tofino gardening in may

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 weeds.

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 solution.

Hopeful new plants in May, Meconopsis Grandis (Himalyan Blue Poppy), Fancy leaf scented geraniums, Regal geraniums (Martha Washington)

And other really cool plants
Happy Gardening!

Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino.

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Tofino gardening tips by Trina Mattson from the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino. Published in May 2005 in Tofino Time Magazine.

tofino time may 2005

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