December: Maintaining Your Gardening Tools

  If you have not already done so, spend some time in your garden shed looking after your garden tools.  Clean and sharpen the blades of your digging and cutting tools.  Dry them completely and spray them lightly with a…

December: Forcing Paperwhites

Paperwhites can be grown in either water or soil.  If using water, place a 4-6 cm layer of stone or glass chips on the bottom of a container.  Nestle the bulbs (flat bottom side down, pointed end up) into the…

December: Caring For Your Poinsettia

  Poinsettias are sensitive to cold so protect them well as you move them from the store to home.  Once home, place them away from all drafts – warm and cold.  They prefer to be situated in a place where…

December: Keep Plants Safe While Clearing Ice

Salt-based ice melters are bad for your soil, plants and pets, and unfortunately, most home use products are salt-based (indicated by the word chloride). First, think about whether you actually need to remove the ice or just make it safe…

December: Prepare for Winter Winds

Now that the leaves are gone, take a walk around your garden with your saw or loppers, removing damaged or hanging branches that might cause further damage to your trees when battered by winter winds.…

December: Enjoy Flowering Plants Indoors

At this time of year, many of us bring home cyclamens and poinsettias or nurture amaryllis bulbs to produce spectacular blooms for the holidays. Entering those plant names in the search box to the right will lead you to lots…

December: Encouraging Young Gardeners

Encourage your child or grandchild to develop an interest in gardening by having them grow a plant from a seed.  Place 3 toothpicks evenly around an avocado seed and suspend it in a jar of water so that the bottom…

December: Living Christmas Trees

A living Christmas tree needs time to adapt to the indoor environment.  Put your tree in a sheltered, cool spot such as your garage for a few days before bringing it into the warm, indoor environment.  Don’t keep it indoors…

December: Cyclamens

  If cyclamens are given their preferred conditions – cool and bright indirect light – they can bloom for several months.  Keep them evenly moist by watering from the bottom.  Watering from the top could result in the crown rotting. …