Monthly Archives: May 2014

Q & A for New Gardeners: How do I Overseed?

We moved into a new house just as the snow was falling, so didn’t see the grass until the snow melted.  We have dead patches, and dirt patches so will need overseed, do we need to worry about figuring out what kind of grass we have?

Brown patches are an unsightly addition to an otherwise green yard, but are easy to fix.  99% of the grass used in yards is Kentucky Blue Grass, but there are lots of suitable options for overseeding. 

The first step is to spread some fresh soil over the areas that need repair. It doesn’t need to be a particularly deep layer of soil, just enough to cover up the bare patches, but thin enough that the existing grass still peeks through.  To spread the grass seed, its best to use a proper spreader, to ensure that the seed is dispersed evenly (sprinkling by hand will likely lead to more patchiness).  Finally, water regularly (every day) until the seeds germinate, grow, and grace you with a newly beautified lawn!

As for matching the types of grass, it is not at all necessary.  As long as you choose a type of grass seed appropriate for the area (shade-loving fescues for shade, or classic Bluegrass for sun) the grass will blend in just fine!

Lacoste’s Favourite Plants

Flamingo Supertunia

 

Scientific Name: ‘Supertunia® Flamingo Petunia hybrid 

Plant: in Sun

Space: 10-14” apart

Trails:36 ” long

Great for use both in landscapes and container, blooms all summer.

Mounds AND trails in containers.  Great for baskets viewed from all angles!

Heat tolerant

Easy to care for

Be sure to fertilize regularly to promote continued flowering

Q & A for New Gardeners: Essential Tools

What kind of garden tools do I need to have?

A quick Google search of “essential garden tools” will lead you to lists of 8 essential garden tools, 10 essential garden tools, 4 essential garden tools.  Since my goal here is to try to give some simple, realistic answers, here’s my official list of essential garden tools.  This list is what we actually, honestly and truly have in the garage, and use regularly.

  1. Garden gloves: These will provide some protection against scrapes and cuts, and greatly reduce clean-up time, in case you need to rush out to a fancy ball after weeding your tomato patch :)
  2. Trowels: I like to have two: a narrow one for digging out dandelions from the yard, and a wider one for planting bedding plants
  3. Shovel: An essential tool for digging; either for planting trees and shrubs, or removing trees and shrubs!
  4. Pruning shears: Small handheld pruners make clipping back old growth much easier
  5. Scissors: Because of course you will want to harvest your beautiful herbs for cooking, and flowers for arranging!
  6. Rakes: See last week’s post on the importance of raking!
  7. Wheelbarrow: If you ever need to haul any amount of soil, gravel, sand, mulch using a wheelbarrow makes much more sense than moving things one shovel-ful at a time!
  8. Hose/Sprinkler/Watering Can: Plants need water to survive!
  9. Twine: I use this to tie tomatoes to stakes, but it seems like it always comes in handy for other things as well
  10. Old recycle bins/Large paper bags: Once you’ve done a big clean up, you’ll need a place to keep your yard waste until pick-up day

Bonus: Stereo or Radio or something to play music while you work!

 

That’s what’s on my gardening shelf! How about you? Is there anything you’d add?

Lacoste’s Favourite Plants

Lacoste Staff Pick!

Wendy’s Wish Salvia

Scientific Name: ‘Wendys Wish’ Salvia hybrid PP: 21889

Plant: in Sun

Space: 24 – 36” apart

Grows: 24 – 36” tall

Great for use both in landscapes and container, blooms all summer
Heat tolerant
Easy to care for
Attracts Butterflies & Hummingbirds, resists deer
Be sure to fertilize regularly to promote continued flowering.

thatch rake

Q & A for New Gardeners: What Rake to Use and When

When can I rake my yard? What kind of rake should I use?

Now that all the snow has melted, and people are making their way outside, it is time to start thinking about raking up all the “thatch” that’s resting on top of the lawn.  Thatch, and snow mould can matte together and make it difficult for new (green!) grass to grow through.

You can start raking once the ground seems to be fairly dry.  If you try to rake while the grass is still wet, you risk damaging the grass that may already be growing.

For Spring raking, the best rake to use is a thatch rake, which looks like this:

 In our house, we describe this raking as a good back-scratch for the lawn.  The thatch rake is the rake that looks like it would do a good job of it!

Other rake types:

 

 

 

 

 

Bow: for levelling mulch/soil in garden beds                                       Fan: for gathering leaves

Lacoste’s Favourite Plants

Celosia Intenz

This variety of Celosia has been a favourite with staff and customers alike for the past few years.  The first few years we carried it; it sold out in no time.  Now that it is not quite so brand-new, our Celosia supply lasts a little longer.  Celosia is a great, bright flower that you can count on to bloom throughout spring summer, and into fall!

Scientific Name: Celosia argentea

Plant: in Sun (at least 6 hrs of sun)

Space: 8-12″ (20-30cm) apart

Grows: 18″ (46cm) tall by 12″ (30cm) wide

Bold purple color that continue to bloom throughout the season

– can take the heat.

Easy to care for and maximum color!

Be sure to fertilize regularly to promote continued flowering.