Top 5: Spring Planting Trees

Top 5: Spring Planting Trees

Once upon a summer, somewhere, someone planted a tree during the year’s hottest season. The end of the story did not end in a happy ever after with luscious green leaves, as the tree was unable to grow in such hot conditions. We’re here to make your summer tree planting dreams come true this year! There is still time to give your new trees the happy ever after they deserve. With Spring still in bloom, the soil is moist, and the temperatures are right. If planting a summer tree is on your gardening agenda, we will help you make the right choices with our top 5 favourite trees to plant this Spring.

1. Magnolia Tree

Well known for their enormous and fragrant blooms from February until June. Magnolia trees belong to the Magnoliaceae family and originate from Southeast Asia and North America. Used in traditional Chinese medicines for its healing abilities. Gifted as a symbol of purity and nobility.

Sun:  Full sun to light shade.
Water: Once weekly for two seasons, bi-weekly after that. 
Soil: Well-drained soil, slightly acidic, with a pH of 5.0 to 6.0.
Zone: 7-10

2. Dogwood

Famous for their unique blossoms, bark and berries, Dogwood trees belong to the Cornaceae family. Dogwoods originate in Europe, Eastern Asia and North America. They have been a symbol of rebirth and are closely tied to many religions. With over 17 varieties, American Dogwood has been used to treat ailments like headaches and fevers.

Sun: Full sun to partial shade.
Water: Once weekly, six inches deep.
Soil: Well-drained, slightly acidic, with a pH of 5.5 to 6.0 pH.
Zone: 5-9

3. Red Maple

Also known as Acer Rubrum, Swamp Maple, Water Maple or Soft Maple. The Red Maple creates bursts of colour across landscapes year-round, with tall bright red leaves. Native to easter and central America, the Red Maple can reach up to 40 to 70 feet tall and 30 to 50 feet wide.

Sun: Full sun to partial shade.
Water: Frequent watering. Twice weekly and three to four times during droughts.
Soil: Acidic, loamy and well-drained soil with a pH of 4.5-6.5.
Zone: 3-9

4. Cherry Tree

With many symbols and representations, it is said that gifting someone with a Cherry Tree blossom brings good fortune and beginnings to its receiver. If you’re lucky enough to care for a blossom tree, you can expect gorgeous spring blooms delivering soft scents of lilac to your home.

Sun: Full sun.
Water: Initially, water deeply every two or three days. Then, once a week.
Soil: Well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.
Zone: 5-7

5. Tulip Tree

With blooms that resemble tulips, it’s no wonder how the Tulip Tree got its name. Belonging to the magnolia family, there are two main types of Tulip Trees; the Chinese Tulip Tree and American Tulip Tree, with very little difference between the two. Growing up to 70-90 feet tall and 40 feet wide, the Tulip Tree can live up to 500 years old. The Tulip Tree is a long-standing symbol of liberty and democracy.

Sun: Full sun
Water: Frequently water, with five to seven gallons per week or when the top 3 inches of soil are dry.
Soil: Slightly acidic, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.0-8.0.
Zone: 4-9

Pro-Tips

As the weather warms up it’s important to remember that your new tree will require watering more frequently. We recommend having tree watering bags on hand to ensure your tree gets the water it needs with the summers we’ve been having. Tree bags are a great way to provide a slow release of water over five to eight hours to ensure your tree isn’t overwatered or underwatered. They can be used on new trees and mature trees and are a fantastic cost-cutting practice for water consumption. 

Don’t forget! New trees require plenty of food to help them establish strong healthy roots, we recommend using Bone Meal 2-13-0. After planting be sure to use a good amount of mulch to further assist with retaining moisture in your soil.

For more inspiration and advice for growing trees, check out our latest episode of Get Up and Grow, with our President Gord Nickel, Tips for Growing Weeping Japanese Maples” below.

 

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Top 5 Unique Fruit for Hanging Baskets

Top 5 Unique Fruit for Hanging Baskets

With a new hanging basket season approaching, it’s time to plan bigger and better baskets than ever before! With unlimited combinations of flowers, vegetables, and herbs, we thought introducing a few new and exciting ideas to your hanging baskets this year would be great. Fruit baskets! Not the kind you gift, the kind you grow! You could say they’re as easy as low-hanging fruit. Below we’ve created a unique list of fruits that love hanging baskets for you to try this season!

