Spring has sprung! The birds are singing! Flowers blooming! Sun shining! What could possibly go wrong? Who knew COVID-19 was lurking around the corner?
It’s a ‘grin and bear it’ situation but a great time to get out in the garden. Nothing like a good dig to relieve tension. And the silver lining will be the environmental improvement as we learn to make our own compost and grow our own veggies and drive less and take the time to smell the roses. Time being the key.
April starts with April Fools’ Day. What clever crafty trick are you going to plan to get the family laughing? Easter is mid-month, a time to reflect, and is followed by Earth Day, particularly significant this year as a global commitment.
We Dig – Do It Now Tips
• All spring digging should be completed by the end of the month
• Shear winter flowering heathers and forsythia after blooming
• Plant glads and dahlias during Easter week
• Plant porch and patio tubs
• All plants and the lawns need help with spring growth, feed!
• Conifers should be pruned before new growth starts
• Sow grass seed
• Rake grass before mowing, keep at 11/2 – 2 inch height
• Herbs like lime and grit. Mix one handful of ground oyster shells into each herb planting hole
• Remove, by rubbing, all soft buds now appearing on main trunk of young trees
• Bait garden and flower beds for slugs, crush your egg shells and spread around the base of plants, slugs hate egg shells
• Deadhead spring bulbs but do not cut the leaves back
• Plant fuchsias and red hot pokers to attract hummingbirds
Did you know…
…that the flower of the month is the Sweet Pea, meaning goodbye?
…if you have a gnome in your garden, it is an acronym for Guarding naturally over Mother Earth?
…one ladybug can eat 50 aphids a day?
…there are more trees on Earth than stars in the milky way?
Just for Fun!!
Peanuts date back 3,500 years, originating in South America
Have you ever thought of growing your own? Here’s how!
Peanuts are healthful and nutritious. No cholesterol and plenty of protein.
Peanuts are not nuts at all. They are related to peas and beans. They are a unique plant, flowering above ground, yet the pods, containing the seeds grow underground. They grow best in the Southern states but with some TLC and Chemainus sunshine, will do just fine right here.
• Growing season 100-130 days = choose an early maturing variety (early Spanish)
• Plant on a south facing slope. They can be started indoors and transplanted
• Need full sun
• Plastic row covers are recommended to protect young plants from spring frost
• Need fresh, raw, uncooked peanuts still inside their shell
• To start inside, fill a large four inch bowl ¼ full with moist potting soil. Shell four peanuts and place on top of soil. Cover with one inch soil. Plants sprout quickly. Transplant when threat of frost has passed.
• To plant outside, place peanut seeds two inches deep and eight inches apart in loose, well-drained soil (add sand and compost to loosen)
• When plants are six inches tall, loosen soil around them so that the flowers can send down their stems known as ‘pegs’
• Hill them like you would potatoes and mulch with two inches of straw or grass clippings
• Small, yellow flowers will grow along the lower part of the stem and when the flowers fade, the ovaries will swell and grow toward the ground and push into the soil
• Harvest before frost, when plants yellow
• Dig out the entire plant and gently shake off the soil. Hang to dry indoors for a month
• The nut can be enjoyed raw or roasted. To roast, bake shelled or unshelled, in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes
Pick of the Month… Pacific or Mountain Dogwood (Cornus nuttalii). B.C.’s provincial flower.
It is a species of Dogwood native to North America. It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 25’. Flowers in April and May. Conspicuous in the fall by its clusters of bright red berries and colourful foliage.
What did the tree say to spring? What a re-leaf!
Chemainus Communities in Bloom next meets who knows where or when?
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– Rondeau Fenton.