Claire Rose McLeod of Ladybug Florist Inc. – Spring is here! Time to Plant

ladybug-imageWith the warm weather finally here, everyone is thinking about their gardens. Here at Ladybug Florist we are getting lots of questions about how to get the garden ready, when to plant? How to plant?

 
So here are a few quick tips to help you and your plants get ready for the season.
When is it the right time to plant?

 
The traditional time to plant outdoors in Canada is the May 24 weekend. By then the chance of frost is (hopefully) nil and the soil has had time to thaw out. According to old country lore, the best time to plant outdoors is when it’s warm enough you can go outside into your garden in your bare feet and not catch a cold!

 
The Farmer’s Almanac also has specific advice on which are good and not so good days to plant outdoors.  This is what they have recommended for this year.With the warm weather finally here, everyone is thinking about their gardens. Here at Ladybug Florist we are getting lots of questions about how to get the garden ready, when to plant? How to plant?

 
So here are a few quick tips to help you and your plants get ready for the season.
When is it the right time to plant?

 
The traditional time to plant outdoors in Canada is the May 24 weekend. By then the chance of frost is (hopefully) nil and the soil has had time to thaw out. According to old country lore, the best time to plant outdoors is when it’s warm enough you can go outside into your garden in your bare feet and not catch a cold!

 
The Farmer’s Almanac also has specific advice on which are good and not so good days to plant outdoors.  This is what they have recommended for this year.

 
May 18th-20th – Fine for vine crops. Set strawberry plants. Good days for transplanting. Favorable time for planting late root crops.
May 21st-22nd – Poor planting days. Fine for cultivating or spraying.
May 23rd-24th – Good days for transplanting. Root crops that can be planted now will yield well.
May 25th-26th – Do not plant seeds today. Any seed planted now will tend to rot.
May 27th-28th – Plant seedbeds and flower gardens. Most for favorable above ground crops.
29th-31st – A barren period. Do not plant.  Favorable days for avoiding the garden and for taking a short vacation.
June 1st – Poor period for planting. Good time to clear fencerows, or clear land.
June 2nd-4th – Plant flowers. Favorable for planting peas, beans, tomatoes, and other fall crops bearing aboveground.
June 5th-6th – Plant seedbeds. All above ground crops planted now will do well.

 

Getting Ready

 
Now that we know when to plant. It’s time get the garden ready.  Everybody forgets this step.  Me included.  How many times in my excitement I have gone out and bought new plants and all keen to start, when I realize that I hadn’t prepared my garden and I have nothing but sticks and weeds where I want to put my new flowers?
It’s better to first get the garden area ready.  Pull out the weeds.  Turn the soil.  Make it nice and welcoming for the new plants coming in.

 

Transplanting

 
Many of the plants we put into the garden come in little growers plastic pots. The best way to get these plants out of the pot and into the garden is to take the pot and roll it in your hands first. That loosens them. Then grab the pot with one hand and turn it over while cupping the plant and as much of the soil as possible.  Be careful not to squish the foliage, or pull on the plant to get it out of the pot.
If it is a mature plant and the roots may have grown through the bottom of the pot.  Be careful not to damage them by tugging them. It’s best to cut them away with a clean pair of scissors.

 
If the roots are really tangled and there is a mass of them in the plastic pot it could be that your new plant is root bound.  If this is the case, your new plant will find it difficult to get the nutrition and moisture it needs as the roots are too tight and in fact almost strangling it.  You can untangle them with your fingers, (like you are messing up someone’s hair) or you can cut them vertically with a sharp knife. That gives the roots a fresh new start!

 

How deep?

 
Make the hole in your garden soil to be the same size as the plant you are transplanting.

 
It is important not to have the new plant too deep, or too high in the new ground. The plants level of the soil in the original pot, should be the same level in its new home in the garden. So if your plant had soil up to the middle of it’s stem, you should plant it in the same depth in your garden.
Once your new plant is in – make sure that the hole is filled with soil.  And then tamp the soil (press it down) around the plant stem. That will give it a good secure anchoring in it’s new home.

 
If you are planting more than one new plant – remember to leave room between them so that they have lots of room to grow.  Check the plant information tag to see how big it will get and leave enough space.
Warm welcome

 
Just like house guests, I like to give my new plants a welcoming drink when they first arrive.  Always give your new plants a good drink of water after they have been transplanted.  That will give them a good start and a nice welcome to their new home.
Claire McLeod is the proprietor of Ladybug Florist
at 513 Church St. and 319 Danforth

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