1. Cucumbers

Sliced in salads or fresh off the vine, cucumbers are fresh for summer picking and love to grow in hanging baskets. They’re filled with vitamin K, B, C, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium and much more! With gravities help, cucumbers can grow long and straight from the basket, creating the most ideal cucumber shape. When grown in the garden, cucumbers are susceptible to Amphids, Cucumber Beetles, Flea Beetles and more. Growing your cucumbers in a hanging basket provides them with better protection from these common garden pests! Oh, and don’t forget how much easier it will be to harvest pickles from the porch!

Cucumber Mini White are deliciously sweet and mild, Cucumber Mini White is the best choice for hanging baskets as the small 3-5″ fruits cascade beautifully, creating an easy to pick & esthetically pleasing harvest. In just 58-75 days, you’ll be jarring porch-pickles in no time!

2. Strawberries

The queen of summer fruit is as versatile as the desserts she creates! With endless strawberry jams, pies, tarts, bars, smoothies, and cakes, strawberries generate a blast of flavour for many summer dishes! Don’t have a yard to plant strawberries? That is no problem at all. When grown in hanging baskets, strawberries perform amazingly! It is a great way to keep your strawberries out of reach from birds, but it’s also a quick and convenient way to reach for one of two as needed!

Natural White Strawberry tastes like pineapple! These unique white strawberries are the perfect patio conversation starter. Plant your Natural White Strawberries in full sun from April to May and you can expect pineapple tasting strawberries in just 4-6 weeks.

3. Cucamelon

Is it a cucumber, or is it a melon? Also known as Mexican Sour Cucumber, Mouse Melon or Melothria Scabra, the Cucamelon is a miniature relative to cucumbers! With a taste similar to a cucumber, the Cucamelon is sweeter with a hint of citrus lime. Often enjoyed fresh or pickled, Cucamelon is also great for your skin, with loads of vitamin K, C, E and fibre. When grown in a hanging basket, the Cucamelon enjoys climbing up walls and gazebos! An excellent plant for creating privacy and fuller green space on patios. Though they perform at their best when placed in full sun, Cucamelon can also tolerate partial sun.

Cucamelon grow in as little as 67 days, and will be ready to harvest once they are just over an inch long and firm to the touch. Place your hanging Cucamelon in full sun in a 5-7 gallon size basket, providing one inch of water weekly.

4. Tomatillo

The tomatillo is a small green or purple fruit with a paper-like peel. If eaten raw, the tomatillo offers a tart and citrusy flavour, which softens to a sweeter taste when cooked. They’re high in vitamin C, A, K, fibre, potassium, niacin and much more. As a popular ingredient in salsa verde, Tomatillos are also enjoyed on their own, either raw, sauteed, roasted or boiled. They make a powerfully healthy fruit to have quick access to when grown in a basket as long as they can get at least 6 hours of sun a day.

Tomatillo Purple are sweeter than green Tomatillos! Place your Tomatillo Purple in full sun with regular watering and good draining. Harvest your Tomatillo Purple in 75-100 days once the fruit turns purple and is firm to the touch.

5. Cape Gooseberries

Tangy, tart, sweet and tropical tasting, the Cape Gooseberry is also known as a Peruvian Groundcherry originating from South America. Full of fibre and low in calories, the Gooseberry is high in vitamin C, making them great for your skin. After harvesting them in June and July, they’re perfect for making plenty of unique jams, purees, crumbles, tarts, drinks, salads and sauces! As an easy grower, the Gooseberry makes a beautiful display when grown in a hanging basket.

Organic Gooseberry Gold Berry perform at their best when placed in full sun with good draining. Maintain moist soil for a heavy yield in June until July. To test when your Gooseberries are ready, give them a gentle sqeeze! Once they are soft, they’ll be ready for the picking!

Need more inspiration for unique fruit? Check out this episode of Get Up and Grow “Planting an Albino Strawberry Hanging Basket” below for tips and tricks from our president Gord Nickel.
 
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Top 5 Unique Flower Seeds

Top 5 Unique Flower Seeds

Top 5 Unique Flower Seeds

Have you ever seen a flower so bizarre that you wish you knew what you were looking at? Or maybe you’re interested in adding some interesting conversation starters to your own garden. Sometimes in the garden industry, we come across a few crazy-looking plants that we’re sure to take note of. Check out our top 5 most unique flower seeds below, for some inspiring-uniqueness!

1.) Lion’s Ear

    

   

Used for its traditional medical properties, Lion’s Ear (also known as Lions Tale and Wild Dagga) is native to South Africa. Shooting spikes of unique orange blossom up to 6 feet high, their blooms resemble that of a lion’s ear or tail. Traditionally cultivated for teas, Lion’s Ear was used to treat parasites, asthma, skin diseases, epilepsy, etc.

