• September: Buying Bulbs

    When purchasing bulbs, check that they are firm and free of mould and soft spots.  Store them in a paper bag in a cool, dark place until you are ready to plant them.

  • September: Peonies

    September:  Peonies

    Division and moving of peonies should be done in September so that a network of feeder roots can be established before winter.  After digging up the root and washing off the soil, allow it to dry in the shade for a couple of hours.  Cut the root into sections with at least 3 eyes per section.  Plant the divisions so that the eyes are no more than 2” deep.  The planting hole should be 2’ deep and 2’ wide.

  • September: Moving and Dividing Perennials

    September is the time to  move and divide spring and summer blooming perennials.  Enrich the entire area with compost rather than just the planting hole.

  • September: Bring in the Plant, not the Pest

    As the evening temperatures begin to drop, it is time to think about bringing in your houseplants that have summered out of doors.  If possible, lift the root-ball out of the pot to check for unwanted pests; rinse the leaves with a blast of water and check the bottom of the pot and saucer for free-loaders.

  • 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.

  • September: Creating a Home for Butterflies

    Many of the butterflies that add beauty to our gardens overwinter here.  Create an environment that will give them the food and shelter that they need.  Find a corner of your garden that is in the sun and out of the wind where you can create a brush pile and have some leaf litter in which the butterflies can hibernate – a little bit of wilderness for them.

  • September: Lessons Learned: Tomatoes

    Tomato plants transplanted into the garden the first week of June were exposed to very cool nighttime temperatures and really didn’t start to grow until the middle of July.  The soil remained cool and wet because of poor drainage.  Lesson learned:  don’t plant your tomatoes until the air temperature is consistently above 10C – provide protection any night that the temperature drops lower.  Tomatoes like to be grown in well-drained soil that has warmed up.

  • September: Lessons Learned: Beans

    Bush beans sown while the soil was still cool and wet showed a poor germination rate and those plants that grew were diseased and attacked by pests.  The beans sown a few weeks later when the soil had warmed up and dried out somewhat and the day and night time temperatures had risen, had an excellent germination rate and produce a bountiful crop of beans on healthy plants.  Lesson learned – wait until the soil has warmed up before you sow your bean seeds.