Chemainus Communities In Bloom.

Keep plants that don’t like each other apart and your garden will thrive

A regular report from Communities in Bloom

Celebrate St. David’s Day on March 1. The leek and the daffodil are emblems of Wales. The leek goes back in history to 1536 and was an important part of their diet.

The daffodil is more recent. St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) is recognized with the Shamrock – a symbol of good luck.

Spring ahead on Sunday, March 12 with daylight saving and start digging on the first day of spring, March 20.


* Pick a permanent spot for herbs in the garden, preferably with easy access to your kitchen

* Plant snapdragon, petunia and verbena seeds now as they take 70-90 days to bloom

* This is a great time to move and plant trees and shrubs

* Apply mulch and well-rotted manure or compost to fruit trees, bush and cane fruits

* Cut off dead growth and divide crowded perennials. Replant only the outer pieces of a clump in soil replenished with compost and a little bone meal

* Rake moss from the grass, top dress with peat moss, seed bare spots

* Cultivate, weed and feed strawberries

* Prune your roses – when the forsythia blooms

* Fertilize rhodos, azaleas and camellias

* Bait the garden for slugs

* Start planting out cool season vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage and kale


That planting different plant species close together offers benefits to one another? It is called companion planting. Plants attract beneficial insects and pollinators, deter pests and act as insect repellents and can fend off wildlife. One of the best examples is corn, pole beans and squash. The ‘Three Sisters’ was first developed by American Indians centuries ago. Corn with sturdy stalks provide upright support for climbing beans, the beans fix nitrogen in the soil and provide essential nutrients for all. The large leaves of the squash shade the soil and retain moisture.

The opposite can also occur. Here are a few plants that don’t like each other:

Beans and onions

Tomatoes and corn

Potatoes and sunflowers

Asparagus and garlic

Celery and carrots

Keep the friends and enemies apart and your garden will thrive.

PICK OF THE MONTH – Grape Hyacinth (muscari armeniacum)

Bright blue tiny flowers clustered atop 6-8” stems; frost resistant – blooms from March to May. Likes full sun.


I’ve started to plant my herbs in alphabetical order. People ask me how I find the time. I tell them it’s next to the sage.

(This is a regular monthly report from Chemainus Communities In Bloom. For more, go to or Chemainus Communities In Bloom on Facebook).


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