Gardening in September 2004
by Trina Mattson, Tofino
Okay so out of all of August we had approximately 7 days of rain, that
includes days of heavy fog and half days of sprinkles, not so great
for the plants, but excellent for the tan line, or lack of depending
on your preference. With so little rain, how do we deal with the drought,
and what type of drought tolerant plants are out there for us to enjoy.
Many can be grown in the shade quite successfully, and there is a wide
range that can take on full sun as well, given that you have the right
soil conditions, so many that it would take pages to write down the
list, but we always have a good selection at the garden center and
are more than happy to help you select plants that will thrive in your
The fall selection of flowers are in and in bloom for the most part,
these include some of the most popular, pansies, violas, ornamental
kales and cabbages, rudbeckia, sedums, mums and asters, in a wide range
of colours to suit almost every bodies favorite flavour. Spring flowering
bulbs are also in at this point with the most popular going fast, such
as the calla aethopica, and the naturalizing tulip and narcissus, as
well as Christmas flowering amaryllis and paper whites. And as always
don’t buy bulbs and not the fertilizer, why spend hard earnings,
and not provide the maintenance that bulbs require for the best display
possible. Purchasing fertilizer specific to what you are growing is
the best, when possible, basic fertilizers are great and work well,
but there are certain plants that like specific nutrients that are
only available in specialized fertilizers. If you buy all the components
individually, the cost is much greater and the amount of fertilizer
you would end up with would feed a lot more than the average household
needs in one season.
This is prime time to be planting perennials, especially early spring
flowering varieties. Planting them in the fall helps to get their
roots growing before winter sets in and sets them up so that in the
you have a larger display of flowers, and an established plant. Perennials,
as well as Iris, and Peonies (although they hate being disturbed)
can be divided to increase your stock.
Keep dead heading annuals and perennials to extend the bloom time.
If you like to dry flowers, hydrangeas, lavender, and poppy seed
heads are amongst the favourites at this time to cut and preserve.
a trim fort he last time this season. Do not trim grey leaved perennials
such as lavender until spring.
It’s time to sow winter crop vegetables such as lettuce, spinach,
chards, radishes, oriental greens, and kales. Seeding lawns at this
time is also okay, or sod, depending on budget, of course and water
restrictions. Collecting seeds from your favorite annuals and perennials
is also on the top of the list this month. Remember to label, and store
correctly any moisture and your seeds are ruined. Bring in any indoor
plants that have summered outside, be sure to check for slugs and bugs
before hand. Cut down on the amount of water, and stop fertilizing
This is a great time to check out the nursery for fall colour in the
trees and shrubs, some of the most fantastic colours are starting to
show up ranging from yellows to the deeps purples and the brightest
reds. And for a little pick me up in containers gone wild and unruly,
check out some of the ornamental grasses available, add these to winter
pansies and kales and viola!! Beautiful planter all over again.
Trina Mattson owns and operates the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino.
Tofino gardening tips for September 2004 by Trina Mattson from the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino for Tofino Time Magazine.