to find the energy to get much work done. During times like these, you might find your garden is happy and healthy one minute and then droopy and sad the next! If the heats getting to you, and your garden, don’t worry! In this weeks blog, we’re here to help keep your garden hydrated and healthy during hot times.

Watering Times

When deciding the best watering times for your garden, you first want to start by checking with your local municipality. Each neighborhood is assigned a watering schedule to ensure adequate usage. These guidelines are crucial for keeping your water bill down and contribute to environmental initiatives for lowering our carbon footprint.

Morning: When possible, watering your plants in the early morning is always the best option for beating the summer heat. In the early morning, your plants can have more time to absorb the water through the soil before the sun comes to evaporate it. We recommend the earlier, the better, no later than 10 am.

Afternoon: In most places, the sun is at its peak around 12pm. To keep your plants hydrated during scorching summer temperatures, it’s crucial to never water your plants during peak sunshine hours. Watering your plants during these hours won’t allow your plants to absorb enough water before it gets evaporated. If the afternoon is the only time you have to water your plants, we recommend using a drip irrigation system to ensure a slow and steady watering solution to prevent water evaporation.

Evening: The best alternative to watering your plants in the morning is to water them in the evening! Watering your plants in the evening will allow them the proper time to absorb water from the soil up their roots before the sun comes up. When sticking to an evening watering routine, it’s essential not to overwater your plants, as this could cause fungal growth. Also, try not to water them too late into the evening. Giving them as much evening sun as possible will help to prevent water logging.

Watering Tools

Mulch: Mulching your garden beds is a great way to retain moisture by keeping your soil cooler for longer. Allowing your plants to absorb more water while also preserving water. Just apply 2-3 inches of mulch to the top layer of soil and water as needed. Be sure to reapply throughout the season.

Water bags/Rings: Water bags are a sustainable way to provide your trees with sufficient watering for 5 to 8 hours, never overwatering or underwatering your trees. If you plan on taking a summer vacation, water bags are the perfect solution to keeping your trees hydrated, especially for new trees that need to establish new solid roots.

Self-watering Stake: Whether your potted plants are outdoors or indoors, summer temperatures significantly affect container plants. Without a deep rooting system built into the earth, container plants can dry out quickly and die. While timing your watering will help, it may not be enough to keep your plants hydrated. For optimal hydration, self-watering stakes are the perfect solution for slowly releasing water for container plants. Giving you more time between watering while also stabilizing moisture levels. 

Moisture & PH Meter:  When you doubt whether your plants are being over-watered or under-watered, using a Moisture Meter will help you stay on track. After all, we don’t always get the same amount of sun each and every day. Simply stick the moisture meter in the soil to determine the amount of water required and water as needed.

Tips & Tricks

Depth: Water deeply & right at the roots. Soaker hoses with wand attachments work great! Watering deeply ensures you’re getting right to the roots. It’s better to water deeply, less frequently when possible. We also recommend watering right at the base of the plant. Not only is it a more effective way to hydrate your plants, but letting water sit on your plants’ leaves in the hot sun can cause damage and scorching.

Over-watering: Just because it’s toasty out there doesn’t mean your plants want to be drowned! Keep an eye on your soil. It should never be so wet that water is pooling, and you should allow some time to dry a little between watering so the roots can get oxygen.

Clay-rich soil: Depending on your plant’s needs, using clay-rich soil is a great way to retain moisture for longer. Good clay-rich soil can have better expanding properties, which will allow your soil to hold water longer and more evenly.

Slow release or drip: One of the most essential tips and tricks when it comes to keeping your plants hydrated is ensuring that they get the water you’re giving them! Often times we can be in a rush to water our plants, which can result in a runoff – meaning that the water has rolled off away from the plant. To ensure you’re watering right down to the root of your plants, we recommend using a drip irrigation system or slowing down and watering your plants evenly and all around the plant. This will also produce better-quality plants by preventing one-sided root growth.

For more tips and tricks on keeping your plants hydrated this summer, check out the latest episode of Get Up and Grow, with our President Gord Nickel Gardening Water Tips for Summer below!

