Category Archives: Tips

Reviving your chives

Are your chives looking like a graveyard of what once was? We’ve all been there. Luckily bringing your chives back to life is super easy.

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Chives have the ability to bounce back quickly when cut, especially if the roots are still good. Cut all the dead stems from the chives so they have an opportunity for a fresh start.

Talking Gardener Chives After

As you can see in the picture above, even though we cut it down there is still some green on there. That’s a great sign! Means its hiding and ready to come out again.

Good luck and keep chive-ing!

 

Project in a day: Adding life to your forgotten garden

Most of us have experienced this at some point or another… that forgotten corner of your garden that gets no light, nothing grows but weeds and that looks like its too far gone. Mine was under my front tree. Every time I looked at it, I thought “one of these days, I should probably fix that”. That day came on an ambitious Saturday morning after a couple cups of coffee. And while it took some time to get motivated, this redo only took a couple hours. Here’s what I did (hopefully it gives you hope to give that forgotten corner a second chance)

Before (isn’t she a beauty?)

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Round one (picking apart the pieces)

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Time for this garden to get naked

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Taking out the debris

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Getting the under soil wet

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Time for fresh soil

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And more fresh soil…

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He clearly was supervising

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Add Hostas and some decorative plants… and voila!

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Time > 2hours

Getting your seeds “spring-ready”

Spring is here, and also is the time to start thinking about growing seeds. Everyone has their own method of growing seeds, but the one I have found the most successful is using pellets. I tend to get the best results quicker, and I find it much easier to transplant.

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Getting started with pellets

What you will need:

  •  Pellets (such a Peat Pellets)
  •  Small plastic greenhouse (you can find these at stores like Home Depot , Canadian Tire, Dollarama – many even come with the pellets!)
  •  Seeds
  1. Put pellets in greenhouse and add water until they soak up water and enlarge
  2. Create a small hole in the middle of pellet, add seed and cover hole with soil
  3. Massage soil around the seed and ensure pellet fits well into its slot
  4. Cover greenhouse with supplied plastic, clear cover
  5. Put a well-lit location, such as a window sill
  6. Enjoy seeing your seeds grow!


Seed-Greenhouse-03Maintenance:

Don’t over water. The greenhouse maintains moisture fairly well so there is no need for daily watering. Keep an eye on the soil and if the pellet starts to get dry, lightly water or spray with water.

Extending the life of your green onions

Did you know you can extend the life of your store bought green onions? You can, and it’s easy!

Step 1: Buy green onions from your grocery store

Step 2: Once you have used your green onions make sure to cut them close to the bottom, while keeping the roots

Step 3:  Put into a clear glass filled with water. You will notice after a week or so, they will start to grow back!

Step 4: Once you have got some good roots established, you are ready to plant in a container with soil.

And there you go! You will now have green onions for a very long time. Enjoy

 

Extending the life of holiday plants

Just because the holidays are over, doesn’t necessarily mean your plants are over too. If you are looking to keep your plants for awhile longer, here are some quick tips:

  • Cut off any dead leaves or branches. A bit of grooming will allow the plant to focus its energy on the living parts.
  • If it’s been the centrepiece of your table, move it to a window sill to give it lots of light. As well as top up with water when needed.
  • Try some plant food. Sometimes adding some plant food to their diet, can give the boost they need.
  • Adjust their pot. If you have multiple plants sharing the same pot, you may want to consider replanting them into their own pots to give them the space they need to grow.

Hope these tips allow your plants to flourish well beyond the holidays.

Do you have tips on extending the life of holiday plants? If so, please share them in the comments. Thanks!

The warming topic of ice melts

Shopping for a solution to fix slippery steps can be difficult with so many options to choose from.  The important thing is to narrow down what the environment where you will be spreading it as well as any surround concerns.

  • Do you have pets?
  • Is it going on Asphalt, Concrete, Stone?
  • Garden or lawn in close proximity?

While every home is different, here are some guidelines I use when looking for products.

  • Sand: If you have Stone or concrete (especially newly placed within a year), I would suggest using sand. Although it won’t melt the snow, it will create some traction to prevent slipping and is less likely to damage your steps. It’s also more gentle on gardens and your pets paws
  • Carbonyl Diamide or Urea based ice melts: These are typically milder ice melts and ingredients used in “Pet-Safe” De-icers. While they are not as powerful as some other ingredients, they tend to be a bit safer for pets and gardens.
  • Rock Salt, Calcium Chloride: These are usually your more powerful and cost effective solutions. However, when using these be careful around stone as it might damage it. As well, don’t spred on gardens as it might cause damage in the spring. Also the rocks can get stuck in between your pets paws so keep an eye on their paws, especially between their toes where this tends to get stuck.

While these are a guideline to get you thinking about what to use for your de-icing needs, it’s always good to read the back of the package or ask a sales associate if you aren’t sure.

Hope this helps!

For more about the different chemicals in ice melt, Consumer Reports put together this breakdown which is also useful