Frequently Asked Questions
Raspberries only produce fruit on two year old canes. Once the canes produce fruit they die so it’s very important to prune out these old canes. Prune out the old canes in the fall. In the spring, thin the remaining one year old growth – leaving six to eight of the sturdiest canes to bear this season’s crop.
The best place to plant a fruit tree is on a north or east facing slope to prevent early bud break. If this is not possible place a mulch or straw around the tree in late winter to keep the frost in longer. It is important to ensure that the fruit tree receives full sun. To plant, dig a large hole at least 12" wider than the root ball. Add a few handfuls of bone meal in the bottom of the hole. Mix 1/3 peat moss in with the back fill material. Water generously after planting and as required afterwards. Pick any fruit before it develops in the first year to help your tree to establish itself.
Use certified seed and cut any large tubers into pieces. However, make sure there are a minimum of three eyes per piece. Plant potatoes shallow, with eyes up, in deeply cultivated soil. Place in rows that are 3’ apart with potatoes 16" apart. Fertilize with a high content of potash. When foliage is 10" high hill up. This is important because you do not want the tubers exposed to sunlight. Light makes the skins turn green which is toxic. Do not use lime or manure. Manure will cause your potatoes to scab.
Use healthy 2 or 3 year old roots. Dig holes 16" deep, 2’ apart, and place rows 4’ apart. Place 12" of soil and well rotted manure into planting holes. Place roots into this mix so that the crown is 6-8" below soil surface. Do not cut any asparagus the first year.
Weed and Feed should be applied when the weeds in your lawn are actively growing. Avoid use in the summer when it is dry and hot. Apply when 1 – 2 days of clear weather is forecasted. Only apply on calm days to prevent drift. Apply in early morning when there is still a dew. Weed and Feed should not be used on newly seeded lawns until after the third mowing. Most importantly, avoid OVER application.
The follow suggestions will help you have a successful pond:
There are several reasons for fruit not setting on a tree. They may include:
The most common answer to this question is improper pruning. Hardy shrub roses such as those in the Parkland and Explorer series, bloom on second year canes, while other roses such as hybrid teas bloom on current years growth. If a shrub rose that normally blooms on 2nd year wood is pruned down too low, you will lose your blooms for that year. If pruning wasn’t the problem, an application of fertilizer which is high in the middle number (phosphorous), will generally rectify the problem.
Moss grows in areas with poor soil aeration, poor drainage, low fertility, high acidity, or heavy shade. It is a common problem of neglected turf but cannot compete with a vigorous, healthy lawn. Chemical treatment using moss killers provides only temporary control and growing conditions must be improved to prevent the re-establishment of moss. The following steps can be taken to improve growing conditions. Aerating your lawn will reduce compaction and improve drainage. A good slow release turf fertilizer high in nitrogen will increase fertility. Lime may be applied to reduce acidity, however, soils in the interior of British Columbia tend to be alkaline and lime should only be applied after a soil pH test has been taken. If shade is a problem use a grass seed that is shade tolerant such as Fescue.
Blossom end rot is a physiological condition that often affects tomatoes that are given uneven moisture during growth or a lack of calcium.
One of the main indicators of an unbalanced pond is algae, which thrives on sun & excess minerals in your water. To cut down on algae growth, ⅔ of a pond’s surface should be protected from the sun, either by floating plants such as lilies or through the use of marginal plantings. All plant debris and leaves should be removed from the water. A good pump and filtration system will also help keep your pond water clear by oxygenating your water and removing unwanted waste.
Usually the cause of non-blooming peonies is that they were planted too deep. When planting, make sure that the crown is 2 inches below soil level. Any deeper than this, and your peony will fail to bloom. Also, when dividing your peonies, make sure that each division has at least three eyes, or you may again be disappointed by lack of flowering.
