• September: Leave the Flare of the Tree Exposed

    Planting a tree too deep can cause the death of a tree.  The flare (the base of the tree where the trunk becomes wider – just above the roots) should always be left exposed.  If the flare of the tree is covered with soil or mulch, the base of the tree will rot and the tree will eventually die.  Clear away excess soil and mulch to expose the flare.

  • September: Get Soil Tested

    Problems in some flower or vegetable beds? Wondering if your soil could be at fault? Now’s the time to test it so that you know how to plan for next year.

    We recommend the City of Toronto’s Guide for Soil Testing in Urban Gardens, which outlines a step-by-step process you can follow. Click here to read or print it. Josephine Archbold is the City Of Toronto contact for questions about the soil: jarchbo@toronto.ca or 416-338-8095.  The University of Guelph’s Agriculture and Food Laboratory information can be found here.

  • September: Selecting Trees and Shrubs

    Fall is an excellent time to plant many trees and shrubs.  When selecting a tree or shrub, consider size at maturity; exposure to sun, wind and road salt; tolerance to urban pollution; soil and drainage.  The key to growing a healthy tree/shrub is to select the right plant for the location.

  • May: Carrots and Parsnips

    Carrot and parsnip seeds need a moist seed bed for good germination.  Cover the seed bed with burlap to help retain the moisture.  Always water the seedbed with a very gentle spray so that the seeds are not disturbed.  Remove the burlap as soon as the seeds germinate.

  • May: Broadleaf Weeds

    Hand digging broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, thistles, crabgrass and plantain out of your lawn will often leave a bare patch.  Sprinkle a mix of grass seed, compost and brick sand over this bare patch so that it will be filled in by grass rather than another weed.

  • May: Flowers in the Vegetable Garden

    Include some flowering herbs or annuals in your vegetable garden to attract beneficial insects to your garden.  Some vegetables such as cucumbers and zucchini have both male and female flowers and require a visit from a bee or other pollinator to move the pollen from the male to the female flower so that fruit can develop.

  • April: Seedlings Started Indoors

    Seedlings started indoors need good air circulation.  Use a small fan on a low setting to simulate the outdoor breezes.  You may need to water more frequently.  If you don’t have a small fan, gently brush your seedlings with your hand every day – you should have seedlings that are stockier and sturdier.