News from Gold River Garden Centre – by Bridgite Messer
Spring is officially here and this year’s has had many sunny days. Consequently, many of you are getting a jump start on this growing season. At this time of year it is amazing what can be done to enhance the curb appeal of our yards. Winter can make quite a mess, but with minimal effort, a bit of raking and sweeping reveals a new canvas ready for adding new landscaping ideas. Now is the time for planning. To help you with this, I would like to let you know what I have planned for this gardening season at your local Garden Centre.
It’s not too early to start your lawn care. We have a good supply of Dolopril (pelleted lime) – a great product for sweetening the soil, and easy to apply using your lawn fertilizer spreader. This is an important step for Gold River lawns as our rainy winters and abundant evergreen needles create an acid environment that needs to be adjusted to grow healthy grass. An added benefit to increasing the ph of the soil is making an unfriendly growing environment for moss. Also, neutral ph allows lawn fertilizer to work better. Early spring is a good time to use a balanced fertilizer, like 6-8-6. (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) This helps each blade of grass develop a strong root system which will create a lawn that needs minimal watering. (Trees growing in the lawn appreciate balanced fertilizer too). The high nitrogen lawn fertilizer (eg. 32-0-0) should be saved for later in the spring when everything is actively growing; when increasing hours of warm sunlight can help make that luscious flush of green.
Now that we have addressed the lawn, the border gardens can be tidied. Dead perennials can be cleaned away to allow for the new growth to emerge without messy old debris ruining the show. Just beware that we are at risk of frost until the third week of May so tender plants should be protected. This past winter, if you recall, we had a bout of cold temperatures as low as -12c, so high-zoned plants may need to start again right from the root, if they survived. Also, that bag of 6-8-6 can also be used to help your newly budding shrubs and bulbs.
At the main store, a large rack of West Coast Seeds are already here along with everything needed for starting your own bedding plants.
Spring bulbs from Van Noort Bulb Co. (Canadian family-operated business in Langley, British Columbia) are expected to arrive the first week of April and will be located at the main store. (Any remaining seeds or bulbs will be moved to the garden centre after Easter) These can be planted all spring long.
In late April, just after Easter, we have a nice variety of perennials and shrubs arriving. In keeping with my rotational plan for providing diversity, you will see that some of these plants are coming to the Gold River Garden Centre for the first time!
- • Roses again! – Patio, Tea, carpet and tree varieties!
- • A collection of Drought tolerant, Sun loving, and shade loving shrubs
- • A collection of rhododendrons
- • Barberry collection
- • Lilac collection
- • Blueberry and grape collection
- • And Heather!
There is only one shipment of shrubs/perennials, so be sure to get what you like early.
Bedding plants and hanging baskets will be arriving the first week of May with weekly shipments for about five to six weeks. (Each week, new varieties come available)
Along with the plants, we try to have everything needed for landscaping: tools, landscape fabrics, mulches (rocks and barks) edging, soils, bricks, and of course interesting accents – pots, garden ornaments, fountains, and even some patio furniture! For garden maintenance, we also have a full line of fertilizers and pesticides. Just to note, two products that are hard to find that we have are Dr. Doom (for ants and other insects) and Bobbex (a deer repellent spray that when used properly, is very effective) For deer, or other unwanted animals, we also have The Scarecrow (water sprayer activated by a motion sensor)
2014 Garden Centre Hours: Firstly, the garden Centre is always accessible through the main store. I will be on site on a regular basis after Easter weekend, working from 10am to 4pm. Starting on Mother’s Day, we will be open 7 days a week: 10am to 4pm daily, with Sunday hours being Noon to 3pm until June 1. Sunday hours may be extended into June if needed.
Thank you to the Gold River residents who have been supporting the garden centre. It is my passion for gardening that keeps me motivated and I enjoy helping and, likewise learning, from all of you. This is my 4th season and I am starting to get a pretty good idea of who my customers are and what you like. Even though interest in gardening is growing, unfortunately, according to my stats, there are not very many of us. I try to provide the most diverse selection as possible, but for Gold River, sometimes issues like cost of freight and minimum quantities are hard to buffer with a small population and I certainly appreciate your understanding and patience. It is especially great to see the growing interest amongst Gold River’s young families.
Lastly, I would like to comment on the great job that the Village does in keeping our boulevards and parks so beautiful. This really helps to keep our aging town young and we can each help by taking the responsibility to keep our yards nice. I see improvements every year and applaud those who are able to make even the smallest changes. Yard enhancement not only makes you feel good, but you’re whole neighbourhood; hopefully the whole town!
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