The first number in a fertilizer analysis is nitrogen. It is responsible for maintaining healthy, green foliage. The second number is phosphorous. Phosphorous is aids in fruit production, flowering and rooting. Last, but definitely not least, there is potash. Potash is responsible for plant hardiness, disease resistance as well as speeding up the ripening of fruit. A good quality fertilizer will also contain trace elements such as iron, magnesium & zinc.
People often think that perennials will provide them with flowers all season long. Unfortunately, unlike annuals, perennials have a shorter blooming period, but here are a few that have some of the longest blooming times.
Icelandic Poppy, Rudbeckia, ‘Luxuriant’ Bleeding Heart, Salvia, Nepeta, Coral bells, Heucherella , Cranesbill and Armeria.
Ideally, a good selection of perennials will give you colour from early April to Oct. Although this is a challenge, it is a learning experience. I hope that more people will find a greater appreciation of what perennials have to add to their garden in texture and colour by choosing them not only for their flowers but for the beautiful foliage they have to offer.
At the nursery customers will tell me the woes of a
site where nothing will grow because it is either too shady, wet or
too dry. Perennials offer solutions to the different problem areas in
a garden. Here is a list of the perennials I suggest will grow best in
those problem sites;
Fertilize your lawn in spring (April) and summer (July) with a good slow release turf fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. Another application of fertilizer should be made in early September. At this time use a fall fertilizer that is higher in potash. Apply according to label instructions and avoid over fertilizing to prevent leaching into the groundwater.
With the changing weather patterns in the Cariboo it is hard to pinpoint a date that is safe for planting. A good rule of thumb is the long weekend in May for all bedding plants. However, there are a few plants that will tolerate 3 to 4 degrees of frost. These include: Calendula, Snapdragons, Dianthus, Dusty Miller, Pansies, and Petunias.
Summer bulbs include Canna and Calla lily, Gladiola, and Dahlia. These bulbs should be planted once the chance of frost has past. If they are planted earlier they must be protected from frost. Each has their own planting depth, but all summer bulbs need to be lifted in the fall, placed in dry peat moss and stored in a cool basement. Calla lilies should be planted 4-6" deep, 1 ft apart, and in full to partial sun. The Canna lily should be planted 5" deep in rich loose soil, in full sun. Gladiola should be planted 4-6" deep in rich, well-drained soil, in full sun. Dahlias should be planted 4-6" deep in rich loose soil.
Hanging baskets should be fertilized with a water soluble fertilizer once a week. In addition to this, it is a good idea to add a slow release fertilizer to the soil at the time of planting such as osmocote or 14-14-14. As there is limited soil in hanging baskets, their nutrient holding capacity is not very good, requiring fertilizing more often than planting beds which thrive on a fertilizer application once every two weeks.
Spring or fall are preferable. Summer planting of containers is successful if watering is carried out. Transplanting or dividing should take place in spring or fall, with the exception of Bearded Iris in July or August. Peonies are best divided in fall.
If you look a little closer at your trees, you will probably find that you have aphids as well. Ants farm aphids by packing their eggs up into the trees and other plants so that they can later eat the sugary honeydew they secrete. A band of Tanglefoot at the bottom of your tree will help prevent ants and other crawling insects from climbing your tree in the spring.
Most insecticides are contact sprays, and will only kill insects that are currently on your tree. If you had an insect problem the previous year, the best thing to do is spray your tree with a dormant oil spray kit in early spring before bud break. This mix of sulphur and dormant oil, will help kill any over-wintering insects or disease that you may have had a problem with. Maintaining a clean yard and destroying all infected plant material will also help keep problems under control.
Aerating your lawn will increase rooting depth and drainage, and reduce compaction. A high traffic lawn with compacted soil would greatly benefit from aerating. However, if your lawn is healthy and receives light usage, aeration is probably not necessary.
The flowers of fruit trees contain both male and female parts on the same flower. Many of these fruits are self-sterile, meaning that they cannot be fertilized by their own pollen. Most fruit trees require a cross-pollinator. For good results the cross pollinator should be a different cultivar, have blossoming times that overlap, and the trees should be planted within a 1000 feet of each other.