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Dallying In The Dirt, Issue #137 --- I'm visiting fabulous Quebec City
August 17, 2013
I know it’s Saturday already but I’m in Quebec City at the annual Garden Writers’ Symposium. It’s been a few years since I’ve been here and I realize that I may never have been here in the summer. Always came for the skiing. What a fabulous city. Walked through the old town last night looking for dinner and the whole place is packed with people out enjoying the evening. Been on one day of garden tours and found this floral butterfly at Laval University. Good friends, good food, great gardens and some enlightening educational sessions make this an event I try never to miss. Being in Quebec is just making it a whole lot better. Having fun explaining the city and its history to our American members. Hope the garden at home is doing well under the care of the Assistant Gardener.
Time to answer a few questions. If you have a gardening question just ‘reply’ to this newsletter and send me your query. I try to answer most of the questions and the ones that I answer here are those that I think will have the widest interest. You can also find the latest garden updates on the front page of gardening-enjoyed.com. I try to change it every few days so check back often.
Liz Asks? I have a question regarding my raised beds. This spring my “assistant gardener” made two for me. We filled them with top soil and had visions of fresh veggies well into the fall… Well the peas and beans are twice the size of their supports and the lettuce and carrots are also doing great, but the tomatoes are another story. The plants (and there are a variety from cherry to heirloom) are small as are the sad little tomatoes attached. Should I add something to the top soil ie sand, peat (although I don’t like to use it)? Is top soil to “heavy” for tomatoes?
Ken Answers! Top soil in containers, even containers as big as your raised beds tends to compact and get very hard. The vine crops are aggressive growers, especially this year, and not bothered by this as much as the Tomatoes. Give them lots of water and a little fertilizer and then amend the soil with sand and peat or some other organic matter, compost, before your replant them next year.
Susann Asks? I have two Rose of Sharon shrubs that are about 8ft tall and healthy... do I leave all the leaves on the trunk or pick them off so it looks more tree like? I got a Jack in the Pulpit from Garden Import, followed instructions for planting and one shoot came up which died, so I just left it hen about 2 weeks later dug it up and it had 2 little green nubs growing? I replanted it with the nubs just above the dirt surface, should they be beaneath the soil?
Ken Answers! The Rose of Sharon shaping is strictly your design preference. They will grow just fine either way. The Jack in Pulpit will usually come up quite nicely the next year but they do need to be planted a few cm deep to help them survive the winter. They will typically grow in the spring and then disappear by mid summer.
111 Trent St. W.
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