Tofino Gardening in May
by Trina Mattson
MAY the month of bedding plants, colourama, growth, better weather
and big old weeds. So get out the bucket, and gloves and start pulling.
But remember to stretch first, and limber up, weed pulling is a strain
on the back, neck and legs, and you may find muscles you never knew
existed. Drink lots of fluids, this will keep your muscles from getting
dehydrated. And then back at it. Hup, two, three , four, pull those
For those with houseplants, May is a good time to transplant them
into bigger pots if needed, remember not all plants are created equal,
some dislike being transplanted, actually resent it even, so do some
research first. The most common question I get for houseplants is how
often do I water, unfortunately there is no rule of thumb, everybodies
houses are of course different, temperature, light, drafts etc. For
the most part it’s an experiment, trial and error at first til
you get to know your house and your plant. We are now carrying orchids
and bromeliads in the nursery, and I am really surprised at how easy
they are to care for, considering the lighting is not as good as it
should be, they seem to be thriving quite well. (Knock on wood).
Spring is a good time to plant up trees and shrubs, with no lack
of water, they can get a good root set before the heat of summer.
And it may be hot, all signs are pointing that way. Fertilize your
fruiting plants in May as well as plant up potatoes, herbs and
veggies, with the exception of the more tender ones, like tomatoes,
cucumbers, basil etc...
May is also Rhodo month, and I’ll bet Ken Gibson’s yard
is starting to become a blaze of colour.
Lilacs and Magnolias are also out in bloom in May, and for those that
don’t seem to be able to get their lilac to bloom, I found the
trick here is to lime the soil. It won’t help this year, but
it will help for next year. Actually that goes for a lot of plants,
If you are just starting to fertilize and amend your soil now, the
real benefits will not be visible until next year.
May is also the month to start up your hanging baskets, get the planters
and baskets cleaned out of last years dirt, just throw it into the
garden somewhere, I would hate to see good dirt wasted, and start
with fresh dirt each year.
Some interesting products out this year, they may not be new, but
could be useful.
One is soil moist granules. It looks like rock salt, but when you
add water to it , it becomes like large jelly blobs, that keeps
and retains water for several days, added to you soil mixture in
your baskets, and your watering can be reduced, but once again
it is not a cure all for watering every place is different, but
in most cases it can give you that extra day needed. The other
watering product is called soil sponge, I believe it is made from
reclaimed coconut husks, and does the same thing and is useable
in veggie nad herb beds.
For moss baskets, a product called supa moss, It kind of looks like
moss, and by the time your plants grow out you won’t see it anyway,
but is made from recycled cotton products, attached to a thin plastic
liner, so if getting moss is a problem for you, then this may be the
Hopeful new plants in May, Meconopsis Grandis (Himalyan Blue Poppy),
Fancy leaf scented geraniums, Regal geraniums (Martha Washington)
And other really cool plants
Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino.
Tofino gardening tips by Trina Mattson from the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino. Published in May 2005 in Tofino Time Magazine.