To grow your own Lion’s Ear, sow your seeds indoors in early spring. In zones 9-11, transplant your seedlings to the garden in full sun once the soil warms after the last frost. Easy to care for, Lion’s Ear is drought tolerant but does not like overwatering. They’re container friendly & can be grown as a perennial when taken indoors during the colder months.

2.) Cerinthe

    

    

They are described as unusual for their unique downward-facing blooms and intense purple and blue Hughes. Cerinthe is also known as the Blue Shrimp plant and Pride of Gibraltar. With cooler evening temperatures, Cerinthe changes from vibrant purple to deeper-dark blue. An excellent source of nectar for bees and great for cut flowers.

Originally from the Mediterranean, you can find Cerinthe growing in zones 7 to 10, in mixed borders, beds and pots. Growing up to 24″ tall, place your Cerinthe in a dry, sunny location for it to thrive. These easy annuals are easy to grow, deer resistant, drought resistant and perform well on patios!

3.) Kale Crane Feather King

    

    

This hybrid kale has been carefully crafted to add flair as a cut flower! They are known for their silvery grey doily-shaped leaves and a contrasting pinkish-purple center. Kale Crane Feathering King adds tons of interest to bouquets with their flower-like stems.

Sow Kale Crane Feathering King seeds in flats July and August, transplanting seedlings once two or three leaves have formed. 90-120 days later (November or December), your flowers will be perfectly timed for fall and winter bouquets! Pair your Kale Crane Feathered King with Crane Feather Queen for a march made in heaven, adding plenty of contrast.

4.) Native Shooting Star

    

    

Pushing itself from the inside out, the Native Shooting Star reaches its pistol outward in the form of a shooting star. These perennials are native to North America in twelve different varieties. 

Also known as Dodecatheon, the leafless flowers reach 18 inches tall and produce 8-20 flowers per stem. In zones 7-8, 14-24, the Native Shooting Star grows to its best ability in partial shade and can tolerate rocky soil and even woodlands.

5.) Nigella

    

    

Also known as Love In a Mist Plant or Devil-In-A-Bush, Nigella symbolizes harmony and love. Nigella is a unique flower that comes in various blues, whites, pinks and purples, with petals reaching above and below its showy brackets.

Initially found in South Europe and North Africa. Nigella is 15-24 inches tall and can be grown in zones 2-11. These annual treasures prefer total sun exposure and well-drained soil. If planting in a container, use a pot no less than 7 inches deep and wide.

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The Top 5 Best Vegetables For Containers

The Top 5 Best Vegetables For Containers

Being in the gardening industry we can safely tell you that seeds are the most popular item this time of year. While we wait for warmer weather there is no time like the present to get ahead on growing. Whether you forgot to leave room for vegetables in the garden, or you don’t have a yard, container gardening is increasingly popular every year. Since it’s the best time to germinate, we thought we would share with you the five best vegetables to grow in your containers this year!

1. Tomatoes

Tomato? Tom-ato? Either way, this delicious fruit has snuck its way into the vegetable category for years and it’s no wonder why! Tomatoes are not only juicy, but they’re also rich in vitamin C, potassium, and folate. Used in salads, eaten raw, cooked, or canned, the tomato is a household staple. These easy growers are at the top of the container-friendly vegetables for their high yielding ability and low maintenance care. Popular container varieties are Tomato SunchocolaTomato Stupice & Organic Tomato Sweetie. Here is everything you need to grow your patio tomatoes.

 
 
Yellow Pear                   Roma
 SUN  Full sun, 6-8 hours
 SOIL  Fertile, well-drained, rich organic matter/
 GERMINATION 45-90 days after planting
 DAYS TO HARVEST  1-2 weeks indoors
 SPACE  3 ft
 ZONE  5, 6, 7, 8
 MAINTENANCE  1-2 inches of water per week

Harvest your tomatoes when they are fully ripe and red with colour. Be careful not to keep your ripe tomatoes on the vine for temperatures above 23 C as they can soften.

Tip: The bigger the container, the better the harvest! Be sure to use a vine cage to support healthy growth. 

2. Peas

Pea seeds can be grown all season long and they’re simple to grow! Enjoy sweet peas, snow peas, and snap peas with little effort and high yields in containers. Peas are great for storing, stirfry, salads, and even right off the vine. They are a healthy source of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and other antioxidants. 

 
Sugar Snap            Podded Snow
 
Fava Bean                Banana Nano
 SUN Full sun, 6-8 hours but will tolerate partial shade parts of the day.
 SOIL Well-drained soil, with well-rotted manure or compost.
 GERMINATION 7-14 days
 DAYS TO HARVEST 60-70 days
 SPACE 1-3 inches
 ZONE  8
MAINTENANCE Maintain moist soil, do not overwater when in bloom.

