There is an easy way to find out if your soil is alkaline, acidic or neutral. Alkaline soils have a pH above 7, acidic is below 7 and 7 is neutral. A pH neural soil is usually the easiest to work with, but that comes along very infrequently. If your soil is alkaline you can choose to take measures to bring the pH down by adding organic matter, like compost, pine needles or peat moss.

The ground may still be cold, but longer days have already begun to coax your plants out of their winter dormancy. There are several valuable ways that you can prepare for the busy gardening season ahead.

1 Assess and Repair.
Check your garden for winter damage. Clean up any boughs that were broken in storms.

Whenever I meet someone who just found out that I sell plants for Canada’s finest wholesale grower, their first question is always “What new plants are you introducing for this gardening season?” I LOVE that question! Every year, Bylands introduces 30 – 50 new nursery plants (trees, shrubs, evergreens, roses, edibles, vines, perennials), and getting a chance to talk about them and show pictures is a lot of fun for me.

When starting seeds indoors for spring planting, timing is very important. The plants need to be large enough to move outdoors at the normal planting time, without being spindly and overgrown.

This year's gardening trends

Trends come and go, especially when it comes to clothing, colours, accessories, home decorations etc., but trends in gardening tend to stick around a bit longer or they are explored in a slightly different way.

Everything you need to know about growing Amaryllis

Amaryllis is a popular Christmas plant, because it is easy to force into bloom during winter when there are not many flowering plants around. With its huge, long lasting flowers in red, white, pink or even bi-coloured red and white, Amaryllis is great to use in Christmas decorations. For longer lasting flowers, make sure to keep them out of direct sunlight.

With the cooler weather in the last week it has reminded us that fall is just around the corner.  Although this has traditionally been a time to prepare the garden for the cooler months ahead, it is also a great time to plant as we have more comfortable temperatures and more rainfall: perfect conditions for plants to get established.