October Tips

October Tips

Sometimes with a new season comes a good seasonal clean up. The kind that will have you pulling your couch out and collecting your dust bunnies. Or maybe throwing your summer clothes in a pile and hiding them at the back of the closet. In the garden, fall is a great time for replacing the old with the new. In this article we’re going to go over a checklist to help you transition your garden from summer to fall.

September Checklist

Before we look at what needs to be done in October, let’s make sure we’re caught up with our September to-do’s. Here is a quick checklist for you to make sure that your garden is ready to take on October.

If you have a pond, be sure to net your ponds now to prevent the accumulation of falling leaves.
Lift all your onions, dry and store.
Stop watering your late-storing potatoes.
Sow new lawns when the day temperatures aren’t so hot. Feed soil with turf starter beforehand.
Plan for next spring, by mapping out your fall bulb placement.
Consider implementing cool weather crops into your garden, like winter greens.

October Checklist

No two gardens are alike. Which means you’re welcome to pick and choose what applies to you when it comes to transitioning your garden from summer to fall. One thing is for sure, October is one of the best planting seasons. If you aren’t planning on planting anything new in October, you’re missing out! October is the best time for a veggie garden and fall bulbs! Keeping you fed and your spring garden ahead of its game! Let’s see what else we can do for our gardens this October.

Remove pond netting and clean the bottom of the pond after the leaves have fallen.
Prune out all dead, diseased, and dying branches and leaves off shrubs and trees.
The best selection of fall bulbs is available now. Wildwood Outdoor Living has the largest selection around, online and in-store! Be sure to plan out your garden ahead of your visit to make sure you have the right growing conditions for your bulb choices.
Lower the blade on your lawn mower to keep grass cut shorter for fall. Keeping your lawn shorter in fall will prevent fungus like snow mold from forming in the spring.
Start taking fuchsias and geranium cuttings. This will allow your plants to become dormant during the winter, saving their energy for Spring.
Apply dolomite lime to prevent the soil from becoming too acid over the winter months. If the PH level is too high, your grass won’t be able to absorb nutrients properly.
Begin storing onions, carrots, and beets in dry peat moss or “Beats Peat” to absorb excess moisture and keep them well insulated. This will also prevent small rodents like mice from getting to them.
Plant fall bulbs and fall perennials now, for beautiful spring blooms!
Use gypsum lime and organic compost in heavy clay areas to change into workable soil.
Apply Fall & Winter lawn fertilizer 6-10-20. For the best results, be sure to apply your fertilizer earlier in the month, between October 1st-15th.

Depending on what you get done, you might have the rest of October to relax and watch the colors change. Or take your gardening inside with an herb garden or houseplants. Who could forget the beautiful fall décor that October brings! With what you’ve grown this year, you might be able to create something special like a fall wreath, pressed flowers, or decorated pumpkins. Whatever you’re into, fall is a great time to be a gardener with lots to do! Need help? Check out our new segment Get Up and Grow on Chek News, where our president Gord Nickel teaches Jasmine Bala something new each week.

Have a question? Let us know at info@wildwoodoutdoorliving.com.

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Clematis for Beginners

Clematis for Beginners

Care Tips & Simplified Pruning

Many people assume that vines of the same name behave the same way. Clematis, jasmine, honeysuckle, passion flowers. These are the categories that separate and define vines.

But what if I told you that wasn’t exactly true? Yes, these vines are all very different and need to be treated differently, however, even within their named groups, vines have special needs that should be attended to.

This might sound like a lot of information to go over for today, so let’s just cover the first one: Clematis.

General Care Tips

So where do we begin? Well, let’s learn a little bit about their needs.

Plan Where you Plant

  • Clematis can live for a very long time, and they are not fans of being moved around.
  • They like to have cool roots while also being in full sun. Having other plants around to shade the roots is preferable. If that isn’t an option, you can also use mulch to provide some relief from the heat.

Know Your Soil

  • Soft, loamy, well-drained soil is best for your new vine friend.
  • They aren’t huge fans of acidic soil and prefer to be on the alkaline side of the PH scale (so probably don’t plant it near a rhododendron or azalea).

Learn How They Climb

  • Clematis use leaf stems to vine. They look very similar to pea vines in that they will coil themselves around anything that is close to them (in the nursery we find they like holding onto each other).
  • These vines are fairly small and need something about ¼ inch in diameter to coil around.

Give it Support

  • Clematis vines are more fragile than they seem. If the vine isn’t given enough support it will begin to flop over and will likely crack. This will result in the new trailing growth to die back.
  • To prevent this, make sure the clematis has something to hold onto.
  • A trellis, some chicken wire, or even other plants are all perfectly fine for a clematis to use as growth support.

Pruning: The Basics

So, what are the 3 pruning groups?

Group 1:

The clematis in group 1 grow their buds on old growth. Because of this, they don’t die back in the winter and should be pruned sparingly.

They are usually the first to bloom with flowers appearing in spring. After the flowers are gone you can then prune back the vine. You only need to remove any dead wood and make sure the vine is staying neat and tidy.

Since the buds form on old growth, if you over prune you will likely see fewer flowers the following spring.

Examples:

Source

Group 2:

These clematis are popular due to their ability to bloom twice in a year. Like group 1, they need minimal pruning. Before they start to leaf out in spring, prune back last year’s new growth. Gently thin out the vine while detangling stems. Make sure to keep the old growth as that is where you will see the first set of blooms.

