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Gardener's Notebook: Remember to replenish your soils

Gardeners, good luck with planting, have fun, and remember our quest: try at least one new plant! 
garden
Gardens change from season to season, and there are always plants that may need replenishing or replacing. (File Photo)

YORKTON -  I know the gardening bug has hit us now:  seeing new plants, working in our gardens, it’s all great!  I’d like to remind you that the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society Spring Bulb and Plant Sale will be held on Friday,  June 7 from 9:30 AM till 2PM (or while supplies last) at the Parkland Mall, Yorkton.  I say ‘while supplies last’ because last year we sold out very early, so  it’s best to visit the sale early after the start time, rather than later!  You will find good plants at good prices, and gardeners on hand to answer any questions.  Everyone is welcome!

I also mention that gardeners will be on hand to answer your questions, because sometimes there might be plants that are new to you, and you might want to ask about their growing habits.  Not every plant suits every garden or every gardener.  So if you are looking for a compact perennial to fit one small little corner of your flowerbed, and you select a plant that has an adventurous and roaming nature, it will not be a good fit.  Our sale features all kinds of plants, because all gardeners have their own plant needs, and the gardeners on hand can answer some of those questions for you!

Gardens change from season to season, and there are always plants that may need replenishing or replacing: this sale is the chance to do just that!  Hope to see you there!

A gardening friend once mentioned that some of her plants don’t seem to be quite as robust in a certain flowerbed as they once were.  Could it be that the soil needed building up?

The answer to that is a resounding ‘yes’!  Soil always needs building up, because our plants are using up nutrients every year, taking them up from the soil.  This is especially true in flowerbeds where the soil is not revitalized in the same way that a vegetable garden would be.  A flowerbed is a small , closed environment, and while much is expected out of it, how much do we actually put into it?

Soil needs replenishing every year, and one of the best ways to do that is by adding compost.  We can top dress our plants every year with a couple inches of compost ( “topdressing” means to add a layer of compost around our plants; if we can work it in without disturbing plants,  that is fine, but if not, just spreading it evenly around the plants will work as well, with all the good stuff of compost being absorbed slowly).  After this is done, the compost will break down further with watering and help to enrich the soil.

If we are talking about a new flower bed, or one that is currently empty, a blank slate, go through the extra effort to really do it right before you begin planting.  Add compost to the bed and work it in with a fork, incorporating it well.  This rich loam will be an excellent way to start the flower bed and its inhabitants on the way to a splendid flowering show!

Sometimes, gardeners might be following the gardening equivalent of “penny wise, pound foolish”.  We all spend money (sometimes significant amounts!) on lovely bedding plants, but don’t go that extra little bit further to purchase what it takes to  enrich the soil and help make the most of those plants.  A bag of compost is a small price to pay for making soil a healthier and happier environment for our plants.

It’s never too late to enrich our soil, and the effort will always be rewarding.  Compost in the garden is a great green way to improve the soil, aerate it, and improve the productivity of our plants.

Thank you to our friends at YTW for their fine work each week.  Gardeners, good luck with planting, have fun, and remember our quest: try at least one new plant!  Have a good week!