tofino gardening in december

Tofino Gardening in December

by Trina Mattson, Tofino

the letter 'W'Well what can I say about gardening in December, by now, tools should be cleaned sharpened and oiled, pots cleaned out, leaves raked and composting, and things just generally tidied so not to harbour any bugs and disease. Dream about lists to be filled, and read all the gardening magazines for ideas for next year.

My new projects for 2010 include bringing in mason bees, winter harvest gardening course, organic master gardening course, growing and harvesting vegetables for spring and summer course, more cool gardening tools, mycrorizae fertilizer, more varieties of fruits and vegetables, and the list goes on. But I am excited about it and look forward to another year in the garden.

Let’s get back to December, with the cooler weather that we have been seeing in the last few years, it may be a good idea to wrap your evergreen hedging cedars, so they don’t splay open if we get any snow, and this can happen as late as March? Unfortunately other than making braces for your branches on your Rhodo­dendrons, there really isn’t much you can do for them. Phormiums got hit hard last year from the cold, a teepee frame with a plastic hood can protect them from the hardest frost fairly well, eucalyptus also took a hit, many people lost theirs, myself as well, but after it was cut down, I didn’t dig it out, and it actually grew back from the stubby stump we left. Sometimes patience and laziness can pay off. Watch your pottery outside, make sure to lift it off the ground to aide in drainage, and if possible just empty out the pot, many pots break over the winter from being waterlogged, and then freezing, well I took science in school, water freezes and expands, pot goes pblink, not rocket science.

We have some useful “bandaids” for the garden to help you survive winter better. Wilt Pruf is a product you can spray on your trees and shrubs, this helps protect their leaves when it freezes, also a great product in the summer during periods of drought. Ecotraction is a mineral based product that you use instead of salt or gravel to help against slips or falls in icy weather, it is safe and non toxic to pets and the ground, and unlike salts, you just sweep it into the garden or onto the lawn, and it will not kill your plants.

In December we switch gears a little, change into a bit of a Christmas store, pull out decorations you can do around the home, we bring in evergreen wreaths, make some winter greenery baskets, the garden part of the store has most of the shelves cleared, and we have all the Christmas decorations set out, poinsettias arrive, and cut, cultivated Christmas trees as well as live ones show up on the lot.

And we just dream more, as we are still open right through to Christmas Eve...

Twas the season before Spring
And throughout the garden bed
Not a weed did pop up
Nor did a plant get fed

The tools were cleaned
All sharpened and oiled
And the gardeners gloves
Were worn and still soiled

Here comes winter
And with it the rains
Our fingers are crooked
From the arthritic pains

As we wait for Spring
with good winter cheer
We hear the gardening angel
with our one good ear

Happy Gardening to you
and all of your friends
We’ll see you in Spring time
When this god D--- rain ends

Merry Christmas All
From OCN Garden Center
Trina Eric and Staff Janna
See you in the New Year!

We are in contact with an instructor who is coming up to teach winter vegetable gardening in 2010. This course was held in Ucluelet this year, and by popular demand will also be coming to Tofino. And an organic market produce gardener is also on our list of people wanting to come up and teach a course on growing your own vegetables, for spring and summer harvest. For more information please contact us at the garden center.

Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino.

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Tofino gardening advice by Trina Mattson from the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino. Published in Tofino Time Magazine in December 2009.

tofino time december 2008