After spring, once the first set of flowers have died off, you can trim back those branches to encourage new growth. The second set of flowers appear in the late summer and appear on new growth. This is when you would do any shape pruning. The new growth that appears after this becomes the old growth for next year that will produce the spring blooms.

Examples:

Source

Group 3:

Lastly, we have the third group of clematis. These are the plants that bloom in late summer and early fall. In early spring the vine should be pruned back to around a foot tall. This will then encourage new growth that will flourish throughout the spring and summer and produce beautiful buds later in the season.

Since these clematis are cut back, they are often the ones that can survive in colder zones.

Examples:

Source

Clematis are beautiful vines that can add to any gardens back drop. They can climb up gazebos and fences. Turn a plain structure into a wonderful display of gardening prowess.

However, understanding the type of clematis you get matters. We don’t just mean the colour. Clematis are separated into three distinct pruning groups. Each group has to be treated differently if you want to see the beautiful flowers that these vines are known for.

Now that you are equipped with this knowledge of the beautiful vines known as clematis, you are ready to grow your own!

You can find our selection of clematis on our website here or browse our hundreds of products at wildwood.express.

For future updates make sure to follow us on Instagram @wildwoodourdoorliving
Happy Gardening!

 

Bone Appetit, Plants!

Bone Appetit, Plants!

Bone Meal is one of those things that most gardeners have heard of but not many of us have really put any thought into. Bone Meal can sound like an aggressive name which makes it seem situational. However, it’s actually one of the most versatile fertilizers. It can be used on almost any plant and in almost any soil.

What is Bone Meal?

Bone Meal is exactly what it sounds like! It’s cooked or steamed animal bones that are then ground into a powder. Many types of animal bones are used, however beef bones are most common. These bone products are organic and a great source of the nutrients that our plants need to grow and flourish.
Bone Meal can provide a lot of benefits, such as:

  • Greater fruit production and yield.
  • Produces bigger and healthier blooms.
  • Helps newly developing plants create stronger root structures.
  • Helps protect plants from disease and pests.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is one the major nutrients required by plants. It is a major part of photosynthesis and is largely used in crop production. It is needed in large quantities to produce fruits and vegetables. In animals, it enables the growth of strong bones. When it’s released back into the soil it helps create strong roots. So how does phosphorus enter the plant? The main way is that it is absorbed through the roots. The little hairs on a plants roots help pull the nutrients into the actual plant.

Source 

Calcium and Nitrogen

I’m sure you can imagine that a fertilizer made from bones would provide calcium. Calcium promotes new growth for both roots and stems. It can also work to give you better tomato, pepper, zucchini, and eggplant yields by preventing diseases such as Blossom End Rot. The nitrogen in bone meal is usually quite low, however, it works to help round out the soil and give your plants that small but needed nutritional boost.

How to Use it

Bone meal is a favorite for many gardeners due to its slow absorption rate and the fact that it doesn’t burn the roots if you add too much.

Check the instructions on the package regarding how much you should add, but it is a good rule of thumb to use 1 tablespoon for every 2 square feet of soil.

After digging holes, add the bone meal to the bottom of the hole and mix it well. Lightly water the mixed soil so the bone meal can begin to break down.

Bone meal is great to use with bulbs, especially fall bulbs as they will need extra nutrients to help them grow after their cooling period and establish strong roots.

Things to Watch out for

Bone meal doesn’t have many downsides, but there are a few things that you want to be aware of:

  • It is a slow-release fertilizer. It is preventative and planned, so it won’t show any immediate results.
  • It needs to be mixed into the soil well. Since it is made of bones, it smells like food to a lot of animals. If you want to avoid scavengers digging in your garden make sure it’s mixed in well.
  • It is mostly effective in soils with a PH below 7. Plants in Alkaline soil tend to absorb fewer nutrients. Make sure you test your soil before adding any fertilizers and adjust the PH level first. You can find an example of a PH soil test kit here.

Remember, if you’re ever unsure about whether or not you should add fertilizer, you can run a soil test before hand.

Pick up some Bone Meal from Nursery Land here or browse our hundreds of products at wildwood.express
For future updates make sure to follow us on Instagram @wildwoodourdoorliving
Happy Gardening!

 

Summer Watering Tips

Summer Watering Tips

Watering during the summer can be tricky, especially during a heatwave, but we have some tips for you!

 

💧Choosing the right time: Water in the early morning when possible. If you can beat the heat, this gives your plants enough time to soak up all the water they need before it heats up and the water begins to evaporate. If you’re not an early bird, then choose a time of day when your garden is a little cooler.
💧Water deeply: 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.
💧Don’t overwater: 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 waterings so the roots can get oxygen between waterings.
💧Mulch: Adding 2” – 3” of mulch makes a huge difference! Mulching helps your soil retain its moisture longer, so your plants have an opportunity to absorb more water before drying out in the hot sun. It’s also a great way to conserve water, as you’ll need to water less frequently on hot days.

💧Self-Watering: Take the guesswork out of it! Self-watering planters let you sit back and enjoy the sunshine while your plants remain optimally cared for over a long period of time! Just fill the water reservoir and let it do the rest. Our favourite brand of self-watering planters is Lechuza Canada. We have some smaller sizes available online with a few more sizes available in store.

p.s. Lechuza’s sister company is Playmobil! How cool is that?!

We hope these tips help keep your garden cool all summer long. Do you have any watering tips? Let us know!