January: Vegetable Families

Every vegetable is a member of a vegetable family.  For example – peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant are all members of the Solanaceae (tomato) family.   Members of the same vegetable family tend to attract the same pests and diseases and…

January: Grow Paperwhite Narcissus

Bring some spring indoors with easy-to-grow paperwhite narcissus. Simply put a layer of stones or beach glass in a container and top with the bulbs. Place more stones or glass around and between the bulbs, leaving the tops exposed. Add…

January: When the Amaryllis Bloom Is Finished

Now that your amaryllis bulb has finished blooming and you have cut off the spent flower stock at its base, continue to water the bulb and allow the foliage to grow.  The foliage is taking in nourishment for the bulb. …

January: Checking for Problems

Every time you water your houseplants, check them for problems.  Look at both the top side and the underside of leaves.  Check the edges and tips of the leaves.  Lightly scratch the soil surface.  Gently brush your plant.  A problem…

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.…