Shelling peas are ready for harvesting when the pods have matured to a cylindrical shape. Flowering peas are ready to harvest 3 weeks after their flowers bloom.

Tip: To help your pea plant grow to its fullest potential use a trellis to allow your pea plant to grow with support. This will also allow for easier harvesting.

3. Squash

Squash is a great source of vitamin A, B6, C, folate, magnesium, fibre, riboflavin, phosphorus and potassium. The two groups of squash are summer squash and winter squash. Summer squash has thin skin whereas winter squash has thicker and darker skin. Popular varieties of winter squash include Acorn SquashButternut SquashSpaghetti SquashButtercup Squash, and Pumpkins. Popular summer squash varieties include Zucchini SquashScallop Squash, and Crookneck Squash.

 
Acorn Squash               Butternut Squash
 
 SUN Full sun, 6-8 hours
 SOIL well-draining, nutrient-rich
 GERMINATION 7-14 days
 DAYS TO HARVEST 50-55 days, minimum.
 ZONE  3-10
MAINTENANCE  Avoid watering leaves, maintain consistent moisture. Water 1-1.5 inches per week.
 CONTAINER SIZE  24 inches or more.

When harvesting squash, press your fingernail into the skin. If the skin was easily pierced, it is not yet ready for harvesting. The skin should be non-glossy, firm and rich in colour when it is ready for harvesting.

Tip: Squash plants are drought tolerant. If your plant becomes dry, it will happily receive a good amount of water but not on its leaves as this could cause bacterial wilt.

4. Lettuce

Lettuce seeds are fast-growing, space-efficient, and easy to grow vegetables in containers. With lettuce’s fast growth, planting small amounts frequently will allow you to have consistent harvests throughout the growing season. Packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. Lettuce is great for topping sandwiches, having in salads and as a bread substitute!

 
Oak Leaf                      Arugula
 
Spinach                         Kale
 SUN  Full sun
 SOIL  Loose, well-draining soil with compost mixture.
 GERMINATION  7-10
 DAYS TO HARVEST  30 days
 ZONE  2-11
 MAINTENANCE  Water every day, twice a day on hot days.
 CONTAINER SIZE  Minimum 15-inch diameter and 12 inches deep.

When your lettuce leaves are 3-6 inches long, they’re ready to harvest! For regrowth, cut back the entire plant at once down to 1-2 inches in the morning with sharp sheers, giving the plant time to recover before sun exposure.

Tip: To protect your lettuce from burning, make sure to water the plant directly at the root in the morning. 

5. Peppers

Peppers are one of the most flavourful vegetables you can grow in a container! From sweet to red-hot-spicy there is a pepper for everyone. Peppers are low in calories, high in vitamin A and C, fibre and folic acid. From the colours of the rainbow to every dish you can imagine, peppers are a huge favourite. 

 
Witch Stick              Scotch Bonnet
 
Jalapeno                 Bell Pepper
 SUN Full sun
 SOIL Rich and loamy soil, mixed composted
 GERMINATION 7-21
 DAYS TO HARVEST 60-90 days, or 150 for hot peppers
 ZONE 18-24 inches
 CONTAINER SIZE 12″-14″ for best results

When harvesting bell peppers, they will be ready for picking when they are 3.5-4 inches and firm. Other varieties should be harvested once they achieve their expected colour.

Tip: Keep pepper seeds warm when germinating. Between 26-32 C for best results. This can easily be achieved by using a heat mat.

For more inspiration for growing in containers, check out the latest episode of Get Up and Grow, Tips For Planning What Your Garden Will Look Like, below.

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January & February Gardening Tips

January & February Gardening Tips

January is coming to an end and you know what that means? Spring is just around the corner! Well, almost. We still have a little ways to go, but until then let’s do what we can to pass the time. In this article, you’ll find a few ways to keep you busy and your garden at its very best, no matter what zone you live in.

JANUARY

Depending on where you live, you might have a whole lot or a whole lot less to do in the winter months. That’s perfectly okay! Even if you are over your head in snowdrifts, nothing is stopping you from planning out your perfect garden from the comfort of your own home. Plus, with the power of online ordering, there’s no time like down time to scoop up all of your favourite seeds and bulbs to make the garden of your dreams a reality this year.

 Live Christmas trees should be planted as soon as possible.

 For winter colour, plant viburnum “Pink Dawn”, Chinese Witch Hazel, Christmas Rose, Winter Heather, Jasmine, and Sarcacoca.

