Herb Garden

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What to Plant in Your Vegetable Garden in March

Categories:
27/03/2017
What-to-Plant-in-Your-Vegetable-Garden-in-March

With spring in the air, now is the time when gardeners get eager to start prepping and planting their gardens for the summer. But March can be a tricky month for planting. As the weather begins to slowly warm up, it still holds the potential for some harsh frost and snow. Knowing what will hold up to the elements before you start planting is a must.

In March you will want to plant a variety of cool weather vegetables and herbs that are hardy enough to survive any cold fronts.  Let’s explore some ideas about what you can start planting in March to be ready come summer.

Vegetables

When it comes to planting, it’s important to remember that it isn’t just the temperature of the air that affects how vegetables grow, it’s also the temperature of the soil beneath the surface that matters. Gardeners need to ensure they are choosing the right varieties for their garden that will sustain all the elements that can occur in March.

March is the perfect time to jump on planting some of your favourite vegetables, like: Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Kale, Kohl Rabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Onion, Parsnips, Peas, Rhubarb, Spinach, and Swiss Chard. Just don’t forget to give them all the space they require and water them thoroughly to give them a good start.

Growing your own food can be very rewarding and, of course, delicious! Knowing what plants can tolerate the temperatures at the start of spring will guarantee that you’ll end up with lots to harvest throughout the summer and fall.

In March, you can begin to plant the following: Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Melons, Strawberry, Squash, and Tomatoes. You’ll need plenty of sun, around 6 hours and well drained soil. Also, remember to leave enough space between each one as plants need a lot of room to grow.

Herbs

Growing herbs is so great for making herbal teas and adding flavor into your favourite recipes. Herbs are also easy to plant and will grow virtually anywhere. Plus, if weather hasn’t been the greatest you can always start planting them indoors in trays and, depending on the weather, begin to sow later that month.

In March you can try planting: Italian Parsley, Oregano, Sage, Dill, Thyme, Chives, and Coriander. Just remember that herbs prefer sun over shade and require adequately drained soil.

Getting a head start on planting once the first signs of spring and the warmer weather arrive can ensure you’ll have a beautiful and bountiful garden come summer. Ottawa gardeners trust Ritchie Feed & Seed for expert gardening advice and supplies.

Rabbits in the Garden

Categories:
07/11/2016
Rabbits in the garden

If you live in one of Ottawa’s many suburbs, chances are you’ve seen them. They hop around like they own the place and no matter how many times you ask them to leave, they return in numbers! They seem to eat almost anything they can get their little paws on. You know what we’re talking about: cute little destructive rabbits!

Although having them around may seem like you’re living in a Snow White enchanted fairytale, reality is they are excellent at destroying vegetable gardens and other beautiful flower arrangements if given the chance. There are ways you can passively combat these furry garden foes and cause no any harm to anyone. By simply planting a few rabbit-resistant perennials around your garden you can ward off their harmful little claws and teeth without causing them any pain.

Lily-of-the-Nile

Start by planting a few Lily-of-the-Nile. These plants bloom in the late summer early fall and blossom into a starburst flower head. They can brilliant bright blue to white in colour. Rabbits don’t like these plants and will steer clear of them, and hopefully any plants surrounding them.

Snow-in-Summer

A great plant to ward off bunnies is the snow-in-summer plant. They bloom in the spring and are a fantastic way to fill a large garden space. Snow-in-summer plants are planted from seeds and have a tendency to spread around. They can fill any gaping holes you may have in your garden and be a bunny repellant at the same time!

Blazing Star

Since rabbits are crafty creatures they can likely navigate around a fence with a certain amount of ease. Try planting a row of Blazing Star plants along the fence line and see if that helps to minimize your popularity in the bunny community. Blazing Star plants can grow to be as tall as four feet, so they make excellent backdrops to your garden.

Herbs

Plants don’t have to be purely decorative to be effective in minimizing your bunny problems. Thyme and oregano make great bunny deterrents while also providing you with a great source for delicious home-grown herbs.

Bunnies are cute in kindergarten classrooms and Saturday morning cartoons, but any homeowner will tell you that they can be quite destructive when playing around in your garden. If you can intentionally plant some bunny-repellant plants in your garden as a safe and easy way to keep them away, your garden will have the chance to flourish all year long.

To learn more about rabbit-resistant plants or discover other gardening tips, talk to the experts at Ritchie Feed & Seed. We are the leading Ottawa garden centre and stock everything you need for your lawn and garden, including seeds, gardening tools, and more!

How to Start a Vegetable Garden

Categories:
17/10/2016
diy veggie garden

The fresh smell of walking through a vegetable market is comparable to little else in the world. But we don’t all live within walking distance to fresh vegetable markets, so for those of us who want to create vegetable magic in our own backyards, follow these simple tips and tricks! But be warned that successfully growing a vegetable garden involves lots of commitment and tender love and care.

Proper Conditions

Ensure that you build your vegetable garden in an area that gets lots of sun. At least 6-8 hours a day of sunlight is ideal. Scope out the garden where you wish to plant your vegetables and make sure there is no shade cast from nearby buildings or trees.

Proper Soil

You will want to invest in soil with high organic and nutrient contents. Regular topsoil isn’t ideal for growing a vegetable garden as the growing vegetables require more nutrients in order to prosper. Fertilizer is a nice additive to help give your vegetables a good healthy start in life. If you compost, add that to your vegetable garden as an extra treat.

Constant Watering

It is vitally important that your garden gets frequent watering. Don’t simply rely on the rain, unless your area of town is having an unnaturally wet season! Be sure that your precious vegetables are provided with plenty of water so they can grow fast and strong.

