How to Grow Grapes in Containers

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Grape Bunch 2017

Grapes are most often seen growing in long rows in vast fields, lined up perfectly on rolling hills in the sun baked valleys of the landscape. It would be easy to assume that it’s impossible to have a grape vine growing in a small space or even in a container. This isn’t true and with a little planning and pruning it’s possible to grow grapes in containers successfully. They just need a lot of nutrition and minerals to be at their best. Micro Climates Micro climates are little pockets of weather and temperature differences within another climate zone. These can …


How to Make Seed Tape

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Commercially produced seed tape is great and very convenient but the drawback is that there aren’t very many seed types that are available this way. Seed tape is also quite expensive compared to bulk seeds in packages. The solution is to make your own seed tape and use any seeds you want. You can make your own seed tape by using unbleached paper towel or unbleached toilet paper. Learning to make your own seed tape will help you accurately plant tiny seeds that are difficult to space out properly just by sprinkling. Some seeds like lettuce, carrots, basil and radishes …


Root Weevils

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Root Weevil

I didn’t even know what a root weevil was for all the years I was gardening at my last place which is in a mostly rural setting. But then, 18 months ago I had to move on short notice. So I packed up, picked up and dragged my mature 12 year old garden in the mucky weather of February and I managed to move it in less than two months! We now have a cute little house right in the middle of town. Little did I know that this new house is completely infested with weevils and ants for that …


How to Grow Raspberries from Seeds

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One way to grow your own patch of raspberries is to do it from seeds. It takes more patience but the rewarding harvest that goes with it is usually worth the wait. You’ll be looking at waiting and nurturing your seeds and sprouts for two growing seasons before a plentiful crop of berries will grow.  Purchasing seeds is definitely the cheapest way to go but remember that they do require that extra bit of patience and time to mature them to the point that they’ll produce fruit. If you want a quick berry harvest sooner, then it’s best to get cuttings from …


What is a GMO?

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GMO stands for what? GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, sometimes known as Genetically Engineered Organism. If you do any research at all, you’ll quickly see that there is much talk about how the GMO foods might be adversely affecting our health.  Many countries have already banned everything to do with GMO seeds, including its’ related farming methods and the food that is produced from it. Some of the countries that have rejected GMO’s are Austria, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria and Luxembourg, New Zealand, Madeira and Switzerland. They have all banned the sale, use and planting of GMO seeds. Several more countries …


The Haskap Berry

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The Haskap berry is another unique berry that I recommend home gardeners have alongside the blue blueberries and the pink blueberries. In Latin, the Haskap plant is known as Lonicera Caerulea. Sometimes you’ll see Haskap spelled in other ways such as Hascap, Haskaap and Hasukappu. The name is of Japanese origin.  The Haskap berry is growing in popularity and is touted as the newest super berry health food. It has greater health benefits than most other berries. Each big Haskap berry holds a powerhouse of antioxidants that are greater than that of both blueberries and cranberries.  The Haskap berry has higher levels …


Fiskars Softouch Weeder

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I highly recommend that every gardener have this tool on hand. The Fiskars Softouch Weeder. It’s also known as a dandelion weeder. This tool is specifically designed for the long, deep tap roots that a dandelion, thistles and some other weeds produce. However, it is also effective in removing other weeds too such as the plantain. Don’t let it fool you, the bent design is perfect. There are other designs of this tool available but trust me, this one works the best. The angle of it and the leverage is perfect and the weed pops out easily. When the weeder is applied …


The Garden Bandit

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The Garden Bandit

The Garden Bandit is a Canadian made tool and is one of the best I’ve ever found. It’s a must have for every gardener and will become as important as pruners to you in no time at all. It’s a simple design but amazingly efficient at uprooting large numbers of weeds with little effort. It’s a very lightweight hand tool that’s perfect for those with limited strength. The very thin stainless steel blade glides through the soil, the weeds don’t stand a chance when it comes to The Garden Bandit. Once the soil is loosened it’s quick and easy to just …


The Pine Berry

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Pineberries and Strawberry

 Have you ever heard of a Pine berry? This is a berry that we all should be growing, it’s beautiful and different. It’s unique looking delicious little berry holds a special reward for those who grow them. This is my first year with them so I’ve only been able to harvest two little berries so far. They were very delicious and different. They actually did have a pineapple-y flavour! I’m hooked on them now. The Pine Berry It’s botanical name is “Fragaria ananassa”. It’s a hybrid of Fragaria chiloensis, that originated in South America, and Fragaria virginiana, which originated in North America. It’s …


The Hummingbird Vine

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Coral Trumpet Vine

The Hummingbird Vine is a very beautiful, fast growing, deciduous woody vine that hummingbirds just love. This plant is also known as a Trumpet Vine because of the shape of the flowers it produces. Aliases Trumpet Vine Hummingbird Vine Star Glory Cypress Vine Trumpet Creeper Cow Itch Vine Hell Vine Devil’s Shoestring Latin Lingo The Hummingbird vine or Trumpet Creeper is called Campsis radicans in Latin. It is a species of flowering plant in the family called Bignoniaceae. The Latin word “radicans” means “with stems that take root”. This is an important characteristic to pay attention to before purchasing and planting. This means that …


Orcon Dellocate Snails

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Predaceous Dellocate Snail

What are Orcon Dellocate Snails? Orcon is a brand name, short for “Organic Control Inc.” and Dellocate snails are molluscs with the scientific name: Rumina decollata. They are a type of predatory snail that eats brown snails, slugs, other snail types and all of their eggs too! These particular snails are actually beneficial to the garden. They’ll catch your eye because they have a different appearance than your average garden snail, Dellocate snails are conical and slender whereas average garden snails are more round in shape. The Dellocate snail was introduced to southern California from the Mediterranean in the early 1970’s to …


Pink Lemonade Blueberry

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Have you ever seen a pink blueberry before? It looks like something that just shouldn’t exist! It’s bright pink and perfectly unique.  If you don’t have any of these plants in your garden yet then I highly recommend adding a couple to the garden this year. The best little surprise from the pink lemonade blueberry is that these these eye-catching little beauties have a taste quite different than a regular blue blueberry. You’ll be amazed, they actually have a distinct tangy sweet taste just like pink lemonade. It’s very unlikely that will you see these berries picked for sale in the …


List of Raspberry Cultivars

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Red Raspberries

This is a more complete list of the different types of raspberry cultivars that you might find in the local markets and nurseries in your area. Please note that not all varieties will be available in all areas. What is a Cultivar? A cultivar is a general term referring to a plant or grouping of plants that have been selected for desirable characteristics. These characteristics are maintained by consistent propagation.  Similarly, the world’s agricultural food crops are almost exclusively comprised of cultivars that have been selected for desirable characteristics such as improved yield, flavour and disease resistance. Very few wild …


Carrot Sprout Carnage

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Hugging Carrots

It’s carrot seed planting time! It’s springtime, an exciting and rejuvenating time of year, seeds being planted, perennial sprouts emerging, spring flowers and summer flower buds are abundant everywhere. Well, what am I talking about then…carrot sprout carnage?? Back up a little while: Read about how I built a small raised bed on a pallet about two weeks ago. This unique pallet was re-purposed and used to create a raised bed for planting Rainbow Blend and Purple Haze carrot seeds. May Showers Anyway, it’s late April and early May, summer is right around the corner. The carrots have been planted for …


How to Build a Raised Bed on a Pallet

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Almost any pallet can be modified to create a raised bed on a pallet. This is a pretty quick way to build a raised bed on a pallet. If you keep your eyes peeled when driving around the neighbourhood you will sometimes see unique pallets that have been specifically created for uncommon jobs and transportation of odd shaped objects. These are usually not reusable for further shipping and quite often considered garbage by the receiving business. These types of pallets are easier to get your hands on because of this. Try to locate a smaller size pallet that has sides …


My Cherries are Falling Off

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June Fruit Drop on Cherry Tree 2013

It’s almost June and summer is under way. The cherry blossoms have bloomed their dazzling spring beauty and are now almost gone. The immature cherries are just forming behind the flower petals as they blow away in the wind. But then disaster happens… The newly formed, immature cherries start falling off your cherry tree and there are a lot of them that fall! It makes you wonder the obvious question: Is my fruit tree sick? The answer is probably not. It might be a natural occurrence. It really depends on how much of the total crop of cherries actually fall off. …