 If the ground isn’t frozen there is still time to plant narcissus, tulips and hyacinth for spring colour.

 Mulch your sensitive plants with bark or peat moss and use burlap to prevent softer trees from windburn. Water plants under the eaves to prevent drying out.

 Come in and get your seeds and start to plan for spring.

FEBRUARY

As February approaches we’re growing closer and closer to spring. Snowdrops peek their way up through the ground with crocuses to follow and soon after, daffodils! It’s almost our time to shine in the garden and we can’t wait to get started!!! Before we jump into spring, February is the last chance we get to tie up all our loose ends so that we don’t waste any time in the spring. Here are a few items to check off your to-do list this February.

 Look for Aubrieta, Arabis, Hardy Primulas to start arriving.

 Look for potted spring bulbs to brighten your home.

 Time to start pruning – make sure all equipment is clean, sharp and disinfected.

 Plant small fruits and fruit trees now, use bone meal fertilizer.

 Start broad beans, chives, onions for early crops. Purchase your flower and vegetable seeds early for the best selection and keep them in the fridge until ready to plant.

 Cut back deciduous ornamental grasses before new spring growth starts.

 Spray roses with Sulphur before bud break to help combat black spots and mildew.

 Start vegetable seeds indoors.

 Take care of your bird friends by hanging a bird feeder with high energy suet.

 Order your favourite seeds or try planting something new!

 Check stored bulbs for mold and moisture levels. Re-wrap and relocate as needed.

 Prune dormant fruit trees.

 Start indoor lettuce.

If your winter weather has a cold hold on what you can accomplish, try starting some of your seeds with a heat mat. A heat mat is a great way to activate germination by encouraging root grow by providing your seeds with the warmth they need to growth healthy and strong!

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Top 5 Gifts For The Gardener

Top 5 Gifts For The Gardener

If you are cutting it close to Christmas without having finished your shopping list, you’re not alone. It’s the busiest time of year for a reason! If you’re on the move for some gift ideas for the gardener in your life, you’re almost there. Not only do we know gardeners need, but we also know what gardeners love!

TOP 5 GARDENER FAVOURITES

There is nothing like the moment you receive a gift that you have no use for. It’s awkward, it’s polite and it’s about to collect dust in your closet. This year make sure you’re spending your money on gifting someone something they’ll use. Below are our 2021 top products used by gardeners nationwide that are great for that special gardener in your life.

#1 IN PLANT CARE – BONE MEAL

Bone Meal 2-13-0

The perfect source of plant food for all gardeners. Bonemeal has been used since the dawn of agriculture. A long-term solution for reducing transplant shock and providing essential and organic nutrients throughout the growing season. Important for growing the healthiest of plants.

#1 IN BIRDING – SOLAR BIRD BATH FOUNTAIN PUMP

Solar Bird Bath Fountain Pump

A great addition to most small ponds, birdbaths or fountains. The brighter the sun, the better this fountain works. It`s easy to use. Simply place the fountain in the water and allow it to float. A few seconds after the sunlight hits the panels, the fountain will run. A joyful addition to any bird watcher’s yard.

#1 IN SEEDS – VEGETABLES, HERBS & FLOWERS

VEGETABLE – Zucchini Dark Green 

A reliable favourite with fine flavoured dark green courgettes. Courgettes are hugely versatile and easy to grow. They need regular watering and picking for good crops. Some courgettes can be grown successfully in pots on the patio.

HERB – Rosemary

Rosemary has stiff stems with crisp, fir-like leaves and a strong, rich aroma. Dried leaves release more flavour if freshly crushed. Plant in full sun in the garden or a big container.

FLOWER – Cornflower Organic 

This hardy, drought-tolerant annual is easy to grow and self-seeds in the garden. The bright blue blooms on knee-high stems make a tasty and vibrant addition to summer salads and herbal tea mixtures – just pluck the petals and enjoy! Beautiful, delicious and easy to grow!

#1 IN TOOLS & SUPPLIES – NITRILE & NYLON GLOVES

TerraTuff Nitrile & Nylon Gloves

Dry, oily or wet condition gloves for every garden task. Breathable and Nitrile coated to protect you from punctures and abrasions. Take care of the gardener in your life by protecting them while they work!

NEED MORE?

Check out the latest episode of Get Up and Grow below, for more unique gift ideas for the gardener in your life. Too many to choose from? Give the gift of giving your gardener exactly what they want and need throughout the year with one of our new E-Gift Cards! Happy holidays to you and yours this season. Stay tuned for more from Blogs from Wildwood Outdoor Living in 2022!

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