Extra TLC

Be sure that you pay close attention to the level of weeds growing in your vegetable garden. Try to do frequent weeding because your vegetables need all of the nutrients and water they can get and weeds tend to be excellent at stealing both from the intended recipient.

Where to Begin

Some vegetables do best when they are started inside. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers can be planted indoors and stored in a heavily sunlit area over the winter. Once the springtime hits they can easily be transferred to the vegetable garden with a head start on their growth. Root vegetables can be planted directly from seeds into your garden. Vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and potatoes are popular picks.

Survival Tips

To help your garden thrive and grow you should ensure the vegetables have everything they need to succeed. For taller plants that tend to get top heavy, such as tomatoes, stakes or cages may be necessary to aid in healthy growth. It is also important that you pay attention to the removal of dead plants that may be impeding the growth of the healthy ones.

Get creative with your vegetable garden and plant lots of different varieties to give your garden the best chance at a big yield come harvest time. Start your garden the right way with gardening tools, gardening supplies, and seeds from Ritchie Feed & Seed!

Grow Your Own Garlic

Categories:
18/02/2016
ottawa gardening

If you’re interested in growing garlic, rather than buying it at the grocery store, you should know that your goal is definitely easy to achieve. You may grow garlic at home without needing to put in much time and effort, as long as two key elements are in place. These are good soil and sufficient moisture.

In order to enjoy the tastiest, healthiest garlic, you’ll also need to learn the best times to plant and harvest.

Now, let’s talk about how to grow your own garlic. Our helpful quick guide from our Ottawa garden store will give you the power to enjoy fresh garlic whenever you want to, right from the comfort and privacy of home.

When to Plant Garlic

It’s important to plant garlic at the right time and this is about one month before the earth freezes in your garden. This timing can vary, but typically in Ottawa you should plant in September or October. It’s possible to plant as early as six weeks ahead of anticipated freezing time. However, a month is definitely enough time for most people.

You’ll find that roots begin to flourish shortly after your planting day. Your goal should be to foster excellent development of roots, before each garlic plant becomes dormant. During autumn, you may notice a few green shoots and this is normal.

How to Get Soil Ready

The best garlic for superior garlic growth is loose and fertile. You may loosen up earth by using a digging fork in order to break it up. After you do this, add two to three inches of organic matter to the earth, in an even layer. Then, use the digging fork in order to incorporate it into your soil.

Organic matter is often a combination of leaf mold, old rabbit droppings and compost. You may also buy mixtures ready-made. It’s important to avoid planting garlic in the same place two years in a row, so find a new place for it if this isn’t your first attempt to grow it.

Next, make space for planting by creating furrows which are shallow and about six inches away from each other.

Come into our Ottawa garden centre to find the best garden soil for garlic growth.

How to Plant the Garlic

To prepare the garlic, just break some cloves from each bulb apart two days before you plant – make sure that the wispy husks of the garlic are intact. You’ll be planting cloves. Just space them an inch or two apart in the furrows.
As you can see, it’s really easy to grow garlic. Use your garlic in fresh Italian food, as a health remedy, a natural pesticide for your garden, and of course ward away vampires! Now that you know the drill, why not plant a garlic garden today?

Avoid These Beginner Herb Garden Mistakes

Categories:
01/02/2016
garden seeds

The big trend in food these days is “farm to table,” with many more people interested in figuring out exactly where their food comes from and making sure that it is of the highest possible quality.

And though the overwhelming majority of folks out there aren’t going to be starting up their own family farm in the countryside anytime soon, a lot of people have taken to growing a herb garden so that they are able to spruce up their favorite dishes with fresh herbs whenever they like.

Thankfully, growing and herb garden is relatively simple and straightforward – provided you avoid beginner mistakes like the ones that we break down below.

Let’s dive right in!

Make sure your soil is in tiptop condition

The very first thing you need to do is make sure that the soil you choose is in the best possible condition.
For a variety of different reasons, people try to lump also soil configurations and types in with one another, figuring that “dirt is dirt” when nothing could be further from the truth.
You’ll want to make sure that your soil is in tiptop condition, filled with nutrients, and fertilized perfectly to maximize the potential for your garden to really flourish. Fortunately most herbs and pretty hardy and can grow in most soils and potting mixes, however why do get your garden started on the best foot possible?

Don’t try to water your herbs like houseplants

Secondly, you need to make sure that you aren’t watering your herbs the same way that you water houseplants.

The overwhelming majority of houseplants out there only really need to be watered once a week or so, while your herb garden is going to be looking for water more frequently. In fact, it’s almost going to be a challenge for you to water your herbs too often – that’s how much they love H2O! You can hope Mother Nature will do most of the watering for you with regular rainstorms, however you need to monitor the weather to adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Make sure that your trimming schedule is on point

There is definitely going to be a tendency to try to avoid giving your new herbs a “haircut” when they are nice and young, but you’ll need to fight that temptation to just kind of let things grow.

Instead, you’ll want to be sure that you give your herbs a quick little clip in its early stages so that it has the potential to grow a stiffer base. If you allow the new growth to get too tall, the leaves will be too heavy, will pull down on the stock, and will almost always cause damage and death – or at the very least stunt the growth of your herbs dramatically.

Keep these mistakes in mind and you shouldn’t have any trouble whatsoever avoiding them. If you have any other questions about starting a herb garden, the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Ritchie Feed & Seed are here to help. Just come into your nearest location, and we’ll talk gardening.

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