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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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Wisteria 101

Wisteria 101

While it may seem like a tree with its tall stance and long reach, Wisteria is a fast-growing vine capable of growing in many ways. Famous for its ability to cascade pergolas, archways and trellises. Wisterias drape shades of purple, pink, white and blue flowers creating a beautiful floral shelter wherever it grows.

About Wisteria 

Ordinating in Asia, Wister belongs to the legume family. The leaves and the flowers have been cultivated for centuries for teas and stems to make paper. It is essential to know that the pods produced by Wisteria are highly toxic if consumed yet the flowers remain edible. You can find Wisteria in various variations of blooms and colours. However, there are two primary varieties of Wisteria.

Chinese Wisteria – Also known as Wisteria Sinensis, Chinese Wisteria originates from China. As a more extensive variety of Wisteria with strong climbing abilities, Chinese Wisteria is known to be an invasive species across many states. Reaching up to 60 ft tall and 15 ft wide, Chinese Wisteria can also grow indoors, reaching approximately 2 ft tall as a Bonsai Tree. Chinese Wisteria is the most popular variety of Wisteria available in shades of white, blue, pink and purple, all with different scents.

Japanese Wisteria – With more prominent and more scented blooms, Japanese Wisteria originates from Japan. They grow up to 35 ft tall and 25 ft wide. Japanese Wisteria uses surrounding objects like trellises to spread. With varieties of blooms in pink, white, blue, and purple shades. With proper care, this vigorous grower can reach up to 10 feet tall in just one year. 

Planting Wisteria

Canadian Wisteria

In Canada, Wisteria can withstand a wide variety of temperatures allowing it to grow happily in zones 4 through 9. Initially, Wisteria will require protection from Canada’s harsh winters, but once matured, it will be able to take on the cold. Once planted, Wisteria can take up to 5 years to produce blooms. Beautiful Wisteria blooms can then appear for four to five weeks in and around May. Depending on the variety of Wisteria and growing conditions, a second bloom can sometimes occur in August!

Supporting Wisteria

When planting your new Wisteria vine, give your vine plenty of space from any objects you do not want it to climb on while also giving it the support it needs to grow to its fullest potential. If you choose to use a pergola, trellis or an arbour, it is crucial to ensure the structure’s weight is strong enough to host the Wisteria. A rule of thumb is to use support beams that are a minimum of 4 x 4 inches and made from wood or metal. To assist with the direction of growth, use strong garden twine while it matures to the top of your structure.

Wisteria Care

For more tips and tricks on how to grow Wisteria at home, check out the latest episode of Get Up and Growth with our President, Gord Nickel on Chek News below!

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Companion Planting 101

Companion Planting 101

Most gardeners would agree that one of the best methods of growing happy and healthy plants is the prevention of unwanted pests and diseases. A fantastic way to prevent disease and unwanted pests is to grow plants that complement each other. Planting compatible plants together prevents problems, but it can also introduce many excellent benefits to help your plants thrive. If you’re new to companion planting, you’ll want to grab a pen and paper to take down a few of these great suggestions for pairing up your plants.

What is Companion Planting?

backyard companion Garden

Companion planting is the process of planning and implementing a garden that will create a beneficial natural ecosystem to help our plants grow. We can introduce beneficial pollinators while deterring unwanted pests like Aphids, Flea Beetles, Hornworm, Whitefly and more. Companion planting can is a great way to add more nutrients to the soil. It can ensure your plants rooting systems aren’t fighting for nutrients. It can also provide shade for smaller plants that need it and more. Companion planting can even create new and enhanced flavours for vegetables and herbs!

Pests & Pollinators

Garden Aphids on Basil

When planning your garden, it’s a good idea to consider the kinds of pests attracted to the plants you’ve chosen. By carefully reading the package or googling the plant, you might discover that certain plants are susceptible to certain pests and diseases. To avoid introducing these pests and diseases to your other plants, it’s best to plant them further away or pair them with a plant that can help disguise, distract or introduce prey to these insects. Planting garlic chives near your carrots can disguise their smell from susceptible pests like Rootfly and beetles. Or, depending on the plant, introducing fennel in a planter to your garden can attract Hornflies that eat Aphids. The combinations are endless, so be sure to do your research before pairing your plants together.

