At monthly meetings during 2006-2008, a gardening question was posted where members could write their suggested solutions.
The Questions and Answers were collected here.
Click on these topics to find the Question & Answers:
Annuals for a planter in full sun
Alternatives to grass for lawn
Bamboo invading from neighbour
Dwarf lilac dying
Seed Catalogues & Jan-Feb sowing
Shade loving ground covers
Squirrels eating tulips
White flies on house plants
Q. My dwarf Lilac,'Tinkerbelle', planted in full sun, has lost its magic. Branches die and leaves are sparse.A.
- Cut 1/3 (the older branches) off the bush.
- Incompatibility with neighboring plants?
- Call Stuart Robertson - CBC Radio 1 Call-in, Wednesdays (He thought it was a drainage problem and to dig it up and add sand)
- Fertilize after boom (if any) - soil condition important
February 2006Q. Help! Creeping Charlie is taking over my life. How do I get rid of this creep? A.
- Use a blow torch (not on a windy day)
- Sprinkle with salt
- Cover with several layers of newspaper then earth. Re-sod after it has died.
- Spray with 5 tsp borax to 1 litre (4 cups)of water. or 1 cup borax to 8 liters (2 gallons) water
- Pull it out, roots and all, before it goes to seed.
March 2006Q. What shade-loving ground cover is best for dry and clay under trees? A.
- Vinca minor (periwinkle)
- Ajuga reptans
- Lilly of the Valley
- Gout weed
- Creeping Charlie!
April 2006Q. Losing my Head: how do I keep those gray rats with furry tails from eating my tulip blossoms? A.
- Practice with your 22, then leave town.
- Put out pans of water (as an alternative to the water in the blossom.)
- Blood meal. (Re-apply after rain)
- Get a dog.
September 2006Q. My RHUBARB is not doing well; transplanted from shade 3 years ago into sandy soil with sheep manure The stalks are thin, the leaves yellow and die. A.
- Too much sand? It may prefer chicken manure to sheep.
- Sheep manure may burn the roots.
- Rhubarb does not like to be moved; if you must, dig deep and wide to get the deep roots.
January 2007Q. Which seeds should be planted in January-February? and what seed catalogues are your favourites?. A.
- Peppers, tomatoes, delphinium, canna lily, spanish daisies.
- Veseys, Thompson & Morgan,
Pickering Nurseries, Stokes
has the best germination sucess at 80%
(Click on the name to link to the website.)
- For hardy plants, zone 4 and colder: Corn Hill Nursery, NB
- For heritage tomatoes and other unusual vegetables etc. Solana Seeds (only by internet), Repentigny QC, or Clover Roads Organic Farm, ON
February 2007Q. Which low-growing perennial and/or herbs can I plant instead of lawn?
- Creeping Charlie!
- (see also shade-loving ground covers)
March 2007Q. Which annuals would you suggest for a 12"diameter planter in full sun?
Geraniums with Dracaena and verbena did not thrive last year. A. Planters should be crowded with a mix of tall, medim and trailing plants
- Grasses for height
- Coleus (Yes in the sun)
- Petunia (can use the wave variety for trailing)
April 2007Q. How to get rid of white flies on house plants? A.
- Remove from pot and give your plant a bath, repot
- Pick them off one by one and squeeze them
- Use yellow sticky fly paper
- Put outside on a windy day and give ladybugs a chance to eat them
- Submerge in a solution of 1 litre water, 1/2 tsp javex.
- Spray with a solution of 6 drops each of oil of lavender and tea tree oil to 1 litre of water.
- vacuum with a dust buster
January 2008Q. How to prevent neighbour's bamboo roots and shoots from invading my garden? A.
- Dig thin metal sheets 12"deep between the properties.
- Use metal window well metal sheets 2 feet deep.
- And this American response from Sylvain Forest (now living in the US.)
The trick in such a touchy matter is prevention. Whereas most people will come up with back-breaking solutions like sheets of metal inserted vertically into the ground for up to 3 feet in depth nd other mechanical and/or chemical prevention mechanisms I find that the paper method is much more effective. Have a lawyer draw up a letter informing said neighbour that the courts will be used to recuperate the cost, time and effort and legal fees involved in remedying the spread of his bamboo.
Whether he planted the clumpers or runners is irrelevant. This transfers to insertion of mechanical barriers between the properties to the insane neighbour's responsibility. From that point on the rules of engagement are clear and you can sleep at ease. Should your present neighbour ever sell his house, a similar letter must be sent to the new owner, informing him of the same stipulations. You can then resume sleeping in peace. An ounce of prevention (roughly the weight of 2 sheets of paper, envelopes and stamps) is worth a pound of cure.