Archive for May, 2010
A: Herbs are gaining popularity in the home garden and while they do provide
some aesthetic interest, flavour and fragrance is their true claim to fame.
Herbs can be grown in a flower garden, in a formal herb garden, in
containers on a small balcony, or even on a windowsill. Some herbs can be
grown from seed and others purchased as transplants. Read the rest of this entry »
Book launch via helium balloon lands in Scotland
TARA MULLOWNEY THE TELEGRAM
Ross Traverse is out $100 today, and he couldn’t be happier. Traverse, who owns Traverse Gardens in Torbay, launched his first book, “Ask Ross Traverse About Gardening: Practical Advice for Gardeners in a Cool Climate,” Sept. 21, and came up with a unique promotional tool for the event.
He got a red camper’s fuel cylinder — which is aluminum, lightweight and water-proof — and filled it with bookmarks, information about his book, and a note, saying whoever found the cylinder and contacted Traverse would receive a $100 reward.He then tied the cylinder to a small peat pot, which disintegrates in contact with water, and tied the peat pot to a dozen foil balloons filled with helium. At the book launch at Traverse Gardens in September, Traverse and his wife, Marcie, let the balloons go.
“We let them go over land, and we were never even sure they made it to the water,” Traverse said. “They almost crashed first when we let them go, but then they rose up and sailed away.
“It was an idea we had, but we never expected anything to come of it.”
Traverse was surprised, then, when on Sunday he got a call from David Beaumont in Oronsay, a small island in the Inner Hebrides in Scotland.
“He was part of a group of ecological researchers cleaning up a beach, and he came across this red cylinder,” Traverse said.
“He threw it to his friend, who opened it and found the bookmarks and the note.
“We were so excited to hear from him, my wife organized a party right away and we had some friends in.”
Beaumont told Traverse everything inside the cylinder had arrived in perfect condition, and the location couldn’t have been more perfect, since some of the habitants of Oronsay — of which there were five in the 2001 census — are organic farmers.
“On the phone, he never even mentioned the $100,” Traverse said with a chuckle, “but I told him I’m going to send him the book and the money. He’s going to send me some pictures and we’re going to correspond by e-mail.”
A: The key to growing fruit in Newfoundland and Labrador is selecting cultivars that will produce mature fruit in a short growing season. Advances in plant breeding have led to the development of many early-maturing cultivars that perform well in cool climates. Note that certain cultivars or even types of fruit trees sold locally may not necessarily be suitable for Newfoundland and Labrador. Three fruit trees that typically do well in Newfoundland and Labrador are cherry, plum and pear. Read the rest of this entry »
* A seed mixture of 40% Kentucky bluegrass, 40% creeping red fescue and 20% annual ryegrass is recommended.
* Large stones should be raked from the surface.
* Before seeding, apply lime at the rate of 5 kg per 10 sq m (10 lbs per 100 sq ft) and rake in 6-12-12 fertilizer at the rate of 2 kg per 10 sq m (4 lbs per 100 sq ft).
* Spread the seed at the rate of 2 kg per 100 sq m (4 lbs per 1000 sq ft) and lightly rake it into the soil. Read the rest of this entry »
* Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball but no deeper than is necessary to bury the roots. Loosen the soil in the bottom of the hole and around the sides of the hole 60 cm (2 ft) out from the centre of the root ball.
* Mix one or two handfuls of agricultural lime with the soil dug from the hole. Read the rest of this entry »
* Driveways and access should be the first consideration. Lots of parking and turning space is a must.
* Plan for snow removal. Do not plant trees or shrubs where snow is to be stockpiled.
* Avoid planting grass on slopes. Instead, plant ground covers, trees, and shrubs, or construct a retaining wall. Read the rest of this entry »
* Lime every year at the rate of 5 kg per 10 sq m (10 lbs per 100 sq ft).
* Fertilize in the spring, again in midsummer, and in September with 15-5-15 fertilizer at the rate, each time, of 1.5 kg per 10 sq m (3 lbs per 100 sq ft).
* Mow the grass as high as possible and mow often so that only the top third of the grass is removed. At least 5 cm (2 in) of green grass should remain after mowing. Read the rest of this entry »
* Prepare the soil as suggested for flowers and vegetables.
* Rose bushes should be set so the graft is 10-15 cm (4-6 in) below the surface of the soil.
* Some roses, such as hybrid teas, are heavy feeders so water soluble fertilizer should be applied 3 or 4 times during the growing season up until the end of August. Check with Traverse Gardens for specific fertilizer recommendations. Read the rest of this entry »
* Make sure all grass and weeds are removed from the beds.
* Plant in groups of three or more to give a good splash of colour.
* Check the height the plants will grow. Tall plants such as phlox should be at the back of the bed. Read the rest of this entry »