Soil & Nutrients

Companion Planting Soil

Every plant has its own rooting system, which allows them to absorb nutrients. When planting your garden, it is essential to know what your plants’ root system looks like to ensure that your plants aren’t fighting for nutrients. For example, although carrots and radishes are both root vegetables, carrots develop their roots much later than radishes. Planting these two together will provide one another with enough space and similar growing conditions that they both need. Alternatively, planting similar root structures like carrots and potatoes together will create problematic growing conditions leaving both plants unsatisfied.

Growth 

Root Vegetables and Garlic

Generally speaking, when spacing your plants, it’s essential to know how much room each plant requires to prevent overcrowding. Alternatively, pairing certain plants together is a great way to benefit your plant’s growth habits. When paired together, corn provides a natural trellis for beans. While beans provide fixed nitrogen levels in the soil for corn. You can use your plants to create a natural trellis, but you can also use them for protection against harsh UV rays for plants like lettuce. There are endless combinations to consider when planting for growth, so do your research before planting! 

Flavour

Pairing Basil with tomatoes for flavour

Looking to create some unique flavours in the garden this year? An excellent way to build flavour is by following a few tried and true companion combinations for added flavours! A common practice is to pair herbs with their compatible vegetable friends. When planted with basil, peppers absorb some of the basils’ strong flavour through the soil, creating a unique pepper/basil taste! Or, plant chives with tomatoes and carrots for a boost of flavour while repelling Aphids and Beetles.

Plant companions

Companion Garden Examples For Better Space

Companion planting has been around since the beginning of time. It can take many years to perfect your perfect combinations with unlimited possibilities. Lucky for us, many successful suggestions have been shared over time to help us make the right choice from the start. Below are some of the best tried and true companion combinations to help you create your best garden yet.

 Plant
 Companion
 Why
Place potted mint near plants that are often attacked by smell-driven insects to disguise their smell.
Fruit treesBeetsDillKaleSpinachPotatoesEggplantsTomatoes,

PeppersCabbageCauliflowerBroccoliGeraniumMarigoldsnasturtium

Effective fungicide deters pests including rabbits/deer.
Lavender ChamomileBroccoliBrusselsBasilLemon BalmSquashSage,

RosemaryOreganoOnionsTomatoesLettuce

Attracts pollinators, while repelling unwanted pests like beetles.
Wormwood CarrotsOnionsLeeksSageRosemary Used as a tea to spray on non-edible plants, or potted beside plants to repel insects like Carrot Fleas.
Calendula TomatoesAsparagusPeasCarrotsLeafy GreensCucumbers  

Acts as a lure for Aphids and Slugs. Calendula also repels Whitefly while attracting benefits like Lacewigs, Hoverflies and Ladybug.

Sage CarrotsTomatoesParsleyStrawberriesRosemaryBeans,

ThymeNasturtiumsOreganoBroccoliBrussels

Enhances flavours deters pests like slugs, and increases nitrogen in the soil.
Borage TomatoesCabbageStrawberriesSquash Improves strawberry flavour while deterring tomato Hornworm and cabbage worms. Used to attract pollinators to squash, melons and cucumber.
Thyme  

BroccoliBrusselsStrawberries,  Asparagus

Used as a tea and extracted onto cabbage plants to deter Whitefly. Thyme can also deter blackflies from roses.
Cucumber  AsparagusBeansBroccoliBrusselsCeleryCornDill,

KohlrabiLettuceOnionPeasRadishTomatoesSunflowers

Sunflowers and Corn are both used by cucumber as trellises. Nasturtiums improve cucumbers’ flavour while Dill distracts pesky pests.
Carrots BroccoliBrusselsChivesLeeksLettuceOnionsPeas,

PeppersPole BeansRadishRosemarySageTomatoes

Benefits depend on the combination of plant pairings. Added taste and soil fertility is among the top best pairings. Be careful on placement as root plants can compete for nutrients.

 

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