Tofino gardening in June 2007
by Trina Mattson, Tofino
Once again June has arrived and as is becoming the norm, I am no where near ready for it, May seems to take forever to get here and then it just speeds on past, forgetting to take me with it, and before you know it there’s that June again. Ah well.
Gardening in June is more like a lot of work than fun, there’s all that weeding that you need to get done, more fertilizing of the lawns and a second helping of Clematis and vine food is scheduled, don’t forget to fertilize your annuals on a regular basis now, forget the 3 week theory, slow release pellets with the plants, and a diluted solution of water soluble fertilizer every time you water and your annuals will reward you with major color all season long.
Prune any perennials that have finished blooming to encourage a second spurt of growth and even a second blooming. There is still time to plant all those trees, shrubs and perennials that you want to get in before the summer’s heat arrives and annuals are still available. This is definitely the one year when I truly believed that waiting to plant annuals after the May long weekend was advisable, it was dang cool out this spring, and as many people found out, by being lured out of town where the temperatures there were five degrees warmer and a lot less rain, brought their plants back here and the leaves turned red, it’s because it was too cold, that’s why even I waited to get stuff in until the first week of May, and I still thought that was early. But we have lots of color in the greenhouse now.
Speaking of heat and water, fairly new product in the market is coir fiber, also known as coconut fiber, made from well you know, the big push is, we are striping the Peat bogs of their peat , and a bog takes approximately 220 years to renew, not a sustainable source, on the other hand, coconut fiber, totally renewable resource, does the same jobs, cost the same or there abouts if you want to put a value on it, is easy and lighter to handle, and does not change the PH of your soil, anyway we have been testing it in the garden center, in a variety of applications, for seeding, as a moisture holding mediums in baskets and planters, and as a mulch instead of bark, results so far are as follows, seeding medium works great, moisture holding A+, still testing the mulch, mix medium instead of peat moss in the garden, dropped the ball on that one, so far everyone that has tried it loves it, and not only did we not get enough, not even our suppliers ordered enough. Next year.
Next subject involving water storage, we have had a number of people inquire as to whether or not we have any water storage barrels in stock, unfortunately no, you can use a clean garbage can, to temporarily hold water for the gardens, that’s what I used, but if you are interested in water barrels for storage, give us a call at the garden center, we do have a supply line for them, but I will need enough interest in them to bring up a truck load. I unfortunately managed to miss the short seminar on saving water, that was held in Tofino in May, I ‘m not sure what type of notices if any went out other than the paper, which I barely have time to read.
Horsetails are the weed of choice right now, and are driving everyone nuts, they like, oxygen starved, nutrient poor, poorly drained, soil, describes Tofino alright, first if you can deal with the drainage, also fertilize, they are less happy about being in healthy soil, I have noticed that under my Magnolia tree were we throw a far bit of wood ash, there does not seem to be any horsetail. Makes you go Hmmmmmmmm. So I experiment, with combinations of fertilizers. I let you know. But whatever you so, throwing mulch over them, just keeps them moist, and plastic just starves them of everything but life, and weed killer does go deep enough to kill all the roots.
My brain is starting to shut down now, and I’m going to really start to ramble.
Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino.