The Haskap Berry

Posted On by

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

Posted On by

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

Posted On by
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

Posted On by
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

Posted On by
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

Posted On by
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 …


List of Raspberry Cultivars

Posted On by
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

Posted On by
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

Posted On by

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

Posted On by
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. …


Raspberry Crown Borer

Posted On by
Raspberry Crown Borer

The Raspberry Crown Borer (Pennisetia marginata) and its larva are common pests of the raspberry plant. They are common throughout most of North America and are very common here on the west coast of BC and Washington. They are also known as Blackberry Clearwing Borer, as they can affect the closely related blackberry plant as well. Wild blackberries are a carrier of this pest and they will spread to nearby gardens with raspberries if they are close enough. They will infect your raspberries easily. Their life cycle is nearly invisible and you don’t notice they are there until your plant is …


Raspberry Cane Borer

Posted On by
Raspberry Cane Borer

The adult raspberry cane borer (Oberea bimaculata ) appears in June. It is a slender black beetle about 1/2″ long.  How to recognize it and its’ presence This pest is a slender, dark coloured beetle, about 12 mm long, with antennae as long as its body. It can be recognized by the yellow band near its head and its long antennae. Larvae are white, cylindrical and legless. Adult females chew two zipper-like rings around the tips of raspberry primocanes and lay an egg between the punctures. The cane tip wilts above the point of injury and eventually dries up and dies. The beetle …


Big Fat Worm on Basil

Posted On by
Worm on Store Bought Basil

So I caved and actually bought a couple of basil plants from the store, I just wanted more of it and the season was passing quickly.  There wasn’t enough time to sprout more seeds. You already know that there’s never too much basil! The plants are doing beautifully and were growing nicely. I watched them for a couple of weeks while they grew and made more leaves.  I hadn’t pinched any yet and was tenderly growing and nurturing these new additions, but then I started to notice some of the branches looked as though they had been harvested or pinched already. But I …


Slugs in January!

Posted On by
Brown Slug

The garden usually rests around November in the Lower Mainland of BC, depending on the weather and when the rainy season returns. Usually the rainy season has long since arrived by the end of November and the gardeners of this area retreat to the dry warmth of the house.  Unless you have a greenhouse, then your growing time can be extended quite a bit. Now is the time to relax and enjoy the hard earned break from the work load of the spring and summer planting and growing season. That was two months ago. We don’t really get winter around …


Start with a Few Good Tools

Posted On by
Fiskars Power Gear Shears

Gardening is a whole lot easier when you start out with a few high quality tools that are made tough for the job.   They’ll make your life so much easier and things will get done more easily and with less effort than if you choose inferior tools.  The tools featured here are some of the ones that I personally use just about everyday and know to be perfect for this type of gardening. They are Loppers, Shears and Pruners. Don’t Buy Cheap Tools You get what you pay for is true of so many products and is definitely true of garden tools. …


How to Grow Oriental Lilies

Posted On by
Pink and White Oriental Lily

There are so many beautiful Oriental lilies available that they could easily make a stunningly colourful garden on their own without any other flowers. They’re most beautiful standing among other shorter growing flowers and shrubs. Giant Oriental lilies are really easy to grow and they produce beautiful fragrant flowers right from their first year. They are great for novice gardeners and kids gardens. The bulbs are available in the early spring and early fall. They come in a wide range of solid colours and many colour combinations. Their height ranges from 18″ to 72″ depending on the variety. They can …